Saturday, October 5, 2013

Awesome Book App

Come visit my new blog:
Have you checked out my fun book app?  My sister-in-law and myself created a sweet little story.  It is called Awesome Pinky B My BFF.  I wrote it for my daughter.  It is a simple story promoting love and friendship!  Check it out:

It is awesomely free!

 Have an awesome day! xo

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Blog

The time has come to move on from the Crazy Sexy Kitchen Project.  It just felt weird to post on random stuff that had nothing to do with the cookbook.  I didn't want to take away from the project that I worked so hard on.  So there is no better time then the present to start a new blog:

That is my handle on Twitter and Instagram.  Therefore it was the only name I could see for my new blog.  My new blog is about me and whatever I may be up to.  Maybe a new recipe, or hobby.  (which by the way is sewing!) It is just whatever I am up to that might be worth sharing.  "So join me when you feel like it or not, whatever!" A quote from the movie Along Came Polly.  Today I have some seriously awesome Dark Chocolate Sorbet going on at my new blog.  You don't want to miss it!  So I leave the Crazy Sexy Kitchen Project as a reference to anyone looking to make one of the awesome recipes from the cookbook.  You know I have my favorites.  I hope it helps you find yours!

aka Brookey Mama

Friday, May 24, 2013

Acai Bowl

Acai Bowl
Let me first start out by saying how sorry I am for being such a flaky blogger.  What is my problem?  I guess I have just been mostly busy, and quite possibly a little lazy.  Please don't hate me;) I can say life has been pretty crazy in my house this past week.  My husband, "Mr Accident Prone" had a freak thing happen to him.  First off let me say he has earned this nickname.  He gets hurt all the time.  My kids will totally confirm this allegation. Check it out, a picture is worth a thousand words...

He stepped on a screw driver, and part of it stuck in his foot.   One surgery later, and he is now on crutches healing beautifully.  So with him out of commission for a few days life got kind of hectic around here.  Now this really has no bearing to why I haven't blogged in forever, but I guess I thought you might take mercy on me, or at least feel sorry for my husband!  Anyway once you try this recipe I am about to give you, I know all will be forgiven when it comes to my lack of blogging :)

I am sometimes a creature of habit.  I am especially like this with food.  To eat the same thing everyday for months at a time is not unusual for me.  Call me weird if you want! I don't care because what I am about to share with you is so worthy of eating everyday!   Ever since I tried the Acai Bowl, I just can't stop craving it, and therefore am compelled to eat it almost daily.  I first had one at Whole Foods last year.  They were serving them for breakfast.  I loved it, and decided to buy the ingredients and start making them myself.  My recipe morphed a bit from the original bowl.  I added spinach to mine.

Guess what...?

Give up?

You can't even taste the spinach.  You can put an entire cup or more of fresh spinach in this and not taste any of it.  Now, I like spinach so I truly wouldn't mind it if I could taste it. My kids on the other hand would rather not touch the stuff.  This is a great way to get your kiddos to eat their greens.  This is also a really easy way to get your fruit intake for the day. 
I had never heard of acai before trying this recipe.  In case you are curious, the acai berry comes from an acai palm.  The palm grows berries similar in size to grapes.  It is thought that the berry has some great antioxidant power. Yeah, I know blah blah blah! This is a bit more juicy.  I saw one study that claimed it could actually enlarge the size of a man's penis!  Hello!  Sadly, those claims couldn't be proven, but I am sure at one point it "lifted" the sale of acai.

A year after my first taste of acai at Whole Foods, and I now notice it everywhere. I  have even been to restaurants serving it in cocktails. Yum! Unfortunately, I have never found fresh acai in the store, but only these frozen pouches of pure organic acai.  Which is fine, they are easy to use.  I get mine at Whole Foods.  I am addicted!
Acai Bowl
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup fresh organic strawberries
1/4 cup fresh organic blueberries
1 cup spinach
1 acai frozen pouch
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 hemp granola

Blend the almond milk, spinach, acai and banana.  Layer strawberries and blueberries in bowl.  Top with blended ingredients.  (It almost tastes like banana ice cream!) Top with granola.

