Sunday, July 31, 2011

love is the most powerful medicine

by Ram Dass

One day in India on my second stay, Maharaji said to me, “You don’t have to change anybody; you just have to love them”. In relationships, when the other person doesn’t fit into your model of how heaven would be, you don’t have to play God. You just have to love individual differences and appreciate them the way they are. Because love is the most powerful medicine.

The key is that you aren’t even doing it manipulatively: “I love you, now change.” You’re looking at another being, just the way they are, and saying, “Let me appreciate God’s perfection.” You lost the key? Great. You forgot to pick up the laundry? Right. If each of us is separate, and yet each of us is part of the whole, but we got lost a little bit into dualism and we’re finding our way back out, every time we’re in the presence of unconditional love, we remember. And when we remember, we open. And when we open, the light pours through us.

If you became a person who could love unconditionally, everyone you love would flower before your very eyes. Every way you look would be light. That’s one of the fringe benefits of this method. It’s breathtaking. At every level.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

today's thought

"When we see the Beloved in each person, it's like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us." - Ram Dass

Thursday, July 28, 2011


i wanted to post but didn't really have the energy to put one together so i'm going to keep it simple and say hi, i hope you're all having a wonderful day! xoxoxo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

csa week seven

muth family farm's organic csa week 7: swiss chard, cabbage, eggplant, sweet corn, kale, green onion, carrot, basil, green leaf lettuce, purslane, beets, eight-ball squash, patty pan squash, cucumber and a nice set of melons=)

tonight's dinner - super fresh and surprisingly filling

dessert: my 1st jersey peach of the summer

question: what local in-season goodies have you been enjoying?

Monday, July 25, 2011

today's smoothie and homemade green powder

one of my most favorite summer green smoothies - purslane, kale, cucumber, pear, banana, blueberry and chia seeds.

come winter, we're really going to miss those fresh, local organic greens in our smoothies, so i'm preparing the next best thing - homemade green powder.

carmella introduced us to this brilliant concept last fall - simply wash and dehydrate your surplus of greens, then process into a fine powder.

store in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place. add one or more teaspoons to smoothies, juices or fruit roll-ups for a boost of green nutrition.

four excalibur dehydrator screens of kale yielded about 3/4 cup green powder. my goal is to fill at least two pint-sized jars before winter's sting. we shall see!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

summer indian meal

while searching online for a raw cabbage recipe, i stumbled upon this curried cabbage salad. indian food is fairly new to me, but i decided to go ahead and attempt a raw indian dinner anyway.

Raw Vegan Curried Cabbage Salad

(serves 4-6) 


  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded flaked coconut (be sure it's raw, if needed)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (if raw, use Nama Shoyu)
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1/2 tsp cumin



In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients, making sure cabbage is evenly coated. If possible, chill for at least an hour and toss thoroughly again before serving. This will allow all the flavors to mingle and blend.
For the soy sauce portion I used two tablespoons of Bragg's Liquid Aminos and two tablespoons of water. The sesame seeds I used were roasted and therefore not raw.

 savoy, my favorite cabbage

the cabbage salad was nicely balanced and incredibly flavorsome. the longer it sat, the more intense the flavors became. however, it lacked color.

delicious but blah-looking

so i added a carrot from the garden, spiralized.

cosmic purple carrot - orange on the inside - cool, but not as cool as the solid purple carrot i had anticipated

muuuch better=)

further online searching led me to a yellow squash curry recipe. with intentions not to turn the stove on,  i made a dressing to coat raw patty pan and eight ball-squash (using angela's eggplant caponata for inspiration).

raw curried yellow squash
serves 2-4


about 2 C yellow squash, chopped

1/4 C packed diced tomato
1 sun-dried tomato
1 medjool date
3 T olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp red curry powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp turmeric
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon

fresh cilantro, to garnish
salt and black pepper, to taste


blend dressing ingredients until smooth. toss with chopped squash and garnish with cilantro. for best flavor, allow squash to marinate a few hours or overnight.

 sweet yet sophisticated. and super yummy.=)

this raw corn chowder? not so yummy. tired of recipes, i made the decision to just wing it. it had such a bitter taste, we couldn't even eat it.

ah well, you know what meatloaf says...

two out of three ain't bad.=)

(had i known in advance, i may have tried to make raw samosas with coconut wrappers and mango chutney. can i get a YUM?!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

mornings with madji

3-5 am: the nose taps begin. at first they're gentle. "hi, i'm hungry." they quickly turn nasty. "i'll drag you outta this g.d. bed if i have to!" mind you, it's been about 2 or 3 hours since she last ate. if i'm feeling nice, i get up and feed her. tired - covers go over the head.

