Grizzlies Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola

My favorite food in the world for any meal or snack is granola. And not any granola, but granola from Grizzlies who just happens to be from my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. This granola is THE MOST AMAZING GRANOLA IN THE WORLD. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, chunks, flavor, and nuts. The granola, Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, is a staple at all the grocery stores in Oregon. But guess what — they ship! In the past, I have always requested (demanded) that my parents ship it to me (along with my favorite Oregon coffee). But now, I go straight to the source and order a 5 pound bag from Grizzlies website. I am apparently a grown up now.

 

One of the many canisters that are filled with my beloved granola. It is like precious gold to me. Only true granola snobs can eat it — which in my family is me and my daughter.

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Banana Date Shake

I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!

 

This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.

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The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

I have never been good at making the perfect hard boiled egg, so thanks to my good friend Katie Kaiser, I now know how to make them. Thanks Katie for the guest blog post!

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I’ve developed this method over the years combining tips and tricks I’ve read or heard about from various sources. The trick is four simple principles:

* Eggs that are room temperature and not too fresh

* Baking soda in the water – it somehow helps separate the internal lining of the shell from the boiled white of the egg

* EXACT timing in two segments (on heat and off)

* Ice bath immediately after boiling

 

All you need are eggs and baking soda. But here is the first tip: if the eggs are too fresh, they will be harder to peel. Eggs about a week old are usually perfect. You also want them room temperature.

 

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Chocolate Buttons

My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.

 

A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.

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Grapefruit Beer

I haven’t drunk a beer since college when I would chug them, so I was pleasantly surprised to try a grapefruit beer and actually like it. Love it, to be honest. It is girlie, refreshing, and tastes like grapefruit soda with a hint of beer. So you lose a little edge but still hydrate — win win!

 

I have actually had two different kinds of grapefruit beer: from a can (as pictured) or from a bottle. Equally good and crisp!

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Currently Loving April 2018

So here we are in April. It snowed here in NYC on Monday. I thought April was SPRING for GOD SAKES? In any case, need to stay positive, so here is what I am currently loving for April 2018! Take a look.

 

1. Amy’s Andy Dandy Candy

 

It is made with organic chocolate, so it’s healthy, right???? Yeah right, but somehow, it makes it taste better, like the organic chocolate is better for your body and your body knows that. And if you are going to indulge, then might as well indulge in some organic chocolate (or that is my rationale….)

 

Creamy or Crunchy? OR BOTH?

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Royce’ Chocolate

In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.

 

This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.

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Angel-ed Eggs

As discussed last week, one of my favorite new cookbooks is The Wellness Mama Cookbook. This week, I took on my first recipe: “Angel-ed Eggs” — avocado deviled eggs. Although I love deviled eggs, I have actually never made them myself…so I loved this take on deviled eggs with a healthy angle of avocado in them (good fat). They were super easy to make and uber delicious:

 

And who doesn’t love green?

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Delhi Street Food Tour

On the last day of our recent trip to India, I left early, but Ken had time to kill as he had an evening flight to Manila. Friends we made at the wedding invited Ken on a street food tour in Old Delhi. While “street food” and “Delhi” and “right before an international flight” may seem like a terrible combo, Ken enjoyed the day, and for the most part, emerged unscathed (depending on your definition of unscathed.) Enjoy the pictures!

 

The tour was conducted by Delhi Food Walks and it was legit. The guide was a Delhi resident who was trained in culinary school, and he took the group from street vendor to street vendor, explaining the food and negotiating along the way. This was the meeting point. Legit Old Delhi.

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Favorite New Cookbooks March 2018

Happy March! It feels like it was just January.  Time has flown (probably because of my recent travels to Italy and India) but in any case, here we are!  I was just gifted three new cookbooks by two dear friends and I love them all so much (both the friends and the cookbooks) that I wanted to share.

 

I am officially my mom: a collector of cookbooks.  I have more cookbooks than real actual books! And I love it……

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Currently Loving February 2018

My favorite month of birthdays and Valentine’s Day! Here is what I am currently loving in this love month:

 

1. Natori Magnolia PJ

 

I can’t wait to get my hands on this silky, frilly, and oh-so-beautiful pajama set. It is perfection. And no, you can never have too many sets of pajamas. Especially if they are Natori pajamas.

 

Floral flirty fun.

 

2. Light pink tape dispenser

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Go-To-Kale Salad

One of my biffles is an amazing cook — even though she claims she hates cooking. She can easily throw together a five course meal for her family where *everything* tastes divine. Although she likes to experiment and try new recipes, she also has a set of ‘go-to’ recipes that she makes throughout the week. This is her go-to-kale salad. It is so good that this past week, I made it THREE times. So easy, and so delicious!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Chana Masala

Ken recently read the book Eat to Live, and as a result, has been a little insane so far in 2018.  I have never seen him eat so many vegetables and beans (and so little meat and dairy).  Not sure what’s in the book, but it has really made a change in his diet, and he is enjoying it too.  In the spirit of vegan bean dishes, we decided to make Chana Masala the other night.  It was both of our first times making Indian, which was fun, if not without its challenges.  But we put together a tasty (and healthy) meal.

 

Ingredients

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Firenze 2018

I just returned from an incredible four day trip to Florence (Firenze), Italy with a big group of girlfriends. As you can imagine, there was never a dull moment with lots of food, wine, no sleep, and lots of activity. The trip was incredibly planned and I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to this beautiful city.

