Cherry Basil Almond Sauce

I love food. I love the freedom it gives me, as an artist, to express myself and try new and unusual things. A majority of my recipes commonly stem from an idea while I’m shopping, after seeing an item that inspires me. This past week, that food item was these luscious, organic cherries I found at whole foods in Detroit. I immediately thought cherries and almonds and was hooked from there.

 

I knew that I was also in the mood to cook with fish so I picked up some fresh Icelandic cod to use as my protein. Icelandic things continue to inspire me and constantly remind me of my trip there so I like to buy them whenever I can. I then invited my mother and father over for dinner. When I told my mom my idea for a cherry basil sauce she sounded uninterested and I suppose at first thought, a savory cherry sauce might be a bit off putting for some. I decided to give it a whirl anyway. I was determined!

 

Cherry Basil Almond Sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic chopped small
1 cup of cherries, halved and pitted
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dry white wine, I’m using black box Chardonnay
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1 tablespoon flour
2 tbs butter
fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. In a shallow pan on low/medium heat melt butter and chopped garlic together until garlic is golden brown. Mix in the chopped cherries, basil, wine, and flour, while stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste then cover and reduce heat to low and reduce for 25- 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While sauce is reducing preheat a smaller frying pan on low heat. Slowly add in the slivered almonds and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Add a dash of salt for taste. Once roasted, set almonds aside. You will use them to top your dish.
  3. Cook whichever protein you desire to perfection and reheat cherry sauce if needed. Drizzle over top. Sprinkle the slivered almonds over the dish and garnish with a basil leaf.
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A note for another time, if you’d like a more intense flavor cut an additional cup of cherries and use them to help marinade your protein for 1- 2 hours prior to cooking. This sauce would also be delightful on chicken! Experiment! That’s what cooking is all about!

 

Homemade Pop Tarts

Often times, I find myself rushing out of the door in the morning, cramming down whatever I deem acceptable as a meal so that I can get something in my stomach. I wanted to create something easy to make and easy to eat, on the go, that wouldn’t leave a mess in my car while driving to work. As I was pondering finger food for breakfast, I had seen many at-home pop tart recipes on the web but all of them required making the dough. Don’t get me wrong, I love making things from scratch but there are a few things I don’t mind buying already made, like pie crust. Additionally, buying the crust pre-made makes for a faster creation of these wonderful little tarts. These pop tarts are easy, fun to make, and taste wonderful when in a rush in the morning. I decided to use some American Spoon preserves and some of my homemade apple sauce for filling but you can feel free to fill them with whatever you’d like! Imagine the possibilities!

 

What you’ll need:

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a rolling pin
flour
pastry brush
pizza cutter, or sharp knife
your favorite jam, peanut butter, Nutella, or applesauce
pre-made pie crust (thaw overnight prior to making pop tarts)
index cards
1 egg
1 tablespoon half & half

Yields about 10 pop tarts.

 

  1. take the thawed pie crust out of the fridge to allow it to get to room temperature.
  2. while the dough is warming up, prepare two cookie sheets with a layer of parchment paper or spray a layer of nonstick spray. I use bakers choice.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and cream until well blended.
  4. Once the dough has warmed up roll it into a ball and knead it slightly on a floured surface. Roll the dough to be about 1/8” thick.
  5. Using index cards as your template, begin to cut rectangles out of the dough using the pizza cutter. Make sure each piece is near similar size so that when you stack the dough there isn’t any overlap.
  6. Once all of the rectangles have been cut, place half of them on your baking sheets. Brush a thin layer of the egg mix onto the top of the rectangles.
  7. Spoon a tablespoon, or so, of your favorite filling onto the center of the rectangles. I am using American Spoon’s Early Glow Strawberry Preserves, some homemade apple sauce I canned a while back, and some of Trader Joe’s delicious Cookie Butter.
  8. Lay a second dough rectangle on top of the first and press on the edges with a fork, creating a seal. Poke a few holes in the top of the pop tart to let any air vent as well.
  9. Bush the egg mixture once more on top of the pop tarts. This will help to give them that golden brown coloring.
  10. Place both  baking sheets in the freezer for 10-15 minutes so the dough can cool again. This is so that as the dough bakes it doesn’t melt out, it keeps to shape.
  11. Bake the pop tarts in the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
They are best served warm! They will keep all week so breakfast on the go is easy!

