Friday, July 29, 2011

New brown sandals

New brown sandals by Petunia21
New brown sandals, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

YAY! New brown sandals. I broke them out yesterday for the first time since when I got them, it seems like LA was hit with a cold spell!

I like these cause they have a high heel, are short so I can wear them with skinny jeans or shirts, can also wear under my boot cut jeans... and

SUPER COMFY! Ever once in a while, a toe will slip out, but I was really surprised how comfortable they are!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pumpkin Ice Cream!

I had to improvise and adapt this recipe from 2 recipes... The recipe I was following called for eggs, but did not mention cooking them... I had never made ice cream before but had seen it done enough times on the Barefoot Contessa to remember... tempering eggs (cause it always scared me).

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Milk
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Date Syrup *** see recipe below
Fresh Nutmeg
1 cup Pumpkin Puree

I whisked together the eggs. Then, in a separate container, I mixed the cream, milk, date syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. I put that on the stove until it was hot enough I thought to cook eggs. Then I took two ladles of the liquid and quickly whisked it into the eggs. Then I quickly whisked all the eggs back into the cream mixture on the stove and continued to cook until it got thick and coated the spoon.

Then I put it in my already pre-frozen ice cream attachment and mixed according to my Kitchen Aid directions. 


About 20 minutes later, scooped it all out into an old Chinese food container and stuck in the freezer.

Pumpkin Ice cream Take 2

** this is how I would make the recipe again. This is NOT how it went down last night in my kitchen... I'll spare you the dramatic details!

It was quite yummy! I sampled enough of the cream before it got mixed... and licked enough of the spoon to know that totally hard, this ice cream rocks! Not super sweet, but sweet enough for me. And NO CANE SUGAR!

***  Date Syrup


10 Medjool dates, pitted (or 20 normal dates, pitted)
1 3/4 cup water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender and process for a few minutes until smooth and completely blended. Start off slowing to allow the dates to break up initially, and then build up the speed. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Pumpkin Pancake/Cake/Kugel

Pumpkin Pancake/Cake/Kugel by Petunia21
Pumpkin Pancake/Cake/Kugel, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

Yesterday, I talked about my "disaster" with the spelt pancake.

I hate throwing things out, especially since 2 cups of spelt flour is not cheap. so I threw in some agave nectar, sprayed a glass pan and threw it in my small toaster oven... it smelt wonderful! But after re-baking like 3 times, I gave up. The texture and consistency is... well, what you see above. Very dense. I ate a piece for breakfast. :)

Chilled Rawvocado Soup with Coconut Water

I made this last night. It was reallllly good.
It tasted like liquid guacamole... which I'm so OK with. I thinned it out a lot with water. I thought I'd only be thinning in a little bit so I opted for water, just not to open a box of coconut water. If I would have known, I would have use the other box. I also added some salt and lime zest. Chilled, its like a refreshing dream!
Chilled Rawvocado Soup with Coconut Water
This recipe makes two servings.  If you want more soup, double the amounts accordingly.
2 large, ripe avocados
1 cup coconut water (you could also use nut milk or filtered water)
juice of 1 lime (about 4 tablespoons)
½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup chives
1 shallot, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1.     Cut open and pit avocados. Scoop out flesh, reserving a small portion of one half for garnish.
2.     Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more coconut water until the desired consistency is reached (it should coat the back of a spoon, but not be solid).
3.     Pour into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Serve when cold. Garnish with avocado cubes and chives or cilantro.
I used the recipe from this article:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pumpkin Yogurt

I had a big of a spelt pancake disaster on Sunday.  Perhaps "Disaster" is a strong word but... once I combined wet to dry... the batter tripled in size, with the elasticity of... pizza dough?

What I think happened, because it seems to be the only factor that has changed... is the baking powder.  When I wrote the recipe, I used... very old baking powder.  Looking back... 3 tsp of baking powder to 2 cups of flour DOES seem a bit excessive, even for my non-baking brain.

I recently opened up a new batch of powder and this is the second time it's happened. The first time I as camping and blamed it on the "elements".

