blog, Pie, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Birthday Blissings

surprise!

Happy birthday to me and what a happy birthday it has been. This whole facebook thing can be quite overwhelming especially for someone who likes to play down their birthday. I had over 60 birthday wishes in my inbox when I woke up this morning and the number is still growing. So many random acts of kindness makes my heart swell. Those are the times we live in though. The mainstream media may report on doom and gloom but what I see is people from around the world going out of their way to wish others, strangers and friends alike, well.

My birthday started out quiet enough with me waking to an empty house. My brother, sister-in-law and nephew had gone to work, work and school but they didn’t exit without leaving reminders that it was my birthday. First of all the doorway to my bedroom was decorated with dangling ribbons and a half dozen balloons were piled at the door. This type of booby trap was effective in springing an instantaneous smile to my face. In the kitchen I was greeted by more balloons and a banner across the wall that read “happy birthday”. With all this birthday cheer in the air I had to share it with someone but no one was around… so I took it out on the dog. Sadie the Graham’ily cocker spaniel was treated to various renditions of a multitude improv birthday songs set to the tune of “so this is Christmas” and the “It’s your birthday” song from The Cosby Show. To crown things off for my birthday morning a single candle had been placed in the last big slice of raw cookie doh! pie and left in the fridge for me.

Birthday shenanigans continued in the evening at The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine, Florida. Without a doubt one of the best raw restaurants on the planet. A crew of 7 of us got cozy and had a feast of ages. I ordered super nachos which were extra special and birthday super sized. Dessert was brought and prepared by a good friend Natacha. She surprised us all when she pulled out a casserole dish filled with raw tiramisu… one of the most decadent and challenging raw food desserts to make. It was phenomenal. Not wanting to waste anything I helped to finish the dessert of 2 other people before surrendering to birthday bliss.

The entire day was a magical birthday gift. So here’s how I’ll pay it forward. For all of you interested in how to make the Raw Cookie Doh! pie, the recipe is below. Happy Birthday to me, you and everyone! Love Adam.

Raw Cookie Doh! Pie

(enough for 1 – 7 inch spring form and 1 – 5 inch baking ring or 1 – 9 inch spring form)

Cacao Crunch Crust

  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • ½ C pumpkin seeds or almonds
  • ¼ C buckwheat
  • ½ C cacao nibs
  • 8 dates – pitted
  • 3 T agave – enough to bind crust
  • 1 T coconut oil
  1. Add agave to running food processor until crust binds
  2. Press crust into a spring form or pie dish. Placing wax paper.
  3. Flatten crust in the middle and work it up the sides of the pan
  4. Place crust in freezer to set.

Lucuma creme layer

  • 1 C water
  • 1 C hemp seeds
  • 1/2 C coconut oil – melted
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 C palm sugar
  • ¼ C lucuma
  • ½ C agave powder
  • 1/4 t salt or to taste
  1. Blend the hemp seeds, vanilla and water smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients saving the coconut oil for last.
  3. Add coconut oil while the blender is running. The mixture must be slightly warm.
  4. Let mixture cool before pouring it into the crust.
  5. Allow to set in the freezer for 1 hour.

Chocolate layer

  • ¼ C almond butter
  • 1/2 C cacao butter – melted
  • 2 T agave
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • ¼ C water
  • ¼ C agave powder
  • 1/4 C cacao powder
  • 1 T maca
  • pinch of salt
  1. Blend water and almond butter smooth.
  2. Add agave, maple syrup, maca and salt while blending.
  3. Continue by adding the cacao powder and agave powder.
  4. Finish by adding the cacao butter to the blender while it is running.
  5. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender and continue to blend until the mixture is consistent.
  6. Allow mixture to cool before pouring it into the crust.
Layered
Swirled

I’m a big fan of options and with this recipe you have a few. The chocolate layer sets up thicker than the lucuma creme layer. As shown by the pictures you can assemble the layers in a variety of ways. The first version resulted from me pouring the warm chocolate layer onto the creme layer before it was firm. I thought I had a tasty disaster on my hands but then I remembered I could just swirl the chocolate into the creme layer for a nice visual effect. The next version is a result of waiting until the creme layer is chilled firm and then pouring in the cooled chocolate layer. In hindsight I would have layered chocolate/creme/chocolate or put the chocolate layer first and then the creme layer. The reason for this is the chocolate layer is more firm once it has set. The result of this is that the creme layer squirts out of the pie as you try to cut into it. Definitely let the pie warm before serving and dip the knife blade in hot water before cutting. Reversing the layers or swirling them can remedy this squirting tendency. Also feel free to decorate your pie with hemp seeds, nibs or a dusting of cacao powder.

Layered Slice
Swirled Slice

A note about agave powder. This ingredient is not used as a sweetener, it is a thickener. It is a very fine powder that sticks to almost any surface especially if there is the slightest bit of moisture. It is a plant fiber known as inulin. Always add it while the blender is running.  You can substitute chia gel or Irish moss to achieve similar results. Sorry, I don’t know the amounts without making the recipe. Off the top of my head try 1/4-1/2 C of chia gel pureed or 3 T of pureed Irish moss in place of agave powder.