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Nicole St. John Hamborsky
nstjohn.com

 

A first attempt at juicing!

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Today started my first attempt at juicing! As I near the end of my first day I am not feeling 100% but not bad either. What I am beginning to like about juicing is the prework. The juicer that I am using has a small feed chute so I have to take the time to chop everything up prior to juicing it. Taking time to enjoy my meals as I like to think. This mornings first drink was rather lovely, pictured above, it was:

3 carrots
1 green apple
1” piece of ginger

Because of the carrots the whole thing came out with a rather orange color but it was mighty, mighty tasty. The hardest part, so far, about juicing is my intense craving for solid food. Earlier today my boyfriend made a pizza for lunch and I wanted to take a bite so badly but I resisted. I’m learning that juicing is more than just detox, it’s also a lesson in self control.

Today I put together my garden and planted a bundle of seedings that I bought a week ago. Hopefully in the next few days I can start to plant more things and get the ball rolling on this garden stuff!

Nicole St. John
www.nstjohn.com

Lunch “gazpacho” juice!

tumblr_n6npo1qmFt1sb3cb4o2_1280A really hearty juice that is definitely more savory than sweet. It’s almost like drinking gazpacho itself!

4 plum tomatoes (I used two larger tomatoes)
1/4 red onion
1 cup, chopped parsley
2 stalks of celery
1 lime
2 red bell peppers
1 cucumber

Aside from being savory, the lime in this juice really brightens it up. It dances with the parsely delicately on your tongue to create flavors you wouldn’t dream of finding in a typical juice. It’s very filling and has just the right amount of lime to compliment the heartyness of the tomatoes and onion.

Nicole St. John
www.nstjohn.com

Introducing Nicole St. John Hamborsky

My name is Nicole St. John Hamborsky. I’m a photographer and artist currently living in Grosse Pointe Park, MI, in a house that I purchased with my parents. I graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit last year and am currently working for a well known computer company as a mobile technician. This past year has been a big one for me; I bought my first house, I started my first committed relationship, I got my first job out of college, and I finally quit smoking. I like to think of myself as healthy both mentally and physically and I am continuously working to improve myself daily.

When I met Molly Beauregard I had no idea what joy and pleasure I would experience by being a part of her class and her world. I remember everyone talking about the “cool meditation class” and how it’s definitely worth taking. Transcendental meditation and Molly Beauregard changed my life for the better the moment I first entered her classroom. Learning to meditate in the Consciousness, Creativity & Identity class reawakened my soul and allowed me to blossom into the woman I am today. As I sit now, I can confidently say that I am happy; I am full of self love and contentment and life is a beautiful thing to be a part of. After a period of self doubt, meditation helped me grow to love myself again and accept the things around me for what they are.

As a guest writer for the Tuning the Student Mind blog I aim to share my stories, my experiences and my life! I am currently riding the wonderful love train with my partner, Stuart and we live with my cat, Jynx and our newly added puppy, Frankie. This summer I have successfully grown and maintained an organic garden in my backyard. I am currently in the middle of a tea detox and recently did an organic juice cleanse. I believe the body is a machine that constantly needs work and care and with the right amount of nourishment, a healthy and happy life can easily be attained. I hope to offer insight into healthy practices by way of recipes, how-to’s, and even verbal advice.

