Sunday, December 27, 2009

Exploring the YumUniverse

Raw Apple Cake

Starting in the beginning of October this year, I had a pretty significant realization about the next chapter of, well, my life. I had just come back from an incredible roadtrip (my heart still aches for it really) and it simply was powerful how free and joyful I felt. While I have been lucky enough to structure my life so I get to collaborate on a contract-basis with seriously talented people creating relevant work in the graphic design industry—inhale—it isn't all that I want to do.

I have found such healing and happiness in learning about and experimenting with the raw and vegan lifestyle. It really is a creative outlet with infinite possibilities and those include valuable connections. I have noticed how much easier it is to stay on track with a supportive network of folks who are on the same page. A community. Hmm....

Raw Spinach Ravioli with Walnut Filling

So, in a few months, I will officially launch It is my home of the recipes I adapt, discover and create, the restaurants I enjoy, the tips and tricks that I find invaluable, the people who help me and that is just the beginning. YumUniverse is going to be a place chock full of infinite possibilities for a yummy, healthy life. I'd like to share what I've found and what I will continue to discover on my journey. The continuation of which, as I mentioned above, will take me all over the country sharing through workshops, exploration and more.

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Cacao Cardamom Muffins

Have ideas for anything you’d like to see in the YumUniverse? Don’t be shy, let me know. In the meantime, get a sneak peek of some of the photos from recipes you’ll find at YumUniverse.

So for those of you who have been sweet enough to ask me where I’ve been, see the title of this post and receive a playful wink from me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sketchbook: Shark

My friend Mike introduced me to an iPhone app yesterday called Sketchbook Mobile. He is currently teaching a class about iPhone art and will be showing the student work in February at his gallery, The Chicago Art Department. I am having a ball with this app and my skepticism about its capabilities is out the window now that I officially have 24hrs of exploration and play behind me. I absolutely prefer the intimacy of drawing and painting with actual tools, but I am pretty happy with tonight’s electronic exploration created entirely with my fingers interacting with my iPhone screen. Neat.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Atlantic Ocean

It felt as cold that day in June as it did today.

Chicago: Halsted Street

I have only lived on Halsted Street my entire 11 years in Chicago. As north as 3000 and as south as 1800.

Isn't she lovely.

Giving Thanks 2009

Thanksgiving this year was, well, “Legendary”. I put the most into my hosting.

We ate, drank, ate some more...

Then we jammed...

Photos from the Feast. Photos from the after-party.

The Unobvious

Next time you are watching an indoor soccer game, remember to look up...

and down.

Regular things can look really lovely.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chicago Love: Skyline

I love my town. Even when it rains for 21 out of 27 days.

Thank you Chicagoist for posting this pic and many others from my Chicago Flickr set.

The Fauxlaroid Project: Destination Story Inn

I ventured to Story, Indiana this Halloween weekend for a visit to one of my favorite hideaways, the supposedly haunted Story Inn. Great time as always. See the entire to and from here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

HooperPower: Warrior

Warrior from Heather Crosby on Vimeo.

Had a lil’ time before I taught class today. I love this song. Nothin’ fancy practice-wise, but thought I’d share. Enjoy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Fauxlaroid Project: Harvest Fest

My brother, his wife Shayda, my boyfriend and I went out to this adorable Harvest Fest in Michigan at the Wild Raspberry Apple Orchard. We ate homemade apple pies, clay oven pizzas, drank hot cider, listened to a jug band, learned about bee keeping, went on a nature walk and picked bags of our own organic apples. Heaven!

More photos here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Fauxlaroid Project: Green City Market

This Saturday I went to the lovely Green City Market in Chicago.

There is something invigorating about walking around the park through the colorful, hard-work of local farmers and foodies.

I picked up some Empire apples and baked a pie with them today. Also picked up the most beautiful, handcrafted curry squash pasta from Pasta Puttana. Tonight’s dinner.

Fall is here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Fauxlaroid Project: Opening Doors

A co-worker of mine clued me in to this incredible iPhone app called ShakeItPhoto and I am completely hooked, for obvious reasons. Years worth of photos that have been sitting and waiting for upload have now been “polaroidized” and posted to my Flickr site. A new door has been opened. A fresh, oh-so-2009 variation on an existing obsession is born!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It’s Official. I’m a Wild West Junkie.

