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Recipe testing madness & hot raw chefs

July 8, 2011

Hey guys! I know, I know, I still haven’t posted about my trip to Toronto in early June, my mini-trip to small-town Kansas the following week, OR my trip to Minneapolis last week. But I am one busy girl! I’m testing all 150 of my cookbook recipes – twice, in fact – in about a 3-4 week period. Whew!

With no helpers and, as you can see, a very tiny apartment kitchen with a terrible lack of counter space (my dehydrator lives on a cart next to my living room!), I feel like I’ve been doing dishes for weeks straight. Plus, I still have daily workouts to do, a nonstop flow of emails to attend to, social media pages to take care of, and this little blog to write, when I can find moments to post. Oh, and sleep, when I can manage it. My free time nowadays is nil, so forgive me if I’m less present than usual. It’ll all be worth it in the end!

Also, I was reminded this week that, oh yeah, I turn 26 on Sunday, so I suppose I should take a rest for that little thing called a “birthday.” I’m going to try to slow down the food prep for just a couple days to spend some quality time with Matt. (I’m sure I’ll still eek out a few recipes this weekend, though!)

I wanted to take a minute, however, to let you know that the next Hot Raw Chef Contest is going on right now! You know – the amazing competition I won with my video for raw caramel-fudge brownies that allowed me to get certified in Raw Food Nutrition at Living Light in May? This time, the contestants had to create a recipe with only 5 ingredients that can be made in 5 minutes or less.

Go check out this year’s contestants and vote for your favorite; there are so many great entries! I urge you to take an especially close look at the following chefs’ videos, all of whom I consider personal friends of mine and who I know are wizards in the kitchen:

* * * * *

Video #4 – Andrea Primm – Spicy Sunflower Seed and Bell Pepper PΓ’tΓ©: Andrea is a leading raw food chef and instructor in Wichita, Kansas, just across the prairie from KCMO.

Video #12 – Corinne Rice – Sweet Peach Pie w/Lavender Hazelnut Crust & Blueberry Lemon Sorbet: Corinne attended the 105degrees/Matthew Kenney Academy just a couple months after I did, and I got to meet and hang out with her in February.

Video #18 – Cristina Archila – Pear Napoleon w/Pistachio Crumble & Fig Confit: Cristina was my classmate in Level II at the 105degrees/Matthew Kenney Academy; we worked together on our academy specials. She’s an incredible raw food artist!

Video #19 – Robyn Law – Spicy Kelp Noodles: Robyn is a fellow 105degrees/Matthew Kenney Academy alum, and she’s one of the sweetest and most talented raw bloggers out there.

Video #20 – Shannon Marie – Banana N’ice Cream Split: Shannon Marie is a total magician with raw desserts, so you’ll want to see what she came up with here!

Video #26 – Kiersten Kerr – Watermelon Gazpacho: Kiersten was another of my classmates in Level II at the 105degrees/Matthew Kenney Academy. This girl’s energy and attitude can’t be beat.

Video #29 – Elizabeth Fraser – Blueberry Cobbler: Elizabeth is a prolific chef and raw food educator with a never-ending enthusiasm for all things raw!

Video #30 – Samantha Gibbs – Party Cucumbers: this awesomely “rawkin’ mom” dedicates herself to creating healthy treats for her family and teaching others to do the same.

* * * * *

So head on over to and help make someone else’s dream come true, the way you helped me! Voting ends July 15th.

Ok, I’ve already spent well over an hour writing this post, so I gotta go, but have a GREAT weekend!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2011 11:40 am

    Busy lady!! I’m so excited for your book though!! πŸ™‚ Wooo!! πŸ™‚

    Have fun and HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Sunday!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:22 am

      Thank ya, dear! πŸ˜€

  2. Kat M. permalink
    July 8, 2011 11:47 am

    doing dishes nonstop stinks! Our dishwasher recently took a poop and we are waiting on parts…it’s too hot to do dishes. Hope you enjoy yourself on your birthday. Wish things were less stressful! Excited to hear word on the recipe testers.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:22 am

      Ooh, not a good time for dishwasher troubles! Hope you’re staying cool(ish)!

  3. July 8, 2011 11:50 am

    Wow, you are a machine! I cannot believe how much work you’re doing yourself. That is gonna be one awesome book!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:23 am

      I can’t either…I’m trying not to think about it πŸ˜›

      I’m over the hump now, at least!

  4. July 8, 2011 3:05 pm

    Awww another Cancerian, I knew we’d get along πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the shout out girl, and YOU ARE A MACHINE!!! But it will all pay off as we all know. xxx

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:23 am

      High-fiver for Cancer! Er, that sounded wrong…the zodiac sign, not the disease…ok, you know what I mean.