 

First up! My easy Fish Stick Taco Dinner:

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8 fish sticks, I use gluten free fish sticks from my local health food store
6 corn, soft tortillas
4 table spoons of American Spoon Pumpkin Seed Salsa, or your favorite salsa
1/4 cup American Farm Cheese or sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 organic Cucumber, diced small
2 organic radishes, cut into small strips
 
Preheat a frying pan to warm the tortillas on low/ medium heat. Turn on the oven to whatever your purchased fish sticks desire and cook as directed. Since my fish sticks typically take 20 minutes, I use that time for prep! Dice the cucumber into small cubes about 1/4″ big. I like the radishes cut into small strips about 1/16″ big, but cut them to your preference. Mix the cucumber and radishes in a bowl and set aside. While the fish sticks are still cooking, place tortillas in the preheated pan for about 30 seconds on each side. This will warm them up and give them a bit of a crunch.

Once everything is prepared it’s time to assemble the tacos! Start with the cheese on the bottom and then layer the fish sticks on top. I like to angle my fish sticks like a teepee lengthwise to make room for the cheese underneath. Then scoop your desired amount of the radish cucumber mix on top of the fish sticks and top with salsa. It’s a perfect blend of soft and crunch, spicy and sweet.

 

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Cheers!

Nicole St. John Hamborsky
nstjohn.com

 

Organic Curry Chicken Tacos

I wanted to make chicken tacos the other night (mexican-style) but then realized I didn’t have any mexican seasoning left. I decided to improvise and use curry instead. I thought I might possibly be the first person to ever make curry chicken tacos, but definitely not. There are plenty of curry chicken taco recipes on the internet, and now mine is just one amongst them all! I made these for my family the other night and they absolutely loved them! The combination is amazing. Enjoy! 🙂

What you’ll need:

2 organic chicken breasts
1 handful of chives
1 onion
1 clove fresh garlic
1.5 tablespoons curry powder
Guacamole
Sour cream
Olive oil
Salsa
Lettuce

Rinse and cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces.

Chop onions, chives, garlic.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan and then add chicken and onions.

Stir chicken and onions. Once chicken is no longer pink on the outside, add chives and garlic.

Stir together, add 1.5 tablespoons of curry powder and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Stir and let chicken simmer until fully cooked.

Rinse lettuce. Dress taco with lettuce, salsa, sour cream and guacamole! Yum! 🙂

With love,
Samantha | Food Fanatic

5 Steps to Brown Rice Almond Butter Porridge

I love having something warm and nourishing for breakfast, especially with the change of season 
and colder weather rolling around! This morning I made a super yummy brown rice almond butter porridge. If you already have left over brown rice, it should only take about 5 minutes to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Cooked brown rice
  • Almond milk (homemade preferred)
  • Roasted almond butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Optional: Honey or maple syrup

Instructions:

  • Take desired amount of rice (I used about 1 1/2 cups) and put it in a small pot.
  • Put about half a cup or a little more of almond milk in with your rice.
  • Put the lid on the pot and let the rice and almond milk simmer for about 2-3 mins, or until soft.
  • Add 1 tablespoon almond butter to the rice. You can also add a little honey or maple syrup for a sweeter porridge. Mix it up until porridge becomes creamy. Let simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Add a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, and serve.


With love,
Samantha | Food Fanatic

Treeyo Coconut Curry

Are you on a dairy free, sugar free and/or gluten free diet, but craving something that embodies a creamy, sweet and substantial flavor? Treeyo coconut curry will satisfy those exact cravings, while also nourishing your mind, body and soul! This recipe was introduced to me by my friend Doug, who also happens to be the founder of an awesome business, Treeyo Permaculture. I recommend accompanying this dish with brown basmati rice!

What you’ll need:
Serves 6 – Preparation: 35 minutes
(Recommended organic)

  • 3 sweet potatoes (I used japanese sweet potatoes but you can use the normal kind!)
  • 2 onions
  • 3/4 head of cauliflower
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or cultured butter
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  • Put on a medium pot of water to bring to a boil.
  • Wash and prep your veggies.
  • Chop onions, dice sweet potatoes, and cut cauliflower into medium sized pieces. Set vegetables aside and keep them separate from one another.
  • Place sweet potatoes into boiling water with a dash of sea salt. Let cook for
  • about 15 minutes or until soft.

