green smoothie: by J

IMG_2405Sometimes I just need a serious hit of green.

Mornings where I feel sluggish, or when I haven’t been eating the best, I’ll blend up a green smoothie.

My favorite recipe is the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a handful each of baby spinach, kale, parsley, a few inches of cucumber and a pear. But any mix of your favorite soft greens should work. I have also used bok choy.

I wash and chop all of the ingredients and place them in a tall container and top it with filtered water. I just use a handheld immersion blender, but a blender would work as well.

If you want it sweeter, I know many people that use coconut water, or more fruit. I like mine really green, and find the pear sweet enough.

You can store extra in a mason jar filled to the top for use the next day.

Happy Friday,

xo J

 

 

 

winter salads: by J

Salads hearty enough for the cold.

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arugula/ pear/ pistachios/ white cheddar/ mustard apple cider vinegar dressing

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purple and green kale/ grilled flank steak and radicchio/ boiled purple and yellow potatoes/ greek yogurt parsley garlic dressing

Sometimes I just really miss salad. We’ve been lucky to have sun in SF, so I’ve been making heartier ones for dinner.

If you want any of the recipes, just let me know.

xo J

a Nick Offerman weekend: by J

Dear Nick Offerman, thank you for Ron Swanson, or perhaps I should thank Ron Swanson for introducing me to Nick Offerman.

For anyone else completely confused, Nick Offerman is the man and actor who plays Ron Swanson from the tv series Parks and Recreations.

Friday night I saw American Ham, his more or less one man show, that combines storytelling, humor, song, general manliness and a large proportion of good-natured generosity about how to live life well. Offerman aware many of us love and know him for his stoic roll as Ron Swanson, does not fail to pay homage.

I laughed and I felt good about life. And I fell just a little bit more in love.

His wife Megan Mullally, referred to by him as “a gorgeous stack of curves”, opens the show as a part of Nancy and Beth, an indie Blue Grass singing duo with an attitude.

The next night I watched Offerman produced and starred in indie film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, mainly for the q & a by Offerman that followed. I did not win the draw for one of his mustache combs, but I did win a respect for the ways that celebrity can be used to support local art scenes and artisans.

He is a woodworker, actor, producer, writer, husband, and performer among other things.

As Ron Swanson and as himself, Nick Offerman reminds us of the sweetness of authenticity and the importance of values.

xo J

Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness

On passion: by J

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I thought a lot about K’s post on this article. It definitely touches on a lot of truths about the challenges of following your dreams when you’ve got a life to support. That we often leave very little time for the things that we consider the most important to us.

And it also made me think about the other option. What would happen with those passions if they became our daily work? Would we be any happier?

If we spent all day painting and had to pay the bills with it, would we lose some of our passion for it?

So I guess what I am saying is, shouldn’t we enjoy the joy we feel in those 20 minutes, and know that it is special because it is something we squeeze in when we can? And that a passion is sometimes best left a passion.

Happy Friday,

xo J

blood orange and campari

Following your dreams on nights and weekends: by K

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

The Onion newsletter always makes me laugh.  This article, however, made me laugh, then cry. Then cry/laugh.  Author, David Ferguson, gives a hilariously accurate portrayal of this crazy concept of following your dreams on nights and weekends after your day job. I shared it with a few of my artist friends and their reactions all started with laughter and all ended in silence with their heads on their desks, face first.

Because even though we know the inevitable, most often irrational and unsatisfying, hell Ferguson describes here is 100% true, we also know we can’t give up on it. We will continue to give 20 excruciating minutes a day to what we love and hope someday it will all work out. What does work out mean exactly? I have no idea. I think I’ll know it when I see it though.

xo k

daylight savings: by K

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I am definitely with J when it comes to daylight savings time. I try each year not to get so emotional and instead focus on the logic of it. I get it – an hour more of day light per day. That’s very nice. Thank you. But why can’t we just keep it this way? I know daylight savings time had a major function years and years ago, but my narrow minded question now is – does it still have that same function?

After reading J’s post I did a quick google search (since google has all of the answers) and found this interesting article on the pros and cons. Although from this one article I don’t see many pros to the time change.  Historically the extra hour was supposed to spur on the economy and keep people working and buying more. In reality though, it’s not that simple. It ends up being a major energy suck and oddly enough not great for our environment. People are out more, driving more, bbq-ing more etc… My question is, if spurring the economy and productivity is the main reason, why not keep this hour throughout the year?

I still don’t get it. As a kid I thought daylight savings time was a mother nature thing. When I got older and realized it was “man made” I assumed whoever was in charge of this  knew exactly what they were doing and had some pretty big reasons for it…obviously. But like most things… no one really knows what they are doing. And we just continue on doing these silly things because there is no alternative. The man behind the curtain says it’s time to get up an hour earlier and feel off for a week or two. And so we do.

The article does give two options for those of us who are over daylight savings time: move to Hawaii or Arizona. Apparently they do not participate. Does anyone else find that a little crazy? I guess I can understand Hawaii – but Arizona?? How did they get that deal!

Daylight savings time aside, I think we have bigger problems right now. Today is the first day of spring and there is snow on the ground in NY and I wore gloves yesterday. sigh.

Happy “Spring”!

xo k

daylight saving time: by J

It’s fine I’ll say it. I hate the “spring forward” portion of daylight saving time. Its peppy little name, and its vengeful stolen hour.

Sure I enjoy the extra hour of light at night. But I do not take kindly to having my sleep patterns messed with.

I spent all of last week dragging myself around, and I am just feeling a little better after a 2 hour afternoon nap.

Hopefully this week my body will settle in.

My only remedy to poor sleeping habits is a pot of herbaceous steeped green tea. Coffee picks me up and drops me right back down as noted here.

Does daylight saving time affect you? Do you have any tips?

xo J

ps maybe if I was setting this clock forward it would help

nyc improv: by K

baby-wants-candy Baby Wants Candy 7

One of the things that makes New York City such a special place is the pizza.

Another is the simple fact that there are a zillion things to do on any given night for any given mood.   And the coolest stuff is usually the cheapest and something you’ve just stumbled upon.

A few summers ago I stumbled upon an improv group that bounces from Chicago to New York called Baby Wants Candy.  As with any improv performance I was skeptical at first, mostly because this is a musical theater improv group and I wasn’t sure how that was even possible.

The way it works is they ask the audience to yell out some ridiculous title for a musical that’s never been done before – for example, the one I saw Friday night was called “Christopher Walken’s Secret Diary.”  Then they proceed to put on a fully improvised one act performance, complete with musical numbers, a beginning, middle and end, character arcs, twists and turns…for the next hour and 20 minutes.

I’ve been to see this group a lot over the past few years and without fail, every time I am disappointed with the  initial title. It never seems clever enough and I blame the silly audience member for giving them a dud. And without fail, Baby Wants Candy proves me wrong and creates something magical.

If you like comedy, if you have $20, if you want something fun to do at 10pm on a Friday night – don’t miss out on these guys. I have yet to bring any friends who don’t become instant fans. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like this before.

They are performing at the SoHo Playhouse every Friday through April for now. You can buy tickets HERE. Go!

xo k

Coconut macaroons: by J

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These are silly easy to make.

I’m not quite comfortable calling them cookies, but they are definitely delicious, gluten free, and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.

Recipe here would work quite nicely and also offers a pleasing geometry. I used shredded and big flaked coconut in mine, and cut back on the sugar slightly, so mounds it was.

My only tip is use parchment paper, seriously; I had to scrape these babies off the pan, which was the hardest part about making them.

Happy Friday,

xo J