I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour Adventures - Washington DC

Hope you guys had lots to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving. For our part, we were grateful to have survived the craziness of I-95 and made it to sunny Florida in one piece earlier this week. We're still in altered states at the contrast of landscape and warm weather. Wow! As soon as we arrived, we could feel this wave of relaxation wash over us, no doubt helped by the heat. We've been in major recovery mode ever since, finally getting a chance to delve into the accumulated backlog of stress from highway driving and overall busy-ness of this last month.

Although I feel rather brain dead right now (I can hardly come up with our dinner menus these days! eeek), I still would like to go ahead and share some more of our rawmazing journey, so please excuse my lack of inspired comments.

Should We Stop or Should We Go?
From the very beginning, it wasn't totally clear whether we were meant to make a stop over in Washington DC. We'd heard from a few people interested in connecting with us, but things weren't somehow really coming together. We were pretty much ready to scratch DC off our itinerary when we met Jessica and Ian in Pennsylvania, who warmly invited us to drop by for a visit. And so we made our way towards the Capital City...

We first stopped just outside DC in Silver Spring, MD in order to connect with Sarah, who put a great deal of time and energy into making this DC stop happen. (Thanks Sarah!) We had a lovely dinner with her and her family, and took the opportunity to unload the plastic containers on top of the van before heading for the city. (Yep, whole different world out there!)

As we were driving into DC, out of the blue I turned to Don and said: "Hey, tonite we'll be sleeping in the city where John F Kennedy once lived!" Don looked at me strangely as this was something waaaaaaaay out of character for me to say, not being into anything remotely connected to politics or personality cult adulation. Now, this is where it gets weird... later that evening, we actually found out that not only did JFK at one time reside in the same apartment building as Jessica and Ian's, but he was on the exact same floor!!! Whoa! Not sure what this means (probably nothing!), but it sure was an interesting way to begin our stay.

New Toys
Having lived in the boonies for a number of years, it was our first time staying in a major city for more than a few hours. And DC being sorta the 'power center of the US' made the whole experience that much more extreme. We could feel the pulse of the city, gosh, even the nation through our veins! IN-TEN-SE is the only word that comes to mind to describe it.

We didn't go to bed earlier than 1 am, once even at 3 in the morning (which is ridiculously past our bedtime!) I remember looking at the clock when Jessica offered to make a cup of tea at 12:30. It was so surreal! lol But what can you do? There was just so much to talk about and share. Jessica is in the film business (presently working on a documentary on seeds) while Ian is a computer wizard. Together, they patiently brought us into the loop about the latest internet networking tips; from how to set up a facebook fan page for The Sunny Raw Kitchen (btw, you can now become a fan by clicking here!), to how to make short raw food videos that we could then upload on the net.

After playing with our friends' Flip in NY State, we seriously started considering getting some sort of video recording device, since our old camera is on its last legs. It would be such a fab way to capture some of the magic of our trip, not to mention taking the sharing of our raw food knowledge to the next level! Don did his homework and finally decided to go with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3, which also has HD video capability. As Ian has Amazon Prime, less than 24 hours after placing the order I was holding our new camera in my hands. Whoa, that was fast!!! I mean, you gotta understand that being Canadians, we're used to bracing ourselves for at least a 3 week wait in order for anything to come across the border. It actually took a few days before it really hit me that I had a new (and way better!) toy to take my food pics with. Yippee!

Testing our camera for the first time.

A cool little anecdote... On the very day that we received the camera, I got an email from someone asking if I've ever thought of making raw food DVDs! I took it as a confirmation that we were on the right track. ;-)

We also took the opportunity to order a Magic Bullet which I'd been eyeing for a while. I figured it would come in handy to whip up sauces and dressings or grinding nuts and seeds.

In Jessica's Sunny Kitchen
We were more busy online shopping and learning the ropes about movie making than playing in the kitchen, but we still managed to share a delicious raw feast one night. Jessica and Ian have a bunch of raw books in their library so I peaked through them, on the look out for tantalizing recipes. Among these was Jennifer Cornbleet's Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People. Every soup of hers that we've made has become a staple for us, so I was curious to try the Garden Vegetable Soup. I personally thought it was yummy, but Don wasn't too impressed. I must admit that I did go a little too heavily on the cayenne which overpowered the other flavors. Guess I'll have to give it another try sometime to get a better idea.

