baked spinach artichoke dip

spinach_artichoke_dip_ 214 After having some awesome spinach artichoke dip at a restaurant recently, I couldn’t stop thinking about making some at home. The Oscars were the perfect excuse (although, I wish I had just made the dip and skipped the show).

This recipe consists of blending and mixing so it’s really easy. I made my own cashew cream cheese to use, but you could used the store bought kind instead if you like. Also, I used 3 cloves of garlic but it turned out REALLY garlicy so maybe just use one or two.

spinach_artichoke_dip_ 216
Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 1/4 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed with water pressed out
1 10 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
3/4 cup non-dairy sour cream
1/2 cup cashew cream cheese (recipe below)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsps nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
bread bowl (optional)

Cashew Cream Cheese
1/2 cup cashews
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
water for blending

For the Cashew Cream Cheese, soak cashews in water for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse. Blend with vinegar and lemon juice until it is silky smooth. Add water if needed for blending.

Preheat oven to 400°

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon into an oven safe dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve as is or put in a bread bowl.

spinach_artichoke_dip_ 215

winter passing

green_life_ 216 green_life_ 215 green_life_ 217 green_life_ 214 I was mourning our lack of winter, I love the cool weather and change of seasons, but I went outside today and was smitten with the beautiful weather. I wouldn’t say that it’s spring, and I’m still holding out for some more rain and whatnot, but it was nice to open the windows and let our apartment breath.

It is apparently mercury retrograde, which everyone seems to be complaining about, but I was reading that while the there are problems with technology, it’s a great time for creativity. I’ve been thinking lately about how I want to express my creativity. Often times I feel like I have my hands in so many different pots and I wish I could just focus in on one thing. I have been wanting to paint lately, something I haven’t done in years now. Do I really need another outlet? I find that I generally work better at one thing when I can switch between focuses but, it would be nice to be a little more expert at one thing, rather than dabbling in so many.

Which brings me to another thought, one maybe for another blog post, but when thinking about all my different projects, I can’t help but think about how many paths I’ve left behind, how many times I’ve changed course. Maybe I’m starting to get to an age where I feel like I need to have clearly accomplished something, clearly be on a road to somewhere. Sometimes I think I am, other times I surely don’t. I try to reassure myself that this is something a lot of people probably go through (do you? speak up!).

After seeing physicist Clifford Johnson speak the other day, I couldn’t stop thinking how I wish I had stuck with science rather than going to art school. I guess it’s never too late for major life changes but it does make everything seem so distant. One of the reasons I moved away from biology when I was younger was the amount of time I would have had to spend in school. I really need to just figure out what I’m doing in general.

Ok, enough of all this esoteric life pondering. For the moment anyway. Off to make appetizers for Oscar watching, which will of course be on the blog later this week.

salton sea

Camping, Salton Sea 2013

Camping, Salton Sea 2013

Salton Sea 2013

Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea 2013

Salton Sea 2013

Salton Sea 2013

Flamethrower, Salton Sea 2013

Salton Sea 2013

Camping, Vegan Breakfast

Hasselblad, Salton Sea 2013

We stole away to the Salton Sea this weekend. Inspired by a trip years ago, we found out just the day before that a group of people we knew were also heading out to the desert for the weekend. We camped nearby and watched some of the antics from afar. It was a little bit Mad Max meets Bellflower (yes there was a flame thrower).

Mostly it was just nice to get away from Los Angeles, even for a little while, turn off our phones and just be. We explored Niland by bike and hiked up to Slab City at night. My car got stuck in sand and a kind fellow with 4 wheel drive had to pull us out. Shawn made the best tofu scramble on our camp stove. I tried to take some medium format photos so hopefully I’ll have those to share soon.

All around fun. More camping adventures in the future.


Salton Sea

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

Long weekend means it’s time to get away for a little bit. Which means I should probably get off the internet and get on the road. Excited for some adventures. What are your plans for the weekend?

upstream color

upstream_color There are films that are good and there are films that speak to you on another level. Upstream Color is one of those films. It was my most anticipated film of Sundance this year and it did not disappoint. Somehow I knew that it couldn’t. The story has too many facets to summarize with any fairness, so I’ll point you in the direction of the below trailer which touches on enough of it, without spoiling anything.

There are a few things about Upstream Color that make it so utterly wonderful. For one, it has a perfect balance of romance, mystery and science; a combination that makes all the parts of my mind perfectly content. Beyond that, I was really impressed by the way the story was told, with intriguing visuals and complementary dialogue. It’s all too common these days for films to over explain things or show you as well as tell you what is going on. Film is a visual medium and should be used as such. Tiny gaps in a story, like with memory, allow your imagination to connect the pieces to make a broader picture.

All the elements come together at top form to make this film work. Amy Seimetz gives a stellar performance. The sound design, an integral element in the film, is also superb. I could go on singing praise for this film for days. I’ve been a fan of Primer, director Shane Carruth’s first film, since I saw it back in 2005 and Upstream Color just builds on the filmic principles he set up back then.

I know Upstream Color won’t be for everyone, but it is certainly for me. I recommend you see it, when it is released in April. Or if you’re in Austin, check it out at SXSW this year. I personally can’t wait to see it again.