movin’ on up / chocolate cake

November 3, 2010

Yup, I’m on the move.  Please come check out the sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, GUILT-FREE goodness that is “un-refined“.  I love this new blog, and think you will too!  Won’t you please check it out and subscribe so we can stay in touch?

Meanwhile, know that for breakfast today I had oats with almonds, fruit and kale just like I do every morning, that I’m closing in on 60 Days Sucre Libre, and that I’d love to be Friends with you on Facebook!

And if you’re so inclined, I’ve got a six pack of amazing un-refined dessert recipe eCards available via my website – wouldn’t it be fun to do this holiday season without sugar, gluten, dairy or GUILT?  I sure think so.  They’re only $3.99 – a small one time cost for countless joyful indulgences!

PS:  that gorgeous celebratory chocolate cake is what I made for Eric’s birthday last week – it’s utterly un-refined and utterly delicious.  Recipe coming soon to the un-refined blog, so go there subscribe now! It’s free.  It’s fun.


retreat wrap up

October 30, 2010


Hey Y’all.  Cleaning out the camera, and owe you an update on the Fall Cleanse Sugar Detox I hosted a couple weeks ago in Rehoboth Beach.  It was such a good time.  We had a fantastic group, we were all well fed and well rested…  And for my next feat, I’ll be hosting a week long getaway in Salento, Italy, slated for May 2011.  Do get yourself signed up for my newsletter so you get the detail updates as they are finalized, and start saving your Euros so you can join us in May.  It’s going to be fabuloso!


Breakfasts: quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats, cinnamon, ginger, poppyseed, orange zest; lemon water; apples with cinnamon and pineapple with fresh tarragon. This is a cleanse?  This is sugar free?  Sign me up, I should be so lucky to eat this well everyday.

Lunches: fresh veggies, olives, pickles, collard wraps, lentil dal, roasted turnips. Again, this is probably the best food I eat all year.  It’s fresh, it’s delicious, it’s sugar, gluten, dairy and guilt free.  Love it.

Dinners: indian spiced black eye pea “gravy”, roasted potatoes, curried butternut squash soup, broiled tomatoes, kale ceviche. Enough on the “it was delicious”.  If you want any of these recipes, let me know.  Too happy to share the goodness.

The Peeps: we did a little yoga, we all got massages, we all helped cook dinner Saturday night, there were bike rides and vision board creations and naps and lots of fun talk and laughter.  Seriously, you simply must come in May.

october wrap up

October 30, 2010


Good Googily.  I haven’t blogged in so long that WordPress kicked me off auto-entry and I had to remember my user-name and password.  That hurts.  It’s only been a couple weeks, and it’s the first time in over two years I missed more than three days that I didn’t go back and do catch up.   But, as the missed days went by and my camera filled with photos of everything I ate, and I got more and more stressed out about falling behind with blogging a quiet, still voice that I hardly recognize as mine whispered:  “who’s in charge of that?”.  I had to concede that I’m the boss of this project, it’s me, and I can break the rules, change the rules, throw the rules right out the window, if I want.  How liberating is that?


The big news is that I’ve started a new blog – UnRefined Living.  It’s a place for me to post all the great recipes, product show and tells and restaurant reviews I’ve been doing – all sugar, gluten, dairy and guilt free!  Last week I made marshmallows, you simply must check it out!  Go ahead and subscribe to that one.  As you may sense, my endgame is to wrap up this blog and get really rockin’ on the whole Un-Refined empire.  Awesome.


Oh, by the way:  That’s 38 days Sucre Libre, my friends.

Breakfast: lemon water; oats, quinoa, pear, cinnamon, ginger, arugula; traditional medicinals chai. In the Happy Bowl, it makes everything taste beter.

Lunch: ham and cheese panini; potato chips; kale and corn; nettle tea. Had half  a panini left over from the day before, and let’s face it: the best part of a panini is that warm and gooey inside with the crispy grilled outside.  So of course I had to bring my George Foreman to the office to re-create the fresh grilled magic.  Now the office smells like grilled ham and cheese.  Not a bad thing.

