Chocolate and Vanilla Gluten-free Cakes

Cindy and I saw an owl- which flew right in front of her jeep going down the hill, and then through a tree. A big, beautiful, white- wing-stretched owl. What if she hadn’t left her house at the moment she did, stopped for me on the road, gone exactly that speed limit. I often marvel at such things.

Recipe of the Day – Chocolate and Vanilla Gluten-free Cake Mixes

Chocolate Cake Mix
1 c. gluten-free flour (157 g)

1/2 tsp.  xanthan gum (unless your blend already contains it)

7/8 c. (70 g) cacao powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/8 c.(225 g) coconut sugar or panela

 Vanilla Cake Mix
1 1/2 c. gluten-free flour

3/4  tsp. xanthan gum (unless your mix has it already)

1/2 c.  haba or fine coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. coconut sugar

Then add to either mix:

3 T. coconut oil

3 eggs , or 3 T. chia seeds soaked in 6 T. water

1 c. water

Directions:

 For either mix, place all of the ingredients for that mix in a large bowl and whisk well. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line 18 of the wells of two standard 12-cup muffin tins or 9-inch cake pan and set it aside. Transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl and create a well in the center. Add the oil, 3 eggs and  water, mixing to combine well. Fill cupcake tin seach 2/3 of the way full, or transfer all the cake batter to the prepared 9-inch pan. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 19 minutes for cupcakes; about 28 minutes for the cake). Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes one 9-inch cake or about 18 cupcakes.
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • Ingredients:
    1/3 c. soaked dates (reserve the date water to make the frosting more creamy, if needed.)
    1 tsp. olive oil
    1 T. carob/cacao powder
    dash salt and vanillaDirections: Cream in a personal blender. Put on top of cake.
  • Word of the Day – vi – I saw
  • Tip of the Day – Using water in your gluten-free cake mix, makes it much lighter than milk or milk powder. I’ve been doing it for about 20-30 years!

DIY Stevia Liquid

When you’re in a country without your mainstays, you’re sometimes so dang grateful when someone comes along with a solution. I’ve been begging people from the States, whenever they come, to bring me a bottle of Liquid Stevia, right? And now, someone told me yesterday how to make my own! “Give me the recipe immediately,” I said, without qualms. And he did! This one isn’t found on the Net, as everyone uses alcohol, and I didn’t want to. So it’s very fresh!

Recipe of the Day – DIY Stevia Liquid

Ingredients:

4 c. dried stevia leaves

Directions:

Pick leaves off stevia plant, discard the stems. Wash the branches/leaves in clean water. and dry the leaves for 12 hours in the sun or dehydrator. Put the leaves in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature until it’s simmering, and then let it reduce until about a 1/3 of liquid remains. Taste and see if it’s sweet enough. If not, you can reduce some more. Strain the stevia out of the liquid and store in dark-colored glass bottles. Keep refrigerated.

  • Word of the Day – pais – country
  • Tip of the Day – Add flavoring if you like, to the different bottles, but nothing fresh, like fresh orange juice that will sour. You’d have to use pure vanilla or other pure extracts. You can keep the discarded leaves and put them through your juicer when you’re juicing something else. Sure makes green juice sweet!

 

Gluten-Free Cherry Crumble

Oh my gosh, I was sweating about my electric bike tires. They’re getting so bald, and no shop here or Cuenca or Loja had them. Well, My friends told me about this new store in Quito – Electrobikes. And they sent me the tires already, for only $12 shipping !!!! Holy schmoly. I am so happy. They said it would take 3 working days but it actually took 5. Not bad!

Recipe of the Day – GF Cherry Crumble

Ingredients

  • 5 c. chopped, pitted cherries
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 T chia seeds

 Topping

  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 1/2 c. rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. coconut sugar, panela or stevia
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, hardened
 Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine cherries, honey and chia
  3. Add to a large baking dish or skillet
  4. In a separate bowl combine oat flour, rolled oats,  sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Add in coconut oil and using hands combine to form a crumbly “pea-like” consistency.
  6. Sprinkle crumble on top of cherries, coating the entire top.
  7. Bake for 45 mins or until top has browned slightly.
  8. Serve warm.

Word of the Day – llantas calvas

Tip of the Day – Serve with banana ice cream.

Mary’s Mac and Cheeze

I happily used some of my yoga money to get a headlamp, for when I ride my bike in the dark. Did you know what the red light is for? Say the headlamp people, “Red lights are used in photography dark rooms, military bunkers, submarines, and anywhere you might find yourself working in the dark. It gives you light to see by, while at the same time keeping your eyes adjusted for the dark.” Cool, huh!

Recipe of the Day – M’s Mac n’ Cheeze

Cook and drain a 14 oz. bag of whole grain noodles

Blend:

1 cup of soaked and drained cashew pieces

1/2 cooked large sweet potato

1/2 onion 

About 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

Pepper

Sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes 

Combine blended mixture in large bowl with desired amount of:

Diced cilantro fresh

Chopped spinach

Chopped broccoli

Add noodles to bowl and mix well. 

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes till hot through. 

Word of the Day – lampara – lamp

Tip of the Day – Use zucchini noodles for a gluten-free option.m says, “Cashew sauce by itself seems bland. You won’t taste half a sweet potato. It turned out good. And tastes kind of like Mac and cheese though it’s been a long time since I had any.”

