Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Useful Tips I Learned in Culinary School – Review Classic Cooking Academy

Chef Pascal and me. He's funny and French.

Chef Pascal and me. He’s funny and French.

I’ve mentioned a few times that I recently took a 6-month course at a local cooking school to increase my skills in the kitchen. When I went from vegan to omni, I was feeling out of sorts in the kitchen. I ruined too many grass-fed steaks and wild-caught fish.

So, I talked mom into taking this course at Classic Cooking Academy.

It was amazing, fun, and worth every penny especially since I learned to shuck oysters! I don’t know about you, but watching that on YouTube is not as good as practicing in a class with a professional to guide you.

Raw oyster. Real Food Fast Food. #Zinc

Learning to shuck oysters makes you a total bad-ass.

 

And, we learned to make things like this…

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Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Top Gun Inspired Juicer Purchase: “I Feel The Need… The Need For Speed.”

Welcome to the family, Breville Juice Fountain Plus

Welcome to the family, Breville Juice Fountain Plus

Juicers are not a new topic on this blog. I’ve been using them and writing about them for years. There was a time I loved my twin gear Green Star back in the day when I was a newbie to raw food. Then, I moved to a cute n fast Breville because motherhood was taking most of my time (actually I’ve owned a couple of Breville juicers). I also fell for the Hurom single auger juicer in an attempt to up my quality of juice while keeping it easier than the Green Star. Finally, I topped out at the all time ultimate Norwalk Juicer thinking that it would save me money in the long long long long run, give me a superior juice never to be more superior, and offer me the option to juice big batches that can be stored for a few days so I wasn’t juicing every day. I wrote about these juicers, and I imagine when this post is done that the bottom “similar posts” links will feature them.

But, things change.

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Book Review: Nourishing Broth (An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World)

Review Copy: Nourishing Broth (book)

Review Copy: Nourishing Broth (book)

You all know how much I love homemade bone broth because bone broth is crazy yum, bone broth is magically healing, and bone broth (i.e., stock) takes every recipe it’s used in to restaurant-delicious levels, or as my husband likes to say, “It’s chef-y.”

Healing Bone Broth

Healing Bone Broth

It turns out that not nearly enough people make their own bone broth, instead buying it in a box or a can from the store. This is no way ever compares to the taste, nourishment, and wonder of real homemade bone broth. Never. Ever. Never. Ever. Never. Ever. Never. Ever. Never. Ever. In fact, I don’t even bother with store bought broth, as if you couldn’t tell. If I didn’t have a supply of bone broth in my fridge or freezer (that would never happen, but saying it did, or like maybe I’m traveling), I wouldn’t resort to buying broth at the store. I’d simply use filtered water since it’s probably better for me than store bought crap broth (stock) anyway.

The awesome thing is that making bone broth is so easy it’s practically a joke. When I first ventured into omnivore territory after being a vegan for almost a decade, I started with enjoying pasture-raised eggs in my diet. Shortly after, I was drawn to move into other areas, and bone broth was calling my name. I never would’ve guessed that in a million years, but it did. I followed my intuition, smart woman that I am, and it’s been a fun and delicious journey ever since. I feel like a witch with a cauldron when I make it. In fact, I need a witch’s hat on when I make it. My daughter would love that. Note to self: buy witch’s hat.

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Restaurant Review: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe New Mexico

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, grass fed beef, omnivore, review
Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe Santa Fe NM

Cast Iron Seared Grass-Fed Filet Mignon Steak Au Poivre #CoyoteCafe

We recently enjoyed a summer road trip all the way to Michigan from Arizona. Yes, that’s a looooong trip which is why many people ask why we don’t fly. Well, to be honest, apart from kind of enjoying time in the car (I get a lot of reading done: here’s a great book), there’s an important factor with which I am obsessed: Food. By traveling in the car (our mini van, specifically), I can pack things from my kitchen so that I can cook on the road for my family (induction hot plate, anyone?). As I like to say, “have induction hot plate, will travel.” Eating healthy and delicious food is my main passion so I do whatever it takes to make that happen.

We ventured to Michigan because that is where I grew up, and my brother, his wife, and their kids are there, plus my dad, step-dad, and dear sister-in-law-ish. At the time of our journey, our daughter had just turned four years old, and that meant shorter stretches of driving. Therefore, our days in the car maxed out at around 7 hours, if we could help it. That means lots of nights in hotels. How did I make high-quality, Real Food on the trip in hotels? It was fairly simple… with smart planning. I’ll detail it all in a blog post soon because I have a lot to share on the topic. I’ve made the trip twice now, a bit different each trip, and I like to think I have it figured out.

