Hi. I took a hiatus.

Don’t we all, from time to time?

I’m back in.

Beginning (again) is the first messy step.

Here it is…my beginning…again.

There will be more. I’m doing more. I’m reading more. I yoga more. I cook more. I’m living more.

Stay tuned…

begin again2

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Kelli’s Famous Buffalo Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

Easy Peasy. I did make it the other night, but I was in such a producing/cooking mood, that I failed to type it out before I got sucked into making brownies for Easter lunch (Bob’s Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix). So here it goes; this one may get passed you if you blink; it’s so easy:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (4-5 breasts)

Franks ORIGINAL Hot Sauce (a full small bottle or 1/2 a big bottle approx. 6 ounces): I was really PLEASANTLY surprised by Franks ingredients.

5 Tbsp Butter

Ranch Dressing Mix: Kelli uses a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Mix, but I’m kind of a pureist at times so I had to find a receipe to make it from scratch and without the gluten.

Blue Cheese Crumbles (topping)

A crockpot

Meat in. Franks in. Ranch Dressing Seasoning in. Butter in. Set on low for 9 hours. Shred with fork. Serve over lettuce, on a bun, over French Fries (my healthy husband’s idea), garish with blue cheese crumbles. Enjoy. For days.


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Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix

Again, I’m stealing this recipe so I can use it in another stolen recipe, but isn’t that what we modern cooks do? Beg, borrow, and steal.

My wonderful friend Kelli has some amazing cooking tips and she doesn’t have them in a good place for me to easily go to, so I told her I am going to start typing them up on my blog. Of course, I’ll give her the credit, and then I send her the link to her own recipe (so funny). This particular blog today, though, won’t even be hers. I’m outsourcing my homemade ranch dressing mix recipe because the Universe knows I could never have figured it out on my own. Plus, I haven’t actually tried it yet, but don’t want to go searching the interwebs to find a recipe when I’m ready to make Kelli’s Famous Buffalo Chicken CrockPot Meal. The only searching I’ll need to do is to go to my own blog to find it.

I have found two blogs who have pretty similar and wonderful-sounding ranch dressing recipes so I’m just going to spotlight them here:

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/ Gimme Some Oven mixes up your original Hidden Valley Ranch Packet sans the gluten. If you’re a traditionalist, head here. The pictures are so pretty you’ll want your pre-foodprocessor ingredients to look just like hers. I think I’m going to try. I’ll add my photo the photo when I decide to make the Buffalo Chicken (it was going to be this morning, but I realized I don’t have all the ingredients. I have the most unusual: dried buttermilk-weird, I know. Bummer!).

http://snappygourmet.com/2013/08/07/homemade-ranch-seasoning If you’re up for some variety in your ranch-making, then head over to Snappy Gourmet for original, bold onion, garlic-dill, lemon-poppy, Italian-style and Mexican-style, etc. I’ve never been a ranch dressing user, but with these endless possibilities, I can see some experimenting in my future!

Signing off to take a walk up to the local Farmer’s Market on this beautiful Saturday morning. Maybe I can get the rest of the ingredients I need.


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Best Baked Potato EVER

Disclaimer: This is not my recipe AT ALL. Thank Kelli.

Preheat oven to 450.

Stab a potato (ANY POTATO) with a fork on top only 2-3 times TOPS (I prefer sweet)

Put directly on rack in the oven.

Grab a drink and relax for a while.

1 hour-1 hour 15 minutes, skin is crispy, insides are like butter.

Eat. That’s it. Seriously.


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Jalapeno Beef Goodness

If you are a spicy food lover, this recipe needs to be in your wheelhouse. So easy, so delicious.

