Coconut black Rice Pudding with Fresh Mangos

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I went to a Vietnamese Chinese market yesterday and bought some beautiful and delicious tropical fruits.  The mangos reminded me of the ones that I used to buy in Malaysia when I was filming Marco Polo.  This morning, I made a coconut black rice pudding with fresh mangos for breakfast. Rice with crushed peanuts is a usual staple for breakfast in Southeast Asia. It is as ordinary as oatmeal in the West.  Of course you can also serve this rice pudding as a dessert.  For me, coconut and mango is a perfect combination, like peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and chocolate.

I made my rice in the automatic rice cooker as I sliced the fruits. It’s simple and easy. I used the coconut milk beverage from the carton to cook the rice. And I drizzled about 2 to 3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk from the can on top of the pudding before serving. 

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Coconut Black Rice Pudding with Fresh Mangos

Ingredients:

1 cup of Thai black sweet rice or Forbidden Rice

2 cups coconut milk, beverage from the carton

1/4 cup or more xylitol or sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk, can

2 tablespoon crushed peanuts, optional

2 ripe yellow mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced (small, flattened oval shape mangos)

Preparation:

Pour the rice, coconut milk beverage, xylitol or sugar, vanilla in the rice cooker and let soak for 30 minutes before pushing the on button.

When the rice cooker turns to warm, let rice sit for 5 minutes. Scoop rice into serving bowls and top with fresh mango slices, coconut milk from the can and crushed peanuts if using.

If you like your pudding wetter and creamier, you can also pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut milk from the can into the rice cooker after rice has been cooked. Mix with a non-scratch spatula before scooping into serving bowls.  If you use forbidden rice instead of sticky rice, it tastes better in the creamier version.

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I used the left-over coconut milk from the can and the mango to make coconut mango panna cotta. I will share the recipe another time. 

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Freekeh Pilaf and Coconut Macaroons

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There is a research study done by the scientists at Harvard School of Public Health that shows that people who consumed at least 10.22 grams of cereal fiber had a 19% lower risk of death.  If you can cheat death by eating delicious whole grains, then why not?

I reached for the bag of freekeh in the pantry immediately after I read the article because freekeh contains twice the amount of dietary fiber than comparable grains.  I made it with beets and chards and they turned out to be quite delectable.

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Freekeh and Beet Pilaf

Ingredients:

8.8 oz. (250g) cooked beets (I used 1 bag organic Love Beets)

1 bunch red chard, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed

3 cups cooked freekeh

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or diced 1/2 cup (optional)

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Preparation:

Cook freekeh according to package instruction.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the caraway, chards, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes until the chard are nicely infused with the garlic and oil.

Add the beets and freekeh. Toss together until the ingredients are well combined and the freekeh is heated through and colored with beet juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Transfer to a wide serving bowl or platter, and sprinkle the goat cheese over the top. Serve hot.

Freekeh is also great in salads.

Adapted from: nytimes.com

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And for desert I made coconut macaroons.  There is simply no other confections with higher dietary fiber than macaroons.  And you don’t need a pastry course to achieve the sweet toasted crunch and pillowy center.  A 10-year-old can pull it off.  Seriously.  It’s that easy.

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Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (5 large) egg whites

1/4 cup xylitol

pinch of salt

10 oz sweetened coconut flakes (Baker’s)

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

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Preparation:

In a heavy saucepan combine egg whites, sugar, salt and coconut flakes, sliced almonds and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until all the ingredients combine together, about 12 minutes.

The mixture should be sticky and moist, not dry. Remove from heat and stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Set aside on a dish and let it cool in the refrigerator about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Using a tablespoon, scoop tightly packed tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper.

Bake 30 minutes or until golden.

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Adapted from: skinnytaste

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

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Yesterday Audrey heard formally from the director that she got the title part in the film Adeline.  This spring break will be a very special memory for both Audrey and me.  We will be playing mother and daughter in a film together!  Audrey will be playing a girl who tries to take care of her mother’s messy life.  She was so happy about the news that she decided to make a dessert to celebrate, but the dessert needed to stay in the fridge overnight.  So we all had it this morning.  It turned out to be perfect for breakfast — so refreshing, nutritious and delicious.  It reminded me of the tropical tapioca that Audrey and I loved to eat when we were in Malaysia last year while shooting Marco Polo, but this version is much healthier.  This pudding is so easy to make that it is almost magical.  You simply put everything in a mason jar, close the lid and shake.  And tomorrow morning — voila!  You feel pretty witchy eating these fattened up translucent live chia seeds, too.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup almond milk or low fat coconut milk or milk (Audrey used 2% milk)

3/4 cup fresh ripe champagne mango, diced

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut (Audrey used unsweetened)

2 to 3 stevia packets, or 2 to 3 tbsp sugar/honey/xylitol, or sweeten to taste (Audrey used 1 pack stevia and 1 1/2 tbsp xylitol)

Audrey doubled the recipe and made two jars.

