27 November 2009

phoenix- wolfgang amadeus phoenix

the xx- xx

26 November 2009

so thankful to what i see and what i dont see. For what life brings to me and what it teachs me. Everyday is new and i am thankful i am around to appreciate it

I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. However far apart we are from eachother. You are always a part of me. Have played a role in my life and have somehow made me who i am today. I know that in this big world i could never be alone. I love you all so much.

And to the new ppl in my life- cheers to starting fresh! For accepting me into your city. For showing me how much you love austin and letting me be a part. For community dinners. Drunken nights. And many more to come.

Life is so good

23 November 2009

Beef + Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Crank the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Clean out the seeds. Place the halves skin side down in a broiler or roasting pan. [If any of the squash is really tippy- you can slice a thin piece off the bottom to make it sit still.]

Pour water into the pan- you'll need a good inch or two (this helps keep the squash from scorching/sticking to the pan). Prick the hollow of the squash with a fork to make a few tiny holes. Drizzle the squash with olive oil, and some pure maple syrup until it collects in the hollow. Don't be stingy with the maple syrup- you'll use it later. Season with sea salt. Place the pan into the preheated oven.

Roast the squash until it is fork tender-but not totally soft; you'll be baking it again.

Meanwhile- make your stuffing.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium sweet or red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. organic grass fed ground beef/turkey
2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
1 small green or red bell pepper, seeded, cored, diced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
A dash of spicy curry, red pepper, or other spice, to taste
2 yellow tomatoes, seeded, diced
1-2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs, to taste- basil, oregano, marjoram, sage, thyme
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon agave nectar- or molasses
1/4 cup good ketchup- Muir Glen is good
1/2 cup of broth- such as Better Than Bouillon- Organic Beef- make and set aside
Fresh chopped parsley, as needed

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion and garlic; stir for a minute or two. Add the ground beef, mushrooms, pepper and tomatoes; season with spices and herbs and stir. Brown the meat a good bit. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, the agave nectar, and ketchup; stir; keep it on a low simmer and don't over-cook it. Take it off the heat as soon as the pinkness leaves the beef. Toss in some fresh chopped parsley.

Remove the squash halves from the oven. Let them cool a bit in the pan. When they have cooled enough to handle, pour off the syrupy liquid (captured in the hollow) into a large measuring cup. Set aside.

Lower the heat in the oven to 350 degrees F.

Stuff each squash with the beef-mushroom filling.

Add the broth you made earlier to the maple syrup-olive oil mixture and mix well. Pour a little over the filling of each squash.

If the water has totally evaporated from the pan, add more- just an inch or two. Bake the squash for 25 to 30 minutes (or a bit longer if the ingredients have cooled), until piping hot- and the squash is tender.

Note: cover loosely with foil, to help keep it moist, if you like.

For serving, sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley.

Makes six servings.


18 November 2009

Potato Leek Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

3 large, peeled and cubed baking potatoes
1 finely sliced, washed leek
3 finely minced cloves garlic
3 tablespoons butter substitute OR olive oil
3 tablespoons rice/amaranth flour
1 quart gluten free chicken stock
1 cup soy/rice milk OR light coconut milk
2-3 teaspoons dried, crushed thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Boil the cubed potatoes just until tender but not over-cooked. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter substitute in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add amaranth/rice flour and whisk until the mixture forms a paste. Continue to whisk until the mixture is bubbly and thick, about two minutes.
3. Add leeks and garlic and cook for two minutes. Stir to prevent burning.
4. Add the drained potatoes!
5. Slowly add chicken broth and whisk to mix.
6. Add milk and stir to blend. Add seasonings and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
7. Serve warm.


