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Mayan Chocolate Crunch Brazil Nut Spiced Truffles

Ahhhhh, lovely bites of spiced bliss for those days when you just want a little more decadence in your healthy food choices. I am a chocolate lover but it does not love me back, it aggravates my eczema to no end and on extra thyroid difficult/sensitive days, I have been known to get rashes and swelling. So, now it's a splurge food on rare occasions,or when PMS is really bad. I had once outgrown my allergy to chocolate and it looks like I may be allergic once more but until I am certain, it's enjoyed sparingly. 
This recipe calls for raw cocoa nibs which are touted by almost every raw foodist out there as being the best thing you can put into your body. Funny thing about this is that the gentleman who was one of the first to get this information out to the raw and vegan community, never intended for it to be consumed on the regular, nor does he endorse it as a superfood that does more good than harm. 
As a matter of fact, he has been featured in a YouTube video on the great vegan: OKraw channel, (link to the video is down below) and speaks about this. He gives a very solid, informed, and intelligent argument for why this food should be eaten VERY sparingly and really as a treat food. The health benefits are discussed and overall I was very pleased that it was put out there because it confirmed what I have suspected for a long time. Raw chocolate can be harsh on the body with some seriously negative side effects and is not appropriate to eat often. Before getting upset about what I just stated, relax, take a breath and hear me out. 
I worked in the health food industry for almost 10 years, I also have been part of working at huge health expos, and have attended many training's for new and upcoming products on the market. I was around when raw food and super foods were beginning to creep into the world of health food, and was obligated to attend seminars and training's as well as meet many company reps about these new products. Believe me when I tell you that health food, Raw food, and Veganism is in its infancy; and every other month there is a new cure-all that comes out that. BTW, that last part was told directly to me by a company rep for a huge raw food/supplement company. 
Truth is, some are good, some miss the mark, some are just about getting your money, while others can be the best thing ever and end up ignored-then go the way of the dinosaur.
Please, please, please, take it all with a grain of salt and if it sounds too good to be true, usually it is. 
We need to be cautious, well informed and wary as consumers. Does this mean that we should not make healthier choices or embrace healthier alternatives?
Absolutely not!
All I am saying is that there is still so much we don't know, are constantly learning, rules and accepted theories are changing, science disproves and throws out studies as better technologies are applied, and some companies or individual's who claim to be raw food health guru's, well, their moral compasses are not always set to what is projected; no matter how charismatic they may be, a snake oil salesman is still a snake oil salesman. 
That means that WE have to be responsible for our choices, researching, asking, looking into and making sure we don't blindly accept what we're being fed. 
Personally, whenever I ate more than one bite of raw chocolate anything, my eczema flared within minutes. And I am not talking, a little bit, I mean full on swelling, uber itchies, red, scales beginning, cracked skin, and feeling like the affected area was on fire. Not pleasant, I also experienced super heart palpitations and headaches that forced me to sit and drink a ton of water. This was and is an intense response but not uncommon, if you have had similar things happen or a different variety of symptoms, you are not the only one. Trust what your body is telling you. Some people never have a problem, others do. Respecting our bodies modes of communication is an integral part of being involved and responsible for our health. 
So raw cacao as a treat=yes, and that's exactly what this recipe is. I hope you enjoy making them and leave your comments and experiences with raw cacao in the comments section down below. Here's the OK raw video link and the recipe follows.

Raw Cacao Causes Mood Swings and is NOT a Health Food


1 Cup Brazil nuts ground
3 Tbsp Tiger nuts ground
1/4 Cup Cocoa nibs ground with a bit of chunk left-gives the crunch. 
2 tsp Cinnamon ground
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (can omit) 
1 tsp Chili ground (can omit) 
1/2 tsp Pink sea salt
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 
1/3-1/2 Cup Grade B Maple syrup (sweetness intensity is up to you) 

For rolling finished truffles:
1/4 Cup sifted cocoa with 1 tsp sifted cinnamon 

-In a bowl mix dry ingredients
-Add wet to dry and mix well
-Use a small scoop and former 12-15 small rounds, drop each one into rolling mixture, quickly coat and remove. 
-Chill in airtight container for 2-3 hours before serving. I keep mine in the freezer because I prefer them really cold. 
The kids can help make these but don't let them eat too many, Raw cacao is not to be eaten in large quantities by adults or children. One truffle will suffice for little one's. 
These keep 4-5 days in the fridge and 1-2 months, we'll sealed in the freezer. 
Enjoy and remember to share with someone you love. 

