Archive for December, 2009

Happy Holidays


December 25th, 2009

truffles
Happy Holidays, everyone! This has definitely been a holiday to remember. Oklahoma City is shutdown today from a record breaking BLIZZARD. So, my boyfriend and I spent Christmas in our hotel hanging out with stranded travelers and making holiday truffles. It was like a hallmark Christmas movie. Everyone was milling about in the lobby of the hotel. One family brought a tree, and everyone helped decorate. Nobody could get to where they were going. So, everyone just spent Christmas wherever they were.

origami treeHere is our holiday origami tree. We never even left the building. The news was urging everyone to stay indoors. So, we stayed in and filmed the holiday truffle episode of the soon to be launched Punk Rawk Labs video podcast. This was the second episode we’ve filmed. I think it’s going to be a good one.

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xmas dinner
Since we couldn’t leave the hotel, our Christmas dinner consisted of whatever we could make in our state of the art KITCHENETTE.

salad
This is where culinary school is coming in handy. My boyfriend said it was so good that he wants to make it tomorrow too.

blizzard salad
It’s the ‘blizzard salad’. Kind of an asian spinach salad with chopped nuts (leftover from truffle prep).

dehydratorI’ve got my dehydrator going now too. So we’re rocking the KALE CHIPS (which incidentally was the first episode of the upcoming video podcast). It’s funny. We didn’t even exchange presents this year because of the economy. But this is a definitely a Christmas to remember! Hope you’re having a magical Christmas.

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December Level One Graduation


December 24th, 2009

dec class
On Tuesday night, I attended the graduation of the December class for Level One. From what I hear, all of these lovely ladies are going on to Level Two and will be my classmates starting next month. I have to say that they really raised the bar with their graduation menus. I’m really looking forward to having them as classmates.

helen's
Everyone did a different theme with their menus. HELEN did a chinese takeout menu. She even went as far as to make a menu that looked like a menu from a chinese restaurant. It was amazing.

helen
Here she is presenting her dinner to the attendees. I was on the other side of the table. So I didn’t get a closeup picture of her individual dishes. She made the most amazing scallion pancakes to go with her vegetables and hoisin sauce.

fortune cookies
Look. She even made fortune cookies! Isn’t that impressive?

nina
Next, we had Nina. This was her salad. The apple was garnished with the most amazing raw ‘goat’ cheese.

fet alf
Her entree was fettucini alfredo. Are those not the most authentic looking alfredo noodles you’ve ever seen?

rasp sorbet
Her dessert was incredible. It was some sort of raspberry sorbet with a cream layer and a chocolate layer. Wonderful!

suzanne's
This was Suzanne’s dinner.

suzanneSuzanne did an Italian themed dinner. Here she is holding her salad bowl. She made these beautiful, rustic, and delicious edible bowls for her salad. I wish I had gotten to try this one. It looked amazing. But, I didn’t want to be the one to break the bowl. :)  It was absolutely perfect.

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suzanne salad
See what I mean?

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Here entree was absolutely delicious. It was a trier? I’m not sure what it was called. Something french and fancy. It was like a lasagna but creamier and garnished with pine nut parmesan.

red velvet
For dessert, she made red velvet cake. Suzanne has had red velvet cake for her birthday every year for as long as she can remember. I have to say this was the most amazingly authentic red velvet cake ever. I would venture to say that it was better than the restaurants. The restaurant version is delicious, but Suzanne’s was clearly made by someone who has had red velvet cake for their birthday every year for as long as they can remember. It tastes EXACTLY like red velvet cake. Incredible!

There was one other student, Anjela. She did an amazing yin-yang themed dinner. She requested that we not take pictures of her food. But I can tell you that the flavors were amazing!

ladan and chelsea
This class certainly did their instructors proud.

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Kitchenette Salad


December 22nd, 2009

revived kale
Well, as I mentioned in the last post, I’m SANS KITCHEN at the moment. So, I’m trying to keep things simple. Today I made a kale salad. I’ve had trouble lately finding kale that isn’t all wilted. This kale was looking pretty limp when I picked it up. So, I cut the tips off and dunked them in a bowl full of water. They livened up quite nicely. Works much better than the fridge.

kale bits
To make my salad, I started by ripping the kale into bite size pieces and rinsing them.

massaged
Next, I massaged the kale with a little olive oil and sea salt…

lemon
…followed by a little squeeze of lemon over the top.

kitch salad
And since I’ve taken to the THING lately, I garnished with a little nori and VOILA…a quick and healthy meal that even a transient could love!

