You know, an old reiki client is in town, and hugged me for a longgg time, and then pulled a massage certificate out of his bag, with my name already on it! Come on!!!! And I went to her, Mariana at Hotel El Paraiso, several days ago and she was amazing, including reiki in the treatment. And I haven’t had back pain since!!! I mean, I feel like a normal person! These profiteroles are like filled doughnut holes, but a lot faster, and no frying!
Recipe of the Day – Gluten-Free Choux Pastry Profiteroles
For the choux pastry:
- 110g gluten-free flour, sieved ( I like yucca, as it’s the softest flour)
- 1 tsp coconut or other sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. coconut oil or butter
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 2 c. coconut cream or whipping cream
For the chocolate sauce:
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/3 c. coconut or other sugar
- 1 c. dark chocolate, broken in to pieces
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 2 grains pepper
For the white chocolate sauce
- 1 c. white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1/2 c. coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 1/2 c. coconut cream or dairy cream
- Pinch vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch Salt
For the caramel sauce:
- 2/3 c. coconut oil or butter
- 1 c. coconut or sugar
- 2 T. maple or golden syrup
- 1/2 c. coconut or double cream
- Pinch salt
- Sift the gluten free flour, salt, and sugar together and place it in a small bowl
- Place the oil/butter and water in a small pan, and heat gently, until melted.
- Add the mixture of flour, salt and sugar, and then remove the pan from the heat. Beat well with a spatula until the mixture combines and comes away from the pan. Cook the mixture through a little more, then leave to cool for a few minutes, knocking some of the hot air out with your spatula. Let the mixture cool a little bit first, or the eggs could scramble when you add them.
- Using an electric whisk or spatula add in the beaten egg a little at a time and beat to a soft shiny paste.
- Fill a piping bag with the pastry dough. Cut off the end to about a 1.5 cm piece and pipe out balls of dough on to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Each one should be about the size of a walnut.
- Bake in an oven pre-heated 200°C for 10 minutes then reduce to 180°C for 15 min until risen and golden.
- Remove from the oven, make a small hole in the bottom of each profiterole, then return to the oven for a few minutes to dry out.
- Whip the cream, then spoon into a piping bag and fill the profiteroles through the hole you made in the base.
- To make the dark chocolate sauce put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. While the sugar syrup is beginning to boil melt the chocolate. Take the sugar syrup pan off the heat and pour that and the rest into the bowl of chocolate stirring until smooth and combined.
- To make the white chocolate sauce, place all the ingredients in a pan and stir gently until the butter and white chocolate is melted and you have sauce.
- To make the salted caramel, melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once dissolved add the cream stirring constantly to mix. Finally add the salt and stir. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Word of the Day – cliente – client
Tip of the Day – This isn’t as complex as it seems. The pastry is actually pretty fast! You could have the sauces ready ahead of time, if you like. In the states you could melt caramels or add caramel extract.
1 c. uvillas, cranberries or Mora berries
1 tsp. cardamom
1 T. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Let sit in the fridge until the chia seeds have made it thick.
Word of the Day – sentado – seated
Tip of the Day – Add a little sweetening, if you like. Honey goes really good with uvillas.
Well, New Year’s Eve was pretty darn fun this year! The atmosphere was up and fun since early this morning. I had to pass by SIX lines of guys in drag, dancing and putting up their, “Donate to Me,” line in front of my bike. Didn’t work. I laughed and said, “No, no, no,” each time. And dinner at Murano’s was an incredible delight to the senses.
2 1/4 c. milk of choice or water
1 1/2 tsp.Salt to taste
1. Melt the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook parsnips in a single layer until just golden on bottoms, about 10 minutes. Flip, and add apples, water, and salt. Raise heat to medium-high, and simmer, covered, until parsnips and apples are very soft, about 20 minutes.\. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered until slightly cooled, about 5 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth. With machine running, add one more T. oil, if needed.
Word/Phrase of the Day – Feliz Nuevo Ano – Happy New Year
Tip of the Day – I had this at the gourmet dinner and it tasted just like mashed potatoes! The trick is to roast the parsnips first. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.
A friend gave me this amazing recipe: corn with cacao truffle, topped with frozen bananas. Wow! Then I read about it – The Mayans recorded their complex cacao recipes, inscribing each drinking vessel with glyphs for the beverage they contained! A variation on this porridge, or chocolate atole, is still widely made today and is now known as champurrado.
- 3 c. water.
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
- 1 anise star.
- ¼ c. masa harina.
- 2 c. coconut or other milk.
- ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
- 1/3 c. panela , honey or other sweetener
- In a large saucepan boil water with the two cinnamon sticks and anise star. Remove from the heat, cover and let the cinnamon sticks and anise star steep for about 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and anise star, return to low heat and slowly add the masa harina to the warm water, whisking until combined. Add milk, chocolate, and sweetener.
- Heat over medium heat just until boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sweetener is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Serve immediately.
- Word of the Day – Champurrado – Corn Cacao Drink
Tip of the Day –You can turn it into a sweet truffle by leaving out all but a tsp. of the milk, rolling into truffles and topping with frozen banana ice cream!
You know the viscous water that you’ve cooked your garbanzos or white beans in? You can use it for a direct replacement for egg whites. It’s used for frostings and so many recipes, Including meringues, fudge and marshmallows. Clare’s using it on her vegan gingerbread house!
1 egg white = 2 T. agua faba
1 whole egg = 3 T. agua faba
These workers for the Taxi Cooperative, working on the land adjacent to mine, were talking about herbs with me. And they said they had valerian and cascarilla on their land, They brought it today. And planted the valerian for me!
