Monday, December 17, 2007

Building a house of raw

That sounds like something from "The Three Little Pigs." In that case, I should have taken a cue from the story and built my house of bricks; just kidding.

I just wanted to fill you in on the gingerbread house construction. I brought all of the pieces to my mom's house to build my masterpiece with my family (mom, son, two nephews, sister, grandmother, aunts, cousins and a cousin's fiance).

But before I got started on my own house, I put together the framework for my son's work of art, which he decorated himself. It's not raw, but I've posted it anyway in his honor :-)

Then, I went right to work on my raw version. I set up my work station, covered a box with silver paper, filled a pastry bag with raw icing and began "gluing" the pieces together.

Unfortunately, I ran into some technical difficulties. The icing would begin to warm in my hands and start flowing too fast out of the tip. I overcame this obstacle by taking several breaks to re-chill the bag.

As you can see, patience pays off; I managed to build a house that exceeded my expectations (I was just hoping to end up with something that resembled a house in one way or another). I was happy with the first picture, but then I took it a step further and added a walkway and some trees.

I also took some time to decorate the extra cookies I cut out the night before with the leftover dough. In addition to the trees, I made a snowman and a gingerbread boy and girl. I even sampled them for quality control.

Satisfied with my success (and relieved to be finished), I sat down with my family to enjoy a warm bowl of soup; mine was raw, of course. Just look how alive it looks next to their cooked version (my mom made sure to make it vegan just in case I wanted some; she's always thinking of me). Maybe I'll make a larger batch to share next time. Do you think they would eat it? If not, more for me.

P.S. Mom, the house made it home in one piece :-)


Unknown said...

Wow, the house is impressive!! Good work! Regarding the two gingerbread cookies you mentioned in the previous post, do you think they would roll out and work for a cut out gingerbread man?

Unknown said...


pumpkin seeds...what a good idea!!

shannonmarie said...

Thanks for the compliments. It didn't turn out anywhere near as well as some of the traditional ones I've made in the past, but I am happy with my first raw attempt.

Liz, I haven't tried rolling out the other two recipes, but the dough should still mold into your desired shapes. Just flatten it into a thin sheet with your hands (actually, that's what I did this time since I couldn't find my rolling pin).

Alissa, the idea of using pumpkin seeds came naturally as I rumaged through my dried fruits and seeds for something colorful. I wanted to only use raw ingredients to decorate, which limited my options, especially since I didn't do much advance planning.

Anonymous said...


Kathy said...

I can't believe my eyes! A Raw gingerbread house! Kudos to you my friend, the pictures are all beautiful! You just inspired me that there is raw in Christmas, you just need to be creative!!

I love your blog! Keep up the good work!

Kathy said...

ps - congrats on making the "cover" of We like it Raw. Are you on "Give it to me raw?" I'll keep an eye out for you!

RawBin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RawBin said...

I imagined a cute little house... but this house is amazing!!! I hadn't thought about the decorations, but the almonds and pumpkin seeds are perfect by nature(in both color and shape). So cool! It really looks perfect. Move over Martha Stewart, here comes ShannonMaRAW!

I know it would be more work to get a large batch of your soup warm for sharing, but it looks so good, I'm sure your family would be pleased to try it. Who knows, maybe you'll get more support than ever on your desire to remain raw. At least the family might see that they could include dishes like that at the table for you so you wouldn't always need bring your own...

The Coach said...

hi shannonmarie,
i have been reading raw food blogs for a few months now...but this is
my first comment ever! i appreciate your attitude towards this lifestyle. would you answer some questions regarding it?
i am at the "do i purchase the vitamix or blendtec?" stage and i would love your direction.
many thanks! stacy

Solla said...

hi shannon - this is just amazing - congratulation :-)
what recipe did you use for the frosting?

shannonmarie said...

I'm a little overwhelmed with all of the attention. Where should I start?

juusan, thanks for the compliment.

Kathy, yes, there is a raw Christmas; you just have to be a little creative. I think your kids would really enjoy this project.

I'm not on Give It To Me Raw yet, but I plan on it. I've just been really busy lately.

Rawbin, thanks for the suggestions for building up family support. They try things once in a while, but this time of year, they really prefer the hot soup. I hope to bring some raw dishes to share at our gathering on Saturday. I want to "rawify" some of our traditional family favorites.

the coach, I feel so honored to receive your first comment. I don't own a Vitamix, but I do have a Blentec, which works well for me. My mom was so impressed with it that she bought one for herself.

The only thing it's lacking is one of those sticks that help you move the ingredients around when it is running. I just use a spatula to do the job in between cycles.

For more information about which to purchase, check out's community forum; there is a topic about it on their message board. Good luck :-)

solla, I used the whipped cream frosting from the sunny raw kitchen site. There should be a link in my previous post. I just eliminated the lemon juice and substituted half of the coconut butter with raw cacao butter.

Raw-Riffic Food said...

Wow! I'm super impressed. Your raw gingerbread house is super fantastic! It amazes me to see the variety of foods that can be all raw...well done!

Thanks for sharing, and "Happy Holidays!"

The Coach said...

thanks for the info!
i checked out the forum site.
my biggest concern is the noise and i didn't see any comments about that. we have a six year old, so while i'd love to fill her up on smoother green smoothies...don't want to hurt her hearing in the process.(she likes to help with breakfast and i'd hate to ask her to leave the room!)thanks again mentioned being overwhelmed....hope that is a good thing! stacy

shannonmarie said...

Debbie, thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog. Tell me more about the pistachio ice cream sandwiches. Happy Holidays to you, too.

Stacy, don't worry; I'm not that overwhelmed. A word of caution about the blenders. They are both loud. My son hates the way it sounds (he covers his ears), and my husband makes it a rule that I can't run the thing before a certain time (so I don't disturb his slumber).

Raw-Riffic Food said...

The pistachio ice cream sandwich is a raw recipe from It was an easy, but decadent desert recipe to make. And so delish too!

Have a wonderful week, and a happy holiday!

shannonmarie said...

Thanks. Russell James has the best recipes (his lasagna is one of my favorites). I think I remember drooling over the pic for the ice cream sandwiches. I'll have to try them, especially since I do have raw pistachios.

Happy holidays to you, too :-)

Anonymous said...

Gee, this is fantastic and totally inspiring! You did a beautiful job.

shannonmarie said...

Thank you :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Shannon Marie!

I'm so happy I've come across your blog, it's wonderful raw reading full of exciting info. Your profile says you love natural beauty products, and I handcraft my own line of raw, organic, preservative-free skincare that you may like to check out. My website is: and blog:

I love finding gems like yours online :)

shannonmarie said...

Hi Bethanne! I am into natural beauty. I try to purchase natural products, as well as making them in my kitchen. Your line looks amazing. I'll have to check it out.

bitt said...

i made my own house! thanks for your inspiration!

shannonmarie said...

I have to check it out :-)