Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Montezuma

I can't remember who sent this poem to me, but I love it so much and
wanted to share it again...

We are all longing to go home
to some place we have never been —
a place half-remembered and half-envisioned
we can only catch glimpses of from time to time.
Community.
Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak
with passion without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light
up as we enter,
voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power.
Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that
needs to be done.
Arms to hold us when we falter.
A circle of healing.
A circle of friends.
Someplace where we can be free.

~Starhawk

Happy New Year from Organico!

Thank you for signing up for Organico updates. We are working on our
new website and soon we will have online cooking classes. Also, we are
working on Creative Spirituality retreats with open buffet meals from
Organico. Maybe we will see you sooner than you think back in
Montezuma!

In the meantime, we have a facebook group, search for Cafe Organico,
and become a member!

Please keep in touch, send pictures, tell us your favorite ice-cream flavor.

Have a wonderful new year, full of pancake towers, avocados and fresh pineapple!

Love,

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Baking Away...

My kitchenaid mixer is broken. It was expected so I am not too sad
about it. It served me for two years and worked really hard,
especially when Larry was around and kicking its butt with seitan and
totally abusing the little guy. Anyway, since we dont have a good
mixer, I have much defined arms, so I can't complain hours of hand
mixing. Also I can swear by better cookies and much nicer brownies. I
was probably overmixing most of the stuff...The latest challenge was a
cinnamon roll but we got over that with this amazing new recipe. It is
incredible, very easy and tastes fantastic. Highly recommend it!

http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2008/01/13/challah/

I need to find a way to make it vegan but the nutella...ahhhh it is
soooo sinful!!!

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade...

We have a popular Lemonade with Mint at the cafe, but this week, I
don't know what happened but there is no mint in the market...So, we
came up with a new lemonade. Strawberry-basil...We used 2 frozen
strawberries, 4 leaves of basil and a cup of regular lemonade. It is
very simple, creative and tasty. Lets see how popular it will be..

My little sister is getting married...

My little sister, hmmm not so little if you do the math, but I dont
want to go there...Anyway, they are a happy couple, and today her
fiance's family were in our home to ask for my dad's permission. If
you ask me I would say, my family is not traditional at all, but in
reality, yes, we are very very traditional!...In turkish we say, allah
sonunu hayir etsin:)))

http://www.flickr.com/photos/guliz83/2763004092/in/set-72157606722042458/

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Unattended kids will be fed espresso and given a kitten...

absolutely necessary code of conduct at Cafe Organico!

Happy Holidays...

It is a beautiful afternoon in the tropics and today is Christmas! All my employees left early and i am by myself hanging out in our chill room, absolutely chilling...I need some time off because I am getting tired. Today I made olive oil lemon dressing with no lemon juice...but it happens, right? In the middle of this little town, I can't believe how amazing families pass by. Juliet and Tony, from the UK. They have been here for almost two months and Juliet is the the founder of VIVA, . They also have twin sons, one red head and the other blonde and they walk around town with "GO VEGGIE" shirts...So adorable! Juliet has started VIVA, 15 years ago and they have awesome campaigns. One of my favorite one is called Hey Meaty, you are making me HOT! Check it out!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Montezuma Film Festival



Come to Montezuma this weekend and enjoy the movies!
http://www.montezumafilmfestival.com/

New Season, New Colors, New Menu

We have finished the redecorating and the cafe looks beautiful, peaceful and really amazing. I am proud of myself doing this all alone with great friends. We spent hours in the hardware store but I got to the depth of the painting business, the color charts, quarts, rolls, happy times...The beauty of doing business in Montezuma is finding peace in chaos, usually because there is enough time to sit and meditate what is going on around you. Work is slow here. At the hardware store, it takes about 2 hours to go and get your stuff. Every moment is a movie scene,a comedy, almost impossible to believe for those of us who are used to the fast pace of "wash and go culture". But, these are the times worth appreciating what we have. Finding a good friend waiting in the car in front of the hardware store, seeing him everyday come and help in return for some vegan peanut butter and cheap veggie lunches is also amazing. The universe is sending me what I need, I am blessed with gifts every moment. Right now, I have everything I need. I dont want more but just days to enjoy these gifts, light breeze and happy smiles and lots of love.

I can't wait to post new pictures. In the meantime, the vegan peanut butter cookies are delicious and super easy, so if you like peanut butter, give it a try.

