Cooking · Parenting · Recipes · Travel

Cacao For Now

Sometimes breakfast can be an overload on mornings my sleepy sun “Seven” and I are trying to get out the door. His tired being often wants to skip it, though I know eating breakfast helps him, a lot, to enter the day, fuel his dust kickin’ walk, his talk, talk, talk…

These days we are in half a banana, one egg, pinch o’ salt, dash o’ cinnamon, beat well, fry in butter, flip, brown, serve mode. And it’s workin’. The round can be a bit soft and sometimes break on the lift, but it’s delish. Two smalls would work perfectly, but I like the simplicity of one.

A couple days ago, I added 2 tsp. o’ raw oats to bring the bind, letting them soak a bit, while the boy slid from bed to sofa to sofa to bed, draggin’ butt to shorts and shirt. The oats brought more firmness, of course.

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This quick-whip breakfast is wholesome, satisfying and yum. “Seven” scarfs it right down, like he does all pleasing life.

Today, I added 1 heaping tsp. of unsweetened cocoa from “Mexicolate”, our local in house native cacao processing boutique and chocolatería. Que fabulouso!

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The banana provides a lotta sweet, the cocoa balancing it out. Though a fat pat of butter and drizzle of honey never hurt.

We are in the midst of a busy week, beach parties, circus performance, Halloween and Day of the Dead. And here in Mexico, if they say it starts at 630, well, it starts at 8.

We are often first to arrive and early to leave, and I am not ashamed. I have to live with the kid. Wink. Wink. I want him to rest.

When I visited “Mexicolate”, this morning, the owner, “Toto”, was there. He gave me a sample of a grain free, dairy free lime torte, the crust made of dates and coconut and the top with avocado and lime. It was beyond yum. I have already been on their whole sensual tour before, but today I met Max, a chocolatier, who let me snap him up.

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Their chocolates are lovely, hardly sweet at all, with a bit of cardamom and honey and topped with dried and fresh fruits, spices and peels. When I tried the chile one, I chewed the dry strip up well, then, half way through, spit it out. It had done it’s job. Click here to find out more about this fabulous business, from pod to mouth.

Can you think of a good name for the Banana “Omelette”, that has no roll, Pancake, that has no grain, but is full of possibility?

“Seven” suggested “Banana Egg Galaxy”, or how about “Dragon Butt Egg”?

I hope you’ll try this my friends, get creative with what ever you have. Cocoa, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate chips, cream cheese, jam… Or dairy free, too. We just like the smell of morning fried in butter.

Buen Provecho!

And don’t forget, whatever, where ever, take it in slow and holy…

Xo,
e.

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Cooking · Creativity · Parenting · Recipes

Sneaky Rice

Hello Lovelies!

Sometimes, I feel like I have so many ideas and things to do and say, that I crowd myself out and never get anything done. Never finish anything. Always just mental diving. Though this week I did start and complete a big dream catcher. Sí, mis amigos, if I had a dollar for every novel I have picked up in the last year, begun, then quickly laid aside in between it all, I would be on a flight to Buenos Aires already!

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~ Nearly Done ~

With this blog, though I have been strongly feeling to begin it, I thought I already had too many half pots on the fire. “No way, Ladypants!” First you must finish the drawings for the coloring book, finish the designs for the CaféPress page, and make that beach mobile that lay in pieces of soft wood, thin rusty metal, worn, edgey shell, crowding the only table in the room.

Et voilá, here I am starting a blog. No new drawings. Big pile ‘o books.

One thing I do finish easily these single-mama days is the cooking, and many times, I finish the dishes in the same day. I’m a clean as I go kinda cook. One who, when alone, listens to food podcasts while cooking and reads food books while eating.

In my inner and outer kitchens, I love working with what is. I highly appreciate simplicity, economy, creativity, and whimsy. Ingenuity. Experiment. I can assure you, though I favor simplicity, there is no compromise of smooth or bold in my bowls. Things are never dull. I simply enjoy working with a given palette, what is already here, and sometimes I am surprised by all there is. In this way I create. Though of course I also do the shopping of basics, and seasonal, too.

