Hello lovely friends,
Yes, I love eating, and as you can tell from my last post, I have braces, which can make one of my favorite actions in life a frustrating and daunting task, sometimes. But, fear not! As I’m sure you could have guessed, I have ample ideas to help keep those chompers clean with or without the braces. It’s not always convenient to carry around some type of oral sanitizing device with you, but a tasty treat can both cleanse your palate–and your teeth–whilst satiating your cravings.
Let me break it down for ya!
What’s the What:
What to Look Out For:
It’s important for us all to keep in mind how fastened our dietary choices are to many aspects of our life, and this includes our dental health. I find this topic very interesting so thanks for letting me share with you. And remember…bite responsibly!
-featured gifs: courtesy maudit (tumblr)
Sometimes when I least expect it, stories are unearthed that help me re-shape and re-think the very premise of my blog, food and our connection to it. Over the weekend on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, I heard a story about how a REAL chef creates pastes, pestos and other assorted culinary delights with a mortar and a pestle, not electronic devices. At the heart of the story, however, I found that the mortar and pestle represent something greater than just objects being used to get a job done. These tools are extensions of ourselves, (thank you Philip Hensher for this concept) and allow us to come closer to the core of what it means to prepare food for not just ourselves, but for others.
What do I mean?
There are a number of electronic devices that were created, essentially to help us consolidate our kitchen time. All of you working women and workingmen try this new (Insert Crazy Kitchen Gadget Here) and save yourself 15 minutes in the kitchen during meal prep! This is of course, if you’re the type of patron who bothers creating a meal for yourself, beyond hitting the ‘cook time’ button on your microwave. (No judgment placed here, really.). And though I am certainly an advocate of time efficiency, (ask my husband :P) I also feel as though we are short-changing ourselves as consumers if we turn the process of nourishing our body into a race to the finish line, a gormandizing fit, a gluttonous charade. It is because I have these feelings that I also have a sense of urgency to share them (my feelings) with you, in hopes that you too, will momentarily contemplate your kitchen habits, and perhaps those reflections of ‘pace’ will spill over into other parts of your already drenched schedules.
So, I’m sure to some degree, I am preaching to the choir, but I stand on this soap box in hopes to penetrate even those of you who’ve made thoughtful kitchen behavior a common practice because it is my understanding that a soft nudge or kind reminder, never hurt anybody. I would like to use the rest of this blog post to go over a few ways in which you could stylistically approach your time in the kitchen and still come out feeling time-fulfilled. Connecting yourself to the food that you’re about to eat will make a world of difference, and an essential place to start is the heart of any home, the kitchen.
Below is a list of useful items in the kitchen that remain both useful and important in the line of connected cooking and food prep:
The manner in which you do or do not utilize your kitchen (be it small or large) is up to you, but one area to easily initiate a close bond with your edibles, is here! After such a massive food holiday (Thanksgiving), food connection is certainly a pertinent topic to keep in mind; I hope you will. Please, send your commentary, criticisms and thoughts my way; I would love to hear from you.
And remember…bite responsibly!
Before I complete this series, I would like to thank anyone I know who has participated in helpful and lively discussions about food connection lately and the many roles food plays in our lives’.
What’s That?: (SIDE NOTE: I’m only mentioning a few methods, but know there are a lot more!)
Oats/Oatmeal/Whole Rolled Oats (Avena Sativa): A staple in so many homes (and I’m not talking about the flavored kind), there’s always extra uses for this grain.
1) CLARIFY: For those of you who have oily skin or just want to clarify your skin after a rough week (especially to my dancer and actor friends out there, that extra make-up can be very tough on your face), I suggest making this mask. (TRIPLE THREAT) Combine 1/2 ripe tomato, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tbsp oatmeal into a blender until smooth. Apply mask to face and neck, hang out for a little while and then rinse. Check out Vegan Beauty Review for more info. 😀 2) SOFTEN & TIGHTEN: Simplicity. This is where I fall. If you don’t have a lot of product sitting around the house, I suggest cooking up about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup oatmeal (depending on how much body you’re going to cover) and after it has cooled to a warm temperature, spread the oats onto your face and body if so inclined. Let it dry and rinse off in the shower. You’ll notice your skin will feel especially soft and moderately tighter. If you’re into baths, try soaking in a calming oat bath. Try adding the oats to a cheesecloth bag, nut milking bag, or something of similar texture to not make a big mess in the tub. You can also add your choice essential oils. 3) DEODORIZE: Kitty got carried away one afternoon, evening, anytime!? Pour some of those oats into a small bowl or shallow dish, and set them into the room where the culprit odor lingers. Bam, odor-free zone very soon!
