Archive for ‘Food’

April 22, 2012

Weekend Walking::Earth Day & The Market

by heatherkp

This weekend we have been dog sitting for this little guy who happens to live downtown Charleston.  We are also about to be living downtown so we are going to be doing a lot of walking!

I was really excited to wake up Saturday and know I could walk to the downtown farmers market! Charleston has a vibrant weekly market at Marion Square and I’ve always loved it (even when visiting I’d try to stop by).

Ambrose Family Farms

Lowland FarmsOwl’s Nest Plantation

I am not familiar with this “Certified Naturally Grown” label (not sure why having worked at a farm stand/CSA for the last 2 years!) but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of it.

Loved the set up here with the bins running long way down the tent.  As with everything I do, I look for the form and the function. I believe well designed should be beautiful and vice versa!  So naturally the farm vendors who really “spoke” to me (who I purchased from and took photo’s of) were those that had beautiful, local (mostly organic) produce and well designed/displayed set up’s.

They have live music, local produce and lots of local food and art/craft vendors.  I saw a few I recognized and some new ones.  The market runs from April through December so things are just getting started.  I’ll be taking weekly walks to the market to pick up fresh produce while we are living so close.  After that, who knows but this gives me a chance to sample different produce from local farms and choose which CSA I’ll be joining!

I have been a suburbanite for EVER!  Everywhere I’ve ever lived required getting in a car and driving to almost every destination.  I have been walking everywhere since we’ve been here and I’m hereby pledging to take a weekly walk to the farmers market for my local produce over the next couple months! It feels great to be able to celebrate earth week this year by doing so much walking and supporting local farms and businesses.

How are you celebrating Earth Week/Earth Day?  Has your local farmers market opened up yet for the season?

 

March 11, 2012

Silent Sunday::Sweet Strawberry Season…

by heatherkp

Has arrived in SC!

 

December 16, 2011

Festive Friday::Holiday Party Time

by heatherkp

Last weekend we were guests at an exceptional holiday party in Charleston.  The host and hostess are very good friends who I went to college with at SCAD.  She is the person I can thank for taking the leap on my own as a Professional Organizer.  She is incredibly creative and organized herself so it was a pleasure to help her behind the scenes and be a guest at this festive party.  I certainly see us planning and organizing some future events together in Charleston, watch out!

My friend began working with an incredibly talented Charleston florist SYG Designs this year who generously loaned many of the beautiful decorations (mercury and various glassware pieces and lanterns for the yard).  She did a stunning job making the house look festively elegant, don’t you think?  I’d say she’s found her niche with floral design and I hope to see her continue with it!

Her husband who owns Mantis Records, did an amazing job with his own additions including the music which was a super fun mix of holiday greats old and new. He also created a signature drink he called “Suicider” which was a big hit…love his sign!

What holiday festivities are you headed to this weekend?

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August 22, 2011

Mismatched Monday::The Fig Thief and the Owl

by heatherkp

Two unrelated photo’s with a little mismatched story, you can fill in the blank words…Have fun!

There once was this injured owl who was discovered by way of a prank.  Two kids were out for a walk and stumbled across a neighbors fig tree.  Hungry and curious one of the them decided dare the other to climb the tree to reach for some ripe figs.  After climbing just a little way up and eating a few of the sweet juicy figs they both decided to climb up a bit further.  When they did they discovered a sleeping owl in the tree.  They were so curious about this owl sleeping during the day that they made many loud noises and threw ______ at it until it woke up.  Once startled awake they saw the owl turning it’s head from side to side with large golden open eyes and became frightened because of the horned appearance of the owls ears.  They climbed down and ran home to get some binoculars for a better look.  When they returned they saw that one of the owls wings was badly injured.  They decided to tell their parents even know that meant admitting to stealing the figs from the tree where they found the owl.  They returned the next day with their parents who made the kids explain to the neighbor who owned the fig tree what they had been doing and who they found in the tree.  Together they researched and found a local Birds of Prey rehabilitation center to call.  Someone from the center came out to rescue the owl that day and within a couple of weeks they had nursed it back to health from the injured wing.  They learned that this type of owl is called a Great Horned Owl and the rehab center decided to let the kids name the owl ______.    Unfortunately the owl was no longer able to ____ because of it’s injury so the rehabilitation center would have to keep the owl in managed captivity but this meant that the kids would be able to go visit ______ from time to time.   They neighbors were so touched that the kids found the owl in their fig tree that they told them when to just come knock on the door when they wanted to pick some of the ripe figs again.

