Latest Recipes

Golden Milk AM Blend (w/ Power Herbs)

Like a lot of health-foodies, I got into making my own golden milk. I also created a blend for the morning, which includes matcha green tea, gelatin, and some serious power herbs. (The benefits of these herbs are impressive, as a quick word-search will prove!)

This recipe is not the one you stir together in the evening, in some “relaxing” ritual. (I don’t have time for that myself!) No, this is a quick, handy version, to get optimal nourishment in minimal time, Perfect for those of us who need to stay healthy and keep up with a tight, rigorous routine.

Golden Milk Mix for easy drinks, healthEvery morning, I whirl up a hot drink for husband Tom and I in the blender. I use a scant 1-oz. scoop of this Golden Milk AM blend, plus about 2 TBS. “bullet-proof coco-nut milk” (or coconut cream or oil), for two drinks. I fresh-grate some black pepper on top, since it works synergistically with the turmeric.

Oh, I also add a raw egg (yes, I sometimes feel like Rocky Balboa). But it’s delicious!

You can leave some of these items out. Or you could do like me and invest in these bulk herbs. After researching their benefits, I invested, and have been glad I did!

 This particular recipe yields almost a quart of concentrated blend, and will make about 40 drinks.

INGREDIENTS

Mix the dry ingredients in a quart jar, shaking until mixed. Use: > 1/3 turmeric powder > 3 1/2 TBS. matcha green tea > 1/2 c. gelatin > 2 TBS. Eleuthrero Ginsing > 2 1/2 TBS. maca powder > 2 1/2 tsp. Fo-ti

For 2 drinks, process until frothy in blender: > scant 2 TBS. Golden Mix AM > 2 TBS. “bullet-proof nut milk” (or coconut cream/oil) > 1-2 c. boiling water

Grate fresh black pepper on top and serve.

White Chocolate Cake w/ Strawberries

My mom subscribed to Sunset and Bon Appetit magazines for years (back in the seventies and eighties), and was inspired to make fancy cakes like this, found among the pages. I made the cake again, some fifteen or more years ago, for our oldest son’s birthday. I guess it made quite an impression–he recently asked if I could make it again. I had to do some serious file-digging to turn it up, but I found it. We really enjoyed this birthday cake!

White Cake with Poppy Seeds, White Chocolate, StrawberriesI originally made this cake with cake flour. Well, I don’t make too many cakes, so the next time I went to use it, ew–it had bugs in it! So…I’m much happier with the alternative: using less regular flour and adding a bit of cornstarch. That brings the protein level to that of cake flour, and makes quite a light cake in the process.

Serves 12 or so.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. sugar (.96 lb.)
  • 1 c. butter (.50 lb.)
  • 1 TBS. lemon peel
  • 4 large eggs
  • Scant 2 TBS. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. room-temperature buttermilk
  • 2 TBS. poppy seeds

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBS. lemon juice
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 c. cream, whipped
  • 2 pt. fresh strawberries
  • Optional: White chocolate curls or leaves*

Use 10″ spring form pan; line the bottom with a circle of buttered wax paper.

Mix and set aside: > 2 1/2 c. flour > 2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt

In stand mixer, beat until light: > 2 c. sugar > 1 c. butter

Add one at a time: > 4 large eggs

Also add: > scant 2 TBS. lemon juice > 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add alternately: > dry ingredients > 1 c. room-temp. buttermilk > 2 TBS. poppy seeds

Bake 50-60 minutes at 375 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The sugar-lemon-egg mixture can be done pretty quickly in the microwave, or use a double-boiler. First, heat sugar and lemon juice until bubbly: > 3/4 c. sugar (.37 lb.) > 3 TBS. lemon juice

In a separate bowl, beat well: > 2 eggs

Pour the hot sugar-lemon mix into the beaten eggs, stirring well.

Microwave about three times, at about 11 seconds per time, stirring well afterward, until mixture thickens. Or, stir constantly while heating gently in a double boiler until thickened.

When eggs have thickened the mix, add: > 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped

Stir until chocolate’s incorporated, then let cool.

Fold cooled mixture into the following: > 3 c. cream, whipped

Cut cake into 3 layers, using buttercream and strawberry halves between layers. Optional—garnish with: > White chocolate curls or leaves, plus any additional strawberries

* If cake flour is on hand, use 3 c. cake flour, sifted (.75 lb.), omitting the all-purpose flour and the corn starch

* For chocolate leaves, microwave a half cup or more of chocolate for a minute or so, until melted when stirred. Then, paint the undersides of lemon leaves with the chocolate; refrigerate on wax paper until firm. Gently peel leaf away from chocolate.

