Mom’s Irish Soda Bread

So much has happened since I last wrote. The holidays, a new year, January and February came and went so quickly. And here I am sitting on my couch on the 5th day of March 2015, finally writing on my blog. I was waiting for this full moon day, really I was. Oh, and St. Patty’s Day for this soda bread recipe, of course.

I left my job at Good Eggs and I am finally on the road to sharing my gift, my dharma if you will. We all have a gift and I’m not going to be shy in telling you that I wasn’t always sure I had one. Or maybe I had several but none that were really 100% it, none that gave me confidence. But I think I’m about there. And you notice I say, I think. Well, that’s because I’ve figured out that it isn’t as simple as a message falling from the sky, the seas parting or the crown of your head bursting open with bright enlightenment. Nope. You have to peel back several layers (and then several more) and open yourself up to the raw experience of dropping everything you’ve got going for yourself (including the impinging ego) and just f**king going for it. And so here I am. The goal is to simply support and heal humanity with yoga. Somedays my touch seems small and other times it’s a reverberating large-scale feeling. Regardless, I’m still figuring it all out. My faith in this transition is open and alive with curiosity. We shall see! I’ve also braided my beloved wine industry career back into my daily life. I am working on some really great projects, using the skills I know (and love) best. So, that’s what I’m up to right now and it feels right. I really hope life is beautiful for you right now and that you’re reveling in simple daily moments. It is so hard to remember to do that but feels so good when done.

There’s one more thing I would like to share with you before the recipe. One afternoon in late January, I experienced a miracle — I became an auntie to Mr. Levi. Next to marrying J, this was the best day of my life. I also experienced birth for the first time — that sure tops the charts (this is where the crown of my head could have blown off with utter amazement). Of course, witnessing my sister give birth adds to the awe factor, but I highly recommend it. I wish I could show you a photo, but I’m just not ready to post the little guy on the web. Let the innocence remain.

I made this soda bread for a dear friend and her husband the other weekend. I consider it a St. Patty’s Day staple. You should too. Pictured is my mother’s recipe doctored up with some lemon zest and poppy seeds. You could omit those and go traditional (I would). It is sooo easy to make and tastes mighty delicious. I remember making this often with my grandmother (today would have been her 89th birthday, Happy Birthday, Meems!) and my mother both. It was pretty much the only thing I could make in the kitchen for a long time (yes, I’ve come a long way). It feels almost like a secret family recipe. But I want everyone to enjoy it the way my family has.

2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter, soft
1/2 cup raisins (or for my version pictured, replace with 1 Tablespoon of poppy seeds + 2 Tablespoons lemon zest)
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly butter a small cookie sheet.
In large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cut in the soft butter with a fork and knife until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
Add raisins (or zest & poppy seeds).
Add buttermilk and mix with a fork only until the dry ingredients are moist. Do not over mix!
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until smooth. Just under 1 minute.
Shape the dough into a ball, place on prepared cookie sheet and flatten into approximately a 7″ circle (the round should be about 1.5 inches thick).
Press a floured knife into the center of the loaf halfway through to the bottom. Repeat at a right angle scoring the loaf into quarters.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Place on a wire rack (or cutting board) to cool and brush with the melted butter.
Optional for presentation, dust with flour.
Serve warm with butter and a little luck. ;)

Harley Farms and Fresh Ricotta Ravioli

pumpkins all day My favorite season is upon us and life is in full motion. It took me a minute to write that sentence. My initial reaction is to say “it’s so busy around here” or “my head is spinning with all that life is offering right now”. Everyone seems to be busy. What does it mean to be busy? For me, it means trips to weddings, family dinners, long drives, pumpkin patches, a beautiful bike ride to work (though it is full of traffic and road construction), grocery shopping and meal fixing, working, walking and running my pups, taking care of my home (you know, vacuuming, dusting) and planning a business (yes, that is happening too!). All things I am grateful for. I do wish, though without judgement, that the world would talk more about what we do and why we do it instead of wrapping life into one word—busy.
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Easy Homemade Walnut Butter

Walnut ButterLast week I had a wonderful visit down in SoCal visiting friends and family. One of my best friends, Chelsea, just had a baby and my goodness is she sweet. Just a little sweet peanut. At just barely six weeks old this little one already knows what she likes; one of those things being bumpy rides on the sandy beach and rocky trails. Chels and I had the most wonderful time catching up and I loved playing mommy with her for a couple of days. A quick window into what life is like with a newborn. I like how primal and real it feels. We truly are part of the animal kingdom and there is something very grounding about that.

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Yogi Truffles for the Soul

Weck & TrufflesFogust is here in SF. I love San Francisco so much that I don’t mine August and its gray days. The weather has been so incredible since we arrive just one year ago. Ten months of sunshine and two months of gray. Not bad compared to the year-round wintery summer stories we were told over and over. I think it is something folks do in this city to scare everyone away from wanting to live in the most gorgeous city in the world. The housing (renting that is, I cannot imagine touching the purchasing game) market here is mind blowing. I would prefer to keep the transplants at bay myself.

And, here I am, Miss Transplant myself. And, will I ever be settled? J and I created a mantra this morning — get settled. At moments like these I crave soul searching, thought provoking… chocolate truffles. And, being that I am on a processed sugar hiatus, these truffles here are hitting the spot. I make them as gifts all of the time. Wrapped up in a pretty glass jar, they make the perfect treat for friends. I call them Yogi Truffles because they are not really chocolate truffles but are satisfying little gems made with all sorts of power foods.

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Summer Quinoa Salad w. Cherries & Feta

Summer Quinoa SaladSummer is here in the city. Our windows are dripping with dew in the mornings and I wake up everyday surprised to think that it rained last night. But the days have been gorgeous. Calm, warm sunshine breaks through early enough to make me want to be outside any chance I get. I love this city. Can I mention that again? I LOVE this city.

J and I cleaned up our little deck a few weekends ago, planted lots of herbs, succulents and other interesting plants. I wanted to nest and feel some investment in our little humble abode and planting always puts me in that space. Since then, we have been eating dinner outside any chance we get.
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Strawbery Rhubarb Wedding Photos

Berries & Rhubrab
I always knew there were different varieties of strawberries, of course, there are varieties of every plant. But it isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about. Until my conversation yesterday with a nice man at at company called BriteRoll. Elissa and I were there doing a strawberry tasting with Good Eggs. Yes, a strawberry tasting. Celebrate the season! We were sampling Albion berries and Seascape berries. I realize I could talk for a while about these varieties of berries but I am going to spare you the details. You can look it up if you are interested. I like the texture of Albions and the flavor of Seascape. Seacape berries are dreamy and a little harder to come by I think.

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