Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whole Wheat Graham Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Whole Wheat Graham Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7-8 minutes


1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Organic Molasses
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup graham flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
a dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 cup uncooked quick rolled oats
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the sugar, applesauce and molasses
- Cream the sugars with the softened butter and coconut oil
 - Add in the egg and vanilla. Cream until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using). Add slowly to the wet mixture until incorporated.
- Once smooth, stir in the oats and chocolate chips
- Using a teaspoon or a small ice cream/cookie scoop, drop rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Recipe: Grains and Greens

Grains and Greens
This is a recipe I got from my mom. Andy and I ate dinner at my parents' house on Saturday and she made this for us and I was such a fan, I demanded the recipe, modified it and cooked the hell out of it a few days later. It was amazing!

Tools of the Trade:
Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker
Cuisinart Mini Prep Food Processor

You will need:
2 cups of whole wheat pasta shells
1 cup of barley
1 cup of instant brown rice
3 cups of chopped kale
4 cups of chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano flakes
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
1 cup of white mushrooms
1 table spoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
parm cheese

  Brown the sausage in olive oil. add in minced garlic. blitz the mushrooms in the food processor. add mushrooms into the sausage. add in kale; cook until wilted. Pour the chicken stock in a sauce pan and bring to a boil with the dried oregano flakes in it. add the 2 cups of uncooked whole wheat pasta shells into the bottom of your baker. dump in half the cooked sausage mixture on top of the shells. dump in barley and rice. dump in the rest of the sausage mixture. pour the boiling chicken stock into the baker and stir all the ingredients well. cook at 350 for one hour in the covered baker. after an hour, pull the dish out of the oven, remove the lip and garnish with cheese and parsley. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Review

I work at a local kitchen store called Tess' Kitchen Store. Some co-workers and my boss, the owner of the store, went to the Fancy Food Show is San Fransisco. They came home with the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. One of my co-workers thought we should all watch it because the subject of the video uses a juicer to lose weight and we actually carry the exact brand of juicer. So I brought it home and watched it with the whole family.
This story is about Joe. Joe is a wealthy business man in Australia. He has everything going for him. However, he lived the life of luxury to the point of excess. He found that he was really overweight and unhealthy. One of his symptoms was some sort of disease that makes random parts of his body break out in hives. Joe decides to go on a juice fast. Mainly because he believes his body can heal itself through a healthy diet.
He decides to go on a road trip and drink nothing but fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days. During the journey, he meets a man named Phil with the same rare condition and he is morbidly obese. The rest of the doc I'll leave to you, the viewer.

After the video, my husband and I decided we would buy a juicer from my store and drink more fruit and veggies for our health. So if we get a little lump of funds from our tax return, we'll be buying a Hurom Juicer! Why the Hurom and not the Breville featured in the video? Well, mainly it boils down to 3 main reasons:
  1. The Hurom makes healthier more sustainable juice. The difference is in the way the machines extract juice. The Hurom is a slow juicer; wringing out the juice. The Breville is a high speed juicer-basically blasting juice out of the matter with speed and force. 
  2. The Hurom is smaller, better looking, quieter and easier to clean
  3. The Hurom has a better warranty 
I plan on juicing a ton and posting the results and recipes on my blog. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recipe for "Migas"

My sisters and I used to stay the night at our grandparent's house on the weekends quite a bit. I worked at their restaurant called "The Mexican Inn". After work, I'd go home with my grandma and eat a late dinner. In the morning, my pop would be up bright and early. He'd shout out, "What do you want for breakfast, Punk?" I would shout back, "Migas!"
Migas is the Spanish word for crumbs. "Little Pieces". This recipe is pretty healthy too; the tortillas are optional (but the part part) to make it more Low Carb (South Beach)

What you need:
4 corn tortillas
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup of salsa
2/3 cup of black beans
vegetable oil
half of an avocado
salt & pepper
1/4 a yellow onion

Instructions: Heat frying pan to med-high heat. Stack the 4 corn tortillas and cut into strips, then cut into squares. When oil in the pan is hot, put the tortilla squares in the pan and move them around until they get a little crispy and browned.
Chop up a quarter of a yellow onion (dice). Put those in the pan. Dump in the 2/3 cup of black beans and stir it all around. Scramble the 4 eggs in a bowl and then add the 1/2 cup of salsa and the salt & pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the pan after the onion and the beans have cooked for a minute. Scramble the eggs until desired consistency.
Plate the eggs and add sliced avocado as a garnish. Lightly salt the avocado. Delish!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Story of My Tattoo

The story of my tattoo...
...first of all, I have always loved tattoos. I'm an artist, I see the world artistically so the idea of permanently inking your body is not a stretch for me. I get it. As a Christian, I see tattooing as just another opportunity to proclaim Christ. Some Christians have an issue with it from Leviticus but if you look closely at the context of the passage, God was not happy with the meaning behind the tattooing. It was some sort of pagan, ritualistic practice that God was warning against-not tattooing in general.
Besides, Christians should be careful forming dos and don'ts from the Old Testament laws because there are a lot of laws modern day people wouldn't touch with a 10ft. pole so you're forced to cherry pick from the law, which turns into personal legalism, which always leads to bad theology.

