Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Persimmon and Quinoa - Side Dish or Snack On The Go

Persimmon and Quinoa recipe

Persimmons: taste great and it's in season right now. However I do not want to eat them cooked in a bread, pudding or cookie. I'm looking for something more healthy because I'm trying to lose weight for ski season!!

Today, while making lunch at the flat, I looked in the refrigerator for inspiration; 1 persimmon and 1 chicken breast. Hummm??? I think I have some quinoa, too. It's too cold and raining too hard outside to leave the house for other supplies.

Got it! Lets try adding the sweet persimmon to the quinoa? JackPot! It is a perfect side for my grilled chicken breast. I imagine it would be great with grilled pork as well.

Persimmon and Quinoa recipe - what you need

What you will need for the Persimmon Quinoa Dish:
- 1 persimmon (ripe or not)
- 1/4 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1/2 or 2/3 cup water

- Tomato peeler
- Paring knife
- 1.5q pot

Total time: 15 minutes

Nutritional facts: good source of vitamin-C.

Persimmon - take the skin off with a tomato peeler

Always wash veggies and fruit. With a tomato peeler, remove all the skin.

Persimmon cored and ready to cook

Using a paring knife, core the persimmon.

Persimmon chopped

Dice the persimmon

Persimmon and Quinoa - how to cook

Add the water, persimmon and quinoa to the pot and bring to a boil.

Staub Marin Blue Round Cocotte, 5 1/2 qt., 5.5 qt. (Google Affiliate Ad)

Persimmon and Quinoa bowling in the pot

Once the ingredients come to a boil, turn heat down to medium. Occasionally stirring.

Persimmon and Quinoa recipe - ready to eat

Just look at that yummy, sweet quinoa!

Persimmons are in season now and very good for you. So eat them!

Great blog: Five Ways to Eat Persimmons

Staub Saffron Coq Au Vin, 5 3/4 qt. (Google Affiliate Ad)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SantaCon in San Francisco

Santarchy and Santacon: History and officially the unofficial Site. The first SantaCon to hit San Francisco was in 1994!

SantaCon 2011 Pre-Party
Liquid breakfast

What is SantaCon?
"Santarchy is an annual city-wide Santas-only pub crawl. This flash mob-type event brings together hundreds of slightly sober people dressed in Santa costumes parading around the city, visiting landmarks (like walking down Lombard Street) drinking at bars and causing general mayhem." Read more>>

If you'd like, view my video on YouTube: SantaCon Polk Street San Francisco 2011
Above is a video of us walking down Polk Street for a SantaCon take-over. The whole north bound lane of Polk Street was filled with intoxicated Santa-men and Santa-women dancing, singing, and drinking. Any reason to dress-up, drink mid-day and have fun. It's a very fun loving event and we'd like to keep it that way. Leave your ego at home please.

If you'd like, view my video on YouTube: Erik's SantaCon to Civic Center SF 2011

Above is a video I put together from breakfast at Eric's. It's a per-SantaCon primer of food, drink and Santa gathering in the Mission. At 12:30, well lubed up, we then jumped on the BART and headed downtown to the Civic Center. There we met up with about 5000 other Santa's and partied at SF City Hall. I believe it was about 3:30 when we left and hit Polk Street. It was a sunny day, but things got foggy in the late afternoon.

SantaCon 2011 Pre-Party
Outside the Ha-Ra, a divine dive bar on our way from Civic Center to The Polk Gulch. Here is a quote from a review I just read about the bar, "...THANKFULLY NOT OVERRUN BY YUPPIES TRYING TO SLUM". Ha!

SantaCon 2011 Pre-Party
SantaCon Girls - typical outfits for the SantaCon event. Dress fun, wear flat shoes and bring cash. Most dive bars only take cash and the ATM fees are pricey.

