Archive for the 'Books' Category

Ani's Raw Food Desserts

August 5th, 2009

aniHere’s another item I picked up in Portland at POWELL’SANI PHYO‘s new dessert book. It’s even autographed. I think I like it  better than her FIRST BOOK (which I was rather obsessed with for some time). The pictures are lovely, and there are a lot of them. The recipes are really simple and easy. Ani really rides the fence on the divide between tastes good and practicality. It tastes as good as possible within an everyday time frame/expense. It’s not hard-core gourmet, but it’s really good without you spending your entire day in the kitchen.


Square Foot Gardening

May 12th, 2009

me and garden Hey everyone! Check out my new garden. It’s my very first one (besides the one I started in my WINDOW). My boyfriend calls this the shot of me taking credit for all his hard work. 🙂

It all started a few weeks back when I started some SEEDLINGS in my window. I had little to no idea what I was doing. I planted maybe 150 seedlings! Most of them didn’t survive my incompetence. But the tomato and arugula seedlings seemed pretty determined.

square foot gardening Everyone kept talking about this book. Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew. So I picked up a copy. It seemed to make sense. More vegetables in less space. Who could argue with that really? And it was a better idea than anything I had come up with personally. So I went with it. Admittedly, the plans seemed way more ambitious in terms of yield than any novice gardener could hope for. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to dream big dreams, right?

plans These are my inital plans (now waterlogged). It’s going to be really funny to look back after it’s all said and done to see how much of it actually came true. Our garden has a tree on one side. So one side is sunnier and one side is shadier. Thus, we tried to plan accordingly.

seedlings Once the seedlings got to be about so big, we started planting…Can you tell we’re new at this?

seedlings planted Well, they looked really impressive in my little pots in the window. But once they got into the ground, they looked kinda pathetic.

tomato seedlings Don’t laugh! Apparently, it’s better when your tomato plants are small. They survive the transplant better. Though they didn’t survive the squirrels so well. OY! The Squirrels!!

It became clear before long that we were going to need some help beefing up our garden. We went to the FRIENDS SCHOOL PLANT SALE (a GIANT plant sale at the State Fairgrounds) and picked up a few things.

plant sale Mostly, we got herbs (chocolate and orange mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, milk thistle, some peppers, more tomatoes, and some hostas for my boyfriend’s mom).

fighting back I also picked up some kale and swiss chard from the SEWARD COOP. Once I started transplanting, things started to take shape. Except for the squirrels who were munching on everything and digging up plants. Did I mention that SQUIRRELS ARE MY NEMESIS?! (ASIDE: My battle with squirrels began several years ago. I was getting bombarded with calls from STRANGE old ladies and people who later died on my answering machine. My calls were also getting rerouted to Canada. Very bizarre! I called the phone company, and the phone guy literally told me that my problem was squirrels first. Then terrorists. Terrorist squirrels. That should be a band name. Anyway, I did a radio show about it when I used to be DJ. You can check it out here…VOLUME 29: MYSTERY CREOT.)

netting system Anyway, back to the matter at hand. We needed to find some gentle way of encouraging the squirrels to eat someone else’s food. That’s when my boyfriend designed this netting system to keep the squirrels out. It seems to be working so far (keep your fingers crossed). Plus, now we’ve earned a reputation for being the most anal gardeners in our community garden! Our neighbor saw what we had done and kind of giggled to herself. Like, ‘hey guys, trying to keep the bears out?’

shady side This is a closer look at the shady side of our bed. This is going to be focused mainly on different varieties of lettuce. Here we have swiss chard and kale I just planted. There are some marigold in the back (supposedly to deter pests). And my little arugula seedlings are still hanging in there. We also have a square for the mystery lettuce which was left behind by last year’s gardener. And a square for micro greens.

sunny side The sunny side is mostly tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The eight squares in back are all different tomato varieties. In front, we three kinds of peppers, and herbs. I’m still filling these in. So I’ll keep you posted on my progress…


Entertaining In The Raw

March 13th, 2009

I finally got my copy in the mail today. It got lost at the post office for a week, but now it is MINE. 🙂 WOAH! Talk about sensory overload. The recipes look AMAZING albeit intimidating. The results are absolutely inspirational, but I think it will take some time to ingest. It will be interesting to look back at this point a few years down the road. Right now, this book seems a little out of reach. At the same time, I didn’t eat at home AT ALL before I got sick. I started making food when I started this blog. It’s amazing what can happen to a person with a little inspiration and a little time. I’ll keep you posted…


Permaculture Class

December 2nd, 2008

Guess what! I took my first permaculture class. It was hosted by the PERMACULTURE RESEARCH INSTITUTE.