Dinner: garlicky kale; fried catfish; beets, Brussels Sprouts with bacon. Ah, dinner at Whole Foods.  Love it.

cleanse day .5, 10/15

October 16, 2010


Ah, the Fall Cleanse.  This time, the fourth I’ve hosted one, I’m calling it the Sugar Detox Fall Cleanse, cause, hey, if you’re going to be leaving out the sugar for a week you should get credit for that, right?  Bonus, we’re doing the first weekend as a beach retreat.  We launched with dinner, it was divine – the best food I’d had all day, really.


Breakfast: lemon water, traditional medicinals chai, oats, almonds, scrambled egg, gluten free muffin.  The muffin was the recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free breakfast porridge blend – and was wickedly delicious.  I’ll make these at home, for sure.



Lunch: white bean and collard soup; curried chicken salad with grapes on pumperknickel. Was so excited to go to Greenman, one of my favorite Rehoboth eateries, but was disappointed.  Had to salt everything,  just no flavor there – and the curried chicken salad was woefully lacking curry.  Maybe it was just an off day there, but the whole vibe was lack luster.

Snack: chocolate coconut fudgesicle. Run, do not walk to get yourself one of these.  Who knew?  Agave sweetened, rich, creamy and delicious, I have a new sugar/gluten/dairy/guilt-free indulgence.  It was like a frozen mounds bar.  I’ll write about it and the others I discover at, check it out and let me know what yummy treats you’ve found!


Dinner: savory nut pate and crudites; spaghetti squash with marinara; cauliflower with crushed red pepper and black olives; garlicky swiss chard. Oh my goodness.  I turned my will and my recipes over to Angie here at the Delaware Inn and she did a bang up job. This dinner was delicious and satisfying and I was so happy!


Dessert: frozen banana. Another fabulous smooth, cold and creamy treat – from Annie’s Banannies here in Rehoboth.  It’s just a frozen banana run through a juicer.  Delicious, decadent, very very filling.

That’s Day 27, Sucre Libre!

traveling thursday, 10/14

October 14, 2010


Still not back on top of planning my meals, unless you count my fiendish plan to hit Grotto’s in Rehoboth for dinner tonight.  The best laid plans, as they say…  I didn’t get my pizza.  Things got weird around lunchtime, and I the pizza plan had to be set aside for another time.  It all worked out for the best, though, I mean, look at my dinner.  I love food.


Breakfast: lemon water; oats, almonds, almond milk, ginger, cinnamon, plum, mixed greens; traditional medicinals chai. This looks pretty normal, except that I ran out to get the greens at 6am, which is just insane.  What’s really insane is that I had to wait in line to pay for them.  Why is there a line at the grocery store at 6am?  Makes no sense to me.


Lunch: decaf; decaf with soy; dong quai tea; nettle tea; prosciutto and mozzarella on ciabatta with balsamic and spring mix.  So this is where my pizza plan got overturned, when I realized I was pretty much eating pizza for lunch.  Cured meat and cheese on white bread…  No way I could do that to my body twice in one day.  Not if I wanted to feel like anything more sentient than a slug tomorrow.  I was framed, though.  I stopped at the Whole Foods Annapolis to get tomato soup and a grilled cheese.  I was very clear on what I wanted, it was raining and that just sounded like the perfect lunch.  They don’t have a panini grill there, though, and the little sandwich guy behind the deli counter was so apologetic for that and then so cloyingly eager to please that I couldn’t derail him.  That sandwich was custom made right down to the bread he had to run over to the bakery to get for me.  They didn’t have tomato soup, either, but there was no little soup guy to fall all over himself trying to help me.  Oh well.

Snack: 1/2 carob brownie, water. I didn’t eat the banana, and I only ate half the brownie. It’s an interesting thing, sweetened with rice syrup, all oat flour and carob – somehow way too sweet for me.  Furthermore, that little brick of all natural un-refined goodness is 425 calories.  That’s enough to make me wince, and I have a life philosophy of not counting calories.  All that said,  I remain Sucre Libre, Day 26.


