Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

My daughter was showing me on video, these beautiful columns of light seemingly beaming upwards in the skies of Montana. They are from unshielded lights, visible when it’s super cold. They are actually ice crystals, shaped like plates, that are usually in high clouds, but they float in the air, close to the ground, and then reflect light back downwards, making pillars of light. The collected light beams from millions of cyrstals relfecting light towards your eyes.

Recipe of the Day – Toasted Quinoa Chocolate Crunch Bars

 

Orange Chili Chocolates

Usually i have one mosquito per season, right? But his year I had to unfurl the mosquito net which hangs from the ceiling. I couldn’t sleep, with the attacks. Look how they just fly right into the net. Can you tell I got sick of mending the little holes? Everywhere there is a stick-um, there’s a hole. And more!

Big mortar and pestle in front of the chocolate store, filled eith cacao beans

Recipe of the Day – Orange Chile Chocolates

Ingredients:
1/4 c. coconut oil or cacao butter, melted
1 /4 c. raw cacao powder/carob
1/4 c. coconut nectar, honey or sweetener of choice

1 tsp. cayenne or chili powder of choice

5 drops essential orange oil

1T. Shredded orange peels
dash of vanilla powder
dash of salt

1 capful olive oil for greasing the molds, unless they’re silicon.

Directions:

Melt all ingredients  gently over a double boiler, and whisk until creamy.
Pour one drop olive oil in each ice cube mold. Spread to cover the  sides.
Pour chocolate in one half of each mold. Place a small orange peel in each one. Cover with chocolate.
Chill/freeze 10 minutes or more.

Word of the Day – picaduras – bites

Tip of the Day – Sliced bananas are wonderful inside each cube. They come put like cadbury eggs!

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.

 

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!

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
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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!

 

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.

 

Herbal Ice Cubes

Everyone I tell this to says, “That is brilliant.” My daughter, Clare thought of it. For when you need pain relief, fast, but don’t want to mix all your herbs, let them brew, then drink it. It’s ice cubes! You make the whole pot, pour it into ice cube trays, and have it ready in your freezer. I’ve been doing for maybe a year, as a muscle relaxer. Here’s my blend:

Recipe of the Day – Herbal Ice Cubes

Ingredients:

2 bags chamomile tea (or 1 bunch fresh

2-3 poppy buds with the stems

1/4 tsp. poppy seeds

1 tsp. valerian

a whole, dried passionflower

optional – your sweetening, if desired

Directions: Bring a pot of water to almost a boil, then pour in the herbs. Stir gently and let steep for 20 minutes while simmering. Let cool, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze.

Word of the Day – brilliante – brilliant

Tip of the Day – Pop one ice cube into a cup, or your last favorite drink, before bedtime or when your muscles are in pain. One is enough to give me a deep night’s sleep.

Why We Need Our Farmers

No words needed for these pics, from our Water Company:
Company: Below it says that at least one time on our lives we will need a lawyer, a doctor or architect. But three times a day we need the farmer. We buy them and are grateful for their work.