We didn’t eat every single meal as homemade though. Some of our meals, although just a couple, were enjoyed in restaurants. Enter: Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM.

On the trip back from Michigan we decided to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe as a little break from the non-stop driving and to enjoy the local atmosphere of Santa Fe. So lovely.

Coyote Cafe 

One of the best meals of my life. And to think I almost opted for a different restaurant because of the Yelp Review stars I saw. Glad my husband urged us to go to Coyote Cafe. Greg had been there about 20 years ago (the place has been around about 27 years), and was itching to try it again.

The presentation of the meals was gorgeous and thoughtful. The decor of the restaurant was open and pleasing, artful, and chic although a bit dated. It is showing the years of wear and is overdue for a refresh.

The service was top of the line. Our server was Lynsey and she catered to our every need. I’d also like to mention that the support staff were equally great. So much of a restaurant experience goes beyond the food.

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Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Immortal Machine – Protein Shake – I LOVE YOU

by Kristen Suzanne in chocolate, hemp protein, review, vegan

Immortal Machine

Immortal Machine by David Wolfe

The new plant-powered protein powder in my life.

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Edit: 12/5/12 I recently had a canister that tasted a bit off (bitter, smoky-ish) compared to how lovely the previous ones had been. Then, my mom said the same thing, and a reader of my blog said the same thing… had a bitter experience. ;) Well, go figure I’d rave about something and then there might have been an issue in their quality control. I’ve had foods with shilajit in them and I get the sense that maybe they had a batch with too much of that in it? Not that that would be terrible since its reputation is great but it changes the taste and then that changes the experience. Or maybe they forgot the stevia? Not sure. Still, I wanted to tell my readers about that. Since I have multiple canisters though, I opened another and it was great like usual.

Edit: 12/12/12 I heard back from Longevity Warehouse and it turns out I was right. They used a different shilajit in a batch, and although it was high quality, it changed the flavor. It seems they’re back to using the standard shilajit they normally use. Whew!

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There’s a new protein powder on the block that I’m regularly buying now, and I’m a raving fan. (That’s an understatement.)

If you haven’t heard of Immortal Machine, then you’re missing out. It’s a fabulous new vegan protein powder that knocks it out of the park in flavor and health promoting properties.

It’s so good on its own that I usually just mix it up with water and it tastes like fudgescicles. Or, I make it with iced organic peppermint tea … Thin Mint Cookies, anyone?  That’s probably my favorite way to have it (mom’s favorite way, too). In fact, I’ve turned quite a few friends and family on to Immortal Machine and the response is always the same. “Whoa! That’s awesome. I’ve never had a protein powder that was so good!”

Even though this protein powder needs no hiding and it’s fabulous with just water or iced peppermint tea blended in… being the chef that I am, I’ve played with other recipes for fun. I heard tales of its deliciousness with nut milk and they were true – creamy and dreamy. I added Chinese Five Spice once, too. That was good. I also knew it’d be brilliant stirred into chia pudding and porridge… yup. In fact, adding this to my Longevity Chia Porridge recipe is smart. I’ve also used Immortal Machine in a medicinal-energizing-herbal-tonic elixir by blending it with soaked goji and longan berries. Whoa. That was intense, in a most amazing way. I was feeling the power all day. I also love blending Immortal Machine into warm drinks and it’s like hot chocolate. It seems the options of deliciousness are endless.

Those variations are all fun, but I think my favorite way is with plain ol’ water or iced organic peppermint tea (I’ve always been, and will forever be, a mint chocolate girl). Friends, I’m telling you, as it bears repeating… this stuff is a-mazing.

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Monday, June 4th, 2012

Reviews: Core Foods, Living Nutz, Essential Living Foods, and Love Bean

by Kristen Suzanne in review

Hello everyone!

Can I just say HALLELUJAH for all of the great raw, vegan, organic options we have available to us these days? Every where I turn, there are new products sprouting up and it sure makes living this awesome lifestyle THAT much easier. Whether you’re all raw, mostly raw, partly raw, or barely raw… there are some kick ass options available for healthy snacking or for the busy mama, like myself who needs all the help I can get. I’m grateful.

Kamea... ready to play, no time for mama to make breakfast (she already had hers in bed because she nursed). Hmmm, this mama needs something easy cuz I'm hungry! Read on...

Today, I’m reviewing four companies and sharing with you how I use them in my life. Core Foods, Living Nutz, Essential Living Foods, and Love Bean. Let’s begin!

