Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Forms of cacao

Raw cacao and the cacao health benefits

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The Cacao Bean

Ted talk on the cacao bean

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Ted talk with David Wolfe about chocolate

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dandelion flower jelly

My neighbor’s backyard is not only big but also dandelion heaven. The flowers are a beautiful deep yellow and very big. She is elderly, so rarely uses her yard. It is all fenced in, no dogs, and no pesticides.  So I have her permission to forage as many dandelions as I want. Looking from my window at these beautiful flowers I went to pick a few and decided to make this jelly. This is a very easy and fun project to do with kids. It will become one of their favorite activities to look forward to in the spring and learn to appreciate this amazing power flower!


4 cups water
4 cups dandelion blossoms 
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ( 1/2 package) powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
rind of 1/2 lemon cut in very thin strips


Bring water and dandelion blossoms to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a measuring cup, pressing solids. Discard blossoms.

Combine pectin and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Bring dandelion liquid and remaining 4 cups sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar.

Add the pectin mixture, stirring constantly to dissolve pectin and sugar. Add lemon juice and rind, and boil for 1 minute. Skim foam from the surface. Let cool slightly.

Pour mixture into an airtight container. Cover with a lid. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

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Easy Almond Flour Muffins

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This is a perfect snack! Sweetened with the natural goodness of banana and dates, these muffins are moist and full of nutrition. A great gluten-free option, the almond flour used in this recipe provides more protein and monounsaturated fats (aka the good fats) than most other processed wheat flours. Top with pumpkin seeds or raisins and you have a yourself a satisfying snack that will fuel your body. 

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1 cup farro
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a medium bowl, mix together the farro and 4 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes and drain well.
Heat the broth in a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
Add the shallots and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
Add the drained farro and cook, stirring constantly until toasted, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and stir constantly until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth and stir constantly until completely absorbed. Continue adding the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until the farro is creamy and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in roasted vegetables.
Transfer to a bowl and serve.

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broccoli balls


The cauliflower balls were so good that I decided to do the same with broccoli. This weekend I bought both the cauliflower and the broccoli from one of the farmers at the Jean Talon Market in Montreal. This is a really great market where you can buy your fruits and vegetables. It’s opened year-round and there are over 300 vendors, most of them farmers from around the Montreal area. To make these broccoli balls follow the same recipe as the cauliflower balls.




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cauliflower balls


To make these delicious balls follow your favorite meatball recipe. Leave out the meat and add the cauliflower. It’s that simple. For those who can never have too much cheese, you can add a small cube of mozzarella cheese in the middle of each ball while you are shaping them.




1 large head cauliflower, about 4 cups
3 eggs
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
handful of chopped basil
handful of chopped parsley
1 to 2 tablespoons flour (depending on how moist the cauliflower is)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

Cut most of the stem off the cauliflower floret. Use the florets and the smaller stems for the dough. Reserve the larger stems for a separate use.

Place the florets into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the cauliflower looks like rice, don’t process into a mush.

Whisk the eggs, ½ teaspoon sea salt and other spices, and parmesan cheese in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the cauliflower to the egg mixture. Mix to combine.

Add the flour one tablespoon at a time. Add more depending on the wetness of the dough. The dough should stick together easily.

Scoop up about a tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the balls have turned a light brown and they are dry to the touch and slightly crust-like. The balls should remove easily from the parchment paper.

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