I got a copy of this book with the class. I have to admit I’m a little over my head…

I brought some bar-b-q crisps that I made from MATTHEW KENNEY’S book. I know. It’s really naughty that they are in that plastic bag. But I should tell you that the crisps themselves are AMAZING.

We played an input/output game that demonstrated how your little ecosystem components have inputs and outputs that will sustain each other.

We played another game where we sorted plant guilds. You can grow certain plants together to have a harmonious relationship, and you can stack plants in 3 dimensions to use space more efficiently. Pretty cool. I thought it was pretty cosmic that the hand I was dealt had THREE varieties of cherry trees. This is significant because…my band is called THE SCREAMING CHERRY BLOSSOMS! (I should note that you can check out our DEMO online now, AND you should because there is one song in particular which although it wasn’t intended to be and preceded my foray into raw food by 10 years is very RAWMATICALLY themed).

At the end of the class, they showed us examples of ecosystems that they had designed and built. This was really fantastic to see the progression of. So, I suppose a seed has been planted in my brain. Well, see how it grows up…


Complete Book of Raw Food

September 30th, 2008

Look what my boyfriend got me…another raw food book. I’m such a junkie. This one is really…COMPLETE. There are so many contributors. It’s really great to get so many perspectives. I have this tendency to really FIXATE on ONE BOOK when I find one I’m in sync with. This one will really throw me for a loop. I’ve only made one recipe so far, but this things is chock full of ideas. So I think it will keep me busy for a WHILE. I’ll keep you posted…


I Am Grateful

July 13th, 2008

This is another book I purchased on my book buying BINGE. This book was published by Terces Engelhart who runs CAFE GRATITUDE, a chain of Bay Area raw restaurants that she runs with her husband, Matthew. I had heard of Cafe Gratitude through a friend of a friend who happens to be vegan and lives in the Bay Area. Then, I heard mention of it again on a blog I was reading. So, I went for it.

I have to admit, that initially I was a little confused by the titles. They’re not descriptive in the usual way – indicating the physical items that are components of the dish. They’re more like affirmations. I am ______. Every single one of them. I am Ravishing, I am Thankful, I am Smooth, I am Insightful – you get the idea. When I was initially perusing the book, I found it kind of confusing and disorienting. So much so that I was drawn to the other book I ordered first. I thought I’m never going to be able to find anything. But then I got more connected to how the book was laid out. At the beginning of each section is an index that lists the dish with a descriptive sub-title. Once it sunk in, I started thinking about how the titles had added an interesting association to the dishes – one that’s not normally considered but is subtly important on one’s healing journey. I think I’m just starting to tune into that, personally. Getting in touch with how certain foods make you feel. It’s interesting to get some insight into that from a third party before you even try the dish.

I’ve only made one recipe so far. I am Lovely – a kind of strawberry-apple cobbler. It seemed kind of plain at first. But I was deceived by the simplicity of the recipe. My boyfriend (who hates cobbler) devoured it quickly. There are a handful of new ingredients mentioned in this book a lot which I haven’t tried yet. For example, they use Irish Moss as a thickening agent. Which is new for me. There are quite a few interesting sauces that I’m looking forward to trying – like a chutney of some sort with jalepeno and mint. And there are some exotic soups as well. There is also a really nice selection of salads to try. Some really hearty looking and interesting salads which ‘I Am Grateful’ for. As I seem to have found what I was looking for. I will keep you posted on my progress..


