Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fruity Delights

For simply ages I have been wanting to make the famous Concord Grape Sorbet from "Raw Food, Real World", so when Dad brought home a box of them, I was absolutely buzzing. Just 'cuz summer is gone, doesn't mean we can't be transported to the tropics through a fantastical, creamy delight.

I didn't have any agave, so I used maple syrup...basically, I have discovered, if you want to make a smooth, silky fruit ice-cream or sorbet all you need is:

  • A fruit (I want to try not just berries, but banana, orange, apple, cantaloupe, pomegranate, and lemon)
  • A sweetener (Agave, honey, maple syrup, or perhaps dates)
  • Liquid base (water, nut milk, or a juice)

All you need to do is blend up your concoction, strain it through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag (I actually use a paint strainer bag that I got at a hardware store, works great) to get the seeds out (I don't think you need to, if you use bananas or cantaloupe). Then you just pop it into your ice-cream maker for 10-20 minutes or so.

Last night was my Mom's birthday...we went to the city, did some bowling (I lost royally, as usual), and then headed over to Montana's for supper. I ordered a blueberry balsamic salad and guess what I found in my salad? Purslane! I thought it was the coolest thing ever...that mainstream restaurants have put wild weeds in their menu. It was the first time I've ever eaten it in a salad actually and now I'm stoked about putting them in our own salads at home. Yay for Montana's!

And I'm so proud of my Dad...he's really gotten into green tea...replacing his usual ice-tea (sugary stuff) and hot cappachino or hot chocolate drinks with it. Granted, he still drinks the others, but not very often anymore. Yay Daddy!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy News

I'm so pumped about one of the most recent additions to our kitchen. We got (finally!) an Excalibur Dehydrator! I've been wanting one of these for years, always sighing over it when I saw a picture of one or people writing recipes that seemed to always include the famous Excalibur.

And I can see why it's so famous now. It's really amazing! We use to have a little round one, with the trays with holes in them. The heat was so hot, I was afraid that it was "cooking" rather than "un-cooking". When we made raw pizza rounds, they may have been round, but the hole in the middle was most inconvenient. And I always had to switching around the trays so that the heat was evenly distributed. Often in the night I'd get up to check on my raw creations (setting my alarm) because I had to make sure I didn't over dry things. And to top it all, I had to stop using down to basically nothing, because the electricity bill went up because of it.

Sigh...this one is a dream. Beautiful, huge square trays (9 of them, we got the biggest) that fit scads and scads of things, no hole in the middle. I don't have to switch trays because the heat of it is even distributed. I don't have to babysit the thing, because it has an adjustable timer. And hurrah! The Excalibur is really good on electricity and doesn't cost barely anything to run.

I love that thing! But despite my evident love for it, my Mom has been using it more than I have been. Lately, I've been wanting more fresh fruits and foods, or just not heaps of it...going more for the lighter stuff.

Last night she made fruit leather and has been drying apples. We've been doing pears, bananas, and all sorts of lovely fruits in there. I'm looking forward to culturing and making homemade yogurt in there too.

But there's more happy news, at least for me...yesterday I was SO SO SO tickled pink to find out that on Raw Epicurian's Blog I had won a book by Matthew Kenney! I've only won one other contest in my life, so I'm pretty excited. I just love the work that M.K. does, he's inspiring. Ingrid is such a sweetie to do all those contests.

Running is going okay too...I'm such a baby beginner and I feel like I'm gonna kill myself when I run, but afterwards...mwah! It's like a clean energy burning through you. Not like I should deserve that energetic feeling, now...the furthest I've run is 3 K. But I'm celebrating my victories and trying to make it fun. Maybe someday soon I'll be running 10 my amazing older brothers (who are into running).

What's some of the most amazing things you like to make in the Dehydrator? (I want some more lovely ideas)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Running Aspirations

I've taken up running this summer, very casually. I'm just a beginner and I'm not sure I even like running too much (but I'm liking it better lately, thanks to my new Nike+ shoes), but oh! I love the feeling afterwards. I don't run very far yet, but even if it's just 2 k. I feel so good afterwards. Usually the rest of the day I feel very alert, energetic, and all "buzzy" inside (does that make sense?).

We had a bit of family reunion in the late summer, and nearly each morning I would run with my brother. That was a lot of he lives far away from us, I don't spend heaps of time with him (sniff!). He is such a dear, he took pity on my running in flip flops (yes! I did that...don't laugh) because I didn't have any runners. He helped me buy a pair of the dreamy Nike+ shoes. They're awesome! You have a sensor in your shoe and a connector to your i-pod. It tells you how far you go, your pace, calories burned, and as you listen to music with the i-pod, a voice will come through to tell you how far you've gone and how many minutes are remaining. It's the most amazing thing ever and I'm having fun with it.

I used to run my short little distances (I'm not very good yet, lol) with flip flops, no music, and it was not as much fun, to say the least. Now I'm enjoying myself much more.

After I do exercise (like running) in the morning I usually crave something hardier than juice, but yet light, cold, and refreshing...something like a smoothie. I did this one yesterday after a run. It's got lots of the needed things that your body wants after exertion.

Runner's Smoothie

1-2 pears

1 banana (frozen)

1/2 c. pitted dates (I used honey dates)

about 6 ice cubes

a liquid base of apple juice (preferably unpasteurized)

Blend up and guzzle down. I love, love, love the pear taste in this smoothie! It truly tastes oh-so-good!!!

What do you like doing for exercise?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Best Face Mask

....and though it's not a raw mask made from the usual honey, fruit, or veggie mask, I think it's truly the funnest thing ever. It's just Miracle Whip...or mayonnaise!
Here's the how-to:
Spread a teaspoon of MW on your face and leave on for 10 minutes. Then you rub your face for a couple minutes in circular motions. Lots of rubbery balls will come off your face...this is dead skin and MW. I know it's gross...but after you rub your face for a bit and then wash with your regular face wash, your skin is all pink, silky, and soft and it's definitely worth it.
Some people say that the reason it exfoliates so well is because of the vinegar in the MW. I don't know exactly what it is, even though I analyzed the bottle of MW, but I've heard of those people who don't want MW on their face trying olive oil mixed with ACV (apple cider vinegar). I haven't tried it yet, but that might be worth a shot too. I'm thinking homemade mayonnaise might work well too.
So have fun...sometimes just doing a pedicure or a mask can make you feel all spoiled and beautiful. Everyone needs that...
About a week or so ago, I got Disqus...faithfully obeying the call of duty that Drumhil suggested. I suggest all you other bloggers get it too....makes life so much easier for people who aren't on blogger to comment on your blog and you to comment on theirs. I'm going to see if I can convince my sister to get Disqus, I'm so happy with it.
Today I started off my day with Natalia Rose's famous Green Lemonade. Mmmmm!!! I love that divine. You feel invincible when you drink green juice, like you're a superhero, infusing yourself with drinkable energy and power for adventures ahead. I always feel so good when I start my day with juices (and smoothies) and fruit till at least noon. I'm trying to make it a lifelong habit, not a rule (cuz' sometimes you do want something else). And I think it's one of the best things you can do if you're trying to be healthier. Juices and fruits till noon take little to no energy to digest, leaving your body (which has been cleansing all night) to detox several hours more. It does a body good. :)