Banana Nut Smoothie

I did something weird. Like, really weird. I made milk out of cashews. Doesn’t that sound like the most unnecessary thing you have ever heard of?

I needed cashew milk to replicate recipes from the new juice spot in town, called Nekter. No utters are involved, no straining either! The hardest part is waiting for the cashews to soak ahead of time, which makes them easier to digest. Apparently unsoaked cashews will give you webbed feet and a slight limp. *Previous statement is not scientifically proven

banananutsmoothie

You can find a recipe worth trying and modifying at Foodilistic. I can’t take a photo yummy enough to give this smoothie all the props it deserves. Dates, nutmeg, cashew milk, bananas…it’s so creamy and perfect for fall.

BUT, I have to stop.

It’s like, really, really not cool to say things like “give props” anymore. It’s right down there at the bottom of the list with, “All that and a bag of chips.” I’ve actually Googled terms such as, “latest slang”, “latest sayings” and researched Urban Dictionary to try to keep up with the language of the cool kids. Alas, I have fallen way, way behind.

The internet tells me I am middle-aged and white. Being 37, I take offense to the middle-aged idea, as that is a good 7 years off, dang it! I can’t exactly argue with the idea of being out of touch though. Yeah, I love to reference movies like Napolean Dynamite and Nacho Libre. Yeah, they are outdated. I can’t help it, I still love them!


 

As for the white girl thing? I don’t think I entirely look the part. In fact, people never really know what ethnicity I am!

A couple months ago, a cranky neighbor was extra pleasant to me, asking me why I moved back. Nope,  we’ve never moved, I told him. He responded in shock, he thought I was his friend who lived her before. I look just like her and talk like her too. Wasn’t I Persian he asked?

(I’m not)

  • When my hair is dark and curly, people speak Spanish to me.
  • When I wore eyeliner, more people speak Spanish.
  • Someone at a restaurant once mentioned I look like I don’t speak English.
  • I don’t stick out in the Jewish crowd, I blend just fine. (With good reason)
  • I once thought I found “my people” at Jy’s cousin’s wedding. Dark eyes and highlighted hair?! That’s me! Alas, I am not Armenian.
  • People find my blog by the search term, “Japanese eye surgery”. No joke.
  • I’ve been asked if I am I Portuguese? No, but my husband is part, does that count?
  • There was the year in the late 90′s when I had black hair and heard more than one person whisper “Doesn’t she….Monica Lewinsky?”

Here is what I actually am:

  1. Russian
  2. German
  3. Polish
  4. Mexican
  5. Spanish
  6. Native American
  7. Something else my mom can’t remember
  8. Something else that we don’t know. Family secrets, shh!

So, yes, plenty of European white-girl stuff, but also a good dose of the Latin stuff and a bit of mystery.

This is from a couple years back, but looking at this picture, what ethnicity would you say I am? Other than tired from staying up all night with a young baby?

cousins2

Me and my cousin April, who totally missed her calling as a catalog model.

Back to my white girl status. There has been a video going around about being a “basic” girl and plenty of memes about being a pumpkin-spice loving white girl. Those totally apply. However, When I say I am a white girl, I mean that I have little to no understanding of pop culture outside of what is highlighted on The Today Show.

For example, I am still Googling the concept of milkshakes bringing boys to the yard. Without the explanations of the internet, I’d still think this is how I get boys to come running:

Hey  boys! I've made shakes and smoothies! Come over here! Come out to the yard!

Hey boys! I’ve made shakes and smoothies! Come over here! Come out to the yard!

I’m on Instagram and follow all kinds of accounts. The other day, this popped up on my IG feed:

bye-felicia-whos-felicia-exactly-bye

Plenty of comments laid out their virtual laughs and I scrolled on. BUT THEN, I saw another.

c6415543c0a09e9cae18fd8485750eef

Ok internet, one point for you. I guess I am white. Who is Felicia? Is she on a reality show? Is she in a Tyler Perry movie?

“Bye Felicia” originated from the movie “Friday” where a crackhead named Felicia used to come and ask Craig (one of the main characters) for random things like if she can borrow his car or use his iron – just random stuff. One day she asked him for some money and he says “Bye Felicia” and when she refuses he says it again with gusto. Ever since then, people have been using it as a way to get rid of people in a funny way when someone does or says something outrageous. - Reddit

Which brings me to the next example,

 
Malia has been playing this song in yoga for a long time and I always figured the words were, “Come get it baby,” just a little slurred. Nope, it’s bae. I think by now everyone knows about bae. But it just bothers me on so many levels. WHY the E at the end? Why not bay or ba? It’s obviously an abbreviation of baby, right? Maybe not. If you are another logophile (word lover, it’s not an illegal act), then you might just love reading more about the controversy over the origin of the term bae at Visual Thesaurus. All the rest of the normal people out there, skip the link and read on about my lacking cultural awareness.

