Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quinoa, Lentil and Herbed Root Vegetable Salad

Apparently my new thing is to just combine some grains/legumes, roast some veggies, toss it with some fresh herbs and there you go: a delicious side, or main, that goes with almost everything. Rosted radishes are among my very favorite roasted veggies – you can get a big bundle of them for about a dollar right now, and organic carrots are about $1.50, so this whole dish couldn’t possibly cost more than $5 total. I honestly don’t know what my deal was with avoiding lentils for so long. They’re super healthy, filling and delicious, too!  Enjoy.

Quinoa, Lentil and Herbed Root Vegetable Salad

  • 1 Cup green lentils, cooked
  • 1 C. uncooked quinoa (makes approx. 2.5 cups)
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch sticks
  • 1 cup radishes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • Kosher salt & fresh pepper
  • Fresh dill & fresh flat-leaf parsley, one generous tbsp. each.
  • Sprinkle herbs de provence (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Prepare the veggies. In a roasting dish, toss with EVOO, kosher salt, fresh pepper and herbs de provence. Cook approx. 25 minutes or until roasted, turning once or twice.
  3. Cook lentils according to package directions (should take about 25 minutes).
  4. Cook quinoa according to package directions (should take about 20 minutes).
  5. While everything is cooking, make an herbed lemon-yogurt dressing. Combine greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt and shredded garlic, then add chopped herbs.
  6. Combine roasted veggies, lentils and quinoa, then top with the remaining fresh dill and parsley.
  7. Top with a little herbed lemon-yogurt dressing and enjoy!

 

Herbed Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

Herbed Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

  • 1 C. Greek Yogurt
  • 1.5 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or shredded on a microplane
  • Fresh dill and fresh parsley, chopped, approx. 1 tbsp. each
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO or Lemon Olive Oil

This one is pretty difficult. Ready?

  1. Combine everything, season to taste, add more olive oil or lemon juice to thin the dressing to your preference.
  2. Refrigerate for about an hour. Will keep for approximately five days, but odds are good it’ll be gone before then.

 

Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf

Texas is good at a lot of things, but they miss the mark on anything buffalo (wings, hoagies, bites, etc.). I’ve really been missing that food since we moved here, and finally came up with a recipe that solves my cravings, sneaks in some veggies and can even be made gluten-free. It’s awesome and one of my go-to’s when I need some comfort food.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF (serves 3-4)

  • 1 Lb. ground chicken
  • 1/3 c. blue cheese dressing, plus more for dipping
  • 4 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 3 scallions (whites and greens)
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced (plus more stalks for serving on the side)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 c. almond meal (or flour if you prefer)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the blue cheese and Frank’s Red Hot.
  3. Form into a meatloaf shape, place into a lightly greased pan.
  4. Combine blue cheese & Frank’s Red Hot, pour over the meatloaf to coat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes, carefully pouring off the runoff after about 25 minutes.

6. Let rest for about 5 minutes, them slice and serve with a drizzle of blue cheese and fresh-cut celery sticks.

 

I’m (Still) With Her

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On the morning of Tuesday, November 8, 2016, my husband and I signed all the paperwork to begin our journey of starting a family. I’m 37, and we live in a city only two hours away from a country that’s had travel restrictions in place for months due to the Zika virus. Egg freezing and IVF seemed like the most logical option for us as we thought about our future family. Driving back from the appointment, I marveled about how amazing it was that we even had that choice: thanks to so many people fighting for women’s rights and reproductive freedoms, we could choose when and how to start our family. How incredible it was, I said, that we’d someday be able to tell our kids that we started to build our family on the same day our country would elect its first woman president of the United States.

When I was little, I wanted to be the first woman president. Long before I set out on a path of politics, healthcare and marketing, I believed that I could be anything I wanted to be, because I knew I was smart, talented and capable. In my 15 years as a professional, and my 37 years as a woman, I’ve had doubts that those qualities were enough to lead me to success. And last night, the country I live in confirmed that.

