As long summer days wind down and crisp fall air gently glides in, so do many changes. Summer fun and vacations come to an end and new beginnings at school and home usually take shape. A different batch of fall crops start to reach their harvest time and the days grow shorter. Football and our favorite (and new) television shows return and excitement begins for the upcoming holiday season.
In my case, the change this fall comes in the form of the desert. Yes, the DESERT! My hubby and I made the jump from San Francisco to Phoenix (mmm hmmm, Arizona) about a week ago. Not really the change we anticipated this fall but a wonderful change never the less. It wasn't per se our plan to move to what we have playfully been calling "Mars" but Scott was offered a wonderful opportunity with an amazing group of folks and so here we are. We packed our car (and our cat) and away we went.
Yes, it is hot. HOT hot! But we continue to hear that we arrived at a good time and that the fall will surely deliver some cooler air we so desperately miss. And yes, it IS a "dry heat." But dry or not, it is still hot. My favorite line from this move came from Scott on our first morning here. At 8:00 am we were walking to find some breakfast and I heard a faint grunt. I looked over at him, head up to the sky...eyes closed...and arms extended out like he couldn't possibly have parts of his body touching each other. I laughed and emphasized, "it's a DRY heat." Without missing a beat he replied, "Tell my armpits that!" HA! It was a beautiful moment.
Speaking of beautiful moments. I have quickly discovered that the desert is not all that bad and despite being in the middle of nowhere, in the heat...there are some amazingly beautiful things to see here. The sunsets for one. Incredible. Coming from San Francisco, we thought there would be no way at all be could possibly find any beauty here. Boy were we wrong!
There is something so quiet and peaceful here that it is hard to explain. I feel as though I can really breathe. Maybe it is the open space, maybe it is the dramatic mountain scapes, maybe it is the wide open parking lots that allow you drive right up to your intended destination and park your car (gasp!)...but whatever it is, I like it.
There is a super healthy vibe about people here and you can tell they really do care about their health, the food they are putting into their bodies and their overall lifestyle. I have a feeling I can learn a lot from being here at this time in my life. And I can learn a lot from these people. I guess it is all about embracing change all allowing yourself to learn and grow.
We are so excited to explore this part of the country and dig into the local culture and community. First few stops will include Sedona and wine country! Yes, they have wine country here. Leave it to us to find wine country any place we go ;-)
I plan to continue my Farmerbrowne journey and hope you will continue to follow along with me! Welcome to Mars! =)
Switch up your usual granola by crumbling a few Farmerbrowne's Organic Seed Crackers to make a completely gluten-free (oat, grain and nut free) granola alternative. The toasty, sweet and salty flavor of our wonderful crackers make a perfect pairing with fresh yogurt and fruit or keep it vegan by simply mixing crumbled crackers with your favorite nut milk. Farmerbrowne's can even substitute your favorite granola while on to go. Grab a bag to take on a hike, a picnic, or any time you are on the run. Throw in your favorite nuts and dried fruits to make a tasty trail mix. And if you can't part with you granola ways, try adding in some Farmerbrowne's into your favorite brand and elevate the textures and flavors you will experience. Enjoy!
It's been a not too long road but nevertheless I am here to say that farmerbrowne's organic seed crackers are finally here! My crackers are a completely grain-free, gluten-free and vegan treat that will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. I had one happy customer liken them to potato chips in that they couldn't stop with just one! Knowing how extremely nutritious these crunchy crackers are, hearing something like that just warms my heart. I absolutely LOVE knowing that I am putting a product out there that people are enjoying and is so very good for you. These crackers are a blend of 6 different seeds that are very slowly bake until they reach the perfect level of crispy yumminess. They are thin and delicate yet have a hearty taste and hold up to some pretty heavy toppings. Although I have to say that I love to eat them by themselves. We are popping up at various local events in the Bay Area over the next few weeks and stay tuned for a list of local stores, restaurants, bars and markets that will be carrying our brand very soon! We are so incredibly excited to be embarking on this tasty AND nutritious adventure and would love for you to join us.
