Oooh, I know I haven’t posted one of these in a while! And it’s not for lack of favorites. I’ve just been having a hard time keeping up with everything, to be honest. A lot of people say to me, “how do you do it all?” Truthfully, I don’t do it all. Not even close. I do what you see, but there’s a lot that slips through the cracks, like these posts! But now that I’m back teaching again, it’s a great time to share some of the things I am loving right now.
First a few administrative details!
I’ll be at Interabang Books in Dallas on Monday, September 25th at 7:00 pm for a talk, Q&A and book signing. Please come say hi!
I’m doing a cooking demo and book signing at Room at the Beach in Malibu on Thursday, September 28th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Cooking demo at 2:00, book signing before and after. I’d love to see you!
For people who lost power for an extended period of time due to a hurricane, Clean Eating is keeping the cart open for my Batch Cooking 101 Course through Sunday. You can still sign up and we’ll help you get caught up!
Raw Cashew Butter
There are loads of recipes, including a few of mine (like the vegan mac and cheese), which call for soaked raw cashews which then get blended with other ingredients to add a velevty creaminess to the recipe. In fact, cashew cream is even a thing to replace heavy cream or sour cream. There are cashew yogurts and milks on the maket and they’re awesome because cashews are high in protein and good fats, but have almost no flavor.
Before I finished the last round of edits on my cookbook, I discovered that I could substitute an equal amount of raw cashew butter (RAW, not roasted) for soaked, raw cashews and the recipe would turn out perfectly. No soaking, no need for a Vitamix or another high-speed blender. Raw cashew butter is a little more expensive than raw cashews, but a Vitamix is even more expensive.
I have kept raw cashew butter in the fridge for Mr. Picky’s smoothies, because they add good protein with no flavor. But now I use it to thicken salad dressings, soups, sauces and desserts. In my classes this month, I am using Artisana raw cashew butter which is available on thrivemarket.com and at Whole Foods, but other brands I have seen are Living Tree Community Foods and East Wind. I also assume you can make your own using this method!
Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser
During my third pregnancy, I could no longer tolerate strong fragrances. It was so weird. I had to stop using perfume, lotions, going to nail salons or walking past Bath & Body Works at the mall otherwise a headache would take over. The unfortunate part is that more than a decade later and I still have a problem with strong fragrances. But I recently found aromatherapy and it not only doesn’t bother me, but many of the natural scents are quite soothing.
My friend introduced me to a an essential oil diffuser which creates a tranquil fragrant environment in a small room. Most diffusers use a small amount of tap or bottled water and a few drops of your an essential oil to create a continuous fragrant mist for hours. I found the Vitruvi stone diffuser and was instantly attracted to its chic, minimalist design and the fact that it’s not plastic. I use a few drops of lavender and turn it on in my bathroom when I start getting ready for bed at night and it instantly calms me down and prepares me for rest. I bought a few other essential oils, which I would consider using at my desk. You have to look into the effects of oils, but some can be used for focus, to be uplifting, to calm and so on. I bought the Vitruvi one from the company’s site and I paid full retail, but amazon has it on sale now. And you can find lots of other diffusers essential oils out there as well. I think this would make a great gift for a new home, apartment or office!
Extra Large Nut Milk Bag (but not for nut milk!)
I have two nut milk bags – a small one for making nut milk and a large one (12 x 12) for vegetables. There are certain recipes which require removing excess moisture from vegetables like potatoes, frozen spinach, zucchini, and steamed riced cauliflower, to name a few. I used to use a think flour sack towel, which is great until it rips. Then I got smart and bought a large nut milk bag which is made of nylon and practically indestructible. It is also a breeze to clean – I just rinse it with warm tap water and turn it inside out to dry over the faucet.
I have this large nut milk bag from Ellie’s Best and I love it. I asked them if they would give a coupon code and here it is, but only for use on their website:
Pamela 10. You can also find the bag on amazon.
I wash A LOT of dishes. A LOT! And it’s not my favorite task, but it’s part of cooking, so I don’t put it off or complain. I was cleaning up after a class at a friend’s house and her dish soap was just about the best smelling soap I had ever encountered. I looked at the ingredients and I was so excited they were non-toxic. Plus the bottle was so pretty and understated. I quickly made a note of it and ordered some when I got home. I have been addicted ever since.
The brand is called Murchison-Hume and they’re all about elevating the everyday. It’s amazing to me that I actually don’t dread washing dishes when I use their dish soap! What is important to me is that even though they are all natural, the products actually work. And the bottles are pretty enough to keep next to the sink, rather than under it. I asked the company to offer a discount code to my readers and here it is, but it’s only good through September 25th! PAMELA20
Wine Saver Vacuum Pump
What do you do when you don’t finish a bottle of wine? That’s never happened to you? Well, you sound like fun! I, on the other hand, am not a huge wine drinker and use it more for cooking than for drinking. But air oxidizes wine, so once you open that bottle, the lifespan of the wine is short. I do not like wasting food or wine, so I found a gadget called a Wine Saver that removes the air from an opened bottle of wine, thereby extending the life of the wine for another week or more.
The Vacu Vin Wine Saver extracts the air from an opened wine bottle and re-seals it using a rubber stopper. The vacuum is created by placing a stopper into the neck of the opened bottle and pumping it until you hear a “click”. The “click indicates” when a sufficient airtight environment has been established. Simply pull stopper to break seal and remove, pour the wine when ready to enjoy, reinsert stopper and remove air to seal again. Hand wash the stoppers and they’ll be reusable for years. You can find these at most wine shops or on amazon.