Once upon a time I lived in San Francisco, a couple blocks from the Castro District. I also lived on Treasure Island, half way over the Bay Bridge, between San Francisco and Oakland. I never truly fit in while living in San Francisco, my valley-girl roots just couldn’t be hidden. After a couple years though, I was a little bit city and more in touch with other cultures.

But now, now I live where everything is landscaped. The grocery stores aren’t just clean, they are stocked with over priced boutique items. I live where the CEO’s travel home to after a long day at work. Hence, we are probably one of the poorest family in our surrounding zip codes. But, (yeah, I started a sentence with but), the schools are the best, the parks are amazing, the community is like no other.

What’s the point of all this? I just wanted to really express my new found self-awareness. I am not cool. But no one has called me Felicia, either! So yes, ladies, blend up those pumpkin smoothies, drink down those pumpkin lattes, be basic all you want. I stand in solidarity with you. Let’s be outdated and basic together!
 

 

Cooking Once a Month. Loving the other 29 days.

I tried really hard to take a picture of a lady in some gross sweat pants at the grocery store. They weren’t dirty or shredded, but they had wording on the butt which read, “FYI, I might not be wearing underwear.” It was only on the right booty cheek, which happened to be the same side her sweater was hiked up on. She obviously really, really wanted to have her message read. 

This was so confusing. What did she want me to gather from her information? Was it a warning to not sit where she has sat? Was it an invitation for conversation about society and undergarments? Does she need some money for underwear?

I followed her and snapped a dozen photos, all of which were blurry. Not sure if you really needed to see her pants, it was more of a need to have proof that these pants exist. 

Are you ready for the worst part? It was in a really, really bad font. 

download

Would you like a giant shortcut to dinner? You have two options. One, get really, really rich and hire someone to take care of your meals. Two, sign up for OnceAMonthMeals.com.

It will cost you $10 a month for a basic membership and $16 for premium. You will more than make that up with grocery savings, immediately. There are different monthly menus to choose from and once chosen, the site will compile a few lists for you:

1. A complete shopping list
2. A prep chart
3. Recipe cards
4. Cooking day instructions
5. Labels
6. A thawing sheet, with information for each recipe

The idea of Once A Month Meals is to plan meals, shop for them in one day and spend one day cooking, then freezing all of the meals. That day is not the most relaxing, but it is well worth it.

Onceamonthmeals

It would have made sense for me to take a photo of our freezer last month, when it was full of meals! I’m getting ready for round two of cooking for the month. Because I bought a premium membership, I can swap meals from the suggested menu and choose one of the other 3000+ meals on the site.

As of right now (October 2014), the menus offered are:

  • Traditional
  • Whole Foods (As in healthy, unprocessed foods)
  • Gluten Free, Dairy Free
  • Diet
  • Paleo
  • Kid’s Mini Menu
  • Vegetarian
  • Baby Food

The menus are seasonal and plenty of bonus menus seem to keep popping up, like the pumpkin menu!

Not only is it pretty awesome to have a homemade dinner every night of the week, it’s amazing how much money batch cooking saves. My other, other favorite part? There is usually only one crock pot meal per menu. 

Here is a sampling of what I cooked last month of my mega-cooking day -

Breakfasts:

  • GF Apple Pie Oatmeal Muffins
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Pumpkin Muffins

Lunches:

  • Taco Bowls
  • Lemon Orzo Soup
  • Quinoa Mexican Bowl

Dinners:

  • Perfect Roasted Chicken
  • Autumn Sausage Casserole
  • Crockpot Mongolian Beef
  • Honey Sesame Chicken
  • Mushroom White Wine Chicken

Doesn’t sound bad, does it? Regain your sanity. Stop cooking seven nights a week, that just plain sucks! 

swappable-300x250-logo

 

Biscuits On A Weeknight

What do you think of when I mention the idea of baking biscuits? 

Do you think of the urban legend, “Biscuit Bullet”, where a lady thinks she’s been shot in the head, but it is really the can of biscuits that popped open in her grocery bags and exploded? 

 

Do you think of June Cleaver, Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker or some other middle-aged white woman with a clean apron?
martha

Do you think of Sir Mixx A Lot and his masterpiece, “Buttermilk Biscuits.”

