Thursday, May 15, 2014

waiting on summer...

Isn't the world a funny place? All my California friends are sitting in front of their air conditioners eating ice cream all day and we have been patiently waiting for something that even resembles heat (there was SNOW last week!) A couple weeks ago we got tired of waiting and decided to make summer happen. I took my very last final on a Thursday afternoon and we loaded the car up and drove south until we hit summer, just as the sun was fading from the sky. 

We camped in the desert dust, under one bazillion stars. We explored the cliffs and hills around our campsite, collected rocks and chased lizards. We studied the art on the walls of the valley floor, and climbed high to watch the desert roll out into the horizon.

FUN FACT #1: My husband has four fingers on one hand (surprise!?). 
[note: 2 year old + exercise bike is not a good combination]. 
FUN FACT #2: I am fascinated with the Anasazi Indians, and love to study about their life once upon a time in our deserts. I was pretty excited when we saw this pictograph (see it--right in the center) with four fingers on the left hand......because, seriously, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! 
It's some kind of sign....
desert heat // the little red house
Ali and I hiked waaaaay up high to sit in the breezy heat and take in the surroundings.....I mean, look at this view.
desert heat // the little red housedesert heat // the little red house
and then, we did this......
desert heat // the little red housedesert heat // the little red house
When you are desperate for sunshine and heat and your winter skin needs to be thawed, it's funny what you will do. You will sprawl out in sand.....that isn't really sand, just to soak up the heat. You will hike and hike and hike down the muddiest desert stream as your kids float and squeal down the "rapids". You will wonder what to do when you get stuck in the mud up to your knees and come thiiiiiiisssssss close to losing your shoes forever in the muck....
desert heat // the little red house
desert heat // the little red house
desert heat // the little red house
You will watch them float every day, alllllllllll day, because it' feels like summer.
desert heat // the little red house
desert heat // the little red house
 And that feels good.
all desert photos taken on my phone


We returned home to the cold and I still was craving the heat. As the snow fell in the mountains we drank tea and made spicy soup for dinner.
chicken curry soup // the little red house
Spicy Chicken and Coconut Curry Soup
adjust the heat to your liking by paling around with the amounts of chili flakes, ginger, and curry paste.

coconut oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces 
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5 carrots, sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (extra seeds = extra heat)
large pinch of dried chili flakes (I used a few pinches)
1-2 TBS grated fresh ginger* (I used 2 for some extra zing)
4garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 TBS red curry paste (I used 2 for more heat)
4 cups chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
extra chili flakes for garnish

*did you know you can freeze fresh ginger! yes! keep it in the freezer if you can't use it all up fast enough, and you can just grate it frozen when you need it.


1) Heat a few TBS of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken to the oil with a pinch of salt.  Sauté until cooked through and golden. Remove chicken and set aside. Sauté the onion, pepper, carrots and jalapeno, adding more oil if necessary, until veggies are tender.

2) Return the chicken to the pot with the vegetables. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook for a few minutes. Add coconut milk and curry paste, and mix well. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cilantro, and lemon juice. When soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, longer if you have the time--the longer you simmer, the more the flavors will have time to party.

Top with more cilantro, chili flakes, and cashews. 

Happy Weekend!

blogged 1 year ago: short stories
blogged 2 years ago: hiking with little legs
blogged 3 years ago: a love letter to my tomatoes


liv said...

i love everything about this post- we live down by capitol reef and i can't wait to get out into the desert with my two littles- snowed last weekend but this weekend looks promising- yay! p.s.- tried your coconut curry and lentil soup this week- our favorite one yet.

gram said...

brings back fun memories ... especially the 'quick' sand we came onto... and getting high-centered on the rocks... lots of fun!

Unknown said...

I heard y'all had snow on Sunday! Certainly do remember those crazy Utah springs. And I love that you camp as a family. Can't wait to do that when my kids are older. I'm not brave enough to take 2 toddlers into the wilderness. Thanks for your fun blog.

Ashlee @

Unknown said...

Explore Cedar Mesa. Ruins and mystery and adventure await.

Unknown said...

thanks ,,,,,,,

Sydney Ann said...

Hi there-I'm starting to make this soup now but realized I'm not sure if you mean red pepper, or red bell pepper...?

Love your blog and all the yummy recipes!


jenniferhoiyin said...

This made me crack up, but also cringe. I am now going to keep a close eye on my 2 year old when she's around any exercise equipment!

Also, hooray for summer!

Ally said...

He has 4 fingers?!? That is awesome! It's like you have a three leg dog. Can't find those every day.