Making Delicious Fresh Almond Milk

We’ve done a lot of things with almonds, like making almond nougats for our etsy shop, making almond tuille cookies, but not almond milk. We used raw almonds for this recipe of almond milk

Disclaimer, almond is a tree fruit, do NOT make if you are allergic to tree fruits

We first soaked our almonds overnight, it is amazing how the little sprouts start to form just after 5 hours of soaking. Once soaked, you can easily tear off the skin too- a very zen experience!

We then removed the water and blended the almond with water. We used 3 cups of water for every cup of almond, plus we added honey for some added sweetness. Next we strain the almond milk through a nut bag to removed sediments- as you can see below.

almond pulp

Here’s me, relishing my creamy cup of almond milk, with some cinnamon sprinkles on top! Remember, these don’t have preservatives so refrigerate and finish within 3 days.

Deliciously Mind Blowing Fresh Almond Milk - with Cinnamon

Have you ever thought much about Tweed…

Harris Tweed

Tweed is a fabric that we see all the time on suits, dress pants, but little did I know until recently that it was invented in Scotland. Tweed currently produced in this same area of Scotland is by law known as “Harris Tweed”. It is spun from virgin wool, giving it a nice smooth texture, unlike a lot of contemporary tweed fabrics that feel itchy and rough to the touch.

Handmade Harris Tweed Handbag

It’s not always easy to find in the local department store but there are some very creative pieces of everything ranging from pillows to bags made by artisans on Etsy, and I never thought I could find a Tweed handbag!

Super Easy I Can’t Believe this is Gourmet … Almond Milk Recipe

Nut milks are filling up the health food aisles, but they are just not as good as fresh cream cups of nut milks you make at home. I’m a huge huge fan of FRESH nut milks, just because they are so easy to make, and unlike soymilk – no cooking required 🙂 Store brought nut milk are filled with too many additives/preservatives and tastes nothing like its original self- making nut milks yourself is healthier, tastier, and you’ll notice how much thicker and filling they are than watered down supermarket ones.

I don’t have a camcorder yet to film my nut milk making escapades, but I’ve found one from Daniel Delaney’s website that perfectly entertaining, and informative!

My favorite type of nut milk to make is chocolate hazelnut cashew milk, but I’ve just placed an order for almonds fresh from the farm today, so I’ll be making almond milk this week.

Super Simple Steps for making nut milk:

1. Order fresh nuts, Oh Nuts.com has a wide and fresh selection that never fails to disappoint.

2. soak the nuts in water for over 5 hours till they soften, then blend in a high speed blender with 3 cups of water for every cup of nut.

3. Along with water, add flavorings into your blender. Instead of refined sugar, I usually use honey, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs (these are whole cocoa beans crushed to small pieces), fresh peeled apples, pears, etc.

4. Then you strain the milk through a nut milk bag – which you can get easily online.

5. ALWAYS refrigerate your fresh nut milks because they can go bad otherwise, and remember to finish them within 3 days, as they stay freshest within that time frame.

I’ve found that cashews hazelnuts and macadamia nuts all work very well, has anyone else tried making your own nut milks?

Weekday vs Weekend Smoothie

My Weekday Smoothie:

Every working weekday, I get up extra early to make myself a fruit and vegetable smoothie for breakfast, in addition to some scrambled eggs over toast.

There’s just so much in it – apple, banana, kale, ginger, lemon, carrot, beets, watercress, and some filtered iced water. To me, this is a health smoothie, because it tastes … Intense. Salty – sweet – bitter – spicy – sour all at the SAME time, but it does wonders for my complexion and energy level so I drink it down rather quickly and contently.

My Weekend Smoothie:

The ever so yummy and refreshing grapefruit banana mint smoothie.

The ever so yummy and refreshing grapefruit banana mint smoothie

Juicing on weekends, on the other hand are for pleasure. This weekend, I fancied something tropical, fruity, refreshing and so I made Banana Grapefruit Mint smoothie. Plus Craig loves bananas so no matter what smoothie I made, it will have to have bananas in it!