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Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix well and close container. Refrigerate overnight or at least 5-6 hours.

Adapted from: skinnytaste.com

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Check out our other coconut recipes:

Banana Snacking Cake with Cashew Coconut Cream

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When I went to the library to return a book for Audrey, I browsed the isles and chanced upon a book written by Maya Angelou, called Letter to My Daughter.  The first essay was titled Home.  I was immediately drawn to it because the word home is the most beautiful word that I have ever known. 

Home — not just a warm place where one can take off one’s stinky socks and plunk down without apology, but also where one feels completely free and unencumbered in a spiritual sense — is everything I have ever wanted.

No one has defined that sense of belonging more eloquently and poignantly as Angelou did in her essay: 

“Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen.

I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”

And home, of course, is also where we bake.

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This moist banana cake is gluten free, vegan and delicious.

BANANA SNACKING CAKE WITH CASHEW COCONUT CREAM

Ingredients:

1 Cup Almond Meal

1/2 Cup Spelt Flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 Cup Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

2 packs Stevia

1/2 Cup blackstrap molasses

1/4-1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, plus extra for finishing

Few pinches of Fresh Grated Nutmeg

2 Large Extra Ripe Bananas

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, warmed to a liquid

2 Eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

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Ingredients for Cashew Cream:

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews, soaking in water for an hour

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp. Honey or Maple

1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

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Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350′.

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, smash the bananas really well, breaking down the chunks. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla and mix. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.

Grease an 8×8 glass baking pan and pour in the mix. Bake on the middle rack for about 22-24 minutes. Being sure the center is just set.

Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour as it re-absorbs some of the steam.

For the cream, drain the cashews and put them in a food processor with the coconut milk, honey and lemon juice. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. It will have a bit of texture to it. The cream will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Add a bit of the cream to each piece of cake. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Adapted from: sproutedkitchen.com

Gluten-Free Coconut Pancakes & Snap Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing

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Both Audrey and Peter were up by 7am.  Peter was going to work and Audrey was going to taking her practice SSAT today.  We were all a bit tired because Peter got called at 1am and then again at 3am, and Audrey went to bed late.  But the three of us enjoyed our coconut pancakes peacefully while the humming birds flitted about the lemon tree and the golden Californian light streamed through the windows. 

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup coconut milk (drinking kind, not canned kind)

2 tbsp organic, cold-pressed coconut oil

3 eggs

1-2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Maple syrup to taste

Coconut oil for cooking

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Preparation:

Thoroughly mix the eggs, coconut oil, and honey together. Add the coconut milk and vanilla extract.

Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix, but not too much!

Melt a dab of coconut oil in skillet on medium heat.  Ladle a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.  Flip the pancakes when they begin to bubble and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip pancakes only once; over-handling toughens them.

Eat right away.

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Adapted from: paleohacks.com

By 8am, the house was quiet and empty.  Angela would not wake up for at least another 4 hours.  I turned on my iPad and began reading Dog Beach. a fast paced action novel written by John Fusco, the creator of the Marco Polo series. 

I bought the book about a week ago and was waiting to read it when I had a stretch of quiet and relaxed time.  Today seemed perfect.  By 12:30pm, everyone was up and back.  I was so immersed in the story that I really didn’t want to put the book down, but it was time to fix lunch. 

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I took a little break from the breakneck action, and made a refreshing salad with snap peas.  The season for peas is short and I want to enjoy their crunchy sweetness while it lasts.

Peter went back to work.  Angela rolled out of bed and rushed to karate practice.  Andrey disappeared somewhere in the house, and I went immediately back to the book.  John used such vivid verbs that I could see the action in front my eyes as I read.  I loved the characters he created, especially the hard-boiled, taciturn stunt man, Louie Mo.  The book is essentially about a shared adventure — a master’s swan song and a newcomer’s debut.  Beautifully done, John!

