Batchworthy

OK, so I have written about these sauces before, but I have to write a full post about it because they are just that good. They are SOOOOO good. Back in June, I bought the “Husband Sauce” and the “Caesar Sauce,” and they were delicious, but it wasn’t until this month that I purchased The Full Batch.  The full batch includes: 1 8oz. Husband Sauce, 1 8oz. The Heat, 1 8oz. Soft Caesar, 1 8oz. That Good Grainy Mustard, 1 4oz. Garlic Confit, and 1 4oz. Garlic Rillette. Literally you can make the most scrumptious meal with any of these sauces.

 

Even the jars are colorful and make my fridge bright and happy.

The caesar! The mustard! The heat! They are all so delicious that you just want to smother your food in it!!!

Look at the mustard grains!!

I can’t even begin to tell you how good the caesar dressing is — it’s beyond.

This is my meal — lots of veggies and randomness (pizza and chicken and leftovers) with all the sauce everywhere and anywhere.

 

Small batch sauces of color and taste? Sign me up! Head to their website and order — it will make you and your food so happy!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Currently Loving September 2021

Here we are in mid September and here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Harriman State Park

 

Last week, we had a day off from school and a parent organized a hike to Harriman State Park — which is about an hour away from NYC. It was a great day filled with beautiful nature. It made me miss the ease of Oregon nature and hikes, but I am thankful to have been introduced to Harriman State Park and can’t wait to return.

 

2. Dahlias

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Synful Eats

At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.

 

Since it is local delivery, the cookies arrive in the most beautiful pink box and bag. Even the box is perfection.

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Fall 2021 To Do

Here we are — Fall 2021! There is always so much to do in Fall — the start of school, the shift in weather — and here is a list of everything and anything that I want to do!

 

1. Eat at Thai Diner

 

Thai Diner is exactly what it sounds — a diner that is influenced by Thai food. Recommended by a friend I always trust, this downtown restaurant is a Thai Love Letter to the classic American diner. It gets rave reviews and the dishes look incredibly interesting and delicious. I can’t wait to try it out.

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Natori Embolden Brief

My new favorite Natori undie is — gasp, even more than the Natori Feathers Brief — the new Embolden Brief. They are the absolute perfect pair of undies, and I am so so so so happy I discovered them. They are lacy but full coverage, flattering and different. Run to the store (or buy online) before they disappear — I stocked up on them!

 

They come in three colors: black, beige and blue. They are mainly lace, with just a little hint of fabric at the bottom.

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End of Summer 2021

This summer came and went. It was a good solid summer. Nothing spectacular and extraordinary, but simple and straightforward. We hiked and biked, swam, read, and watched movies. We ate at our favorite Japanese and taco restaurants. Visited tons of parks and playgrounds. And spent all our time outdoors. I miss the west coast and the nature already….

 

We hiked MILES and MILES and MILES. Tusia went to one week of camp the entire summer, so the rest of the time was Mama time — which meant, a lot of exercise outdoors.

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Spinach Hummus

One of my favorite parts of spending the summer in Oregon is being surrounded by all the local, organic, small-batch, hippie foods. I have my all time favorites that have been around forever (Toby’s Tofu Pate), but each summer, I fall in love with some new favorites. This summer, I am head over heels with this spinach hummus by King Harvest. BEYOND DELICIOUS, TASTY, UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. It is die for — and you must find it and buy it….and even if it is not sold in your grocery store, try to replicate it and make it home.

 

King Harvest.

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Needlepoint Pointers

If you are a needlepointer (or interested in needlepointing), then this post is for YOU! In the past 16 months of my new found hobby, I have done a lot of research (and trial and error) on what works and doesn’t work. And because I am a sharer, here are various tips / pointers on websites, threads, anything and everything needlepoint that has worked for ME! (And if you have any favorites, please share with me, too!)

 

My most recent project!

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Water Kefir

I realize that Monday’s post was on a drink (hibiscus tea) but now I have to tell you all about water kefir — my newest obsession! And yes, apparently I am on a drink kick! And makes sense because it has been over 100 degrees the past week in Oregon….yes, I have been melting! In any case, I have always had a love hate relationship with kombucha. I love it, but it has made me (violently) sick and so I had to quit for a decade. I have successfully only had good batches in the past year, but I still am weary about it. That said, I always love looking at the drink aisle in the hippy dippy grocery stores because they always have the best products. And lo and behold, that is how I first found out about water kefir — a probiotic water. It is similar to kombucha, as they are both fermented and probiotic rich. But they taste slightly different and as of now, I am preferring water kefir.

