Friday, March 27, 2009


I had my first chocolate making class today. Sooo much fun. After a
year of hunting down the cacao butter and all the pure cacao, it was
so easy to make the best chocolate ever! We started with a vanilla
base, cacao powder, cacao butter, agave, salt and pure vanilla bean.
Then, of course, played around with some spices and different flavors.

Today we tried:

coffee-cardamom-cacao nibs
mint chocolate
chopped almonds

it is such a pleasure to taste these combinations and i can't stop
thinking new ideas...spirulina, wasabi, rose, chai, dried berries,
pineapple cilantro, chili, goji...........

Saturday, March 21, 2009

cucharacha on me!

yay! I got a cucharacha! I love it, i found this thing in the market
and never knew they are called cucharachas in Costa Rica...super fun
to see people laugh, mostly locals of course. I went back to the store
3 times and bought the rest for my good friend Meche from Tzu Han, the
Taiwanese vegetarian restaurant, Christina, and another girl, friend
of Maria, who loved it so much...

Friday, March 20, 2009


universe please take me back to japan, some how, some day....but not too late:)

your pad or my thai! (stolen and veganized from alton brown)

I am home in San Jose. This is what everyday should feel like, being
around family, feeling love and cooking and lots and lots of
secrets:))) ingredients, restaurants, recipes, music, new babies, new
ventures, live kombucha culture that is about the take over the
kitchen and eat my amazing lime pie.

Discoveries, anything that is new, just makes my heart beat!!! Now,
what can beat that? hmmmm pad thai would be good! From Alton Brown...


* 1-ounce tamarind paste
* 3/4 cup boiling water
* 2 tablespoons
* 2 tablespoons palm sugar
* 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
* 4 ounces rice stick noodles
* 6 ounces Marinated Tofu, recipe follows
* 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil
* 1 cup chopped scallions, divided
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 2 teaspoons salted cabbage
* 3 ounces bean sprouts, divided
* 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped, divided
* Freshly ground dried red chile peppers, to taste
* 1 lime, cut into wedges


Place the tamarind paste in the boiling water and set aside while
preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the soy sauce, palm sugar, and rice wine vinegar in a small
bowl and set aside.

Place the rice stick noodles in a mixing bowl and cover with hot
water. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Once the
other ingredients are measured out into separate bowls, drain the
water from the noodles and set them aside. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch
wide strips, similar to French fries.

Press the tamarind paste through a fine mesh strainer and add to the
sauce. Stir to combine.

Place a wok over high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of the peanut
oil. Heat until it shimmers, then add the tofu. Cook the tofu until
golden brown, moving constantly, for no longer than 1 minute. Remove
the tofu from the pan to a small bowl and set aside.

If necessary, add some more peanut oil to the pan and heat until
shimmering. Add 2/3 of the scallions and then the garlic, cook for 10
to 15 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients in the following order
and toss after each addition: noodles, sauce, cabbage, and 2/3 of the
bean sprouts and peanuts. Toss everything until heated through, but no
longer than 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish
with the remaining scallions, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Serve
immediately with the ground chile peppers and lime wedges.
Marinated Tofu:

6 ounces extra-firm tofu, not silken

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Wrap the tofu firmly in a tea towel. Place the wrapped tofu into an
8-inch cake pan. Top with another cake pan and weigh down with a
5-pound weight. (Bags of dried beans or grains work well.) Place in
refrigerator and press for 12 to 15 hours.

Place pressed tofu in a 2-cup container. Combine soy sauce and
five-spice powder and pour over tofu. Cover and refrigerate for 30
minutes, turning once. Remove the tofu from the marinade and use
immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days.

Ahhh, the joy of having all the ingredients to this amazing
recipe----, this is real happiness that is like my new addiction

be happy, eat veggies, spread the love.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

day by day...

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another day from paradise!

