Monday, July 25, 2011

Pitfire Artisan Pizza Review

Yum. Yum. Yum. I love pizza. It's my favorite food. During my artsy weekend in LA I had to visit an artisan pizza place. They bake these delicious babies in a wood-fired kiln that reaches over 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The ingredients are mouth watering local organic products that are hand chosen from the farmer's market. I'm lactose intolerant, but this pizza place catered to it. They had Daiya vegan cheese to put on any pizza I chose. I ordered the Artichoke Veggie that had roasted tomatos, Kalamata olives, spinach, and grape leaves spread throughout the top. The crust was obviously hand tossed that morning, mm the way it broke apart.

For the side, my sister and I ordered the "Farmers Market Plate" which was a blend of vegetables tossed in extra virgin olive oil, topped with freshly baked sourdough bread. Roasted corn, yellow and green zucchini, purple and yellow potatoes, and heirloom tomatoes were a great mix. I didn't like the amount of potatoes because of how much starch the pizza and sourdough provided, but the corn and zucchini were yummy.

We only ordered one pizza and one appetizer and it was more than enough food. The drinks were housemade watermelon lemonade with fresh watermelon juice that was delicious! I love watermelon juice and to mix it with lemonade was genius. Great job Pitfire. I'll be back!

StrangeLoop Gallery Opening; An Organic Experience

This past weekend I visited Gus Harper Studios in Venice for the opening of a Strangeloop showing. It was my first art show ever. The lighting was great, the art was mind boggling, and the people were even more fun to watch. The art was accompanied by live hippie-drug inspired tunes that were inescapable.  Once the beats began, the crowd nodded along and danced in a robotic worm-like way. Everyone was either high on weed, mushrooms, or an elixir of other drugs and alcohol (except for me of course). It was a mad house of paintings, sketchbooks, and 2 buck chuck (Trader Joe's Pinot Grigio). I had a couple Solo cups of the white wine and enjoyed the artsy atmosphere. It was slightly reminiscent of my teenage years in the summer desert. At any moment, I never set my drink down in fear it would be laced with whatever everyone else was high on.

My sister exclaimed to the creator, "This is the best art show ever!" She had only been to fine art galleries that were boring and quiet. This "art show" was more of a house party in an art gallery sloppily put together in 5 days or less by a very dedicated few. They had passion for the arts and would do whatever it took to get the right people into this tiny location, to experience the art in the mindset it was created-on hallucinants. About 290 people showed up, after RSVP'ing on Facebook. It was a great turn out.

I ended up getting a souvenir from my first art show experience- two t-shirts that were screen printed right in front of me. I got to choose out of 6 designs and place them where I wanted on an American Apparel shirt. For only 10 bux each, I was happy to come home with a new piece of art. :)

The show filled me with the urge to do something of my own, create something without regard of opinion. These people didn't care what you thought of them; they were living life happily. They weren't caught up like the rest of LA, in fear of looks, weight, or opinions. Most looked like they walked out of a thrift shop with the coolest shirt of the 70's. (See guy on left)

It was refreshing to say the least. I came home yesterday with all these new business ideas and creative sparks flying behind my eyes. I wrote some of it down and am still going at it on here! I can't wait for another art show. Stay tuned for more fun. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mini Strawberry Cream Ch(easy) Cake

I couldn't wait until it was Thanksgiving. My mom would bring the dessert, grandma would make the turkey, and Grandpa would whip up his amazing coleslaw. Everyone loved her special New York Style Cheesecake. It had cottage cheese, cream cheese, and whipped cream inside with a butter and graham cracker crust. I would be in charge of smushing the butter and sugar into the graham cracker crumbs as she used the handmixer to combine the filling ingredients. The sound of the handmixer still brings me back to that day. Unfortunately, I became lactose intolerant at 15 and could no longer enjoy her amazing pie.

Last weekend I indulged in buying a vegan cream cheese from Henry's Market. This store is great because it specializes in selling natural and organic food, with an excellent deli for omnivores, all at a reasonable price. The cream cheese I bought was Tofutti's new un-hydrogenated one.
This stuff tastes amazing! I could have eaten the whole container in one meal, and at only 60 calories a tablespoon, I wouldn't have felt the wrath of fat pants guilt. I've had Tofutti products in the past but I wasn't a big fan of them. I avoided them because they contained corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, but not this one! It has officially been added to the shopping list next to Daiya cheese and soy milk. 

What did I do with it? I didn't have a bagel to spread it on, or smoked salmon to top with it, so I decided on making a dessert. It only contains 2grams of sugar (1/2 a teaspoon) per serving. Oi! It's so good! I had fresh organic strawberries and 4 graham crackers left over in the cupboard. I instantly thought of my mom's cheesecake and had to try something. I took out the agave nectar, vanilla, and Earth Balance and started to churn away. I had half the container left from eating it with various things before (Spicy Red Hot Blue Corn Chips) and decided to not dirty anymore dishes.

First I made the "crust" by melting Earth Balance and mixing it with my crumbled crackers. I pressed this into a clean hummus container and stuck it in the freezer. (I save hummus and margarine containers to use as tupperware.) I poured a couple spoons worth of agave right in the cream cheese container and started mixing. I added a shot of vanilla and tasted it...and then had a foodgasm all over the place. Seriously, you have to try this recipe. It came out so great that after a few bites, I set it down, opened up a word document and wrote it down. Here it is for your tasty pleasure: 


4 graham crackers (I used Cinnamon ones from Trader Joes)
2 tbsp Organic Earth Balance (or any margarine or butter)

½ small container of Tofutti (non-hydrogenated)
4 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 fresh strawberries, sliced

  • Crumble graham crackers into dust. Melt Earth Balance into liquid and mix into crumbs. Press into small container and freeze until filling is ready.
  • Mix agave and vanilla into the half container of Tofutti until creamy and combined. Stir extra long to make consistency smooth.
  • Take out crust and plop the filling in the middle. Spread evenly by turning the small container and holding a fork or butter knife in the middle with slight pressure.
  • Top cheezecake with strawberries in a cool design. Grab a fork and eat! 

Warnings: The crust will be crumbly. If you want to slice this up and serve it on plates, I'd suggest using more margarine.

Alternatives: If you want to make this even easier and quicker, you can crumble the "crust" into a dessert dish and top with the filling and strawberries.

P.S: It got approved by the Omnivorous boyfriend as delicious! Go ahead and make it the next time you have a guest over. Don't tell them it's healthy and see what they think. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pitching a Perfect Game (Plan) for Sustainable Sports

Do you love sports? Are you going to a game this summer? Read this article to see if your team makes the green list.

The Greener Alternative to Home Employment

Are you currently working from home but not quite motivated to work your hardest? The Greener Alternative to Home Employment will help you see the light to a more productive day.

Photo credit:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Organic Juicer Adventures:Dessert

Tropical Citrus Fruit Sorbet
This sorbet was a half-win, half-lose. The win part was cutting up all the fruit that was about to go old, freezing it, and turning it into a sorbet. The downside was that I'm the only one who likes the mixture of all the fruits: lemons, pineapple, pluots, plums, white and yellow peaches. The peels from the fruits were not very pleasant to chew. All the flavors mixed together, which was not a good thing in this case. The lime juice on top was great, but I definitely won't mix as many fruits together again. Next time, I'll stick to 1-2 flavors at a time. Like the boyfriend says, "Simple is best."

The most common thing I've been making with the "juicer" (which should be called an All-In-One) almost every day is the frozen banana sorbet. I freeze bananas and place them through the small circle attachment. Lately I've been mixing it with chocolate crisps, mini chocolate chip cookies, and cinnamon graham crackers (which should be called cookies). Today I melted chocolate and poured it over the frozen bananas so that it hardened. Next time I will place the sorbet on a stick and pour the melted chocolate over it to make a frozen choco banana (like I love from Trader Joe's). Or put dollops of the banana on parchment and pour it over- yum! And then maybe roll it in nuts, sprinkles, or graham crumbs? What do you think? 

Organic Balcony Garden Diary- Transplants

Roots mean Go Time!
Drainage is Vital
Fertilizer to Reduce Shock
Summer Squash
Bigger Pot Please!
Make a hole 
Peel off the pod

Place in the baby
Bury and Water

4 Per Pot 
Ready To Grow

The pictures show the process that I endured without all the grime and dirty hands. And let me tell you, be ready to wash up after gardening. This is one dirty job (pun intended). I went to a local nursery, which was totally fun and cool, and got organic food and soil. I picked up a 12'' pot from Lowe's and was ready to transplant the babies. I realized I had way more than 4 to transplant and will be working on buying more pots to do exactly that. I hope you had fun looking at the photos and learned something!

Lessons Learned From Transplanting
   Buy extra pots. Bring lots of water. Be gentle with the roots. Buy pots with holes already punched out.

Organic Balcony Garden: Day 12

Tiny Chives
I've created life!
Farmer's Tip: Reduce Transplant Shock with Worm Castings
Yesterday I awoke to find tiny sprouts of my chives! They are the tiniest things ever. I saw about three of them. This morning there is another baby cucumber coming up. It is about 1/4 inch tall, and its baby leaves are just about to open. I'm happy to see more seeds are coming out. The weather has been a little bit cooler. Today was the first day I had to water since the planting. My first primi cucumber needs it's own pot because its roots are sprouting out of the bottom about 3 inches! I was surprised to see how big it has gotten when all the others are barely sprouting. I'll probably buy a pot tonight or tomorrow to transplant it. I bought some worm castings from the farmer's market to help lessen the shock of the transplant. The farmer told me they are full of nutrients and will help them bloom organically. I'm excited!