Peanutbutter Cookies

Mix the dry ingredients well in a bowl.

1 cup white flour
1/4 cup oat flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Blend in a blender:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup smooth peanutbutter
1/2 cup oil, coconut oil is the best
1/2 tsp vanilla

Then add the mixture into the dry bowl. Spoon onto a cookie sheet and mark with the fork for the traditional peanutty goodness. 350 degrees, 13 minutes.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cafe Organico Tropical Chutney

This is one my favorite dishes in our dinner menu. It goes great with Indian curries, rice and of course over freshly baked bread. You can do so much with chutneys, its incredible..try different fruits, don't be shy and experiment with your taste buds and buddies:))

The key ingredients are your spices. Make sure you have fresh spices. This dish is not spicy!

Makes about 2 cups

Masala
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric or 1 tsp. dry turmeric
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Heat the olive oil well and add the spices. Fry the spices for about 2 minutes. Listo!


1 onion, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced fine
1 cup papaya, cut into small chunks
1 cup pineapple, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon white vinegar, apple cider vinegar works great
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
1 lime or lemon

Once the spices are done, add onions garlic and red pepper and saute until the onions are browned under medium heat. Add the pineapple, papaya, vinegar and sugar. Cook about 20 minutes or until the fruits are cooked and the chutney is not watery. Add salt about 2 teaspoons but you may need to add a little more as you like. And finally add the cilantro. If you don't have cilantro, Italian flat leaf, would also work.

Squeeze one lime or lemon before serving...

Enjoy!

Months go by...happy

It has been so busy in the last couple of months, I am shocked to see I haven't posted much...Well, I got a dog. Prema! She is amazing, fun, loving and very very time consuming and difficult. I have discovered that I am a very self-centered human being..oh well, that is me...me and baking..and now Prema...My friend Jorge named her, after his first dog. Prema means love in Sanskrit. More love to the world..

News from the cafe...We are officially closed, but open to friends and any random strangers who happen to be in Montezuma in the crazy month of September. It is rainy season here and there is absolutely nobody in town. In absence of crazy work hours, I am spending my time thinking...about the new season, new menu items, new menu lay-out, employees, where to spend my two week vacation with my dog, ayurveda and ayurvedic cooking, chocolate, my family and how much I miss them...

And in the last two days, I have been thinking about everything but apples because I am doing an apple fast. It's incredible how food plays such an important role in my life and taking a break from it helps me shake it off a little bit, clean up my home, check in with my emails, write my blog, call my parents..also I spend time thinking what I want to eat right off the fast (Godiva chocolate that is sitting in the refri for two days!)

May all the cacao trees be happy and tranquilla.

I will post more often... Some recent photos..

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Times

Once in a blue moon, some person walks in Organico and I can't help myself making friends. It is hard to live in a transient place, people come and go and it becomes hard to open up to strangers you know they will leave in a few days...Still, someone like Lizard, is pretty rare to come by. You won't miss her in any way. She is from NY, so of course she is extremely difficult with her orders but also she is super sweet and funny and weird, she would find a way to make you do everything for her. We ended up naming a drink after her. Lizzle Dizzle, ice coffee with frozen banana and almond milk. Yum!

Rumi again...

What draws friends together
does not conform to 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. A black ant on black felt.
You can't see it, but if grains go toward each other,
it's there.

I am planning work trip to Nashville soon...I need to visit the south! Baking Fairy on the go! Just before Lizard left, we stayed in a fancy smoochy hotel in San Jose, went to shopping spent all our money on incredible dresses, went to dinner, made friends with the owner and gladly accepted 30% discount on our bill. The most fun part at the end, poor girl's facial clay. Trial size celebrity skincare...



Saturday, July 05, 2008

Challenges

Its been tough couple of days, and now I have a big challenge on hand.
I spent so much time to figure out the menu, design the little details
but from outside, it still looks like a little shack my beautiful
restaurant and that makes me sad. Its incredible how much work there
is to do...the signs, the floors, tables...so i need help. If you have
an idea or a picture of a nice patio, send it to my way. I will post
some pictures so you can see what I mean...I am looking for smart ways
of improving the looks, attracting more people...sooo hard...it is
overwhelming...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I LOVE YOGA

www.Iloveyoga.com

These people are heaven sent. I am so grateful to the universe, it is incredible. One of the nicest groups ever and they love the cafe, they love the food, I love them. Well, I feel pretty up in the air because some people even came up to me and said I make the best food they had in their lives. There are four amazing kids and they dig the icecream. I get so much pleasure feeding people. One love, we are one. I am so happy.

