Prana in the Park: I forgot


Picture it: about a month ago. I was really exited about the upcoming Prana in the Park series and was counting down the days to the first yoga class.

Fast forward to last Sunday. That’s when I realized that I forgot to go to the first free summer yoga class on Saturday. Crap.


Here’s the schedule in case you forgot too:
July 10—Qi Gong
July 17—Yoga
July 24—Tai Chi
July 31—Nia

I’m sure you can read, but in case you missed it the next yoga class is July 17th. Be there. I will be.

Caffeine is as necessary for life as water. Or is it?


The caffeine cutback is going well. Even starting the new job didn’t really set me back. Even the very close proximity of Starbucks to my office hasn’t really set me back. I even switched to non-fat, half-caff, sugar free vanilla café misto as my go-to caffeine. And Saturday and Sunday I had no caffeine at all. And I wasn’t even super grouchy.

I think progress has been made.

Back in the Yoga Groove


Part of the reason for my blog hiatus is that my yoga practice hasn’t been that consistent lately. The new job and finding a new rhythm to my life and all that has interfered a little. I’ve been doing a bit of a home practice, but it hasn’t really been the same (it never is). Last week I felt like my life had stabilized enough to go back to the studio. I had planned to buy a new package at my beloved Barefoot Works, but then I saw an ad for a new-ish studio in town and their new student special. The special is 30 days for 30 dollars. It’s a pretty common special here in town and Barefoot Works has it too; I just can’t get it because I’ve been a student there waaay to long to be new.

So I went to the new studio, Bliss Wellness Center, on Wednesday. I have to say I was slightly impressed with the studio. They also do acupuncture, massage, and pilates there, so there are several spaces. The class I went to was taught by one of the assistants at my new job (I didn’t know this going in, it was just a really cool surprise) and it was really good. We did several things I’ve never done before. We used hand weights, which are basically velvet covered sandbags, to do breathing exercises at the beginning of class and to rest on our hands during savasana. I had never used these before, but now I may have a slight love affair with them. I found them to be a really good relaxation aid. The class overall, despite doing a couple of pose variations I was unfamiliar with, wasn’t that strenuous, but it was a really good class. Imagine my surprise when I woke up on Thursday morning feeling ridiculously sore and then when I woke up on Friday morning feeling even more sore. I’m still fairly stunned by this and I can’t wait to go to that class again.

My impressions of the new studio are generally good. I’ve been to one other class and I was a little underwhelmed by the teacher, but I’m keeping an open mind. After all, a bad yoga class is better than no yoga class.

    

Settling In


As I’ve mentioned several times, I just started a new job. I blame that for making me completely ignore the blog. But now it’s time to pay the blog a little love and get back in the groove. And, of course, the best way to do that is to talk about my new job!

It’s kinda awesome. I’m a real lawyer these days (meaning I’m actually doing things that get submitted to court instead of just reading what gets submitted) and that’s cool. I love my office and co-workers. My office is exactly decorated yet, but I am slowly settling into it.

There’s pros and cons to any new job and, for this one, there are definitely more pros than cons. But there is one really big con. Well, not even a real con. Just a really really big point of adjustment. I knew going in that my state worker hours were not going to fly in the private arena. What I didn’t know was that it was going to be a difficult transition. Apparently a year of starting work around 9 and leaving at 4:30 on the dot is not an easy habit to break. My firm is not full of slave drivers, but 4:30 is just not a normal time to leave. Nonetheless, my body cannot be convinced of this. Everyday about 4:25 I feel like I need to start getting ready to leave for the day! No matter what I do, no matter how many time I tell myself “It’s not time yet” I still feel like I need to leave. I’m hoping this will stop soon.

One of the more awesome things that my job allows is going to court. And I don’t mean going to observe. I mean going to represent clients. Yep, I got to do that Friday and it was awesome.

I’m settling in, finding a new routine for my life, and it might take a while to make blogging a consistent part of that. But I’m trying. Stay tuned.

Strawberry Shortcake

I love strawberries more than you can possibly understand. They are, without a doubt, my favorite food. Ever. I buy them year round, but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a fresh picked locally grown strawberry. Ideally, these fresh picked berries would come from my own strawberry patch, but since I don’t have room for a strawberry patch, they come from my CSA or the farmers market. The ones for this particular recipe came from the CSA. 





This was the first batch of strawberries we got this summer and I decided to celebrate that by making my own version of strawberry shortcake. Please be advised, this is not an actual strawberry shortcake. I just call it that. What this actually is is angel-food cake, whipped cream, and strawberries. The best part of this is that it’s all homemade! 





That’s right, I made the angel-food cake. And, it was the best angel-food cake I’ve ever had. I imagined this would be really hard to make. It wasn’t, it was super easy.My only tips before the recipe are (1) get an angel food cake pan (2) this is not a time for the stand mixer and (3) get egg beater egg whites.


 Here’s the recipe (it’s from bettycrocker.com):

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites (12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375ºF.

Mix powdered sugar and flour; set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed, adding vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy meringue forms. Do not underbeat.

Sprinkle sugar-flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until sugar-flour mixture disappears. Push batter into ungreased angel food cake pan (tube pan), 10×4 inches. Cut gently through batter with metal spatula.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula; remove from pan.



I also made the whipped cream. It was my first time ever doing it. I may never eat cool whip again. It was truly amazing. Here’s the recipe (again from bettycrocker.com):

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In chilled medium bowl, beat sweetened whipped cream ingredients on high speed until soft peaks form. 

For the berries, I didn’t make a syrup or anything. I just hulled and sliced them, then I put some sugar (maybe about half a cup-ish) on them. I covered them and let them hang out while the angel food cake was baking. End result was sweet slightly syrupy fresh strawberries. 

Amazing! 

Picture Explanations

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Sorry guys, real life intervened. I went to the smallest town IN THE WORLD and started a new job. But more about that later. For now, I’ll explain the pics in the last post.

Me and S at my cousin’s wedding. This was wedding weekend 1 of 2 in the last 3 weeks. 
The first vegetarian dinner S has ever made. This is a HUGE step. 
S and I visiting my new favorite tea spot, Cuppa. 
S and I at Stella’s Kentucky Deli. Delish!
The beginnings of strawberry shortcake.
Strawberries. I love them. 
R, S, J, and me playing the most ridiculous game of bocce ever played. 
My first French Onion Soup. 
Strawberry freezer jam. 
I’ll have more details about most of these later. This is basically what I’ve been doing this summer… Have a great week!