Archives for category: Inspiration

GFPancake

I’m not a chef. Sure, I’m a decent cook, but baking something in a water bath is beyond how much focus I have and frankly, I don’t care that much. I’m the sort of cook that likes to throw a bunch of shit in a pot and is lucky enough to know what tastes good together. When it comes to baking, unlike my sister who seems to think stale cereal is a catch-all substitute ingredient, I’m capable enough to make a delicious tasting cake, even if I can’t get the bloody thing out of the pan.

So when I figured out that I needed to remove wheat from my diet (because let’s be honest, no one is crying over the loss of barley or rye), I knew it was time to put on my big girl apron. For some, that means establishing residency in the cookbook section at Barnes and Noble or watching hours of waif-like kitchen sprites grind garbanzo beans and milk almonds on YouTube. For me, stepping up my game meant shopping for gluten-free mixes. Hey, America solved the nation’s baking dilemma with delicious Bisquick, so why couldn’t it do the same with those gluten-free mixes?

Let me save you the endless hours walking the baking aisles of your grocery store. Those mixes are crap. Now, I haven’t tried ALL of them, but the ones that make it seem like sumptuous buttermilk biscuits can be yours again, beware. I have attempted cookies, muffins and biscuits with these “bake alls” and unless you like the taste of sorrow in every bite, don’t even bother.

GFflour

Among the many things I’ve been missing, pancakes is oddly at the top of the list. Trolling the internet, I found a recipe on Food.com that had many of the old familiar ingredients (baking soda, eggs) but some of those odd ones that made it seem like I was in chem lab as opposed to cooking breakfast. After sorting through ingredient substitutions and breaking a few laws of nutrition, I came up with this recipe that ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE A GODDAMNED PANCAKE. These totally gluten-free AF pancakes are spongy and light, rather nutty in flavor (although I’m sure if I used fresher flour as opposed to the leftovers found in the back of a cupboard that taste would change) and chew like a pancake and not like a drink coaster. You get all of the ingredients in your local grocery store or Trader Joe’s. Makes enough for a family of four (1 gfaf, 3 not so much).

GLUTEN FREE AF PANCAKES
DRY:
1/4 c. Coconut flour
1 1/2c. Brown rice flour
1 tsp. ground chia seeds (buy regular seeds and grind them in your coffee grinder. Hey, it’s breakfast, so coffee tasting pancakes are a bonus!)
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. sugar

WET:
1 1/3 c. milk of some form (cow, goat, almond, rice, coconut)
4 eggs
4 tblsp. oil (veg, coconut… whatever)
splash of vanilla

EXTRA MIX INS:
toasted coconut
gf chocolate chips
peanut butter/sunflower seed butter/almond butter…but not cookie butter, because that is not gluten-free 😦
bananas
strawberries
blueberries

Directions:
In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. In another bowl, stir together wet ingredients. Combine wet with dry, stir out the lumps. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Heat pan/griddle with butter or coconut oil (I’ve found coconut oil smokes more but heats more evenly) and cook.

(*’AF’ stands for ‘as f*$#’ because when you have to give up one of life’s basic joys you should declare it single every time.)

1

DalaiJoy

I believed that I couldn’t draw. And then I picked up a paintbrush. It wasn’t that I couldn’t draw. It was that I was using the wrong tool.

Happy New Year. May you renew your belief in yourself and explore your dreams with new inspiration, dedication and a host of unconventional tools.

dharma
We have stumbled upon a secret government project to create a race of super humans here upon the island. Everyone here is extremely fit and is either training for (or just completed) a marathon, triathlon or Iron Man. 5ks are for fun or for the children. You can recognize the specimens because they are all clothed in race t-shirts and say things like, “Oh, you can do this, it’s a short triathlon.” Our first few days here, my sister-in-law ran a half marathon rather unwillingly since she hurt her back the day before. She won, of course. Her medal was a beer bottle opener and a plastic carabao bank. She is excited to run their international marathon in a few weeks. What human would be excited to run a marathon with a toy as a prize? A bionic human designed for world domination, that’s who.

