Thought I'd take a little break from all the busy-ness to bring you up to date, as once again, the photos are starting to pile up. ;-)
Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour
In case you missed our big news, we're planning to travel around the US this fall and winter. (The Mystery willing of course!) We'd like to begin by thanking all those who have so kindly responded to our last post. The itinerary is slowly starting to take shape. (Hee hah!) As you can imagine, right now our plates are pretty full, but we'll be in touch with you all as soon as we can. ;-)
It looks like we'll most likely be heading down along the east coast to start, then gradually make our way west through the southern states, and eventually back up the west coast. At this point, we're looking at heading off sometime after the middle of October, if all goes well.
Now let's backtrack a little... In my previous episode of What's Uncookin' Good Lookin'?, I was telling you that it rained so much this summer that Beauchastel Lake's level was getting dangerously close to our tent. Well, wouldn't you know it that a couple of days later, our entire camping spot was under a good 6" of water! Good thing we'd been sleeping inside my sister's house, waiting for our foamy to dry!
The path that led to our tenting spot...
The actual spot where our tent was.
We had moved the tent inside the gazebo we'd set up as our living room as it was slightly dryer, but it didn't do much good, as you can see...
By the time what we've nicknamed 'The Flood' was over, the water level had risen a total of 3 feet. We had to abandon our lovely lakeside site and have been sleeping indoors since. It sure didn't take long for Puss to get used to home comforts once again; she quickly found new cozy spots to lounge in.
At some point, we did manage to get 5 full sunny days in a row (woo hoo!) which gave a good boost to our little garden.
A couple of weeks ago, although there was no special occasion, Don and I enjoyed a feast, complete with lovely sparkling apple juice and all! I guess you could say that having some sunshine was a good enough reason to celebrate! lol We started the meal with a new concoction I made with fava beans. I've grown up with a traditional cooked fava beans soup, typical of Lac St-Jean, the area I'm originally from, but had never had a chance to play with these raw. The result was a fairly hearty and filling soup with a subtle herb flavor. Dehydrating the beans first helped take some of the 'beanie' taste away.
Fava Bean Soup
1/2 small avocado
1 cup fava beans tossed in olive oil and placed in dehydrator for 1 1/2 hours
1 celery stalk
1 cup zucchini
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup red pepper
1/4 cup parsley
1 large green onion
1 small garlic clove
1 tbs fresh tarragon
1 tbs fresh mint
1 tbs fresh basil
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp miso
Salt, to taste
Water until desired consistency is reached
Blend all ingredients in high speed blender until smooth.
The main course was my Lasagna Magnifica which I hadn't assembled in what seemed like ages.
It was served with a gigantic mixed green salad, home grown sprouts, cherry tomatoes and my House Dressing.As peach season has finally begun in earnest, dessert was a Peach Coconut Pie recipe that my friend Jozzie had sent my way. I found it needed quite a bit of tweaking but it still turned out delicious.
Peach Coconut Pie with Chia Nut Pie Crust
Adapted from the recipe posted on Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo's site
1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup dates
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
* Combine crust ingredients in food process and process until it holds together as a dough. Add extra coconut or other grated nut if mixture is too sticky.
~ I found the mixture to be way too wet so ended up adding 2 cups dried coconut. As a result, my crust was quite thick; I suppose I could have not used it all but I didn't think of it at the time. ;-)
~ An easy way to solve the issue would be to reduce the amount of water for soaking the chia seeds.
5 peaches, chopped into small pieces
1 peach cut into thin slices
3 peaches, pureed
1/4 cup lime juice or lemon juice
pinch of cayenne (optional if you like it hot)
1 inch piece ginger
2 tablespoons coconut butter
* Blend all filling ingredients in blender.
~ The filling was both too wet and not sweet enough to my taste bud so I added the following:
* Press Crust into pie pan (10 inch).
* Sprinkle shredded coconut over crust.
* Combine peaches and pureed peach mixture to make filling.
* Pour filling mixture into shell.
* Decorate the top with sliced peaches.
* Sprinkle top with shredded coconut.
~ I dehydrated the pie for an hour or so and while it did help evaporate some of the excess moisture in the filling, the pieces didn't keep their shape well once cut. We had some again the next day and discovered that the fridge took care of the latter issue. Yay!
