The Buttery Blog

Everything's better with butter.

80 Lemons May 30, 2009

Filed under: health/diet — butteryblog @ 6:08 pm
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Master Cleanse5 lbs. organic lemons
1 Jug Grade B Maple Syrup
Cayenne Pepper
The best water you can find

I picked up my ingredients at the Whole Foods in Union Square. As the cashier was scanning them, she said, “Oh, you’re doing that…thing…yeah, my friend did it and her face totally broke out. Good luck!” That “thing” was the Master Cleanse. I thought it fitting for my first entry on The Buttery Blog, to write about not eating food.

I first heard about the Master Cleanse many years ago. To me, it sounded like torture. Nothing but water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper? Not really my cup of tea.

To give you a little background: when I first moved to NYC, I started having horrible digestive issues. Mostly intense bloating, that I would (not-so-fondly) describe as my “alien baby.” I went to many doctors. One said, try not eating broccoli. One told me to cut out dairy. Another told me to try Beano. But no one had a definite answer. No one knew for sure what was causing my problem. I felt completely out of control and pretty miserable. Deep down I felt that at least part of it was stress—the stress of graduating, moving to one of the biggest cities in the country and officially starting my adult life.

After a few years, the intensity of the symptoms lessened, but they were always there. They just became my “normal,” something I lived with. Within the last few months, I kept thinking to myself that I wanted to do a cleanse. I didn’t really know what a cleanse was, but I intuitively felt it was what my body needed. As a friend described it to me, our digestive system takes up so much energy that the body rarely has any leftover energy to heal, or even just maintain things.

Within days, I ravenously read The Complete Master Cleanse by Tom Woloshyn and was on my way to cleansing.

Day 1 (Saturday)

I squeezed lots of lemons by hand and had my first taste of the “lemonade.” Not the best lemonade in the world, and with the cayenne pepper burning my lips, I was worried what I had gotten myself into. I made a list of all the things I could do that didn’t require eating, like reading a book, getting a pedicure, going to a museum. Mostly, though, I just slept. My mind was conjuring up cookies, bowls of pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, and sleep was my tactic of choice to avoid it.

Day 2 (Sunday)

Determined not to sleep away my whole weekend, I got my toes painted a fancy shade of “Watermelon.” I even ventured to the Lower East Side and met a friend at the Tenement Museum—something I had always wanted to do, but just “never had the time.” It was miserably hot that day and afterwards I craved an iced chai, an ice cream cone, a margarita and guacamole–anything I could get my hands on. For about 30 seconds I tried to convince myself and my friend that maybe this wasn’t the best time to do a cleanse. I hadn’t really prepared myself for it. I hadn’t written down all the things I wanted to “heal.” I hadn’t given myself affirmations for situations like this when I wanted to give up. Luckily my friend snapped me out of this foolish talk. So I promptly got on the subway to go home, and climbed into bed, where it was safe again.

Day 3 (Monday)

The cleanse at work, without the comfort of my bed. And, no matter what, when you’re at work, you can always count on food to comfort if you need it. I was stripped down emotionally, a little jittery. By the afternoon, though, I felt pretty darn amazing. Even though I had low energy, it was very focused. Focused on the present—each moment unfolding perfectly into the next. I had surprised myself.

Day 4 (Tuesday)

Today was when the cleansing process really started to happen. I felt kind of sick and nauseous, but, ironically, was so overjoyed. I really felt like something significant was happening. I was “letting go”—in more ways than one!

Day 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday)

After my breakthrough on Tuesday, I felt an indescribable flow of energy in my body. I was a lot happier, becoming aware of how much I use food as comfort and even procrastination. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve decided to bake cookies as my way of procrastinating!

Day 7 (Friday)

Even though the recommended minimum is 10 days on the Master Cleanse, I woke up this morning and felt like today should be my last day. I had dropped 9 pounds. I felt lighter and more energetic. The heaviness in my belly that was a normal feeling had gone away.

Fast Forward 3 Weeks

It has been 3 weeks since finishing the cleanse. My palate has become more adventurous. I am tasting and enjoying food and new flavors. I am able to appreciate the social (and comfort) aspect of food, but am also increasingly aware of what I put into my body, how it makes me feel, and then how I let it go. Without going into great detail (you’ll thank me for this!), my digestive system is a lot happier and there have been significant changes. Not surprisingly, the belly area and digestive system is linked energetically to our feelings of security, creativity, and self-confidence. I mean, seriously, who’s gonna feel confident and ready to take on the world when they have a perpetual tummy ache, right? With such change in a week, I plan to make the Master Cleanse a regular “spring cleaning.”

