Greenest of Green Smoothies

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Serves 2.

Ingredients:

Cut into 1″ pieces & frozen –

1 Granny Smith apple
1 Bartlett pear
1 – 8″ spear celery
1 tsp. Ginger, fresh or frozen, not powdered
4 – 1″ pieces green bell pepper

Blend with:

1 – 2 handfuls leafy greens (I used romaine, kale, & baby spinach)
2 parts almond milk, unsweetened
1 part green tea, unsweetened
1 -2 Tbsp. pineapple juice
Juice from half a lemon

Optional:

Protein powder
Ground flaxseed
Chia seed
Preferred nut

Totally refreshing, just the right amount of sweet, packed with nutrients. Enjoy!🙂

~m

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Times I’m glad I can’t go through the looking glass.

This gallery contains 4 photos.

A quick visit to the LA Zoo’s LAIR exhibit. Beautiful & deadly, I love them. Photos are the property of yours truly, individually & as The Singing Bee blog. Please do not use them without my permission. You’re the best, … Continue reading

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Photo Hike 2 – Big Santa Anita Canyon

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Went on a nice meandering hike up in Big Santa Anita Canyon, visiting Chantry Flat , et al and the trails & hidden places there. Photos are the property of yours truly, individually & as The Singing Bee blog. Please … Continue reading

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Why L.A. Doesn’t Suck

Stay with me here. I know, it’s a stretch.

We’re so used to saying that L.A. sucks. Unless we’re singing Randy Newman songs. But that’s a different story entirely.

Or is it?

L.A. only sucks as much as you let it suck. I’ve been all around the country and visited other countries. I guarantee you how much a place sucks has a lot to do with your attitude… and its available resources.

Still with me? Sweet!

L.A. can be a serious drag. It’s not a great place if all you do is drive to work and back every day. Let’s face it: the freeways blow. Traffic sucks. People can be shitty. It’s a big city with all the proverbial big city warts. <— I’m just going to leave that alone, just how it is.

BUT! L.A. is also full of:

Sunshine ☼

Happy people. I’m sure. Somewhere…

Beaches.

Restaurants galore.

Museums.

Botanical gardens.

We have a zoo, folks.

And hiking.

Because – did I mention the sunshine? If it’s an outdoor pursuit – you can pursue it in L.A. Hiking, running, surfing, cycling, dog walking, toe jam sculpture – you name it. L.A. probably accommodates it. And you really do not have to go broke to play in L.A. Granted, people love to spend money in sunny SoCal, but it’s not a prerequisite for good times.

Case in point – my lovely friend KG came down for the weekend last weekend. She lives in northern California and I think we can all agree that NorCal and SoCal do so love to hate each other.

I am a long-time lover of the Bay Area, however, so I understand why Los Angeles seems like the ungrateful mooch, comparatively. Still. Our taco trucks are better.  Like, way WAY better. There’s this one, in the garment district, and they put grilled green onion on top of the carne asada… oh. my. GAWD. It’s unbelie—

Sorry.

Anyway, KG came down to visit me and I made nefarious plans. Friday we just gabbed and generally caught up with each other. We went out for mongolian BBQ. We drank wine. Good stuff.

KG She’s a cagey one, KG.

Saturday, we went to my farmer’s market. I love it there and show it off whenever I can. There are these bread guys there – Old Town Baking Co. – best 9-grain sourdough EVER. And the berries. And the fresh eggs. And the honey at Bill’s Bees! Good grief. It’s free to go to the farmer’s market. You just find one and walk in and amongst the goodness. How much you buy is up to you. There are so many to choose from. Truly we are the lucky ones.

After the farmer’s market, KG and I went to the zoo.

RAWR.

RAWR. Did you know there are dinosaurs at the zoo?

The L.A. Zoo has been around a long time. When we first moved to L.A. everyone told us that we should go to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego instead. Which is also great. But, it’s not in L.A. and much less convenient – not to mention much more costly. And now that we’ve been zoo members for years, I honestly don’t understand why people FROM L.A. encourage people to go AWAY from L.A. to a zoo. The L.A. Zoo needs your dollars, folks. They do good conservation work there, and have many educational programs.

TIGER. o my.

