September 5, 2012

Too much skydiving and not enough blogging

I feel like I’ve been failing all my readers! I’ve been jumping more than ever this season and have done about 130 jumps since March! That’s nothing for lots of skydivers, but for me it’s a lot! I’ve also been traveling a lot to boogies in order to jump. In early August when I last blogged, I was about to go to Skydive Chicago for Summerfest! A couple weekends ago I was at Skydive Oregon for the All of the Above Boogie. What’s a boogie? Think lots of skydivers, lots of jumps, lots of food, and lots of booze. Something along those lines. I’ve recently discovered that describing skydiving to non-skydivers is rather difficult! I’m attending a couple more boogies this year before I hibernate in the tunnel during the winter.

Remember how I’ve always said that skydivers have the best BBQs? Well Skydive Oregon actually found two Hawaiians so that we could have Kalua pork. Real Kalua pork. From the ground! The meat was just falling off the bone! It was delicious and very much paleo.

20120905-221927.jpg

20120905-221945.jpg

20120905-222009.jpg

20120905-222042.jpg

Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to stay paleo whenever I go to boogies. Dropzones tend to be located in the middle of nowhere and you eat what you can find!

Here’s a video from the Oregon boogie. See if you can spot me! I’m the one in all black with the pretty turquoise and black rig (the backpack thing).

I haven’t been cooking anything new lately so I haven’t had much to post. I’ll try to be more creative with my food choices this next week so I can start blogging again!

One more thing – I started Bikram yoga again after too many months off. My first time back was horrific. I thought I was going to pass out! It was like alternating waves of nausea and euphoria. I still managed to feel a body high despite feeling super sick! I’m definitely not in hot yoga shape anymore, but I’m working on it again!

August 1, 2012

Summer Grilling Ideas?

I would really like to grill more often while it’s still nice outside. The only thing is that I am not creative when it comes to grilling. Burgers, sausages, salmon, steaks (which I prefer to be finished in a super hot oven anyway),  and kabobs can get pretty boring. I’ve recently tried to switch it up a little and try something new.

Swordfish
I bought a swordfish steak for the first time and had no idea what to do with it! Since I was too hungry to look for recipes or marinate it, I decided to throw it on the grill with just a bit of salt and pepper. Then I threw on some mango salsa that I bought prepackaged at Whole Foods. Can I just say that I make way better mango salsa than WF? This was super simple and kind of boring, but totally satisfying. This swordfish steak was massive!

 

What do you do with your swordfish?
 

Pork Chops

I usually roast or pan cook my pork chops so this was my first time using the grill. I wish I had thought to grill the nectarines and onions! That would have been amazing. Instead I was boring and just cooked those up in a pan with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar. Fresh basil on top. This is one of my favorite ways to eat pork chops! I think I will do that next. Maybe grill some pineapple as well!

What are your favorite grilling recipes (especially for fish and pork)?? Send me some ideas!

I’m going to be on my way to Chicago in less than 6 hours for the Summerfest Boogie!! Boogies are basically skydiver conventions/events/parties. I’m super excited to skydive for 5 days straight with my friends from all over the country. They’re also attempting a new vertical world record where they hope to have 142 people head down in a formation. I won’t be on that, but I am super excited to support my friends and watch from the ground! Hopefully I can be on the women’s world record coming up and maybe the next world record! I’ll be back on Sunday night. I am camping the whole time at the dropzone so I’m a little worried about my food choices there. We’ll see how it goes!

July 30, 2012

My first BASE jumps

When I first started skydiving, I thought for sure that I would want to try BASE jumping. What skydiver doesn’t? BASE jumping has become increasingly visible in just the last few years. It’s featured in all sorts of movies and commercials, not to mention all over youtube, for your viewing entertainment. Almost starts to look safe and accessible! Almost. Because it’s not at all safe or accessible. I’ve given BASE jumping a lot of thought for the past 6 years. I ultimately rationalize the choices I make based on risk vs. reward when it comes to my hobbies. Skydiving to me has relatively little risk with unbelievable amounts of reward. I feel much more in danger driving in a car than I do jumping out of aircraft. They do say driving to the drop zone is the most dangerous part of your skydive! I knew BASE jumping had very high risk, but how much reward?

