Wishing you were here! #sanfrancisco #travel #vacay

I have what I’d call a “traveling uniform”. First of all, JEGGINGS are the greatest gift to women since cupcakes. So comfy and they look like jeans win/win! My Payless biker boots that should be retired but are so broken in that they feel like sneakers (also have sneaker-like insoles). Cotton shirt, a jacket because I’m always cold and a scarf (just in case I forget my sleep mask).
#travel #vacay #holiday

All packed and ready for my first holiday in 5 years. Heading to San Francisco and excited to climb the streets. I can’t help but feel like I forgot something.

Juicing for a healthy liver: beets, carrots & apples.
#naturalhair #teamnatural #vegan #vegetarian #juicing

V8 Style Smoothie

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When I became obsessed with tomatoes, I also started enjoying V8. When I really started paying attention to ingredients, I decided to buy the organic vegetable juice at my local grocer. Well, now, I’ve decided to take it even one step further by making it myself.

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It started with this tomato. Isn’t it beautiful? No, it’s not a Frankentomato, it’s from my local farm. This is what happens when you let vegetables do what they do. Of course, the ugly side to buying local…bugs. I had to throw out one of my tomatoes because a beetle made its residence in there. I know, I could have just cut that part out, but I have an involuntary irrational reaction to bugs.

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Here’s some more tomato porn. LOL

When I’m deciding on my recipes, I usually look at a few already made recipes and chose the one closest to my liking and then I will tweak it just a bit. I took this recipe from BigSisLilSis.com and used it as my starting point.

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To make the v8 Style Smoothie, I used:
2 celery stalks
2 organic carrots
1 large beefsteak tomato
2 garlic cloves
1/2 beet
1 lemon
1/3 cucumber
1-2 handfuls spinach
Kosher salt
Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper
Filtered water

Blend well. Place in cute bottles and enjoy. This made about 32ozs which I will be enjoying all week.

Today’s healthy snack that’s vegan & gluten free.
The crackers are homemade using @ohsheglows recipe that I tweaked a bit.
The dip I made using chick peas, carrots, celery, 2tbsp soft organic tofu, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, mustard, 2 garlic cloves, 1 lemon and pulsed in my food processor.
#vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #healthymeal #homemade

I’m so excited to be on the panel to discuss building an honest business. from @trialsntresses via @igrepost_app, Amazing Full guest panel revealed: @curlsandmo Seanna Kaye of @naturalhairdoescare @wondercurl @naturalpartnersincrime will all be in the building sharing how to build an HONEST successful brand / business in the natural hair community !!! Along with the fabulous @heygorjess as our VIP guest blogger!! Get your hands on tickets at tntendofsummerbash.eventbrite.com (early bird special ends soon!!) We have a few vendor slots left if you are interested send us an email at trialsntresses@gmail.com #nynaturals #trialsntresses #naturalhair #teamnatural #curlfriends #nycnaturals #naturalhairevent #luvyourmane

Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam

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Going gluten-free is hard, like really really hard when you crave burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches every now and then (yes, there are gluten-free buns, but it’s just not the same to me). The other thing that makes it hard? Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam. Ah, yes, my love of tomatoes turned into a delicious jam that is robust in depth and flavor. Think gourmet ketchup that is sophisticated and bold. Couple spicy smoked tomato jam to your burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches and you’ve created a meal that’s too yummy not to get seconds.

Because I am addicted to smokey flavors, I have amassed an arsenal of spices that have been smoked and will work on just about any food you want to give that bold flavor to. I also used all of these spices in my Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, but you don’t have to and can still get the flavor you’ll love. The beauty of home cooking, it’s always the way you like it.

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Liquid smoke. I am sometimes on the fence with this. I like it enough because it’s easy to use, but sometimes it changes the flavor of what I’m trying to make. But, it works well in tomato jam.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a Savory Spice Shop near you, I say go in there and stock up. I walked in and asked ‘What do you have that’s smokey?’ and the sales guy took me all around the store, had me sampling and sniffing their spices. They have an amazing selection of just about any spice you can imagine. I especially love the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke and use it to give my tofu a “meaty” flavor.

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Trader Joe’s has a nice spiced section and everything is priced right. Okay, Cayenne pepper isn’t smoked, but I used this for the spicy in my Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam recipe. Smoked Paprika is an absolute must if you love smokey flavors. I added boat loads of this. I also love the South African Smoke and use it on most of my veggies, especially when eating raw beefsteak tomatoes and avocado. If there is anything you have to make sure you need for your Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, I’d say the Smoked Paprika, Cayenne and sea salt.

To make Spicy Smoked Tomato Jam, you will need:

3-4 large beefsteak tomatoes (or 6 Roma tomatoes)
1/2 cup brown sugar (more or less depending on taste)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
sea salt (smoked optional)
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper
liquid smoke (optional)
smoked hickory seasoning (optional)

Chop the tomatoes coarsely, I wanted my jam to be chunky like a chutney, but you can chop it in the food processor if you want it to be more smooth. Chop the fresh garlic.

In a medium size pot on a medium heat, add olive oil, tomatoes, sugar, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, stirring occasionally. Add your seasonings and taste until it’s the flavor you want. Add more cayenne to make it more spicy. Allow to simmer until most liquid has cooked out of your jam and it’s a thick consistency.

Remove from the pot and into your canning jars. For the proper canning technique, you can read this.

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Vegetarian burger with Spicy Smokey Tomato Jam (using swiss chard).

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This right here will change your life! Sauteing peaches or nectarines in olive oil and black pepper adds sweetness to your grilled cheese.

Fun rainy day project. Use pipe cleaners to give your dolls a curly makeover. Soak the heads in hot water. Once hair is dry, voila!
#naturalhair #teamnatural #barbie

I’ve been craving BBQ, so I cut up organic (extra firm) tofu and fried in olive oil until it was crispy and then drowned it in BBQ sauce. I’m happy.
#tofu #vegan #vegetarian