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On July 30, 2013 my husband and I welcomed the much anticipated arrival of the newest member of our family:

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Evan Mitchell, 6 lbs 5 oz

Evan, 1 day old

Evan, 1 day old

 

There certainly is nothing that compares to the whole experience of pregnancy, labor (oh, man, the pain!!!), and that unreal moment of finally seeing your child face to face. He’s got most of his dad’s looks, but will most likely have my eyes and definitely has my toes:

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There’s hardly time to cook, much less post about cooking, so I will be taking a break from The Foodery for the time being. I’ve enjoyed sharing my recipes, home renovation experiences (which is still ongoing), and fitness goals. There were lots of blogs where I found great kitchen tips, tricks, and terrific recipes (I’m cooking Moroccan chicken for dinner tonight, thanks, REM Cooks!) which have become all-time favorites.

I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting my blog, take care and thank you for stopping by. Aloha!

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Evan, 5 weeks

Just a quick Happy New Year to everyone as I get my food ready for New Year’s Eve.

My sister and I sometimes get homesick for Hawaii-style foods, so to help alleviate our ailment she suggested we make some “local style” food for New Year’s Eve. She’ll be making some makizushi (rolled sushi), either pancit (Filipino noodles) or soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles), and char siu bao, a.k.a. manapua (steamed buns w/Chinese bbq pork filling). I’ll be making crispy spring rollsand kal bi (korean style bbq short ribs). I’ll post some photos after everything’s prepared, and will put links and recipes to mine as well as my sister’s dishes (if she’s willing to share her recipes!)

Stay safe, and have a wonderful New Year’s!

 

This month’s Recipe Redux theme is all about those necessary tools that keep us happy and efficient in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s fun to be MacGyver-ish and make do with whatever tools you may have in the kitchen (chef’s knife, cheese grater, rolling pin) but having a gadget that eases the hassle of grinding, chopping, blending and slicing can feel as if you have a new assistant to help you prep (but not help you clean up!)

Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? This one might be a good one to chip in with your siblings or another friend or two and give it to that favorite home chef in your life.

This is my favorite tool in the kitchen, mostly because it was given as a wedding gift (gifted items are always the most treasured!) I was more than elated when I saw this wonderful Kitchen Aid food processor because 1) I would have NEVER purchased one for myself,  2) it was a beautiful, candy-apple red, 3) this thing is powerful, and 4) I knew I wouldn’t have to make my graham cracker crumbs with a rolling pin and Ziploc bag, anymore! Making basil pesto was faster, easier, and the consistency was much better than using a blender. I also love using it for chopping toasted nuts, which is great if you use a lot of it in your baking and cooking because you can conveniently scoop out whatever you need and keep the rest in an airtight jar.

Here is a recipe that’s quick to make with a food processor. The original recipe can be found at WholeFoodsMarket.com, but I made a few changes to lighten it up a bit and make it dairy-free.

Pasta_WalnutCream1

Add anything you want: mushroom, peas, even some grated Parmesan cheese!

Creamy Savory Walnut Sauce, Dairy-Free
don’t let the tofu scare you off, the nutritional yeast and garlic makes it incredibly flavorful, you won’t miss the dairy! You can also use this as a savory dip for veggies or a spread for crackers–just add more tofu to thicken it up.

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (can substitute grated Parmesan cheese)
1/2 cup firm Silken Lite Tofu
1/4 cup soy or almond milk

KitchenAidMixer

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse toasted walnuts until chopped, about 5-7 times. Add salt through nutritional yeast flakes Pulse 2-3 times until combined. Add Silken Lite tofu, put cover back on. Run the processor and pour soy milk through the chute, blend for 5 seconds or until combined. If too thin, add more tofu. If too thick, add more soy or almond milk.

Walnut Cream Sauce_1

Creamy, savory walnut sauce–no cream, no cheese!

Heat and serve over pasta with your favorite toppings (mushrooms, chicken, bacon, etc.) Serves 4.