I had the opportunity to find out for my birthday back in May. I took a first jump course in Twin Falls, ID from one of the best teachers in the sport. I like structure and lots of information, which is exactly what I received from the Snake River BASE Academy. When the time came for my first jump, I felt like I was on my very first tandem skydive again! Having no idea what to expect and pretty excited, but strangely not feeling fear or nervousness. Just like on my first tandem, I kept waiting for the fear to hit me and it never did. The Perrine Bridge is 486 feet high (that’s pretty high!), BASE jumping is legal year round, and the landing area is huge. Plus I had thought about it for many years, had around 450 skydives at that point, knew lots of BASE jumpers, and felt like I had learned enough from the course to make my very first jump. I felt as comfortable as you can possible be before jumping off a bridge.

And then I jumped!

How cute is this beer from a local brewery? It’s called the Knutkase!

I’ve always loved the feeling of falling, so it wasn’t a surprise that I LOVED LOVED LOVED the falling part in BASE jumping. I always feel so free when I am falling and I find the feeling in your stomach to be very pleasant! Unlike bungee jumping where the bungee softly stretches out to stop you and takes you bouncing again, you are VERY abruptly stopped by a VERY fast opening parachute. Ouch. I think it opens in like a hundred feet? (In comparison, my skydiving canopy takes about 1000 feet to flutter open.) Then you get to fly a huge canopy to landing, that part was of course pretty familiar. I can detect a slight bit of adrenaline, but for the most part it’s all about the falling for me. So are the very real risks of death, serious injury, and arrest worth the few seconds of falling??

Maybe.

I’m still trying to decide what role BASE jumping will play in my life. I made a return trip to the Perrine Bridge and also jumped from a 250′ antenna/power tower at home last month. I finally felt pretty nervous on the antenna jump. The climbing part was fine. The slowly putting myself into place on the exit point with nothing to hold on to and lots of bars to hit if I lost my balance and fell to my death part? Not so fine. But again, once I committed to go, I felt totally in control and very much free. It feels like a (very short) escape from reality and I like that.

I don’t think 19 jumps from just two objects is really enough for me to know anything. I’m going to give myself a jump from a building and a jump from a cliff to decide. Maybe I’ll retire after I get my BASE number. I understand that there are many ways to minimize the risk involved, which is the only way I would even consider keeping this as a hobby. But that’s probably like trying to keep blackberry bushes pruned back or keeping an elephant in a toddler playpen. I would only jump easy objects?? Except I would crave more challenge after a while, which could end really badly. So who knows. I’m sure my mother (who is probably reading this) would really appreciate it if I never ever jumped again.

I look pretty good in THE CHEETAH though!

July 29, 2012

Bacon and Scallop Scramble

Besides all of my paleo eggs benedict creations, my favorite breakfasts have been seafood scrambles and omelettes! If you haven’t already, check out my Dungeness Crab Scramble and my Shrimp and Chives Omelette.

My newest one uses scallops! I’ve never been a big fan of bacon wrapped scallops; I don’t usually care for the bacon and scallop flavor combination. Apparently all I had to do was throw in some eggs to really like it! Probably because I’m not one of those “bacon makes everything better!” weirdos people. I’m one of the “bacon is only good for breakfast or on burgers or around dates” people.

Bacon and Scallop Scramble

Ingredients:
– 1 slice of (uncured, low sodium, nitrate free, blah blah blah) bacon
– 1 large wild-caught sea scallop, chopped OR .5 cup or those little bay scallops
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
– Black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
– Fresh basil, chopped

Directions:
Add the shallots and the bacon in the pan and start cooking! When the bacon is about half done, add the scallops and the eggs. Scramble scramble! Season, add fresh basil, and enjoy!

Second blog post in one day, fourth in a week! I think this means that I’m officially back to blogging regularly! Hooray!

July 29, 2012

Paleo-friendly Chocolate Chip Muffins – Recipe in progress

This is a recipe in progress! After my success in making delicious paleo muffins including banana berry and pumpkin pecan, I decided to try making chocolate chip muffins!

