Team Adventure, Reunited!

This is a post on Life Lately.  Our friend, Brent, flew in last Wednesday night and the three of us have just been having a grand old time back together again doing our usual ridiculous stuff.  One of the last adventures we had together in NH was to hike to the top of Mt. Carrigain on a Friday night, starting around 9 PM and reaching the summit around midnight where we then camped.  You know, normal stuff.  SO, knowing that that kind of nonsense is our M.O., hopefully you won’t think we’re too bananas by the end of this post.

SATURDAY:

We drove down to Santa Cruz Saturday morning since we’re only about an hour away from the beach and the forecast was GORGEOUS (75 and sunny, sorry New England!)  We walked down and around the beach, watched some surfers, hopped some fences, and watched some CRAZY waves for about 3 hours.

My favorite guy getting his photography sea legs, if you will ;)

My favorite guy getting his photography sea legs, if you will 😉

For lunch we drove up Hwy 1 until we found some beach access and ate a picnic of Collin’s homemade Japanese curry (you’ll have to ask him for the recipe or be patient and keep your fingers crossed that I post it here!) while watching dolphins play in the waves.  YEA.  DOLPHINS.  OVER LUNCH.  NO I DIDN’T TAKE ANY PICTURES, WHY DO YOU ASK?

After lunch we drove maybe 30 min to a Redwood grove and basked in the glory of the biggest and bestest trees at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.  We didn’t pay the parking fees, don’t tell!

a Brent Doscher original @ the Redwoods.

a Brent Doscher original @ the Redwoods.

THEN (I know you’re getting tired but stick with me) we drove 4ish hours including a Chipotle break up into the Sierras.  We had originally planned to spend the whole weekend up in the mountains but with the snow the way it was (read: nonexistent), it didn’t seem worth it.  We got to the hotel around 11:30 (I think?) and then went on a nighttime hiking adventure so C and B could play with some nighttime astrophotography.  It was very cold, very dark, and very very awesome.

SUNDAY (I know, you never thought we’d get here):

The boys went snowboarding.  I decided that it wasn’t worth it for me to buy a lift ticket and instead spent some time reading outside in the sunshine (it was 65 degrees out) and took a little snow hike in the afternoon.  Even with the unseasonable warmth, there was still several inches of snow cover everywhere and I couldn’t make it very far without snowshoes.  But heck, any day is a good day to be outside!

Snowy, solo woods exploring.  My feet got really wet.

Snowy, solo woods exploring. My feet got really wet.

MONDAY:

After work we drove up for dinner in SF.  We went to Herbivore which was not bad but not great.  The key to a Great vegan restaurant is that they don’t try to be Not vegan.  Like, having Penne and “Meatballs” on your menu is not something a Great vegan restaurant would do.  Still, it is a good compromise to go to these types of vegan restaurants when you are hosting non-vegans.  But I digress.

After dinner we drove around the city for a bit.  We drove down Lombard Street which I had never heard of before and which was a little terrifying.  Our end game was driving over the Golden Gate and up into the Marin Headlands park for more night photo taking.  It was such a calm, warm night it felt like summer time stomping around the park.  We were there until about 11:30 PM and then had an hour drive home.  Worth the exhaustion, without a doubt.

Brent's asking me to stand awkwardly in his pictures has totally gone to my head/I'm a model.

Brent’s asking me to stand awkwardly in his pictures has totally gone to my head/I think I could really make it as a professional model.

Probably the most exciting part of my weekend was making Brent’s website portfolio with my Stance in the Redwoods.  Check out the rest of his work at www.brentdoscher.com.  He’s real good with a camera.

Also check out Collin’s blog soon, he’s got a lot of sick shots waiting to be posted as well.  I assume.  This could be awkward if he never puts them on the internet……………………………

It’s been so so great having a friend here to explore our new turf with.  I’m looking forward to more visitors and for repeat trips (cough Brent cough)!

2015 and a Quinoa Salad

Hi Hello!  I’m back!  Sorry for the 3 month hiatus.  In between moving across the country (lol yea I live in California now) and the holidays, this kind of fell to the wayside.  BUT it’s a new year and life has sort of normalized now so I’m back in the game.