Elderflower Gingered Peach and Jalapeño Salsa

Helloodles lovelies!
I know the recipe title is a mouthful to say but it's a delight to eat.
You need to add this to your roster of summer recipes. I was at Ikea the other day, discovering bedding and cool things for my Poppa Bear and I to have in our home together. Man,is it ever easy to go crazy in there, I never knew how much I missed decorating my home until Ikea brought it all back.
By the cashes, I remembered that they sell elderflower syrup and I rushed to grab one in their food section, before we left. I was so happy when I found a bottle and it was just under $5,which is much better than the $12-$18 bottles I had seen. It was also not too big which is perfect for me because I will not be needing that much. There were recipes on Pinterest for elderflower and I had almost forgotten about this lovely ingredient, I usually imbibe it in my elderflower presse drink during the holidays. It's been my go-to alcohol replacement for years, for me and the kids table. I get eczema badly when I drink alcohol so it's off my list.
Well, now I am using elderflower syrup on a new recipe journey, trying new things keeps your soul young after all. If you have never heard or had this, I truly feel you are missing out.
I adore it, it's a flower that has a delicate, soft and inviting flavour. It's a bit acidic but in a mild limey tang kind of way. It does not overpower, it's actually mellow so don't pair it with anything too strong. It works well with lime & some ginger. I hope you enjoy the recipe and please don't be intimidated, I put many pictures that breakdown how to cut and use everything. It's actually not a difficult one just requires patience, extra cutting time, and of course, love. Never cook or bake without love. 



4 ripe peaches (not over ripe) 
1/2 jalapeño 
1 English cucumber
1 stalk whites of scallion
Small piece of red pepper (1/4 cup chopped)
1 tsp ginger (fresh) 
1/4 cup elderflower syrup
3 tbsp light, fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 lime zest & 1/2 of it's juice
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract 
Pinch of pink sea salt
Pinch of fresh long black pepper ground
2 scrapes fresh nutmeg


-Prepare your peaches by scoring an X in the base, then dipping in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Plunge the drained peaches, quickly into an ice bath. See below for picture details. Slice and chop the peaches as shown. Place in a non-reactive bowl.

-Peel your knob of fresh ginger and grate it finely using a microplane zester, keep aside or do the grating at the last minute after zesting the lime.

-Grab your cucumber. Peel, remove seeds, cut in four, then dice the cucumber. Pics show all, down below. Add to bowl with peaches.

-Take small piece of red pepper, slice and chop into small pieces then add to bowl.

-Take scallion (green spring onion) and slice thinly on a diagonal to get a nice look to your slices. put in bowl with peaches.

-WEAR GLOVES!!!!!!! Do not touch your eyes or any delicate mucous membranes when handling hot peppers. Prepare the jalapeno, slice in half, remove guts and slice, then chop very small. See pics down below.

-Roll your lime, zest the green skin, about 3/4 of it over peaches, add ginger and elderflower, vanilla, and then olive oil.

-Add nutmeg.

-Add salt and pepper, to taste.

-Gently, with a spatula, mix all ingredients. Chill in fridge (covered) for 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings
Lasts 1-2 days in fridge, not suitable for freezing.

Peaches! Millions of peaches, peaches for me, millions of peaches, peaches for free! Anybody else remember that song?  Focus Kiki, focus.
So, here you see the simple method of scoring an X on the bum of the peach-not too deeply, then dunking peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds. You quickly move them to an ice bath, (cold water with ice cubes, this stops the cooking process and makes peach skin peeling possible). This method can be used for tomatoes, nectarines, etc.

See how easily the skin comes off?Slice and chop just like in the pictures. Be gentle, these are delicate fruits.
Now peel the ginger, you keep it aside until you zest the lime skin in, then you add the ginger you grated with the same zester, (keep the ginger to a fine grate, no chunks).

Mr. English cucumber, like all cumbers, has a flaw. The seeds are very hard to digest. It's all that cellulose that keeps it coming back to talk to you all day and night after you have eaten it. My mother, clever lady that she is, showed me this neat trick. You cut it in half, gently scrape out the seeds with a small spoon-chuck those out, and voila! You are back to eating cucumbers again without the torture. I slice those halves in four and chop small for this recipe. See pic below.
After cucumbers comes the very small piece of red pepper. Honestly, this is for a pop of colour, just keep the dice small.

