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Thursday, August 30, 2012

lately + rochester

light
high falls quote
high falls, Rochester, NY
dmb quote
lake ontario
garbage plate
faded blue circles

we woke up friday morn like it was any other work day,
early,
grudgingly,
with lead feet.
we drove straight thru PA to the
tippy top of NY.

did you know that that part of
the country is beautiful?
that despite the proximity to
Canada
it gets super hot,
like a blister in the sun hot?

dw showed me his home
the streets he traversed
the hospital he was born in
his elementary school
and
most importantly,
a dish that we are now determined to
recreate.

i won't lie to you:
i did not want to come home.
i wanted to point the car northward,
away,
and adventure into new territory
with dw.

instead, we are home now,
and the last days of summer are
looming.

+

i'm currently reading
this book
it's basically flipping me out.
i'm re-watching this show,
and i'm right back to freshman year
all over again.
i'm supposed to be training
for a half
but the most i've run has been
5 miles,
2 weeks ago.

i have big plans for the month of
September
if they translate in photos
i will share
here or there.
how's your end of 
summer shaping up?

+

travel information:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

chocolate chip loaf

mini loaf

did you know, it's already beyond the middle of august? spring seems like a dream, and summer a daze. soon, school will start, the leaves will turn and i will begin the process of unpacking our winter clothes and taking our corduroy comforter to the cleaners. it's a wistful feeling, august being a bittersweet adieu to summer.

the cicadas are in full force, a bickering noise that i never noticed before but now hear keenly, as tho they are reminding me of the fleeting warm moments in the sunlight. we've been sleeping with the windows open, to beckon the night breeze. it's a bit indulgent, looking ahead to the season of transition whilst in the midst of summer, a season that depending on mother nature's mood could bleed into autumn.

nonplussed, i continue in this thought process, starting in the kitchen. the oven has been on more often now, the air laced with sugar and spice and all things nice. we've spent these last months making use of the vitamix for breakfast smoothies. the berries have been picked, apples will soon become jewels to harvest. until then, i've turned to a few baked goods. i assemble the ingredients sunday night, soaking grains as needed, and i bake them fresh first thing monday morning. the goal is for us to have something to nibble on while we sit down to our respective desks, prepare for our day. it's a sweet beginning, one that makes the turning of the season easier.


choc chip bread recipe

Friday, August 17, 2012

date nut bars

date nut bars

it is late afternoon, the heat is still mercilessly oppressive, the very air sits stubborn on our arms and legs. i am listening to the inconsistent shuffle of my run, each foot going in front of the other, sometimes with determination but usually with reluctance. i can feel the tension behind my neck, connected to my shoulder blades and eventually going down to my back where i hold most of my stress.

there is no horizon to look toward, instead, i keep my eyes averted to the short distance in front of me. it should be about the journey but all i can think about is the final destination: the finish line. i breathe with my lips parted, i am not winded but my legs - no, my entire body is tired. i question for the millionth time why i am even running when i abhor it so.

it's because i am neither getting any younger or healthier, that a lifestyle of eating good food without consequence is not feasible. a gym membership, one where they withdraw precious money out of my account, isn't enough to entice me to work out. i am still waiting for the runner's high -- the "glow", but i am resigned that the only satisfaction i will get from all this is actually finishing. and well. this. these. these treats. they are, i would have to say with all the smugness and confidence of 1.5 year runner, are the best tasting healthy treats i have ever made or consumed. even more than the cashew cream pie.

they are packed with fiber, low in sodium & calories, along with the crunch of raw almonds, pecans and tickle of raw coconut flakes. like i said, the best. as inspired by savory simple and food loves writing.

date nut bars - recipe

note: LÄRABARS® (which were also an inspiration to this) have a more dates to nuts ratio which make for a much sweeter and stickier product. personally, i think dates can be too sweet, that's why i added the amount of nuts and coconut flakes that i did, to cut down on the sweetness. as a result, the bars weren't very sticky. combinations, ratios and spices are entirely up to you. i'd love to add chocolate and other kinds of nuts, or use up whatever random stuff i have in the pantry. these not only are ideal to meet sugar cravings, but also to consume after a race, or in my case usually, during a race.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

spaghetti-Os with venison meatballs

spaghetti-Os

i must confess to a profligacy towards certain canned fast foods. it's a reminder of my childhood, summers spent with cousins, sweaty and always ravenous for quick meals that required a can opener, microwave safe bowl and 3 minutes to nuke.

thankfully, i have outgrown this kind of eating, and with dw's encouragement, let go of such reckless indulgences. if i am to partake in such folly, it should at least be nourishing and good in taste. i was recently inspired to recreate a childhood favorite. keep in mind, this pasta bowl is thicker, creamier and meatier than it's distant canned cousin, much more dimensional with specks of kale and the heat of chili pepper.

tucking into this, it reminds me of home.

spaghettioquote

spaghetti-o's + venison meatballs
dairy-free, the sauce is vegan

i went fancy this time, next time, i might keep it simple and skip the béchamel sauce, or keep it vegan without the meat.