I thought about doing a quick life update here, but the longer I waited, the more intimidating that post became.  So I’m not going to do that and instead I’m going to point you in the direction of my boyfriend’s blog because he HAS been keeping up with updates!  So if you want to know what moving to California was like, check out seahuston.blogspot.com.

AND NOW: THE POST.  And a little background because obviously.

With Collin’s new job at Apple, he travels a lot and by a lot I mean minimum 10 trips per year to China for a week and a half at a time.  That’s a lot of Katherine time especially since we don’t really know anyone out here yet.  So!  I’ve been cooking!  One, so I don’t starve and two, because it’s fun to find a recipe and take the time to make it good!

Without further ado, this is what I made myself for dinner two nights ago!

Quinoa with zuchinni, mint, cranberries, and walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ¼” rounds
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • mint to taste
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions in the white wine and water mixture.
  2. Once the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
  3. In a heavy pan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini rounds and cook until browned on each side and tender, about 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt to taste, and remove from heat and set aside

    Cooking the zucchini!

    Cooking the zucchini!

  4. In a small bowl combine the shallots, vinegar and olive oil and whisk together.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa and the olive oil mixture, tossing to coat the quinoa. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
  6. Gently fold in the zucchini, walnuts, dried cranberries and fresh mint. Transfer to a serving platter.

    My quinoa bowl!

    My quinoa bowl!

I was really pleased with how this recipe turned out!  It accomplished that great vegan balance of being satisfying but not heavy and over filling.  Also, I think I might add craisins to everything from now on because yum.

This recipe was adapted from the recipe on Heather Christo’s blog.  She’s not exclusively vegan, but I’ve found some really great options there!  Check out her Spicy Thai Noodle Soup!

Until next time, blog-sphere!

Resolution-ing

Two thousand fifteen.  We are as far away from 2000 as we are now from 2030.  I don’t remember where I heard that after Christmas but it blew my mind.  I remember the 1999-2000 New Year’s.  I was in 3rd grade, Oregon Trail was still good, I exchanged Best Friends necklaces with someone for the first time.  To think that I am now living exactly in between that Katherine and 2030 Katherine is equal parts frightening and exciting.

Anyway!  January!  Latin: ianuarius, named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions.  Funny how these things work out, ain’t it?  2014 was a doozy of a year.  We moved twice, the second time all the way across the country.  I left my first big girl job and got another one, this time (hopefully) more aligned with what I’d like to do long-term career wise.   I (maybe) figured out what I want to do long-term career wise.  Collin and have now spent our longest time apart since we moved in together.  Presently, he’s halfway done a two week trip to China for work.  I ran a 5k.  Like I said, a doozy.

Thus, 2014 ended.  On NYE actually we went to bed at 11 PM and woke up at 11 AM.  So we started 2015 on a GREAT, fully rested foot.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that the year continues to follow that pattern because man alive, I felt like a million bucks that morning.

And so we come to the the traditional resolution making segment!  The thing about resolutions is that I have this problem of thinking about them as a success vs. failure thing.  If I make this resolution in January, and December Katherine can’t make it happen, then what does that mean?  Does that mean my whole year was a bust?  Classic Katherine to put that much pressure on something that’s not intended that way and to see things as black and white, right and wrong, success and failure.

This year I’m going to try to keep my resolutions a little grayer, and little more flexible, a little me forgiving. And with that: the resolutions or whatever!

Fitness

  • Work towards running a 10k by the time I’m 24
  • Keep doing yoga and learn how to do an armstand

Intellectual

  • Take some technical writing classes, maybe complete a full course
  • Read new books instead of always re-reading old ones

Culinary

  • Perfect JUST ONE vegan baking recipe (because cookies, man, I miss them)

Financial

  • Stick to a savings plan because my bank account is very very sad after a month of unemployment/moving across the country
  • Curb the impulse spending

Personal

  • Stay happy.  Above all things, stay happy.
Kennebunk Beach, Christmas Day 2014

Kennebunk Beach, Christmas Day 2014

Merry 2015, babes, and good luck resolution-ing.