Check out the website, the cloths are fantastic too!




Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My favorite spice: Tumeric

Here is why you should also eat Tumeric. We add it to almost everything, but especially goes great with brown rice.


The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.


Electricity Costs

We are now paying 35% more to electricity and it sucks big time with my new A/C room....I need to find a way to install solar energy. If you have any information, please share it with me, I am sooo disabled when it comes to installing stuff. Also, I want to look into buyin the panels from the states, as someone told me it would be cheaper. Any ideas? Can I bring them in my luggage?

Amazing Dance

http://www.mysticaldance.net/

Friday, June 20, 2008

Faith...

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have, and take that first step into the darkness of the Unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught how to fly.  Patrick Overton-

And hence my trampoline! It feels great to jump.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

new roomies

Well, this time a family of three...Bats! Last night, right after I fell asleep, I woke up with a noise, lit up my flashlight (that I sleep with) and saw 3 bats flying over me......I was ok with crabs, spiders, ants, mosquitoes and frogs but bats they totally scared me...I was up all night designing my new menu....Please don´t get scared and still come and visit me. I am feeling a little off these days, I would love to see my friends and family! It is beautiful and not so hot here.

Immediately I checked the psychic meaning from the Medicine cards...Very interesting....

http://www.globalpsychics.com/serving-you/sample-readings/animal-totem.shtml

In the meantime, if anyone has an idea to get them out of the house, please email me. I need help.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Feelings

From my good friend Maria!

"The wide discrepancy between reason and feeling may be unreal; it is
not improbable that intellect is a high form of feeling - a
specialized, intensive feeling about intuitions."

-Susanne K. Langer, 1967

Our topic this week is feelings.. A lot of time we hear about the
difference between the heart and the head, or between feelings and
reason. But even if there is a difference between them, there is a
connection between them. We can assimilate the two, and use the power
as one, to make the important choices in our lives. It's that merger
that empowers us to overcome any challenges we come across.

-Lissa Coffey

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where is my HR department?

You will not believe this...I love my employees, they have been
working hard, keeping the restaurant going and being reliable for more
than six months now...I am really proud to find such a good
team...However, I was shocked on Saturday when I interrupted a
conversation between one of the employees and a customer. The customer
was asking about our "Turkish Delight" shake It has coffee, dates,
cardamom, cinnamon, soy milk and bananas. I love it. I admit that it
is not every ones favorite but if you like cardamom and coffee, it is
really good but it also takes time to prepare, as it has way too many
ingredients that needs to measured, cut, ect on the spot. So, we
charge more for it, end of the story...Nope!

As this guy was asking about the shake, what caught my eye in terror
was the "disgusted" face of my beloved employee! I could not believe
it...I jumped into the conversation right away and then talked to her
immediately. Apparently she doesn't like cardamom. I don't believe
her. I think she was just tired to prep it and we do have much easier
drinks to prepare, so she was trying to manipulate the customer.
Awful! Maybe she just doesn't like it and I am being evil, but that is
how I feel! Sorry! Yes, I know training, training, training. I need
to take time to train people. But, give me a break, how could you make
that face...Funny thing, the guy ordered Turkish Delight,
regardless....Sigh......Though I am not in the cafe 100% of the time
anymore, I do look at the sales item by item and we have been selling
Turkish Delight quite a lot, despite that FACE! My god!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Viktoras on Radio!

Viktoras and Katherine Clark on Tribeca Radio. I am so lucky to live
in same town with both of them.
http://tribecaradio.net/wpradioblog/2008/06/11/

Life Transitions

From Daily Om and I think it is so true for me...I am copying the
whole article here to read...Sorry, mom I could not translate it to
spanish for you:)))

Life Transitions
The Death And Rebirth Of Self

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.
Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is
often painful or, if we don't realize what's happening, confusing and
disorienting. In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the
messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These
shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans, as we move from
infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition
from one phase to another, we find ourselves saying good-bye to an old
friend, the identity that we formed in order to move through that
particular time.

Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs, and when
we shift those areas of our life become unsettled. Usually, if we take
the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find
that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through
one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around
ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma.
One day, though, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless,
wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new
part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our
old self needed to survive.