I eat these for lunch a lot of times.  It tastes great after a workout too!  My whole family loves it.    An Acai Bowl is truly a delicious treat!  Let me just warn you that once you make this you too might just become an acai addict!

Have you tried acai?  If so tell me how you eat it...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Red Lentil Enchiladas with Tomatillo Green Sauce

It has been a month, and I have totally missed blogging. So I decided just because I finished Crazy Sexy Kitchen doesn't mean I can't still blog occasionally.  I am going to try and post something from time to time.  I will pick a recipe, make it and pass on my experience to you!  Now that I am done with CSK, I can post from any cookbook I darn well feel inspired by, or I can simply give you one of my own creations!  Plus I can blab about all the happenings in my life.  Which is really like therapy for me, and you would be doing me a huge favor lending me your ear as I ramble about this and that:)

So where have I been since my last blog?  Initially, I was totally loving not having to cook and take pictures all the time.  I left the project and it felt like being on vacation.  It also felt weird having so much free time.  I got bored.  I got bangs!  Bad call there...  Turns out I don't look as cute as Jessica Beil does with her bangs.  WTF?!

What else did I do?  I waited on pins and needles for my big major  congratulatory award from Kris and Chad for finishing their cookbook.  Let me just say I am still waiting... Tick tock...  Oh Chad did send me some totally awesome t-shirts.  They say "Wickedly Healthy - Plant Pushers".  Kris and Chad signed my cookbook, and sent me another CSK book.  So now I have 2!  Whoo Hoo!

Chad asked me to go to his cooking class in Atlanta, but I live in CA.  It would have just been too expensive to fly out there so I passed.  I thought it was really sweet of him to ask though and would have loved the experience!  So there ya have it in a nut shell.  Maybe my gift got lost in the mail.  Kris could still send me Hay House tickets right?  "I Can Do It" tickets for me and my hubby! Hint hint! I am sure they are on the way;)  Yeah I know I am not holding my breath, but really you never know, anything is possible!  I am not delusional don't worry, just trying to be optimistic (and a little funny!)!

So back to the real world! I decided to share with you one of my family favorites: Red Lentil Enchiladas with a Tomatilla Green Sauce. This recipe is vegan (although you could make it vegetarian depending on whether you use real cheese or not), and I must say these enchiladas are pretty fabulous!

Here is what you will need to make this yummy meal:
Tomatillo Sauce Ingredients
Enchilada Ingredients
Here is the recipe for the Tomatillo Sauce:

8 tomatillos
3 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup cilantro
2 Anaheim peppers
1 teaspoon olive oil

Boil tomatillos for 10 minutes.

Tomatillo Sauce:
Scrub tomatillos clean.
Chop onion.
Warm teaspoon of olive oil in pan and cook onion until translucent.
Add crushed garlic and continue to cook a couple of minutes.
Add vegetable stock and tomatillas once boiling cook for 10 minutes.
While tomatillos are boiling roast Anaheim peppers until blackened. Blanch in cold water and peel off skin of peppers. Take the seeds out of peppers and set aside.
Once tomatilos are cooked put all tomatillo ingredients in blender and blend. (Don't burn yourself!)

Red Lentil Enchilada:
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon oil
corn tortillas
1/2 white onion
1 cup cilantro
1 jalapeno seeded
1/2 cup cilantro
1 can black olives
Daiya Cheese
Cook your red lentils until tender.
Red Lentil Enchiladas:
Rinse lentils
Pour oil in pan and cook onion until translucent.
Add water (or stock) and lentils to pan boil lentils until cooked (about 10 minutes). You may need to add water to lentils if water is soaked up.
Drain excess water when lentils are cooked.
Add jalapeno, 1/4 cup cilantro and 1/2 cup to a cup of green sauce to lentils.

Preparing enchiladas:
Pour a layer of tomatillo sauce in the bottom of a casserole pan.
To soften the corn tortillas take 5 or 6 at a time.  Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.  Carefully take each tortilla and fill with a scoop of the red lentil mixture. (The tortillas will be hot so use an ovenmit to prevent a burn.) Continue heating tortillas and filling until finished.
Pour sauce over enchiladas. 
Sprinkle with Daiya Cheese, remaining cilantro and olives.
This meal is a family favorite.  My kids love it, and are always so excited when I make it.  I hope you like it!

