Hot Yoga Re-Up

I went back to my yoga practice after a few weeks away today. My intention for practice was to get stuff done, so getting more sewing during Biddi’s naps and complete the backlog of garments (and the corresponding blog posts).

I recently took the toddler on a cross-country road trip; sitting in a car for so 10 hours at a time has wreaked havoc on my entire musculoskeletal system. We are happily back at home and getting back in to the routine of things. I am all caught up on laundry, the pantry is stocked with produce, and the sunburn on the driver’s side of my face has receded. And so I celebrated with long-overdue yoga–I think it must have been over a month since the last time I attended hot yoga. Today, I moved away from my former favorite spot directly underneath the heater so that I could spare myself the embarrassment of passing out, but surprisingly the heat was fine and I retained most of my arm strength. However I did skip almost every “optional” chaturanga and so I proceeded directly to downward dog without passing go or collecting $200. Hopefully next week I can be under the heater and resume floating to plank with a little less effort than it took today. I would love to get back to a tripod headstand again, too. Scorpion is still on the horizon, or bucket list perhaps.

This past weekend we took some family bike excursions and it felt really nice to get moving. I didn’t have any muscle fatigue, which was great but my spine started to feel totally out-of-whack. I think a two-fold attack will remedy the situation: reducing inflammation with more plant-based foods and building some strength back after my lazy summer with more yoga.

We visited 2 different farmers’ markets and had a blast. I made Gumbo and Ratatouille and have great leftovers!

Vegan Gumbo.jpgThe only modification I made for the Vegetarian Times’ Gumbo recipe was to use Cubanelle pepper in the gumbo and omit the cayenne because Baby B has become very averse to anything remotely spicy and specifically black pepper.

Ratatouille.jpgFor Martha’s Ratatouille, I roasted 15 cored, seeded, diced tomatoes for about 45 minutes on 375 degrees instead of canned tomatoes, using the same roasting method as my marinara recipe. I also fire roasted a red pepper and an Anaheim pepper instead of the raw bell peppers in the original recipe. I like the flavor and texture of roasted red peppers better than raw green peppers added to a recipe. I started using this method because pepper skins gave me terrible indigestion when I was pregnant. Pepper skins no longer upsets my system but the memory has made me completely averse to them so I roast by default. I think I may make it again this wee–while eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onions are still in their peak–with the Jaques Pepin Recipe that I first loved with the skins on and a splash of red wine instead of water…or the red wine vinegar that Martha suggests.

It seems odd to eat so much soup at this hot, humid time of the year, I suppose, but so does doing hot yoga inside a heated room, inside of an air-conditioned building when the temperature outside is exactly the right temperature…

Farmers’ Market Haul

We have been over scheduled and having tons of fun, but Biddi may be done with naps. At just 24 months, it seems early from everything that I have read on the subject. This seems very unfair, but she won’t sleep anymore during the day. It is probably karma because I only slept 6 hours a night from age 12 until I was 30 and I think she inherited my aversion for sleep. My coping mechanism in reaction to my loss of quiet time in the afternoon has been to eat a cracker whenever I hear her not sleeping when she should be. This morning I woke up feeling like I haven’t had real food in days!

We made an emergency trip to the Farmers’ Market and practically bought one–or ten–of everything. My haul includes: raspberries, golden raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, portobello mushrooms, lion’s mane mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, zucchini, squash blossoms, spring onions, heirloom tomatoes. Sunny days plus rain make real food. And since I am paying a premium for the good organic stuff, I leave on a little bit of that expensive soil with its premium microbacteria whenever possible.

*Speaking of sunny days, we had a wonderful time yesterday learning about food and edible plants at Biddi’s first day of summer camp. The theme was gardening and the kitchen. We planted a cherry tomato plant, watered zucchini and watermelons, and she learned to cut up fruit, which was her absolute favorite thing ever! I might have to copy this idea so she can prepare her own snacks from now on. It was so cute and she is so intense learning new things–she has been dying to use a knife for months, after watching me in the kitchen her whole life; we might never be able to unring that bell!