We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say
good-bye to a part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole
new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in
working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to
make way for new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. For example,
keeping a duck feather, or some other symbol of transformation, can
remind us that death and rebirth are simply nature's way of evolving.
We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with
great love and gratitude, and welcoming the new with an open mind and
heart, ready for our next phase of life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cenk is on San Francisco Chronicle!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/10/FDAE110LDE.DTL&hw

I am so proud of my Zozi!!! He is amazing! Gush, it is hard to be
friends with celebrities but I manage it ok:)

Monday, June 09, 2008

I got a trampoline...

it is amazing how the universe works and of course without Maria, it
would have been impossible. Right after I posted my request to the
universe, after being convinced that there are no more trampolines in
San Jose, Maria picks up yellow pages and calls a sports equipment ad,
"a tiny winy" ad...The guy says they have one and apparently schools
even buy from him, so we trust his word and go for another trampoline
hunt. It is raining crazy, we are already tired and it is almost 6
pm...but nothing can stop us! I am so lucky to have Maria in my life,
she is like a shining star, almost like the Ganesha, removes obstacles
so easily, makes anything, magical, she really has a fairy wand or an
angelic touch.

Anyway, we make it to the little store. I am skeptical of course,
because I have been on the hunt for the last 3 days with no luck,
dealing with slow sales people trying to sell me a baby trampoline or
telling me to come back in two months...For some reason, everything
takes two months! But I was wrong. They had it at the store, I got
one, Maria got one and we made good friends with the owner. Once
again, I am grateful to the universe. Om namah shivaya...

http://mantrasdelmundo.blogspot.com/2006/06/om-namah-shivaya.html

Request for a trampolin...

I need a trampoline, soooo bad.....Well, not so sure about the need,
it is more of a want, but still I would love to have a trampoline.
Maria and I looked all over San Jose to locate one but they are all
out. I guess everybody wants to jump high. Please universe send me a
trampoline so I can jump and jump and jump!

According to Sarma, (from Pure Food and Wine), bouncing on this is
actually one of the best ways you can detoxify since it very
effectively increases lymph flow (carrying nutrients to your cells and
waste product away). This has to do with the vertical up and down
movement as well as the gravitational effect of bouncing. It improves
your balance, strengthens all your core muscles (think toned abs!),
and keeps things moving and flowing. If you're injured, feeling a bit
old, otherwise fragile, or just out of shape, standing on it and
gently bouncing up and down for even a few minutes without your feet
leaving the mat is enough to wake up your immune and cardiovascular
systems.

http://www.oneluckyduck.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=393

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ayurveda Kitchen

I am a proud Kapha, but it comes with a long list of foods to avoid,
like my beloved avocado, papaya, nuts, coconut, oats...ay ay ay...but
I am always snoozing, tired and longing for energy, so I will listen
to my dosha and give this list a try.

Unfortunately, Montezuma is filled with mangoes, all over the place,
tons of mangoes and I have been eating at least one a day. Yesterday,
Dr. Chien, told me that I am allergic to mangoes, at least I know
where those itches and red spots are coming from:)))) Apples are the
only fruit I will be able to enjoy in the tropics for a while...

I found this blog,
http://franlife.blogspot.com/2006/03/kapha-foods.html with tons of
information and great recipes. So definitely check it out.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Favorite Salad

House Cafe is one of my favorite places in Istanbul and I go there
pretty much everyday and most of my friends are sick of it already,
including my sister. They have a great breakfast menu, not so great
granola but tons of vegetarian options and Turkish dishes. My
favorite out of all is the spinach-lentil salad and I started to make
it at home for my dad and he also likes it a lot.

Here is the recipe, totally my version, inspired from House Cafe.

1 cup of lentils, cooked and cooled. I cook lentils with bay leaves
and a pinch of salt, be careful not to over cook, they are done very
fast. Once they are cooled, I pre-dress the lentils with a tablespoon
of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

2 cups of baby spinach, cut rough

1/2 cup of sun dried tomato in olive oil, cut fine strips

1/2 cup of goat cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup of toasted pinenuts

Zest of one lemon, cut into fine strips

Dressing, this is not an exact measurement, I made it impromt but it
is close enough.
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Honey
1/3 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea salt
1tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon Mustard
Optional: 1 tablespoon pomegranate Syrup

Just before serving, mix all the ingredients except pinenuts. Sprinkle
the nuts on top and enjoy...I wish I could have made some for Popeye:)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I discovered a new blog...

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/

She is fantastic!