Mary Delaney

 

M’s Zucchini Pasta with Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Every night at dusk, just when it turns too dark to see, I hear an ear-piercing shriek from a bird outside. He comes just in front of the window, then to the side of the house, then farther out, always in the same pattern. Even when my daughter was here, I would say, “What in the heck is that!” as it did it’s nightly call. And you know what it is, according to the Peterson Guide to Field Sounds, and the recording at the Macaulay Library? A Great Horned Owl! Wow! Okay, I will complain about the high pitch no further. But I have my flashlight near the door, ready to catch it in my sights. It’s supposed to call on a regular basis at least through December and january. Perfect!

Recipe of the Day – Zucchini Pasta with Mushroom-Tomato Sauce

Raisin-Walnut Brownies with Coconut Frosting

 I made these two little desserts for a friend. One avocado lime pie and raisin-walnut brownies with coconut frosting.

Recipe of the Day – Raisin Walnut Brownies with Coconut Frosting
INGREDIENTS:

1 c.  walnuts
1 c. raisins

1/3 c. cacao powder
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until mixture starts to form a ball. Press into  a square or round glass dish. Freeze until firm. Slice. This may be kept refrigerated or frozen.

Frosting:

3/4 c. coconut cream

1/4 c. coconut water

2 grains salt

1/8 c. panela, coconut sugar or sweetener of choice

Pinch vanilla powder or /4 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions. Blend.

Word of the Day – cortés – polite

Tip of the Day – You can cut the recipe way down when you just want a little bit. And these are so rich, you sometimes just want a couple bites. Perfect.

Cabbage Rolls

When I want to feel rich, and it may sound silly, but I go through my sock bag. Seriously! My daughter bought me so many new athletic socks, I feel rich!

Recipe of the Day – Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

Directions:

Boil cabbage leaves in a pot of water for 2 minutes; drain.

  1. In large bowl, combine 1 cup cooked rice, flax or eggs and spices.Place mixture in center of each cabbage leaf, and roll up, tucking in ends. Place rolls in slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together tomato sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls.
  3. Cover, and cook on Low 8 to 9 hours.

Word of the Day – calcetines – socks

Tip of the Day – Count your socks, count your blessings!

Gluten-free Poppy Seed Cake

I had some endearing Korean artists as guests in the casita. They grow poppy fields in Korea! I introduced them to another Korean-speaker here, and everyone was happy. The last night they were staring in the darkness at a big frog, and then at the fireflies and trying to get a good picture on their phones, laughing so hard as each time they took a picture, a group appeared in  another area. They said at their farm in Korea, when they were young, there used to be hundreds, like at my house, but now…only two or three.

Recipe of the Day – Poppy Seed Cake

Ingredients:

1 c. apple sauce

3 c. dehydrated almond pulp or ground almonds or almond meal

1/4 c. poppy seeds, finely ground

3/4 c. coconut nectar or honey

dash vanilla powder or 1 tsp. extract

1 large lemon, juiced

2 tsp.  lemon zest

2 T chia or  psyllium husks

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/3 c.poppy seeds (and a bit more for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until everything is finely chopped and moving freely.
  2. Press one half of the mixture in the bottom of a spring form pan, smoothing edges and evening the sides as much as possible.
  3. Reserve the rest for later.

Orange Coconut Frosting

  • 2 c. cashews
  • 1 1/2 whole oranges (seeds removed)
  • 3 or 4 T.  coconut butter
  • dash vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. coconut nectar or honey
  • 3-4 T. almond/coconut milk or water
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high-power blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Frost bottom layer of cake and allow to freeze for 4-6 hours.
  3. Top with remaining cake mixture and gently press, again smoothing edges and evening the sides.
  4. Return to freezer for an additional 2 hours.
  5. Remove from spring form pan and frost either top or sides or both with remaining frosting.

Word of the Day – amapola – poppy

Tip of the Day –Add a layer of berries to this cake, if you like, yum!

Mini Chocolate Candies

My daughter, Rachel, called me on New Year’s. “What’cha doing, Mom?”  “Oh…let’s see…sharpening a machete, getting rid of a rat Tiko killed, patching some plaster, lighting a fire….same as you, probably.” “What! Ha ha, I don’t think so!” she said.

Recipe of the Day – Mini Chocolate Candies

Ingredients:

2 T. raw cacao butter, shredded and melted with

2 T. raw honey

2 T. raw coconut oil

1/4 c. raw cacao powder

1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla powder

dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

Melt  ingredients in a dehydrator or double boiler.While its melting, set a mini cupcake paper in each cuocake tin, or grease with coconut oil. Fill just the bottom of each with your liquid chocolate. Chill or freeze for 10 minutes. Add goji berries, raisins, nuts or bananas! Chill or freeze for 10 minutes.

Word/Phrase of the Day – Se nota en su cara – It’s written on your face

Tip of the Day – The big tip for home-made chocolate is to stir and stir until creamy and shiny. Make it a meditation

DIY Face Scrub

My daughter left me some great, store-bought face scrub, and after using it and seeing my glowing, healthy skin, I was reminded I could make my own. Here’s one recipe:

Recipe of the Day – DIY Face Scrub

  • 1 tsp organic panela or raw cane sugar (something that will fill your face with vitamins and minerals)
  • 2-3  drops aloe vera or water
  • 1 – 2 drops your choice essential oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Gently rub into clean face, and neck,avoiding the eyes. Rinse with cool water, and pat dry.

Word of the Day – cara – face

Tip of the Day – Us 2-3x a week. A friend told me one cause of wrinkles is the accumlation of particles, make-up, etc….