♦ Buttery B

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Red Velvet

Filed under: Desserts — butteryblog @ 1:25 am
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Blue Velvet

Blue Velvet

When we were trying to name this blog, we briefly considered the name, Red Velvet Armadillo. I loved it for a few reasons.

1. I love red velvet cake more than almost anything else.
2. I love the movie, Steel Magnolias. I cannot not watch it when I see it on television. I cannot not cry. And I absolutely cannot not say the lines along with the actors. It’s like I’m a 12 year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert.
3. I love the tagline, “Nothin’ like a good piece of ass!” I love the word “ass”. And it’s true- there isn’t.

Since I love Red Velvet cake, I’m always on the search for a good recipe. So when I found this one at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, I knew I had to try it. All I needed was an excuse…. enter Memorial Day. I felt like adding a little bit of a twist so I made one batch of red and one of blue velvet. Same recipe, just replace the red food coloring with blue.

So here’s the recipe (adapted from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Her Savannah Table by Selma Wilkes at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody):

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 to 3 TBSP cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
5/8 ounce bottle red food coloring
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the eggs, sugar, oil and vinegar. Sift the cake flour, baking soda, and cocoa together. Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients while beating. Slowly add the buttermilk. Let it incorporate (I love when Emeril says that) and then add sour cream. While still beating, add the vanilla and the food coloring. Pour into cupcake pans and bake for 10-15 minutes. They’re done if they bounce back after you press them. Makes 12-15. *The sour cream was my addition and upon reflection, it’s probably not necessary. The cake would have been pretty moist without it. I hate that word- moist.

Red Velvet Cake Frosting
1(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
1 (1 pound) box confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the cream cheese and butter and melt over very low heat. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix well. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a little milk. One recipe covered both batches of cupcakes. *The pictures make this look like a glaze. That’s what happens when you leave cupcakes in the sun for 15 hours. But it worked.

This seemed to go over pretty well among the Memorial Day crew. I was a fan. I don’t know if it will become my definitive Red Velvet recipe, but it’s definitely in the top three.

I love you more than my luggage,
Ms. Butterpants

P.S. The cupcakes are housed in a Cupcake Courier.  I do not get kickbacks, but I am a superfan.  You can get it at Williams-Sonoma.

Red Velvet

Red Velvet

 

Loquat Chutney May 22, 2009

Filed under: Fruit & Veg — butteryblog @ 8:37 pm
Tags: ,

Loquat Chutney

I have a loquat tree in my backyard. If you are anything like me, you have no idea what a loquat is or what one could do with a tree full of them. Well, Wikipedia is more than happy to tell you for free. They’re a bit too tart to eat straight off of the branch (my dog disagrees; he will do all manner of tricks for a loquat), so I looked for a recipe and found a relatively simple one for loquat chutney. Having never made chutney before, I was intrigued. As it turns out, chutney is easy to make and pretty darned tasty–a pleasing combination of sweet and spicy. It goes on everything from grilled pork to cheese and crackers.

 

 The following recipe has been altered slightly from the original, which I found Recipezaar. I apologize in advance for the metrics, but my digital scale conveniently converted everything for me. This marks the first time in two years that I have used my digital scale.

 

Prep time: 1 hr/Total time: 2 1/2 hours

Makes 2.5 liters

 

650 g pitted loquats

4 large apples

300 g dried apricots

300 g ginger

1 tbsp mustard seed

450 g sugar

700 ml cider vinegar

2 tsp salt

2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

 

 Trim the stem and flower end of the loquats. Remove the stones and any membrane between the stones. The loquats brown a little on the cut edges but regain their colour when cooked. Loquats do not need to be peeled.

 

Peel and cube the apples. Cut the apricots into strips. Peel and cut the ginger into julienne strips.

 

Crush some of the mustard seeds to release the flavour but leave the majority whole.

 

Put all the ingredients into a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about an hour and a half until the apple is cooked to a pulp. Stir occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

 

At this point you can jar them if you’re into such things or just put it into a Tupperware and stick it in the fridge, which is more my speed.

 

GRADE: B

 

♥Lady Butterbuns

 

Hello world! May 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — butteryblog @ 7:41 pm

More to come soon!