Rainbow sherbet at Dry Falls

Rainbow sherbet at Dry Falls.

What was once the worlds largest waterfall 10,000 years ago, now barren remnants.

Part of the channeled scablands of eastern Washington.

~ EK

A recorded version of my April Workshop: Developing an at home yoga practice

For those of you who wanted to attend my live donation-based workshop but missed the date, you’re in luck!

Below is a truncated video recording 🙂

If you found the information in the video helpful and would like to leave a donation in support of future community classes and workshops you can do so via PayPal here: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=XBA2TKLQ83WFU

**If you’d like to be notified of future events in advance, please subscribe to my (non-spammy) newsletter below**

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Thank you and we’ll talk soon, EK

New podcast project, Plumb: a conversational journey toward center

Plumb: an introduction Plumb

In this short trailer I discuss the purpose of my podcast Plumb: a conversational journey toward center

Plumb | to adjust or test by a plumb line/to be exactly vertical or true

Episodes of this podcast include personal reflections, rich community conversations, and simple practices for cultivating emotional resilience and navigating life mindfully, wholeheartedly, and with purpose.

Be well! – EK

April workshop: developing an at home yoga practice

***Registration for this event has passed***

This Sunday, April 11th at 1pm PST

In this 1-hour educational workshop I’ll share tips for developing a yoga practice at home, the benefits of using various props in your practice, and discuss some common household items that can stand in as alternatives to commercial yoga props.

Sliding-scale, $5-$15 suggested donation however no one will be excluded for lack of funds.

All experience levels are welcome and no special preparation is required.

To register for this pay-what-you-can virtual event: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkcuqtrj8iGdfBnWlQSVquf71uD1izGoWa

Blessings! EK

*SOLD OUT* February Slow-Craft Care Packages

February Self-care care packages are now listed in my shop. A short video detailing what all is included in this month’s care package can be found below.

Bette sits on a black couch in front of a tan wall, talking about the contents of the February Care Package

I might do these monthly or seasonally as I have time and resources, and depending on the response.

All the best, Bette

Recipe: Tropical Fruit Granola

A clear glass bowl containing hot oatmeal topped with milk and Tropical Fruit Granola

Per request via Instagram.

Made with gluten-free oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, dried fruit, and wellbeing-supportive, adaptogenic herbs.

Tropical Fruit Granola

  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups chopped raw walnut pieces
  • 1 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried pineapple, chopped into small rough bits
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried mango, chopped into small rough bits
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons natural liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted gently
  • 1 tablespoon powdered Ashwagandha, I like this one (optional)
  • Gomasio seasoning/Japanese Sesame Salt (sesame seeds and roasted salt, also optional)
  • 1/3 cup dried shredded coconut would also be good but I didn’t have any (optional)

Preheat the oven to 250Âş and set aside a baking sheet. In a large bowl combine the oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger powder, and Ashwagandha (if using) and stir thoroughly. Add liquid sweetener and vanilla extract to the bowl and stir again. Add melted coconut oil to the bowl and stir again until all dry ingredients are coated evenly. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet and spread with a spoon until evenly distributed. Bake at 250Âş for around an hour, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Once the granola is finished but still in the baking sheet, add dried fruit and even sprinkling of Japanese sesame salt (if using) while granola is still hot and stir around once more to combine. Allow the granola to cool completely on the cookie sheet before transferring it into jars or storage containers. Feel free to store it on the counter at room temperature if you plan to eat it quickly, or in the fridge for 2 weeks.

I make granola often because it’s cheaper than store bought, I can control the amount of sugar in it, and it’s nourishing, light and easy to pack on a hike.

What kind of granola would you like to see next? Peanut Butter and Popped Sorghum? Pistachio Ginger?

All the best, Bette

Liriodendron tulipifera in snow

Last weekend I noticed snow had collected in the dried remains of the fruit on this Tulipwood Tree. I was struck by how much they looked like tiny snow cones and attempted to capture their adorableness with my old-but-new-to-me 75-300mm zoom lens.

