"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness"
-John Muir

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Toasted Pepita Butter

I put off trying to make my own seed or nut butter for a long time, imagining that it'd be a messy, laborious process and therefore not worth the trouble.  But, I finally decided to try it when I was looking for more ways to eat pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) because of their fabulous nutrition content (among other things, pepitas are high in zinc and amino acids, which are both especially important for vegetarians).

It turns out that making your own pepita butter is super easy.

Kind of ridiculously so.

I now feel silly buying a jar of nut or seed butter.

This method below works for other nuts and seeds-- not just pepitas.  You might just need to eliminate or adjust the amount of the oil (almond butter, for example, can be done with very little oil or none at all).  Also, with pepitas or other nuts or seeds, you can add a little salt and/or honey if you feel like a little flavor boost.  Or, throw in some chocolate chips-- I won't judge.

Here's how it's done:

Gather your ingredients.

Spread your pepitas on a pan.

Toast until some are browned and puffy.

Put in a food processor.  My cute little mini-chopper is perfect for this job.

Process, stopping to scrape the sides if you need to.

Go 'till you've got a smooth but crumbly paste.

Slowly drizzle in the oil with the machine running until you get a smooth butter.

Put it in a jar in the fridge for storage.

Put it on a rice cracker; put it on apples; put it on a sandwich with jelly.  Most importantly, put it in your face.  Your face will thank you.

I know, I know, the color is weird.  It has, at times, been called "booger butter" at our house.  You'll get over it once you taste it, I promise.

(Control-click or right click on recipe to print.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Etsy Picks: Awesome for Autumn

Shopping on Etsy can be daunting.  We're here to help...

Here are some things we like for him, her and home this fall:

wood sunglasses by acdwsh
Hip, handmade and relatively affordable, these would top off just about any fall ensemble.  Made by a guy in New Jersey, you'll find these glasses in a shop among lots of other cool wood accessories, plus bleached vans and vintage clothing.

small clutch by TheSardineBox
Handmade by a cute couple in Greece, this little clutch could serve many purposes.  I'd use it for holding my credit card, ID and car keys for running the kids to school or stopping by the grocery store.  This shop is full of great little accessories that ooze their rustic-modern style.

be awesome card by aLittleBirdTweetme
Printed from a hand-drawn design, this sweet, simple card could be gifted for so many different occasions-- or just because.  Based in California, this shop features a full line of charming, simple stationery.

honey buttermilk soap by ArtisanBathandBody
Hand crafted in Nevada, this soap just looks like it smells great-- warm and luxurious, but also so simple.  I'm in the middle of cleaning up by personal care routine, and I'm thinking this soap would make a great addition to that.

vintage antler by shavingkitsupplies
Come fall, I'm drawn even more than usual to rustic, cozy, cabin-inspired decor.  A shed antler gracing a tabletop with a simple fall bouquet would make a great backdrop to a fall dinner.  This Pennsylvania- based shop features lots of rustic vintage finds to compliment your cozy fall decor.

black wrap watch by petitJuJu
Handmade by a couple in Ukraine, this perfectly-hipster accessory ships anywhere for free!  Their watches come in a variety of shades, widths and lengths for guys and girls alike.

moon ring by SecretFind
Also crafted in Ukraine, and also ships for free!  This sweet little moon ring is adjustable, making it a great back-to-school gift for science teacher and student alike.  The shop features a nice variety of whimsical and affordable jewelry.

vintage lantern by MeshuMaSH
Another perfect rustic-fall home accessory, this lantern has a super-lovely natural patina.  This Israel-based shop features a lovely mix of vintage finds for the home.

bike photo by Racetay
Another great cozy fall decor idea, this beautiful professionally printed photo features a quaint Paris scene.  The Canadian shop carries hundreds of gorgeous photos of a variety of subjects-- and they have a sale going on right now!

whiskey cups by taylorceramics
These beautiful 6-ounce slab-formed cups say they're for whiskey, but I'd be more likely to sip wine or kombucha from one.  This Massachusetts- based potter hand has a whole line of beautiful, modern, functional and versatile home goods.

