This is a great restaurant style dessert that can be made at home very easily. Creme Brulee is the perfect thing to savor after a romantic meal. Serve with Tuile Cookies and Berries for classic French Flair. It was White Western Civilization that developed fine cuisine (gastronomy).
1 quart heavy cream or two cans of coconut cream plus 1/2 cup water
Place the cream (or coconut cream and water) and vanilla bean powder into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup maple sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Strain mixture through a sieve. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the 1/2 cup superfine cane sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
In a large bowl, combine the bread with enough warm milk to saturate. (You may not need all of the milk.) Let soak for 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Season with a few pinches of salt, a few turns of freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg, and parsley. Transfer the onion mixture to the bread mixture.
Add half the beaten eggs to the bread mixture and mix with your hands. Continue adding egg and lightly kneading until a wet dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour or breadcrumbs. Set aside to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Use damp hands to form 2-inch balls with the bread mixture. Working in batches, lower the knödel into the boiling water and cook until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a clean towel to drain.
Yields one 16 oz. gift jar and two 32 oz. gift jars
2 C rolled oats, pulsed in the food processor a few times (or substitute 1 cup of rolled rye for 1 cup of rolled oats)
2 C all purpose flour
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C turbinado sugar, 1/4 cup date sugar
1 C buttermilk powder
3 TBS baking powder
2 TBS pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp Redmond sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
Glass jars: two 32 oz jars & one 16 oz jar
♦ Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
♦ Using a wide mouthed funnel or a parchment paper cone, fill the jars. Seal the jars tightly.
♦ Wrap festive ribbon around the lid and include the following directions with your gift:
Additional ingredients required per batch:
1/3 C unsalted butter, coconut oil, melted or avocado oil
2 large eggs
1 C milk or water
♦ To make pancakes, add 2 cups of the pancake mix into a medium bowl.
♦ Beat eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix in the melted and butter or oil with the milk or water and add to the eggs. Sift in the pancake mix while mixing well.
♦ Preheat griddle on medium-low heat and add some avocado oil, coconut oil or butter to lightly grease it. Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto the hot griddle.
♦ Flip the pancake once small bubbles start appearing in the batter, appx after 2 minutes. Cook until second side is golden brown.
♦ Serve the pancakes with butter and maple syrup!
Coconut Caramel Snack Mix Gift in a Jar Recipe
1½ C pretzels
1 1/2 C cashews
1½ C shredded cereal or O’s
1 1/2 C thick coconut flakes
1/2 C turbinado sugar
Glass jars: two 32 oz. jars
♦ Starting with the pretzels, layer half of each ingredient in a glass jar. Finish by topping with sugar. Seal the jars tightly.
♦ Wrap some festive ribbon around the lid and include the following directions with your gift:
Additional ingredients required (for each jar)
1/4 C unsalted butter
1/2 C maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1/16 tsp baking soda
♦ Pour the sugar off of the top of the jar and add to a small cup. Put all the ingredients onto a large serving platter or cookie tray.
♦ In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, add the syrup and reserved sugar, and stir well to combine. Continue stirring until the caramel comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook three more minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda with a whisk until the sauce is thick and looks a bit fizzy.
♦ Carefully drizzle the warm caramel sauce over the snack mix. Allow to cool completely before serving.
♦ Store any leftover snack mix in a jar with an airtight lid for 3-4 days.
These cookies originated in Finland (although some sources say they originated in the land of Karelia, which includes parts of Finland and Russia). They are a Winter/Christmas treat. They are sometimes called Estonian Rye Cookies. Some versions of this recipe also include caraway or anise seeds.
They are mainly made with a whole grain rye flour and are often served as appetizers with a cream cheese spread or fruit preserves. These deliciously crisp cookies can also be served with a warm mug of coffee, tea or eggnog.
Ingredients: 3/4 cup of rye flour 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup of maple sugar
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter 1/4 cup of whole milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract Instructions:
Stir the flours together with maple sugar, sea salt and cardamom in a mixing bowl. Add butter and rub with your fingers until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix the milk and the vanilla in a small glass measuring up. Add the vanilla milk, stirring with a fork until a stiff dough is formed. Gather together and press into a ball. Chill in the fridge for one hour (or the freezer for 30 minutes if you are short on time).
Roll a portion at a time on a floured board or pastry cloth to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut out rounds with a 2″ cookie cutter. Using a tiny round cutter (1/2″ diameter-you can use the cap from your vanilla extract), cut a hole slightly off center. Prick/dock each cookie several times with a fork and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until cookies are firm when touched. Cool on wire racks. Store airtight at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage. Makes about 2 dozen.
Recipe adapted from the book The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Here’s a quick and simple to do spinal meditation suitable for morning, afternoon or evening.
The number one secret to staying youthful is to keep your spine supple. A healthy spine slows down aging significantly.
The spine is an indicator of health and balance. When it is strong, lengthened, and flexible, the benefits can be seen on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Collapsing the spine by slumping affects our entire body: it minimizes our capacity to breathe deeply, limits space in the upper thoracic spine, and overextends muscles, tendons, and nerves in the lumbar region. The spine is our framework, and when the structure of our frame breaks down, all systems are jeopardized.
