Dear (Yoga) Diary, Part 3

Day 12.pngDay 12– Another day of outdoor yoga at the campsite!  I still felt really strange doing yoga in “public” but I persevered, ha!   I keep thinking of what Adriene said at the end of day 6:  May we see the truth, speak the truth, and feel the truth.  Those words are still working in my head.

Day 13– Today was a very relaxing day at the campsite.  I spent a lot of time napping in the hammock and reading my book.  We had our friends out and they fed us a lovely dinner of chicken and potatoes in foil packets with lemon and rosemary.  Yes, I have friends who bring gourmet food out to the campsite and they even bring pie for dessert!  Isn’t that the best?  Thanks, Charity!  We bribed the teenager to play a board game with us after dinner and Stephen even hauled out his massive telescope so we could see some stars.  It was a great day, and the yoga for the day consisted of Charity and I taking a deep breath before dinner and saying Namaste to each other.  Ha!  I felt guilty over missing a day of yoga, but then decided to just roll with it.

Day 14– Wow, the goddess pose is fun but man, taking it so low was hard!  My legs felt shaky and I for sure worked up a sweat today.  And am I the only one who has a hard time hiking my leg up from down dog to a lunge position?  I can never smoothly bring my foot up under my chest without several readjustments and sometimes literally grabbing my leg and pulling it where it should be.  Sigh.

Day 15.png

Day 15– I really needed today’s yoga practice called listen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s vigorous practice of strength and harmony.  Even bending over my outstretched leg is a challenge.  I can do it, but certainly am not able to wrap my hands around my foot at the same time.  I definitely have a ways to go there.  But I really enjoyed the pretzel like pose where we were balancing on our bottom and afterwards where we rotated one leg around and massaged the glutes- amazing!

Day 16– Today Adriene talked about self-love on and off the yoga mat.  I really craved today’s yoga session and it didn’t fail.  I love taking the time to stretch and move my body.  It seems so weird that I didn’t do this before at all.  How was I even connected to my body before?  I was mostly just a floating head.  But with yoga, I feel like I give myself just a half and hour each day to honor the fact that I have a body and to care for it, to move it, stretch it, love it, and relish the fact that I am able.

Day 17– Today’s yoga was just what the doctor ordered.  I spent all morning cleaning out the flower beds in the front yard, and I have to say, I can really tell a difference in the awareness that I had in my body.  Not only did I feel stronger and move easier, but I actually enjoyed the bending and stretching and I found myself being aware of my breathing and integrating that awareness in to each movement.

Day 18- My dad is here today for the rest of the week!  While dinner was in the oven, I managed to sneak in yoga.  It actually ended up being perfectly timed!  I really enjoyed the stretches today, since I had a bit of stiffness after the garden work yesterday.  It felt really great to work some more of that out.


How is your yoga practice progressing this month?  It’s never to late to jump in!  This challenge is NOT about perfection.  So what are you waiting for?



Instant Pot Molasses Oatmeal

As most of you know, I really strive to avoid processed food in my diet and that includes white sugar.  When I was reading Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, I noticed that several recipes use molasses as a sweetener rather than honey or maple syrup.  That sent me in a research frenzy about what molasses actually even is, and then I had to add some to my HEB cart and experiment with it!  Come to find out, molasses is actually the byproduct of boiling down the sugar cane and extracting the sweetness out of it.  The result is a thick syrup rich with all the nutrients from the cane, minus the white sugar extracted.


This is what I bought- make sure whatever you choose is unsulphured blackstrap molasses, as it is the highest quality.

Since you guys know I’m obsessed with Oatmeal and Raisins (see Oatmeal Raisin Balls here), I decided to make my favorite combination with molasses as the sweetener.  WOW.  It was so good, and a little bit really does go a long way.

IP Molasses Oatmeal

Instant Pot Molasses Oatmeal

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt for the pot and for the finished product

To each serving of oatmeal, add the following:


  • 1/2 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses
  • 1 T. raisins
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T. walnut pieces
  • 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. milk of your choice
  • Drizzle of cream
  • Optional: 1/2 t of chia seeds (not pictured)


  1. Prepare oatmeal in the instant pot. Place dry steel cut oats, water, and a pinch of salt in the instant pot and set on manual for 10 minutes with sealed pressure.
  2. Release pressure right away or let it naturally release. I’ve done either way!
  3. Divide the oatmeal into 4 servings. To each serving, stir in the molasses and top with raisins, cinnamon and walnut pieces. Serve with milk, chia seeds and cream, if desired.