 

This was one of the brands that I love — made in Oregon, great flavor of ginger and lime. Fizzy, delicious, and hydrating.

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Hibiscus Tea

As many of you know, my mother is from Mexico., and because of this, most of her cooking is influenced by her heritage. The main drink that we always have in our house is Hibiscus Tea. She goes to the local Mexican tienda and buys pounds and pounds of dried hibiscus flowers to make the juice / tea throughout the year. Unfortunately, I am both lazy and unfamiliar with a Mexican tienda in NYC, so I have yet to recreate this drink. However, recently, at the local grocery store, I came across, sachets of hibiscus tea! Yes, more expensive than bulk leaves — but so convenient and easy! I can’t wait to try all the different flavors and make it in NYC!

 

Not only does my mom loves hibiscus tea made from scratch, but she also loves tea. She is a tea snob and knows more about tea than anyone. And apparently, this tea company, Steven Smith Tea Company, is wonderful and she loves it.

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Natori Wish List

Yes, one would think that I would always have all the newest products from Natori, but truth is, unless I order them for myself, I don’t get them. And in order to order them, I have to browse the Natori website, which happens way less frequently than I would like. But this past week, I was able to scroll online and I found SOOOOOO many items that I want slash need! Here they are!

 

1. Shangri-La V Neck Chemise

 

All the items from the Natori Shangri-La collection are top notch quality and comfort. They are my go-to items for any gift — classic, simple, soft, and flattering. This new silhouette seems great for the transition to Fall. I can’t wait to get one of these!

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Favorite Tokyo Olympic Moments

I already miss the Olympics and they just ended yesterday!!!! Usually, I am tied to the Olympics and watch every single moment they are on TV. However, this Olympic Games, the time difference made it a little more tricky and I wasn’t as in to it as normal. That said, I still love the stories, the dreams, the challenges, and the grit. Here are my favorite Tokyo Olympic Game moments. And yes, they are track and field heavy because (a) I am a runner and (b) the Track and Field Olympic trials have been held in my hometown for the past five consecutive games!

 

1. Women’s Marathon

 

Talk about grit, heart, and determination! Molly Seidel ran her third marathon ever and won a bronze medal. Super inspiring!!!

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Custom Needlepoint Canvas DNS by Design

As many of you know, since April 2020, I have become an avid needlepointer. I spend a lot of time planning a project, working on it, and finishing it. I love (and hate!) the process of it, but I absolutely love having a final product — especially when I am proud of the work. I have spent hours upon hours searching for canvases that strike a chord with me, but more often than not, I am left uninspired and wanting more. I absolutely loved making my Notorious BIG footstool, as well as my Tupac pillow, and I wanted to find something in the same genre — cool, hip, unique, exotic, and colorful. Unfortunately, after my own search,  I never found anything. Thankfully, a friend told me to contact Denise, of DNS by Design, who can custom paint any canvases, any size, any photo. And boy, did I luck out in finding her! What a gem!!!!

 

The final product of my Biggie stool.

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July Favorite Podcasts

This past month I have listened to a plethora of podcasts. Here are my favorite episodes this month. They are all MUST listen to and all have major take aways.

 

1. Ten Percent Happier: Self Compassion Ain’t Always Soft, Kristin Neff

 

A must listen to. I started Kristin Neff’s book and I can’t wait to read it all. So much to learn.

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Jackson Hole

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we went to Jackson last week and had a great fun-filled time. There was never a dull moment and had so much to do that we could have stayed the entire summer! Everyone we met in Jackson was so incredibly nice and welcoming. My favorite run-in was with an old student’s parents from NYC that I taught way back when and they moved to Jackson 5 years ago. They sent several emails with hikes and trail runs and activities. And of course, another favorite meet up was with our bestie’s grandma who spends her summer there. So in many ways, this random small town felt familiar and welcoming.

 

We literally arrived at the airport and went straight on a hike in the Grand Teton National Park. Recommended to us by a friend, this hike didn’t disappoint. We wore our swimsuits and once we arrived at the top, there was a great lake and we went swimming.

