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My Favorite Kitchen Things & Recipe Links-A Big Post!

Posted Feb 11 2010 3:36pm
How are you doing today?  I have to saythe past 24 hours have not been easy for me in terms of implementing my new commenting systembut as of my last postthings seem to be 100% On Track!   As I said in that postthank you for bearing with me and for your patience!  Tech issues and glitches are never funbut in the long runthe new commenting system is wayyyy better!  Woo-hoo for that!!!  And all the kinks got worked outin large partdue to Emily The Blog Fairy's help!  As I mentioned in the last postif anyone ever needs Bloggie help or a Bloggie Makeoveremail EmilyShe is lighting fastextremely responsive awesome at what she doesand more than reasonable!  ButI am so sick of talking about commenting systems so we're all done with that now and everything seems to be working so we can keep praying the tech Gods keep smiling on me.  Okgoodglad you agree!

Let's recap a hot second because I know I was on fire with all my posts the past 24 hours...
In Part 2 of my Fast & Easy Valentine's Day Dessert Recipes (If you Missed Part 1 with Vegan Fudge or Chocolate Covered StrawberriesClick Here) but yesterday I made Peanut Butter Cup & Dark Chocolate Carmel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Non-Vegan with Reese's Cup Centers

And Non-Vegan with Dove Dark Chocolate Caramel Centers
And Vegan Options too!
Whip up some high Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
And then make some Raw Vegan Chocolate for the Centers using the my Recipe for making homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate
Or make up a batch of homemade Recipe for Homemade White Vegan Chocolate Sauce 
Or just stick with high Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls I always love balls! TWSS!

I also mentioned that over the weekend I am doing a 2 Hour Live Cooking Demonstration and Q & A Session with Yoga Students and those in Teacher Training this weekend.  I want to gear my presentation to things that are useful and asked you what you'd like to know about raw foodsraw cookingwhat tips and tricks you'd like to hear about and you came through with everything from "Make Sure You Mention the Raw Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe" to Getting a little tripped up On What is Raw and Make it Easy!to Are Grains Rawand that type of thing.  

Check out the newly working comments if you'd like!  And Thanks for Your Suggestions about Presentation Topics!!!!

Now that we're all caught upToday I want to talk about  
A Few of My Favorite Kitchen Things
FirstCoffee Maker.  This is a no brainer since I love my coffee.  I've had this machine about 9 months.
And this mug about 2 days
They both are working perfectly.  Together.
   My Espresso Maker
You Can Read All About the Finer Points of It Here
Seriouslyit came with pH testing strips for the water to help it "know" how to brew the espresso better. 
I have perfected a Vegan Caramel Macchiato and it makes me happy & warm inside.  
The drink makes me happy and warm inside.   In addition to the fact that I don't have to rely on Starbucks' overpriced drinks also makes me happy inside!
My Microwave.  I use it.  I like it.  And although in a perfect worldI'd prefer not to use it as I've mentioned beforebut there are times when it's easiestfastestthe and most convenient option.  Katie (and oh yeahit's Vegan Thursday!) got alot of great comments on the Are microwaves safe issue,  andI know Heather's not a fanand I don't love the nuke box eitherbut it's a tool in my kitchen that I use!
How else would I melt the chocolate for my Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups?!!
Next Up is my Dehydrator
You can Read all About What Model I Have Here
My Favorite Recipe to Create in it is Kale Chips
I've Got 2 Kale Chip Coating Recipes: One for a Moderate Bunch of Kale
and This One for a Really Big Batch of Kale Chips
Thin-n-crispy raw vegan kale chip
Little Noochy Covered Tree
Skylar begs me for kale chips.

We are the cloth napkin usingre-usable stainless steel non-BPA sippy cup drinkingyoga doingcrunchy kinda crowd...
...that stuff our faces with kale chips!
Howeveras I have mentioned beforeYou Don't Need a Dehydrator!  For recipes that call for a dehydratoruse a 200F oven or as low as your oven goeskeep the door ajar if you want to lower the temp even moreand call it good.  I usually dehydrate in the 140-150F range because I don't have the patience for 105 or 118F.  Not to mentionas Noni Shannon has written aboutit can be a Food Safety Issue keeping wet produce at such a low temperature for dozens of hours at a time so it doesn't bother me to jack up the heat a little bit.  I know Marissa feels similarly!