Dinner: butternut bisque with meyer lemon creme fraiche; apple and fennel salad with bacon and goat cheese; mussels with andouille and lemon cream. Oh my goodness.  I love Salt Air.  You simply must check it out if you’re ever in Rehoboth Beach.  This dinner was divine, all off the appetizer menu.  The soup was some of the best I ever had.  It was served a bit too hot.  That’s the only complaint I have for the meal.  I never thought I’d say it, but I’m glad I didn’t go for pizza.


organic wednesday, 10/6

October 6, 2010


It’s not my style to tell you what you ought to do… yeah right, who am I kidding?  I love to tell people what to do.  So here’s a strong suggestion.  Make yourself a big pot of oatmeal.  Cook it up with two dates (pits removed) and an orange’s worth of zest.  Have it for breakfast that day, and then store the leftovers in the fridge, to heat and serve one bowlful at a time each morning throughout the week.  By the time it’s half way done the flavors will have melded and you will have a sweet, orange-y breakfast treat that will taste for all the world like – I kid you not – Pillsbury pop and fresh Orange Breakfast Rolls.  If you are anything like me, this will fill you with joy, because you loved those things as a kid and you’re a little sad to have grown up and have read the label and decided there was no way you’d ever be able to eat them again, even though it’s so much fun to pop the can and spread on the frosting.  Yup, if you’re anything like me, this date-sweetened, orange-zest-flavored oatmeal is going to make you very, very happy.


Breakfast: lemon water; oats, almonds, orange zest, date, peach, spinach; traditional medicinals chai.


Lunch: nettle tea, dong quai tea; field greens with beets and chevre; shrimp and polenta over ratatouille; fresh fruit; gingerale; decaf. Fabulous lunch and great company at Restaurant Nora, a Lunch and Learn hosted by The Women’s Center.  All organic, mostly locally sourced and lookee, lookee, I asked for a no-refined-sugar dessert and lookee my gorgeous fruit plate!  That’s Sucre Libre, Day 17, baby.

Snack: orange tea, ginger tea, mint tea, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie (homemade, no refined sugar).


Dinner: scrambled eggs with spinach, parsley, tomato; toast with butter; st. johns wort tea. Okay, I burnt the life out of my dinner, you caught me.

terrible tuna tuesday, 10/5

October 6, 2010


Oh dear lord I’m going to be so careful for the next few hours until breakfast, please oh please don’t let tonight’s dinner be my last meal on earth.  I’m going to avoid traffic, cutlery, the bathroom – these are all the places random fatalities occur most often, statistically speaking.  I’ve gotta stay safe.  No sir, that from-the-back-of-the-fridge tuna salad simply cannot be my last meal.  I know I probably won’t get to choose, please god, what I do get for that last meal, when it inevitably happens like, sixty years from now, but note to file, if I could choose it would be:  Grilled Eggplant and Prosciutto Pizza from Cafe Petito’s in Dupont (closed a decade ago) and a pint of Haagen Dazs Macadamia Brittle Ice Cream (discontinued in 2008) (r.i.p.).  Hey, we’re fantasizing here, right?  So what would you want for your last meal?


Breakfast: lemon water; oats, almonds, orange zest, dates, spinach, apples; traditional medicinals chai.

Lunch: nettle tea, dong quai tea; garlicky kale, brussels sprouts with bacon and onion, butternut soup, pulled pork, curried cauliflower; ginger people lemon soother. Met Kathleen at Whole Foods for lunch, actively brainstorming some kind of workshop for our “Fibre and Fiber” collaboration – knitting and cooking – who wouldn’t want to come to that class?

Dinner: tuna salad; avocado, carrots, spinach, apple cider, st. john’s wort tea.  This is the lowliest, loneliest, most loveless dinner I’ve ever had.  Egads.  Meanwhile, that wraps up Day 17, Sucre Libre, my friends.

this is why I don’t like mondays, october 4

October 5, 2010


Okay, so coming off a glorious weekend, emotionally and meteorologically,  is a serious drag.  Kinda crashed and burned with the whole thing:  the gloomy weather, back to the grind, the grind not panning out as planned and having too much unstructured time on my hands, the change in hormone levels, etc, etc…  it was a less than lovely day and I’m glad it’s over.  Highlight:  Day 16, Sucre Libre.  Hurrah.


Breakfast: lemon water; oats, almonds, orange zest, apples, spinach; traditional medicinals chai.  And it’s cold.  Did I mention the cold?  Like 62 for a high, overcast if not drizzling, the kind of damp that sinks right into my bones.  No heat at home nor office.  Miserable.

Lunch: nettle tea, dong quai tea; ginger people lemon soother; brussels sprouts with bacon, kale with garlic; pretzel roll; butternut squash soup. Okay, so that roll was indeed refined white flour and probably not the best choice, but it was so fresh is was cool inside and those little chunks of kosher salt made me happy.  Any port in a storm.

Dinner: scrambled eggs, sausage, whole grain wheat toast with butter.

Dessert: broiled grapefruit, plain yogurt with honey; st. john’s wort tea. Watched HIMYM, and then got on the phone with family and friends.  Also updated my list of “songs to get” which hitherto had been comprised of random sticky notes and scraps of paper.  Feel good about getting that straightened up.

BBQ and chocolate chip cookies, fri/sat/sun 10/1-3

October 4, 2010


Okay, so let’s just get up to speed here.  I’ve been out of town, enjoying the scenery and stories of Jonesborough, Tennessee’s 38th Annual Storytelling Festival.  This was my second year.  Love it.  The weather was fabulous, the company was good,  I got to stay in a hotel… I’m still working on how to get good food in me when I’m away from home, but I think I did pretty well, all things considered.  We hit Earth Fare in Johnson City for most meals, love that place.  All things considered, today is Day 14, Sucre Libre. I’ll just give you the highlights here:


Breakfasts: oatmeal, eggs, bacon, toast with butter and honey, goat yogurt with granola, fruit; lemon water; traditional medicinals chai. No matter what I can get that lemon water by taking lemons with me – although I forgot a knife Eric got creative with some bit of plastic hotel propaganda.

Lunches: black bean burrito; half a salad with dried fruit and nuts / half a cuban sandwich; half a cup of tortilla soup / half a hummus sandwich. I really craved sandwiches, just wanted to sink my teeth into something.

Dinners: BBQ pork, coleslaw, fries; potato pancake, tilapia, butternut squash, kale; dumplings, fried rice, steamed veggies.

Desserts / Road Trip Snacks: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies; potato chips, cheese curls, lime ginger cider; pickled grapes, decaf soy latte, chocolate almond cups. It was a road trip, people, there had to be cheese curls, I mean, c’mon.  I brought my own refined-sugar-free cookies since I knew the hotel would put out trays of their own tempting warm ones in the evening.  “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.  That’s right.

eat club thursday, 9/30

October 1, 2010


What better way to wrap up a long month then a fancy dinner out with friends?  Tonight was the rebirth of “Eat Club”, my idea to do a monthly eating-outing for anyone who wants to come along.  We signed up for the Market to Market offering at Poste Brasserie, but with the torrential rain in DC very few of the farmers’ market vendors showed up, so that put a mini-kabash on the festivities.  We had a good time anyway, and take a look at that food!


Breakfast: lemon water; oats, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, almond milk, spinach, apples; traditional medicinals chai.

Lunch: nettle tea; tuna on toast, tomatoes and avocado with dulse, chips, strawberries, melon.

Snack: cocoa del diablo. Rainy days mean hot chocolate.  This one is refined-sugar free and mighty rich and oh so tasty.  Posted the recipe on Twitter, if you can believe that, @jenniferquips.

Dinner: I’ll give you a run down and a cavalcade of pictures.  It was all locally sourced and delicious.  Oyster, beef carpaccio, beef tartare, quail egg, brioche, salmon tartare, creme fraiche.  Heirloom tomato gazpacho with dijon mustard ice cream.  Cream of celery soup and shaved root vegetables with coriander.  Salmon on salsify with mushroom consumme.  Braised goat on polenta.  Cheese tray.  Roasted plums with lavendar and creme fraiche. Is it wrong that I wrote all that from memory without looking at the pictures?  That dessert was special for me, no refined sugar and frankly, ridiculously delicious.  I win.

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