May 9 2017

My Story is Worth Telling

by Kathryn Budig

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I made a new friend yesterday.
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Kate and I grabbed drinks with Jamie Tworkowski, founder of the amazing organization, To Write Love on Her Arms. This soft spirit has dedicated his life to reminding others that theirs matter.
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After a few hours of talk about love, heartbreak, work, and of course –basketball and sneakers — we said our goodbyes and I decided to dive into his memoir.
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I climbed into bed next to my Tetris-crazed girlfriend. She made a welcoming space for me without losing a beat.
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“Do you think I’ll ever actually write my third book?” I mused.
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“Yes. Absolutely. Of course you will. Why?”
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I strategically dodged over her chest to grab Jamie’s book without sabotaging her swift-thumbed game.
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“I dunno. It sometimes just feels like I won’t.”
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It feels like I won’t because it’s too much. I look at Jamie’s book title. Exactly. Because I feel too much. Or maybe I’m an imposter … do I really have a story worth sharing or the chops to even pull it off?
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I sigh, kiss Kate on the cheek — she responds with a warm purr — and open up my book. A mere three pages in and I already know what I need to do.
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Here’s a man completely opening his heart to the world. To write love on her arms — offering a daily dose of hope and inspiration by baring his soul, story, and words.
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I immediately know: it’s time to pick up where I left off. This is my duty — when I feel brilliant, when I feel scared, even when I feel like it will never, ever make sense or matter to anyone.
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My story is worth telling. I matter. We all do. ⠀

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Thank you, Jamie.

 





May 1 2017

Schooled by Birds

by Kathryn Budig

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I was feeling particularly melancholy as I stared out the car door window, the urban New York City landscape whisking by.

 

I had a few absolutes I was grateful for: the affirming squeeze of my love’s hand as she artfully wove in and out of traffic; the comfort of the passenger seat in my own car, the lack of impending car sickness accompanied by the stress of passive cab drivers that taunt and dredge in the slow lane.

 

Even with these small comforts, the car was zipping me towards the airport, where I would board a petri dish with wings that would take me far away from family, a land without alarm clocks, and a place that whispers promises of grounding.
It’s been a hard few weeks (years). We’ve been living in a world without answers peppered with wildly complicated questions. Hard work is consistent, but the juicy fruits of our labors are still clinging stubbornly to their lofty branches.

The magic-odometer has been dangerously low.

I continued to gaze out the window, squinting throught the thick morning haze. A flock of birds appeared. At first, they’re disjointed. A mess of wings stewing in a pot of clouds. Then without warning, a shift occurred. An unknown force pulled the birds into formation. A perfect V. The shape shifted seemlessly from one formation to the next, like the mesmerizing dance of a screen saver, or the percent marbled artwork that occurs when a shot of espresso hits a glass of iced milk.

How can they know how to do that? How can such a seeming mess snap into a perfect symphony? Teach me!

My love squeezed my hand as my eyes flickered with their movements — chaos breeding sense. The impossible laughing at it’s own name. Magic existing without instructions. Birds schooling me on the way to JFK.

I squeezed her hand back. The car carving its own artistic patterns on land.
For a moment we synced.
My heart rate calmed.
We’re gonna be okay.




Mar 17 2017

Unicorn Cauliflower Salad

by Kathryn Budig

 

Salad at the End of the Rainbow

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Unicorns seem to be all the rage these days.

Unicorn onsies. Unicorn toast (not to be confused with Mermaid toast). Unicorn lattes (yes people … they’re real! Served up in Brooklyn at The End).

So I got to thinking … what about Unicorn … salad?

True. Unicorn salad is not nearly as sexy as a plush adult fantasy nighty or a symphony of fantastical colors in a coffee mug, but hey — even unicorns need some nutrition, right?

So here she is — the most colorful salad I’ve ever made. The base is a rainbow of cauliflower rice (grated cauliflower sautéed to be rice-like). You can find these beauties at farmer’s markets or health food grocery stores. They’re not always stocked, but when you find them, you know what to do:

 

MAKE UNICORN SALAD!

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Ingredients:

3 heads cauliflower (I used purple, orange, and green), grated

1 small jalapeño, diced

1 small fresno pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, diced

2 T coconut oil

sea salt to taste

 

Dressing:

1 t dijon mustard

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1 /2 orange, zest and meat chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 cup wild arugula

2 T hemp seeds

 

For toasted breadcrumbs:

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (can be bought gluten free)

1 t coconut oil

1 t salt

1 t smoked paprika

 

Using the largest side of a grater, grate the outer part of the cauliflower heads (don’t grate to the stem … the color lives on the outer part. Save the remaining cauliflower to steam, or chop up and freeze). This is often referred to as cauliflower ‘rice’. Place all of the grated cauliflower into a bowl.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté red onion, jalapeño, and your fresno pepper for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Toss in the cauliflower with salt to taste, and mix well until all of your veg is lightly covered in oil. Make sure the contents is spread evenly in the pan, then cover for five minutes. Give it another good stir (we want it to soften and get a slight golden hue), spread evenly again, and cover for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small frying pan, warm up the additional teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Toast breadcrumbs with it’s spices for roughly three minutes, stirring often with a hawk eye. These babies burn easily, and we don’t want them brown — just golden.

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk well.

Toss everything into a bowl and mix ‘er up! Voila! A salad worthy of a unicorn.

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