My mom was in town last weekend, on a last minute trip to spend Mother’s Day with each other. It was more motivation to clean the apartment, and get all domestic making sure she’d have everything she wants. I made sure she brought her walking shoes! I was so excited to have her visit, and to share my life up here with her. Plus, she always leaves such positive energy behind. It must be all that love she has inside.
A baked sweet berry omelette topped with dried orange slices, strawberries, and Greek yogurt. I think I whipped the egg white too much though, since it didn’t come out quite as fluffy as the original recipe.
We walked to the market together, since I wanted to show her the wonderful fish selection at Citarella. Also, I’m not sure if it varies by location but the one in the Upper West Side has very knowledgable and friendly fishmongers. I made grilled chili-lime salmon, which is a little spicy, sweet, and citrusy. I also tried lime juice with balsamic vinegar and it was so delicious… I’ll have to make a dressing including those two ingredients.
It was so awesome to finally see it come to life!
I’m going to rewind a bit to… two weekends ago! My mother and I had a photoshoot the NuSkin “Keep My Age a Secret” challenge we’ll be participating in. It was fun to have that bonding time with her, and being the one in front of the camera this time. Anyway, here are some pictures!
My skin is definitely reaping the benefits of taking extra care of my liver!
Now on the food front… for breakfast I’ve been enjoying a medley of fruits!
I bought a bag of apricots at the store the other day. They’re so hard to find down here! Is anyone else having trouble finding certain foods that are in season? I remember last year when there was a shortage on canned pumpkin during the holiday season–uh oh! Anyway, here’s a little interesting fact I found on these little stone fruits: “Apricot fruits are very useful to those people, who suffer from anemia. Only 100 g of fresh apricot fruit has the same effect on blood flow as 250 g of fresh liver.” They’re also an excellent source of beta-carotene and are useful for reducing infections or skin problems.
My chicka, Liz, sent me this very helpful link the other day: “Ayurvedic Healing Foods“! One of the tidbits reminded me of my friend in New York who’d peel almond skins because of what her cousin, who’s an Ayurvedic practioner, recommended. And I actually thought of her when I was making this recipe…
“Ayurveda recommends blanching and peeling almonds“
I made a batch of this recipe so I could make fig tartlets, and this is also delicious on its own or with some fruit–like peaches! I’m just loving peaches right now if you can’t tell.
I had bookmarked her spiced blueberry cobbler recipe. This was so so SO good, and topping it with coconut ice kream (also from this book) made it that much better! I really can’t believe how simple and delicious these recipes are. I’ve renewed this book from the library twice already.
This week I was inspired by a Hawaiian combination of raisins and pistachios. I used golden raisins, dried cranberries, and pistachios for my secret oat bar recipe. Verdict? Deliciously chewy, moist, and sweet. Making these bars with different variations has become a weekly ritual for me. I set aside some time either Sunday night or Monday morning and get to baking. I love experimenting with different combinations, and with the delicious smells wafting through the air… who wouldn’t make this a weekly tradition?
I tossed these cheetah rounds in coconut oil, then seasoned them with turmeric, curry, and salt. YUM! I love curry powder so much. Have you ever tried adding some to ketchup? It’s so yummy!
I stuffed this sandwich with homemade 15-bean hummus, marinated artichoke, spinach, and mini bell-peppers. For the mixed bean hummus I added extra curry powder because what the original recipe called for just wasn’t enough for me.
I wondered what raw dino kale tasted like. What else went into this salad? Some mixed bean hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, and sweet vidalia onion dressing. So how was it raw? Not bad, not bad at all.
Fry some onions, shallots, and garlic. Then I threw in the dino kale, spinach, cherry tomatoes, golden raisins, mixed beans, and a splash of balsamic. After it was done cooking I poured on some flaxseed oil to get my dose for the meal hehe. I had also roasted some butternut squash tossed in coconut oil and simply salted. I’ve been trying to spice up my meals a bit, since I noticed that my meals were getting pretty boring. They tasted good, but they were lacking creativity.
The other day my mom was browsing her Colombian cookbook. She had left the beans to soak overnight, but she didn’t have time to make the recipe–bandeja paisa. It’s basically a platter of various foods from the Paisa region of Colombia. I figured that she wanted to cook the frijoles part of this platter. I read the recipe after I had already cooked the beans, and I realized I would have to change it a bit. Since it called for the beans to be cooked with the ingredients, but no big deal. I just decided to fry the onions, grated carrot, tomato “salsa”, smashed banana, and the beans of course. Then I seasoned it with salt , pepper, and lots of cumin! Garnish it with scallions and you’re set. My mom was very happy when she got home from work, and she had this waiting for her. Note: I used ghee for the frying, and I highly suggest it. I have been loving the flavor that ghee lends to everything I’ve used it in; just imagine a deeper butter flavor. From toast, rice, sweet potatoes, or traditional Colombian recipes–ghee will liven anything up! Even your body. ”Indians regard the substance as very important as it could boost overall body strength, beauty, and luster.” Additionally, it’s lactose-free so those with allergies to milk can enjoy this as well.