Back to my produce haul, buying the food is easy. My challenge is, of course, to prepare and eat all this great food. The fruit is never hard to eat at this time of the year, and if it starts to seem too soft, the freezer is attached right to the fridge! In my opinion, trying new foods is vital for Biddi to have the best nutrition possible and a healthy relationship with food. I have been thinking and rethinking my options…and I have a plan of attack that encompasses a few different styles/ethniticies of food and utilizes most of the produce I splurged on this morning:

Since I have a few orange peppers already at home, tonight we will have mushroom-squash blossom-stuffed peppers and a side salad. Tomorrow I need to use a couple of avocados and soem poblano peppers I just roasted because they were on the verge of going bad, so probably some mexican food for lunch. Dinner will be bruschetta I plan to make tonight so it can sit overnight to let the flavors meld. We have friends in from out of town, so that can be a late night snack. The zucchini might become noodles with pesto probably, although that almost seems like a waste–the zucchini is so delicious looking and fresh I might just eat it raw as a snack!

This weekend I made a delicious Vegan Pesto based on a New York Times recipe, but used garlic scapes instead of boring old garlic. And my daughter “Biddi” and I harvested our Basil plant. Three cups of basil and it did not even put a dent in those plants! We toasted the pine nuts together, but I made the mistake of letting her try one while they were still too hot and she lost interest in helping me in the kitchen altogether. Since I did not use cheese, the flavor was a little bland so I added 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated pink Himalayan salt. So there is a downside to not having cheese, but also a benefit: without the cheese, it can also be stored in the freezer if it isn’t all gone within a week.

Vegan Pesto (makes about 2 cups)

  • 3 cups Basil
  • 4-5 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Method

  1. Add the first 3 Ingredients to a food Processor
  2. Pulse 5 times and then turn it on, streaming in the olive oil until it is the right consistency.
  3. Add salt to taste
  4. I leave my pesto slightly thick and then thin it with olive oil for various recipes, if needed.

The pesto has been great and we are using it on everything from pasta to tofu and even the fingerling potatoes I bought at the market for lunch today. I haven’t had potatoes in ages, they were a nice treat. I just tossed them with about 1/4 cup pesto and a tablespoon of olive oil and a few cloves of extra garlic and cooked on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, turning once halfway through.  I also tossed some chopped broccoli–with their stems–and garlic scapes and a tablespoon of pesto in a small skillet and served that along side the potatoes. It was really filling and since we had been eating fruit all morning it was definitely enough food.


Hot Yoga on an Empty Stomach

I have been reading about the health benefits of exercising on an empty stomach and decided to try it out. The new scientific consensus seems to be that one burns fewer calories on an empty stomach, but those calories are higher percentage of fat. While eating a balanced breakfast before working out results in a higher calorie burn, but those calories are mostly from the breakfast itself, rather than fat stores.

I used to flip out if I didn’t get a bagel once a week…and my poached eggs. Since pregnancy, I don’t like bagels and eggs make me sick all day.  Without those two items, I am no longer a fan of breakfast, really. I have spent years forcing myself to eat OJ and breakfast cereal  “because breakfast is healthy,” and it gets me is so hungry by 11:30. So this research supports my preferences and it’s the classic self-confirmation bias at work.

I had previously attempted fasting exercise a few weeks ago, in a Hot Yoga class. I had never attended that particular class before–it was so crowded, it must have been 115 degrees. I was about 2 inches from butts in my face in every direction at one point. As a result of the overcrowding, there is no word for how hot it was in that room. It was also an instructor whom I had never before met, so it was a new style of yoga; we spent most of the time coming up from the floor with no “flow”–very challenging simply because of the novelty. It did not go well. I was in child’s pose for 25 minutes. I was so embarrassed! I wanted to steal the Jolly Rancher off my neighbor’s yoga mat. I really, really wanted to leave but I was so nauseated I really thought that I might not be able to make it out of the room without puking or fainting.

