Friday, July 31, 2009

Ani's Raw Food Desserts: Book Review and Contest!

Ani Phyo, eco-chef and author of Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, has a new book out called Ani's Raw Food Desserts. This book is a wonderful, and needed, book in the raw food world. First, the book is beautiful. The book's look and feel has a retro 1950s design to it. My oldest son Raymond, the chef, loves to read it because it's so pretty.

It's more than a book filled with luscious, and simple, raw desserts. Phyo is, at her core, a green-living queen. Like Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, this book is full of simple ways to go more green; simple ways that don't require turning your life upside down, but do require you to think more consciously about how you consume. She includes tips on green entertaining, avoiding toxic cleaners, natural cleaners, and natural skin care.

Sliced Apples with Rosemary

But it's always about the food. In this small, 200-page book packed with information are 85 easy, delicious raw desserts. Even a beginner could make these recipes with ease. And the good news is that only eight desserts require a dehydrator. And they have their own section (sun-baked treats).

Ani's desserts are:
Frozen Treats
Cakes and Tartlets
Chocolate and Fudge
Crisps and Cobblers
Pudding and Parfaits
Cookies and Kreams
Fruit Simples
Sun-Baked Treats
Sauces and Kreams
Sparkling Desserts with Wine and Champagne

At the beginning, Ani also goes over the primary ingredients used in her desserts and well as the equipment and tools needed the recipes. To make things even easier, each recipe has icons to let you know what kitchen tools you'll need to make the dessert.

Key Lime Kream Bars Batter
Right before I put it in the freezer

I made Ani's Ice Kream Sandwiches first. It's a combination of the Key Lime Kream Bars and Carob Walnut Cookies. I could have eaten the Key Lime Kream with a spoon. It's a rich, creamy frozen treat with a touch of lime.

Carob Walnut Cookies

And the cookies....made completely in a food processor, they come out warm. I had to stop myself from eating them right out of the FP. It's hard to believe that four ingredients can create a treat that delectable.

Ice Kream Sandwiches

Together, they create ice cream sandwiches that my family loved. I can give these treats two thumbs up. And making this dessert was fast. You will not spend all day in the kitchen to make her desserts. That is what I can appreciate about this book.

Once again, Ani has produced a book that takes raw food to a new level: a simple, delectable, and accessible level that raw and cooked foodies will love.

I give it 10 out of 10 mocha angels!

If you love to make raw desserts, this is your book! And you might even WIN a free copy of Ani's Raw Food Desserts! Here are the rules:
-Post your favorite raw food dessert on my blog in the comment section.
-Be sure to share the recipe, if you know it, and reference the book you got it from if it's not your original recipe.
- Leave a workable email address you check regularly at the end of your post so I can contact you if you win.
- You have until Tuesday, August 11 by 11:59pm to post your favorite dessert.
- I will randomly pick and announce a winner on Wednesday, August 12 by 11:59pm. I will also email the winner by that time.

That's it! Good luck to everyone!



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

365 Days of Healing

With all my responsibilities, one thing I have heard consistently over the past five years is, "Take care of yourself!" Since things have now settled down in my house, that is exactly what I am doing. I did get out on Saturday, July 25, and managed to see ladies from both Mocha Mom chapters I am a member of. The above photo is of me and Kimberly at a park. Me, Kimberly, and Cat got our kids together and managed to have grown-up conversation at the same time!

Kimberly and Cat

Latisha, Tricia, Dali, and Malikah
These are the ladies from the Mocha Mom chapter where I live currently. We had an Open House at a library, and I managed to take a few cute pictures!

Nitza and Dali, our president and vice-president

And this is Jona and Kimberly's kids at the park.
I just wanted to share, because I've gotten a lot of emails from folk making sure I'm okay. All the drama has taught me that I do have to focus on my health, all of the time. I must be vigilant about my own healing. After the heavy focus on salads and green drinks, I've decided to keep it going.

I made some buffalo tofu wings for my husband yesterday, from a book I will review soon, and they were FANTASTIC. Off-the-chain good. Stand-up-and-shout good. Problem was that I woke up feeling embalmed this morning. That's not a feeling I want to feel again.

I have a lot of raw food books, even more now that I have so many to review. I realized that I love raw food. I love to experiment and try new things. I want to keep my personal focus on raw for my healing because I know the food can do just that. Over the next year, I want to focus on green foods, smoothies, juice, soups, and even desserts (green or not). I've been feeling that call since I taught my raw food class this past Spring. I won't ignore the call any longer.

I've already started. Today, I had:
peach/plum/banana/cucumber/kale/romaine/water smoothie
carrot tuna
collard salad
kale salad


Up next: a contest!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Extreme Greens for Healing

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes and positive energies. Everything is all good now, and I'm focused, again, on my healing. My immune system has taken a beating, so I've been consuming mostly greens. Anything green is healing for the body/mind. My friend Wanda Jones was kind enough to bring me lots of salads and food from The Glut and Quest for Fresh here in Maryland.