Tres Leches Cake w/ Coconut

My husband says a cake can use a fancy name, to distinguish it from any average cake. Of course, a good recipe helps too!

Tres Leches Cake with Coconut- no leftover syrupThere are a lot of recipes for this type of cake, but I wanted one that wouldn’t leave me with pools of leftover Tres-Leches liquid. Yes, we managed to gag down the extra liquid the first time, when I had to leave some of the mix out to avoid an over-soggy cake. (We had some especially-good coffees.) But I didn’t want to make a habit of that!

I discovered I could sub coconut manna (found on Amazon here), for the evaporated milk–the cake had just the right consistency. (But I’ve also included directions for using the traditional ingredients too, sans coconut.)

I made this cake yesterday for a going-away party for two of our New Deli staff. I topped it with chocolate leaves, writing on it, “So sorry you have to leave”. That was fun!

Serves 12 or so.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 c. + 1 c. cream
  • 1/2 c. coconut manna (ie “spread”, “manna”, “concentrate”, “butter”)*
  • Optional: 14-oz. can evaporated milk to sub for coconut manna
  • 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • Optional: maraschino cherries

Beat to soft peaks: > 4 egg whites

Add slowly, beating until stiff: > 1 1/2 c. sugar

Lower speed and mix egg yolks in one at a time, plus the vanilla: > 4 egg yolks > 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together: > 1 1/2 c. flour > 1 TBS. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. salt

Slowly add the dry ingredient mix to the whipped egg mix, alternately with the milk: > 1/2 c. whole milk

Bake in buttered, floured 13×9″ (or 2- 9″rounds), at 350 for 30 minutes

Prepare the “three-milk mix”, stirring until smooth: > 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk > 1 c. cream > 1/2 c. melted coconut manna* (see directions below to sub evaporated milk for the coconut milk

Pour the mixture over the cake after it has cooled a few minutes. For that, poke holes in the cake with fork tines, and pour the three-milk mix over it. Loosen edges of cake as needed, for mix to flow everywhere.

Let cake soak for hours or overnight.

To frost, whip cream with the sugar until light. (For a layer cake, use double these amounts). Whip: > 1 c. cream > 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla

Sorry you have to LEAVE (chocolate leaves decorate going away cake)Frost cake with whipped cream frosting. Traditionally, maraschino cherries might garnish the top, or festive, colored sprinkles. I’ve used candied citrus peel—also very good!

Chocolate Leaves worked well to decorate our going-away cake!

* Or sub 12-oz. can evaporated milk (the traditional ingredient), boiling the evaporated milk and cream down to about a third (1 1/3 c. volume or so)

Chocolate Sponge Cake w/ Raspberry

For our first granddaughter’s first birthday, my daughter-in-law and I made this cake. Everything went fairly well except that the cocoa powder was especially stiff; it did not want to break up, so the cake had teeny little cocoa balls in it! Not what we were going for, but it was still delicious.

Fancy First Birthday Cake decorated w/ rosesThis dessert uses the “Chocolate Sponge Cake” (recipe here). The frosting is made with “Crème Fraiche”, which is a fancy name for cream that’s been allowed to “mellow”. This adds a touch more flavor—delicious!

So, the cake and flavored layers are pretty fancy, but decorating the cake can go fast if you use something like real roses (or other edible flowers). Beautiful and easy.

Serves 15-20.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 qt. whipping cream
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • Chocolate Génoise Cake (see recipe)
  • 1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 lb. blanched almonds*
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 TBS. almond extract
  • 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)
  • 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla

Make the Crème Fraiche a few days ahead. Two or so days earlier, heat to lukewarm: > 1 qt. whipping cream (4 c.)

Remove from heat and mix in: > 1/4 c. buttermilk

Cover and let stand in warm, draft-free area until slightly thickened, 24-48 hours. Cover, refrigerate.

Prepare Chocolate Sponge Cake (see recipe under “Chocolate Sponge Cake”)

Prepare Raspberry Filling; microwave jam in a small bowl, using: > 1/3 c. seedless raspberry jam

Add to the bowl: > 1/3 c. Frozen Raspberry/White Grape Juice Concentrate

Prepare Almond Paste Layer, using: > .50 lb. blanched almonds*

Process dry, blanched almonds until smooth. To processor, add: > 2 egg whites

Process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar > 1/2 TBS. almond extract

Set almond paste aside.

