Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My mama always said ...

... "Don't forget to put a hat on your head."

Well, look mom (and all the other mommies out there, too; Grandma Terry, that includes you), I've taken that advice by putting one on little lady today.

In the first picture, you'd think she was ready for winter, but I can assure you it is still fall. There was a chill in the air on the way to the bus stop, so I grabbed the first one available: a knit hat my mom made.

My mother also knit her a yellow hat and booties to match the same color blanket she made according to my request. I'm sure you'll see them eventually in a future post.

Jacob, on the other hand, is hat-free, but he had his hoodie up earlier. He also has more hair to protect is mop-top, which reminds me; I need to give him a haircut.

He's taken a lot of pride in showing off his new baby sister. Just look at my big boy pushing her in the stroller. I'm proud of him, too :-)

By the way, it is my parents' wedding anniversary today.
Happy anniversary, mom and dad!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The coolest thing I ever ate

Okay, maybe not the coolest. But, it sure is cool in more ways than one.

After viewing Saturday's "Sugar Rush" episode of the Food Network show, "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" (who knew someone with my eating habits could be so entertained by this channel), I just had to try Sam's Sundae from the Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, California. Since I'd prefer a raw vegan version, not to mention the fact that I happen to live on the opposite coast, I opted to whip up something similar in my own kitchen.

Now I can see why one of the network's personalities raved about this unusual, but simple, combination of dark chocolate ice cream, olive oil (yes, that does say "olive oil"), coarse sea salt and whipped cream (although I passed on the cream part). Just look at how the olive oil hardens like "Magic Shell" on this dessert, while the sea salt provides the perfect finishing touch.

Try this on your favorite banana-, coconut- or nut-based n'ice cream. I can almost guarantee you'll like it :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kid-friendly, mommy-approved

Okay, so maybe one of my kids isn't that interested in these sushi-style treats, but the other one might be. Maybe that's why I was having a craving for them.

I do know Hayden had me eating tons of veggie sushi while in my belly (although she would do ninja kicks inside me when I'd consume too much wasabi), and she still has me going through pounds of fresh fruit (it is the easiest thing to grab throughout the day and it probably makes breast milk taste extra sweet). So, I thought, "why not combine the two?"

I actually was inspired by two Food Network personalities: Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Rachael Ray.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched "Iron Chef America: Battle Coconut," and I've been wanting to put my own spin on one of the dishes ever since. You see, Morimoto had flavored his sushi rice with coconut and filled the rolls with fresh fruit. I wanted to do the same, but instead of flavoring the rice, I would actually substitute the coconut for it.

Unfortunately, I was low on coconut flakes and out of nori. This idea was just going to have to wait.

Wednesday, I made a trip to the local health food store. Everything was so overpriced that I opted to wait on a few items until I could make a trip to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, or place an order online. I just ended up with a bag of nuts and some coconut flakes (at least I got those; it was one of the only NaturalZing products the store still carried).

Now that I had the coconut flakes, all that was missing was the nori wraps. But, then I had a better idea.

Years ago, I remember seeing Rachael Ray make kid-friendly sushi out of Fruit Roll-ups, Rice Krispies Treats and some kind of other candy. That's where I got my idea to use dried banana sheets as the outer wrap to my sushi. I just dyed the pureed bananas green with a little bit of Crystal Manna blue green algae flakes, and dehydrated them into natural fruit rolls.

These rolls were filled with coconut flakes mixed with agave to make a sweet sticky "rice." The first set of rolls had avocado, cucumber and peach, while the second contained avocado, strawberry and kiwi.

Still on a roll (sorry about the goofy sense of humor), I also filled some more with a mixture of cashew butter, agave and oats, which sandwiched in a row of banana, red apple and green apple. Now these are some Good Eats :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Special delivery

No, I'm not referring to the delivery of my baby girl again, although it is for her. This special delivery came all the way from Alaska. It was shipped from one of my readers to my good buddy Rawbin, who kept it safe until she could drop it off in person.

But, let's backtrack for a minute first, so I can fill you in on my week. It's been a bit more hectic than in the first couple weeks at home (then, it was just the craziness of trying to adjust to having a baby around the house again). Hayden is awake more (as you can see in the pic to the right), and I'm fulfilling more requests to see her open eyes.

Over the weekend, Hayden got to attend her first wedding. Proceeding the nuptials, I happened to catch "Father of the Bride" on cable, and snuggled on the couch with her to watch it (okay, so that was the relaxing part). Matthew, on the other hand, left the room, not wanting to think about walking his little girl down the aisle in the future.

I was excited to take our young lady to the event, as I sang "Going to the Chapel" to her while getting her ready. She ended up being the bell of the ball. The only person who received more attention was the bride, of course (I hope she didn't mind that Hayden ended up wearing white, too).

I even got some special attention, when I asked the wait staff whether or not the raw fruits and veggies from cocktail time would be left out for dinner. Thank goodness I inquired about this, because it was not in the original plan. When I told them I was a vegetarian, they nicely set aside a plate of large romaine leaves topped with a variety of raw veggies and another plate of fresh fruit. I couldn't thank them enough.

The next day, we went to Sunday dinner at my parent's house. It was Emmy night, which usually means getting dressed up in old prom, homecoming or bridesmaid dresses (except for the men, who tend to skip this part; the boys like to put on costumes from their favorite movies or T.V. shows), parading on the red carpet, eating h'orderves and casting our ballots with our award-winner predictions.

This year, we kept the h'orderves (my mom made sure to have plenty of raw fruits, veggies, guacamole and nuts for me), but most of the rest of it went out the window. The funny thing was, I didn't think much of it, because I was so involved with Hayden (she's had enough of the paparazzi, as you can see in the pic to the above left). I even went to bed without watching most of the broadcast.

On Monday, my friend Becky came for a visit. She's expecting a bundle of joy in December (she has the same due date I had with Jacob), so she had to come by to see how we were doing. She even treated us to lunch, for which I was very grateful.

Still happy as can be from all of our visiting, Hayden and I were even more ecstatic when Rawbin called Tuesday morning (this is the first we've been in contact since the birth). She was in the area, so she decided to drop by on her way to work with "a package from a fan," she said.

I wondered who it could be (Hayden is thinking about it in this pic to the above right), but I couldn't ponder for long, as Rawbin arrived quickly on my doorstep with the package in hand. It was from Stephanie, one of my readers from Alaska, who wanted Rawbin to capture the moment I opened it in a photo.

Unfortunately, Rawbin was short on time and I was still in my pajamas (this really was spur of the moment), so the real time photo didn't happen. I did, however, take these pics to thank her properly in this post (By the way Stephanie, you should also be getting a thank you card in the mail).

As you can see, the package contained the cutest little baby clothes, including three brightly-colored tops, a striped hat and some tiny booties (do you think she made them?). Inspired by the line of clothes my cousin's wife Lara gave to us as a shower gift, I used the same line and clothes pins to properly display these items for a pic. I also put Hayden in one of the tops and the hat for a fashion photo shoot (she's such a natural. She reminds me of my old Glow Worm doll).

Thanks again for the thoughtful gift, Stephanie. We really appreciate it :-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just call me "Tubs"

"Tubby Tuba" or "Pooh Bear." You'd never know it to see me now, but I was quite the pudgy baby (which explains the nicknames).

And, it looks as though Hayden is following in my footsteps. She is a month old, as of yesterday, and my husband is already starting to comment about the invisible rubber bands wrapped around her wrists (you know, the little chubby roll marks). Both Jacob and I had them, too, until we became more active (it's hard to burn off that breast milk when you're not crawling/walking yet).

My little Weeble Wobble is definitely not deprived and neither is her mommy. You'd think I was still pregnant with the way I've been giving in to my cravings. At least my waistline doesn't show it (I can't believe it's already shrunk back to normal), as I've been opting for healthier versions of my decadent desires.

For instance, I've continued the Maggie No-Moo trend with another flavor I enjoyed when I was pregnant with Jacob. I had taken a break from being raw vegan at the time, so it was no surprise to find me at an actual Maggie Moo's location ordering up the peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter chips mixed in (mixing in your choice of toppings on a marble slab is their specialty).

