Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tasty Turtles in Ten Minutes!

Although I still drink green smoothies nearly every day, they've become much simpler. I often add only three ingredients to some water: 
a big handful of kale, a banana, and an apple.

 Sometimes I crave some old fashioned junk food. Since I know that's not an option open to me anymore, I try to create a substitute. Lately I've been craving turtles. It could be the video that my friend Wendidee put on youtube titled,
but I really think it had to do with Valentine's Day and all those boxes at the end of the supermarket aisles. The idea suddenly came to me. I realized it could be very simple. 
The ingredients for raw chocolate???

I tossed a handful of walnuts on a plate, pitted some soft caramel dates, mixed up a batch of raw chocolate sauce and plopped it on top. 

There it was...

The worlds largest chocolate turtle. 
I took a picture, posted it to Twitter, admired it a moment, then ate it all! 

Well, what else could I do? It was a single serving!
Hah! My hubs is on facebook now and noticed my Twitter feed to Facebook and suddenly he's commenting on my picture. "I want a turtle"
Okay, well it only takes 10 minutes, I can do that again, right? 
But this time I'll make the chocolate a little thicker, make the turtles a little smaller, and I'll take a few pictures along the way.
So, you take a custard cup, set it in a bowl of warm water like a double boiler, adding more warm water as it cools.
 Put chopped up pieces of raw cocoa butter in the custard cup to melt.
-1 Tb raw cocoa butter  (melted)
-1 Tb virgin coconut oil
-1 Tb raw agave nectar
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
-while keeping it warm, stir in 2 Tb raw cacao powder
I started with good juicy fresh dates. Barhi is my favorite date right now. 
I ordered 35 pounds of assorted dates from thedatepeople and sold off much of it to raw friends. I still have enough left over for plenty of raw treats.
 Take 10 pitted dates.If you have dry, hard dates, you may want to moisten them. I put them in a cup, pour warm water on them, immediately drink the date water and set the cup aside. This softens them just a bit.
I place the walnuts on a piece of wax paper.
I put a little dab of warm chocolate on the walnuts, pressing dates on top, using half the chocolate mixture. Then take second half of chocolate and divide it among the last of the dates. Eat one to check for good flavor. Place in the fridge to set. By the time you've put the dishes away, your turtles should be cool. Eat another one to test it's temperature. If they aren't cool enough, put them back in the fridge. Repeat. 
Note that by the time I took the last picture, 
there were already 3 turtles missing. 

By the time my hubs came home from work, 
there were only 4 left. 
I ate one and handed him the last 3.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Raw Spirit Festival Off Site Adventures

Much of my fond memory making at the Raw Spirit Festival  happened away from the festival site. The first morning after arriving in Sedona, even though we had a late night, my two Twitterfriends (WendiDee and Dealivinglotus) and I set off early to search for a Vortex or two. We drove around using Wendi's printouts and my sometimes useless GPS. Soon we were up on top of a beautiful scenic overlook. 

