Thursday, May 28, 2009

holy guacamole

I love making guac…it’s my thing. Whenever I go to a potluck or dinner or something, I will show up and make some fresh while people are enjoying their beers. It’s always well received…I do put a lot of love into it. All the mashing, chopping, slicing & dicing etc is a meditation of sorts, and I think of all the things for which I am grateful as I make it, and focus with intention on every part of the process infusing every ingredient with l.o.v.e.. It makes the diff, I’m sure.

2 ripe haas avocado
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely diced, stems discarded before measuring
freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (1 lemon, 1-2 lime)
4 green onions (long skinny green ones – they seem to have a variety of names), finely chopped
1 roma tomato, diced (with juicey seeds removed – give that tommy a squeeze!)
a few cracks freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp best quality sea salt
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper/cayenne pepper/chili powder/or adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. choose one. a little spice is nice.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pits (I take my big knife and lightly tap into the pit until it catches, twist it out and discard by tapping into garbage bowl), scoop the flesh out of the skin and mash with a fork in a bowl. Adding in the lemon or lime at this point will help with the mashing.

Add remaining tomato, green onions & cilantro and blend with a fork until the mixture is just slightly lumpy. Season to perfection; let your taste buds guide you.

Serve with tortilla chips, or toasted pita that has been cut into triangles and seasoned with olive oil, sea salt and your choice herbage. Yummy.

Of course these are just guidelines…you’ll figure out your own recipe with time. The rules are there are no rules.

Oh yeah…what's the big deal about sea salt you ask? Personally, I feel it makes things taste far better then your classic iodized salt (blech!!). And, while iodized salt takes away from the body (and contributes to high blood pressure, bloating and grossness in general), a good quality sea salt will give back and nourish.

In case you’re totally intrigued to learn more click here.

I always put a tiny pinch of Celtic sea salt in my water everyday – it adds back minerals and trace elements that are essential for the bodies functioning, but are depleted through diet, lifestyle, and aging.

Back to the guacamole - if you know any guacamole haters out there, try this out on them. They'll be converts, fo shizzle!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the apple doesn't fall far...

I have my claim to many curious habits, and part of what makes these eccentricities interesting is that other members of my family share them with me - so obviously learned!

Like my dad, I'm a doodler, particularly when I'm on the phone. It's a reflex. Phone to ear, pen in hand.  I remember seeing him on a phone as a child doodling away -  and the desk where he worked was covered in doodles. Clearly, this is what a successful business man does.

Often I'll zone out and "just be" in a moment, only to look down and notice my thumbs a twiddlin'. My Baba twiddles while she "be's", whether it's while she's being driven somewhere, or observing the rest of the family in the midst of conversation. Or perhaps (like i am sometimes) she's just bored. I never thought that she was entertaining herself. Clever lady!

My mother has an affinity for shoes which I too have adopted. I've never counted the number of pairs of shoes that I currently own, but I'm sure it's close to triple digits, if not there already - and I've given many a pair away. A shoe for every occasion is a testament to our strong orientation towards details. Style maven's, we are.

My grandma had a strong aversion to pills & hospitals due to her experience, of course, and not-so-strangley so do I. Grandma would insist that our headaches didn't need 'tylenol' - that some fresh air and rest were better options - or better still - forget about it. I didn't really clue in to the sageness that came with those words until recently. Oh to speak to her now that we're on the same wavelength.  Even sweeter was how she questioned 'conventional wisdom' relentlessly, in preference to common sense or finding her own answer. 

Finally, my grandpa has a resilient tenacity about him that mirrors in myself. The past 15 years of his life were likely the most tumultuous but possibily the most fulfilling. Instead of becoming a widower, he became a gold metal track & field star. Instead of 'getting old' he kept out-younging his friends and even tired me out on the dance floor! Watching him experience considerable & consistent pain, and come out dancing on top is obviously inspirational. And I've seen that in myself...going through boughts of pain & depression and refusing to be the Debby Downer that drags people down with them - that is my everlasting tribute to my grandfather. I'd much rather inspire and delight than host pity parties. Boring.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

i travel, therefore i am

Sometimes I think to myself "holy schnickey's the world is awesome!".

As I’ve grown this wonderment comes more frequently and readily – like, for example, on the way to work when I’m blasting across the river on the freeway. I notice the beauty of the riverbanks’ earth tones and the contrast of the clouds & the sky and what the city I live in looks like that day. When I experience this ‘noticing’ and I feel grateful that I am a part of this moment. But those moments weren’t always there. I had to go far away to learn to appreciate what’s close.

Going to strange places like Japan, the Ukraine or Laos tickled my mind and my senses. In these places, I had experiences that cracked my perceptions open, and I was drawn to the profound and diverse beauty of this planet.

After I started working my 9-5 job, and felt all the financial strain that cometh with the commitment to acquiring and keeping stuff, I found myself quite in a huff that (in my mind, anyway) I wasn’t able to travel. My friends were off to Tanzania or Vietnam or Spain or Jamaica or Oz and I was biking around Edmonton feeling sorry for myself.

This intense desire to leave – to be ANYWHERE BUT HERE ended up in an inward journey…of learning yoga and meditation and (by default) the art of appreciation.

And so…by surrendering to what is and enjoying what was in front of me – from eating a piece of fruit to my daily commute to work, I began to travel once again. Isn’t it better to be lost in a moment of beauty than road rage?

My desire to travel is just one of the outlets I can use to explore my curiosity and interest in the world and to discover the magnitude of my appreciation of beauty and excellence.

That said…I’m still jonesin’ for an adventure afar.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

tappin’ into my inner power

Prancing around stage in a lil’ gold dress, fish net stockings and armed with a shot gun is pretty liberating.
Last night I had my tap dance debut. The dance studio that I was training with is closing their doors forever, and I took part of their last ever grand finale show after one year of study. The theme was Amusement Park, and my act was in the shooting arcade – me, my teacher Suzie and Coralee tippity tapped around stage with toy shotgun to a remix of the Los Lobos “Shot Gun” song. Cock, bang. Those suckers we’re pretty loud, I have to say.
I really wanted to perform my dance ‘perfectly’ but opted for having fun when the mistakes started surfacing. I’ve come to recognize that most people don’t recognize the fuck ups when they happen, and so it’s better to just keep tapping than admit defeat – in whatever form that comes. A big smile is a great diversion to error, in my mind.
I was a good little Buddha and practiced non-attachment to the outcome of this dance. I worked to shift my anxiety to perform into excitement to be seen and my need to be perfect into artistic expression…I have to admit that it was work to do this – but certainly worth the effort.
I like being on stage…in the spot light. Hmmmm, what next?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

from the lounge of posh spice

A sophisticated sangria recipe that's sure to kick off the patio season with a splash. Courtesy of GQ.

3/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup Marie Brizard apricot brandy
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
1 peach or nectarine, chopped
1 plum, chopped
1 bottle red wine - (any Pinot Noir, Malbec or Cab Sav will do)

Dissolve the sugar in the liquids, then add the fruit & chill. Serve in chilled glasses with a tablespoon each of ice chips.

Goes great with a self assured attitude. Perfect for celebrating successes, big or small.