Index of Thoughts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Haute Cuisine. {A cook is not an accountant}

Haute Cuisine Star Catherine Frot
When you watch a movie and it makes you want to research all the info that you can, it's a great movie!  Andy and I watched the french film called Haute Cuisine.  It's about the cook, Daniele Delpeuch who was appointed as the personal chef to President Francois Mitterrand from '88-'90 and while she cooked for a research camp in Antarctica.  She was picked to be his personal chef by the recommendation of a friend who briefly met her.  She wasn't a taught chef or anyone who even had a cooking establishment.  She was just like me and you who enjoyed cooking and learned the French cuisine recipes from her mother and Granny.  The President wanted her to feed his soul with flavors that were simple, not fussy and reminded him of his childhood.

Daniele Delpeuch Photo source

I was drooling over the exquisite style and creativity of the dishes that she would make for him.  I also loved her informalities in the kitchen.  She used her hands to toss the salad.  She wore everyday clothes when cooking.  She said the recipes out loud when she cooked.  She cooked from her heart.  She's my kind of women!

My favorite quote of the movie -

"A cook isn't an accountant.  A cook is an artist."

This is what she said to her sous chef on giving him the recipe for the salad dressing.  It was 1/3 balsamic, 1/3 walnut oil, 1/3 olive oil and 1/3 dijon mustard.

Here are the noteworthy items that I wanted to learn more about:

*Cookbook that the President tells her about: “Eloges de la Cuisine Française” (1933) by Edouard Nignon. - link takes you to amazon with a new release of the old cookbook which sells for a pretty penny.

*Choux Farci au Saumon (Cabbage Stuffed with Salmon) Recipe

*Les Jonchee  -  I looked everywhere and I can't seem to find a recipe on the computer.  It's a type of cheese that is fermented in reed mats but it has a sweet, smooth taste with a hint of almonds.

*Saint Honore Recipe - It's a big cream puff pastry cake that looks divine.

*Here's a great interview of Daniele from the Examiner.  Learn more about her HERE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Motivation. Moving Forward.

Last weekend our Three Graces retreat was about Motivation.  Faith Casias did an amazing talk about the key to motivation.  My favorite part of her message was having a realistic goal.  Use a photo of yourself at your happiest moment (it doesn't need to be at your skinniest moment) or a photo of your house when it is clean/organized.  I really really loved this concept.  Here is a photo of me from one of my earlier posts about being Fat and Happy.

This is my photo for my motivation.  Andy and I are at Lake Powell before kids around 2003.  We were so so so in love and completely inseparable.  We were living the life that we had envisioned and had just the greatest group of friends.  Andy had started his own business and we were talking about getting pregnant.  I love this photo because I am not my thinnest by any means or my biggest but because I have a good extra 15 lbs on me then and I didn't really care.  I was incredibly happy and confident in all areas of my life.

This girl below was so motivated!  She was just happy to be a part of this beautiful world.

I will use this photo as my motivation for me now.  The goal is to feel the way I did in this moment except now being conscious with open eyes.  My goal is to move forward with love, grace and confidence while at the same time knowing what real pain feels like and using it to grow a lotus within myself.

Dr. Erik Cooper who also spoke at our retreat says it takes 21 days to recognize a new pathway in your brain.  So if you continue something be it good or bad it will show up on a PET scan in 21 days.  It takes 66 days to have it embedded into your subconscious just like brushing your teeth.  You just do it without even having to think on it.  So if I want to embrace my goal and move forward and forget the pain, all I have to do is repeatedly choose (key word here) to keep thinking a positive thought for at least 21 days.  That's the hard part!  Then if I keep doing it for 66 days it will become a truth for me.  You can think up to 60,000 thoughts a day ranging in all types of genres from good to bad to weird to funny.  We have the ability to focus on the ones we want to.  So if you keep focusing on the bad ones for over 21 or 66 days then it becomes a part of you.

I like these odds!  What a great tool for Motivation.  I am going to use this photo as my motivation to focus on moving forward with the good thoughts.  I won't forget about the painful ones but I have a choice on which thoughts/emotions that I want to give my energy too.  

What do you allow your thoughts to focus on?  What photo can you use to help motivate you for your goal?

*Sidenote:  I like to remind myself of the acronym HALT that my mother taught me.  Hungry. Angry.  Lonely. Tired.  If you are any of these things, it will make it harder for you to reach your goal and stay motivated.  So, you need to really take care of yourself to create a new pathway.  

I am so so so ready!!

