Saturday, November 18, 2006

Glorious New Teas

We went to Gong Fu Tea today with my family...and my dad bought me some tea for my birthday! Yippeeee! Here is the run down:

Pacific Breeze: My all-time favorite. This is what I drink everyday. It makes me infinitely happy. It smells so amazing. Here is their description: We can only describe this extraordinary blend as "eye-popping"! This tea is an exotic mélange of only the finest organic ingredients - Oolong tea leaves, wild roses, jasmine blossoms, lemon myrtle and natural citrus oils that come together to produce a beautiful, dry, and flavorful brew that will linger on the palate. This tea is an experience that must be tried.

Blue Spring Oolong: I got this one because it has a unique look to it...kind of like little turds. hee hee! The owner's wife said it's her I just had to try it out. I love oolong tea. Description: The leaves for this oolong are grown at high elevations in Fujian Province, China -- amidst a landscape that is home to the ideal breezes and humidity for producing quality teas. The partially oxidized leaves are hand-rolled in a licorice powder, causing them to take on the appearance of small pebbles. When brewed, the liquor emits a delicately sweet aroma and provides a pleasantly peculiar, lingering finish. This is perhaps the most unique oolong tea we have ever experienced.

Gobi Green with Citron: This delicate green tea with a hint of citrus and orange flowers will provide a gentle awakening to the new day. After a few cups of this unique blend, you will find your adventurous spirit exploring paths that are often less traveled.

Yum! Does anyone want to come have a cup of tea with me?!

Friday, November 17, 2006


EVOO...otherwise known as extra virgin olive oil. This stuff is like gold at our house. This bottle of organic goodness was given to me by my dad when I saw it at his house and exclaimed..."Where did you get organic olive oil?!!"...he replied " can have it". What!? Sweeeeet. I use it in nearly everything I make. Delicioso.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New City Market

I have often talked about my favorite little grocery store in Des Moines...New City Market. I finally got around to taking some photos of it for you all to see! Isn't it adorable? My favorite section is (of course) the bulk bins. I love to shop at New City for several reasons:
  • It's local and they support local farmers.
  • The staff members are helpful and kind.
  • They remember who we are.
  • There are only 4 aisles.
  • They care about the same "issues" that I care about (i.e. organic, non-GMO, etc.)
  • I don't have to stand behind the guy buying a big slab of factory farm beef, Cheetos, Fruit Loops, and white bread.
  • They don't look at me like I have 2 heads when I hand them my cloth bags.
I will go out of my way to shop at New City...just to make sure I am supporting a small, local business. Yes, it may cost a little more sometimes, but it's worth it! I love you New City!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Frugal Organic

I frequently hear people complain about the cost of organic foods...but honestly, I've never had trouble buying nearly 100% organic foods on a budget. I wouldn't say it's a super strict budget...but not excessive either. We usually stay right at about $75 a week...sometimes $100. Today I was really happy with myself because I stayed within my budget, bought 100% organic, and I got TONS of stuff.

The key to it to make things from scratch. Don't buy a lot of packaged foods. Bring a list. Make a PLAN! It's that simple. It works. Click here to see notes on each item.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Diane's Stork Muffins

Another recipe from Vive Le Vegan...I just can't pass up a great muffin recipe! They were more time-intensive than other muffins because I had to grind the oat flour and the flax meal, and soak the dates. But it was worth every minute. These are really hearty...great with soup! They are not too sweet...and very healthy.

Diane's Stork Muffins
Vive Le Vegan
by Dreena Burton

2 cups ground oats (quick oats ground into flour in the food processor)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup barley or kamut flour
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 pitted dates, chopped (I used medjool dates...soaked in hot water before pitting)
1/2 c dried cranberries (I used raisins)
1/2 t sea salt
2 T flax meal
1 1/4 cups plain non-dairy milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 t almond extract
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the flax meal, sifting in the flours, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well combined. In another bowl, combine the flax meal and the milk. Add the maple syrup, extracts, and canola oil and stir through. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir through until well combined. The batter will thicken as the oats absorb the liquid. Spoon the mixture into 2 muffins pans lined with cupcake liners or lightly oiled. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 18-20 small muffins or 12 large muffins.

Note: These got dry on me pretty fast, so eat them up over the first few days!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Creamy Carrot Soup

This is a great fall recipe...and perfect for those days when you're down to nothing in the fridge! We topped it with organic sour cream and ate it with muffins.

Creamy Carrot Soup
Simply Natural Baby Food by Cathe Olson

3 1/2 (1 lb) carrots, cut into thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 strip kombu (seaweed)
3 cups water
2 t tamari or Bragg's
1 T tahini or nut butter (we used almond butter)
2 t miso
4 ounces or tofu (optional)
1 T fresh minced dill or 1 t dried
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Place carrots, garlic, onion, kombu, and water into medium sized pan. Cover and bring o a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 -20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

In a blender or food processor, puree cooked vegetables with remaining ingredients until completely smooth. You will need to do 2 batches.

Serve immediately or reheat later over low heat. Be careful not to boil when reheating as this will kill the enzymes in the miso.

4 servings.