Tuesday, November 30, 2010

eat; raw blueberry cheesecake with lemon cream by Cru

OMGWAD!!!! If heaven could be thrown into a blender and served to me on a plate...THIS IS WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE!!!! Look at it! LOOK AT IT!!!!

I'm no real fan of cheesecake these days, but this, a raw blueberry cheesecake from Cru here in Los Angeles, aint no ordinary cheesecake! Even though in my younger years of culinary explorations, I did love a good cheesecake, I rationalize those days of enjoying them (as well as all sorts of other foods i would not eat today) as an act of culinary rebellion against being subjected to my mums Italian cooking all my life. Today, I tend to choose a dessert that has anything to do with berries...oh how i love berries!!! Even the slightest hint of berries, even if plopped on top for decoration, I'll take it!

 I have been totally captivated by the raw foods restaurants here in California and there are soooo many to choose from. My first encounter with a raw restaurant here in the States was Cafe Gratitude ( in San Francisco. Oh how i miss Cafe Gratitude. Yes, they are total hippies, asking you at the end of your meal what you are grateful for, but hey, I'm grateful for having experienced their amazing form of art! The preparation for creating a raw feast exhausts me just thinking about it!

So back to this amazing slice of heaven! Raw foods are not cooked above a certain temperature, so there is no baking involved (which is the reason i could never go all the way with raw!!!). The base of this cheesecake is made with pecan nuts and dates, all mashed together until they stick. The 'cheesecake' is made up of soaked and ground raw cashew, which when treated this way, forms a wonderfully creamy texture. They use other ingredients to hold the 'cheesecake' in place and then add fresh blueberries to it. The texture is amazing just the way you would hope it to be for a cheesecake and the flavours...omgwad...totally awesome! It's creamy consistency hovers around the burst that occurs when you get your jaws around the fresh blueberry...YUM!!! I didn't feel guilty one bit hoeing into this dessert!

The 'cream' on top, made with the soaked and ground cashew nuts, is ever so lightly hinted with lemon. It's consistency is like a thick cream but the texture is better. It definitely highlights all the flavours in the cheesecake and leaves a wonderfully fresh lemon aftertaste. What an amazing treat. 

OMG! Just writing about this raw blueberry cheesecake has made my mouth salivate!!! 

I'm soooooo leaving right now to get me one! 


eat; lavash wrap with grilled vegies and a tahini & lemon sauce

This is my recipe for the week. It aint as flash as what i'd hope for my first 'eat' blog but i was soooo excited about starting that it's a race against time to get all the things up for every category!!! This is what i had for lunch today and even though the vegies do take time to grill, it is a nice lunch to have.  The recipe is for two people. I'm going to use the rest of the vegies to make pizza with vegan mozzarella tomorrow. YUM!

What you need;
1 Eggplant
3 Zucchini
2 Red or Yellow Capsicum
A hand full of Rocket (arugula)
2 Tbl Tahini
Just a squeeze of lemon and a little grated rind for decoration
Small clove of garlic, crushed
Splash of olive oil
Warm water
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice up the eggplant into 1 cm slices and sprinkle with a little salt on each side placing them into a colander to let drain for 20 mins.

Salting the eggplant. My mum has been doing this all my life. One day, i was over at her house cooking and did what i had read about lately in regards to washing the salt off the eggplant after 20 mins. Well, didn't my mum have a spaz attack asking me what the hell i was doing?!?!? She said that she never washes the salt off, as the salt helps the eggplant keep it's shape (stops it from going mushy when cooking). So ladies and gentlemen...NEVER WASH THE SALT OFF AFTER SALTING EGGPLANT PLEASE! I now just lightly pat it dry with a paper towel.

While the eggplant is doing it's thing, wash the capsicums and place the whole thing either under a grill or in an oven, on a medium to high heat, turning once the top side has colour to it. This should take around 20mins.

Little electric ovens. If you don't have one of these in your kitchen, go out and buy one! They are soooo handy and make a perfect grilled sandwhich. I got this one for 15 bucks from the oppy (thrift store for all ye Americans)!!!

Slice the zucchini lengthwise at about half a centimeter thickness. You'll have time now to make the lemon sauce while the capsicum and eggplant are doing their things. 

Tahini and Lemon Sauce. In a bowl, place the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add a little warm water. As you stir it, you'll notice if you need to add more water. I suggest adding until you are happy with the consistency. I added about 4 Tbl to mine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the capsicum is cooked all over and really soft, pop it into a plastic bag and tie it up, making sure no air escapes. This will help the skin come off easier once it's cooled down. Set it aside.