5-6 am: if she's had breakfast and post-meal coconut oil, she goes back to sleep. for a bit. if not, everything gets knocked off the nightstand, which then becomes her bed.

6-7 am: regardless if she was fed between 3-5 or not, she's up, doing the nose tapping again. did i mention she hooks her claw in my nostril and pulls?

7-8 am: usually i cave and get up with her. for a teeny tiny second i'm annoyed... until i look at her sweet little face, eyes all wide and innocent.

"oh, did i wake you?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

what happens at the grove, stays at the grove

"It's nestled among the Redwoods of California - 2,700 acres of pristine land broken down into dozens of camps. And for two weeks every July since the 1880s, they have been filled with some of the most wealthy and powerful men in the world. RT's Kristine Frazao takes a closer look at Bohemian Grove 2011."

oh, i'm sure it's just the world's elite meeting for some r&r with the boys... don't be such a conspiracy nut...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

blueberry zucchini bread

two summer gems baked into one moist and delicious treat!

blueberry zucchini bread
adapted from allrecipes


3 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 T cinnamon
3 pastured eggs
1/2 C coconut oil
1/2 C applesauce (unsweetened)
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2-3 C grated zucchini
1 pint blueberries


• grease and flour pans*, and preheat oven to 350°.

• sift flour, salt, baking soda, powder and cinnamon in a bowl.

• beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla together in another bowl.

• add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat until mixed.

• fold in zucchini and mix well. gently fold in blueberries.

• pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 50 to 70 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

* this recipe made one 8x4 loaf and 12 cupcakes. the cupcakes were done in about 25 minutes. you could also make 2 8x4 loaves or 4 mini loaves.

Monday, July 18, 2011

csa week six

muth family farm's organic csa week 6: savoy cabbage, eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, dinosaur kale, green onion, basil, green leaf lettuce, purslane, beets, eight-ball squash, patty pan squash, cucumber, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes

blueberry season is winding down here so i purchased a case of 12 pints from little buck organics (which yields about 24 cups of blue gems!) we already ate a pint and i froze about two-thirds of the case. john rattled off a list of what he'd like me to make. don't hold your breath, buddy.=)

  this is one of the two trays that were frozen. 

there's a great little produce market about a mile from muth farm. i love to stop there and peruse their dollar discount section. 

sometimes i find ripe bananas, which i freeze immediately for smoothies and banana soft serve. most of the produce is conventional, though today i made the best find yet...

organic d'anjou pears!

usually the fruit in this section is very iffy, but i couldn't find much wrong with these babies.

pears and blueberries taste great together, especially in smoothies and homemade fruit roll-ups. 

to go with a dinner salad i made a double batch of blueberry vinaigrette. this time i used coconut oil and balsamic vinegar, and it solidified in the fridge. next time i'll try olive oil and balsamic vinegar - i think that'll be the winning combination!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

my green buns

raw collard and other leafy greens make a nutritiously yummy veggie patty bun... 

 mock chicken patty

leaving lots more room for summer desserts!=)

Friday, July 15, 2011

random reflections

happy friday! i had to ask three times what day it was. when you don't have a set work schedule, the days blend together. no more longing for the weekend. it's grand.

miss madj woke me up with a claw up my nose. a very sharp one. john woke up with two scratches on his nose. she literally demanded four breakfasts. piggy.=)

our meals have been pretty simple lately. much of my energy has gone to gardening and preserving. i'm slowly learning the ways of  preserving and what works for our small family of two. after years of consideration, i finally purchased a mini food saver. (well, my mom bought it for me as a bday gift.) before, i had the silly notion that preserving was only for an abundance of produce. now i've been blanching and freezing anything i think we won't eat soon. here's what's in the freezer so far:

 3 bags of diced zucchini for making pizza crusts, 3 bags of grated zucchini for zucchini bread and 2 bags for zucchini brownies, 5 bags of sliced zucchini for stir-fries, veggie tacos or side dishes, 3 bags green beans, veggie burgers and zucchini crab cakes.

