Nautical Inspiration for June-uary

I loved blogging for Boho Lifestyle so much a few weeks ago, I’m back with another post! This one is all about embracing the unseasonably warm weather and feeling nautical this January. See the article here.

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Raw Mango Mousse With Irish Moss

Mango Mousse Cups

Mango Mousse Cups

This recipe is inspired by my Raw Cacao Mousse recipe. I keep playing with Irish Moss, a new ingredient for me, and wanted to come up with a fruit-based version of the mousse. I used dried mango but am looking forward to using fresh mango when it is in season again.

Recipe:

(Makes four 6oz puddings, but you can use smaller containers to make more cups!)

5 Pitted Dates (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/4 C. Brazil Nuts (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/3 C. Dried Mango (torn into smaller pieces and soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

3/4 C. Irish Moss Puree (how-to and recipe here)

1 C. Almond Milk

1/2 C. Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Pinch of sea salt

4 Tbsp. Dried or fresh Wild Blueberries, for the bottom of containers

2 Tbsp. Shredded Coconut

Directions:

1. Combine soaked brazil nuts, mango and dates in food processor or vitamix and blend until mostly combined, scraping down the sides if needed.

2. Add prepared Irish Moss puree and blend until smooth.

3. Add remaining almond milk, coconut milk, salt, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, blending for a few minutes until completely smooth and chunk free. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough to your liking before pouring it into cups!

4. Add blueberries to the bottom of your containers. Pour mango mousse into 4 mini mason jars or ramekins, sprinkle with shredded coconut, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The Irish Moss takes a bit of time to set up and become firm.

5. Enjoy! You are a raw dessert goddess!

Raw Cacao Mousse with Irish Moss

Cacao!

Cacao!

There seems to be a trendy ingredient as of late…Irish Moss. I see it pop up in all the raw vegan pies and puddings in fancy juice bars and vegan cafes, and have been a bit confused as to what it is and how to use it. It is a gelatin substitute and thickening agent that creates a fluffy texture in recipes.

This is a 2 day process that requires overnight soaking, so you can make this ahead! Not at the last minute, or you will be sad.

Irish Moss How-to

Buy Irish Moss from your local health food store or Whole Foods. I used the Divine Organics brand. Irish Moss is actually a type of seaweed and is full of trace minerals such as magnesium, super important for your health!

1. Grab a cup of moss from the bag and place in a very large bowl. It will be in large kelp-like leaves. It will smell like horrible fish and the sea. Don’t be afraid (I was!).  Add water to cover by a couple of inches. There will be sand and weird white and black gritty things covering the moss, as it is from the sea. Soak overnight or all day long.

2. After at least 6 hours, the moss will double in size and be lighter in color. Rinse the moss a few times with cold water until you no longer have sandy bits falling into the bowl.

3. Add soaked moss with 1.5 cups of fresh water (not the soaking water) and blend in a food processor or Vitamix until totally blended and gel-like in consistency.

4. Store in a container up to a week.

Raw Cacao Mousse Recipe

(Makes four 6oz puddings, but you can use smaller containers to make more cups!)

5 Pitted Dates (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

1/4 C. Brazil Nuts (soaked overnight or add boiling water and soak 5 mins)

3/4 C. Irish Moss puree

1 C. Almond Milk

1/2 C. Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

3 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (if using cocoa powder, use 4 tbsp as cacao is stronger)

Pinch of sea salt

Raw Cacao Nibs, for sprinkling on top

Directions:

1. Combine soaked brazil nuts and dates in food processor or vitamix and blend until mostly combined, scraping down the sides if needed.

2. Add Irish Moss puree and cacao powder, blend until smooth.

3. Add remaining almond milk, coconut milk, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, blending for a few minutes until completely smooth and chunk free. Taste to make sure it is sweet enough to your liking before pouring it into cups!

4. Pour into 4 mini mason jars or ramekins, sprinkle with cacao nibs, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The Irish Moss takes a bit of time to set up and become firm.

5. Enjoy!

Urban Remedy, a Juicer’s Dream in San Rafael

Be smart. Drink Juice.

Be smart. Drink Juice.

While I don’t believe in living entirely off of juice (it’s expensive and you need more protein!) it is quite lovely to have a fresh juice as a pick-me-up instead of coffee once in a while.
Today I stopped by Urban Remedy in San Rafael to satisfy my juice (and chocolate) craving. I picked up Beam: a carrot, dandelion greens, burdock root and jewel yam blend. It tastes grounding, earthy, tangy and touts 1160% of my daily Vitamin A requirement.

Beam

Beam

Already preparing for my next impending chocolate craving, I also picked up a raw cacao mousse cup. It’s made with raw cacao, almond milk, dates, agave, and vanilla and tastes like absolute heaven.

Chocolate!

Chocolate!

Neka Pasquale, founder of Urban Remedy, believes that food is medicine, and spent many years in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture before launching Urban Remedy in April of 2013. I completely agree with her philosophy, and head over to Urban Remedy whenever I need healing food or juice. They carry a few raw salad items and have a rotating supply of raw vegan desserts in the refrigerated case in addition to the rainbow of juices. Everything is organic and sustainable and tastes as fresh as possible, because it is. The names are cheeky and cute, while the back labels make sure to inform you of the various health benefits you will soon be partaking in.