Garden Vegetable Soup
From Raw Food Made Easy For 1 or 2 People by Jennifer Cornbleet
Posted on Monterey Integrative Health's site

Yield: 3 cups, 2 servings

1 zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup chopped spinach or chard
6 fresh basil leaves
1 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon mellow white miso
Dash of cayenne
Dash of Salt
¾ cup water
½ ripe avocado

Place the zucchini, tomato, celery, spinach, basil, green onion, garlic, lemon juice, miso, cayenne, salt and water in a blender and process until smooth. Add the avocado and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Getting ready to enjoy our meal: Garden Vegetable Soup, Angel Hair Pasta with Ginger Veggies and a mixed green salad with Almonnaise thinned out as dressing.

Hide And Seek
Puss has been developing a sixth sense lately; she can tell when we're getting ready to leave hours before we actually start packing up and hauling our stuff back to the van. On the day that we left Jessica and Ian's place, she hid under the couch for the entire morning! Since none of the usual lures worked, in the end I had to crawl under the couch myself (with Ian's help! lol) in order to fetch her. This proved to be a little tricky as Puss kept moving from one corner to another.

What I didn't know is that Jessica was capturing the whole episode with her iPhone. hehe

Now just picture my legs flapping up and down during this delicate rescue operation!

Ahhhhh... Gotcha Miss Puss!

Since the family was once again complete, it was time to get ready to move on to our next location. Man, don't think we can fit much more in there, do you?

Welcome to Creative Land!
After the few days in the big city (although it seemed like a lot longer), we left for Silver Spring where Sarah had arranged for us to stay with Danielle, Nola and Dash. We've been incredibly blessed along the way, sharing the lives of beautiful and generous people for a short while, and also getting to hang out with very special little ones! Nola and Dash were such a delight to be around!

The first thing that struck us about Danielle's home is how she's so completely encouraging her children's creativity and playfulness; toys, huge stacks of colorful paper, pens and crayons... Her 6 year old Dash kept us entertained with his amazingly intricate stories about an animal team who won the world's baseball series. You should have heard the names of the Greek players! Yet, every time he told a little more about his story, Dash got the names exactly right! Besides being a gifted story teller, Dash is also an astounding artist. I've never seen a child draw like he does. I mean, at his age I was still making match stick people!

Here's some of his remarkable artwork...

I forgot to mention that there were also 3 feline members in their family. One day that we were alone at home, we caught one of them in the act. lol Thankfully, he's just interested in drinking the water, not in the resident fish.

Bring On The Sun
It was raining and miserable weather pretty much the whole time we were in DC. We didn't even make it to the White House although it was a mere 20 minute walk! Thankfully, the weather picked up later on and got unbelievably sunny and warm. Bring it on!

One afternoon, we went for a walk around Sarah's neighborhood. Kyky was a happy camper as it was the first real exercise he got in days (besides going up and down the 5 stories to Jessica and Ian's apartment) lol.

It was also a good excuse to play with the new camera a little...

A Taste of Durian
We were told there was an awesome Asian market near Danielle's, so we popped over for the special and unique affair that such places tend to offer. I stocked up on Thai young coconuts (such a rare treat where we come from!), and also decided it was about time to get initiated to durian.

Durian is native to Southeast Asia where it is considered to be "the king of fruits". From what I'd heard, you either are totally hooked on durian or you hate it. Its shell is covered with uninviting sharp spike, but the flesh is soft and creamy. It's also known to have a very 'distinctive' smell. Sarah told us that it's actually illegal to open them in public in Thailand! lol

She demonstrated how to go about opening a durian. If you look closely, you'll find lines along the shell where the fruit naturally wants to split. All we had to do was press along these in order to pry the fruit open and retrieve the pods.

Taking a first sniff!

