Monday, December 7, 2009

carrot cake + in the raw

It's snowing!

Yes it's finally raining here in southern California. I woke up this morning to dewy dampness in the air that my skin has been favoring lately. Funny, I am such a creature of habit yet always striving for the balance of things out of the ordinary. Rain was a common theme while living in Florida and it's been surely missed.

This year has been an incredible journey for me and my family. I have been trying to keep the glue in tack and the foundation down yet encourage fluidity so we can all eventually *sing*. Perhaps that doesn't make any sense for some, but for me it's important to reach beyond my comfort level. I am such a creature of independence and yet I need to root myself in order to gain momentum.

My kids surprise me as well. After years of trying to get them in organized sports and programs (soccer, basketball, team gymnastics, cub scouts, etc.) they had to tell me, "Hey mom I like taking surf lessons really.......Mom, I like tumbling, but I really don't want to be on team gymnastics.......Mom, I like yoga.......Mom, I like guitar lessons.......Mom, I don't want to wear this uniform."

So obvious that these must be my children. I just assumed because I grew up among hippie teachers in San Francisco during the 70's + springing off my love for visual arts, performance art + urban farms in city alcoves that my kids would prefer more organization + team efforts. But they had to tell me where they really felt at peace in their growth.

How sublime.

How obvious sometimes.

Don't get me wrong as team efforts + working with community is what makes people as a whole grow. It just caught me off guard that my own children exactly mirrored what I strive for, so soon.......independence, freedom, fluidity + the creative life.

This garnered taste memories of my mother's pineapple carrot cake she used to make when I was growing up.....

I've been buried knee deep lately.

Emotions have been running high.

It's been a year of transitions and really, lots of surrender.

The more I surrender; the more I find myself at a place I wasn't expecting.

Yet what's been enlightening about the fruits of surrender aside from the element of surprise is also intrigue.

Through my love of fresh foods, ingredients + even raw foods + recipes, this has lovingly lead me down the road of healing on many levels. This brought me to a place of uncovering the healing properties of food and now the healing properties of herbs.

Oh yes, herbs.

There's a whole population of them that have called me forth lately. I have used their healing energy to get us through the move, the transition + even through school flu season.

They also shined through and eased my children through those Indian Summer days when it's HOT COLD HOT COLD + omygosh I'm gonna be sick days......

Appreciating simplicity and thank goodness a shot in the dehydrator was not necessary! 'Tis the real raw deal inspired by Ani Phyo's recipes and my own *thensome* thrown in. The *cake* is made from carrot pulp (from being juiced), sunflower seeds + almonds whirred in the food processor, lots of spices like grated nutmeg and cinnamon, fresh crushed pineapple.........I made the frosting with raw cashews alongside a sultry spin of medjool dates bursting in their own sugar.

This journey of transition this year something else kept knocking on my door.

It all makes sense as I am balancing my love for family life, good whole fresh foods, the vibrant life and now my obsession with the healing properties of herbs......something else came my way. You know I love *light*, I love the sun. I love the beach. I love energy. I love good vibes.

It was so obvious and then I finally responded.

This is after *years* of it crossing my path......calling my name.

You know how sometimes we don't listen to that voice nudging at us?

I am still inquiring. Still a bit skeptical. But totally open.

I just recieved my first Reiki 1 attunement.

Yes, Reiki.

More on all of this later.

Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for checking in on me.

You guys are swell :-)

So this is what I have been up to.

Laying down a new foundation on the other coast. Still cooking, creating, writing, studying, sunning, hiking + loving yoga.

Yes, my hands have been full, yet open to receive........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

falling into place

Chinese Dates or Jujubes (isn't that a fun name? makes me want to break out in dance + laughter!) have been a sweet find of mine lately. We discovered we had a Chinese date tree in our backyard when we moved in and my mom was ranting about how delicious they were. Well we didn't have a full harvest of them this season but after a few bites I was tempted enough to buy a bundle at the Korean grocery store. They are similar in texture and taste to an apple without the abrupt tang. What stands out the most is their sweetness + fragrant afterglow that seems to linger after each bite.