August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Supportive Detox

by heatherkp
Cover of "The Fat Flush Plan"

Cover of The Fat Flush Plan

I’m still trying to play catch up after my couple of trips over the past month.  I feel like I should be doing a better job of blogging and getting back on track but I’m just not!  I am however in the midst (day 6 or 14) of doing a 2 week detox.   Let me back up and explain.  I think some form of detox is a good idea several times a year and I am way overdue for one. In addition to this I’ve had many days and nights of staying up too late, eating whatever I want, drinking a bit too much etc and I feel worn down and sluggish.  I’ve also been battling some digestive problems that I’ve developed this year so in order to get to the bottom of this I am kicking it off with a detox.

I had tried a 2 week diet eliminating gluten and wheat from my my menu but it wasn’t a long enough period to come to any conclusions.  This time I’m following the Fat Flush Plan (book) in order to give my liver, digestive system and lymph system a chance to restore and heal before I come to any further conclusions about food intolerance.  One of the reasons I choose this plan is that I am a meat eater and this plan allows for meat and eggs (but no dairy or wheat/gluten or other carbs) and I don’t think I’d last 3 days on a raw food detox so I wanted to do something that I knew I had a good chance of succeeding at. I also knew that this detox would be so much easier and more fun while there are so many fresh local veggies and fruit in season.  Let me say that so far it’s been a challenge beyond what I was expecting!  I’m not complaining because I know it’s going to be worth it in the end.  I was really worn down and had low energy levels for the first few days but started to round the bend on about day 4.  I honestly still feel very deprived of calories, energy and some of the things I love to eat.  Cutting the carbs and sugar (except 2 servings of fruit a day) completely has been so hard for me.  What can I say, I LOVE FOOD!  I’m a pretty healthy person and quite diciplined but this diet is showing me I still have a lot of room for improvement.

So pardon my absence from regular posting as I try to regain my strength, composure and sense of purpose.  I’ve had a very intense summer with a lot of “food for thought” on my plate, I’m busy digesting it all as I go through this supportive detox.

There are so many different detox plans, have you ever done a detox diet that you recommend?

July 13, 2011

Wednesday Wellness:: PowerBalls

by heatherkp

I think I tweeted about this last week and now I’m finally getting around to posting the recipe!

In my quest to eat almost Gluten Free I have been experimenting with recipe creations.  I love almost all the flavors of Lara Bars and a friend of mine shared a recipe creation she made in her quest to recreate something similar.  I decided to give it a go and have made a couple variations on this.  I call them Power Balls because I don’t make them into bars, just small little nibble sized bites.  Here you go, please experiment and let me know what you think!

Power Balls

10 Dates, pitted

2 Tbsp protein powder (I used vanilla flavored Spiru-Tein)

6 Brazil nuts (or similar quantity of other nuts- pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds)

6 Figs (dried)

6 Apricots (dried)

2 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

1 tsp flaxseed oil

1 Tbsp flaxseeds (optional)

1 Tbs Almond meal (or oatmeal would work)

Combine all ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process by pulsing until mixture begins to hold together.  The motor will warm the ingredients up and it should be soft enough to form a ball.  Taste and adjust proportions of wet to dry as needed.  Using a cookie or small ice scream scoop, scoop out individual balls and place in small paper cups or on a flat layer to store (at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or in the refrigerator).

The great thing about this recipe is that there are endless variations!  In my last batch I used dried apples instead of the apricots and added a little cinnamon.  You can also make them chocolate flavored by eliminating the apricots and adding some cocoa powder, you will need more dates in this case.  These make a great healthy snack and are full of powerful antioxidants and super foods (nuts, flax etc.)  Enjoy and be Powerful!

February 16, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Drink Up!

by heatherkp

Drink as much water as possible every day and  take good quality supplements (especially if you are not a big veggie and fruit fan).

Are you getting your recommended 8 glasses (8 oz) of water a day?

There are some tricks I can offer to help you with this goal.  One is to try to drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the AM.  Drink 1 first thing when you get up and try to drink another before you have your breakfast.  Sometimes I’ll mix a little bit of juice in or squeeze lemon or lime juice but for the most part I try to just drink it down!  I’m going to go off on a little tangent here about they quality of water you drink.  For the most part we have a pretty amazing resource of clean drinking water right at our taps in the US.  I do not have any super fancy water filtration system in my house.  I use a filtered water pitcher and the water filter that is in my refrigerator’s water dispenser, that’s it folks!  If you have some serious health problems or feel so inclined then by all means I would not discourage anyone from drinking even cleaner water but for me, it’s not a necessity.

I do not drink bottled water, unless I bottled it myself!

Ughh, I just can’t feel right about adding all those plastic bottles to the landfills (or even the recycling bins) so I opt for my BPA free plastic or aluminum bottle and generally take it with me everywhere.  Invest in a good one and a BIG one!

DIY Recycled plastic bottle project

If you can’t seem to kick the bottled water habit maybe you could recycle some into these quite beautiful vases.  I got this image from a Norwegian magazine a couple years old.  You get the idea  cut them, reassemble or manipulate them by melting (you could try forming over a shape in a low oven also).  Please take extreme caution as with anything you might do using high heat, melting plastic and fire.  Work in a well ventilated area, don’t leave fire unattended, etc. etc…

…and while your working on that why not watch one of these Documentaries about water?

