Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gaining 5lbs. overnight, thanks THANKSGIVING!



So Thanksgiving was pretty NICE.
No work, little cousin came over, obnoxiously oversized dinner, good laughs, and all the other fantastic bullshit that comes with celebrating Thanksgiving.

I spent a good week or two sprouting, dehydrating and experimenting with different mediums and marinades that could make for a proper turkey substitute. Last year's Thanksgiving was kind of lame food wise, so I wanted to really step it up this year. Mostly in part to wanting to show my extended family that a raw Thanksgiving won't be solely about a carrot carved into a drumstick.

Those assholes wanted to put me in charge of basting the turkey as well. What the fuck is that shit?!! Obviously, they must know how much I love slathering butter on dead animals.

Anywho, tomorrow is black friday (yay) and yes, I intend on being one of those people who wake up at the ass crack of dawn to celebrate Christmas materialism early. Hate me for it, I really don't give a shit, I'm a holiday whore and I have NO shame in admitting that!

I'm also bracing myself for the cookies that will soon follow as soon as mid-december hits.
THAT is going to be some crazy shit!

Here's my Thanksgiving dinner...I didn't really bother to take pictures of the family, since I spent most of my time in the kitchen (I get lazy with recording this shit sometimes).


Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry-Cherry Compote, and some marinated Butternut Squash


                   "Turkey", Mashed "Potatoes" with a Portobello Gravy, and Stuffing

The Cranberry Compote here with Rosemary

  Pumpkin Pie via the DEHYDRATOR! 


The most exciting part about experimenting with different mediums is finding new ways to do things to better suit those modifications. For example, I know many raw pie recipes call for refrigeration. BUT, what if you're craving a slice of WARMMM pumpkin pie? Stick it in the dehydrator, and that pie is shit outta luck, gettin all melty and nasty like. And granted that a LOT of entrees can be done in dehydrator, getting the right consistency without being overly reliant on fats to solidify it can prove difficult.

I'm happy to report that I used literally no more then 1/4c. of nuts in ALL of this (mostly because nut heavy dishes can turn expensive really quick).

Enjoy the pictures and look forward to more since finals week is coming up, and after that i'm on BREAK!!! (which means yes, more food making) :]

Monday, November 10, 2008

vegan cakes, not RAW RAW RAW, for once


"Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our anti-materialistic, otherworldly, New Age spiritual types.  But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should be as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu and seaweed slime."  ~Edward Abbey

So saturday was my manger's birthday at our store, and since everybody decided to more or less do their own thing for her, I picked something that I'm at least half way decent at. BAKING, chyaa. I was actually specifically instructed to "not make any healthy shit"...and that being a direct quote from at least 3 people I work with...fair enough I suppose, since making a cake of this proportion raw would cost me, um...a LOT. I love my manger, but really, not enough to blow over $50 for ONE cake. For serious.

The cake is vegan however, and shit, I haven't worked with any of the baking mediums for quite some time. I mean, now and AGAIN, i'll pull something out of my ass for my mom or whomever (both literally and figuratively, thank you), but it's really not something that I strive to perfect on a daily or ever weekly basis.

Inside of the vegan fondant, which let me just say, turned out surprisingly well, was a honey "buttermilk" cake with a strawberry rhubarb custard. Before I went vegan however long ago, I used to make my own fondant (way cheaper) for cakes, and it always came out tasting like..hm...playdough. This fondant however, courtesy of my cousin's taste tester skills, came out as he describes "TASTES LIKE YUMMMY!" I hope I wasn't wrong in assuming that this was a good thing, since he has a tendency to pick and eat his boogers when he's bored.


The top of the cake, the "whipped cream", was a vegan vanilla bean icing, finished off with some vegan sprinkles I found at the vitamin shoppe across the street from my work. The cake was modeled after our new holiday cups that were released on the 4th of this month. Starbuck's trying to get ahead of the game? A lot much, for real.