It's been an incredible change having practically no rain during the summer months which leaves me more than ample time to play outside.......

The air is temperate and dry during the day.

Sometimes in the morning the fog rolls in the valley and stays long enough to ease me into the day.

I read somewhere their fragrance makes you want to fall in love.......

I am all about the rush.

Thank you for reminding me how sweet life is.

Lately I've been trying to just get all my *stuff* in a row........

Yet I am constantly loving living in the moment.

There's a joy in having the perpetual rhythm then often times I have to break it's silence and look above the expected horizon.

I've also been trying to get more focused on my passions.......I'm always in development. Perhaps a perpetual art project......

Whenever I curate an art exhibit, one of the most mesmerizing parts of the process is the installation of the art. That's when I get to experience the transformation of the work itself and how it effects the space + architecture. The best part of it is the effect it has on the crew you are working with to install the works itself. It's amazing; absolutely amazing to see the change in their demeanor when you catch them experience the installation process. During the installation they are caught off guard and find themselves immersed into the experience of the art as well.

That is what makes art so profound and meaningful or in this case, anything that beckons to what you are innately passionate about. Sometimes you don't know, unless somehow you've been lucky enough to slip into that other dimension and you find your soul swimming in big round fuzzy circles.

It's been hard to resist all the fun going on around me. There's so little time and I want my cup to be full, like always.......

So things are finally falling into place. It's been such an appropriate season for that too. I'm looking forward to sharing the fun of the new seasons with you.....

Happy Autumn!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

at the beach. misty clouds. tangerine sun.

Wordless Wednesday.

abrupt thoughts.




just peeking in ;-)

Monday, September 28, 2009

comfort me with apples

baby asian pears. sprigs of baby roses. thinking out loud by the kitchen window.

It's been Total. Drama. Island.

Really the first words that come to mind!

I've been truly manifesting otherwise but it's like the flood gates opened when I decided unleash those sails.

Thinking about you guys.........hope summer has been swell + full of sights that make you just plain smile.

We were surprised to find our first harvest of asian pears + blossoms of baby roses greet us this past summer. So with that I often think of their sweet fragrance that makes my many senses smile.

I hope you're still there ~ as I miss writing, sharing + sprinkling my thoughts on here. I truly look forward to posting more and look forward to that dialogue again. Thank you for coming around + sending light + love to you.

Be back very soon my dears......

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

peeling back to light: cantelope smoothie with hints of lychees and the green stuff

cantaloupe has been a morning ritual lately........

Can't find my lights, my white boards, filters, back splash.....nothing. I had them specifically and specially packed to be easily retrieved and they are nowhere to be found at the moment.

I did find my camera.

Where the heck is that eyelash curler now........

so just to let you know the taste memory of litchis/lychees ring a familiar tone to me......they're not as odd tasting as they appear really......there is a familiar sweetness to them and almost wine~like fragrant quality that lingers.......

Biting into lychees reminds of something familiar but perhaps not.

with a slight of a paring knife or even a finely manicured fingernail is just enough to peel back the layers......

What I do is to simplify, everyday.

I took these photos without my special lights, my handmade filters and such that give it the *glow*

In between the uneven clouds passing and tagging around the sun, I was able to capture vibrant beginnings of my ritual morning smoothie.

I recently bought a bundle of fresh lychees. Don't be dismayed by their extraterrestrial type rind. Once you get past their tough exterior, you will find the sweetest flesh to the bite. Interestingly enough, each fruit has a different finish. Kinda like wine or biting into chocolate truffles. They are sweet, soft, slightly sour for some, even briny and has a slight lingering aged like finish that reminds me of strawberry wine. They remind me of things that have been waiting, hidden.....perhaps forbidden. Lychees......the forbidden fruit.

