Some foods have a distinct seasonal disposition. Ice cream for summertime, apple pie in the autumn, hot soup during winter, and roasted artichoke in the spring. Well, I have a feeling that this soup surpasses seasons. It’s both light and hearty and is just as delicious chilled as it is warm.
I often daydream about food and make up different recipes while doing things unrelated to cooking. Well recently, in the middle of a daydream, I got an idea for making a soup that would have nut milk for its base. I imagined a bowl full of soup that is “blond” and creamy, and became excited about the possibilities of the milk’s earthy flavour.
It took quite a bit of experimentation until I was able to minimize the ingredients to two simple companions to almond milk – apple and fennel. Combined with the milk’s nutty taste, the two bring a sweet and fresh presence to the bowl. The spice of chili and coriander deepens the flavour and ties the whole thing together with a slight kick. The use of nut milk instead of whole nuts makes for a much lighter soup.
Well recently, in the middle of a daydream, I got an idea for making a soup that would have nut milk for its base.
Pumpkinseed cheese is a fairly recent discovery. The first time I made it, I could not believe what a wonderful result I got with so few ingredients. It’s a bit like a cracker. A cheesy, healthy, and delicious one. I’ve made it very frequently over the past couple of months. It’s simple, and works as a wonderful snack or part of a meal. I like to serve the soup with this “cheese,” but it’s very possible to pair it with any crackers of your choice.
Photographer: Julia Morris
I wish I had a brownie for every time I’ve been informed that eating naturally is simply too hard. While making fancy shmancy meals can be a fun project, uber delicious healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of my favorite “recipes” are not recipes at all. Take, for example, a fig. Bite into it and . . . whoa! All those little seeds and colors and textures are like whole universe of magnificent complexity tucked inside a shriveled-looking edible fruit package. Imagine if the fig didn’t exist, and some company “invented” the recipe for one: would the fig not be the most amazing “product?” So much of our food experience comes down to mindset.
There’s a style of Japanese brush painting called shodo – a form of calligraphy with an abstract offshoot that attempts to capture energy and kinetics through a few simple brush strokes. Whereas most styles of painting take days, months, even years to complete, shodo takes just a few calculated moments. A swish. A swash. Maybe one last accoutremental zing . . . and then, the decision to end. And within this philosophy of “less is more,” the biggest challenge becomes when to step away and recognize perfection in “just enough.” It’s an empowering judgment call – a kind of discipline in a way – embracing simplicity in this funny world of ours that is obsessed with faster, newer, hotter, and anything that begins with “now with more.”
I find natural foods can take us back to a Tao-like state — appreciating beauty in simplicity.
Poor ol’ “less.”
In the realm of food — for the most part — modern cuisine teaches “just enough” is never enough. Our perfectly lovely foods are processed, packaged, mixed, mingled, extracted, added and bastardized until they’re pretty much unrecognizable. Then we process them again, add healthyish-looking colorings, artificial vitamins and preservatives, and reshape the result into forms that pass for food-like. I don’t think most people would be too impressed if I took a beautiful shodo painting, sprayed graffiti all over it until it turned grey, covered it in white-out to get to a white page again, and then drew a couple of lines mimicking the original painting in magic marker. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Everyone knows space in Tokyo Japan is a rare thing and when you find a little, you don’t dare waste any of it. Space was obviously one of the inspirations for Architect Klein Dytham when he designed his Undercover Lab. A floating black box which seems to hover over the back alleys of Tokyo.
Undercover Lab is a building, which is undercover. Not only is it tucked away in the back streets of Harajuku but the site is also very deceiving. A 10m long narrow driveway leads to a 12m x 12m site at the rear.
The building houses a studio, press showroom, and office. A 20m long hanger rail to show the entire collection of one season was required. This is housed in a black tube running along the only 20m straight line on the site, which extends out over the entrance driveway. This cantilevered tube extends the building’s influence to the main street in a strong but stealth way.
The tube was made to look as anonymous as possible, almost like a shipping container where you have no idea of its contents. The tube also conjures up images of telescopes etc, which give the building a mysterious feel _ nobody knowing what quite is going on inside. So much so that some people may feel intimidated just walking under the tube if they are unannounced.
Photographer Heather Pace
Today I’ve got a tasty ice cream dessert recipe to share, which has the added benefit of the medicial chaga mushroom (although it’s optional). I did a post on chaga last year and included a Chaga Maple Frosty recipe in addition to mentioning some of it’s benefits. I’m fortunate to live in an area where chaga grows in abundance all year around.