I guess I will need to change the description of my blog. 
"This was the Vegan Challenge:  which was mostly Crazy and a little Sexy. I learned to cook Vegan with Kris Carr and Chef Sarno! It was kinda like Julie/Julia without the meat or butter... I finished the cookbook, read about it here! Now I cook whatever my heart desires, and share it with you!
 What do you think?  Suggestions...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seitan Brisket with Roasted Chanterelle Gravy

Seitan Brisket with Roasted Chanterelle Gravy pg. 200 & pg. 235
The day is finally here!  My last recipe from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  I started this project October 29th, 2012.  Truthfully, two days into this project I panicked.  I was freaked.  The thought of cooking my way through CSK was starting to set in.  My family & friends pretty much thought I had lost it, and I wasn't sure I could pull it off.  We all know how this story ends though, I did it.  I committed to finishing this cookbook.  Yes, it was totally CRAZY, but guess what I now have some awesome skills in the kitchen, and that is SEXY!  If you really want to learn how to cook, pick up a cookbook and fully immerse yourself in it.  Any type of cookbook, vegan or not, if you make it through to the end you will know how to cook!  With that being said, if you want to be better at anything you just have to dive in and do it, and do whatever it is a lot.  Writing, cooking and pictures were all skills I perfected as this project went on. 

Today was the Seitan Brisket.  This recipe terrified me.  I had no concept what Seitan Brisket even was until today.  Guess what, not as scary as I thought, and in fact it was pretty good.  Here is what you will need for the brisket and gravy.  FYI I forgot to add the maple syrup in the brisket ingredient picture, and the Tamari in the gravy picture.  Go figure my last pictures and I goofed up.
Seitan Brisket Ingredients
You will make your sauce for the brisket first, and then the dough.  Seitan is wheat gluten in case you are like me and had no idea what it was!  It literally feels like bread dough.  You will knead it like bread.  It reminded me of pizza dough as I strived to give it a nice loaf shape.

You will baste the seitan for over an hour as it cooks.   It was essentially vegan meatloaf, or that is at least what my husband thought it looked like, and it totally did.
The one issue I had while preparing this dish was when the recipe asks you to flip the seitan after 30 minutes of cooking.  I did do it, but I needed help from my husband.  The brisket was hot and still soft.  I was afraid it might tear.  It was a bit tricky, so beware.  Your house will smell divine while this cooks.

Now, did I love seitan? Truth... No.  I did like it.  I think for me it was about texture.  When you aren't used to certain textures it takes time.   The flavor was great. 

Next up is the Roasted Chanterelle Gravy.
This was the best gravy I have ever had.  It will be a staple in my house for every holiday from here on out.  I know my kids will be begging me to make it for more than just special occasions.  They love mashed potatoes and gravy.  It was absolutely delicious. 
So I really did it.  I am not sure what I hoped would come from devoting most of my free time to cooking my way through CSK?  In the beginning I half joked Kris might come to dinner.  It would be cool to have a dinner with Kris, but now I want Chad to come as well.   I came into this deal kinda obsessed with Kris because we all know she is pretty rad.  The thing is Chef Sarno is awesome too!  I just didn't know him before CSK, but I got to know him through his great recipes.  He generously re-Tweeted me almost every time I posted something to Twitter, and liked all my pictures on Instagram.  He didn't have to do that.  I am fans of both of them now.

So I put the invitation out there to Kris and Chad - breakfast, lunch or dinner anytime! Although, Chef Sarno I think I would like you to do the cooking, and Kris you could fill my soul with all your spiritual and business smarts!  My husband and I would love to meet you both.  I will be sending my cookbook your way for you both to autograph.  I warn you it is quite stained and tattered.  It was by my side virtually everyday for about 4 1/2 months!

What's next?  Who knows!  I would love to post a follow up story with all the magical things that happened after I completed CSK.  I promise if anything interesting happens I will let you know...  Thank you for all your support.  I appreciate you stopping by everyday.

