Snowstorm Cupcake

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January 27, 2015, my husband’s birthday, dashed our plans to go out on his special day as Mother Nature gifted everyone a huge snowstorm that began the day before. Although grateful for it’s gentleness and beauty, it meant I had to be creative for birthday festivities. Looking in the fridge I found carrots, beets, apples, and celery which are all great for juicing and a good way to start the day off. As I have a juicer that extracts the pulp, a few years ago I began saving the pulp extracted to use another time and if not using that day will freeze the pulp. As a No Fret cook, I try not to waste food. It is easy to use the pulp extracted from the juice in muffins, cupcakes, cakes, or even as a vegetable patty. So I thought, something like carrot cake would be good for dessert. I then adapted my parsnip cake recipe on page 85 of No Fret Cooking, used the vegetable pulp instead of parsnips, added an extra egg, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and adjusted the spices a bit to better blend with the veggie combo. For the frosting, I used half as much organic powdered sugar, as I wanted a creamier, less sweet frosting. I decided to make cupcakes instead of cake as they cook quicker. As you can see, the birthday boy didn’t miss out on a birthday dessert!

Happy Birthday Steve from No Fret Cooking!!

New Year Shake

New Year Shake – Serves 2 – 3

When starting the New Year, I like to experiment with new recipes and flavors. For this one I really like the spicy flavor of arugula paired with the sweetness of bananas and nut butter. If you don’t do nuts, No Fret, leave out the nut milk and butter and use either hemp, coconut, quinoa, or raw milk. If you haven’t tried these new milks, you might want to experiment first to see which you like best. The recipe is simple and easy to tweak for individual preferences. Once prepared, the shake is a beautiful mint green color, creamy in texture that is light, delicious and will keep you full for hours!

Ingredients:

1 cup of nut milk = ¼ cup macadamia nuts + ¾ cup water or your favorite milk

1 big handful of fresh arugula or about 5 romaine leaves

3 bananas

1 tablespoon peanut butter or your favorite nut butter

Optional add ins: hemp, chia or flax seeds

Directions:

If using nuts other than macadamias be sure to soak overnight, rinse, and dry out before blending. Place nuts in blender, blend until completely ground, then add water and blend until well mixed. If using store bought milk, place into blender, add greens and blend well. Next add nut butter and any optional add ins.

From me to you, I wish you a beautiful new year filled with good health, joy, and prosperity!

Giving Thanks for Bestsellers Cafe

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On a beautiful Sunday afternoon just before Thanksgiving, No Fret Cooking had their third appearance at Bestsellers Cafe and Bookstore in Medford Square, Medford, MA. Before our presentation, Steve played a jazz set with Raleigh Green and after a little break he played some tunes from the No Fret Cooking CD’s while I set up a display of books and assembled ingredients to do a demo so attendees could learn how to make a simple staple that is easy to make, delicious, inexpensive, is used in a variety of dishes especially in baking. One of the best benefits from cooking from scratch is that you know where ingredients come from and what’s in them. Also this common household cooking staple makes a lovely holiday gift for friends and famly which will last for many years and gets better with age.  Robb and his son Charlie had fun together making the following recipes from NFC: Lemonade, spinach balls, parsnip fries and apple oatmeal pie cookies. I even got to sample the yummy goodies! It’s always fun for me to sample my recipes others have made. I treasure the opportunity to share NFC and meet people who are interested in making healthy changes in their diet and lifestyle. Many thanks to Robb for having us back again!

Apple Harvest Day 2014

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Although the weather this year at Apple Harvest day was cloudy and drizzly, Steve and I enjoyed being part of Dover’s annual town event. This year we changed things up a bit as we shared table space with Jo-el Gavel of Happy Mess Studio. Jo-el does all her creative work there, and you can find her studio located in the mill building at 1 Washington Place. She is also the artist who designed and did the water color for the cover of NFC as well as our new logo for Maat Publishing, our own publishing company. Despite the not so perfect weather, there was a great turnout and everyone enjoyed the day.

Big Blue Marble

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As late summer transitioned into fall, Steve and I headed to Pennsylvania to do a book and music event with a local author at Big Blue Marble, a very cute, welcoming bookstore nestled comfortably in the residential area of Mount Airy, Philadelphia. We were thrilled to have our daughter Wendy there and a few of her friends. As I talked about No Fret Cooking and answered questions, Steve played music and attendees sampled Sam Endive appetizers, a recipe in the appetizer section of No Fret Cooking. As it was a warm evening, we paired the appetizer with some fresh Garden Grove Delight Water, which our daughter had happily named. Here’s the simple No Fret recipe:

Fill a large pitcher with filtered water, leaving about 3” at top so there will be room to add the other ingredients. Squeeze ½ a fresh orange into the water and slice remaining half of orange into rings that you will cut into fourths, use ½ a fresh lime and ½ fresh lemon slicing both then cut into fourths, slice about ¼ of a cucumber and cut into fourths, and finish with a handful of fresh mint. Stir and let sit for a few hours so flavors to infuse the water. Depending on what you have on hand, your personal preferences, and your intuition, you can create your own special treat.

Bounty of Tomatoes

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Bounty of Tomatoes

This year was an especially bountiful year for our porch and raised bed tomatoes, so a No Fret salad side dish evolved from the three varieties.

1 large nyagous mahogany tomato

1 pear tomato

1 large handful of wild cherry tomatoes

organic extra virgin olive oil

½ lime, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, finely diced

garlic, to taste

Himalayan pink salt, to taste

Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

1 avocado

As I wanted the tomatoes to stand out on their own, I cut each differently. The mahogany tomato was cut into chunks, pear tomato was sliced, and cherry tomatoes were cut in half. Drizzle some olive oil over tomatoes, add spices, parsley, and stir. Next drizzle lime juice over tomatoes, stir and set aside. About 15 minutes before serving, chop avocado into chunks about same size as chocolate tomato and stir into tomato mixture. Let sit a few minutes at room temperature so flavors are all blended together.

No Fret Cooking at York Public Library

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At the end of August, just as summer begins to transition into late summer, No Fret Cooking was invited to do an event at the beautiful library in York, ME. Immediately upon walking into the library we were greeted by welcoming staff and a wonderful volunteer who helped us set up the projector, screen, and microphone so I could present a PowerPoint slide presentation. And though it was a lovely warm summer evening which beckoned to people to be outside, we had a nice audience of locals who were intersested in health and healthy eating. After the presentation attendees were delighted and entertained by the beautiful music of Steve Carter! Whether you are on vacation or live in York, the York Library is a great place to visit with lots of events and a great children’s room to entertain children of all ages.

No Fret Cooking Second Edition Published!

Steve and I are very excited to share our news about No Fret Cooking! As of July 30th, 2014, the second edition of No Fret Cooking became available for purchase through our own company, Maat Publishing.

As we continue to receive great feedback about NFC, our goal for the second edition was not to change the focus or recipes but to add in more information so our readers could continue to learn more about healthy eating. New highlights in the book include: updating the Dirty Dozen list; a few recipes had their directions simplified or clarified; new information for some alternative sweeteners; a couple of new additions added in the alternative ingredients section; information on how to tell the difference between wild and farm raised salmon; and an in-depth index to make your search for a recipe or ingredient even easier.

Enjoy the second edition of No Fret Cooking and be sure to visit us at www.nofretcooking.com and also at www.maatpublishing.com as we have lots of new happenings coming soon – a book trailer, videos, more recipes, and listing of upcoming events!

‘Til then, here’s to your health as you cook and create healthy food you love to eat while enjoying the music!