Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish

Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish
Golden pan fried catfish fillet with crisp baby greens and brown rice.

Life's a Beach

One of the juicy, inspiring gifts of an empty nest is the big sky freedom to pull up roots and wander. And long time readers know- we have been doing just that. Wandering our hearts out. We are gypsies. Moving six seven eight times since selling our family home on Cape Cod seven years ago, migrating West through Santa Fe, then various neighborhoods in Los Angeles county. Most recently, landing back East, in a rustic old barn one mile away from my childhood home in Connecticut. With each and every move we sold off or donated the outworn- from bookcases to boots. Trying on new digs and studios along the way, from loft style apartments to an antique carriage house.

After this beast of a winter here in the Northeast- I am once again longing to call a sun-warmed beach my home. Craving the rhythmic crash of the waves. Dreaming of open windows and simple rooms swept with sea glass tinted sunlight and salt air. Shaking out pillows and bedding that smell like surf.

{Listen to my son's music as you read this post- a song from his new album Science of Noise::

We just got back from a short week in Southern California. I walked Ocean Beach, and Coronado, and one of my favorites- Torrey Pines Beach. A handful of perfect days. No frills. No expensive meals or excursions. Just picnic style food, conversation, and walks. Mapping out the next move, exploring possibilities. Our lease here is up soon. And we need to move on.

So here's what I know.

My sons live in California.

My heart beats softer near the ocean.

A big (BIG) birthday fast approaches. The kind of birthday that causes one to blink- and consider new choices very, very carefully.

I need to live somewhere I can cup my hands and carve the space to imagine new things.


New Quinoa Bars Recipe - Blondie Style

New Quinoa Bars Recipe- with dark chocolate chips, nuts, almond meal (gluten-free)
Our new favorite quinoa bar with almond meal, lots of good vanilla and dark chocolate chips.

A New Quinoa Bar - Blondie Style

A short and sweet post to share a new gluten-free quinoa bar recipe with chocolate chips. It's a Blondie style chocolate chip cookie bar. The quinoa flakes and almond meal add texture, flavor, and protein. Not that I'd go so far as to call it health food. But. As sweet treats go?

This one's mighty tasty.


Gluten-Free Coconut Layer Cake

Gluten free coconut layer cake from Karina
Coconut cake heaven. Gluten-free and dairy-free deliciousness.

Let Us Eat Cake

Birthdays are complicated when you reach a certain age. Oh, don't get me wrong. You're grateful for another year. I mean. You're still alive and kicking, right? Waking up to a fresh start. Starting a spanking new year on the planet with one more number under your (slightly pinching) belt. A number that grants you a whisker more authority in the world. A tad more wisdom.

If you've been paying attention to the lessons life likes to offer up as experience, and not sleepwalking, that is. Not acquiescing to the expectations of others. Or choosing safety over the challenge of the new. Or worse- finding yourself somewhere, in some situation, or relationship, strictly for the sake of momentum, chafing inside a role you don't remember signing up for.

Birthdays can be markers like that.

Defining where we've been. And how far we've come. Or not.

It was my husband's birthday this weekend. And yes, I baked a cake. And as I stirred the batter and scooped it into cake pans, I thought about the other cakes I have baked for him. The chocolate cake in our first year of marriage. Children beneath our roof. Blue balloons and candles. The newness of each others' dreams. The shine of our ideas. The belief in what was possible.