The logo with the siren was somehow smashed by my non-existent boobs, err.. chest plate, while attempting to create a brown "filling" that resembled coffee. It was promptly fixed once I uploaded these pictures and realized the sirens face was melting into her body

All in all, the cake took about 13 hours to finish... roughly the same amount of time a raw version would've taken me. Actually, I lied. A raw version would've been at LEAST a week with sprouting and all that other bullshit..so yeah..
Cute though, yes?? I think it came out pretty good anyways...and my manager loved it, so that was pretty bomb. (her actual response was "holy shit april, what the hell! this is fucking amazing!") yes yes, thank you!!!

On a much sadder note, my best friend is leaving the state to move in with her boyfriend of 6 years. I'm not going to talk about it too much because you know, it's more personal, but yeah.
Also, I've signed up for a scholorship that requires me to maintain straight A's on the Dean's list for the Natural Sciences Dept. That being the main reason why I been like a ghost on blogger, GI2MR, etc etc.

Forgive me!?

Thanksgivings gonna be the shizznit. I'm already planning out a whole menu of raw goodness. Both non-dessert and dessert (obviously) related.
Good stuff.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Daring "Bakers" Challenge...


You know, I really miss making these dishes and the whole blogging thing every week. I'm trying to get back into the habit of "unbaking", but yeah..it just hasn't been working out. Ever since I switched my major to a double major (ND and French), and elected myself for a fin. aid that requires my GPA is stay above a 3.5, yeah...not happening. In between classes, work, homework and sleep..well, there just hasn't been much time for elaborate foods to be made. Such a shame.

Anywho, excuse my bitching, but I did find the time to make this pizza for October's Daring Bakers challenge. I DO bake, just not the food that I eat (as you know), so with their permission I created a raw pizza (despite it being spread out over a good week or so, with sprouting and whatnot). The pizza recipe supplied for the challenge was Peter Reinhart's "Pizza Napoletana" from his book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Lovely book, I must say, as it covers quite a bit of ground on deconstructing bread, from the raw grain to whichever way you choose to nuke the grain.

Back on to the pizza.
It turned out PRETTTTY bomb, but idk, I haven't tried too many GOOD raw pizzas, so yeah, aside from my own and the few available out yonder, i'm just going to assume that mine is the best.

Expensive as SHIIIT to make though, i'm not gonna lie..


The Daring Bakers blog that i'm on now (check it out, seriously, they've got some pretty talented people up on that business) asked for shots of "tossing" the dough...but..yeah...tried it, and for some reason raw pizza dough NOT made from flour just doesn't seem to want to be flipped...hence it exploding in my face after the first attempt, and then exploding everywhere else on the second. I should've taken a novelty shot, but I didn't really think to do it until literally just now.



Here are some other shots of the pizza




The pizza has a garlic and tarragon infused crust, which might I add, the son of a bitch took fucking 6 days to make. The sauce is an heirloom and plum tomato concoction, and the cheese is a combination of roughly 3 different types of nuts to play up the flavor a bit. I started off with maybe running with the idea of a margarita pizza, but then that morphed into a margarita/sun-dried tomato and chive type thing. Either way, it owned, and that's really all that matters.



Life has been interesting to say at the least. I haven't really been the happiest camper in the tent if you get my drift, and for some reason my ass has doubled in size over the last week. I don't mind it so much though, because booty is a good thing. Now just need to redistribute some of that goodness to the tah tahs and i'll be set.



Hope everyone is well.


Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it's going to fucking OWNNN.
I'm making a massive raw feast, so look forward to that bitches.


also, I may or may not be making something in the spirit of halloweenie...so keep an eye out ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Ode to Figs, a Newer Space, and Bomb Ass Lemon Ice Cream



It's always a pleasant surprise to come home and find either:
A. a coconut somebody bought for me, waiting to be mauled on the kitchen sink
B. a naked hot guy waiting for me on my bed smeared with raw whipped cream and bing cherries
C. a new issue of bon appetit magazine shoved into the mailbox

since nobody aside from myself really bothers to buy coconuts, 'a' doesn't really happen too often, and the last time a hot naked dude was sprawled out on my bed covered in raw goodness was about 16 hours ago when I was asleep. (actually, I didn't sleep very much last night, since booty popping to FAT techno beats replaced the ZZZZ's, so being able to recall ANY type of dream is beyond miraculous.)

