Author: the natural ginger

A Whole30 February

If you might have noticed, and as I drew attention to earlier this month, 2015 was not a great blogging year for me, or if I’m being honest, particularly good in general as it pertained to food, fitness, creativity or any of the other snippets of Ginger I generally share around here.  The calendar was jam-packed with events and my health wasn’t the greatest. I was hit by a car in April that I’m still fighting to bounce back from, dealt with a broken toe (a surprisingly disruptive injury!) in August, and a kidney infection in October. Fun. TMI? Complaining? Maybe a little, but what’s a blog if not a little personal? Ups and downs are real. The point is pulling your shit together once you realize that it’s happening. As ShareABitOfLove told me recently:  The last year saw a dramatic decrease in my dedication to exercise and a moderate increase in my wine consumption (let’s be honest, the wine devotion always ran deep). I believe in balance but right now the scale is about ready to stop using numbers and just give …

Sous Vide Scallops

I’m a sucker for a gadget, but I haven’t been this excited for a kitchen appliance since my Vitamix arrived. I first learned what sous vide cooking was from Top Chef and have been obsessed with the idea of the technique ever since. My parents gifted me with the Gourmet Digital Sous Vide Pod Immersion Circulator Precision Cooker and I obviously couldn’t wait to start playing around with it.  I’ve spent most my time on http://www.seriouseats.com to get ideas on temps and technique. I started with scallops. Quick. Simple (allegedly). I coated it with some salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic after giving them a quick rinse, and followed the directions for getting them airtight in a plastic bag. With a sous vide set to 51 C I was ready to cook. By cook I mean set my alarm for 30 minutes and walk away. Once they were cooked, I heated some butter to brown and dried the scallops from the bit of liquid that cooked out so they would take a quick sear. About 30 seconds …

::tap, tap:: Is this thing on?

Hello, 2016! How are you? I’m good. I mean, not that you would know that, since evidently I posted exactly twice last year. Twice. That is terrible, mostly because I adore my little corner of the internet and everyone that choses to share it with me (and there were a LOT of you) even if I’m absent. So, against my better judgement, I DO have a resolution this year. I promise myself to hang out here more often. Share more recipes. Explore more crafts. Spend more time seeing what my other favorite bloggers are up to. Take more photos AND share them beyond a hard drive. I already feel like I’m getting ahead of myself. I also think I’m already behind. I just made a New Year’s Resolution on January 8th. In the interest of getting back on the blogging bandwagon, I’ll start with a few of my favorite things: best friends, family, babies, dogs, home, holidays and snow. That’s right, ShareABitOfLove has a bundle on board and she let me take some super fun photos of …

Coffee House Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s 34 and raining outside.  If I have to deal with this weather, I’m going to eat my way to happy. This morning, happy came in the form of muffins. Coffee house style chocolate chip muffins, to be specific.   You know the kind… that sit temptingly behind that glass with a crisp, rustic outside, that coarse raw sugar glistening under the soft lighting, a soft chewy inside…Yeah, those kind of muffins. Like all of my baked goods, I started with my personal favorite (self created) flour blend, and sifted all of the dry ingredients together twice.  It takes an extra minute, but it’s worth it.  In another bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients, then slowly incorporate the dry. Baked Goods 101.  The batter will be thick. Add chocolate chips. Obviously. I wanted a ‘meal sized’ muffin, so I dived the batter into four in a large muffin pan.  You could make a lot more than that, but there’s a joy in starting Saturday with a muffin the size of your face. Pop them in to a 425 preheated …

Identity Crisis Risotto

I don’t even totally know how to get back in to this blogging thing after my hiatus. I spend more time on here trying to welcome myself back than I do actually writing, and my resolution was to spend more time here. Now that I’m home and we have about 72 feet of snow, I can assure you that’s about to happen.  I have so much to tell you about Australia, my food, my workouts, and more pictures of recipes and dogs begging to be shared that I can’t even start to count. I couldn’t come up with a name for this. With the cilantro, lime and avocado, is it Mexican? A little. But it’s risotto – definitively Italian.  And then what’s with the poached egg? Totally French last I checked.  Identity crisis, I’m telling you. Here’s the recipe. I’ll share more later (like the lamb chops and mussels from Melbourne!). Ingredients – Makes 4 Servings (only 1 serving proportions pictured) 1 cup Arborio Rice 2 tbs Butter 4 cups Chicken Stock 2 Limes 1 Bunch Cilantro …