Reminiscing about this craving, as well as the peanut butter shake I used to love from a place called "Tubby's," I decided to whip up yet another n'ice cream cupcake in a similar flavor. Now, you could flavor your banana-based n'ice cream with natural peanut butter (if you don't mind peanuts and the fact that it is cooked), or you could try this mixture, which I find to be a good substitute.

I've used the following recipe in my Do-Si-Raws, Rawgalongs and my PB&J Tart, but in case you don't click on the backlinks, here it is again:

Better Than Peanut Butter
3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. lucuma
1 Tbsp. mesquite
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy as is, or as a replacement for peanut butter in your favorite PB recipe.

I, of course, recommend using a hefty spoonful of the stuff processed into your n'ice cream. Then, shape the n'ice cream into a cupcake shape (silicone liners are great for this) and top with either frozen bits of this peanut butter-like combination or some homemade raw white chocolate chips. I was a bit lazy this time, so I have to admit that I used these store-bought vegan ones instead. Oh well, nobody's perfect :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Maggie No-Moo's

Good Monday morning. Hope you all are enjoying your frozen breakfast in a cup. I sure am.

But, these cool cuppies aren't only for breakfast. In fact, I actually got the idea from a place that probably doesn't open that early in the day.

Maggie Moo's is a popular ice cream chain that not only serves up its frozen treats by the scoop, but also in cake form. You can even buy the cakes in a cupcake variety pack. I just wish they were dairy-free, not to mention raw.

So, as usual, when I can't get a food the way I want it, I go home and rawify it myself. I even started making different flavors to mix things up a bit.

As I said before, I've been stocking my freezer with various homemade convenient snacks, so I'll be prepared whenever a craving may arise. Here you can see two of my frozen "yogurt"-inspired flavors, which include traditional blueberry and strawberry.

I decided to jazz up the blueberry n'ice cream cupcake similar to when I made this chocolate blueberry sundae. I added cocoa to the n'ice cream and decorated it with some juice-colored coconut sprinkles, blueberries and chunks of chocolate with more blueberries buried inside (oops, these weren't raw, but still vegan; If you have the time, you can make them yourself).

The strawberry n'ice cream cake was kept simple with a strawberry base, coconut sprinkles, almond slices and a strawberry on top. Very nice :-)

I have to apologize for the blurry shots, as the n'ice cream was beginning to melt while my camera was malfunctioning again. Thank goodness I was able to use Jacob's, although it doesn't have the best focus. Hopefully I can get some clearer shots of the next batch.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Frozen breakfast in a cup

No, I'm not talking about another green smoothie, and I certainly wouldn't be referring to something found in your grocer's freezer section (well, maybe one day in the organic aisle; my grocery store keeps the healthier stuff separate from the rest).

My frozen breakfast in a cup is something I whipped up myself, while stocking my freezer with some homemade convenient items. Now that little lady is around, I never know when I'll find the opportunity to prepare some of my favorite treats, so I decided to do most of the prep work when she's sound asleep. Then, I can just grab and go when she needs me most (usually when my tummy is calling to me, too).

I've done the same thing in my fridge, spending her nap times chopping fresh fruits and veggies for snacking throughout the day. I even toss a salad or two together, and store them inside until I'm ready for one.

But back to the freezer, which I like to stock with a surplus of raw cupcakes, cookies, etc. I was so grateful for the n'ice cream cupcake I had the other day (n'ice cream isn't as simple to make with a newborn in your arms), that I decided to make a variety of more flavors to have on hand whenever a craving may arise.

This one happens to be a maple banilla nut cupcake, inspired by these raw banana cupcakes, as well as the banana nut waffles pictured in the background. The base is cake-like (or in this case, waffle), using the same recipe as my raw banana cupcakes, and topped with a scoop of raw banilla spice n'ice cream (although you could opt to fill the whole cup with n'ice cream), some banana slices, walnuts and a drizzle of grade B maple syrup (which explains this cupcake's glazed over look).