I’ve seen most of these and a few others but I highly recommend Blue Gold: World Water Wars and Flow.  These films may just make you realize how lucky you are if you have clean drinking water.

If we can kick the bottled water habit maybe we can convince Congress to also.  Can you believe that with all this talk of fiscal responsibility Congress spends approximately $2000 per representative per year on bottled water? That’s absurd!  Read the DC Water press release where they offer to help Congress kick the habit and make cleaner water available by supplying each member of congress with a reusable water bottle.

Okay, so back to the health benefits of water :

  • SURVIVAL-Yep you all know it, without it we will perish (we are up to 60% water)!
  • Lubricate your joints (especially if you suffer from joint problems such as arthritis)
  • Help prevent high Cholesterol & Heart Disease
  • Loose weight
  • Have more energy
  • Help prevent depression (your Brain is up to 85% water!)
  • Healthy and Beautiful Skin
  • Eliminate wastes and toxins (help prevent diseases such as Cancer)
  • Maintain the proper PH levels

So, don’t wait till you are thirsty drink up for your well being!

PS.  Do you take supplements?  If you don’t you might want to consider it and ask your doctor to be sure you are be tested for any nutrient deficiencies when you get your annual blood work done.  My husband just found out he is Vitamin D deficient, which is becoming quite a common problem with an easy solution.

Bee Well Today!

February 11, 2011

Friday Field Trip::France II

by heatherkp

Since I didn’t get very far last week I’m happy to bring you a bit longer post today sharing with you some of the great food experiences we had and saw in Provence.

I was completely in love with the French markets.  It seems like practically every city and town has at least one market a week with a ton of fresh produce, fish, cheese, sausage and other meats, textiles, spices, flowers etc…who needs the regular store when you can get practically anything you need at the open air market.  And Everyone shops at them!  On market day it’s just a part of life to prepare your list, get your basket and bags out and head out to get what you need for the week (or half the week if your lucky enough to live in a larger city that has them twice weekly).  This way of life is so much more connected to agriculture and fresh food, it’s ingrained in the culture and I loved this aspect of the French lifestyle.  Look at all the lovely goodies that I saw at the markets in Orange, Marseilles and Avignon. French Farmers market finds

To start the trip out hour hostess’s landlady insisted on having us for a very special truffle omelet for dinner.   We were truly lucky to have such and exquisite home made meal in the home of a gracious and fun woman!  The process of preparing for this omelet required buying the fresh eggs and truffles at the weekly market and infusing the eggs with the truffles by some process of keeping the eggs in their shells and allowing the truffle essence to permeate the eggs.  It was divine.  We also had this incredible Spelt (that I have yet to locate in the US) served simply au pistou.  I’m still hoarding one last bag of it that I brought back.  It is much more nutty, sweet and delicate than the spelt whole grain you typically find in the US.   Another truly memorable dining experience (really they all were!) was the fresh daily croissant’s that our hostess went and got for us each morning.  Some days they were chocolate, some day’s almond and some days just plain.  Our typical breakfast was a croissant and plain delicious yogurt.  I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of that!  Every meal was delicious I think due to the truly fresh ingredients that are standard in Provence.  With the slightly mediteranean climate they have a pretty long growing season with not too many very cold spells.  We even got to experience the Mistral while we were visiting~Woosh!

Dining in Provence

And then of course there were the sweets!  So many delicious sweets, pastries, candies etc. we tried to restrain ourselves within reason but we did a lot of walking so we had a good excuse to indulge.  Probably my favorite though was the combination of chocolate and orange.  In the image below right are some green sugar coated chocolate orange candies that we found in a small Chocolatier in Saint-Tropez.  These candies were the inspiration for a cookie recipe I “invented” this week (I’m apparently not the first person to “invent” these but I’d never heard of them and didn’t look up any recipe for them before I concocted my version).  My gift to you this week is the recipe, below.  It’s a French inspired twist on Oatmeal cookies.

French Confections

Chocolate Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Yields about 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple or peach sauce (peach sauce-pureed steamed/canned peaches)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped candied orange rind (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or pieces (more chocolate can never be a bad thing)
  • Optional:  1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts in to replace some of the chocolate

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and apple or peach sauce; mix on high speed to combine.
  3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed to combine, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in dried fruits and chocolate (and optional nuts).
  4. Using a large metal scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden and just set, about 15 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer sheets to wire rack to cool completely.

If you have a favorite Oatmeal recipe you could adjust it to include the chocolate and orange in place of raisins and nuts etc.

Chocolate Orange Oatmeal CookiesBon Appetit!