Actually my usual smoothie blend is quite simple: cantelope + chunks of cucumbers with skin and all plus a good douse of electrolyte water.

Ladies.....this has been a perfect blend to hydrate your cells thus your skin.

morning light smoothie: fresh cantaloupe, cucumbers, romaine lettuce + lychees

To simplify, to blend, to glow.......

Friday, June 12, 2009

june gloom: walking through fog

I like things in a orderly disarray........I think

This blog is still alive.

I am here.


Rather than bore you with the 450 boxes I am dealing with (I took a rough count to amuse myself in between breaks), I just wanted to say hi and that I am still planning on blogging about taste memories, life, food + just plain being.

There are fruit trees at this new place; amidst dandelions as tall as my kids with minuscule thorns throughout.

I had a dream last night I was flying in between walls and windows made of wooden crates. I felt boxed-in but then I imagined a big picture window that open to a vast blue sky.

The sky opened up in my dream and I was finally in full sail in its expansiveness.

I will post soon.

I am very sorry I have been delayed.

My kids started their third school in one year.

I know, excuses......I have decided to post about our transitons as well as my continued love of fresh + savory foods.

I am trying to help lead a helm with assurance that it's okay to live like gypsies as we have.

Bare feet and all.

Just walking through and feeling the breeze.......

Sunday, May 10, 2009

bright side to double delight

.....a bloom from my fire and ice rose bush last spring.....these *double delight* roses I passed on to my dear friend and neighbor prior the move. It makes me smile to know she can tend to its beauty now.....

Happy Mother's Day!

I was at my mother's house the other day to bring her a pot of homemade soup. She had been feeling out of sorts so I made a vegetable soup with chunky amounts of carrots, yellow + green zucchini, celery and roughly chopped cabbage leaves among other niceties......

Then she made her favorite dumplings which I dotted with freshly minced parsley, sea salt + garlic powder. She showed the girls how to knead + form the dumplings before they were gently simmered in a ginger, onion, garlic + rose infused broth.

I ladled the soup into the very bowls we used for soup when I was little. She used to make me soup when I was sick too.

My mother recently told me she missed her mother's cooking. She told me grandma used to be an excellent cook and she shared with me some of her taste memories from growing up in Korea. Family recipes are often not written.....especially back in the days of my mother's childhood. It made me think about the foods my mother made for us growing up as well as today. It also made me think about passing on the love of nurturing, feeding + healing to my own children, to my family + friends.

Right now I feel like I am in a holding pattern until the next flight. As an old friend and writing mentor shared with me about motherhood: "'s about the picking up and putting down in our lives.....we strive for the male counterpart where we cherish to have the long sustained amount of time to complete a mothers we pick up and put down.....just as the simplicity and moment of sweeping the walk.....take in the moment for what it is."

So as I miss tending to my roses, I am also happy to know that my dear friend has been able to enjoy their blooms. I love the *double delight* roses that have outer petals of pink and red. They were my wedding flowers that I had in my bouquet and in my hair. It was the hottest day of the year, my wedding day.

The double delight blooms in my hair lasted from the early morning photos shoot until we tied the knot at church with a kiss. By the time we drove up to the reception at the wooded retreat center in the hills......they looked like wilted rag muffins.

Back then I didn't have the multi-tasking mode as polished as I do now (or so I think!). I think motherhood does that to you. For the seasoned ladies I know that have not chosen the path of motherhood ~ I have been quite taken with the wisdom that has broadened their horizons as women. It's funny that when one door opens, another opens in unexpected places as well.

Wishing you a day of double delights......

Thursday, April 30, 2009

finding peace

a glimpse of the path that leads to the wooded preserve area of our former home in Florida......

Hello dear friends.

My apologies for being away. Are you still there? I am soooo sorry. So much happening + so little time.

I feel as I have been far away.

We found out last February about the confirming details of our move

Then I had a month. Less than thirty days really, to pack our lives of over six years of living in Florida to the west coast.

As those of you know that have moved, as well as moved with a cast + crew of children......there is a wealth of *closure* involved.

