Beet Cupcakes: An Illustrated Guide.

BEET CUPCAKES RECIPE

I made this recipe up, but I think you will love it. Before you begin, you’ll need some beets and some beats to listen to:

Here are the steps to making GREAT BEET CUPCAKES:

1. ROAST THE BEETS

(5 LARGE BEETS, OR 10 SMALL ONES, OR 15 TINY ONES)

Wrap them in foil and cook them for about an hour in a 375 degree oven. Then, rinse them under cold water, peel the skin off, cut the heads and tails off, and put them in the blender.  Leave the oven on because you will need it later to bake the cupcakes (unless you want to eat all the batter, which is a disgusting thing for a human to do).

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2. PUREE BEETS AND ADD OTHER STUFF

Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 eggs, a cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup cacao powder, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

BLEND UNTIL CREAMY

Then, put this mixture into another bowl (a big one), and add 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup chocolate chips, and 1 cup crunched walnut pieces.

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3. WHIP IT GOOD

(yes, you have to listen to the song and watch the video while you do it)

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4. PUT IT INTO A MUFFIN TIN WITH MUFFIN CUPS IN IT

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5. BAKE THEM AND GET EXCITED*

*until a toothpick or fork comes out clean

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6. LET THEM COOL & FROST THEM WITH NUTELLA IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT TO THAT LEVEL

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 7. EAT THEM, AND BRING THEM TO YOUR FRIENDS!!!

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Enjoy!

Love,

J. Bird

New Projects and 10 Things I Dig.

Hello, lovely bluebirds!

I am HOME for about a week due to a terrible rash I developed out on the fireline. While I wish I could work right now (and stop itching!), it is good to see my family and get some rest and do some running. I’ve been stuffing myself with Chai tea and nectarines and rotisserie chicken…running all day and playing with the dogs. Playing guitar. Vacuuming out the Jeep. Things I never have time to do in the summer. This morning I had breakfast with Daddy Lyons, and I am planning on doing some cleaning and painting and running later this evening.

AND…

I’m going to do a couple new paintings, and I will try to have them up in my Etsy shop and on this blog for you all to look at and buy if you feel so inclined. Be excited because they will be a collection–variations on a theme dealing with the colors of fire and feathers. Everything will bleed into shapes and formlessness simultaneously…crimson and pale blues. Violets and blacks. Whites and pinks. Indigo and oranges. The colors of the places I’ve seen this summer. Timber and sand. Fire. Water. The Wind River Range.

I am excited to paint and excited to share with you! Yeehaw!

I’ve been digging a lot at work lately, but these are the things I am also digging:

1. KINO MCGREGOR’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL 

2. THESE LULULEMON RUNNING SHORTS 

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3. BLACK TEA WITH VANILLA ALMOND MILK IN IT…YUM 

4. THIS BALLET 

5. THIS BOOK 

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6. THESE OVERALLS 

 

7. THIS WEBSITE FULL OF RECIPES FOR KALE SMOOTHIES 

 

Beet Blueberry Kale Smoothie 

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 medium-sized, raw beet
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 leaf kale
Instructions
  1. peel ginger
  2. peel beet
  3. add ginger and beet to blender and blend a little longer than you think necessary. The key here is to blend the beet smooth before you ad the other ingredients.
  4. peel banana
  5. de-stem kale
  6. add all ingredients to blender, blend and serve!

8. THIS SONG

9. LONG RUNS OUT IN THE COUNTRY 

10. THIS MAN …miss him all the time and love him dearly! 

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I hope you are all enjoying the last days of summer! Water your garden, fill up the hummingbird feeders, eat dark chocolate, and love your neighbors!

 

Love,

J. Bird

Coming Home and the Karma of Flame.

Hello, lovely bluebirds!

