Sunday, October 30, 2011

Supper Club

I hosted my first Supper Club gathering this week. It was a lot of fun and a really great way to join with other lovely single ladies for a delightful dinner. I decided that a supper club would be a great way to cook great food and enjoy it with others so I invited several ladies that I know enjoy great food and would enjoy meeting some new people.

We enjoyed a lovely fall minestrone. Courtesy of Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food.

Sauteed onions, celery, carrots, garlic
Swiss Chard fresh from the garden

Added butternut squash, water and simmered

White Northern beans & pasta

Grand Finale!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Green Apple

This past week I took the time to do some apple foraging. I plucked the few remaining apples off the tree of a kind family near Junction City, KS. These people own a house that is host to several giant old apple trees. They are in desperate need of pruning and in years past have produced a plethora of apples for use. This year, however, was a bad year for growing a lot of things in Kansas and there were hardly any apples on the trees. I ended up with about 7 pounds of good apples slices after discarding the bad parts. They were nice and tart green apples. My original idea was to make apple pie filling with my apples, but I also realized the difficulty of finding Clearjel that is necessary for canning apple pie filling. I decided to can the plain apple slices instead and will then later obtain such thickeners for apple pie filling. Yummy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Roasted Veggie Soup

I made a super easy, scrumptious, nutritient dense soup recently. This is a roasted vegetable soup made from:
  • 2 medium end of the season fresh organic tomatoes
  • 2 small fingerling eggplant
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
Roast all these major ingredients on a pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Until they are soft and nicely roasted. Slap into a saucepan and add enough water to make it soup-like. I used an immersion blender to blend it up or you could just mash the produce until desired consistency. Add desired herbs, I used fresh basil and dried oregano with some salt and pepper. Sprinkle a bit of cheese on top too if you like. It was delicious and super healthful!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


It's been a crazy past several weeks. There have been a few major events and decisions in my life that have left me with many thoughts and not many definite words to blog about. It's about time, so here we go with catching up!

First of all and maybe most important. I finished my very first half-marathon on September 25th! I didn't actually register for the event until three days before the race because I wasn't sure I would be able to make it. I only did one long 10 mile run the week before the race. I was a little nervous about being prepared, but I registered and showed up in the dark at 6am on race day anyway. I figured the worst thing that could happen would be if I had to walk 3 miles, but that didn't happen. It's definitely the endorphin's of the race day that set in and allow magic to happen. Additionally, there were a lot of really encouraging people along the way and water station teams that really inspired me to keep on going. I finished right at 2:30 for that complete 13.1 miles and I might add that was four minutes faster than the winning full-marathon runner. I'm proud. I might add that I went ahead and enjoyed two cafeteria size chocolate milk jugs afterwards. 

I really wish that I had a picture of myself in all my gross appeal at the finish line. However, when my lovely parents showed up to take my picture they had a disposable camera in hand instead of the modern day technology called digital cameras or phones to snap my winning shot. Oh parents, thanks for being there.

Another epic event that actually just happened this past weekend included a great friend and mentor of mine completing a 100 mile race. That's right, read it again, 100 miles of running. 100 miles in a row, no sleeping involved, continuous running. Insanity at the least. I was able to take part in this craziness last year in Vermont, but this year he completed the race right in our backyard, the Flint Hills of Kansas. It was magical and I even got to run 8.2 miles with Dave. Running in the middle of the night on the open prairie through free range cattle was magnificent. Dave also ran a personal best, he's completed four 100 milers thus far, 22:19.

6 am, ready to run

Master crew washing feet and equipping Dave with food and water.
One of my significant life decisions I have made in the past couple of weeks includes deciding to enroll in additional education. I have been pondering enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition's online health coach certification for some time now and decided now was the time to do it. It is a year program that will cover a broad spectrum of modern nutrition, looking at the many different health diets, trends, and recommendations that we have seen over time. It also focuses on business and will equip me to start my own health coaching business in whatever fashion that may be. People really do a ton of different things with their holistic health coach certification so the possibilities are limitless. 

I decided to enroll mainly because I've become passionate about helping other people lead healthy lifestyles and thought that this holistic health program might be something a little different to look at. I've already been encouraged about the program's approach to overall health as including relationships, spirituality, exercise, and career. Official school starts October 31 so I still have a few weeks to get prepared, ie. get internet at home. 

Work as a Family Nutrition Program Assistant has definitely picked up with classes in full swing right now. Yesterday I instructed Kindergarten and 1st graders about proper hand-washing to get rid of germs and today I talked with senior adults about eating fruits and veggies and exercising daily. Tomorrow I'll hang out with some more K-1st graders. It's much more enjoyable when I get to teach and don't have to entertain myself in the office. Yah!

We're still plugging away with progress on the 1st Abilene Community Garden. Our land space in the city park will soon be sprayed to kill the grass, plans are in line for compost to be deposited and tilling to occur before the end of autumn. I need to write a grant and beg and plead for donations so we have tools to use next summer!

Life is good and God is great!


The past week or so has been a whirlwind of greatness. I love it when life is busy because time flies by so fast, however, in these moments I tend to get slack on my healthy eating and exercise. Tonight I decided it was time for a nice green smoothie. This smoothie is chock full of greatness: fresh picked swiss chard, nice and ripe banana, plain nonfat yogurt, orange juice, ice, and a sprinkle of hazelnut meal. Delightful!

I got to bake some no-knead bread in the amazing outdoor wood-fired community oven last night. I've eaten my very large fair share of that crusty bread today. Mmmm good.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"Arise and awaken for I have given you a great gift of a new day," said The Lord.