The start of something new.

Hello everyone,

For the past month or so I have been working on a project, a new blog. It is called Klassic Kathleen and you can find it at klassickathleen.com!

I am really excited for this new chapter of writing that I am going to be doing, so I hope that you will hop on over, check it out, and follow along over there!

TTFN,

Kathleen

 

Kathleen dreams of kimchi.

Fermented foods have always been fascinating to me. It all started with some fermented lemonade, fizzy and tangy. Do I remember exactly how it was made? Nope. The one thing that I do remember was that it was pretty easy to make. I think I was the only one in the family who actually liked it plain though.

I just love that tang that comes along with fermenting. It makes my jaw tingle, that is how I know if I am eating something delicious…I feel it in my jaw. But I have to admit there is just something a little weird about eating, or drinking, something that has just been sitting out on the counter for several days, it’s growing bacteria (beneficial bacteria, that helps with digestion), and maybe it’s starting to smell a little weird. But it’s the taste that really counts here, and as whatever you’re making sits on the counter doing its weird little fermentation dance, it’s building up some serious flavors that aren’t for the faint of heart.

Now all fermented foods are not created equal. I try very hard to forget an encounter with a kombucha drink that left me sick sick sick, during my eight hour deli shift. Blah.

This week we had some left over cabbage in our fridge. See Exhibit A.

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Exhibit A. Brassica oleracea var. capitata AKA. Cabbage

This poor sad bit of cabbage was begging to be made into something triple flavorful. So I added some carrot, cucumber, and green onion. Loosely following a few recipes that I found online I made the seasoning for Kimchi. A palmful of crushed red pepper, a half inch of ginger and around 2 cloves of garlic both grated. No fish sauce? No problem. I just added some water.

I mixed it together without gloves, I don’t have any cuts on my hands so I didn’t have to worry too much about them stinging. I washed my hands right after I packed the kimchi into it’s jar so I could avoid stinky hands.

Ben has sworn that he won’t try it… so I will be attempting to sneak it into everything we eat for the next week. From what I can tell so far, this seems to be a pretty mild batch, so there is hope!

 

 

Sorry, is my tourist showing?

This weekend, my husband Ben and I were tourists of our own city of San Diego! With temperatures getting up into the high nineties and low hundreds we wanted to make sure that we were out of our apartment for as much of the day as possible.

Our weekend started (kind of) on Wednesday. Ben’s aunt was in town and we met her family for dinner.  We went to the Chicken Pie Shop, a place that has been around for decades. They sell the most delicious chicken pot pies! Almost all of us ordered one, flakey crusts all around with creamy and thick mashed potatoes and gravy. Very reminiscent of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, so I had no complaints.

On Friday we went to a Padres game, courtesy of Ben’s work. They played a video that Ben made up on the jumbotron! We had peanuts and cracker jacks, hot dogs and hamburgers, basically everything typical of a ball game. Unfortunately the Padres didn’t win, it was a close and exciting game though, so we still had a good time eating food and hanging out with the people Ben works with.

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Yes, we were two rows from the back. No, there was no nose bleeding.

Saturday, one of the hottest days so far this summer! We started out at a coffee shop close to home. With some iced drinks in hand, and a paper and pencil, we both went to work. Ben drew and I worked on developing new ideas for Etsy.

20160618_162128Next up was Old Town San Diego. The “birthplace” of California. On our way into town we passed a cemetery, there were many spaniards, irish, and native people who were buried there. We also passed gravemarkers in the sidewalk just outside the cemetery wall, these people were buried a while before the wall was built and were only found in 1993 with the help of ground a penetrating imaging device, sort of like an x-ray.

 

Once we made it to town we enjoyed our time walking around and seeing all of the historical artifacts, artwork and artists that were scattered around the park. There was also a small farmer’s market and it was neat to be able to see some local artisans.

It was mexican for dinner. Pozole for me and tacos for Ben.

We finished the weekend with a day at the beach, after which we decided that we definitely need to move closer to the beach. Lastly a handmade, right in front of you, ice cream sandwich! So good, and a perfect treat to beat the heat this weekend!

 

 

Getting better at getting better

I have never been one to follow through. While I haven’t started any crafting projects at our new house, my parent’s house is filled with the remnants of crafts in various phases of completion. A bag of drawing pencils, several sketchbooks that are maybe half full, woodworking projects that are half done, and ukulele that I kind of know how to play, the list goes on.