Tiger, o my.

Gibbon mama with wee baby.

Gibbon mama with wee baby.

Tigers think baby gibbons are delicious.

Tigers think baby gibbons are delicious.

Look at this foot. LOOK AT IT.

Look at this foot. LOOK AT IT.

Over the last few years of membership, we’ve watched them make huge changes to the zoo – it’s getting better each year. Plus, it is also a botanical garden. I love spending a day at the zoo. I’ve taken so many people there with me, in my effort to make people aware of how great our zoo really is. Another bonus? It’s inexpensive. We have a family membership, which is about $120 per year. Awesome deal. But general admission is a mere $13-18 and kids under 2 are free. Give me a break, wouldja? Why don’t you go to the zoo!?

Grumpy flamingo INSISTS.

Grumpy flamingo INSISTS.

Saturday evening we had delicious Mexican food at my local place, just a walk from my front door. Another great thing about L.A. Restaurants are all around, my friends. Now, I understand. It’s not an easy city to get around in if you don’t have a car. I continue to hope that they will continue to work on this issue. We do have the metro trains and buses, and I think they try hard. But – if you want to eat – chances are you don’t have to drive in L.A. And you do not have to resort to shitty fast food if you don’t want to. More than likely – there is a hole in the wall three blocks away, dishing up delicious cultural cuisine. Besides – we could all use the walk, couldn’t we? <— the answer is “yes”.

Sunday was great again – we ate at my husband’s restaurant for brunch, in Downtown L.A., and then we spent the afternoon at the L.A. Arboretum.

Peacock, the noisy bastards of the bird world. But glorious, nonetheless.

Peacocks, the noisy bastards of the bird world. Nonetheless, GLORIOUS.

I know – you thought the Huntington Library was the only botanical gardens in L.A., didn’t you? You’re wrong. *shrug* It’s okay though – shrug it off with me – because now you know! The Arboretum is a completely wonderful place to spend a morning or an afternoon. Admission ranges from $4-9.00 and children under 5 are free.

O, hello. Perchance... a carrot?

O, hello. Perchance… a carrot?

My favorite critter.

My favorite critter.

Boo.

Boo.

All work and no play makes delicious delectable honey.

All work and no play makes delicious delectable honey.

Fast little fu-- flyer.

Fast little fu– flyer.

Nature brings out our natural beauty, don't you think?

Nature brings out our natural beauty, don’t you think?

See? Natural beauty.

See? Natural beauty.

Also, there are flowers and stuff.

Also, there are flowers and stuff.

It's seriously beautiful in every direction.

It’s seriously beautiful in every direction.

If you're into that sort of thing.

If you’re into that sort of thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That said, I also love The Huntington Library and highly encourage visits there, as well.

Alas, it was time to take KG to a plane after the Arboretum and I had to say goodbye to my northerly friend.

NOOOoooo!!! Goodbyes are SAD.

Still, we filled the weekend with so much talking and food and gallavanting that I can not find one reason to complain. And, I doubt I parted with more than $100 over the course of the whole weekend. You know why?

Because I live in L.A. and L.A. does not suck. (Say it with me…L.A. does not suck!)

You just have to take advantage of the resources it has to offer, folks. When your weekend rolls around – and your weekly commute is over – maybe head to The Getty. If you’re musically inclined take in some of the music scene – lord knows we have a huge one. We have the L.A. Philharmonic too. Grab your bike and go ride at one of the many many parks or bike paths in L.A. Go for a hike! Or go down to Huntington Beach, grab a cup of joe, and find a bench above the Dog Beach. If you can’t smile in the breezy sunshine, breathing in the salt air, while watching the dogs (so many dogs) frolic – you may not be human. I love running down there. Those dogs make me smile like a complete idiot.

People, we have baseball, basketball, and friggin’ DISNEYLAND. So, go on.

Please go have some fun. Because otherwise you’ll forget how great we have it.

Also, Philosophical Ostrich just wants you to be happy.

Also, Philosophical Ostrich doesn’t understand a word I just wrote. She just wants you to be happy. And do you have peanuts?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my yoga class.