So, yes, that would leave C.


Despite this magazine being hardly anywhere NEAR raw, the monthly food porn, I must admit, has me addicted.
It's also what lead me into finding (and becoming slightly obsessive over) Herme's stuff.
If I'm not mistaken, I'm thinking it was the March? issue that had a special on his Litchi and Rose Petal Ispahan inspired Frozen Yogurt. 
How anyone could NOT love Pierre's stuff is beyond me.
I'd molest that man in his sleep if I could.
I'd blow every staff member in his kitchen if it meant being able to have a chance to be trained by him (okay, I may be exaggerating slightly there.)


That's pure love baby. PURE love. Minus the, oh, thousand PLUS price tag for these babies.


The dessert front over here hasn't really been poppin off lately.
Mostly because I'm wrapped up in work and trying to get my shit together for school (which reminds me, I should probably be buying my books and parking ticket, oh, um..NOW?)


         The Fig and Lemon Anglaise Tartlet


Whenever fig season ends, it always depresses me. Seriously.
Fresh Kimi or Turkey Figs straight off the tree. Hot damn. Nothing quite hits the spot like them babies.



                                                              Lemoncello Ice Cream


Taking pictures of ice cream blows also.
I'll never be taking pictures of it again, but you know, I didn't have any ice cream pics up, and EVERYONE and their mom has at least one posted...so I needed to get me suma THAT!

The next dessert is going to be fucking crazy.
for real.






Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate Ganache Cake





I forgot to post this up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

smoothie addict: coke in a blender


Before you get pissed that i'm posting something without pictures of desserts that i've been lagging on making, let me JUST say this..

I just finished 5 days on smoothies and juices only, and shit, it really only made me realize how much I missed that sort of thing. The extra energy you save from not having to digest anything has really been coming in handy (leaving work at 1 am. has no longer become exhausting, though, I can't say it's solved anything in terms of my anger towards starbuck's underpaid slave labor). So the day I ended my non-solid business, I had the worst feeling in my stomach after eating a papaya salad for lunch... SHITTYYYY let me tell you. I was so fucking tired, that I considered sleeping off the food as gross as that sounds (I haven't done that shit since my teenage alcohol induced days).




I really REALLY want to go back on a smoothie fast again. Probably tomorrow?
This time, I'd like to go for 2 weeks.

Keep in mind, I'm sort of a fat ass with my smoothies... so my smoothies (though mostly green....okay...maybe at least 1/3 green) usually end up being at LEAST 48 oz. per smoothie..unless i'm making something more elaborate in terms of drinks... like maybe a chocolate lavender mint smoothie, or a cloverfield honey pina colada. MMM.

I'd like to go longer then 2 weeks, but one of two things is going to happen if I even TRY to do that:
1) my parents will think I have an eating disorder, and am thus trying to lose weight by doing this.
2) I'll go ape shit afterwards and nut binge (no pun intended...well, maybe just a little) and then get sick, swear off of nuts, and then go back into the fridge 2 hours later looking for brazils, get sick again, and then have my mom hovering over me "well, THIS is what you get! you screw your body up with this raw shit! you need meat on you! eat carnitas!"

SO..to avoid to the inevitably, I'm going to only mention that i'll be juicing it up again, leaving out the small 2 week detail. 

SHIT. I just remembered, i'm going to san diego at the end of this month..
hm...

i'll have to make a few exceptions for some raw goodies if I run across them..but other then THAT, i'll try to keep my meals as "mono-meal" friendly as possible, so I, again, don't get sick and end up in the bathroom for..erm..hours on end.. 
not that you really needed to know that, but the same shit happens to you, i'm sure, whenever you eat something that's not agreeable with your stomach. (or maybe not, maybe it's just me)


ALSO. 
best ever
http://www.earthsave.org/

I subscribed to their quarterly enews, and apparently i'll be getting a vegetarian times subscription out of it as well?
fuckin sweet!