80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point in their life, and if you have ever had back pain, you know how debilitating it can be.
While running or going to the gym can be a great workout for your body, these forms of exercise don’t focus on the health of your spine. This is where Kundalini Yoga comes in. With gentle, simple, repetitive movements, Kundalini Yoga focuses on getting the energy moving in your spine.
Kundalini yoga, or spinal yoga, has been around for thousands of years. “Kundalini” is the Sanskrit word for “coiled”: The practice is very focused on body mechanics, flexibility, core muscle strength, muscle tension, and loosening and adjusting the spine.
Kundalini yoga focuses on opening up all your vertebral bodies. We have seven vertebral bodies in the cervical spine, then twelve in the thoracic spine, and five in the lumbar spine, and five make up the sacral spine. In a typical Kundalini practice, you are starting at the very base of the spine at the sacrum and working on stretching every level as you work up to the neck, or the cervical spine. A large component of it is rotating the joints. The joints in the spine are just like joints in your elbows, your shoulders, your knees: You can have inflammation of the spinal joints, and they can get arthritic. People don’t conceptually think about the spine in that way, so it’s important to emphasize the inflammatory component.
But what is the spine?
The spine is made up of a series of bones stacked on top of each other that houses and protects the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is a column of nerve fibers that branch off into the rest of the body responsible for sending and receiving messages from the brain. It is through the spinal cord and its branching nerves that the brain influences the rest of the body, controlling movement and organ function.
In simpler terms, think of your nerve fibers like cables running from your computer. What happens if one of the cables is destroyed or unplugged? It affects the whole system…
How do you protect the spine? The key to maintaining a healthy spine is flexibility.
The dangers of not being flexible include:
risk for injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
This is one of my favorite stew recipes. It’s an incredibly nourishing dish that will warm your bones and is easy on the digestion. It’s a perfect recipe to make anytime, but especially when recovering from illness, during one’s moon (menstrual) cycle or after indulging in too much inappropriate food.
Kitcheree keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. A good habit to get into is making soup or stew on a Sunday to last you through the week. This stew can be taken on the go in a thermos for a work lunch as well. The recipe calls for certain ingredients that may not be familiar, but all of these items can be easily sourced online. I purchase many of my pantry items in bulk from online purveyors to save time and money. Like most soups and stews, this recipe is very forgiving and great for novice cooks. Cooking good food in the home is of the utmost importance and a skill that all of our people need to hone – male or female. As always, all ingredients should be organic.
The Sacral Chakra (Svadhishthana)
When I cook I’m conscious of adding a good variety of colors to my food through the use of vegetables. This particular dish with its bright orange hue feeds the sacral chakra which is part of the lower triangle of energy centers in the body.
Second Chakra: To feel, to desire, to create
Location: Sex organs
Organ/Gland: Sex organs, reproductive glands, kidneys, bladder
Color, Element: Orange, Water
Yoga Exercises: Frog Pose, Cobra Pose, Butterfly, Sat Kriya, Cat Cow, Pelvic Lifts
Behavioral characteristics of the sacral chakra:
Expression of sexuality, sensual pleasure
Feeling the outer and inner worlds
Sacral chakra imbalance:
Dependency or co-dependency with others (psychic vampirism)
Dependency on a substance that grants you easy access to pleasure (addiction)
Being ruled by your emotions
Feeling numb, out of touch with yourself and how you feel (deracination)
Overindulgence in fantasies, sexual obsessions (excessive masturbation, pornography)
Lack of sexual desire or satisfaction (low libido, anorgasmia)
Feeling stuck in a particular feeling or mood
(makes about 6 serving)
8 cups filtered water
1/3 cup sprouted mung beans (I like truRoots brand)
1/2 cup white jasmine rice (I like Lundberg brand)
1 bay leaf
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
2 teaspoons turmeric, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried basil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Celtic sea salt, to taste
coconut aminos, to taste (I like Coconut Secret brand)
umeboshi plum vinegar, to taste (this is not a true vinegar but a brine that adds depth to many recipes as well as having alkalizing properties. I like Eden Foods brand.)
1 cup chopped vegetables (celery, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, carrots, beets, cauliflower, mushrooms – I use carrots only)
Garnishes: crushed red chili flakes, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast
In a large stainless steel pot combine the water, mung beans, rice, bay leaf, onion, garlic, ginger, both turmerics, coriander, basil and black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the temperature and simmer 30 minutes until ingredients are soft and soupy.
Add the sea salt, aminos, and umeboshi vinegar to taste. Be gentle with the seasoning. You can always add more to your individual serving.
At this point, add the vegetables. Firmer veggies like celery, carrots, beets, and mushrooms need about 20 minutes to cook depending on size. Softer veggies like broccoli, zucchini and cauliflower need 10 minutes or less. Spinach can be added right before serving to help maintain its bright green color.
Once the veggies are tender, the kitcheree is done and ready to serve. Garnish as suggested and enjoy this hearty and flavorful stew!
Recipe adapted from the book Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power