Asparagus fennel salad

Spring is in the air! With it brings so much of my favorite fresh produce. Hooray!

The change in weather has encouraged me to be much more active lately. I think my body knows it's time to get out of hibernation and shed some winter lbs (hooray?). My husband, who has brilliant taste in music, added the song below to his running playlist and it has quickly become my jam.  Give it a listen on your next run, it may give you that extra push that keeps you going! 

Asparagus Fennel Salad
yields 2-4 servings & 1h30m cook time
Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 large fennel bulb and fronds (tops)
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 a lemon 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and cut asparagus, fennel and onion into bite-sized pieces (approximately 1 inch in length). Place on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Allow to bake in oven for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through bake time. 

While vegetables are baking, mix together the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of the half lemon.  Finely chop about 1 Tablespoon of fennel fronds and add to oil mixture along with salt and pepper (to taste). 

When vegetables are done baking remove from oven and allow to cool.  Place cooled vegetables in a bowl and pour over lemon-oil mixture. Stir until vegetables are evenly coated.  Cover bowl and place in refrigerator.  Allow to marinate in refrigerator for an hour or so*. Remove and serve cold or at room temperature. 

*Note: The longer you allow veggies to marinate, the more flavorful.

Horchata Rice Pudding

The up's and down's of life can be exhausting. You loose a friend, you gain two more.  Someone you know well mistreats you but then stranger surprises you with their kindness. A loved one gets sick, another brings life into the world.  Life can be difficult. An obvious statement I realize, but important to come to terms with.  When I allowed myself this thought, I was able to give myself the grace I have been promised.  The grace I intern should show everyone in my life. I have failed, I will fail again. Its going to be okay. Why? Because it has to be.  

We all should be reminded of this occasionally, consider this yours. 

Horchata is a milky drink from Latin America/Spain made of rice or almonds with cinnamon and vanilla.  I first tried this refreshing drink at one of my favorite hole-in-wall tamale shops and fell in love.  Horchata rice pudding is my dairy-free and natural sugar take on the traditional drink. AKA me pretending I can make dessert healthy. 

I hope you'll love it as much as I do! 

Horchata Rice Pudding
40 minute cook time and yields 4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups rice milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 ounce of bourbon (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Topping (optional):

  • 1/4 cup brown cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • dash of cinnamon 

Method:

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except toppings. Turn stove to a medium-low heat and bring rice mixture to low simmer. Do not allow to come to full rolling boil. Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is soft and fluffy and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat.  

Scoop rice pudding into 4 small ramekins. Can be served just like this if you like your dessert subtly sweet. OR mix together brown cane sugar, almonds, and a dash of cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle mixture on top of pudding and place in broiler for 2-3 minutes. Serve warm. 

Enjoy! 

Life Lately...

I haven't written in a while, I know.  I assure you I am alive and well.  In fact, I am happier and busier than ever in this new city of mine.  I finally feel settled in here in San Francisco. Before, her sunny tangled streets seemed impossible to navigate and now, my paths are well treaded. It is good to feel like I belong again. 

Six months ago, right after I last posted, I got a new job at my favorite company, Airbnb.  I get to work with some of the most creative minds in the world to make an amazing company even more great.  I do internal hospitality, which is a role completely focused on curating culture. Every day is a challenge; an opportunity to learn and grow.  And even though it's exhausting, I absolutely love it.  

Sometime between May and now, not only have I started a new job but I've  made new friends, traveled, and adventured all through this great state.  Below are few snapshots of my favorite moments. 

Sierra City, CA // September 2015
Andy and I love that it is very easy to retreat from the city into nature.  In just a few hours we can be in the hot dessert or deep in the mountains.  Many a Friday afternoon we pack up our little Subaru and head for the hills to hike, camp, fish or all of the above.  Sierra City has become a favorite hideaway because of its lush mountainside views and well stocked rivers.  Andy really enjoyed splashing around...I mean fly fishing...while on this weekend trip :)  

Chileno Valley Ranch // Petaluma, CA // September 2015

Coming from the midwest, apple picking a right of passage for Autumn to really start. So to commence the season, we donned our thickest sweaters shorts and tees and set out for some Northern California fall fun. The apple trees here are merely half the size of their midwestern cousins and we had ourselves a good laugh pretending to stretch to pick the fruit on top of them.

Tulum, Mexico // October 2015
Three whole years of marriage.  It doesn't seem like much to be proud of, but I am.  These past three years have been my happiest and I will treasure them always.  I picked a good one, and I am so glad that he chooses to live life with me.  

We spent our anniversary week sipping on margaritas and lounging at the Papaya Playa project, Coqui Coqui, and this stunning Airbnb in the jungle (I failed to get a photo that did it justice). Papaya had the best little pools overlooking the ocean.  Coqui Coqui, among being one of the  prettiest boutique hotels and perfumeries in the caribbean, also had one of the most stunning views from their spa. And the Airbnb was a desert chic retreat nestled in the jungle near the locals and shops. 

Hog Island Oysters // Marshall, CA // October 2015
My brother has visited the city several times, so this time when he visited we wanted to take him to experience something new.  When I learned he had never eaten an oyster, we immediately headed to Hog Island to address such injustice. We gorged ourselves on champagne and barbecued oysters as we watched the fisherman haul in their catch in nearby Tomales Bay. Such a relaxing (and delicious) way to spend a Saturday. 

I promise to share more recent adventures soon :)