When we first arrived at Josee's, we were greeted by Ti-Nours, a young and lively Golden lab. In the weeks that followed, Ti-Nours quickly became a member of our furry crew, joining in Kylo's mostly raw diet and joyfully coming along on our daily walks. About 10 days ago, during a special expedition up a nearby mountain, Ti-Nours ran off and, we later found out, got into some garbage. Immediately after returning, he started being sick and was unable to hold down any food or water. When we realized that he wasn't getting any better, we booked an appointment with the vet, but as it turned out, Ti-Nours had departed this realm during the night. ;-( Needless to say that we were all in shock at how swiftly this all unfolded.
This was taken only a week before...
Say It With Raw Sweets
On a happier note, last week we had the surprise visit of my parents. It was nice to get a chance to connect with them again so soon since my sprint to Montreal in July felt way too short. As they say, "it's an ill wind that doesn't blow anybody any good", and so all the rain made for a bountiful raspberry crop. Jeanne and I went berry picking on a few occasions in the nearby bushes. "Red manna!", as Jeanne called it.
My parents were meeting Don and the furries for the very first time. In spite of the language barrier (my parents don't speak English and Don's French is, well, limited would be a kind way to put it. lol), it all worked out as there was a designated translator: moi. ;-)
I was glad for the opportunity to finally be able to treat my parents to some decadent yet healthy raw desserts! I decided to resort to my favorite recipe book, Sweet Gratitude, which contains so many amazing gems!
The week before, I had a chance to practice some more with Irish moss and made their scrumptious Cappucino Pie. As Don and I react badly to caffeine, I subbed the coffee called for in the recipe with 2 tbs of coffee extract. As it turned out, we could still feel the effects, but it was so yummy that we figured it was worth it.
We don't have access to young coconuts here (boo hoo) so I used coconut butter in the meringue instead. It still worked nicely.
Pumped up by this success, I proceeded to tackle the Strawberry Brilliance Pie, which I was planning to serve to my parents on the day of their arrival. To my dismay, as I was getting ready to plate the pie, I realized that the filling hadn't firmed up properly (eek!). I recovered quickly from the set back though as I had another dessert up my sleeve: Sweet Gratitude's Banana Chocolate Cheesecake. For the crust, I used a mixture of pecans and walnuts, and reduced the amount of cacao powder to 1 1/2 ounces. In spite of this last minute change of plans, dessert was a hit.
Don and I enjoyed the left-overs with Heathy's wonderful Chocolate Sauce. Heavenly!
During the night, I somehow remembered something I read in Sweet Gratitude when I first browsed through it. With desserts using mostly Irish moss, due to its versatility and how tricky it can be, it's a good idea to let a small sample set in the fridge for 20 minutes in order to make sure that the consistency is right. If it isn't firm enough, they suggest to adding more coconut oil to the mixture and blending it again thoroughly. Am I ever glad this 'brilliant' (pun intended lol) tip came back to me! It did the trick!!! Woo hoo!
I can't begin to describe how insanely good this pie is! A must must try!
And soooooo beautiful to boot!
Believe it or not, even though they were with us for less than a week, I managed to whip up a third dessert for my parents. This one wasn't planned; we just found ourselves with heaps of ripe peaches all at once! I made Mishka's famous Peach Cobbler which remains my favorite way of enjoying peaches in a dessert.
I think those sweet raw treats must have won my dad's taste buds and tummy, as he asked if he could move in with us. lol
Although the sun has been peeking out more often lately, you just can't deny how the air is getting considerably cooler. (sigh) We even had frost one morning! Eeek! So since autumn is starting to creep in, I thought I'd pass on this recent find. A few days ago, I discovered these awesome ugg boots by a company called Whooga. They're made with super thick merino sheepskin (to keep your toes cool in the summer and toasty in the winter) and are available in several models and colors. Trendy yet practical and comfy. Sure would LOVE a pair for myself! (Hear that Santa?) And the best part: Whooga is having a giveaway every month for a pair of these beauties! Anyhoo, 'nugh said. You can check them out for yourself!
I'll leave you on a sweet note... I received the best gift EVER last week: a friend of mine brought me a huge basket of wild blueberries he'd picked. (Thanks Fernand! ;-) ) Oh my! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! He had also brought a semi-raw blueberry pie which I took on to recreate in the raw with his precious offering.
Hum, I had every intention of posting the recipe but I'm running out of time, as we're going to town to get our passport applications sorted out...