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.

Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars

Did you know, I didn’t, that women donate their old wedding dresses so that the lace and detail work can be deconstructed and used as appliques on burial baby gowns? These gowns are donated to parents in need who have lost their children. Such a beautiful cycle, to go from marriage to loss. Celebrating your beautiful day to help others who are suffering.Then there’s Menstrual Reusuable Pads for women in third world countries, who miss so many days of school for having to stay home  during their times of the month. Each girl gets two resuable waterproof pads, and two bars of soap and one to three pairs of panties for girls. You can donate any part of this. Based out of Bellingham, WA. is the company that starts these things. My daughter’s mother-in-law got her kits funded byvThrivent and has made 4000 pads already – changing the lives of 2000 girls already. You can apply for a grant through them and they give you $250 in supplies to start out helping others. Pretty. Dang. Cool.
Recipe of the Day – Pumpkin Seed Snack Bars:

Ingredients:

4 c. toasted oats
1/2 c. coconut cream
1/2 c, almonds
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raw or roasted (150 degrees C for 45 minutes)
1/2 c. dried berries of choice
1/2 c. cacao nibs
1/2 c. shredded coconut
dash salt
Syrup – 1/3 c. Grade B maple syrup, coconut syrup, honey,

OR make your own:

1/2 c. panela or brown sugar or stevia leaves
1/4 c. honey
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. salt
Directions:
Lightly oil a 13×9″ pan with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combing the oats, coconut cream, nuts and berries. Set aside.
For the syrup – Use Maple syrup, or, In 1-quart saucepan, heat all syrup ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour over oat/nut mixture; gently toss to coat. Press in pan; cool 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 3 rows. Store tightly covered.
Word of the Day – angeles – angels
Tip of the Day – You could do this with Cheerios or any other cereal for a great snack mix!

Dill Pesto

I went swimming, are you proud of me on a grey day? And the pool was filled with beautiful Ecuadorian families who loved the water so much, and didn’t think of their bodies. And their joy just filled that pool. Adults and children alike. They have no compulsion about showing joy on their faces – just like when they eat ice cream!

Recipe of the Day – Dill Pesto

Ingredients::

  • 1 c. fresh dill
  • 12 c. Italian Parsley
  • 2 T. nuts or seeds: sunflower seeds, walnuts, pine, cashews or almonds
  • 2 cloves fermented smashed garlic. (See my recipe by typing in Fermented Roasted Garlic in the search engine on the first page of this blog)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. parmezano (walnut parmesan – (See my recipe by typing in Parmezano in the search engine on the first page of this blog) ) or regular parmesan.

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, place the dill, parsley, nuts, and garlic.
  2. Whirl until finely minced.
  3. Add the oil and cheese, and process until blended.
  4. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill.

Word/Phrase of the Day – Eso es tu maletin – That’s your problem

Tip of the Day – Serve with raw flax seed or oat/sesame crackers found on this blog.

Gluten-Free Choux Pastry Profiteroles

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!

Courtesy of bbc.
Courtesy of bbc.com

Recipe of the Day – Gluten-Free Choux Pastry Profiteroles

Ingredients:

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
Directions:
    1. Sift the gluten free flour, salt, and sugar together and place it in a small bowl
    1. Place the oil/butter and water in a small pan, and heat gently, until melted.
    1. 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.
    1. Using an electric whisk or spatula add in the beaten egg a little at a time and beat to a soft shiny paste.
    1. 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.
    1. Bake in an oven pre-heated 200°C for 10 minutes then reduce to 180°C for 15 min until risen and golden.
    1. 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.
    1. Whip the cream, then spoon into a piping bag and fill the profiteroles through the hole you made in the base.
    1. 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.
    1. 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.
  1. 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.

Jessica’s Uvilla Berry Sauce

Jessica gave me her recipe, as we were sitting down together at the Gourmet Dinner. Uvillas are SO good! So what a great idea to make them into a sauce.

 Recipe of the Day – Jessica’s Uvilla Berry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 c. uvillas, cranberries or Mora berries

1 tsp. cardamom

1 T. chia seeds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

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.

 

Mashed Parsnips and Apples

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.

The effigies at El Molino Tropical
New Year’s Eve, Cucanama Dec. 31, 2018
Effigies in front of the rooms at El MOlino Tropical, where I swim. Dec 31st, 2018, New Year’s Eve
c
The hor d’oerves at Murano’s, amazingly delicious mini taco and three different ceviches New Year’s Eve , 2018
The pepper=spiced chocolate mousse at Murano’s, so wonderful, New Year’s Eve , 2018

Recipe of the Day – Mashed Parsnips and Apples

Ingredients:

3 T. coconut oil

2 1/4 c. milk of choice or water

1 1/2 tsp.Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Mango Coconut Popsicles – Only Three Ingredients!

So, I came in to town to meet Joy, right? And there she is with a present from my daughter, huh? Clare paypaled her the money and asked her to go get me chocolate for Christmas, and she did! She wanted me to have a present to open  for Chrismas. And I was just about to go buy cacao powder, when there she handed me  the powdered chocolate, gorgeous chocolate syrup and three different chocolate bars!!! Holy cow, that was fun. And my ex- sent the Juice Factory money for smoothies! So of course we broke up the chocolate ginger bar and put it in the smmothi! I am one lucky gal.


Recipe of the Day – 3-Ingredient Mango Coconut Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. diced fresh mango
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • The cream of one young coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend the mango and the coconut milk and cream in a blender until smooth. Taste to see if you need any more sweetening.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle or ice cube trays.
  3. Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
  4. Freeze until solid.

Word of the Day – por supuesto – of course

Tip of the Day – After blending, add a couple drops of stevia or honey, if you’d like it sweeter. Or papaya and a banana, if you want your popsicles creamier!

 

Clare’s Meringues with Aguafaba

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

Recipe of the Day – Clare’s Midnight Meringues

Ingredients:
8 T. aguafava , and beat the hell out of it.
4 drops chocolate stevia
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
t tsp. raw unsweetened coconut flakes,
2.5 TBS cocoa nibs
1/4 c. cocoa powder
Directions:
    Beat the aguafaba with the cream of tartar until they stand in peaks. Gently fold in the rest of the ingredients and bake at 225 degrees F. for one hour… – less than 1 g. of sugar in each. BAM.
Word of the Day – agaufaba – bean water
Tip of the Day – You have to beat the heck out of it.

Joy’s Almond Ginger Turmeric Cookies

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!



Recipe of the Day –
Almond Ginger Turmeric Cookies

Ingredients:

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.)”

 

Joy’s Granola

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.

Recipe of the Day – Joy’s Granola

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!