Water Kefir

I recently ordered some water kefir grains and was delighted when they arrived with a cute adoption certificate. I love the special touch you get when ordering from Etsy sellers.

In the past I have brewed Kombucha, Milk Kefir, and beer. Two of the three multiply like crazy and you end up on secret missions to deposit the extra scobys on neighbors porches under cover of the night.
I even posted extra grains on Craigslist and a kefir exchange list. The increased traffic to my house might have resembled another type of enterprise but, I swear it was totally in order to keep up with the proliferation of the cultured babies I was producing.

Culturing milk makes it easier to digest for many people.  I
 supported a local dairy farmer until she was shut down. It is not legal to sell unpasteurized milk to people for consumption. She had a loophole contract that said we were buying it for our pets consumption. Brilliant! When I was no longer able to purchase her raw milk I tried using store bought. I decided to retire my milk grains until I could find another local source.
A couple weeks ago I happened to purchase a bottle of water kefir from Kevita. Being the type of DIY foodie that I am, I decided I needed make my own water kefir! ASAP!

So here we are! I just got my newly adopted water kefir grains. I left some tap water out for 24 hours to fume off the chlorine in a mason jar and covered it with cheesecloth.
This morning I have stared my first batch and can not wait to experiment with flavor combos and secondary ferments!
I am starting simple -Water, Grains, and Organic Cane Juice.
Have any water kefir recipes to share? I am thinking turmeric and pineapple!

Cherry Hemp Nib Bars and a new beginning.

So many changes are ahead that I feel the need to get it all out there somehow.
My job of 7 years is coming to an end June 1st. I am so excited for the new opportunities that have been coming my way yet somehow I am a little sad to let go of what has been my life for so long.
As I go in to sign for my severance package my boyfriend will be 1000 miles away in another state starting his first day at his new job. The timing is uncanny! There is no time to think it through we are just moving forward.
I am nervous about leaving the pacific northwest and extremely excited to explore our new home-base of San Diego!
At the same time I have decided to build my own business! I have been fortunate enough to find a great entrepreneurial community here in Eugene. I have gotten so much support and advice from the members of my group. I am so grateful to the Fertilab program! I hope I can connect with a similar group down in San Diego.
As my job transitions I find myself gravitating back to the ideas that led me to create this blog in the beginning- testing and photographing recipes!
I can see by the title - Symphonious Sweets - and the content contained in earlier posts and the direction I now face with food that it is time for a new name. Something that can encompass more than the cakes and desserts that kicked off my early blogging. I love raw plant based foods. I want to share healthy recipes as well as decadent sweets.
Has anyone else gone through this with a blog? is it best to just start over? I love Symphonious Sweets for all the blog friends I met and the opportunities that came out of food blogging.

This recipe perfectly exemplifies my transitory state of mind! Sweet but healthy. Easy to pack. Quick to make.

Cherry Hemp Nib Bars
Hemp Seeds are considered a  complete source of protein, amino acids, and essential fats. The seeds are easy to digest and contain Omega 3s which can help with memory and cognition.
1/2   cup     pecans raw
3/4   cup     almonds raw
1/4   cup     dates, pitted
1/8     Tbsp   Hemp Seeds Raw
1/2   cup   Cherries, dried
1/4   cup   Cocao Nibs
1     tsp   vanilla extract
               water if needed

1   Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until pea size.
2   Add the pecans, dates, hemp, cherries and vanilla to the food processor.
3   Pulse the ingredients until it begins to hold together.
4   Toss in the nibs and pulse just to combine.
5   If the mixture is crumbly add up to 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse again.
6   If you add to much water you may add more pecans.
7   Press the mixture  into a plastic wrapped pan. I use a bread pan because I like thicker bars but any  pan will work.
8   Wrap the mixture and press some more!
9   Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Cut into bar sizes.
Processing Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes