Jaboticaba (Berry) Cordial

I was standing on the edge of the pool when the owner came over and took the phone out of my hand. ”Put your phone here,” he said, remembering how i’d come into the Molino Tropical, just to retrieve my phone i’d left there the day before. ”And you’ll put your clothes here, Dorothy, in this locker, from now on, and i’ll give you a key.” Then, while swimming, his helper came with a chair, put it near the pool’s edge, and put my towel and goggles on top. What? What is going on today that everyone is taking care of me? After six months of using their pool. See how we need each other? People.

Recipe of the Day – Berry/Jaboticaba Cordial

ingredients;

2 lbs. jaboticaba or other berries

1 c. water

juice of 1 lemon

1 cinnamon stick

4 cardamom pods

1 c. ice cubes

optional – 6 fresh lemon slices and mint leaves

Directions; Simmer  the whole, crushed jaboticaba or other berries in water until the fruit is pulpy about 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and cardamon pods, then allow to cool.
Strain and add ice, freshly sliced lemon and mint leaves. Chill.

Word of the Day – hechicera – sorceress

Tip of the Day – Berries can ferment pretty quickly, so make and serve the day the guests are coming. Or for yourself on a hot day!
Continue reading “Jaboticaba (Berry) Cordial”

Almond Tahini Sauce

in Iran, New year’s is on the spring equinox. So Farideh invited us to her New year’s party at her gorgeous house and it was fantastic. Farideh says she makes this mix of almond and tahini, because it tastes so much like peanut butter! I made mine into a sauce for roasted vegetables – zucchini and onions and peppers!

Recipe of the Day – Tahini-Almond Sauce

2 T. tahini

4  T. almond butter

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 clove fermented garlic, minced

1/2 c. almond milk

3 drops honey stevia

Directions; Mix the tahini, almond butter, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add the almond milk and stevia and whisk until smooth.

Word of the Day – equinoccio – equinox

Tip of the Day – Serve over roasted vegetables!

J’s Energy Cookies

The new word being, “up-cycled,” not “re-cycled”. Here are some up-cycled projects my daughter and I make. I started some bowls and owls and boxes, which i am especially happy with to hold my  herbs and teas. Now I don’t have to buy jars! You can type “DIY Paper Projects” in your search engine to see how to make your own.

Recipe of the Day –Energy Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 c. pinenuts
1 1/4 c. whole almonds, skin on
1/4 c. cashews
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. pecans
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/2 c. flax meal
1 c.  shredded coconut
1/4 c. dates, soaked
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

3 eggs

2 1/4 c. flour of choice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 c. cacao

optional – cacao nibs, raisins, bananas, strawberries

Pre-heat oven to 150 °C/ 300 °F. Combine all nuts, seeds and spices, with the coconut cream into a large bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan. Add the dates and syrup and mix well. Pour melted ingredients into nut and seed mix and combine thoroughly. Stir in the baking soda, salt, cacao and vanilla.
Drop into cookie shapes onto a lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes in this altitude.
Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to a plate.

Word of the Day – reciclado – recycled/upcycled

Tip of the Day – Great snack food for hikes and traveling!

Jacoticaba Crumble

You know, i was humbled when some guests left and I found a $10 bill hidden under a mat on the coffee table. To help me out, you know? And i was wondering which thing I should use it for. And then, one of my old workers asked me on facebook if he could borrow $10 and work it off for me. Which is 3 hours work here! So I said, yes, and he just sanded and lacquered all my wooden shutters and front door. And while it was drying he weeded and dug around with the 28-year old energy that is truly unstoppable. Isn’t it amazing how money moves around. i feel so humbled, then i feel so honored that someone would ask me for help (and he, young soul, has two little kids!) and then so grateful for…just…everything and everyone.

Recipe of the Day – Jaboticaba Crumble

Ingredients;

1 lb. jaboticaba berries

1 lb cherries, blueberries, black or other berries

4 c. GF cake flour

1 T. honey

Topping;

2 T. GF cake flour

3 T. rolled oats

1 T. honey

2 T. Coconut oil

Mix together 1 lb jaboticabas and other berries, if you like with the cake flour and honey. Place into well-greased ramekins.
For the topping, in a separate bowl mix the cake flour, oats (non instant), honey and oil.
Pour topping over the berries and bake for 20 mins at 200°C until golden brown. Serve with a dollop of banana ice cream and jaboticaba syrup.

Jaboticaba Syrup

Halve about 25 berries and simmer with 1 cup of water in a heavy-base pot for 15 minutes.
Add 2 tbsp honey and 2 tsp grated ginger.
Simmer for another 15 minutes and strain.

