HELLO WORLD indeed!

Phew – I am finally getting after this whole blogging thing. I think I am going to like it.

Yep! That’s right. HELLO WORLD. I love the concept of a blog because writing like I speak it MUCH easier. Stream of consciousness? I love it. I have so many ideas for what I want blog posts to capture, to communicate, to analyze, and one of my ideas was this: why I love the holidays in the context of food, people and my friend Tiffany.

You all have that corny relative who wears the cheesy holiday sweaters because they REALLY think they are festive and fashionable for the season. And that is all well and good and CAN be fun(ny). Heck! I love the holidays also because of corny reasons – and because I am usually the one wearing the holiday sweater. But I also like the hustle and bustle. I like to think that people are rushing around for truly important reasons: to bring joy to others, whether it is bringing a meal to someone who cannot afford regular meals, cooking a family member their favorite holiday dish or putting meaning into a new gift for someone. It isn’t about getting that toy that your child wants SO much, or about making sure your Christmas table setting looks proper; rather, it is about the SPIRIT around doing good and doing for others that I love to see on peoples’ faces. If I am having a bad day, I get a lift from seeing others around me having a good day…and from looking at this picture of my friend Tiffany who looks ALL kinds of crazy on a holiday pub crawl. I encourage you to save this for when you are having a bad day. TRUST ME, if you knew her, it would be even funnier:

It’s my party and I’ll jingle all the way if I want to

I also like to cook healthful, scrumptious food, as this blog will showcase. There is nothing like the smell of fresh apple sauce and cinnamon in my warm house, with the non-stop holiday songs playing on the local radio station (who, by the way, started about two weeks early this year – don’t know if I feel good or overwhelmed). One of my favorite recipes that I will probably make a couple of more times before the end of the year is a sweet potato pie with a date nut crust that is AMAZING. The dates caramelize the nuts and would probably make an amazing cashew cream bar crust, as well (hmmm….). Crust recipe adapted from a new friend of mine, Sara Atkins, who is an amazing photographer and aspiring health foodie!

http://saraatkinsphotography.com/blog/2011/03/honey_lemon_meringue_pie_food_photography.html

Crust:

  • 2 cups of nuts (I used raw walnuts and cashews)
  • 1 cup dates (pitted, Medjool)
  • a few grinds of fresh pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, or fresh vanilla bean (scrape out the black stuff – it smells heavenly!)

Place everything into a food processor or high power blender until pulsed well, but not a buttery – Sara knows best.  : )  Spread out crust into coconut oil greased pie dish and bake at for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling:

  • 1 crust (see above)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup local raw honey
  • 3 cups cooked, well-mashed garnet yams, WITH SKIN (that’s the best part!) or canned (organic if possible)
  • ½ cup melted European style butter
  • a few grinds of fresh pink Himalayan salt, or sea salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 teaspoon of each: nutmeg cinnamon and ginger

With oven already at 350 degrees, blend all ingredients together in a blender (if working with self-mashed yams) or in a large bowl. Pour filling into cool baked pie crust and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

OK! That was a good first go at posting! Now back to my halibut with leeks, brown rice and heirloom beans. YUMMY, WARM AND HEARTY.

EMBRACE YOUR KITCHEN!