Joy Livery

Month: September, 2012

Stainless Steel Straws

I’m having a love affair with these straws.  In fact, I got a fabulous idea after reading a post by The Spunky Coconut blog about making a sipper cup using one of these little suckers (that was a pun…) along with a thin, small jelly jar and its lid.  She just punched a hole through the lid and whamo.  Great idea.

I will most certainly be purchasing a bouquet of these for my kitchen.  Bodhi thinks straws are fun 🙂 ….. and so do I.





Baggie Ice Cream Maker

So this is kind of cool… last summer- or was it the summer before that?- I was really into making frozen yogurt out of Greek yogurt and sweetening/flavoring it with things in the kitch at hand.  I remember chamomile honey, mint cocoa nib, and maple cardamom as highlights.  But as Bodhi and I try to squeeze every last drop of summer out of the first twenty or so days of September, we’ve been getting out the good ole blender and then freezing these concoctions in a large locking baggie.

     I will then put this bag of mess right on the ice cubes.  Every thirty minutes or so take it out and shake it up, turn it over and over, massage it.  Then put it back for another thirty.  Do this until it has a nice creamy consistency.  It will be icier than regular ice cream for sure because there is not consistent motion, but… eh.  It still tastes good.

I would stay away from combinations that closely resemble smoothies… they taste like smoothies.  Ice cream to me should have a richer, novel taste.  Bodhi and I did coconut milk and mango for this one in the pic (very simple.. just blend a can of coconut milk and two mangos).  But I have my eye on something chocolatey and trying my hand at another mint chip.  For something really special it might look something like this:

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream

8-ish drops of stevia, or other sweetener of choice (I recommend tasting it after 4 drops, then 8, and so on until its perfect)

2 drops of peppermint oil

1/2 cup of chocolate chips or cocoa nibs (or a mixture, why not?)

1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped down its middle

Put all of this (EXCEPT for the chocolate chips/nibs) in a blender, just for peace of mind that it is all thoroughly blended.  I think that I would go ahead and add the chocolate chips and cocoa nibs to the blender for a different version, but my first try I might go for a pretty white speckled mint chip.  Pour this into a locking baggie.  I double bagged just to be on the safe side.  The last thing you want is a cold mess on your floor from handling the baggie too rough (relax, okay?).  I have not tried this recipe, but plan to tomorrow (look for an update).  But that is a classic recipe right there… it all comes down to the baggie method of creaming it, not the ingredients.

This is another recipe to use handy stevia.  I just think that this herb is amazingly versatile.  Once you figure out how much is to your taste and the point before its bitter aftertaste (which is why some don’t like it) you are golden.  I will definitely be growing this herb in my garden this fall.  Hopefully I can make my own tincture and simple stevia “syrups”.

Happy ice cream making!




The Kitchen Table is Your Family Alter

The kitchen table is your family’s gathering place.  There we can share ourselves after our days being separated from the people we love and that love us.

But beyond these sentiments is the fact that what goes on the table is what grows the cells in our bodies, grows our hair and nails, forms our blood, feeds our children’s brains.  What we feed our family effects their potential!

I like to think of the table as an alter.  What kind of food would you put on your alter to offer up to your family as a sign of devotion?  Something toxic?  … fake (overly processed, packaged foods, chemical additives, dyes, artificial and “natural” flavors)?  fast food?  Would you put mediocre quality food on your alter… or the BEST?

In Hinduism there is a term called Ashirvad.  It loosely translates to “receiving their blessing”.  When a puja is performed an offering is given either to a deity or an important person and exchanged for that deity or person’s blessing.  This offering can be many things, but is often food (prasad).  Isn’t it lovely then to apply this ritual’s meaning to your family’s alter, the kitchen table?

Whatever prasad you put onto your family’s alter, you then receive your family’s blessing.  Offer your family the best food you can, the healthiest food you can.  Grow it or know its source intimately.  Prepare it well.  Infuse it with your love.

Set your table with colorful napkins, glasses of water, and flowers from your family’s yard or candles.  It doesn’t have to be contrived or fancy.  Say a prayer in whatever style suits your family.

Last night I made Bodhi and myself a Morning Crumble for this morning’s breakfast.  It is included in the first picture of Bodhi at our table, so I thought I’d also include my recipe here!  It is naturally sweet (ie: delicious), has healthy fats, and has plenty of  protein and fiber to get us all to lunch.

Morning Blueberry Crumble



1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup + fresh or frozen blueberries, apples, peaches, or whatever other yummy fruit you have on hand

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon molasses


1 cup rolled oats

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4  cup warmed coconut oil or butter

In a small baking dish (or individual ramekins) put your filling ingredients in and fold them together until well mixed.  Make sure that the berries or slices of fruit are evenly distributed.  Then in a separate small bowl put all of the topping ingredients in and mix until it comes together much like oatmeal cookie dough. Sample.  So good… Top your filling with it.  Store in the fridge until the next morning or pop right into the oven.  350 degrees for about ten minutes for mine.  Watch the topping… smaller baked goods burn easily.  Also, if you are using frozen berries you may consider allowing them to thaw a bit before putting in the oven.  You don’t want the berries to still be cold while your crumble has browned nicely.  I solved this issue by putting mine in the fridge overnight.  However, in the future I may take it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter to warm up to room temp. before popping it in.

More of family meal time to be continued…