Hello, and Happy Almost Christmas! Have you made your lists and checked them twice?? As per usual, Christmas snuck right up on me, while I was busy lighting Hanukkah candles
and being showered with tons of incredible birthday love.
At the ripe old age of 39, I can tell you one thing for certain, I am a seriously lucky woman. I feel beyond loved. It’s more than that. This time around, I feel like my friends and family know so deeply who I really am, and they appreciate me for me. And that feels kind of glorious. Instead of scheduling a birthday party during the busiest time of year, I decided to spend QT with my dear ones individually or in small groups. Over a period of five days, I shared pots of tea, scrumptious meals,
festive drinks, soulful yoga classes, an amazing theater performance, and a hilarious game session with a handful of my very favorite people, and it was awesome!!!!! Although I didn’t get to see all of my peeps, the ones I did get to hug represented the lot quite well.
Each blazingly thoughtful gift or message I received shined like a mirror right back in my face, telling me the story of who I have grown to be. It was like “This Is Your Life, Ashli Price. Pay attention and reflect.” As I approach this last year of my beloved thirties- best decade so far- I find that I am grounded, choosing happiness (unless it’s before 8am) and glowing from it, living in each and every moment with gratitude, and sharing all of it with those who cross my crooked path. I highly recommend yoga, cooking or making something with your hands, falling in (and staying in) love and nurturing a true partnership, living in a progressive and accepting community, being open to learning, and nourishing friendships/ family bonds. Those are the keys to my happiness. Amen.
Holiday time naturally provokes us to look back over the year drawing to a close, and you know, 2014 was a real doozy in terms of loss and tragedy for my little corner of the world. We lost some beautiful souls, whose spirits will never be forgotten, in heart-crushing ways. Cancer, Fire, Guns. The precious nature of our time here on Earth rings more loud and clear with every goodbye I’m forced to say. And so I feel compelled to soak up all of the minutes of this life with a ferocity and to mindfully reach out to those I love even when they are busy chasing toddlers or teenagers, or starting their own business, or exploring the world with foreign-to-me vacation funds, or asleep before I even finish delivering dinners to clients. Because honestly, my people are the whole shebang, and when I reconnect, I feel the most full.
In that vein of connecting with our people, I hope you’ve got plans to celebrate Christmas with folks you love- or at least like a whole lot. 🙂 I wish for you to be surrounded by positive energy, warmth, giant smiles, and deliciousness. Maybe your table is already set and you’re cooking as we speak. Or maybe, you’re still at work and haven’t had a moment to plan out your holiday feastival. Either way, I promised I’d share this recipe before Christmas Day, since it’s so vibrantly red (and excitingly yummy to boot), so I’m giving it to you- just under the wire.
Beet, Apple, and Carrot Salad
It all starts with fresh ingredients, and it is definitely the season.
Here’s what you’ll need…
For the salad:
6 little or 3 large beets, peeled
1 crisp apple, peeled
4 skinny or 2 -3 fatter carrots, peeled
juice of a lemon
big handful fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 Cup of roasted pistachios
Shred your beets, apples, and carrots in a food processor with the shredder attachment or with a box grater. I was scared to try the first beet in my food processor, but it worked beautifully. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over your apple and toss it to coat the apple well.
Combine beets, apples, carrots, parsley, and nuts in a large bowl.
Your hands will look like this…
For the Sherry Dijon Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup sherry vinegar
1 rounded t dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled
quick squeeze of honey
good couple pinches salt and pepper
Combine dressing ingredients in the cup of your immersion blender or in a small food processor. Pulse to combine. Then, whir your machine while you slowly drizzle in olive oil- about 1/3 – 1/2 a Cup. You will hear/ see the dressing emulsify and thicken. Stop and taste. The dressing should be quite tangy. You can adjust seasoning to your liking.
Drizzle half of your dressing over the shredded goodies, nuts, and parsley. Toss to combine well. You can add all of the dressing if necessary, just add a little at a time, so as not to overdress the salad. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. You’ll probably need to sprinkle a bit more salt and pepper over the whole bowl.
Allow your salad to chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving. But, I’ll tell you what- it actually gets better over time. I made this salad for Thanksgiving and on the third day after Turkey Day, it was still intensely delicious, as the flavors had mingled and intertwined beautifully.
I love the way the sweetness of the apples, carrots, and beets shine in this dish. The tangy dressing cuts through in a way that’s just right, making a harmonious bite every time. And the pistachios. Mmmm. They add roastiness and a note of texture that is spot on. This bright, juicy salad comes together super quickly, so it can function as a weeknight side dish too. Or, top it with a protein and call it dinner. Voila!
And with that, my friends, it’s officially time to pack my bags. I’m going to my mama’s house in the sunshine state.
I hope you have the Merriest Christmas everrrrr and/ or that your Hanukkah has been full of joy. In the new year, I wish you tons and tons and tons of happiness. I challenge you to connect in 2015, not with devices or screens, but with your people. Reach out more than ever before. Plan more dates- with your honey AND your friends. Call people who haven’t called you in forever. Like call them on the phone old-school style. Send love notes to your girlfriends. Be mindful of your abundance. Celebrate all of the little things and soak up all the moments. Share your love and light with the world. People will notice and your goodness will surely rub off onto others.
Happy cooking and eating to you,