 

We stayed at the most beautiful place. This is the view from one of the apartment’s kitchens. DUOMO. Stunning.

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Sunday NYC Brunch- Bubby’s, Meatpacking District

As I am in Italy on a fun girls trip (more later), here is Ken with a quick guest blog post from his solo weekend with the kids:

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Most people think of the Meatpacking District as a trendy neighborhood in Manhattan with shopping, night clubs, and buzz.  It is also our favorite neighborhood to have early Sunday brunch (actually breakfast), as it is completely empty, has really easy street parking, and sets you up for a bunch of post-breakfast activities.  Our old stomp was Pastis (mostly known for being trendy, not for being a kids-friendly brunch place).  But since that closed down, our new Sunday morning brunch spot is Bubby’s on Gansevoort.  Easy, empty, delicious, and well-located.

 

Parking isn’t allowed in the neighborhood until Sunday 6 AM.  So early Sunday morning parking is a breeze.

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Sriracha Salmon

Spice, zest, tart, and sweet — the perfect bite. And with good salmon, it is truly perfection. This sriracha salmon recipe is from Gwyneth Paltrow and is a must make. Although I have had the cookbook for years, I had never made the salmon until this week. And in six days, I made it twice. OOPS. But so good. Make it, trust me.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Green Goddess Dressing

A new year and a new dedication to eating green! I love having homemade salad dressing in the fridge as an easy snack, and this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow is one that I make frequently — so delicious and easy. A must make and a must eat!

 

Ingredients:

 

The only difficult part of this recipe is buying all 0f the ingredients for it.

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New Years Goals 2018

2017 was somewhat of a rocky year with a lot of growing pains; on the national/political side to the smaller, less important personal side as well; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am thankful for so much and grateful for everything, but it was challenging year in many ways. So now that we are in 2018, I am looking forward to continuing to grow, to feel, and to experience, but with a more positive and calm approach. Here are my goals for 2018! (and here are last year’s goals, which are very similar if not the same…) It is the year of love: loving myself, loving people, being in love, and channeling love, and doing things I love!

 

Love the smiles.

 

1. Be more gentle and kind to myself. Too often, I expect myself to be super woman and when I fall short it makes me feel worse.  This year, I am going to try my best, do the best, and be my best, but also be okay and loving even when I don’t.

 

2. Drink more tequila. As much as I love hot water with lemon, tequila is way more fun.

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Sunriver December 2017

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great finish to 2017 and a strong start to the New Year….I was happily in bed and asleep by 10:30 NYE after a fun dinner out with family and friends. I am still trying to create my goals for 2018, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of our adventure out west last week in Sunriver, OR with my parents, and brother’s family.   It is truly a great family friendly place for everyone to experience the beauty and nature of Oregon. We never get tired of it, even when going twice a year (this year in March and again in December). Enjoy the photos of beautiful Oregon!

 

Once again, Ken was the one who went downhill skiing with the kids. I only went one day (Christmas Day) and although it is fun, nothing compares to cross country skiing. So Ken is the downhill guy, and I am the cross country gal. yin and yang.

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Holiday Traditions

As hard as I try, the holiday celebrations in our family are far from instagram-worthy. Most of my friends put on the most incredible Christmas with holiday cheer, traditions, beauty, and fanfare. But for whatever reason, (maybe it is because I am Jewish and did not celebrate Christmas growing up), I always fall short. Simply put, I am #BadAtXmas. I was never told about how Santa operates, the magic of Elf-on-a-shelf, the music, the outfits, the sugar-cookie-creation; all of it is a different language and I don’t know how to speak it. I am the first to admit that I need a private tutor to help me understand HOW CHRISTMAS WORKS.

 

My kids are also at the age now where they ask about it… why our presents are under the tree in early December, why we open presents well before the 25th (we generally leave town as soon as Winter Break starts), why we don’t have stockings, why there is no Christmas Dinner…we just have never had a “normal” Christmas, and I am having tremendous Mom Guilt. I have to remind myself that I do a lot of things well — like their predictable and constantly well performed bedtime routine, or the fact that I never forget them at school. But holiday traditions are something I need to work on — perhaps a goal for 2018?

 

As a mixed religion family, we celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas. That said, Hannukah in the Jewish Tradition is not a big ordeal: it is simply lighting of the candles, a prayer, gift exchange, and maybe some latkas and dreidel playing. So we do that and it is fun and all, but there is nothing BIG and HUGE that makes it that memorable and exciting. For Christmas, we are always together as a family somewhere that is not home. We do have a Christmas Tree in our home in NYC, but we don’t have the same traditions and customs that most of my friends do.

 

So with all of that said, I always breathe a sigh of relief when Christmas and the holidays are over. Once it has passed, I no longer fear my failure as a mom and can concentrate on the things I am better at. So, for those of you who are good at holidays, what and how do you do it? And is it fake it till you make it? Or is it genuine and real? Or do I just embrace the fact that “this” is something I am not good at, and learn from my weaknesses?

 

Lighting of the candle.  With the Christmas tree in the background.

Another night lighting.

The smile.

 

I hope everyone has a great week and finishes up 2017 in a strong and loving way.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Tony’s Chocolonely

I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.

 

My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.

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Currently Loving December 2017

With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

Holiday Card Display

 

GENIUS.

 

I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!

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