Liriodendron tulipifera aka Tulip Tree, Tulipwood Tree or Yellow Poplar produces a cone shaped fruit comprised of many samaras – dry, single cell fruit which are dispersed by the wind.

Too charming not to share 🙂

Happy New Year and all the best, Bette

Tiny Buttermilk Pancakes in The Wild

My beloved, albeit painfully needy rescue pup woke me up at 3 o’clock Sunday morning to investigate a mysterious sound, again. I’m an all-or-nothing sleeper so once I’m up–that’s it for me. I try to be sympathetic in these moments. How do I teach her which sounds are inconsequential – the clicking of the ice maker in the kitchen – and which sounds might be raccoons rummaging through the kitchen, or aliens beaming up the whole damn house?

I got dressed, washed my face, and brewed myself a hot mug of spiced apple cider. I wrapped up in a blanket and plopped down on the couch in the dark. My mind wandered to the quart of buttermilk idling in the fridge. “Why yes, Stevie,” I said to the dog now contentedly snoring beside me, “buttermilk pancakes do sound good.”

I googled “buttermilk pancakes” and the first recipe to pop up was Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes. I had all the ingredients on hand so I went with it. NYT Cooking recipes tend to be consistently O.K. with a couple of modifications – in this case I added a tablespoon of vanilla and a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, incorporated the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls before combining everything together in one large bowl, I let the batter rest at room temperature for nearly an hour, and I opted for avocado oil in a cast iron skillet for perfectly golden pancakes.

While watching the sunrise over frozen hills from my kitchen window, I ate a single perfect pancake, complete with a cartoon quality pat of melting butter and a hefty glug of real maple syrup. I cleaned up while the leftover pancakes cooled, used a cookie cutter to cut them into several small circles, and dusted them with powdered sugar before tossing them into a travel container. I then brewed two thermoses of coffee and patiently waited for K to wake up.


We try to get out for a hike or at least a long walk every weekend.

Bette smiling while squatting halfway up a set of treacherous stone steps

Sunday was crisp and gray, and I layered up in fluorescent knits against the chill.

Close up of wet leaves decomposing on rocks

I’m a creature of the PNW and the smell of wet, rotting leaves soothes me. If I look at this picture, then close my eyes, I can smell them now.

Close up of tiny pancakes in a clear container held between Bette’s knees

Once we reached the peak of our outing, we stopped to sit and enjoy some tiny buttermilk pancakes and hot coffee.

Looking down from Bette’s point of view while sitting on a large rock, her hand is holding an open thermos of coffee and there is an open container of tiny pancakes held between Bette’s knees

I added hot cocoa powder to the coffees; a poor man’s mocha. We quietly ate more pancakes and I audaciously wiped my sticky fingers on the cuff of my pants. Stevie sat inches from my face attempting to showcase her self-mastery and obedience in exchange for a tiny pancake of her very own.

Close up of Bette’s hand holding a pancake slightly larger than a quarter in the foreground in focus, Stevie is sitting obediently in the background out of focus

Of course I obliged, I’m not a monster.

Close up of Bette’s hand holding a pancake slightly larger than a quarter in the foreground out of focus, Stevie is sitting obediently in the background in focus

I’m an equal opportunity hiking guide – everyone gets a pancake at the summit, no questions asked.

Bette posing in front of a stream in a long sleeve purple t-shirt, a pink and brown short sleeve hand-knit stranded colorwork sweater, khaki overalls, a fluorescent yellow wool hat over a pink baseball cap and dark sunglasses

I felt so grounded here by this gushing stream, I took a selfie to commemorate the moment.

Close up of rotting leaves and rocks in a stream

Escaping to nature is the best antidote against the “too muchness” of contemporary life.

The stream doesn’t grind, it flows.

Best xx Bette

Fancified Instant Ramen with Poached Salmon and Half-boiled Ajitama

I eat instant ramen and I won’t hesitate to admit it. In high school I dabbled briefly in the snack food fad that was: uncooked Top Ramen noodles crunched up in the package and sprinkled with the provided seasoning dust. I don’t have a defense for my juvenile lapse in good sense besides it honestly tastes pretty good.

