Category Archives: Journal

Smoothies and Fox’s Challenge

Ahh yes, the infamous, versatile smoothie to include anything and everything you need, want, could dream of. Fox has been having lots of stuff in her breakfast the past few days thanks to the power of smoothie making. It started with just a quick meal and became a whole challenge for herself; vegetarian cooking and eating for the month of May, starting a little before May. But before we begin onward with smoothies, Fox’s challenge came up with the eating of a corn empanada for a breakfast.

That weekend after the empanada Rupert brought together his Fox and Duck for a day of empanada making with two savory, vegetarian fillings and a lemon curd sweet empanada. Literally, from the time we got home from market at 2pm till 8 pm we were making fillings, rolling dough for 40 empanadas, filling/crimping/ egg washing and finally baking three batches. Rupert sort of laughed at us while we slaved away, slave master over there. In the end, Duck got a lot of home made meals during his week days while Fox wasn’t able to be there to create him meals. The lemon empanada was delicious and the potato/cheese empanada was yummy, but my three sisters needed sauce and more flavor. A day of work needed more tweeking and work apparently.

However, we had decided on two savory and vegetarian fillings A) beause potato cheese is delicious, but also both Duck and Fox have been tiring of meat. Fox especially was looking for a change and boy did she find it in her challenge.

smoothieAlready starting, Fox has been working on some protein filled, low added sugar smoothies that satisfy her tummy for hours. Always frozen fruit and some homemade almond butter, it also usually includes almond milk, non-fat yogurt for added sweetness, protein powder, vegetables when available, ground flax and wheat germ. Today’s special smoothie is something new however, for a chocolate lover’s early morning fix with this hot weather coming in Cali. Nutrition_Facts_Label 

Two handfuls of frozen strawberries, about 3 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, ground flax and wheat germ, 1/2 cup of almond milk,  1 tablespoon homemade almond butter made with virgin coconut oil, 1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt, handful spinach and two 1 foot long chard leaves. Anything I’m forgetting? It ends in a delicious, chocolately and thick drink for your morning treat. It is a sweet treat that doesn’t make you feel guilty. Delish!

Not to mention the beautiful white bean and caramelized onion kaumt/quinoa pasta full of complete protein and vegetables of chard, carrot and pesto.  A recipe Fox found online for flatbread of which she transformed into pasta.

Advertisements

Birthdays And Other Fun Activities

Well, this is confession time….this is not a true blog, nor in chronological order as of now. This is the personal diary of a young woman making excuses so she can keep track of her memories in writing and photo formats. Freedom of expression doesn’t always mean I have time to create entries for everything currently going on, meaning sometimes I have to come back to events that happened chronologically before other posts. AKA this post will be a before and after of another post: Rupert Goes Flying Kites.So let’s get down to buisness and start from the beginning of that home vacation.

mimosa2There comes a time in a young woman’s life when she has to celebrate with her first legal drink. It just so happened this was a Sunday in the early part of April of this year. Because of some spontaneous plans made with my childhood best friend in the earlier part of the week, I had a DD for the day. We went out to my favorite brunch location and I made a point to have my newly made license ready for when I ordered my first bubbly of the year…and perhaps my last. The drink started out sweet and balanced, but became more acidic as the food arrived.

Our server not only gave me a free gift card for a ‘wine tasting for two’, as well as served us three scoops of gelato. Out of the three, I could rave about the candy cap mushroom flavor which surprisingly tastes like maple syrup. By the end of the meal I was feeling like a lucky girl not just because of the unexpected presents. The bubbles had me feeling rather dizzy and tipsy, so I was very grateful to have my friend driving for us.

After brunch, we headed to the next town over and found ourselves in a pottery painting shop to remake some old memories. As children we had done this same activity and I found it fitting to celebrate my 21st with my oldest friend and celebrate like we were kids again…because who wants to grow up?

