Wednesday, March 19

Spidatter lives on in Madeline Nutrition!

Hello faithful Spidatter subscribers and readers! I am still alive and kicking, but doing it at another URL.

Since I last wrote on Spidatter, mucho things have happened. I started dating a tall drink of handsome. He convinced me to move back to Santa Barbara from Seattle. I started and finished a 2-year holistic nutrition certification program and am now a Certified Nutritionist living and working in Santa Barbara, CA. I'm an active yogi at CorePower Yoga SB. And lastly, but most importantly, I'm running Madeline Nutrition, which I'd love for you to all be a part of and support in any way you can:

Subscribe to my *new* blog, Madeline Nutrition, in your blog feed reader of choice, by clicking here.

For daily tips, tricks, shared articles, and other information you surely can't live without, 

I'm also pumping out original photos with practical and holistic food + kitchen tips, often with added simple recipe ideas on my @MadelineNutrition Instagram here.

And finally...Twitter is happening too. Here.

Love to you all,

aka Madeline Nutrition (sounds so much more profesh, no?)

Thursday, May 17

So She Danced

Me and my forever friend, Nicole. Some people think we're identical. We're not.
Shockingly, this is the only photo I could find of me hands-up dancing.
So She Danced
A paraphrase inspired by Momastery

I am sitting in a bright white kitchen with God. It's gleaming, open and immaculate. A butcher's block is fit into the corner of the stone countertop with the sharpest knives money can buy. I didn't get to test them out, but in dreams you can be certain of things without truly knowing. Sharpest knives in the world. That—and their handles were encrusted with pearly ivory.

The north side of the kitchen opens into a living room through a breezy walkway. I wander in. My bare feet felt smooth on the wide-plank herringbone wood floor. I nestle back into the wide embrace of an overstuffed leather chair and drink in its earthy scent. We are the only ones in the house.

God remains in the kitchen at the countertop with the knives. Apparently he is quite the chef. I hear he's also pretty kickass at soccer, but he leaves the knives at home for that.

Although I can clearly hear his warm yet booming voice from the living room, I'm annoyed he didn't follow me in here. I grab a linen-covered throw pillow and hug my knees into my chest along with it, obviously pouting. I can hear him repeatedly pounding the utility knife against the cutting block. I know he knows I'm in here. I know he knows I'm upset. 

I let out a long breath against the back of my throat—like Ujjayi breathing in yoga. It's loud and intentional, but it doesn't calm me this time. I reposition myself in the chair, leaning hard onto my right arm, my cheek weighing heavy into my right hand. I can see him now through just a sliver of an angle in the walkway. He has the short paring knife out now. His demeanor is calm and collected as he cuts bite-sized pieces out of one of my Fuji apples. 

I kick childishly at the leather ottoman, trying to knock it over, but instead it just makes a loud scuffing noise against the floorboards. He doesn't look up from his work. Now he's pulling scallions from the ice box and is slicing meticulously.

Fine, I think. I can be the bigger person. I can start.

Why am I here? Better question—why would you lead me here and then leave me? Because clearly, YOU led me here. I didn't kick down any doors or plow through any barricades to get here. And now you're being awfully coy and quiet over there in the kitchen. What's your big plan? It's been over a year. There isn't a plan, is there? Is there?!

God keeps chopping. I can smell the ginger wafting over. He says nothing though.

The job rejection letter, you know, the one job that I would finally feel proud to tell everyone back home about...? And how I got it in the mail on Valentine's Day? Reminding me that not only am I the only single female left in America, but no one in this state has heard of my college and no one wants to hire me...? [Clearly hyperbole was getting the better of me at this point.] 
Was I supposed to learn something from that?
This is NOT where I dreamed I'd be at age 26. And you made me, didn't you? You gave me these dreams, and now I want to know why. What's the point? 
And then the real kicker, because all the yelling wasn't really about a silly job: Why does life make love so hard?

During all of that, God is still a picture of serenity in the kitchen. I heatedly watch him rinse the paring knife of ginger and turn to slice a lime in half before reaching for a basket of freshly picked kale. 

In my mind I hear myself brooding, What is he even making? It better be good.

It will be. He breaks his silence. Actually, it is already.
Then he sets down the knife, smiles in at me and says, 
My sweet girl, you are so upset. I get that. I feel that. And I love you so freaking much. [Yes, God said freaking.] So would you like me to shut down the dinner prep for a while so we can talk face-to-face? 
His sudden direct attention unnerves me, and I rise to standing. My curiosity pulls me into the kitchen, where I can finally see all of what he has been doing. I gaze into the over-sized serving bowl and the presentation takes my breath away. Jewels of produce—ten times more than what I had noticed him handling—intermingle with water particles freshly clinging like diamonds. Rich reds and emerald greens and orange, yellow and purple. It was a mess of color—so vivid that I could actually taste them without bringing any of it to my mouth. The best summer squash and dried currants. Persian cucumbers and wild mint. Blueberries and shavings of baby asparagus. 
I'm a big salad girl, but I'd never crafted something so nuanced before. And the smell—I couldn't place it, but I never wanted to let it go.

My lips parted to ask, What is it? But just before the words came out, I tilted my head and saw myself. The wild and perfect concoction was me. All swirly and crunchy and life-giving.

No, keep going, I say. I want you to finish the meal.
Because he is preparing my life, of course. His hands are touching me. Cutting, chopping, peeling away. And I wouldn't want to distract him from that. I decide I still trust him.

