Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cenk on NY Times!

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/travel/09Foodie.htm

I had to run

I had to run to check my email just because I have tons of people
working in the cafe...It is so strange, everyday I am amazed of the
worker flow in this little town. I wish I kept a list of the people
and showed you in a graph. There is either 2 people or 6...So
weird...If one day someone from the USF Business School reads my blog,
I am ready to give my diploma. I agree that I haven't learn a thing at
school...To my credit, I learned a lot in one year...I can say no much
easier now:) With some exceptions of cute guys...Now, strangely more
guys are willing to take a job than girls...They don't mind doing the
dishes, serving or chatting with the customers...I like to have a
balance, so it is nice to have some male energy around.

What are we baking these days....Chocolate chip cookies,
apricot-almond oatmeal cookies and chocolate coconut cake. The rest is
still the same...I got a few requests for a cookbook...That's
something...I also got a request for a wedding cake this sunday.
Things are moving well...

Latest on the menu, get ready for this....Veggie Fries...Plantains,
Yuka and Sweet Potato! I swear I would have never imagined selling
fries a year ago, but I am...They are so tasty...Healthy Fries...yeah
sure:)))

Thursday, December 06, 2007

ouch!

I got a notice from the muni that they will close down the store in 3
days if I dont have the paperwork and the fines paid by then...this
was 2 days ago...After spending hours in between several unnecessary
bureaucratic conversations, paperwork, copies, signatures, crying, all
is done and what a relief...for 10 minutes...my only costa rican
employee, who was working with me for 8 months, tells me she is
leaving for vacation for one month!!!!! By the end of december, the
busiest time of the season...you would think I am used to this by now
but still it gets me...Come on...I was closed for 2 MONTHS!

I have no idea...it will be fine of course, as it was before...Let the
new energy fill my beautiful cafe with lots of love and ideas...Let
the sprit enjoy the flow and dance with eternity...Now, I really want
to kick ass with open buffet vegetarian dinners! I am sooo on it!

Monday, December 03, 2007

what a great idea

The best part about Costa Rica is the coconuts...they are everywhere,
almost free if you know how to open them...Even if you open one by
smashing against the ground, getting the meat out is a painful
process. I broke many spoons, cut my hand and fingers many many times.
Yesterday, at Jeylin's house in Cabuya, I discovered the best tool
ever. Her father built this machine specially to take the meat out
from the coconuts...They have actually built a small scale assembly
line. All the coconuts are gathered in one location, you take one and
move on two the second base, where there is a big wood piece and an
axe. The coconut stays in put in this location and it is easy to cut
it..(relatively easy) Then the best part. Station three. There is a
big metal knob with sharp round points all over...Like a all around
comb... it turns in one direction really fast with electricity. You
take the coconut half and hold carefully stable. As the thing turns,
it shreds the fresh coconut in seconds...It is amazing...Fantastic
idea, life saver and of course the shredded coconut is so tasty, soft
and smells like heaven. We made coconut rice...She makes coconut milk,
coconut oil and so many other things... Sweet life!

Friday, November 30, 2007

working away

its been a tough and rough adjustment back in Montezuma...all is going
ok, working long hours as I have some groups for breakfast and
dinner...

Not much is new, trying to revise and simplify the menu one more time.
However, I got super excited today because we got the Elvis Sandwich
back into the menu with homemade peanut butter!!! I made it with my
new Champion Juicer and it rocks...

Yes, now I have a juicer and we make all kinds of fresh juices,
pineapple beet orange is sooo good, as well as carrot banana
ginger...Thai Greens with cilantro and lime is next to try... Totally
unrelated, I also got a Thai massage this morning and it is the best
ever, I am intrigued by the idea of learning more about it...Maybe
Thailand for my next vacation...

Monday, November 19, 2007

o la la!

there is a snake in my house. I saw him a week ago and I am dead
scared. Dona Betty, my superhero, came by to check on him and we
couldn't find any trace...Yesterday, I was home cleaning up and found
a meter long snake skin on my shoes...it is soooo freaky...

Then all over is scorpions, spiders and on top today in the kitchen, a
rat...I have no idea who to call for help or what to do, so I just
took a break and came down to check my emails. I am soooo ready to
leave here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I don't learn

Worked all day, it was so busy and I had new people to try...by noon,
I recounted the money at the cash, $60 missing...I fired the girl. I
can't do it all alone. Also today, left these amazing people from the
film festival..Eric and Stephanie..They are angels! Eric promised to
come back soon to check out some other ideas...That's a blessing here,
to meet with angels, day by day...

I am freaking out about 18 people...ordering food for them, doing the
prep work....awwww...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Happy Sunday!

Train yourself in doing good
that lasts and brings happiness.
Cultivate generosity, the life of peace,
and a mind of boundless love.

Making yogurt, soy milk, green tea ice-cream and having 18 people for
breakfast and dinner for next week! Busy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Film Festival!

http://www.ticotimes.net/culture.htm

Its about to start and I have soooo much to do...100 different kinds
of bugs ate all my flour, oats and nori sheets! Cleaning
non-stop...It's raining today so, I am not missing much out there.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

in the bank

A couple days ago...Me in the bank to exchange dollars. I had 600
USD. I hand the money to the teller, she takes my bills and gives me
colones and a receipt. The receipt says, I gave her 500 USD. I ask her
to count again, since I am 100% sure that I gave her $600. She counts
the dollar bills in front of me, with a weird look on her face and
smiles with a "este $ 500, don't you know to count!". Opps, my fault!
I always lose stuff, nothing new...so feeling guilty that I misplaced
my money, or possibly dropped it in between two seconds, I removed it
from my wallet to place into my passport...Banks never make mistakes!
woowooo!

I had to step away from the teller, frustrated with myself, not
knowing what to do...i need to complain but i cant do it a lone, i
dont speak Spanish. I need to learn Spanish. I beg the Universe,
please help me with this. I need to learn this language or I am going
to sink in this country. I was lucky to have a friend with me,
embarrassed of the situation, I told her what happened and she told me
many stories where banks did similar things to her. A little relieved,
we walked back to the cashier and complained...We talked to the
manager and complained again...Finally they agreed to recount the
money in the cashier. That took 5 minutes and I was rightttttttttt! We
took the $600...the girl never apologized...not even a I am sorry
smile. I wanted to punch her in the eye so bad...i couldn't of course
but the whole feeling of been taken advantage of sucks...so lesson
learned, double count money, in front of the teller; watch them count
the money without blinking the eye; go to the bank with a friend
until fluent in Spanish!

and of course, don't be nice!

Heading to Montezuma

Goodbye wireless internet, goodbye city life. Its been 2 months I've
been away and now its time to go back to Montezuma. It's 5:30 am in
San Jose. I am half asleep, I couldn't sleep last night. I am nervous,
it is strange, I am not sure if I want to jump back to fire but I have
got so many new ideas, I know once I get there, it will all come
together. The festival, the yoga groups, friends coming for a visit,
friends to hang out....

I am so grateful to my friend Maria, aka Dirty Spatualas. She has been
taking me around San Jose, to find the best flour, ice-cream cones,
buckwheat (only one Russian lady in the middle of no where sells
buckwheat, her name is Irina). We found mung beans, adzuki beans,
matcha powder in a Taiwanese store that looks like a home unless you
know the secret code to enter. I am trying to convince Maria to start
consulting for new businesses. She knows every little secret place, if
she doesn't know it, she would find a phone number and call...If they
don't pick up, she will call again and again!

I have 11 boxes all packed with ingredients, new tools, plates,
cookbooks, ect. It feels like moving...I probably don't have that much
stuff in my house right now. Its hounding on me how I will manage to
get all that stuff into the bus, then into my house, then into the
cafe, but I know it will work some way or the other.

Katy is taking me to the bus station. Mark and Kati also are my
family, they have taken such good care of me here. Knock knock!
Somebody is at the door, this is Mark with a cup of coffee for me...I
am heading to MONTEZUMA!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Secret Superfood! Pumpkins!

I am amazed to learn that pumpkins are superfood!

A cup of cooked pumpkin has very little fat (.17 g), 2.7 g of fiber,
87% of daily requirements of vitamin A, 15% of daily requirements
vitamin C, along with beta-carotene and potassium. It doesn't end
here, seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids (powerful anti-oxidants). Its
loaded with alpha-carotene that help fight tumor growth!

I always loved pumpkins, but growing up in Turkey, we only eat them
sweet, very sweet indeed. It tastes great but on my New Zealand trip,
I fell in love with the savory pumpkin dishes. Especially the
pumpkin-lemon ricotta bruschetta with olive oil and pumpkin seeds, we
ate at Morrison's, best food in Nelson.

The second one is a hearty soup recipe, mom and I created at home. It
is a great cold weather soup, perfect for supper with family or to
cuddle with a bowl while watching Grey's Anatomy, my new addiction,
under cozy blankets!

Save the seeds, they make a great snack toasted and kill harmful parasites!

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

* 1 lb of pumpkin, chopped and roasted for 45 minutes
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 4 cups vegetable stock or just boil water with carrots, celery, onions
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 1 can of kidney beans
* 1 cup of peas
* 1 carrot, diced
* 1 potato, diced
* 2 teaspoon each of cumin, curry powder and cardamom
* salt and pepper to taste

First roast the pumpkin until well done. It will have some brown skin,
that's ok, it tastes great.