Y’all ready to get busy? (huh huh!)
Now, buttermilk biscuits here we go
Zip the flour roll the dough
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Move your butt to the funky beat (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)
(Lord have mercy Mix-A-Lot’s our here rappin’ about biscuits now)

Freak from L.A. to the Carolinas
Dip them suckers in Aunt Jemima
Don’t make a difference what food you make
Use buttermilk biscuits to clean your plate
You eat ‘em in the morn’, you eat ‘em at night
Kentucky Fried Chicken makes the suckers just right
I am eat ‘em with jelly at my favorite deli
Wrapped and sealed by a freak named Shelley (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)

 If this has all been too much for you and a little break is what you desire. I’d like to offer up a quick video from a master biscuit baker. Ladies and gentlemen, the best of…Mrs. Paula Deen.


 So, what makes these biscuits so wonderful? There is no need for a rolling pin, biscuit cutter or even kneading. You use two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one to whip egg whites. The egg white beating is the hardest part of this recipe and it is only so if you don’t have a mixer. As long as you keep any yolk remnants out of your egg whites, whipping the whites on high for about 2 minutes should change the liquid from foam to a puffy, white substance. Gently folding the eggs is the secret to allowing the biscuits to bake up light and airy. 

Try these, they are awesome. Once again, you can totally believe me. Not like those other freaks who swear the peas porridge in a pot, nine days old is the best way to eat it, sickos. 

peas

weeknight biscuits

 

Weeknight Biscuits
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1845 calories
250 g
704 g
71 g
53 g
39 g
764 g
2705 g
51 g
2 g
26 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
764g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1845
Calories from Fat 626
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 71g
109%
Saturated Fat 39g
194%
Trans Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 20g
Cholesterol 704mg
235%
Sodium 2705mg
113%
Total Carbohydrates 250g
83%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 51g
Protein 53g
Vitamin A
52%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
128%
Iron
41%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 c sifted all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 4 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 c soft butter
  6. 3 large eggs, separated
  7. 1 c whole milk
Instructions
  1. Sift dry ingredients 3 times.
  2. Cut butter into flour mixture.
  3. Beat egg yolks thoroughly and add milk and beat again.
  4. Stir egg yolk mixture into dry mixture gently.
  5. Beat egg Whites until stiff. Fold into batter and blend gently.
  6. Pour into buttered or sprayed muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
  8. Check after 15 minutes and turn oven down to 375.
  9. Test with wooden toothpick for doneness.
beta
calories
1845
fat
71g
protein
53g
carbs
250g
more
Food it Forward http://fooditforward.com/

Apple Cake

I’ve told you about Lisa’s awesome apple cake in the past. Yet, I don’t see you making it, so I’m coming back at you with it. This time though, I’m changing something. I’m wondering if you aren’t making apple cake because you haven’t met Lisa in person.  

Maybe you are thinking, “I knew a girl named Lisa in high school and she was the worst. She was the Regina George of our school.”

Or, for you ladies (and gents) of the 80′s, “She was the Heather Chandler of our school.”

Or, for the readers of the 70′s, “She was the Carrie of our school.”

Friends from the 60′s, “She was the Yoko Ono of our school.”

For those who were in high school before the 60′s, “She was the Mary, Queen of Scots of our school.”

So even though I swear that Lisa is super fantastic and makes really, really good food, I’m going to rename Lisa’s Apple Cake to……

Apple Cake. 

Now, I know what you are thinking. 

How does a wordsmith of that caliber NOT have a job working for Hallmark?” Your guess is as good as mine. My first guess is, I’ve never applied for a job at Hallmark. 

You can use red or green apples in this recipe. Even the crappy ones that return home in your kid’s lunch! This isn’t your typical heavy, oil-laden cake. It’s light, airy and just sweet enough. Let me know if you try it. 

Or, I’ll keep writing about it. a la The Shining.

jack

light apple cake

Apple Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
233 calories
50 g
65 g
3 g
4 g
1 g
147 g
26 g
34 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
147g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 233
Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
4%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 65mg
22%
Sodium 26mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 50g
17%
Dietary Fiber 3g
10%
Sugars 34g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
5%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. sugar
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 c. flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice
  6. 4-5 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (large pieces)
  7. For the top - cinnamon, sugar, butter
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar, add juice, then dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chopped apples. Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar, and place dabs of butter on top (as much or as little as you want). You can also sprinkle top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
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calories
233
fat
3g
protein
4g
carbs
50g
more
Food it Forward http://fooditforward.com/

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

This morning, I offered Dallas some advice about being a good friend, he told me, “I know, Mama.”