Baking Fairy at work...

This is an amazing crumble recipe....I could not find cornmeal in
Istanbul so I used farina (irmik) and it turned out really amazing. We
used strawberries and next time I will try with a combination, sour
cherry, raspberry and strawberry.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/05/the_department.html

Hazelnuts are so popular in Turkey and we have tons of it here. I
can't find them as much in Costa Rica. I have this cake in the oven
right now. Thanks Cenk for the hint.

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/03/hazelnut-brown-butter-cake/

Cenk's Korovo cookies are next:)
http://cafefernando.com/korova-cookies

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a love note to you

I just bumped on this love note and wanted to share it with you. Life
in Istanbul is beautiful, sweet and loving. I must admit, I am a
little spoiled...

http://www.superherodesigns.com/journal/archives/001289.html

You are exactly where you need to be.

You are not missing out, falling behind, doing it wrong,
not trying hard enough.

You are doing more than enough.

Whatever opinions you have about it,
however imperfect
This is yours.

Where you are right now.
Sitting here surfing the internet even.
Is perfect.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Amazing opportunity...

Help Needed for Tassajara's Summer Guest Season! The zen center in
Tassajara is a beautiful and peaceful. Check out their
website...http://www.sfzc.org/tassajara/display.asp?catid=4,19&pageid=

and here also some more information on the work schedule.
http://www.sfzc.org/tassajara/display.asp?catid=4,29&pageid=181

The kitchen experience is also amazing, I have their cookbook and I
wish I was still in Bay Area to go up there...

my mom's birthday....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/guliz83/sets/72157604709542388/

it was so much fun!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Breakfast!

Just finished breakfast with family...One of our biggest tradition is
to have family breakfast on Sundays...Today we had probably everything
one can possibly eat in a week over one meal...We even had pastirma
from Kayseri, a meat dish that is very popular...

http://wowturkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28006

9 different cheeses, breads, pancakes, peanutbutter with five
different jams, spreads, olives, sausages, Sooo grateful to have all
the family at the table, my mom, dad, sister, cousinbrother,
grandmother, my sister's boyfriend! With lots of laughter, great
conversation and my lovely sister's fresh strawberry smoothie:)))

I made eggs from Organico's menu, number 4:))) Scrambled with feta
cheese, tomato and avocado and poppy seed pancakes from 101 Cookbooks.
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/poppy-seed-pancakes-recipe.html
with slight changes. I added 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tablespoon orange zest,
1 tsp lemon zest, toasted walnuts instead of sunflower seeds and
yogurt instead of buttermilk...Great recipe.

I am also amazed to learn that the father of my grandmother's
grandmother (we figured he lived somewhere around the 18 hundreds...)
was a medical doctor....Probably one of the first Lokman hekim's of
Turkey:))) Lokman Hekim is an herbalist.

Pura Vida in Istanbul!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In Madrid

Shocked to see how expensive things are on the other side of the
world...I just paid $7 for a bottle of water and coffee...I miss
Montezuma already! Plus people are not nice here, very serious,
business attire, i already get strange looks with my flip flops...:)
one thing is amazing, yo hablar muy bien espanol!!!! I am impressed
with myself, almost a year and half ago, I had no clue about Spanish.
Soy muy feliz!!!

Also highly recommend coming to Costa Rica via Madrid. The flight was
only 9:30 hours and now I have to chill for about 6 hours and then
home sweet home. No hassle of the stupid US immigration lines and
Iberia is pretty comfortable with not so good veggie meals, but I am
used to that already. I keep wondering why anyone is not interested in
providing healthy food...at least once, so many people would try how
real food tastes....wholewheat, grains, fresh fruit and some miso
soup, ahhh...Hot oatmeal for breakfast with goji berries....California
dreaming....I am hungry!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Amistad

In the last two days, Maria and I made the world's best eggplant
parmesan, vietnamese spring rolls, bubble tea and tarte tatin. We
discovered an amazing black sesame seed cereal drink from a Taiwanese
underground store and visited the Turkish bakery. As always, we
exchanged many new recipes and she is probably the only person I can
leave my Organico recipe book without a beat skipping in my heart. For
the rest of the world, I do have secret recipes.

It is so special to have her in my life, I want to scream my gratitude
to the universe, write it on sand with huge letters, have waves
inscribe it on the ocean. Letting go, opens new doors, flowing with
the universe has never been more joyful.

