6 AM: Up and at ’em! I want to make it down the hill promptly today, so I rise early to arm myself with a mango-banana breakfast smoothie.
9 AM: Made it to Balancing Monkey Yoga in time for their 9 AM Blend I class. This turns out to be an introductory level, not nearly as challenging as the last class I attended. But it feels pretty good to slow down and focus on maintaining perfect form in foundational poses.
Noon: Lunch with Grandma and Grandpa.
3 PM: Making some halwa. Halwa, also known as halvah, helva, and a bunch of other spellings depending on where in the world you are, is a general term for a whole host of sweet, dense confections. They can be made with nuts, fruit, flour, cheese, beans, vegetables – pretty much anything!
Today I am making carrot candies inspired by the Indian sweet gajar halwa. The basic formula is 1 part finely grated carrots, 1 part milk, and .25 parts sweetener. Fry the carrots in ghee (I used butter) until it lightens in color. Add milk (skim) and sweetener (maple syrup). Stir constantly while the mixture reduces until the liquid is gone and the dough is sticky and starting to pull away from the pan. Spread on a greased plate and chill; cut into squares.
Traditional gajar halwa contains cardamom and fried cashews. I had neither, so I added ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, and topped the cooling squares with toasted almonds.
A reasonably nutritious and very tasty treat!
6 PM: Leftover sukiyaki for dinner.
9 PM: Watching my Food Network celebrity crush, Nadia G., in her Bitchin’ Kitchen. I love her over-the-top humor and fearless style – plus, as she herself says, she can cook like a god.