Archive for December, 2007

Cheese and Crackers


December 19th, 2007

cheese cracker

(that’s my little dog, Harley, in the background)

So…a couple weeks ago I did my first experiment with FERMENTING CHEESES. It went pretty well, and it was a lot less complicated that I expected. Still, it does require a lot of prep. So, it’s not something I’m going to be doing everyday. But it definitely helps to have something around when you’re having a craving for something in that vein.

walnut flax mix

At about that time, my boyfriend started experimenting with making FLAX CRACKERS. Here are some pictures of his walnut flax dough.

walnut flax dough

I had experimented with making flax crackers a few times before and been largely unhappy with the results. There’s something about just flax crackers that’s kinda…I dunno…too rubbery for me. I had mostly been toying with some of the more simple recipes from ALISSA COHEN’S book. These are really great recipes for starting out and for everyday, gitter dun type use. BUT I wasn’t really connecting with it (despite our matching appellations). Like it or not, we’ve both developed somewhat spoiled palattes (I’ve been working in the restaurant business for much of my adult life, and he is a perpetual, world traveled bachelor who has up until a few weeks ago been MORALLY OPPOSED to eating at home). Anyway, so he went right away for the more gourmet flax recipes in RAW FOOD REAL WORLD. They do this really lovely thing where they start mixing in walnut with their flax dough, and it’s AMAZING. You have to find just the right balance though. For too much walnut gives you a really delicate, brittle, kind of cracker. But just enough walnut really takes the edge off of the rubbery flax thing.

It’s really great when two independent pathways can merge into one beautiful snack. We found a lovely recipe in LIVING CUISINE to make some fancy french cheese (provencal fromage) from my fermentation experiment, and the two were a match made in heaven!

Do you think that’s a sign? :)

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Spinach and Persimmon Salad


December 17th, 2007

spinach and persimmon salad

This is another recipe from ANI PHYO. I swear she’s not paying me. I just keep coming back to her for some reason. It’s a combination of the ease of the recipes and the taste. Actually, I admittedly have a slightly more spoiled palatte, but this book is GREAT for everyday use.

spinach and p

One of the great things I’ve learned from eating raw is what a persimmon is. I think I might have heard about them initially on ANTHONY’S (aka RAW MODEL) blog. He’s kind of obsessed with persimmons. It’s kind of pathetic that I didn’t even know what they were (considering I AM Asian). But whatever. I think I had an issue in my younger incarnation about associating myself with canonically women’s roles like cooking. I had to be the tomboy. My BOYFRIEND isn’t sure if he likes persimmons. He says they taste okay, but they’re too mushy for him. I wonder if I let them get too ripe.

candied pecans

Anyway, this salad also went with some lovely candied pecans in delightfully fall flavors

shallot dressing

and a very complimentary shallot dressing. It took about 10 minutes to make the whole ensemble. This is a perfect recipe for late autumn/early winter. Plus, I love how spinach makes you feel. Really solid and energized. Which is great for me. Because I have not been feeling that way lately, and I need a lot more of that. I’ve been craving the heavier, nuttier recipes a lot less lately even though it’s getting colder. I definitely think that’s a transition marker. I’m planning my comeback for 2008. Leaner, Meaner, and still Packing a Punch. I’ll keep you posted…

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Green Ambition


December 16th, 2007

just juiced

It’s kind of like ‘BLONDE AMBITION‘ but without the pasties and the cut-throat competitive edge. :) It’s also a sneak peak at my new year’s resolution. Well, I don’t know if I would use the word resolution. As that almost sounds like a punishment. But it’s where I feel I’m headed next on my healing journey. I’ve been getting more and more interested and obsessed with greens. The more I read, the more ubiquitous green juices seem for those who have survived any sort of long term illness. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the raw comfort foods I’ve been adjusting to for the beginning phase of my journey. I instinctively know that this more than anything has helped keep me going. But progress is very slow. And I really want to kickstart the process. I’ve really been struggling lately to keep up with life as I knew it. I’m clearly needing to streamline things down to the basics. I’m on the right track. But I’m not there yet.

cuke and apples

Yesterday, I did my first experiment with green juice. Basically I added a cucumber to the POMEGRANATE APPLE PEAR DELIGHT I’ve been stuck on.

rainbow froth

It made a really pretty rainbow froth. I love the froth. It’s like lattes without all the evil.

green juice

Admittedly, the juice was kinda weird. It wasn’t bad, but maybe not the best combo out there. Still, it WAS my first try.

choc mint fixins

But lo and behold, I check my blogs this morning to find SHANNON MARIE posting about her newest creation, a WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT GREEN SMOOTHIE! Not only that, but I just happened to have the necessary ingredients on hand. I tried it with some coconut, banana, spinach, spirulina, coconut dates, cocoa butter, coconut oil, cilantro, spearmint leaves, and I ended up throwing in a titch of cocoa powder for good measure (thus the funny color).

choc mint smoothie

That really WAS a wonderful way to start my day. Decadent…yet refreshing. Very interesting.