The path going into the back lot of our preserves is a brocade of overhanging leaves, blooms, branches and vines. The groundworks of the path itself is mottled with degrees of soil, rocks + tree roots grasping it's way to the surface.

My kids grew up on the little teal colored tree swing shown here.

It was the only tree on the property that securely held their care free recklessness so they could do what kids do.........abandon themselves into the ride.

My recent path has just done that.

Abandoning myself into a ride that is often times unfamiliar and un-orchestrated creates a harrowing yet liberating journey.

Especially the journey returning home.

The enclosed deck overlooking the trees + spring-fed pond in our backyard was a place of good memories. When I look at this picture, it reminds of the kid's birthday parties, breaking bread with family + friends, having Saturday morning coffee with hubz, watching the glow of the sunset highlight the tall trees and in closing, the fragrance of chilled white wine lingering through the frost of translucent wine glasses.......

Those are the memories I have that capture perhaps the more evocative times of living here.

So hey, thank you for sticking with me and coming back.

I am saying my goodbyes to my old home. Allowing myself to feel the emptiness of being away from good friends, familiar faces + places that brought me joy + comfort. Letting go of the old to make way for new possibilities. I love the fact that I can share this with you and hope there is a similarity in ways we journey through transitions.

I love this old house, but I know it's time to let go.......

So now I gather my cherished thoughts, scent memories, taste thoughts, taste memories and tuck a few away in my heart. The rest I'll scatter like fresh petals and remind myself to fear not if I bruise a few petals along the way.

Most definitely if you were wondering.....yes new food finds + savory fresh delights have treated me well lately in southern California!

Talk with you soon.

xoxo ~ tastememory girl

Sunday, February 22, 2009

comforts of home: going back to Cali

sweetly tempered with pure maple syrup over a hot griddle.......sticky gooey carmelized seduction: fried bananas with bits of chocolate shavings

Fried bananas. My saving grace when I was transitioning my diet to incorporate more raw foods. So instead of the glass of red wine after dinner or the bowl of ice cream or chocolate torte, I would linger over a sweetly glazed fried banana carmelized with pure maple syrup. It was inspired to me after reading Natalia Rose's The Raw Food Detox Diet book that literally steered me forward on the positively feeling ever so clarified + focused track.

As many of my readers know, I have a healthy + loving balance with raw foods, gourmet cooked foods as well as the love for pure, natural + savory ingredients. To this day, these true loves of mine make me crazy passionate about my intense commitment for fine food, cooking, family, friends + life!

Many things happening here........

First I want to apologize for the delays in my postings as of late.

As I mentioned in my previous post that I spent 2008 cleaning house in more ways than one and the effort brought me back full circle tapping constantly at what I really wanted in my life.

In my consulting work, I am versed with the business plan + fine tuned proposals for my clients. I decided to take a step back and develop my *life plan* *divine plan* *master plan* or some call it the *vision board* of what I really WANTED out of my life. It also included short term, mid-term + long term goals. Then I went in to fudge back my details to make things more fluid in my way too organized life! I think we all have some sort of plan for ourselves.....I decided to take it a step farther and make it more concrete.

Mind you......I also had to take in consideration the munchkins in tow + the hubs. As a marketing specialist, I did pitch them well.....he he he! But found that after orchestrating the *vision board* that really, I had to let it BE and just let things transpire on their own.

Like planting seeds + watering.

Mind you......the whole intent of the *vision board* is to make reality of what you are desiring or wanting, thus taking steps in the direction and walking through the doors that open along the way.

Overall, I felt fulfilled yet oddly, knowing that something had to change in order for me to get to the next level of my life.

So now, I am happy to say.......I am going back home.

We are moving back to RIGHT NOW!

We just found out, so my life is a bit of a flurry right now. We will be leaving on our one way flight to California (that sounds soooo good to say, ONE WAY FLIGHT TO CALIFORNIA, I've been wanting to say that!) in the middle of March.