Then, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan
until the onion is translucent.

Add three cups of the stock and your vegetables (carrots and potato),
spices and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add a cup of this mixture and your roasted pumpkin
and blend with a hand blender.

Add the blended pumpkin to your base.

Add canned kidney beans and peas. Simmer for another 15 minutes....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to cook your life

There is a special invitation for the San Francisco Premiere of How to Cook Your Life on Tuesday, October 23rd at 7 pm at the Zen Center.

Edward Espe Brown will be in attendance, I love his cookbook Tassajara Cooking and I am excited to see him in the movie! It sounds really exciting.

"What is the meaning of cooking and eating for the community and the individual? Is cooking a political act? How does cooking reflect our attitude toward life and the world?

Edward Brown is a happy priest, but for sure no saint. To him, the whole world can be found in a watermelon. In his pots, rivers and mountains are cooked. Fast food restaurants, organic farmers, starving homeless people and a woman who only eats what other people discard. Doris Dörrie's observations in San Francisco reveal a world of contradictions and diversity.  80% of all Americans don't eat at home, neither do they cook. If you don't know how to cook and you are poor, you have to live on cheap and bad food. No time for cooking and eating together is a loss of community and culture. To learn how to cook means to experience and preserve the richness of one's culture and traditions."

http://www.cookyourlifemovie.com/home.html



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Love Poems from Rumi

I cannot sleep in your presence.
In your absence, tears prevent me.
You wa tch me My Beloved
On each sleepless night and
Only You see the difference

Rumi

NZ pictures uploaded!

Check out my NZ pictures! I miss it very much for sure! Especially these two!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

"The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.  There is no enlightenment outside of daily life."

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, October 15, 2007

Maple Walnut Cookies

The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance with some slight changes. We used wholewheat flour and more walnuts.

Makes 15.

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oil, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla, and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir until mixed well. Add the soy milk and arrowroot and mix until the arrowroot is mixed well. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mix with a wooden spoon, fold in the chopped walnuts.

Drop on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Wait until cool, if you can! In New Zealand, you are not allowed to touch your cookies if you haven't finished your wine...That's at least what these two crazy friends of mine (Miss Supreme Cupcake and  Jason Sutter) made me believe. Pepperjack Shiraz from Australia, great wine. Highly highly recommended!!!!


Maple Walnut Cookies



Back in Istanbul with fresh memories of New Zealand, I had to post about these cookies.
Lane and I made these in about 20 minutes and Sutter finished them all in about 10 minutes.

ps. During my stay, we also had a little house guest, related to Remy from Ratatouille, he might have helped with the cookies!

Now I have to log-out from Blogger and signin to my gmail to get the recipe. It sucks that I have to login to blogger to post a picture and log out to get to my gmail.

Alex Grey

Alex Grey's work is amazing, I had seen this painting a couple years ago in San Francisco and was totally scared. Now, I am trying the buy his book from Amazon. People change.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Best quote ever...

I have no idea what this company Zain, does but this quote was in their print ad in the Emirates in flight magazine. I love it.

"If you could see the sky as your rooftop and the moon as your night lamp; if you could see the lakes as your mirror and the fields as your backyard; if you could see the birds as your choir, mountain ridges as your chart and all of the civilization as your family then you'd know that the world is yours. After all, what matters most isn't what you are looking at but what you are looking for."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life sucks.

A very dear friend of mine, Vihara, is in the hospital under very serious conditions. I am so lucky to have known her in Montezuma and spent so many days dancing, laughing, having great conversations and getting a chance to peek into her divine world. She has been more than a friend, an angel and a wonderful spirit...I miss her now, I miss her more than ever and I am so sad that I might not hug her again.

She wanted to have a recipe book with her specials. She has been on raw foods over 30 years and knows so much about how to eat healthy and tasty. She is so beautiful and full of light, it is hard to describe. She has also taught me how to make a raw apple pie, that I would love to share it with everyone someday.

Life is tough, it is getting harder everyday and this suffering is here to stay, no matter how much we try to keep the balance of our minds.

May all beings be happy, liberated and in peace.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Blissed!

New Zealand in one word is the land of bliss...It is beautiful, no not really, it is gorgeous and peaceful. I am enjoying it a lot. This is what we had for dessert for dinner...Delicious and so good for you! I totally made it up, inspired from a dessert menu at a local restaurant but it came out really good so we wrote down the recipe.

Blissed!

1 cup coconut
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cranberries
1 cup dates
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

First, soak raisins, dates and cranberries in hot water and wait 10-15 minutes, then blend everything in the food processor and make little balls and cover them with more coconut.
Sometimes dates can be very sweet, so taste and adjust. If you like to add more sugar, try agave or honey or maple syrup...

We made three versions by adding some blackberry liquor and fresh mint. Cardamom, green tea or ginger would be perfect separetely. Give it a try!



Sunday, September 23, 2007

Going to New Zealand-FOR REAL!

I am at the airport. 2 minutes ago, the agent at the ticket counter told me that New Zealand doesnt accept my visa! What? After a few minutes, they figured that the embassy here spelt my last name wrong and they had to override the visa system....After the check in, I went to the passport control and the police stopped me since I didnt pay the tax for going abroad. I totally forgot about it since in the last 7 years, I was working in the US. My sister was all excited that I was going to cancel the trip and stay with her!

I paid $15 to go out for vacation and all is good now, I am going to Dubai, staying there overnight, complements of Emirates and then flying to Australia and then to Auckland. Many hours of flight but totally worth it...I am going here and then here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cafe Fernando

Cenk and his blog, Cafe Fernando , made it to Hurriyet, one of the most read newspaper's in Turkey. His blog is amazing as well as his  food photography. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Going to New Zealand

is so difficult, for the last two weeks I have been trying to get a visa from the NZ consulate. The amount of documents, the details they ask for is incredible and the money we spent to get everything done is close to a Istanbul-Europe ticket. I am not even counting the time and the energy my dad spent to get everything done, including a trip to Ankara since New Zealand doesn't have a consulate in İstanbul. And today I got my visa! Super happy! For only ten minutes. First they told me only today that I have to get a visa from Dubai, since I have a stopover there but it is an easy visa, you can get it at the airport...Then the bomb dropped. I also need a visa from Australia. What the F? I could not believe it, I don't even have a stopover in Australia. Apparently, I need a transit visa for going over their air space. Can any sane human being explain me the logic behind this?
 
In the end, my flight is on Sunday. I already bought the ticket, the embassy doesn't work Fridays and I have one day to get the visa. It will happen if its meant to be, if not, I am going to be sad, really sad!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vegan Baking and Flax Seeds

I have learned to veganize any recipe by simply getting rid of the eggs and replacing them with delicious, nutritious and cheap flax seeds. In traditional baking, you need eggs for binding and texture but not for the taste, who wants eggs with their lemon cake? So, even if you are not vegan, take my advice, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds (whole flax) and 3 tablespoons of water equals to one egg. My famous banana bread have up to 4 flax-eggs and it still works perfect.

You can add the flax with water in a blender and continue adding your wet ingredients for even mixing. It also works great with recipes that need oil...Since we are baking vegan, go ahead and drop that butter and add some canola oil...Oatmeal cookies, breads, muffins, pancakes, even FRENCH TOAST!

Why are they good for you?
Flaxseeds are known as Linum usitatissimum, meaning "most useful." They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, protect against cancer, help healthy digestion, control against high blood pressure, are great for skin, add shine to your hair and sooo much more!



Monday, September 17, 2007

Strange

Flickr blog has been suspended for Turkey...No access from here, so strange, has anyone know the background?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/redmum/1239630250/

For Healthy Thyroids

I have thyroid disease and I stopped taking the medicine a year ago, a decision I made on my own thinking I can cure myself eating naturally. This wasn't a very good decision and now I am back taking the medicine again. However, I am doing a lot of research and found this information from Andrea Beaman. Thyroids are so vital for your energy and overall health. So, check this out. I eat a lot of soy, almost all the cruciferous vegetables (see below for the list) and no yogurt or miso. Instead I should have I wish I knew this before!

"Foods that can contribute to enhanced thyroid health include natural unrefined, non-iodized sea salt.  Sea salt contains an abundance of minerals and trace minerals imperative to overall health.  "Iodized salt" (common table salt) focuses solely on iodine and neglects the balancing minerals and trace minerals, and can disrupt the body's natural process of absorption.

Sea vegetables can benefit the thyroid because they contain high concentrations of calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, magnesium, copper, chromium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, manganese, iodine and more.

The thyroid takes in iodine and combines with tyrosine (amino acid) and is converted to T3 & T4.  A lack of tyrosine can lead to depression.  Natural sources of tyrosine include meat, fish, wheat, oats, almonds, lima beans, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and fermented foods like miso and yogurt.

Some common "healthy" foods can contribute to thyroid dysfunction. For example, goitrogens inhibit the body's ability to use iodine, promote goiter formation and act like anti-thyroid drugs.  Foods from the Brassicacae family (cruciferous vegetables) and others, contain these goitrogenic compounds: broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, cauliflower, watercreass, brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, bok choy, arugula, daikon and rutabaga.  Goitrogens are deactivated by HEAT.  These specific foods needs to be COOKED (most often). 