Who says you can't have n'ice cream for breakfast? I think it's a very nice way to start the day :-)

On another note, I just wanted to say congrats to my cousin Holly and her fiance Christian, who are getting married today. Best wishes!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Singing in the shower

No matter how I try to time it, Hayden always wakes up when I'm in the shower. I carefully position her vibrating seat nearby, so I can peek out the curtain, making sure she's still asleep. Unfortunately, she's probably too close to the sound of rushing water to keep her in this peaceful state.

Before I know it, she's crying for me to come to her rescue. I find myself racing to rinse every last tiny bubble of suds from my bod, so I can quickly dry off and comfort my fair lady.

The other day, I made an attempt to lengthen my shower stay by singing to my tiny audience. I've always heard the acoustics can't be beat in there, so why not give it a shot?

I started with "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and then, when that worked, I moved on to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "London Bridges" and "Row, Row Your Boat." To my surprise, I drowned out her cries and lulled her back to sleep.

I guess these song choices aren't sophisticated enough for her, as they always seem to bore her into a zonked out state. She actually prefers the hit songs from the radio (especially when I dance with her at the same time; Nicole, you were right about the dancing), although I usually have her listen to the Kidz Bop versions (her favorites are "All Star" and "Get This Party Started") .

When Jacob was a baby, he loved Journey and Neil Diamond. How's that for sophistication?

That's like when I sampled a little Don Ho for Hayden with the catchy tune, "Tiny Bubbles." It just seemed to go with the whole bathing theme, as well as with these recent dessert pics (a raw version of the Rescue Chef's Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Parfait. I substituted chia seeds for some of the poppy seeds in my nut-based "yogurt"). I just had to post some kind of visual, and it definitely wasn't going to be me in the shower or Hayden in her bath.

But, just to put a smile on your face, here is a pic of her right after her bath. She's wearing a Jacob original. He just had to design another onesie for her after seeing my latest creation. He's quite the artist :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's all in the presentation

We've heard that line a million times (most recently, I was reminded of this fact on The Fitnessita's blog, although her exact words were, "you eat with your eyes first"), because it is so true. Sure I can eat the same things day in and day out, but they somehow taste so much better when they're all dolled up.

This explains my fascination with cupcakes. Why settle for a plain ordinary slice of cake when you can have your own personal confection served up in a cute little package?

Speaking of cupcakes, Hayden just peeked out from dreamland long enough to see if her wishes had come true. It looks as though they have :-)

This particular cupcake really makes the ordinary extraordinary. Not only is it a cupcake, but it's the n'ice cream (did you see Rachael Ray make her version the other day?), too.

Now, I have whipped up a small slice of n'ice cream cake in a hurry just before leaving for a family birthday celebration, but this way really does take the cake. Instead of forming it into a slice, I molded it into a cupcake, reminiscent of my sundae-style cupcake. Which one would you rather eat? I'm betting on the n'ice cream cupcake. It really is the best of both worlds :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dreaming of Raw Cupcakes

That's what Hayden's been doing. She can't wait for me to make/eat some more. I wonder if she's thinking about the rawified baby shower cupcake from when she was still in my belly? That girl was grown on raw cupcakes, so she definitely has a taste for them.

It will be a while before she can eat one by herself, but for now, I guess it's okay to just dream. That's why I painted this on her long-sleeved onesie (not only am I keeping the actual cupcakes away from her mouth, but it looks as though I've also removed her hands from the equation).

And so we can all dream about raw cupcakes, here are some flashback links to my previous cupcake posts:

Charlotte's Cupcake Web

Good Witch or Bad Witch

Halloween has finally arrived

Fauxtess Gone Raw

The best of both worlds

Please sir, I want s'more

Cupcakes Rawk!

That's the way the cookie crumbles

More mashed potadough

No tater tops here

This cupcake is bananas

Another sundae on a Thursday

Wake me up before you cocoa

A hazy shade of yet another cupcake

Greening my reading

Who says savory can't be fun?

Feeling hot, hot, hot

Matthew's Pumpkin Trifle

Sweet Shannon's

Martha's rawliday makeover

Jacob's Rawzilla Birthday Cupcake

A raw baby shower?