I'm supposed to go wig shopping with my cousin in about 30 minutes... waiting on her lagging ass to call
wig shopping is uberly fun. everyone should do it at least once a month.

very therapeutic.

PS- after my smoothie kick, the desserts will be back. I PROMISE. I know you don't give a shit about the random shit that
goes down in my life sans raw.

PSS- jk. I hope not..that shit would suck... I'm more then desserts damn it!
PSSS- actually, my brother called me a nut magician for being able to do the things that I do with nuts
(not like that you perverts...he wouldn't know about those sorts of things..)

PSSSS- WIGGSSSSSSS!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Instant Gratification..


I love fat..
A LOT


In fact, to gain and now maintain my weight, I'll eat anywhere from 1/4c. nuts - 1c. of nuts a day, along with coconut, avocados, etc etc.

but, with that being said..I'm getting REALLY burned out on them. Time for a break?
AH..I think so

After work, I made a fresh green juice.. celery, parsley, cucumber, spinach, chard, wheatgrass.
YUUMM
Sometimes I get so caught up making desserts that I forget about how awesome a cold, fresh 16oz. glass of green can taste.

So, tomorrow I'm going to do juicing and smoothies only, and then see how long I can ride it out after the day's over..
 
That being said, here's what i've been up to..

Went to Palm Dessert..AGAIN... to go swimming and walk around downtown and whatnot..

My brother went out of his way to buy me a kookie karma, which I felt bad for since I really do NOT like their stuff. Cashews gross me out. They always taste rancid to me for some reason.
Not only that, but the 'lemon fig' cookie (or, kookie) tasted nothing like lemon OR figs. It was almost like a slap in the face to the taste of a fresh fig or lemon to even compare the cookie to such a thing.

Actually, I wanted to talk about this.
I don't EVER really buy other raw snacks/prepared foods partially because I always find them very disappointing and more often WAY overpriced. ($8 for a brownie? really? REALLY?) Come on now, I make this shit all the time, I'm well aware of how much it costs to make these things, and it does NOT cost that much..
greedy bastards!

And then I stop and think to myself that I need to get my ass in gear and start getting my stuff into the mainstream..
Only because it genuinely bothers me that people out there are settling for shit. Sorry if that sounds mean, but it's true.

OH OH.

So I finally tried the chocolate fudge cake from Cru, since they now sell it in the market near my house..

BLLLLALAHDKAJHDDA!

I love chocolate. really. 
But when I can't get my fucking fork through the "cake"... yeah... it's no longer a "cake".
more like a massive chocolate bar.

The first bite was good, the second, alright, and after that I threw it away since it was making me nauseous. 

So far, the only prepared raw foods that I can say something nice about, would be Leaf's stuff. Not too expensive, not too nut heavy, and still pretty good. Actually, I bought their brownie last week on sale for $3 since I get too lazy to make my own stuff sometimes.. 

ALSO, got this baby for $2. SCOOOORE!





It tasted better then it looks.
Man, nothing beats fresh dragonfruit... except for maybe fresh celeste and king figs, and then maybe rambutan and mangosteen.. but yeah... after all those, dragon fruit OOOOOWNS.



Anywho, after my juicing/smoothie fling, I plan on making an opera amaretto cake..
so I guess doing greens for awhile will be another plus, since this'll give me time to draw out the design and structure of the cake.. get things 'ready' if you know what I mean ;]


well, iron chef is on, and I need to call work to make sure nobody hustled my ipod that I accidently left behind this morning. (I'm fully convinced that half the people I work with do NOT like me since i've openly stated that I am not a christian or catholic) Seriously, some of those bitches (yes, I can and WILL call them bitches) have hidden my shit way too many times 

"oops! sorry april! I thought you'd be able to find it!"

... underneath an espresso machine?

why the FUCK would I think look for my cell phone underneath an espresso machine when my stuff is in the complete opposite end of the building?!!

gah. enough complaining. I don't want to sound whiney. 

