There is no shortage of things to update you on over here at the moment, and it gets me really excited for our “story time” in future posts! From the epic photography workshop I went on last week in Point Reyes, to Scott’s thirtieth birthday this weekend and the surprise trip that awaits us next week. Me quitting long distance running for good, and giving up oats and (most) cruciferous vegetables for the foreseeable future. My new love for BBG strength training and HIIT workouts, and how our landlord is selling our home and we don’t know for sure where we will be living in sixty days. There is also some thyroid battling going on, candida, and heavy metal cleansing. But through it all there is so much joy being had over here, in between spikes of anxiety and stress (and sometimes even amidst them) we are two happy kids navigating life with so much hope (and love and support from our families and friends). For this I am unbelievably grateful! What fun would it be if everything was a piece of cake? Well maybe if it were a chocolate one, with coffee frosting.
Mail days have been exceptionally exciting as of late with the number of beautiful cookbooks coming out this spring season. One of which I am sharing with you today that has me overflowing with inspiration in a new way. If you don’t know Lily yet, meet the flower child of the blogging community. Over at Kale & Caramel, Lily brings recipes to us all with some of the most vibrant and fresh photography – and unique recipes to make you salivate in your desk chair. She inspires you to use ingredients many of us (including me) tend to overlook when building meals, such as herbs and edible flowers. Lily is also the all-natural beauty queen. You will find posts on how to wash your face with honey, whip up the most energizing face and body scrubs, and (in her book) create a refreshing room spray from just two ingredients (hint: one is a herb). Both Lily and her work are beautiful and approachable, and for those who are looking to use more herbs and flowers in their daily life – the Kale & Caramel Cookbook deserves a spot on your shelf.
When first flipping through it’s pages I was drawn to the chapter on orange blossoms. Of all our senses, smell is the one that has the strongest effect on memory. Just reading the word “orange blossom” had my mind racing back to my college days. It’s my freshman year in the interior design program at Arizona State University. I just left a design theory class and am walking to my physics lab. My headphones are in and I’m listening to The Shins. Now here come the orange blossoms. The row of trees I frequently walk by are in bloom and everything about that moment is frozen in my memory. The weight of my backpack, the crisp morning air, the sound of The Shins, the feel of my worn converse and skinny jeans. Now fast forward to a year a half later, and I’m dating Scott. He is obsessed with the smell of orange blossoms and picks them from the tree in his backyard when they bloom. I’m getting into my car to drive to work one morning, and there are a bundle of orange blossoms wedged in the air vent. I turn on the AC as I’m driving and am engulfed in their lingering scent. Oh orange blossoms, you got me again.
Despite my connections to this smell, the bottle of orange blossom water I purchased to make this recipe from Lily’s cookbook was the first I’d ever owned. Not knowing much when it came to incorporating floral aromas in my recipes, I was encouraged by the ease and delicate ways she used them in her book. This milk is super luscious, creamy, and oozing with floral-y orange notes. Upon sipping it I immediately thought of peaches, and reached for the bag of frozen ones in my freezer (summer season-pushing here). I blended the orange blossom pistachio milk with the frozen peaches, coconut butter, and chia seeds to create a total lush shake that is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I have both the recipe for the milk and the shake for you below thanks to sweet Lily for allowing me to share. To make it even more exciting, I am getting to give away a copy of the Kale and Caramel Cookbook today too! (See the entry rules below.) Let’s celebrate Lily today, and enjoy something as she would say, “for all five senses.” – xx
GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a copy of the Kale and Caramel Cookbook by leaving a comment below telling me your favorite way to use flowers or herbs in your recipes. Open to U.S. residents only. The contest will be open through next Tuesday evening, May 9th.
ORANGE BLOSSOM PISTACHIO MILK
From the Kale and Caramel Cookbook.
Makes about 3 cups.
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts, raw
3 cups of filtered water
1 tablespoon raw honey (or 1 pitted medjool date)
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla bean seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 pinches sea salt
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
The night before you want to make the milk, soak the nuts in 3 cups of water. After soaking for at least 8 hours, squeeze the pistachio meats out of their purplish-brown casings (can be skipped if in a hurry). Rinse the soft green nut meats, and place them in a high-powered blender with 3 fresh cups of filtered water.
Blend on high until completely smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing to remove every last ounce of liquid. Return the milk to the (rinsed) blender and add the honey (or date), vanilla, cardamom, salt, and orange blossom water. Blend for about 30 seconds, taste, and adjust any flavorings (sweetness/blossom water) as necessary.
NOTES: Lil’y original recipe calls for 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw honey, and only 2 1/2 cups of water when blending. This makes a much richer and sweeter milk, so feel free to use her measurements if that is more up your alley.
Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photos copyright © 2017, Lily Diamond.
PEACHY BLOSSOM SHAKE
Makes 1 serving.
Combine all of the above ingredients in a high speed blender. Turn the blender on low, and work its way up to high, letting it become super smooth (about 30 to 45 seconds). Taste and add more peaches for additional sweetness, or more ice cubes to thicken, as needed. Enjoy right away.
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