Through the lean times and the abundant, I have always eaten ramen. I’ve had the pleasure of eating legitimate ramen many times and as a result, I’ve refined my home ramen making techniques to meet my heightened expectations. In a pinch, instant ramen noodles can be quickly finessed and improved with the addition of a few seasonings–in this case substituting the provided seasonings completely–and various prepared toppings.

Raw salmon steaks surrounded by onion and seaweed in a pan of shallow brown liquid

Last night I thawed two locally sourced salmon steaks, massaged them with sesame oil, and sprinkled them with black pepper. Then I poached the salmon steaks skin side down atop a layer of green onions in a mixture of water, mirin, and tamari, and seasoned the liquid with sliced white onion, sliced shallots, more green onion, black peppercorns, garlic, lemongrass, ginger root, raw jalapeño and some seaweed.

Poached salmon steaks simmering in poaching liquid

I poached the salmon over low heat in a large pan covered with a glass lid–occasionally lifting the lid to spoon the liquid over the salmon. This allowed the salmon to cook slowly, gently releasing fat and flavor into the poaching liquid. Next I set the cooked salmon aside to keep warm on a plate, covered, and set the pan of poaching liquid aside while I boiled the noodles in a medium-sized pot.

A rectangular cake of uncooked ramen noodles being held by chopsticks over a pot of boiling water

Once cooked, I drained the boiled noodles and set them aside in a large bowl of cool water while finishing the broth.

Cooked onions and jalapeños in a mesh strainer resting over a pot of brown broth

I strained the poaching liquid into the pot I used to boil the noodles and added more water, then seasoned it further with more tamari, mirin, sesame oil, red miso paste, fish sauce, and fermented red chili paste. I brought the broth up to a boil before immediately turning the heat down to low and simmering 5 minutes.

A bowl of ramen on a kitchen counter next to an unopened package of ramen noodles from Public Goods

I drained and placed a serving of noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl, ladled the hot broth generously over the cooked noodles, then topped it with large flakes of warm poached salmon, half-boiled ajitama egg made earlier in the day, fresh scallions, a couple of roasted garlic cloves, and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

Close up of a bowl of ramen noodles in a rich brown broth, topped with poached salmon, half-boiled seasoned egg and scallions. Next to the bowl on the table is a yellow cloth napkin and a set of white porcelain chopsticks decorated with blue dragons

While it might not be entirely traditional, this bowl of ramen was complex and satisfying; a damn fine interpretation using things I had on hand.

Now, who’s hungry for noodles?

Bette

Recipe: Sour Cream Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake and a Saskiko-Inspired Hand-Mending Project Update

There is a cake recipe at the end of this post as your reward for continuing to indulge me in my steadfast effort to convert my modest wardrobe into a curated collection of slow craft, folk art heirlooms. I’m only half kidding when I say “curated” and “folk art heirlooms” and I’m not kidding at all about the cake recipe… scroll down to the bottom if you need hard proof.

A slice of coffee cake on a light green plate atop a coffee table cluttered with fabric, a sewing project in progress, a mug of coffee, and a typewriter mostly out of view

Years from now I’m sure I will look down at these finished knee patches and remember fondly all of the delicious loaf cakes I baked and ate while stitching my way through the cold, dark winter of 2020.

Close up of brown cloth patches pinned to faded black pants in the process of being sewn and reinforced with linen thread

A meditative stitch (or 100 stitches) here and there, day and night, always quietly accompanied by a hot mug of coffee, tea, or cocoa…

Out of focus in the background Bette is sitting on the couch illuminated by holiday lights, sewing patches on to pants which are resting on the coffee table in the foreground next to a mug, and a stack of books topped with an unlit candle. Bette’s over-sized black sweatshirt says, “witchcrafts” and shows 3 spooky witches doing various handcrafts.

Now, about that Sour Cream Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe.

