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!
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.
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.
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.
- 2 c. diced fresh mango
- 1/2 c. coconut milk
- The cream of one young coconut
- Blend the mango and the coconut milk and cream in a blender until smooth. Taste to see if you need any more sweetening.
- Pour the mixture into the popsicle or ice cube trays.
- Freeze for 35 minutes and gently insert popsicle sticks.
- 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!
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!
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.
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
- 1- 2 lb bag powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. aguafaba (Garbanzo juice)
- 1-2 T. fresh lemon
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
This picture is a group of butterflies in Zamora, Ecuador. The big one in the middle is the Zebra Swallowtalike. The red and brown “89” has an 89 on it’s back, and the Skippers are the little, brown grey and black ones! At least, so says my friend, Jim, butterfuly aficionado!
These truffles are based on Karl’s Spirulina Truffles! And they are the best I’ve ever tasted, including my own!
There are three options for the Filling:
Option 1 –
2 c. almonds
1 c. dates
1 T. maca geltainized
3 T. spirulina
1 T. goji berries
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 c. cacao nibs
2 T. chia seeds soaked in 1/2 c. water
1 T. turmeric
optional: add mint or orange food grade essential oil
Option 2 –
1 c. cashews
1 c. almonds
1 c. dates
1 T. spirulina
Option 3 –
1 c. cashews
1 c. coconut flakes
1 c. dates
1 T. maca
2 T. cacao powder
Directions: Blend in a food processor until smooth. Roll into balls.
1 c. cacao butter
1 c. cacao powder
1 c. coconut crystals
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
pinch sea salt
Directions: Grind the coconut crystal to a fine powder. Melt cacao butter and add remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth. Dip balls in chocolate and place on waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm. The coating is somewhat grainy depending on how fine the coconut crystals are.
Makes 24-28 balls with about 1/2 oz. of coating each.
Word of the Day – mariposas – butterflies
Tip of the Day – Try them with walmuts and stevia for a low-glycemic option!