A labor of love


wednesday, september 16, 2009 continued ...

Rachael does it again

As I mentioned in an add-on yesterday, Rachael Ray has been taking some tips from the raw food world.

On Monday, she made an agave-sweetened, freshly squeezed citrus beverage. Then, on Tuesday, she followed up with her version of banana n'ice cream made from frozen bananas in a food processor.

Today, she made a watermelon and heirloom tomato salad (just ignore the chicken part), dressed simply in the juices of the tomato, some EVOO, sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Her show is looking a lot more Yum-O.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nothing fishy on this plate

... unless you count the fact that it's not what it looks like. You see, after watching yet another Food Network show, I was tempted to make a rawified version of this originally seafood-based dish.

Giada De Laurentiis (if Hayden stayed in my tummy one extra day, she couldn't shared birthdays with this lovely lady) happily thanked the staff of her show, "Giada at Home," by preparing them some of their favorite dishes, one being a Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio. Inspired by the beauty and simplicity of this recipe, I couldn't wait to make a raw vegan plate of it for myself.

So how does one make a fish dish vegan? Well, I just replaced the fish with fresh produce, in this case red grapefruit to replicate its color. It also tastes yummy paired with crisp green apple slices, a drizzle of olive oil, some capers and a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper. Delish.

On the show, Giada served hers with some toasted bread, so since I I haven't been perfectly raw all the time lately, I opted to have mine with Ezekiel bread. I'm definitely going to have this one again.


tuesday, september 15, 2009 continued ...

Rachael makes Banana "Ice Cream" Fakeout

Since posting earlier this a.m., I caught another episode of Rachael Ray's talk show, and you'll never guess what she made. She demonstrated how to make banana-based ice cream in her food processor, except she added a little bit of milk (not that it's necessary). Who knew she would hop on this frozen treat bandwagon?

She also served up a lime/orange/lemonade on yesterday's show, replacing the usual simple syrup with agave. Looks like she's been hanging out with Oprah again (she's the one that got my mom to drink green smoothies). What do you think?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cashew Crepes for one

No, make that two, considering the fact that whatever I eat, baby Hayden eats, too.

I've been taking it easier since becoming a mommy again (I know; I never stopped being a mommy to the first one), and as a result, I've also watched more than my share of television (something needs to be done about that). In the process, I've found inspiration in some of the most unlikely of places.

For instance, I ended up making a mock blueberry cheese to complete a salad I saw on Barefoot Contessa. And, to top it all off, I also rawified Tyler Florence's Cashew Crepe after watching him prepare it on an episode of Rachael Ray's talk show.

Okay, so maybe my true reason I perked up during his demonstration was because he made his own cashew spread to use in the crepe batter and as the filling in the finished crepes. Unfortunately, his recipe called for the Planter's salted variety, but that didn't mean I had to use them.

Anyway, back to my version. I kept it simple, as usual (it's got to be easy and economical with a new baby in the house), blending one banana with a Tbsp. of cashew butter, a squeeze of lemon, a touch of vanilla and a sprinkling of sea salt until smooth. Then, I poured the mixture out onto some parchment and spread it out to create two rounds. These were "cooked" in my old school dehydrator until dry yet still flexible (about 6 or so hours on one side, and another hour or 2 on the other).

When the crepes were ready, I jazzed them up a bit by filling/topping them with a cashew banilla (banana-based vanilla) n'ice cream (instead of just the cashew spread), sliced grapes and some cashews. It looked so much prettier than Tyler's, and it was probably tastier, too.

I quickly set up a shot and tried to take a pic with my uncooperative camera. It only took one photo as usual (the one at the top), so luckily, Jacob snapped another one with his. I cropped it down for another view (the second pic), but in the end, also opted to use the whole photo (seen below), which caught my hand and camera in the corner. Thank you Jacob :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's in the box?

Well, if you are looking at the photo, you already know ... just don't tell my mom quite yet. Today is her birthday, and just like last year, I made her a gift by her request.

