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, May 18, 2012

Our Big News and Yummy Blueberry Bliss Shake

At last Spring has sprung! Yippee! The lovely vibrant green of fresh new leaves and grass can be spotted everywhere, flowers are blooming and the joyful sound of birds singing fills the air. This season speaks of renewal and changes and these are manifesting particularly strongly in our lives at the moment.

For one thing we will soon be moving from the cabin to our friends' property where we will be camping for the coming months. And so we've been busy packing our (thankfully few) possessions and dropping a couple of truck loads off.  I'm certainly glad we don't own very much, as moving is never fun. 

A few weeks ago we took the plunge and invested in a professional camera. Woo hoo! I suppose it's no big secret that I love photography; although I've never had any formal training I seem to be able to recognize a good shot when I see one. I come from a family of professional photographers and film makers so perhaps some of their talent has rubbed off on me? Anyhoo, I've been feeling increasingly limited by our point and shoot camera, especially after seeing the beautiful food pics that Don's niece Jaime took for my recipe books with her Canon Rebel.

Don, ever the researcher, took on the project of learning about digital SLRs. He must have spent 2 solid weeks researching the best ones out there. In fact he has written a post on Raw Freedom Community with details of his findings here in case you're interested. We wanted a camera that would give better pic definition, had good macro capability for the food closeups, and was easy to handle.It also needed to stand the test of time as we don't intend to look again for many years, and allow us to grow into it as we learn and improve our skill. While the Rebel T3i - my initial favorite - ended up as one of the top finalists, we finally opted for the new Sony Alpha a57.

It will certainly take some time to figure out how to make the most of all of the camera's nifty features, however the automatic functions already yield photos of amazing quality. Promises some exciting photographic creative time ahead!

Here's some shots taken with our new Sony a57...

I'm particularly thrilled at the prospect of being able to take better macro shots; a must for Nature and food pics.


Of course Miss Pu had to come see what I was up to. hehe

Flowers & Fur

She's such a cutie, especially now that she's shed some of her winter weight.

 A good camera turns the most 'ordinary' looking flower into the true art piece that it really is.

Perfect, a little visitor just showed up!

Brand new leaves unfolding

More gorgeous purple flowers...

The beautiful Slocan Lake across from the cabin.

I'm fascinated by its water's stunning turquoise color that can be glimpsed in places. You can sorta see it towards the bottom right corner of this next photo.


The following pics were taken in the provincial park located just a few meters away from where we live.


The first day that it's warm enough for me to wear a skirt! Yay!

Another cool and unique feature of the Sony a57 is the ability to automatically create portraits. All you have to do is shoot the subject and the camera does all the appropriate calculations and cropping. Technology, eh?

Mr. Donnie looking very serious indeed. ;-)

Oh and here's me taking my very first food shot.


A Home of Our Own
But our biggest (quite literally! lol) news is that we have finally found a new home on wheels!!! *doing the ecstatic dance*

Given our nomadic lifestyle, last summer we came to the conclusion that it would make our lives a great deal easier if we had a vehicle more suitable for living 'on the road'. So we started to comb ads both on the internet and in local papers for a used RV - or Raw Vee as we came to refer to it. ;-) By fall we still hadn't found anything suitable in our price range so we put the search on hold and rented a cabin for the winter. As soon as the snow was melted, though, Don was back on duty in our quest for the right RV.

About 10 days ago as I was lying on the porch soaking up the sunshine Don yelled to me: "Carm, I think I've found it!" There was an ad for a 1996 27' fifth wheel with a slide on the Spokane Craig's List that looked very promising. Spokane is only about a 4 hour drive from here so it was actually closer than some parts of BC where we were looking. Still, when you find a really good deal you usually have to move fast before someone else snatches it. The guy we talked to was kind enough to agree to hold the RV for us for a couple of days until we could get there.

It's definitely an oldie and wasn't in as good a condition as we'd been led to believe, but it's nothing that a little TLC can't take care of. On the positive side it meant that we were able to considerably bring down the price and it didn't have to undergo federal and provincial inspections. And so, after stocking up in frozen fruits at Trader's Joe's (don't you just love that store!?!), we headed back to Canada the next day with our new home in tow. Donnie was a little nervous, not having towed a large trailer like this before and with a new truck, but the trip went very smoothly.

We had our first picnic by a lovely lake about an hour north of Spokane.


Here's a look at the other side of the trailer. As Don pointed out, it does look better in pics than in real life as you can't really see the signs of wear in detail. ;-)

I can't tell you how thrilling the prospect of living in our new Raw Vee is for us!!! To think that we no longer will have to pack and unpack at every stop, set up our tent, carry water, prep food outside come rain, shine or mosquito cloud... Such sheer luxury is almost too hard to fathom! I guess it won't fully hit me until we are officially moved in.

We pretty much just dropped the fifth wheel off on our friends' land and headed back to the cabin, so I won't be able to give you a proper take of the inside until we're settled in, but you can at least have a peak at the sleeping area. Surprisingly the previous owner left the bedding and duvet - a nice touch - so we were able to sleep in it overnight before taking the journey back.

But enough of all that, time to talk food!

I'll leave you on a scrumptious note with a delicious smoothie inspired by the Strawberry Banana Shake in my Deliciously Raw book. I love love this tasty velvety drink and never get tired of concocting new variations of it.

Blueberry Bliss Shake

Serves 2

2 cups almond milk
2 medium frozen bananas
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup young coconut meat
1/4 cup soft dates
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or liquid vanilla
2 tablespoons lucuma
½ ice cubes
Water, as needed

Process all ingredients in a high power blender until smooth and creamy, adding water until the desired consistency is reached.

If necessary, adjust sweetness by adding raw agave nectar or honey and blending again briefly. 


Have a fab weekend everyone!

Donnie is turning 64 on Sunday so I'll do my best to whip up something yummy in spite of the fact that all my fancy dessert molds and specialty products are already packed up and gone. Ooops, guess I've had too much on my mind lately! ;-)