Sunday, November 28, 2010

gold dust synchronicity

wordy last post, huh? sometimes i don't have much to say about my food, if you can believe it!

but i do have a lot to say about where my thoughts have been lately. when i started this blog it was for recipes, but it has evolved into a journal of sorts. i hope you don't mind me sharing more than my animal-friendly food.

friday i was reading tavi's blog when i was reminded of a song called gold dust from one of my most beloved tori amos albums, scarlet's walk.

as tori spent childhood summers with her grandparents, whose cherokee grandparents survived the trail of tears, she has a deep understanding of the horror this nation is built upon. in creating scarlet's walk, tori traveled the united states after 9/11 in an attempt to re-examine the nation's history, the myths, and what it means to be american. you can read more about the album's concept here: lost in a place called america.

the album came out in the fall of 2002 when i was a senior in college. its somber feel enchanted me, and when the pain of adolescence and early adulthood was too much to bear, music was therapy, especially tori amos.

"how did it go so fast
you'll say as we are looking back
and then we'll understand
we held gold dust
in our hands

friday night, john and i watched the movie, frida based on the life of frida kahlo. before she's severely injured in her trolley accident, frida's given a handful of gold paint particles. upon impact, a shimmering shower of gold dust rains over the wreckage. the lyrics, 'we held gold dust in our hands' replayed in my head from earlier that day as i sat in awe of the timing. was the gold dust a coincidence or a symbol for me?

i'm still not sure, though the synchronicity did lead me to some reflecting while youtubing my favorite songs from the album. these videos are so beautiful to me that i wanted to share, though i understand if they're not for you. tori herself says she is an acquired taste, like anchovies.=)

here tori shares some insights she gained from a native american woman whom she met while researching for her scarlet's walk album.

"big brave nation
but instead
her medicine
now forgotten"
-scarlet's walk

a bouncy lil' number with yummy bass...

"I think that there is a place where she [Scarlet] realizes that people come in and out of your life. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for longer. And all of them make you what you are. You can't separate these people out of you. They form who you are. Even the ones that you kind of say know, I don't know if I wanna be formed by them anymore. (laughs) But you are in some way. You are. That's why, maybe, you don't have to look at them so harshly because they have effected you." - From the promotional-CD "Scarlet Stories" (source)

"woke up to a world
that i am not a part
except when i can play
its stranger"

a haunting song symbolic of 9/11...

and lastly, the winning video for a "taxi ride" contest, one of my favorites on the scarlet's walk album.

i had to stop myself from posting more, and i didn't even get to share all my favorites. if you'd like to see them, i'd be more than happy to share!=)

any other tori amos fans out there?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

spaghetti squash and pumpkin cookies

heavens to betsy, was this ever a flavorful fall meal! my kitchen smelled so good while the spaghetti squash and pumpkin cookies were baking, it may have even lured a new furry into our family! (more on that to come... don't want to jinx it!) edit: that little furry is named sammy and he already has a family. he still comes to visit!


this was my first time with spaghetti squash. it took a few bites for me to get used to and by leftovers the next day i was hooked! i find it super yummy, warm or cool with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper, and oregano.

sauteed artichoke hearts and organic shelled edamame also went nicely with the strands of squashy goodness. john enjoyed both dishes as well.

for those who haven't tried spaghetti squash, i'd describe it as a sweet winter squash with an interesting texture... almost like zucchini pasta, but cooked. all you do is slice it in half, length-wise, bake it face down at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or so, then go at with a fork. the flesh naturally falls apart into spaghetti-like strands.

...though the name is a bit misleading, as it doesn't taste at all like spaghetti. think yummy, slightly crunchy, healthy pasta alternative... a nice seasonal sub for kelp noodles and other gluten-free pastas!

for those who have tried it, do you like spaghetti squash? how do you prepare it?

on to dessert...

though i prefer to make raw sweets, john loves baked goodies and is so appreciative when i bake him something, it almost makes the burnt fingertips and messy counter tops worthwhile. i also kind of feel bad i didn't make him zucchini brownies once this summer.

with homemade pumpkin puree in the fridge ready to expire, i searched for an easy pumpkin cookie recipe that included ingredients i had on hand. (i love the man but wasn't about to knock myself out running around!=)

these vegan old-fashioned soft pumpkin cookies were outstanding! more like little pumpkin cakes or pumpkin roll - so moist and flavorful! i bet the recipe could even be used for vegan pumpkin roll - i'll have to try it, though i'm not sure how it will compete with my mom's famous pumpkin roll...

mine may stand a chance since i add a deliciously unique fall flavor with asian five spice powder (a mix of cinnamon, anise, fennel, ginger, clover, and licorice root... hmmm, shouldn't it be called six spice?)  have you tried five spice powder? are you in love with it, too?

i wrote down my alterations but lost the paper. i remember using more cinnamon (maybe 2 tsp?) and a heaping tsp five spice. i cut back on the nutmeg and ginger and didn't add any cloves - only what was in the five spice powder. with no applesauce in the house, i substituted one ener-g egg replacer.