I made this ice cream last week, since a friend was over for dinner and I wanted to do a little something special. What to do with a few young coconuts, some ripe mushy persimmons, fresh ginger, and a bunch of soaked irish moss?! Here’s what I came up with. It would also be great with a chocolate sauce, or orange segments in place in place of the persimmon jelly. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
This six seed spelt soda bread is almost like a corn bread in its sweetness and density. It’s also just as easy to make. Try this one out for your next party, guest will love it with a little olive oil and sea salt sprinkled on top.
Feel free to experiment with other combinations of seeds you prefer or what you have on hand. If a wheat allergy isn’t a problem with you, you can also make this with whole-wheat flour in place of the whole spelt flour and unbleached all-purpose flour in place of the white spelt flour.
Photographer: Julia Gartland
I don’t know when it happened, but ever since Autumn began I have had an obsession with chili. I started ordering it from Curly’s Lunch, and became shamelessly addicted to the very cheap and hearty meal. Feeling intimidated to re-create one of my favorite cold weather meals, I knew I had to throw in some special flavors. The white corn kernels, as time consuming as they are, and the nutmeg make this stew really special. In the winter months, like most, I crave warm, filling one-pot meals that I can make on a Sunday and eat throughout the week. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how long this batch will last!
Photographer V Blak
I am not one to use canned beans or vegetables. I most always cook with fresh seasonal produce. But sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do and use what you got. Like when you are stuck inside cause there is a snow storm and you forgot to go to the market so you got slim pickin’s to work with to make dinner. I open the pantry and my eyes fall upon a can of fire-roasted organic tomatoes. Hmmmmm…my mind is a flutter… I’m gonna make us some soup and a loaf of six-seed spelt bread.
Photographer: Julia Gartland
My CSA keeps getting better and better. A few weeks ago, we have received watermelon, several types of fresh herbs and bountiful amounts of different greens. No offense, but I was getting so sick of summer squash and cucumbers. I finally got over my summer squash boredom, but there is only so much I can take!
As I mentioned, we finally started getting some sassy greens in the mix. This week I got arugula, spicy greens mix and mesclun greens. They are currently taking over my refrigerator. I love nothing more than feeling like I’m drowning in a fridge full of produce, let me tell you. I am the worst food shopper ever, and by that I mean I never ever get necessities. I am always browsing my local store, and farmer’s markets just to find anything fun and inspiring to cook with. Therefore, I always have too much food on hand. It is literally a race to finish it all.
Today we are going to make, Brown Rice Cakes with Calimyrna Figs, Arugula And A Thyme-Infused Balsamic Reduction. Now doesn’t that sound good?
I mentioned before that I have a hard time eating figs. It isn’t that I dislike them, I just find I’m always eating them plain. I also always tend to eat them with sweet things (like tarts) , and this time I decided to do something a little more savory.
Monkie Character : Poo ™
Before I launch or should I say, explode into todays topic, lets take a collective pause. Now this pause isn’t for me, it’s for you. Take a breath, calm your mind, get rid of any images which you might have in your head. Push away any food you may have in front of you. And if your unfortunately eating something which involves chocolate, lick your fingers and swallow that shit before we move.
Okay, so your all zenning out now, right? Feeling comfortable? Your mind is clear and open to new subjects? Good, because the topic for today has got to be my favorite subject in the entire world. I mean we are all the proud parents of this stuff multiple times a day (if your healthy that is). So I say why not sing about it, or in my case, trap some friends at the dinner table or post about it on G Living, right! Okay kids, strap in, here we go…
I am the type of gal who loves to talk about poop. I love it. I just do. My poop, my friend’s poop, my family’s poop, stranger’s poop. When someone’s got a poop question, I am the one they call. I have an enthralling curiosity by, not only what goes into the body, but also what comes out. Yes, my friends, I am here to express and hopefully inspire the importance of embracing your POOP! Well, not literally. I’m talking about inspecting that porcelain throne of yours with scientific excitement. It could teach you a thing or two about what is going on with your internal health. Bring insight to why you are feeling a certain way, how you’re digesting or not digesting foods and most importantly when it’s time for you to do a little Colon Cleanse. Your colon works hard for you each day, so why not take some time and clean that old sh*t outta there!!
