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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

fancy ass-carrot ginger soup

so hey how's the new year working out for ya?
did anyone make goals/resolutions to take better care of themselves in 2015?
i did and i'm doing pretty good so far!
i've been hitting the green smoothies, eating healthy, eating TONS of fiber, cutting down on the sugar, moving my hams! 

i resolved to get outside and start back at my walking. 
i've been ice walking with american expat gal pal michele over at finland adventures and her pup shiva before the sun comes up!
plus i'm walking with tom most evenings + weekends. 

so i've been looking for lighter new things to make. 
we love soup year round, this one goes on rotation as of today!

when i spotted the recipe... i was all like oooooh
this is either going to be fabulous or soooo fabulous.
ohhhh yeah it is sooooo very fabulous! 

i had 2 bowls out of the gate. i want another now.
it's so easy i'm almost embarrassed to put this one in the challenge.... it really was no challenge at all. so easy!
i am so happy with this soup i'd serve it to company and pretend i was being all fancy and shit.
if you come for lunch, just play along.
i served this with savory goat cheese drop biscuits
i'll share the recipe with you next time. promise!
if you like carrots and the warmth of ginger this is your soup!
i had this in a dicky little vegetarian joint in manhattan in my travels.
i paid $12 for a bowl of soup and a chunk of bread. it was delicious. it was. but seriously $12 for soup?
i yell out... 
THE WHOLE POT costs 50¢ to make! 
okay. fine. maybe $3 and i'm going to say this was BETTER!

2 T evoo (olive oil)
1 md onion, diced
3 T ginger peeled and fine chopped (minced)
3/4 tsp ground coriander seed
5 c (1 kilo or approx 2 lbs) carrots peeled. small diced
3 c vegetable broth (i use 2 veg bouillon + 3 c water) 
1 c milk 
fresh milled s+p to taste

heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat.  
add onions saute until translucent, about 4 minutes.  
add ginger, saute for another 4 minutes, until softened. 
SHIT that smells so good!!! 
add the coriander, diced carrots, broth, reduce heat.
simmer until carrots are completely softened, about 30 minutes uncovered.  
remove from heat. allow to cool for 20 minutes or so.
i was busy it sat for 2 hrs. so this isn't a fussy thing.
using a blender (or an emulsion blender right in the pot)
puree soup. 
i'd say i pureed 3/4 of the pot in the blender. 
i kept back some carrots i wanted it a bit chunky.
return soup to pot, stir in milk. 
gently heat it back up add s+p to taste. 

serve that shit up and enjoy!
original vegan recipe found here

that's it! 

rewarm gently. 

go make soup! now you're fancy too! wink-wink 


*thank you reannon for hosting the recipe challenge! 
everyone is welcomed, jump in any time! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

possession lessons

part 2 in my series:

possession lessons

chapter one.
making due with nothing.

i was on my own at 17. yes. seventeen.
i left home the summer between my jr and senior years
i enrolled myself in school in another town that fall.

i managed, although it's hard for me to even imagine how i did it.
i just did. 

my car and clothes were the extent of my possessions. 
there were times i slept in my car.

i do not ask for help easily. 
i'm prideful and stubborn as hell.

i was really struggling out there on my own. 
going back home was not an option.

i got really jammed up just meeting basic needs and asked a teacher for help. 
she made some calls and got me in for an interview at the state of michigan's agriculture office. 
i worked in the radio department while i finished my senior year.

i graduated from school. barely.

chapter 2.
they are awkward with their things.

i married young. we were both young.
we started with little like most people do.

over the 20+ years 
we both worked damn hard.
we bought stuff. the house was filled with stuff.
we had new cars. big boats.
we had so much but we were so empty. so.fucking.empty.

chapter 3.
begin again.

full circle. starting over again with nothing.
this time in my 40's.
i never thought it would happen and then one day it did.

some things are just not forgivable. 
i left.

i left without a plan. 
i left numb and devastated. 
i left with nothing. 

i rented a small apartment close to my work.

he turned off my cell phone
he cleaned out the bank account
he changed the locks on the house.

when i moved into my apartment
i didn't own a pair of scissors or a can opener. 
not a plate. not a fork. not even a coffee cup.

i had a yoga mat in my car from class and some dry cleaning.

i slept on the yoga mat for a bit of time.
i could not afford a bed. 

over time of course i bought basic things 
i upgraded to a cheap air mattress. 
then a used bed. 

i never owned a tv during that time.
i had music and running and yoga.