I’ve made really tasty chocolate chip cookies in the past (I’ll save that recipe for a future post) using Enjoy Life Semi-sweet chocolate mini chips. Only THREE ingredients: evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, and cocoa butter! They’re as paleo friendly as chocolate chips can get! Plus the mini chips means that you can use a lot less chocolate. Who wants that really, but being paleo you’re probably trying to keep your sugar intake at a minimum.

These muffins turned out grainier than the others. Haha, a grainier grain-free muffin! I used 2/3 cup almond flour and 1/3 cup coconut flour, which is a different coconut to almond ratio than I’ve used in the past. It was also a tad dry. I also either used too much banana or not enough. There’s a hint of banana flavor of which I ended up wishing there was more or none at all. I think next time chocolate chip banana muffins would be better, especially since the extra banana will help with the dryness. There’s lots of potential here though. I basically followed the banana berry muffin recipe, using chocolate chips instead of berries. I only added some vanilla and used less banana. I won’t post a recipe until I feel like I’ve perfected it though! Leave a comment if you’d still like the recipe or if you have any baking tips!

Even the batter/dough was dryer and doughier than the other muffins I’ve made.

 

Good thing I made half a batch and ended up with only 5 or so muffins! These weren’t bad at all. They were good enough for me to eat all of them in two days, actually… They were better than most gluten-free muffins. Just not up to par with the other muffins I’ve made, so that’s why it’s in progress. :)

 

July 27, 2012

Mango Tarragon Scallops

Second blog post in a week! I’ve been continuing to cook with fruit lately due to the abundance of fruit at my house right now.

This time I experimented with some mango! I saw a recipe card at Whole Foods while buying scallops for Scallops with Cherry-Tarragon Sauce. I was out of cherries, so after nibbling on tarragon and then nibbling on various other fruits, I decided on using mango. I mostly stuck to the recipe with a few substitutions, so I’ll just list the ingredients that I used. However, I added the mango at the very last moment for a quick stir because I didn’t think I would care for cooked mango.

Mango Tarragon Scallops

Ingredients:
– 3 large wild-caught sea scallops
– sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
– 1 Tbsp coconut oil (I would have used clarified butter, but was out of it)
– 1/2 to 1 shallot, chopped
– 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 cup mango, chopped
– 1.5 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped

I ate it with arugula, my favorite green! This was really good for the first scallop and then progressively got too sweet for me. I definitely enjoy the taste of tarragon and mango together. I also decided that I like my mangos cold, not so much warm. It’s also not much of a sauce and I can’t imagine it being saucy even if I used cherries like the original recipe. I think squeezing some lemon juice over everything would have brightened up everything for me. Or maybe some spices added to it to cut down on the sweetness. It was a beautiful plate of food though! I would make this again with a tart fruit.

I’ve been having a pretty awesome week with some pretty awesome friends!
Monday – “The Dark Knight Rises” in IMAX (loved it), tunnel flying
Wednesday – tunnel, 3 skydives, skating
Thursday – tunnel, indoor bouldering
Friday-Sunday will be full of more skydiving!!!

It was the first time I had been on the ice in many many months. My ankles and feet hurt really bad from not being used to my skates anymore. I’m still on my last pair of skates, made for me in 2006! That was after I quit, so the skates are still in pretty good shape. It’s crazy to think how much I used to skate to need new boots every year and blades every other year. They make super light skates nowadays though, I kind of want new ones! I’m starting to think I want to skate regularly again, just recreationally, to not waste the massive investment my parents made. I skated a public session so I didn’t try to do much, but I know I’m out of shape.

Climbing went a lot better. I let too many months go by without climbing as well. I had lost all my calluses and my hands were burning by the third route. However, I was super happy that I didn’t have to downgrade TOO much. I was climbing most V3s easily before I stopped climbing regularly, now V2s are still easy but V3s are more challenging than I remember. I managed to climb a couple of them, but with my hands and grip strength not where they used to be, it was much more challenging. I had really missed the climbing gym! I didn’t think I’d ever be so happy to smell stinky feet and sweat! Of course I renewed my membership, so now I have to go regularly.

Conclusion: I’m in excellent tunnel shape, but out of shape for everything else I like to do that I haven’t been doing. Time for more balance in my life!