Fermented soybean products, a healthy staple (in small quantities) in many Asian cultures, include tempeh, miso, shoyu, natto and tamari.  In America we've mass produced the soybean without properly fermenting it to release the antinutrients contained within, and it has become an unhealthy "health" food.  Improperly processed soy products have been linked with thyroid disease, digestive disorders and many other illnesses."

For more information continue reading on Andrea's site.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ice-cream machine that sucks!

Hmmm, future holds not much freedom, even with our ice-cream! Check out the "Voice-stress ice-cream dispenser". The machine is programmed to serve more portions for sad. The spaceship to the moon will certainly have one of these and what will be next, a machine that tells you what flavor you need when you are sad???? I want my chocolate, no matter what, when and how sad I am.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Montezuma Film Festival

Organico is the official restaurant for the International Film Festival in Montezuma! I am so proud and excited! It starts in November 1st, please come by and say hello!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tomas Sanchez

I discovered Tomas Sanchez at Maria and Jorge's house. They are amazing art collectors, and know him personally. He is a Cuban artist, his work is truly breathtaking, the paintings are so peaceful and meditative. I can look at these all day long.

http://www.remediosvaro.biz/tomas_sanchez.html

He has a book on Amazon as well...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

from Amsterdam

The noodle place at the Airport is fantastic. Very small place, they
have only 6 items on the menu, one vegetarian. I am going to do this
dish at Organico. Noodles, wakame, snap peas, corn and sprouts. It is
so good and easy too. I am already considering to have the same soup
for dinner too. I am here at the airport for 10 hours and it is about
enough time to go through the stores and catch up with the new
technology. 7.2 meg digital cameras on sale? Wow!

I am going to pass on dinner though, I realized the soup costs 14
Euro, about 17 dollars, what??? This is sooo expensive, This might
explain the huge line at McDonalds upstairs, People rushing over for
cheap and tasty plastic.

I am heading over to duty-free to buy my dessert, Smarties! Yes, my
all time beloved Smarties, next to a huge M&M stand, M&Ms are just too
fake next to Smarties. Sigh!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

a beautiful day

I went to pick up my passport to the DHL office. There was a nice song on the radio and I asked the guy if he knew the song. He said his name was Mana and he could make me a copy of the CD. I could not believe it, random stranger offering me to make a copy of the CD. Such a nice heart and too bad I was leaving next Tuesday. In a few moments, I even imagined going to the store and buying the CD- totally pre-paid for the CD-mentally:)

To my surprise, he said he can make it by Monday and give it to me if I am in area! I was so touched! You have no idea how much sleep I lost over good friends telling me to go and buy CDs. So once again, life is really worth enjoying every moment, and not knowing what is in the corner and the beautiful connections we make with each other. Exciting and juicy! So, be happy! Speaking of juicy, I had the most weird vegetable for dinner last night. It is called here "horse balls" and tastes like cow brain. Apparently it was good for the liver but I could not eat it, very rare that I don't like a vegetable. Karl didn't eat it, either and it made me feel better:)

It is T-2 days before I go home, but my mom today told me that I will be home Thursday. I am leaving Tuesday and it is taking me 2 days to get home. I have 10 hours of a wonderful wait in Amsterdam. Anyone wanna meet me there? I can bring cookies!

Jai Uttal and Plastic Dog Bamboo!

Nataraja from Jai Uttal is the my favorite song ever. Dagmar introduced me to this wonderful song a couple months ago and I can't go to bed without listening to it over and over again.

I woke up to a beautiful morning and found my favorite one of a kind flip flops eaten by Bamboo! We used to make fun of him and call him "plastic dog" (because when Kati and Mark found him, he was almost dead on the street and Mark thought he was a toy, hence plastic toy) and now he really is a plastic dog. You are what you eat Bamboo! I am so disappointed.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Watch out for Raw Almonds, they are about to disappear!

It is getting more and more difficult to live on healthy food. Now, raw almonds are about to disappear. This is very serious and I am not sure how many people are aware of the problem. It is sickening how the government is controlling what the people eat. Almonds are so good for you, maybe you might become healthy and be a threat to the community.

"The FDA has taken it upon themselves to say that from around Sep 1 2007 all almonds in the USA, Mexico and Canada can no longer be raw. While they will still be labelled 'raw', they will be 'pasteurized'. Some will be pasteurized with steam but many will be treated with a carcinogen Propylene Oxide."

We get the almonds from the States in Costa Rica and good thing I am going to Turkey, so I will stock up but in the long run, I just have to find a way to grow them here, or export from home.

http://www.relfe.com/07/raw_almonds_banned.html

In the meantime, go to www.livingnutz.com and click on the almond pasteurization petition link on the front of the page and sign your name as well as your state, town, and zip code.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Painted Bottles



When I was very sick in San Jose a couple months ago, I started painting bottles. I got my first bottle as a gift from my friend Reina, I got so many complements for it from people asking if they could have one. Sure, why not paint it yourself?

Anyhow, it was a perfect project to calm me down and keep me busy with something outside the kitchen. I started for pure selfish fun and now I think I could turn this into a community project and have people walk around town with their own painted bottles.

I am also involved with a new community group in Montezuma where we are trying to create a more eco-concious, more rooted and connected community and recycling water bottles is one of the major issues in our tourist invaded little town. I suggested we can do water bottle painting as an after class at the school and we will begin working on it next season. I am excited!

Below are some of my favorites, I use acrylic paint and each bottle has its own theme depending on my mood. Blue's are when I am "blue", pinks are when I am in love and my favorite is still my first one named as "my costa rica".

Some more on flickr!

Hope you like them!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

got a skype account!

Karl hooked me up with Skype and my nickname is bakingfairy! Yay!

Monday, August 27, 2007

In San Jose

It has been one of the longest bus trips with the heavy rain and two
huge luggage, but I made it to Kati and Mark's in Escazu. I am here
for a week and then head back home to Turkey!

It was a little crazy when I got out at the Coca Cola terminal, some
private taxi guys were waiting outside and I asked one of them to help
me out with my stuff. They thought I was a tourist and asked me pay
double the fare. Though it was raining so bad, I said no, it really
gets me when people try to take advantage of me. Maybe in a few years
I will learn to pay the extra for the comfort, but these days, I chose
to say no. It was difficult but manageable to carry my luggage and I
found an official taxi pretty quickly.

Then we came to the house but no one was home. I didn't call a day
before to confirm with Kati, I should have but I was busy surfing
(nice tropical excuse!) and I waited in front of the house with the
taxi driver for half an hour...Good thing I didn't let him go, and he
was also nice enough to climb over the fence and shout and finally
have one of the other guests hear us. There was no electricity and the
phone and the door bell didn't work!

I love it here always...It is so peaceful and they are so good
company. They invited me to dinner and I accepted immediately (hmmmm
home meals!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A day in paradise

~ woke up at 9:00 am, finally I can sleep better!
~ went to yoga
~ had breakfast in front of the ocean and decided to sell my granola to the supermarkets, so I can have good breakfast when I am not at the cafe.
~ met Mauritzio and went to surfing
~ surfed all day at Playa Grande, catched so many waves that I am proud of my progress since I first moved here! I am a surfer girl!!!
~ headed back to town and saying goodbye to friends
 
no tears but I will miss Montezuma, especially now it is really quiet and romantic with big waves, rain and memories...
 
 
 

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Waiting for Godot

Fascinating article from LiYana, and so true for me too...I spent five hours closing the cafe today and ignored my friends desire to get together before I leave. Now I am tired, ready to home and it sucks that I still need to pack. It is raining sooooo bad, I am happy I am out of this mud craze for a while.
 
"I believed that to deserve pleasure and to earn any reward, I needed to work hard and to go through pain and suffering.  I was sure there was a direct correlation between how hard I worked and how much suffering I could endure and the amount of pleasure and reward that was to be mine as a result.  And being a perfectionist and overachiever, I decided I'd arrange my life to work even harder than those around me; I built my muscles to endure even more pain and suffering than those around me; and I waited patiently for the pleasure and reward to descend upon me.  I waited through a 10-year career as a professional dancer, I waited through two long-term relationships, and I waited through countless to-do lists that I diligently completed.
 
Then I realized I was waiting for Godot.  Enjoyment was not coming, no matter how long-sufferingly I waited for it.  It began to dawn on me that I had needlessly put the obstacles of pain, suffering and hard work in the way of my enjoyment.
 
I never got to the whole point – enjoying my life, being happy. "

Thursday, August 23, 2007

From Tony

"Within each of us is a light, awake, encoded in the fibers of our existence. Divine ecstasy is the totality of this marvelous creation experienced in the hearts of humanity" Tony Samara

almost over...

We are closing tomorrow...I can´t believe the season is almost over and today it was so busy in the morning,  I kinda felt I don´t want to leave! Maybe only for a moment:))  I really would like some vacation. In the meantime, no more baking, no more ice cream...So we started to do some crafts projects for next season. We hanged up a board for drinks and it already made such a difference. Lizzle Dizzle sold sooo much today. We replaced the glass windows so they won´t be able to sneak into my ice cream and we are now making fans from old magazines to put on the tables.
 
I am at a strange place in my heart now. I am officially on vacation for two months!  It is also freaking me out a little not knowing what exactly I will do, but I am really not going to the kitchen for a while. Though I promised my mom to pay my rent in Istanbul with ice-cream and granola so you figure it out.
 