i worked.
i volunteered. 

i read self help books.
i meditated.

i learned a lot about myself.

for someone with so little i was never so full.
i had gratefulness. humility. self preservation. autonomy.

this chapter lays the groundwork for many lessons i will talk on over the next 11 months.

chapter 4.
love + maintaining the grateful.

this brings me up to date to the last 5 years of my 40's. 

i packed my life into 3 suitcases and started another chapter.
this chapter takes place on the other side of the world.

i remarried. 
new life. so full in every way. so beautiful. 

we are making a new life. a happy one.

i tread carefully for the lessons learned are still fresh. 
they live just under my skin.  

i take nothing for granted.
i do not waste. 
i do not squander.

i am grateful for little things. 
i am grateful for everything, even the imperfect parts as i know there's lessons hiding in the imperfect.

i throw my thanks out into the universe daily.
i work on my good karma.  

i keep it real. 

i suck in the beauty.
i work hard to keep the ugly out.

lessons. lessons. lessons.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

curry in a hurry

new week. new recipe challenge with reannon at she who rambles!

this week i went with a bit of an indian dish.

we rarely ever eat out, i'm talking maybe once every 6 weeks. 
is that rarely? i think so. 
how often do people eat out?

there's the best little nepalese restaurant in the next neighborhood. 
if we're eating out this is our go-to. 

we will go out for our evening walk and swing in for dinner.
then stroll home stuffed full of curries, dal, sag & paneer and naan bread. 
me and the naaaaaaaaan bread! 

i've dabbled just a little in simple indian type recipes, it's never as good as a restaurant. but i keep at it.

so i spotted this lentil recipe (we love the lentils) 
the commenters carried on about how they have it on rotation. 
okay wow then i'm intrigued! 

the recipe was straight forward no fancy dances. 
it was actually a really quick put together meal.

the original blog did say this was a very mild dish. 
as written it is
so i knew i was going to pop up the heat. 
we like our curry with a little heat. sometimes a lot of heat. 

if you want to try your hand at indian'ish food this is a good starter recipe. 
if you like super mild follow the original recipe. 
if you want a little heat you can follow mine. 

i kicked up the spices... 
the cayenne pepper, cilantro and the ginger. 
in addition i added thin slivers of ginger on top when serving. 
this is how they serve up the dishes at our neighborhood nepal joint
we both thought this dish needed the extra ginger. 

would i make it again? 
yes! it's damn good food!!!

coconut curried lentils

400g or 2 cups dried lentils. i used green.
1/4 c veg oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp finely grated ginger, packed (i used 3)
2 tsp whole cumin seeds, or same amount ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
500g or 2 c diced tomatoes with juice
400-ml coconut milk i used 6% fat
1 T milled salt (or 1½ tsp table salt), or to taste
3 T packed finely chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
slivered fresh ginger for serving

rice. i used jasmine rice to serve the curry over. 


rinse lentils
cover with a few inches of water 
bring to a boil in large pot 
reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until tender
mine took 20 min. test 
drain off water. set to the side

heat oil over md-low heat in another lg pot. 
add onions 
cook until soft and golden about 15 min on a med-low heat
a slow saute is what you want. do not rush it. 

stir in garlic + ginger, cook 1 min
add cumin seed, turmeric and cayenne
cook 2 min. smells so good!

stir in tomatoes + coconut milk
turn up heat and bring to a soft boil then
reduce heat to low and simmer 20 min or so

add lentils to coconut sauce
add salt simmer 10 min
add cilantro
serve over rice 
add slivered garlic + more cilantro

recipe originally found here

go get your curry on!
happy thursday we've just about made it to another weekend! 
x+o tracie

*thank you reannon for hosting the recipe challenge! 
everyone is welcomed, jump in any time! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

life lessons #1

since my last birthday which was a few weeks ago i am now in
the last dance of my 40's

i have LOVED being in my 40's i have learned so much about life and people and myself and truths and that i will never have another brazilian wax!!!! 

i've been working on a little weekly series 
that will count down the weeks until i'm 50! 
yeah fifty!!! 

i've been journaling along and thought i'd share some stuff 
well at least 50 things
maybe it will spark off conversations, deep thoughts, personal truths. 
shit whoooo knows!

oh what a mixed bag of tricks these 40's have been!
so this first one will ease you into this series...

life lesson:
don't talk on shit you do not know about. 

when you don't know the real answer just say so. 
the correct answer is... ''i don't know''. 
honesty is the best policy. people want honesty. they deserve it.