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Snap Peas, Edamame, Radish Salad in Sesame Dressing

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh snap peas, trimmed

1/2 cup of cooked shelled edamame

1 bunch radish

1 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon 100% pure sesame oil

1 tablespoon xylitol or golden brown sugar

1 stock minced green onion

1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

A dash of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Wash and thinly slice the radish, transfer to a bowl.  Add 1/4 tsp salt.  Mix and let sit for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, blanch the snap peas in large saucepan of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to large bowl.  Add cooked edamame beans.

Squeeze the radish juice dry and add to the large bowl with the snap peas and edamame.  It’s important that you squeeze the juice out to get rid of the spiciness of the radish.

Whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, xylitol or sugar, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. (Peas and dressing can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand separately at room temperature.) Pour dressing over snap peas, edamame and radish in large bowl; toss to coat. Season salad to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

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Adapted from: epicurious.com

Almond Date Truffles

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Angela was completely vexed when she saw my previous post.  “Oh, Mother, this is disastrous.  I can’t believe you would write things like, ‘I savor and cherish these simple moments.’  It’s horrendous.”  Angela has been busy and didn’t “safe guard” the blog for the last few days from my goopy oldladyishness.  I know what I wrote was unoriginal, but that was what I was feeling.  “Does it really sound so awful?” I asked Peter and he reassured me that it was fine.  (But really, what else could he say?)

Angela’s annoyance with me reminded me of a passage from Rilke’s early journal where he lamented the “abyss” between generations, “Oh, if only our parents were born at the same moment we were, how much conflict and bitterness we would be spared.  But parents and children can only go after each other — not with each other.  And so an abyss lies between us, which, now and then, nothing but a little love can span.”

Yes, love.  That is always enough.

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We went to a friend’s’ house for dinner and I brought the almond date truffles for dessert.  They took less than 30 minutes to make and even shorter time to be all gobbled up.

Almond Date Truffles

Ingredients:

20 Medjool dates, seeded (Plump, soft and sticky ones from Sun Date, bought from Costco)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup creamy almond butter

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. 100% unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup toasted almonds, well chopped

Preparation:

Put the dates and vanilla in a food processor and run until a chunky paste forms. Add the almond butter and pulse a few more times. Add the coconut, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon and pulse a few more times. The mixture should be a tad crumbly, but press between your fingers and stick together. If it seems too wet to hold in a ball, add more coconut, if too dry, add a touch more almond butter or a splash of water.

Roll a Tbsp. of the mixture between your palms to form a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Put your chopped almonds in a round bottom bowl, (I used a Chinese rice bowl.) and roll the date ball one by one by moving the bowl in a circular motion.  Or you can put the chopped almonds on a plate and roll each truffle in the almonds.

If you want your date truffles to taste more chocolaty, you can roll them in 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder in a rice bowl. 

Place the plate in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Truffles will keep covered in the fridge for a couple weeks.

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Recipe inspired by sproutedkitchen

Baked Coconut Yam Fries

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I caught Audrey listening to Taylor Swift while practicing piano a couple of times.  I also caught her practicing with one hand while snacking with the other a couple of times.  Finally I decided that her playing piano was a futile effort for everyone involved.  Peter and I sat her down a couple of weeks ago and told her that we were letting her off the hook, that it was okay with us if she didn’t play the piano any more.  Unexpectedly, she said she didn’t want to stop.  She insisted on continuing to take lessons.  We told her that it would be her choice to either practice much more conscientiously or to stop entirely.  We told her to think it overnight and let us know her decision the next day.  The next day Audrey solemnly declared that she would practice everyday and with focus, that she wanted to continue piano. 

It’s been about two weeks since her own decision to continue playing the piano and I am hearing a marked improvement in her playing.  Life is full of surprises.

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Baked Coconut Yam Fries

Ingredients:

1 yam (spiralized or sliced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/2 tablespoon xylitol or sugar (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Coat the spiralized or sliced yam with coconut oil and shaved coconut in a baking pan.  Spread a thin layer of yam in the baking dish. You may need two baking pans for this.  The fries will not be crispy if the layer is too thick.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes and then flip over. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until browned. 

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No Bake Almond Coconut Chocolate Mousse Tart

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Amongst the bills and junk mail I found two packages that made me happy:  One is the Bay Area Consumers’ CHECKBOOK and the other is a certificate of commendation plus a check for Angela. 

This month’s CHECKBOOK is featuring top doctors rated by their peers.  Practicing physicians in the Bay Area were asked which doctors they considered most desirable to care for their loved ones, and Peter received the highest number of votes in the field of cardiology in San Francisco.  I am so glad that my perpetually overworked husband has the respect and trust of his peers.