My recipes are not precise, clear blueprints. They are solid approximations. They generally require tasting. I encourage you, don’t be afraid of raw, open your mind and flatten your buds. Allow it to come freely. I imagine my sharing recipes this way may be helpful to those who would like to get a little more comfortable with their intuitive cook. Get their taste bud trust running high and low.

Welcome! I hope you will be pleased, entertained, inspired and guided. I am happy to be here. I am Enza Esperanza.

And now, while my brightest sun, “Seven”, is swinging on a trapeze in the big bodega turned circus school, across from the “Mexichocolate” shop, with a bunch of other little jumpy, brown monkeys, and the sweat beads a tropical shine upon my face, I want to tell you about my lunch.

Looking around, I decided on making a big, thin sweet potato pancake, with red onion, garlic and broccoli, but it turned into sweet potato fried rice with ginger, chile and peanut butter. It was fabulous. Crêpe omelette strips, and cucumber, on the side.

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Note: I love sweet potatoes and use them in many ways. One kid pleasing favorite is to blend them, baked or quick steamed, with tomato sauce (thin with water, possibly add salt and pep, a splash of balsamic) for pasta, pizza, etc. Think Romano cheese. Extra vitamin A and C. Calcium. A nice soft landing. Tone and balance.

Ahhh, a little further now, into the now, I offer you today’s culinary coming together, a kid pleaser, even with it’s ginger zing, for the peanut butter, ahh, the peanut butter knows it’s earthy place.

Ginger, Peanut, Sweet Potato Fried Rice

A.K.A. Sneaky Rice  (Serves Four)

~ 2 Cups Cooked Rice, loose not packed (I love Jasmine)

Patiently Sautée (to beginning stage of caramel, golden brown):

~ 1/2 Red Onion, diced

~ Sprinkle with Sea Salt

Add:

~ 3 or 4 Garlic Cloves, minced (brown a bit)

Add:

~ 1 Medium/Large Sweet Potato or Yam, grated
~ 1/2 Crown and Stem of Broccoli, chopped small

~ Sprinkle with Sea Salt

Sautée, approximately five minutes.

Add:

~ 1/8 tsp. Cayenne and a Squeeze of Lime
or Several Shakes of Your Favorite Hot Sauce
~ A 2 inch piece of Fresh Ginger, grated
~ The Cooked Rice
~ Two Honking Tablespoons of Unsweetened, Salted Peanut Butter
~  Medium Pour of Oil, your choice
~ A Bit of Water, 2-3 Tablespoons

Mix well, nice round, lifting, under belly strokes!

Continue to sautée until all is tender, approx. two more minutes.
Remove from heat.

Plate and top with:

Omelette Strips

~ Two Eggs, mixed well
~ Pinch of Salt

Fry thin, cover to steam, or flip, to brown.

Cut into 1/4 inch strips and pile onto each heap of rice.

Garnish with green onion, cucumber, cilantro,
mint, cherry tomatoes, whatever moves your fancy.

Of course, you can use any veggies you choose, sweet red pepper, carrot, cabbage, red or green… I simply used what was on hand.

In the end, this dish was tickled by my memory of the Senegalese Peanut Soup I loved as a teenager, served with yeasty poppyseed baguette and no salt butter, at The Saxton’s River Inn under Averill Campbell in the early 80’s. To make a similar rich, wonderful soup, from a recipe by Mark Bittman at the New York Times, click here.

Try blending the soup, too. Holding aside the chicken and collards, some onion, tomato, sweet potato, then adding them back in.

Thanks, for coming by! As we go on, I will get more into the cultural and spiritual ins and outs of my flowy day to day, and paint a relaxing, colorful backdrop: my new life, with sun, and Pineapple Tomatillo Compote, in a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Though not before I pay homage to what came before. Up next, APPLE Season in Vermont!

XoXo