Maybe you noticed the apron I’m sporting here. The last time I roasted beets I had a little accident and nearly stained my shirt. If beets are on the menu, then I definitely plan on wearing an apron! What are some kitchen mishaps you learned a lesson from?
Wow! Thank you all so much for the kind words. Now there’s only one thing I ask of you… consider it your excuse to look extra cute! How about wearing something today that makes you feel your absolute best. Trust me, you will shine!
On a random note. Apparently while someone was searching for “at this point my buttcrack was showing” my blog was their answer… Anyway.
I pretty much followed 101 Cookbooks’s vegetarian split pea soup recipe except I added thyme and carrots. I really recommend that you add the extra olive oil when serving. It really does tie this easy peasy dish together.
These are like latkes to me… in the sense that everyone knows I get the most (in this case biggest and cheesiest), and everyone is okay with the fact that I take bites of theirs mwahaha!
My family got this chocolate cabernet sauvignon wine sauce at a vineyard the last time we were all in New York. I’ve featured other sauces from this vineyard on my blog, such as the amaretto cream sherry, black raspberry vinegar, and sherried wine BBQ sauce.
Super chic and and sweet Claire was kind enough to bestow this fun award onto me! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you definitely should! It’s brimming with beautiful, fresh pictures from food to fashion! She also has an interesting story that inspires me.
The rules are as follows:
Tell 10 little known facts about yourself and then pass it on to 3-5 other bloggers!
I love filling things out like this! Looking back on my answers sometimes gives me a good laugh, that’s for sure.
1. Practically every night, all the way into high school, my family would gather around my bed and we’d read books to each other before we went to bed. This means my parents actually know what the Harry Potter stories entail.
2. I believe that our astrological signs are relevant to our tendencies. For example, I’m a gemini–an air sign. One of the most annoying things to me is when I feel like someone or something is tying me down or clinging to me. I like to feel free. I love people, but I also like to do most things on my own.
3. Lately, I’ve been trying to decrease my availability especially through technology. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Facebook and cellphones. But I do think that a lot of people have become so dependent and addicted to these things. It really bothers me because I don’t think that’s how life should really be lived. Life should be lived mostly in the moment. Remember when the only people who knew your whereabouts were either your parents or the very people you were with? The last thing I want to hear when I’m having a heart-to-heart with a friend is my phone telling me I just got a text message. This is partly why I have a watch. A stylish excuse to not carry my cell-phone around with me everywhere? Check! Who knows, maybe this is something a gemini would do hehehe.
4. Doing things the old-fashioned way gives me reassurance. It’s helped me get a deeper sense of appreciation for things since I know the labor that goes behind them. I take care of my belongings because I want them to last. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person amongst my friends who’s owned a garment steamer since my first semester in college. Moreover, it’s very grounding and satisfying to know that what you make and have is a labor of love, care, patience, and effort.
5. I love tea! Anyone that hangs out with me knows that. Which is why I’ve been gifted all sorts of delicious teas through the years. Thank you, friends! I’m not the only one in my family that’s a tea lover though. My mother and I know that one of us will turn on the kettle after we finish a meal. It’s just nice to sit at the table for awhile longer, talking, and sipping on something delicious and comforting. Come to think of it, I just realized that even during the summer months I still drink my tea warm… unless I’m drinking it outside then I prefer my cup iced.
6. I wish I had continued taking ballet classes. I dropped out when I was around 15, but I still have a pair of ballet shoes that fit my Egyptian feet. Of course, I don’t need to go to a ballet class to dance! No, oftentimes I’ll randomly turn on some classical music and pirouette around the house, giving my parents a show.
7. I’m a dreamer. Practically everything I do has some imaginative source behind it. Sometimes I come up with wildly detailed “what-if” stories on the spot. Or even when I choose a perfume for the day I ask myself, “what kind of woman do I feel like today?” When I am feeling especially sophisticated I spritz on my Prada fragrance. If I’m in a whimsical mood I choose Fresh’s Lemon Sugar scent or Nanette Lepore. If it’s just a day of classic me I reach for my signature scent, Marc Jacobs.
8. I can imitate accents very well. Maybe it’s because I learned three very different languages at such a young age. Stressing certain pronunciations comes as second nature to me.
