Shea Comfrey-Calendula Butter

My friend, Joy, brought me back Shea butter from the States, woohoo! Just in time to make my healing salve, but this time with Shea butter, the fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the African shea tree. It’s used for all kinds of skin problems, from dry skin, burns, to wrinkles and eczema. i’m combining it here with calendula and comfrey to ease pain and soothe and heal rough, dry skin, as well as lip sores.

Recipe of the Day -Shea Comfrey-Calendula Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 c. cold pressed olive oil

1 ounce dried herbs: 1/2 ounce calendula and 1/2 ounce comfrey

1/2 c. shea butter

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/3 c. beeswax

1/4 c. cacao butter

3 vitamin E capsules (of at least 400 units)

10 drops Essential Oil (lavender, rose, or jasmine, lemon, or your choice)

1 tsp. mica powder, color of choice, to color the salve. (But you don’t need to.)

Cheesecloth to strain herbs

Directions: Place your herbs into an oven safe dish and pour the olive oil in. Stir and bake in the oven at the lowest possible temperature (200 degrees or less) and bake for 3 hours. This is your infused oil. (Or, you can pour olive oil directly over the herbs in a clean jar and let sit for 6 weeks.)

    1. After 3 hours allow the mix to cool slightly but strain through the cheesecloth while it’s still warm. Squeeze out all the oil you can.
    2. Put your mixture in a pot on the stove (a double boiler would be great) and very GENTLY heat the oil mix back up, without burning. Add all the other ingredients, except the essential oils.
    3. Puncture and add your vitamin E capsules (or about 1/2 teaspoon if using liquid E) and then add your beeswax. Stir until it’s completely melted and blended.
    4. Remove from heat and let cool just a minute or two while you add the essential oil  and mica powder – your color. Move to fridge and let cool another hour or until starting to harden around the edges but still somewhat soft.Use a hand mixer to whip for 10 minutes until fluffy.Return to the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.Then pour into a wide mouth jar or several small jars. As it cools the mixture will become semi-solid and be the perfect consistency.
    5.  Word/Phrase of the Day – erase una vez – once upon a time
    6. Tip of the Day – The combination of shea and cocoa butter with two nourishing oils makes a highly moisturizing combination, but whipping the mix helps it go on smoothly without being oily.

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!

Lebanese Green Beans (Lubee)

My daughter received these beautiful pheasant feathers as a gift for doing such beautiful photography for a wedding. Can you believe that! Que regalo! What a gift!

Recipe of the Day – Lubee

Ingredients –

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala, or cinnamon
  • 2 c. diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions;

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes {if you are using meat, it can be added here and sautéed for an addition 4 minutes}.

  1. Add the green beans, spices and tomatoes and mix together. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until green beans {and tofu or meat, if using it} are tender, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste as well as salt and pepper.
  2. Serve warm over rice or quinoa with a side of pita bread and yogurt.

Word of the Day – pheasant –Faisán

Tip of the Day – You could add mushrooms to the saute mix, and serve with rice, raw crackers, salad pita bread, hummus and nut/seed or plain yogurt.

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!

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!

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.

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!