What are you up to this weekend? We're
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Excited for beautiful spring-time weather. So we've opened all of the windows, taken the puppies for long walks, and have been catching up on some projects around the house
In between, a fun invite from a friend to attend Iowa State's University's Fashion Show. Something that wouldn't have been on my everyday radar screen, and my goodness, what a great time. Amongst 2,000 people at CY Stephens Auditorium, we had incredible seats; only a few feet from the runway(!)
What began in 1982 with a make-shift runway down the middle of a classroom, has grown into one of the largest student-run fashion shows in the country. The clothing worn by the 50 student models, chosen from over 200 entries made by students in the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design programs. There were also scholarships awarded based on the selections by guest judges (all prominent names in the fashion industry)
I was impressed!
In the meantime, a few fun things to share
My latest read – because it's not about what we eat, it's what we're able to digest.
Also, Nadya has created a series of youtube videos where she talks about all things digestion with many who are considered experts in the field of food coaching. One of my favorites is with Dana James
Video Credit: YouTube – Happy Belly Series
How to opt-out of everything
We work from home, hang out with our cats, take pictures of our lunches, and watch Apple TV .. while we blog and email and order gluten-free cookies from Amazon. Is it true? Are we The Shut-in Economy?
57 tips to be a better cook (ps: There are some really great things on the list)
Fun facts about America's Test Kitchen Library
Looking for your next cookbook? Food Bloggers pick their most anticipated new cookbooks. A couple of new ones at our house? Sprouted Kitchen's Bowl + Spoon, Date Night In, The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
And, a few health and nutrition websites you may not have heard of
Women's Health Letter – Nan Fuchs, Ph.D. Editor. A monthly newsletter with nutritional insights for women over 50
The World's Healthiest Foods – One of my very favorites sites
Jack Challem – One of the top nutrition writers in the U.S.
Alternative Medicine Review – An independent medical journal .. published quarterly
The dessert we brought along to our neighbor's for dinner; a strawberry kanten infused with dried roses. It's incredible as a refreshing sweet treat, although I have a feeling it will also become an afternoon pick-me-up when the weather turns warmer.
What is a kanten? It's a Japanese dessert made with agar flakes, a slightly obscure natural ingredient. This sea vegetable can be used to thicken puddings, custards, rice krispy treats, or in this case our strawberry and rose-infused apple juice. (You can find the flakes in most natural food stores)
There are lots of ways to serve this beautiful fruit dessert. While it was wonderful as a slightly thick cold drink, in the end, we decided to freeze it and serve it frozen with cashew cream and slices of strawberries on top
ps: Be sure to seek out organic roses
For more pics from Iowa State's Fashion Show
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~ Adapted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen Cookbook by Amy Chaplin
Strawberry Rose Kanten
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened apple juice, divided
- 6 cups medium strawberries, hulled and halved + more to use as a garnish
- 1 Tbsp natural sugar, optional (If the strawberries are summertime fresh, you probably won't need the extra sweetness from the sugar)
- ¼ cup agar flakes
- ¼ cup dried organic rosebuds
- Serve with sliced strawberries and Whipped Coconut Cream (see recipe below)
- To your blender or food processor, add ¾ cup apple juice, natural sugar, and the prepared strawberries. Blend until smooth.
- Strain the strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a small pot over medium-high heat, add the remaining 3/4 cup apple juice and the agar flakes. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.
- Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until all the agar has dissolved.
- Add the rosebuds, re-cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Allow the mix to steep for 10-15 minutes
- Strain the rosebud mix into the bowl with the strawberry juice. Whisk until combined
- Place in the fridge for about an hour, or until the mix is completely chilled and set.
- Remove from the fridge and whisk thoroughly until smooth.
- When serving, spoon into glasses or bowls and garnish with strawberries and/or whipped coconut cream
- (The kanten can also be placed in the freezer, depending on the consistency you'd like. In our case, we put it in the freezer until it was frozen on the top, although the middle was still a bit sloshy. When serving, it was perfect)
~ Adapted from Oh She Glows .. here
Whipped Coconut Cream
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (It's important that the coconut milk is full fat)
- 1-2 tbsp powdered cane sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Place can in the fridge overnight. (It's crucial to chill the coconut cream until it’s very firm)
- Just before you make the whipped cream, place a mixing bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the chilled can from the fridge and FLIP it upside down. Open the can. (You won't be using the liquid that's on top)
- Pour the coconut liquid into another bowl. Don’t throw it away – you can also use it in smoothies, baking, or cooking. You'll be left with the hardened coconut cream
- Scoop the coconut cream into your chilled bowl.
- Whip the cream. Grab a hand mixer (alternatively, you can do this in a stand mixer – just chill the bowl first) and whip the cream until fluffy.
- Add in a touch of sweetener and vanilla extract and whip it again
- The whipped coconut cream can easily be stored in the fridge for at least a week or two. It'll firm up a bit more in the fridge, though simply scoop it into a bowl and re-whip it when you need it