Um…hi. And happy Spring.
It’s been a little while. In terms of this little guy, it’s been a lifetime:
We have been learning so much. Like how to eat:
And how to sleep:
I have been flush with freelance and copywriting work. I even squeezed in a cooking class. But this beloved piece of my work puzzle has been neglected and for that I am sorry. So many balls to juggle these days, and some must simply be set aside while I tend to higher priorities. Like this:
Lately, my life and work have been coming back into focus as James has started napping more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Tonight, he batted my hand away as I tried to soothe him to sleep, and with a look, basically told me to stop singing so he could put himself to bed. Okay then. His fierce independence reminds me of someone else I know.
In the midst of the last months, a dear friend came to stay with us, and to finally fill the space over our mantle with one of her paintings. We gave her this photo for inspiration, taken from the deck of our last apartment in Alaska:
I told her I liked the duality of it’s composition. The light and the dark together, creating beauty in that sacred place between day and night.
This is her interpretation:
Oh how my heart goes pitter-pat every time I take it in. Brooke doesn’t name her pieces, so we did. To be more accurate, Noah did.
He called it. . .
Brooke left this beautiful piece of herself here, and reminded me of all the pieces of myself that are still here, floating around amidst the blocks and board books and boppys. She 911′d my postpartum wardrobe, caught me up on all the Hollywood gossip, taught me how to use my iPhone, and brought some fresh recipes for us to cook together. This one is a keeper, and amazingly met my nutrition requirements. I’ve been corn and dairy-free for over four months now on account of my little one’s sensitivities, and am now on the verge of omitting oats. Not fun, but SO worth it. Doc says he’ll grow out of these sensitivities. I hope she’s right. That’s another story, but let’s focus on this hearty, healthy salad. A bullseye for your April menu. Fresh. Flavorful. Filling. It spans the gap between winter’s braises and summer’s leafy greens, but I can tell you we’ll be eating this year round. Enjoy!
Recipe : Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp and Avocado
This delicious and satisfying recipe is also healthy and allergy friendly. Adapted from the Jan/Feb issue of Women’s Health.
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin) or sake
- 2 small ripe avocados
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 5 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup quartered and sliced English cucumber
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion
- 1 lemon, quartered for garnish
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine (Mirin) or sake
- 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Spread the rice on a sheet pan to cool. This dish tastes best if the rice is room temp when mixed, rather than warm.
In a small bowl combine the shrimp, minced ginger, and 2 tablespoons Mirin. Toss to coat and set aside.
In another small bowl combine dressing ingredients. Whisk until salt and sugar are completely dissolved and set aside.
In a large pot bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add shrimp and marinade and boil until shrimp are cooked through and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.
Slice avocado and squeeze with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine rice, shrimp, cucumber, dressing and green onion. Toss lightly to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide the salad among plates, top with avocado slices, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.
Optional Add-ins: Fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, shelled edamame, chopped pickled ginger.
Serves 2 – 4