Happy Mindful & Meatless Monday! What’s up???
Still feeling this incredible amount of energy from yesterday’s Super Bowl. I spent the majority of my youth in South Jersey, and having the Eagles win was awesome!
My dear friends Caroline & Doug hosted a spectacular vegan Super Bowl party! Was so delicious. I ate too much…and I felt it on the treadmill today lol.
Check out the interview I did some time ago with Caroline on the blog here:
She has transitioned from vegetarian to vegan since the interview.
Good times for sure, and a great way to “kickoff” the week!
Going way back to Saturday the day before the decadence and madness of the Super Bowl, I want to share a very moving experience I had called “Reiki and the Wolves” at Wolf Connection in Acton, CA. It was such a beautiful & insightful day of healing and connection that I am full of gratitude for.
Reiki Master teacher Stella Davies started our groups journey by giving us all a gift of Rutilated Smokey Quartz which promotes spiritual growth, healing, balance & emotional calming, as well as repelling negative energy?
Isn’t it lovely?
The wolf encounter part was out of this world, as you can imagine. We were invited to sit inside their enclosure and let them come to us if they wanted to engage.
After several minutes of just watching them in complete fascination, I was blown away when I received huge, wet smooches on my face from Ayasha the wolf/coyote/dog! I may never wash my face. 🙂
Here she is in all her glory:
One of our guides for the day, Amanda, is a psychologist. She brought several of us to tears discussing the lives of the individual wolves themselves, and how their stories and life experiences might make a connection in us and bring healing on a personal level.
We finished off the day with a guided meditation with Surreina Gallegos, and then a “share” in which we discussed our experiences within small groups. And last but not least, we randomly selected a “wolf card” which would turn out to not be so random at all – in fact this card would have significant meaning for us on a personal level. After picking our card, we headed over to the actual wolf from our card pick to have some “quiet time” together. Powerful stuff!
Here is the card I picked:
My card pick was trippy AF because at the beginning of the day we set an intention and well the card was spot on for me, you can’t make this $hit up. And seriously hanging with wolves, it doesn’t get much cooler.
You can read about her story here:
Location was gorgeous too – felt like I was in Arizona, not a stone’s throw from LA. Check it out!
Here is the link to their website:
Just a reminder that wolves, and wolf-dog hybrids are not pets…way too many of these beautiful animals being euthanized because people were inspired by movies or TV shows to purchase an animal that should be wild and in it’s natural habitat. I know it’s tempting, I’m a Game of Thrones fan too – but no, just no!
Also, if you have little kiddos please take a moment to educate them on wolves. It drives me nuts that movies and books geared for preschoolers still portray wolves as these vicious killers.
In other news – the twins slept through the night last night! Super Bowl Sunday exhaustion?
They will be 5 the end of May…seriously beginning to lose hope I will ever sleep again.
I have started the nighttime ritual of adding essential oils to their bath.
Maybe I need a bath with essential oils…oh wait, what? You have four kids? Que the sinister laugh…
How does this segue into Challah bread you may ask? Get ready for Mindful Monday “Breaditation”!
WTF is “Breaditation” you may ask? It’s my feeling that bread making is mindfulness at it’s sweetest. You have to stay present, slow down, and focus while making bread. Making Challah is one of many weekly baking activities with the twins. It’s my favorite one on one time with them – with reading coming in a very close second.
We love to bake together, and in fact I’m dreading Kindergarten because it will screw up our baking time. That’s what weekends are for right?
Anyhow, this recipe came from my in-laws. In fact there really was no recipe – I just had to stand over them and measure everything the last time they were here and then tweak the recipe until it worked.
You can make 2 Challah loaves with it. Sometimes we make 1 loaf and then 6 really big knotted dinner rolls. Enjoy the carbs with no guilt, you deserve it!
Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with a silpat or parchment paper, set aside.
2 1/2 cups water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
4 heaping tablespoons organic sugar
8 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for your hands and table
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric – optional (gives it a golden hue)
1/3 cup Grapeseed oil, plus extra to grease your bowl
2 tablespoons vanilla soymilk, or nut milk of choice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes. Yeast mixture should get foamy – if not your yeast is dead and you should start over with a new package of yeast.
Add flour to yeast mixture, stir to combine with a spatula & cover with kitchen towel – let it sit for 20 minutes. Then add salt, turmeric, and oil to the yeast mixture.
Begin to knead the mixture with your hands until it forms a dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, or a kitchen towel.
Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
The dough should have doubled at this time.
Punch it down, and divide it in half.
Take one half and divide it into thirds. Roll each third into a snake or rope about the length of your cookie sheet. Braid the “ropes” and pinch the ends together. Repeat on the second cookie sheet with the other half of dough.
Cover the dough braids with a towel and let rise for 25 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.
Remove towel, and brush the braids with the “milk” and sprinkle with sesame seeds. You want just enough “milk” to get the sesame seeds to “stick”, not soak the loaves.
Bake the loaves on separate racks for 30 to 40 minutes or until the loaves are a beautiful golden brown.
Let them cool for about 10 minutes and then place on a cooling rack to cool completely, wrap and store on the counter for a couple of days – or wait 20 minutes and serve warm.
**I like to use 2 cookie sheets together to prevent bottom from excessive browning.
**don’t use extra flour unless you really need it or your dough will get dry.
**besides plant milks for the “wash” you can use pineapple juice or maple syrup mixed with a bit of water. Typically an egg wash is used to give it that sheen which you don’t get with plant-based alternatives, but they still look & taste great! I also like to not add the wash & just give it a sprinkle of flour – gives it a nice natural look.
**I always use a scale when I divide the dough to make sure my strands are all the same size. You can definitely eyeball it tho.
***It’s wise not to only go by time to determine if your challah is properly proofed after braiding. About 25 minutes into proofing press the dough gently with your knuckle or finger. If the dough springs back right away, it needs more time proofing. But if it springs back slowly and leaves a small indent, that baby is ready to bake.
**if your oven doesn’t heat evenly turn your loaves halfway through the baking process.
For best results I like to use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients.
***measurements when you prefer to use a scale:
525g of water
14g or 2 pkgs active dry yeast
75g of sugar
1000g/1 kg of all-purpose flour, plus extra for your hands & table
16g kosher salt
70g grapeseed oil (or any neutral tasting oil)
Use method instructions above.
Have a great week, be present and spread love!
Peas & Love,