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Asian Fusion


December 15th, 2009

asian fusion
Look what I ate for dinner last night. It’s some kind of asian-latin fusion salad. I had a roomate in college who was an asian-latin fusion. Really smart guy. But still a smooth operator. Anyway…

gonzalo
This is Gonzalo. He works in the station next to me. I work the lasagna station, and Gonzalo works the sushi station. It was kind of slow last night. So, Gonzalo was creating masterpieces for people for dinner.

w nori
It’s like a spinach guacamole salad with like a sesame/almond butter dressing and kelp noodles on top. There an avocado in a bell pepper on the side with chili flakes and sesame seeds.

closeup
I asked for some extra nori on top. MATTHEW KENNEY started this thing at the restaurant where everybody’s been putting nori in their salads. He started doing it, and now EVERYBODY is doing it. I have to admit though. It IS pretty good.

Sucks to be me. Doesn’t, it? :)

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Healing Crisis


December 13th, 2009

double shot
For the last six weeks or so, I’ve made a point of drinking wheatgrass regularly. Not every day. I aim for five days a week. ANN WIGMORE, my wheatgrass hero, recommends in her book to take days off. This gives the body a chance to rebuild and regenerate (kind of like working out) as wheatgrass is very powerfully detoxifying. For me, it’s almost too powerful as I’m recovering from a severe toxic exposure. The LAST TIME I did a focused wheatgrass regimen like this, some very interesting things happened. My health saga has been long and sordid. I have seen more doctors in the last few years than probably most people see in their lifetime. So far, I’ve managed to STUMP them all with my unusual issues. I’ve tested positive for a number of serious medical issues, but I don’t really fit neatly into any diagnostic categories. In the beginning, this was extremely frustrating for me. But I’ve come to realize that it’s really a blessing. Since there really are no answers for me, I am forced to find my own answers. Don’t get me wrong. I still go to the doctor. Frequently. I see allopathic and naturopathic practictioners. I listen to what everyone says.  Everyone holds a different piece of the puzzle. I soak it all in, and then I wait to feel what resonates for me. I’ve learned to trust my intuition.

heidi
One of my most helpful resources has been my friend, HEIDI. She is a nutritionist from the Seattle area and has made a NUMBER of APPEARANCES on my blog. There is only so much a doctor can tell you in a fifteen minute appointment. Heidi is a master of filling in the gaps and pointing me to the answers I’m looking for. If you are ever in need of a nutritional consultant, I would highly recommend her.

ear
This leads me to my latest medical development…CANDIDA. I was completely surprised to discover this. I went to see my doctor while I was in Minnesota last week about a respiratory infection. I mentioned in passing that I had a cut on my mouth and behind my ears that wouldn’t heal, and she knew what it was right away. Who knew?

detox and healingIronically, I had just been reading this book on the plane the day before which talked about different issues related to detox. I read all about candida being an issue and it never occurred to me that I was on to something. Talk about the wisdom of the subconscious!  This book is an interesting blend of allopathic and naturopathic perspectives written by a medical doctor who evolved beyond the boundaries of traditional medicine.  An interesting read.  It’s the first thing I’ve read by a traditional doctor that bridges the gap between toxic exposure and the types of issues I am dealing with.

pancakes
In the meantime, Heidi made some dietary recommendations for me to discourage the yeasties. Looks like I won’t be eating any of these for a while.

choc tort
Or these. Time to cut out the sugars and starches. I hope to make some good progress on this issue before school starts up again. Right now, I’m definitely experiencing a healing crisis. One of the rights of passage of candida recovery is the infamous ‘DIE-OFF‘ or Herxheimer reaction. Essentially, as the yeast dies off, it pollutes your body with toxic metabolic by-products which must be processed. It’s kind of like an extreme detox. I can definitely vouch for that. But this is good news. It means I am making progress. I’m climbing up a rung on the ladder to ultimate healing. At least, that’s how I like to look at it.

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Elaina Love and Dominic


December 5th, 2009

elaina love and dominic
Elaina Love is a pioneering raw food chef from the Bay Area. Her son Dominic has been struggling with leukemia. Admittedly, I’ve never met Elaina. But coincidentally, I just happened to come across an INTERVIEW with her about a week ago that I found to be really inspiring. She and Dominic have been through a very difficult crisis, and I was amazed by her clarity and openness. I also really appreciated her candidness about the challenges of our modern day health care system and how gracefully she seemed to navigate through the difficulty. Dominic is in very goods hands. Our medical system may have given up on him, but I definitely haven’t. Please click here to DONATE in support of his healing.

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