Saturday, April 30, 2011

homegrown spoils

I was an only child for four years. My parents weren't as financially-comfortable then so I never had that much stuff, just an excess of their time and attention and love. It was wonderful from what I remember. Then, my little brother was born, and three years after that, so was my little sister. Sharing everything and everyone kept me from being too bratty, but knowing that I've still been luckier than some, I've probably been spoiled. Looking back, I'm sure I have been... in the most thoughtful and reasonable way, of course.
Last night I enjoyed a taste of what life might have been life if it was still just me. My brother is away at school and my sister was babysitting. It was nice, although in some ways I wish they would've been there too.
My mom, my dad, myself and a bottle of Oregonian Pinot Noir sat together enjoying each other's company and what I imagine adult conversation is like. It was our last dinner out together while I was still living under their roof.
I chose a local and seasonal restaurant, Sweet Grass Grill located in the heart of Tarrytown. Everything was fresh and mostly very flavorful. We split the majority of our dishes as per usual...
 [Hudson Valley Farmer's Salad: Local Mixed Greens, Spring Vegetables, Tomato Vinegar]
 [Carrot Ginger Soup: Carrot Chips]
 [Crispy Brussel Sprouts: Grapefruit, Garlic Chips]
[Spinach Rissotto: Spring Vegetables]
[Hudson Valley Duck: Haircot Verts, Frites]
  [Grilled Arctic Char: Quinoa & Cous Cous Salad, Sautéed Greens, Lemon Drizzle]
 [Decaf French-Pressed Coffee]
We finished our delectable meals with a Flourless Chocolate Torte with Vanilla Anise. As I savored small bites of it, in between sips of coffee, I thought about how human my parents are. I don't remember the day when I realized that they had no idea what they were doing either, that they were always just trying their best as well, but now that I have, I know that I'm able to appreciate them that much more.  Even if they still manage to frustrate me. Is it not just amazing that we go through our entire young lives looking up to them, needing their love and support, getting annoyed with the way that they care, and vying for our independence from it all? I am more than ready and prepared and excited to move out tomorrow, and yet, I must admit that sad to not be able to take them with me. Spoiled or not, I'm going to miss them so much. And with that final familial thought it's back to packing for me. Happy Saturday, doves.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

feeding back

Speaking of bad moods, would you like to hear the best advice I've read in a while? It comes from a Real Simple reader, Beth, and reads, "...Now I give to charity whenever I get grumpy. Each donation reminds me of what really matters." Fantastic. I believe in many things. We know this. But I also believe that we should focus on prevention, that chemicals should be kept in the labs rather than in our grocery aisles, that fresh produce should be accessible and affordable for all, and that no one, anywhere in our world, should go hungry. It's for that last belief that I support WeFeedback
The image above was borrowed from that same WeFeedback, a phenomenal social media initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world's largest humanitarian organization that fights against the chronic hunger that burdens families all over the world. Now look at it again. You'll also notice the text on the image - A $20 sushi platter would feed 80 children. Yes, I am barely a year out of college with bills, loans to repay, and numerous expenses (rent soon!) but if I can afford lunch, I can't afford not to do the world some good.
How does WeFeedback work? It's simple, really. You choose your favorite food, put it into the Feedback Calculator with the estimated cost, and calculate exactly how many hungry children it would feed. Then, you donate that exact amount. Where does it go? Anywhere  humanitarian aid is needed. Around 80% of it is bought in the developing world and about a third is purchased in the very country where it is needed. In these situations, those that are hungry are fed, and, those that are producing the food find a market for their goods, which helps support and build the local economies. 
Share food, change lives
Why does it matter? Because one in seven people on this earth are hungry. And there is more than enough food to feed every single one of that 925 million. You can access the Feedback Calculator (that looks like the image above) here or on the righthand side of my blog (beneath The News). It'll be there all day, every day, if you'd like to get involved. And if you'd rather not, I completely understand that too. Everyone has their cause. Thank you for reading about one of mine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