Word/Phrase of the Day – me sentía humilde – i felt humbled

Tip of the Day – Make your banana ice cream by freezing a cup of frozen, cut bananas and then blending! That’s it!

Fondant Potatoes

 Two Lucas stories! Hey, last night i was sitting at the table, and one of my slippers was missing. And i said, Lucas, go bring me my slipper (which was on his bed, of course,) and he went over, got it, and laid it down at my feet!!! Come on! Tiko was SO jealous with all the attention Lucas got!

Okay, and the other one, is that i always make Lukie and Tiko stop at the gate until i tell them we can go, right? Well the other day the gate was wide open, and they were waiting for me to walk with them. Georgie said she walked by with her baby, and even called their names, and they wouldn’t take one step!!! Whoaaaa! That’s fantatic, huh?

Picture and adapted recipe from allrecipes.com

Recipe of the Day – Fondant potatoes

Ingredients –

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  1. Cut off ends of russet potatoes, stand potatoes on end, and peel potatoes from top to bottom with a sharp knife to make each potato into a uniform cylinder. Cut each cylinder in half crosswise to make 6 potato cylinders about 2 inches long.
  2. Place potatoes into a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes to remove starch from outsides; pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place a heavy oven-proof skillet (such as a cast iron skillet) over high heat. Pour in oil; heat until it shimmers slightly.
  4. Place potato cylinders with best-looking ends into the hot oil, lower heat to medium-high, and pan-fry potatoes until well-browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Flip the potatoes onto the opposite ends. As they cook, use a paper towel held with tongs to carefully blot out the oil from the skillet. Add butter and thyme sprigs to skillet.
  6. Pick up a rosemary sprig with tongs and use it to paint oil or butter over the top of the potatoes. Cook until butter foams and foam turns from white to a pale tan color. Season with more salt and pepper. Pour vegetable or chicken stock into skillet.
  7. Transfer skillet to preheated oven and cook until potatoes are tender and creamy inside, about 30 minutes. If potatoes aren’t tender, add 1/4 cup more stock and let cook 10 more minutes.
  8. Place potatoes on a serving platter and spoon thyme-scented butter remaining in skillet over potatoes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Word of the Day – zapatillas – slippers

Tip of the Day – Allrecioes.com does this with thyme, instead of rosemary.

Burma Ferment8ed Tea Leaf Salad

My daughter is in San Francisco having this life-changing salad, she calls it. The Tea leaf dressing will change your world. Tangy but not over-powering, just super-interesting.

Then she told me this neat story of clean-up and Buddha Shrines. On a corner in Oakland just east of Lake Merritt, At 11th and 19th there used to be a horrible amount of dumping and crime. Someone, Dan Stevenson put a Buddha there, without being even particularly religious, and then people started cleaning up around it, making it a little altar, and now look at it! At first the City rejected it, but the neighborhood wanted it so badly, the City acquiesed!

Burmese Tea Leaf Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c. dried green tea leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 c. kale or cabbage, finely chopped
  • ½ c. finely chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • ½ c. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 T. garlic paste
  • 2 T.  finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 green chilies, minced (optional)
  • juice squeezed fresh from one lime
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 1 head garlic,minced
  • 2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 T. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup thin tomato wedges (optional)
  • Final Dressing –
  • 1 T. garlic oil
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s aminos or fish sauce
  • fresh lime slices
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Fermenting the Tea Leaves
Pour 4 cups of hot water over the dried tea leaves, stir, and let soak until the leaves have expanded about 10 minutes. Then drain, and discard any tough bits. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the  leaves.. Do this two more times, then let sit an hour to remove the bitterness. Chop the leaves finely and mix together with the kale, cilantro and greens,  ginger, garlic paste,  salt and  lime. . Cover the dish tightly and allow it to ferment for two days in a dark, cool space. Then place in the fridge.

To serve, set a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and let them heat, shaking the skillet from time to time to ensure that they aren’t scorching. You will start to smell them toasting after a few minutes. Keep stirring so they don’t scorch, and cook for another minute or two, until they are golden. Transfer to a dinner plate and let cool completely. Next, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the sliced garlic, reduce the heat to medium and fry until just golden, about 5 minutes. Lift the garlic out of the oil with a slotted utensil and set aside on a plate to crisp up. Save the oil, now flavored with garlic, to use in the final dressing.

Serve the salad unmixed, arranging small piles of all the ingredients on a platter. Toss the fermented tea leaves with the reserved garlic oil, fish sauce, and lime juice .Add a generous pinch of salt, mix again, taste and adjust other seasonings if needed. Place the leaves in a neat pile in the center of the other crunchy mix-ins.