DIY Cinnamon Stick Music Scroll Ornament

Did you know it’s Christmas in 10 days? Me neither. This year has flown by, but with all of the chaos events of the last year, I’ve never been more excited to embrace the holidays. Part of embracing the season? I’m participating in my first ever Blogger Ornament Exchange organized by one of my favorite local bloggers, Christina of Hungry Meets Healthy.  I was super excited when I got paired with Sarah of SarahMidgleySax.com. In her blogger pairing notes she noted the following interests:  Running, Rock Climbing, Music, Saxophone, Beer, Vegetarian Cooking, And The Color Purple Oh I’ve totally got this! We like so many of the same things! Except… nothing. I got nothing. For the last two weeks I’ve wandered aimless trying to think about how to incorporate her interests into a cute, heartfelt Christmas ornament.  To say I’ve been drawing a blank is an understatement.  There was a moment when I thought I might actually figure out how to make a rock into an ornament (I mean, rock climbing right? Just no. Stop …

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Obviously these are gluten free – they’d really ruin my Thanksgiving if they weren’t – but it doesn’t seem fair to label them in a way that could imply that they’re anything short of awesome, perfectly chewy, with a just-crunchy-enough edge cookie – a universally loved treat. Now, I had never made this recipe, and in addition to it being a first round go, I was in a bit of a hurry and made modifications along the way that had me guessing as to whether this would be bloggable or simply good-enough-to-get-my-sugar-high-post-turkey. Why do you care? I didn’t take any photos along the way.  When I make these again (I definitely will) perhaps I’ll update the post with a step by step (I probably won’t). So, if you have questions, post them below or email info@thenaturalginger.com. Adapted to be gluten free and amazing from Alton Brown’s The Chewy Recipe on Food.com

“Cream” of Mushroom Soup

Ok, fine. It’s cauliflower and celery soup with some mushrooms thrown in, but does that sound nearly as good? No.  I feel like cauliflower went from trendy to lame when people figured out that it is not, in fact, a russet potato. (It’s ok, guys. I was disappointed too.)  But that doesn’t mean it can’t be valuable as a kitchen stable when trying to manage your calories, fat, carbs – you name it. The only carbohydrates in this come from vegetables, and it’s got so much fiber that it’s *almost* like eating nothing. It doesn’t taste like nothing. It’s rich and creamy and earthy and all the things that I want a creamy soup to be.  If I hadn’t made this in my own kitchen, I still wouldn’t be convinced that it’s free of all starch and dairy products, but it is.  Miracles DO happen. I’m over hyping this soup. Just try it – for the nutrition exchange, you’d be hard pressed to do better. Need something more to crunch on? Add some more sauteed …

Dear Yogis: I can’t take it anymore

Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga? I’ve been (inconsistently) practicing for almost 2 years now, and sometimes when I mention I’m going, people ask me if it’s “fun”.  Um, no. Not at all. I do not consider pushing my muscles beyond their flexibility wearing next to nothing next to a bunch of other sweaty people for 90 minutes fun (call me a party pooper). I do not go to class for “fun” – I go for the consistency of programming and the feeling of invincibility I get afterwards.  I know, it’s very anti-yogi to go into class with a this-is-gonna-suck attitude – I’m working on it.  So when I came back from a 3 week binge of conferences, company, cross country flights and a lower back and gut that were just not going to be quick to forgive my traveling transgressions, I decided I needed to commit myself to a few weeks of Bikram restoration.  It helps my mind, spine and systems from the inside out, even if the 90 minutes are pure torture. Currently, …

DIY Burt’s Bees Copycat Lip Balm

It’s November and, from what I’ve been told, snowing in Boston.  I was ready for summer to be over but I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to fall.  I was lucky to wrap up October with the treat of having ShareABitOfLove out in Boston last week, but she left for home with us both having a laundry list of incomplete crafts that just simply couldn’t be fit in while sharing the loft with boys. Luckily, I have the treat of sandwiching my conference next week with two weekends at home. TWO! So of course, this weekend brought some tipsy Saturday night projects. While she was in Boston, we made a pretty flimsy attempt at lip balm, but it turned out well enough for us to invest in the proper inventory to make it for real.  The result? Pretty much a copycat of Burt’s Bee’s Classic Lip Balm. I’m feeling pretty psyched about the result. Step One: Pour a glass of wine in the glasses that used to be the only two wine glasses of your Seattle apartment.  …