Raw Food Flush: Day Two

I’m DYING! I’m not actually hungry, but I’m just craving everything!

I caved a little bit today and ate some bread. It’s weird, I’m not hungry because I can eat all of the veggies I want, but after awhile I just start craving carbs and meat like no other after about four in the evening. I finally had a slice of turkey, a little rice, and a bit of fish, and some bread. It wasn’t all that much in total, but still. I remember literally sitting at my office and just thinking about food.

Raw Food Flush: Day One

So I decided to do a raw food flush. For those who don’t know, it’s a diet where you only eat raw veggies. Obviously, you can’t survive on this diet for more than a few days (AND SHOULD NOT TRY), but this really flushes out the toxins in your body.

I’m cheating just a little bit. THis diet usually calls for fresh veggies AND fresh juice, but since I can’t really be wasting so much time and money in buying and  juicing all these fruits, I just have store-bought apple cider and orange juice. Also, I have opted to drink milk as well during this time.

Groceries: I bought edamame, sugar snap peas, spinach leaves, broccolli, whole carrots, and celery from Trader Joe’s for $17. Not bad considering it’s all organic. I also bought chocolate covered bananas as a last hurrah before I started my diet…. but that’s neither here nor there :P. The juice and milk were from my favorite market, Halo Farm (rave review about this place to come), $2 for each juice and 1.23 for the milk.

Experience: I never knew how much I loved edamame. This is also cheating a bit, since they’re not really raw when you eat them but boiled. But they’re super healthy so I figured they could be my “delicacy” for the day. It’s only my first day and I’m already half way through them!

Aside from that, all is going well. I don’t know if this is just a placebo, but I find myself with more energy already. And while I did crave snacks at first, it stopped really bothering.

I hit two snags today, though. I ate through most of my veggie breakfast without a hitch but, fifteen minutes later, I threw it all up quite violently. I don’t know what happened but I was quite fine after that. My second snag was taht my dad didn’t know that I was on this diet and made me dinner… so I had to eat a little bit or else risk offending him.

I had allowed myself in my original plan to eat one cookie at the end of every day that I was good, but… when I ate the cookie today, I found I didn’t really want it! What a surprise!

Red is the color of Love. Or Anger. Or Yumminess.

It’s February. Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Sappy lovesick couples go out on sappy dates. As for me… well, at least I get to do some baking.

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Coconut cupcakes. Yeah, I said it.

These may look pretty, but keep in mind I baked 20 cupcakes and only chose these 2 to take a picture of... I'm horrible at decorating!

Vanilla cupcakes are good.

Coconut vanilla cupcakes are TO DIE FOR.

Personally, I just love all things coconut. These cupcakes were my way of breaking in my new stand mixer. And they were perfect! Challenging without being tedious – I always hate being bored by recipes and these cupcakes did not fail me. The secret to the intense moisture and flavor is reduced coconut milk, which is easy if not time consuming to make.

The recipe can be found on Epicurious.

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Sherry Yard

I don’t buy many frivolities as a broke college student and that includes cooking books. Why pay for recipes when good (and legal) ones are available for free? But I quickly snatched up this one when I found it. I have always wanted a detailed explanation of kitchen mysteries from a seasoned pastry chef. Author Sherry Yard has worked for Wolfgang Puck, cooks dessert for the Oscars every year, and (this one’s the clincher) gets the star of approval from my hero, David Lebovitz. I had to check her out!

I was pretty lucky to get it for 25 bucks because it’s out of print and most are selling it for well over the list price ($35) – some half.com users are selling it for over $120!

In any case, I can’t wait until it ships so I can bake up some deliciousness!

Dairy Delite: proof that sketchy places serve the best food

At first glance, this might look like a shady place to be. You wonder, who would get ice cream here? But this is one of my spots for cold, delicious creaminess. I’m thoroughly convinced that the best food places are incredibly sketchy and dingy. It’s next to my church in Levittown, PA and those of you locals should definitely trek on out there if you haven’t already. Creamy, thick ice cream from a place with a decrepit-looking giant ice cream cone as a sign. Served in an ummarked styrofoam cup. Mmmmm.

 

Strawberry ice cream - ~2.50

I’m in LOVE – Breville Stand Mixer Review

Stand mixers are like dishwashers. They’re a somewhat unnecessary expenditure (you could easily use a hand mixer or wash your dishes by hand) but they somehow revolutionize your life. I couldn’t have made the expenditure myself on my tight, broke-college-student budget, but I actually was lucky enough to win a Breville Stand Mixer from the awesome Cookie Madness. And as far as stand mixers go, Breville wins everything. I laugh at the face of Kitchenaid users. With its scraping ability, sleek design, and powerful mixing capabilities, this was love at first sight. If you have the budget, definitely invest in one because it will change your (baking) life.

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Max Brenner: A Haven for the Ladies

Max Brenner’s must be packed with singles on Valentines Day. What better place to drown your sorrows than to have chocolate covered…everything? I recently went there for a friend’s 20th birthday and, let me tell you, this place seriously puts Willy Wonka to shame. Continue reading

easy cooking: “Asian”-styled curry

Sorry for the dark picture. You might not know this but dinner is usually cooked at night.

I love curry. It bears repeating: I. LOVE. CURRY.

Potatoes: Love.

Meat: Love.

Peas: Love.

Jasmine Rice: Love.

Curry Powder: LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I don’t care that it never, er, exits well for me. It’s all worth it. When I was living alone, I’d make a giant vat of it and just survive on that throughout the week. I only know how to make Asian-styled curry (I know, India is part of Asia, but we’re forgetting that little geographical detail). I can’t put my finger on what exactly is different, but I can always tell authentic curry made from fob Indian mothers from the Asian counterparts. Maybe it’s the fact that Asian curry isn’t so full of spices that it takes my tongue off (in an awesome, awesome way), but I’m just guessing.

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caramelized white chocolate goodness

David Lebovitz is a genius. He can take something delicious (white chocolate) and turn it into something UBER-delicious (caramelized white chocolate). I wish there were more recipes that made good use of caramelized white chocolate. I’m not much into ice cream in this weather, nor any of his other suggestions. I’ve tried to replace it with white chocolate in blondie recipes, but it’s not really the same – I feel like the caramelization takes too much of the moisture out of the chocolate.

One thing I learned from this is that Ghirardelli isn’t all it’s hyped up to be. Their white chocolate turned out to be really chalky and grainy and not good for caramelizing. What was supposed to take an hour took two and a half instead. Still delicious, but way more tedious. It’s such an easy procedure that anyone can do it, but if you’re going to invest an hour of your time, spring for the good stuff (ie – Valrhona or Guittard)

Instead of copying out the recipe word for word anyway, I’m just going to direct you to David’s recipe.

Yes, I did sit in front of my oven and watch it caramelize.

Tips (in addition to the ones he lists on his blog)

  • Do NOT use Ghirardelli White Chocolate chips (as mentioned above)
  • To avoid getting water on: do NOT wash your spatula in between scraping. Scrape as much of the chocolate off your spatula as possible when you’re done using it each time.
  • It’s easier to “stir” in the sea salt at the end by just sprinkling it on and smoothing it with the spatula as you normally would.