Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Latest Inspiation

essential -

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Milk Tea in January

The foreign campus remains modern yet torn with bamboo scaffolding hugging the sides of the buildings. The updated European Street is consumed with richness. The European influence sets the tone of the white washed columns of German Square. The French Quarters' yellow and rust-colored angularity graces the student dorms. As I walk further in past these splendid structures, I find the newest of all; the Spanish housing. With reddish-brown thatched roofs and the inviting courtyard, the incoming freshmen feel warm and accepted. Exploring these yards and meters, I happen upon quaint shops carrying random items for any bargain hunter to acquire. Browsing through unique pieces of jewelry, while a clock statue of Statler and Waldorf catches my eye, I am keenly aware of the disarray of these un-categorized items. Much to the typical western thinker's dismay, I find myself wonderfully and utterly exhilarated by the miscellany and lack of conformity. My next venture is for comforting refreshment; the renowned bubble milk tea. Briskly striding to my frequented tea-beat, the crisp biting winter air reminds me of my chilled state. I step up to the window, in broken Chinese, and ask for a hot vanilla milk tea. The tea lady prepares my beverage as I anxiously await my comforting addiction. My stroll to inspire my eager young scholars is all the more pleasant despite the cold dank chill of this January day.

(This short story was inspired by a descriptive writing assignment given to my advanced students at school. It is my description of my favorite moments in China while I worked on the campus of SIAS International University in Xinzheng, Henan.)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Island Paradise (green) Smoothie

Green smoothies have been becoming more popular so I've adapted my own recipe... surprise, surprise....

This is my island inspired smoothie: (serves 2- 24 oz more or less)

1/2 - 1 mango
1/2 avocado
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup flax seed meal ( i pour till it looks right :)
2 tuscan kale leaves
1/2 - 1 frozen sliced peach
2 tbs coconut flakes or juice 
1 slice fresh pineapple
1 slice fresh ginger (about 1 tbs)
1 freshly juiced lime (zest optional) 
juice concentrate of choice (use as liquid while blending)

Break up kale leaves and add all ingredients to a strong blender (the old ones your grandmother used are usually good; also Ninja or Vitamix are recommended) Pulse to break everything down and then slowly turn up the power. If you are using an older blender, let it blend for a couple minutes.

This makes a great breakfast.... for an extra protein boost, add chia seed or protein powder- I like plant fusion.

Granola Bars! (Raw, no baking required)

So after making this recipe, I belong out west with the granola loving tree-huggers...

This recipe has been "tweaked" and adapted from so I give full credit where it is due.

Start with dry ingredients:

2 cups dry oatmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw wheat germ (can also use flax meal)
1 cup shredded coconut
2 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Tbs chia seeds a food processor:

1 cup almonds (or use sliced almonds)
1 1/2 cup dates (or use chopped dates)

add almonds and dates to dry ingredients

continue and add wet ingredients:

1/2 cup raisins
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon peel (zest)
1 tsp vanilla
2 T honey
2 T tahini
1/4 cup peanut butter (optional and to replace tahini)

Mix together... I use my hands; its easier. When everything is mixed evenly, press into a cake pan (9X9) and refrigerate. I give it 30 minutes to harden and then cut into square bars. Wrap individual bars in saran wrap and keep refrigerated.

Other things you can add for fun:

substitute the tahini for peanut butter
use sliced almonds and chopped dates
cocoa powder for a chocolate craving
apples- chop them finely or in a food processor

Enjoy! And please leave comments with suggestions and experimentation!