9. Speaking of languages, I want to go to a part of the world where I’d feel completely lost in translation. Somewhere in Asia or Africa would be ideal! My dream places would be India or Egypt. I’ve been able to communicate and understand effectively in the places I’ve traveled to because of language similarities. For instance, in France I can get by because I know Spanish and a bit of French, and in Holland I make due with my German. Of course there’s English, the universal language. Side-note: I never understood why my classmates in high school never wanted to learn another language, and they’d just whine and say, “why can’t they just learn English.” I would always reply matter-of-factly, “they already do!” Anyway, I want to go somewhere so different from anything I’ve ever known.
10. My best ideas have hit me while I’m sitting on a toilet. It’s true! Sometimes people will ask me, “wow, where’d you come up with that?” My response, “actually I was sitting on the toilet one day…” I’m not joking!
At first I thought this list would be a daunting task to complete, but once I got started these little things popped up into my head! Now I’m going to pass this on to three people… hmm who should I choose?
Hold on to your seats ladies and gentlemen we’re blasting back a little bit further into the past!
I had this bowl of Udi’s Au Naturel granola with the apple grahams Holly sent me, spiced applesauce, Sunland’s caramel peanut butter, and vanilla yogurt. This granola is really good if you want to keep it simple or basically, it would go well with anything! The Au Naturel flavor is basically a wildflower honey sweetened granola.
I just stuffed it with black beans, peach salsa, sour cream, nutritional yeast, and cilantro.
I hadn’t had banana soft-serve in forever! Size does matter when it comes to this – the bigger the banana the better (you get more)!! My toppings: coconut milk, Artisana Cacao Bliss, and Bekah’s scented almonds. YUM to the 10th degree!!! I’m talking love in exponential amounts.
Have any of you guys ever taken or heard of Zumba? Well this is a dance class I go to whenever I’m down in Florida. My mother and I love to dance and all of those classes have so much energy and happiness from everyone that you can’t help but have fun. There are even some professional ballroom dancers that attend the class. Everyone in that class just lets loose and gets down. For real!
I went to go meet up with a friend for coffee.
I tried Udi’s Muesli that morning – muesli is one of my mom’s favorite breakfasts. This was a really good muesli!!! There were lots of dried fruits – which I find to be lacking in a lot of pre-packaged cereals.
Another recipe from ‘The Conscious Cook’. The best mashed sweet potatoes ever!!! You mash it with a cashew cream, butter, and chipotle pepper. Everything in this dish was incredible and complimentary to each other. I love when a meal touches so many different kinds of flavors. This took my taste buds on a delicious ride.
My dad came home form the store with a container of pistachios! I love these nuts, especially with dried cranberries and golden raisins. I really want to make a pistachio butter. Has anyone tried pistachio butter? Do you like it?
Later on we went to Target and they had me try on the new Rodarte dresses. I didn’t know Target had such cute things!!!
Dinner that night was something special. I made another recipe from ‘The Conscious Cook’. I love the variety of flavors this book has. I usually stick to using the same spices and seasoning when I cook, but this was different from what I usually use. I served it over some brown basmati rice and with a colorful pepper medley on the side.
Looks like I had English muffins for breakfast that morning. One slice with butter and the other with pumpkin butter. I also tried the egg nog flavored yogurt with a lot of cinnamon sprinkled on top. Does that count as “sprinkled” still? It looks like it was actually doused! I also had apple slices with caramel peanut butter = delicious.
I know some of you are always keeping your eyes out for new snack ideas. Well I found one that is not messy and perfect for when you’re on the go! Not to mention it tastes really good. I tried Udi’s granola nuggets! Let me quote them , “Snack-perfect granola chunks made with honey, oats, and lots of nuts.” They contain almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds. I tried the little nuggets with Wallaby’s Downunder Mango Tangerine flavor.
And now we’re going to blast somewhere else into time.
I tried cooking them the other day but I wasn’t too keen on the flavor. Anyway, these collard greens made for perfect wraps for the leftover Moroccan stew. There wasn’t much liquid left so I didn’t have to worry about stuff spilling out. I also had some Mestemacher bread with mashed avocado, tomato slices, and horseradish sauce.
We had to use up a bunch of veggies that we had in the fridge so this was a mish-mosh of things! She even cooked daikon radish! I’m not sure what she put in here exactly but I’ll tell you what I do know – besides that it tasted delicious – cauliflower, yellow squash, daikon radish, mushrooms, yellow onion, turmeric, fenugreek, coconut milk, and other things!
A bowl of fruits with coconut milk is something I’ve been eating daily while in Florida. That night I remembered that I still had some Fig Newmans! I love the chewiness of these fig cookies.