I promised Maria's husband Jorge to visit a Sufi center back in
Turkey. Can't wait..
One of my favorite Rumi quotes...

What draws friends together
does not conform to 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. A black ant on black felt.
You can't see it, but if grains go toward each other,
it's there.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

An other Turk in Costa Rica

My dear friend/angel Maria, found this amazing little Turkish bakery
in San Jose and today we went for a field trip. Of course I had to
taste the baklava (yum!) and the traditional turkish bread, pide. We
drove half an hour to get to town and his little shop was nothing
fancy. Zeki, is the owner of the bakery, Istanbul and he has been here
for 5 years. He hasn't been back since and his wife and 2 kids are
back in Turkey. They communicate through email and phone but you can
see from his eyes that he is sad. Lonely. Still searching...I felt
really good talking to him, he was such a nice guy and offered me lots
of help and advice and he understood me so well...The urge to leave
Turkey, the same urge not to go back, not getting adjusted, learning
spanish, he also came here without speaking a word of spanish,...He
misses his family and hopefully they will be united within a year. He
thinks he will have everything he needs once his wife gets here.

http://www.tinjo.com/tj/index.php?id=313


I am leaving for Turkey tomorrow. He asked me to bring Turkish tea for
him. I will do that for sure...Once again, I find myself grateful to
the universe for offering me this wonderful life, sweet and
comfortable, full of fun, with amazing people I meet everyday,
sometimes I wonder what I have done before to deserve this. It must
have baked some sinful chocolate cakes in heaven!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Matters of the heart

Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart.

And try to love the questions themselves.

- Rainer Maria Rilke -

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ginga Day!

I got up at 5 in the morning, waited for the sunrise, watched my heart
beat and look over the banana leaves to the ocean. Then went to
meditation group and did yoga...A fantastic class from a great teacher
from New York. It was the first time I heard about Ginga. Ginga
(pronounced jin-ga) is an African word that came to Brazil through
capoeira (the Brazilian dance-fight martial art), and according to
Brazilian author and historian Ruy Castro, it is used to describe "a
way of never taking life too seriously, of fighting hardships with the
proper use of toes, heels and hips, if you have ever met a Brazilian,
you know what this means:))

It was a hard but at the same time super fun class!

She ended the class with a quote from Jeremy Taylor: "Love is
friendship set on fire" So simple and true.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Frustrated...

Everything takes time here, toooooo long. I am not a patient person
and I know I need to be a little more tranquila, but it is damn
difficult to become a tortuga..Excuse my spanglish! I have a new space
that I want to turn into a lounge, juice bar and its been a month that
we are trying to get it going. It is so hard to work alone and
everyone on the other side...I still don't know when to scream, so
instead I continue to shout at the ocean and scream underwater and box
with the air...It is not helping...AHhghghghhg! My sister today told
me that I am fighting against the universe and pushing things too
hard, instead of accepting the reality that I don't belong here...She
is right...I really want to go home. Yes!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

another day

My dad is still in the hospital, no word on when he can go home. He
got the operation, so now we are waiting for him to recover. Sending
my love and peace to him everyday and I am sad that I am here and cant
be there for a few days. I need to be close to home. Note to
self...Next Organico, within the same national borders of my family!
Por FAVOR! :)

I got up, went for a run/walk/strech/tan, all at the same time. It is
soo hot right now, the minute I wake up, there is no way to go back to
sleep...I dont remember last year being this hot...Maybe I am more
aware of things now then last year...

After the run, I came home and made coffee and breakfast! I am
grateful these days that I have my mornings to myself..I take time to
hangout in my new home, I have some new pics on flickr) and write,
draw, think, swing in the hammock and be lazy...Then slowly I head to
the cafe and talk to people, make a smoothie for myself and check my
emails...Not too bad...

Nights are a little lonely, even with my little prince and I have to
admit and I have been on the border of feeling depressed, super happy,
one day up, one day down, sleepless nights but at the end of the day
everything is impermament. Taking things as they are, not having
expectations and being happy for being...I am learning...it is
hard..it is hard to accept but that is all we have to do to find
bliss...This place is magical to show you the truth...Trust,
friendship, love...Harm, ego, jealousy...I try to be on my own...or
until I met someone like my little prince. He makes the world go
upside down, only with a smile. Sooooo cute!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tagged

I've been tagged. Here's my entry.