For next year, I need a water tank and I would die for a solar oven, maybe hot water too...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Days go by *fast!


Better it is to live one day
seeing the rise and fall of things
than to live as hundred years
without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.

Dhammapada 113
 
My last week at the cafe, I can't believe a season is over!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tsunami Warning and Sweet Life

It rained all day yesterday and late at night we heard about the
Tsunami warning for Montezuma. I was up the hill at a friends house,
no TV, no Internet..but only my cell phone. I called all my friends in
town and got most of the news from Marlen. She was scared because all
her family lives in Cabuya, on the beach and she could not reach them
by phone. She saw what happened in Peru and they also said on TV that
Tsunami would hit Montezuma around 9:00 or 9:30....I was scared, all
negative thoughts come to mind one after another and it is difficult
to keep calm.. there was nothing we could do but wait...The phone
contact was amazing though, everybody calling each other, hotels were
evacuated and almost everyone in town moved to Cobano.

Marlen called in 10 minutes and said she reached her brother and they
took all her family outside of the beach. That was a big relief, but
then on top of all this, a friend of mine was supposed to arrive
yesterday. He called right before I heard about the tsunami thing and
boarded the ferry. I could not believe that they would let the ferry
when there is a tsunami warning. I was worried. I prayed that he would
be safe and not die in the middle of the ocean. Yup, my prayers worked
and he made it safe here! Today, life is back to normal but it was a
great wake up call to see how little control we have over life.
Nothing is permanent and all there is this moment and it is beautiful.
I am so grateful and at peace. Now, all I want is to go back home and
visit my family and bake some treats for them.

P.S. Someone asked me about the visas to Costa Rica. It is true that
Turkish citizens do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feeling Insecure

I am being tested for security these days...Two days ago on my way
down to the cafe, a man with a machete shows up and hides behind the
bushes. I don't understand what is going on but I felt suspicious so
and stopped walking towards him. He kept hiding and taking a few steps
back. Very creepy and scary especially with his big machete. I turned
back and walked away as fast as I could, in the meantime he started
following me. It was 6 am in the morning, no one around but I wasn't
too far from home so I just went back to my place and waited behind
the bushes. He came went by and I waited a ride to walk down. I was
really scared...

Today, they broke in and stole two ice-creams. Coffee and pineapple.
This is the third time and I am not sure what to do about it. We are
moving everything as far away as possible from the windows and
covering the windows with big signs but they manage to get my
ice-cream somehow. I would love to install cameras, it would be
soooooo fantastic to watch what is going on at night....I feel
insecure and violated and there is no one to complain, no one to
report...It sucks big time...

In the meantime, I got a vita-mix. Someone I met at the cafe, went
back to the U.S. and came with a vita-mix...I am shocked! It was my
ultimate request from the universe and it happened...Well it is really
expensive but I am going to make good money soon:)

My first day experience with it was not really good though. It stopped
working twice, once while making black bean dip and once making the
crepe batter...Then it exploded while I was mixing leftover greens,
celery, spinach, mint, cilantro and basil...The color was fantastic
but the taste was horrible...

Now, a new request for a champion juicer! Then I am all set!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BakingFairy Land-Volunteers Needed!

I got a card from a friend I met here and she wrote "hope all is well
at the Baking Fairy Land". That touched my heart... I am not doing
that great these days but that is life... I had to let go of an
employee, she worked with me for four months and last week I had it
with stolen stuff, no respect and greedy eyes with money...I just had
to do it...She was doing most of the cooking and I was able to leave
for a few hours...Oh well. I am here only 3 more weeks and I figured I
can do some cooking...and clients are happy about that too so at least
my business is booming.

In the meantime, I met Melanie, she is a friend of Dariana and hired
her right away. She is fantastic. It is amazing how the universe
works, I just have to go with the flow and let things come to me.
David, for example, he just happened to be here, having breakfast when
we had a mountain of dishes, no help at all...I made him a breakfast
burrito, served it to him and said hello. He was very happy to see me
and said he is staying for a while and he can help if we needed any. I
said I will think about it. I asked him if he was serious, and he said
he can help for a couple of hours. I showed him the dishes and he
didn't mind helping at all...He is a vegetarian too! He left to stay
with friends in Cabuya but now I have a great new vision to offer
volunteer work exchange programs with people all over the world.
Vegetarians and vegetarian wanna be's are all welcome. I am not sure
how the program will work, does anyone have experience with volunteer
work?

I would like to involve as many locals as I can, so they can benefit
from the culture exchange as well. Maybe setup sleeping facilities
with them, so they make some money and also get introduced to
vegetarian food, happy healthy people...Montezuma really needs this
beautiful energy....I like to dream....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Finally!

Lane's photos are so popular in Montezuma. I am happy to see her
making her stuff available. Check it out!

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=48973

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Check this out...

I can't wait to try these burgers and the cheez sauce. Thanks Lane!
http://yeahthatveganshit.blogspot.com/

Jerry on a skirt!

I miss Jerrito so much!

http://animatedcloset.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AC&Product_Code=1476-8&Category_Code=S

Hmmmm Caramel and Sea salt

Finally, I have all vegan caramel ice-cream. Before I was using dulce
de leche, which is fantastic but it is not dairy free and it was my
only dairy ice-cream on the menu, which sucked. My friend Karen gave
me this book, Voluptious Vegan and I tried the caramel recipe from
there. It turned out fantastic and so easy to make, I don't know why I
had struggled making caramel so much in the past. As always, when life
flows, it is fun and easy. When I try too hard, and try to go against
the flow, things get really difficult and not fun at all, so you get
the idea, I am happy these days:)

So, here is the recipe if you like to try home. If you like to make
your own ice-cream, use this base instead of the sweetener and add
some coarse sea salt on top. If you are lazy, you can also mix caramel
to a store bought vanilla ice-cream and sprinkle salt on it. This
version will be sweet though!

Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 and 1/2 cups

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 tapa dulce or maple syrup
1 tsp coarse sea-salt
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp tahini
1/2 tsp peanut butter or sesame butter
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix soy milk, tahini and peanut butter and salt in a small cup
Add the lemon juice

Boil the molasses and the tapa dulce until it reaches a soft ball
stage, 250 degrees. You can test it by dropping a spoon into
ice-water. It is supposed to be pliable.

Slowly add the soy milk mixture and let boil another 3 minutes. Let it cool...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Stuck

I would like to go home in September, but I don't have a visa for the States and all the flights are going thru the US. The US embassy here is scheduling appointments for visa in 20 days. Crazy!

I got two websites to search for tickets for Europe, www.airgorilla.com or www.airtech.com I don't know any travel agency in Costa Rica and I am not sure how to get home with no visa. This visa issue is killing me...Any help would be appreciated...

Vipassana on CNN

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/07/23/100135590/index.htm

I got accepted to serve in NZ in October!

back in the kitchen

Today we opened a little late, since we didn't have anything
ready...The day started a little slow and I was happy that we got time
to finish stuff... By 10 o'clock, people started flooding the place. I
don't know what happened, I guess closing a week was a good idea in
the end, it created some kind of a buzz in town....People said they
changed their travel plans to eat at Organico.

Then I met the nicest guy from Florida. He came in with friends, all
vegetarian and they ordered a few items. He looked at some stuff,
asked questions but didn't order anything. He kept looking at stuff,
finishing off the tasting bowl and complementing the food. I offered
another piece of a cake, he was shy but accepted it. I sensed it was
something to do with money, he didn't look like a tramp but I figured
either he is out of cash, (no ATMs in Montezuma and people often come
here without enough cash) or he left his wallet in the hotel or
something...I was right that he was out of cash, but his story was
horrific. He got robbed in Jaco. This popular tourist town, 3 hours
off San Jose. He was with his friends walking to the beach and some
nice looking people offered them to show the way. On the way, they
jumped on the guys with a machete and asked for their wallets. He gave
his wallet and got a bad scar on his back. Now he is here and maybe he
will help me for a while in the kitchen. Tomorrow he is coming in to
cook some Indian treats and I am dying for some Indian food, so this
will be a fun week!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Catching up with my sister!

http://guliz83.blogspot.com/2007/07/nintendo-ds-yoshi-touch-and-go.html

She always wins at these damn video games. I need to get up to speed before she beats me again in a month. Check out yoshi and touch! I also recommend Animal Crossing. Lane Collins favorite!


Vipassana in NZ

I am planning to be in NZ in October and there is a 10 day course starting Sep 26. Afterwards, I will be visiting my friends Lane and Sutter who are in Nelson...Of course all depending on me getting a visa and a plane ticket...more on this soon....

http://www.medini.dhamma.org/grounds.htm
 

Correo Central, San Jose

One of the most amazing places I have been in San Jose is the post office building. El correo is in the middle of the crazy town, a very old, semi clean, high ceiling building. I loved being there, there are so many post boxes and so many interesting people coming and going...I think I am longing for connections, it made me so happy to be there and observe people sending mail, receiving mail, boxes and mostly everyone was happy...there were no lines...I can't wait to go back.

