spring is here with mild and warm weather and a few showers inbetween.
i've been enjoying our little courtyard which is getting greener every day...
painting whenever i can...
this is canvas no.1 - still in progress...
sewing a couple of ikat cushions for the daybed...
and eating yummy hand-made pasta!
the other day a friend of mine mentioned this simple beetroot dip:
i boiled three medium sized beetroot
and peeled them under running water
before blending them with:
feta cheese, olive oil and pepper
apart from the luscious red/magenta colour
it also tasted great with some
home-made sourdough flat-bread
and corn on the cob.
and i'm sure it's a great simple winter food as well :)
i am taking part in a recipe swap.
and because i love cooking and baking
it wasn't easy to choose a recipe.
in the end i settled for
one of my favourite indonesian dishes.
it consistes of a spicy nut sauce over raw and/or cooked veggies
and can be served with rice and tofu and tempe.
here's what you need for the nut sauce:
the basic ingredients are:
1 cup of nuts (i used almond and hazelnut. experiment with cashew and brasil nut too)
or 100g of nut butter
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup palm sugar (or raw sugar)
1 tbs soya sauce
salt & pepper to taste
fresh coconut or coconut milk
fresh ginger and turmeric
place all the ingredients in a blender and add enough water to turn it into a thick sauce...
this sauce tastes great with a selection of raw and cooked vegetables...
serve with rice and fried tofu and tempe
and don't forget to sprinkle with
lots of lime juice...
i haven't had time to do anything creative in the studio for sooooo long - life has been very busy!
but i tell myself that creativity comes in many shapes and sizes... like baking sourdough bread...
or creating a weed-free backyard (still a long way to go!)...
and making yummy lunches...
or turning the burned-off 'open forest' bush at the front of the house
from a leaf and fallen wood littered area...
into a tydier, safer space...
and some of the 'busy time' has been really great too,
like attending the teenagers graduation ceremony...
i have a few ideas in my head
that i have to get my hands involved with soon...
and hopefully next week i will fit some studio time in :)
my friend yoke has just published her second sourdough book...
it is full of yummy recipes like: sourdough baguette, pumpernickel, coconut kaffir lime cake, basil tomato parmesan loaf, sticky pecan scrolls... to name just a few (i am already starting to drool...). and all made from sourdough!
so i started off with the english muffins. made my sourdough for it last night and then pan baked them this morning...
what a yummy breakfast we had!
and there are still a couple left to have with
garlic butter with the pasta primavera tonight :)
a warm-ish weekend
happy ducks :)
i've been spending lots of time outside;
getting the veggie pots ready
for leafy greens.
pruning trees and bushes.
taking trailer-loads of green waste to the tip.
and enjoying the flowers and bees.
and since all that work in the fresh spring air makes one hungry
i made a raw beetroot/avocado soup
i love my vitamix ;)
all i had to do was
peel and chop the beetroot
add an avocado
and a few spices
and blend it with a bit of water for
to have a healthy soup.
topped with cream, olive oil, parsley and ground pepper.
and served with toasted sourdough bread.
and since it was so easy...
... i made a dessert as well.
fresh young coconut meat,
water, cacao powder, agave syrup,
palm sugar, vanilla essence, coconut oil,
and a few cacao beans
blended for a minute.
wishing you all
a weekend filled with
buzzing bees and flowering trees,
and lots of yummy food
today for lunch i tried out some new recipes:
and bali super food no-sugar treats
from diana von cranach's new book:
diana also owns four stunning villas
on a remote beach in north west bali
here are two images of puri ganesha:
for more info go to their website
we are going for lots of walks. the weather up here around ubud, in the centre of the island, is just perfect at the moment - crisp in the mornings, warm but not too hot during the day and cool at night. we've been walking from our house along the rice fields and down into ubud where all the shops and restaurants are...
that's our dog where we are staying, coming along for a walk and rounding up the poor ducks!
lots of bright flowers wherever you go...
and shadow plays in the rice fields in the afternoon...
a little 'pondok' (hut in the rice field) to rest the wary bones...
and more narrow alleys and steep steps on the way to ubud...