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Summer 2021 Running Playlist

Sorry for the silence last week — I didn’t anticipate going rogue on the blog, but we were in Jackson for a family trip and had less down time than I thought. But here I am! Back at it! And more on Jackson on Wednesday — lots to recap! In the meantime, here is my Summer 2021 Running Playlist. Lots of fast, high beat, power mode songs!

 

Teton Village on my run last week. So beautiful.

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Currently Loving July 2021

Mid July, here we are. Second half of the year, here, too! Here is what I am currently loving this month:

 

1. Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Crisp Recipe

 

We went blueberry picking this week and picked over 12 pounds of blueberry. So I decided to make a blueberry crisp (and follow a recipe!) I made two of these crisps (used 6 pounds of blueberries) and found this recipe perfect — not too sweet, but light and refreshing.

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JEM Organics Nut Butter

Ridiculously delicious nut butter. After eating half a bottle (no exaggeration) in 5 days, I knew that I had a new obsession – JEM Organics Nut Butter. JEM But butters are the most decadent and unique nut mixtures — so good that I am determined to try each and every one of them this summer (summer #goals). They are good with just a spoon, on a banana, with some chocolate chips, or spread on bread. However you choose to eat it, you cannot go wrong.

 

This was the first one I bought (and the one that I ate half a jar in 5 days(. Salted caramel almond butter. YEP. Rich. Gluttonous. And oh so delicious. JEM — Just Eat Me — yes, JUST EAT ME. You can’t not eat.

Can’t stop, won’t stop. Seriously tastes like salted caramel in almond butter.

And look at the ingredients — all healthy and organic.

Proof that I devoured this in less than one week. Not in a sitting. But I could do that.

The grocery store (yes, in Oregon, the grocery stores are my favorite place to visit). And yes, JEM is an Oregon product, produced and made in Bemd.

Some more of their selection.

 

I just bought the chocolate hazelnut and it is a great substitute to Nutella — with cleaner, organic and natural ingredients. You can buy a variety pack, single size, of any size, on their website. Check it out. I promise you, that if you are a nut butter lover like I am (who is not?), than you will love these and fall head over heels in love.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Summer Activities in Vail

I just spent the week in Beaver Creek (near Vail, CO) with some dear friends from Graduate School and had the best time. My friend planned the most perfect time and everyday we had a super fun activity. So if you are going to Vail area during the summer months, or just want to see some highlights of our time, take a look!

 

GOGA — Goat Yoga

 

Goat yoga is basically yoga with goats walking all over your mats and the smell of pee and poo, but it was also really relaxing, a great stretch, and calming to be around the goats.

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Batchworthy

Through a random rabbit hole instagram search (via Mandy Moore, who hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together in a group), I started following Chase Weideman — a dude Influencer. He and his husband created some sauces during quarantine, and what started out as some jars for some friends has turned in to a legitimate business, Batchworthy. Intrigued (and a lover of sauces), I bought two of the six flavors — the Husband Sauce and the Soft Caesar, and am THOROUGHLY HOOKED to both. They deliver locally and ship nationally, and you need to try them out! They are beyond delicious.

 

These sauces go on everything and anything!

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Golden Diner

This past weekend, on our final NYC day before heading out west for the summer, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (our favorite activity) and then had lunch at the Golden Diner. I have read about Golden Diner for many years as it serves classic NY diner dishes that are influenced by the neighborhood, Chinatown. Everything had an Asian spin to it — even the tuna melt.

 

First, the Brooklyn Bridge! And yes, we have a million of these pictures, but I love them….

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Knitting Projects

As many of you know, over the past 12 months, I have become an avid needlepointer. It started as a hobby during COVID lock-down, and now I can’t stop. I love the process (well, actually, sometimes I hate it, but can’t stop) as well as having something tangible when I’m done. It is no surprise that I have the tendency to love creating something with textiles, as my mother has been knitting my entire life. She taught herself during college, and since then, she has a million projects at a time. Mother like daughter, she never sits without a project, and is constantly knitting. She is always running late because she can’t put her knitting down, and I now fully understand why. As a proud daughter, I wanted to share with you all her most recent projects because they are SO different. They are not a sweater or a hat or a scarf, rather they are PILLOWS and a BLANKET. Yes, she knitted pillows! And a blanket!

 

The pillows! Aren’t they divine???

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