Now wish me luck, I’m off to order supplies for my wheatgrass garden…

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Reruns: Episode One


December 15th, 2007

seaweed chowder

(SEAWEED CHOWDER from last month plus some green onions)

Well, in honor of the HOLLYWOOD WRITER’S STRIKE and the out of control holiday season, we’re doing reruns. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with this strike. The internet is changing everything. Ultimately, it seems the inevitable outcome is that the business will be streamlined and the middlemen are going to be removed from the equation. Unfortunately, some really big and powerful corporations and people have gotten really comfortable being in there, and they are going to fight it every step of the way. This is going to be some high drama. At the same time, it’s something that needs to happen. The middle has gotten increasingly bloated and corrupt. It’s really amazing what passes for ‘art’ these days. At least, it seems really far removed from the vision of most of the artists that I know. Personally, I think it’s disturbing that what the media considers top stories in entertainment are Lindsey Lohan in rehab and Britney’s dysfunctional reality. Have we lost our way, or what? Obviously, this phenomenon of dysfunction pervades more than just food. It’s everywhere in our culture. From food to media to medicine to academia to the housing market to hurricane relief and government to the environment and automobile manufacturing to offshore tax havens to my head is going to explode. It’s INSANE.

tscb

(this is a picture of my band, THE SCREAMING CHERRY BLOSSOMS)

But anyway, back to art. It’s great that the internet is providing a platform for artists to break free of the stranglehold of modern media companies. GO WRITERS!

So in honor of them we’re remaking some earlier recipes. I got the seaweed chowder recipe from one of my favorite blogs, THE DAILY RAW. Trying out new recipes is fun and inspirational. But seeing which ones you go back to is important too. So this week is going to be about reflecting back on where we’ve been. Kind of fitting for the end of the year, I think…

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On The Run


December 14th, 2007

coco b

Have the holidays caught up with you yet?  I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  This is one of my favorite staple smoothies.  Just coconut, banana, dates, a little bee pollen, and a VANILLA POD.  Gotta run…

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My First Lasagna


December 12th, 2007

lasagna

I can’t believe I made it this long without trying my hand at lasagna.  I actually put it on my shopping list a couple of times with good intentions, but somehow it never really happened.  Too bad I didn’t make it while it was still tomato season.  This would have been amazing with some DIRTY GIRLS.

lasagna 2

This is another recipe from RAW FOOD REAL WORLD.  This recipe is amazing and it doesn’t have any garlic in it (which is another bonus for PEOPLE ALLERGIC TO GARLIC).

making lasagna

Here’s a pic of my putting all the layers together.

piece of lasagna

I’m definitely going to have to revisit this when tomatoes are in season again (I’m still relatively clueless about the timing of produce).  Live and learn.  I mean, if I already knew I wouldn’t have anything to write in my blog about.  Right?

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Not Exactly Visions of Sugar Plums


December 9th, 2007

I’m not eating today.  I have to go in tomorrow for some medical testing which I’m trying not to freak out about.  I haven’t talked about this much, but I was motivated to experiment with raw initially because of health problems.  They haven’t figured out exactly what is wrong with me yet, but about 15 months ago I started having lots of health problems.  I found out shortly afterwards that I was living over an open sewer main.  Tomorrow they’re going in with cameras.  It’s hard to put into words all the ideas that are running through my mind.  But I thought this picture did a lovely job.  :)

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Black Gold


December 6th, 2007

black gold

Did anyone watch the Beverly Hillbillies? That’s what I named this smoothie after. I started out well enough with some coconuts, bananas, bee pollen, a few goji berries…but then, I accidentally spilled WAY TOO MUCH spirulina powder in it. My boyfriend was HORRIFIED.

‘I’m not drinking that!’

Then, I put a little bit of cocoa powder in. I figured sure. Why not.

It actually turned out pretty tasty. My boyfriend actually reversed himself and had seconds after his initial tantrum.

An interesting sidenote: I just got ANN WIGMORE’S books on sprouting and wheatgrass, and she is of the opinion that powdered wheatgrass, spirulina, and chlorella are much less than ideal. Sprouts and fresh wheatgrass are superior alternatives (the next frontiers I intend to conquer…).

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Fudge Balls


December 5th, 2007

fudge balls

It’s officially holiday season. Time for some SCHWETTY BALLS! These took about 20 minutes.

fudge ball mix

I actually made these before as a PIE CRUST for one of my first pies. OY! That pie is kinda funny looking. It’s kind of entertaining (for me) to go back and see how far I’ve come food prepwise. I managed to make it to my mid-thirties without ever having to make food. So, I was pretty clueless in the beginning. Illness inspires people to do weird things. :) Anyway, this was basically the same as making the pie crust except this time I added a little more agave and rolled them into balls. (Meanwhile my boyfriend thought it was cute to play the schwetty balls video over and over – do you have a boyfriend like that?)

Happy Holidays. This is so much better than shopping!

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Red Beet 'Ravioli'


December 4th, 2007

red beet ravioli

I’ve been meaning to try this for a while, but it finally happened last night. Can you believe I’ve never made rawvioli? I used the recipe from RAW FOOD REAL WORLD. I’ve been making everything from this book lately. I think it really works well as a couple book. The recipes are so balanced and always have such an interesting blend of flavors, but it’s really overwhelming for one person – at least as a day to day thing. As a two person activity, it’s just right.

red beet ravioli

Anyway, back to the ravioli. Ours didn’t turn out quite like ravioli – as our mandolin didn’t really slice the beets thin enough to achieve the same effect. So we did them in more in a tostada style. We also added some marinated mushrooms (from the TAMALE recipe) – essentially marinated in herbs, garlic, and olive oil and dehydrated.

mushrooms

after excalibur

The mushrooms really went well with this recipe.

red beet rav plate

As always, the flavors were really interesting – the herb infused ‘cheese’, the bell pepper drizzle, the beets, the pistachios…MMM! It doesn’t taste like ravioli at all. But that’s a good thing.

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