So I decided to try it again today…well it wasn’t a conscious decision. I usually abstain from food for at least an hour before class, but I do usually have a banana before yoga. However, the grocery store didn’t have any bananas yesterday–how is that possible? The grocery trucks couldn’t make deliveries because the streets in our neighborhood were shut down for “Pride Fest” this weekend. So no banana for me!

Just as class begins I realize all that is in mystomach is coffee. At least it was my regular class and so I was at least mentally prepared for the style of the practice. And I’m telling myself that the class isn’t super hot, but then I notice it is significantly hotter than normal today! Probably because the only open spot in the part of the room I prefer was right in front of the heater.  And I forgot my water. And so my intention for today was to survive.

The instructor always asks if there are any requests and usually there is no response. Today: “Inversions” and “Abs” come from my cohorts. Seriously?!? So an hour of plank and chair pose! LOL..that is what the instructor usually threatens if we don’t offer up any suggestions but today my nightmare was real.

I was just relieved that I didn’t crap out halfway through. I tried a new inversion. I had no intention of actually doing it, per se, but the instructor saw my feeble attempts and came to “spot” me. Which means that she held my legs while I made a super-weird, scared noise. Now I know why it’s called Dolphin, I guess. The stransition to peacock was very challenging and rewarding, and here is a nice explaination of how to try it. I am feeling a plateau in my practice so the new inversion was a great chance to try and break through the next wall and maybe work towards scorpion pose in the future.

All things considered, it was a great pratice and I was sweating much more than usual. I’m not sure if that was because it was actually hotter than normal or if I was just perceiving it that way because of the added stress of the fasting. At one point I really got lightheaded and wondered if I was going to need to take a child’s pose, but that was at the last moment before corpse pose, after all the inversions. Best corpse pose ever today.  The empty stomach did change the experience of the class in a good way, but I was very conscious of the fasting aspect during my practice. I wonder if after a couple more times it might just be less notable.

I think I will make no-breakfast my status quo for basic and heated yoga casses, but not Hot Yoga. I will definitely stick to my banana or oatmeal before that class because if the intensity and the heat.

The nausea I experienced in my class a few weeks ago was akin to torture, so I picked up a cucumber-spinach juice right after class and added double ginger to calm my stomach, just in case I was going to get nauseaus. The juice served to make me very hungry, while normally that would be my lunch. I also noticed I was especially thirsty today. Sometimes it is easy to confuse thirst and hunger, so it I think the fasting exercise helped me to be more mindful as I went about my day.

I made healthy choices all day (cauliflower tacos above) so I think it was a very positive experience.

Cauliflower Tacos Reicpe (serves 4)

Toss 2 heads Caluflower in 2 Tbspn olive oil and 1 Tbspn chili powder for 25 minutes; add 5 cloves chopped garlic roast 15 minutes more

Heat 1 Tbspn olive oil on mediu heat and crumble 1 brick pressed tofu for 15 minutes, letting it brown before tossing. Add 1/4 cup salsa or tomatoes and heat for 5 minutes

Assemble Tacos with preferred items: peppers, lettuce, cilantro, tofu, rice, beans, refried beans, carrots, tomatillos, tomatoes, jalepenos, salsa, etc—especially whatever is about to go bad, like the avocado in the picture above

Intention of the Week: Balance

My intention from yoga today is to find more balance.

I have been in a mad dash to get my Etsy shop set up: creating master patterns, making one of each look, creating construction notes, timing every second to help set prices. I have been rushing but refocusing my intention on balance, I realize there is no deadline except the one I have set for myself. In the long run, I am on track and a frenzy might put me a day or two ahead but the net result could be giving up in exhaustion or frustration in a week.

Balance in Yoga

As if she read my mind, my yoga instructor had us work on Crow pose today. And I could only hold my balance for 2 seconds. Yoga fail. After class  ended, I tried my tripod handstand from a few weeks ago and I couldn’t do that either. double ouch. I just accepted the situation and acknowledged the causes–I skipped Yoga last week because of Memorial Day, we hadn’t done much core work to prepare for a handstand, and I haven’t been practicing inversions on my own time to improve.