Everyday Raw

July 9th, 2008

Well, I haven’t been working much (as I’m still recovering from my hospital visit). So, I’ve gone on a book buying RAMPAGE. This is one of my newest purchases (there are MANY more to come), and it is a WINNER. RAW FOOD. REAL WORLD. (same author) is probably my favorite books so far in terms of the taste of the recipes, but many of them are fairly time consuming and complex. This book is the best of both worlds. I’ve tried several recipes already (posts to come). Everything I’ve made so far has been INCREDIBLE. Matthew Kenney is truly a genius at combining flavors. The recipes this time around are a little less complicated and more accessible too. My boyfriend and I were commenting about how RAW FOOD. REAL WORLD. is a very couple oriented book. I found many of the recipes to be overwhelming to prepare on my own. But once my boyfriend GOT INVOLVED, they were just about right. The recipes from EVERYDAY RAW are a little more quick and dirty, one person little ditties. But the flavors are definitely there. My only complaint about this book is that I’m finding in my own personal evolution that I need to incorporate more GREENS. The salads that I’ve tried so far have been amazing, but this book seems a little more focused on transitional foods. Very yummy and decadent. This will definitely keep me busy for a while…


Christmas Present

January 9th, 2008

xmas present

So this is what I got for Christmas from my boyfriend. I broke a couple of our very limited collection of dishes recently. So I got these lovely plates. I’ve also been reading another book by Gabriel Cousens ‘Conscious Eating’. I’m almost done with it. It’s kind of an intense book. But I’ve been quoting it a lot, and he’s gotten curious and started reading it himself. So he went and got me this book. ‘Conscious Eating’ is more theoretical (though it has recipes) and ‘Rainbow Green’ is more about the practice. This book has recipes too, but it also has a specific plan of attack so to speak. I haven’t read the whole theory behind the specific diet that it talks about yet. But I tried one of the recipes yesterday. This is going to go right along with my New Year’s ‘resolution’ (I really want to find a better word for that) to eat more greens. So, I’m off to a good start…


New Year, New Plan

January 6th, 2008

Well, it’s the new year. Time to take stock and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Reflecting on the past and SAYING GOODBYE to old friends…taking stock on where I am (I finally got a diagnosis on my health issues – more on that later)…and looking ahead to the future.

My big goal for the year is to incorporate more greens. A LOT more greens. I’m setting myself up to have a window garden. My apt is VERY VERY SMALL, but I’m trying to outfit my window with room to get something going.

ikea shelf

You can kind of see where I’m going with this…

ann wigmore books

I’m been studying up on the methodology in these lovely books from wheatgrass/sprouting pioneer ANN WIGMORE.

wheatgrass seeds

I’ve ordered a few different varieties of seeds to get me started: Wheatgrass, Buckwheat, Sunflower, and a couple blends from SPROUT PEOPLE

salad greens

french garden

healthy juicer

And finally, I ordered a hand wheatgrass juicer for greens and sprouts.

hand juicer

Everyone thinks I’m being really ambitious…some think it’s downright crazy. But this is my plan to combat all the fatigue I’m feeling from the chronic D. I don’t like to talk about it. I’m going to start referring to it as visits from my friend, Darryl. Well, Darryl came by again today…getting on my nerves as usual. So, I’m feeling particularly inspired. Wish me luck! It will be interesting to see what impact this will have. It definitely can’t hurt. But there is no way I’m going to just lie down and accept hanging out with Darryl one week of every month. I’m gonna fight him tooth and nail. He has no idea what he’s got himself into…


Living Cuisine

November 25th, 2007

living cuisine I just got another new book! This one was written by RENEE LOUX UNDERKOFFLER. This book is fantastic. It’s not as glamorous as the other books I have in that it’s not filled with mouth watering recipe pictures. In fact, there are no pictures whatsoever, but the recipes speak for themselves. Delicious, gourmet recipes though not requiring as much prep work as those in RAW FOOD REAL WORLD. The book also gives a really thorough introduction to raw food. There’s a nice section which gives a background about the food itself from fruit to produce to nuts to beans and seeds, she talks specifically about each one in an almost glossary format (similar to RAWSOME!). She also gives instruction on different techniques from sprouting, dehydrating, juicing, and even fermentation (in the vein of LIVING ON LIVE FOOD). I haven’t finished reading the entire book yet, but I’ve already filled some gaps in my knowledgebase and started fermenting my first batch of cheese. This book also gives a lot of lovely starting points for improvisation in that it gives a really solid foundation with plenty of examples of where you can go. We’ve already started making our own recipes (stay tuned for details)…