The song that has been running through my head for a week

The experience running through my head (sorry you can’t be there to see it) is courtesy of thebutterqueen & Glacier National Park. We listened to this song in the car several times while driving through the park…. and it was absolutely perfect.  Through the mountains on Going to the Sun highway or through the hot, dry plains on the eastern side of the park on our way to hiking. We hit 5,000 miles in Lola, ate huckleberry blueberry pie (Pie for Strength!…. I couldn’t agree more!), befriended a mountain goat, and sang our hearts out to this song.

It wasn’t until I got home that I found out that this is NOT a song from the 60s or 70s… it is a recent tune!! I am hard pressed to think of another band that more fully embody the spirit of hippies of days past!! Pure hippy filled joy at a tiny desk! With earmuffs! In the American heartland!

Ps. It does worry me slightly that I have some of the same dance moves as the band.

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Grilled Pizza

This is another go to recipe for us… and it’s a total crowd pleaser. We made this for the group in Montana. It’s easy to make– quick enough to whip together after a day of hiking in between arriving home & a hot shower– and elaborate enough to wow the dinner table.  In the summertime, it’s the only way to eat pizza without turning on the oven. Plus there is no greater joy after a long day than pizza & a beer. Cheers!

Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (105° to 115° F)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil for the bowl
Honey
Any assortment of Italian herb seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, etc

Sauce

Cheese (we use goat cheese most often)

Toppings (some veggies, onions, and maybe a sprinkling of grilled chicken for E)

Directions:

Mix Flour, salt and seasonings.
Put Yeast in Water for 5 minutes.
When adding the yeast to the flour mix, add a little Olive Oil and Some Honey.  (If using Whole wheat or a mix, use a little more Olive Oil- Like a T)
Mix (Or use bread hook)
Make into a ball and let sit for one hour, covered in an oiled bowl.
Punch down, roll into log, cut into 8 pieces.
Roll each piece into its own disk (you may need to use flour)
Let sit for 15-20 Minutes.

Meanwhile turn on grill- Medium.
When ready to grill- take disk and spray the side that has been exposed to the air most recently. Turn grill down to low and cook oiled side. Just a few minutes, until cooked.
Take disk inside, flip it and dress the cooked side.
Return to grill, making sure to keep lid closed to cheese can melt before bottom burns. Maybe a little indirect heat here will work.
Scrumdidllyumpscious, especially when you eat it in Montana surrounded by family & friends.

Letting bread rise is for suckers…. or baking easy beer bread

For my dinner swap I made “everything left from the CSA before we go on vacation” soup & super easy beer bread. This recipe is a fall & winter staple for us, as we eat a lot of Crockpot soups, stews, & chilis. Plus this bread is so easy to make & is delicious. It’ll make you wonder why you don’t bake homemade bread more often.

In a large mixing bowl, mix:

3 C of self rising flour (or to make your own:  For each cup of flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and a 1/2 teaspoon salt)

1 can of beer (12 oz)

1/3 C of sugar

Mix by hand or with Grandma’s old wooden spoon until stiff and lumpy.

Put into greased loaf pan or a dutch oven, pizza stone, or even a cookie sheet for a more rustic loaf.

Bake at 350 for 55 Minutes

Give yourself a fist pump or two for baking delish homemade bread, in addition to all of the other things you accomplish in your busy life! Relish in the fact that this is the easiest bread ever…. It makes it all the more delish!

Pack like a superstar

“I thought you would be easy to spot because you would have lots of bags…. but you only have those!”

“That’s not a bag… that’s a purse!”

“I feel like I should be carrying something, but you only have that 1 crazy bag.”

I love to pack like a superstar & wow my friends & family. All of the above are things people have said to me this summer during trips. I always get questions about how I do it, so here is a little tutorial/highlights.  First, no one likes to pay to check bags… especially with the outrageous amount theya re charging these days. That’s why we usually fly Southwest (read an interesting story about their philosophy on paying for checking bags here) & maintain a personal “only carry-ons” policy. 

Since we have been trying to take a more minimalist approach to traveling (& life in general), I welcome the challenge of packing for a long weekend, week long trip, or 10 day adventure. I base my wardrobe on 1 neutral color, usually black (skirts, pants, shorts), & add various shirts I can mix & match.  I always bring workout clothes (shorts, Vibrams, and a wicking T). Many of the traveling we have done in the past year has also included attending a wedding, so there is usually some form of formal dress & shoes required. I usually plan to wear clothes more than once; if you can wash clothes, either a quick rinse in the tub after a run or in a machine, you can pack significantly less & still smell fresh!

I use a mix of rolling and “cubing” clothes. The cube, pictured below, is the key to my success thus far. I lay my larger clothes out on the bed in an X as described here, and then roll smaller items & place them in the middle of the X.  This baby can get 6 days worth of clothes into a stylish tote and 10 days of clothes into a backpack!!  While rolling clothes can produce similar impressive results, I think the cube leaves more room around the edges of my bag, where I can stash snacks, toiletries, and shoes.

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Images from academichic.com

I love packing extra light; it gives my back & arms a break. For most trips, I can ignore the overhead bins on the plane & stick my bag underneath the seat in front of me. (I know you are super jealous about that lil’ tidbit!) And best of all, traveling to & from the airport on public transportation is much easier when you aren’t lugging a huge bag.  So feast your eyes & pack lightly next time!

Roasted Chickpea Snacks

We are packing once again! This time off to Big Sky country for some raspberry pickin’, hiking with friends, and lots of visiting with my awe inspiring family members. Hopefully no bears, wild fires, or mountain lions to spoil the fun. There will be wine, good food, poor cell reception (woohoo!), & a fair share of hugging. Only the most important ingredients of life, of course! Hopefully we will get to see a glacier or two.

So that we don’t starve on our flight out there, I whipped up a super simple, savory snacky-poo to keep us tided over until the raspberries are within reach. Enjoy!

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Whisk the oil & spices together in a small bowl; add the chickpeas and toss to coat.
  3. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. I used a deep cookie sheet & my Silpad liner.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven until browned and crispy, about 45 minutes (although I think I could have left mine in a little longer. This maybe because I am incapable of letting the oven pre-heat).

 

rePERpoSING?

what’s the definition of rePERpoSING? Excellent question. One we are here to find out ourselves. One of our goals is to live a full, meaningful, quality life without much waste. To do this, we have generated many projects & taken on new tasks in our 5 years together, all with the objective of iterating closer to less waste, more fun, less impact on the earth, and a healthier life for us. We want to reduce waste of all kinds– waste of money, of talent, of time, of resources, of our attention. And we want to thrive in the process, live healthily, happily, and joyfully. Recently we have been wondering, “What does this all add up to? What is this thing that we have taken on called?” So we thought about it for awhile & came up with a project name that defines who we are–the Persings– and what we do–repurpose. We want to think about the role things play in our lives, change the way we use things– time, electronics, clothes, food– & purposefully make it, use it, spend it, eat it “our way.” You are welcome to join us in !

What Durian fruit has to do with Restaurant Week

Last night we went to Jack’s Bistro for a Restaurant Week dinner… the first dinner or date night of it’s kind here at the E Persing Clan. I am typically one to get a cheap, but extremely delish, veggie panini from DiPAsquale’s, pull up a movie from Netflix on our Instant Queue, & call it a romantic evening. But then there was last night…. last night we wanted to something fun & adventurous!

We made 8pm reservations at Jack’s (our friends rave about their lavender & pink peppercorn ice cream) & threw caution to the wind.  I had an amazingly flavorful mussel salad with kimchi & coconut milk, then a super rich & fragrant dal with more coconut milk, with some stellar wine pairings. E had mac & cheese with dark chocolate sprinkled on top, steak & potatoes with an awesome basil sauce, and a gin, cucumber, & basil drink. Very manyly of him. Did I forget to mention he was sporting his 30-lb lighter frame? That’s right friends, I have a new much slimmer hubby. But I digress.

For dessert, all of the options were dairy based. This required 5 lactaids, but was well worth it. I selected the durian fruit creme brulee, as I had read about durian fruits several years ago & was very intrigued! With all eyes on me (E’s as well as the entire 6-person table next to us) I took my first bite. It was…..weird, intriguing, like nothing I have ever tasted, slightly like dragon fruit, nothing like the armpits everyone else described it as. I was so excited!! Every time I put my spoon in my mouth, I had to think about it. One of the most  confusing things I have ever eaten. It tastes strangely familiar, but you can’t put your finger on exactly what it tastes like (unless “dead ass” is the only thing it conjures up for you).

As excited as I was about the durian dessert, I couldn’t finish it. It was WAY too much dairy for me, as I also had a few nibbles of E’s lavender ice cream. I am extremely pleased with myself for giving it a go & even more pleased that I didn’t hate the taste. It was an excellent finale to an extraordinary meal (in every definition of extraordinary… I could have just eaten a giant bowl of the mussel salad & been content). We had a great evening together & will make it a point to try more Baltimore foodie joints in the future together.  Who knows?… this could become a regular date night activity!