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Hubby (the one on the right) doing teaching in an animal lab with his friend

Angela won a community service grant to promote healthful eating and exercise in low-income children. When she was in Andover, she volunteered at the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club to teach kids karate.  When she came back to San Francisco she started our blog with the intention of promoting healthy home cooking, starting from this household.  This grant will encourage her to continue her efforts.

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It is time to celebrate!  In my younger days, I never allowed myself to enjoy the little victories in life.  I felt that if I became pleased with myself, I would stop improving.  But now I can feel proud and rejoice in every achievement of my loved ones.  Life is worth celebrating.  Period.  Hence this delicious tart.  It is an easy to make grain-free, sugar-free tart that you won’t feel guilty after eating a slice or two. You don’t even need to own an oven to make it.  (For another excellent no bake cake, please check out Healthy Raspberry Cheesecake.)

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INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST

1 1/4 cups raw almond meal or almond flour (or you can grind 1 1/2 cup of almonds)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 1/2 tablespoon xylitol or sweetener of choice

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

(You can add a little more coconut oil if the almond mixture feels too crumbly.)

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INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

6 tablespoon 100% cocoa powder

2 tablespoon xylitol or sweetener of choice

1 cup coconut milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoon coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

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TOPPING:

Unsweetened coconut chips

Sliced almonds

Raspberries

PREPARATION:

In a mixing bowl, mix almond meal and shredded coconut with melted coconut oil and xylitol. Line a tart pan with food safe plastic wrap.  Using a rubber spatula, spread nut mixture into the bottom of the lined tart pan.  (The plastic wrap makes it easier to lift the tart out of the pan.)

In a small saucepan, mix the cocoa powder, xylitol, coconut flour and xanthan gum.  Pour coconut milk and vanilla into the saucepan.  Mix well.  Stir over low heat.  After the mixture thickens, turn off the stove and let rest for 1 minute. Pour chocolate filling into tart (or pie) shell. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 6 hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, you can leave the tart in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes.)

When ready to serve, toast coconut chips in a small frying pan on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Allow the coconut to cool. Sprinkle coconut chips, sliced almonds on the tart. Decorate with raspberries. Slice and serve immediately.

NOTE:

Coconut oil becomes firm in the refrigerator due to its high melting point, which helps the crust on this tart solidify. It will remain solid below temperatures of 76°F.

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Recipe Inspired by:

siftandwhisk.com

A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody!

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Audrey is wearing her favorite Sweatybands, they really don’t slip!

Our blog is one month old today (and perfectly enough, it’s also National Nut Day! Seriously, look it up).  Angela opened the blog to help me eat more mindfully.  What started out as short blogs of our daily meals became longer and longer, and turned into a form of self expression that I look forward to writing everyday. 

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Essayist Rebecca Solnit wrote in her book The Faraway and Nearby, “Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone… Matters that are so subtle, so personal, so obscure that I ordinarily can’t imagine saying them to the people to whom I’m closest.”

Though writing in English is a painstakingly slow process for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed this month’s foray into blogging. Despite what Angela calls the mawkish old-lady-ness in my writing, we have had over 80,000 views in our first month. A story is a heart that only beats in the chests of the listeners. Without the listeners, my telling stories would only be muttering to myself, which of course is sometimes also necessary. I am grateful for Angela and sometimes Peter for correcting my English.  As I am writing, I could hear Angela’s exasperated voice, “Oh mommy, how can you spell raisin wrong?”  That was actually a typo.  I do know how to spell raisin, but I often use the wrong articles and sometimes I’m not sure whether to use in or at or on…  However, I have hope.  Practice makes perfect, as I have always been telling the girls.

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In the Chinese tradition, when a baby is one month old, the family will have a red egg party.  In the olden times, infant mortality was high and the family wouldn’t consider the baby a real member of the family until he has survived the first month.  Well we didn’t want to get attached to this blog since we might give up on it any time but after a month we’ve decided to make it our baby.

To celebrate the first month anniversary of the blog, I made tea eggs instead of red eggs simply because they are much tastier.  Tea eggs are a nostalgic dish from Shanghai and I have made them dozens of times, usually by feel.  Today I tried a recipe from one of my favorite Asian recipe website, rasamalaysia.com, and the result was delicious, at least for Peter and me.  Angela said that she was shocked at my choice of Chinese recipes for the blog.  Who is going to cook Chinese mountain yam or tea eggs?  Perhaps she is right, but tonight I will indulge in nostalgia.