after sunset in monkey forest street...
we found a nice little cafe for dinner where they serve the essential food for teenagers - pizza and mexican ...
what else has been happening here over the last week other then fairy wool magic???
i've started making a smock top in kathy's amazing online sewing class for 'backwood mamas'...
and i made my first (absolutely amazingly scrumptious) raw vegan chocolate cake for paul's birthday. here it comes...
for mother's day on sunday, i was served the best ever scrambled egg in the shape of a gingerbread man with freshly baked turkish bread - thank you sebastian! and on my way to the breakfast table i found all these colourful japanese cranes spelling 'thank you' on their wings...
i have also been working on a VERY LARGE felting project...
more on that soon ;)
AND... if you would like another chance to win a spot in the
two days ago we transformed the studio for the teenagers 'mexican dinner fiesta' - ole!
it seems that they had a great time.... the food was certainly good and very mexican: gazpacho, salsa, guacamole, nachos, tacos, burritos... and homemade peach ice-cream - yum!
another transformation - hopefully the last one - on the silk shirt: jody's advice to 'keep it simple and follow my intuition' made lots of sense ;)
i hand-stitched the soft and gauzy silk/linen fabric around the neck for a scarf/collar and sebastian has just taken these pictures out in the garden...
it's certainly a very comfortable shirt - and i am happy with it.
wishing you all a happy weekend :)
last minute easter preparations - some felt birds and rabbits. i found the birds here but then added the wings and decided to try some rabbits too.
and i made some raw chocolate eggs and treats today. i tried three different recipes - one with goji berries, cacao beans and cacao butter; one with cashew nuts, cacao powder, agave syrup and cacao butter; and another one with these ingredients...
and then i was wondering how to package them and i ended up making little hanging baskets with the wattle flowers ironed between waxed lunch paper...
i didn't manage to clean the windows - that really was a bit too ambitious and they will have to wait...
but i did sort out and clean the studio. i was so happy last night to finally have an organised beautiful workspace again, i was just sitting on my stool looking at it and smiling...
it feels like a good time before easter to clean, get rid of what you don't need, focus and start afresh...
we just can't get enough of this yummy raw food... so whenever i have some extra time i try out another recipe. i find matthew kenney's book everyday raw really inspiring. the recipes are easy to follow, the photos look great and the food tastes amazing.
yesterday i sort of followed the recipes for tomato sauce and macadamia mozzarella from his pizza recipe to make a pasta dish...
first i julienned some zucchini into the bowl...
then comes the tomato sauce:
blend 3/4 cup tomatoes with 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes(pre-soaked for 15-20 min), 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid, 1/3 teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, some oregano and basil and 1 teaspoon of agave syrup
top with some fresh wild rocket from the garden (or spinach or arugula)...
then a dollop of the macademia mozzarella:
blend 1 cup macadamia nuts (pre-soaked for 2 hours) with 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, a pinch of cayenne and curry powder each, 1 tablespoon soya sauce
garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly ground pepper...
this really was the most amazing pasta dish - the flavours are so fresh and strong...
yes, autumn is finally here. after a record of hot and dry weather in march it is now cooler and we had a few drops of rain.
the trees here do not shed their leaves in autumn (they only drop off in summer from all the heat), but some of them shed their bark...
this morning i went and got a basket full of autumn fruit from my friend who has a little orchard: quinces, pommegranates and pumpkins...
i am hoping to make some quince paste and maybe jelly and fruit leather.
meanwhile my little pile of autumn coloured crochet flowers in slowly growing...
will i ever have enough to make a blanket???
we also had some yummy raw garden burgers for lunch at the weekend...
blend 1 cup almonds with 2 carrots, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a handful of fresh herbs in the food processor. shape into patties and sprinkle with paprika powder.
to assemble the burger i placed a pattie on one of the crackers that i dehydrated the other day, added a slice of mushroom, my favourite chutney, cucumber and tomato slices and some fresh lettuce from the garden - yummy!
we feel really good since we have added some raw food to our diet. seems to give us a bit of extra energy which is really important at the change of seasons. it's also fast to prepare (apart from the dehydrating) and those chocolate smoothies are just divine!
