Lately I’ve been feeling pulled, from the inside out, in opposite directions. For example:
– I want to buy a little cabin in the middle of the woods and spend my weekends soaking up the sun in the middle of nowhere + But I also want to build a super modern eco dream house in the middle of the city where I can ditch my car and walk/bike everywhere – I want to slow down and chill out + I want to change the world. Right now. – I want a baby + Oh wait … No I don’t. – I want to develop another ECourse, take on 4 more clients, write an EBook, and brainstorm a workshop / retreat – all so I can help other creatives live what they love + I want to do some yoga, learn to surf, become a gypsy and travel the world … – I want a clear head and 8+ hours of sleep a night + But I also want a glass of wine and late conversations – I want to be a non-consumerist + But I also want to support local and handmade with my dollars + And if I’m being honest, I really want those cozy boots – I want to read and teach + I want to do and create – I want to be inspired by the details + I want to imagine the big picture
This sounds pretty painful, right? And to be honest, at times it has been. It’s all too easy to play the role of the victim – suffering from circumstance and the way things are. If only I had chosen a different path. If only I had gone to a different University. If only, if only, if only… Then I give myself a stern talking to about being an ungrateful, spoiled brat – which always ends in tears. That’s not the person I want to be.
I’m ditching the victim and the brat. I drive this ship. The common thread is that I want. I want. I want. I’m okay with that. The challenge is in having it all.
Photo of me, a dog person, and Mister Scooty Boots by Greer Inez
I’ve been battling a bit of a cold this week. Which means I’m taking lots of time off from going to yoga and the climbing gym to rest and finally watch all of Season 1 of Downton Abbey on Netflix. And nothing pairs better with a Netflix marathon like these coconut & cayenne truffles. These guys are definitely a treat but they’re also raw, vegan, and paleo… So it’s definitely a better choice than a box of Oreos. I also like to think the coconut & cayenne have healing powers – that the coconut is powering up my white cells while the cayenne is burning off the bad stuff that has invaded my system. Truffles as medicine? I’ll take it.
I haven’t had many chances to bake since doing the Whole30 and eating mostly Paleo since then (meaning no grains, no sugar, no dairy, and no legumes). But as the weather cools off and the nights come earlier and earlier I crave the kind of warmth that only baking can provide.
If it isn’t obvious enough from the decidedly unsexy shots of this leftover banana bread in tin foil, I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe. But it is too good not to share. This recipe is significantly modified from Molly Wizenberg’s banana bread recipe in her New York Times bestselling memoir A Homemade Life. So if you use this recipe please go buy the book too – you’ll thank yourself for it. Furthermore, this recipe isn’t paleo and it isn’t vegan. But it is gluten-free and blow-your-mind delicious. I took out the extra sugar – I think it’s sweet enough from the banana, chocolate, and ginger. So if you like super sweet banana bread this recipe may not be for you.
Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Dark Chocolate 6 tablespoons coconut oil 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour 1/4 cup hazelnut flour 1/4 cup coconut flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 bar of 85% dark chocolate – chopped 1/2 cup crystallized ginger – chopped 2 large eggs 3 large ripe bananas 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350F. Melt your coconut oil (I do it over the stove in a small pan). Meanwhile mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate and ginger) in a bowl with a fork. Throw all your wet ingredients (eggs, bananas, yogurt and vanilla) in a mixing bowl. I use a Kitchen Aid mixer but you can use a hand mixer as well. Mix your wet ingredients until combined. Then slowly add the dry ingredients to it until just combined – don’t overmix. Scrape the batter in a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes. If the bread starts to get too brown on top just cover with tin foil. Let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes – then gently remove the loaf and let cool on its own. Because this recipe doesn’t have gluten holding it all together be careful – the loaf is a little more crumbly than your conventional banana bread.
I love this bread fresh out of the oven but Jeremy prefers it cooled from the fridge. Try it both ways and determine which is your favorite.
This holiday weekend we all went around the table and, in the most predictable fashion, gave thanks. My mom gave thanks to my sister for giving her grandchildren – but as we were wrapping up and Jeremy was helping with dishes she told Jeremy how thankful she was that he married me.
I’m thankful for that too.
You see, a little over 4 years ago Jeremy asked my parents, in a hotel room in Orlando, Florida, for permission to marry me. It was early in the morning and I was in the hotel cafeteria getting us coffee when he showed them the tiny heirloom ring that he would propose with. They gave him permission but they also gave him a word of precaution… that I can be a handful. That being married to me wouldn’t be easy. He promised them that he could handle it – that he thought it would be fun. That evening, after making ourselves dizzy on the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyworld, Jeremy proposed. I still had fresh wounds from a failed starter marriage. I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. But I trusted him enough to say yes.
Over four years later I’ve absolutely proven myself to be a handful and Jeremy continues to handle it like a champ. And me? I am most definitely thankful for what I’ve gotten myself into.
I’ve found myself deeply in love with Fall this year. It’s been a colorful season full of changing leaves and a moody sun that set the landscape on fire. The quality of the light and the crispness of the air leaves me feeling impossibly nostalgic and grateful. The way the earth kind of shuts down to rest until Spring has been a gentle reminder to do the same. I need to slow down. The photos above were taking while Jeremy and I were in North Carolina visiting Liz. Liz always puts a priority on being chill and inspires me to do the same – being a minimalist doesn’t stop at her things (or even her hair) – it’s also how she lives her life. Unnecessary drama or negative emotions that don’t serve her are put out on the curb along with things that she no longer finds beautiful or useful. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – I’m sure to find lots to be thankful for (and I’ll be sure to share those findings with you) but I’m also going to take some time to think about ways to slow down this season.