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

 

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.

Yucca Oat Biscuits

This morning I went to talk with the owners of Madre Tierra – the beautiful hotel on the hill. They wanted me to do a set of yoga instruction for the guests. And I think I can now – my back is soooo good! Anyway, After that they let me take a dip in the pool for my back, then gave me breakfast, what!!! i am SO lucky.

Recipe of the Day – Yucca Oat Biscuits

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup yucca flour
  • 2 c. oats or oat flour
  • 4 T. coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp . baking powder
  • 1/2 c. coconut sugar or panela
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg or 1 T. chia seeds soaked in 3 T. water
  • 1/2 c. water or nut/seed milk.

DirectiONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
  2. Measure the flours into medium bowl. Cut oil or butter into flour with a pastry knife the size of a small peas
  3. Add baking powder, sugar, salt to the flour mixture
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour egg and milk into the well. Stir well.
  5. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they just begin to turn brown (you can see some brown spots on the biscuits, but not too brown). Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Word of the Day – desayuno – breakfast

Tip of the Day – You could do these with less sweetening, depending on how you like your biscuits. Are you going to dip them in stew or soup? Then use less sweetening!

 

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!

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!

 

Champurrado – Corn Cacao Drink

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.

Ingredients:
  1. 3 c. water.
  2. 2 cinnamon sticks.
  3. 1 anise star.
  4. ¼ c. masa harina.
  5. 2 c. coconut or other milk.
  6. ½ disk Mexican chocolate, chopped (Abuelita or Ibarra chocolate)
  7. 1/3 c. panela , honey or other sweetener

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!