Here is the bonus:) Reina took me to the coffee shop next door, Cafe Teano...They have a two page drink menu but you can order off the menu and get my special, "American drip" with cardamom...hmmm, not sure how Americans got to put their name into coffee but everywhere you go there is American coffee. I decided to add this to my menu as Turkish Delight as of tomorrow...:)

Here is the Correo Central:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oreore/686213670/


Saturday, July 28, 2007

travelling kitchen

I have been out of touch with a good reason. I discovered how amazing food we have in Organico-and how other travelling veggies must be feeling when they get to the cafe! Brown rice, almond milk and vegan baked stuff do not exist here. I am surprised and happy....
 
On the road though, we suffered...We could not find one decent restaurant, no avocados, no fresh squeezed orange juice, no whole grains...So, we had to have our own travelling kitchen...I am not sure if I should write all that we carried on our backpacks (I felt like a turtle) because in the end Reina and I agreed that we are extremely obsessive...I will write some of the stuff we carried and you tell me what you think...
1. Curry Powder, I add it to anything.
2. Cardamom, especially good with coffee.
3. Wakame
4. Lemon
5. Granola
6. Almonds, walnuts
7. Mango
8. Dark Chocolate
9. Soy cookies
10. Soy sauce
 
On one of the nights we stayed at this nice hot springs with a fancy restaurant in San Carlos and we took our wakame, soy sauce and avocados to the table. The waiter was puzzled, mostly because we took our groceries to make a salad and also we ordered french fries with that...Yeah, I still love french fries.
Highly recommended hot springs:
Total disappointment:
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Independence and Self Sufficiency

From Tony Samara:

"This spiritual path is dedicated to making people independent and self-sufficient. By everyone taking initiative, free of ego and its judgements, then we have creative action. With this action we discover that within our self-sufficiency we have the ability to love the differences and the uniqueness in each other.

When one speaks of self-sufficiency this means taking a mature attitude towards life. Whatever choices one makes life reflects it. There is no running away from all the responsibilities that we face in life. Looking for ways of simplifying and easing things for ourselves creates selfishness. By instead creating joy for everybody it is possible to build a joyful selfless service to humanity."

www.tonysamara.org

Out in the jungle

I am in San Carlos,  2 hours north of San Jose. I came here with a quick decision on Monday, left Montezuma with the early bus. I met Reina in town and we spent the night in the best hotel but still really really not up to my expectations at all...No fruit trees, no garden, no touch...The hotel feels like a prison and I don´t feel secure at all...We had breakfast at the hotel (in Reina´s room) with mangoes and granola and checked out from the place. Walking around the city, I found maca powder and flax seeds...strangely fascinating...

It is great to be out free though, I am free and not have to deal with employee issues for a while. Then, following Jorge´s advice, I will have to be the boss!

Today we are headed to hot springs for some relaxation and green!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Point of Nervous Breakdown and Lizzle Dizzle

I left at 3pm yesterday to take a yoga class in Mal Pais. It was a
fantastic class and Flor Blanca is a beautiful place to get away from
everything. I left the cafe to my employees and Dariana and they were
supposed to close kitchen by 4:00 and close up everything by 5:00.
Since the yoga class ended by 5:30, I went directly home and came down
to the cafe this morning.

This is what I saw...All the produce that was delivered yesterday (a
weeks worth of organic produce) on the kitchen table. I accept that I
am emotional and that is not a good thing, but come on...I was mad,
how could someone who works in a restaurant can leave produce (and I
mean delicate lettuce, herbs, spinach, ect) out on the table, in the
hot kitchen overnight. I didn't cry, but I was soooo frustrated. We
threw out some stuff, beets and carrots were ok. What bothered me most
was the way they handled things. When I asked the woman that why she
left them out on the table, her response was I did not specifically
instruct her to do so. Then she laughed. I have worked with so many
people since I started Organico, and the truth is no one is better
than the other...(except for those special angels that I am grateful)
but I will always have employee issues and I just have to be a better
manager. I need to figure out how to delegate and make them
responsible and then if it doesn't work, they are out. Fired. I
decided to close for next week, mostly because I am tired, also I want
to meet up with Reina but then I met two new guys who are interested
in helping me and it sounds like fun, I changed my mind. Its time to
work on details of running things, not only doing everything and
training is part of it. I also feel lucky because I felt so yucky
today and some great customers were around to give me hugs and support
and kisses and love, so all is good. Just challenging but I asked for
this at this point of my life and I can do it.

P.S. Also, it sucks that I don't speak spanish and trying to explain
stuff is sooo difficult. I will learn Spanish. It is really a must.

In the meantime, a new special on the shakes...The Lizzle Dizzle,
named after Liz. Jeremy's creation. It is my signature frosty ice
coffee with almond milk and frozen banana.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not Dogs...

Looking for a vegan not dog recipe, let me know if you got one....
bakingfairy@gmail.com

Lettuce Cups!

Lettuce cups made it to the menu! I have come a long way from eating
the lettuce on the side at several different places (thanks Carrie)
and now finally I have my own place and I make my own lettuce cups. In
the heat, they make a fantastic lunch as well. Today we sold four, a
very good start!!!

Next up on the menu is Vegan Meatballs meets Spaghetti Monster!
Dariana made the meatballs from soymeat and Beth did the artwork for
the wall. It is hillarious!
Learn more about Spaghetti Monster here:
http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chalmond

We are selling a lot of almond milk and that is a good
thing...However, the refrigerator has been piling up with almond
leftovers! I use them to make vegan mayo but the amount of mayo we go
through is so little....I have mentioned the problem to Dariana and
she suggested to use it in an ice-cream...Of course, I tried that a
couple of times before and it never worked, the ice-cream was more
grainy and sandy and I didn't like the taste...but I tried it again,
this time with more liquid to almond ratio and with cacao...It turned
out better than I hoped and we even test marketed it to some
customers. On top, one of our regulars, Noah named it for
us...Chalmond!

So, there is hope to go through that almond pile, and that is the good
news...The bad news, as always, I didn't write down what I put in it,
so I tried it again today and it wasn't even close....I really have to
write, ughgghghgh! Ok, this is it...I am starting tomorrow...and this
will be the first step towards my vegan ice-cream book! Here we go!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Go Sarma!

I adore Sarma!

http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/2007/07/sex-pain-madnes.html

Liz left, sad again and lucky again...

Liz left this week and I am really sad. I met her at the cafe, we
became instant friends and spent everyday together, including spending
a night at Santa Teresa. We ate together, surfed, gossiped a lot,
talked about girly stuff, about men, sex, love, affairs, boys and boys
and food almost everything you could think of. She worked at the cafe
when it was so chaotic, she had to rush behind the counter to take
some orders since Claudia doesn't speak any English...

I rarely let people in my life but Liz was so special with her
charming personality, it is impossible not to like her. Everyone in
Montezuma thinks she is a local. She was here for three weeks, to
learn spanish, do yoga and surf. Having a good friend like her also
made me realize, I really need friends here. I am lonely. However, I
am lucky too, because Liz left Monday and her good friend Dariana is
staying for one more week. She also offered to help at the cafe and I
was delighted to have her. She is a fantastic employee to have....I
asked her today if she would be willing to train my
employees...Unfortunately she likes her job in NY and she will be
leaving this Friday...I am really blessed to meet these amazing people
that makes me appreciate Organico more. Although I am not too excited
about the routine, the fact that I can't travel as much, I don't make
as much money as my employees or I don't get to eat as well as the
clients, the experience is really fantastic. I am lucky to be here.

A new special on the board today from Dariana: Lasagna con Platanos

Dariana is from Dominican Republic and she has sooo many great
recipes. Today, we tried her lasagna and it is the best lasagna I have
ever had...We used plantains instead of pasta, sunflower ricotta for
the cheese, mixed veggies and soy meat in the filling and breadcrumbs
on top. Sooo delicious!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Week in a nutshell

This week was fantastic. It was busy, I had the best numbers ever and
I managed to do yoga everyday, went to surfing, had dinner with
friends and really had fun. Tomorrow is my day off-even better:) Life
is good!

My new favorite at the cafe is the Bowl of Rice and Happiness. Brown
rice, black beans, cilantro, tomato and avocado. Dressed with lemon
and sea-salt. So simple and deliciously happy!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I am in heaven

After being in Costa Rica for 7 months, I finally made it to the next town, Santa Terasa for a short weekend getaway. Oh my god, this place is amazing. I am doing a yoga workshop at this wonderful resort, Flor Blanca  It is 500 USD per night so we decided not to stay here for this time (!) I have to admit, I missed hot showers, large patios, white table cloths...

I also met people here who ate at Organico and they liked it very much. "Wow, you are the owner of Organico, I love it there. My favorite place!" I am a little famous now in this little town! I better come down to earth. Interestingly, we were very busy in the last week, even though I started doing yoga during the week, started surfing and spent less time in the cafe,  things are running smooth and I paid the rent already!!! 

