The Cook Awakening

Archive for the ‘Just for Fun!’ Category

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

August 28, 2014
Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe – I assure you I still love to cook! And, we still have food sensitivities in our house.

I thought I had created a brand new recipe, but people have been comparing this one to Panna Cotta, so I guess I’m channeling something from a past life in Italy. I’ve never eaten Panna Cotta, and barely heard of it before. There you go. This one is dairy and sugar-free, so most of us can eat it. I made it with bananas for my eldest who is sensitive to berries of all kinds, and he gave it the thumbs up.

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

For a true Panna Cotta you could gel the coconut cream alone and top it with the fruit afterward, but I would recommend using fresh berries then. And, truly, the huge benefit of making this the way I have it outlined is how quick it is. Pouring the warm coconut-gelatin mixture over frozen blueberries is shear genius – the gelatin sets up in minutes! Quick, delicious and healthy.


Blueberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 2 cup coconut cream (I use Aroy-D and LOVE it) or coconut milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin powder, preferably Great Lakes or Jensen brand
  • a pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 20 or so drops of vanilla or plain Stevia extract
  • enough frozen blueberries to fill 5 – 8 ramekins, depending on their size
  • Directions
    Sprinkle the gelatin over the room temperature coconut cream or milk and let sit till it “blooms” – meaning it absorbs enough liquid for it all to look wet. It will expand a bit.

    Heat the coconut cream or milk and gelatin until almost bubbling.

    Mix the hot coconut cream mixture, stevia and sea salt and stir until smooth.

    Pour into blueberry filled ramekins until full. Refrigerate until set. Which, if you use frozen bluebs, won’t take long at all.

    Great for a quick dessert – and if you make a few extra ramekins they’re a delicious breakfast, too!

    Spring unfurled

    March 9, 2014
    Posted in: Events, Just for Fun!, Meditation, Seasonal Change


    The first tender crocii

    I realize some of you may still be in the ice and snow. Let me assure you that it won’t be long. She is moving her way across the land.

    the first daffodil

    The first daffodil open at my children’s school

    The fact that it’s Lent is part of my contemplation. My friends keep asking if I’m Christian when I say that. Well… yes and no. I’d call myself a Shamanic Christo-Budheo-Pagan these days. A Gnostic Mystic. A Laughing Fool. Lover of Food and Tribe. Pretty hard to pin that identity down, there’s just too much richness in the wild tapestry of life to try to fit it into a box.

    For me, Lent is an opportunity to bring attention to areas of our lives that are often unconscious. Self-care. Other-care. How can we shine the light onto our habits, into our thought patterns?

    Lent asks us to release habits or substances that may be blocking sacred expression. It also asks that we bring in acts of service. Where can we move out of our tendencies to be self involved?

    And, how can we be joyful and free as we do so? Renunciation and service do not have to be an onerous task.

    This is a valuable contemplation whatever your spiritual or religious orientation.

    That’s my inquiry this season. Where does this rumination take you? I’d love to hear. I’ll share my discoveries along the way.

    I’m offering three events this month, please RSVP if you’d like to join us!

    Community event
    Third Saturday with
    The Cook Awakening

    The Green Potluck
    It’s Springtime, y’all! And, St Patty’s Day, or “Bring Back the Snakes” Day, as a dear friend calls it. And, Lent. Can we put all these together into a theme? Why not! Think green, fresh, Irish, and letting go of what no longer serves. Choose a part or all of the theme, just make it delicious. I think I’ll try and track down a nitrate-free corned beef, and cook up some cabbage.

    No grains or refined sugars, please!

    Saturday, March 15th, 11 am – 2 pm
    Fee: one potluck dish to share
    SE Portland address given upon RSVP
    Contact Durga for suggestions, no one turned away for lack of imagination

    Community event
    Field Trip!
    Wild Stinging Nettle Harvest
    Nettles are ready! We’ll meet at the far end of the parking lot at the Sandy River Delta Park – take exit 18 off I-84 near Troutdale, OR. Call or text me at 503.422.8346 if you get lost. We’ll head out by 2:15 pm.

    Sunday, March 16th
    2:00 – 4:30 pm

    Sandy River Delta Park
    No need to RSVP, but we will be heading to the nettle patch by 2:15

    Community event
    Spring Equinox Bardic
    Performance for Fun
    This is an opportunity to have fun and/or go deep. Read a poem, sing a song, share a dance, or channel an extemporaneous offering. The earth is turning green again, it’s been a long, hard winter. Let’s celebrate Her return! Any offering is wonderful, but one in the theme brings cohesiveness to the evening. Kids welcome, including in the performance.

    Saturday, February 22nd, 5 pm gluten-free potluck, 7 pm Bardic
    Fee: one potluck dish to share if you come earlier, and a performance for the later portion
    SE Portland address given upon RSVP
    Contact Durga for suggestions, no one turned away for lack of imagination

    Perfect Everything-Free Pumpkin Pie

    November 29, 2013
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    Okay, almost everything-free. Pretty darned close. No gluten, grains, nuts, eggs, dairy, or added starches. No added sugars if you choose the stevia option.

    Yes, I know this is too late for you to make for Thanksgiving, but I only just made it myself today, so I couldn’t post it earlier. Hey, I haven’t posted since September, so I figure I’m doing pretty well!

    Truth is, this is just food, folks. A little high in carbs if you’re really trying to keep those low. But, you could make it for breakfast. Pie for breakfast. That sounds just fine. Think I will.

    By the way, this is a kabocha squash. In case you wonder when you read the recipe. Sometimes it’s called a Japanese pumpkin, and is what is in Thai pumpkin curry dishes.


    Velvety Chocolate Cake

    July 8, 2013
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Health and Nutrition, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    Chocolate Cake

    Velvety Chocolate Cake on one of my favorite depression glass plates

    We’re on vacation at my husband’s family cottage in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. (I can finally spell that without having to look it up.) The amenities are basic, the cottage is shared with a number of family members and is only used during the summertime. The mixing options are an ancient Waring blender with a glass carafe and hard plastic lid that doesn’t seal (I LOVE this blender on an aesthetic level, but it’s not the most effective appliance I’ve ever used), and a hand mixer. Never to shy away from a challenge, I wanted a new treat that I could eat without paying for with my health. It’s nice to have time to tinker in the kitchen.

    Cauliflower Hummus

    September 18, 2012
    Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    My mother passed away on August 23rd. I know some of you may be wondering. I’m slowly coming out of a fog of grief and exhaustion. I know I’ll be writing more soon, but all I can seem to muster so far is a recipe. I’m so grateful for cooking, it’s very healing.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a clever name for this, but “Caulummus”, or “Humiflower” don’t quite work for me. Actually, “Hummiflower” is kinda cute, but I don’t think anyone would know what I mean.

    Kalamata-cauliflower hummus with garden picked tomato and lemon cucumbers


    Caramelized Onions

    June 17, 2012
    Posted in: Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

    So simple, and so delicious. Make a few or make a bunch and keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week. Use them on burgers, steaks, in soups, meat sauces, on toast (almond flour, of course!) – let your imagination go wild!

    You’ll need:

  • Ghee
  • Onions
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • And, an appetite.