Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cupcakes, tattoos and roasties!

Greetings friends!
It's been a very busy week, I feel like a cupcake machine! I made cupcakes 3 days in a row this week, what fun!

First of them- My dear friend Briana has opened her own gorgeous tattoo shop, Buju Tattoo, in Mission Hills here in San Diego.

Front of the shop

What tattoo shop has ever been painted robins egg blue and had
glorious chandeliers in it, I ask you?

It was a really fun night, and I brought some Meyer Lemon Poppyseed cupcakes, with strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream. Yum.

Her shop is named after the most beautiful Buju, one of the sweetest doggies I've ever met.

If you're in San Diego, and would like an incredible tattoo, Briana is your woman. Seriously.

Second event- At my work we had a Japan Benefit, which was a huge success! We raised $7400!! Again, what a fun night with great people, beer, food (ahem) and prizes galore. I stuck with the Meyer Lemon theme, but no poppyseeds this time, and made Meyer Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with fresh strawberries on top. Whoa, they were good. Coconut flavored buttercream and shredded coconut on top. That is a winning combination I shall not forget. I wish I'd have snapped some pics, but I was in such a rush I forgot.

Third event- My dear friend Stephanie's birthday! She too got the lemon coconut cuppers, and they were well received. :) Happy Birthday Steph!

Me n Steph

On top of all this cupcake jazz, the Earth Balance Spring to Life contest marches on!! As I blogged last week, I submitted the veggie fritters for the appetizer category. Last week was Side Dishes, so I ended up making a most divine herbal Earth Balance to serve alongside roasted veggies. Upon tasting it though, I thought holy crap- this could be used on anything and EVERYthing! Biscuits, pasta, crackers, broccoli, fresh bread, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes.... the list goes on. Fun and cute part about it too, was using the antique butter pats (tiny little plates just for serving butter)
that my mom gave me. (last photo)
See the recipe here on the Earth Balance Made Just Right website. Here's a few pics of the delicious process....

Purple tators

Earth Balance with all the yummy seasonings 'bout to be stirred in

Thank you Suzie's Farm, as always

The featured beauties

Veggies post-roast and Herby buttery log after firming up in freezer

The final product. I ate that whole plate of veggies :)

I've continued to eat on the herb-Balance. Crackers, quinoa, steamed greens and a bowl of gluten free pasta all pass the test with the lovely condiment.
Try it up for your next potluck or dinner, or just for the sake of having it on hand to liven anything up! Enjoy!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 days complete! Onto the contests....

---- a new me!

I did it! I completed my 30 days of juice fasting. It sure was a wonderful challenge, and the first time I ever did a fast for that long (longest before was 15 days). I also simultaneously did a 30 day parasite cleanse and finished it with a liver flush. If this is all like reading some foreign language, there's much information out there if you wanna dive in and learn more. is a fun one, there's a forum on there for just about any topic you want regarding health, conspiracy theories, religeon, whatever! If you're a health nut like me though, hangin out and asking questions on the "Colon Cleansing Forum" is just par for the course!

"Why are you doing this?" "Are you trying to lose weight, why are you dieting?" "Aren't you hungry 24 hours a day?! I would die!!" "I'm worried about you, when will you start eating?!" "Are you still on a hunger strike???" (my favorite one)
I thank everyone in my circle for their concern (support?). It's not easy being the juice fasting oddball, who wants to hang out with that guy? Can't drink, go out to dinner, or go out for coffee, and besides she's always carrying around those vessels of green juice or god knows what it is!!

Anyway, it's good to be back and cooking and eating to my hearts content again! Well, not really to my hearts content, I learned alot this time around about what my body truly needs nutritionally and I also feel like I'm in a brand new body and I sure don't wanna screw it up by dumpin a bunch of crap in it. "But you're already vegan!" So what, I could eat nasty processed food, drink too many beers and eat too many carbs, go crazy with sugar and eat too much of what I bake....sugar is still sugar, the body doesn't judge! There's lots of ways to be a toxic and unhealthy vegan, and I'm not choosing that route. I'm not saying I'm a straight edge die hard, no way. I work at an Ale House after all :)

As luck would have it, the week I start eating again, Earth Balance hails their new contest! "Spring to Life" Contest! Such a great title, I don't mind if I do! As I mentioned in my last blog entry, the grand prize is a trip to NYC, dinner at Candle 79 and a day at an Aveda Spa! Good lord, count me in! I had to get right down to business and dream up an amazing appetizer.

I was thinking of some kind of fritter right away. I was reminded of my grandmas "potato pancakes" which I adore to this day, they're AMAZING! Everyone should try one of her potato pancakes sometime in their life. She serves em up with her homemade apple sauce. (need I say more???) I think hers have potato, carrot, onion and an egg to hold em together. I haven't had em in over 10 years, but I can still taste them clear as day. I'll have to make them vegan style with her one of these times. I digress.... I also love those little onion pakoras that you can get at Indian restaurants. The ones that come with spicy chutneys to dip them in, ahhhhh droooool, they're so good. Those are deep fried though, and I didnt' exactly want to make something deep fried for a contest called Spring to Life, now do I? My solution was to do a pan seared oniony veggie pancake/fritter of sorts. I wanted them to be colorful so I used zucchini, red and gold beets, celery root, red onion, scallions and carrot.

To keep them gluten free I used chickpea flour as the batter, with a lil arrowroot to help hold it all together.

