Feeding Frenzy

I keep a small yellow pad on the kitchen counter where anyone can record ingredients as we use them up in the kitchen; eggs, bread, peanut butter, and the like. With two teenage boys and a third pre-teen, the list has been taking on a life of it’s own.Protein dominant grocery list

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Chicken with Glory-Twig; One Common Plate

The kitchen should always remain the laboratory. Whether it is to reveal the essence of an earthy spice, the nutritional contribution of local legumes or simply to discover a new method of preparation, the cookery is where research and creativity marry in an unbridled dance. In the words of, the great Harvard Psychologist, Boring (yeah, pity of a name), “anyone who knows the difference between work and play doesn’t belong here”.

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

Found in the 10th century Lacnunga Manuscript

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Chocolate and Sea Salt; One Common Plate

There is much written about how to fight the commercial engine of Christmas and simplify the holidays. Each year we take a couple more steps to resist antagonistic stress and embrace the good cheer of holding our families and friends dear. This December, I did the majority of my shopping at second-hand and consignment stores. We worked on a holiday greeting that we’ll send out as a New Year marker and for the Christmas baking, I embraced a low-involvement and no-sugar recipe that used the combination of chocolate and sea salt as directed by the efforts of 1Common Plate at slurrpy.com.

Simple Holiday Cookies

Simple Holiday Cookies

The notion of raw foods always captures my attention as I near the new year. It seems a terrific time to reset expectations, set goals and draw up plans that I hope to accomplish. Near the top of my list in 2014 will be a lighter, more enlightened diet as a food centric lifestyle has manifested results in clothes that aren’t fitting well and a general concern for other health risks that follow. This recipe easily becomes raw with a different choice of almond meal and a replacement of the maple syrup with another sweetener such as agave. The result is a not too sweet treat that also doesn’t tax your time.

Nearly-Raw Chocolate Cookies with Salted Caramel
from the Sweet Life Online
yields 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal (mine is from blanched almonds)
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5-6 tbsp Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce (see recipe below)
  • sea salt for topping

Directions:

Drain and rinse the walnuts and place in a food processor with almond meal and cacao powder. Blend until well combined. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and 1/4 tsp sea salt and blend again until a thick dough begins to form.

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Roll dough into balls about the size of a large tablespoon. Flatten each ball and press an indentation in the center of each with thumb.  Place cookies in a food dehydrator set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and dehydrate for 3-4 hours, until cookies are crisp on the outside but still soft in the middle. Unwilling to drag the dehydrator in from the garage, I used our warming tray for this and left the cookies for about two hours.

While cookies are dehydrating (or warming), make the Caramel Sauce. Remove cookies from the warming tray. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of Caramel Sauce and return to the warmer or dehydrator for approximately 20 more minutes. Top with fine sea salt. Store in refrigerator.

Nearly-Raw Caramel Sauce
yields 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours
  • 1/2 cup (about 6) Medjool dates, pitted and soaked at least 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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Drain and rinse nuts and dates. Combine all the ingredients and process in a food processor or vitamin until very smooth. Process until very smooth. Store in a jar in refrigerator for up to 10 days. (Good for many other uses like ice cream topping!)

Two Wives Tale

“I am the second wife,” says my friend as she tells of the trepidation that she felt moving into the home where the first wife used to live with the man she’d just married. First wife legacy was still alive in the house with it’s beige and yellow walls and a bit of pink splashed in the bedrooms. It would have to be re-done – in time.

Flckr cc 2.o thepatrick

Flckr cc 2.o thepatrick

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Lunch Box Tuesday

Three kids. Three schools. Three identical start times. Three wildly different school locations. It’s time to re-enroll in the fall academic schedule.

The Fuel Factory that is My Kitchen (more…)

Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Ways to Sleep Better

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” – Ernest Hemingway

Art of Christina Balit

Art of Christina Balit

Frankly it’s not that my life falls apart when I’m awake, it’s that it falls apart when I haven’t slept. Then, last year Deepak Chopra, made it abundantly clear to me,

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Happy Day Mrs. Jarvis!

She was specific about the punctuation. It should be singular possessive so that each family can honor their own mother. That very statement implied that it would not be a plural possessive commemorating all women in the world. And so, U.S. President Wilson used the singular possessive when he signed the law creating the official Mother’s Day holiday in 1914.IMG_0970

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Haiku for Dinner

We all have to make choices and frankly, offering choices is a trademark of my parenting style. So, when I told my children that they had a choice of doing a family Harlem shake or writing dinnertime haiku, each sharpened their pencil.

What Goes Best with Haiku?

What Goes Best with Haiku?

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Head by Head

A group of people from my online writing class decided to eliminate the anonymity of the electronic blackboard and have a Saturday meet up. “Carry a copy of  Bird by Bird,” was the instruction given so that we’d recognize each other. It worked and that book will always remain on my writer’s shelf. The title comes from a story eloquently told by Anne LaMott about her brother’s struggle with a homework assignment and her father’s enduring advice that he tackle the avian research report by writing about one bird at a time.

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Carry a copy so that I will recognize you

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Lightening Up

Do you know the feeling when you’ve just finished cleaning out the hallway closet? For me, that stack of old sweaters bound for the thrift shop is much more than a closet cleansing and it leaves me energized and feeling remarkably satisfied. I experience the same sensation at work when I hack through the items on my desk so that I can actually see the surface again.

A light dish for the New Year

A light dish for the New Year

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