I ended up adding some agave nectar to the batter, and threw it in a pan to bake off... not quite sure WHAT it turned into, its a mix between a pancake, a cake... and kugel.

So I opened up this huge can of pumpkin (to make pumpkin pancakes) and what to do with the remaining pumpkin?


This morning I added it to my Greek Yogurt!

So I made Pumpkin Yogurt?

Pumpkin Yogurt


pumpkin puree
Greek yogurt
date syrup
pinch of clove

I'm quite pleased with the turnout!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BBQ Pulled Chicken

My mother in law sent me this recipe below.  I was super excited to try it out because a) I miss bbq sauce. 2) I missed pulled meaty bbq recipes!

I swapped out 2 tbs of honey for agave nectar as I noted below.

Brian gave it a 2 forks up.  So this one is going in my new cookbook!

8 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 5 1/2 hours


  • 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
  2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.


I was tickled pink to finally have a caring-is-sharing Costco buddy! Now that Lisa lives 3 doors down, we went in on :

A huge bag of spinach - $3
A big bag of broccoli - $4
60 Eggs - $4
6 Heads of Romain hearts - $3

So, for about 8 bucks, we got a nice amount of produce that can be eaten in a reasonable amount of time. In the past, I had such a hard time passing up sucha good producer price, but felt like I was on a game show trying to eat everything out of my fridge before the time was up... or in this case, the mold for fuzz started to form.

Once I get out the food processor... I get out the food processor!

I made:

My fresh salsa
A cabbage slaw salad from a head of cabbage I bought.

My basil plant was in desperate need of some harvesting, so I picked off 8 cups worth of leaves and made fresh pesto for both Lisa and our household!

This morning, I made a date syrup that Michelle had found me a recipe for. Another natural sweetener, and by golly... its SWEET!

I am having quite a good time cooking up all these very healthy treats to keep in the fridge!

I kinda want to create my own little labels for the. Hee Hee.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HD-Day - T-1

Tomorrow's the day. As I type this, we are finishing up the packing of the car... I could sleep, but I'd be lying if I said my tummy was great. It seems to be churning. And I'm jumpy with nerves. This is gonna be GREAT! Can't wait to show you all the pictures... my entire reason for doing this hike!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A New Me!

There was a very long point in my life that I thought this was the first time and only time, I'd ever been seen in a bikini.

I've always struggled with my weight, for as long as I can remember. My two most hated words were "exercise" and "Diet."

Melanie and Christy
And well, growing up next to my sister who for the longest time was a constant size 0...and I wasn't...

Me, fat

And I think this is one of my most heaviest photos taken. I was interning in LA, on my own for the first time. Eating... whatever was available! It even looks like I was about to eat Rick here for a snack!

Well, this October, I cut white sugar and white flour (white pasta and rice) out of my diet.  Starting eating grains that had "whole" as the very first word on the ingredient list and really start paying attention to myself. I even started a 2-3x a week yoga routine.  I've been very pleased with my results and try to remember to love myself everyday, just as I am for that day!

This is my "coming out" picture!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fudgy Brownies Take 1

I adapted this recipe from the Whole Foods Dark Chocolate brownie recipe you can find on their website or here:

Butter and flour for pan preparation (I was lazy and sprayed olive oil spray)
6 ounces 88% bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup spelt flour

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Set aside. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla and let cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium high speed until thick and creamy, and sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. I didn't feel like lugging out my mixer, can't find my beaters, so I used my stick mixer!

Gently stir in melted chocolate. Stir salt into flour and fold gently into chocolate mixture. Do not over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to smooth. Bake 20 minutes, then cover with foil. Bake additional 8 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the center comes out clean. 

Ok, so after 20 minutes, my brownies were done... if not too done! I also used a smaller pan... small enough to fit in my toaster oven.  So perhaps I should have lowered the cooking time... opps.

They came out super yummy. More Fudgy than last weeks, but still chasing a fudge-r texture. I'm gonna alter the cooking time next time and see if that helps.


Our new living room!

Our new living room! by Petunia21
Our new living room!, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

The search for the couch is ova! She arrived today.