Friday, May 28, 2010

tops and bottoms

the thing i love most about garden beets is you can eat the tops and the bottoms. both are equally delicious and nutritious, and beets are very easy to grow. 


i pickled four detriot red beets in one cup of rice vinegar with a pinch of salt, a squirt of agave and a bay leaf. my beets and carrots were planted about 2-3 weeks apart to separate the harvests. four beets and about 16 carrots were planted per square foot.

though we added a 6'x6' and another 4'x4'/2'x2 box, i still felt limited on planting space. the universe heard my wishes and gave us some more soil... at a community garden that just started 3 blocks from our home!

tomorrow we're planting lots of goodies, including watermelon and butternut squash! i'm so excited to share and connect with other gardeners in the neighborhood. we've met the woman in charge, mickey, and a young boy helping with the wood chips - both were super sweet and friendly. yay!=) expect lots more on the community garden!

there's our two rows, measuring 3'x18'. plants were donated to the garden and we scooped up four 'mortgage lifter' tomatoes (ha!) and eight sweetie cherry tomatoes.

so we'll be planting this memorial day weekend and tending to our garden babies =). we'll also meet my sister's new baby puggle, and hopefully get a chance to chit chat with christina pirello, the chef who kick-started my passion for animal-friendly food. she'll be speaking at the american vegan society's 50th anniversary garden party on sunday.

(christina pirello is a local chef (from philadelphia) who hosts an amazing whole foods/plant-based cooking show called Christina Cooks. have you seen it? her show is one of the few i miss since we broke our tv. i told john i think i may feel a little star-struck meeting her in person - we love her!=)

what have you got planned for this weekend? whatever you do, have fun and be safe!


Friday, May 21, 2010

this week's highlights...

made lisa's yummy mango pudding with strawberries

had visits from my mom, dad, brother, and sweetie pie niece alaina


found biggies napping with one of her toys


PearBerry Bliss Ice Cream Cake won 2nd place! woohoo! thank you heathy and everyone else who cheered us on. also, congrats to camille, bitt, and all who participated!


and spotted a flower on my purple bean plant. =)

what were your week's sweetest moments?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

first harvest and compost tea

few leaves of arugula, chard, and lettuce with 7 sugar snap peas, a pea vine, and a sprig of dill...

mixed with some veggies we had in the fridge and strawberries our generous neighbor grows in her backyard. topped with a blackberry vinaigrette johnny boy made using leftover berry sauce and balsamic vinegar. berry yummy!=)

last year we had our first garden salad a week earlier, but this year we started our lettuce from seed.

technically, our first harvest was last week when i picked some arugula. not being too familiar with the taste, i threw some in a smoothie. very interesting! let's just say i'll stick to using it in salads.=)


the video below i saw on sam's blog yardsnacker inspired me to make compost tea for my plants.

i rounded up the following...

5 gallon bucket
1 quart compost
aquarium air pump

and rigged up this little system. every so often i add about a half teaspoon of unsulphured molasses to feed the microbes or something and a capful of fish emulsion with each brew for good luck. i'm not really sure of what i'm doing... just going with it!=)

the plants seem to like it...

woodland strawberry

blue curled scotch kale

 detroit beets

and baby biggles enjoys watching mommy go back and forth, back and forth to feed the plants their tea.=)

"why doesn't she just use the hose?!"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the ultimate raw ice cream cake challenge: pearberry bliss

edit: this cake won 2nd place! woohoo!=)

PearBerry Bliss

the idea for this ice cream cake was inspired by a pearberry parfait i made in march for our friend, yahya. a nice, ripe pear is one of my favorite fruits, and i love all shades of purple.

the trinity of tart blackberry, sweet pear, and raw cacao is heaven to my taste buds... i just had to recreate it in ice cream cake form.

allow me to take you through the process...=)

1. the sketch

the original plan, until i bought a spearmint plant.

pearmint sorbet with chocolate sounded really yummy, so i went with it. the vanilla ice cream with pear chunks square was omitted, and pear sorbet (minus mint) took its place.

2. blackberry ice cream

heathy's berry ice cream recipe with chocolate chips. irish moss subbed soy lecithin. 

3. the pear sorbet center

frozen chunks of pear and banana blended in the food processor.

4. blonde crunchies

heathy's recipe for vanilla flavored buckwheat crunchies. 

5. pearmint sorbet

chunks of frozen pear and banana with a few spearmint leaves, blended in the food processor 'til smooth and creamy. 

6. chocolate ice cream center

heathy's chocolate ice cream recipe. (once again omitted the soy lecithin and subbed irish moss gel, my new favorite emulsifier and anti-aging cream.=)

7. sampling the leftovers =)

the sketch called for a pearmint sorbet and blackberry sauce swirled topping.

*blended blackberries, agave, and lemon juice strained through a nut milk bag to remove the seeds.

once again my fruit mixture turned an unpleasant color. (stinkin'oxidation!) luckily i had lots of blondies leftover, so i coated the top of the cake.

(see my new 4x4 and 2x2 beds in the background? we're planting tomorrow=) 


major kudos to heathy for 1) creating such amazing ice cream cake recipes and 2) hosting such an awesome challenge. what a blast it's been, and summer hasn't even officially begun!

and high fives to all who participated! each and every cake looks delicious and is incredibly creative.  whaddya say we all meet up and do a slice swap?=)

a wedding by the beach

my beautiful cousin kate married her sweetie pie shelton this weekend in cape may, nj.

the weather was perfect, the place was gorgeous, the band was funky... we all had a blast!

john, me, sis' b/f keith, sis krista, the beautiful bride kate, handsome dad, brother craig, and sis-in-law kelly

keith and krista

kelly and silly craig

my cousin drew and me

john and drew playing on the beach

me and johnny
i love walking on the beach...

even in heels.=)


post for my final cake entry coming very soon...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

raw wrap and a cake in the works...

second time around ani phyo's sun burgers were delicious! last time we had them on ani's sesame sunflower bread - way too many nuts and seeds.

this time we enjoyed them on collard wraps with sliced avocado and raw zucchini hummus made with homemade tahini. yum yum!

(i was inspired to make this after seeing some nut burger wraps on someone's blog. i can't remember whose, so if it was yours or you know whose it was, please let me know.=)

raw zucchini hummus

this recipe was my guide for making the hummus. i'm tired of cleaning my measuring cups and spoons, so i just eyeballed it. i seriously do about three sinks full of dishes everyday. not complaining, just sayin'... ok, i'm complaining! =) but soon i will have a fig tree outside my window to admire while sudsin' and scrubbin', thanks to my generous mommy. (what mother buys their children gifts on mother's day?!=)


tonight i'm finishing my fourth and final entry for heathy's ultimate ice cream cake challenge. some of you are probably thinking 'this girl's gone ice cream cake crazy!'. well, i have! they're the yummiest, most enjoyable treats i have made. i thought my cookie bouquets were nice - but these cakes are raw!=)

the challenge came at a great time for me - there were many sweet occasions to celebrate with dessert. first there was the potluck with my plant-eating friends.

then missy's last day pregnant (she went into labor the morning after eating the cake!).

john, nelly, and i had a lot of fun brainstorming the perfect cake for my mom on mother's day. (we almost went with rawlmond joy - another time!)

this last cake is being made simply to celebrate raw desserts in all their healthy deliciousness.=) it is inspired by a raw treat i made in the past for a special friend. it includes one of my favorite fruits and colors=). it's not quite finished, but here is a little sampling i made mixing some leftovers.

 the ice cream/sorbet you see is a mix of two flavors. any guesses?
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