Can you believe it?

When it rains, it pours.

From the research I gathered, it was suggested to be very specific when you create your *vision board* For example: dates, places, needs, timeline, etc.

When I created the *vision board* with my hubs in 2008 we were very specific. For everything to *flow* in accordance to our family's needs, our hopes were to return to California no later than March 31, 2009. Plus it has to be southern California for family reasons. I know, I know......NORTHERN CALIFORNIA is the place to be, especially to the haunts of Passionate Eater and Foodhoe's Foraging. You guys are the BEST! We did consider noCal, but the cards were not flying.....

So surreal.

I am finding the *vision board* to be a quite a process. It involves some down time that can be hard to relinquish for busy types. But the down time makes space for the empty space to be created in order to be filled again. You often wonder what will be filled in that void when one goes on a diet, breaks up with a boyfriend, let's go of a bad situation/relationship or perhaps make a TOTALLY different career leap......there's always that fear.

My vision board encompassed my diverse life goals that I won't bore you with.....but you get the idea, ya know?!

After I created the vision board and spent time every morning reviewing it and meditating over it before I began my day, something happened.


The vision and word: Heart

Then I heard a verse from a song from a contemplative musician I used to listen to often.....I heard this verse in it's full melody: wherever you treasure is.....there also your heart shall be.....

Then I started taking steps to make the *vision board* a reality. At times it seemed like nothing was happening. But then things startle to trickle. Trickle. There's resistance too.....kinda like when I started to incorporate more raw + more pure foods in my diet, my body/mind created a resistance.

But the best part of this journey is waking up to the dream coming true.

I plan to complete my previous post once I get settled.

There will be a little more down time until I post again. There will be a bit of down time visiting your blogs + commenting until I get up and running.

But in no time, I will be raising a glass to my fellow bloggers as I watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

The comforts of returning home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

full plate special + taste memories: california chopped salad

remnants to livelihood........

I spent last year clearing house.

Clearing out my house in so many ways.

It can be hard to let go of familiar ways and routines.

With all that empty space, open ground, the blank page, the slot to be filled......oh my goodness it will be a void in space.

One might wonder....what's next? What will happen? I don't know what!


I need a doughnut. Just give me a freaking doughnut.

No gravy. I want GRAVY. Remember that old time Warner Bros. cartoon with the bull dog going crazy looking for GRAVY? Perhaps half of you don't! Remember Gumby? Underdog? Land of the Lost? Very scary how long ago that was......

I have had so much on my plate today. This past week. The weeks gone by.

Yet I keep thinking about this place. My next blog post. You guys.....fellow bloggers......enthusiasts.......lifers of the blog life. Love you guys!

I spent 2008 clearing house. In more ways then one. I spent 2008 sowing seeds.

Yes a lot on my plate as of late.

It is as if being in a garden; blossoming, tending, grooming, mending, watering and watching the blooms return.

Today, right now.......outside my window.....the sun is shining. Half the trees in the backyard are slightly bare naked of their leaves. Some green leaves linger the color of last summer as the remaining dried up faintly red maple leaves falter + dangle a bit prior their fall on straw-like winter crab grass. The pool filter is humming and there is a faint spell of fighter jets in the distance reminding me of time we are in and the fact that I live near a naval base.

And NO! I am not pregnant, jumping ship or running off with the butcher/baker or sushi guy.....

More words + pictures to follow......very shortly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

view from the kitchen sink

© 2009 Ingar Brunnett, original illustration VIEW FROM THE KITCHEN SINK: duo of roses, potted basil + chives, fresh cut daisies, bowl of cherries being washed......

I read somewhere that adding illustrations onto your blog will add depth and interest to your blog. Not that I believe everything that I read but it made me think about a series of pen and ink illustrations I created during the years that we lived in northeast Ohio. So I thought to give you a glimpse......

I was also constantly *preggers* which seemed like a 5 year span in my life.