Olive Oil (Olea Europaea): Originating in the Mediterranean, though rarely produced there now, this oil is extracted from the pulp of the olive. A delicious and nutritious (forgive me) fat for semi-regular consumption, but there are many other uses to this fabulous food.
1) REMOVE & MOISTURIZE: If you’re looking for an alternative that’s an implied resourceful tool for beauty, I highly recommend olive oil. Though there are many brands of olive oil sold that are at their core, diluted with other vegetable oils, I still feel that this is a better alternative than buying a bunch of overpriced ‘eye-make-up’ removers. So, what you’ll need to do is have a bottle of oil specifically for the use of ‘beauty’ not cooking (I don’t specify between extra virgin and virgin for this purpose). I either put the oil directly onto my fingertips if I am applying it directly to eyes for moisturizing or you can apply the oil to a cotton ball or pad. For small areas, try dipping a cotton swab into the oil and lightly rub area around eyes. Maybe you did a hack job on your eye-liner or something of that nature, the oil will help break down the substance without much abrasion being done to your skin. Be wary about rubbing too hard around the eyes, the skin here is very sensitive. 2) SHAVING: For all the women and the gentlemen who have issue with skin irritation after shaving (or while you’re shaving), or maybe you’re using eco-friendly razors with less lubricant on the device, I recommend trying olive oil. This may seem like the strangest practice to implement, but it not only helps to soften the hairs on your body to start, it also creates a smooth and evened surface for the razor to pass over without nicking your skin. The bonus, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft afterwards with a flattering glow. 3) FRESHEN UP YOUR WOODEN FURNITURE: Combine about a tsp+ of olive oil with small amount of lemon juice/lime juice or vinegar (increase this amount and the olive oil amount increases), and with an old dish cloth, rub this solution into the dry cracks of your antiques or newly purchased furniture pieces to keep them shiny and conditioned.
I hope these and the previous post are helpful tools for repurposing those kitchen foodstuffs! Again, let me know what home and beauty recipes you come up with or have practiced.
And remember…bite responsibly!
Often, food and food products in our cupboards and refrigerators is thought of as simply that, food items. However, beyond the customary and conventional use of some things, we find that our usual ideas can be expand into more. DIY and repurposing is all the rave, and I’m here today to comment on what often starts in the kitchen as a consumption ‘tool’ doesn’t have to remain merely for consumption. There is a level of convenience, satisfaction and balance that comes from reusing or finding new uses for consumable items (particularly if they are nearing their ripest, or on the verge of expiring), especially in a world that’s so ridden with waste and debris. Everyday I’m encouraged by the indelible impression something as small as reusing a toilet paper tube can make. All that being said, I’ll just get down to it! After doing a pinch of research and recalling my own remedies, here’s a list of some things you may want to attempt.
What’s That?: (SIDE NOTE: I’m only mentioning a few methods, but know there are a lot more!)
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): It gained popularity in the 1950s as a folk remedy to try. Go for raw (natural)- unpasteurized. Apple cider vinegar is made from apples that are pulverized and allowed to ferment. ACV shouldn’t be pasteurized because this operation will damage or kill the beneficial nutrients and enzymes that are present.
There are a few things that you can do with apple cider vinegar besides the norm: 1) FACE: Mix about 1:8 (acv : water) ratio when you make your first mixture to test how your skin will react. You can increase the amount of acv depending on the strength your skin is able to handle. Some have very sensitive skin and may want to stick to a very low ratio. Additionally, feel free to use this in the morning and at night (although, personally I’d suggest using it only in the evening to not overrun your senses), and do not rub this solution around your eyes. What does this help with? This toner is an excellent natural exfoliant that’s not too harsh and it also helps to balance the pH on your skin’s surface. This pH balancing is due to the malic and lactic acid that is present and lends to antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This also makes for a great aftershave for men and women (especially if you’re suffering from ingrown hairs or a type of razor burn). 2) HAIR: Make a solution of about 1/2 tbs acv and 1 cup of water that you can mix together by repurposing an old toilette bottle (facial wash, shampoo, ect…). For a lovely sheen and added boost to your roots, rinse this solution through your hair after shampooing. I suggest doing this while you’re still in the shower for less mess. If you don’t feel comfortable having this solution being the last liquid to touch your hair, make sure to rinse your hair with cool/cold water, not hot. Warmer water dries out your hair/scalp and disrupts the natural pH balance of your hair. 3) CLEAN: Combine 1/2 cup acv with 1 cup water and shake. This is a suitable disinfectant for tiles, surfaces in the kitchen and so forth. I suggest mixing this solution with a few drops of an essential oil if the scent of vinegar disturbs your senses.
