Before he came down with a fever, they went to the movies. We danced in the kitchen. Adventureland Soundtrack on repeat. He napped, I read. Later he clung to my hip when I made chocolate chip cookies.
The week in breakfast. Scrambled eggs. Coconut oats. Repeat.
While I’m here, you might like to try these oats. One bowl and you’re good for the day.
I tend to swap ingredients in and out with oats to suit my tastes. Season as you like.
Creamy Coconut Oats
makes 1 large or 2 modest servings
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 cups water (for soaking and cooking)
coarse sea salt
1/2 tablespoon coconut butter
1/4 cup toasted coconut, to taste
1 tablespoon coconut sugar, or more to taste
optional (for super coconut lovers): a spoonful of coconut cream on top
In a small saucepan, soak the oats and chia seeds in water for several hours or overnight.
The next morning, place the soaked oats and chia pan over medium heat, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are tender and float pillow-like in the pan. Add more water if the oats look stiff and dry out too quickly.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the coconut butter, toasted coconut, and coconut sugar. Spoon the optional coconut cream on top. Serve warm.
I’m over at Mortal Muses today with a new photo assignment: 10 in 10. Stop by, if you like, and don’t forget your camera…
p.s. Spoiler alert: the 10 in 10 assignment is a sample of what you’ll find in my new e-course that launches February 14th. So soon. I can’t wait to share it with you and I’m totally playing along!
If I tell you how life really is, will you still listen? It’s 11:00 am, the day begins again. Every two to three hours the baby button restarts. In the mornings, thankfully, this means coffee. Then back to bed to write amidst another set of sheets damp from pee or spit up. Back to the washer on the second snow day in a row, no school but the sun pops from ground to sky. So why am I thinking about ice cream when it’s 2 degrees F outside?
The baby lies next to me, restless from the threat of a mouthful of teeth rushing in all at once. Or so it seems. I hear the front door open and close. Boots, jackets, and mittens fall on the floor. “Sure is cold out there,” he says, “rushing into the bedroom smelling like burnt wood and mushrooms.
Snack time pulls me away from writing. One boy in my lap the other by my side. Wet socks and pants. Off and on. Into the kitchen for peanut butter and fruit. “There are good and bad numbers in the game,” he says shutting his computer before he finishes eating. I put the baby to sleep. The other boy leans into my leg and writes a music poem in his notebook, each letter and line designates a different tone. Spontaneous song poem: “L: blue, blue, blue—bluuuuue.”
Dune, dune pah pah pah pahhhh. What was I going to write? Knee to knee, his tree pencil skirts across the page. My fingers slowly tap the keyboard, lazy in search of silence to wander around. His legs wiggle next to me. Someone found his pink apartment. I don’t question his poetry, listen instead and spell out words on demand. “T-H-E…I know how to spell this.” “The fish lived with the black fish…It’s a poem about the lonesome fish. Read it. This is one I wrote about a very cool spaceship house.”
I feel like I’m taking writing life lessons from a five year old. “I drew a zooba zooba on the second page.” “What does this note say?” Thoughts fire every other second. “Hexagon, triangle, when are we going to make blueberry muffins?”
Hope your new year is off to a good start. Happy happy all.
(photos: shot in Vermont)
quiet snow days in vermont.
When I sat down to write early this morning, it was 1 degree F outside. One degree! It’s warmed up to 14 degrees, cold enough to open the back door, click the camera shutter, then promptly shut the door on storm number two since last week.
This is what it looks like now
and this is what it looked like between storms.
Our little one has the sniffles. School closed early. It’s a good day for homemade potato leek soup and almond bread. Cookies too if everyone helps out.
On the subject of treats, I put together a little holiday giveaway for you to say hey, I think you’re swell and I hope you’re headed into a joyous new year filled with lots of creative inspiration. Since most of us document our days with a mobile camera, I think you might like this set.
One lucky winner will receive:
+ a print copy of my ebook Design, Shoot, & Show: Your iPhone Photo Project (really, the action steps apply to any mobile camera)
+ a snappy photo journal (to record all your ideas and projects)
+ a mini tripod for support your camera phone in all lighting situations (it’s adjustable and fits different mobile camera models, great for self-portraits, still lifes, short films, and more, plus it’s portable)!
If you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment here by tonight at midnight and I’ll choose one winner at random. I’m also giving away this same set at Mortal Muses today as well, if you’d like to click over and enter there too.
Sign up for my monthly newsletter (see sign-up box on the right side of this page). You can also follow/like me on one or all of my social hangouts: twitter, facebook, pinterest, google + and tell me that you did so in the comments.
(The winner will receive an email and has one week to respond and claim their prize before another winner is randomly chosen).
The contest is closed, thanks for participating. Congrats James, you won!
Quick. Set the timer folks, I have ten minutes to share this recipe with you which pretty much sums up life these days. Whatever fits into these time sprints is what happens between the hours of morning coffee and bedtime tea. Stained lists, a roughly written paragraph or two, ten or so photos, two botched pans of vegan marshmallows (hopefully I’ll get the recipe right soon).
That said, we need to talk about egg nog or in this case eggless nog. Almost a year ago, I came up with this boozy recipe for gingery rum soy nog and nearly forgot until today when I found a note folded in a book that read like a fortune for the hours ahead: almond coconut cream egg nog.
In this classic version, whip coconut cream, almond milk, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt in a blender until thick and frothy. Served cold, it reminds me of a melty milkshake topped with nutmeg and cinnamon shavings. A glass of white winter. Sometimes nothing but a chilled drink fits the day.
Classic Vegan Nog
makes 4 servings
1 cup coconut cream (I use Trader Joe’s Extra Thick & Rich Coconut Cream or make 1 cup whipped coconut cream)
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
whole nutmeg and cinnamon stick (for serving)
Blend coconut cream, almond milk, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt in a blender until frothy. Pour the nog into four glasses. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Serve cold.
Those of you who like to put up food have likely heard of Kevin West’s book Saving the Season: A cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving. If you haven’t, read on. West’s book is one you want to shelve in your permanent collection.
“It’s not without reason that we’ve learned to watch
The rising and the setting of the stars,
Marking the equal seasons as they change.”
—Virgil’s “First Georgic”
Poetic, literary, and downright practical, Saving the Season is a rarity among cookbooks. Packed with 220 modern classic recipes for sweet and savory jams, pickles, cordials, cocktails, candies, and fermented foods, it’s difficult to decide where to begin, each recipe is worth savoring. I recommend one recipe per season, starting with winter and working your way to next fall: Vin de Pamplemousse, Taqueria Style Pickled Carrots, Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika, and Walnuts in Maple Syrup and Brandy.
Essential canning science and know how are included as well and prove to be invaluable for new and experienced cooks. Who hasn’t wondered once or twice why home canning works, what’s the scoop on botulism, and how to “put up” through all four seasons. With full page color photographs throughout, Saving the Season delivers as much art as it does craft in this must read guide.
The book pays homage to West’s southern roots that included putting up food with his family in their rural Blount County, Tennessee kitchen. Musings on family tradition, history, and philosophy make this a thought-provoking read.