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Monday, September 23, 2013

GIFTS/GARDENS/GARDEIN - I Live in a 3G World and It's Enough for Me


To create is to cause to come into being something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes; to evolve from a person's own thought or imagination, as a work of art, an invention, etc.;  to cause to happen, bring about, arrange, as by intention or design; to do something creative or constructive.

Handmade Thank You Card

Being creative to me also means being productive, and even a little bit of productive artistic expression can wipe away some pesky cobwebs and offer a positive break from negativity.  Here's a little card I made to say thanks to Cousin Lee for the beautiful brooch necklace she sent for my recent b-day.  

What's Better Than Lunch 
in a Garden?

That would be lunch at Gardein, their Los Angeles Test Kitchen that is.  Since Gardein products are so delicious no need to mention the V word.  For anyone looking to eat healthier options of some of your favorite foods, or to celebrate Meatless Monday, or to make sure everyone (your V friends and family) gets something tasty and filling to eat, go immediately to your favorite supermarket, find Gardein in the freezer section, take the packages home, and surprise yourself with the deliciousness.  Thanks Gardein for the invite and great food!

                   Charity + Creativity = WIN, WIN

This past weekend I had the pleasure of creating the food for a special  "thank you" event attended by a group of Karma Rescue donors.  Held in the garden of a lovely home in Rustic Canyon, the opportunity to serve great vegetarian and vegan food, and having it really well received, added more good karma into the universe.  Here are pictures of some of the food, along with the blackboard menus (plywood, primer, blackboard paint, dog biscuits):


Two favorite vegan recipes are my Two-Nut Salad and my Lentil and Mushroom Pate', and I'm pleased to say that people were pretty amazed that there was no fish in the salad and no meat in the pate'.  The pate was served garnished with diced red onion and pickles, with multi-grain baguette slices.  It is also delicious as a sandwich spread, on pumpernickel or rye bread spread with Dijon mustard.  Here's the recipe:

Lentil and Mushroom Pate'

Lentil and Mushroom Pate'
1 pkg. Melissa's Steamed Lentils
2 shallots, diced
1 pkg. Melissa's Dried Porcini Mushrooms, rehydrated
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
vegetable or grapeseed oil for sauteing
diced red onion and dill pickle for garnish

Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in hot water to cover for about 15 minutes.  

Saute the shallots in a pan for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  

Reserving the mushroom liquid, add the rehydrated mushrooms to the shallots and stir to combine.  Continue cooking 2 minutes.

Place the lentils into a food processor, then add the sauteed shallots and mushrooms.
Add the Earth Balance and pulse until smooth.  Add a bit of mushroom liquid if necessary to reach the right consistence.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, or mound on a platter, garnish with diced red onion and pickles, and surround with baguette slices and/or crackers. 

I hope you found some inspiration in what I've been up to lately.  Let me know, ok? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

This and That

Up until now my posts have been primarily food oriented, in spite of the "Adventures" in the title. This will now change, because although I believe my recipes are good, there's so much more to share.  From today going forward I will offer a few interesting places, people, events, and food (of course) from the last week or so, and hopefully you'll get some ideas to inspire your own comings and goings.


Terranea Resort - Palos Verdes, CA

Situated on bluffs above the Pacific 
Ocean in Palos Verdes, CA, this 5-diamond resort is a bit of heaven on earth.  

Compliments of Terranea

Catalina's Kitchen at Terranea Resort
Last week my mother and I enjoyed a most delightful birthday lunch on the patio of Catalina's Kitchen, one of the resorts many dining options.  The view, garden, setting, service, food, and weather were perfect, and a visit to Terranea is highly recommended.  

Gifts from the Garden

My friend Wendy is never too far from a garden or her kitchen, whipping up homemade breads, jams, and ice creams, often using fresh picked herbs and fruits.  As a b-day gift she cleverly took something from the kitchen and something from the garden to create this beautiful, unique planter.

And while we're in the garden, here's one of the small mosaic planters I recently made.  Broken tiles/china, glass beads, paint, and a terracotta pot -

Goodness Grapeness

When life hands you lots of sweet, juicy, seasonal Muscato Grapes (from Melissa's), you can whip up a tart or pie, or Parfait du Jour,  or my new favorite morning, noon, and bedtime snack - frozen grapes. 

Like little orbs of grape sorbet, a cupful will last a while and give you lots of grape goodness to enjoy. To freeze grapes, put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and place grapes on the sheet in a single layer.  Place in the freezer until the grapes are solid and then transfer the grapes to a freezer bag.  What's really cool is that each color (green, red, black) freezes differently, and each has it's own flavor and sweetness.

Another Contest I Didn't Win But Enjoyed Anyway

When my friend Valentina of Cooking on the Weekends
had her recent Share the Love Cooking Giveaway, one of her recipes that I prepared was the Meyer Lemon, Black Quinoa, Plum and Avocado Salad.  I swapped out the black quinoa with wheatberries, but otherwise it was as-is, incredibly delicious, and a big hit with my arts & crafts gal pals.

Until next time.....