Word of the Day – altar-altar, Buddha -Buda

Tip of the Day – You can add dried shrimp, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained, if you like.

 

DIY Vanilla Extract

Did you know there are pressure points to wake you up?

Press each one  for at least six minutes:
  • The top of the head.
  • The top of the back of the neck.
  • On the back of the hands (in between the thumb and forefinger)
  • Just below the knees.
  • Bottom of the feet—at the center just below the balls of the feet.

Recipe of the Day – DIY Vanilla Extract

  • Ingredients:

    • 8 oz. Glass Bottle or Jar
    • 7  vanilla beans
    • 1 cup Vodka 70 Proof/35% Alcohol (or you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy; any brand/quality)
      • Directions: Scrape the vanilla beans from the pods, if you need to. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise, leaving the tip of one end attached. Place into a clean bottle(s). If the vanilla bean is too long for the bottle, cut in half or thirds as needed. Fill the bottle with vodka or bourbon and secure the top to the bottle. Label the bottle and shake vigorously. Store in a cool, dark location for at least a month, shaking once per week. The longer the vanilla extract steeps, the darker and more intense the vanilla flavor and scent.

      Word of the Day – pulsar

      Tip of the Day – This yields 1 cup of homemade vanilla extract – 1 (8-ounce) bottle or 2 (4-ounce) bottles. Try different kinds of vanilla – like Madagascar Vanilla or Ecuadorian Vanilla.

Carrot-Rice-Nut Loaf

My sister says, “Tonight I’m making a variation of that old carrot rice nut loaf we used to make. I’ve added spinach,arugula, and sesame seeds.”

And these flowers in the picture cost $1.50 at Sunday Market. There’s an orchid in there!

Recipe of the Day – Carrot Rice Nut Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 2 c. sunflower or almond cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. oats or gf breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian herbs
  • optional – 2 c. spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all into a  greased 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes until firm. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day –hoy dia – today during this day/all day

TiP of the Day – Put the cheese and avocado on top, if you want, too!

Vegan Gingerbread With Aguafaba

My daughter made vegan gingerbread for her in-law’s Christmas, and she says this recipe sacrifices no flavor. She added in allspice , cardamom and a little extra ginger. Every minute that you bake with ginger in an oven,” she says, “a little ginger flavor dies off. If you oven-bake it, you will ruin it.” And she used Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening – a vegan-friendly product.

Recipe of the Day –Vegan  Gingerbread House

Ingredients:

3 1/4 c. flour of choice

1/3 c. vegetable shortening + 2 T room temperature

1/4 c. + 2 T. Molasses

1/2 c. milk of choice

1 c. Sugar

1 tsp, baking powder

3/4 tsp.  Cinnamon

3/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

2 tsp. Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp. allspice

  • 3/4 tsp. cardamom
Royal Icing
  • 1- 2 lb bag powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. aguafaba (Garbanzo juice)
  • 1-2 T. fresh lemon

Directions:

Gingerbread Dough
  1. Combine shortening, molasses, sugar, milk, and spices in bowl. Mix by hand or with a mixer until ingredients are well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add baking powder and gradually add all of the flour while constantly mixing. The dough will turn from sticky to stiff by the time all flour is added. Continue to stir until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Dough should be firm and pliable. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness parchment paper. Cut into shapes and peel away excess dough. Do not move the dough or else the shape will be distorted. (It may seem too thin but the dough will puff up while being baked)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Look for the edges to turn golden brown and the center will appear dry to touch. Allow to full cool before moving or assembling. (You can make it in advance to allow the cookies to dry out)
Royal Icing
  1. Pour powdered sugar with the aguafaba into a blender or large food processor. Mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides and mix an additional 1-2 minutes. Icing will be very thick.
  2. Pour a portion of the icing in a heavy duty ziplock bag. Seal and cut a small hole on one of the corners to pipe frosting/glue for house assembly.
  3. Use the same icing for decorating icicles and designs; add a little water to make it thin enough to create designs but not too thin or else it will run.
House Assembly
  1. Pipe a thick line of icing on the back borders of the cutouts. Start with a front and side piece. Firmly press all pieces making sure there is enough frosting to cover gaps. Repeat with other pieces.
  2. Allow to dry at least 2-4 hours before moving. Decorate however you choose and have fun!

Word of the Day – Casa de jengibre – gingerbread house

Tip of the Day – “I used powdered ginger,” Clare says. The dough was incredibly wet so I advise having extra flour on the side. 1-2 cups extra.

 

Cascarilla and Valeriana Teas

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.