July 22, 2012

Chops and Stone Fruits

I’m going to jump right back into blogging like I haven’t been away for 3 months. Life got in the way! I even stopped being paleo for the month of May with some pretty disastrous results. It was my 25th birthmonth so I wanted to indulge in everything. I did however have plenty of adventures! Including two trips to Twin Falls, ID for BASE jumping off the Perrine Bridge! My mom and I also opened a Korean restaurant, but after 10 days of being open we had an unfortunate car accident involving sudden unintended acceleration. Now we will not be reopening for at least another month. Let me just say that being in an out of control car speeding into the building is a lot scarier than jumping off or out of anything. I will get into all of that as I get back to blogging. I have lots of pictures and videos to share, but today I want to focus on the food!

I love shopping for food in the summer! I love going to farmer’s markets and picking up my weekly Tiny’s Organic fruit bag. Since this year I signed up for the all fruit bag, it means twice as much fruit to try and consume in one week. Lots of sharing is involved. Right now the bags are filled with stone fruits – apricots, apriums, plums, peaches, nectarines, and cherries!

I’ve been trying to incorporate some of the fruit into my meals rather than just snacking on them. I end up eating less fruit that way! Otherwise I will just eat pounds and pounds of fruit because I looove the sugar.

I also found this super tasty and definitely paleo Date and Cherry Balsamic Spread from Edible Gardens at Whole Foods. The only ingredients are dates, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I’ve been putting it on pork chops and lamb chops!

Date and Cherry Balsamic Lamb Loin Chops

Ingredients:
– 2 Lamb loin chops
– 1+ Tbsp Date and Cherry Balsamic Spread
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– Dried thyme, salt, and pepper to taste

This was soooo good! Especially with the little salad I made – arugula, spinach, rainier cherries, and walnuts. No dressing, just the way I like it!

Date and Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops

The date and cherry balsamic spread is also super good on pork chops!! I pan cooked these pork chops (lightly seasoned in salt and pepper) and sautéed the onions with a little garlic in the pork fat. I spread the spread on the meat after everything was cooked.

I had a lot of apriums to use up from my CSA bag. I didn’t like the texture or the flavor of them while eating them fresh. Not quite apricot, not quite plum, but a weird texture in between. Ironically, I absolutely love pluots, which are more plum than apricot. Since one of my favorite pork dishes involves peaches, I decided to make another pork dish with these apriums instead of letting them go to waste. They were amazing cooked! I don’t eat pork chops very often, but there’s just something about stone fruits that pairs perfectly with pork chops!

Aprium Pork Chops
You could just use apricots. This was very simple. Caramelize onions in pork fat then add the fruit and a little garlic. I sprinkled it with some Italian seasoning at the end and ate it with a side of roasted brussels sprouts. I could eat this every day! I’ll probably make a more summery side next time though.

Thanks to all my readers for continuing to read my blog and sending me messages asking about my wellbeing! I’m pretty excited to be blogging again. It definitely helps me eat better and cook more!

April 17, 2012

Paleo Meatloaf

I’m way behind on blogging… I have lots of pictures and no posts to show for it! Hopefully I can catch up this week!

This was my first time making meatloaf and it was pretty good! I loved the sauce more than anything else. I’ve never been a fan of meatloaf and haven’t eaten it in years, so I don’t even know what meatloaf is really supposed to taste like. This one is meaty and not at all dry or bready.

I followed Alton Brown’s meatloaf recipe pretty closely, just making a few paleo substitutions and omissions. I also only had 18oz of ground beef so I halved the recipe and ended up making two half mini-loaves. Instead of garlic flavored croutons, I used the same amount of almond flour. For the glaze, I used Organicsville ketchup, which is the most paleo-friendly ketchup I’ve managed to find so far. I skipped the honey since the ketchup is plenty sweet, but the lack of extra sugar probably kept my glaze from really glazing up. I also skipped the Worcestershire sauce and used a dash of tabasco as my hot sauce.