I also was feeling a wee bit puffy, bloated, my energy levels were dropping and I wasn’t pooping as good anymore :(
I know, I know I am very discreet. I asked a friend of mine if he finally used the colon cleanse I gave him to do just that and his response was,” Is there a more delicate flower under the sun than you, more precious?” What can I say, I love to talk sh*t…
Well, my exciting poop exploration is exactly what happened to yours truly and what has inspired this post. As some of you know, a few months ago I returned from my fabulous Italian food and wine adventure with gusto and glee. And since getting back, I have continued my Italian eating and drinking vino roll that I adapted to oh so well in Italia. I was enjoying myself and not thinking about what I was eating or how much wine I was drinking. The Italian foodie way smoothly became a part of my lifestyle and my diet consisted of more and more acidic foods I never really ate before I left for Italia. (see chart below for acidic food reference) For awhile I thought, “Damn, how am I not feeling or looking like crap eating and drinking this way?” And then, of course, the inevitable hit me…or, I shall say, the craters hit me…don don donanna…the pimples, yes I said plural, started a comin’!!! I was in high school all over again. Ahhhhhh. I also was feeling a wee bit puffy, bloated, my energy levels were dropping and I wasn’t pooping as good anymore. Huh.
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Photographer: V Blak (CC)
Here at G Living we get books and other stuff sent to us all the time, which is great, but most of it isn’t worth posting about. It’s either dull stuff or just isn’t that “G”. And if it’s not “G” or just plain dull, we either don’t post about it at all or if we do, it’s not always pretty because we tell it as we see it. But with that said, out of the last 40 books or so that have come our way in the past year, this one is definitely a stand out. It’s called American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques. Yeah I know, could they make the title any longer? Anyways, it’s amazing and I am addicted to carrying this 4 pound thing around with me right now. Well, maybe it’s not 4 pounds, but it is pretty hefty, in a good way if you know what I mean.
I’ll admit, am completely new to gardening at the ripe old age of 42. Yes, I have waited 42 years to start figuring out just how plants grow and what the heck they actually need to stay alive. I have killed many many plants in my time I am or was completely clueless how to even start a garden. I didn’t really even know how to plant seeds. Do I put them in those little green house starter trays? Can I just drop them in the ground? How do I plant trees, what plants grow where, how much water do they need, why didn’t my seed germinate and so on. Like any newbie I have a million questions and that is exactly what this book is all about. It’s like the google of gardening but in a book form with detailed illustrations. I love it.
I can see my grandparents shaking their heads at me right now, saying something like duh…. its an encyclopedia, you daft Monkie!
This is not one of those re-hashed gardening books filled with old photos ripped out of gardening magazines from the 80′s or worse the 70′s.
You can’t go wrong with this book. This is an up to date modern book with a fresh feel to it. This is not one of those re-hashed gardening books filled with old photos ripped out of gardening magazines from the 80′s or worse the 70′s. You know the books I am talking about. They are billed high in the discount section of Barns and Nobles. Those books are a desperate attempt to re-use old stuff and passing it off as new. Those books bore me. This is one feels like it was create especially for the modern urban gardener, which I am guessing is probably someone like you and it’s definitely me.
I took some photos of the books layout for everyone. You can see them after the jump.
The pumpkin pictured below, Is that not the purtiest, most perfect pumpkin you’ve ever laid your eyes on?! Now I’m not normally one to brag, but I growed that big beauty up there and man, I am proud! It’s my first successful squash, my garden’s inaugural gourd. The primary pumpkin! And apparently when I get excited, I alliterate!
I was so enamored of this precious pumpkin. I knew I had to do it justice, to create something really special. Lucky for me, a pumpkin goes a long way! I spent the whole weekend carving, chopping, blending, juicing, and otherwise altering the darling orb into all manner of delightful delicacies. But first things first, the prep work:
The heavy melon was washed and halved, the innards removed. The seeds were cleaned and set aside for roasty toasty. From there, it’s a blank canvas . . .
Photographer: Sayward Rebhal
Here’s a handy project to keep you busy during the cold months. I first read about ollas (pronounced oh-yah) over at Little Homestead in the City. Basically it’s an ancient irrigation method that uses unglazed, porous clay pots buried within the root zones of plants. Water poured into the exposed necks of the pots (or pitchers) naturally seeps into the soil, providing a continuous supply of water to the plants.
I’m intrigued by any method of watering that reduces consumption and is more natural. Ollas seem like the perfect answer, but premade ones can be expensive if you’re using them to irrigate everything. Then I found a gardener named Matt who posted an excellent how-to for making your own ollas using nothing more than inexpensive terra cotta pots. Matt’s site is closertothedirt.com. I followed Matt’s tutorial, and here’s how it went: