Tuesday, August 31, 2010

summer pesto party.

tonight, on the drive home, all i could think was green beans... maybe a quick, hot saute/steam of walnut & olive oil.... ocean loves them, it's fast, it works... but i had no idea what else.. then when i got home, i saw the spaghetti, the lima beans i bought at the market on sunday from mcgrath farms and i just started making everything because it was the hour i tell you mamas NEVER to cook...it was dinner time!

and it was going to be just a plain beans and pasta mixture... it wasn't sating me.... then i thought: pesto! so i looked up a really EASY pesto recipe and had it done in a matter of seconds... i couldn't believe how easy and fast this little party became... i had the basics (which is the essential piece to all of this/RM pantry)... basil, pinenuts, olive oil, garlic, salt & parmesan cheese..... mix everything together in a BIG bowl and wallah... it was so good! ocean couldn't keep his sweet hands outta there!

OH! and i would use capellini next time (thinner is better for this i think)... or some other pasta....experiment and let me know what happens... see you in the kitchenxxx

PESTO (alice waters)

1 cup loose leaves basil
1/4 cup parmesan grated (if you have shredded put it in the cuisineart/just make sure you put more in)
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/2 - 1 clove garlic depending on what you love
1/2 cup oilve oil (to taste)
salt (to taste)

i put all of this in the cuisinart.... mix it up and done. this made enough for 4 - 6 people...xxx

Sunday, August 29, 2010

prayer poem.

"whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray"
mary oliver

praying with my wrist
these words
this ink

praying to the morning
that it made it here

prayer is thank you

praying is breathing a lot
of the day &
there are so many sounds
of a prayer

it can be silent or
it can be the whisk
hitting the side of the bowl
like it means business
and this thing is going to come out whipped

there is so much to learn
when we get quiet
like this

we make room for the prayers
that want to come in

i want everyone to know
their own story -
begin sharing them
with a wooden spoon

telling the tales of those bowls in the hutch
stirring corn, leeks,
salted butter

creating a home
framed in an aroma of protection
a scent shield

believing in this creating
what goes in our bellies
makes us shine


Thursday, August 26, 2010


there is nothing like a lot of FOOD to get me in the mood for abundance.... and there is so much in our lives, our times, our nation that connects us to lack, fear of more lack, void and hardly making it through the week whatever your situation.... here is the answer to that energy drainer: big bowls of FOOD!!!

bowls YOU LOVE... and lots of oranges, lemons, limes... you can juice all of these...zebra tomatoes.. you can make sauce or gazpacho... don't be afraid to have A LOT.. you know you want it.. why not do it? food can replace that fancy flower arrangement.... here is a tip: usually the more you buy at the market of one thing, say oranges, tomatoes, lemons, avocadoes... the farmers will give you the love... so happy you are buying so much..

you can also hit em' with a 'i love your 'fill in the blanks' and i send everyone here to get these... can you give me some love if i buy a lot of them?' ... whoa! don't get all shy shy... connect to that woman inside...yes.. her.. you know her.. the one that loves the beauty of abundance.... i know she's in there... listen.. they want to give you their food! so let them by asking for a little deal... it never hurts to ask... start with one bowl... and go from there. welcome to your abundant renaissance mama self... see you in the kitchenxxx

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

first stop: newport beach.

last friday, i had the pleasure to be invited to the cozy kitchen of fellow renaissance mama, kim powell, who inspires her friends and family because she believes in the nurturing piece of being connected to food in an intimate way...
she travels up to the RM thursday gatherings to be fed this conversation of nourishment when she can get away from her 3 beautiful babes, 2 horses & 3 chickens... and now i was on my way down to her kitchen to empower and inspire a few of her mama friends and start the renaissance mama conversation a buzzing in the OC (which really fed me too!) here are some photos elizabeth took at the gathering... it was intimate, fun & it tasted so good that i had to share... see you in the kitchenxxx

Thursday, August 19, 2010

what's it gonna take?

this is my question for the day: what is it going to take to make the shift from this....

to this....

three or more times a day we think about eating, feeding, filling, we make a decision about food.... buying it, eating it, where are we getting it, how are we going to eat it and for most of us we think about it at the time the hunger strikes... i call this the witching hour: so dangerous and absolutely preventable! we have to start thinking about food as something that FLOWS like air, money, kindness & FOOD!