Now for the grilling! As mentioned earlier, pat dry the eggplant, removing any excess water. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and place them under the grill, turning when you feel it is nicely browned. You can do this in batches, speeding up the process. With the electric oven i mention above, there is no need to turn as it cooks both sides at once, reducing cooking time.

Do the same with the zucchini, remembering to brush both sides with a little olive oil.

Once the capsicum is cool, remove from the bag and peel off the skin. It will come off really easily if it cooked throughout. Remove stem and seeds then 'tear' the capsicum into strips, lengthwise.

Grilled vegies. Here is what my vegies looked like after I cooked them and were cooling on the chopping board. Placed into an air tight container, they will last for a few days in the fridge. You can also use them in a grilled vegie salad.

Now for the wrapping! Lay out the lavash bread and start piling on the amount of vegies you would like, making sure you keep it all to one side of the bread. Add the rocket, again, as much as you would like. Roll it up and vola, your wrap is made! 

Place on your serving plate and drizzle the amount of sauce you'd like over the wrap and garnish with the lemon rind. I love to eat this with a knife and fork, but i've also been known to eat pizza like this as well!! Whichever way you like it, the main thing is to get it down! Yummy in your tummy!

Bon Appetit!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

love; my birthday week!

1. My heart shaped diamond pendant i bought for myself with money my mum gave me for my birthday. It is made of 14ct white gold and has 40 tiny diamonds in it. Pretty special! It's second hand as i would never buy new diamonds. Pre existing is definitely more enviro and i love the idea of creating a love story that may have existed as its past.

2. Mi boots!!!! Oh how i love mi boots!!!! These are Regina Doc Martens and I had been salivating at pictures of them for months before my Auntie sent me money for my birthday! Thanks Veronica! Even though they are leather, I allow myself one pair every three years, the rest of the time i buy 'second hand' leather boots.

3. Balthazar! Yep, my favourite restaurant in New York, but the French do not enjoy the amazingness vegetarian cooking can deliver. They only had three dishes for me to choose from but the place itself is soooooo divine! And when a strange man comes along and buys you and your crowd eight hundred and fifty bucks worth of wine, the experience all of a sudden, becomes unforgettable!!

 4. My Birthday cake!!!! I ordered it over the internet and giggled when asked what message to put on my cake...What else could i write?!?!?! It was a yummy coconut cake that we tried to eat over a few days. I ended up giving a quarter of it to a homeless lady one night who was soooo appreciative. Was soooo awesome to give away the last bit of my birthday cake to a total stranger.

5. Yep, Chocolate Teddy Bear Biscuits!!!!! Thanks Marg who brought them over here for me all the way from Australia. LOVE, LOVE,  LOVE THEM! If any of you haven't tried them do all you can to get your hands on a packet...NOW!!!

 6. The sound of leaves tap dancing in the wind. Yep, it's that time of year here in Los Angeles that us Aussies call Autumn. I do love when the wind picks up and the leaves dance around me!

7. One of my dearest friends Kiera sent me this picture. She took it in the backyard of her house one morning this last week. Take a closer look at what these two amazing lovers have created between them!!!!!       

8. Reading in The Power, by Rhonda Burn to keep the bills in my purse with the front side facing me at all times, reminding me to have a positive attitude towards money. Love brings more in, hate repels it...SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!

9. My new sequence dress that i wear during the day! Go on and wear sequence during daylight hours and see how many people smile at you. I wore it yesterday to do some grocery shopping and hopped on a bus. Almost everyone on the bus smiled at me sparkling away during the day...LOVE!!! BTW, that aint me in the pic, I wear it with a long sleeve crisp white shirt underneath...very cool indeed!!

10. F.B messages left from all around the world wishing me a happy birthday. And this year, i enjoyed my birthday over two days because of two hemispheres!!! Gotta love that!!!!

pink; old lady poodle

This is my pink thing for the week. It is a work by Los Angeles artist Marnie Weber called Old Lady Poodle and is part of her costumes collections (you should check out her other ones if you think this is strange!). Her work includes photography, sculpture, installations, film, video, performances and she has a band called The Spirit Girls who have played at various art venues. I don't know much about this artist as i only came across her through West Of Rome's e-news this morning. Weber has a current work on view until the 20th of December at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum. Here's the link for further details, If in L.A, this is a must see! I'll be getting out there next week. Will take me FOREVER without a car!  Her work looks wildly strange with a concentration on creating fictional stories of half woman, half animal adventures. I like the way she merges the boundaries of film, theatre and art. This seems to be a very Los Angeles thing to do for artists here, which is the reason why i  have come here! Her web address is where you can see more of her work.