You only want the white tips of the scallion for this, keep the green's for another recipe like this delicious one I thoughtfully put a link to for you (I know, I am such a giver):

My impersonation of the Blue Man Group follows in this next pic. Heheh, actually, I have serious reactions to acidic and spicy foods-my eczema flares badly, even with regular gloves. These heavy duty blue bad boys are my solution when handling any kind of peppers.

Carefully remove the ribs and seeds, you want a mild heat that is present but almost imperceptible.

Chop finely by slicing into small, thin slivers. That is what will give you a tiny dice.

 Roll all limes (or lemons) before using. This loosens and releases the juice. 
When zesting limes (or lemons) NEVER zest past the skin where you have colour. The white stuff is called pithe, it is bitter and not appetizing. The colour part of the skin, green for the lime, is where the bright burst of flavour oils are hiding. That is what we want in a recipe.

Ginger can be strong and quickly overpowers a dish, especially since we are using Elderflower, we want to be more conservative when using it. I adore fresh ginger, so I rarely recommend using the powdered and ground stuff, unless required for baking. Trust me, the fresh ginger goes all the way to flavour town!

Elderflower, this is such a fun and exciting ingredient in my pantry. I am doing a happy dance and song as I open this for the first time. Christening it with this peach flavour combo is going to be amaze bombs! It's very clear, smells so inviting, and if you like, feel free to use it for beverages and ice pops. Ooh, new recipe idea! Yipee! Hooray for elderflowers! Thank you Abba for blessing us with so many wonderful things to create meals with.

I used this new organic EVOO, I wanted to try out a new olive oil, this one we got at Costco. Normally, I would recommend a much more expensive brand I get from this sweet little shop at Atwater Market, however, I have not been there yet this summer and I am on a tight budget. This one is mild, not sharp, and worked well with this recipe. If you use a heavier, less fruity, darker evoo, you will loose the delicate taste of elderflower and may as well just pour it down the drain. You WANT to taste the elderflower, lingering in the background, so trust me, use a very light evoo.
EVOO= extra virgin olive oil.

This was the end product, I had some haddock, asparagus, and jalapeno cheddar, scallion, potato cakes to go with. Scrumdidilyumptious and devoured!
Be brave, fearless, and filled with joy, I want you to get out there and try this recipe, do it with gusto, then tell me all about it. Comments or questions down below and do not forget to subscribe. 

Getting My Groove Back

Hello everyone,
It's finally Friday and I am feeling so much better. Went through some disappointments and have been dealing with some pretty heavy personal stuff which has had such tremendous impact on my mood, creativity, and well-being. The last 3 days have been seeing improvement and today has been very positive and uplifting. Feeling very grateful and rather embarrassed by some of my behavior . I don't do so well when stuck in a rut and have to be patient with God's timing for my life. I become rather insolent, mean and downright obnoxiously rude. It's less about hurting others and more about wanting to seriously introvert, cocoon and recoup while trying to make sense of it all. I get angry with God, cannot cope with life, find people/places exhausting, and my personality warps. I have come to realize that withdrawing is better than interacting as I am not fun to be around. It's funny because people who know me, are somewhat confused by this opposite side of my personality. Usually bubbly, silly, smiling, engaged and up for the next challenge; when it's been too many crushing blows I deign to isolate, lash out & wilt for a while. God knows I have been at the limit this past month, I thought I wanted even Him to leave me alone but he sent me a wonderful gift and I am so grateful because it arrived when I needed it most. 
Hope is difficult for me at times, life has not always been so kind and for those of you who know what it is like to struggle more than most, you know that this is stated as fact; not whining or for pity. There is a difference between going through tough times and experiencing life in ways that crush, truly harm and leave scars that do not completely heal. I push away hard when my scars make their presence felt, I want nothing and no one in these moments. Life becomes altogether too much and I need to crumble for a bit, I cannot stand being around others or in spaces with too much stimulation, everything grates on me and I want to be left alone. 
Then I get it and eventually realize that's not enough either. A gentle knock and nudge at the door of my soul, with unfaltering love and kindness I do not necessarily deserve after my horrid behaviour, always arrive at the perfect moment. It's when I have fallen far enough to realize I can't do it alone and I do need God; this is when He knows I am receptive and ready to try once more and he comes with His brand of awesomeness one just can't buy. I lean hard on those strong hands because feeling broken brings a fragility that only God's unconditional love overstands and is patient with in a way no human can ever be. 
I am so grateful to you Lord for finding me in my darkest hours, in the hardest loneliest kinds of despair, and never giving up on me but instead continuing to love me in a way that is more beautiful than anything ever seen or known. I am repeating this next one because I am really liking it:


If you are struggling right now, please take heart, I know how lonely and sad we can be made to feel but remember that you are not your emotions. Those are your responses to your true state being at odds with the fallen world we must all make our way through. God counts our tears, God is against the difficulties, for our happiness and success, His love does not see your faults but rather the beauty of what he created and tends to with the most tender and kind Love. I send you light and laughter through the dark along with warm hugs and prayers of comfort. You can keep going, you will arrive and you will continue to burn brightly for all to see. 
God bless each and everyone!

