Thankfully, we've been blessed with sunshine here and there, in between the snow storms. Oh, one fun activity we did a few days ago was dig the toboggans out of the garage and slide down the driveway. We've also gone for walks on the nearby railroad track that's been turned into a popular walking trail. Phfew! It sure gave us a good work out!
I usually welcome the excuse to play with holiday flavors and dishes, but not this year; I was barely in the kitchen long enough to whip up a raw soup or a dressing. My old nemesis, Seasonal Affective Disorder, has been slowly creeping back in, robbing me of my creative juices and leaving me mostly disinterested in food. But enough of that... It's my cross to bear and I don't want to spoil what's meant to be a joy-full time.
One thing I did manage to make, however, is Snowdrop's Blonde Fruitcake. It so perfectly embodies what Christmas was like for me as a child (my mom used to buy one of those store-bought fruitcakes), only a thousand times yummier! As is often the case, I fired up the computer to look at the recipe and found out that Heathy had just made it too! I topped mine with a young coconut whipped cream, candied walnuts, dried raisins and cranberries. Mosaica absolutely loved it! Man, is it ever good! I'm with Heathy; this fruitcake will definitely be part of our Holiday tradition fron now on.
I thought I would have to skip this week's recipe until I stumbled upon an old gem in my recipe files. Even though I used to regularly whip up a batch of almond-based mayonnaise when I first made the jump to 100% raw, it must have been almost a couple of years since we last enjoyed it. Hum, come to think of it, I have shared the recipe with you in one of my first posts, but it was somewhat buried amongst a whole bunch of others. Funny how you can get so swamped with new recipes that you forget the old tried-and-trues. *shrugs*
Anyhoo, I sure am glad it has resurfaced now, as it makes a fantastic dip for veggies, condiment for sammies (try it on a piece of onion bread with a slice of tomato and some sprouts!) or even dressing. The following is a new and improved version of this old favorite.
1/2 cup almonds
1/2-3/4 cup water (put 2 ice cubes in the water)
2 tsp lecithin powder (optional)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp herbal seasoning of choice (I like unsalted Spike)
1/8 tsp yellow mustard powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbs raw honey (agave)
1 - 1 1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Grind almonds to a fine powder in coffee grinder or high-speed blender. In blender, blend first 10 ingredients into a smooth cream.
With blender on low, remove insert in top and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream until mixture is thick.
Keep blender running and add lemon juice and vinegar. Blend on low for one more minute, to allow mixture to thicken. For a plain almonnaise, stop here.
For a Herbed Almonnaise, now add:
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
1 small green onion, minced
Blend only until well mixed.
Refrigerate tightly sealed. Keeps 10 days to 2 weeks in fridge.
~ I bet this recipe would also work well with sprouted almonds, although I've never tried it. Just make sure that the almonds are broken down to a fine cream before adding the oil.
~ If you feel up for it, you can soak the almonds and slip off the skins for a 'whiter' almonnaise.
~ The purpose of the ice cubes is to help thicken the mixture. If the almonnaise seems runny after adding the oil, add in an ice cube or two to help thicken it up again. Bear in mind that it will also thicken once refrigerated.
~ You can make your own herb blend by using your favorite dried or fresh herbs.
What's with the psychedelic colors, you ask? The short story is that I recently purchased some gorgeous locally made tie dye pants from Wildflower Tie Dye and they graciously threw in a free handkerchief with the order. Now fast forward to this afternoon... As I was getting ready to take a few shots of the almonnaise on the (comparatively) very boring brown table, Pontifex grabbed the cloth and urged me to use it as a background. Actually, I've gotta admit that it wasn't a bad idea at all; it sorta makes up for the rather esthetically not-so-exciting nature of the almonnaise.