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Detox Week at Poppies and Paperbacks in 10 Easy Steps

7.29.2014

Sometimes life gets a little crazy which in turn, makes us a little crazy, too. Instead of following a wholesome lifestyle which would help keep the crazies at bay, we tend to turn to junk food and adult beverages and get completely lazed on exercise. When things settle down we then wonder why we are tired, bloated and irritable. We wonder why our BM's are irregular (I know gross - but true) and we wonder why we aren't sleeping well.

Last week was a crazy one for me in fact. Work was nuts, my house was a mess and I was just coming off the nutty birthday week. I ate cake, cookies and a whole box of sees candies. I think I might've exercised twice to my usual everyday. I wasn't keeping myself accountable in any way, shape or form. And when I woke up yesterday morning, I knew I had to visit a detox plan.

Listen this is my own plan. I am not a nutritionist but I do read regularly about health and I have several doctors and nurses that I consult. This plan is in no way to be used to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. But it does help me trim down and get back on track with healthy!

Every morning I make a green drink:
1 Tbs. honey, Juice of 1 lemon, 6 oz. water, Wheat Grass powder.
Add all ingredients to a drink shaker and pour into a glass.

I sort of do a clean eating plan.  But I alter it to suit my needs. for instance, I drink 16 oz. of coffee everyday. I do not eat any dairy (no milk, yogurt or cheese) on the recommendation of Jackie Warner. Plus I only allow myself brown rice (a whole grain) and quinoa (a seed). And I also allow myself apple cider vinegar and a touch of soy sauce.  A typical day looks like this:

1. Make a green drink. (Directions above). I think this gives me some get up. It's also light on the stomach.
2. After I finish that, during my morning ablutions, I sip a protein coffee. I mix 2 scoops of the plant based protein powder with my coffee and some stevia, then blend. As a grown woman I should be getting roughly 60 grams of lean protein a day. While I do not reach that goal, with a double scoop of this stuff, I am at least packing 30 grams into the start of my day. It keeps me from getting hungry, builds lean muscle and increases my metabolism!
3. When I get to work, I turn on my computer and go straight to the kitchen to brew some Roasted Dandelion Root Tea. I love this tea! It aids in digestion and cleanses my liver and kidneys, plus it de-bloats like a boss and, bonus, it tastes yummy!
4. While I sip my tea I gear up to take a battery of vitamins: Magnesium (with calcium and zinc), Oregano Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Biotin, Vitamin D, Sublingual Vitamin B12, CLA Tonalin, Acidophilus pearls, and the almighty multi.
5. At around 11am I start to feel hungry. When I get hungry it is no joke. I start to panic if I let it go too far. When this happens, I ordinarily reach for something unsavory to put in my mouth...like a Twinkie. But since I am detoxing/clean eating, I peel and cut up a peach.
6. For lunch, I will have roughly 1 cup of brown rice (seasoned with salt and pepper), one cup of quinoa (seasoned with a teaspoon full of walnut oil and balsamic vinegar) or three organic egg whites (seasoned with salt and pepper) or a green smoothie called the Iron Giant at Sun and Soil (a coming blog post). I will also eat a cut up cucumber.
7. For a snack, at around 3:30pm, I'll cut up a pear and dig into some fresh peanut butter or almond butter. I like to watch anything with  the word 'butter' attached, though, because I do not care how healthy any fat is - fat is fat. At 4.5 grams of fat per teaspoon and 40 calories, my word that can pack a pretty caloric punch! So sometimes I'll ditch the nut butter and eat a good wholesome piece of fruit.
8. For dinner, I will steam a four oz. Tilapia filet with olive oil, crushed garlic, sliced green onions and a tsp of soy sauce and white pepper. I serve the fish with my Kale Salad with Pine Nuts:  One head of organic kale - chopped, put in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tbs. water and cook for 1 minute 40 secs. remove from steaming bowl and transfer to another bowl, add 1 tbs chili powder, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbs olive oil and 3 tbs pine nuts. Toss altogether and serve. This meal is light, high in protein, high in phyto-nutrients and tastes delicious. Also, it's easy to cook. Anything that takes the pain in the ass out of being domestic is a great deal in my book.
9. Finally we get to the snack part of my evening. I'm a terrible night eater unless I have something really special that has the power to hold me back from my terrible hand to mouth compulsion. I can eat a lot of watermelon and at only 45 calories a cup, my word, you could wolf down an entire melon and still have only spent about 300 calories. But if I am feeling really dessert-ish, I will make a mock Dole Whip (a recipe from my Dirtay -she's the one that introduced me to the wicked THUG KITCHEN!!!)  1 Cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 - 1 Cup almond milk and 1 Tbs honey or agave, whir it up in the blender serve in a tall glass and enjoy!
10. Some final notes: you can vary this in limitless ways: scramble your egg whites in the morning, eat a giant salad of mustard greens with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Clean your intestines with a fruit fast but the two most important things are DRINK PLENTY OF WATER and EXERCISE. Do I really need to delineate the benefits of these things?