As a “mature for my age” child and an inevitable coffee lover, to me, coffee cake was the pinnacle of grown-up baked goods. I could argue the Seinfeld episode titled “The Suicide”–during which the main characters discuss at length the merits of Drake’s Coffee Cakes–had a strong impact on my young, impressionable mind.

The success of this cake depends on only two things, really: 1. starting with room temperature ingredients and 2. incorporating them together as thoroughly and slowly as time and reason will allow. It’s best not to just slap this one together; take your time and your prize will be an easy, delicious cake.

Sour Cream Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

Cinnamon swirl:

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ÂşF

Butter and flour a 9″ rectangular loaf pan and set aside.

To prepare the cinnamon swirl: in a small bowl combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat room temperature butter on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes until creamed. Scrape the sides down into the bowl and add sugars. Cream together again on medium speed for an additional minute.

Scrape sides down into the bowl again, then add vanilla and molasses and incorporate on medium speed for 2-3 more minutes.

Scrape sides down into bowl again and add eggs, one at a time on the lowest speed, stopping to scrape the sides down into the bowl between each egg. Batter should be fully combined and smooth in consistency at this point.

Pour approximately half of the batter into your prepared loaf pan and even out the top using a spatula. Using a spoon, sprinkle approximately 75% of your cinnamon swirl mixture evenly across the top of this first layer of cake batter.

Proceed to pour the rest of the batter overtop the cinnamon sprinkle layer and even the surface with a spatula again. Finish the top with the remaining 25% cinnamon mixture evenly sprinkled with a spoon.

To swirl the center cinnamon layer, insert a butter knife down from above into the batter until the tip of the knife reaches the pan. Slowly drag the knife through the batter in an easy S-shape swirling motion from one end to the other. Repeat a second time.

Bake in a preheated 350ÂşF oven for 60-75 minutes until a butter knife, cake tester or wooden skewer inserted carefully down into the center of the cake from above pulls out clean (crumb is fully formed/no wet batter clinging to it) and the top is puffed and browned. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully lifting or turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Good for 3 days at room temperature.

Enjoy! Bette

Easy Like Sunday Morning – Classic French Croissants and a New Book

I finally did it. I followed the recipe in Le Creuset Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes From Our French Table and made French Croissants from scratch.

Despite a brief period of cold, creeping self-doubt around the third touch and go, dicey repeat of “roll dough out into a 8″x12″ rectangle and fold into thirds like a business letter” I feel this bake went extremely well.

Croissants cooling on a parchment sheet lined wire rack

I started the dough on Friday afternoon which required overnight refrigeration. I worked the dough throughout the morning Saturday, alternating between rolling, folding, and chilling again and again. Next came cutting rolling, forming, then leaving to rise until doubled in size. Lastly this recipe called for brushing the top of each croissant with a wash of whole milk and egg yolk just before baking, resulting in the distinctively shiny, golden exterior classic croissants are known for.

I baked the croissants late Saturday afternoon and woke up this morning, Sunday, excited to make myself a small breakfast and tuck into a new book for a couple of hours.

Close up of a croissant torn in half showing its flaky internal layers

I’ve just started reading the book Real Life, a novel by Brandon Taylor which was a finalist for the 2020 Booker Prize and is so far bright, relatable, and poetically descriptive.

Pictured is a small table covered in white cotton cloth. In the middle of the table is a small, round orange plate. On the plate is a freshly baked croissant, a spoonful of cherry jam, a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese, and half an avocado with a fork resting in it. Also on the table surrounding the plate: half a banana, a lit candle in a brown tin, a mug of coffee that says “eliminate girl hate” in plain white letters inside a red heart, the book Real Life by Brandon Taylor, and a white hand-knit napkin featuring a cable knit leaf motif.

This is my ideal Sunday morning: bundled against the chill in a warm blanket, feet decked in colorful hand-knit wool socks, good candles burning, jazz records playing softly in the background, pecking at a tasty spread while reading a good book–unaffected by the snow falling gently outside.

I hope you are currently spending your Sunday nestled someplace equally cozy xx Bette