1 Chuck Roast (I’m guessing it was around 3-4 lbs)
2 Fresh Jalapenos (sliced round-keep seeds)
1 can Rotel with green chilies (or whatever kind of tomatoes you have; I had a can and no fresh ones)
1 yellow onion (sliced thin)
3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups broth (I used vegetable bouillon cube w/2 cups water b/c it’s what I had)
3 TBS Chipotle Chili Powder (this stuff is unbelievable!)
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp oregano
Black Pepper & Salt to taste

Mix all dry seasoning together. Rub some on roast til coated. Throw roast in crock. Throw onions and garlic on roast. Tomatoes on top of that. Jalapenos on next. Dump rest of seasoning on everything. Cover with broth. Turn on low. 8-10 hours. I recommend the longer the better. Use two forks to shred beef and spicy goodness awaits for days.

We served this with tortilla chips since we didn’t have taco shells, a gluten free cornbread mix from Bob’s Red Mill, and the most delicious baked sweet potatoes ever! (Thanks Kelli for that!)

I’m documenting this here, because I often take a million different recipes and pick and chose what I like about each one, then never remember what I did.

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“The Perfect Death”

“The Perfect Death”

So yesterday in a yoga class I take with one of the most beautifully spiritual teachers I have ever experienced, I misheard her during a guided meditation. The meditation is one I have done with her guidance before, so I was familiar, but she, as most people, don’t read from a script, so it is a little different each time. This particular meditation is about planting a seed, a seed of something that you would like to manifest in your life: more fruitful relationships, a loving partner, ability to cultivate creativity, stability, abundance, freedom, love, or even something more tangible like a new home. That seed can take on anything you can imagine, but usually she suggests that you focus on something that you want to manifest in the next 6 months or so. She guides her students to plant this seed in the most fertile ground, in your heart, in your womb (or reproductive center for males), the third eye, throat, etc. (if you know anything about chakra centers, you can probably imagine placing that seed in any of those 7 areas, but whatever your mind wants to visualize as your most fertile ground for planting the seed). An area free of weeds and rocks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean these areas were always free of trauma or other distractions; it just means that you have cleared the way for a seed to grow. Then she asks you to dig the ground and then place the seed, nurture, tend to the area, care for and watch it grow. In her guidance, she is usually very literal with the planting process, digging the hole to the perfect depth, covering the seed with the soil, and so forth. This time, I didn’t hear her say “the perfect depth,” I heard her say to dig the hole for “the perfect death.”  I became confused at the analogy that veered from the usual literal planting of the seed, yet surprisingly delighted. I figured out my mistake pretty quickly, but my visualization was already in a tailspin, imagining the seed going into the ground as one witnesses a burial. Sure there aren’t tears and sadness as we watch the seed be lowered in the ground as when we watch our loved ones who have gone from us. But when we watch a funeral, we are saddened by the loss and sometimes more than sad when they are taken away tragically or too soon. But why the differences in the similarities? It is because we are not attached to the seed; we have no history, no memories, nothing to ground sorrow in, but isn’t the burial of the seed, a dying in a way?

So what can burying seeds help teach us about burying our loved ones? The death of a seed brings life to the fruit, just as the death of the caterpillar brings life to the butterfly. With this in mind, can we see the death of our mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, friends as a chance to bring life to some beauty that couldn’t have come without the seeds of their bodies and souls being buried? With seeds, we plant, take care and let go. It should be the same when we bury our family; be sad, but let go and watch what grows. It is “the perfect death” when we practice non-attachment, because we are able to see the life that it produces.

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A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off

My daily challenge for Monday, May 16, was to pick a theme song for the day. While I didn’t get the challenge or pick the song until about 3 p.m. this afternoon, and I only picked the song because it was in my car’s CD player and it is Track One, I’m pretty sure it fits in more ways than I even imagined. From The Magnetic Fields album 69 Love Songs, “A Chicken with its Head Cut Off” is the first song I ever heard from this band and the guy’s seriously deep voice and strangely appropriate analogies hooked me from the very first 10 seconds.

As it applies to today, or rather Monday (as it is 1 a.m. the 17th at this exact time), never occurred to me until I realized what today signified for me: day one of three weeks student free, day one of 30 Day Shred Level 3, day one of no particular agenda…

It’s the latter that most appropriately correlates with today’s theme. I don’t know what to do with myself when I have nothing to do. Continue reading

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