I LOVE WHEATGRASS AND AMERICAN GINSENG. WOOO!

:}

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Making a name for yourself, a wedding like coconut cake, and chillin with Juliano


all up on the Dean's list at school. FUCK YEEEAH!

WHEW.
This week has been beyond bombay. Starbucks screwed me in hours "sorry April, you're only working 20 hours this week, and have 3 days off" 

oh NO, whatever will I do?!! I can't survive outside of Starbucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
not.. assholes

so anyways, I've had a bunch of time to do the things that I like to do in my spare time, i.e. making food, taking random trips, spending money on knick knacks, etc etc.
Last weekend I made a coconut cake that turned out like... a wedding cake?
Very confusing, but very very good.


See, when I was frosting it with dehydrated coconut flakes it just looked so... sad and plain.. so I gave it a facelift with some lavender and baby's breathe. AHH, so much better. Purple and white always compliment each other so nicely.

I wish I hadn't been so fucking lazy and bothered to take a picture of a slice so you could see the inside of it. Not that it was really anything incredibly special, just two layers with a coconut cream separating them, but you know... yeah

The last of the cake is being burned alive by the stomach acids of my mom and dad as I type this. Poor cake, oh well... C'EST LA VIE!

I think next week i'm going to make a strawberry shortcake... only because strawberries are ass-diculously cheap right now, and I try to go with seasonal things, instead of going out of my way to pay more for something that isn't even at the peak of it's season.

I've also been trying to do juice days. And by trying, I mean having juice for breakfast, and then eating nachos (raw, of course) for lunch, completely forgetting about the juicing until after the meal is being mauled inside my stomach. EHH, shit happens.

So, onto business more exciting then food digesting inside of me and my family, I had a consultation with a small business advisor today. He's a friend of my mom's who's originally from Trinidad, moved to washington and opened two nightclubs, then moved over here with his now wife. Very nice man. I think I shall make him some cookies.
Before any financing was discussed, he was telling me about how he grew up on mangoes and coconuts fresh off of the trees from his backyard. LUUUCKY. I love coconuts now, but I can't even begin to fathom how much MORE i'd love them fresh. Same goes for the mangoes.

At the end of our meeting, we've decided that before we do any outlines, I'm going to show him where I'm at right now with presentation, copyrights, labeling, packaging, etc etc. Also, cost of the product itself. That actually has been bothering me the most. I despise using cashews, and try to avoid eating them as much as possible. Same goes for peanuts and sprouted grains, since grains are too hard for me to digest. I'd actually rather just eat steamed quinoa with some olive oil and rosemary, with some flax crackers and lemon on the side... that was actually my dinner last saturday.

Onto Harvest Health.

http://www.harvesthealthfood.com/deli.htm

I hate to say this about any place, but if you're EVER in the Palm Desert area and you're looking for good raw food, you're shit
out of luck if you intend on eating from their food counter. You'd be better off just getting some overpriced raw
snacks from the store portion of the building.
I was talking with the cashier behind the food counter about their raw selections, and he assured me, "oh, our chef
is very talented with raw foods, especially the new pizza we have on the menu."

LIES!

I ordered the raw pizza and the raw nori rolls.

pizza- looked like somebody got lazy 20 seconds after starting it, so they decided to spread 1/2 T. of marinara
onto the dry, crusty ass buckwheat pizza crust, replace the cheese with two olives and a teaspoon of avocado,
and then pulled together enough energy to wipe it with their ass (hence the bland 'pesto')

nori rolls- actually pretty good... not very creative, but simple and tasty.
but please tell me why the pate reminded me of menudo? AWKWARD

I wish I had taken my camera with me so you could see the madness I speak of here, but we were going to
sneak into the hotel to go swimming, and I didn't want any water to wreck it.


