Thursday, March 31, 2011

What makes you happy?

Just a quick post for posterity today about things that are making me pretty happy right now...
Mini sweet peppers. These cuties are so yummy, colorful and don't hate me like full grown bell peppers do!
Amy's gf pizzas have been a favorite all winter. When I get home at night, it's dark and cold and about the only way I'm going to cook dinner is if it involves starting the oven, heading upstairs to get in some comfy sweats and slippers and then baking something while I hang out in the oh so toasty kitchen. I can only get the plain cheese around here so I usually throw something chopped from the fridge on top. This one happened to be onion. I've been known to dice up peppers & onions, slice mushrooms and even add a little meat of some sort. Good stuff.
Boxed wine - Franzia Chillable Red, to be specific. It reminds me of some really good times. My coolest friend ever used to stock her fridge with this and we had many a fun evening at her house drinking wine while our boyfriends played manly stuff before heading out for open mic nights or just general down town frivolity. I miss those days, nice that I can relive them once in a while just by putting a straw in my big ol' juice box.
Last, but not least, almond milk lattes. I make 'em decaf. No guilt - all pleasure. It's creamy, sweet and so good for me! Almond milk actually has as much calcium as cow's milk, more protein than skim and a richness that makes it feel really decadent. If I could get Starby's to carry almond milk, I'd probably spend half my paycheck there. Luckily, the best they'll do for me is put a couple shots in my own cup 'o milk. Forget that! If I have to go to all the trouble to find a cup and put some milk in it, I can find the other 2 minutes to warm it in the microwave and put my own shots in it. Much easier than the usual 15 minute wait at Starby's. Yeah, I like things simple. And cheap!

My happy theme seems to be cheap things. 5 liters of wine $15, Amy's Pizza $8, Almond latte $.50.
What are your pleasures?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Yes kids, I decided to finally try my hand at sushi making since buying the basic ingredients sooo long ago. Why did I wait so long, you ask? Long story short - sushi at famous restaurant = food poisoning = never wanted to be that sick ever ever again= aversion to even the mention of sushi.
But, nothing in mine is raw and of course my kitchen is contamination free so, bravely I went today!
I started with sushi rice and instantly I knew why most people don't make sushi at home. First, you rinse the rice till the water runs clear. Second, let it soak in the cooking water for 30 minutes. Third bring it to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes, all the while praying it doesn't boil over...then let it cool and add the sushi vinegar.
I do dig the rice though, such cute little roundish grains and they are very sticky!

To stuff it, I sliced long strips of cucumber and avocado, thawed out some pre-cooked flash frozen shrimp and prepared to sushi...ahem.

If I ever attempt this again, I think it would be wise to invest in the little bamboo stick roller upper thingy. It was kind of hard without it. I'm pretty proud of how it turned out, and tasted good. Bonus points for no food poisoning too!
Sadly, I just don't like the taste of the seaweed wrap. It's funky to me, maybe that's why people burn their nose hairs with wasbi on sushi? I'll try that next time because I have a bunch of leftover wrappers and rice...and sushi vinegar. Maybe I'll make a bunch and take it to work to feed the folks. How sweet would that be? :)
Here's a super zoom picture. Cute, no? I served it with pickled ginger and sweet red pepper slices. Refreshing.

Like I said - pretty proud of myself today! ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ani Phyo's Donut holes

Here's another raw recipe I experimented with...

"donut holes"! I got the recipe from Ani Phyo's blog - check her out for a lot of other brilliant raw recipes. I dig it.
In case you can't find it though, here's the recipe - you have got to try them because they are the best thing I've had in a looooong time. Of course, they aren't like a cake - so don't expect that! Think chewy/sweet fruity snacks that are totally satisfying without the sugar rush/crash. I love them!

1 3/4 cups almonds (I used regular ones from a bag)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups dried pineapple, chopped
2 cups pitted dates
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup shredded coconut

In the food processor place almonds salt and vanilla and process to a fine powder
slowly add pineapple and dates then coconut.
Use a scoop to make round "holes" and roll in shredded coconut.
Viola!! It takes like 10 minutes - tops.

You can tell I didn't roll all of mine in coconut and I used wet fingers to form the balls. Mostly because I don't really dig coconut and I hate washing dishes - fingers are lick-able!
So everyone I was willing to share these with loved them and ate 2-3 more, so if you make them be sure and stick a couple away just for you!
I have to say these are better than Larabars...and I love Larabars!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mushroom gravy

I planned to make this mushroom gravy for weeks and weeks - finally did it last night! It was super fast, easy, vegan, gluten free, raw...NUMMY!!
It even looks like gravy, tastes a little better than the goopy, greasy stuff I remember though. Here's the recipe (I can't remember where I got it from! I wrote it down on a scrap of paper.):
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup mushrooms
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
Put everything in the blender until smooth.

Love it!! Wish I'd have made it in time to eat all my baked it is though I put it on instant mashed ;0) That's a little sauteed broccolini next to it, something new to me!

I cannot express how thrilled I am to have this little recipe. Even if you're not trying out vegan or raw recipes - this would be great with any regular old meal. And there are general health benefits if you're watching fat, salt or flour intake. I'm definitely going to use it for was that good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Potatoes galore!

So weeks ago I was at the store and they had organic potatoes on sale BOGO in bags, of course I got 2! Then, last week I was cleaning things up and found the bag of them that I had shoved aside to put away later and opened it up and holy mole!! They had all sprouted - huge lots of intertwining sprouts!

I don't know what it is about me that makes potatoes so motivated, but this was ahhhmazing!
Anywhoo...I ripped all the sprouts off, scrubbed and foiled them for baking - some in the oven, some in the crockpot and then I wished I'd have thought ahead...
One little me and 10 pounds of baked potatoes. Online, the verdict was that you cannot freeze them if you wish to eat them I ate a potato with every meal.

I had eggs with potatoes, and potatoes alone, with sandwiches and even with salads. It took over a week, but they are done!
Now, do you wonder will I ever eat another potato again?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Foodie Call review

So one of my dearest friends forwarded me an email from her mommie's group about this food delivery/catering company called The Foodie Call. You can find them here:
Every month they offer several different meals that are delivered cold and you can reheat/freeze them and have a heat and eat dinner ready any old time!
Most of the offerings (so far) are gluten free and they are super nice about questions and accommodating food allergies! So I would totally give them 2 happy gf thumbs up. If you're in the Denver area, give 'em a try!
The picture above is the Creole Seafood Stew from last month. It was to die for! Just a little spicy, with more spices on the side in case you want it hotter. I did - my eyeballs sweat and my tastebuds danced. Delicious. There were good chunks of fish and little shrimp stuck in with a lot of peppers and onions. We dug it.
I also heated up the Vegetable Beef soup so we could have a sampling of everything. It was really more stew-like than soupy. Lots of big chunks of meat and veggies - total Comfort Food!!
This month I'm sad to say I'm not ordering because I'm planning a Mardi Gras feast but, if you order let me know what you think! I can't wait to see what's coming in April.
Besides being really tasty, I think it's a pretty good value too. Quite a bit cheaper than going out to eat, lots fresher than frozen dinners & faster than picking something up. Of course, I'm a homebody so it's like a dream come true for me :)