this life lesson i learned as a salesperson selling diamonds while in my 40's.

i was hired into the management program for a large retail jewelry company

i didn't know shit about jewelry though
i was hired on because of my management experience

i was thrown on the sales floor... 
just sell jewelry like you would sell anything i was told
you'll learn as you go
fake it till you make it i was told

oh and i had a quota to meet. there was commission on the line. 
i was not doing well at this job. 
the diamonds were as intimidating as my boss was.

so very early on in my diamond slinging career i was on the edge of closing a sale.
the customer asked me a technical question.
i did not know the answer. 

i faked it and skated around the facts. 
i answered the question with
''well i think ___'' and i rambled... 

'i think' is a thought or an opinion not a know. 

the guy schooled me on talking shit.
as he was leaving he leaned in and said... 

''it doesn't matter if the sale was for $1. if you do not know the real answer then you should say so. anything less is a guess or a lie. which one did you tell me''?

this was a valuable lesson. 
i lost a $25,000 sale for talking on shit i didn't know about.
i was mortified well beyond the lost sale.

now this might not have bothered someone else. 
they might have blown it off and called the guy an asshole after he left and had a little laugh with the co workers. i saw that happen mannnnnny times!!!
point the finger away from one's self. take no ownership. 
take no lesson from it.

i was not laughing.
it really embarrassed me and i was shamed terribly.
it was about integrity. honesty.

immediately i started my studies on my own and got my gemologist certification here. i studied at home, on breaks, in between customers. i got through the certification quick!!!

i became the woman with answers based on facts. 
people deserve that.
i went on to be a top sales writer for the company because of it. 

a life lesson learned in my 40's.

and to quote the avett brothers... 
ain't it like most people.... i'm no different we all love to talk on things we don't know about


Sunday, January 11, 2015

hair update + people ask me shit.

i intended on posting a 6 month update on my hair grow out
yea well that didn't happen
the road to hell is paved with good intentions
so here we are at month #7!

if you're just tuning in and wondering what the hell is up with all this here's the backstory here 
and some random updates here and here of this process

i feel like i'm starting to make some progress
somewhere around the 3rd month i considered cutting it off when i reached 4'' of new growth which is where i'm at now

i'm determined to ride this out.
i've had super short short hair and i loved it when i loved it but i hate the grow out. hate.

at this rate to keep my hair around shoulder length, which is a length i like will take another full year to be completely done and have the hideous old color off. 

some hair q+a.
people ask me shit, so i'll answer shit. 

hey tracie,
i'm 3 months into this and have a wedding coming up. i'm feeling very shaky now about going. this fucking hair!!!!
i'm thinking about coloring again and starting over after the wedding. 
what do you think?
xx j

my dear j,

FUCK YES YOU ARE GOING!!!! that's right. you ARE!
you do not let this or anything stop you from doing things you want to do. 
this wedding... yes it is important, you need to be there. 
we can not get back time.

i do understand feeling less than fabulous during this grow out. 
girl i get it. god do i get it!

here's the thing, it's always going to be something. 
is there EVER a good time to grow it out? 
18 months in an ashram.. yea maybe that's the ideal situation.

embrace the here and now!

go get a little trim just to freshen up your hair a week or so before the wedding. 

you're going to look fabulous!
rock it out silver sister! you are a beautiful bad ass woman! 

hello tracie,
couldn't i just put some highlights in there to bridge the grow out?

dear silver sister, 
yes, of course you could. we all have to do what's right for us. 
if your end goal is to stop coloring... well at some point you have to stop coloring. 
if you think it's going to help you then by all means do so. 

take a look around pinterest for some inspiration.
this is not a ''at home out of a box'' thing to attempt. 
seek out a professional. 

hi there.
can i ask you a personal question?
is your natural color what you thought it would be like?
do you like your gray?
is it hard getting used to?

hi there kate,
yes, you can ask me anything.

my grey, no. i really didn't know it would look like this. 

like my grey? no, i love it. i absolutely love it!!!!! 100% LOVE IT!
i love how shiny and soft the silver/white/grey is. it changes with the light. it's pretty magical. 

not hard to get used to because it takes so long to grow out so it's just a part of who's in the mirror now. didn't happen over night.

i'm totally owning it and that has made a HUGE difference in this whole thing. it's an inside job... no one else has to like it... i do. 
that is all that matters! 

got a hair related question or otherwise... sure i'll answer it! 
happy shiny new week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

mark that off my list!