NOW JULIANOS!
Let me just say, I love Julianos. I love the obscene flamboyance of the food, and the picture of him and his sister
in bikinis at the beach next to the cash register.
That being said, my friend and I went there for lunch today... and here's what happened

(warning, it's pretty magical, so brace yourself)

(like, UNICORN magical)





(okay, maybe not THAT magical, but you know, still pretty rad)

Juliano's innards.
             The Spring Rolls
  The pizza that looked like somebody took a shit on my plate?
                             The savory puff and pasta samples he brought me because, you know, 
I'm awesome.
                                                                 The seaweed sample...

                                                                  The coffee cheesecake

Raspberry and Ginger juice sample?

Key Lime Pie sample

And lastly, his goji berry smoothie


The first time I ate at Juliano's Raw, I was only one month into raw. The second time was about 3 months into raw. And finally, today was the third time...an obviously much longer time on raw. Everything tastes MUCH saltier then it did when I first ate there, along with the second time. I asked him about it, and he said that he intentionally makes his food saltier since the majority of his restaurant's cliental are NOT raw, and would complain of the food tasting blander then the shit, salty SAD they're accustomed to. That being said...

Here's my review of his food.
It's going to be a little biased, since he kept feeding me free samples of all his new stuff... and you know, anytime Juliano comes up to you with free food, you're going to eat that shit regardless of how full you already might be.

For an appetizer, we started off with the Spring Rolls shown above.
VERY sour and salty... the wrap itself anyways. The thai sauce was pretty good, but after the second spring roll, the tartness of the flax wrap started to bother me. I have a good hunch that there was a shit load of ACV in there..

Next, I had the Pesto Pizza. 
Really disappointing. The pizza I had at Cru owns this one. 
It was too salty (again) for me to eat. The veggies were doused in nama shoyu, and the crust was too hard. The cheese was meshed in with the marinara and melody of diced tomatoes and olives. I had about two bites, and then set it aside for the waitress to take away. To make matters worse, the slice was nearly $13, and literally the size the my palm. And FYI, I do not have man palms.

That's when Juliano came over and started talking to me and then showered me with awesome samples of his newer stuff.

While waiting for the coffee cheesecake, he brought out the pasta sample and 'savory cream puff' (as he called it). The pasta was REALLY fucking good. He affirmed my guess that it was mostly composed of carrageenan, parsley and garlic. The savory puff tasted like clam chowder, minus the clams, and erm.. chunks of
chowder. Very rich, but good as well. I'm glad he left it as a dipping sauce instead of a soup, since eating too much
of that could possible get really sickening.

After I finished off those two, he brought out his seaweed soup, which was a simple lemon miso based broth with
kombu, wakame, dulse and avocado (along with a chunk of heirloom tomato) soaking in it. I believe there were scallions
in there as well..

THEN the coffee cheesecake came out. After the first bite, I was having visions of being at work. Strong as shit
espresso taste. So strong that I felt like I was drinking coffee (it was literally that creamy in texture) rather then eating
something coffee flavored.

To cleanse my palate, he brought me out a ginger and raspberry juice. So good, and I'm not really that big a fan of
ginger.

Finally, he brought out a key lime pie slice and goji smoothie. The key lime was really good, but could've used more of
a concentrated KEY lime taste, and maybe some honey to compliment the tartness. Other then those two things, it was
excellent.

The smoothie was delicious, but gave me the shits 20 minutes after drinking it... or maybe it was
all the poor food combining I was doing. :(

All in all, it was a very good day, even though still to this moment, I can't breathe from eating too much.


To touch back on the business/restaurant front, my advisor (his name is Val) said minus the time for confidentiality and
copyrighting, I'll have things out in main steam markets across southern california in as little as two months. But that's only
if we decide to do marketing before investing in a location for a restaurant.

I'm so excited about the prospect of having my own place!
I figure, if I go bankrupt in the process, at least I would've tried right?

I can always do some hooking on the side too... you know, to raise funds for dehydrators and such.

vajayjay for a few excaliburs? Seems like a fair trade to me!

SHHEEEEEIIIT


I also seem to attract old man attention (charles, if you're reading this, this does not pertain to you. By old man, I mean
exceeded the age of 45)

way creepy.

I can dig it though.