Maybe I haven’t found something that I am passionate enough about to devote the time it takes to become really good. I want to be great from the start, but let’s be honest, how often do you find something that you are really good at and super passionate about from the beginning? I would say probably not very often. There are things that pique your interest, but when it comes to putting in the work to get really great – the task can seem more daunting than climbing Mount Everest.

My New Year’s Resolution on this the 16th of June: Get better at getting better at things.

Obviously it isn’t actually the start of a new year, or of a new month or new week even, but if I don’t start today then I may never start. And it is never a bad time to start bettering yourself!

Now for the how – in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey (Yes, I know there is also one for adults, but I haven’t read it… and what he says in here also applies to adults too…and it’s more fun to read, probably.) he talks about seven habits that can help you achieve your goals. I’d just like to focus on one of them: Habit 1 – Be Proactive, you are in charge of your own life. You have to grab the bull by the horns! This is s0 inspiring to me, because sometimes I can forget that I am the one running (or not running) my life.

This is my first draft of steps to help me to achieve my goals.  (If you would like a fun way to try these steps out I have a goal worksheet on my Etsy store.)

Step one- decide what your goals are

Step two- make a checklist of things that must be done to achieve that goal

Step three- do the steps

And that’s it!

Making it through that last part is the hardest. I am often overwhelmed by the task in front of me and so I do nothing instead of tackling it a little bit at a time. A great example of this was planning my wedding – which could take up a whole other post – but this is where you have to be fearless and fierce! Get an accountability partner! Have your mom, sister, brother, friend hold you accountable, post on Facebook and have the internet hold you accountable, think of a reward for yourself for when you complete each task.  Personally I like a combo of all of the above, my husband helps me stay accountable and there is ice cream in my freezer that is waiting for me to eat it up.

Just my initial thoughts on goals, I would love to know what any of you think about goals or how you achieve the difficult things that you set out to do!

Peace out.

How we feel about gluten free eating.

I use the royal we here, my husband isn’t really gluten free, just lucky me.

I am only slightly sad about my new dietary challenges, only a little bit of grinding and gnashing of teeth as bread and cookies pass me by in the grocery store.

For a few different health reasons my doctor suggested clean eating. For me this means no gluten, no dairy, and no soy. So over the past week I have been saying good-bye to everything good in life and hello to a world of coconut and almond milk, and a whole bunch of weird types of flours.

Scouring the internet for ways to make my favorite foods cleaner I have stumbled upon a couple of blogs that have been immensely helpful, and are able to get me excited about this new food challenge. There are a lot of recipes out there that can be altered easily without much difference in taste.

My husband is being a trouper and coming along for the ride with me, so far our first meal (Chicken Tortilla Soup, from a cookbook that my aunt gave me) was a huge success… it was actually gluten free on it’s own so we didn’t have to make any crazy alterations.

Tonight is Chicken and Dumplings, no gluten and no dairy, it should be interesting.

And last: coconut and almond milk hot chocolate. Super creamy.

Hot Chocolate

Quinoa Salad

In the grain family Quinoa is a rock-star. Full of protein, and other nutrients that keep your lungs breathing and your heart beating. It’s also gluten free, an added bonus for those with celiacs disease, or gluten sensitivity.

It’s an ancient grain, which basically means that it can trace it’s beginnings back to ancient times.

One last thing, it’s got this great texture when you chew it, it feels like it’s popping.

This quinoa salad was inspired by a salad that they make at my work.

It’s been 80 degrees and sunny here in California, summery even though it’s the middle of the winter. This was perfect for our fake summer night.  I made it with Curried Chicken and it was great.

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Ingredients:

1 c. Quinoa (cooked and cooled, I put it in the freezer for a few minutes and it did the trick)

1/2 c. Cucumber, peeled and seeded

1/4 c. red bell pepper

1/4 c. green onion

1/2 c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 c. carrot, cut into pieces

Dressing:

the juice of one lemon

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

a sprinkle of salt and pepper

Mix the quinoa and all of the veggies together in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix the dressing together. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.

Hide somewhere that only you know about, because otherwise everyone and their Mother will eat it before you get any.