it just keeps going... we eat, we have more food around, we eat, we make food, we gather food, we eat again.... if we think about it as something that starts and stops....we are almost annoyed that it's back again..."what a pain! we just ate!" and then with our babes, layers of emotion & these hidden, (sometimes) secretive expecations on ourselves it becomes a nightmare... "take out!"

and then it starts again tomorrow...

guess what? we have to eat. we have these incredible bodies that do amazing things for us: make babies, walk, run, breathe and fight etc... and if we eat to fill, grab, just get it done, frustrated, shame, annoyed etc.. then we will not only exude that but we are living deep inside of it... it's in our cells, it's in our fat, it's in everything we create... our babes, our families, our homes, our kitchens....

how about this idea.. if it's gorgeous, fresh, not too far away & easy... how about you say we begin to date it? lets go on a date with our food... then pretty quickly (b/c it's so fun and you are feeling so loved) we go steady and move in together. no more texting or dating food as though it's something out there in the universe that just happens whenever it does.... we actually think about a commitment, a ceremony with food, a ritual.... it becomes a part of your fabric, the one you create for YOU and your family (with support, inspiration & know how), it becomes your life....who you are, what you do, you begin to see it differently, create it, share it, create an intimacy with it.

this is self-care.

for you this could be facing the deepest fears, there are so many pieces to it for all of us... when do you think we can start the shift? what do you think it will take? as you go everyday, so challenged by the constant interruption of food...

i can hear you: "i have no time for this!"

we must make the time. if food makes our bodies go, stay alive and do all the other things we DO have time for.. how can we not have time for food? how can we not be spending the majority of our precious time having the food around? the best food that is...

i would love to hear your thoughts.....on the fb page or here on the blog if so inspired as i want to start these conversations....i want to hear what you think, what you want, how we can make this happen for you and those you know in this situation... i am incredibly curious about this shift... this beauty just waiting in mid air to come down and grace you with it's abundance and nourishing gifts... FOOD and you.... lets get it on.

see you in the kitchenxxx

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

thursday gathering.

speaking of self care... if you are in los angeles and can squeeze, puncture, press, flatten out the time to be fed, to trust that your time is worthy of YOU and your need for self-care... AND you yearn to be inspired, nourished & all good feelings under the sun... come by my kitchen, this thursday at 10:30 and allow me the honor to feed you. see you soonxxx

*for more info as to where and how to rsvp just reply to this... xxx*

Monday, August 16, 2010

self care.

i want to start up a little chat about self-care. it's so hard to approach this topic because it has so much riding on it... from the minute you say it, think it, dream it...it's wrapped in layers of ancestory, emotion, cells, stories & even poetry...and while
everyone is nodding their heads in agreement about 1/3 of us (if that) take the leap to truly care for ourselves, to do something we yearn to do, to sate our hunger in this way.... why do you think that is? oh... wait before you get your list out... let me share what i see and hear...so we can cross out all the excuses that overlap and maybe get to something juicy.

no time
no money
no support to watch the babes (no money)
no support from my husband (doesn't see the point)
too tired to make the plan, the time, the space
too scared to leave the baby

i am sure there are more specific ones to your home & family etc.. but these are at the top of the list... and the top two battle each other out on a daily basis as they seem to hang out way too much together. AND THEN....we walk into a room where everyone is put into groups... the main theme in this room is what are you willing to give yourself? and the mamas and women are divided into groups:

what can you change in order to receive?
how comfortable do you feel receiving?
what is the cost of your sanity?
how long will you wait to care for yourself?
things like this (and please add to these if you are so inspired).....

i see so many women & mamas who are desperate for some lovin' and yet really have a problem giving it to themselves and then the ones that make the time, have the help and create the self-care piece in their lives feel guilty especially when sharing it with another friend.OY!!

can we change this?!?!?! i mean.. HELP!!! here is the deal.. of course if we all had consistent incomes, full time help, naps with our kids, budgetless budgets & more vacations... life would be a dream or would it? would we self-care even then? i am not sure.. but there is no point in WAITING for the self-care because it doesn't come with the money bag you are waiting for to drop down on the roof (believe me... i am the first one in line)....

