raw nutty seedy nibbles

Hello again…

Summer is winding up and we are flush with garden vegetables and fruits yet, I still love to make these raw nut and seed bars. They are a nice fit after yoga or to help fill in the hunger gaps creeping into my afternoons. I’m one of those people that rarely awaits the pang of hunger. Now and again I like to feel it… but rarely.

Print: {organic raw nut and seed bar}
raw bars - wendyellenthomas.comI use a base of almonds, cashews and dates and sometimes hazelnuts get thrown in depending what’s on hand. I find the cashews help a little more with binding and it’s important for it not to be too dry or they really crumble apart.  I’ve tried my new vitamix (which I LOVE) but really this recipe is working better in the cuisinart.

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I’ll start with the nuts and dates- brace yourself as it’s a bit noisy and disconcerting to get them crunched up and mixed. My favorite dried fruit to add is cherries. We had a lot dried from 2013. This year I under-ordered and we literally consumed about 20# in a couple weeks with little help from outsiders. I’ve looked up loads of these raw bar recipes and there is a lot of trading ingredients in and out. This is what we like at the moment but I encourage you to experiment.

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From there it’s pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, coconut… and why not a few chia and hemp seeds while we’re at it? I do use a little maple syrup for further sweet and bind factors. I’m done with agave- read more from Andrew Weil here or from here. And to continue that side note, here is an interesting sweetener comparison.

Lastly, comes the dark stuff. Cocoa nibs which are still A-OK on my list and raw cocoa powder. oh and a wee pinch of sea salt:)

nut and seed bars-6Then it’s hands on. I line a glass dish with either parchment paper or plastic wrap.

nut and seed bars-8The nut and seed mix is pressed into the dish.

nut and seed bars-9Then covered with plastic wrap and I take a small glass and roll it over the top to really get it glued together.

nut and seed bars-10It spends a night in the fridge before getting cut into squares and boxed up for grabability from the fridge.

nut and seed bars-11I’ll take these to work in a little plastic baggy. There solidity often depends on the batch and how long they are out of the fridge. I’d be lying if I said they hold together like a Lara Bar. But you can easily squeeze it back together to pop in the mouth and the taste is great.

I’ll end on a farm note…

Here are a couple shots of animals at play… sort of… it might induce your curiosity and for sure make you smile. Otis loves Helen. They are working on their mode of interaction.

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Otis and Helen

I’m still keeping him on a leash so we have control if he gets too excited. The goats are not interested as of yet. But Helen I think likes Otis too:)

Otis and Helen-2

 

new faces on the farm

We’ve been so enjoying the summer. I’m especially loving the feeling of warmth into evening. That’s maybe the only thing I miss about my home state of Florida, the sleeveless shirts worn into the evening. Although, rare is the day I wear a sleeveless shirt and I can definitely live without the sweltering heat of a day in central Florida. We did have a fantastic visit last month to my sister’s in South Florida- nice family and beach time. I also tripped down memory lane and toured Chloe around my high school. The instant we discovered my graduation stone, we looked at it, then at each other and tears welled up. A sort of cosmic connection that ventured outside of real time. She felt, for that moment, standing in front of my high school, connected to who I was at 18. A glimpse of recognition that I too have been there. It was bittersweet. My best friends Melissa and Kelly- and who we liked/”loved” at that time. Little did I know at the time that my good fortune would bring me an amazing son only a couple years later. Thanks “J”.

WPHS stoneAnd now our new farm friends:)

We have real live livestock. We put up a big fence. Built a goat shed and got ourselves three goats and two sheep. We love them! They are so sweet, funny and curious. We are all getting into a new routine and getting to know each other. The plan is to breed both goats and sheep in the fall and start milking in the spring. And here they are…

Meet blue eyed Dinah. She is a cross of La Mancha and Nigerian Dwarf. A total sweetie who craves attention. April 8th of this year, my birthday, I happened to be in the store filling in for someone. My mood lifted when I met Sherwin from Mountain Lodge Farm. Within minutes I learned she was a goat lady. I quickly stalked her farm and found there was an upcoming open house in May. Ollie was happy to go. I left out the part of the story of her four starter goats turning into over a hundred, supplying the milk for a full on dairy operation.  Point here is, Dinah is one of her babies. It was fate.

wendyellenthomas.comfarm faces farm faces-10 farm faces-9And Shirley. She is a yearling and full Nubian. She came to us as Bon Bon and we named her Etta (as in James) then changed it to shrieking Shirley cause she was so chatty and loud. Now she’s calmed down immensely and goes only by Shirley.

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farm faces-7 farm faces-6Then we have Nina, also a full Nubian from Myers Creamery here on the island. They make wonderful cheese. Nina feels a little intimidated by Shirley who’s a bit of a bossy cow but hopefully as Nina gets bigger she’ll be able to hold her own. Look at those ears! She’s channeling Sally Fields.

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farm faces-15 farm faces-11The dairy sheep, from Glendale Shepherd on Whidbey Island, are an East Friesian Lacaune cross. Having been bottle fed they are rather tame, are gaining more and more trust and are quite endearing. They are letting us rub their chins. Meet Helen and Irene named for a couple of my aunties. Better pics to come of those two.