Photos are the property of yours truly, individually & as The Singing Bee blog. Please do not use them without my permission. You’re the best, thanks! :)

~m

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Banana Seed Bread

Warm, chewy, comforting banana bread. It’s one of my favorite things. And not too unfriendly on the hips. I’m generally resistant to “healthifying” recipes, unless you can do so without taking away from the enjoyment of the food. That said, I find most banana breads, even homemade ones, too damn sweet and they stick to the roof of your mouth like bad pancakes. So, I have played with multiple banana bread recipes, given to me over the years. The recipe below is loved by my whole family.

This banana bread is moist, seedy (and a little nutty), and a true comfort food. It’s lightly sweet, has a pleasant crumb, and is full of nutrients. It is not lowfat, but the fats it contains are the good kind, so you can enjoy it (very happily) in moderation at any time of day.

My Banana Seed Bread. Mine. But I share.

(Makes one large loaf – I usually make it in a standard bundt pan.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I know. You usually ignore this step, don’t you? Well, stop it. Turn the flippin’ oven on so we can get baking. It’s okay. I’ll wait…

Now. Grease your pan generously, then sprinkle some of the chopped nuts and pumpkin seeds in the bottom. Those will sit like lovely decor upon the top when you flip it out, like a pro. Done? O good. Set that aside, love. Let’s mix.

Dry Ingredients:

1 c. whole grain white flour, or All-Purpose, if you’d like
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. ground flaxseed
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds, aka “pepitas”
1 T. chia seeds
1/2 T. poppy seeds
1/2 c. rolled oats (whole)
1 c. chopped nuts (your choice) – if you’re fancy, toast them a wee bit first.
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon, to taste
dash of nutmeg
If you have kids, they love to add chocolate chips, don’t they? Or blueberries. I leave that entirely up to you. Add them here, in with the dry stuff.

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl and set aside.

Now for the gooey bits.

Gooey bits:

– 2 mashed bananas, ripe as hell, if you please.
– 1 c. raw sugar OR 1/2-2/3 c. honey or grade B maple syrup (I use 1/2 c. honey. You may like it sweeter. Up to you.)
– 3 T. grapeseed oil or coconut oil. Light olive oil is also great.
– 1 tsp. real vanilla extract PLUS 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste. Or whatever.
– 2 lg. eggs, or 3 regular dinky eggs
– 3/4 c. buttermilk

I’ve been baking and cooking my whole life, practically. So I generally know when something needs a little more liquid or a little more dry … I don’t want to hold your hand here, so I’m just going to say that the larger your bananas, eggs, etc. the goopier it will be.  Goopy is a technical term, but let’s just assume you know that if it seems too runny, it probably is. Add some more flour or oats. But try it out exactly as above first, so you have a baseline for your preferences. This should be thick and lumpy. It’s a quickbread, not a cake. You’re going to have to forgive the blemishes. Nuts, you know. Can’t do a thing with them, the lumpy little bastards.

Bake for a half an hour, checking up on it after 25 minutes and every five minutes or so thereafter. It will be firm all around, golden and slightly cracky, most like. Once it’s done, let it cool in the pan for about ten minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Let it cool thoroughly before you cut into it, you heathen.

Or don’t.

Because – WHO DOES THAT???!!

Enjoy, banana britches. Just don’t say I never gave you anything.

~m

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Butterfly Delivery

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Walked to the post office to mail some merchandise to a client when I noticed these shrubs ALIVE with butterflies. Wow. I was so glad I had my camera around my neck. They were 100% unconcerned with me, so I … Continue reading

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Never Judge a Book by Its Cover

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My gramma’s book, unearthed in my massive garage clean up. Photos are the property of yours truly, individually & as The Singing Bee blog. Please do not use them without my permission. You’re the best, thanks! ~m

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Photo Hike – In Search of Bees

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Hiking, searching for bees in every blossom. Found some! Photos are the property of yours truly, individually & as The Singing Bee blog. Please do not use them without my permission. You’re the best, thanks!🙂 ~m

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Old Dog

Old Dog

Wiley, lounging – and clearly uninterested in going on a hike with me.

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R.I.P. Oscar

R.I.P. Oscar

Oscar, beloved Corgi pal. Our time with you was too short. I miss you everday, señior.

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