Balance in Health

Thinking back to the past few weeks, as I focused more on sewing, I lost my focus on my health. I alternated eating super healthy with making not-great choices: we had pizza 2 times last week, and fish tacos another day for dinner, and a late brunch that was comprised mostly of cheese plates. That was probably more cheese than I have had in 3 months–and my guts are getting me back with a lockdown situation. I do not really know why we were eating so many lazy restaurant meals. We have had tons of fresh produce and it isn’t too much work to cook a simple meal; I think I was overthinking it all. Like if I’m not making a 3-course vegan feast, then I may as well eat candy for dinner. I am seeking to take pressure off myself and just find some more balance in the kitchen.

Balance in “Business”

Holiday Dress FittingI look back to pictures of Biddi when she was 4 months old and basically a ball of chub, shoved in a dress for a fitting during her 30 minutes of alert time! Or when I tried to draft a romper for her from scratch, with no idea how snaps worked in the diaper area or exactly how much ease is needed for diapers, especially a full diaper. At that point, I took a step back and sought more balance as well. I shelved the entire enterprise for another day, when Biddi had more freedom and I had more free time. As I reassess we are there now. And having this shop is hopefully something she finds inspiring and cool when she is older and it is more established.

Still, sometimes, I put B in a dress to see how it looks and she will have a meltdown, like especially if I do it right after she wakes up from a nap. It is nice she can communicate so well, even if it makes me feel bad for acting like she is a doll. so finding a smidge more balance and respecting Biddi’s boundaries is definitely. I have been playing dress designer since I could hold a drawing pencil. I feel like I have been working my whole life towards creating this shop. I love what I am making and I am optimistic other people will respond well too. Whenever Biddi wears my dresses, about every other person on the street stops me to say how cute it is.

I need this to be a business that actually fits in to my life and sets a positive example for B. Fingers crossed.

Farmers’ Market Soup

I went nuts at the farmers’ market this week. I bought asparagus from 3 different vendors. And strawberries from everyone who had them! I bought a few pounds of mushrooms, a few early tomatoes, spring onions, a ton of spinach and arugula–I adore arugula and I can’t wait to eat that next!

We have been enjoying the return of local food to the midwest and eating salads from the planters on our deck as accompaniments.

Two days ago for dinner I served crimini mushrooms, asparagus and spinach with garlic and thyme over a bed of rice. It was simple and clean and so filling!

Last night I made a really beautiful “cream” of asparagus soup with tons of veggies. I referenced a few recipes and I got the idea for adding barley to make it creamier from a Vegetarian Times recipe. They used basmati rice, but we only eat white rice if we are eating out a Thai or Indian or Mexican restaurant. I find the only way to actually choose wild rice is to not keep white rice in the house, and I thought brown rice sounded pretty gross in this recipe. I used Barley instead but still needed to add some Non-Dairy milk to thin the consistency. It was perfect for B to practice eating with a spoon because it was pretty thick. The vegetarian times recipe called for 8 cups of liquid and I used only 6, so it could be thinned further to feed 4-6 people. At first, I used a food processor to blend it, but found it was still thick, so I went to the immersion blender which worked great.

The baby loved it, the husband loved it, I loved it. It was so filling and fresh and of the moment. The soup was ephemeral and evanescent and all those other things that food should be! Except the broccoli, which isn’t in season yet, but I really only used the stems to add more depth to the flavor of the stock and it was on the verge of going bad.

As a main course, this served our family of 2 adults and a toddler, with a small portion of leftovers. If the soup were served with a side salad, appetizers, or along side steamed veggies and rice, it would probably serve 6 easily.

