Archive for April, 2010

Tasting Party


April 30th, 2010

cacao
This week, I threw my first tasting party, and it was a wonderful success! I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn’t take many.

pistachio
Of course, I had to make chocolate truffles. Ironically, many of the folks that came to the party had seen my TRUFFLE VIDEO. So hopefully, I encouraged some to go home and make them.

truffles
I made three flavors: pistachio, cacao, and coconut.

options
Here were a few of the options that were available: eggplant chips with hummous, pesto ravioli, date and herbed cheese bites, and kale chips. Hopefully, I’ll get more pictures of the other items soon…

layer cake
The chocolate layer cake was a big hit!! My roomate (who isn’t into raw food AT ALL) was really surprised.

wine
We had a lot of leftover wine. Everyone brought some, but nobody was really drinking much.

presents!
I was surprised with a few presents!!

goji
My friend, Alison, brought me a box of goji berries to PLANT (I might have to send a few to J).

candlesMy friend, Paige, brought me these beautiful candles for ambience. Little did she know that they would match perfectly! How cosmic. Paige is my first friend from work who actually appreciated raw food! Needless to say, people were pretty MEAN in the beginning, but not Paige!  She’s a pretty open-minded and groovy lady.  :)

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test tubesShe also brought me some spices…in test tubes!! How thoughtful is that?! My boyfriend was really impressed. Nutmeg, pink salt, and saffron from Iran!! How cool!  LADAN would be really impressed.

Overall, it was a really fun party.  It was a pretty friendly audience though.  Everyone who came was pretty open to raw food already.  I think the concept of raw and vegan is scary to most people.  My roomate was the only neophyte and my toughest critic (I frequently find packaging from McDonald’s and White Castle in the trash).  He was really surpised!!  He liked everything.  He said it completely changed his opinion of raw food!

Perhaps next time, I should just throw a party and not distinguish it with labels.  Just to see what happens…

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Earth Day


April 25th, 2010

hub of heaven
In case you didn’t get the memo, today is EARTH DAY! We spent the day kicking off gardening season at our community garden. Last year, we planted our very FIRST GARDEN, and it went so WELL that we are on the steering committee this year.

garden
Here is an insider’s look at the garden. There are about thirty raised beds.

digging weeds
My job was to orient everyone to the watering system and where everything is and collect the dinero. I also was digging up weeds on the fenceline. There were some pretty monster ones. It looks like an asteroid hit after I dug up some of them. Pretty massive.

team compost
Team compost did an AMAZING job of turning the compost and making the new dirt available to gardeners.

big garden
This is one of our garden beds…It’s the same one we had LAST YEAR.

onions
We had a lot of trouble with the onions last year. They just did not want to come up. Funny thing is they’re the only thing coming up now.

lil garden
We inherited a second little bed halfway through the season that was abandoned. This one has strawberries coming up in it.

flowers
Look! They’re flowering already! This is going to be a good year. I can tell already. I’m ready to dive in. I can’t wait…

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Grass Roots Movement


April 20th, 2010

grass
Big news!! We finally finished editing the WHEATGRASS EPISODE for PRL TV! It was a lot of work putting it together. But I’m really happy with how it turned out. I can’t say enough nice things about wheatgrass. It’s magical.

freshSpeaking of grass, I’m going to see the movie ‘FRESH‘ tonight. I’ve already seen it, but I love it. Apparently, they’ve managed to get theatrical distribution now via a grass roots effort. I’m so happy for them. There are a lot of movies out there now which are detailing the demise of our food system, but this one is the most positive. It offers solutions for people who want to get involved and is more focused on what we can do as individuals to affect change. Very inspiring.

ana sofia joanes
Here is the director, Ana Sofia Joanes. She was in town the other day promoting the film with farmer/renegade, JOEL SALATIN.

joelJoel Salatin is my hero! He’s featured in the movie. He’s hilarious, down to earth, and really articulate. He runs an organic farm called POLYFACE FARMS. When his family purchased the farm, it was a junk farm. The soil was eroded, and it was not very productive. Now it is a model of viability and polycultural farming.

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omnivore's dilmeJoel was also featured prominently in Michael Pollan’s book, THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA. This book was amazing. It really changed the way I thought about food. It’s a wonderful overview of our food system and how it evolved to it’s present state. Very informative, entertaining, and easy to understand.