Prepare chocolate mousse filling, and frosting for cake. For that, microwave 30 seconds or so, and stir until melted: > 1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips > 1/4 c. water

Set the melted chocolate mixture aside and let cool off some. Meanwhile, whip just until soft peaks form: > 6 1/3 c. chilled Crème Fraiche (or substitute straight whipping cream)

To prepare the Chocolate Mousse, fold into the cooled chocolate mixture: > Approx. 1-2 c. of the above whipped Crème Fraiche.

Set aside.

Meanwhile, to the rest of the whipped Crème Fraiche add: > 11/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar > 1 1/2 TBS. vanilla

Set the frosting aside.

Split the sponge cake into three layers using serrated knife, setting the first layer (cut-side up) on a cardboard cake square (or flat, square plate). Set the other two layers on wax paper, cut side up. Drizzle the raspberry mixture over the cut side of all three layers.

For the first layer, after adding the raspberry mixture, add about half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Next, add half the Almond Paste, rolled out into a 9″ square (or whatever shape the cake is). Roll it between two layers of plastic wrap, then lift onto the cake, pulling the top half of the plastic wrap off afterwards.

For the next layer, carefully set the middle layer of cake drizzled with raspberry syrup, on top of first layer of cake, raspberry, and almond paste. Add the other half of the chocolate mousse mixture. Also, add the second half of the almond paste, again rolled into a 9″ square.

Finally, lift the top layer of cake (raspberry side down) onto the other two layers.

Frost the cake with the Whipped Crème Fraiche/Confectioner’s sugar mixture. Decorate accordingly. Can make a day ahead.

*For home-blanched almonds, dry them thouroughly before processing, for a smoother almond paste.

 

Golden Milk Recipe for Golden Age

Turmeric! It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and about ten other things. Basically, the answer for everything. (OK, maybe we can’t go that far…) It’s gone mainstream, too. I just saw “Golden Milk Powder” samples featured on display at a local store. But the product had dextrose and other weird ingredients in it and it was pricier, so I’ll continue to make my own. Mine is higher quality, even if it is a little more time-consuming.

Homemade Golden Milk

Most golden milk formulas include a few particulars. Like, black pepper and Ceylon cinnamon (the best of the various cinnamon varieties), which work synergistically with turmeric to increase absorption of nutrients.

Once I’ve made a batch of Golden Milk Paste, I like to blend it with some “Nut Milk, Bullet-Style” (same idea as “bullet coffee”). Adding coconut and butter to the golden milk helps sustain good energy levels; the healthy fats level out sugar levels.

Heating the turmeric mix helps bring out more of the healing qualities, hence the method. This mix keeps two weeks, refrigerated, so freeze some of it (or make a half recipe) if not making several drinks of it daily. Makes about 10 ounces of concentrated paste, for quite a few drinks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole peppercorns)
  • 1/4 c. turmeric root, sliced thin (or sub powder)
  • 2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • Optional: 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
  • Per serving: Milk of choice (dairy, coconut, etc.)

To make “golden milk paste”, mix the first six ingredients in a small pot. Use: > 2 TBS. fresh ginger, sliced thin > 1 tsp. or so fresh black pepper (grated or whole) > 1/4 c. turmeric, sliced thin (or substitute powdered) > 2 TBS. Ceylon cinnamon > 1/2 tsp. cayenne

Slowly stir in the boiling water and simmer for 10-20 minutes, to get the flavor out.

Let pot cool some. Optional: Stir in the honey, if desired, using: > 1/4 c. honey

Stored in glass jar in refrigerator, this will keep for two weeks or more. Or, freeze some of it, to prolong shelf life.

Bullet-Proof Coco-Nut-Butter Cream

I have an older post about Brazil Bark, which gives nutritional reasons for this concoction. But by now, “bullet-proof” coffee, tea and smoothies has kind of gone main-stream…an explanation is hardly required. If you haven’t heard yet, the idea is that adding pastured-butter, plus maybe some coconut (or MCT) oil to various beverages, can help boost energy, suppress appetite, and help regulate blood sugar.

I like to melt a pound or so of butter with an equal amount of coconut spread (AKA coconut manna, coconut butter, etc.). Some folks would rather substitute coconut oil or MCT oil. That’s your choice! I personally am big on whole foods, so I figure, why not throw the whole, ground-up coconut into the mix, fiber and all?

I also add my favorite blend of nuts (or whatever’s available). I like to add macadamias, since they’re lower in polyunsaturated fats (which are inflammatory). Brazil nuts have selenium, so I add some of those too.