I cannot stop thinking about my recent roadtrip.

The west is so very raw.

The colors pretty much take the breath out of your body. There is something new to be seen every step you take and every mile you drive. The majority of the trip I would find myself looking up and out and thinking “I can't capture this on camera” and so, surrender I did. Those times are my little secrets. The moments I did capture on film have made me very very very happy. I want to share them.

The entire Flickr set is here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Polaroid Project: Wild West

Just returned from a 17-day roadtrip extravaganza. Drove out to Nevada to spend a dusty week at Burning Man with dear friends and took a spontaneous week to drive back to Chicago via Yellowstone, The Black Hills, Grand Tetons, Bighorns, Badlands and everything in between. One of the first thoughts I had last night when I reached the Chicago skyline was “Wow, it looks so small compared to the 7,000-13,000ft mountain ranges I've been driving through.” It was pretty shocking.

View the entire Flickr Polaroid set, and selected spreads from the Roadtrip Journal I kept here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Raw Style: Blueberry Hemp Milk

The other day I came home to a package with 4 beautiful milk bottles in it and a lovely note from the kind person who sent them to me (because they appreciated my Raw Almond Milk post). Sadly, I couldn't read the signature and the label I had set on the counter to send a thankyouthankyouthankyou note to was thrown out by accident by my boyfriend. Silly boyfriend. I am touched and grateful for the generosity of this kind person and since I have no way to reach them, I must post my new favorite beverage using one of these lovely bottles. Please contact me if you see this post!

I had been feeling sluggish and “brittle” sometimes during my workouts this spring, so in June I ordered Brendan Brazier’s Vegan Nutrition Guide. I have to say that for me, this book has made an incredible difference. I have been boxing training all summer and the strength and stamina I have has greatly improved. I am now a Hemp fanatic. I have been using plain hemp milk all summer on my homemade cereals and yesterday I had a lovely box of blueberries in the fridge from the Pilsen Community Market so I thought, “Hey, I bet this is yummy with hemp milk.” I had the berries, the seeds and the beautiful bottle to store it in. VoilĂ ! A new post for you and a proper thank you to my new friend who helped me showcase my new creation.

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serving size: about 4 cups
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Tools needed:

What you need:
2/3 cup of Hemp seeds
3 cups coconut water (can use plain water too, but coco water is the yummiest and super hydrating)
1 cup organic blueberries
2 tbsp raw agave nectar
dash pink Himalayan sea salt (can use regular Sea Salt instead)

Let’s get started:
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour in an adorable glass and store the rest in a beautiful bottle in your fridge. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

It is Beautiful Here: Video II

My love has been writing so many incredible songs lately. Powerful, lovely music is swirling around constantly. I just had to make him a treat today. So now I officially have a second video to add to my “it is beautiful here™” series.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home: Summer

I redesigned my office in July. Of course, I had to color coordinate my books on my new fancy bookshelf.

Creating a comfy space to live is important to me.

I love my home.

More pics here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Polaroid Project: Old Skool

It’s fun what you find when you purge your closets.

Pieces of a Senior project that helped me get a great job in Chicago.

Thank you Polaroid.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The OC

Yashica Super D and I had alot of fun in Ocean City Maryland...

View the juicy Flickr set here. Let me know what you think.

Chicago Love: Antique Market

My pal Kathy and I went table hunting at the Chicago Antique Market and I must say it was incredible. I will be going back. You can check out a few other pics from the day here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Polaroid Project: OC09

I just returned from a much needed 20-day vacation that began with 2 weeks in Ocean City, Maryland. A place ripe with Polaroid possibilities.

You can see all 22 of them here.

Hoop Path 2009

I just returned from the 2009 HoopPath Retreat in Carrboro, NC. My pal Rich made this fancypants vintage-style lens box for his camera and these are some pics that we took with it.
Me and Miss Rosie Masters (top: taken by Rich) and Rich shredding it up (bottom: taken by moi).