One last thing, I finally realize how hard I am on myself. I am going to stop that now. Nothing has to be perfect and I am tired of running after perfection. It is a process. I am changing, I am moving forward and it feels great to have people around me who I can talk about anything. Life, once again, is fun and I am enjoying it. Of course I am grateful to my guiding angels, my family and friends who love me just the way I am.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Latest and greatest

Microwave made its way to the kitchen. I hate it. I never used it and
didn't want it there but heating stuff is so difficult and I have to
turn the oven on and off all the time just for one apple pie or a
cake. And the electricity bill has been really high in the last couple
of months so I am trying to cut costs...But everyday I realize how
hard it is to stick to your values, keep resisting to other's trying
to influence you. Is microwave really an energy saver? I don't eat
anything out from the microwave, I don't feel good serving things from
the microwave, Larry even says, stay away from it as much as you can
to minimize damage...That's it! I am not going to have a microwave in
the kitchen. I just have to serve everything room temperature. I am
tired of trying to please everyone, and if you want good healthy food,
here it is, luke warm. Come'on people, it is already boiling hot
outside, why should we heat the apple pie???? Why did I not think
about this before, I don't know...Microwave is gone. Wow, I have made
an executive decision! In the meantime, why do I serve eggs? I don't
even taste eggs anymore....Veganize Ozlem, veganize! Soon:)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dinner Party

I had my first official dinner party! Marlen, Maya and Larry came over
Monday night. It finally feels like I am happy here...It is so
strange. Though it was not anything like my usual dinner parties back
in San Francisco where I would stress over the menu for at least a
week, stay up late to read and try recipes and rush back home to prep
everything...This time, I just got a pack of nori, sushi rice, two
avocados as Larry is a big avocado monster and some veggies. Marlen
made a salad from her garden and Larry got some coconuts from my back
yard. I don't even have 3 cups or plates or chairs...but we just
laughed the whole time. I got a private lesson on opening coconuts and
how to cut your thumb but that will be another post.

P.S. For dessert, I stole some coconut-chocolate treats from the cafe
as dessert!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dinner Special!

Since Reina introduced me to rice crackers and avocados with curry on
top, I have been having the same thing for dinner, almost like a daily
ritual! I'm addicted! Her original creation has garlic on the base, if
I am not too lazy, I also like it with garlic but some nights I am
just hungry and go without it. It is so wonderful and fulfilling...

Not much is different at Organico, the town is empty and it makes it
difficult to keep motivated. Though I discovered a new drink on a
little piece of paper. I think Larry wrote it but I haven't got a
confirmation. Passion fruit, banana, mango with almond milk. It is
sooo good. Almond milk so expensive here so I am going to sell it with
soy milk instead.

Meantime, I am trying to get a better idea of my costs, pricing and
menu items. I am back in front of the computer, working with
numbers...There is no escape! I think Ev once wrote it, if you can't
measure it, you can't improve it. So true.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Remy

I can't wait to see this movie. I have been waiting for it almost two
years now. Erdem was talking about it secretly when he was at Pixar. I
have no idea when it will be available in Costa Rica. I suspect it
will not be soon.

http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/2007/06/ratatouille-movie-review.html

Meanwhile, the Vipassana course in Costa Rica is full! They do not
even accept names for the waiting list. I am a little upset about that
but maybe this is a good challenge to find where else I can go....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Going Back to Montezuma

It is hard to believe that I have been in San Jose for the last two
weeks. It went by so fast, mostly because I was sick the whole time.
Now I am packed and leaving tomorrow morning, but not sure I am ready
to apart from this wonderful living situation, mangoes for breakfast,
wireless internet and access to the comforts of the city. No
mosquitoes or loud neighbors...I have already abused Larry's
generosity to take care of the place and I am sure he is ready to give
he keys with a big smile.

I will have to come back...Maybe sooner than I think, because there is
a Vipassana course in July that I am interested in joining. Also, I
discovered the best kept secret vegetarian restaurant in San Jose.
Thanks to Reina and her friend Jorge. It is a real Taiwanese place and
today we had cheese made from palmito, heart of palm. I swear it
tasted like real smoked cheese. They also make lots of seitan and tofu
and their soups are to die for. They have cooking classes and maybe I
will join one next time I am in town. If you are in the area, just
call me first then we can go together.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

creativity

I am trying to paint....Its been wonderful in the last couple of days
to forget about all the problems I have and just paint...Paint sheep,
birds, palm trees...In the meantime, I have been trying to do
something for Larry. He has been working at the cafe and I am not
quite sure how to thank him. I wanted to paint him a water bottle, but
the more I try, the more I can't...the colors are not right, the
shapes don't work. I am trying too hard and I hate that...Reina says,
sometimes I have to stop. It is true but it is so hard to accept
that...He doesn't even know, he doesn't even care but I am sitting
here stressing about a water bottle....too much time I got on my
hands...time to go back to the kitchen and work.

dentist

I went to the dentist today and had a filling done. I paid 12,000
colones, a little above 20 USD. I am really sad about all the fortune
I paid in the States. It is cheaper to buy a plane ticket, get a
treatment here and stay for a few days...So in case any of you need
dental work, I would be happy to hook you up with wonderful people.
Just FYI....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

video upload

video

Testing out the new functionality...This was recorded in Istanbul a couple years ago. Enjoy...

Fire Dragon!

"The Chinese New Year is determined by the start of the Lunar
calendar, however the annual division between the signs is not the
Chinese New Year. Rather, it is the beginning of spring, which is the
4th or 5th of February of each year. This is a very complex concept."

My birthday is February 5th. I never knew that it was such a
significant date in Chinese astrology. I also didn't know my Chinese
astrology sign. February 4th is the cut off for Dragon. Whew! Reina
told me that she once read people in China wait to get pregnant for a
dragon baby and also it is a sign that wants to stop its karma...This
is huge for me. Now I can proudly say I am an Aquarius and a fire
dragon.

More on Wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology

1976 Feb 4 1977 Feb 3 火 Fire earth 龍 Dragon

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Diseases

A very interesting article from We like it Raw about why we get diseases.

"The reality is that disease is caused by toxicity of the internal environment and toxicity attracts nature's scavengers aka microorganisms. Basically, the dirtier the kitchen the more likely the rats are to show up to get their feast on."

More on this on at Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine .

Mark suggests drinking beet juice daily, for a clean blood and fighting against cancer. Raw beets of course. I can't wait to go back to Montezuma add beet juice to the menu.

Today was a great day, I signed up Reina with a blogger account and convinced her to write her own blog. I can't tell the name yet, as she is experimenting with it for a while but with all the stories she has got, I am sure it will be a hit. Stay tuned for more updates on this in the next couple of weeks.

I spent the afternoon reading, a book Reina lended me, by Paulo Coelho, by the river Piedra, I sat down and wept. I love it so much, I don't want to finish it.

New routine

Wake up, don't open your eyes. Gently find the pen in the book next to the pillow. Try not to move. Scribble whatever you can remember. Don't move or you will ruin it. When finished close the dream book. Open your eyes. Yes, now I have a dream book that I try to capture my dreams... It is a lot of fun and boy, I have weird dreams! Dreams that sheep fly in the air... That could be because of the fewer though:)

I worked in the garden this morning but only a little bit. My energy is still not back to normal...Well I don't know what is normal, for me those crazy hours of work were normal. I now learn, humans allow themselves rest more. Note to self: plan your garden before planting, it is a lot of work...

I also uploaded some new pictures on flickr. This one with the hummingbird is my new favorite. This music, la tema de la reina is also on my computer all the time....

I am grateful to all my friends and family who called and emailed to see how I am doing. I feel loved and happy. I am also grateful to Larry and Marlen who are running Organico without me. Per Marlen, Larry even made mint chocolate rock-cream that was very good when it came out from the ice-cream machine. Making ice-cream is really not that easy huh?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

if you work a lot...

Like 16 hours a day, your body might think you are dead already. I
have been very sick for the last 8 days. I came down with fever and
pain in my right side on Saturday. I made it to san jose after a 4
hour bus ride and 2 hour ferry snooze, half dead. It sucks so bad to
sick, to have no one around...however i was fortunate to have arranged
the trip to Panama with Reina. She took care of me like I am her
daughter. I felt so much loved and cared it was touching. we stay with
Kati and Mark, who are also angels who watched over me in 30 minute
intervals, Mark made me herbal remedies, Kati prepared cleansing
drinks and Reina did reiki nights after nights. i know I am lucky,
blessed, have good karma.

After day three my fewer didnt go away and we started to get a little
worried. i hated the idea of going to medical doctor, i don't trust
them, i don't trust the system and i don't have the money to pay for
the bills. Reina found a Chinese doctor. His name is Dr. Chen and he
is a miracle men. He is very scary, serious, a little funny looking
and he started touching me really strong and I was so weak I could
take it. From the little Spanish we spoke, we figured I have infection
in my internal organs that could lead to an urgent operation. He gave
me a Chinese tea, which tastes sooooooooooo bad, and I have to finish
the entire bottle if i don't want an operation.

Fever is gone in the following two days and the pain is almost gone
now. I feel so much better, very tired but still much happier. I can
only eat over-cooked rice in water with nothing, apple and thats it
but no complains. I have had so much to eat, I am sick of cooking and
baking and food anyways. I am shocked that my body stopped me from
working so much this quick, but i have worked so much, so long with so
much stress, what do i expect? I am not sure what I will do, how I
will adjust or even go back to Montezuma. Right now, I am dowloading
Battlestar Gallactica.

ps: Organico is open though, my good friends Larry and Marlen were on
board this whole time:)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Going to Panama and where 200 oranges are missing?