Mark your calendars for May 13 at 7pm at Canyon Creek B&B on Main St. in Montrose.  Three Graces is hosting a FREE Fire Circle (first 20 people to sign up).  It's an amazing experience to share, release, connect and have your heart touched.  Please join us.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our {New Cabin} in the Woods

I've been stating out loud since our Three Graces' retreat in November that I am going to have a cabin in the woods.  I truly believe that if you put your intentions out there then the Universe will deliver.  And deliver it did!  For nine years now Andy has been commuting an hour and a half to Telluride to work each way.  I really don't know how he did it for this long.  It took a toll on him and our family!  For the last several years we have been wanting to move back up to Telluride but it just didn't seem to ever happen.

We both decided to focus on the life we both wanted while not trying to force it.  We were able to rent our house out to the perfect family and then the perfect cabin became available to us.  We were in a long long line of people wanting this place.  Our family was picked to be able to live here.  I owe that all to my Southern heritage because the previous tenants are also Southern so we hit off immediately.

Today is the first day that I have really started to drag with unpacking.  We have been at it for two weeks now.  Packing up a house after 9 years is quite the chore and then unpacking is definitely not a walk in the park.  We have it livable but there is so much to do this summer to get it completely settled.

I wanted to share with you all our little place that we scored big on!  So just remember to say out loud twice a day what your heart desires and don't try to force it.  It will all happen just the way it is supposed to be.

**You will have to excuse the boxes and mess.  It is a work in progress!!

The outside of the house from the back where the view and yard is.

The side of the back of the house is where the covered patio is and where our porch furniture is hidden right now because of moving boxes.

The back yard view.

A little shed that I want to turn into the chicken coop.

Walking in upstairs into the living room.  It's a big open floor plan.

The kitchen view from the front door.

The dining room.

Our master bedroom.  It has a window across from the bed with beautiful views of the mountains. Our bathroom goes off to my right and behind the headboard are his and her closets.  So nice to hide our "clothes situation" behind closed doors!

Coming downstairs into the family room area.  Andy's going to build me a long narrow craft/sewing table for this area.  The girls and I are so excited about this!!

Here is the family room that is right off of the craft area.  It is so cozy and has a wood burning stove and doors that open up to the backyard and hot tub.

This is the mudroom that is to the bottom right of the stairs.  But right now it is holding our overflow of stuff.

Under the stairs we started a reading nook.  We'll paint and add lights and accessories to make it more cozy.

This room is shared with Evelyn and Sophia.  It is really big so we created their own spaces on each side of the room.  This is Sophia's side.

This is Evelyn's side.

This is Georgia's room.  She was so awesome and packed up almost her whole room and unpacked it all by herself!

This is the girl's bathroom downstairs.  Our bathroom is a bit similar upstairs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Sophia who is 7 has quite the flare for drama.  She is so quick to get angry over the littlest of things.  She used to be my super easy child and now she gives me a run for my money with her outbursts.  I am hoping this is just a development stage that will pass.  The other night she went into hysterics because I only read her 5 pages out of her book.  She began to say how awful her life is and how much she hates her life and how all of her friends' lives are so much better.  All of this over only 5 pages.  What kind of mother am I?  I am so terrible to have only read so little.  It was a big book so it took a bit to read those 5 pages.  It was late and it was time for her to go bed plus I still had other children to tuck in.

So today the perfect lesson came across my Facebook page.  It was a photo journal of children all over the world and pictures of their bedrooms.  Here is the great article!

I had all of the girls gather around the computer to see and we would find on the globe each location of the children.  After that they sat down at the table to write a list of all the things that they were grateful for.

I decided to also write my own list of things that I am grateful for in this move instead of focusing on the things that I will lose.

  1. a beautiful view
  2. more time with Andy
  3. a happier husband
  4. reconnecting with old friends
  5. a bigger house
  6. a mountain house
  7. closer to ski and hike
  8. involvement in a art driven community
  9. getting to purge unused stuff
  10. having a more efficient business for Andy 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cracking nuts never gets old

Well, there's no way to title this post without chuckling to myself.  Yes, I can be immature and I am dirty-minded!  My brother and his fiancĂ© brought us a big bag of pecans last Christmas from the pecan tree on my childhood farm where my Dad still lives.  My brother, Mitch, actually proposed to Aimee under that pecan tree.  I always loved that tree too.  We were cracking some of the pecans last Christmas and my brother and I just kept going on and on with the dirty innuendos about cracking nuts.  We just kept laughing and laughing about it.  Then, Aimee walked up to us and she said "You're just like your brother.  He never gets tired of jokes about cracking nuts or ones about my chocolate truffle balls."  I don't know about you but I am proud of that statement.  It is so silly and stupid but it makes me laugh just thinking about it.  My brother and I do have a pretty simple sense of humor.  It doesn't take much to get us chuckling.

