Living Simply

Though I don’t consider myself a Catholic, I have come to appreciate and observe the Lenten season each year. I believe each has their own personal motivations for participating (or not) in this season and, for me, I see it as a time for reflection on life – perhaps a ‘state of my union’, if you will. This is typically paired with adding or removing something that I may rely heavily or not enough on. Perhaps it is the fact that I enjoy a challenge – I seem to participate in all of these self-bettering holidays – or just the chance to reevaluate the life that I am living and work to make it better. My resolutions for these seasons of life revolve around what foods I will be restricting myself from (meat, animal products, or alcohol), what exercise routine I will be attempting, or how to make my life generally more productive (less tv, more recipe writing, more book reading). However, I am attempting a new approach this time – the broad, and often subjective idea of simple living.

This past weekend, as I bathed in the southern sun and warmth in the quiet botanic gardens of Austin, I could think of nothing else but to start living simply. The impending fate of moving into a remodeled airstream, the realization that working to attain dreams is not free (or cheap), and the need for a cleanse brought this to mind as I sat reflecting on the state of my life.

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Small steps

I feel like a food writer today- sipping coffee, eating french onion soup for breakfast, putting thoughts about life and food into words.

Saturday or Sunday (never both- one will always be reserved for running/snowboarding) is the only day I am able to capture the morning sun in my photos. Therefore, last night, I made a bold move. While I was reveling in the end of the work week, savoring leftover meatballs and red wine, indulging in fantasies over cookbooks, chefs, and inspirational stories, I abruptly decided to leave this world and do something about it. Yes, I think about food all day long – what recipes to try, what flavors go together – but without action these dreams stay stagnant. For too long, I had been thinking about this soup and needed to get it off my chest – my old roommate made it about a year ago and the memory has stayed with me since. I also had a ton of house cleaning to do, so I figured I could multitask. And I did. And I’m eating French Onion Soup for breakfast. And it’s damn good. All because of a small step to change the course of my day.

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it’s been a while

hello friends. it’s been days, weeks, and months and I’ve been absent.

this blog- a source of inspiration, frustration, and determination has remained blank as I’ve worked on my food issues. don’t worry, I’m still cooking and eating. Just doing a lot of thinking as well.

I have studied nutrition for 6 years. I work in community health. I know the ins and outs of most food items and the health consequences they present. But something about my love of taste and ingredients makes me forget these things as I enter the kitchen. I want to create food that is mostly delicious and happens to be healthy as well.

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giving thanks

This Thanksgiving was certainly one I will never forget. It was the perfect mix of fun and laughter, new and old friends, the calm and craziness of cooking all in time for the main event – the turkey. We started the day with a community turkey trot and ended the day full in hearts and bellies.

Joda and I had expected about 8 people as of Thanksgiving Eve, but the day of brought more guests, more hearts, and more warmth for our tiny apartment than we had originally anticipated. And while I had wanted each guest to share their reason for thanks this year, we let that sometimes forced activity go. Luckily, I have this blog to share my reason for thanks.

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let there be brownies

These pictures speak a thousand words to all of us individually. Maybe it’s knowing the 30 minutes that follow will fill the kitchen with agonizing smells, because what you want to enjoy right this very minute is beyond your reach. Maybe it’s a taste of what’s to come – regardless of the raw eggs, it’s a hint at the decadent baked good that will soon be enjoyed. Maybe the tease isn’t worth the waiting time for you, so you abstain until your baked good is finished (I’ve never felt this way…). Regardless, we know the finished product of batter from this paddle and bowl is going to satisfy the heart and soul, providing a sweetly decadent cap on any day.

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a look back

This summer went by way too fast. From our wedding that kicked it all off, to the honeymoon in Turkey, then a move into the mountains of Colorado, and starting a whole new job, Joda and I have tried to squeeze every last bit of sunlight and warmth from these few short months. Now, even though the calendar says we are just entering November, the mountains of Colorado have hit winter. Ski resorts are opening one by one and the winter coats are pulled – it’s time to settle in for the nice, long season. Today’s post, on the eve of daylight savings, is in remembrance of this summer.