Short and Sweet Gratitude, Prayer, Plus Pandas!

Good Blessed Sunday Morning one and all!
It's sunny, bright, birds are very chatty, and I am super busy with much to be thankful for. But first, Panda aaaaah's...
I have a panda adoration thing and wanted to let you all share in it with me. I am feeling much better, it feels like God lifted this dark cloud that had been hanging over me these past few days.
I am so excited and so very grateful for this feeling of being uplifted in my life, God is good and I cannot adequately express my joy for the darkness giving way to brightness; I notice that I don't seem to be the only one. 
People are smiling more, their spirits feel brighter and summer vaycays have begun to push the sorrows of life away. It started me thinking about God's wonderful spirit of renewal that we are constantly being blessed with, and how we can access it through prayer. Prayer is so soothing and such a comfort in places of distress and concern; but it can also be energizing and strong positive reinforcement when things feel good in your life and you want to stay in that positive mind-set. 
 Jesus would often go off by himself to spend time in prayer, to find solace in the midst of all the madness; but he also went to spend time with the One that loved and cherished him most. A child seeking out the Father to gain strength, confirmation of choices for life's path, to be advised on the most important matters, and to spend time with the One who knew him best. One that had a true unwavering/unchanging love that could and can always be relied upon.  
This is accessible to us all through the gift of prayer, in your busy day try to take a moment to commune with Him. This moment is for you and God, to find all the love that Jesus wants for you, and if you're not sure, start simply; at the beginning. This can be your concerns, your fears, that you feel apart from Him, that you need guidance to form a stronger relationship with Him; ask the Holy Spirit to intercede on your behalf. Prayers are personal, they are a conversation between you and Him and the wonder of it is that He is never too tired, never not interested, or without time for us. As a matter of fact, His door is always open and He is eagerly awaiting His children. 

Have a lovely day and may the Grace of our Lord & savior, Jesus Christ guide and bless your steps, for always. Selah.


Long Distance Love Pain & Waiting on God's Timing

Hello Lovelies!
Firstly, I am beginning this post with Cookie Monster. I don't know who came up with the idea of using him for the new iPhone 6 commercial but I must say, well played Apple. As a child Cookie Monster was always one of my favs, I had a stuffed teddy of him from crib days and kept him until he was matted and barely recognizable. Now he's in a commercial  in a Chefs hat, impatiently baking cookies and I just want to squish him. 
Speaking of squishies, I am missing my Poppa Bear so so so so much! Waaaah...

I know that sounded whiny but this has been a rough 2 weeks for both of us on the long distance front. I know that we are both struggling but some days it seems like he's handling and coping so much better than I am. This is probably a surface of the water thing, I am only seeing the calm exterior but still waters run deep and I know it's just as painful for him as it is for me. Poppa Bear constantly reminds me that he's for me not against me, that he feels the distance acutely, and that were in this boat together.
I just pray that God makes a way for us & that I can be more patient. His timing is difficult for me to bear with some days, impatience, a disgruntled sour puss attitude, and slight tantrums do happen. Then PB & I talk, we do a reading and we remind one another of the important things.
1-Look how far we have come.
2-Our love grows deeper every day and stronger with every obstacle overcome.
3-God has a plan, knows what is best for us, & would never abandon us.
4-There are thousands of people out there in long distance relationships, in worse situations, and they hold on; so can we.
5-All this that is happening now will make the moment when we finally get to come together, all the more sweet and we will cherish, honour, & not take it for granted because we know how hard it's been. 
These talks really bolster our love, soul's, & most importantly our faith. I believe the enemy has a field day trying to knock us down, wreak havoc with our emotions, trying to sabotage in moments of weakness. It would be all too easy to give up, but it's too beautiful to let go of & leaning on God becomes easier than being angry with Him for what we do not understand. 
It's humbling that hope, calm, & peace can return to a heart in turmoil, once you let go of the fear and hold fast to the love beside you, across the miles from you, & in God's heart for you.
                 Have a lovely day & God bless you as Jesus lights the way in our lives...


