Fossilized Tree Sap

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -K. Vonnegut

Recipe for Almond Bread

Almond Bread

This version included ground pumpkin seeds & almond meal.

I tweeted today about making this bread and received several requests for the recipe, so voilà! This is a favorite of mine, because it is so simple and healthful. Relative to other breads, this has more protein and omega-3 fats, plus it’s very flavorful and has great texture. I recommend it with sweet cream butter and fleur de sel, or a nice dollop of fresh ricotta cheese, likewise sprinkled with a pinch of salt.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (not powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 medium or large eggs

Whip together eggs, vinegar and salt. (I use my blender then pour into the bowl.) In separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients and combine well. Add dry mix of ingredients to the egg mixture and combine gently. Transfer to a well-buttered bread pan (I use a 10cmx25cm pan, and this barely fills it halfway.) Bake at 175 C / 350 F for about 25 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing it, as it will hold together better.

* Variations – I mostly use almond meal, but also like grinding up raw cashews, pumpkin seeds or flax seeds to add to the mix. If grinding your own nuts or seeds, the coarser the grind, the more of a hearty, chunky texture the bread will have. If you add raw sunflower seeds, the bread will turn green due to the interaction with the vinegar; it’s harmless and actually quite festive!

Zuhause

A pretty little nook in our neighborhood, cozy despite the cold. It’s good to be home.

Hof

{image by me}

In Krumlov

We held onto the last hours of the night and lingered at the pub long after other patrons had left. Even after tying scarves and buttoning our coats, we stayed, talking with our waitress so long a round of slivovitz had passed our lips before we thought again of leaving. Our waitress laughed with empathy at our reluctance to depart and poured a second round, this time Becherovka. The sweet spice tasted like sparkling gold, like Christmas in my mouth. “No, no,” she smiled as we reached for our wallets, “the drinks are my treat. Merry Christmas.”

Brewing Copper{image by me}

 

Catching Up

I just flew back from a visit to New Zealand. I say that like it was a quick little jaunt, when in fact the journey home took over 45 hours. While I loved my time in the southern hemisphere, I’m hurting with jetlag, which isn’t helping productivity. I have some stories and photos up my sleeve, but until I can get those polished up for you, here is a snippet from an article I did for Fuji, the official bike supplier for our team, Diadora-Pasta Zara. (The article includes a recipe for Bircher style müsli, my favorite pre-ride breakfast!)

…During a typical racing season, I spend nearly eight months on the road, so during the fall and winter, I really enjoy being at home in Graz. Don’t get me wrong; I love the empowering experience and exhilaration of exploring entirely unfamiliar places, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get enough of that fix. But there’s also a part of me that longs to feel settled, grounded, and home. I guess you could say I miss my Heimat. Overall, I think this unconventional profession strikes a perfect balance for me: I travel like crazy during the season, then get to recharge at home during the off-season before doing it all over again…

To read the whole article, click here!

This is Where I Live!

I recently stumbled across this great video promoting Styria (Steiermark), the region where we live in Austria. The two things I love most about this video are:  1, the guy who says “Jo, jo” (pronounced yo yo, typical Styrian dialect for saying “yes” while nodding ), and 2, not one bit of the video is an exaggeration. Styria is really, truly this awesome.

Das grüne Herz Österreichs. I love it!

Anywhere Road: Moment of Clarity

Here is a snippet of my latest column on Anywhere Road:

…. I hadn’t had Good Legs in more than a year. Sure, I’d had Fit Legs and Pretty Good Legs, which if raced with cunning can still yield a win. But that day, for the first time in a long time, I really (as affirmed by my powermeter) had Good Legs.

I didn’t want to stop riding, but began to lose daylight. I hit one last climb and paused near the top. Below me rows of olive trees cast lavender shadows across the hill, sloping down to the Mediterranean. The sun hung low on the horizon, its glow refracted red across the Tuscan landscape, which slipped into warm hues as New Year’s Day 2011 ebbed slowly out to sea.

Visions of the past twelve months flashed through my mind—pushing a walker through the hospital in Qatar, tedious hours of physical therapy, my first race win of the year in Bischofshofen, among others. In many moments I’d felt utterly crushed and hopeless, but with a lot of support and stubborn perseverance, met each challenge, and finally here I stood—happy, grateful and on Good Legs.

… to read the full column, click here!

From Oliva With Love

I’m back home after a week of training in Oliva, a small town on the Spanish coast south of Valencia. Bicycle practice took priority, which meant no real sight-seeing other than blurred landscapes peripheral to the tunnel vision of full-gas training sessions. Even so, nothing beats getting to know a place on a bicycle, and the stunning coastline and terraced desert landscapes left an indelible impression, photos or no photos. I loved it there!

Of course, I couldn’t leave without taking at least some photos. During a run to the local bike shop, I snapped these shots.

I loved the neon colors of the festival decorations and used the Accent Color function on my little Canon to emphasize the flamboyant contrast between modern and traditional.

Stay tuned for more stories and a few more images, which I’ll soon be posting to my column Anywhere Road on TripleCrankset.com. You can also follow these adventures on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ambermalika

[images by me]

Blick aus Italien Nr. 3

{images by me}

Blick aus Italien Nr. 2

{images by me}

Blick aus Italien Nr. 1

In December, David and I migrated south to Italy, in search of warmer weather for training. We found an extra 10 degrees and a lot of rain in Tuscany. Between exhaustion from training and the monsoon-like weather, we didn’t get out on the town much. When we did, I naturally had my camera on hand. The next few posts will feature some of the images I nabbed on our strolls through the walled city of Lucca. I hope you enjoy them.


{images by me}

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