This election cycle has been a circus of absurdity from day one of Donald Trump’s ridiculous, gold-plated presidential candidacy announcement. I’ve watched with morbid fascination as he insulted, demeaned, trivialized and lied his way through situation after situation, all the while gaining supporters and the admiration of those who claim to like the way he “tells it like it is.” The media could barely keep up with him: the minute they focused on one point that seemed certain to lead to his ruin, he was off and running in another, more horrible direction. Every time I thought “this will end him,” he proved me wrong. Throughout it, I grew more and more mystified: how the fuck was he doing this??? All the while, Hillary Clinton, a woman with more experience, talent and knowledge than perhaps any other presidential candidate in this lifetime – who was, I’m sure, thinking the same goddamn thing – kept her cool. And do you know why she had to? Because she’s a woman.

Let’s not mince words: it fucking sucks to be a woman in a man’s world. I say that because that’s my truth. I know what it’s like to be in a professional setting as the only woman in a room full of men, knowing you are just as smart, confident and capable as them – if not more so – and still know inherently that I needed to “know my role.” Be a little more demure. Laugh a little more than necessary at their jokes. Let them man-splain something to me that I already knew better than they did. Because it’s one thing to be smart, talented and capable. But it’s another thing to let on that you know you are.

Quick poll: how many men have had a stranger or co-worker come up to them and, unsolicited, tell you to “smile!” Zero? That’s how many I’d guess. On the contrary, the amount of times this has happened to me in both my professional and personal life is too many to count. It’s as if I exist, to a certain group of strangers, for no other reason than to look nice and make them feel good about themselves. It doesn’t matter why I’m not smiling: maybe I’m thinking about how to work through a crisis situation, maybe it’s just my resting bitch face. No matter. If you’re a certain kind of guy and I’m in your eyeline looking anything other than pleasant, it’s your obligation to tell me to look nicer for you. I’m not your equal. I’m your object.

With this election, this country has commanded women to “smile.” They have said that yes, they know who Donald Trump is. They acknowledge his hatred, his lies, his corruption, his charade of “character,” his homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and racism. A large part of America is grateful to him for validating these qualities they share, for giving their hatred a voice. But another large part of the population looked at all of this and shrugged all, “Meh. Still better than a woman.”

Why don’t you like Hillary? Emails. Benghazi. “Corruption.” This is bullshit. You don’t like her because of who she is. You call her “dishonest” and “arrogant” when she displays the same qualities that could and would get a man elected. You don’t like the way she looks. She isn’t smiley enough. She doesn’t know her role.

Driving home yesterday, I thought about all those meetings when I was the only woman in a room full of men. I thought about all the times I’d been labeled a bitch when a man could have exhibited the same decisiveness and strength and been applauded for it. I thought about how hard I’ve worked to get where I am and how tough I’ve had to be to get over what people think of me when I knew what I was doing was right, if unpopular. I thought about when I was passed over for a job that was given to a man less qualified than me. I thought about all the times I discovered I was being paid tens of thousands less to do the same job that a male coworker was doing, even though I was working harder. And I imagined with hope our country electing Hillary Rodham Clinton as its president and all of that beginning to change.

Instead, by electing Trump as president, this country told me that my value is less because I am a woman. I can be as smart, confident, talented and capable as you can imagine, but it doesn’t ultimately matter because this is still a boys’ club. I am angry and I am deeply sad. I am heartbroken for Hillary, for our generations of young women and for the future of this country.

My (ever-patient, loving, supportive, super-smart and handsome) husband is an environmental journalist. I’m a healthcare professional living in the state of Texas who wants to start a family. What does this presidency mean for our careers? What does it mean for our lives? How can we bring a child into a world of ruin when we’ve both worked so hard to create positive change within it? Donald Trump has repeatedly come out against everything we are and everything we work to further. And the country I live in looked at all he stood for and said “Yup. Let a man do the man’s job, no matter who that man actually is.” I know that we’re going to have to work ten times harder now to prove ourselves and create any sort of positive change. Maybe that will start tomorrow, because I sure don’t have it in me today.

For now, America, I guess we’ll just grin and bear it.

Blood Orange Citrus Salad with Honey, Basil and Sea Salt


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Winter in San Antonio has been…not terrible. While the poor East Coast is getting Snowzilla’ed, we’re outside enjoying the sunshine. And Central Market is currently having their Citrus Celebration, which features about 60 different kinds of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, etc. It’s beautiful and delicious and makes me happy every time I set foot in that store.