Unlike any fruit I've ever seen before, that's for sure!

Waiting for the verdict...

I have a super sensitive sense of smell and was initially a little turned off, but strangely the flavor wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I can totally see how durian can grow on you. The texture is absolutely awesome; just like custard!

Finger licking good!

Although durian was indeed uniquely delicious, it was still definitely short of making me feel like rubbing it all over my body a la Shazzie. ;-)

PS. If you haven't had durian yet and and are curious to try, here's some great info about how to select the perfect one as well as detailed step-by-step instructions for opening it.

Yay, It's Dessert Time!
During the week, we gave a small class at Sarah's house, which was actually fine by me, as staying in the city was demanding a great deal of my energy. On the weekend we had arranged to teach a raw dessert class at TPSS Coop, a local health food store. I love everything about raw foods, but desserts are one area that is becoming particularly dear to my heart. It's so cool to spread the good news that you can eat something that is so decadently yummy yet without a hint of guilt. (Woo hoo!)

One amazing aspect of this Tour has been to meet people "in the flesh" who have been following my blog. When we first come in each other's presence, it's as though we already have a relationship. It makes us feel like genuinely hugging, as when you encounter an old friend. Isn't technology incredible? Just before beginning the dessert class, a sweet lady named Shamiso said a few words about how inspiring my blog has been on her raw journey, and how she considers Don and I like members of her extended family. Awwwww! For a moment there I thought my heart was going to burst!!!

I had an absolute blast showing how to prep some of my favorite sweet treats! Heathy's ears must have been buzzing like crazy as her name kept popping up during the class. How could it be otherwise, her being the "Ultimate Raw Dessert Queen"? ;-) I made her Triple Berry Cake which never fails to impress.

Demoing how to create a pretty swirl effect...

My handiwork, although the swirls didn't turn out as well as usual since I didn't have quite enough light cream. I must make a mental note to leave a few spoonfuls aside in the future, just to be safe.

I also made Chocolate Mousse, Whipped Cream and Chia Pudding which Don assembled into a parfait, along with some blueberries and raspberries.

Then came my Super Caramel Chocolate Tarts...

Sunny Raw Kitchen Tour Itinerary
We have the feeling that we'll probably be staying in Florida until after Christmas, but as always, we'll have to see what The Mystery has in store for us. After leaving Melbourne where we presently are, the tentative plan is to head back north to St. Augustine and Jacksonville.

Here's what the rest of our itinerary looks like so far...

- Nashville, TN (?)
- Houston, TX
- Austin, TX
- Patagonia, AZ
- Phoenix, AZ
- LA, CA
- Santa Barbara, CA
- San Francisco Bay area, CA
- Medford, OR
- Portland, OR
- Olympia, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Anacortes, WA

We'll be having some kind of raw get together in most of those places, so drop me a line if you'd like to be kept posted. Also, if you live somewhere along the way and would like to hook up or even help put together an event, please send me an email:


Now off to the beach to recharge our batteries. Yippee!!!


  1. hey, that durian looks so luscious. I just tried my first one a couple of weeks ago, and there's nothing like the texture of durian...it's like it satisfied all these cravings I didn't know I had!
    Maybe I'll see y'all when you pass through Olympia!

  2. I've tried durian. I couldn't get past the smell. Maybe I'll try again if there is a recipe involed

  3. I emailed you! I'd love to see you in Seattle.

    Durian is certainly interesting. I've tried it in various forms and the fleshy raw form kinda freaked me out as it reminded me of chicken. Ick!

  4. Wow, looks like a wonderful time...and that Puss is keeping her antics up, I see:) So happy that your trip is going so beautifully! Please let me know when you are closer to sunny California! All the best, Sarah

  5. I experienced durian few months back, the smell was ok but then I felt sick after a tiny bite, isn't strange?!! I still have to download my Durian video,,hilarious!!

  6. the photos look amazing! i love the tree with the red leaves. and the desserts look heavenly! oh how i would have LOVED to be a participant in that class! (i could really go for a yummy carmi dessert right about now!)

    enjoy the beaches and the warm sun! =)