I was looking for some inspiration for the buffet tonight and came
across Heidi's recipe for the muhammara...Perfect complement for my
humus, tabuli, tofu-feta salad, roasted veggies with lemon and cumin
menu....I think we have it in Turkey as well, its been too long I did
not have a good turkish meal...Anyway, try this sauce, make a dip or a
sandwich...It is soooooooooo good...still eating the
must love spicy to enjoy this dish...Happy in flames!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dreamy Morning

Fascinating times in Montezuma. I got up around 5:30 and did yoga!!! I
don't know what got into me but I guess my body has been craving for
some attention and I went for it. Then, got outside for a run. Believe
me, I am not hyper athletic at all lately, mas or minus for more than
6 months, but when the bug comes, I can't stop it! It was magical...I
went for the soccer field in Montezuma, one of my favorite spots to
run in the morning, beautiful grass and always watered so I can play
with the springs and reminds me of my bootcamp days. The dream gets
better... As I got into the soccer field and there it was... a huge
trampoline!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! Like the ones they have in
competitions, big! Instead of running, I hit the trampoline. So much
more fun than my home style little guy! I jumped high!!! I wonder
where it came from, but thank you universe! I am excited about
tomorrow morning. Every town should have a big trampoline. Life is
fun, as long as I want it to be...go away sadness!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

uploaded new pics on Flickr!

Octopus Wanted!

super tired, late at night, sleeping like a baby, BAM! I woke up in
that moment, jumped on bed and I was wrapped up in my blanket and
could not get up from bed and turned into a little ball, trying to
get out of bed, before the bad guys come in. Trying to realize what
was going on, whether a monkey or an iguana or an ant eater or
possibly the neighbor kitty cat fell onto my roof or am I still
dreaming somewhere in Istanbul, it took me a while to come to the
moment. All these happening in less than 20 seconds, totally shaking,
i found myself on the floor, another bam! and that hurt more than
anything. I could not breath for a second and then I was worried
something broke or hurt and started scanning my body diligently,
moving slowly...I was still one with a very strong heart beat! Yay, I
love my heart! Probably the funniest memory of my fears and dreams and
reality, all intertwined at this very moment, followed by a laughing
crisis. Again, I am my own very destroyer. Gotta love the Shiva in

Its been almost 3 years, I am living in the jungle, and still scared
at night. Want to adopt an octopus for a hug, until then I got a
beautiful hug from me. I love this card from Willo!

natali dee

good luck sunday!

just thinking all is going well, in peace, at harmony, arrived at the
cafe, on a sunday and the big refrigrator is hot as hell! taking the
day off, well deserved I guess! I am sooooo frustrated! I dont even
want to go into the kitchen right now. It is full of fresh produce
from yesterdays market, plus pots of beans, new chocolate cake and
many other stuff, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! hard to explain my frustration
words, just want to cry and shout and bang my head and breath and ask
for a little easy please... I work 15 hours every day and really need
some peace. I know everything happens for a reason and no matter how
hard I work, it will never be perfect. That kills me, knowing that
makes me run to the ocean and never come back but then I think of an
ice-cream that makes the day for a vegan and for that it is all worth
it again, to give another try...another chance to this crooked, not
fair, messed up is my world....also, it makes me happy to
know I make the world's best turkish mocha tart! let this sunday be
pure joy, no matter what breaks down.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Best Lunch Ever!

I love peas...Sweet peas, avocado, curry powder and tomato and of
course cilantro and cracked pepper! Can I get another one??

Sooo good...Gluten-free sister, you can make one on this amazing
buckwheat bread from Russell!

Monday, March 02, 2009

No measuring up!

I love love love Edward Esse, his recipes and poems!

No Measuring Up

Now I make time
to peel potatoes, wash lettuce,
and boil beets, to scrub floors,
clean sinks and empty trash.
Absorbed in the everyday,
I find time to unbind, unwind,
to invite whole body, mind,
breath, thought, and wild impulse
to join, to wallow in the task.

No time lost thinking
that somewhere else is better.
No time lost imagining
getting more elsewhere,
No way to tell this moment
does not measure up.

Hand me the spatula:
now is the time to taste what is!

Speaking of time spent in the kitchen, I broke my all time record last
week for this year and made it to 100+ pure love hours, cooking for a
group of 30 beautiful people. First time ever at Organico, we had such
big group, even made new tables and benches, bought new plates and
cups...and it was really stressful and rewarding at the same time. The
group loved the food and even mentioned to come back for two weeks
next year, so I am really happy. Now, I would like to focus on having
vegans, doing cooking classes for them and exploring spiritual
creativity with Maria. So far, all my dreams came true in Montezuma,
so it's only a matter of time... That said, the timer is beeping, time
to check the bread for tomorrow's burgers.