Pineapple Wrapped Halibut & Chipotle Peppers

Chipotle & Pineapple Halibut 2

Twice this week and probably eighteen times this year, the same gentleman in the Whole Foods seafood department has helped me with a seafood selection.  I walked away today feeling ridiculous that I don’t know his name.  Next time I’ll be in less of a hurry and will take the time to ask.  Especially since he took the time to inspire this dish.

Chipotle & Pineapple Halibut 3

The pre-made pineapple wrapped fish at Whole Foods has always caught my attention.  But since I have an aversion to pre-prepared things, I insisted on making my own.  When I told Mr. Whole Foods Seafood Man {wouldn’t it be so much easier if I knew his name?} about my plan, he, with excitement, said that if I was going to make my own I should definitely use chipotle peppers because chipotle and pineapple are meant for one another.

Chipotle & Pineapple Halibut

He was right.  I was surprised by how much chipotle and pineapple flavor the fish soaked up while broiling. But I wasn’t surprised at how well sweet pineapple and spicy, smoky chipotle paired.  It was so delicious I ate both pieces.  In one sitting.

Snow Crab & Granny Smith Apple Guacamole

Crab & Apple Guacamole Recipe

I love, love, love the guacamole sampler at La Condesa.  It’s a total must-order when I have visitors in town. And every time I order it, I secretly hope the company I’m keeping isn’t a fan of crabmeat so there’s more crab and apple guacamole for me.

Snow Crab Claws

Until recently, it never dawned on me how straightforward this guacamole was.  There’s nothing super complex about the guac itself, no marinades on the meat or fruit, and no secret sauce drizzled on top {to my knowledge}.  Its simplicity is what makes it so delicious.  So why not make it at home?

How to keep apples from getting brown

I couldn’t remember much about specific flavors of the guacamole other than crabmeat and apples, so I whipped something up that was super delicate that really allowed the garnishes to shine.  Typically, I’d put red onions and garlic in a guac, but shallots seemed like the more appropriate choice tonight.  And instead of serving with tortilla chips, I changed it up by using dried plantains.

Will knowing how to recreate this dish reduce my future La Condesa visits?  Absolutely not!  But having a homemade guac recipe with such a fun twist will surely come in handy for future dinner parties.

Wanderlust Fest 2015

Wanderlust Festival 2015 Schedule

Thursday night, Amanda and I flew from Austin to Oakland {a Southwest, direct flight to San Francisco hack}, met up with Lex who was meeting us from Tampa, and took the metro to Lauren’s apartment in the Marina District.  We hit the road early the next morning to Squaw Valley, all of us unsure of what we’d signed ourselves up for.  But we used the ride to catch ourselves up with our schedules and, 3-1/2 hours later, we successfully planes-trains-and-automobile-ed our way to this year’s Wanderlust Festival.

Lake Tahoe SUP Yoga

First on my Friday schedule was SUP yoga in the middle of Lake Tahoe.  What a way to get into vacation mode!  It was a tough class, balancing on a paddle board in the middle of boat season on a choppy lake.  Difficulty aside, breathing in the fresh lake air with my fingers dipping into the cool water during final savasana was one of the greatest experiences of my life and was the perfect festival kick-off.

Other than a super informative chi running course {which I’ll be putting into practice when I return to Austin}, I didn’t have much on the books.  I wandered around the festival scoping out where my Saturday classes would take place, sampling and re-sampling all of the delish treats from food sponsors, and looking through lots of fun yoga gear from clothing vendors.

Aireal Yoga Squaw Valley

Saturday was a different, jam packed, story.  I woke up bright and early and headed to the fest to grab avocado toast and coffee from a food truck that Amanda said was a must {which it was}.  But by the time my breakfast was ready, my first session had already begun {oops!}.  I decided it was in my best interest to stay put, enjoying a slow-paced meal with friendly strangers rather than rush to a meditation class.

Aireal Yoga Wanderlust Festival

And when my next class started, I was glad I fueled up.  A powerful core AiReal Yoga practice taught by the founder of aerial yoga – I must not have read the description!  But with Carmen’s instruction, I flowed in the air for the next hour, paying more attention to how unique this experience was rather than how difficult.  At the end, we prepared for final savasana by cocooning ourselves in our hammocks.  Although gently spinning through the air in the middle of mountains was my second favorite savasana {in life}, this session was my favorite of the fest.

Granite Chief Trail Squaw Valley Hike

After AiReal Yoga, I met up with Amanda and Lauren for a hike up the Granite Chief Trail.  The hike took us from 6,200 to 6,700 feet which made us sea level dwellers huff and puff.  I’ve never spent any time skiing, so it was incredibly shocking how much the altitude affected us.

Granite Chief Trail Yoga

The hike was filled with ah-mazing views.  The scale of the surrounding mountains was so grand that, every time I looked up, it was hard to believe I was there, in the middle of it all, and that everything was real, not perfectly painted backdrops.

After hiking, I spent some solo time by the pool, listening to tunes, thinking about my future, and prioritizing the whats and whos that mean the most to me.  This has been an incredible experience for reflection!

Squaw Valley Highest Point

And then we topped off our day by being lifted to 8,200 feet, where our dinner was waiting for us.  And then headed back down for Thievery Corporation.

My Wanderlust Saturday was a mix of every single thing you could hope for a Saturday to include.  There are already talks about which fest we’ll attend next year.  But in the meantime, I’m off to enjoy a few more classes before heading back to the city tonight and my city tomorrow!

Chilled Charred Pepper & Sweet Corn Soup

Charred Pepper & Sweet Corn Soup 4

Today was the first noticeably scorching hot day this summer.  As I lowered into my car and avoided direct skin to seat contact, I eyeballed a 101 degree reading on my dash.  I thought “yikes!”.  And then I thought about soup.  Confused, I redeemed myself {to myself} with ideas of chilled soup.  Because chilled soup in 101 degree weather makes sense.

Corn on the Cob

A few minutes after arriving home, I had my mind set on this soup.  But after flying to and from Dallas today, I also had my mind set on not braving the Whole Foods crowd.  The likelihood of Fresh Plus, my neighborhood grocer, having golden beets was oh so slim.  And I didn’t feel much like roasting beets anyway..

Charred Peppers

But what I did feel like doing was setting cutesy bell peppers on fire.  And then putting all of the lovely bits of char into a {coconut} cream-based soup.

Charred Pepper & Sweet Corn Soup 2

I really enjoyed how the sweetness of the corn paired with the smokiness of the peppers.  And even more so, I appreciated how creamy this soup was, naturally, without cream.