This salad is perfect as either an appetizer or a dessert. Blood oranges are seasonal, and sweeter than a typical orange, but the addition of a little drizzle of honey, some flaked citrus salt (if you have it, if not, regular salt will work too) and some julienned basil is the most amazing combination. So many flavors!!

BLOOD ORANGE CITRUS SALAD WITH HONEY, BASIL AND SEA SALT (Serves 2)

  • Two blood oranges
  • Local honey, approx. 1 tsp. per salad
  • 7-8 basil leaves
  • Pinch of flaked citrus salt or regular sea salt
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the orange, so it can stand on one end. Then, carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut away too much of the orange.

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2. Cut orange into slices, width-wise, and arrange on a plate.

3. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sea salt and top with julienned basil. Serve immediately.

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Look at all this citrus!!! Come on!!

San Antonio – AndWhatIDid (for the past two months, at least)

It’s been a a little while, I know. This transition to San Antonio over the past two months has been just that…a transition. Both my job and Brendan’s are going really well, we’re finally getting the hang of the layout of this city, we’ve had some serious eats at some awesome restaurants, we’ve been doing a lot of cool activities but best of all, we’ve been doing it together. It’s a good thing he’s my best friend since we have been spending a LOT of time together. Making friends in a new city is harder than I remembered, but maybe I’m just missing my friends and my family. In any event, it’s been great to be living in a city again – we’re taking advantage of it. Here’s what we’ve been doing, next up is what (and where) we’ve been eating.

Moving day morning snuggles with Colly, Mom and Murray before hitting the road.

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Co-pilot game strong since 1997

Traveling through the southern states, spent a night in Knoxville and another in New Orleans – first time for both! Tennessee is so much prettier than I expected it to be and New Orleans was like Vegas for me: a quick trip in and out, some good eats, a little fun, cross it off the list.

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Got to San Antonio after three days of driving and almost three weeks away from Bren.

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La Crema for less than $10 a bottle at Trader Joe’s? Shopping at Anthropologie  in my city? Two reasons I love San Antonio.

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La Fonda quickly became one of our favorite places for its around-the-corner location, awesome food and the enormous Live Oak canopy on the backyard patio. Also awesome: scoring box seats to the Rampage, the rosemary in this city that grows like San Antonio was Seattle, “Ice Houses”, which are basically outdoor bars in every neighborhood.

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Brendan: bed hog, camping enthusiast and belated birthday-celebrator.

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Before we moved here, everyone was all “Ohhh, the River Walk!”, and I thought, “How good could this possibly be?”  It really is. The Museum Reach portion of it, with art installations every block or so, is probably my favorite part, but the whole thing is just so beautiful and unique. It’s probably my favorite piece about living in San Antonio.

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Went back to Colorado to surprise Brendan’s family and his grandparents for Thanksgiving. They’re all such great people and I’m so excited they’re going to be my in-laws.

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Love that man. <3

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Brendan and I stayed up until 4 a.m. one night, DEAD SOBER, to finish this puzzle we’d started a little before midnight.

San Antonio’s music scene may not be as well-known as Austin’s, but it’s strong. I love having the option of walking to shows just about any night of the week. Architecture in this city is also pretty incredible – Brendan’s office building is gorgeous, and are you kidding me with that Majestic Theatre???

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The Octopus Project at Paper Tiger, Tamale Fest at The Pearl, Christmas Tree cutting.

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The sunset here on my Dad’s birthday, wedding venue dreaming (8.6.16 in Breckenridge – check out that view!!), lit-up Cinderella carriages downtown, San Antonio Museum of Art, concert in a cave (which my environmental-journalist-fiance called his best date ever), 108 sun salutations in honor of the winter solstice.

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Such thoughtful Christmas gifts from my cousins, how Christmas looks via Skype when Delta delays your flight a full TWO DAYS, ON CHRISTMAS, so your only alternative is to cancel your flight home and stay in Texas (don’t even get me started, I had a fullblown meltdown), Christmas weekend in Austin, where we ate the best Italian food I’ve had so far in this state, visited these ancient springs and saw a seven-months pregnant woman juggle a table, a vase and two of her three children, ON HER FEET. #KeepAustinWeird

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Don’t worry. I saved him.