What is your favorite kitchen tool(s)? Where did you get it? What makes it your favorite out of all the other gadgets in your kitchen?

Don’t forget to check out the other favorite Kitchen Gadgets of other Recipe Redux members!



For those of you who enjoyed Sesame Street in the 80s:

Happy Birthday, Princess Twelvia!

I have to mention that I took a lot of breaks this week. I hurt my elbow from the increase in push-ups, then I wasn’t feeling well so was extremely tired another day. I also took the weekend off to just enjoy some time with my husband, and that’s always a good thing!

I didn’t take notes on my workout for the first 3 days, but here is what I did:

Monday:

image source: extremely-fit.com

(Tuesday, Wed. off)

Thursday:

image source: avaxhome.ws

Friday:

(Saturday, Sunday off)

Monday: Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
Max Cardio Conditioning was pretty good, I’m getting better at the warm ups (high knees w/arms extended, S-S hops) and Cardio Abs is the same workout from Month 1.

Tuesday: Max Recovery
Like before, the Max Recovery doesn’t include any cardio so you do a lot of stretching before beginning the muscle building segments. Since stretches are always hard for me if my body isn’t warmed up nice and good, I did this in the afternoon rather than morning or lunch time. The exercises were just as difficult but I wasn’t as sore the day after like I was the first time.

Wednesday: Core Cardio & Balance (hooray!)
I was so glad to be doing this routine! It’s from Recovery Week, so it’s not as intense as the new stuff in Month 2, and I felt like a more experienced person because it’s not as tough (but you still get a good workout.)

You know what’s coming up tomorrow? FIT TEST! I’m excited and nervous and just hope I do better than the last time.

The previous owners of our home planted some fruit trees and berry bushes around the backyard. I sampled one of the blackberries black raspberries but it wasn’t ready yet…sour!

They looked ripe, but I’m told to wait until they are soft enough to practically fall off on their own.

Volunteer maples had taken root  around the blueberry bushes and grape vines, keeping them in constant shade and making them a bit scraggly. Although we felt a twinge of guilt for wanting them “removed,” some trees had to be cleared away to bring in more sunlight for the berries.

A tree was cut down on the left. You can see the amount of light that can now shine on the grape vines and blueberry bushes, far right.

The beginnings of a blueberry

Morning dew collected in a grape vine.

an abandoned birdhouse under the thornapple tree

little blue birdhouse

Have you ever seen happier clothespins? Good day to do laundry!

It’s been a great morning so far, and I’d like to continue this good feeling by passing on some awards to my fellow bloggers.

First, I’d like to give Richard@ REM Cooks  both the Sunshine Award and Versatile Blogger Award, and here’s why. Richard’s professional experience in the kitchen and love for food is evident in all his recipes, whether it’s a simple dish or something extravagant from luxurious crab meat to some lean green beans (okay, haricot vert, but it’s the same thing, right? ;)) He’s inspired me to try out some of his recipes, experiment with new flavors and be more fancy-yet-simple in the kitchen. He’s incredibly helpful and friendly if you have any questions, I suggest you read his blog immediately! Richard, your blog is awesome and your recipes are outstanding. Thank you very much for sharing.

I just recently got to know Cinnamon@eat PRAY tri after several WIAWs, and she’s got good recipes mixed in with family stuff, work stuff, her faith, and a lot of good laughs. She just started her first 23 Paws party for us pet-loving food bloggers, and I think that alone deserves a Sunshine Award! Be sure to check out her 23 Paws Intro Page on how to link up, it’ll be fun!

Gabby over at The Veggie Nook deserves a ton of Sunshine Awards, if you ask me. The recipes she posts are healthy, simple, and delicious—what more could you want? Sometimes I read her posts in the morning and she may have an easy-to-make snack or breakfast item that I would immediately try (I’m in the kitchen already, so why not?) She also is constantly on the lookout for healthy challenges (she’s on a no-sugar challenge right now!) so hop on over if you need some motivation or inspiration for a healthier lifestyle.