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Monday, February 27th, 2012

My Latest Favorite Beauty Face Cream (& other beauty products by Pristine Beauty)

by Kristen Suzanne in beauty, body care, review

I have a favorite new face cream (I’m always trying beauty products – seems there are new eco-friendly and non-toxic companies sprouting up all the time – see some of my other past favorites here… It’s Pristine Beauty’s Hooray for Brallywood Butta. It is fabulous.

Hooray for Brallywood Butta

Let me back up a bit and tell you how I came about this cute little company. I saw Sarma (from Pure Food n Wine) update her Facebook status that she was excited about their hair products. Since Sarma colors her hair, I figured this was a vetted hair system to check out. Typically, I am a fan of Morrocco Method’s super natural products, but they’re not a great fit for colored hair – boo! – so I had to find something new. After checking out some things on Sarma’s website, I went to Pristine Beauty’s website to research more.

Enter: Hooray for Brallywood ButtaI actually ordered a bunch of things after researching each product (or its ingredients) on EWG’s Skin Deep website.

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012

3 Book Reviews: Vegan Primer, Raw Travel, and Vegan Pregnancy

by Kristen Suzanne in review

Today, I’m sharing three great books that I recommend for your library. One is a fun ebook about travel in the raw, one is a great primer on plant-based nutrition, and the third one is a super guide for pursuing a vegan pregnancy. So! Let’s get started!

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Monday, January 16th, 2012

Review: Tribest Life’s Sedona Dehydrator

by Kristen Suzanne in review

I’ve always been a big fan of Excalibur dehydrators because I’ve had mine for years. I even feature them in my Easy Raw Vegan Dehydrating book. But, times change and new products are introduced to the market. Imagine my excitement when TriBest Life wanted me to check out their new Sedona dehydrator. I’m always up for trying new kitchen appliances. Excitement aside, I remember being a tad skeptical at first. I thought to myself, “Yeah, um… the Sedona dehydrator might be as good as Excalibur, but surely not better, right?” After all, most people own Excalibur and it’s been a force to be reckoned with for a long time. However, as I read over the Sedona dehydrator’s marketing materials, I was impressed, excited, and eager to try this new beauty! Turns out… rightly so.

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Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Review: Rawtella – Two Thumbs Up!

by Kristen Suzanne in raw chocolate, review

I frequently get asked to review products on my blog and I’m happy to do so. It gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts on new products – good or bad.

Well, the makers of Rawtella contacted me about reviewing their product, Rawtella. It arrived Wednesday and I thought, “Oh ok, I’ll have some tonight and add it to my food journal I’m planning on posting later in the week.” (By the way, did you see that on the top of my blog I now have a tab for “food journal” – I get asked many times for samples of what I eat so now you have one place to access many of my food journals. I haven’t updated it to include everything, but I’m working on it.)

Anyway. I sampled the Rawtella and OMG – yum! I knew I had to do more than talk about it in my food journal. This delicious treat deserved its own post. Rawtella is a jar of a chocolate spread made from 3 ingredients: Organic raw, soaked, and dehydrated hazelnuts, organic raw cacao nibs, and raw coconut sugar. It’s mostly organic and will be all organic soon. They’re waiting for the coconut sugar to go through the final steps of becoming certified organic.

Rawtella is 100% Raw – yeehaw! Friends, when raw is this good, it’s impossible not to be happy and satisfied eating raw vegan. Rawtella can be enjoyed by itself on a spoon, used on ice cream, in smoothies and nut milks, spread on fruit or crepes, and more.

I had a gigantic spoonful of it – it was creamy, dreamy, decadent, sweet, rich, satisfying, luscious, and I wanted to eat the whole damn jar. Now, you might be wondering if this chocolate stuff is like the popular Nutella that is on the market. Honestly, I don’t know because I’ve never tried that.

I enthusiastically give this product two thumbs up. I will be stocking up on it. Try it and come back to let me know if you agree! Available at Rawtella.com.

Let me add…. this is a GREAT gift. It’s perfect for your postal carrier, your hair dresser, your BFF, your mom, your skeptical-steak-chomping-pill-popping-dad (oh wait, that’s my dad). You know anyone who could use a little chocolate love in his or her life? Give them a jar of Rawtella. It’s perfect!

UPDATE! Ooh – Yippee! The generous folks at Rawtella are offering a 25% off coupon code “if you like the rawtella fan page!” They said, once you “like it” it will reveal the coupon code. Score!!!

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