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I have a friend who is in the Pu-er tea business and she gave me some tea preserved in orange peels. The tea has a hint of the orange, which is quite aromatic.

Ingredients:

12 eggs

4 cups water

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Chinese pu-erh tea leaf

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

3 cloves

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon sugar

12 鸡蛋

946 mL 水

89 mL 鲜酱油

44 mL 普洱茶或任何红茶

1 根 桂皮

3 八角

3 丁香 (可以省略或用花椒)

2.5 mL 五香粉

4 g 糖

Method:

Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and gently drop in the eggs. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Bring the water to boil on high heat. Boil for about 10 minutes or so to make sure the eggs are cooked.

Transfer the hard-boiled eggs out of the hot boiling water and rinse them with cold water. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently tap the eggshell to crack the shell. Return the eggs to the water and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the tea mixture to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours (the longer the simmering, the better the taste). Add more water if needed. Serve immediately or leave the tea eggs in the mixture overnight to further develop the color and flavor.

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And what is celebration without a cake? I decided to bake a gluten free pineapple upside down cake and it turned out quite well. The entire house smelled like a ripe tropical fruit.  Angela, however, was disgusted by the Maraschino cherries that I used to decorate the pineapple.  She said the whole purpose of the blog was to help us eat healthy and I sacrificed what was important for triviality.  I guess we will not eat those cherries.  She IS the food Nazi.

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MOIST ALMOND COCONUT PINEAPPLE CAKE

1-1/2 cups Almond Flour

1/2 cup Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 cup Xylitol

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

4 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsb. Molasses

1 can Pineapple slices

1/2 cup shredded coconut

8 Maraschino cherries

Pre heat the oven at 350°F, grease the 9X13inch baking pan, spread Molasses at the bottom of the pan, line pineapple slices before pour in the cake mix.  Almond flour and coconut do not absorb as much liquid as regular flour.  I could probably have made a better cake by cutting the milk to 1/4 cup.

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How I Quit Twin Peaks to Eat Coconut

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Twin Peaks is back after 25 years, but I highly doubt that I will be back as Josie.  I was the exotic beauty in an incestuous town, a poisonous fish out of water.  And we all know I that haven’t been these things for quite a while now.  However, a glimmer of hope still exists, for Josie was last seen trapped in a wooden doorknob.  Perhaps I can come back in one of the episodes as a doorknob witch? 

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I have made countless stupid mistakes in life and wanting to be written out of Twin Peaks was among the stupidest.  With the ignorance of my youth, and the influence of the PC factions in the Asian community, I naively rebelled against being an exotic flower.  I believed that I should want to be something more meaningful. When I asked to be written out of Twin Peaks, I didn’t realize how impossibly precious the opportunity of being a beautiful Ming vase was.  Unlike a real Ming vase, the value of which increases by the day, the human version, like a blossoming cereus, is only valuable for a few short hours.  Couldn’t I have searched for meaning after my once in a lifetime bloom?

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‘The Night-Blowing Cereus’ by Robert John Thornton, 1799

The project for which I quit Twin Peaks was called Turtle Beach, a disaster of a film that no one ever saw.  The only good thing was that it was filmed in Thailand, where the world’s best coconuts were grown.  I came to LOVE coconut during the 10 weeks of filming Turtle Beach on the balmy beach of Phuket. 

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Coconut love on “Turtle Beach”

People still walk up to me to tell me they loved me in Twin Peaks.  I would be walking on the street or shopping for groceries with a dirty face, and a stranger would begin to gush about Twin Peaks with me.  I have always been quite shocked and totally embarrassed at how people could make the connection between this slob and Josie Packard. 

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For desert tonight I served my family almond flour coconut chocolate cookies and coconut mango raspberry ice cream as I told them the story of how I ended up in a wooden doorknob so many years ago.  And how I came to love coconut.

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Sprouted Kitchen cookie recipe slightly revised:

1 ¼ cups almond meal (I added 1/4 cup of coconut flour)

¼ cup cacao nibs (I used Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened dark chocolate)

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup  muscovado sugar (I used sugar free maple syrup)

1 egg

3 tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil (I replaced it with non fat Fage)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)

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8 ounces mango
4 ounces raspberries
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
2 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup non-fat Fage
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup shredded toasted coconut, plus additional for serving
This recipe was improvised based on a few online references.