Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

Last week, we ventured to a nearby farm to harvest raspberries and cherries. Not only was it a family fun activity, but we also brought home pounds and pounds of fresh fruit. We made (although the term “we” actually doesn’t include “me”) cherry cobbler and cherry pie. I made raspberry chia jam with no refined sugar. Take a look!

 

My raspberry picker.

My raspberry picker.

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No Bake Chocolate Deliciousness To The Max

If you have a free 15 minutes, then you need to make these cookies. Doesn’t matter if you are running to the next appointment / pick up / drop off / or work, if you have the time, then you must make these. DELICIOUSNESS TO THE MAX TIMES INFINITY. (Sorry for the limited amount of pictures — my iphone was in the Apple Store #FML due to a cracked screen, so I did what I could do….and I needed you to have this recipe for the long weekend, so sorry!)

 

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

This is the end result. It tastes better than it looks. And the smell is divine, too.

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Black Bean Flourless Brownies

Moist, delicious, and oh-so-healthy! Store in fridge.

 

Yup, you read it correctly, say WHAAATTTT? Black Bean Flourless Brownies? Black beans in a brownie????? With or without rice? Just joking (about the rice), and yessers, I am serious about the black beans in the brownies. I was intrigued by the recipe from A Clean Bake, so I made the recipe, found myself interested in how weird they were, and then realized I had eaten more than my share #oops. So here is the recipe: (Note, when I made it, I must have been overly tired because I literally doubled the amount of black beans #gassy and forgot baking powder and salt…. I think that is what happens when I try to rush/bake between kid activities and my tutoring gig. Mind you, even though I forgot all that and put way too many beans in, everything was delicious!)

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Thai Cabbage Slaw

The perfect crunch, taste, and salad. I can't wait to try more of Mark Bittman's concoctions.

My obsession with Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix Cookbook continues. I can’t speak highly enough about it and EVERYONE must get it for their kitchen STAT. It makes meal-planning easy, and spices up our family dinner repertoire. My most recent find (there seems to be a new one every week!) is the thai cabbage slaw — DELISH what what!!!

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Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!

 

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

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Raw Brownies

Four years ago, I posted (yep, been writing this blog for over 4 years …. no major breakout new blogger award, but happy to still be posting, promoting Natori, and contributing to the world wide web) the recipe for Raw Brownies. Since many of you readers have not been reading since Day 1 (thank you to my parents and college girlfriends), I decided it was time to share this wonder of a recipe again! 4 ingredients, no refined sugar, super delicious, easy to make, no baking, holy ka-bomb done done done.

 

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

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Savory Zucchini Pancakes

Happy New Years! Happy 2016! I am currently in the process of coming up with my New Year’s Resolutions, and will post those on Monday.  In between my deep thoughts; mad rush packing up west coast for east coast (sob!); savoring the last minutes, hugs, and kisses with my brother, his family, and my parents; and waking up at 3 am to catch a 5:15 am cross country flight (no joke), I have had little time to thoughtfully compose the resolutions. So stay tuned! Until then, here is a recipe for some zucchini savory pancakes — nutritious and delicious.

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

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Matcha Latte

I just hopped onto the matcha bandwagon and made myself a matcha latte! What is matcha (besides a word sounding like it is yiddish instead of Japanese)? It is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves. It is also all the hype in hipster, hippy coffee shops. And since I love all of the above (hipster, coffee, tea, Japanese, and hippy), I am now a matcha lover. Plus, it is gentle on your stomach, fights sickness, and makes you smarter. WIN WIN WIN. NO LONGER WILL I BE A BLONDE.

 

What's not to love about a green drink?

What’s not to love about a green drink?

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Spiralizer

I shelled out the big dough and bought another kitchen gadget; and I couldn’t be happier. YUP, a spiralizer. What is a spiralizer (good question, kinda sounds like a pencil sharpener)? It is a device that transforms vegetables into “angel-hair” strands as well as spiral cuts, shoestrings and ribbon “noodles” — amazing, right?

 

Spiralizer! Even the name sounds spunky and happy! SPIRALIZE!

Spiralizer! Even the name sounds spunky and happy! SPIRALIZE!

