Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I came upon this poem the other day by one of my favorite poets - Sharon Olds, it touched me deeply as it synchronized with my eldest daughter arriving home from college, I am thankful for my beautiful daughters, and poets like Sharon Olds who manage to capture the real feelings of unconditional love we have for our children...

First Thanksgiving 
~ By Sharon Olds

When she comes back, from college, I will see
the skin of her upper arms, cool,
matte, glossy. She will hug me, my old
soupy chest against her breasts,
I will smell her hair! She will sleep in this apartment,
her sleep like an untamed, good object,
like a soul in a body. She came into my life the
second great arrival, after him, fresh
from the other world—which lay, from within him,
within me. Those nights, I fed her to sleep,
week after week, the moon rising,
and setting, and waxing—whirling, over the months,
in a slow blur, around our planet.
Now she doesn’t need love like that, she has
had it. She will walk in glowing, we will talk,
and then, when she’s fast asleep, I’ll exult
to have her in that room again,
behind that door! As a child, I caught
bees, by the wings, and held them, some seconds,
looked into their wild faces,
listened to them sing, then tossed them back
into the air—I remember the moment the
arc of my toss swerved, and they entered
the corrected curve of their departure.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food For a Frosty Day...

This morning I awoke to a delicate layer of frost covering everything outside.
Inhaling the cold air and breathing out like a dragon
I began to plan food that would fit the frosty day....

The soup recipe below includes a traditional, rich aromatic spice mix from Ethiopia called
Berbere, which includes garlic, ginger,pepper, basil, rue and other herbs...
I was able to find it at our local supermarket..., if you have trouble finding it, I know that it 
is available online.  Trust me, its worth the effort.

Join me in a spicy, flavorful bowl of Carrot & Potato Soup ~ Ethiopian style with a dollop of zesty Lime and Cilantro Pesto 

Followed by one or two moist, fragrant, Hazelnut, Cardamom and Apple Muffins (gluten free of course:)

Here's the recipes ~ Enjoy!!!

Carrot & Potato Soup

3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
half a leek cleaned and chopped
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 large carrots, cleaned and chopped into cubes
2 large potatoes peeled and chopped
8 cups of vegetable broth
2/3 cup of coconut milk
half teaspoon of Berbere spice mix
2 bay leaves 
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

~ o ~

Saute the garlic and leeks on medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan till translucent.
Add the carrots and potatoes next, and stir until well combined.
Add the Berbere spice and make sure to stir well covering all the vegetables, after a couple of minutes add all the broth, season with salt, add bay leaves,  bring to the boil.  
When it reaches boiling point, stir one more time then turn the heat down low and gently simmer with the lid on the pan for approx 40 minutes.  Vegetables should be soft but not mush.
Add the coconut milk, stir well.
Check to see if more salt is needed.

Before serving, add fresh ground black pepper...

Serve with Cilantro Pesto ~ recipe follows.


Cilantro Pesto

1 bunch of fresh organic cilantro well washed 
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Blend all ingredients to make a sauce consistency 
(I use a hand held blender and get great results.)

Drizzle a tablespoon over the steaming soup - delish!

~ o ~

Hazelnut, Cardamom and Apple Muffins

3 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar (I use organic brown.)
generous splosh of vanilla essence
1/3 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup of cubed cooked squash (I used acorn.)
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup of almond flour
1 1/3 cup of GF flour mix (I use Pamela's)
3 heaped dessert spoons of Chestnut flour (or favorite ground nut flour)
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 large, peeled and chopped apple 
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

~ o ~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Blend squash and coconut milk together till it makes a creamy puree. (try not to eat this - its so yummy!)

beat eggs, vanilla, sugar, grapeseed oil  then
mix the squash mixture with the egg mixture. 
Add the chopped apple to this mix.

In a separate bowl mix the almond flour, GF flour, chestnut flour, and baking soda, and cardamom -  mix well.

Add the dry flour ingredients to the wet, egg mixture,
stir carefully and blend well.

Finally add the chopped hazelnuts, and mix well.

Fill prepared muffin pans (I prefer with papers,) with a generous
tablespoon in each paper.

Bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes.

When ready, allow to cool for 20 minutes before chomping!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

El Dia de los Muertos


This year I really wanted to celebrate Day of the Dead...  
So I created this altar with love and intention and focus on loved ones who have passed.

I found the preparing, researching and creating things for the altar so satisfying, as if I'm still able to do something for the people that I love even though they are no longer living.

Marigolds, candles, skulls, pan de muertos (day of the dead bread,) help to create color and "alive-ness" of this special once a year shrine

In Mexican folklore and other Latin countries it is believed that on these special days - arriving October 31st and leaving November 2nd, spirits of our departed ancestors and friends return to us and join in to celebrate life and death with feasts and festivities... Special foods are prepared, "ofredas," created of the deceased  favorite foods and drinks which are then taken to the cemeteries, there the graves are decorated with flowers, candles are lit and whole families can be found gathered at the graves of their deceased relatives sharing stories and memories.   It is tradition for families to stay and picnic with the spirits of their ancestors, usually staying through till the morning.. till the spirits leave once again until  the following year.

I think its a beautiful, healing way to remember loved ones.