See more of the lens-box HoopPath Retreat photos here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Buffalo, Michigan

My pal Alex and I took a spontaneous roadtrip to New Buffalo, Michigan a few weeks back and it was just what the doctor ordered.

More photos here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Laying in Fresh Grass

If I could only share how good this smelled...imagine.


So on a nice spring walk in Virginia last month, I came across this:

And without question, it made me think of this:

Which of course made me smile...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Raw Style: Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

I grew up on meats and the one that I miss most, only flavor-wise, is bacon. I enjoy creating recipes that taste as close to my old unhealthy loves as much as possible. After researching this recipe and making my own adjustments and additions, I have been able to bring that salty crunch back into my life. My new obsession is the raw BLT, and I do intend to share that recipe with you all soon too, so stay tuned.

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serving size: makes a casserole dish full o’ bacon
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Tools needed:
Mandoline Slicer

What you need:
3/4-1 cup fresh beet juice (2-3 medium beets or 1-2 large beets)
1 large eggplant
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp raw honey (can use raw agave nectar instead)
4 tbsp Ume Plum Vinegar
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (can use regular Sea Salt instead)

Let’s get started:
Wash your eggplant and beets well. Run your beets through the juicer and set the juice aside. Don’t forget to admire the amazing color.

Slice your eggplant lengthwise to create 4 long wedges. Then carefully take those wedges and slice your eggplant into long strips with you Mandoline slicer. Achtung! The Mandoline blade is extremely sharp and wants to eat your fingers. Be very careful.

Let’s create the marinade. Place your fresh beet juice, olive oil, sea salt, vinegar and honey into a casserole dish and stir until completely mixed. Please note that the marinade will not look uniform in color because of the oil. Just mix all of the ingredients until they are blended to the best of your ability. You can always add a step if you wish, and blend your marinade on low speed in the blender too.

Now, I have not tried this yet, but I bet if you add a tsp or two of Liquid Smoke to the marinade, you may get somethin' reeeeal special. Of course, Liquid Smoke is not raw, so if you are super strict with your rawness, skip this suggestion.

Pour a little bit of your marinade into a bowl. Dip a slice of eggplant into this bowl, coating both sides with the marinade, and then place your dipped slice eggplant into the casserole dish. Repeat with all strips of eggplant, creating layers of coated eggplant until all slices are nestling in marinade in your casserole dish. Pour the marinade from your dipping bowl on top of the eggplant. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap, or a cloth and place in the fridge. Marinate for 8 hours. Every 2-4 hours re-coat the strips with marinade by spooning the marinade from the bottom of the dish onto your strips. You could also flip the pieces in the dish with a spatula as well. Whatever works. Just coat.

After the slices have marinated, place your “bacon” flat on Teflex sheets on your dehydrator trays.

Dehydrate for 4 hours anywhere from 95-110 degrees. After 4 hours, you will want to transfer your “bacon” from the Teflex sheets to the dehydrator screens so the air can get to both sides of the “bacon”. To do this, simply place a dehydrator tray with the screen (shown bottom left) on top of your “bacon” that is already on the teflex sheet and dehydrator tray. Place one hand underneath the Teflex tray and one on top of the screen tray. Quickly flip (see post-flipped position bottom right). Remove the top tray and then peel back the Teflex and your “bacon” should be resting proudly on the screen. Pop the tray back in the dehydrator for another 4 hours.

Keep checking on your “bacon” and when it is super crispy, you are good to go and you can turn off your dehydrator. If you reach the 8-hour mark and your “bacon” is still not crispy enough, keep dehydrating until you reach the crunch-factor that will make you happy. You can keep your “bacon” in a covered glass dish on the counter or in your pantry since it is dried. You can also keep it in the fridge.

Crumble your “bacon” on salads, spread some almond butter on manna bread and top with “bacon”, munch on it plain, make a BLT with your “bacon” (inspiredbyeverything BLT recipe coming soon)...

Please improvise with this recipe if you wish. Try adding the Liquid Smoke. Try raw maple syrup instead of honey or agave. Use less olive oil. Just have fun with it, make it tasty and share your improvisation findings with me!