The Inspired - Measurement

7.26.2014

Measurement

 Is one person bad because another person takes their expression in a negative way? Am I not an artist if I do not create everyday? Am I not a mother if I do not have a living child? Am I not rich if I have no money in the bank? Can I not be afraid in the plain light of day? Must we all carry shame with us? Do we need to be shaped by our regrets? If we are questioning are we also adversarial? Is there no cure for being human?


Yin Yang Cereal Bars by Christy

7.24.2014

I told you it has been a big food week at our house.

In addition to the pickles, my husband made home made pizza dough for home made pizza on Sunday. And I was a busy baking bee in the kitchen for all the birthdays.

I was inspired by my friend Chirsty who brought me these Yin Yang bars. She calls them Yin Yang bars because while they have corn syrup and sugar in them, they are also chock full of good stuff because she makes them with a variety of cereals and whole grains. See Below

So here is what I (think) is the recipe for the Yin-Yang Cereal Bars… this is modified from a recipe off of the GrapeNuts Cereal box. And she has provided her variation below. Thanks, Christy!





You can combine any dry cereals, grains, seeds, and nuts you like, and will want to have about 5 to 6 cups of dry mixture to the 3 cups of sticky/sweet mixture for the recipe:

This batch I used:

Combine the dry ingredients in a very large bowl.

2 ½ C  Grape Nuts Cereal
2C Kashi Go Lean Cereal
1C Kashi Puffs Cereal
1/2 C Melaleuca Cinnamon Clusters Cereal
2 handfuls Rolled Oats
½ C Chia Seeds
Handful Sunflower Seeds (Raw)
½ C milled flax seeds
¼ C Cinnamon
¾ C Caramel Balls/Bits (Consider Chocolate Chips, Cinnamon Chips,  Raisins, Craizins, etc.)

In a separate bowl, combine and microwave in one minute intervals, stirring in between micro-ing, until you get a smooth consistency and all sugar has melted (is not grainy):

1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Corn Syrup

Once the peanut butter mixture is smooth, pour over the dry mix in a very large bowl.  Mix well to coat all of the cereal mixture.  Pour into a buttered or parchment papered 13 x 9 in. pan and press down…
Let cool and cut into squares.
  
Delicious!!!

I call them Yin-Yang, because…


Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation.


Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars or Billionaire Cookie Bars

7.22.2014





Listen, on Christmas Day (2013) my friend Stacy, in all her creativity, came to join us for a spotter of the Christmas Bubbly. In so doing, she presented me a treat box full of goodies unmatched. One of the treats in that box was such a hit that later that evening I called her to ask for the recipe. She quite simply denied the sharing of said recipe. In fact she won't even share the recipe with her mother. But wait, there's more! She wouldn't even tell me the name of these rich, delightful morsels! NO NAME!? I have been hunting and experimenting to find a match ever since. I haven't been 100% successful in the search so I've created some that, while not the same, will do until next Christmas! I've used my own nomenclature so I don't have to called them, "Those Yummy Cookie Things That My Friend Gave Me On Christmas Day." For search purposes, I call them Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars but at home I call them Billionaire Cookie Bars because they are priceless!



This is not an "easy to make" dessert bar, but when you taste them you'll realize it's worth every moment of work involved.






Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars or Billionaire Cookie Bars



Ingredients - Shortbread
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter (cold) cut up into pieces
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt 
Instructions - Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In an 8x8 baking pan, create a sling out of parchment. Place one piece of parchment across the pan one way with an overhang and do the same alternateley. If you were to take it out of the pan, it would look like a plus sign...(see photos above for reference).
  3. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the dough looks like wet sand with little clumps that look like Garbanzo beans.
  4. Press a thin layer of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. (You will have leftover dough. I make a big batch so I can freeze the rest to use in other recipes).
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the shortbread is golden brown. The outer edges of the shortbread will be darker than the center.
Ingredients - Chocolate Caramel
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup, high quality, milk chocolate chips
Instructions - Chocolate Caramel
  1. Pour 1 can (14 oz.)  Sweetened Condensed Milk into medium sauce pan.
  2. Cook Sweetened Condensed Milk over a medium heat stirring constantly. 
  3. When the milk turns a tawny color (the color of caramel, say) add the heavy cream.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate, heat proof bowl.
  5. Add a bit of the caramel/cream mixture to the eggs and whisk vigorously (you are tempering the eggs so they do not scramble).
  6. Continue adding the caramel to the eggs and the eggs to the caramel until they are combined.
  7. Lower heat and whisk for 1 minute.
  8. Remove the caramel from the heat and add the chocolate chips, whisk until melted.
  9. Once the chocolate chips have melted, pour immediately over the shortbread.
  10. Chill in the refrigerator until completely cool.
  11. After cooled, remove bars from the pan by using the sling you made for the shortbread.
  12. Gingerly cut into mini Twix size bars.
  13. Store in the refrigerator.
  14. NOTE: You can create many variations on this: The Heritage Cook has a similar recipe that is Gluten Free with Dark Chocolate and Gourmet Magazine has a recipe that uses pre-made Dulce De Leche and Dark Chocolate.





