"The purpose is not the way of the pose. The purpose is the peace within the pose. The peace with life." #sunriseyoga #namaste #carnitas 🙏✌️ (at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico)
Hypothetically speaking, if a girl - let's just call her Lauren - loved food and thought about it a majority of the day, would that be weird?
Why does Buffalo Chicken Dip even need to be explained?! It’s shredded chicken, it’s hot, it’s creamy, it’s spicy, tangy and you eat it on a tortilla chip. As shown in photo, this is the most uncannily delicious thing anyone has ever had and you will scrape the pan clean. Here’s my spin on the recipe, originally by Franks RedHot. Oh, and I’d recommend doubling the recipe, keeping a separate stash for yourself to eat at 2am, cold, in bed. Just a hunch you’d like it. WARNING: this dip [clearly] will not help you win a Super Bowl.
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup FRANK’S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wings Sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
2 cups shredded cooked chicken.
1/2 cup shredded cheedar cheese
PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
COMBINE all ingredients in a 1-quart baking dish.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Serve with crackers or vegetables.
Nine years ago, following college graduation, I went to Sydney Australia alone. For two weeks I took a culinary journey wandering the streets, the beaches and the hidden neighborhoods journaling and photographing every morsel of food I ate. Every single photo from the trip was destroyed in the tragic death of my laptop. I literally have zero documentation of the entire life changing trip.
The Sydney Opera house is one of the most magnificent things I’ve ever seen, but the photo that I wish I had the most, the image that is [luckily] still burned in my brain, is of a piece of Toast. There was this cafe next to my hostel, and every single day for those two weeks I would have a thick slice of white toasted bread covered in butter and sweet marmalade along with a creamy latte for breakfast. I was broke, it was cheap and as I would sit reading the paper on the porch 10 blocks from the beach; everything was absolutely perfect. This Toast is the only way to truly personify how simple food is actually the most decadent thing in the world.
So my point is, here we are nine years later and Toast is having a revolution. Toast is being sold for $4 and dozens of stories are being written about it. Do not mistake this for a negative rant though, I freaking love it. I would gladly spend much more than that for a perfectly crunchy, soft, doughy, warm and yeasty bread that is in perfect harmony with jam and butter - it’s always both, not ever just one or the other.
And while we’re at it, crostini’s should be a food group. Make these elegant little morsels and have hors d’oeuvres for dinner. Here’s an amazing list of inspired bites.
Makes 12 one pint jars of pickles
For the brine:
24+ cloves garlic, peeled
4 cups white vinegar
12 teaspoons kosher salt
Several sprigs of fresh dill (2-4 sprigs in each jar)
3 teaspoons celery seed (1/4 tsp in each jar)
3 teaspoons coriander seed (1/4 tsp in each jar)
3 teaspoons mustard seed (1/4 tsp in each jar)
12 dried bay leaves (1 in each jar)
3 teaspoons cumin seed (1/4 tsp in each jar)
3 teaspoon black peppercorns (1/4 tsp in each jar)
A pinch of chili flakes for an extra kick (optional)
12 pint jars
For the vegetables:
3 hot house cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, cut to fit jar
12 carrots, peeled and cut in half or quarters lengthwise depending on thickness - use heirloom multi colored carrots for a more beautiful presentation.
12-24 handful large scallion pieces or green beans
1 head of cauliflower - few pieces of to tuck wherever they’ll fit
12 small hot red chiles and/or jalapeños (I’ve done 1 small chili and half a jalapeno)
With nothing else in the dish washer, wash jars and lids without soap. Be very careful handling pieces after wash so not to contaminate them. In this recipe you will not be long-term preserving pickles in a boiling method, therefore the shelf-life will only be up to 3 months long and must always be refrigerated.
First prep each jar, starting with spices on the bottom (1/4, and fixing 2-4 sprigs of dill to the side wall of each jar. Then begin to fit in vegetables so they are tightly stuffed.
In a medium saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat. Using funnel, pour liquid over the vegetables to cover completely dispersing the cloves of garlic into each jar. Wipe rim of jar dry so the lid will seal. Cool, cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, better after a couple of days.
A final post to wrap up my #ThaiVenture. I’m home now, my jet lag has ceased to exist, I even feel that out of nostalgia I could stomach eating Thai food again (almost). While it was the trip of a lifetime, the next trip will be as well. Every trip adds more to your life, the experiences, the adventure, even the non adventure. The journey is as great as the destination, right? This has only wet my appetite for more.
I will say this though - my smile will never be the same. To see bus drivers, hotel housekeepers and street vendors - jobs that in America are filled with disgruntled frowns - are ear to ear smiles there. These are truly happy people and for no reason at all, because I’m certain that I have more to be happy for in life. So I’m going to make sure I smile everyday, everywhere because if they can, I can.
Special shout out to Gadventures.com - my experience would be nothing without their incredible itinerary and amazing tour guide.
ThaiVenture, over and out!
I’m officially in the jungle now! Today floating down the Mekong River, I stared at the soft perfect clouds with sharp rays of light bursting through and a bit of sunset pink in the fading light blue sky. Lush jungle green trees in the background. I just kept staring because I know my eyes won’t see this for a long time, forever possibly. I’m in the Golden Triangle where you literally see the corners of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. We crossed over to Laos but mainly just for the passport stamp, there wasn’t much there.
More food related, we’re finally in proper lemongrass and coconut country! Which also means tom ka gai on the menu, my favorite soup when I’m sick or just needing a little tlc. It was a blissfully familiar flavor to have, though not exactly as I’m used to at home - not as much creamy coconut flavor. None the less, it was an important milestone for the trip.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the moment in the trip where you’re utterly sick of the limited food selection. Pad thai, green curry, red curry, tom ka gai, and worst of all, the two fried eggs and toast we get every. single. damn. morning.
Here’s another elephant pic though, just cos.
My spirit animal is an elephant. Or in a past life I was an elephant. Either way, I’m obsessed with their smile, their giant saggy bottoms, and curious trunk. Today in Lampang I was surrounded by one hundred of them. Ones that we fed, that we rode, that put on a show for us, one that I played catch with! Sick ones in the elephant hospital, most of which were victims to accidentally stepping on land mines blowing their feet off. It was sad, but it’s great that there are facilities like the one we went to.
And then of course there’s the nursery. Nine month to four year old bundles of joy. The countries current project is to return elephants to the jungle, which means giving them less aid so they can easily survive in the wile. After decades with humans, they just wouldn’t survive…because an elephant never forgets!! I’m going to stop writing now because no one is here to read, just more pics!
Adventures in Thai massage begin with walking into someone’s living room in a strip mall in Lampang. One guide book has said that this is a bit of a retirement community. It’s well kept, many people have cute little lap dogs, it’s definitely affluent but I’m not quite sure what we’re doing here. The food is average - pictured is Tom Yum soup and the regional pork curry.
We’re making our way north so I can only assume we are in an awkward middle zone. All I can think about is waking up and getting to the Elephants!!