As usual, much of our time together involved food, food, and more food - but with a bit of a different focus from how we did things during our last visit (which was basically a food prep marathon from morning till night every day). Last November we had goodies coming out the yin yang! If you haven't read about it, check out multiple accounts of "Divas in the Kitchen", here , here, and here. Carmi beautifully describes the action plan from our newest adventure - to sum it all up, we lived on juices, smoothies, soups, salads, and desserts! In addition, we were hard at it, working on my "Just Desserts" ebook - everything from re-testing some of the desserts a final time and getting new pictures, to formatting, cropping/resizing photos....and all the other stuff that I wouldn't have a clue about if it weren't for my dearest Carmi/editor in chief (the best there is)!
It's a rarity to have other people prepare food for me, since I'm usually the one making it, so it was extra special to be treated like rawalty. I was served fresh juice every day after my morning walk, treated to smoothies for lunch, and had amazing soups for dinner. Oh, and I still remember all too well, the fermented garlic and dill cheeze that Carmi showed me how to make(using rejuvelac which I've never made before). We ate it with onion crackers, yum yum! This is definately closest to the "real" thing (yes, even closer than the cheddar cheeze spread which I love). Cheese was easy for me to give up years ago, but now that I know about this treat, I'll be sure to make it often, and especially for parties! I've bought the probiotics, got some rejuvelac started, and should have my own batch in a matter of days :)
One night we had the most amazing Thai dinner featuring recipes from Russell James' newest ebook. Wow, what a feast!
Thai Coconut SoupThai Nori BitesCurried Cabbage PillowsPad Thai
"Meat" (portabello mushroom) Satay with unpeanut dipping sauceMarinated Broccoli Spinach Salad
What a dinner, eh?
For dessert we had my Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Berries.
Speaking of dessert, on the night of my arrival, after a wonderful dinner and dessert, Carmi whips the most beautiful platter of choccies outta nowhere (ever seen the movie Chocolat?). Melt-in-you-mouth milk chocolate fudge, and white chocolate goji berry fudge. What a great suprise. I'm serious when I say it's like Shangri-La over there!
I finally got to try a few of Carmi's signature items: Strawberry Shortcake (she'd made her chocolate version during my previous visit, but I had yet to try this one), and black forest cake. Oh man, both are excellent! Gotta love the whipped cream in both recipes - oh, and the very unique "cherry pit technique" to achieve the almond flavour in the chocolate cake. I'll be making both of these cakes whenever I get the chance, although I think I'll opt for almond extract in place of the cherry pits, especially at this time of year ;) See, I have been working to create desserts for the book, and therefore haven't had the time to make anyone else's recipes (for the exception of Cafe Gratitude's German Chocolate Cake this summer when I had heaps of almond pulp), so I have a veeery long list of desserts to make as soon as the book is done. That includes buying Cafe Gratitude's new dessert book as a gift to myself (which will make an even longer list of goodies, yippeee)!
Haha, oh, and just as I was looking at these pictures and reminiscing, I remembered that the black forest (and my chocolate orange cake) were so good that a piece of each went missing from the freezer while we were out one afternoon! Would you believe it?! Well, I guess I'd be tempted too if I knew these yummies were sitting in my neighbour's house.
It was an interesting to experience staying at the retreat center, Ashinah, where Carmi and Don have been living (but moved out and into a bigger house yesterday). It's a cute property with little strawbale buildings, nicknamed "hobbit houses", fruit trees, flowers...oh and complete with outhouses, lol.
The outdoor shower
Carmi and Don's house
Carmi and Don's house
Another little house
Picnic outside on the lawn - my favourite way to eat!
So there's a bit of insight into my trip - check back soon for more on the other desserts we made and to see the beautiful scenery in their area!