I hope where you are that the snow is melting and spring is coming!  But if not, this will hopefully get you through.




Dear (Yoga) Diary, Part 2

Day 6– True confession:  I watch the Bachelor every time it airs.  It’s kind of a ritual now between my mom and our friend, Traci.  We watch live and text each other the whole time- usually about how short the dresses are or how much cleavage the girls are showing.  In case you are wondering, it’s always too much cleavage, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion!  Ha!  Because I worked late and had the Bachelor, I only had one hour from arrival at home to eat and do yoga and all the other getting home kind of things like playing with Charlie.  So, tonight I cued up a quick 5 minute morning yoga video on Adriene’s channel.  I’m glad I adapted the challenge to suit my schedule and pulled out the mat, even if it was only a few minutes.  Also, I noticed soreness in my abs from the previous planks, so yay!

Day 7.png

Day 7– After only doing 5 minutes of yoga yesterday, I wanted to catch up with the challenge, so I did day 6&7 in a row.  It was so energizing!  Day six was Kindle and I loved the breathing technique of audibly using the “sh” sound during exhale.  At the end, she said, “May we always see the truth, speak the truth, and feel the truth.”  Wow.  It almost brought me to tears.  I have loved how this journey has been so enriching to my body and my soul.

Day 8– I was feeling very tired after work today.  We are on the downhill slide to spring break and man.  Everyone is feeling it.  I’m not going to lie, I was dreading taking the time to do yoga today as I just wanted to veg on the couch.  But once again, I was so glad I did it, because today’s video with Adriene was perfect and restful.  Just what I needed!  I love the feeling my body has when I’m done- all energized and relaxed and centered at the same time.

Day 9– Today I was in a funk even though it was the last day of work before the break.  Hubby had to switch around some time and is not able to take off this week, so I was feeling disappointed, but I understood.  It was not the start to spring break that I had imagined in my head.  But yoga felt good and Adriene’s encouragement was just what I needed.  At the beginning, she said, “Day Nine, you are killing it!”  Even though I know she’s speaking broadly to everyone,  a part of me felt cheered inside at hearing her acknowledge that I was doing something right.  You never know when someone needs that small word of encouragement, so don’t hold back!


View from our campsite- classic Texas.  It was a lovely setting for my first time at outdoor yoga!

Day 10– So, today was our first of several days at the campsite.  The weather was so warm and beautiful!  It was a joy to do yoga outside during such a sunny, gorgeous day.  But, I’m not gonna lie, I felt a little silly knowing that others in the campground could see me.  Oh well!  Oh, it was the first time my heels both touched the ground in downward dog, too!  That was an amazing feeling of progress.  I was sweaty when I finished but felt great.


Moonlight Yoga!

Day 11– Tonight I did yoga in the dark at our campsite around 8:30 pm.  The good news is, nobody could see me!  I was grateful that it was one of the shorter sessions, at only 17 minutes because it was cold outside.  The wind was stirring and it was chilly, but even though I had bare feet they didn’t feel cold until the end.  I was very grateful that I made time today to continue my yoga journey.


Charlie and Tim test driving our new hammock!  It is fabulous- thanks Mom and Dad!

How is your yoga journey doing?  I’d love to hear from some of you who are participating in this challenge as well!  Let’s encourage each other!



Dear (Yoga) Diary

Day 1:  I’ll be honest, a midweek start feels awkward, shouldn’t this start on Monday?! But on the other hand, I’m relieved I had some time to mentally prepare for the challenge earlier in the week, as I decided to jump in fairly impulsively. I have loved connecting with you all over Instagram, by text, and here.  Please reach out, it does make a difference.  Day one was fun because SURPRISE!  Adriene has a 30 day challenge already lined up that she started on January 2nd!  I had planned to do the beginner yoga series, but this already crafted 30 day challenge sounds perfect.  Day one was also fun because my friend Charity and I face timed while we did our yoga together!  Ha!  It was funny to see how her cat and my dog were both curious about what we were doing on the ground.

