what keeps me grin'n

i can't imagine a more peaceful way to start the new year than in a cabin on my favorite island with one of my favorite people. we left behind the hustle and bustle of the holidays for a weeklong trip to doe bay on orcas island to celebrate the new year. orcas this time of year is so peaceful and quite. shops close up. the campgrounds are empty. the mountain road is closed. the lake is still and calm without swimmers and cliff divers. but the new year caused a gleeful buzz on the island... mainlanders were visiting for the weekend to attend the doe bay folk music festival, and the islanders were lining up at rose's bakery in eastsound to stock up on bread and cheeses before they closed for the month of january. we stocked our cabin full of rose's original fruit and nut crackers, their home-made granola and fabulous garlic-parsley-walnut bread and spent the week concocting delicious meals from a tiny cabin kitchenette. on new years eve we dined at doe bay's cafe, a true gem of a restaurant and then danced the night away along to some fun folk bands. the cafe poured everyone some damn good bubbly, my lips were kissed, and i couldn't stop grinning, knowing that this new year would surly be a good one. 

our cabin ~ my feet on a beach ~ harmony chai ~ view from eastsound

my body needed the vacation. a week to relax and sleep in. read a darling foodie book. soak in a hot tub and warm my bones in a sauna. sip my favorite orcas-made harmony chai. drum and practice yoga outdoors. so invigorating! i relish that tingling sensation of feeling inspired. inspired to pursue more in life. so my mantra for the year follows a short film quote: "if i only scrape a living, at least it's a living worth scraping. if there's no future in it, at least it's a present  worth remembering." 

after the new year, i started a cleanse. a way to clear and reset my system. it's a food-based cleanse with no gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol or caffein. i promise it's easier than you might think. especially when there are recipes like this one to enjoy! 

kale "benedicts" for two: 
1 large bunch fresh kale, any type
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 ripe avocado
4 eggs
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
pinch chili flakes
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 savory pecan-rosemary biscuits, recipe to follow. 

in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over med-high head. tear kale into 2" pieces and toss into pan. use tongs to toss the kale in the oil, cooking until the kale is crispy and slightly wilted. i prefer my kale crisp, rather than steamed, but it's up to you! you could place a cover over it to steam if you wish. 

bring two inches of water to boil in a small sauce pan. once it comes to a boil, lower the temperature back to a low simmer so that there are gentle little bubbles. crack an egg into a small cup. then start to stir the water with a large spoon to start a whirl pool motion. stop stirring for a second and lower the egg into the water from the cup, gently! the whirl pool will help keep your egg whites together. let cook for a few minutes and then scoop out the egg with a slotted spoon. test it with your finger for done-ness. if you want it firmer, plop it back in for a minute or two. cook to your desired firmness. easiest to cook one egg at a time. 

to construct your "benedicts," pile on a few avocado slices onto a savory biscuit. top with heap of crispy kale and plop a poached egg on top dusted with parsley, chili flakes, salt and pepper. 

may i also just point out the amazing cutting board my father built for me as a christmas gift? love!!

savory pecan-rosemary biscuits :
ecipe adapted from roostblog.com

1 1/4 cup almond flour 
2 cups raw pecans (or 1 1/2 cup pecan flour) 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

preheat oven to 350 degrees. in food processor, pulse pecans until they form the consistency of almond meal (and not peanut butter!) add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse to combine. transfer dough onto a work surface dusted with remaining 1/4 cup almond meal. knead dough until it is not too sticky. add more almond flour if the dough is still too sticky to roll out. using a rolling pin, roll dough to a bit thicker than one inch. use a biscuit cutter or the sharp edge of a cup or measuring cup to cut biscuits into 2"ish rounds. bake on parchment paper for 20-25 minutes until the bottoms start to turn a light toasty brown. *these biscuits are great for freezing! make a bunch, and freeze them to have on hand for breakfasts.