What’s in a name?

Naming something, anything, is such a huge responsibility. A name means so much, it’s the first thing you say, first thing that comes out of your mouth when you introduce this thing, this whatever it may be, and you want it to make an impression. It should have meaning.

Naming a blog was not easy, have you tried it? Seriously! AND — have you checked out the world-famous blogs, and their creative roll-off-the-tongue names? Intimidating! It took me forever to land on a name for a writing platform, and granted, those who know me the best are aware that I love to process, analyze, brainstorm and break apart words, meanings and any angle they can be interpreted. Forever. I am a creative person, and a lawyers daughter……..pair that with a skilled procrastinator and you get a blog that has been waiting to come to life and a platform waiting for my voice for a year or more.

SO here we are. Its Atlas & Arugula and I love it. I had many “What’s??” from people closest to me and those whose opinions I value but when it came down to it, one of the things I could NOT STOP THINKING ABOUT was Arugula. I LOVE ARUGULA! Have you ever had it? When you get it fresh, in-season, organic, you take one of the raw leaves and bite down into it and…… this incredible thing happens…… pepper, like the natural table seasoning we use so frequently? Yeah that one, it explodes in your mouth and BOOM, it makes anything you have spicy and GREEN! Can’t beat that. Such a simple looking plant, and such a truly incredible flavor.

I teach people about nutrition, about what to put into their bodies to heal themselves, learn how to celebrate food as an experience and I try my hardest to put all colors of the rainbow onto their plates. If not all the colors, I will settle for green. Leafy greens on the plate, that can make even the saddest greasiest road trip meal seem like digestion heaven with leafy greens accompanying it down the tubes. As you can see, I am into greens! And then when asked, my favorite leafy green? Arugula. Hands down!

Atlas is an ode to my traveling, culture loving self. When my husband and I found out about this new adventure opportunity to live in Germany for his job, I was stunned. I knew that I had met the guy for me and had just started the thought process around staying in Seattle, about living in a city for a long time, “settling down”, being okay with one place for a while. I have moved a lot in my life, and thought I was set. And….. he gets this job offer. I am pretty sure when all was said and done I actually laughed out loud that we were moving across the sea, stunned by his adventurous leap of a career move and a boat load of possibility for us that I could never have anticipated.

Atlas travels, Arugula you need on your plate at all times! And, if you don’t know what I am talking about well…….go get some…..and then get back to me.

Arriving in Munich, one of the biggest most intimidating challenges for me was how to navigate the grocery store. Its my favorite place to shop, the place I feel most comfortable, and could spend hours investigating, and I understood not one sign or label. I started to read numerous blogs about the ways in which ingredients and measurements and things that are so familiar become so mystifying:

“yeast is something different here, get the right one or baked goods don’t rise!!”

“can anyone else tell the difference between baking powder and baking soda? where do I get these 2 and what are the exact German translations! Help!”

Turns out one of the most abundant things to buy here and eat that is green is << ARUGULA >> called Rucola in German. Seriously? I read into things and I placed meaning on this immediately! MEANT TO BE!  Arugula grows just across the border from us in Italy and from when I landed in February to this day in May, we have had that green grace our plates, meals, eggs, oatmeal, you name it for 3 months straight. It is organic, it is delicious and the only difference I would point out is that here, they do not care to cut the stems! You get the leaves, and you get the rest of the plant they pulled out with no manicuring of the stems, do that at home. We are eating like rabbits, and I couldn’t be happier. Arugula is not something you grow bored of if you like the shock of true flavor in your food. Yes there are those of you who may not care for this flavor or green but you most likely didn’t have it in an incredible way, I would be up to challenge you for a re-try and I will serve it to you, with delight.

In our janky hotel room, I learned to use basic ingredients and tools to create new recipes to keep us nourished and happy. One of the beauties I discovered is from a food blog I follow religiously called Smitten Kitchen. I have altered it on occasion by adding arugula and also have used cauliflower/arugula combo based on whats on hand:

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters from Smitten Kitchen

adapted from the smittenkitchen recipe

Cauliflower Arugula Fritters -- Finished Delight

One of the first dishes I made in our incredibly comfortable “hotel” living stay, and L devoured them in minutes. So easy to make and you can get creative each time with any veggies and leftovers in your fridge. Don’t forget to add the leafy greens!

Much love and gratitude go to my friends, family, and loves who heard me talk over and over about my blog and my thoughts and ideas before actually pressing the “SEND” button on the name and the execution of this public place to be in touch with you. You are made of patience!

It can only go up from here 😉

More soon…..  With Love ~ R


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