the recipe made 27 large cookies. thinking of pumpkin rolls, john thought they would taste great with cream cheese icing. i've made this vegan cream cheese frosting recipe before with vegan carrot cupcakes and everyone (including me) loved it. i'm not usually a big fan of cream-cheesy desserts.

so out we went for vegan cream cheese. (i'll run around if he's willing to keep me company!=) it was a total impulse purchase and i didn't read the ingredients until i got home. next time i'd like to try raw cream cheese, but with rejuvelac and cashews. i may even take a stab at an uncooked pumpkin roll rawl!=)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

thankful thursday

today i'm thankful for sunshine, blue skies...

and petunias in november.

what are you grateful for today?


cute story: three-year-old bubbie was playing with the remote while i was sitting yesterday. bubbs doesn't watch much tv but he's a sponge and spouts out terms like dvr, fios, and searching for signal. he pointed to a button with a star and explained, "this is starz on demand". then pointing to the heart button next to it he exclaimed, "this is kisses on demand!".=)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

investing in food

my motto as of late has been, "pray for the best, prepare for the worst." if the worst doesn't happen, great! if it does, i'm not caught off-guard and most importantly, i'm ready to deal with what lies before me.

preparing for the worst means listening to and accepting some "scary" information that part of me would much rather choose to ignore. i've come to realize that sticking my head in the sand is not an option, for me anyway. when i opened up to new "crazy" information, i soon realized sticking my head in the sand is far more scary than accepting what is and doing something about it. knowledge is power when applied.

one way john and i have been preparing is stocking up on wholesome foods. many reliable sources are warning of inflation, especially with our most valuable commodity - food. i've already noticed prices going up, slowly but surely.

in my opinion, the best investments one can make during these times is in food, land, and precious metals (and your self, which is a topic for another post). these things will always retain value, no matter what state the economy is in.

believe me, i hope i am dead wrong about inflation and needing to stock food. as i said before, i pray for the best, but prepare for the worst, the best i can.

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

how do you feel about investing during these times? do you stock food and supplies? do you feel our economy will recover after our second shot at quantitative easing? where do you find your information on current events? do you trust the mainstream media?

i'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

squash and greens

two words: delicious. nutritious.

roasted veggies over herbed cole slaw

quinoa with butternut squash and greens

black bean burrito on sprouted grain tortillas
salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette

escarole soup with kabocha squash and chick peas

john and i have been enjoying winter squash and greens almost every evening. during the day, we like to drink our greens. trips to animo juice, an organic cafe a few towns over are so colorful this time of year.

we usually order a juice and a wheat grass shot. the juice below is called garden state and was made from carrot, greens, apple and lemon. i forgot what john had, but it was yummy and contained spirulina.

green smoothies at home haven't been too exciting. (i miss my berry smoothies!)

blub blub

so what are your plans for the weekend?

i have an idea for the mommies that read my bloggie:

make food with your kiddies!

this is a great time of year to make soup or baked goodies. my friend made pumpkin bread from scratch with her 2 and 3 year-old and said they had an absolute blast! it's a cute way to spend time with your children and celebrate natural foods, while teaching them the important skill of preparing their own food.

roasting pumpkin seeds is a fun activity for the kids, and you could puree the pumpkin for all kinds of yummy treats like pie or cookies.

here's an easy and deliciously rich peanut butter cookie recipe from pam i recently tried that would be perfect for the little ones - only 3 ingredients!

note: i recommend using unsweetened peanut butter or less sugar

if you have a blender and a dehydrator, you could make some apple cinnamon fruit roll-ups.

with homemade green powder for added nutrition

you can see the little green specks, but the taste is masked by sweet apple and cinnamon. a nice idea for the pickier eaters to get their greens in!

just some ideas. i'd love for you to share yours in the comments!

also, what were some things you loved doing with your family as a child?

i was reminded of how special it was to eat dinner with my family every night by this article. stephanie nielson is truly inspiring.

have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, November 8, 2010

valentina and maria

check out these cuties!

valentina (left) and maria (right) are our nieces, john's sister jolee's almost 1 year old twins. too cute for words, these two!

photos by dollface studio

hello kitty

i've finally completed my first amigurumi. thanks to online tutorials and help from crochet adorned by linda permann, i was able to follow a pattern to crochet this doll.

i made some oopsies but am thrilled she's complete. the second one, a ladybug version, is in the works. they will most likely be christmas gifts for the nieces. now what to make the nephews...

Friday, November 5, 2010

adorable apple cozies

©Theresa Grant

by needlenhook

they say these work well for other fruits too!
crochet pattern here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thankful thursday

today i'm grateful for

 animal-friendly cookies and milk
(plain rice milk/chocolate almond milk)
 this lil' shweetums
mosaic buildings
and my squash corner.

(plus of course my health, freedom, loved ones... and all that good stuff.=)

what are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 1, 2010

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