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cheesecake
In other news, I’ve started testing recipes for the tasting party I’m having next week to drum up catering business. This is the first cheesecake I’ve made with fermented cashew cheese. Came out pretty good…

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The Season for New Beginnings


April 15th, 2010

pepperland
As luck would have it, I’m starting my new beginning right in sync with nature. Leave it to these guys to perk me up when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. We’ve started our seedlings for gardening season!

garden
Last year, my goal with the GARDEN was just to have one. What came up vastly exceeded my wildest expectations. It was so good that we were invited to be on the steering committee at our COMMUNITY GARDEN. I’m now officially the web hag of our garden. There are still a few plots available if anyone is interested.

two trays
This year, I want to be more efficient with the food that comes up. Now that I have a better idea about timing etc. We have a few seedlings started up. Some are doing better than others.

grow lights
Right now we have them under a couple low tech grow lights we got from the hardware store. The whole contraption was about $20.

peppers
The peppers are loving life!

basil
The basil is doing pretty good too. The lettuce…not so much.

goji
I started some more goji (since that worked out so well LAST YEAR).

sage
The sage overall didn’t fair so well, but I have this one determined little guy that might amount to something.

radicchio
Radicchio will be nice in my salad mixes.

grass
And of course, I have lots of grass!! (I’m almost done with the wheatgrass episode for PRL TV. It’s taking forever, but I think it’s going to be a good one. My BF thinks we’ll be done by Saturday).

baby grass
Some cute little baby grasses..

gilIn other news, my boyfriend got me in to see GIL SCOTT-HERON last night (of ‘the REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED‘ fame). It was excellent. He’s hilarious. Sharp guy.  Really unique.  Even the crowd was unique.  My boyfriend does sound there a lot.  And there was definitely a much more diverse crowd there than usual.  Leave it to Gil to challenge your perception of things and keep things in perspective.  Just what I need at the moment.

trail
In other news, there is a walking path that goes from my new place to Whole Foods. How convenient is that? Things could definitely be worse. :)

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Back to Reality


April 11th, 2010

windmills
The movie always ends when the main character rides off into the sunset. My boyfriend took this picture driving home from Oklahoma. Seemed apropos. You have to know though that this movie has a sequel. What happens to the girl AFTER SCHOOL? Well, that’s a good question.

wheatgrass car
This was the tray of wheatgrass that we set in the back window of the car. It got a little dried out back there. But it did alright…

tray grass
I feel like I worked through a lot healthwise while I was at school. My first order of business is to continue that trend. WHEATGRASS is definitely part of the plan.

juicing
I’ve been keeping up with my wheatgrass program pretty well using my Healthy Juicer (though I definitely have a Hurom on my wishlist).

wheatgrass smoothie
So, I’ve been starting most of my days with one of these while I contemplate my next move.

benefits
My boyfriend has definitely been appreciating the benefits of my professional chef status.

more noodles
This is an Asian noodle dish served on a bed of wilted red kale. It’s really a bastardization of the sesame noodle appetizer that was on the fall menu at 105. Even my ROOMATE, who doesn’t really like raw food, liked it!

goji plant
I had another surprise this week too! Remember the goji plant I STARTED last year? It grew into quite the bush. My boyfriend’s mom cut it back at the end of the season. So I was a little anxious to see if it would come back.

goji bud
Well, it’s back!! It takes three years to bear fruit, but I’m on my way now…

threesome
I definitely am missing all the companionship and support I had in school. But I’ve been getting a pretty warm reception here. Lots of interest so far. More on that later…

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Level Two Graduation


April 8th, 2010

birds eye
Well, the last two weeks have been quite the whirlwind. So, I haven’t had time to post. But in case you didn’t get the memo, I graduated! Graduation was quite a gathering of friends, relatives, and celebrity bloggers.

penni
Here I am being interviewed by none other than PENNI SHELTON of REAL FOOD TULSA and RAW FOOD REHAB. You can check out the interview HERE.

helen and sonja
Our day was a little mellower than Level One (they presented their graduation menus). Our GRADUATION MENU was presented a few days earlier. So all we had to do was take our written final. Here’s an action shot of SONJA and HELEN completing theirs.

dance
After that, it was time to start celebrating…

happy helen
It was a day of mixed emotions…happiness to be done…but also sad to be leaving…

tasting
We got to taste all of level one’s exciting menus too.

volcanocake
Like this volcano cake with flowing lava!

vicki
That dish was made by the lovely Vicki (who Antonio, the dishwasher, referred to as the ‘other chinita’ – his nickname for me. I loved this nickname because my best friend was nicknamed this when she was in the peace corps).


My boyfriend came to my graduation, and he took this picture from the shop of me with my classmate, Hillary, and her husband.

parents
My parents came too! It’s been great being in Oklahoma because I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with them. I’m sure I’ll be back again soon…maybe for the Live and Learn event (which is on my birthday)…

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