Oatmeal Cookies - The Real Kind

7.20.2014







It's been a big food week around here at our house. This week the husband made his pickles (it's own post I'll save for later) and I have been a baking fiend because it's the birthday season (Dad, Husband and Brother in Law) not to mention it's our Anniversary today!

My husband loves those Mother's Brand Oatmeal Cookies. But I don't love it when he eats them because they are full of preservatives that he really doesn't need. Also, the un-frosted ones are difficult to find.

So I made some for him from scratch today and they are off the charts! They are raisin free (not everyone loves raisins) and great with coffee or tea.

I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen for my taste buds. The recipe she uses and adapted from "Good to the Grain" cookbook, uses icing which I omitted. The measurements are funny because everything in "Good to the Grain" is in grams.

Raisin Free Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients 
  • 2 1/2 Cups + 1 Tbs. quick cook oats
  • 1 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Cup butter, melted (she calls for unsalted butter but instead I omitted the salt in the recipe and used what I had in the fridge - plain 'ol butter.)
  • 2 large eggs
Instructions 
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs.
  5. Fold in dry ingredients.
  6. Round into balls that equal 2 Tbs. or use a cookie scoop (she uses a #40 scoop).
  7. Bake at 350 for about 15-18 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cool on a wire rack.






Pickles!

7.09.2014

It's pickle season!

Tomatoes, Peppers and Cucumbers! My husband challenged me to a pickle off so I made a batch last night.

It's the easiest recipe and they are quick fridge pickles, BONUS. No toiling over the stove on these hot summer nights. Eat them within a week or so, unless you do a traditional water bath and then they'll last on the shelf without refrigeration for up to a year. Directions are below:


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound cucumbers
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup water

Directions:

  1. Collect 1 pound of cucumbers from the garden or get them at the farmer's market. We grew "Mercury Persian," in our garden this year. They're small (between 6" and 8" long), seedless, completely burp-less and very tender, with a thin, mild skin. But you could do equally well with any Persian or Persian Hybrid which are similar to the English variety of cukes, such as "Sweeter Yet."
  2. Wash a large mouth pickling jar and lid/band with warm soapy water.
  3. Let the jar air dry.
  4. While the jar is drying, cut the cucumbers and the garlic cloves into quartered pieces.
  5. Place half the peppercorns, garlic cloves and dill in the bottom of the jar.
  6. Add half of the cucumber slices.
  7. Add the rest of the peppercorns, garlic cloves and dill.
  8. In a separate jar with a lid, mix the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Shake jar until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  9. Pour pickling solution over the cucumbers.
  10. Place lid on the pickle jar and refrigerate overnight.
  11. Enjoy!

Summer Salsa

7.08.2014

I hate it when I am so busy with work and housekeeping and merry making that I cannot find the time to sit down to write a post (Joan, I'm sorry!).

So to keep myself accountable, let me say that I have a couple good ones on their way which include: Santa Cruz for the 4th of July and Nectarine Plum Preserves with Cardamom.

Today it is my summer salsa.

The garden is brimming with Cilantro and tomatoes and while I love salsa anytime of the year, it is especially good in the summer with tons of Cilantro. I truly cannot live without my chips and salsa. Plus, we live in California! Let's represent! Not just for our farm to fork culture but the embracing of the diversity we share.


Summer Salsa



Ingredients
  • 5 medium very ripe tomatoes (skin and seeds removed)
  • 5 large cloves of garlic 
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 ENTIRE bunch Cilantro (Coriander) including stems - wash bunch well.
  • 2 roasted Anaheim peppers - To roast peppers: put in broiler for 10 minutes turning often or if you have a gas stove put the peppers directly on the flame and turn frequently.
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • Salt generously and pepper to taste 


Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor 
  2. Blend well very well, scraping down sides of processor or blender
  3. Chill for an hour to meld flavors
  4. Serve cold with your favorite chips, or use in eggs or put on grilled chicken or make a steak sandwich and use this as the condiment!