My rendition of Gabby’s amazing “Lemon Coconut Hemp Seed Bites”


Mama’s Gotta Bake has one of the most beautiful collections of food photos I’ve seen. Desserts are her specialty, and once you look at her delicious cakes, you’ll see why! She definitely gets a Versatile Blogger Award for making the word “dessert” inadequate for the gourmet gallery of goodies she has to offer.

Anneke from notsoskinnycook gets a Versatile Blogger Award for creating a wide variety of delicious home-cooked meals and lovely photos of her food as well as her family enjoying her food! From broccoli soup to beef schawarma, Anneke has a nice collection of recipes with international flavors and universal appeal.

Beef Shawarma

Anneke’s Beef Shawarma with Peanut Butter Sauce (source: http://notsoskinnycook.wordpress.com)

Thanks again to my fellow bloggers for making food fun! :D

Here are the rules for the Sunshine Award:

This prize is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”As an award winner, there are a few rules to follow:

  • Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Pass on the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know you awarded them.
1.  favorite color?
2. favorite animal?
3. favorite number?
4. favorite color?
5. favorite drink?
6. Facebook or Twitter?
7. what is your passion?
8. giving or getting presents?
9. favorite day of the week?
10. favorite flower?
 Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

– Thank the award giver(s) and link back to them in your post
– Share 7 things about yourself
– Pass this award along to 15 or 20 bloggers you read and admire
– Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award

Whew, this was a long one! Be sure to visit their blogs for some great food, beautiful photos and maybe an interesting story or two. Have a great weekend, and eat well! :)

I am working on a little garden area for some herbs, but am having more fun laying out the rock border than figuring out what I’ll be planting. This is one of the sections I’ll be working on:

I get the stones from our little creek not ten yards from our house. My husband suggested making steps going down to the creek, so when we had a gorgeous sunny day over the weekend, I spent a few hours clearing the brush and putting in these stone steps:

I’m pretty happy with it so far, and and am hoping the rain will help the soil settle a bit. Weather permitting, I’ll be working on the area some more this weekend.

In addition to my landscaping projects, I’ve been experimenting on some indoor miniscapes with edible sprouts. I’ve read that sprouted seeds are more nutritious than the regular dried seeds, and even after soaking them for a few hours, the seeds become more easily digestible. I followed Judita Wignall’s easy-to-follow steps on seed sprouting in her Going Raw cookbook. I had some raw sunflower and quinoa seeds which I soaked (separately) overnight in jelly jars covered with cheesecloth secured with rubber bands. Over the next few days, I rinsed them out a couple times a day while they slowly sprouted. I kept some of the sprouts in the fridge for immediate consumption, while the rest were placed in a tray filled with soil. After a few more days they developed roots and sprouted up even more.

Little flax sprouts muscling their way through the soil.

I also sprouted flax seeds, which were a little different. They didn’t germinate as quickly nor as noticeably as the sunflower seeds or quinoa, but instead developed a viscous coating which caused them to clump together in a big, gooey gelatinous mass (just a little gross, I never expected sprouting seeds to be slimy!) I couldn’t rinse them off so decided to leave them be and dumped them in a tray of soil, spreading them out as best as I could. After about a week they grew nice and green and were ready to eat.

Now although this seems pretty cut-and-dry, when sprouting seeds you do have to be careful of bacterial growth, mold, and also be sure that the seeds you wish to sprout are consumable. Here are a few websites that have good, easy-to-follow advice on how to begin and what to look out for when sprouting your seeds:

Here’s a good video explaining the hows of sprouting: http://rawfoodswitch.com/raw-food-equipment-reviews/sprouting-guide-sprout-seeds-bean-sprouts/

More great information from Holistic Jose, a personal trainer: http://holisticjose.com/2012/04/30/i-soak-my-nuts/?year=2012&monthnum=04&day=30&like=1&_wpnonce=f1acfe089f&wpl_rand=bd7786b91a

You’ve sprouted your grains…now what? Check here for some recipes!

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