Here are the rules of this tag:

A. Post these rules at the beginning of the blog entry
B. Answer the questions about yourself
C. Tag 5 people, let them know in a comment on their blogs that they have been tagged.

Whew. Here we go....

What were you doing 10 yrs ago?
1998, I was still in school, working part-time for Procter and Gamble and thinking about getting married within a year or so...Wow...

Snacks I enjoy

* Plantain Chips
* Chocolate
* Pistachios

Five things on my to-do list today

* Bake cookies
* Buy pillows
* Pick-up cheese for Organico from Cobano
* Call my mom to check on dad
* Check emails and photos on Facebook

Things I would do if I became a billionaire

* Open Organico all around the world next to McDonalds
* Clean Montezuma Beaches
* Open a Creativity Center and let people go crazy
* Install lights all around Montezuma
* Bring my family here


3 bad habits

* Thinking too much
* Chocolate
* Not respecting others opinions and decisions

5 places I have lived

* Istanbul
* San Francisco, CA
* Menlo Park, CA
* Montezuma, Costa Rica



Jobs I have had

* Receptionist
* Research Assitant
* Baker
* and some other corporate jobs that lead me to my dream life now...


Things people don’t know about me

* I listen to the same song on repeat forever....1000 times? maybe more...

Thank you Christine, for tagging me... http://yellowgizmo.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 07, 2008

Updates

My mom went back home on a last minute call from home, my dad is in the hospital. He has an infection in his liver and needs to have an operation next week. I am feeling sad and lonely here in Montezuma and I will do a trip home to see my dad soon.

Business is ok, I lost my motivation to do anything, I don't know why I am here, what I am doing and I feel helpless to my family.

I took today off and went to the Natural Reserve with a friend.

http://www.caboblancopark.com/

It was amazing to be in the jumgle and hike 5 kilometers each way. This park is the first national reserve in Costa Rica and it was farmed before. Two foreigners worked on to bring it to its original state and now you can not believe the huge trees birds. The nature is facinating. We went to the ocean and ate lunch (mostly cookies and mango) and made a sand castle...He even convinced me to ride on his ATV and after the accident it was my first time but I did it!!!

I came back to the cafe around 4 pm and baked my favorite cake, chocolate-coconut vegan cake! I love baking. I am really happy when I bake!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Long Due

Its been a really long time and I managed to login to my blogger account. All is going well, my birthday and after celebration all went amazing, the cafe is busy and I am so happy to get calls from people overseas asking for reservations! (it only happened once!)...

Cafe is doing well but I am overwhelmed with the amount of work, two people leaving and totally burned out friends. It stressed me so much last week, I exploded on two of my friends and created a total drama. It sucks and I apologized but I have to learn to do business with friends or decide not to do it. I lost another employee because I don't know how to handle the situation. There is so much work and i don't know where to start...

In the meantime, I signed a lease with additional space and got the office in between the kitchen and the cafe. I have so many new ideas but slowly...

The most amazing thing these days, is the birth of five kittens from our cat Maya. It was my first time seeing a birth and everyday they are growing and becoming cuter and cuter...I love to get two of them for my house but I am not sure if I can handle more responsibility...

News from the menu....I am so happy to get Rice Paper Rolls to the menu and they are selling amazing. I am selling breakfast and lunch the most and very few baked stuff so i had to discontinue the baking section until i get a better grasp of things. It sucks that I have to stop baking for business and focus, but I need to learn to be flexible...

Finally!

This is what I intended to post couple of weeks ago...Finally!!

I am back! I had a terrible accident last Sunday and fell off from a
quad. Luckily, I still have everything in place and got nasty blue
spots and a couple open wounds. Considering what could have happened,
I feel grateful to this opportunity to sit back and thank my angels.
Today I was able to get out of the house by myself, so that also feels
very good. Too bad we could not go out for my birthday party but I had
a lot fun and friends kept visiting every single minute. The whole
thing just opened my eyes...I was working from 7 in the morning to 10
at night again, exhausted, ect...And of course you start to make bad
decisions, poor judgements and it hits you at the very unexpected
moment. I was rushing to get things done as fast as I could....Really
stupid! I just want to pass on my understanding of how life goes,
don't take anything too serious, and have fun. If you are not having
fun, make a change as fast as you can. Life is too short and we have
no control at all!