It is vacation time!!!!!!! Well, it is not voluntary, so it really
doesn't count, but what the hell! I am just dying for vacation and I
am headed to Panama on Monday, 7:30 am. I am taking the bus with Reina
from San Jose and will stay there for 3 days. So, I will be out of the
cafe for at least a week and wasn't sure what to do with it...Keep
open or close for a whole week...It is tough because it is already low
season and I am not making enough to pay the rent, on the other hand,
Marlen is the only one I trust 100% and she can only work until
12:30....However, Larry agreed to come in next week! So we will try to
be open...

In the meantime, I got my hands on a good vegan cinnamon-roll recipe.
It's been tough to substitute butter and milk, but I am happy with
what we got. I was planning on posting the recipe but something more
important came to my mind...Cinnamon-Rolls can wait...

Larry has been telling me to track what I am selling and buying, to
see if there is any discrepancy. Of course...I bought 400 oranges this
week, sold 200 oranges (in juices, ect) and we are out of oranges
today...Donde esta los naranjas? No, se! It is pretty sad but a good
wake up call for me. From now on, I am writing everything, what we
eat, sell, sample or trash...Rest is stolen or wasted and the
employees are accountable for that...I just had to learn it the hard
way that this is not my mom's kitchen and I let others spend my
money...UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My new motto!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lexnger/108839274/
I am going to put this up on the cafe tomorrow as I have new wall
space! Yay! Finally, Bozzo took his sign off! I feel much stronger
already!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wanna surf?

It is always cool to surf the web with a kid...not sure how they find
these websites but this one is right on! I sure can surf better than I
play:)

http://www.markfennell.com/flash/podsurf/

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Casado del Pequeno Principe

I am so far from home, just like the Little Prince...So, trying to
come up with names for the kids menu, I could not help but name the
casado, a typical Costa Rican meal, after him:
Casado del Pequeno Principe:) So cute!

Little Prince eats black sheep beans, grown-up rice, baobab-flower
salad and fox veggie meat,seitan- something not heard of in Costa
Rica....I suspect it is a popular meal in B612.

Any my favorite line, as well as the whole world probably: it is only
with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is
invisible to the eye... I got some crabs and monkeys to tame here, so
much fun!

I found the whole text online in Turkish,
http://arzudurukan.www9.50megs.com/index.htm

New at Organico!

Kids eat free! I am just trying this out, since business is slow and I
have tons of kids hanging out at the place to play with my Nintendo DS
anyways, so, this might help bring their parents for food...Kids
defined: 0-8....Not sure how this will work, but worth a try and I am
curious how people will try to sneak more free food..."I am here for
free lunch, my inner child is sooo hungry!" :)))

So far, the menu has toast and jam, peanut butter jelly sandwich,
fruit plate, grilled cheese sandwich, Casado de Little Prince, Tomato
Queen Pasta....However, we have to have pancakes on the menu for kids,
no??? So, today we mastered Monkey Pancakes with bananas and
syrup....Inspired by Aidan's love for pancakes...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozdema2/275601774/in/set-72157594338716137/

He is turning 3 next week and I will not be there for his
birthday...It really sucks...So far I have been with him for all his
birthdays in his life:(((

PS: Thanks Sassy for the awesome recipe, http://www.vegancoach.com

Monday, May 21, 2007

It is raining...all day long...

I had a lousy weekend...My employees are sweet and nice but they are
not vegetarian....not even that, I can not even explain why it is that
important to me that they should not come with ideas like lasagna with
chicken, and no they are not joking...It is hard...I don't have one
single vegetarian friend here, I feel like a total freak and it is not
fun. Well Reina is here...She is vegetarian...Ok, I have one friend, I
feel better already!

It is raining non-stop and people like to eat when its raining
outside, so no complains. We have two new specials on the menu...Ocean
Salad...It is with wakame, daikon radish, shredded beets, marinated
cucumbers in rice vinegar, pickled ginger and brown rice. It has a
soy-sesame seed dressing...Really Yum!

And Save the Fish Ceviche with Palmito, heart of palm...This one is so
good and heart of palm looks like exactly calamaris...Stay away from
the fish, we got it all figured out...

On the ice-cream front, coffee-toffee is a new discovery...I almost
gave up on the vegan coffee ice-cream idea, then Nan suggested adding
almonds and chocolate bits...Voila!

Heading up the hill, who knows who will be up there??? Making a soup
tonight at home. Soup of a thousand comforts...Recipe soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Drooling...

Seeing cute guys in Montezuma is nothing new, this town is blessed
with hot surfers, or hunky travellers..and sometimes it can be
hazardous:) Yesterday, I was almost on the floor when I saw this guy,
really tall, dark hair and a big smile on his face ( I noticed all
these in 5 seconds) and had to turn back to check him out one more
time. In between swallowing my drool and looking around to see if
someone noticed my second gaze, I realized he is someone I
know...Vince Vaughn.....I am crazy for him. There he was, in the
middle of Montezuma...I could not believe it! I know it is silly...I
am sure he is not as funny as he is in the movies but who cares.
Anyway, he went by and since we were closed, he could not come in to
my beautiful cute cafe! Damn!

Heartbroken, I headed home...But the universe gave me another chance
to see him! He was on a quad this time (the little 4 wheelers) and I
was walking up with my ipod on, dancing....(I must have looked really
cool from behind!) and we did have an eye contact! I swear! and then
he got so distracted, he could not get up the hill with the quad...It
was pretty funny, he had to restart the quad and all the charisma
washed away and with that shame he could not dare to ask me
out..That's understandable...So I went home, planted thyme, sugar snap
peas, mint and basil...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

take that off my face!

I had the most bizarre conversation with Bazo, who told me what the
hell I am thinking that I come here and in four months act like I own
the place (which is a fact not an act), I see him smaller than me
(bullshit) and have guts to ask him to do me a favor.

Favor defined: Remove your sign from my front wall that I pay the rent
for! It took me months to ask him, don't ask me why, I was shy,
stupid, afraid, didn't want to hurt him but at the end of the day, one
thing lead to another and the more quiet I was, the more entitled he
became...

I am shocked but I was warned about him but you know me, I just wish
for the best, hoping everyone is nice....Bullshit! It is a wake up
call for me...So now, lets see what will happen. He was so mad, said
he will take the issue to the landlord and doesn't want me in the
local...I am excited to see how this will play along...Will keep you
posted and I am not afraid.

Just a ps...it is not easy to be a single woman in Costa Rica...Hence
the machete:) http://bakingfairy.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-am-blending-in.html

PSS: I have to write about Nan, tomorrow...She was my neighbor for 5
weeks and I had the best ever time with her. She was an angel, retired
from the military and filled me in on many top secret information that
I can not share with you all:) More stories about Nan...I promise they
are muuuuuch more fun!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I am blending in...

Today I bought my first ever machete! This is the intended use, open a
coconut; however, who knows when a girl would need a sharp knife in
the tropics!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/schmutzie/83132224/

It is 3,000 colones, less than 10 dollars!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Obsessed!

I found it!!!! Finally!!!!

https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/tetani/upcycleart/htmls/coinpurse.html

Best Selling Ice-cream and Happy Mothers Day

Banana Peanut butter
Chocolate
Coconut
Mint Chip...

not so good...
Pineapple
Blackberry
Coffee

Lots of requests for vanilla...

Today, was a crappy day, except that we introduced Fantastico
Fajitas....Mom's favorite, just in time for mother's day, I am not
sure if this will qualify as a mothers day gift but mom, I love you
soooooooo much and you are my hero!!!! Thanks to your love for Mexican
food, Organico is turning into a Mexican hotspot...."Margarita on the
rocks" soon! :)

Saturday Fever

"When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the spirit laughs for what it has found."
-Sufi aphorism-

Dagmar just sent me this... So beautiful, I wanted to share with you
all...I am grateful to everyone around me to make me laugh, jump, cry,
run and stomp on my feet.

By the way, got a beautiful email from Tiana, she is leaving for Tibet
in June and has asked me to have a new special...Black Sheep Dip, with
black beans and papaya! Consider it done! Ok, got to go back and
finish a birthday cake for Leon. Feliz Cumplianos! He is turning
5!!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Days go by...

With new books, new recipes, new friends and lots and lots of
dancing....Not much clients around and I aint gonna sit on my butt!
Since we are closed at nights, Larry is no longer working and I miss
him but I have to admit hanging out at the pool or going to dance
classes and seeing the sunset pink is sooooo nice.

Now, looking for ideas to make some money....Anyone got a good energy
bar recipe?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Slow days

Its been really slow these days, it is stressing me out...So strange,
all this time I wanted to rest a little and now that I can take time
for myself, I am a little lost in what to do...Of course there are
tons of things to do but you know when you are going going going and
then suddenly stop, I am now thinking, wait a minute...It is kinda too
early to think like this, its been only -6 months! Wow!

I watched Pursuit of Happyness last night. The fact that it takes
place in San Francisco made me homesick, yes I do miss home a lot, but
at the same time, how grateful I am to be away from that rat race.

Living this close to nature and its beauty, the clean air, the blue
ocean, the bright green palm trees, mangoes falling down the trees,
ants going up and down on the little trails, crabs all over Montezuma,
trying to find a safe place to lay eggs, monkeys jumping up and down
on my roof (!), it is really magical here.