i started a company for mamas & women who are starving for this self-care piece (we are all in it)... i saw the void in my community... i felt the poetry of shame(hate to cook, love to defrost), the internal lack (i just can't do it, too much going on), the guilt in the kitchen (broccoli and pasta anyone?), the creativity just holding itself steady in the air while we fill the mouths, just get it done, GO, GO, GO with the most messy desires to slow down but no ability to do it... no time...no money...no support....and here came renaissance mamas...

if there is anyone that understands that list more than you... it's me and i can't do this alone. renaissance mamas is not a solo journey. it includes all of us. it's a movement in the community. i put it out there, i will lead the way, i will take us from the dark into the light and i need you to join me....lets start supporting each other to make the time for you, redefining what is important to you, what sates you, fills you up with something substantial & deep...

lets connect on self-care and support each other to do it. for RM, the fire is in the kitchen.... it's where we can gather, connect, nourish and feed each other in this way.... it does not take the money bag... it will take a shift, a change in what is important, an investment in self-care....

i am open & on tour to come to your kitchen with your communities, i have a class that is donation based out of my kitchen & i am creating ways for ALL of us to have this piece... please dive in, take the leap & get on the bus with me. it's an amazing ride... changing our culture, one mama, one kitchen, one family at time... see you in the kitchenxxx

Saturday, August 14, 2010

strawberry pops.

what is summer without strawberry popsicles? especially ones that are SO easy made at home... i got this popsicle maker at william sonoma.. i was on a conscious & fast search for something simple, made in the USA, and not plastic... i didn't totally succeed in my mission b/c i had a certificate for WS, the desire for popsicles was incredibly high & i gave in... so here we are... and all that is important to my almost 4 year old...is that it works! this little mixture includes 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup milk and maybe some sugar to taste...blend together with love! (i told you it was fast!)

if there are some other fast ones out there.. please share! the reason why we don't need a lot is because the milk (strauss organic cream top) and strawberries (harry's berries) we gather for this are the best...they are the sweetest and creamiest... so it's not about fast in the gathering.... it's about quality when it comes to getting the best your belly deserves even with something as simple as strawberry pops. see you in the kitchenxxx

Friday, August 13, 2010

alyssa leal.

a few weeks ago.. alyssa came over with her various cameras in hand to talk about renaissance mamas...the communal conversation of mamahood, sating self in order to nurture other, creating a place to nourish our creativity in the kitchen...and getting a cuisineart! it was inspiring & fun! here is some of her story.... see you in the kitchenxxx
(and the top photo of just my teeth... ocean took that one ;) !

alyssa leal is a mama who approaches family photography (weddings, pregnancy photos, children, families, grandparents..) as an art form. "I am hoping to create images of the familiy or couples' beautiful and poignant moments..not just to capture it or document it. I use both digital and film (small, medium and on occasion, large format) in this pursuit...I don't create or stage moments, but rather I prefer to wait for the natural moments to emerge in their own loveliness.."

check her out at: www.alyssaleal.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010


i spotted this book the other day at my sweet neighbor anna's house.... and anything with the words mom & finally for some reason caught my eye. then i saw it was written by ruth reichl (editor and creator of gourmet magazine and many other books).

these days, it seems almost impossible to sit down and read an entire book in a year, let alone one sitting (or laying ;) but this is a tiny book of about 120 pages.. they are really 1/2 pages and it's almost impossible to not dive in and want to finish it all in an hour or so... my desire had the best of me and i couldn't move until i finished it.

it's a story of a woman and a generation of women who were stunted, stopped, cornered between the dreams of their youth and what was 'right for women' to do at that time.... only a few got out on the other side... her mother wanted ruth to be nothing like her... repeating that sentiment her whole life... to make sure to follow her dreams, not to sacrifice for anyone or anything, to reach for the stars...

i didn't put it down and want to fly to the moon...what it did was very simple and quiet....it made me want to clarify all that i want, to simply highlight the vital parts of my dreams....

pick it up if you get a chance & see you in the kitchenxxx

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


opening yourself up to
strawberry figs
chilled soups
nourishing this piece in you
and me

it's like magic in here
grounding in
the gratitude
trees bearing fruit
trees all around
trees reaching

just allowing yourself
just giving permission
to be fed
to (maybe) learn another way
even if you have a map

this magic