Oh dear- sounds like I’ve got off on the nutrition tangent once again. I was intending to just post this “bullet-proof nut milk” recipe. Did I go too far?!

Butter + Coconut Cream + Nuts = Bullet-proofHere goes- an easy way to make a big batch of nut-milk-bark, which will keep for a month or so in the fridge. Just add boiling water to several chunks of this, to make a thick “nut milk cream”. It’ll blend smoother when mixed with the boiling water, making it easier to add to hot drinks and/or smoothies. A jar of the pureed nut milk cream blend will keep for about a week.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. (or one 15-oz. jar) coconut spread (or “coconut manna“, coconut cream concentrate, or coconut butter, which are all 100% coconut meat, ground to a puree)
  • 1 lb. butter (grass-fed, like Kerry Gold. “Organic” is not necessarily grass-fed)
  • 3/4 lb. nuts (macadamias, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, or a mix)

To get hardened coconut cream out of the jar, set the jar on a folded cloth in a small pot of hot water. Let it warm gently on low heat.

Mix the softened coconut butter with the butter in a small pot, until melted. Use: > 1 lb. butter, melted > 1 15-oz. jar coconut spread, softened

Last, stir in: > 3/4 lb. nuts of choice

Cover a cookie sheet or large pan that has edges, with parchment or heavy-duty foil. Pour mixture into lined pan; refrigerate overnight.

Next day, break bark into pieces and store in glass jar. (Or leave on the foil, to break up as needed.) Refrigerate.

To make the nut milk concentrate, blend several big chunks with enough boiling water to process, in the blender. Mix until smooth. The refrigerated blend will last a week, although the “bark” will keep a few months in refrigerator. Use in smoothies or hot drinks as needed. It makes “smoother smoothies” this way!

Fermented Cabbage (Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Etc.)

I love having some preserved veggies on hand. They can give a more boring dish a savory, salty, tangy kick. Sauerkraut or kimchi can serve as a garnish, or a last-minute addition to stir-fries or soups. And, of course the probiotics in the fermented veggies are so good for the gut.

cabbage + salt = easy probiotic, fermented veggies

Some folks shy away from the saltiness of fermented foods, but salt is a natural preservative. One might use as little as 3 TBS. salt per 5 lb. of veggies, but it’s best to not go lower than that.

The recipe below is a loose guideline. You can change up the spices, or add some shredded beets or carrots as well. It’s best to use a larger proportion of cabbage, since it has the most fermentable properties. Note that veggies like onion, garlic and peppers are better used in small quantities, for seasoning, due to their low acidity. Makes 1 qt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. total of veggies (1 head cabbage, plus some carrots and/or beets if desired)
  • scant 2 TBS. salt, non-iodized (about .10 lb.; a scant half ounce of salt per pound of produce)
  • optional: garlic, spices, caraway seed, pepper flakes, ginger, curry, etc.
  • optional: kimchi-style ingredients (fish sauce or kelp powder, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, green onion, etc.)

Fine-slice the cabbage. If using carrots or beets, grate those. If a Korean-style kimchi is desired, use napa cabbage! Use: > 2 lb. total (approx.), of cabbage (including a small amount of carrot, beet, or onion, if desired)

Add the prepped veggies to a large bowl and toss with the salt and any other seasonings of choice. Use: > scant 2 TBS. salt > optional garlic, caraway seed, ginger, pepper flakes, etc.

The mixture will soften up after twenty minutes or so, creating its own juices as well. Then add to a quart jar, pressing in to fit. The vegetables should be pressed down enough that they are submerged in the liquid.

Cover the jar with a coffee filter or a cloth and let sit on counter for about 5 days. Check the jar daily to be sure the vegetables are covered with the juice. If they float to the top, press them down again.

After 5 days or so (this depends on the room temperature), the veggies should be fermented. It will taste fermented! Put a lid on them and refrigerate. Will keep for months.

Thanksgiving Verse (Desktop Wallpaper Too)

I work up various desktop backgrounds to match the season (or my mood)- see “Desktop Wallpapers” for more. With Thanksgiving coming right up, I thought I’d create one for the verse about Thanksgiving from Colossians 2:7.

I set the Thanksgiving table today. It’s a wise thing for two reasons: #1- It can be done ahead, before the kitchen work gets intense, and #2- The weight of the plates and such help pull any wrinkles out of the tablecloth. That’s right- a no iron tablecloth is my goal!