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Time for a little walk and brush clearingfarm faces-13

 

Otis is SO EXCITED. We are hoping he’ll settle off a little more with time- He just wants to dart around and play.

goat shedBut sometimes he can contain himself. Here they all are in one shot-

farm faces-4He does love to kiss Irene through the fence.

farm faces-16And after a long day in the garden, Otis likes to kick back in bed the following morning

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Hope your summer brings laughter, joy, gardens and farmer’s markets!

Coming soon… nut and seed bars

nut and seed bars

 

Detmold Germany 2013

Here’s a few shots, mixed iPhone/Nikon D80 photos of my trip to Germany last fall. I went to see O. You are going to meet O now. I’m getting personal. Enough with the initials and such. I’m even going to show you what we look like. Yeah, that gravatar of me is about four years old.

I arrived in Frankfurt and whilst getting my bearings after a ten hour flight, I picked up my bag and raced downstairs to the trains. Searching the depths of my mind for my German vocabulary, I panicked, and jumped on an earlier train than planned. So no pics in Frankfurt. Here is the train station in Köln (Cologne).
Detmold Germany 2013I love the kind of place where while you are waiting for your next train you are staring at an amazing CathedralDetmold Germany 2013-3

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Celebrating spring and mid life!

I want to share a little of my lovely 45th birthday and a little of our goings on…

I’ve always loved that I decided to push on through to this scene on April the Eighth. My life runs on even numbers with a real focus on the number eight. It’s a little bizarre at times… like I could sign up for some reality show about number freaks . Do they have that yet?

Here’s my new birthday boots…

Celebrating bday and more-10

 

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New York City: Day one on foot

Here’s a little visual recap of my first day in NYC. Instead of dropping my son at school with a kiss and a wave goodbye, it was at work. I watched him swipe his card to disappear behind the ‘employee only’ door with a proud smile on my face.  On my own till lunch at 1.45, I began to traipse south from Madison Square Park…

Not having had breakfast, I started at the Union Square Farmer’s Market

NYC March 2013 Day 1 copy

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Chez Chloe bricks and mortar

I want to share a new venture on the horizon…I’m re-opening my little shop, Chez Chloe. It’s focused on kitchen and housewares, specialty foods and I’ll be branching out just a wee bit into body care- can’t go wrong with luxury soap and lotions I say. Here are a couple quick picks of the beginning…

The storefront, located in Eastsound on Orcas Island ( at Christmas)- It’s still the same minus the green trimming. It will be loads of fun opening this garage door to the sidewalk and passersby (how do you pluralize that one!)

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Giving Thanks…

And sharing some beauty…

I’ve had the luxury of time to enjoy some long morning walks around Mountain Lake in Moran State Park. This park on Orcas Island is about a five minute car ride from our house.

This lake over the last nineteen years has provided another place to think it out.

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Morning walk on the Detmold countryside

A few rambling thoughts today…

The views from the path I took yesterday leaving O’s work place left me contemplating life and the natural beauty I’m fortunate to experience. This was literally two minutes from the door to his band room. Detmold is a small city in North Rhine -Westphalia, whose history dates back to the late 700′s. And no, I didn’t forget the 1 in front of the 7. If you divided Germany into four parts, Detmold lies just under Bielefeld in the middle of the upper left corner. Standing tall just outside of town is Hermann the German, “a monument commemerating the Cherusci war chief Hermann or Arminius and the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in which the Germanic tribes under Arminius recorded a decisive victory in 9 AD over three Roman legions under Varus.” There’s your history lesson for the day.. month..year.

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Inspired by summer…

Summer is in full throttle. We are enjoying dinners with friends, work on the property, trips to Seattle and an abundance of fresh local foods. I’m indulging in the purchase of shiny magazines in English that require the turn of a page and not the swish of a finger across a screen. I’m currently sans computer for a few days and it’s kind of nice. The iPad works great but typing and photo editing aren’t so fun. It’s a good break. Here’s a visual of our happenings.
In Seattle last weekend, we picked O up at the airport. He finished teaching the semester with concerts and finals, and followed us to the states about three weeks after our arrival. After dinner one evening with friends in Woodinville, Chloe nailed a couple shots crossing the 520 bridge over Lake Washington. This girl has an eye let me tell you.

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She loves bridges…

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Back on island now, we love last minute dinners because within a half mile in all directions, we have the luxury of picking and purchasing such arrays of foods like this. Just picked raspberries, kale, chard, snap peas and fresh eggs that have not seen the inside of a refrigerator and once again, local Sockeye.

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Can one tire from fresh, local Sockeye salmon? No… Because it’s going to be followed soon by King salmon. Poor us. Here is our walk to Buck Bay Shellfish farm just down the road…

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Great old barn along the way…

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We drive by Buck Bay here (and the farm) daily.

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Never ending views, great folks,food and prices…

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Up our apple tree lined driveway…

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…we nibble a few salmonberries…

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Back to dinner…
Here was my prep for the salmon once again destined for the grill.
Lemon slices, garlic, fennel fronds and smoked salt…

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The two fillets put back together were grilled in foil…

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A little sautéed onion, garlic and fennel with lemon, seasoned the brown rice for our side dish. For greens, we used my favorite variety of kale, Red Russian which can grow virtually year round here. We massaged it, added avocado, olive oil, lemon, garlic and toasted sesame seeds.
For dessert, simple shortcake biscuits topped with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Gotta love it!
Photo of our friends and their darling sit on the porch for dinner…

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Hope everyone is getting one moment or many to enjoy and be inspired by summer…
Tschüß for now,
Wendy

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