My mother hates to be called mama. Totally not her thing. To her, mama means this:

mama-june

When I hear mama, I think of this:

mom-child-oldfashioned3455

 I’ve transitioned  from a working mom back to being stay at home mom and things have been going really well. Yesterday, as we drove home from 2nd grade pick up, I was joking around with my kids. I had been feeling pretty good about all the stay at home mothering I had been lavishing on my children. 

oprahmeme

We listen to lots of music on Pandora in the car and a song from the Disney movie, Tangled came through the speakers. Rapunzel is singing on about all the chores she does before 7:15 am, as she has nothing else to do in her lonesome tower.

Max took this opportunity to tell me, “Mom, you are like Rapunzel!”

I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant, because I have recently cut my hair. Before I had more time to think, Max explained it’s because “I don’t ever give them any attention.”

Luckily, Dallas stood up for me, laughing and telling Max how his accusation was untrue. 

Still Max stood his ground. “No, mom. You don’t ever do anything with us.”

WHAT?

cats

He was trying to make some point about me being so busy doing chores all the time. Whatever kid. I think I only spend 19 or 20 hours a day (including a few hours at night) with you. Tell it to your future therapist. 

I know some drama is headed Max’s way, because he is determined to have three wives. Dallas offered some great advice this morning on the situation. “Max, it’s illegal to have three wives. But, it’s not illegal to have three girlfriends.” Should I call TLC now?

sister-wives-season-4

I joined a 7:30 pm meeting last night, after cooking my family some beef stew, biscuits (gluten-free),  homemade potato salad and (paleo) pumpkin pie (with non-paleo whip cream). A little treat was in order, so I got myself a Vietnamese iced coffee. 

Have you had one of these drinks? HOOOLY heartbeats. This type of coffee highlights caffeine for what it really is, a close cousin to crack. 

At 9 pm, I drove home and sat to check my email before bed. It wasn’t until then that I just how fast my heart was beating. 

 tub

I couldn’t get to bed, so I sat and watched old clips of Joan Rivers. Honestly, I had no idea she was that funny. What a talented woman. The real win came this morning around 6 though…

woke

Sorry, that meme shouldn’t be funny. It still makes me giggle though. Maybe because I picture them as sister wives, too? Plus, its kind of stupid. They are all around 70, which is totally the new 55. Not nearly old enough to worry about sleep-dying. 

I was a total zombie the rest of today. Jy reheated leftovers and added in some extra hot dogs for good measure. I ate a protein bar for dinner. Why can’t my family just be happy with protein bars, too?

bumew

Ok, so after this marathon day, let me share a great recipe! You don’t need to be a paleo-person to eat a piece of paleo pumpkin pie! Heck, it makes it even better, because now you can add some whipped cream. I also chickened out and dropped about 1/4 cup of raw sugar into my pie mix. The real winner here is the crust. Bookmark or pin this for the holidays, it will come in handy, I promise!

IMG_0223

Paleo Pie Crust
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7204 calories
836 g
742 g
406 g
116 g
76 g
2787 g
4287 g
157 g
0 g
309 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
2787g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 7204
Calories from Fat 3535
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 406g
624%
Saturated Fat 76g
378%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 150g
Monounsaturated Fat 159g
Cholesterol 742mg
247%
Sodium 4287mg
179%
Total Carbohydrates 836g
279%
Dietary Fiber 35g
139%
Sugars 157g
Protein 116g
Vitamin A
1373%
Vitamin C
72%
Calcium
75%
Iron
221%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 ¼ cups raw walnut halves (you could also substitute pecans)
  3. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  4. 1 egg white
  5. Generous pinch of salt
  6. Pie
  7. 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree (use fresh or this is the equivalent of a 15oz can)
  8. 2/3 cups raw walnut halves
  9. 1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  10. 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  11. ¼ cup honey
  12. ¼ cup maple syrup
  13. 1 cup water
  14. 1 tsp ginger
  15. 1 tsp allspice
  16. 1 tsp nutmeg
  17. 2 tsp cinnamon
  18. ½ tsp cloves
  19. ½ tsp cardamom
  20. ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Grind walnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground and almost starting to turn into walnut butter (i.e., just starting to clump together).
  3. Mix walnuts, almond flour, egg white, and salt together (you can pulse in your food processor or do this by hand).
  4. Press/pinch into a 9” pie plate (an 8” deep dish pie plate will work too).
  5. Pierce the crust with a fork every ¼” or so to stop the shell from bubbling up while it bakes.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before pouring the custard in.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F (if you’re making your pie right after making the crust, just reduce the temperature).
  9. Place cashews and walnuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. Add eggs, honey and maple syrup and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the water if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well). It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
  11. Pour into cooled pie shell (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just cool enough to touch). Spread the top out evenly with a spatula.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
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calories
7204
fat
406g
protein
116g
carbs
836g
more
Food it Forward http://fooditforward.com/