Sincerely Carolina

recipes. lifestyle. fitness. fun.


Good Thing There's Always LOVE

by caroline

Ah, so yesterday took a turn for the seriously busy. In addition to all of the tasks I had to complete before the end of the day, I also had to deal with the patient.

Man, he is a piece of work.

But, alas, I am also superwoman. ;)

In between writing and fetching ice for the bed-ridden, I was able to experiment with my perfectly lovely mother's Vitamix and make cashew nut milk. Let me tell you, this baby is tasty — I am so excited that I nailed it on my first try! This recipe is easy peasy if you have the right kind of blender. And even if you don't have the pleasure of getting your hands on a Vitamix or something similar, you can use a regular blender and strain your milk through a nut milk bag. I have this guy from One Lucky Duck, and I use it when I don't have a Vitamix on hand. It helps to get rid of the pulp and make a smooth nut milk.

Here are the deets on the recipe … 

Cinnamon + Nutmeg Cashew Nut Milk (Inspired by Blueprint Cleanse's Cashew Milk)

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 4 cups of water (preferably filtered)
  • 1 Tbsp. agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon (or two)
  • Pinch of nutmeg 

Directions: Soften the cashews by allowing them to soak in water for about 45 minutes. Next, combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until thoroughly blended. If you are not using a blender that allows a smooth milk, set up your nutmilk bag, so that it sits on top of a container (choose one that is airtight and can be stored in the refrigerator), and strain the milk over the nutmilk bag, into the container. Drink within 4-5 days.

I am obsessed with cinnamon and nutmeg, so I threw it on in and it worked beautifully. I had some cashew milk with my homemade gluten-free granola this morning (see above) and it was heavenly.

Yesterday also involved preparing two different dinners — yes, two. You see, the thing is that sometimes a household with allergies or special food needs can be a little tricky. Sure, most of the time Dan and I can find pairings that work well together — he'll have a piece of chicken with veggies and rice, and I will just have the veggies and rice; or we make a GF chili that we both love; or sandwiches with the same fixins', but different bread.

But sometimes he just wants REAL pasta and I, of course, can't have that, so we do a split dinner. Last night was one of those night's, but this time I was the only chef in the kitchen.

Again, it's a good thing I love this patient. :D

I made Dan a simple stuffed manicotti. If you are allergy-free and want to have a go at it, here's the recipe:

Classic Manicotti

  • 1 box (about 8 oz.) of manicotti noodles
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 15-oz. container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh mozzarella cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil manicotti noodles for 7-8 minutes, drain and then set aside. While noodles are boiling, mix together ricotta cheese and eggs. Stir until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, basil, garlic and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread about a 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan and then set baking pan aside. Begin to stuff manicotti noodles with the prepared mixture and place side by side in the dish. Once complete, cover the noodles with remaining sauce and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

The dinner adventure was especially exciting for moi because I cooked up an extra-cool V-Spot special highlight: Pink Rice. I found this yumm-a-licious grain during my McGinnis Sisters extravaganza the other day and decided to give it a shot. How holiday appropriate, right?

O.M.G. — this rosy baby is my new rice obsession. It has a wonderful smooth, nutty taste, and a nice weight to it. Definitely fills the tummy!

You can't necessarily tell that the rice is pink, but it is. No, it's not like food-dyed, Easter egg pink, but it has a nice rosy color and even turned the water a pretty "pink" hue. Check this out for more information about this tasty grain. And if you are not near a grocer that sells it, then you can always purchase it here.

So, our dinners ended up looking like this, in true his and hers style:

Today I am working on making my own flour in the Vitamix and also perfecting a tasty gluten-free dessert that is the cutest thing ever because of the way it's served up.

Finally, I leave you with the sweet kitty shot of the day. These brothers are soul mates. How's that for showing a little love? Ah, so sweet …