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Coming up next – AndWhatIAte. San Antonio is so much more than tacos!!

 

Texas, y’all

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…as in two days until I begin the three-day drive to San Antonio. Brendan and I both got great new jobs, amazingly found an apartment in adorable Tobin Hill in a whirlwind 72-hour tour of the city, had some serious Texas eats and explored what’s going to be our new home. Or, I guess, what’s going to be mine, since Bren’s been down there for more than a week now.

Today, since this has been a pretty emotional rollercoaster, I have really mixed feelings about going. NEPA is my home, and home to the people I love most in the world (with the exclusion of JBG, of course). I’m going to miss my parents, my sister and my girlfriends more than I can express. But I’m also excited about starting this new life with the love of my life, living in a city (and an awesome one, at that) again for the first time in years, stepping up my career and watching Bren do the same with his, exploring a whole new part of the country and most of all, doing all this together. There’s nobody else I’d rather be with.

In the meantime, though, I’m loving the time I’ve been spending with my family and my girlfriends. They’re some of the greatest people in the world, and I’m just so lucky and grateful. We’ve been in each other’s lives for decades, and their support, encouragement and love is unparalleled. I’m really going to miss them but I’m so fortunate to have spent all this time with them. Ugh, let’s just get this purgatory “transition” time over with already!!!! On another note, if anyone has tips for things to do or how to meet people in San Antonio, I’m all ears, because Bren and I are going to need it!

Three days in San Antonio to do everything:

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Our engagement dinner at my parents’ house:

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Birthdays, last day of work, Steamtown Marathon Sunday, Race for the Cure, Indigo Girls:

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I love you and I’ll miss you, NEPA!

 

French Green Bean Salad



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French Green Beans are one of my favorite foods in France. To be clear: these are not green beans, those chunky, crunchy, scowl-inducing veggies your mom used to make you eat as a kid. These are French Green Beans, or haricots verts, slender little delicate beans that are delicious on their own or quickly blanched and then tossed with some carrot sticks, a couple beet greens and that dijon-spiked, shallot-based classic french vinaigrette. This is not a salad. This is an event.  Enjoy.

FRENCH GREEN BEAN SALAD (Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side)

  • 1 lb. French Green Beans
  • 1/4 C. matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 C. beet greens (no more – the beans are the star of this, not the greens)
  • Classic French Vinaigrette

1.Blanch your green beans. You do this by gently boiling some salted water in a large pot, then throwing the beans in for no more than 2 minutes, or until the beans have a little bend to them, but aren’t soggy. Test them pretty often, so you make sure you get the right texture – it’s key to the salad.

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2. Have an ice bath ready, and when the beans are ready, quickly drain them in a colander and dunk them in the ice bath so they stop cooking. 

3. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Toss with 3/4 of the vinaigrette, then add the carrots and beet greens, and toss with the rest of the vinaigrette.

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4. Serve immediately and enjoy. J’adore les haricots verts!

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Love, Love, Love (is all we need)

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When I answered the phone at work one day in December 2013, I never thought the voice on the other end was that of the man I’d eventually marry. Journalist Brendan Gibbons, despite our eleven year age gap, complete resistance on both of our parts to falling in love with each other because we were “trying to be practical about this,” different backgrounds, interests and life experiences (so far) is, without question, the love of my life. And we’re engaged.

I’ve been in a lot of relationships, with a lot of different kinds of guys. At some point, I tried to convince myself that I was willing to settle for “less than.” But that kind of thinking can only carry you so far, and now, after nearly two years with Bren, I finally know what it’s like to be with a man who challenges me, excites me, thrills me and loves me so deeply and whole-heartedly that I can’t believe I ever tried to convince myself I wanted anything less. Of course we drive each other crazy sometimes, but there’s nobody else I respect or admire more, or who I have more fun with. He’s the best guy I’ve ever known, and I’m so grateful we’re going to spend our lives together. It’s going to be an incredible adventure.

JBG, thank you for loving me the way you do. I’m the luckiest.

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