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Gwyneth Paltrow Candy Bars

Readers know that I love Gwyneth Paltrow as much as I love my kids (#joking #notjoking). So here is yet another recipe from her cookbook, “It’s All Good.”  Candy Bars! Hellooooooo healthy-ish Halloween treats! (way better than M&Ms). They are gluten-free and refined-sugar-free…  but heavy duty sweet.   But still healthier than a typical candy bar…..so go for it!
THICK GOOEY AWESOME

THICK GOOEY AWESOME

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Gazpacho

In July this summer (tear as summer is officially over. SOB!), my mom and I both tore out this recipe for gazpacho from the NYTimes. It looked simple yet delicious. It wasn’t until we recently had an abundance of tomatoes from the CSA that we decided to make it. And not to #humblebrag but HOLY CRAP THIS IS AMAZING AND I AM A STAR CHEF. This would win every and any food competition ever. I am now a phenomenal chef — this rocked my socks off. (I actually know it’s all about the recipe and the fresh CSA vegetables… but I can dream I’m a great cook, can’t I?)

 

July 2015 New York Times.

A July New York Times.

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Penzeys Spices

A true sign of a friend is when you receive a gift that shows that they are listening (which believe it or not, people don’t tend to do these days) to your stories. Several months ago, I nauseatingly bored my bestie to death with the fact that I had recently cleaned out the kitchen of our Pound Ridge home, and had thrown out 3 garbage bags worth of spices from 1985. So last weekend, when we visited Pound Ridge, I was astonished to find a huge present from my friend containing SPICES. To anyone else, this might seem like a whoa, cool, gift. But to me, it was beyond thoughtful, considerate, generous, and heartfelt. My friend listened, heard, and responded. Amazing. And let me tell you, these are not just any spices, they are the KING OF SPICES. (I don’t usually get excited by spices, but let me tell you, these are above and beyond any other type of spice!)

 

Boxes. Yes, they are just cardboard boxes but the contents are magic.

Boxes. Yes, they are just cardboard boxes but the contents are magic.

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Healthy Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Morning! Last night, my hubba hubba husband was on HSN (Home Shopping Network) again representing Natori and selling perfume. Check it out here. Bravo!!!! And now, to the post…..Gwyneth Paltrow wins again! Her recipe for carrot pineapple cake (or muffins) is a champion winner. Hot dog, she sure knows what she is doing. These refined sugar-free and gluten-free carrot pineapple muffins are incredible — perhaps my favorite dessert recipe to date! Do me a favor and make these tasty desserts (or breakfast) today!

 

Final product.

Final product.

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Typical Summer Meal

Here is a sample meal from my mother. And yes, she is a creative genius in the kitchen — she rarely looks at recipes and constantly uses her imagination to combine the freshest ingredients she finds. The key is organic and fresh veggies!

 

Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Anchovy salad. Fresh veggies from the CSA. True perfection.

Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Anchovy salad. Fresh veggies from the CSA. True perfection.

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Healthy Banana Muffins

A GP lover, I was on a mission to make the Jumbo Banana Muffins from Goop over the weekend, and boy, did they turn out amazing. GP knows what she is doing (or her staff does). Healthy — refined sugar free and gluten free — these muffins will be a huge hit in your office / home / belly. These moist, gooey muffins have an almond butter filling — an extra special yummy surprise in the middle.

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The Forest Feast Peanut Butter Coconut Balls

yum

 

One of the things I love most about spending my summers in Oregon with my parents is my mother’s cooking *AND* her collection of cookbooks. She literally could open up a cookbook library.  This past week, I came across a cookbook, The Forest Feast, given last year to my mother by my bestie. This cookbook is not only beautiful, but the vegetarian recipes are healthy, easy, and simple.   Here is my first find: peanut butter – coconut – no bake balls!  SO DELICIOUS!

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Kelp Salad

Recently, I have heard so many good things about kelp and its nutritional benefits. First and foremost, is kelp a noddle or a plant or a string? What is kelp??? Kelp noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories.

 

Kelp!

Kelp! (rhymes with help)

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Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Sugar, dairy and fat heaven! Ice Cream Sandwich Cake! Oh my, worth every single bite. Based off of the following recipes from: Mommy’s Kitchen, All Recipes, and A Free Recipe. This is truly the easiest homemade dessert, perfect for parties and summer BBQs. (Also, be sure to read through the whole post for info on a special promotion!)

 

Ice cream cakes!

Ice cream cakes!

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