To my amazing husband, thank you for encouraging me every single day and helping me so much!  You are by far the most amazing person I know.  I love you!  My hubby gave me this American Greeting card for my birthday, and I think it pretty much sums up everything for The Crazy Sexy Kitchen Project...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shredded Kale & Carrots

Shredded Kale and Carrots with Almond Butter Dressing pg. 219
I am still in Florida, but heading home today.  I am actually looking forward to getting back to my own bed.  Although it was nice to get out of town, things didn't necessarily go as planned.  I envisioned the weather being hot and tropical, but it seems we came a week too early to Florida.  Next week has the good weather. When I left California it was 90 degrees.  When we arrived in Florida it was 72 burrrr!  Now I know I shouldn't complain because many of you live in really cold climates.  So I can deal with the weather, no biggie.  What I couldn't deal with was getting the flu or food poisening!  Seriously!  I woke up Friday with horrible stomach pain.  Well, you know all the fun that came next.  So I have spent 99% of my time in bed sleeping.  I did manage to snap a few shots of  Key Largo when I was feeling better.
The town is really a retirement community for lots of really wealthy folks.  People get around the area in golf carts, which was pretty fun!

The mansions all have yachts parked behind them.  There are canals that are the backyards to all these homes.  It was all very cool to see.
See the Yacht!
The lush tropical landscape was awesome.  It reminded me of one of my favorite places, Maui.  I am glad I got to see Key Largo, but I can't say it was one of my favorite places I have visited.  I had hoped the water would have been more crystal blue.  Oh well, like I said things just don't always go like you plan.  I love to travel, and now I can mark it off my list of places to see.
I cheated and  made this dish before I left for my trip.  It was the Shredded Kale and Carrots with Almond Butter Dressing.
Almond Butter Dressing
Before doing all this cooking I had never used the various attachments that came with my food processor.  I had only used the big blade all these years. (Pretty lame I will admit.) After spending so much time in the kitchen I now have a sense of fearlessness.  I pulled out the interchangeable blades and made this dish.  I used one blade for the kale and another for the carrots.  Not sure what the heck scared me about them before?  It was pretty cool how easily it all came together.
The dish surprised me because it is served raw.  I always assumed as I flipped through the cookbook that this was a cooked dish.  It really is more of a salad.  The Almond Butter Dressing was delicious.  The dish also holds up well on the second day.  I loved the hemp seeds in it.
Next up will be my final dish from CSK.  Any guesses to what it is?  I can't believe it is almost over...      

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Best of The Best In CSK

I am spending the weekend in the Florida Keys!  I plan on soaking up the sun, going to the spa, and visiting the Everglades.  I am actually going to take one of those air boats with a big airplane propeller.  It will zip us across the water. All in hopes of seeing some alligators in their natural habitat.  So I thought since I am almost at the end of CSK, I would leave you with my favorite recipes from each section of the book while I am away.  I will post some pictures from our trip when I get back.  Here is a picture from the plane today!  So pretty!
Here are all my favorites...
Juice: The Morning Glorious
This is my go to juice a few times a week. (Look at this picture!  This was early in the project.)

Smoothies: For The Love of Nog
This was a hard choice, but in the end this is my favorite!

Breakfast: Crazy Sexy Breakfast Tacos
You could eat these anytime of day!

Soups and Stews: Coconut and Red Lentil Soup
So delicious!  I have made this again and again.  I add potatoes & carrots to mine.

Sandwiches and Wraps: Crazy Sexy Veggie Quesadilla
These are insanely good!

Sensual Starters: Walnut Falafel
These were so yummy.

Symphonic Salads: Fennel & Fruits with Mandarin Champagne Vinaigrette
I had so many requests for this recipe from family members.

I still have one more "main event" to make, so this answer could change!
Main Event: Wild Mushroom Croquettes

I also have one more to make here too, but this one will be hard to beat.
Sexy Sides: Slow Roasted Beets with Fresh Horseradish

Dressings, Marinades and Condiments: Hummus Two Ways
You just can't go wrong with homemade hummus.

Snacks and Munchies: Kale Chips
These were surprisingly delish!

Sweet Seductions: 24 Karrot Cake
I made this twice in 48hrs it was so yummy!

What are some of your favorites?  Let me know...