So that was the time traveling adventure! Now that we’re all back up to speed, I have a story to share with you all. This was shared with me over Christmas dinner and I thought it was inspirational. They told me about a writer who was diagnosed with cancer but wasn’t going to give up without a fight. So what did they decide to do? They had heard of “laughing clubs” in India and other countries, so they got their wife to go to the library and find a bunch of comedies. Everyday the two would wake up and watch a funny movie. Eventually he was able to cure his cancer with laughter. So never underestimate the power of bursting out in an uncontainable laughter or even just a giggle will do. What’s a miracle you’ve had in your life?
Hey everybody! Yeah, I quoted that Will Smith song! Anyway, did you all like the video? Sorry it’s so long and I couldn’t post it on the actual blog. Bah. But I’m back in Richmond now, and I was greeted with cold weather and a grey sky. All I could think was, “why did I leave Florida?!” Oh that’s right, I’ve got a life up here! I was also reunited with my little bumpkin, Matilda. Hehe she’s really not from the country but that word is cute! I missed her so much and she’s seriously looking more adorable than ever.
Anyway, let’s see… where were we on the Florida recap? Aha! Saturday morning…
After getting home late, I managed to wake up around 9. I mixed some oats with yogurt and cottage cheese. I topped it off with a peach, dark cherries, apple butter, cinnamon, and peanut butter. I went to lie down a little bit more before I got ready for my AM yoga class. It felt so nice to be doing some deep stretches! After the yoga class, me and my mom went to the sauna for a bit. Then we came home and I whipped up a quick lunch.
I made a stir-fry with bell peppers, zucchini, bean sprouts, and scallion with Teriyaki sauce. On the side is a ready-made Indian food called Patra. It is basically stuffed taro leaves and mildly spicy. We served it with a sauce made with coconut kefir (you can use any yogurt), and tamarind-date chutney. Check out the avocado!
After lunch I got ready to run some errands with my dad again. We went to several places, and made an impromptu stop at a local Italian market called Doris’. Everything there is authentic and they have the best produce! They’ve also got fresh pastas and cheeses, aisles of olive oils, tomato sauces, chocolates and almond candies. Did I mention a bakery as well? I remember on Christmas they had a crowd of regular customers at the door right before they opened and they were thanking everybody for sticking with them throughout the years. We finally got home and it was time to get ready for dinner.
I looked up Mediterranean restaurants in Miami and I spotted one that looked interesting. It’s The Lido and it’s located in a spa that’s apart of The Standard hotels.
Once we got inside we had someone guide us to the restaurant since it’s a part of a spa.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and people were just lounging around in the deep seats or by the bar.
Since we were sitting right by the bay, it was super windy! I ordered a coffee hoping to stay warm and not get tired. I had a night of dancing planned for me!
I wish I could remember what the dishes were, but my dad liked the yogurt sauce that accompanied his piece of snapper. They also gave us what I believe was toasted lavash and pita chips.
Afterwards, it was time to head back and rest a bit before I went out again.
Oh my gosh Kenny poured us what he called “suicidal shots”. Basically that meant 3 or 4 shots in one.I don’t really drink on the regular so I took a sip and made a sour-puss face. I ended up mixing it with pineapple juice. Then it was time to leave their place and walk to the clubs. Pilar and I were holding on to each other for body warmth. Even Florida has cold fronts! We were relieved once we got to our destination! I didn’t bring my camera, but I found some pictures online of the place we went to.
There were some very interesting people at the club! Some guy was dressed up as a gladiator and stood on one of the platforms and totally got into character by acting like some emperor. Then there was someone dressed up as… I can’t even describe. But they had everything covered from head to toe. Anyhow, we were dancing the night away and it was so much fun to let loose. Dancing is something I love and I never care what anyone else is thinking. It’s like the world around me just disappears. We finally headed back home and I passed out in the car, I was dead tired and I knew I had to wake up in 2 hours anyway. I got home and I didn’t even change into my pajamas. An hour later my dad woke me up and I quickly got ready, but I didn’t bother to change my dress. Stinky! But hey, this is what party animals do, right? Party all night, then catch flights in last night’s makeup and dress!
If you like super thick yogurt then I suggest Icelandic style skyr. It’s thicker than Greek yogurt, the siggi’s brand is anyway.
Ever since I got food poisoning at the airport, I’ve been kind of paranoid of eating things from any airport. So I just pack my own stuff instead.
Now I’m back and just getting into the swing of things again. The last two days in Florida were full of friends and family and just going out there and living it up! It’s hard to feel motivated to do schoolwork after going back home, but the semester will be done before I know it! I’ve also been having tummy issues, and I’m not sure from what. It really sucks though because my stomach is acting up after everything I eat. No bueno! I should get some ginger cubes and ginger root.
I hope you guys are bundling up if you’re experiencing cold weather. Being sick with the sniffles is not good… except for the part when there’s someone special spoiling you!