Currently, our living situation doesn’t allow for us to have a garden of any size, but as we moved to our new town this summer, we were able to make connections with a local farm stand that collects the bounty of produce from the western slope of Colorado and brings it to our county. This has been a godsend as we value local, seasonal, fresh produce so much but happen to live in an area where land value is so high so there aren’t many farms.

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it’s been that kind of day

Don’t get me wrong. I love Fridays. And I especially love my life right now. Work is going great – after 4 months of floating in the unknown realm of starting a new job, I finally feel like I have a purpose. For now, that is solely based on writing a grant that is due in a little over a week (EEK!), but I must forget about that now, because it’s the weekend.

Whew.

I never thought I’d become that person that lived for weekends, wishing away the days of the week just to have 2 days of me (and Joda)-time, but it has come. I love just knowing that for 2 nights, I don’t have to wake up to sit at a desk all day and, if needed, I may sit on my couch and do nothing with no questions asked. Pure. Bliss. This may sound like complaining, but I’m just exhausted. So exhausted that I almost lost all motivation to make myself dinner (big red flag).

You see, my fridge and pantry are pretty bare- out of flour, pasta, eggs, vegetable broth (could be used for the arborio rice I have laying around), most vegetables, there are absolutely no snacks, and I even ran out of olive oil after making this. I’m headed to Denver for the next 2 days and the thought of buying food (let alone going to the grocery store) just to have it sit for the next two days is completely unappetizing. As if miraculously, I stumbled upon this recipe and thought I could muster up enough of the ingredients to make the pesto with some alterations. And, let me tell you, it’s exactly what I needed. This week has been such a whirlwind, the last thing I remember cooking was yesterday morning’s pancakes (if you can call that ‘cooking’) and not much else before… I just can’t remember this week. Luckily, I have an amazing husband and great friend who came to visit and took care of a lot of the cooking for me, but I think I got to a point today where I sincerely forgot how much I love it.

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the truth about winter

In hiking last weekend, my love for winter (and excitement for all things holiday-centered) really started to grow. My good friend Anne and I hiked her 25th 14er (mountain over 14,000 ft)!! While it was only my 13th, it’s always a good time to get into the mountains, away from everything civilized and remember why I live in the Rockies. The peak had only a few deep patches of snow, but they sparkled in their pristine, untouched state and got me antsy for thick sweaters, wool socks, fires, chili and soups, and all-things comfort.

While many of you may still be experiencing the crisp fall air and crunching leaves under your feet, Colorado is in official winter-mode. The beginning of October brought a couple of inches to the high country but this week we saw the skies open and dump some fresh powder over the majority of the state. Right in time for Steph to visit.

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and so we begin again.

I’m starting over. I started this blog under another name, under another website, but here is where I will stay. I love the concept of a blog and it is fueling my creative side! After stretching my technologically-challenged mind to understand wordpress, I am oh so happy with the design and am excited to start adding some content (and hopefully it will only get better!).

I was a bit disappointed when I accidentally deleted my other blog entries and information, but then I realized I have a whole new format to make them again (and better)! And I have a chance to really focus on my point. What is that? I want to make simple (but sometimes complicated), delicious foods. With ingredients that people can find in a small-town grocery store that won’t stretch them beyond their budget! Don’t get me wrong- I am enchanted by food. I love how there are so many varieties and how they can be combined to draw out different flavors and aromas. But I also believe that delicious food is for everyone and that is what I will be bringing to the table. Literally.

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Hello friends!

Welcome to my new site! Previously arawharvest.weebly.com, I’ve decide to make this thing a little bit fancier and sleeker with a new title that I like a bit more! The reason for the change is that I have loved blogging about what I am eating and doing, calling for a more appropriate title and a little bit more of a grown up blog!

Though I am still working on getting all the bells and whistles working up here (and maybe a new design/header), I have not stopped cooking, baking, or thinking about food!

So, here are some pictures as to what I’ve been doing these past few weeks and hopefully we’ll have this site up and running in no time!!