I decided that for my 36th birthday, I wanted to get my tattoo. A friend of ours has a brother that is a tattoo artist. He owns a shop in Seattle called, Artful Dodger, but makes trips to his home town here and there to visit family and tattoo his friends.  So I made an appointment for May the 22nd--pretty close to my birthday! Lucky made a special trip to do my tattoo and ended up booking like 15 other local appointments. (not bad! This guy is good.)
So my sister is a comic book artist and I tapped her to sketch out my vision for the tattoo. I knew it needed to be a crow and I knew it would have a banner reading "Mercy" and "Truth". The word truth speaks into my passion for truth and justice but the word mercy is the balance to the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts and the truth is harsh or offensive...balanced with mercy, truth is easier to bear. I almost chose the counterweight to truth to be the word "love". But love is so subjective and it means so many different things to different people. I wanted to choose a word that universally means the same thing and you can't really fudge on the word "mercy". So here is the sketch that my sister, Emily, came up with:
I loved this sketch and I didn't ask Emily to change a thing. I just emailed this to Lucky and he said he would create the stencil for my tattoo from this image and here is the stencil he used at my appointment:

He transferred the image to my shoulder/arm and then he outlined it first, then we took a break. Here is a photo of the outlining:

The outlining actually felt really good. The shading in part (which took the longest) hurt pretty bad. The adrenaline kind of wears off and I got hungry and tired and just kind of grumpy and ready to quit. The entire session was about 3 hours of straight tattooing. I was supposed to get some forget-me-nots (to honor my grandfather that passed away in 2000) but I tapped out. I'll save the flowers for the next appointment. Now for the significance of the crow:
The blackbird/crow has been an important symbol for me for a long time. My favorite band all through high school and still to this day, is the Black Crows. The crow is also a symbol Stephen King uses through out his novels-Stephen King is my all time favorite author. The crow is also symbolic spiritually to me as well. In my tattoo, the crow is bearing good news, "Mercy & Truth". Throughout literature, the crows are harbingers or bearers of bad news. In the bible, Noah sends out a raven several times to find land and each time, the raven comes back with nothing. It's the dove that brings the olive branch. Blackbirds will be redeemed with all of creation-and for me, I am eager to "trade my black feathers for a crown" (a lyric from the Black Crows) and the Lord can take these broken wings and learn to fly (The Beatles). And that's the story of my tattoo. I love it. I'm proud of it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King Review

I really can't call this a review because I'm a horrible, drooling, bias fan of Stephen King's and almost anything the man writes is a treasure in my hands. But I'll give it a go.
Ha! Just kidding. I'll be more specific. This book was genius because...
...the Dark Tower Series should live forever and never, never end but it *did* end with the last book "The Dark Tower".  I was so grieved, literally grieved when I finished the last page of the last book. It was like saying goodbye to your best friends forever-knowing you will never see them again. In order to fill the void, I would go back to the first book, "The Gunslinger", and start anew. It's not the same going back and re-reading the books. Part of you knows what happens and you don't really feel the same connection to the story.
Some books in the series I have only read once, like "The Wolves of Calla". Some of the books I have read several times like "Wizard and Glass". Someday, I intend on starting the first book and reading the entire series straight through.
One fine day, I heard that Stephen King was writing book 4.5 "The Wind Through the Keyhole"
I was beside myself with joy. My best friend Shelby gave it to me for my birthday in May. I tried to make it last. I tried to savor it but like a child with chocolate, I devoured it; licking my fingers and getting a tummy ache. It was amazing. It was like going home after being away for too long. My friends were all there, Oy, Jake, Susannah, Roland and Eddie. Ka tet. I was wondering how the timeline was going to work but King masterfully built into one story, three stories and seamlessly wove them together--each one powerful, each one engaging, magical storytelling at its best. As I got closer to the last page, I felt that same grief settling in; that same reluctant longing for the story to never end.
I loved every word of this book. Check out some of the artwork
If you haven't read the series, you can still read this book (if you really want to but why would you?). I suggest just checking each book out at the library and then when you're done, you'll be a real fan and you'll drop hundreds of dollars buying the hardcover editions at used bookstores. If I could only read the dark Tower Series and the Bible for the rest of my life, I'd be content.