Monday, December 29, 2014

Lavender & Lemon

Lemon & Lavender Raw Vegan Cheesecake
(original recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life) 

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup dates 

3 cups cashews (soaked over night) 
3/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup Maple/Agave mix 
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tbsp lavender 

1. place plastic wrap in 6-8 inch pan
2. blend crust ingredients together in food processor
3. place crust blend in the bottom of pan
4. blend filling ingredients together until creamy
5. put in refrigerator for 3-4 hours
6. enjoy 

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Yosemite was a graceful and an endearing experience. From the winding canyon roads to the snowy tree tops. From the intimate moments shared to the stories of people I had never met. Imagination to reality. Blessings to challenges. Conversations to silence. Love and moments of angst. Tumble weed throws, walnut pickings, inexpensive gas prices, Swedish villages, Cds on repeat, almost losings of phones, prayers, flat tires  and obvious meetings with the Lord. 

The drive got more beautiful as the road went further; as did the conversation. The forest green trees soon to be snow dipped branches as whiteness slowly crept in. The words coming from the mouths in our four wheel drive became warmer as the atmosphere grew colder. 
The scene, the conversation, the light. we got deeper, and it got more beautiful. 
it was all motion. I stood and watched the scenic forever of fog slowly fade away before my eyes. Every blink was a new revealing of the greater length of where my eyes could go, every blink was a different opportunity. I stood and watched Nate & Stefanie snap photos away; taking similar photos that countless people on this earth share and with those countless people, we have shared this view, we have shared the same foot prints- their cells fallen down on the ground for us to pick up and ours dusted off for the next to sweep away with a single step of the next being.
There I was, walking, standing, spinning. I've always wanted to be in the fog. With a sea of thick unknown whiteness hanging above my head. The idea of seeing creation, but not being able to hold it with out it running far ahead of me elegantly escaping my grasp. It's something visible, unlike the wind, yet you still can't carry it, or save it if you tried.  I thought more about it and then I told God that He was amazing.

A cold chill hit my face, we trekked on further into the vacant Yosemite, looking round thinking "this is real winter". We were in for our hike, and I felt the immediate challenge even before knowing how long, how high, how wide. It wasn't a physical challenge either, it was the challenge of my mind. 
When stefanie and I sought out for this adventure, we agreed that we were out to seek the Lord. Here I was feeling challenged, and I only was waiting for the Lord to reveal His first challenge to me. A challenge for the mind, something to think into and work out of. 
We came across a sign that told us not to pass, but we did. Previously joking that the only way people die on this hike is by breaking the rules. We kept going until we hit a point where you saw the waterfall from up above. We were given the option to head back or go forward. It seemed so close and I thought "it's RIGHT there, I can't give up now, no way". We pressed in and we were walking up stairs now, solid, steep and slippery stairs. We were getting closer and closer and the path was becoming narrower and narrower. I felt light headed for the first time in my life, I saw the square of my vision shift to the left and then shift back to the right and I backed up against the rock and looking out with only two or three feet to the left of the huge valley- that if I fell I would definitely die. I took an apple from my bag immediately and I took a breath. I felt better with a few minutes so we kept going.
As we inched to the end, we made friends with the birds, we sunk into the snow, and saw a great waterfall from above splash down into the forever down valley of Yosemite. We snacked by the river, embraced the crisp fresh air and headed back down feeling accomplished. As we headed down my shoes became incredibly wet, and my hands were cold to the bone from grasping onto each rock as I slithered down the path. Another mind challenge. 

A few more people, a few more moments and few cups of coffee happened before we headed back to our home for the last night. Achy, wet and tired, I never felt so weak. I collapsed in bed and denied the dinner date. My favorite moment of the trip came next, a special moment of angst between Stefanie and I. We argued about eating, about being dehydrated, about being weak, and about our basic needs. It might have been the first time where I felt to weak to meet my needs.  I giggled and grabbed a bottle of water. I didn't want to be difficult and Stefanie did have a good point that we barely ate anything upon working up a sweat the Yosemite valley. The water instantly made me better as Stefanie collected different colored and shaped eggs from our hospitable hosts who gathered them from out back. We laughed and talked about things like coconut oil and gluten, engaged conversation the roommate of the house, ate and was merry. He headed into the hot tub, saw the sparactic light scape from the pine filled village and slept soundly till the morning before our straight shot back home to Los Angeles. 

As I wrap up and conclude this blog, I hear His message clearly. My heart understand but my mind is too tired to spell out the words before you-- but if I had to relate it to anything maybe it would go  a little like this;

"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in the pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart interacts me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.  With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand"
Psalm 16: 5-11

That may be my conversation to Him, but His words to me would be some kind of inversed, neuron exciting and time consuming way. The way that takes effort to sit down and relay the message with my pen and paper.
I don't know, it's personal ;)