Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Food!!

Hello all!! So I know I let the rest of December run away without a posting, and I could blame it on all the business of the holidays, trying to apply for jobs, and all that includes, but I really should have gotten around to posting something. With that I am sorry.

I have been really digging avocado toast as of late, mainly on beer bread. Yes, yes, beer bread. I have been going through a faze of buying new beers from Trader Joe's and making them into pumpkin beer bread. I have then topped my avocado toasts with either sumac or pomegranate seeds, or nixed the avocado and topped the toast with almond cheese. I usually eat roasted green beans or a salad along side the toast.

Of course I do not have any good pictures of my latest obsession, I have been slacking hard core with picture taking lately. Mainly because I think I need to step up my picture taking game (something I am looking into and trying to advance in for better quality pictures to be taken for here).
Here is an avocado hummus sandwich with a side salad
and roasted red pepper dressing, so good!! Bread was Ezickel

I have made a few other beer breads in the past, but the difference with these recently made ones is the addition of pumpkin, a squash I am oh so greatly obsessed with.

 Pumpkin Beer Bread

(This one actually does have a pumpkin beer in it too, but any beer you like can work. I have also used gingerbread beer, a dark beer, and I think a few others- told you like going and buying new ones for my butt (fiance) to try haha. Also, I make my own self-rising flour when I make beer bread.)

Self-rising flour basic formula:
1 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour (or regular bread flour or just more flour, the bread flour has a higher gluten content so it gives the bread more chew)
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt (even if that, you can add to your desire, I never found it to really mess with the recipe)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 bottle of beer
coconut oil spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, spray a loaf pan with coconut oil spray.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Add in the canned pumpkin and beer.

Mix well, until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour into loaf pan.

Bake for an hour, turning half way through baking time. Test with a toothpick for doneness after the hour, if it comes out clean you are good. Let it cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then remove to let it cool completely.
Slice and top with what ever your heart desires.

Another one of my latest obsessions is making my own nut butters. I found this delicious one made by Kalots that cost $10 a jar (like 10oz jar). too steep for my budget, but I wanted to try it so I bought it once. It was a Superfood Nut Butter. Superfood because it has dried blueberries and walnuts in it along with almonds as the base and some coconut oil. I started to look up nut butter recipes and decided to just use the ingredient list as a recipe for me to create my own imitation version. Since then I have been trying out a few other recipes too but think I need a better food processor because it usually turns out more like meal and never fully into a nut butter- still working on this part.

Cinnamon Almond Walnut Cranberry Butter

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
5 dates, soaked in water for 10 minutes
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries (mine were fruit juice sweetened)

Dry roast the nuts at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, watching closely so they do not burn.
Add all ingredients into food processor, except the cranberries. Let it whirl, scraping down the sides, until it starts to become a paste. This takes awhile, so be patient. Add in cranberries and pulse a few times so they slightly breakdown (I let mine go for too long and they just incorporated in).

Spread on everything!!

I like mine on top of apples with some chocolate chips!!

I have also tried making the recipe again but used soaked dried figs instead of dates- didn't turn out the greatest. Dabbled in making my own hazelnut butter- it just wouldn't smooth out and gingerbread almond butter- again didn't smooth out. So I am still playing around in the nut butter world but I have saved a lot by making it my self.

attempt at hazelnut chocolate butter

True life moment right now, so you are more than welcomed to stop reading and just go make a homemade nut butter on beer bread sandwich, or read on if you wish. I just want to be open and share my struggles to see if anyone has advice for me that I haven't thought of yet, so be kind and not grossed out =]

Over the past year + I have been struggling with chapped lips, or thats what I was guessing it was. When I was a kid I had licking lips syndrome (or what ever you want to call it), where I would get a red, chapped ring around my lips because I would lick them to make them feel better. My mom made me stop and I started to apply blistex to them and it worked, they healed. Up until maybe 3 years ago, I went for a run on a somewhat chilly, sunny day. I noticed while running my lips were getting dry, but didn't worry. I got home and the top of my lips (you know where the nose has the dip to the lips part) got chapped. I started to up more chap-stick on it, but that didn't seem to work. So me being the weird hippy loving tea tree oil, put some of that on it. The area dried up, peeled and was as good as new. For maybe a few months. I went to Florida in January about a year ago, the temperature change freaked it out again, and it got bad. I came back, started my last semester of undergrad and the stress would make it worse because I would play with it. So I started to put Vitamin E chap-stick on it, which would work for a time, then it would flare up again, peel, be red and raw. It was a never ending cycle. I've tried just about every over the counter chap-stick out there, homeopathic lip remedies, you name it. So last summer the side of my mouth cracked too, I would put Vit E on it also and it would get better, crack again, cycle. And then the bottom of my lip started to get dry too. It was going downhill, so I tried something new, not putting anything on it, any of my lips or around. They got crazy dry and looked horrible. I finally decided to look into seeing a doctor or to go to the dermatologist (something that I have wanted to do but the insurance aspect would stop me). So its bad, I decided to stop into a urgent care facility, $160 dollars later have a steroid cream with anti fungal (yes I'm embarrassed to share all of this but its what I am currently dealing with) to help heal it.
you can see the slight redness above my lip

the top portion of my lip looks better but the sides are rough

Being a nutrition major I did think maybe the cracked lips are a sign of a vitamin deficiency, but even the doctor said it doesn't seem like it but I need blood work to really find out. So I have to put this cream on once a day for 10 days. If it doesn't work I then have to get blood work and see a dermatologist. With a wedding coming up, wanting to feel and look beautiful for it, I am stressed that this isn't going to go away. I bit the bullet and went to the doctor because I want to be proactive about taking care of this, and I pray that it isn't something worse.

My lips are dry and sore, I can't fully open my mouth without fear of splitting my lips, and it sucks. I just want to healthy, feel healthy, and look healthy. Right now I do not want to leave the house because I feel like everyone would stare and be grossed out by me. So if you have any thoughts that would be awesome. Or have a great dermatologist thats also great. Advice welcomed!

Thanks for the real life talk and I hope you all appreciate your soft, smooth, lips- or better yet make sure you take care of your lips!!