I don't want to get in the way anymore. But I don't really know what to do exactly. So I’m just going to dance. While you cook. Is that okay?
He walks toward me, pauses, and gently brushes a few strands of my hair back behind my ear. Then he says, Dance? Is that okay? That's all I've ever wanted for you to do, sweet girl. So you go dance, and I’ll cook. It’s going to be so, so good. I've got this.

So I twirl my hair into a big messy bun on the top of my head and throw my gaze and my hands skyward. And God turns back to the cutting board, beaming over me.

Sunday, May 6

obscure Mexican holidays

After a full day of backyard bottle-collecting and re-hydration, I'm more than ready to talk about the best Cinco de Mayo I've ever had. Which maybe isn't the most meaningful way to phrase it since I've never actually done anything extraordinary for this obscure Mexican holiday that we Americans seem to cherish so much.

But still.

Last night began when an old friend of mine from high school in Santa Barbara ended up at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard, Seattle, playing a show on his West Coast tour with his band, Tommy & the High Pilots. The thing about Tommy is that I remember him more as this ever-so-slightly chubby theater geek kid when we were teenagers. 
And now he's hot. And he has groupies. 

I converted two of my friends on the spot. The second Tommy opened his mouth on stage, both of the girls went weak at the knees. They both wept when I told them he'd been dating the same girl for EIGHT YEARS.

This isn't even a good recording, but it's a new song he just wrote about Goleta, my true homeland, and it makes me a little weepy. In a good way. Now go watch their real videos here:

I haven't even gotten to the best part yet.

Since it was Cinco de Mayo and all, I naturally extended some Cinco de Mayo hospitality and invited Tommy and his boys over for some fireside beers in our backyard with a few other friends. And by few, I mean 20-30-ish.

The High Pilots brought the other band they're touring with, A B & the SEA...and they all brought their guitars. Ergo a fireside jam session proceeded into the wee hours of the morning (ooops—sorry, neighbors!). And then I made them scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning. The end.
Viva la Cinco!

Thursday, May 3

9008 Gala

Fun story: 
One of my favorite people in Seattle is this girl:

Meet Kelly. 
We are both from Santa Barbara. We technically grew up together. Meaning there are photos of us running around with other kids when we were knee-high...but we'd never actually hung out until a year ago when we connected back in Santa Barbara at a mutual friend's graduation party. We got to talking about Seattle and realized we lived a mile away from one another. We also realized that we should probably become really good friends ASAP. So...we did. 

Several months ago Kelly was offered a fabulous position at a nonprofit organization called World Concern. While I'm sad (read: morbidly depressed and inconsolable) that she will be leaving soon to move to KENYA, I'm so proud of their new Communication Liaison!

A fundraising gala was held in her honor recently and I was blessed to be a part of the night. Obviously the camera came along...



Saturday, April 28

Café Presse

Every once in a while I feel minor intimidation toward certain eating establishments in Seattle. Either they've been written up in one too many foodie magazines, their menus are in a chic foreign language, or the wait staff have uncommon piercings and tattoos covering the majority of their visible skin. 

This morning I brunched with my bloggy girlfriend Allie at Café Presse, and it nabbed a spot in all three of the above categories. 

First of all, hellooooo magazine selection. Bless their hearts for alphabetizing—made it a lot easier to find these winners.

Croque Madame. One bite is worth a thousand words. And this iPhone photo is worth about five.
 Ginger Al. Looking sassy is her M.O.
 The go-to mezzo: espresso, steamed soy, H2O.
 Al's café au lait...

Natural car air freshener. The first lilacs of Spring. Pure love.

Sunday, April 22

musical girl crush

I saw my musical girl crush face-to-face last night!
The few songs I have actually managed to write teensy parts of on the piano are due in large part to Ingrid Michaelson and her quirky, cute, yet I-don't-give-a-$%*# inspiration in my life. 
And thanks to my sweet roommate, Ingrid's Girls and Boys album was also the unofficial soundtrack to my last semester of college.
Lots of build up...blah blah blah. All that to say, last night was dang good.

  • Ingrid first walking out on stage to Ke$ha's Blow blasting over the main sound system.
  • Her honesty, peculiar and unexpected traits shining through.
  • Her improving an entire song about sexually harassing her band members. (See previous point.)
  • Getting chills when she sang this song...

Saturday, April 7

Top Ramen's older, smarter, sexier brother

Here's a fun fact: I ate more Top Ramen as a pre-adolescent girl than the average fraternity member consumes in their first year of undergrad. My family called them "big noodles" when I was growing up. They were somewhat of a staple in my childhood pantry. Clearly some things have changed in my life. The most obvious being that I no longer compare my diet to a frat house. Secondly, I'm all about the whole foods now—and things in packages scare me. Oh and I love cooking. Like really, really love it.

But when I need a quick meal in a pinch, I'm often tempted to fall back into the easy arms of Mr. Ramen. So instead, I started hanging out with his older, smarter, sexier brother. And he's been real good to me so far. Healthy relationships are just the best.

Rice noodles in a sweet ginger scallion sauce
Adapted from Simply Reem

Cook noodles al dente and combine the following:
  • Rice noodles – ≈8oz
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sesame seeds – ≈2 T (I use white hulled)
  • Cucumber thinly sliced (optional)
For Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce:
  • Scallions (green onions) – ½ C chopped
  • Ginger – 2 T minced (OR I started using this and am mildly obsessed. True ginger in its most convenient form—and organic.)
  • Cilantro – ¼ C (optional)
  • Sesame oil (or other neutral oil) – 2 T
  • Chili powder – 2 t
  • Tamari sauce – 1 T
  • Rice vinegar – 2 T
  • Honey – 1 T
  • Lime juice – 1 T