This smoothie was too perfect and simple – just some bananas, grapefruit (just the flesh or the rinds will make it bitter), iced water, and some fresh mint. The combination of the citrus notes layered upon the tropical smooth taste of bananas made this a very unique and delicious treat. I only wish my mother me eat fruits and vegetables this way!

Craig loves bananas, he includes them in his lunch dinner and breakfast. He's also going green by being vegetarian these past few weeks.

what kind of juicing/blending works for you?

Local Artisanal Shops In NYC

Local Artisanal food shops are opening in nyc – so I don’t have to travel to San Fran or Portland afterall 🙂 The key word really here is ‘Local’. New York City has always had many gourmet food shops, but the goods they carried certainly weren’t local- typically European imports. Candies and gourmet hot cocoa traveled all the way from Europe to famed gourmet grocery Dean and Deluca, which much to my dismay, has a minute selection of local artisanal food products.

In the age of mass production, it really is unique to find shops that both make and sell what they have in store. Some artisanal food shops we have in New York so far – Coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee of San Francisco and Beecher’s artisanal fresh cheese shops from Seattle’s Pike Place Market- both recently expanded to the big apple.

Another notable shop is Saxelby’s, a shop here that specializes in local artisanal cheese from the United States- I love that this shop gives local cheese producers a chance to shine in the culinary world of New York City!

There’s also a local bean to bar artisanal chocolate store – Mast Brothers. Last Saturday, I got to take some pictures at their beautiful shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – they have a wide open layout where you can see their production process and facility too.

cocoa bean canvas handbags


Picture above – Handbags made of raw cocao bean canvas bags – beautifully crafted with leather by local Brooklyn artisans

so stylish

Picture above – These bags look rugged and chic all at the same time.

selection of beautifully wrapped single origin bars

Picture above – the wrappers make these bars seem super special, it’s not just cocoa but arts & craft.

Cocoa nibs - crushed cocoa beans, great with desserts and smoothies!

Have you tried how the cocoa beans tasted before they get made into chocolate bars? These are actually crushed cocoa beans, great topped on desserts.

getting introduced to portlandia

We end the day stopping by the Simple Cafe on Bedford Ave for some scrambled eggs, and Craig introduces me to the IFC show Portlandia. We also discovered how much fun it can be reading a magazine together! Paper Magazine came out with a list of 25 young people you’ve never heard of doing idealist things you didn’t know you could do for a living.

For those of you who’ve never been, Williamsburg is an urban town located in Brooklyn, right across the river from Manhattan. It’s a youthful bohemian, artistic urban area with a small town feel. Narrower streets, indie coffee shops, local designer boutiques, gourmet food trucks- very different from the glitzy pop culture glamour of Manhattan.

What are some of your favorite artisanal shops?

Just Make It …

So many ideas, too little time! That pretty much sums up how I feel about making this blog. I’ve been reading and exchanging ideas on blogs for quite some time, always wishing I too had a place where I can write about things that can inspire others to take ideas gathered online and make something of it offline, in the real world.

Making a blog is one of those idea I’ve finally come around to take action on, but before this, it was making Caramel Candies.

For over a year, I’ve thought about how I can create the perfect piece of Caramel Candy, and imagine all the flavors I would imbue them with; even posting flavor ideas of my imaginary caramels on my Kettle Confections facebook page, and so forth!

Finally this winter, I gave it a shot. Instead of coming home to cook dinner, I cooked sugar! After one too many number of failed batches of candies deemed too hard, too soft, too burned, to unrecognizable of a mass – I finally got it to come out the way I had imagined.

And so these are the caramels I was afraid I may waste my free time pursuing in vain, but I’m glad I got it right, and if it didn’t come out well, there’s a long list of ideas in my mind I’m willing chase and cross out.

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