Moving Alonga Dehydrator is Funbut save your money and Buy a Vita-Mix long before you buy a dehydrator.  Or buy any kind of food processor.  Buy something to blend and pulverize!
I make Everything from Vegan Gluten-Free Pancakes in it
to homemade Peanut Sauce
Raw Vegan Feast: Raw Spiralized Zucchini Noodles Tossed with Veggies and Homemade Peanut Sauce

This Meal is a Keeper!
Especially because it's tossed in Homemade Peanut Sauce
to high Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls 
to Raw Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Donut Holes
...You Do Need a Good Blending Device.   For meit's my Vita.  For youget whatever your budget allows and pray that Santa is good to you next year!
All the equipment in the worldhowevercan't compare with good knives.
I use my knives more than anything else in my kitchen and my cutting board.  I have 2 favorite cutting boards and both of them are so cut uprelayedand parlayedthey aren't photo-worthyat all.  
For my knivesI love my HencklesWusthof is another great brand.  And if I had an extra hundred bucksI wouldn't buy a pair of Rock & Republic Jeans (they're more than a hundred anyway)I'd buy a knife!  That came out a little funnybut it's true!
There is no possible way to be a good cook without decent knives.  The first thing everyone should buy to outfit your kitchenin my opinionis a good knife.  A 6 or 7 inch chef's knife or a Santoku Knife is the first investment I'd recommend anyone making.
And Last But Not LeastMy Favorite Kitchen Thing Person is this Peanut: Skylar!
Who dances around like a Nut and makes it more interestingno doubtin the kitchen!
Dinner Was Mixed GreensAsparagusBrusselsTomatoesCarrotsand Cukes
 With a Fresh Batch of Vegan Slaw Dressing that I made.

Dessert was Vegan Fudge 
and Chocolate Covered StrawberriesWhat can I sayValentine's Day with the choc-n-berry action came a little early for me!
Yoga Today is Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana (One-Legged Upward Facing Bowor One-Legged Backbend)
*LAST CHANCE to EnterContest Ends Friday 2/12/10!!!!!
Tip of the Day:  My Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Give Away!!!!!

If you're not entered what the heck are you waiting for?!  The Winner Will be Chosen on Friday (the 12th) just in time for Valentine's Day!   
Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Who needs RosesJust Give me My Coconut Oil!  Enter Here Now!

What's your Favorite Thing in the Kitchen?  What do you use multiple times every day and cannot imagine not having?

What item do you want?  Why?  How would you use it?  Trust meif I have tons of readers all tell me they want a VitaMixI may write to VitaMix and mention this as a Give Away. Don't get your hopes up or anythingbut heyI'd try it for you guys!  

Do You Consider Yourself to be Good in the Kitchen?  Are you a good cook?  A bad one?  A work in progress?  Are you scared of cooking or of messing things up so you don't even try?  
I know when I was growing upmy grandmother and mother were phenomenal cooks.  To the point, I actually avoided cooking and the kitchen at all costs.  And when I was in my early to mid 20smany dinners included TriscuitsPeanut Butterand copious amount of Kettle One.  No cooking involved!  I was so clueless in the kitchenI didn't know up from down.  Then my lightbulb moment came: I realized that in order to be optimally healthyget a handle on my food allergiessave moneysatisfy my desire to be creativeto createto makethat I needed to find my way around the kitchen.  And I think I have.  Howeverlike with any artand cooking is definitely an art, there is a lifetime's worth of knowledge to learn.  We never master it all.  Yoga is like thistoo; always room for growth.
Tell me your thoughts on being a good cook or learning to cook?  What has helped you? 

And FinallyDoes Technology "work" for you the first time or the "easy way"?  For methis is nonever!  And I don't think I am totally inepteither.  But "easy install" is an oxymoron when it comes to me and technology!  What about you?  How Tech-Savvy Are You?  Does Technology Go According to Plan for you?  If it doesI need your tips!

Stay Tuned For The Coconut Oil Winner and some Mailbox Finds...

*Edited to Add: IF YOU WANT TO COMMENT ON THIS POSTYOU MUST ACTUALLY CLICK ON THE POST TITLE AND THEN THE COMMENT FIELD WILL BECOME VISIBLE at the bottom of the page.  Sorryanother glitch that I'm working on.  It was fine and then it just glitched up. 
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