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Saturday, July 26, 2008

When the boys are away.....

the girls will play! Rob took the boys camping this weekend, and so Analise and I had a fun weekend planned that we are in the middle of enjoying. Today we went to a childrens Shakespeare festival with my friend Christine, and then to lunch at an awesome salad place called Mad Greens.

Then we went home so Analise could take a quick nap, and I squeezed in a workout. We then got dressed up and went out to Afternoon Tea at Serendipi-Tea in Littleton. It was really fun! They had a closet of hats, gloves, boas and necklaces that Analise played with while we waited for our food. Given that it was 95+ degrees out I had to go with the Ice Tea which was Black Current and really yummy. We had finger sandwiches, fruit, scones, and a selection of little desserts. She had lemonade. I can tell she had fun, she said to me afterwards when we were walking around downtown Littleton: "Mommy, can we go on a date together every day, forever?" and "Mommy, I love you, but you are not my Isaac. You are my sunshine, and my girly girl, and my love." What a sweetie!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chilled Soup? Hmm...not so much

So I made the Avocado Cucumber Soup last night, and was thrilled with the first 3 bites, and then...not so much. The kids didn't like it, but they are superstars, so they ate about half their bowls. Rob on the other hand, much to my surprise, loved it. I just felt like it was so cucumber-y and bland. It WAS refreshing, and very filling which surprised me.

Does anyone have ideas on how to jazz up this soup? See yesterday's post for the recipe....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beginning again

I have been working more and more on what I eat and drink when I am not at home - which is the hardest part for me of trying to eat healthy. I have moods where because I am the cook 24/7 at home, I am so grateful for anything put in front of me that I didn't have to eat or cook, to just wanting to try new interesting things. Depending on if I'm by myself, or who I am in the company of, where we end up can differ.

Yesterday I had a great Raw Food day. I had a smoothie for breakfast, fruit, a Lara Bar, salad, and a Synergy Kombucha drink. I had an Ice Cream Social at night and was dreading the Ice Cream part of the Social. I was worried I would show up hungry, and I was feeling the glow and didn't want to lose it. (If you've ever eaten raw for awhile, you get this glow, this vibe, that feels amazing - puts coffee to shame. It's consistent, and you feel excited and like you can't stop beaming. For me, much like when I was about 4-5 months pregnant:)

SO I had some extra time before the get together, and I got a shto of Wheat Grass and a small carrot juice at Jamba Juice, and had fun wondering the local Book Store. I got two ideas for Raw Chilled Soups (which I was encouraged to give another try from my friend Sarah). See recipes below.

Then on the way to the get together, I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some Dairy Free ice cream that sounded great - Coconut Water, Agave Nectar, shredded coconut, and one other ingredient I can't remember. It was good - light, not a stron flavor. Even better with some chocolate sauce on it. :) I was nervous about being the dork, and showing up with my dairy free ice cream, as I am just getting to know this group of about 20 woman. But because of how casual it was, and the hostess served everyone from the kitchen, I don't think anyone noticed. ALSO I ended up making another mom SO happy who had just found out that she had to cut dairy out of her diet for her new baby she is nursing. It was making the baby sick. She was thrilled she got to have a bowl of ice cream, so instead of feeling like a dork, I felt like a superhero. God is good. :)

So here are the recipes, and the reason I was so excited about these, is because i have all of these ingredients in my fridge right now (except the yogurt). It's what was in season at the Farmer's Market. so cool!

Radish and Yogurt Soup
from The Dinner Journal Issue #8

2 large bunches of radishes
1 16 oz tub plain yourt (I'm going to use Raw Goat's Yogurt)
1 small bunch mint, pinched

Clean radishes and grate (in a good processor, or mandoline where your fingers aren't in danger! these things are tiny). Place in a Pot/Bowl and season with salt. Let sit until it starts to wilt. Add Yogurt. Thin with water until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Serve well chilled with mint.

Avocado and Cucumber Soup
from The Dinner Journal Issue #8

4 large cucumbers
1 avocado
ground corainder

Peel cukes and remove seeds. Cut into 1 " pieces. Place cucumbers, avocado, corainder in a food processor or blender and puree. Add water as needed. When you like the consistency add the cilantro and puree. Season and serve well chilled.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's a Blender, baby.

I've been trying some different things lately, for a few different reasons. I have tons of spinich and fruit right now (long story) and been trying out different things to do with it. I also got a new book called Raw Food/Real World which has been inspiring. I absolutely love all the full color pictures in this book, and was pleased to see so many smoothie recipes. I LOVE smoothies, but since I have cut way down on dairy, have had a hard time finding one I like. Just fruit and ice doesn't cut it.
So the recipes in this book call for you to make your own nut milks from scratch. (Or use fresh coconut water, however I am traumitized from the last time I tried to open a cococut, but that's for another post) I would love to make my own nut milks, and plan to do this when I have more time (maybe when the kids are all in school or something) but right now it's just not realistic. Once I took a deep breathe and showed the perfectionist in me the door, I realized that I could just "cheat" and use the Pacific Brand Almond milk that Natalia Rose suggests in her Raw Food Detox Diet book, and I was good to go.
Now let me just begin by saying the beginning was bliss, and then my blender died. :( After two mornings of replacing my Green Lemonade (Apple, Lemon, Kale and Celery/Romaine)with smoothies, just to change things up, the seal stopped working and smoothie was leaking out the bottom onto the counter, and then it got upset about the frozen bananas and just started to smell like, well, that the motor was smoking. So let me just give you a tip: 9 year old blenders that you got for about $30, do not like to crush frozen fruit. You need something more powerful. (The pic above is of my old one, RIP)
So what I reeeeeaaaaaaallllyyyyy want is a Vitamix blender. Just. so. badly. They are just so expensive, and I realized I needed to get a new blender to get by. So after a trip to Target, wanted to just spend $40-ish (because I really do want to hold out for that Vitamix someday!) I realized I have never shopped for a blender and called Rob. "Do the Watts really matter?" Yes. And it has to crush ice. "But they all say they crush ice." It's a lie.
Okay, well there seemed to be a big difference in price versus watts, but basically for $40 I could get 400-450 Watts, or for $70-80 I could get 600-800 Watts. After peeking around a bit I found a $70, 800 Watt Blender on clearance for $49. So I got that. And I can tell you why it's on clearance. It is the cheesiest blender ever made.
I am now blending in style with a blender that you truly need to turn all the lights off to appreciate. The Hamilton Beach Liquid Blu Blender my friends, shines a ghetto-fabulous blue light out from underneath when it blends, not unlike a car that shines those neon lights out from underneath it? yes it's true. I know you are jealous. My smoothie making just got really exciting. :)
So back to the smoothies :) I've just been using about a cup or more of Almond Milk, a frozen banana, and then either a cup of fresh or frozen fruit. Throw in a Tablespoon of Raw Honey (my favorite) or Agave Nectar, a dash of vanilla, and a dash of sea salt (trust me, or I should say the Raw Food/Real World book, it's good) and I am once again in smoothie heaven. All I have to say is if I can eat these and be vegan, I may just be crossing over to the other side. If you try one and can't get it to blend, then you may need to just stir and add some more Almond Milk. Or get a new hot blender like mine. You know you want one.
P.S. If you have kids, pour any leftover smoothie into popciscle molds! I love these too. I actually do this with my morning juice too - who knew kids would like Kale or Beet on a stick! hehe! I guess anything is good with Apple and Lemon in it, especially cold on a hot summer day.

Monday, July 7, 2008

One of my own?

I haven't been able to post as often as I like. One thing that is frustrating me about Blogger is that it randomly likes to sign me out and then tell me I don't know my password. I DO know my password and I keep having to go through this whole thing to reset it. argh. Anyway, "Hi" and hope you all have had many wonderful foodie experiences in my absence. :)

So, my question today do you define a recipe as one's own? If I take a two recipes, and take a bit from each, and then change an ingredient, and add another, is it then mine? I'm not sure. Depending on your definition, this may or may not be an original Kristine recipe. tada!

Raspberry Almond Muffins or
Waiting for Houseguests Muffins

Note: Your house will smell like an amazing Europeon bakery-type place while these are cooking, and that is a very, very good thing. Have coffee and organic butter ready and waiting....

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Agave Nectar* (you could substitute honey or sugar)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Almond Extract

1 cup fresh drained raspberries (or sub. frozen or canned)

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a smaller bowl lightly beat the egg with the milk, oil, Agave Nectar (or honey or sugar), and almond extract, and then add to the dry ingredients all at once. Stir just until the batter is mixed. Fold berries into the batter. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25** minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

*a sugar substitute that is made from an Agave plant. totally healthy.
** If you live in High Altitude like I do, I recommend putting a piece of foil over the muffins for about the last 6 minutes to avoid excessive browning. This is my new trick to avoid altering all my recipes. It has worked great!