My memories of Ohio: I remember lots of pot lucks, lake effects snow, lots of sleet, driving on ice, skidding on ice, maple syrup, being pregnant (hah! I already said that!), more pot lucks, more snow, falling on ice, really good corn on the cob, orchard apples, my Mennonite best girlfriend forever Ida, having babies, late harvest grapes, mud, having a *mud room*, writing poetry, my writing circle, my first writing mentor and another best friend forever, the blanketed silence after a heavy snowfall, the maple syrup festival, harvest festivals, children's tea parties and the memory would not be replete without my kitchen window.

My kitchen window looked out to our back woods. We had close to an acre of woods (which was a lot of space for someone growing up in California) full of oak and maple trees. Many times deer ran through our backyard.

One time, when my kids were toddlers they were playing in the sandbox in the backyard. I was doing something over the kitchen sink and watching them here and there through the kitchen window. I loved the view from the kitchen window into our backyard. It was always a beautiful scene that changed with the seasons. The children were quietly playing making sand mounds.....then I happened to look up and I saw a male buck charge toward the sandbox! I screamed at the kids out the window and then ran out to the back yelling at them to get into the house. The buck continued to charge at them and suddenly steered away when he saw me run out with my hands swaying, hair flying and me, mama bear going crazy.

We still talk about that day and now we can laugh about it.

It was really weird that happened since the kids were just in the sandbox and not doing anything to provoke the deer.

Just a glimpse of a memory to share......while I am working on my next savory post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

something about strawberries....

dairy free + free love: coconut cream, mango + chocolate......such bliss and no soy

Finally, today and I realize all of us have such a diverse stance on life, politics + even food (the *diversity*; isn't that fantastic?!).

Perhaps just for one day we can be t r a n s p a r e n t.

As always, the rest will just trickle forth and fall into place.

*A day to celebrate our similarities, embrace our differences, send good vibes + prayers and just chill the f*ck out*

As a recovering Type A personality ~ I do try to relinquish to this on a daily basis { lol } My life of organized synchronicity which also included the every so often rewards of planned chaos that celebrated the artist in me came to an abrupt halt once I started having kids.

The more children arrived, the more everything became, you know?

So { { { s i g h } } } 'tis better to sink into the bliss of happy rather than restraining order.

Even in art school I was quite an odd egg. I think I was the only art student/artist that had to have my studio in order, car cleaned + check book balanced in order to go forward with whatever spectacular project I was working on.

Do you ever find you just exhaust YOURSELF?

Maybe it's just me.

By the way, always ALWAYS celebrate + live the artist in you. Perhaps if there were more arts funding + flourishing + beauty of the creative life encouraged......what if?

as for me and my house......all heck has broken loose.

January 17th: My dad's birthday.......Happy Birthday Dad as you're forever in my heart.

January 19th: Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as you are forever reminding us so eloquently of the importance of our dreams.......

January 20th: Inauguration Day here in the states ~ A place my parents have held in their hearts to be their homeland.......whatever our differences, I truly hope today will spring forth a new era for you, your lives, surrounding communities we all touch, as well as throughout globally.

non-dairy, non-soy, nothing artificial + lotsa organic loving cream made with coconut milk ~ tastes just as creamy as the real thing without the dairy

I have been in the process of making dairy free, young coconut meat + milk based homemade ice cream. It will eventually get posted here.

Meanwhile, I discovered PURELY DECADENT non-dairy frozen dessert (I call ice cream since it tastes just like!) at Whole Foods recently. It is not considered a raw ice cream. But I find this a great transitional ice cream for those increasing raw foods in their diet, or even if you are looking for dairy and soy free alternatives.

The ingredients are quite pure including organic coconut milk and organic agave syrup instead of white cane sugar.

Life is pulling in various directions so instead of striving for order today, I thought to let loose on my canvas of colors and even dessert.

Talk soon,

Yes ~ amazingly enough it's strawberry season in Florida right now......

By the way.......Happy Blessed New Year to you!