Birthday breakfasts

Thomas recently had his 12th b-day. 12 years ago I was upstairs in my bedroom delivering Thomas on my waterbed with 2 midwives, an apprentice and my family all present. For future reference do NOT try to deliver a baby on a waterbed! But I digress this is about birthday breakfasts. We don’t have a lot of family traditions but one that has lasted through the years is crepes for birthday breakfasts. This tradition started in a completely different way; when I was much younger whenever I would spend the night at my best friend Patti’s house she would make me crepes for breakfast. I love crepes! Somehow that turned into me making crepes for the kids on their birthdays. It’s pretty much the only time we make crepes but they have come to expect it year after year.

Actually making the crepe batter is super easy, just dump the ingredients in the blender and voila you’re done. The bigger challenge is having all the fillings and toppings prepared. This year we were without one of the favorite components, chocolate ice cream but we did have all the other favorites. Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, jam, cream cheese, dark chocolate chips, chocolate syrup (with HFCS how did that sneak into the house?) whipped cream and real maple syrup. This breakfast has not been healthafied like so many other things in our house. But they are eating a lot of fruit along with all the sweets so 3 times a year we’ll let it slide.

I miss my lattes

I grew up in Seattle the home of Starbucks and now I live in Grandview where there are at least 8 coffee shops within a mile of my house and we can smell Stauf’s roasting their coffee beans on a warm day. For the past several years I had been going to Caribou Coffee approximately 2-5 times a weeks for a white chocolate- mint latte or one of the several other varieties that sounded good on that visit. My mom, aunt and I would meet every Sunday morning for coffee and time to visit. If I had to go do something I didn’t particularly want to I would reward myself by getting a coffee. On the days I went to work I would get a coffee. Dan and I often walked to Caribou for morning coffees and some time alone. While I was studying for my State Boards I would go to Caribou every morning for a few hours to study and visit with my friend Paulita who was also at Caribou writing her novel. We may have spent more time visiting than working but I passed my boards and she finished her novel so we must have got some work done along the way.

I always had lots of reasons why I deserved to stop and buy a $4.00 coffee drink. On the days when I didn’t go to Caribou I would make my own latte’s at home but they were never as good. Then I broke my espresso machine so that cut out the home lattes. About that same time I decided it was ridiculous to spend that much money on coffee drinks so I limited myself to 1 latte a week. When the New Year rolled around and I made my resolution to only eat raw foods until noon that eliminated any morning latte’s, then I decided to give up sugar and that wiped out the rest. So I have not had a latte since at least Feb. 7 when I gave up sugar but I don’t think I’ve had any since the beginning of the year. I’ve even walked with Dan to Caribou so he could get a coffee and I still resisted. I really miss my latte’s but I have found a replacement that I will have occasionally and while it doesn’t have the smell of coffee that I really love it does taste pretty darn good.

RAW hot cocoa:

Fill a coffee mug half way with hot water

Fill the rest of the way with raw almond milk

Put in a scoop of raw cacao (you can also add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, that surprisingly goes really well with the cacao, but don’t add too much)

Sweeten with a little raw agave nectar

This is really good and not as syrupy sweet as traditional hot chocolate.

While I was perusing the many raw cook books I’ve been getting from the library I saw a recipe for a Chai Latte and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So I went to Whole Foods and bought some Tazo Organic Chai –spiced black tea- This is not the same as the premixed Chai latte that are already sweetened and processed, these are just tea bags.

Chai Latte

Brew a cup of the tea but again only fill your mug ½ way with hot water

After the tea was done steeping I filled the mug the rest of the way with raw almond milk

Sweeten with raw agave nectar

I nailed it, this tasted exactly like a Chai Latte from a coffee shop. It was then after my first sip that I remembered I really don’t like Chai. I like the idea of Chai, I like the smell of Chai I even like the first taste of Chai but after the first drink I really don’t like Chai. Bummer! At least I still have my hot cocoa.

Raw for Lent

I decided that for Lent I would go all raw. I’ve been pretty successful; I’d say I hit 95-100% every day. There have been a few rough days, like when I really needed to go grocery shopping and had absolutely no fresh veggies, fruit or nuts in the house (and was trying to wait until pay day to go to the store.) That day I used frozen spinach and veggies and had 3 green smoothies with a few date/ nut balls but nothing else. I kinda feel like I’m on one of those allergy elimination diets where you start out with one thing in your diet and slowly add more.

I’ve got the green smoothies down, I usually have one every morning for breakfast. And date/ nut balls, those fill my need for sweets and fill me up when I’m a little hungry. Then I added raw muesli with fruit and home made almond milk (yum!) Next was the “cheesy” nacho dip with veggies. Today I’m going to try some type of dessert with a coconut I bought. We’re going to my MIL for b-day dinners tomorrow and I need to bring a few things along so I can stay all raw surrounded by tons of cooked foods and desserts.