Lime & Ginger Basil Minted Pineapple Salsa

Sunday was my cheat day and I decided that seasoned potato galettes would be my splurge accompaniment to my fish, which I jazzed up with a particularly delicious salsa. I had mint, basil, and ginger, so I decided to play with a topping that would be light and refreshing. I used pineapple and came out with a mouth popping salsa that didn't need to rely on heat for flavour, which is perfect because as much as I adore spicy food, my eczema does not appreciate it at all. This is a great alternative if you are on an autoimmune protocol diet as well, Ginger and mint are great for digestion and the lime pairs nicely with all the other ingredients. 


1 1/2 Cups Chopped Sweet Pineapple 
1/2 English Cucumber, peeled & shaved 
8 Basil leaves
8 Mint leaves
1/4 Cup pineapple juice
1/2 Lime zested 
1/2 Lime juiced
1 tsp Ginger freshly grated
2 Stalks green onion, sliced
3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 

-Combine all in a non reactive bowl 
-Chill for an hour 
-Serve with chips, on fish or chicken. 

Marinated Asian Cucumbers

Helloodles everybody!
I have been running errands and doing a multitude of things which have kept me rather busy the last few days. I wanted to post a recipe for something super easy, not long to make, and taste bud delightful.
I make these marinated Asian pickles when ever I want to brighten up a meal or am craving something pickled that tastes a bit different from the usual store bought dills.
I make a huge portion because my family zips through these so fast, I wouldn't get any if I didn't. The recipe calls for a much smaller portion which is perfect for a mason jar, not the small jam size but more the medium pickling size. We have these big glass jars left over from the pickles my mom loves that are very briny-yuck to me but one person's candy is another person's poison. Anywhoodles, I always ask her to save me the jars and she does so I get to re-purpose them for loads of D.I.Y projects and recipes. I know you will like these, they don't last as long as typical pickles but that's not such a bad thing, I find they taste best the first 48 hours; ours are eaten up within 3 days so I can't really tell you how long they would last but I would suggest up to 5-7 days max. Here you go...


-1 pkg Slim baby cucumbers(8-10 small), cut up on different angles to give a bit of a funky shape, leave the skins on them.
-2/3 Cup Rice vinegar
-1/4 Gluten-free Tamari sauce or Coconut aminos
-1 -3 Tbsp Fish seasoning (this is optional, add more Tamari if you omit but I like the extra sour tang it adds)
-1/4 Cup Organic Coconut sugar aka palm sugar, you can use more depending on how sweet/sour you like your pickles to be. Just taste your pickling mix after all is made and add what you want a stronger or milder taste of taste of before throwing in the pickles.
-1/4 Cup hot water (You can add more if it's too vinegary. Rice vinegar strength varies from brand to brand, so sometimes more water is needed and sometimes less) 
-1 tsp Kosher salt
-1 Tbsp Black sesame seeds

-Add all ingredients, except the cucumber, in the jar (ignore the sesame oil in the pic below, he was lonely and snuck in to hang with his friends). Shake well, taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference but only 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp at a time of each ingredient. Salt starts with way less because you can add but you cannot take away. If you find it's not vinegary enough add another Tbsp.
-Some people like their pickles sweet, vinegary, with a bit of heat. Feel free to ass 1 tsp hot chili sauce if you like.
-Once the seasoning is to your taste, add the pickles, tightly screw the cover, shake it up, then refrigerate overnight; making sure to shake it every 2 hours for the first 6 hours.
-Serve them as a side dish to fish, meat, vegetarian dishes, even add them to a regular salad or eat a few just like that but be warned, they are addictive!

I know this recipe is a bit, add a dash here, a touch there, but the truth is that pickles are a personal thing. I can't stand bread and butter pickles because I prefer a sour tang pickle but one of my friends just adores them and can polish off a whole jar-whoa la!!
I like dill, sour, and crispy snap, my mom prefers brine and garlicky, my son likes dill, garlic and hot peppers, my man likes what ever you give him because he is wonderfully non fussy. I say, PLAY!
I think that's what I enjoy the most about this recipe, the flavours are different and can be tailored, but the real kicker is adding that soy and rice vinegar which couples beautifully with the black sesame.

I ate mine on a salad and they tasted so good, we also served them with some black rice noodles I found but I will post a recipe with those another day. Remember to share with those you love, leave your comments below and don't forget to subscribe!