Important Facts!

Important Facts!

Other favorites of mine include After Party (sweet and beety and good for hangovers) and Support, a green juice with apple, ginger, and fennel.

Lily, who loves Cacao.

Lily, who loves Cacao.

Visit Urban Remedy in San Rafael or Mill Valley.

Urban Remedy
1904 4th St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 755-4347
8AM-7PM Monday-Friday
9AM-6PM Saturday-Sunday

Guest Blogger Feature on Inspireyourlifestyle.com!

Happy New Year!

I was just asked to be a guest blogger on InspireYourLifestyle in collaboration with Boho Lifestyle in Napa. I wrote a piece called, “Something Soft, Something Scented, Something Shiny,” about starting the new year off right with a new oulook and new organization. See the post here!

“Something Soft, Something Scented, Something Shiny”

Visit Boho Lifestyle at 1238 First Street in Napa

The Countryside

The last thing I expect to see when I finish depositing a check at the bank is the countryside looming in the distance. Low and behold, a new shop has popped up (as of this August) right behind the Yountville Wells Fargo branch, called The Countryside! Staying true to the theme, and magically contained in a very small space that used to be Steven Gordon’s art gallery, is a collection of the most beautiful, majestic items. The space is just brimming with designer journals and notebooks, handmade gift cards, and nature-inspired tea towels…the kind of tea towels that you might use in theory but are really too pretty to ever clean up the spilled milk.
Bumble Bees on tiered cake plates!

Bumble Bees on tiered cake plates!

Everywhere you look, something is sparkling or is decorated with a cute little bird or butterfly. I have a growing obsession with mercury jars and iridescent glasses (for drinking glasses or candles) and The Countryside is packed with the most wonderful ones I have ever seen! Owner Lisa Cox made sure I found exactly what I was looking for – two of the same birds on a particular (secret!) item, and was charming and knowledgable.

Magnificent Mercury Glasses

Magnificent Mercury Glasses

This would be a great place to do your early bird holiday shopping, because it is original, undiscovered, and has very unique gifts! In fact, I did a little of my own – and left with a skillfully wrapped bag with silver tissue paper (so cute!) and a glittery turquoise bow. After quite a dull day in the office, a visit to The Countryside really brightened my day!

Birdie Birds on tea towels

Birdie Birds on tea towels

Visit them: 6484 Washington St (across form Redd), Yountville, CA

Open Thurs-Mon 10am-5pm and Sunday 10am-3pm

Call them: 707-266-2885

Naked Wines

Last night, while walking down the bustling (bustling? since when is downtown Napa bustling?) streets of Napa, something caught my eye. It was new, it was eye catching, and it was naked.

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window...

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window…

NakedWines.com is a storefront that just opened up this week and had their opening party September 12th, and seems to be doing quite well. The sounds of dance music welcomed us inside before we even got through the doors, and then were promptly greeted by Michele, who wins the award of coolest/nicest/most straightforward chick in town.

The walls were adorned with banners of local winemakers who chose to skip the middle man (distribution!) and go straight to the storefront. Beautiful featured bottles lined the walls (with a rotating list of 100 wines and a hilarious tongue in cheek wine menu).

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness!

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness! (I am also proud of my wine colored nailpolish)

Angels (club members) get complimentary tasting – and they really encourage tasting a lot of their wines until you find something that grabs you. Michele had us try a variety of viogniers until we found the right one.

Don't worry, their winemakers won't look down on you...they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

Don’t worry, their winemakers won’t look down on you…they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

It’s tough to find free or low priced activities for the young wine aficionados of Napa – and I think I found my new place to hang out on a Friday night! NakedWines.com is open 10am-10pm Sunday through Thursday, and 10am-11pm Fridays and Saturdays. Awesome. Now, just because tasting can be free doesn’t mean we should all take advantage of their freeness…buy a bottle, for pete’s sake! Support them! But the wine is so good, I don’t even need to tell you that. You’re going to want to anyway.

And, It gets better. Drumroll…

As a local, you automatically get the Angel’s pricing (their wine club) with seriously deep discounts…even wholesale pricing! My friend and I both left the building, laughing hysterically, with bottles of Rose’ and Petit Syrah, for $8 and $12, respectively.

The Rose' that stole my heart...a 2012 Bahue Rose'

The Rose’ that stole my heart…a 2012 Bahue Rose’

They source wines from Australia, New Zealand, the Napa Valley and Argentina, among other places. Why is it so cheap? It is a customer funded winery, and the customers fund the winemakers to do what they do best – make wine! It is basically like a winery co-op. And I like that.

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah...

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah…

I also like the lack of pretentiousness here – the servers are encouraged to talk with customers, sit down, try wine with them, and enable a fabulous time for all. I must note that, just because it is more laid back does not mean they don’t know their stuff. They do. We talked tannins and minerality and bouquets the whole time. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to, either. This is a very refreshing change of pace from many of the higher end, appointment only, I shall not open the gate for you without an appointment a year in advance wineries. Thank you!

Go crazy. Get Naked. And get yourself downtown. Things are happening.

NakedWines.com

Visit them: 1141 First St., Napa, California, 94559

Call them: 707 786 6287

Onliiiiine them: http://us.nakedwines.com/

20130914-235740.jpg

Don’t worry, I’m not reallllly naked.