I made the centerpiece ahead of time too- just rounded up some of garden produce kicking around the yard, plus a few greens. Put all that in a burlap-lined wooden box filled with some mason jars. I added little candles to the jars- pretty! (See bottom of post for a closeup of that).

Let the weight of plates pull wrinkles out of tablecloth!The table looked so pretty, I wanted to create some computer monitor wallpaper out of a picture of it. I found this great Thanksgiving Bible verse to go with it, from Colossians 2:7- “Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving.”

Colossians 2:7 Thanksgiving VerseTo use the picture for a desktop background, click the links below, sized to fit wide or short monitors. Left click on the monitor size you want, which brings you to the actual picture, then right click and choose “select (or set) as desktop background”.

Background for wider monitors

Background for shorter monitors

Natural Tablescape w/produce, burlap, mason jars, candles

Chicken Paprikosh

This is one of the first recipes my son wanted after moving into his own place. I don’t think it’s that it’s the most amazing recipe ever, but that we had a lot of good memories of meals shared, enjoying this dish. Chowing down on a hearty helping of this after soccer practices… that kind of stuff!

Chicken Paprikosh with VeggiesThis dish can be thrown together easy, with some pasta on hand, and a bit of sour cream, chicken, and spice. The sour cream adds richness, but yogurt can be substituted. For a more authentic Hungarian flavor, toasted caraway seeds can be added. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 to 4 c. cooked, boned chicken
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 12 oz. or so dry fettuccini (or choice of pasta)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 TBS. chopped, fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • (optional) 1 tsp. toasted caraway seed

Chicken for this dish is best “pulled”, or torn, into pieces, as more sauce clings to it this way. Prepare the chicken ahead of time, or grill 3 or 4 half breasts, to yield: > 3 to 4 c. cooked, boned chicken, pulled (torn) into 1 to 2″ chunks

Also prepare peppers, chopping into 1/2″ diced pieces: > 1 green pepper > 1 red pepper

Grill the diced peppers in very hot skillet for a few minutes, in a little olive oil, with a splash of water to steam them a bit. Set cooked peppers aside.

Cook the following until tender, rinsing, cooling, and tossing with a bit of olive oil to keep it from clumping: > 12 oz. or so dry fettuccini (or your choice of pasta)

In iron skillet or saucepan, mix: > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1/4 c. flour > 1 TBS. paprika > 1 tsp. salt > 1/2 tsp. pepper > 1/2 TBS. chopped, fresh garlic

Slowly add: > 1 1/2 c. chicken stock

Bring mixture to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, adding last: > 1/2 c. sour cream > The cooked chicken chunks > Diced, cooked peppers > (optional: 1 tsp. toasted caraway seed, crushed)

Serve over the cooked pasta, with a side dish of steamed green vegetables, as desired, for extra color.

Mushroom Soup, Creamy, Gluten-free

We used to make a more traditional mushroom soup at The New Deli, using a roux of flour and butter. But why use flour if you can go gluten-free, and let something else give the soup body?

Now we caramelize a pile of onions in butter until golden, then puree that with some mushroom powder. This porcini powder from Amazon is super flavorful. It’ll last a while, which is good, since it is a bit pricy!

We also tried to make our own mushroom powder, which is what the French use in some of their fancy recipes. It can be made with dehydrated mushrooms (see nomnompaleo’s recipe here), but it was way too much work when we tried to dry our own mushrooms… (I’m sticking with already-made porcini powder!)

Creamy Gluten-Free Mushroom SoupINGREDIENTS

  • 3 lb. onion
  • 2 TBS. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 2 TBS. (1 oz.) mushroom powder
  • 2 TBS. Worchestershire
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. cream
  • 1-2 lb. mushrooms
  • Optional: fresh thyme
  • Enough liquid to get to right consistancy

PREPARATION

Saute the onion and garlic in butter until golden and somewhat caramelized: > 3 lb. onion > 2 TBS. minced fresh garlic > 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)

Add: > 2 TBS. mushroom powder

Stir mushroom powder in; bring back to a boil, then puree until smooth (in blender, food processor, or with immersion blender).

In hot skillet, brown the fresh, sliced mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, not adding too many at a time, or they’ll just steam. Use: 1-2 lb. mushrooms

Add to the pureed onion mix in pot, stirring until smooth: > 2 TBS. Worchestershire sauce > 2 tsp. salt > 1 c. cream > Optional: fresh thyme > the grilled mushrooms > Enough liquid to get to right consistancy

Serve with a swirl of sour cream or yogurt if desired.