My holiday motto: Don’t worry about what you eat from Thanksgiving to Christmas; worry about what you eat from Christmas to Thanksgiving! Am I right?! Long time no blog friends! Life has been busy as it tends to be during the holidays and teaching 25 yoga classes combined with dog sitting and walking, having a puppy, food truck events, not to mention reading, has been taking up my free time. You probably say it every year too but I can never believe how fast the year goes by until Christmas is about to hit… I mean nine days away! Where does the time go? The older I get the faster it goes by and sometimes I wish I had a time machine or the Delorean from Back to the Future to rewind some time. I’ve been encouraging my students to capture and savor the holiday spirit amongst the chaos. My holiday class theme, if you will, has been how we can stop in the stressful moments that family brings on, buying gifts, and all the busyness to take a moment to breathe in the goodness, the stuff that grounds our bodies and nurtures our mind and spirit. So take a moment and practice this mantra: Next year I will inhale _______ , while I will exhale _______.
Believe it or not, I’ve read/listened to a combined 92 books this year and technically the year isn’t even over yet! Everyone asks me how I find the time to read and it’s simple, I don’t watch a lot of TV!!!!!! You should try it! For me, books are so much more memorable than TV shows and I always feel like I’m wasting time when I’m watching something on television unless it’s a brilliant documentary. I also read in the morning while I use the Elliptical at the gym and I read in between classes and while I’m eating lunch. And a good portion of my day is spent in the car so audio books come in handy there; honestly I would die without them. Literally. Here’s my top 11 books from this year (because 10 is never enough!) and if you have something you think I should read, leave it in the comments please!!!
1. The Stranger in the Woods
2. A Dog’s Purpose
3. Breaking Free: How I Escaped My Father Warren Jeffs, Polygamy and the FLDS Cult
4. A Man Called Ove
5. The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin
6. The Sound of Gravel
7. Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial
8. A Wolf At The Table
9. Never Let You Go
10. America Heiress: The Wild Saga of Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
11. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry
Okay onto food! Before I moved to California I had honestly never heard of persimmons never mind how to eat them which can be a feat on its own! The first time I attempted to eat one, I thought it needed to be rock solid like an apple and boy was I wrong. It was gross, hard as a rock and I couldn’t even chew it! Then I did some investigating and it turns out they are suppose to be as mushy as possible like a banana that has been sitting out for far too long. Who knew? Not me, but now they are one of my favorite ingredients to bake with. I made this easy peasy bread recipe for my neighbors for the holidays and it was a big hit. They loved it and hopefully they will return the favor with something homemade too! (hint hint!)
Persimmon Loaf- makes 2 bread pans
-3 cups of fuyu persimmon pureed
-2 large eggs
-1 cup granulated sugar (you can use coconut sugar too!)
-1 T almond extract
-10 T unsalted butter, melted
-2 t baking soda
-2 t cinnamon
-1 t nutmeg
-1/4 t salt
-3 cups flour
-1 and 1/2 cup walnuts
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, sugar and almond extract. I used my Kitchen Aid.
- Mix in the persimmons and puree.
- Melt the butter and add it.
- Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Whisk in the flour until everything is blended. Add in the walnuts last.
- Spray or oil your bread pans and divide the batter evenly.
- Bake on 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks and enjoy!
This last recipe is my ALL TIME FAVORITE holiday treat! It’s the reason I have a holiday motto at all! This may not be good for you but it is OH SO GOOD and you will thank me later when you are all cracked out! LOL!
Christmas Caramel Crack- makes one baking sheet worth
-1 stick of butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 cups chocolate chips
-1 cup pecans
-2 sleeves of Saltines
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet and layer with Saltines.
2. Boil the sugar and butter together and wait until it gets gooey and has a carmel color to it.
3. Pour the carmel mixture over the Saltines. I used a spatula to help smooth it out.
4. Then place in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble.
5. Take the Saltines out and throw the chocolate chips and nuts on top.
6. Refrigerate for a minium of 2-3 hours and then break into small pieces! Your friends will love you for bringing this!
I’m signing off now so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! Don’t sweat the small stuff during the next week and remember the holidays are a time to EAT, DRINK, and BE MERRY!!!! If you’re around this Sunday night, be sure to check out A Christmas Story LIVE on FOX! My youngest yoga student, Sasha Carlson will be playing the role of bully “Skut Farkus” and he couldn’t be better suited to play it!