my mum has been stirring her dye-pots all week. here's a little taste of the colours so far...
inspired by this colourful visual feast, i went home and made a bright 'rawspacho' from beetroot and avocado (recipe at bottom of post)...
but when it came to felting today, i followed the advise of a friend. she lives down in the city and, unlike me, she knows which colours are in this season and what women wear. she's been trying for a couple of years now to convince me to make black scarves and wraps. she even did a survey, asking her friends what colour they would choose if they bought a wrap. most of them said black! but i'm a colour girl and have never followed her advise - until now...
(couldn't resist that bit of red!)
and here's the bit on cacao...
when we were down south paul had this amazing chocolate smoothie at samudra. it was called 'mayan chocolate recovery' and i decided to make one last night. here's my recipe:
blend 1 cup almond milk with 7 cacao beans, 3 dates and a bit of palm sugar at high speed in the vitamix and taste the most amazing chocolate smoothie - yum!
but here is where i went wrong: i drank it at 9pm, went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 11pm. i felt like i had been plugged into the electricity grid, every cell of my body was buzzing with energy! and i spent most of the night lying awake... next time i will drink it in the morning!
recipe for beetroot 'rawspacho' soup:
peel and cut 2 beetroots, 1 avocado and 1 small apple. blend with 2 cups of water, salt, pepper, olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar at high speed in the vitamix. add more water if necessary. serve with a sprinkle of olive oil, almond milk and parsley.
the cumin cracker in the picture is from the book 'everyday raw' - see sidebar.
i didn't get any time in the studio working on my re-invented wrap.
instead i spent most of my time yesterday in the kitchen. i am just so excited about all this experimenting with raw food :)
we've had a few more raw pasta dishes last week with different sauces: pesto, and olive-pesto - yummy!!!
but yesterday i played a bit with the dehydrator that i borrowed from a friend. this is what's in there at the moment: chocolate-ginger macaroons and plum fruit leather...
both of these will be lunch box treats. two trays of fruit leather were ready this morning and i rolled them up...
and because i like experimenting i made up a spread to go on the sandwiches for everyone's school lunches. i pureed some soaked cashew nuts with raw beetroot, some lemon thyme, soya sauce, salt and agave syrup. i love the colour of it...
it even tastes great!!! oh... i'm just so excited!!!
and so i even got the sprouter out and put fenukreek seeds, mung beans and chickpeas in it. and i soaked almonds overnight to make almond milk for my muesli this morning. i usually don't eat muesli because i don't like milk and yoghurt. so here's a new option!
with some of the left-over almond meal i invented a little dessert by mixing cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, agave syrup and a pinch of nutmeg into it...
it seems that my dry spell in the kitchen is over - i feel so inspired!
and here is something else i wanted to share with you. an article that a friend of ours wrote on his blog centre for social poetry - re-imagine the world. it gave me a different perspective for all the recent natural and social upheavals and is called
my grandmother had a saying for everything. one of them was 'Liebe geht durch den Magen' - 'love goes through the stomach'.
that's how i felt yesterday.
it was so hard to find good presents for sebastian. this boy does basically have everything he needs. why would we want to give him things that he doesn't need?
or give him everything he wants - puppy dog, ipod touch...?
but the one thing that i know he loves is good food. so i embarked on a day of cooking and baking - on a very hot day...
and for dinner, a mexican feast - his favourite food.
i went through all of my cooking with kurma books and found lots of great recipes for:
gazpacho, guacamole and 'burras' - tortillas with refried beans, hot tomato sauce, lettuce, cheese and sour cream - yum!!!
i even tried making tortillas from polenta and wheat flour. it was much easier then i thought...
we had such a feast!
and then it was back to the kitchen to bake the cake for his celebration at school today...
after that i was exhausted, but happy to have spent the day trying out new recipes and giving my boy this special present. sebastian saw me sitting in the lounge room and came and offered me a foot bath and foot massage - what a sweet end to the day!
so it seems love does not only go through the stomach, but also through the feet! ;)