  5. July 8, 2011 3:59 pm

    Happy Birthday to you, and you rock!

    I think you have even less counter space than I do currently (although I’ve had similar setups in the past).


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:26 am

      Wow, really? You seem to be the queen of consolidation; maybe I need some lessons from you! πŸ™‚

  6. July 8, 2011 5:16 pm

    still haven’t watched many of these…i can’t believe last time I watched them all!

    be careful with yourself don’t burn out. hopefully the end is in sight soon. thank you for the service you are doing for the raw/vegan community. i know it can be hard to be so busy but coming from a perspective where my body can’t physically do what you do, be grateful for the energy your body has and that you mind works well enough to get it done. and you will.

    happy early birthday!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:26 am

      I can’t believe you did either!

      You’re right, I am lucky just to have the opportunity and physical ability to be doing this. I’m very thankful. πŸ™‚

  7. Rachel Bighley permalink
    July 8, 2011 6:42 pm

    We share the same birthday! Keep up the good work!
    from Science of Raw Food Nutrition Classes

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:27 am

      Rachel! Happy late b-day πŸ˜€ Hope you and the fam are doing great!

  8. July 8, 2011 9:18 pm

    If there’s one thing Amber is capable of, it’s hard work and success. She’s a go-getter and thank you to all of you Almost Vegan supporters!

  9. Simone permalink
    July 8, 2011 10:39 pm

    Happy Birthday!!
    My husband, Jim, and my birthdays are both this Tuesday, July 12. I won’t mention how old we’ll be though πŸ™‚
    I did watch about 20 of the videos so far, but like you, spare time is nil now so I’ve had to postpone the final watching. I will check out the ones you mention again as I do recall all but one.
    I am looking forward to that cookbook. I was encouraging a young lady at the bank today to follow her passion. Then I told her about you when she confessed she was considering going to culinary school (now that she’s just graduated with her degree in Accounting!!).

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:29 am

      Happy belated birthdays to you and Jim both, Simone! Hope it was a great day.

      Good for you for encouraging the woman at the bank! I hope she does, because I know now that if you want something badly enough, you CAN make it happen. πŸ™‚

  10. July 9, 2011 7:08 am

    Yay birthday! I’m absolutely certain that Matt will be concocting a wonderful weekend of pampering and lovin’ and cherishing, and I only wish I could be there to add my two cents to the celebration of the wonderful day in which Amber-the-goddess-of-all-tiny-kitchens came into the world. In fact, I wish I could be there to do your dishes while you worked Oh, how I wish!

    Keep taking care of yourself my lovely, and it absolutely will be worth it! Can’t wait to see/hear/read about the world bowing before you as you do your first book tour πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:30 am

      We had a pretty low-key weekend, actually, but it was nice πŸ™‚

      Wait, you wanna do my dishes while I work? And why haven’t we gotten you a plane ticket yet? πŸ˜› Of course, I want you here for so many far more important reasons than that!

      • July 21, 2011 6:09 pm

        I just feel like that would be the best way to squeeze in hours of talking without distracting from your cookbook-goddesssery πŸ™‚ Plus, dishwashers totally get samples, right?

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          July 21, 2011 6:29 pm

          Absolutely! All you can eat πŸ˜€

  11. July 9, 2011 10:56 pm


    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:32 am

      Thanks, Mom πŸ™‚

  12. July 10, 2011 2:49 pm

    Happy birthday. Thanks for the mention. You’re incredibly sweet. Good luck with your recipe testing. That’s a lot of hard work.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:33 am

      You’re quite welcome! Best of luck in the contest.

  13. July 10, 2011 2:49 pm

    That’s so cute that your mom posted a comment, too πŸ™‚

  14. July 11, 2011 12:13 pm

    awesome!!!!! THANKS for the shout out!!! πŸ™‚ Super cool!! Happy birthday….it was my mom’s bday too!!!! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:33 am

      You’re welcome! Happy b-day to your mom too! πŸ˜›

  15. July 11, 2011 5:03 pm

    Sending you some happy & positive uncooking energy as you crank through your recipes! YOU GO, GIRL! And a Happy Belated Birthday too! Hope it was fabulous! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 21, 2011 11:35 am

      Thanks Elizabeth! Good luck to you in the contest!

  16. July 12, 2011 8:09 pm

    happy birthday…the cat is hilarious!!

  17. July 13, 2011 12:47 am

    Wow you sound busy with all that recipe testing. Hey you were in T.O.? Give me a shout next time you are there. I live about an hour a way. We could do lunch.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 13, 2011 9:51 am

      Yup, I was in Toronto a little over a month ago! I really enjoyed my time there, so I hope to come back in the future. If/when I do, I’ll let you know and maybe we can grab a bite!

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