through craigslist i purchased 120 used canning jars for 65 bucks. she asked for 80, i said 50, and we met in the middle. it was a big chunk of change but now i won't have to buy jars for a really long time. but i didn't consider that i'd need to buy lids. preserving aint always cheap, but it's worth it.

 one of the pretty lids

the jars were filthy (so much for "excellent condition") so i scrubbed them out on our deck. three hours, two pruny hands, two blisters and one sunburn later, they were good as new.

while scrubbing, i noticed that brillo pads have the pleasant scent of an older gentleman's cologne. speaking of older *ahem* gentlemen, i was thankful my nosy (but sweet) neighbor wasn't home. he looks at me like i have 8 heads whenever i'm working outside. everyday he asks, "you working?" meaning do you have a "real job" yet? i want to say of course i'm working - i'm growing my own food here! but i just smile and say, "not yet, jimmy." he seems to think gardening is crazy and when i told him i don't eat much meat i thought he was going to throw a shoe at me! he likes that i listen to his fishing adventures which i guess is why he hangs around me. one day i caught the snoop in my compost bin! "looking for something, jimmy?"=)

we are having perfect summer weather - hot but a little breezy with low humidity. we've turned our air conditioner off and the house hasn't gotten warmer than a comfortable 78°. i just love sleeping with the windows open.

fall planting has gotten underway and we have some cabbage, collard and broccoli sprouts. yesterday i planted kale and escarole, and today i'm sowing carrots in the garden (if i'm not too sore).

last night i took a yoga class for the first time in a year. i really enjoy yoga but can't afford the membership fees, so i was very excited when i found a studio that offers discounted drop-in classes. at first i started yoga to gain more flexibility. i'll never forget my high school gym teacher saying to me, "if you're this unflexible now, imagine what you'll feel like as an old lady!" that was a huge wake-up call and ever since i've had the intention of taking good care of this vehicle into old age.

what i wasn't expecting from yoga was the philosophy/spirituality - guidance on being present, shedding fear, expanding into the moment, accepting everything as it is. last night i was pleasantly surprised when the instructor read part of the preamble to the declaration of independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

she went on to say true freedom is the state of being ok with what is. in that aspect, no one can take our freedom away. many of you are probably like, "what? you live in america, land of the free, who'd take your freedom away?" well, when you live in a country where you could go to jail for growing food on your own front lawn or for having unlicensed pets, you begin to see you're not as free as you think.

now, i understand people are seriously oppressed in other parts of the world, and i don't take my liberties for granted. yoga and meditation are helping me see everything for what it is and i'm so very thankful for the peace of mind i find in remembering that this is just an experience, fear is merely an illusion, and infinite love/oneness is the only truth. 

did you really make it through this post?!=) thank you for reading. hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweetness is a virtue that searches with patience for the good in every person and situation. - peace village

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

zucchini bread recipe

yields 2 loaves


3 C unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 pastured eggs
1/2 C coconut oil
1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 C grated zucchini
1 C chopped walnuts (optional)


grease and flour two 8x4 inch pans. preheat oven to 350°

sift flour, salt, baking soda, powder and cinnamon in a bowl.

beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla together in another bowl.

add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.

fold in zucchini and walnuts. pour batter into prepared pans.

bake for 50 to 70 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


*recipe adapted from mom's zucchini bread with mommy from seattle's modifications

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

today's harvest

the foodsaver and i have a very busy day ahead of us...

csa week five

muth family farm's organic csa week 5: sweet corn(!), green beans, amaranth, dinosaur kale, collards, green onion, basil, green leaf lettuce, purslane, chioggia beets, eight-ball squash, patty pan squash, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, heirloom cherry tomatoes and blueberries from little buck organics ($2.75/pint)

Monday, July 11, 2011

we got the beets

80's girl band anyone?

last year i made tasty pickled beets but they were nothing like these.

because this time i used pickling spice.

homemade pickling spice
(modified from ball's recipe)

makes about 1/2 cup

1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces
5 bay leaves, crushed
2 T mustard seeds
1 T coriander seeds
1 T whole black peppercorns
1 T dill seeds
1-2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp whole cloves
pinch cardamom
1/2 tsp grated ginger root

mix and store in an airtight container.

my chioggia beets were pickled following this recipe. since i had such a small amount, i didn't bother to can -  just stored them in the fridge. the jar was made for my beet-loving mother, but i can't seem to keep my fingers out of it. sorry mom! the next batch will be better - i'll even take the skins off!=)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

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