That is all for now. In joy, enjoy and Keep it Live!

blog, Raw Food Adventures, Recipe

Writing Project

Meetup Feast

Raw Resources

Greetings everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the end of your summer. I have been traveling about these past few months, but unfortunately I haven’t been doing much teaching. It’s quite draining not to teach when you’re a teacher. I have been spending most of my time on a contract writing project. Yeah, this is bigger than a self-published memoir recipe book. It’s a paid project… at least in theory. The publisher has yet to deliver a check even though I have over half of the book complete. This paid writing gig is for The Complete Idiot’s Guide… not to be confused with the “Dummies”. You can tell the difference between Idiot’s and Dummies because Idiot’s books are orange and blue while Dummies books are yellow and black. If only you could distinguish idiots and dummies that easy in the rest of your life. The official book title is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox. I have to give thanks to Kelly Jad’on of Basil and Spice and Mark Reinfeld, coauthor of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw… and Facebook as well. This triangle of thanks is partially responsible for me getting me this writing gig.

So the writing project has taken up most of my time these days. I have still been able to squeeze in some traveling and raw food mischief like potlucks and visits to The Present Moment Cafe. Next week the mischief continues at Raw Spirit Festival and then in San Diego where I’ll be doing a demo and teaching a class. After San Diego events and projects are a bit scattered at the moment. I’m planning on moving out of the lovely Atlantic Beach guest house I have been living in for close to 2 years. Wow, time flies when you’re living in the Barbie Beach House. I’ve been told I’m crazy for leaving what I like to refer to as my “Magnum P.I.” set up complete with ocean front guest house, Ferrari and drooling guard cat. But you’ve got to make room for expansion and personal growth and that’s what has to happen. Where will my new home be? Will I remain in Jacksonville? I plan on it, but nothing is solid at the moment. And like a good friend likes to say when I talk of “plans,” he says “making plans” is the best way to make God laugh.

WholeFoods Meetup
Present Moment Cafe

Enough about making plans, let’s make some raw food. Here’s a fun video that shows you how simple it is to make a collard wrap. Enjoy and Keep it Live!

Raw Food Adventures, Restaurant Review

Being Present at The Present Moment Cafe

Flower Child chowing down at The Present Moment Cafe
Flower Child chowing down at The Present Moment Cafe

Never miss an opportunity to help manifest someones dream, especially if it involves delicious vegan live food in the oldest city in the United States. This morning my friend Valerie casually mentioned she’d never been to The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine. Bummer I thought, continuing with the onion dehydrating project I had started. It took a moment for me to realize the opportunity at hand, the carpe diem, grab the reins by the bull kinda gusto that should be part of a life lived in the Present Moment. She had to work at 2pm at Shakti Life Kitchen in Atlantic Beach (North Florida’s other premiere vegan live food option)… it was totally doable… in the car by 11, we were at the Present Moment by 12 noon… our bellies were full and we were back on the road by 1pm.

With all that said, what tasty treats did we partake in at The Present Moment Cafe? We started out with an amazing Thai style soup with mushrooms, sesame seeds, onions and a hint of lemon grass… I could be totally wrong though on the ingredient list. That’s was my take on it and I neglected to ask for the break down. One things for sure, it wasn’t clam chowder and it was really good.

Yummy Thai Soup
Yummy Thai Soup

Next up was a massive Cesar salad and 2 stuffed portabellos with a creamy spinach filling, very rich and Frenchy style.

We ain’t done yet… a sampler platter with guacamole, salsa and a refried beans creation (no beans or refrying of course) To accompany the platter was a massive sunlight burger all drippy with cashew provolone… wait, there’s more… a mound of creamy white truffle pesto pasta. This was some serious eating and proof to this fact is that we walked with a to go container… unheard of when sit down to eat. To my defense I showed some restraint so I would have the slightest bit of room left for dessert…

Ceasar Salad and Stuffed Shroom
Ceasar Salad and Stuffed Shroom

Warm Pecan Apple Cobbler with a scoop of cashew vanilla ice cream… no to go’s on dessert.

On a scale of “1” to “damn that’s so good I wet my organic cotton briefs”… post meal I would be running to the bathroom to rinse my drawers in the sink… that is if I wore any. All joking aside, The Present Moment Cafe is a boot shooting chart topper with amazing food and very reasonable prices. The pictures don’t lie… portions and plating are superb, staff is wonderful and the atmosphere is so cozy that you’d consider moving in.

White Truffle Pesto Pasta, Chip and Dip sampler, Sunshine Burger
White Truffle Pesto Pasta, Chip and Dip sampler, Sunshine Burger

On the down side there’s a bunch of road work being done in front of the restaurant. Noise wasn’t an issue but the only access has been converted to one-way which sends you looking for a western route to India. Once you arrive in the Promise Land all your worries melt away like cacao butter basking in the sun.

If you’re ever in North Florida or even the South East you owe it to yourself to visit the Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine, Florida. Check out there details here:

www.thepresentmomentcafe.com

Keep It Live, Adam

Pecan Apple Cobbler and Ice Cream