RECIPE: Chocolate Deliciousness

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This stuff surpasses any label you could try to burden it with.  It’s thicker than pudding, less sugary than a ganache, denser than a mousse and easier to make than a custard.  I know, I know.  People always say a recipe is easy and then they start saying things like “prepare a water bath,” “separate the white from the yolk,” or “sift the dry ingredients.”  (What?  I don’t sift.)

Well not this time.  This recipe is TRULY easy.  It’s all of four ingredients and requires very little heating.  And it’s healthy, what with all the dark chocolate, eggs & coconut.
I whipped it out again for another of my husbands birthday desserts and this time made it dairy free.  He gave it his ultimate food compliment:  “Restaurant Quality.”   Continue reading

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Coconut (Kefir) Soda

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With all things coconut trending in the food world and all things probiotic gaining popularity in the health arena, this little dandy is a delicious, simple drink that has wonderful health and digestive benefits.  (As if the benefits of regular coconut water aren’t RIDICULOUS enough…  Sheesh.)  And it can be a great first fermentation experiment for the culturing newbie because it’s easy-peasy-coconut-squeezie.

(If you are wondering what kefir is or you know just enough about it to be a little scared, here’s a simple primer.)  Otherwise, let’s do this!

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RECIPE: Choc-amole’!

Choc-amole!

Have you ever had awesome neighbors that bring you bags full of avocados that their large tree keeps churning out?  Us too!  Thanks to Carl and Debbie, we have had those rough Santa Barbara days with more avos than we know what to do with.  So when in doubt, search for dessert recipes!

This odd combination of avocados laced with chocolate ends up being a healthy, creamy, satisfying treat to fill that sweet craving that you get at the end of a long, pregnant day.  *Happy sigh.*   Continue reading

Fermentation 101

The “Fermenting Females!”

I had the fun opportunity to host a Fermentation 101 class for a group of moms here in Santa Barbara and it was a ball!  I started by posting to my homeschool email list serve to see if anyone was open to doing a monthly fermented food swap (like one I had done in DC), but almost all who responded were curious about fermenting foods, yet wanted to learn more before they started swapping their creations.

So my hospitable friend, Jenna, opened up her home to 15 of us and we learned, tasted, and made sauerkraut and orange marmalade together.

Following are the notes, recipes and pictures of our little Fermentation Festival!

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SUSTAINABILITY: Our future (Part 3)


(Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2!)

OUR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE:  The small efforts that are making a BIG difference

Photo by Bryan R. Van Devender

So if the goal in helping feed the world is to get people to the point of meeting their own needs, then I am going to focus on organizations who are thinking beyond and doing more than just giving hand outs.  As Dennis Prager pointed out, if the National Park Service warns, “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because they may grow dependent on hand outs and not learn to take care of themselves, perhaps (with the exception of emergency relief and short-term help) we should treat humans with the same respect.  If that sounds harsh, know that even leaders in poor countries and ex-pats working within them are acknowledging this concern as well.

(On a personal note, a team of friends just returned from a humanitarian trip to Haiti and were surprised and discouraged that one of the few phrases many of the local children could speak in English was, “Give me a dollar.”  Let’s teach the next generation to say, and do, more than that.)

For a detailed critique of past and current development efforts, and some inside-out recommendations for improvement, see When Helping Hurts.  I would also highly recommended a set of podcasts that delve deep into the questions of poverty called Poverty Unlocked.   Continue reading

SUSTAINABILITY: GMOs and the Status Quo (Part 2)

(To begin with Part 1, go here first.)

WHY THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED STATUS QUO AIN’T WORKIN’

“WEIRD SCIENCE” (FYI, I cannot find all of the links online to back up Joel’s review of the scientific literature.  Intuitively, I trust him and know that in one of his many books, he cites specific back up.  As well, bad science has a way of getting buried by the big guys who could be negatively impacted by it…)

Our society has all but swallowed the mainstream science that has promoted Genetically Modified crops and chemical fertilizers as safe and much more productive than its organic, (God-designed) counterparts.  But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see the failings and biases of even the world’s best science. Continue reading

Can We Feed the World Sustainably? (Part 1)

 

(Why do I often bite off more than I can chew?  I’ve decided to turn this into a 3 part series due to the length.)

I’m not going to even bother answering this question with a “yes” or a “no.”  Instead, I am going to explain why we have no other choice than to feed the world sustainably (via a little history lesson and a critique of the status quo.)  And finally I will share some awesome, yet little known examples of how others are already doing so.

But first let’s start with a definition for “sustainability.”   Continue reading