Baked Oatmeal

1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup raw honey
1 organic Egg
1/2 cup Soy, almond, or rice milk
1 tsp aluminum free Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats (Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease or spray an 8" x 8" baking pan
bake for 30-40 minutes

laura veirs- july flame

Fever Ray with Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid- Stranger Than Kindness / Here Before

Fever ray- live at lulea

beachhouse- teen dream

17 November 2009

November 17th is the annual Leonid meteor shower. Astronomers expect the showing to be quite strong this year. Plus, a new moon on the 16th will be helpful for fainter streaks to be more visible.

The shower will peak on the 17th, but meteors will begin to streak on the 10th or 11th and continue until about the 19th or 20th. The meteors will begin after midnight and continue until the early morning when the higher rates will be seen by the hour.

The best viewing will be for those living in central and eastern Asia, with rates up to a few hundred per hour during the most intense activity. But, even for those in the United States, a display of a few dozen meteors an hour is quite possible.

Although the shower will be visible to most of the US and Canada, viewers in the eastern parts have the best advantage to witness the maximum activity, which is expected between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. EST. The radiant of the shower, or the perspective point from which the meteors appear to originate from, will be up in the darker southeastern skies. Since the radiant will be high in the sky, more meteors will flash into view all over.

The Leonid radiant is within the constellation Leo, the backwards question-mark star pattern, which is the outline of the head and mane of the Lion.

So get your lawn chairs, binoculars and, if it's cold enough where you are, a blanket, then head for the backyard or an open area. Make sure to face the eastern sky starting at 12:30 a.m., when the Leo constellation rises. The meteors will streak until the early morning hours.


Roasted Eggplant Tapenade

To roast:
1 Large eggplant
Sea salt
1/2 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
4 plum or Roma tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Dried parsley

To assemble:
1/2 cup ripe olives
1-2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 heaping tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon or so chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
chop eggplant, onions, garlic and tomatos.
drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on parsley
mix all together and put in a roasting pan
bake for an hour
and serve over GF pasta/or rice and some brown rice chips



san antonio, tx

the closer to mexico we get the more it feels like actually being there. this city was very beautiful and was full of history. this just might be the colonial williamsburg of texas. we did so much in such a short time and it is great that we are only an hour away. totally playing the tourist role on this trip- we saw the alamo along with the first 2 of the 4 Missions, strolled along with the dogs and had dinner on the river walk, wandered through the neighborhoods lined w gorgeous spanish haciendas, ate and got a bit tipsy on strawberry margaritas at mi tierra- the most amazing mexican restaurant ive ever seen while being serenaded by two genuine mariachi men (and did i mention that it is open 24 hours!), and got lost in el Mercado full of hand made day of the dead dolls. o'henry's house also happens to be smack dab in the center of a random parking lot downtown. there is much more to see- next time i want to go to the japanese sunken gardens, the other 2 Missions, have lunch at the the Buckhorn Saloon, the spanish governors palace, walk through the location of 1968s world's fair, and add on to our list of ghost tours!

13 November 2009

my first tea set
Ive been eyeing this beaut for awhile now

12 November 2009

olive really wanted lady's treat and lady wouldnt let her have it so she threw a temper tantrum. she has the cutest personality. my little baby eagle

"We work on ourselves in order to help others, but we also help others in order to work on ourselves" -Pema Chodron

yesterday was my first time going to yoga in austin and my first time doing yoga since i did bikram when i lived in nashville a few years back. (well, besides for yoga on wii fit that i did for a few weeks)
it was quite enjoyable. i forget sometimes how much i need to allow myself to escape from my mind, slow down and relax and stretch more often. i felt rusty- mentally and physically. for now i am going to start going every wednesday and work my way up. its a beautiful studio. and the best part is that it is donation only. not being able to drop 18 dollars a session is mainly why i haven't done yoga in so long.