The salads are a mix of greens like kale, collard, Swiss chard, romaine, seaweed, red lettuce, and sprouted quinoa. I had never thought to put all of those greens together in the same salad. Guess I need to live a little!

The juices are:
2 plums/1 apple/collard
2 apples/collard/lemon
2 peaches/1 banana/collard/kale/romaine
and they all taste great!
I am so happy and grateful for all of you who read it on a regular basis. I have some wonderful book reviews, guest bloggers, and some exciting things coming to my blog. You all won't want to miss what's coming!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nwenna Kai coming to Maryland

Just wanted to everyone in Maryland and D.C. that Nwenna Kai, author of The Goddess of Raw Foods is coming to Roots Market on Saturday, July 11 from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

5805 Clarksville Square Dr
Clarksville, MD 21029-1853
(443) 535-9321

I first saw Nwenna on the Raw For Life Encyclopedia. I am so pleased to be able to meet her in person. Here is her bio:

Nwenna Kai is best known as the creator, founder, and culinary designer of Taste of the Goddess Cafe, one of LA's pioneering organic raw foods cafe, catering companies, and product lines in the Los Angeles area. She has designed the raw vegan product line for the company Foodology, Inc. Her raw food creations are available in over 30 Whole Foods markets in the southern California area.

She and her restaurant have been featured on E-Entertainment's THS about Diet Fads, Your LATV, LA Magazine, The Travel Channel's Taste of America, KTLA Channel 5 News with Lawrence Zarian and with Gayle Anderson, a featured chef appearance in The Ultimate Encyclopedia of the Raw Food Lifestyle DVD series, H-Monthly, The LA Wave, 944 Magazine, Innervisions on KPFK 90.7 FM radio, and

Her debut recipe book, The Goddess of Raw Foods is available on

She is the winner of the 2007 Elizabeth Dole Young Entrepreneurial Grant from the organization Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) for her work as a health and wellness eco-entrepreneur.

She travels teaching and lecturing about the a more holistic and organic lifestyle and consciousness.

Her websites are:

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 6, 2009

105 Degrees and Rejuvelac

I wanted to share with you all some exciting news in the raw food world. Matthew Kenney, one of my favorite chefs and authors, is a partner in a new raw food chef academy, restuarant, and and shop called 105degrees. The website is

From the website:
"The name 105degrees represents the optimum temperature for preparing living cuisine, also called raw food cuisine, without harming its healthful properties.”

"Oklahoma City-based 105degrees is the place for living cuisine, featuring a café, an academy, and a boutique retail shop. In 2008, 105degrees was created to fill a void in the culinary world."

"The 105degrees Academy is a state-licensed educational institution. It was created to share and advance cutting-edge living cuisine in an inviting environment through superior instruction and creative education designed to challenge and prepare our students. We offer chef certification courses, as well as public culinary instruction. "

The Grand Opening is September 2009, for the restaurant, the academy, and the shop. If you are interested in become a raw food chef, download the course catalog, which is here: This is very exciting news. Kenney and his team will continue to push raw and living food to new heights. I look forward to taking a trip to Oklahoma City to take some classes :-)

On the personal end, it's been a tough few weeks. I made Rejuvelac last week. Here is what I learned: drink it the first day it's ready. On Day One it smelled like cheese, but tasted like weak lemonade. On Day Two, it smelled like cheese and tasted like cheese.

This is what it looked like before I poured it out of the sprouting jar. Now, the next day, I took Raymond to a campfire at our local nature center. We made s’mores. Yes, I had the ooey-gooey combination of roasted marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. The next day, Saturday, June 27, I had diarrhea ALL DAY. Thank goodness, I was at work (which sounds oxymoronic) but Mystickal Voyage is an amazing place, as I've said before. They let me rest in one of the healing rooms, which gave me the strength to drive home.

I was feeling better by Sunday. On Monday, I took Raymond to get a hearing test, which he passed. Me and the kids met a friend for lunch. I was proud that my kids behaved with other adults and had a great time. Jona even danced for us twice! LOL.

And then Tuesday night hit. Rom called me at work to tell me LaVerne had another seizure. Turns out she had another stroke. On Wednesday she had trouble walking and we knew what had happened. Rom and I alternate taking LaVerne and Ruby to the hospital, when needed. It was my turn. I got home from the ER around 2:00am, and I've had trouble recovering ever since. I've been exhausted. I slept most of July 4th. I missed my friend Amaadi's baby shower, and I just overall feel like crap. I ate garlic raw last night, and my chest congestion is gone. I just feel like I need to drink only green juices for a few days until I feel right again.

But I did have an AMAZING, positive dream this morning, which made me feel better. I know all of this will have a happy ending. I only ask for all of your positive energies to be sent my way.

Thanks for reading :-).



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