My family thinks I’ve gone a bit far with the healthy eating, they are definitely not on board with my changes. So now I get to make 1 traditional meal, 1 vegetarian meal and 1 raw meal. I try to merge the 3 as much as possible. It will be easier when the garden is going and were getting stuff from the CSA. Then we can have huge salads to cover the raw (me) and vegetarian (Beth) with something grilled on the side for the carnivores (also known as the boys.)

Even with all the difficulties I really like this way of eating. I can see myself sticking with this even after Easter.

Some of my favorite raw blogs and books so far:

Eating in the Raw by Carol Alt

Living in the Raw Rose by Lee Calabro

Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Raw

getting the hang of RAW “cooking”

Something about this transformation to raw cooking has been really tricky for me. I’m a pretty good cook, and I’m great at following recipes. 🙂 But really getting all the concepts behind raw cooking and just having it flow naturally has had me stumped. But this morning I had one little break through, so I’m hopeful.

First off the easy part: Almond Milk
soak 2 cups of almonds overnight
In the morning drain off the water, blend the almonds with 4 cups of fresh water, and 2-4 pitted dates. Blend for 1-2 minutes, it will turn white and creamy just like regular milk. You can do this with a variety of different nuts. Cashews make an especially creamy milk. I haven’t ever strained the milk before but I thought I would try it this time. So I poured it into a cheese bag that came with my yogurt maker and squeezed through all the almond milk. I ended up with a nice jug of milk.

I love this recylced glass jug, it came with egg nog in it this past winter. The almond milk filled the jug perfectly.

I saved the nut pulp for a future recipe.

Then I followed pepper paints suggestion for Museli. I found some Organic Oats (Raw fresh rolled) online. Oats were another raw thing that had me stumped. As far as I can figure steel cut oats are the least processed of the traditional oats you can find in a store but then I found these on line, “they are cold rolled in small batches using special equipment to retain nutrients and flavor.”

In a large glass container I dumped in my oats, organic dried cranberries (not sweetened,) organic raisins, chopped raw walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, scoop flax meal, smaller scoop of cinnamon and mixed it all together.

A scoop of that with some bananas and fresh blueberries with almond milk was so yummy. This is better if you let it sit with the almond milk so the oats soften up. I actually made a bowl for breakfast then decided I wasn’t very hungry so I put in the fridge until lunch and it was even better. I REALLY don’t like soggy cereal, but this doesn’t get soggy. I did have to add a little more almond milk since the oats had soaked it all up but it was really good and not soggy at all.

This is where my breakthrough came in to play. I still had the nut pulp in the fridge and I really didn’t know what I would use it for. I figured I could always use it in the date/nut balls if nothing else came up. But I kept seeing posts for a “cheesy” nacho dip to eat with veggies (or dehydrated crackers but i don’t have a dehydrator… yet) that had me intrigued.

The recipe I followed was from Kristen’s Raw blog.
(I put my alteration in parenthesis)


By Kristen Suzanne of

Yield approximately 1 1/2 cups

1/3 cup water

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped (approximately 1 cup)

1 cup hemp seeds (I didn’t have hemp seeds so I used my nut pulp, yeah!)

2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (I only used 1Tbls, I wasn’t sure if I would like the taste)

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons tamari, wheat-free (I was out of Tamari so I used Bragg Liquid Aminos)

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. This can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

It looks good, it tastes good and I made a successful substitution in the recipe. Yeah! It is pretty spicy, so if you don’t like spicy food adjust the seasoning. I’m thinking this would be yummy with some cut up avocados and sweet peppers!

Another Easy Breakfast

This is my famous (not really) hash brown & egg scramble. After I plated up Beth’s breakfast this morning I took a picture and she said, “what are you doing?” To which I replied, “I’m documenting breakfast,” and she returned with, “ever since you started blogging you are so weird!”

Anyways back to the breakfast; I hate omelets! I don’t really like the way they taste, they’re a pain to make and they pretty much always look like slop when I make them. Somehow though, Dan’s turn out perfect, go figure. My solution to that is this scramble which I much prefer. Sometimes I saute onions and peppers first other times I don’t. Sometimes I add ham or sausage but usually I don’t since I don’t usually have that readily available. Then I add a bag a hash browns and I cook them until they’re done (I like to cook my hash browns with butter instead of oil or Pam.) I’ve been buying my hash browns at Whole Foods, they’re organic and don’t have any additives, which seems to be on all the potatoes in the grocery store. They’re only $2.00 a bag but I think the bag is smaller than a typical bag of hash browns. Then I scramble 6 or 7 eggs and dump them right over the hash browns, I cook that until the egg is done then I top with some type of shredded cheese. Turn the stove to low and let it sit there until the cheese is melted. This is an easy, relatively quick breakfast that the kids like and can sit on the stove for awhile after it’s done. Which is handy since the kids breakfasts seem stretch over an hour or so. Another thing I’ve found is that if I make roasted potatoes for dinner I always cook extra then the left overs can be chopped up the next morning and used for hash browns. Yum.

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