guess what i got myself up to today

yea boxing it all up nice and neat and shit.
done and done for another year. 

happy wednesday!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

damn good mushroom tortellini soup

well hello there!
how's 2015 treating everyone so far?
i made soup today. damn good soup.

i mentioned this in the blur of december...
i'm joining up with 
gal pal reannon
over at she who rambles for  

it's about challenging yourself!
it's about trying something new!
it's all about FOOD!

here's a fun fact for you... 
my husband, tom... 
he didn't know i could cook before we got married!
we didn't live together before we married.
we had a long distant relationship. 

although we did see each other in real life occasionally 
it was for short time frames.
i can tell you we didn't spend our time making food... 

so when i got to helsinki i cut loose in the kitchen and he was all like... 
holy shit i didn't know i was getting all that. 
i knocked him right out 
i've knocked myself right out too
in this chapter of life i became passionate about cooking really good food

so back to tom... well me... and food
when i tell you this man appreciates my cooking 
that's an understatement. i've never imagined someone being so happy and excited about my cooking. ever. 
when he's on the phone to his family... he's bragging allllll about me every.single.time. 
my god i LOVE that man!

he'll be yelling through the house talking food with his dad... i'm in the bathtub.... 
HONEY what was that sage butter gnocchi you made me... what all was in that?! dad you HAVE to get that recipe.... my girl, she feeds me real good! ohhh and that apple pie... HONEY what kind of apples did you use... 

when you make awesome food that makes people feel happy, loved, wiggly in their chair that is THE BEST! 
food is love. 
not meant in a fucked up eating disorder way.
you got that right?! right!
so how can i help but not want to improve and always cook awesome food!

i've prattled on enough let's talk about the recipe i'm sharing!!!

this morning i decided i would come up with something that would take care of that sketchy business hanging out in the crisper drawer 

truth be told i really wanted something lighter after all the heavy holiday food...
oh and it's still holiday time here for 2 more days.
around here this christmas holiday thing goes on and on until january 7th.
for fucksake can we get through this shit! can we get back to our lives. so off schedule.

so i had 6 big mushrooms that were going into a rustic tart that didn't happen

and a box of limpy spinach that was going into green smoothies to kick the year off right... EPIC FAIL!

there was a box of fresh mini tortellini that kept getting passed over too

2 handfuls of sad-ass grape tomatoes... wilty celery stalks.. a head of roasted garlic.... 
let's make up some soup and hope for the best!

ohhh yeah i came up with some damn fine soup right there!!!

across from me the husband perched over big soup bowl making those low happy noises going back for a second bowl...
brothy herby goooood LOVIN in a bowl
yep that's what i came up with!

mushroom tortellini soup 

couple glugs of evoo (about 3T)
6 large mushrooms sliced up
1 large onion diced
12-15 grape tomatoes
2 celery ribs fine diced
1 head of roasted garlic. pasted. (yes a whole head)
8 c vegetable broth(i use 2 veg bullions+8c water)

1 good handful of fresh basil chopped fine
(*or 1 tsp basil dried
1 tsp sage
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano 
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake
couple twists of fresh milled s+p

4 big handfuls of spinach rough chopped
1 box fresh tortellini (ricotta + basil) tortellini

a little fresh parmesan reggiano topper
okay lets make soup! 

in soup pot saute evoo onion + celery + tomatoes
let tomatoes pop and break down working with back of spoon
10-12 minutes or so

add pasted garlic + mushrooms
cook down until well cooked
7-8 minutes or so

add broth + spices
bring to soft boil then turn down and simmer 20 minutes

it's almost eating time!
add chopped spinach
turn up to a soft boil 
just before serving add tortellini that should take 3 minutes (check package)

*i count on left overs so i cooked 6 tortellini per person. 
that was enough not to weigh down the soup but enough to feel satisfied and full. 

the next day, i'll warm soup back up, repeat the tortellini cooking so the pasta is fresh and firm tasting. 
it's going to be crap if let it sit and warm back up. lived. learned.

i like some thin little parm-regg flakes on top it's just that little pop of yum

pretty easy and flexible. 
if you're into chicken you could use chicken broth
toss in some poached chicken or leftover roasted chicken if that's your thing
whatever flavor of tortellini you like.
got frozen spinach... sure try it out.
see, easy. 

talk to you soon!

*thank you reannon for hosting the recipe challenge! 
everyone is welcomed, jump in any time!