11 November 2009

ive always wanted to have a garden.
when we first got to austin we bought 5 really beautiful pots (along with our chiminea) at Miguel's imports. but it wasnt until yesturday that we actually planted anything in them. we stopped by a local garden nursery and bought some winter flowers, agave, hot peppers and some seeds. my friend adam gave us some seeds also for a house warming present (upon my request) and i had planted the basil and dill seeds awhile ago. the basil sprouted quickly and died shortly after but just to be safe i moved the pot from the kitchen to the railing outside to see any of the seeds survived. surely enough one sprouted! the dill did really well and i definitely over planted the tiny pot i put them in. so yesturday i replanted a bunch of the sprouts into individual tiny plastic pots to see if they will keep growing now that they have more room. also i planted about 9 arugala seeds in individual pots to get them started. hopefully its not to late for them. next to them on the railing is a baby cactus, a tomato plant, a replant of the pepper plant, more dill and last but not least- a bull skull that stephanie found on her way to her soccer game 2 weeks ago. so its a good start to hopefully a future of gardening, once we have a big yard. im hoping to learn a lot more about when things are in season and what thrives in shade, what needs full sun, etc. i like this.

bouldin creek coffee

10 November 2009

Karina's Maple Meatloaf

1 3/4 lbs. organic grass fed free-range ground turkey
1 small sweet or red onion, peeled
1 medium to large organic carrot, washed and trimmed
4-5 cloves fresh peeled garlic
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup Muir Glen or Annie's Ketchup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 organic free-range happy eggs- or omit for egg-free
1 scant cup (gluten-free) rolled oats, or your favorite gluten-free bread crumbs
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of allspice
A pinch of mild curry
A pinch of cinnamon
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the ground grass fed beef into a large bowl and using a fork or spoon, break it apart it a bit.

Roughly chop the onion and carrot into same sized chunks and place them into a food processor; add the garlic cloves; pulse until the veggies are uniformly diced- fine- not too chunky; add them to the meat. Toss lightly with a spoon or fork to quickly distribute the veggies. Add the maple syrup, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, eggs (if using), oatmeal or crumbs, and spices. Mix it all up- but try not to over-mix it into mush (over-mixing makes for a dense loaf).

If the mixture is too dry at this point, add a little more ketchup. If it's feels too wet, add more crumbs. You want a nice stick-together balance. Very ying-yang.

Spoon the meatloaf mixture into a standard size loaf pan and firmly press into place, smoothing and rounding the top of the loaf so that the sides are lower than the edge of the loaf pan (you don't want the glaze spilling over the sides later on).

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes.


09 November 2009

it was time

'pause permanently'

i had my first visitors! two of my bests. and we did our best to show them some of our fav spots but there wasnt much time since we spent most of the weekend going to funfunfun fest. but as always we had a great time together! jenna, shannon and i are living in 3 different states right now and we rarely get to see each other, but every time we do it is like we have never been apart. they are the type of friends where they travel half way across the country to see me and it is ok to just sit around the house and talk, without the pressure of feeling like you have to always be doing something. thats one of the many reasons i love them so much. im glad that they can now picture my new life here.

04 November 2009

prosecco sunset

mt bonnell
the highest point in austin

02 November 2009

the first lighting of our chiminea

apple pie with crumble topping

-Apple Filling
* 7 medium apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced. Use mildly sweet to tart very crisp apple (such as Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cortlands)
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

-Crumble Topping
* 3/4 cup light brown sugar
* 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (See above)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/3 cup butter, chilled & cut into small pieces

1. In a large bowl mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
2. Set aside and let the juices mix.

***Crumble Topping Instructions***.

3. In small bowl mix together brown sugar, GF flour and nutmeg.
4. Next mix in the chilled butter and cut it in with a fork or other tool until you have a course crumbly mixture.

5. ***Assembling your Pie***.
6. Preheat oven to 400°F.
7. Spoon apples in to GF pie crust, mounding in the middle and pouring the sugary juices over top.
8. Sprinkle your Crumble Topping all over the top (use it all).
9. Use tin foil to cover edges of crust as it will burn easily.
10. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, topping will be lightly browned and filling will be bubbly.
11. Let cool for at least an hour before serving.