Coconut Oil (CO): Cocos nucifera (coco = monkey face and nucifera = nut bearing), a functional food that bears a tremendous amount of health properties.
It’s a shame to just list a few, but the list of uses (beyond consumption) of coconut oil is extensive, here are some that I find helpful: 1) Wood conditioner: There’s not much to this one! If you have an old cutting board or rolling pin that’s rough, put a tablespoon or so in the refrigerator to solidify it and then use it like a shortening and rub it all over the surface of whatever it is that your conditioning. Let the piece sit for a few hours before you let it come in contact with water. 2) HAIR: Use to clarify roots when your hair has extra build-up or it is feeling extra dry or greasy. I’ve actually slept with coconut oil on my roots over night with a scarf around my hair to keep my pillow from becoming translucent. :p 3) Eyes: Keep a stash of coconut oil with your facial items and use a dab of coconut oil under your eyes and on your neck at night. I think its’ the best moisturizer out there. I can completely see the difference the mornings after I’ve neglected to use this. I actually moisturize my entire face at night with coconut oil, but this is extreme to some people. I can say, as someone who’s had problematic skin, I’ve done this without negative repercussions. 4) HEAL: One last thing, I like to use coconut oil on my wounds and bruises as it helps in the healing and regeneration process. It has the ability to reduce inflammation, which emphasizes it’s medicinal use. Fantastic! Coconut oil is by far one of my favorite things!
Lemon Juice and Lemon Rind: Exact origin is difficult to pin-point (I’ve read an assortment of ideas), lemons are known for their citrus quality and their antiseptic capabilities.
As lemons play a big role in my diet, I think it most appropriate to highlight some other constructive uses: 1)GREASE AWAY: (combo deal); Try using a bit of course sea salt and half of a lemon. Use the lemon’s side and rub it in the course salt. Now take this and rub it over whatever trick y and difficult surface you have; a skillet, pan, stove top, walls and counters. 2) DEODORIZE: After you’ve used up a lemon’s juice in your morning cleanse drink, or over a crisp fresh salad, try tossing the rind into your garbage disposal to keep the blades sharp and the odors scarce. 3) REMOVE STAINS: If your sink is looking a little grimy, no matter how much you scrub, (comb deal) use baking powder and half of a lemon and rub the flat surface of the lemon over the difficult spots in your stainless steel sink. My mother used to say use a little elbow grease, I suggest this. Try this on stone sinks as well.
Okay, these are just a few items to start you out! Keep an out for my follow-up post and many more posts for the season to come!
What creative ways have you been using these items?
And remember…bite responsibly!
This weekend I began thinking about food preparation from all aspects. Rather, what it actually takes to live in such a way where you are relatively sustainable in the kitchen and how one can imbue the importance of self-sufficiency onto others. In the same token, I am not under the illusion that everyone I meet enjoys cooking, execution of food readiness, or the many facets that are involved in pre-consumption, as much as I do. There are many challenges to be faced when it comes to involving oneself directly with meal planning and preparation, so I thought I would narrow down some of the main tasks I try to accomplish every weekend to ease my weekday duties. Granted, when you have a busy schedule these tips are key, but they may not be as necessary for those who have a free-flowing schedule. Additionally, the incongruous nature of a small ‘kitchen’ space or lack of kitchen gadgets can be frustrating and stifling, so I’d like to touch on this as well and offer a few helpful tips. So, as Mario says…”HERE WE GOOO!”
(These are in no particular order)
I know this list may perhaps come off as very obvious for some, but I hope it is a helpful guide for others. Also, know that the above mentioned ideas are not exhaustive and whenever I come up with new tips, I will post them.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I am more than happy to produce personalized detailed plans for any individual upon request.
And remember…bite responsibly.
Healthy and Spacious Regards,