city strong

As the ever-wonderful Holly so eloquently commented, "i love your blog because it encompasses so many things - health, travel, happiness and of course, food." Firstly, thank you again, my dear. Secondly, I hope you all appreciate the posts that aren't quite about health, travel or food too; Especially as this one ironically falls into that "happiness" category.
A few weekends ago, I was watching Country Strong with Lara. In reality, I was watching it alone at home (unless a glass of wine counts as a companion), while she was also watching in her own home, we just happened to be tweeting at each other. Anyway :) in my opinion, the storyline was somewhat too dramatic, the script was somewhat cliché, and the acting was pretty spectacular. I'll admit that I enjoyed the soundtrack as well and downloaded it almost immediately after. Perhaps the most important takeaway, though, was the way it made me feel.. a lot. The combination of the country ballads and the drama (and the wine) had me completely in tears. The movie was definitely melancholic, but that wasn't even it. It just seemed to elicit all of the "weakness" in my being. I needed to cry. And as much as that may be a sad thought, I beg to differ.
I've been told that I was strong many times in the past year. I know that I've survived quite a few struggles, and with flying colors too. But I've come to realize that the bravest thing of all was allowing myself moments, like the one above, to be weak. Doing so has allowed me to heal. Because for as amazing as life is, it also has it's fair share of problems. It always will.
Far too often we get distracted by trying to fulfill our right to "pursue happiness" and ignore the need to just feel - to let ourselves be scared, angry, disappointed, or hurt. Our bodies aren't invincible and neither are our hearts. It's okay to be upset. And on that same token, it's also very okay to let yourself be happy. If you wake up content the next morning, smiling for no reason at all, revel in that. No matter that the world isn't perfect, you forgot to call your friend back, have laundry upon laundry in the hamper, and skipped the gym in favor of gelato. Real friends understand, laundry eventually gets done, and your body is still just as strong as it was yesterday. Let you (and your taste buds) feel whatever it is you need to feel. Give yourself a hug and embrace those brief tears and that smile. You deserve it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

bunny day

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the sweet comments on my last post. You are why I've been blogging for three years, and you are why we're going to keep on going to see where this little danielle abroad thing takes us :).
To celebrate the joyous occasion of this blog birthday/anniversary (?) I made sure this weekend was a social one. Friday and Saturday nights were spent with friends of the high school and blogging variety, making Sunday all about the family.
[mimosas, chocolate kisses, and Italian sweet bread to start]
 [photo shoot with lady kin, unpictured Easter egg hunt with little cousins]
 [salad, penne vodka, green beans, empanadas and wine for a late lunch]
[playtime with the only boy that caught my camera's attention - Junior]

Whether your Sunday was spent celebrating Easter or not, I hope that you enjoyed it to the fullest. Mine was especially meaningful as it kicked off my last week of living at home. Stay tuned, my dears, there are lots of exciting things in store.

Friday, April 22, 2011

becoming a food blogger

I started reading blogs in November of 2007. I was sick with a mono-like virus and couldn't go to class so I needed "I'm weak but not sleeping" entertainment. Food blogs fit the bill. Not only did I find them interesting, but many of my firsts (Eat Like Me, Eat Live Run, Kath Eats) updated three times a day. They were perfect for a bored girl longing for an appetite. And on that day I finally felt better, I was inspired to make oatmeal for the first time. Soon after I also found a passion for well being, especially nutrition. I signed up for a nutrition course the next semester and acquired a collection of health literature in the mean time.
Jump ahead to March of 2008: I had made lots of new healthful recipes and was more informed than I'd ever been about taking care of myself. I felt physically, mentally and emotionally better than ever. I decided that I wanted a blog of my own, even if I had no idea where to begin. I knew I wanted it to be somewhat about food, but I also didn't want to do what had already been done. Then I realized - it's probably unique that I was going to be studying abroad in the upcoming school year. I knew I'd have to incorporate my travels, fascination with languages, and cultural experiences somehow.
Onto April 22, 2008: Around the World in 340 Days was born. I wasn't sure what I was doing and the dear VeggieGirl was most likely my only reader. But then I lived in Ecuador for a month, Chile for five and France for four. I slowly but surely developed my voice and grew into the blogging community. I acquired more readers, followers, and friends than I ever could've imagined. I struggled with finding a balance between my pleasure-seeking sense of adventure and health-conscious wellness priorities. Eventually, I also moved back to the US, graduated from college, road-tripped solo, and started working. Somewhere along that way, this blog became A Nourishing the Glimpse.
[whole-wheat penne, sautéed garlic spinach, cannellini beans, fresh parmesan cheese, shy glass of wine]

As of today, I've officially been blogging for three years. I can hardly believe it! I've learned so much about myself, others, and the world in these 1,096 days. I've even acquired photography skills (or so I think.) Either way, like Gillian, I know now that I am not just a food blogger. For as passionate as I am about nutrition, I also care deeply about travel, art, yoga, culture, self-growth and -reflection, and it took all of these passions to make the freshly-appointed danielle abroad what it is today. Thank you for having supported me throughout the journey so far! For as many lemons as life has handed me, I'm so grateful to have had all of you to share them with. The same goes for the good times too, of course :). Here's to you, many more healthy meals, and the exciting life adventures ahead of us.