Halloween Wild About Christmas Adult Costume (Google Affiliate Ad)

SantaCon 2011 Pre-Party
Friends getting ready at 9:30AM at the Breakfast of Santa's. Breakfast lasted until 12:30 when we left Erik's casa and ventured on to BART to hit up Civic Center.

2012 San Francisco SantaCon is on Saturday, December 15th, 2012. Check back at Facebook SF SantaCon for more info.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How To Make Almond Milk and Save Our Oceans From Plastic

Almond Milk - Finished product

I've gone to a few events the last couple of years for ocean awareness, how to Save The Waves and keep our waters plastic free / trash free. I had a friend and artist ask a few of us to keep everything plastic we consumed over a period of 2 or 3 weeks. At the end of this time, she wanted us to hand over our used plastic goods so she could construct her plastic wave. "The wave is her personal statement about plastic in our oceans" wrote Beth Terry. I thought it was a great idea, but at the end of the day, I forgot or couldn't commit or any other excuse I could come up with for not participating in the 2 week project. I wasn't supporting the cause. I don't mean support by donation. I mean by integrating that philosophy into my daly life. I'd never really done more than just attend parties or the once a year beach clean-up for Surfrider.

Today, December 6, I will try to live a more natural lifestyle, keep my plastic consumption low and keep information and new ideas for a plastic free life flowing. My first step: to make my own almond milk at home and no longer purchase almond milk in a carton with their non-recycleable plastic screw caps & plastic spout. Here is a link for information about the cartons use by Blue Diamond on their FAQ page. I'm not sure if the cartons are recyclable or not, but I was happy to see that Blue Diamond doesn't use genetic engineering or gene manipulation almonds. I tried to find some information about recycling the cartons on Earth 911 with no luck. I don't think you can???

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
What you will need for this almond milk recipe:
-- 4 cups of water
-- 1 cup of raw almonds - not salted or roasted - purchase them in bulk. Much more affordable
-- 1 teaspoon of raw sugar (optional) or use 3 or 4 dates or organic agave nectar

You can substitute the sugar for 3 or 4 dates, organic agave nectar or leave it out completely. If you are use to flavored almond milk; add less than 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon chocolate.

Some recipes call for blanching almonds to get their slightly bitter skin off before blending. I didn't. Too much work for little pay off. Skip the blanching.

-- Blender
-- Metal strainer
-- Cheesecloth (I didn't use one, but if you want to strain all almond out, this is a great technique. In a pinch, I've heard (new) pantyhose work.
-- Glass bowls
-- Spoon

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Add one cup of almonds to four cups of water in a very strong blender. Today I'm using my new Vitamix blender, but any brand will do.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Next, add your sweeteners or flavors. In this case, I'm using raw sugar - about 1 teaspoon.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Blend on HIGH for about 1 or 2 minutes

Vitamix CIA Professional Series Blender - Brushed Stainless Steel

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Here is my first almond milk - now strain the almond pulp out of the almond milk.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Use a glass bowl (yes, I just purchased new bowls since I broke the last one about a month ago) and a metal strainer. Place the strainer over the bowl and pour almond milk through the stainer in to the bowl.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Pour a small amount of almond milk at a time and use a spoon to help the milk through the strainer.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
With my spoon, I scoop the almond pulp from the strainer until all milk has dropped in to the bowl. After, I pour the pulp in to a smaller glass bowl and continue until all milk and pulp are separated.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Now I'm ready to drink my fresh, homemade almond milk, use it in my morning fruit smoothy, have a bowl of oats and my fresh milk - endless possibilities. The almond milk keeps in the refrigerator for about 4 days. I'm keeping the almond milk in one of my empty glass water bottles. I'll see how they hold up.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
Ways to use the almond pulp: add it as a topper to your cereal, use as flavor when baking a bread, add it to your homemade energy bars for protein and fiber. I think I'm going to try to make raw almond cheese.

Site to get more information:
-- How and What to Recycle Earth 911
-- Kathleen Egan's Plastic Wave myplasticfreelife.com