Farmers' Market Soup- IngredientsAsparagus Soup Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 Tbspn Olive Oil
  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 1 bunch spring onions(about 6), whites and greens spearated and chopped
  • 5 cups water or homemade veggie stock (I used the boiling water from cooking corn because I was cooking for Biddi’s lunch at the same time)
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • stems of 1 head of broccoli, peeled and rough chop
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach (washed and stems removed) roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tspn coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tspn thyme
  • 1/2 tspn italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grain, such as barley
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (such as almond milk)

Asparagus Soup Cooking Method

  1. Heat Oil in stock pot over medium heat and add leeks; sauté for 5 minutes
  2. Chop asparagus, removing tough ends and reserving 2″ fronds/tips for garnish
  3. Add asparagus stems to leeks and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Add Water, herbs and sea salt
  5. Add celery, spinach and broccoli stems and simmer on medium low for 5 minutes
  6. Add barley and simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Add non-dairy milk
  8. Use immersion blender to get soup to smooth consistency
  9. Add reserved asparagus tips and allow to cook for about 5 minutes before serving
  10. Serve with salt and pepper and a drizzle of chili oil or tabasco sauce for an extra kick.


Butterfly Dress

So I have completed a master pattern for the “Brigitte Dress,” a toddler dress with Butterfly appliqué.flower-dress-sketch-with-flower-plan.jpg

I used a Banana Republic dress shirt from last summer, it is the coolest fabric. It is almost like a chambray with Swiss dots. The shirt had darts in the back, which becomes the front of the dress so I kept them because they were really cute; they go through the armhole, so they are almost like Princess seams.

It is basically the same dress pattern as the Ombre Dip Dye dress, with butterflies at the hem for embellishment instead of the dip in bleach. I did a test of bleach on the dress and it turned a dull beige color that wasn’t very fun.

Easter DressI created a similar dress for Easter, in a purple linen and learned some about using fabric appliqués.

As the dress goes through the wash and dryer, it gets a more casual look, which I do love but it is hard to recapture the crisp look it had at the beginning.

With a quick iron, the flowers can be made more formal looking again.

I decided to stitch the border of the butterfly and cut outside the stitching lines to make it stiffer and have more weight. I also changed the initial shape of the appliqué from a curved flower to an angular butterfly. I think both of those changes will make the appliqués stiffer upon washing. The butterfly pattern piece is also larger than the round flower was, so I made less of them–about 25 instead of around 60–because it was starting to seem heavy.

I used a machine topstitch for the collar for the new dress, while I sewed the purple version’s collar using a slipstitch by hand.


I think the changes are all positive. Of course, I used French seams on the inside, and so the dress is as nice on the inside as the outside. I always debate whether a serger machine is worth it, but these seams are so strong and beautiful I am glad not to have one because it would be so easy to fall back on!

Grey Medallion Dress

In an effort to take more risks, my intention for the week, I made a quick drop-waist dress for myself. Ok so that was my intention for last week, but today is a Memorial Day, so no babysitter and no yoga for me. My intention will have to carry over.

Drop Waist- Gathering hemI wanted the look to be boxy and androgynous and be cute, like the drop-waist toddler dress I made for Biddi a few months ago.

I utilized the bodice pattern from the 1950s housecoat-dress I made a few weeks ago. I just used the basic neckline and sleeve shape and dropped a simple A-line shape down from the armhole. I used this grey cotton fabric with raspberry and gold medallion detail, its almost a paisley but reads a little bohemian and leans towards India.

Drop Waist- Pinning hem with gathersI used my hip measurement and added 1-2″ ease. I followed the method for the toddler dress exactly, except the hem panel has gathers instead of pleats. I finished the side seams using French seams and attached the gathered panel right sides together and then used the bodice seam allowance to bind the gathers seam allowance; on the toddler dress I left the raw edges on the outside for visual interest because it was jersey knit and will not fray.

At that point I did a first fitting and was thinking the print was overwhelming me and the dress was way too boxy. I pinned a few small darts and started to love the look. Instead of finishing like true bust darts, I made a kind of box pleat and let it open at the top and bottom. In the back I opted to just make one large pleat.

If I had to remake it, I would not add any ease at the hips. After wearing the dress for about 4 hours, it seems too big at the hipline.