Also, good news, we are still up and running in the cafe and
they are doing a fantastic job so I really didn't have to worry about
anything but rest. Aloe Vera (Sabila) also helped a lot with the
wounds and we have sooo much fresh here. I am thankful to my angel
friends here so all is good, I am happy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

things we cant plan

I was so happy to come to San Jose to meet my parents yesterday
morning and got this call from my dad, telling me they had to cancel
the trip because he was sick for a week and the doctors told him that
he cant fly...I could not believe it, I had no idea he was even sick
for the last 10 days...No one bothers to tell me these little details
when I am busy taking care of business:( I feel stupid sometimes, how
in my small world I worry about ice cream melting, running out of tofu
or not making enough money to buy a vehicle. Damn!

It was a huge shock in the beginning and mostly feeling alone and
disappointment. I wanted to do so much with them, we were going to do
a trip to Nicaragua, take time from work, celebrate my birthday,
ect...Of course things like this happen in the movies, but in my
perfectly planned life, I have no room for spontaneity...Well, another
lesson learned, life is all about spontaneity after all...I am
grateful that he is ok and they just have to delay the trip. I feel
lucky to have my family and I know they will be here eventually.

For now, I am staying with my amazing friend Maria, baking many kinds
of chocolate chip cookies and developing secret recipes and watching
food TV. The store is also open, I have friends and good employees in
charge...and Maria and I are leaving for Nicaragua tomorrow. It´s not
that shabby at all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Maria´s Lemongrass Ice Tea

A great ice tea recipe, it is sooo hot here, iced cold tea is the best
way to keep cool!

A stalk of lemon grass, cut fine wrapped in cheesecloth
4 cups of water
3 bags of black tea or loose tea if you have

Boil water with lemongrass and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the tea bags and let cool.
Discard the tea bags and lemongrass.Refrigerate the tea for half an hour.
Serve with honey and lemon slice over ice!

Muy bien!

Sad!

Marlon left Montezuma yesterday. He was here for a month and he is by
far the coolest employee ever! We had so much fun working together and
he helped us sooo much working from 8 to 8 most of the days....He is
still at school so he went back to finish up a couple of unnecessary
classes, though I tried to convince him that schooling is
overrated...Well, work is even more overrated, but it makes such a
difference to work with fun kids! He is off to a bungee jumping
experience and a couple new tattoos, possibly a kitchen aid...Gallo
Pinto and Marlon (aka Maria) rules! Tuanis! (means cool in Costa Rican
slang!) Pictures sooon, I promise!

Burrito Special

It is great to live in a small town...Today I found out that one of
the restaurants ordered some stuff to take out from us, disassembled
and created the same to serve at their restaurant...Wow! I am happy to
see people take me serious! The restaurant is growing so much, its
great to be here.

Many new items on the menu, as always:

Mango-Passion fruit-Coconut is the killer ice cream on the menu...I
just cant find a good name for it...
Starfruit Shake, with pineapple and mango juice
Oatmeal cookies, with white chocolate, pistachio and apricots.
Spinach Salad with lentils, tomato, feta cheese and parsley


We also painted the store---It is now brightly green! My favorite
color! Days are going by...ups and downs, happy and sad, but it is all
good and very hot!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Feliz Ano!

Montezuma reminds me of a big crowded city these days. It is packed
with people, loud, traffic, cars, crazy crazy people and very
impatient customers...All the tables are full most of the time, I am
trying to stay on my feet without collapsing but its been really
difficult. Managing slow times was hard but managing busy times is
harder. On top, I had a few day when an employee had to leave for a
medical emergency and I discovered a feeling I had no idea I had in
me. Anger! I am an angry person, if you can believe it! It wasn't nice
at all, I don't like myself when angry at all but I can't help it. Of
course, I signed up for a massage today and it was great.

In the middle of my breakdown, a customer asks if she needs to make a
reservation for lunch! Yup, we now accept reservations!

In the last couple of weeks, I made a new menu, got 3 new employees
(all boys!) and fell in love with Manu Chao! Since we have listened to
my ipod for 100 billion times, Melanie was sick of the same old music
and started to play her own ipod, after listening hers for 100 billion
times, we got a new one from another friend that I love her music
taste..However, the lastest Ipod we got is from Marlon and he has
heaps of techno music that I absolutely can not listen to...So we
agreed on Manu Chao. I am not sure if they are famous anywhere else
but I love it. Me gusta bailar, me gusta su!

Heading off to the cafe to finish a spiderman cake and prep for dinner
tonight. My parents are arriving in two weeks, and I can't wait to see
them!