  • Saute chopped onions and garlic in a large pot or wok with 3 tablespoons of ghee or cultured butter, and 1 tablespoon of curry powder.

  • Drain water from sweet potatoes, put them back in the pot, and add 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes and coconut milk together until they become the texture of mashed potatoes (it doesn’t have to be completely smooth, a little chunky is just fine.)

  • Add raw cauliflower to the large pot of sauteed onions, and place your mashed sweet potatoes and coconut curry on top.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger, and mix ingredients together. Cover and let simmer for about 7 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked.

  • Finally, add 1 more tablespoon of curry powder, 1 more teaspoon of cinnamon and mix together.
  • To add some more color to this dish, top it with any garnish your heart desires! I had scallions in the house so I chopped up a few of those and sprinkled them on top. Mmm 🙂

With love,
Samantha | Food Fanatic

Prep Your Garden for Winter and Plant Garlic!

I absolutely LOVE garlic. If I didn’t know better, I’d try putting it on my ice cream.

There are many things garlic LOVES, too! For instance, garlic loves to increase our blood flow. It naturally increases our body’s supply of hydrogen sulfide, which aids in lowering cholesterol levels.

And on that note, I should mention that due to a history of high cholesterol in my family, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of 21. You should always be aware of your cholesterol levels, which can be abnormal even if you appear healthy. Changing my diet along with a healthy meditation and yoga practice has allowed me to maintain a healthy cholesterol level without medication.

I also eat a ton of garlic, sometimes raw with a teaspoon of organic local honey…which I highly recommend if you are starting to get cold symptoms!

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On to prepping your garden and planting your garlic. This should be done within about two weeks of your first frost. Our first frost came around the second week in October.

First, make yourself a nice cup of chai green tea with a splash of almond milk.

Take care peeling your garlic, leaving some cloves for your spaghetti and keeping the big juicy ones for the soil.

 

Once you’ve prepared your garlic, it’s time to get dirty. Till your garden’s soil really well using a garden hoe or a shovel. Just mix it up so it’s nice and rich.

I recommend mapping out your plans for planting vegetables and herbs in the spring.

Plant your rows of garlic with about 10 inches between the rows and 5-6 inches between each clove.

 

Make sure that the pointy tip of each clove is pointing up and the end with the flat tip is pointing down (very important!). They should be about 2 inches beneath the soil.

Mark your garlic row(s) and then top your garden with grass clippings, the perfect source of nitrogen!

We don’t really mow up here in the mountains, so I ripped up the yard to make a path and used the grass to put over the garden bed.

If you feel like going all out, here is a video on how to make a Super Easy 4 X 8 Raised Bed for your vegetable and/or herb garden.

The signs are more evident than ever, we have no choice but to recognize our responsibility to grow and maintain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. If you are unsure of where to begin, start by designating a space for your garden this spring. Till up some dirt and plant some garlic. You’ll at least feel good from the cup of tea…

Love, Chelsea

P.S. BONUS — Eating fennel seeds helps to neutralize the smell of garlic

Murder Mouth: Life, Death and Dinner

This past weekend I saw Murder Mouth at the Adventure Film Festival here in Boulder. I have to say it was the adventure that resonated with me the most.

Follow the wildly endearing and expressive, Madeleine Parry (21 year old Writer and Director!) as she challenges herself to fathom the taste murder… ~Chelsea

 

“You can’t eat a steak without killing the cow.

Madeleine loves her Greek family’s traditional lamb souvlaki but her friends claim that meat is murder. Well, Maddie’s never killed anything bigger than a spider, so she decides to reconnect the animal and the meal or never eat meat again. After talking to the people who slaughter animals for their livelihood Maddie is encouraged to do it herself, but, even if she can kill an animal, will she want to eat it afterwards?”

For more information on when Murder Mouth will be at a festival near you, please visit the Facebook page!

http://www.projectorfilms.com.au
http://www.twitter.com/murdermouthdoc

http://youtu.be/9DHnlO87moY

 

 

See the Film