Day 2:  I had the day off, so yay!  Extra time!  That was a huge bonus and allowed me to do my yoga during the day when I would normally be working.  I continued in the same series with Adriene.  I have to admit that sometimes the plank (and other poses) made my legs tremble with effort.  But I absolutely love the way I feel after doing the yoga.  I became very aware and had to struggle with judgemental feelings toward my body today.  When we started with hands over heart, my boobs felt like they were in the way. When I was in child’s pose, my legs felt thick and I wasn’t laying as flat as someone thinner than I would.  I had to remind myself that yoga is for all body types and remind myself to be kind and loving.  Funnily enough, when I went to get my hair cut that same day, my friend and hair stylist, Sarah (Hi, Sarah! <3) commented that I looked like I was thinner, so there ya go.  We are always our worst critics, right?

Day 3.png

Day 3: I was feeling frustrated and hungry right before doing yoga today.  I also saw that today’s yoga workout was 34 minutes, which is one of the longer ones.  Surprisingly, though, time went very quickly.  I noticed tightness in my lower back again today and it feelt so good to spend some time working that out a bit.  I sit on a wobble stool at work, and I think my posture is not always the best, which is affecting my lower back.  The happy baby pose and rocking up and down felt so good!  Also, the breathing and just moving my body really helped with my frustration.  When I was done, I felt light and happy and so glad I started this challenge.  Yoga gives so much back!

Day 4:  Even though this was one of the longest sessions today, the time went so fast.  My mantra for these 30 days is simply 3 words:  Strength, Balance, Flexibility.  I want to increase all of these aspects of my body.  Being 42, I’m feeling conscious of the fact that I’m getting older every day!  I mean, I’ve got an almost 16 year old son and inside I still think “How is he 16 already, wasn’t I just in high school?!”  A few years ago, I lost my grandmother and it was very hard to see her decline as she aged.  My dad’s mom is in her 90s and still doing so incredibly well.  She’s my role model for aging well, because she is active and so mentally with it.  So these thoughts are in the back of my mind all the time.  What kind of an old person do I want to be?

Day 5:  Today’s yoga was so good!  I loved the emphasis today on connecting breathing to movement.  I got to Face Time with Charity and her little 3 year old tonight, it was so unbelievably adorable.  Already I feel myself being looser and more comfortable on the mat, so I’m excited to see what the rest of this challenge brings.  I struggle a little bit to make sure that I’m doing the poses correctly.  I find the breathing and the rhythm of yoga to be very grounding and stress relieving.

It’s not too late to join in if you want to join in!  Simply comment on any of my Instagram posts expressing interest and I’ll add you to each yoga related post to keep you motivated throughout the month.  See you on the mat!



30 Day Yoga Challenge!

Black LightGlow Party (1)

I’ve always wanted to have a regular yoga practice, but it’s something that I’ve never put forth much effort into.  Sure, I’ve gone to a few random classes and I’ve got a mat at home neatly rolled up and put in a closet somewhere.  Years ago, I bought the beginning yoga DVD with Rodney Yee and did it several times.  But I’ve never managed to implement yoga consistently into my life.


There’s something about yoga that keeps pulling me back to try again, however.  It seems like a practical exercise that builds strength and flexibility, is cheap to practice, and doesn’t rely on good weather or going to a gym.   And it seems like something that I could start doing now that will pay dividends as I age.  I’ve noticed that my balance is worse.  It’s never been great to begin with, if I’m honest, and I’m only 42!  I picture myself at age 62 and 72 and 82, and imagine what I want my health and activity level to be.  Yoga seems like it might help me reach those ages in the kind of shape I’d like to be in.

So.  Are  you with me??  I’ll be starting out with my favorite local Austin yoga YouTuber, Yoga with Adriene.  She’s got a great beginning yoga practice playlist that I will start with.  I’m not going to set any time limits or major rules to this challenge.  I’d just like to do yoga for 30 days in a row.

I’d love to hear from you if you would like to join in.  Make sure you follow me on Instagram @kitchenwithkeri for updates and click Join on the upper right hand of this page so you can stay posted on my progress!