I just woke up from the first good night’s sleep I’ve had in over two weeks. I got home last night from two weeks of fighting wildfire. As you know from the heightened news coverage, there are many fires burning in the western United States, which makes my job as a Hotshot both better and worse. I’m grateful to have three days off to spend with my family and Brandon and my dogs. I’m looking forward to running and riding bikes and spending LOTS of needed time in the hot springs and eating Thai. And listening to this mashup of the XX and Notorious B.I.G.

Fire has so much energy. And for every ounce of energy that fire has, it takes ten times the energy to stop it. I think that this rule applies for the way we treat others as well; for every good thing, kind thing, good intention that is done, it takes the same energy or less to spread it. For negative things, it takes karma ten times the energy to repay it. It’s easier to be good.

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The night we did this burn (in the picture above), I saw a deer running out of three flame fronts together. I saw about ten birds of prey floating on the drift of the smoke and vortices converging inside. I thought about them and the concept of survival. I thought about all the things that were dying inside the acreage we had burned…all the little things. The sage. The grass and their hoppers. The spiders. The roots that flow like circuitry through the ground.

But there is life in that.

I was thinking about that scene–my favorite fire vision of flame front and birds floating on its energy–and this poem by Joanna Klink, one of my very favorite poems and author of Circadian, found me this morning–perfect expression of what I had seen:

VIREO

And although I am afraid for the soil and silver hills,

for the root systems and breath systems, for those

who feed under cover of night, there is still a strange

borderless joy in the upper rooms of trees, as vireos

sail between branches, bobbing through the swept

white sky, acquainted with cloud-drift and the evermore

intricate breezework of space. A reverie

of hollow bones and strong taut feathers that whisk and

pivot with our eyes’ vitality, they elude each specific death

as hawks move like light through smoke, hanging without sound.

Innocents, the day has brought you everything you need,

and the depths that open up beneath you are of no

concern to you–the phlox growing up the rotting shed,

the slow scuttle of cars, each hometown blinking through

exhaust as the evening broods then descends.

We fail where you most survive, at the brink of air, pushing

hard against the pressures of the given. What do you

have, coming suddenly where all things are?

(A vireo, for reference, is a small African songbird).

On my last days off, I tried to take Brandon to my sacred space, the red gate. You’ve seen it on the Lyon’s Roar because I talk about it all the time. For those of you who don’t know, this is the gate:

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When we walked up there, I immediately broke into tears because it was gone. All the posts had been ripped out of the ground. I had an influx of confusing emotions. I felt like my temple had been destroyed. That place was sacred to me, and I had spent many hard times up there thinking and praying to my own personal gods. An entire world I had created in my mind had been created around the days I had spent up there. You know because you’ve read all my writing about it.

But Brandon told me that it was okay, because the gate was just a thing. The space was still there. The memory, the ceremony, the time was still there. The place was still there. We were there. The intention was what was important. The attachment was not important. The gate needed to go so that I could learn how to find peace in myself. 

I learned an important lesson about attachment and destruction. And watching entire ecosystems burn this summer reiterated that important lesson to me. Love things and people, but do not get attached to them because things do not last forever. You have to find peace in your own mind, and only then can you be constantly at peace with yourself and the world.

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Respect life…your own and the lives of others. Be kind to yourself and reach out to others. Let them ride on the energy you exude, like the birds on the edge of a flame front.

I have a bit of writing to do for Elephant Journal and I am probably going to make some Avocado Gelato today, eat some spicy food, find a high point to hike up to, and buy a new swimsuit to go hot springin’ in. I hope everyone has a lovely day…YOU DESERVE IT!

Fly free, burn hot, be spicy, and love endlessly!

Love always,

J. Bird

Weekending.

I’ve been in Montana and Idaho fighting wildfire, as per the usual during these times of year. Someone special (B. Sheehanigans is his name!) came to visit me on my days off from hotshotting and treated me like a PRINCESS! Coffee, breakfast, running, baby robins, and time in the sage and grass together made me a happy girl.

Summer is oh-so-blissful.

More to come (LOTS of photos of fire, birds, butterflies, and people) in a later posting! I love you, bluebirds!

J.

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And listen to this: