Saturday, March 29, 2014

Taking On Words {with Audio}

live.travel.adventure.bless.
and don't be sorry.
-kerouac
Lately my mind has been seeking out words in books, words that guide, words that open up new worlds and ways of thinking. I seem to be in a in-search-of phase, but what exactly I am seeking is not quite defined. In these moments that string along into phases of inward focus, I'm not quite able to be out with my own words and discoveries. I sense a strong push back from the humdrum noise of many of my usual outlets that I often felt like were my home.

I'm a sponge taking on water, bubbles of soap fill some of my crevices, and a few toast crumbs are just sticking to me. I sense the cusp of my words being ready to be wrung out over the sink, splashing up on the sides, and maybe even leaving a wet stain on that nice new t-shirt.

Dammit.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lucky For You, Milk Stout Cupcakes

Happy St Patrick's Day! Today, I'm heading straight to the best part of the celebration with a batch of Milk Stout Cupcakes, which uses a locally brewed stout. They turned out moist and delicious!

Milk Stout Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 bottle Left Hand Milk Stout
  • 1 stick butter(melted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out. To make the icing: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled. Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.
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Disclosure: I am a Whole Foods Brand Ambassador, they have sponsored this post. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Off Trail, A Boulder Caught My Eye

Yesterday it reached the sweetest and most perfect sunshine filled 70 degrees. With a drop in temperature and snow in the forecast, I spent the entire evening after work outside.  The warmth was still lingering this morning when I stepped outside, which drove my motivation to head out for a hike. As I approached the very first intersection onto the main trail, my eyes gazed west at the heavy clouds that had rolled in, hiding the tips of the mountains. Before I knew it, the wind started to pick up. My hands were instantly drawn to the comfort of my fleece lined pockets. I realized this storm was blowing in faster than I anticipated. A mere 30 minutes ago, my choice of a down jacket seemed excessive, which made me snidely chuckle as my hood went up over my wool hat. 

The change in weather didn't bring me down. Living in Colorado you have to take it as it comes. I continued along the rutted out trail when a large boulder up on the hillside caught my eye. I'm not sure why, but I went off trail, stepping over downed trees, drawn in to the rock. I found one that particularly suited me and I raised my knee to my waist and pushed my leg straight to pull my body to the top of the boulder. My right leg planted down deep into the moss covered rock that had at some point been released from the depths of the mountains just to my west, as my left knee lifted as my foot planted into my inner thigh. Small little snow balls fell from the sky, the wind blew, and my arms raised to the sky as I completed Vrksasana (tree pose). My heart deeply and rhythmically beat, I worked to slow my breath. I found myself moving through other asanas, easily, it felt natural. 

Innate. 

It was innate to stop moving, tune in to the birds chirping, how the branches creaked as the wind blew them to their maximum bending limits. My senses were on, absorbing everything around me, reminding me of why I've called the Rocky Mountains my home for 20 years. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When Night Falls

Sometimes at night when the house is so quiet and still, I can't bring myself to go to bed. At the moment there are little patters and thuds of snow hitting the roof. I'm just sitting here all curled up in a wool blanket with a cup of Lady Grey tea, intrigued by the storm. I know it's odd that I relish in the fact that snow falling is the loudest noise in my household, but the silence is so sweet.