Cascarilla is a very long, tall tree which has the benefits and caffeine of Guayusa. For strength of the body and bones, You use the bark, to protect against evil. He brought me a whole big bag of stripped bark which I’m to dry in the sun.The finely ground outer bark of this large, tropical shrub is known for its medicinal properties that included reducing fevers, operating as an expectorant, and even clearing flatulence. These workers said it’s especially for the bones. In fact, the word cascarilla refers to any kind of outer skin or husk.
Valeriana smells like lemongrass, and looks like it, the leaves and smells like it. But the roots are a great sedative. My friend is using it for his seizures and having great success! from one a day to one a week! (See my recipe for Valerian Tea by typing it in to the search engine on the front page of this blog.)
Recipe of the Day - Cascarilla Tea Ingrdients: 3 3" strips cascarilla bark 1 pot water Directions: Bring the pot of water to almost aboil. Turn off the heat abd drop in the bark. Let steep for twenty minutes. Word of the Day - cascarilla - bark Tip of the Day - Use for only a few days a t a time. It's ver potent and not meant to be used for long periods.
You know, on our trip to Zamora something wonderful happened. I got into the cold, cold Andean water, right? Submerged the whole body for a second, and it was so cold I couldn’t even gasp. And i said, “I”m gonna try and stay in for one minute, ” so I started to count. At 40 seconds there was this huge, “whoosh” of feeling from my solar plexus to the base of the throat. The whole area expanded and warmed with pleasure. I told Joy about it as it happened. And i was able to stay in for fifteen minutes, what!!!! Come on. Well, I mentioned in to three people . One said it was a heart-healing from the waters. Another said it was a gift from the fairies in the waters. I love that! the other said it was a kundalini experience. I think, now, maybe it was all three. I will never forget that in my life. What happiness.
Joy Lopez brought these cookies on our trip to Zamora. They were So good, it was all I could do to not eat them all!
1 cup almonds, soaked in water for several hours (alt: Peanut butter)*
1 Tbsp flaxseed soaked in 3 Tbsp water for at least one hour
1/3 cup cane sugar (Panela)
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp freshly grated turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 350 deg.F (175 deg.C) 2. Blend almonds in food processor till buttery. *3. Mix together the almond butter and sugar in a bowl. 4. Add the flaxseed, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and shredded coconut and mix thoroughly. 5. Batter will be thick but not crumbly. *6. Scoop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto oiled cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the tops with the back of a spoon. 7. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes .8. Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. *Alternates:Substitute peanut butter for the almonds.If mix is too runny, add ground flaxseed and/or coconut flour to achieve desired consistency.
Word of the Day – bienestar – well-being
Tip of the Day – Says Joy, “Here’s my Ginger cookie recipe. (Note, I used ground turmeric powder in the ones you tried because I didn’t have any fresh.)”
Here in Zamora -2 1/2 hours from Vilcabamba, they don’t have that many interesting restaurants. So Joy brought us her home-made granola! Taken from ketodietapp, it’s a low-carb granola, and so amazingly good! There’s Joy, below, planning our next move in Zamora.
Ingredients (makes 6 cups)
1/4 cup pinenuts (34 g/ 1.2 oz)
1 1/4 cup whole almonds, skin on (179 g/ 6.3 oz)
1/4 cup cashews (45 g/ 1.6 oz)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (27 g/ 1 oz)
1/2 cup pecans (50 g/ 1.7 oz)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (70 g/ 2.5 oz)
1/2 cup pepitas (65 g/ 2.3 oz)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (36 g/ 1.3 oz)
1/2 cup flax meal (75 g/ 2.6 oz)
1 cup shredded or shaved coconut, unsweetened (75 g/ 2.6 oz)
1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup (85 g/ 3 oz) –
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tsp orange zest (can be dried)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1/4 c. cacao
optional – cacao nibs, raisins, bananas, strawberries
Pre-heat oven to 150 °C/ 300 °F. Combine all nuts, seeds and spices, except for the salt and orange zest, into a large bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan. Add the syrup and mix well. Pour melted ingredients into nut and seed mix and combine thoroughly.
Spread mixture out in an even layer onto a lined baking tray and bake for 60 minutes.
Stir every 15 minutes and keep a close eye on it after the 45 minute mark, it can easily go from toasted to scorched.
Once brown and crunchy, remove from oven and let cool. While still warm, sprinkle sea salt and orange zest over granola and stir through. Once chilled, transfer into a jar or airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to a month.
Word of the Day – carbohidratos – carbohydrates
Tip of the Day – Good maple syrup is hard to find here, but they did have it at SuperMaxi in Loja!
I’ll bet you’re wondering how Lucas is doing! Well, wonderful! If you recall, he had hip dysplasia, due to what one Vet said was a herniated disc – and the other in town said “long-dog” syndrome. But then, when we went in for his degradation in health, they found tick and mite disease. The nurse said, “When the meds kick in, his hips will be better.” And sure enough, that’s what happened. As soon as his system cleared up, so did his hips! He still has the tiniest sway in his hips, but is running like mad, stealing socks, taking paper from the waste can, and playing with Tiko, like a puppy again! I am SO happy for him, and for us! Love you, Lucas!
Recipe of the Day – Lavender Hot Chocolate
2 c. almond or coconut milk
1/8 c. cacao powder
2 tsp. honey, or 3 drops Honey-Flavored Stevia, liquid
2 grains pepper
2 grains salt.
1 sprig of lavender, ground fine
- Place milk and cacao in a small sauce pan and turn to medium heat. Whisk until dissolved.
- Add in honey, or honey-flavored stevia and whisk until melted. Add in the spices – turmeric makes cocoa creamy! The pepper ignites the healing elements of the turmeric, and salt makes chocolate wonderful! You can also just throw in a sprig of lavender without grinding it up.
Word of the Day – curación – healing
Tip of the Day – Try it with peppermint or ginger!