I planned to make single-fold bias strips to finish the armholes and neckline, but I just turned twice and finished with a topstitch because I got antsy to finish. I was eager to see how it looked so I can modify the pattern in the future…plus I wanted to wear it to a baby shower yesterday and so I skipped the bias tape. When I got to the center back V, I realized I needed bias-tape to keep the crisp V. So I faked it a little and then opted to extend the Pleat detail up through the neckline in the back to hide the wonkiness of the actual V-neck behind a crisp seam.

I probably could have removed another 2″ of ease around the waist, but I wanted to be able to slip it on over my head which would not happen with additional tailoring.


Spring Dinner: Black Bean Quinoa Burger with Asparagus and Fava Beans

As I mentioned in my Daily Prompt-inspired post today, my intention for the week is to take more risks. I bought fava beans and green garlic at the store today to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Once I was cooking, I realized I have already cooked with green garlic probably around this time last year. I just bought everything that looked good in the produce department today and then looked up recipes. I found a great explanation about how to prepare fava beans from Martha Stewart and also ideas about what flavors pair well together: asparagus and almonds. Since I was trying such new ingredients together, I paired that recipe with an old favorite that I am really comfortable making: Vegetarian Times‘ Black bean Quinoa Burgers.

I followed the Vegetarian Times recipe exactly, but I added an extra 3/4 cup black beans or so because I was using a 23 oz can instead of a 15 oz can. I added it with the beans and quinoa(after the food processing step). Also I cooked the finished patties on parchment paper not a cookie sheet with oil. Usually I use my own oven dried tomatoes, so I have to add some oil, but today I had an open jar of sun-dried tomatoes to use. I don’t have steak seasoning–what vegetarian does?–so I used a medley of seasonings I had on hand. I served the burgers with a quick avocado-poblano guacamole. Corn and/or tomatoes are also a good addition to the guacamole.

My husband and I ate 3 patties each and Biddi (23 months old) ate 2 patties! That is definitely a lot of food, but we didn’t have any bread with the meal so I feel like it was the right portion for dinner. I would eat it again tomorrow it was so good!

The myfitnesspal app from UnderArmour says the Asparagus is 324 calories, the guac is 134 calories, and the burgers are 171 calories each, for a grand total of almost 1,000 calories. But the best calories ever-monounsaturated fats in the avocado and olive oils. 43 grams of protein(72% RDA), 42 grams of fiber (170% of daily minimum according to MyFitnessPal)! I have been consuming mass quantities of veggies like this for 18 months and I have lost 40 pounds as a result, and so has my husband. So I don’t buy in to the “calorie is a calorie” thinking.

I spent my first 6 months post-partum eating 1200 calories a day of granola, diet coke, OJ, and yogurt and ended up hungry all the time and gaining 5 pounds! I now literally eat fruits, nuts, and unlimited olive oil and veggies some days…and other days I don’t eat until lunchtime if I had an especially filling dinner the night before.

It took about an hour and a half or two hours to cook this entire meal, but I am really familiar with the quinoa-black bean burger recipe, having made it about 5-6 times. My husband made it once and it took him a little longer. I think the investment of time pays off in the long run, real food tastes so good and is so filling. Every night when we have dinner I express gratitude that I am able to take care of my family and myself by providing a healthful, nutritious, plant-based meal…Namaste

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (makes 8 patties)

  • 23 oz can black beans drained and washed- separated into 3/4 cup and the remainder
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion–Vidalias are in season right now!!!
  • about 10 sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup quinoa(or 365 Whole Foods “Supergrains” blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning

Cooking Method

Spring Dinner- Burger Patties

  1. Preheat oven to 375 on Convection roast, or about 400 on regular Baking setting
  2. Add quinoa to 1 1/2 cup water and boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. After it is done, remove the lid and let the quinoa dry out some–I measure out 3/4 cup quinoa for the food processor right away and leave the remainder of quinoa in the pot on the stove while the stove is preheating to help evaporate some water.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Add herbs and garlic and 3/4 cup black beans and 1 1/2 cup water
  5. simmer 10-15 minutes until water evaporates (I think this will vary based on the size and shape of the skillet)
  6. Add onion-bean-tomato-herb mixture to the 3/4 cup cooked quinoa in the food processor, blend until smooth about 30-60 seconds on pulse mode
  7. Add mixture to remaining quinoa and add remaining black beans (about 2 cups)
  8. Use 1/4 cup measure cup to measure out patties. They will be sticky and messy!
  9. Place patties on parchment-lined sheet pan in oven for 20 minute
  10. Flip patties–carefully so as to not split them open–and cook an additional 10 minutes

Poblano Guac (Serves 2)

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic


  1. Mash garlic using molcajete or chop/mince with knife
  2. Add avocado and continue to mash
  3. Fire-roast poblano peppers over open flam eor in oven
  4. Peel and seed poblanos
  5. Chop poblanos
  6. fold poblanos in to the avocado and mix until smooth

Asparagus and Fava Beans with Almonds (serves 2)

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled
  • 1 bunch green garlic
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds (slivered or sliced or chopped)

    Cooking Method

  1. Shell Fava Beans and add to boiling water for 3 minutes

  2. Drain and move to ice bath to shock them and cool them for peeling
  3. Peel each bean of the thick skin–they will go from a lima bean light-green color to an edamame bright-green color
  4. Remove roots of green garlic and slice the whites: bulb/stems
  5. Separate that bulb/stems from greens/shoots and chop those separately
  6. Heat the olive oil and add garlic whites for about 3-5 minutes
  7. Add asparagus and cook for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally
  8. Add cooked fava beans and garlic greens and cook another 3 minutes

Spring Dinner- Black Bean Burger with Poblano Guac and ApsaragusThe meal was great but I was hustling more than usual so I didn’t get to take a ton of pictures. The picture above is pretty sloppy but it was an amazing meal.


Launching the Catapult: the ittyBIDDI Shop

My intention for the week, set during yoga yesterday, is to take more risks. I have gotten really comfortable in my routine and am feeling like I have mastered this “mom” thing for the moment. Although the “baby” is mere days away from entering the official Terrible Twos so perhaps I am premature in seeking a new challenge. I bought fresh fava beans and green garlic today, which are both pretty intimidating, so I think I am on the right trajectory.

In terms of trying new things outside the kitchen, I have decided to get my Etsy shop up and running. I have a backlog of inventory (toddler dresses) and corresponding blog posts that I need to get online so I can figure out my customer and get “feedback,” a less intimidating way to talk about what my time and design aesthetic is worth on the marketplace…could be $0.00.

It is so scary to put myself out there, but writing this blog has been a great way to try and expand my boundaries and take a risk. So I am really looking to catapult myself to the next level. And that is a really apt metaphor- quick, efficient, fast, and once that cord is cut there is no going back!

I am trying to bring all the familiarities of my normal day to the new scary venture. I have made a to-do list and a skeleton of a business plan to hold myself accountable, anything to make me feel in control when I am really so overwhelmed.  I am trying to set up the checks and balances so that I keep on track, and I know in theory what steps to take, but it’s been so long since I had an independent project!

As a tutor specializing in executive functioning, I typically help students to manage their workload by doing these exact things: setting mini-goals, chunking assignments into smaller deliverables, avoiding procrastination. And that is the real problem; I set up my Etsy shop in November but haven’t done anything with it!

This blog has even become a comfortable way to evade sewing and costing garments, and especially actually putting them up for sale. There is so much to do and learn so I know I will make mistakes and that is scary. I know the long-term earning potential of the Etsy shop is pretty limited by what I can do manually and what I value my time to be worth. The next step would be bringing a sewing production facility into the equation; that is almost too overwhelming to think about. That goes takes my venture from medieval catapult to jet-powered rocket–way more dangerous and in a whole different league. And putting the cart before the horse is another great way to procrastinate.

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