As always, my childlike mind could not make up her mind for some time. By the time I had picked my first piece my ‘DD’ was already started on her bowl. But by the end of the day I had finished my first piece (which was semi reluctantly picked) along with my choice pick, which I had to quickly and decisively paint. Sometime this week I will pick up the finished products and reveal their natures to this journal. My best friend spent the two full hours working diligently on creating a lovely yellow bowl with colorful butterflies using stencils.

2013-04-07 18.09.54By the time we had packed up and left, mother was calling to find out where we were, as per usual. We came home and soon my aunt and someone else arrived with her. To my surprise my uncle walked in the door, which was a gift in itself. Of course my aunt being the generous woman she always has been, brought a beautiful present. For all the time she spent shopping and clothes bought, it is still the little things that count. The cards she brought and the hand made ‘tag’ for the present were the best (most meaningful) part of her gift. The photo case is two sided and houses Boyfriend and my own photo.

But of course the night doesn’t stop there. Soon after my aunt and uncle left, mother said we had a dinner to go to. Surprise, surprise….not so much. As we were going the route, I started giving Dad the exact directions, which Mom had been first to call out. We ended up at the beautiful restaurant and bar which I knew to be highly praised for its french cuisine.

The night was grey and slightly chilly, keeping most of the locals away from the place. As such, we had the whole bar to ourselves and took control of the couches available. Looking over the drink menu, I chose my first ever cocktail: a lavendar lemon drop, but this was only after the best surprise of the night.

Drinking by the fireplace.

Drinking by the fireplace.

While trying to decide on a drink Mom said something the lines of ‘Oh, look’ to which I looked up and saw my boyfriend walking towards us. Instantly, I stood up and let my coat fall off my shoulders before glomping (run and hug) him and almost tearing up. Having spent the day with my best friend was a back up plan, because my boyfriend had other engagements with his family, which I thought would have kept him from me all birthday. Lucky for me, he worked magic and was there for my birthday dinner.

After being stuck in hours of traffic, having to convince a brother to leave him a car which he could get in without having to first go home, having to buy gas and almost not finding the restaurant Boyfriend definitely made magic happen. He was literally buttoning his last button on the shirt when he walked in the doors before I noticed and ran to him.

First kisses on the couch, still in shock.

First kisses on the couch, still in shock.

Imagine all this shock and happiness (mostly shock) to the sight of him in front of me and then arms around me. It was truly the most magical surprise of any birthday ever. All day I had been trying not to miss this man and not be sad on my big day. Thoughts of wishing he would magically appear while we were at dinner. It just all came together in perfect harmony, even with all the chaos of his day and my family having to stall. So glad I didn’t tear up, but it certainly moved me to want to. After this momentous time, we had a lovely cocktail time and some lounging by the brick fireplace before dinner.

We all ordered delicious sounding things: Boyfriend (nicknamed Duck) got the duck dish, Mom had the New York steak, Dad and Brother had twice baked potato and decadent spare ribs, while I enjoyed the swordfish with a cranberry sauce and spring risotto. Yes, traditional french techniques and some an Italian side dish on my plate. But let us not forget to mention that our appetizers were confited duck fried wontons with asian dipping sauce, or the best bowl of cream sauce I’ve ever had with mussels.

Dinner was finished, but my first ever lemon drop was still 1/3 full as the drink doesn’t really compliment the meal. It was just starting to drizzle outside when we left and made it home just before the big storm of the night hit. Normally I would have disliked the rain, but Duck being there made everything else perfect that evening.

As if things couldn’t have gone better, we eventually dug into the presents I’d seen on the table that morning. My parents must have been listening well because they got me the ice cream maker I had asked about, along with two large bottles of hard ciders for Duck and myself to later enjoy in the week. But the second best surprise of the night was the last present which was brought out separately that night.If only I had pictures of this gift, before the wrapping paper was torn off…it was peacock feather wrapping around a box that must have been 2.5 ft by 1 ft tall. Never thinking the price nor need for kitchen space could be justified, I ripped through the paper to find a sleek, silver KitchenAid which I had lusted after since finishing my schooling in culinary arts.

But my parents didn’t stop listening for presents. I had mentioned wanting tiramisu for my birthday cake….oh boy did I get a cake! photo 2(8)