Actually, I've had this gift under wraps, literally, since before Hayden was born. Not knowing the exact day of her arrival in advance, I made sure to have all August and September presents purchased, wrapped and ready to be given at anytime.

For instance, August was a hectic month. There were birthday parties every weekend, and from now on, Hayden will make for one more. The day after she was born, Paw Paw was nice enough to take Jacob to his friend's pool party, along with the gift I packed along with him.

I also toted two shower gifts to the hospital in hopes that someone would transport them for me to the baby and wedding showers I was invited to that weekend. How's that for planning?

As for my mom's present, I made this necklace and earrings set at the same time I posted the set I made for myself. I just opted not to post hers so soon, in case she stopped by my blog for a visit.

I won't be presenting them to her until our usual Sunday dinner, but since she has such a busy schedule, I figured she wouldn't catch a glimpse of them before then. If she does, then all I can say is, "Happy Birthday Mom! These are for you."

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have an opportunity this time to make her a raw dessert, as I have in the past. One year, I made raw German chocolate cupcakes topped with the filling from my Samoraws. They were the perfect complement to her baked favorite.

This year, my sister is really baking German chocolate cupcakes for her birthday, while I'll just be satisfied with some fresh fruit. So, since I don't have a current raw birthday dessert to share, here's a flashback photo of last year's "fruit cake." Hey, maybe I'll make that again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blueberry cheese, please

Whether it's raw or not, I'm always looking for inspiration on T.V., the Internet, in magazines, the grocery store, a fond memory, or perhaps at a restaurant or gathering. For instance, I noticed some blueberry cheese on my last trip to the grocery store. I was intrigued by its berry delicious looking swirls.

At home, I caught another episode of Barefoot Contessa, which focused on cheese dishes. Usually, I'd make a raw version minus the cheese, but this time, I opted to rawify a particular salad, including a cashew cheesy version of its star ingredient.

The Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese reminded me of the blueberry cheese I saw at the store. I thought, "why not make a raw mock feta and give it a pop of color with some blueberries?" The berries would also pair nicely with the pears and cranberries in the original recipe.

So, that's what I did. I soaked some macadamia nuts and cashews (I like the combination of the two), and blended them with lemon juice and sea salt (you can also add some nutritional yeast, but I was out of it at the moment) until combined, yet somewhat chunky. Then, I mixed in a handful of thawed frozen blueberries (that's what I had on hand) and dehydrated dollops of the mixture until it resembled its cheesy predecessor.

When it was time to eat, I constructed my salad out of romaine and spinach (I didn't have any arugula, so I opted to substitute rather than running out to the store again), two peeled, very ripe pear halves stuffed with a combination of the blueberry cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries (I would've dehydrated it for a "cooked" texture, but I was craving something a little fresher), all topped off with a drizzle of dressing made with pureed apple, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Now that's good stuff.

I hope this gets you inspired. What might you make?

Monday, September 7, 2009

A labor of love

It's Labor Day, and I'm serving up some some yummy Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes to celebrate the fruit of my labor I endured a couple weeks ago (in this case, I'm referring to Hayden).

That's right; I said "Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes." This (chocolate and avocado) may have seemed like an unusual combination to the contestants and judges on a recent episode of the Food Network series, "Chopped," but to many of us raw foodies, this is the norm.

I actually consumed quite a bit of this duo while pregnant and in the months leading up to my baby girl's conception. Sometimes I think the good fats in the avocados, as well as in my endless supply of raw cupcakes at the time, helped make this pregnancy a reality.

So, the Vegetarian Times e-mail with their cooked version of Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I've been thinking about them since the recipe arrived in my inbox last week. It had combined all the ingredients my lovely lady adores.

I knew instantly how I could make them raw, by substituting one of my chocolate avocado puddings for the wet ingredients in my basic raw cupcake recipe, as well as using the pudding to frost them. The results were delicious, although less sweet than my original cupcakes.

The best part was that I was able to create these with what I had on hand. I didn't have any dates or coconut (ingredients I've used in my past raw cupcake recipes), but I certainly had avocados, which were on sale at the grocery store this week (who am I kidding; I would've stocked up on them anyway).