vegan béchamel sauce

6-8 TBL olive oil (i eyeballed it)
4 TBL white whole wheat flour
1 cup almond milk
salt/pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
2 tsp nutritional yeast

in a sauce pan, heat up olive oil. add in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. purists will tell you to stir constantly so that the sauce will be as white as possible.. i may have walked away for a second and it was fine. you just want to cook the paste/roux until the flour is cooked thru, about 5 minutes. add in the almond milk, slowly, and stir (or whisk) mixture until clumps are gone, then add in the nutritional yeast. season with salt + pepper and a dash of nutmeg. cook until desired thickness has been achieved.

tomato sauce

4 large ripe tomatoes rough chopped, whatever you have on hand, alternatively, a large can of fire roasted tomatoes (muir glen is our choice for off season canned tomatoes)
5-6 dinosaur kale leaves, rough chopped
1 medium onion, rough diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
chili pepper flakes
italian seasoning
water or stock to thin out sauce according to taste

in a large pan/skillet, heat up some olive oil. add in the onions and carrots, saute until onions are translucent and carrots start to tender. add in the cloves of garlic, stir until fragrant, be sure not to burn. next, add in kale. at this point, throw in the tomatoes, heat thru. for every layer of added ingredients, season with salt/pepper, italian seasoning. add about a cup of water/stock, simmer for 20 minutes.

very carefully, pour sauce into blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. return to pan and keep warm

venison meatballs

1 lb of ground venison (any ground meat will do)
1 small scallion, minced
handful of bread crumbs
salt/pepper
italian season

mix everything in a bowl, rolling into balls. fry them up, or bake them. up to you.

pasta: ditalini rigati, or any other small pasta. cook to package instructions. (i used about half the package) reserve pasta water to thin out sauce accordingly.

to assemble:

combine the béchamel sauce with the tomato sauce, stir to incorporate. adjust seasoning as you'd like. add in the pepper flakes. next, add in the cooked pasta, along with a few ladles of pasta water to thin out sauce. this is entirely up to you. when pasta has been fully mixed thru, add in the meatballs. i found that the flavor deepened the next day, and the pasta soaked in any liquid. i would add about 1/8 - 1/4 cup of water to a bowl as i heated it up and it would thin out the sauce just enough.

Friday, August 10, 2012

raw almond milk

DSC_0058

there is a confession that
is bursting to come out of
me:
i have been
daydreaming,
not just about dw,
because he is so dreamy,
but about Autumn.

that remind me of grandfathers.
about the color orange
and nesting.

the abode is slowly, but surely,
taking shape.
there is talk of painting the
walls again.
i'm partial to bold colors
but nothing in between.

we have one last trip of the
season
planned.
i'm super excited to try
and we will see

elsewhere,
my fantasizing has been here,
i've been dreaming of
africa:
ethiopia
south africa
morocco
dream big or stay home, right?

lastly, this message is so important: I hate the word ‘homophobia’. It’s not a phobia. You’re not scared. You’re just an asshole.

almond milk 2

i have a simple recipe for you today. you can also make coconut milk this way, use unsweetened organic coconut flakes and go from there.

happy weekend friends.

almond milk recipe

know who else has made raw almond milk? savory simple, this is her version.

special note: this was an expensive milk. organic raw almonds cost a lot, as in, for a pound it was about $10. i made just shy of a pounds worth of milk and it yielded 8 cups. i did keep the almond meal & made a zucchini bread so i did make use of everything. but at least i know exactly what we drank.

Friday, August 3, 2012

blueberry pie + orange nut crust

blueberry pie + orange nut crust

the sun's rays are gentle at this hour, sweetly golden, a caress on the back of our necks. we are picking blueberries, little round luscious berries just at their peak, our baskets half full, fingers stained violet. the orchard is not large, the shrubs still small but the branches are abundant with fruit.

we've been at it for almost an hour, i am sweaty, my hair falling out of its braid. my beloved is just down the way, his basket beside him on the ground. we're almost done for the day, tho really, the day is just starting for the rest of the world. we stroll among the bushes, sticky hand in sticky hand. we daydream about what we'll do with this bounty: jam? smoothie? pie?

no matter, we take what we pick home, wash them and most go into the freezer, tho we keep a stash fresh to nibble on while we decide. two weekends last month we made use of them in pie. correction. dw did. he's a pie man. he's a blueberry man.

blueberry pie

Blueberry Pie + Orange Nut Crust

crust recipe adapted from dw's childhood friends, the Kanthors, originally from the NY Times Large
Print Cookbook

pie filling recipe adapted from sweet kat's kitchen


crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup soy margarine, cold
zest of one orange
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
5 TBL ice cold vodka, approx

mix flour, salt, & sugar in a bowl. pulse in soy margarine in food processor. add orange zest and nuts. add in vodka, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. roll in a ball, refrigerate at least an hour before using.

topping:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup rolling oats
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 T liquid coconut oil

filling:
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 TBL cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBL fresh squeezed orange juice
5 cups fresh blueberries, or in our case, thawed

pre-heat oven 375F.

do up the pie crust in deep dish pie pan.

in a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cornstarch & cinnamon. add in blueberries. add lemon juice, combine gently. pour into pie crust.

for the topping, in a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon & nutmeg. add in the coconut oil until crumbly. spread as evenly over the filling. bake for 60 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

cool completely before cutting in. personally, i liked it better the next day. serve alone, or with a generous scoop of coconut vanilla ice cream.