Just a quick post today, I have a pretty busy day ahead of me. I basically lost an entire day yesterday due to a single Zyrtec pill. When I switched to paleo, I stopped getting sick or having migraines, so I was able to cut out pretty much all pharmaceuticals… except for allergy meds for my seasonal allergies that started a year or two ago. I wonder if I’ve become extra sensitive to medications because this supposedly non-drowsy allergy pill totally knocked me out for about 24 hours. I slept 80% of the time. When I was awake, I was super out of it and my friend thought I was high on something after a phone conversation. Feeling much better today! No more allergy meds for me! Know of any natural remedies?

March 31, 2012

Skydiving, landjäger, and paleo sliders!

It’s Saturday and I’m still in bed because it hasn’t stopped raining for a week. Doesn’t look like it’ll stop raining for yet another week, but next weekend looks promising! I can’t wait to jump again. After so much tunnel time, I feel like a brand new skydiver and I’m completely addicted again! There is sooo much space in the sky! No walls up there! And the skydives actually go as planned! Fascinating! The tunnel is such an invaluable training tool. I was able to get 12 jumps in last weekend and I thought I’d share a few pictures! All photo credits to Kelly Craig.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more photos and videos as the season goes on! Thank goodness we have a wind tunnel here now to get through the rainy days. I’m pretty excited to go fly tonight!

The downside of so much tunnel flying and skydiving has been that I’m way less motivated to work out. I haven’t consistently exercised in several months now and I can feel myself getting out of shape. It’s such a waste because I felt so amazing and so fit after months of daily intense activity and I am just letting it all go. I still LOOK fit, but I don’t FEEL fit. Every day I wake up thinking, I should really go to crossfit/hot yoga/climbing/running/skating today and then I never really make it out. I know that if I just commit to a few days, I’ll get into a routine again. So I am going to hold myself accountable to do that starting on Monday. :)

The upside of skydiving is definitely our close community full of awesome friends. One of them is actually a butcher and I got hooked up! I’ll never go hungry again! I’m going to try to do a post about him and the butcher shop in the near future, if he agrees to it. His shop only carries the highest quality local meats, including the best tasting 100% grassfed local beef I’ve ever had. He actually makes lard, tallow, sausages, and cured meats, all completely paleo! I’m planning on stopping by every week! This is how I found my new favorite snack, called the landjäger (I’m too lazy to describe it so I linked to wikipedia)!

Soft, not too salty, meaty, satiating goodness! This would be perfect for hiking/trail running! I had never even heard of this before, so ask your local specialty butcher?

The NY steaks I got were so giant that I had to cut one in half. Steak and eggs for breakfast! I poached the eggs this time and put it on some arugula and baby spinach.

 

I also grabbed some lean ground beef for burgers. I usually don’t season or do anything but shape the beef into a patty when I make burgers, but this time I was inspired to actually put some work into it. I added 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 2 slices of bacon (cut into little pieces), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper to a pound of lean ground beef with delicious results! These are my naked sliders! Heirloom tomato slice and a dollop of avocado for each mini patty! I was out of all lettuce or I probably would have wrapped them. Delicious!

 

March 27, 2012

Truffle goat cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates

For last night’s dinner, I made some bacon-wrapped dates and lamb meatballs with a balsamic reduction over arugula and baby spinach, sprinkled with more balsamic vinegar. YUM!

 

View the lamb meatballs post for the recipe! I did make one small addition – I added 1/2tsp of CARDAMOM! I loved it even more!

Goat Cheese-stuffed, Bacon-wrapped Dates

Ingredients:
– Noor dates, pitted
– Chevre goat cheese
– One slice of bacon per 3 dates
– Toothpicks, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the dates almost in half and spread them apart.
3. Fill the pitted part with goat cheese and close the dates.
4. Cut bacon slices into thirds and wrap the dates, securing each with half a toothpick.
5. Bake in a baking pan for 20-30 minutes until bacon is cooked to your liking, turning the dates over half way through.

To make this fully paleo, you would skip stuffing the dates with cheese. However, I think the cheese is necessary to add a tangy flavor to cut the sweetness of the dates because bacon just isn’t strong enough for that. So this one is primal! I found this super delicious chevre goat cheese - Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor at Whole Foods. It’s probably one of the best goat cheeses I’ve had because I LOVE truffle. I used Applewood’s Sunday Bacon, which is thin and great for wrapping, and noor dates because they are smaller than medjool dates.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers