Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raw Food Party

Raw food? Really? Okay, I will admit that I was skeptical. I love a hot simmering pot of soup on the stove, filling the house with its warm and enticing aromas. and I adore the moment when I get to open a dish braised in the oven, and finally getting to appreciate the melding together of flavors and tastes... and Summer BBQ- need I say more?

So, yeah. I was skeptical.

But, let me tell you, this was really, really cool.

We all went over to Dee's house and a cook named Helen Liba (we heard about her in the Walleye) came on over to give us all a raw food demo. She first peeled and spiralized some zucchini. It was fascinating to watch these pale green rivulets of "pasta" pour out of this machine. My first thought; I want one!

Once she had a huge bow full of the zucchini, she made the sauce.

Zucchini Marinara
2 large tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 cup of sun dried tomatoes- soaked for 2 hours in warm water, drained and chopped.
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
3/4t sea salt
pinch of cayenne
Fresh basil and oregano
Put it all in a food processor and blend.

Pour the sauce over the raw pasta and let it sit for 15 minutes. the salt in the sauce will soften up the squash. Now let me tell will NOT fool anyone into thinking that this is spaghetti, though it is similar in texture. But, it is delicious, and on a hot summers day, I would say that this dish would be preferable over actual pasta.

While this was soaking, Helen whipped up an app for us. She had previously soaked, blended and dehydrated flax into sort of crackers (gluten free!) On top she put her Cashew mayo, which is wonderful and has probably a million uses then topped that with fresh veggies. It was a wonderful way to start a meal. Very light and flavorful.

Cashew Mayonnaise
1 cup cashews soaked for 8 hours; drained
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 doft dates; pitted
1t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1t quality salt
dash of pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

But the Icing on the cake was the dessert. Seriously, you have never seen anything like this! Raw chocolate mousse! Had 10 other women not been there I would have eaten and licked the whole damn bowl!

It is with avocados- did you hear me?! Avocados! I LOVE avocado!

Chocolate Mousse

2 medium avocados
1 cup natural cane sucar (sucanat)
1t vanilla
1/4 t cinnamon
3/4 cup organic cocoa
3/4 cup water, with additional to thin as needed,

blend and serve with berries fruit or whatever your heart desires.

So of course, as per usual I had more wine than everyone else combined, but I had a great time because of the food. It is so great to learn so much about cooking and ingredient prep- even a new way of eating! I am pretty sure that I wont be switching my entire diet, but I look forward to incorporating everything I learned into my cooking.

If you're in t bay and want to contact helen, call her at 472-0514. You might be skeptical too, but I guarantee you wont regret it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oregon Pinot Noir!

I received this bottle for my birthday, and was really looking forward to it. It reminded me of Kimmy, since she seems to have a thing for Oregon Pinot! I was really excited about the cork and everything, well it was my 2nd bottle of the night... Of course I was excited about everything!

Monday, July 12, 2010


So we have a massive rhubarb shrub in the yard. Seriously, this thing gets to be 8 feet tall in the summer. Right now it is a perfect height, with tender ruby colored stalks. Cousin Erika brought over a big basket of monster strawberries on my birthday, she had picked them only an hour before at Belluz Farm. If you have ever had a freshly piked strawberry, you will know how delicious they are. They come in all shapes and sizes, some are round, oval, pointy but none bigger than a half dollar. Take a bite and your fingers and mouth are stained bright berry red, by the sweetest and most delicious fruit the season has to offer...and that is the secret.. they are in season! These aren't the supermarket freaks, with all of the taste bred out of them so they would ship better, and who knows where these flavorless fruits originated anyways. The difference between fresh, local and seasonal vs year round grocery store fruit is like night and day.

I never even really liked strawberries. It's because I never had a real one before.

So with all of these delicious fruit what is a girl to do? The strawberries cant sit on a shelf for a week, you have about a day until they start to get soft. So I figured that the perfect solution would be a pie of course!

The problem is that I am a terrible pie maker. They are generally about as good as my cakes, which up until last week i hadn't succeeded in. But, I figured that since I managed to make that red velvet, I would give this another shot as well.

The main problem when it comes to pie is, of course, the crust. Im awful at it. Usually ill go grab one of those Pillsbury refrigerated shells, and were on our way! But since this pie was on a whim, I didn't have one on hand. But I followed a basic recipe, and had success!

The crust is the hard part, but not the fun part! the fun part is the pie filling!

I mixed 1 cup rhubarb, 3 cups berries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup corn starch, and a pinch of cinnamon.... well a few pinches.

After i poured it into the pie shell I put a few pats of butter on top, put on the top crust, did and egg wash, and voila! It was an ugly pie, but thats not really the point.

It was delicious!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Goat Cheese!

So Chris got me that goat cheese making set for Xmas and I had yet to use it...Probably because goats milk is hard to find here. Today and I was at safeway, there it was!

So I poured the milk into a pot and added a teaspoon of citric acid, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water, and of course a few pinches of salt. I mixed the whole mess up and heated it to 180 degrees. Now the directions said that I should take it off the heat when it started to see coagulation, but it wasn't really happening. After at about 5 minutes being at 185 or so, I removed it from the heat for 15 minutes. After a few minutes of sitting it finally started to separate...And, yes, I sat there and watched the magic the entire time.

So once it was separated I poured the mixture through a cheese cloth. I was supposed to wait 15 minutes and then transfer to the cheese molds. After 45 minutes, it still wasn't drained so I picked up the cheese cloth and squeezed... and that was good enough for me. I am impatient and I wanted to eat my damn cheese! So it is not as firm as goat cheese that you get in the store, but more the consistency of thick greek yogurt. Perfect for dunking.

It didn't turn out exactly how I envisioned, but luckily it was still delicious!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Canada Day/4th of July

It was a double holiday weekend, so we ended up doing a LOT of eating this weekend. In honor of Canada Day, I tried making my first ever red velvet cake, and it turned out spectacularly! I served it up with some berries and rhubarb from the garden. It was delicious! I got the recipe from a cookbook Gramma Iris gave me.

I cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces red food coloring
2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1t vanilla

heat oven to 350 and grease 2 round cake pans. Mix butter, sugar and eggs. Then add remaining ingredients. Pour into pans and bake for 25-30 minutes

3 t flour
1 cup milk
1 cup powdered sugar (I used 2)
1 cup butter, softened
1t vanilla

cook flour and milk in a saucepan until it boils and thickens.remove from heat and let cool. add cooled mixture to butter, sugar and vanilla- frost and assemble cake.

Well there you have it. Easy as pie...or, cake