chia seed breakfast pudding

Monday.


queen annes lace

I know most people aren’t big fans of Mondays.  I read once that a majority of heart attacks happen on Sunday nights thanks to a kind of anticipatory anxiety over the start of the work week.  But I actually kind of love Mondays for the same reason I love new notebooks…the anticipatory excitement of a fresh start.  In my little freelance world where jobs and dates are changing all the time, all the moving and shaking tends to quiet down around Thursday afternoon.  Friday is mostly silent.  Monday everyone is back at it and new projects are getting tossed around.  Today I’m off.  And maybe the reason I’m loving this Monday is that working responsibly involves moving from the couch to the kitchen table and back again combing Pinterest and thumbing through past issues of Bon Appetit for portfolio ideas.  I’m on my 4th (maybe 5th?) cup of tea because it’s freezing outside and for whatever reason a warm cup of anything in my hand inspires creativity and romance.  I just finished prepping a little batch of chia seed pudding for breakfast in the morning.  It’s a good life.  I mean, if it’s any consolation I’m making zero money right now but if I were actually on a job today I’d still be loving Mondays.   

Chia seed pudding

Now I know this isn’t much to look at.  Actually, if you look closely or for any kind of extended period of time, it’s pretty unappetizing.  I did my best to dress it up with a delicate flower and these pretty little tayberries that I bought on Saturday morning but it is what it is. Doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.  It just looks like health food cause that’s what it is. Custard and anything even remotely resembling the creamy, dreamy texture of custard in any form is my absolute favorite.  And this is kinda like that.  It’s perfectly sweet from the banana and almond milk, honey is optional, make it fancy with some vanilla bean, bump up the protein and add peanut butter.  If you’re not familiar with the texture of chia seed it might take a minute to get used to but if you love rice or tapioca pudding, I’ll bet you’ll love this too.  

Chia Pudding

The holiday weekend was a mellow one.  Working the day before pretty much rules out any travel.  It was cold in the city like it usually is and since most everyone else had followed the sun to Tahoe or Santa Barbara, the streets were pretty quiet.  Chels and I spent the day walking the city discovering some sweet new spots not far from home and took in the fireworks from our roof that evening.  Saturday morning I meandered through the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market which was the typical glorious sensory overload that it is.  This upcoming weekend I’ll be the one chasing the sun in Tahoe and although I won’t be thinking of it as I’m lounging lakeside, right now the thought of missing out on the market is a little bittersweet.  It’s vibrant and inspiring and going once makes you want to go all the time.  Kinda like when you finally drag yourself to the gym (or to line dancing on Thursdays or to hip hop class on Saturdays) and wonder in the afterglow why you don’t do it more often.  I’ll be on a kick with this recipe for awhile.  I’ve already made it twice today.  

Til next time!

chia seed breakfast pudding
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 c almond milk
  2. 1 banana broken into 3 or 4 pieces
  3. 1 tbsp. peanut butter*
  4. 1 tsp. honey*
  5. 1 tbsp. ground chia seed
  6. 1 tbsp. whole chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor or blender (I used one of those mini food processors), whirl together the milk, banana, and ground chia seed until smooth. Whirl in the honey and peanut butter if using. Transfer to a container, stir in the whole chia seeds, and refrigerate overnight.
Notes
  1. *the peanut butter and honey are totally optional. the banana imparts enough sweetness for my taste but do as you please.
abbys bake sale http://www.abbysbakesale.com/
 

boysenberry pie

After a flurry of nonstop work things are finally starting to calm down a bit.  Leisurely weekends are back.  Last week on a job for Sunset I came away with five pints of these little guys.  Too many for a cheesecake, not enough for jam, but just enough for a damn fine pie.   Boysenberries are a hard-to-find ingredient with a short growing season and I had one shot to make the most out of them.  Two nights ago, each of us over a slice equaling a quarter of the entire pie, Chels and I agreed that it was easily one of the best we’ve ever had.  It was pretty to look at too. 

Boysenberries

For the most part I’ve learned to go easy on myself for the things I fail to get done when work gets really crazy.  Writing is one of the things that always falls to the wayside.  Then, when big things happen, I curse myself for not keeping up with it.  Ironically, I don’t take a lot of pictures.  Writing is more my style when it comes to capturing memories or what have you.  One of my very best friends moved away from San Francisco this morning.  Yes, again.  That’s three this year for those of you who may be counting.  I’ve still got a few left.  We met up for dinner last night on Fillmore Street, the halfway point between our homes, and scored a window seat at a little Vietnamese place.  We ate and drank and watched people walk by until the restaurant closed.  I often feel like I can barely gather the wherewithal to savor poignant moments in my life as they are passing, let alone the ordinary ones.  Life moves to quickly.  But I savored these ones.

“We should be planning 4th of July right now,” she said.  

“What?”

“If I weren’t moving that’s what we would be doing.”

“Oh.  Yea…”

And she was right.  You know those friends that beautifully become your default plan for anything and everything momentous?  Like you don’t even really need to make plans you just know that whatever you end up doing will involve each other?  She’s that friend.  After walking in my door, my home unexpectedly feeling tangibly emptier, I was overwhelmed.  I thought about the last five years we had experienced together, each of us moving to San Francisco in 2009 exactly 2 months apart.  She to help plant a church that would become a catalyst for change in so many ways and a core community for so many people and me to just straight up start over.   An adventure ensued, a five year love affair, and it’s been extraordinary.  I wish I would have written more of it down.  

So what’s left?  Time changes things and that’s okay.  It’s bittersweet to wish a friend a quick and easy transition to a new life just as much as you’d wish they’d miraculously decide to stay.  

Hero Pie

‘Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”  For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.’ – Ecclesiastes

Living in a city where change is arguably more rampant than anywhere else in the world, I remind myself of this passage pretty often.  And I don’t get hung up on it really.  Much more often than not, change is exciting.  Sometimes it’s sad.  But mostly it’s hopeful.  The adventure carries on.  Somehow I just need to be better about recording it.  

Overhead slice

Best Pie Crust. Ever.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 c. all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tbsp. sugar
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  5. 6 tbsp. solid vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into small pieces
  6. 6-8 tbsp. (or more) ice water
Instructions
  1. 1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse until combined.
  2. 2. Add the chilled butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal.
  3. 3. Add the ice water a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture just starts to come together.
  4. 4. Divide in two, wrap tightly in plastic, and chill for one hour.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
abbys bake sale http://www.abbysbakesale.com/
  

Boysenberry Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 5 pints boysenberries
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  4. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  6. ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  7. 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
  8. Course sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. 1. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/4" thickness. Fit into a 9" pie plate and trim edges, leaving 1" dough overhanging. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Place oven racks in center and bottom third of oven and place a sheet tray lined with parchment on the bottom rack to catch drips. Preheat oven to 400°.
  3. 3. Combine 1 cup boysenberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, zest, and salt in a bowl. Mash together until the berries release their juices and thick paste forms. Stir in remaining berries and pour into pie crust.
  4. 3. Roll remaining disk of dough to 1/4" thickness and using a ruler as a guide, cut 8-12 strips for lattice and layer over the filling. Fold edges under and press to seal. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 1 hour. Cool completely before serving.
For instructions on how to form a lattice top, check out this tutorial
  1. http://www.marthastewart.com/274216/making-decorative-piecrusts/@center/276949/everything-thanksgiving
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
abbys bake sale http://www.abbysbakesale.com/