I am headed to a hammock, with a new book Tiana gifted me, Cave in the
Snow. Its about a woman who became a Buddhist and lived in a cave.
Interesting....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pineapple Upside Down Cake, literally

Purchasing food is hard. Estimating how much produce we would need is
really painful. Some weeks we ran out of lettuce, some weeks we end up
with tons of tomatoes. Of course tomatoes turn into a juicy salsa and
this week we had so many pineapples, they turned into marmalade as
well as a delicious sugar-free pineapple upside down cake!

The recipe for the cake is simple but the secret is super sweet
pineapples. We found a new local farm that have these super delicious,
sweet pineapples and they deliver weekly. Sweet deal!

Quick reminder, highly recommend to taste your batter first and adjust
sweetness with agave, honey or brown sugar if you like!

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together:

2 1/2 wholewheat flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
3 cups of crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon

4-5 slices of pineapple (1/2 inch each), chunky centers removed and
filled with cranberries or blackberries.

Saute these sliced pineapples with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and
place on the bottom of a 9 inch round pan.

Pour the cake mixture on top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Turn it upside down once cooled and enjoy!

We made two of these and one of them fell upside down in the vitrina.
It was hilarious. We had to make it a sample and it was gone in 30
minutes. So, the recipe is a keeper!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pure Joy

One should give up anger, renounce pride,
and overcome all fetters.
Suffering never befalls him
who clings not to mind and body and is detached.

Dhammapada 221

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Discovered! Amaranth

Thanks to Avani, I discovered Amaranth...Bioland has this cereal,
Amaranth con Carob that I started having for breakfast with oats
milk..(blended oats with honey and banana). It is really tasty and
super satisfying. We also put it on the menu today.

"Amaranth (Amaranthus) has a colorful history, is highly nutritious,
and the plant itself is extremely attractive and useful. Amaranth was
a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs, who believed it had
supernatural powers and incorporated it into their religious
ceremonies. Before the Spanish conquest in 1519, amaranth was
associated with human sacrifice and the Aztec women made a mixture of
ground amaranth seed, honey or human blood then shaped this mixture
into idols that were eaten ceremoniously. This practice appalled the
conquistadors who reasoned that eliminating the amaranth would also
eliminate the sacrifices. The grain was forbidden by the Spanish, and
consequently fell into obscurity for hundreds of years. If not for the
fact that the cultivation of amaranth continued in a few remote areas
of the Andes and Mexico, it may have become extinct and completely
lost to us.

The name amaranth hails from the Greek for "never-fading flower." The
plant is an annual herb, not a "true" grain and is a relative of
pigweed, a common wild plant also known as lamb's-quarters, as well as
the garden plant we know as Cockscomb. There are approximately 60
species of amaranth and there is no definite distinction between
amaranth grown for the leaf (vegetable), and the seed (grain).

Amaranth can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like
popcorn, sprouted, or toasted. The seeds can be cooked with other
whole grains, added to stir-fry or to soups and stews as a nutrient
dense thickening agent.

Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18%) and contains respectable
amounts of lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are
not frequently found in grains. It is high in fiber and contains
calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.

The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its
iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more
calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or
brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as
fish, red meat or poultry.

Amaranth also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have
cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90%
digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally
been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting
period. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, which is found mostly within
the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic
acid, which is important in human nutrition.

The amaranth seeds have a unique quality in that the nutrients are
concentrated in a natural "nutrient ring" that surrounds the center,
which is the starch section. For this reason the nutrients are
protected during processing. The amaranth leaf is nutritious as well
containing higher calcium, iron, and phosphorus levels than spinach."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bugday

Thanks to Reina and our quest for finding organic dates and henna, we discovered this site...
 
I have decided to close for dinner during the week because I am exhausted and would like to take time to rest. Though we do have business at night and making money, I really want time for me. Yesterday, I had an amazing massage from a friend of mine, Martim at this beautiful, peaceful and romantic house right by the ocean in Cabuya. Cabuya is 10 minutes away from Montezuma and it was my first time. It is so ridiculous that I haven´t been anywhere in Costa Rica but Montezuma and San Jose. Sooooooo sad! Then, we went to the beach, spent time at the house...Martim and Avani came here to take the 40 day retreat with Tony Samara, www.tonysamara.org  They live together like a big family with 2 other wonderful people and I really miss having people around other than customers. It is nice to eat amaranth cereal for dinner with milk and not to worry about how the plate looks...Then we went to a dance class. It was fantastic. It was a free form, jump and feel and express yourself hippie dancing and I loved it. I am more interested in dancing these days than cooking. Maybe it is sooooo hot, maybe it is time to get out to the world and enjoy simple things...
 
I came back to Montezuma at 8, Armando called me the minute we got to town. I left the front door open. All day long! So, better get some rest and take it all in with a big breath. Life is a big wave....
 
"What draws friends together doesn't conform laws of nature. Form doesn´t know about spiritual closeness. If a grain of barley approaches a grain of wheat, an ant must be carrying it. " Rumi
 
 

Monday, April 23, 2007

Eat right for your blood type

Isabel is a fantastic woman, a belly dancer, scientist with a phd,
ex-hippie who lived in Berkeley at the time. She gifted me a wonderful
book about blood type nutrition. The book got my attention right away
because the personality profile for Type A is sooooo me. It is a huge
research and you should check it out for yourself....Excellent
information to fight all kinds of illnesses...what each blood type
should eat, should avoid, ect...

http://www.dadamo.com/

My Type A friends out there, here is the worst news...No papaya, no
mango, no bananas, no cashews, no tomatoes and no garbanzo beans and
no wheat...Probably 90% of the food I used to have in the last 4
months is a no-no on my blood type. Rest makes sense with my natural
choices anyways, no meat, no potatoes, no red peppers no oranges ( I
never liked orange juice)...I am still in shock. However, I have
avocados and coconut, black berries, black beans and walnuts as
beneficial...I will try for some time to avoid these and see if I feel
any different...

I am also supposed to have a lot of green tea...Not much around in
Costa Rica, except for my personal collection of Green Tea Kombucha
from Yogi Tea and Lupicia Tokio from a care package I received from my
friends Christine, Marc, Matthew and Madeline.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

i wrote an official note in spanish!

I can't believe it...today i went to the municipality to apply for a
sanitary inspection to update the permit...Marlen spoke to them and
told me all I need is maybe a passport...So I went down there by 8,
hoping to be done by 8:30...I still haven't adjusted to tico times...!

By 8:15 the cab driver showed up at my apartment..he was late 45
minutes without any reason..i was at the municipality by
8:30...department of health representative wasn't there...he only
comes on Thursdays and they told me maybe by 10...I went back to
Montezuma and took the 10 am bus back...This time he was there and he
started talking to me really fast in Spanish, of course, what do I
expect, but I was about to burst into tears...I didn't understand
anything he said and sounded really difficult...then he took out a
couple of forms and asked me to fill them, to pay $50 dollars to the
bank, write a note to the minister of health and make copies of
several things...I saw Isabelle at the bank and she speaks very good
Spanish and had time to help me...Then we saw a couple other
characters from Montezuma who were also delighted to help...its
strange, people like to help here but you have to look really
needy...I hate that, but I have to....

So by 11, I was done...They are going to come for the inspection any
day...We are cleaning non stop....its good....

So, in summary, to get a sanitary permit in Costa Rica, pay 50
dollars, fill out 2 forms, write a note to the minister, copy your
passport, present it to the representative in your town...then start
cleaning and cleaning and cleaning....keep your fingers crossed...oh
by the way, I also discovered the old owner of the place suspended the
license of the place without even telling me.....so evil!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

From Country Girl...

Lovely post from Country Girl! She came here with her husband a week
ago and brought me very precious supplies! Many many thanks!

http://ourlifeinthecountry.blogspot.com/2007/04/we-met-baking-fairy.html

P.S. I find the energy from my signature Noni drink....It is really
amazing. I drink it every day...a quarter of fresh noni, orange juice
and mango juice...add spirulina and parsley...

Viktoras tried it and said it is a drink for the "select"....Mercedes
hates to prepare it because it smells really bad and suggests that I
marry the man who likes this drink....It is really not that bad and
the added energy to make brownies, carrot muffins, mango tart,
blackberry, mint-chip ice-cream....hmm what else did I make today???
oatmeal cookies and that's all...maybe miso soup and seaweed salad for
dinner....I am really happy!

Lots is going on with the business though..A few days ago POLICE
FISCAL paid a visit to my lovely cafe. I was dead scared as always but
followed Phil's advice and offered them my banana-mora bread with a
big smile...they gave me a week to figure out the things...I am so
lucky to know Marlen, the ex-ex owner of my spot. She took me to
Punterenas and helped me to get a tax id, ect...It was fun to take a
day off and go for a field trip, even it is to do taxes...I came back
and Larry did an amazing Mexican dinner...He cooks well in general but
yesterday's meal was fantastic. It is probably because burritos are my
comfort food. I used to have one almost every other day in San
Francisco....Oh well, now I see they could be duplicated quite
well...He even made whole wheat tortilla that was a little too much. I
also have to admit he uses the rolling pin much better than
me.....which sucks:))))

Today was also super good, met a customer who works for Whole Foods.
We had a great conversation but I told him that I had to move down
here after spending my whole paychecks at Whole Foods:))) He promised
to send me some contacts for some of the ingredients that I am looking
for...Like raw coconut oil or spirulina...