This is the memory that I was thinking of last weekend when the girls and I were cracking the pecans for our carrot cake that we made which was amazing by the way.  Then, I started thinking about the simple things that are really quite meditative.  Cracking nuts is a great activity to just silence your mind and just be.  When is the last time that first of all you have bought a bag of unshelled nuts and second sat down to crack them on your own?  You have to practice your technique to get out that perfect piece.  It's just like cracking crab legs.  Everyone has to show off getting out the perfect piece.  It takes quite some time to unshell enough to get a significant amount to show for it.  It's a great metaphor.  It reminds me of this great quote by Thomas Edison - "Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

I really enjoyed sitting down with that bag of pecans and teaching my girls where nuts come from and how you get them out to enjoy.  We were all just sitting and concentrating and in our thoughts and silence.  Then one of us would show off a prized whole nut that was pulled out of a shell. I also got to tell them where the pecans came from and how when I was a girl Mitch and I would go out there and eat pecans.  We would get two pecans in our hands and squeeze them together to crack them against themselves.

Cracking nuts really is an art to master.  
It's a simple thing that has gotten a bit lost.
"Cracking nuts" never gets old.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Most Amazing Carrot Cake Recipe in the World.

This past Sunday I was in the mood to do a little baking.  I was also in the mood for carrot cake and lo & behold we had almost all of the ingredients!  Andy and the girls helped me make it so it was a fun Sunday family activity that we all participated in.

This cake turned out to be so amazing and moist and delicious.  I think it is the best that I have ever ever made.  And it's also egg free!  Remember several months ago when I said Georgia's egg allergy was gone?  Well, it has come back a little bit with certain things so we just steer clear of eggs when we can.  It's a bummer but we were so used to cooking without eggs that it wasn't really a thing anymore to us.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 c   All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 c   Sugar
1/4 c   Brown Sugar, packed (dark or light)
1  1/2 t   Baking Soda
1 t   Baking Powder
1 t  Salt
4 t  Cinnamon
1/4 t  Nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
1/8 t  Ground Cloves 
1/4 t  Ground Ginger
2 c  Finely Grated Peeled Carrot, packed
1 c  Coconut Flakes, sweetened
1 c  Raisins 
1 can 8 oz  Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 c  Vegetable Oil
2 t  Vanilla Extract
3 T ground golden flax seed meal
3 T coconut water
1/2 c  chopped Pecans for topping
oil or spray for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by oiling pan and line with a parchment paper round on the bottom then spray the top of the parchment (don't skip this step - trust me!). 

In a large bowl whisk well:  Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, all Spices.

Peel then Grate approx 5-6 medium Carrots to yield 2 cups packed.  Grate Carrots finely to no more than 1/4 inch pieces.  Or process in a food processor until finely grated but not mush.  It is important that you peel the Carrots before grating.  You do not want the tough skins in your cake.

In a medium bowl add Carrots, Drained Pineapple, Raisins, Coconut Flakes and mix well with a big spoon.

To this mixture add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla Extract, flax seed meal and coconut water and mix well.  Scrape down bowl often.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well mixed (about a min.).  Do not over mix.

Pour divided into prepared (as above) 9 inch cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Half way through cooking rotate the pans for even cooking.  A toothpick will come out clean when done.  All ovens vary in timing so check at lowest time first and if not done put back in oven and recheck in 2- 3 minutes.

Allow to cool completely in pan for 1-2 hrs. before removing to ice with Cream Cheese Icing.  Recipe below.  Place 1/4 of icing between the two layers and when placing the top cake layer on, put the flat side of the cake (the bottom when it was in the cake pan) facing up for a flat top which makes a more attractive cake and easier to ice.  I also like to flash freeze my cakes after they have cooled.  The icing is so much easier to put on.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 stick Butter, salted, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (1 bar)
2 c Powdered Sugar
2 t Vanilla Extract
2 t fresh orange zest
1 to 2 T half and half

Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to sit out until at room temperature and softened.
In a large bowl, place the softened Butter.

Cream the Butter with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then add the Cream Cheese and cream for 2 minutes or so more until well mixed.

1 cup at a time, add the Powdered Sugar and blend well.

Add Vanilla and Orange Zest and mix well.  Use half and half to help make the right consistency. 

Ice the cake and top with the chopped pecans.

Bon Appetit!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...