moon tee by makemaketees
The simple, lovely, hand-printed design is inspired by the phases of the moon.  The fledgling Poland-based shop features a full collection of simple, modern, nature-inspired tees for women and men, along with a few cute tote bags.

vintage baskets by bonnbonn
Smart storage solutions are essential to a well-thought-out space.  Turn necessity into a beautiful thing with a pair of these lovely but simple vintage lidded baskets.  This Chicago shop features a sweet mix of rustic-leaning vintage finds, and a few pretty handmade wooden and linen home goods.

cushion cover by JuliaAstreou
This pillow cover is handwoven of local wool in Cyprus.  The raw stripes give it a rustic-tribal feel, but the neutral palate would fit in with a variety of decors.  The shop features rustic-modern hand-woven accessories for her and home.

slouchy hat by ozetta
With nighttime temperatures already dipping below freezing here in the mountains, I find myself lusting after warm hand-knit accessories like this lovely, simple hat.  I love this neutral wheat shade, but this hat can be made in your choice of over 30 colors.  Plus, it's on sale right now!

nature photography by sparrowsalvage
This is one of only a few photos you'll find in a shop of mostly vintage finds based in Australia.  This still life of found natural objects catches my eye every time I come across it.  The rich, warm tones are a welcome compliment to an autumn mood.

shoulder bag by christystudio
Roomy enough for work, school, or an overnight trip to see changing leaves, this bag is hand crafted in sturdy cotton, in a lovely cognac tone.  So versatile, and also on sale!  The Malaysia-based shop carries a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes of bags.

See this collection on Etsy.
Which of these finds is your favorite?  Let us know in the comments.

Happy shopping!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mocha Energy Smoothie

I'm trying, not entirely successfully, to wean myself off of afternoon coffee.  It was working for about three days until I broke down late yesterday afternoon and had a cappuccino.  "It'll be fine," I told myself, "just a minor setback... I'll start again tomorrow," I said.

Yeah, not so much. 

Flash forward to 2 am, when I'm laying exhausted but mysteriously wide awake on the couch watching Clueless on Amazon Prime.  I enjoyed the movie-- (Ah, nostalgia of youth!  And how cute are Alicia and Paul?!)-- and then Pretty In Pink after that (gotta love Molly Ringwald!).  What I did not enjoy was the 4 am bedtime as of 7:30 this morning.

In comes this smoothie.  It made up half of my hearty breakfast (paired with a Van's gluten free waffle topped with almond butter) and gave me the willpower to stay out of bed after less than four hours of sleep.

I'm just lucky my kids are at the age where they can entertain themselves for awhile while Mama sleeps in a bit.  And that it's still (but just barely) summer.  I have exactly 5 days left of summer to get this caffeine-sleep imbalance back to a balance, before I have to start getting up early and getting everyone ready for the 7:30 start time at school.  It's going to be brutal.  I'm going to need more of these smoothies...

This is one intense beverage-- chocolatey, filling, and it has a caffeine kick besides (although I've made a coffee-free version of this for my kids).  It's also perfect for that 2 pm, falling-asleep-at-your-desk slump (if you work outside the house, you could try bringing it in a thermos).  Just don't drink it too late in the day or you may end up immersed in a late night 80s/90s teen rom com marathon...

(Control-click or right click on recipe to print.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hi there!

Allow us to introduce ourselves...

We are In Search of Wild.

I'm Angela.

My interests include clean eating and cooking, making jewelry,

and keeping up an online presence for our Etsy shop, In Search of Wild.

This is Brock.

He's a wildlife biologist, a talented artist,

and a pretty good mandolin player.

We're inspired by wilderness

and our two wild little boys.

For our purposes here, we'll call them by their nicknames...

This is Bug.

He's four years old and is obsessed with dinosaurs.

And this is Bean.

He's seven and he loves science and reading.

They both spend inordinate amounts of time playing Legos
(Brock and I like Legos too).

We also have two grumpy old mutts, Juni and Mo.

Together our favorite past time is finding adventure
across the beautiful American west.

Please re-visit us here frequently to be a part of our adventures-- 
wilderness, culinary, artistic, Etsy-related, and otherwise...

In Search of Wild