Yerba Mate Tea Trend

I’m a constant tea drinker and am always open to trying new teas. The latest and greatest “super” tea seems to be Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate is said to:

  • Have multiple antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids
  • Increase energy (as it has more caffeine than most teas, but still less than coffee)
  • Aids in digestion
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves mental function/concentration

Sounds good to me….until I tried it. The taste of Yerba Mate reminded me of tree bark combined with smoke. It is not a tea I could drink on it’s own. After a few failed concoctions, I finally found a way to drink this wonder tea. Combine it with Mint Tea. The mint completely overpowers the Yerba Mate. Drink on!

Drinkable Yerba Mate:

  • 1 Yerba Mate tea bag
  • 1 Mint tea bag
  • Stevia (optional)

Vinaigrette Dressing

It can’t get any easier than vinaigrette dressing for a salad, but I recently read a few pointers (frenchandparfait.com) to make it better.

The basic recipe:

  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (mix until dissolved), then add…
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, mix then add…
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp at a time and mix

Here are the tips:

  • Vinegar to oil is always a 1 to 3 ratio
  • Use a wooden spoon (no metal)
  • The order you mix your ingredients is important. Mix as listed above

Variations:

  • Start with a minced shallot, then add the vinegar, salt, etc. as listed above
  • Add 1 tsp Dijon Mustard after the black pepper, before the oil

Product Recommendations

Here’s three products I’m loving.

Olema Rose Wine. So good and reasonably priced at $14.

 

Native Deodorant. Native contains no aluminum, smells great, and works better than any other deodorant I’ve tried.

 

Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self. This book provides a perfect introduction to yoga including workbook style prompts to help you be the best you.

Its Official, Rosé Season is Here

I know some of you are still living in the cold, but for me here in Mexico we went straight from a few weekends of winter to summer. And while I’m not quite ready for all the heat, I am quite ready to start drinking Rosé.

Note: (If you are still experiencing winter weather, well… it is officially Spring so go ahead)

Here’s a few stats on Rosé

  • Rosé (French) is called Rosado (Spain), Rosato (Italy), and it’s also known as blush
  • European Rosés are drier than rosés from other parts of the world
  • Primarily consumed in Spring and Summer
  • Fruity profile and should be dry
  • Serve chilled
  • One of the most versatile food friendly wines
  • Bargain wine

When in doubt, ask for a dry Rosé from Provence under $15.00. Á votre santé!

A Liquid Life

I have a drinking problem. Not alcoholic, but healthful. Is it possible to get out of control with daily healthy drinks? I’m beginning to wonder and so is my sloshing stomach Here is my daily consumption:

Warm water with lemon OR Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Morning Smoothie (including a plethora of powders)

 

Green Tea (probably 2-3 cups)

 

Then later I have my daily bottle of homemade Kombucha

 

A bottle of Topo Chico (carbonated mineral water)

 

A cup of Matcha with almond milk

 

More tea throughout the late afternoon/evening

 

And I’m thinking of starting a late night cup of Golden Milk (Turmeric benefits)

 

 

Moms Spinach Salad with Homemade Croutons

I’m not a big fan of salads. I try to eat them because I know I should, but rarely do I get that satisfied feeling from them. The exception is my moms spinach salad with croutons. Put a bowl of her salad in front of me and I’m all over it.

Recipe:

  • Stir fry 3 tsp sesame seeds in butter until the seeds turn brown. Scoop out the seeds and set aside.
  • Cut up some French bread into cubes for the croutons. Add more butter to your pan and fry away. Amounts are subject to your preference. A lot of croutons = more bread. Buttery croutons = more butter.
  • When the croutons are crusty, put them in a bowl and toss with parmesan cheese. Set aside.

For the dressing:

  • Mix 3 tbsp. oil with 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Add the sesame seeds, salt & pepper, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and salad supreme seasoning. (All seasoning to taste)

Toss the spinach with the dressing and add the croutons.

Best Italian Restaurant in Santiago

L’Anfora Ristorante Italiano

It’s always awesome when you find a good restaurant. Sunday Sr. Elizondo and I decided to have lunch in Santiago at L’Anfora. I’m so happy we did. It had a great vibe with a very attentive staff. We had a bottle of LA Cetto Nebbiolo 2013 which was a smooth red vino, caprese salad with focaccia, pastas, and flan. We enjoyed all of them! And after, with tummies extended from full capacity, we walked through the plaza planning our next visit.

 

Clatoufis- A Ridiculously Easy French Dish

A clatoufis is a French dish that has a texture between a flan and cake (kinda). It’s really yummy for breakfast or dessert, especially if you’re one of those people that does not like super sweet. I made mine with blueberries, but you can probably use any berry or stone fruit.  Below is the recipe I worked off of.

I did not measure out my fruit. I simply put a layer of blueberries at the bottom of the dish. And because I’m even more lazy than measuring out fruit, I put the remaining ingredients in the blender.  This dish literally took under 10 minutes to prepare and looks pretty impressive.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pints blueberries, washed and drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place blueberries in the bottom of a small rectangular glass pan (about 8 by 10 inches).

In a medium bowl, crack eggs and whisk lightly. Add sugar and continue whisking until mixture thickens and is pale yellow. Add milk and vanilla; whisk to combine. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add a pinch of fine salt and whisk to incorporate. Pour mixture over berries.

Bake on the center rack of the oven until the clafouti has puffed and the center bounces back when lightly pressed, about 45 minutes, rotating once.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting. Slice into 8 equal pieces and gently remove from pan with a spatula or cake server. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Meet Fred-My New Scoby

This is Fred. He’s a scoby (bacteria) that is used to make Kombucha.

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Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that dates WAY back to China and Russia. It has scads of health benefits such as probiotics, detox, improves digestion, alkalizes the body, etc. I recently ordered a Kombucha starter kit from getkombucha.com. Here’s Fred feasting on some sugared tea. He’s at the bottom of the jar and his newly made offspring is at the top (Fred Jr. I guess).

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After about 16 days, I did a taste test and checked the ph and it was all signs Go! Next, I bottled the tea in individual jars straining out all the Fred bits. I will leave them in the pantry for two more days to get carbonation.

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Next step is¨”Cheers”! Fred’s back in freshly brewed tea to start the process again.  This second batch I will be experimenting with flavors, especially ginger since that is my favorite store bought Kombucha. Side note: Kombucha is not cheap here in Mexico. I will have paid for my kit with the second batch, and then it’s a free lifelong supply.