And, you can make them, too; just follow the recipe below. You don't even need a dehydrator. These raw cupcakes are truly unbaked.

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes
For the pudding-style frosting
2 small bananas
1 small avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
dash of sea salt
touch of vanilla

Put all the ingredients into a high-powered blender and puree into a pudding consistency.

For the cupcake
1 1/2 cups almond flour (finely ground almonds)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup pudding-style frosting (see recipe above)
1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
dash of sea salt
touch of vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, flax, cocoa powder and sea salt. Stir with a whisk or use an electric mixer.

Next, add about 1/4 cup of the pudding-style frosting and the vanilla. Whisk/mix, paying close attention to the consistency of the batter. Add the maple syrup, and whisk/mix to combine. The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).

Divide the batter into 4 sections and form into cupcake shapes. Frost with the leftover pudding-style frosting (you'll have more than you need, so feel free to enjoy the pudding on its own as a treat). Allow to set in your refrigerator. Enjoy every last bite :-)

And, for anyone who is interested, here is one of the first pics of me and my Hayden. Please keep in mind that this was taken right after 11 hours of labor. It is not the most flattering photo, but since Jacob had already brought it in for show and tell at school, what's the difference if I show a few more people?

Speaking of Jacob, he's been such a sweetheart. Seeing me frustrated with my usual camera, he happily offered up his for this cupcake photo session. Thanks, Jacob.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tell me on a sundae

I know it isn't Sunday, but it's not like me to post a la mode when expected. You may recall me posting one sundae on a Thursday and repeating this trend later on in a cupcake-style.

Today being Friday, wasn't going to delay this post, and as for this title, I just like the song.

Unfortunately, the Andrew Lloyd Webber piece from his production, also entitled "Tell Me on a Sunday," isn't quite as sweet. In fact, although the song is very beautiful, the lyrics are sad and depressing.

Lucky for me, I haven't felt depressed at all. I wonder if it is due to my fairly high raw diet. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject, but I've read that raw foods are great for combating postpartum depression.

And, how can I be depressed when I've been enjoying raw banana-based n'ice cream almost everyday during my pregnancy (except in the beginning of my first trimester when I couldn't stomach bananas) and since giving birth? It's just so delightful.

It seems as though I haven't been the only one indulging in this deceivingly healthy alternative to ice cream. My new online raw foodie friend Averie has been posting her versions, while Kristen has been sharing her crumbled topped banana goodness with her hubby. And, when I checked out Rawbin's tweets this morning, I discovered she's been drizzling hers with "the best chocolate sauce ever."

I wonder what's in that sauce? I know mine has almond butter, cocoa powder, agave, vanilla and a little water to help thin it out. I layered mine with some fresh strawberries and sliced almonds, which looked scrumptious atop my simple strawberry banana n'ice cream. I made it quick in my mini food processor out of just that; frozen strawberries and bananas. It doesn't get easier than that.

Unfortunately, my camera has been acting up again. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Other times, it works, but only allows me to get one or two shots. Thankfully, I got these two to share with you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cantaloupe Kix with Melon Milk

In my last post, I mentioned that my grocery store has been selling local produce, including corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, peaches, melon and more. That's where I picked up the sweetest, juiciest cantaloupe for my breakfast this morning.

Usually, I would cut it in half, eating the fruit right out of its natural bowl, or turn it into one of my favorite green smoothies, adding spinach and/or romaine, vanilla bean and the actual seeds from the melon. Since Hayden was behaving (Matthew just loves to call her "Miss Hayden Misbehaving"), I decided to combine the two methods to make this fresh cereal substitute.

Much simpler and lighter than when I made my raw version of Trix, I used a melon baller, which reminded me of Kix. And, my cereal bowl just wouldn't be complete without milk, so I whipped some up in my Blendtec using the seeds/guts of the melon, vanilla bean, sea salt and H2O. No need to add any sweetener, because this melon was perfection.

Speaking of perfection, I just adore this dress HiHoRosie sent Hayden (thanks again for everything). We played dress up yesterday and had a photo shoot. I just had to share.