I was amazed at how perfect the view was.  
I found a cactus that I wanted to take my picture with, 
but spent the next 10 minutes picking quills out of my back. 
I hardly felt it, so I was surprised at how easy they stuck to me!
We were having fun looking around and taking pictures. 
We found a circle of rocks, supposedly an area marked off with stones should indicate that there was a recognizable force there. Just as I stepped inside the circle I felt a quick rush and a tingle right down to my fingertips
(The same feeling I get when I first see that police car with it's lights flashing, in my rearview mirror, as it rushes past me to pull someone else over... a happy rush and tingle feeling). 
We took off our shoes and stood toe to toe, but I didn't feel anything else there. Probably the excitement of the moment is what caused it, 
but it was pretty fun to play along. 
We climbed to the highest peak 
and reached up to the big blue sky. 
I felt happy and free!
We stopped by Bliss Cafe and ordered a delicious lunch. I purchased a fresh living pizza,  a piece of raw coconut cream pie,  AND a slice of carrot cake. It was my first all raw food restaurant experience and I was thoroughly enjoying it.
The next morning I woke early again. After another late night, I should have been tired, but I knew the sun was coming up without me and I was wide awake. I asked my room mates if they wanted to go catch the sunrise. Dea sleepily declined. She was suffering from jet lag, having traveled all the way from Italy. Wendi and I grinned at each other and jumped into action. We hopped out of bed and were out the door in just moments! The sun was already up but the plan was to drive over to part of Coconino National Forest. As we drove around, (I'm easily distracted) we took a few side roads off track. GPS frequently said, "Recalculating." Suddenly Wendi shouted, "Hey, stop the car! I think that was LindaSalas!" Sure enough, there she was, another one of our Twitter friends, trying to get a pretty picture from her hotel drive, while standing among chest high construction cones. We offered her a ride to wherever we were headed and she happily accepted.
We found a few scenic overlooks as the sun grew higher in the sky. We were still hoping to see the Oak Creek vortex inside the Red Rock State Park. It turned out the gates were locked and the park wouldn't open for another hour. We had time before the RSF began, but didn't want to waste precious time waiting at the gate. 
We really only wanted to see the river, so we parked a few miles away and walked down an old farm road to the river. 
We had a good laugh when we discovered that we'd just taken a secret entrance into the park and it took us long enough that by then the park had opened! As we walked along the park river trail, we continued talking, laughing, and musing over how easy it was to just pick up our realworld friendship where our onlineTwitter friendship left off.
 The three of us took pictures with our three cameras, striking poses here and there.



and me.
I particularly liked this one of Wendi. We were listening to the rushing river and it's musical babbling sound. She was so completely savoring every moment of her trip. Her morning with us was joyful!
Further down the river, there was a muddy landing where the water was quiet and slower moving. 
I caught Wendi and Linda playing in the mud.
On closer inspection, I saw that they were creating designs.
The mud was a rich red color, smooth and cool. 
It felt soothing to move it around.
There were puddles of water trapped in the rocks. 
They made nice places to soak feet or rinse hands.
Walking back, I found a huge cicada that didn't seem concerned with me.
Further up the road, I picked a few 
I noticed how they were different colors and 
was unsure which ones were the ripe ones.

I liked my silhouette in the picture.
Along the roadside on the drive back to our hotels, Linda pointed out many mesquite trees and we stopped to pick a shirt full. 

I liked having the opportunity picking from my window. 
Like a raw superfood drivethru. 
We had worked up quite an appetite by the time we got back to the hotel and we were pleased to find that Dea had set up a nice breakfast of durian and papayas for us.
I added some roses from just outside our hotel patio.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Arizona Wild Beauty

I drove through Arizona with my two girls in 2004, but didn't get a chance see the
Going to the Raw Spirit Festival seemed like a good excuse to go again.
I discovered that not all rocks in Arizona were red.
I found rocks in burgundy, green, orange, yellow, and black...
I finally met my first Saguaro Cactus, up close and personal.
I discovered that as long as I used my GPS, I had no clue where I was. (haha)
I discovered that the farther away from town I got, the prettier it got.

I was surprised by this little guy who found the flower before me.
The skies were intensely blue there.
All kinds of things growing.
I picked my own mesquite with plans to grind it when I got home. See recipe below.
I think this river view was on one of my postcards.

Somebody was already at the riverside having a morning dip.

One lonely dark green pine cone lying on the river side.

Early mornings with the promise of something new happening just around the corner.

Maple Mesquite Walnuts:

Soak 3 cups of walnuts for a few hours 
(this makes them less bitter)
Dehydrate them for a few hours 
(this makes them more absorbent)

Blend until creamy:

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mesquite
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp celtic sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon

pour over walnuts in a bowl
stir them gently until coated
lay out on dehydrator sheets overnight

Let them cool before storing in an airtight container.