Fox Day 2014 Mixed CD

Alright, post concussion sweets addiction meltdown, I gotta get back on the horse.

But today is Fox Day at my alma mater, Rollins College – so I decided that although I didn’t crack my first beer at 6:30AM, I had to at least see the ocean today.

IMG_3436Not exactly a picture perfect beach day, but it was a nice day for my first post-concussion run.  And college-aged Kels would have already had enough of a tan by mid-April to care about a little fog.IMG_3437

Here are a few new tracks I’ve added to my playlists that get me motivated, but would also be a nice start to a Fox Day 2014 Mixed CD. Because when I was in college, we were still somewhere in the gray between Napster and Spotify…

This is just the first single I heard from Danish singer a few weeks ago, and it had me hooked. (and dancing like a crazy person) Check out her album.  So many good, upbeat and funky tunes.

Little Dragon‘s first single off their latest album, due out May 13th, is everything I expected from them and more.  They also just released a video for a second single, “Paris” the other day.  You can listen to that one here on Pitchfork.

I loved the Tune-Yards first album.  Crazy horn parts, crazy looping, crazy beats and percussions, crazy vocals.  I first saw them on Jimmy Fallon years ago before immediately downloading their first album, but any of their live videos will equally blow your mind the way that performance blew mine.

I just recently found Kiesza, and not only is this a great song to run to, but the chick was a code breaker for the Canadian Royale Navy, attended Berklee and competed in the Miss Universe Canada patent.  Hello, I’m listening.

I know nothing about Chuck Inglish, but I know that this song makes me smile.  Plus, it makes me want lean, long legs.  So I keep on running.

Happy listening!

xoxo

 

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Concussions to Sugar Cravings

So, I hit my head.  Hard.

It’s a stupid story, but let’s just say that the rest of last week didn’t go as expected.

Yes, it was our third wedding anniversary on Wednesday, and I started out the day feeling pretty good.  Being in the car was a little weird and I was making really spacey comments about how slow we were driving and how it made me feel like I was in a movie… but overall, we had a great day!  Market, coffee, nap, and an amazing dinner planned…

We made it to dinner.  We even really, really enjoyed dinner.  I’ll have to tell you all about it another time.

Because as soon as I stood up from my chair to leave the restaurant, it was like I was on a boat.  A boat on really rocky waters.  I was dizzy and nauseous, and by the time I got home I was a total wreck.

You don’t need all the gory details.  Let’s just say it all ended up with me wearing this bracelet that I never wanted to wear.

kels hospital braceletYep, that was me the morning after our wonderful anniversary dinner.  Waiting to get a CT scan at the Santa Monica ER because that bump on my head was most definitely part of a concussion and I just wanted to make sure I was alright.  You know, because not being able to think clearly and mixing up words in normal conversation gets a little scary.

Don’t mess with your brain, folks.

Turns out my brain was ok and I was sent home to rest and take care of myself.

Except that chocolate craving I had the night of the fated head collision with the dog?  It never went away.  I’m not even kidding when I say I think Gibson knocked a sugar sensor loose.  All I’ve been wanting to eat is sugar all day, every day.

So since Brad bought me a beautiful cake stand (complete with amazing dome! yay!!) for our anniversary, I couldn’t let it go empty.  Plus, having a recipe to concentrate on seemed to be helping my brain heal.  At least that’s what I’m going with, since everything turned out delicious.

This is what I’ve been making…

IMG_3248 IMG_3229 DSC_0987 DSC_0002DSC_0232DSC_0247With plans for many more sugary projects.

Have you ever heard of people craving sugar after a head injury?  I’ve Googled and Googled, and I can’t find anything that looks credible.  One doctor even gave a one word answer on his website: No. So maybe I can’t use brain swelling as an excuse to bake anymore?

Not that I needed an excuse in the first place.

xoxo

 

 

Playlist: Mellow Music To Cook To

Yesterday, I had good intentions.

I wrote a blog.  I caught up on a few things around the house.  I edited some photos.  I ate a healthy breakfast.  I made myself tea.  I made a to-do list for the week.

And then, at 2:00, I decided I would do a quick workout before taking a shower and heading out to work.

I put on a fun playlist.  I pulled up one of my saved workouts from my super-hero strength friend Steven.  I tied up my sneakers.  I did two burpees.  The dog always gets excited when I start working out because she thinks I want to play.  She started running around.

I did a third burpee.  Gibson happened to jump up right where I was jumping down into a pushup.  Our heads cracked.  She yelped like I’ve never heard her yelp before.  I basically fell to the floor.

I think March was mad at me for kicking it to the curb.  It was leaving me with a parting gift.

About five minutes later, I had gathered myself and the dog was hiding under the table.  A giant welt had formed on my forehead and I had a splitting headache.  I sent a picture to my manager with the caption “So… this just happened…” and she basically told me to ice my ridiculous injury and stay home from work.

No one wants to order food from someone with a welt this good growing out of their forehead.

(I will not subject you to the photo I shared with her.  Basically, imagine an egg coming out of my forehead and you’ll have it.)

So I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, icing my head and trying to convince Gibson that I wasn’t mad at her.  That, and trying to reassure myself that I didn’t have a concussion.  Every time that I’d forget where I set something down or how to spell a word on a text, I started worrying a little.

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But then, I got bored of the couch.  And Gibson had started bringing me toys to play with her, so I knew she was ok.  Plus, I suddenly had a craving for chocolate.

Because silence makes me anxious even when I have a nagging headache, I put on a mellow playlist (who knew Spotify has a hangover playlist?  Perfect for minor head injuries, too!) and got to baking.

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After a while, I realized that this is music I would almost never cook to, as cooking usually goes hand in hand with entertaining for us.  And when entertaining, you usually want something a little more upbeat and exciting.

But not last night.  Last night I was the opposite of upbeat.  And I was on my own.  With caramel and chocolate.  So mellow it was.

I’m sure that many of you sometimes have mellow nights when you have minor head injuries and just want to bake cookies and make caramels, too, right?  Well… for when that happens (I hope the head injury part doesn’t!), here is a good mellow playlist to cook to.

And now, back to icing the forehead.  Thank goodness for makeup.

xoxo

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March Madness Roundup

In like a lion, out like a lamb, right?

I feel like that March lamb is still on it’s way, but the lion that was this March sure kept us on the run.

I thought today I’d share a look back at all of the places I went in March and all of the things I did.  Because usually, it’s a line up of market photos and delicious dinners, but this month it’s from coast to coast (twice), with a lot of amazing events and people in between.

We kicked off the month with packing up all of our food for terminate extermination.  This was a low point… Like packing to move without the new improved apartment?

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But then we were off to New York!IMG_2274Where it was freezing, but Sarah and I celebrated turning 30!IMG_2306And we ate an amazing meal prepared by the Fishing With Dynamite guys at the James Beard House.IMG_2383

And I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time.  This was one blog appropriate winner…IMG_2558

When I got back to the west coast, I made a quick batch of pickled onions… and just about ate them all.IMG_2663

I messed around with my blog.  Spring cleaning?  Did you notice?  (I didn’t go with this one…)IMG_2685

Then I flew back to Maryland for a memorial service for my grandfather.  It was a tough weekend, but being surrounded by family that hasn’t all come together in close to 20 years, there was also much to celebrate.

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Plus, I got to hang out with these little guys…IMG_2798The last time I saw Miles he weighed just over 5 pounds and he was all hooked up in the NICU.  I’m so impressed and grateful for how healthy and awesome he’s turning out to be!IMG_2805

I mean, don’t you love his shirt?  I dig you, too, Miles.
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And then Mr. Max.  Starting to talk, count, and know his alphabet.  No pants don’t care!IMG_2850Before I left town, I whipped up a batch of fudge to leave with the east coast crew.  I even used this crazy old candy thermometer of my Mom’s.  I don’t know why, but I was a little obsessed with this thermometer.

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And ate entirely too much of the chocolatey fudge it produced… delicious. IMG_2843

I don’t have a story for this next picture, other than once I was back on the west coast, this is precisely how I felt.  And I love this picture of Brad and Gibson.
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I fit in a little studio time somewhere in there, singing on a commercial for a kids toy that is coming out soon…IMG_2892

And my car broke down… again…IMG_2895

But then we cooked a delicious lunch at Coleman’s Farm, which went off without a hitch…IMG_3033 IMG_3110

Then, last night we had an unusual Sunday night off together.  So after a delicious dinner (where I almost killed a crab with an iPad.  seriously.), we headed to the Sprinkles cupcake ATM and treated ourselves.IMG_3199March, you were great, but I’m kind of glad you’re ending.  On to spring and weekends with a little bit of time to ourselves.

But the fudge was really great.  Thanks for that.

xoxo

 

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Coleman Farm Lunch

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I don’t know if you remember, but in September Brad was auctioned off at Weiser Farms right in front of my very eyes.

After bidding hit about $200, I realized I could no longer afford my husband.  I was going to have to share.

For a good cause, of course.

A lunch for 8 at Coleman Family Farms was sold to the buyer who had $1400 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  They scheduled and planned, and then rescheduled for after the crazy holiday season – which ended up being yesterday.

With me and the Barolo Joe guys in tow, Brad put together a 5 course lunch for what turned into a group of 16.

We drove up to Carpinteria super early (for us), explored the farm a little, and then hand-picked fresh greens, flowers and herbs for lunch.

IMG_2934 IMG_2936 IMG_2937 IMG_2941 IMG_2942 IMG_2943 IMG_2961 IMG_2962Then, it was off to the races.  We set up and prepped…

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…and prepared the most amazing five courses for the lucky sixteen people around the table.

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The Menu:

Snapper Crudo with serrano, kumquat, mint and lime.

Leafy Farm Green Salad with blood oranges, fennel, balsamic vinaigrette and almonds.

Hand Cut Linguini with farm herbs, white wine and parmesan.

Manilla Clams with cherry tomatoes, garlic and lemon.

Whole Braised Oxtail with sprouting broccoli, radish and bordelaise.

Weiser Farms Potato Salad with Wooley bacon.

Strawberry Tart with honey, flowering thyme and vanilla ice cream.

 

I seriously wish I were sitting at that table.

xoxo

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Blood Orange Gin and Tonics

Blood Orange Gin and Tonics @thekeyofkels

My March has been a little bit insane.

As of the beginning of February, I wasn’t going to be on the east coast even once this month.  We were watching what we spent.  We had family coming in town and birthdays coming up, so we were being responsible.

And now, as I’m unpacking my suitcase from my second trip east in 3 weeks, I am realizing I should really stock my body up on Vitamins before I get super, super sick from all of the traveling.

So Emergen-C it is!

Speaking of Vitamin C, it is coming up on the end of citrus season here in California, so I brought some blood oranges from the market all the way to Maryland with me this weekend.  I figured, along with the strawberries, raisins, and trail mix I smuggled from coast to coast, the blood oranges would be something fun and different to play around with.

blood orange gin and tonicsAnd the juice is just so pretty!

So on Friday night, after we had finished most of the preparations for everyone to come over to my parents’ house after the services for my grandfather on Saturday, we decided it was time to relax and catch up.

My mom’s favorite Friday night happy hour cocktail is the classic Gin & Tonic, so I decided to dress it up a little bit.

blood orange gin and tonics blood orange gin and tonicsBy just adding a little bit of that fiery blood orange juice, the classic G&T took on a whole new persona.

And also left the place looking like a bit of a crime scene when not poured just so…

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The citrus added just a little bit of bright red cheer to a somber occasion, a little bit of sweet citrus to a classic cocktail, and a little bit of Cali sunshine to a chilly, rainy (super jet lagged) day.

blood orange gin and tonics

 

I wish this counted as enough Vitamin C to keep me healthy until the weather really warms up, but for now, I’m drinking tea and stocking up on Emergen-C packets.

Cheers to another busy, busy week!

xoxo

Blood Orange Gin (or Vodka) & Tonics

1 part Gin (we used Bombay Sapphire, but it was also delicious with vodka!)

1 part fresh squeezed blood orange juice

1 part tonic water

Fill glass with ice.  Add equal parts gin(or vodka), blood orange juice and tonic water.  Stir and serve.  Cheers!

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