Lately, it seems like I've been making a lot of mistakes in the kitchen. Thankfully, they all have yielded the most delicious results! Todays concoction was born from my rushing to hurry up and make a gluten-free banana bread while doing (of course) half a dozen other things. In my haste to crush some pecans, I thought I'd just throw them in the coffee grinder. It (mostly) didn't work. Most of the nuts were left whole but somewhat mangled. My advice when it comes to grinding nuts, stick to your processor or just chop up with a knife. I was able to salvage enough pecan pieces to chop up but I was left with a tiny bit of pecan crumbles in the bottom of the grinder. Also, because of my rushing, I failed to notice there were still coffee grinds left over from when my honey ground up the coffee beans this morning. The result, however, was an incredibly tasty little java spiced pecan! (And this is precisely why I have to taste EVERYTHING in my kitchen, or at least that is my story... and I'm sticking to it). So like any newbie culinary explorer, I decided to experiment a little more and came up with what I think it a fantastic and healthy raw dessert. So here you go! If you you at all enjoy sweets and coffee, you will love these java spiked date truffles. And if you like a little bit of crunch, just grind your coffee beans a bit more coarse.
Java Spiked Date Truffles
6 Medjool Dates (pitted and soaked in water for 10 minutes)
1 Cup Pecan halves
1 Tablespoon Coffee Beans (ground)
How to: Pit and soak your dates for 10 minutes or until a bit softened. Meanwhile, pulse your pecans in a food processor until crumbly. Add your ground coffee and your dates (remember, pits out!) and run the food processor until a thick paste in formed. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little bit of the soaking water from the dates. Chill paste for a few minutes and then roll into small truffle size balls.
Spring is finally here and the farmer's markets stalls are overflowing with all the deliciousness that is Spring's bounty. One of my favorites is seeing all the fresh young peas, in their glistening green pods, as well shelled in the large plastic bins. Maybe it is the small child in me yearning for the days long ago jumping in a sea of plastic balls at birthday parties but all I want to do is dive in. Instead, I settle for a small bag of shelled peas, grab some fresh mint and I know I am onto something delicious. The market was on Saturday but today I opened the refrigerator and my pretty peas were looking back at me begging me to finally do something. A raw pea and herb pate on grilled bread was my response.
I love peas not only for their B vitamins, good protein content the array of minerals (including phosporous, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron) but because they are incredibly versatile. They add a sweet pop to just about any dish and a creaminess to other dishes, whether cooked or raw. They can be eaten all alone or pair exceptionally well with fresh spring herbs, citrus, nuts and cheese. This recipe uses raw, fresh shelled peas, fresh mint, cashew nuts, garlic, salt and lemon. Grilled slices of thick crusty bread serve as the perfect canvas for this spread. You can lay a thin (or thick) layer of fresh goat cheese or a nice raw sheep's milk feta on your grilled bread first and then top with the puree, drizzle with some quality extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a dash of fresh cracked black pepper. Alternatively, layer the pea puree on your grilled bread and then top with shaved cheese ( like a parmigiano reggiano) and then drizzle with your oil and seasoning. Or, make this vegan and omit the cheese altogether. A sprinkle of nutritional yeast will add a cheese-like bite and healthy B vitamins! A don't fret if you are off the bread, this recipe is equally delicious with fresh cut veggies or rolled up in a crisp piece of fresh lettuce.
Fresh Pea and Mint Pate with Grilled Bread
1 C Fresh shelled peas
1/2 C Raw cashew pieces
8 Sprigs, Fresh Mint
1 Garlic clove (peeled)
1 Lemon (juiced)
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus more to drizzle on top)
1 tsp Sea salt (plus more to sprinkle on top, to taste if necessary)
Black pepper, to taste
1 French baguette or sourdough loaf ( plus olive oil for grilling)
How to: Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse into your desired consistency is reached. You can make it very smooth and paste like or thick and coarse. Simply slice the bread at an angle and grill on a lightly oiled grill pan (or outdoor grill). Top your grilled bread with the pea pate and dress it up as you please. A simple and delicious way is a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Enjoy!