Adventure: Knife Class

I’ve always been one of those people who envy home cooks that use proper knife skills and can cut veggies quickly.  Just think of the time savings in the kitchen if you were better and faster at cutting and prepping the vegetables, right?!


So, when my friend, Monica, suggested we take a Knife Skills 101 class offered by Central Market in Austin, I was totally up for it.  It was so much fun!  Next time, I really need to read the instructions for the class first, because my friends and I ate dinner together at the cafe downstairs and then headed up to the class… where they proceeded to serve us dinner.  Whoops!  My husband was happy with our stir fry leftovers, though!

Red Pepper

We learned so many great tips and cut an onion, a pepper, a carrot and a tomato.  It doesn’t sound like a lot of items for 2 hours, but we were really concentrating on using our new techniques.  Cindy, our instructor, came around to each of us and literally guided our hands and arms to use the right technique.  She was so patient and knowledgeable.

One of the things that she said was to go home and USE the new skills, otherwise we would forget.  With that in mind, I made this quick video explaining some of the most  helpful takeaways from the class.  I hope you can learn a few tricks to help you out in the kitchen as well!


This was my first video ever, so please be kind!  And I’d love it if you would subscribe and give a thumbs up on YouTube.  Julie, this one is for you!  Thanks for the encouragement.  ❤



Recipe: Jean’s No-Bake Brownie Balls

No sugar brownie bites

No-Bake, sugar free, fudgy delicious brownie bites!

I was over at my friend Jean’s house months ago.  Jean is the lucky one who has the chickens.  Or, maybe I’m the lucky one who has a friend with chickens!  All the benefit, none of the work!  I traded her a jar of my homemade yogurt for a dozen of her gorgeous chicken eggs, and while we were there visiting, she whipped these brownie bites up for us.  They are unbelievable, you guys!  So dense and fudgy and delicious- and good for you, too.

Date Balls

These come together in no time and all, and there’s only 3 ingredients!  In a food processor, combine pitted dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  That’s it!  Buzz it together for about a minute until it forms a softball size ball of dough.  You can divide it by eye, or use a scoop.  Either way, just roll them between your hands to form a ball.

Date Balls1

They are sticky, so you will probably want to roll them in unsweetened coconut, almond meal, or even some extra cocoa powder or powdered sugar if you aren’t opposed to that.  I chose to go the natural route and made a few coconut, almond, and even left a few plain.  Just like brownies, they are perfect with a glass of cold milk.

This Valentine’s Day, make a batch and share with someone you love.  You won’t regret it!  Thanks for reading, extra love to you!



Jean's Brownie Balls

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 15 pitted dates
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor with the blade attachment.
  2. Whir together for about a minute straight, until the mixture forms a softball size dough ball.
  3. Roll out into small balls and coat with almond meal, coconut, more unsweetened cocoa powder, or even powdered sugar.
  4. Serve as is and enjoy!

Recipe: Pickled Onions

FG Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are one of those excellent finishing touches to so many savory recipes.  They add a bit of brightness to salads, wraps,  or a side dish of white beans.  Really, for a recipe that is so fast, it gives you lots of return on your time investment.  How long does it take for a pot of water to boil?  That’s the max time that this recipe requires.

Pickled Onions

While the pot of water boils, slice up your onions and prepare the pickling mixture.  Here I used 3 T. cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Cutting onions makes me cry every time, but something about this onion was so potent I was afraid I’d slip with the knife and cut my hand.  I’ve heard that you can wear swim goggles to protect your eyes while cutting an onion.  And come to find out, they actually make onion goggles.  I’m seriously thinking of getting a pair to wear in the kitchen.  How dorky is that, right?  Oh well, the struggle is real.

Speaking of struggle, I’m soooo excited because this week I’m taking a knife skills class at my local Central Market! I have never been trained on how to use a knife properly, so I probably have horrible technique.  And if you look closely at this onion, you will see that even though I tried to slice consistently, it’s just not great.  I’m excited to learn a lot and pass that knowledge on to you!

Pickled Onions-2

See my inconsistent thicknesses… sigh.

Pickled Onions-3

Pour the pot of boiling water over the colander of onions.  The amount of water here is not precise so don’t sweat it too much.

Pickled Onions-4

Give them a good shake every now and then when you open the fridge for the rest of the day.