P.S. Also, Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a serious coffee break

I understand it may have been a little annoying to read the italicized beginning in my last post. It could be considered condescending or simply "too politically correct." I never intended it to be. The reason I included that tid-bit was because I believe in calling things, people, places what they are. 
Words are powerful and when they reference an identity, whether it be your own or somebody else's, I think there's value in using them correctly. This is what it is to be respectful. So, there ya go. Don't mean to offend anyone, I just felt the need to explain myself :). Now I'm going to get back to enjoying my coffee (with frothed almond milk) as I work on this sunshiny Thursday. Adios, my friends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

valencian rice

My late uncle's parents are Spanish. Just need to say this: While Spanish is a language, it is also a culture. There are differences, for instance, amongst Spanish people (those from Spain), Colombians (those from Colombia) and Latin Americans (those from one of the Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America). Anyway :) I tell you this because many Easters ago, my family celebrated the holiday at my aunt and uncle's apartment, and his parents brought paella. 
I didn't like seafood at the time, and I've never been the biggest fan of rice, but I tried it. I was unenthused. I didn't actually have it again until I was in Barcelona two years ago. I did enjoy it then but it still didn't blow me away. So, I decided that paella just wasn't really my thing... until last week at Socarrat.
I probably wouldn't have sought out this paella bar had it not been for ScoutMob. Thank God I found it. One of my best friends and I caught up for three hours over fantastic glasses of Spanish wine. We sat at a friendly communal table in the dimly lit, somewhat romantic restaurant with paella for two featuring fish, shrimp, cuttle fish, mussels, cockle clams, squids and scallops. I could not have been happier nor more satisfied. 
As for the name of this wonderful place, Socarrat Paella Bar, you can read above for the delectable meaning behind it. And as for whether or not you think you love paella, you will. I highly recommend paying a visit to one of their two locations.

Monday, April 18, 2011

renewed again

You may have noticed a few changes around here. First off, the header now says danielle abroad. It's been my URL for quite some time now (too inconvenient and costly to change) but I didn't find it fitting as a name. I'm rarely abroad these days, and when I am, it's only short term. That's not to say that I'm ruling out living in a foreign country once more... just that I have a thing for accuracy ;). I have heard that people "know" me as danielle abroad though, so I've moved a nourishing glimpse to the sub header, and danielle abroad it is. 
I thought it looked better in lower case as well and thus have adjusted it accordingly. Then I lower case-d this year's post title's and the page headers. I had to create some sort of seamlessness, you know.  Speaking of pages (we were, kind of), I've adjusted their titles to be questions and I plan to be edit them throughout the week. I must admit, I'm pretty excited for the updates.
And on that note, I'm still working on a faq page. How are we supposed to get to know each other any better if you don't ask me some more questions? Exactly :). It can be about food or travel or any little detail in between those areas of my life. If you don't feel comfortable commenting with it, you're more than welcome to email me too at
As far as my recent life is concerned, I am officially celebrating spring in all it's glory, whether or not mother nature chooses to join me. Last week I walked a couple dozen blocks farther than necessary so that I could (1) enjoy the sunshine and (2) enjoy some sorbet. Yesterday I row, row, rowed my boat in Central Park. What a great workout that was, and so much fun. These next few days will be filled with mostly smoothies and juices to give me digestive system a break and detox from my rather indulgent post-cleanse lifestyle. (Don't worry- if it's sunny, I'm still getting sorbet.) And for the next month, I am committing myself to more yoga. I can never get enough. I guess I just need a constant amidst the changes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

moving on out

Yesterday's R&R was spectacular. I didn't even end up going out and instead spent a quiet evening dining with my parents, tidying up my bedroom and going to sleep early. A few activities that also went unmentioned were a manicure and pedicure (as per my lovely mother's suggestion) and online shopping/research as I design my new home.
Yes, you read correctly chickadees, I'm moving out. And soon! One of my best friends from college has an opening in her UES apartment in May so I've been finding budget-minded inspiration all around me as I plan my first room that's really all mine. Ah, I'm so excited. I'll officially be a Manhattan resident just in time to celebrate my birthday and the fabulous summer ahead.
But with that comes worry as well. For as independent as I may be, this is the one of the biggest steps that I've ever taken. Never again will I live under my parents' roof. It's a dramatic thought, I know, and it may not even be true, but it's only in the most dire of circumstances that I'd move back and I obviously hope that doesn't happen. So here it is, the grown-up challenge of the year: living on my own. I'm ready, I'm willing, and I'm scared. Yet I also can hardly wait. I haven't known the convenience of the city, well, ever, and there's lots more exploring to do. Speaking of, have you ever gone on the row boats in Central Park? I haven't. Not until this afternoon at least. And if it sounds romantic, it may very well be. Here goes everything :).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

saturday staples

This is the first Saturday, in a long time, that I have nothing planned... and it is glorious. Nothing but curling up with the ever difficult yet worthwhile read that is Broken Open. Nothing but yoga in the comfort of my own home. 
Tonight I may be out celebrating "real person-ness" with college friends (I am still me) but for now, Saturday shall just be a restful one. Nothing but pillowy banana & almond butter stove-top oats. Mmm, a break. I think I needed this.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

barns of stone

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Stone Barns for an off-site work meeting:
It may have been rainy, but it was wonderful to meet some of the staff, explore the beautiful grounds and taste their delicious, organic food at lunch. I'm so excited to publish the article on The Well Daily in the next few weeks. They are doing such amazing things there as they celebrate, teach, and improve sustainable farming practices. And on that note, I really should get back to work :) see ya'll soon!