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.

 

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.

Carrot-Rice-Nut Loaf

My sister says, “Tonight I’m making a variation of that old carrot rice nut loaf we used to make. I’ve added spinach,arugula, and sesame seeds.”

And these flowers in the picture cost $1.50 at Sunday Market. There’s an orchid in there!

Recipe of the Day – Carrot Rice Nut Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 2 c. sunflower or almond cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. oats or gf breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian herbs
  • optional – 2 c. spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Combine all into a  greased 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes until firm. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day –hoy dia – today during this day/all day

TiP of the Day – Put the cheese and avocado on top, if you want, too!

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.

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.