Can I just say I think these are one of my most favorite things I've ever made??! I made one extra large and it was the tastiest actual "vegetable" burger I've ever had. I just ate it plain on its own, but it coulda been on a french roll with some fancy smear and avocado for $12.50 in one of these boutique burger shops that are poppin up all over these days. Needless to say, this is a versatile recipe- the seasonings could vary, veggies can vary, and it doesn't need to just be an appetizer as i just explained. Its killer burger material as well. If you like, please view the recipe and let me know what you think! I also made a yummy cashew aioli to serve on top, which too, was so delicious. I had a little leftover and today made some gluten free pasta shells and tossed it with the cashew aioli and some fresh arugula and was in heaven! This is the kinda thing you always want to have on hand ya know? Steamed veggies, pot of quinoa, pasta, bread slather, lover.... ha! There are no limits to the divine use of cashew aioli in my opinion :)

It's good to be back and firing up the stove and my own digestive fire!
I'll leave you with my top 5 new rules for myself that came out of my 30 days, just to sum up, since I could talk forever about the whole endeavor.... They're nothin earth shattering, basically things we already know we'd like to be doing for ourselves, but overlook to often.... A week off juicing and I'm stickin to it 100%!

1) Eat a fresh salad every day! - Packed with nutrition, fiber, protein, and so much more, salads are my staple food! Kale, arugula, chard, beet greens, lambsquarters, dandelions... Don't limit yourself to just boring old "spring greens". Change it up and make salads spicy and exciting!

2) Exercise every day!- This could mean just a 20 minute walk or run, or a full 60 minutes of sweatin my ass off in hot yoga, but I need to somehow shake this tush every day. Even just rollin around in the bed doin stretches is a good way to start the day.... interpret that as you like.

3) The juicer is not getting put away. - Keep that juicer on the counter and make several juices a week. Period.

4) waterwaterwaterwaterwaterwater- drink it! Your body is thirsty!

5) Love and nurture yourself. Be flexible with your sweet self and dont judge yourself or compare. Just try to better yourself for YOU so YOU feel good and love your beautiful self even more and can be proud of all the good you do for that beautiful body and soul.

Thank you all for reading and following me along my lil journey :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Toot toot!!

Hello All!
I know it's been awhile again, I'm still chuggin along on this here juice fast, today is day 26!! I'm feeling wonderful and feel like I've hit a new level of greatness in the last couple week! I was kinda shooting for 21 days, but I feel so good I'm just gonna keep going! Last week I started up yoga again full time (hopefully 3-4x/wk), bought a massage for myself, have an accupuncture session (which i won!) that I hope to use soon, and I'm still in love with the beautiful nourishing juice concoctions I'm guzzling down daily. I am feeling alive people. :)

So, today I decided, since I'm feeling so good and all, to do a lil bit o' horn tootin :) Yes, my own horn, which I dont do too often. There's been some fun new mentionings of Flourish and moi out in the veggie/vegan world, so I thought I'd share! AND I'm so excited to see I now have 24 wonderful followers on here, that just blew my mind today! It was only a couple months ago I really decided to stick to this and I think I only had 4 for the longest time. It's thanks to those new mentionings along the way that you have all arrived! So here we go.....

1) Earth Balance- my biggest vegan love- has featured two of my recipes on their blog in the last week! One of which (kale salad) won for St. Patty's Day! That link is HERE.

2)Earth Balance- (why are you so good to me!?) Featured another of my recipes! Which by the way, I highly recommend! They're so tasty for spring with all these wonderful veggies to pick from at the farmers markets these days! That recipe is HERE.

3) Suzie's Farm- Words can't say how much room I have in my heart for this peach of a farm. If a farm could fit in my pocket, I'd carry them around with me, they're so dear to me heart. They decided to do a feature on lil ol' me last week! Just a short Q&A on why I love them so much and what I do with all the lovelies I purchase from their stands every week. If you'd like to read it, it's HERE. If you are in the San Diego area, please support this amazing farm, just take a look at their CSA, need I say more!? Thank you :)

In other exciting news, speaking of Earth Balance, there is another AMAZING contest coming up! You all know by now how much I love me a good contest! Similar to their holiday round of 4 different categories with 8 winners, this time it's Appetizers, Side dish, Entrée, and Dessert. I, of course, am planning on entering all 4. :) Hello, chance to win a trip to NYC and eat at Candle Café and have your recipe featured on the menu??? Say no more. I'm already scheming away! This lady would LOVE to go back to Manhattan, I've not been since graduating cooking school over 10 years ago!

My dear mother also tipped me off to another contest Vegetarian Times has got going on now too. So prepare to be flooded with lots of recipes in the near future dear readers! I'm planning on having a contest of my own in the next couple months. We'll see if I can drum up some more fans before I put it out there. The prize will be some sort of delicious baked goody, which I have yet to determine. :)

For now, I will leave you with a recipe of my favorite cleansing juice cocktail of the moment! It's a super delicious morning cocktail of pineapple, apple, orange and fresh ginger root. I've done many variations on this recipe and have added kale, cilantro, and grapefruit. That's the beauty of juicing, there's so many options and no rules as to what goes with what. Just play with your juices and see what you like best!

Pineapple Ginger Sunrise
1 pineapple
2-3 oranges
2 apples
Fresh Ginger root (however much you can handle- i use 2-3")

Cheers to your health!