Brian lost 10 lbs. in our first 4 days. I can now fit into my sister-in-law’s Speedo. We’re tan, fit and exhausted. We may just move here.

aganabay
After several days of feeling like a pebble in a washing machine, we’re just beginning to get acclimated to the time, temperature and sun. We’ve spent several mornings waking hours before daylight was even a consideration, which gave us the opportunity to night snorkel, learn to paddle board in the dark and watch the sun rise. Brian and I are in the middle of dive certification. Between the 15 hour time difference, and sitting under 20 feet of water for the last few days, I’m no longer actually in my body. I think I’m floating somewhere about 3 feet above and to the left.

I now believe in ozone depletion. 50+ SPF is the starting point of sunblock here, with re-application every 30 min. Even with 50, 70 and 110 SPF on, everyone is getting burned. Today is a day of hiding.

Guam is exceptionally beautiful. The skies are pink and fluffy and the breeze feels like a slow kiss from a new lover. The sea is teeming with life, fireworks under the water. It is so easy to just exist in gratitude when every waking hour isn’t filled with fighting the cold. Reconnecting with our family after 2 years is like finding a favorite lost sweater – warm, cozy, familiar. The children move together like swarms of bees, eat like lions and drop into bed with smiles on their faces. We are truly blessed.

(The Margin Inspirations are supposed to be for works written by others that inspire me, however I came across this old homework assignment (from what I’m not sure) that I had written in 2004. It inspires me because it reminds me that yes, indeed, I can write. To be honest, I had to Google some of it to make sure I hadn’t just copied it from somewhere and that I actually wrote it myself.)

(Total tangent: I love that I sit at a table filled with sunshine streaming in and warming me, while I write. I hate that said sunshine throws my reflection into the computer screen and I then obsess about my chin line.

And so I choose – do I focus on driving the writing that pops up across my screen, the perusa or atman or soul of myself? Or do I turn my attention to the image of my physical self reflected behind it and loose my connection to the inner?)

Ok… the writing…

Workbook exercises
7/9 Descriptions

A circle: An endless entity with no formal beginning or end, it loops itself around an item, encompassing and enclosing time and space into a container with no way to escape. The edges are one fluid motion that encourage movement, call to it and ward off any need to end.

A spiral staircase:
A combination of sharp jutting lines and fluid swirling motion, like twigs floating in a river. The gracefulness of the ascension automatically leads one to believe that more beautiful things lie on the upper tiers of this pathway. Descending a spiral staircase means an act of slow and deliberate steps placed on petite pedestals that with one misstep, Gravity traps in its evil snare and leaves the victim in a tangled and bruised pile of knots.

Classical music:
An emotion for the ears, classical music has the ability to surface a mood with no words or pictures. By the nature of its history, it is easy to listen to and yet evokes a certain feeling of ignorance during discussion of even the simplest of sonatas. Classical music is to be listened to, for there lies the simple beauty and purpose, but once analyzed or discussed, it becomes complicated, over thought and heavy… much like romantic relationships.

The color red:
Blood, soup, power ties, wine, lips, balloons… the color red is hot and bursting with something to say, something passionate and powerful. There is no hiding in the corner, no looking at the ground when it walks down the street. The color red tells heavy wet secrets that burn when they slip off of your tongue. The color red leaves plumes of incense in its midst. The color red reveals the side behind the curtain, under the covers and between the lips.

Hot soup:
Forewarning in the steam rising from the surface like mist lifting from a mountain lake, the initial encounter with flesh is simultaneously painful and fulfilling… the knowledge of the impending satiation of hunger and the cost of instant gratification. The scent taunts the impatience with the ability to predict the approaching tasting experience without the actual event. Masturbation for the mouth. Sitting delicately on the spoon, travel

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken

by Rainer Maria Rilke

English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Original Language German

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.