Saturday, July 26, 2008

15 Hours in a Chrysler Town & Country

That's right...I'm going to Pennsylvania. I'll get to see my grandparents and some other family that live there. I'll be back very soon with lots of pictures, new recipes, a meme, the grand opening of my jewelry store on Etsy as well as stories from my trip. For now, here are some photos that I took the other night when I went to a digital photography class at my local library.

Also - our traveling plans changed last minute, so I didn't have a chance to reply to comments left on my last post before we headed out. I will do this as soon as I get bet - I promise!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Carob Cherry Granola

When I realized that the pantry was 100% out of granola, I got excited. The time has [finally!] come for me to make my own granola. And share it with you. In words and pictures. On the Internet. Enjoy!

This sweet granola tastes great with your favorite non-dairy milk. If you don't have cherries on hand, use another fruit that pairs well with carob.

  • 1 cup GF rolled oats
  • 10 (or more) fresh cherries, halved with seed and stem removed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2T vegan carob chips
  • 2T agave nectar

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine the oats, hazelnuts, carob chips & agave nectar in a bowl, stirring evenly to coat the mixture. Bake for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Rotate tray; stir granola if needed. Continue baking for no longer than 5 minutes. Break up any large chunks once cool. Serve with cherries.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My First Award!

I am oh-so-honored to have recieved the Brillante Weblog 2008 award from Pamela from Cookies with Boys. I dreamt of having my own food blog for a couple of months before I actually create one. And I am so glad I did. I never imagined that my blog would win an award, and I am very, very thankful to Pamela for passing it on to me.

To those who are receiving the award from me, here are the guidelines as penned by Pamela:

*Put the logo on your blog.
*Add a link to the person who awarded you.
*Nominate at least seven other blogs.
*Add links to those blogs on your blog.
*Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.

I am sharing this honor with food bloggers that I have only recently met. They're all very talented, kind, and creative. And so, with great pride, I pass along the Brillante Weblog award to...

  1. Alexa of Artsy-Foodie
  2. Alli of Sweets by Alli
  3. Cecilia of Scrumptiously Vegan
  4. Jenn of Eating Bender
  5. Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventures
  6. Mallory of The Salty Cod
  7. Shelby of La Belle Vegan

Friday, July 18, 2008

Coconut Plantains With Purée of Sweet Potato

I don't usually make/consume/crave fried foods. Ever. But when I was in Florida, I tried fried plantains. And I fell in love. I had to attempt this dish myself. Ta-da!


A twist on a classic Caribbean dish, the plantains are pan-fried in thyroid-stimulating, cancer protecting organic virgin coconut oil, which gives them a sweet taste and health benefits, too. Serves 3-4.

  • 1 dark yellow plantain (brown or black spots are fine)
  • 1T organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet potato purée

Peel the plantain and slice into bite-sized rounds. Put the coconut oil in the pan and fry the plantain pieces on medium heat until brown. Flip and brown the other side. Remove from pan immediately. Serve hot with purée as a dipping sauce.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nutmeg-Yam Muffins

These tasty vegan treasures are especially for July 2008's edition of Sunita's monthly "Think Spice" blogging event. This month's host is Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen. The spice is (you guessed it!) nutmeg. So here you are.

These moist muffins are great with vegan margarine or cream cheese. Yields approx. one dozen.

  • 1 cup baked yam puree
  • ¼ cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. stevia powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the wet ingredients, as well as the stevia powder, together in a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together and add them to the wet mixture, stirring until homogenous.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350°F in a greased muffin pan. Immediately remove muffins from pan and transfer to a cooling rack.

I am going to join Etsy and sell my jewelry! I plan on doing this in the next week or so. For more information about these earrings, click on the picture.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mediterranean on the Mind...

...and in the mouth.

Spring greens with mild olives, cherry tomatoes & Humboldt Fog cheese make up a tasty Greek-inspired salad. Instant hummus (from the bulk bins at Whole Foods) makes a great dip for pita bread.

I am dreaming of Greece, Italy, Egypt, Spain. Morrocco, Turkey, Israel, France. There is no shortage of inspiration in the Mediterranean; I'll have a recipe soon. Very soon. And jewelry, too. I promise.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Remembering Florida...

I remember the taste of the ocean, tangy and harsh on the tongue, down the throat. The fluidity of the sand, stirring about, though weighed down by bulk of the water. The instinctual sensation of floating among the fish, the seaweed. When one floats in the water, what is felt? The power of the ocean, yes, and the helplessness of one's own body, unguarded and so incredulously small amongst the creatures of the sea and the ancient waters themselves. The primal intuition that a miracle is in front of us, around us, above and below us. A place to cherish. The waves slap the shores endlessly, carried in from lands in the infinite distance, their tune echoing mellifluously across the beach. An incredible song, that melody of sea and sand. The silhouettes of scavenging birds hang in the pastel light of morning, streaked across a nearly-cloudless sky. A glorious place to be, the beach.

This tropical drink is ideal for a hot summer day. Serves 4-6.

  • 1 ripe papaya, skin & seeds removed
  • 4 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 cup of lite coconut milk
  • one 16oz. can of pineapple

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spicy Vegetable Salad

When I say spicy, I mean it. If you can't take the heat in this dish, top it with some yogurt, extra cukes, or have some cool water on hand. Also - this is my entry for the Living La Vida Local blogging even over at Muffin Love. Check it out & wish me luck! Sorry abou the not-so-appetizing picture...I didn't realize I hadn't captured "the perfect photo" until after I'd eaten it. A star (*) next to the ingredient means that it was purchased at my local farmer's market. A side note - I am now on the Foodie Blogroll!

This easy dish goes great with any kind of grain. Makes good leftovers, too. Serves 2-3.

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized piece*
  • 1 onion, sliced into spears*
  • 1-2 small pickling cucumbers*
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & sliced into circles
  • olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tumeric

Sautee the onion and carrots in olive oil and seasoning until the onions are slightly brown. Add the red bell pepper and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate, top with pickling cucumbers & enjoy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Carrot Cake Pancakes & My Vegan Dilemma

Finally - I am starting to get the hang of vegan cooking. Which, in my eyes, is pretty awesome, giving that I'm not vegan. For instance, when I was making these pancakes the other morning, my first tester didn't stick together. Xanthan gum! I thought, almost instantaneously. And guess what? It worked!

I have been thinking a lot about veganism, and here is my dilemma. I know that at some time I will try going vegan. I also know that I am going to be an avid traveller throughout my life. Realizing that travel can put a lot of stress on the body, I can easily see myself doing fasts and cleanses after my travels, and living a high-raw, gluten-free vegan lifestyle at home. However, when I travel in the future I am going to be a local. That means meat, dairy, eggs. (Gluten, too.) All things non-vegan. So...what are your thoughts? Is part-time veganism okay?

OK, I know that these are more fitting in autumn, but I was craving carrot cake and I needed something for Pancakes on Parade - A Sweet & Savory Event.

These hearty pancakes are great with real maple syrup, cream cheese, or both. Makes 8-12 pancakes.

  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup + 1T quinoa flour
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2T agave nectar
  • 1T baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup grated carrot, packed
  • 1¼ cup + 1T unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup + 2 heaping tablespoons of raisins

Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Stir in wet ingredients, adding the grated carrot and raisins last. Pour the batter onto a griddle and cook on medium heat until one side is brown. Flip and cook the other side. *When pouring the batter, you might need to flatten out the pancakes a little bit because the carrots make it pretty dense.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Easy. Vegan. Sorbet. For. Real.

So this is my entry for the You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts blogging event. What do you think?

This sorbet is - believe or not - absolutely vegan & absolutely delicious. Serves two.

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 2¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ T pistachios, shelled
  • 1-5 dried black mission figs

Get out your juicer or heavy-duty blender, such as a Vitamix. (I have a Champion Juicer.) Put the bananas into your juicer or blender and juice or blend them until they have the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Stir in the vanilla and set aside. Get out your food processor and finely chop the pistachios. Stir them into the sorbet. Freeze for 15-30 minutes. Serve with dried figs, as many as few as you desire.

The Florida Panhandle

Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Home to my second cousins, their gorgeous backyard, invitingingly crisp pool - a place where good food and colorful flowers are aplenty.

Panama City Beach, Florida. A city bursting with surprisingly attractive public beach access boardwalks that lead to pristine, snowy-white, fairly uncrowded stretches of sand and sea (uncrowded especially at 5AM), unique and delicious seafood restaurants, palm trees, and mango key lime pie.

It has been too long, my friends. I'll post a recipe ASAP - I recently made a trip to both Whole Foods & the local farmer's market. Also - I am awaiting the arrival of Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 that I bought online (for $50 dollars off! Score!) When it arrives, I'll finally be able to make my blog look decent. Ha-ha. I've missed you all! For more pictures from my vacation, check out my Flickr photostream.

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