Welcome back from 1990

hello again

Hello, again. It’s been awhile. There is more than one reason I have neglected this little blog the past few weeks.

1. We drove from Seattle to Austin. A majority of this 3 day journey includes driving through the boon-doggies, where there is absolutely  zero cell/internet service.

2. I lost my laptop charger. Dead laptop = no blogging

3. We traveled to the beautiful Alys beach Florida where I dropped my phone in the ocean. Ocean- 1 point. Krissie- 0 points.

Between the absence of my laptop and cellphone it felt like I was transported back to the 1990s, minus the grunge flannel shirts and pagers. The good news? I am back in business and throughout my technical difficulties I never stopped cooking or recipe testing.

The Honest Plate Cooking Class

The other night I had the joy of teaching a cooking class to a group of fabulous ladies. We created a delicious menu full of healthy summer appetizers paired with Matthews wine, my absolute favorite winery (www.matthewswinery.com).  Through the chatting, laughing and wine drinking we managed to pull together a menu of…

-Gazpacho Shooters with Prawns and Basil Oil.

-Chicken, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème.

-Crostini with Homemade Ricotta, Peaches, Honey and Basil.

-Dairy Free Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decedent Raw Foods Brownie.

-Spinach and Arugula Salad with Blackberries, Walnuts, Pears and Blue Cheese tossed in  Lemon Vinaigrette.

Since the cooking class, the crostini with ricotta, peaches, honey and basil has consumed my mind. If you have ever wondered what heaven tastes like, this is it.  Homemade ricotta is creamy, clean tasting, a bit salty and every bit perfect. It is also suuuuuper simple to make.  Honestly, it is as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The moment you pull out this appetizer your guest are going to think you swapped identities with Giada De Larentiis. Don’t worry, the simplicity of homemade ricotta will be our little secret 😉

I will be posting the other recipes from the cooking class this weekend. Just like the Ricotta Crostini, they are guaranteed to be yumzo.

INGREDIENT                                                                                                                                                                                              SPOTLIGHT                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Raw Local Honey   

I am a big fan (and user) of local raw honey.   As cute as that little plastic honey bear bottle is, it lacks key nutrients found in raw honey. How is this possible? When honey is heated and pasteurized it loses many of it’s vitamins, minerals, enymes and powerful anti-oxidants. It has been said raw honey can cure the world of all aliments. I am not 100% sure it can cure the world of every single disease, but I do know it can aid in digestion, treat ulcers, cure a cold, reduce stress, balance blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain and eliminate allergies. Local honey is especially important when it comes to eliminating allergies. It contains local pollen, which helps the body build a tolerance to seasonal allergies. While we are on the subject of bees…go ahead and run from them but don’t squash, swat or kill them.  They make our world go round. Stay tuned for more on that subject.

Needed materials- unbleached cheesecloth

[recipe]

 

Gazpacho Shooters with Basil Oil and Prawn. Paired with Matthews Chardonnay.
Gazpacho and Prawn Shooter garnished with Basil Oil. Paired with Matthews Chardonnay.

 

Ricotta, Peach, Honey and Basil Crostini
Ricotta, Peach, Honey and Basil Crostini
Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decadent Raw Food Brownie. Paired with Mathews Table Red Wine
Coconut Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Decadent Raw Food Brownie. Paired with Mathews Black Board Red Wine.

 

 

Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado Toastadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème. Paired with Matthews Claret.
Chicken, Black Bean, Avocado Toastadas with Avocado Cilantro Crème. Paired with Matthews Claret.
Spinach, Arugula, Blackberry, Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.
Spinach, Arugula, Blackberry, Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette.

Criteria for Food Selection

Thank you so much for visiting The Honest Plate! Let’s talk  food selection for a quick second. Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy is simple and delicious. Just how easy? Seven simple steps easy. That is less steps than it takes me to get ready for bed . At the super fabulous culinary school I attended, The Natural Gourmet Institute, we studied seven criteria for food selection, which makes healthy eating a no-brainer. Follow these seven guidelines and you will nourish your body from the inside out, without having to think too hard. Please note this is a guideline, not a lifeline. You will drive yourself crazy if you don’t allow yourself flexibility. So go ahead and enjoy a French fry every once in awhile.

1. Whole: As nature intended us to eat them.

2. Fresh, Real, Organically Grown: Free of chemicals, not genetically engineered, no imitations. Time to put down the artificial sweetener. Your body will thank you.

3. Seasonal

4. Local: Food from your own neck of the woods tastes better and is higher in nutrients.

5. In Harmony with Tradition: Eat as our ancestors did. They may not have had smart phones, but they were definitely smarter than us in their food choices.

6. Balanced: Mix it up a bit. Eating a variety of food helps ensure we meet our nutritional needs.

7. Delicious: Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Enjoy it

If you would like to learn more about the seven criteria for food selection, pick up a copy of Food and Healing, a book written by the founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute, Annemarie Colbin.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to to the real reason you stopped by The Honest Plate…the recipes.