Pickled Onions-5

One day later, you will have gorgeous hot pink pickled onions to add to all kinds of dishes.  They last for weeks in the fridge and only get better with time!

Follow me on Instagram to see how I use them this week!



p.s.  Y’all.  I got the flu last week, it kicked my butt.  Thanks for your patience for this week’s post, cause the only thing I felt like doing last week was making tea!  And just in case you are suffering with the flu or another virus, did you know that Elderberry is a natural antiviral?   My doctor told me about it because I was outside of the window for Tamiflu, but apparently it’s just as effective of an antiviral.  My doctor takes it as soon as she starts to feel a little under the weather, or sometimes even as a preventative if her family members are sick.  So, word to the wise- get thee some Elderberry and wash your hands!  Click on the picture below to see the stuff I bought, and it’s even cheaper now, lucky you!

Pickled Onions

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 red onion
  • 3 T. vinegar, I used apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Fill a medium pot with water and boil.
  2. Slice the onion and place in the sink in a colander. Mix the vinegar, honey and salt in a jar.
  3. Pour the boiling water slowly over the onions.
  4. Add the onions to the jar and give it a good shake to coat the onions.
  5. Refrigerate the onions and give them a shake whenever you open the refrigerator for the first day.
  6. They are ready to eat after an hour, but I like to wait a day. Use on sandwiches, wraps, meat, salads, etc. Enjoy!

Recipe: Instant Pot Egg Bites

FG IP Breakfast Egg Bites

Have you had a chance to try Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites?  I would eat six in one setting if I could.  They are so yummy!  It’s something to do with the velvety texture that comes from sous vide (pronounced sue veed) cooking.

I had no idea what sous vide cooking was before Starbucks came out with their egg bites. After tasting them, the first thought that came to me, after “omg, I would eat these every day,” quickly followed by “too bad they are so expensive,” was that I had to figure out how to make them at home.  Come to find out, you need special equipment.  And right now, I think my hubby will kill me if I get another kitchen appliance.  Ha!

IP Breakfast Egg Bites-4

So I decided to look for ways to get a similar texture using what I have at home.  The key to sous vide cooking is maintaining an exact specific temperature, usually with water immersion and food in a vacuum.  It’s hard to replicate that without the right equipment.

BUT! Never fear, my fine friends, because this recipe is outright amazing and you will love it.  My hubby said that these Instant Pot Egg Bites are quite addictive, and he has even requested that I make another batch mid-week because our teenage son has discovered them as well and loves them.  I love it when my family eats my food!


Fill the jars just over half way!  Trust me, they will poof!

This recipe is so much healthier than the Starbucks one, by the way.  Starbucks lists several non-food ingredients such as carrageenan, carbon dioxide, natamycin, and oddly, potato and rice starch, which is unusual in a menu item that caters to the low carb crowd.

Here’s the recipe that I tweaked from many, many copycat Starbucks recipes that I found online!

Instant Pot Breakfast Egg Bites

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice, I use cheddar
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 slices crumbled, precooked bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of onion powder

Variations:  This recipe lends itself to so many variations.  If you don’t have cottage cheese, I’ve successfully used sour cream or ricotta.  Try pepper jack cheese, or adding in some parmesan to the mix.  You can make them without bacon.  Try chopping in green onion or a small amount of softened onions and red peppers.


  1. Blend all ingredients except bacon until combined.
  2. Add one cup of water into the bottom of the instant pot and set in the rack that came with it.
  3. Butter 5 1-pint mason jars, or use cooking spray.  Crumble one slice of bacon equally in each of the jars, then fill with egg mixture until just over half full.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the bacon over the egg bites.  Cover loosely with foil and set onto the rack in the instant pot.
  5. Close and seal the instant pot and set on steam for 8 minutes.  When it’s finished,  naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the hot jars using tongs.
  6. When they first come out, the tops may have puffed out over the top of the jar, but as they cool, they will shrink back in.  Let cool, put lids on, refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week!


So what I want to know is, do you have an instant pot?  And if so, what’s your favorite thing to make in it?  I caved a year ago on black Friday when they were on sale on Amazon, ha!  This is the model that I have, and I highly recommend it!  I use it all the time to prep rice and beans.