FOOD

Pumpkin Pancake Skewers with Cherry Cranberry Compote

Found the perfect post-Thanksgiving feast recipe. But it comes with a disclaimer.

WARNING: The cuteness level of these pancake skewers may explode your brain cells + the yum factor may make your taste buds fall off your face.

Mini food… it’s the best. You can eat more of it because it’s small, aaand… it’s adorable. You just can’t start your day off with mini things + be a grumpy pants, dark cloud all day long.

Pumpkin Pancake Skewers

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin, pureed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • Coconut oil, for greasing

Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat a large skillet on medium-low heat on the stove stop.

Step 2: Combine almond milk + lemon juice in a large bowl + let rest for 5 minutes to curdle.

Step 3: Then add melted coconut oil + maple syrup + pumpkin + coconut palm sugar. Then whisk to combine.

Step 4: Add almond milk/lemon mixture + whisk again until well-combined.

Step 5: Next add baking soda + baking powder + salt + spices + oat flour to the wet ingredients. If the batter appears too thin, add a bit more flour. If too thick, add a splash of almond milk. Let batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6: Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Brush with coconut oil. Pour the batter in ¼ cup measurements.

Step 7: Flip when bubbles appear in the middle + the edges turn slightly dry. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes more on the other side.

Step 8: To plate, stack pancakes with a thin layer of Cranberry Cherry Compote in between. Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins’ bright orange color may make them a good substitute for traffic cones, but the real power behind their hue is beta-carotene, essential for eye health + has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. Pump up the pumpkin!

Cherry Cranberry Compote

Plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure if I could pull off a healthy version that’s as heavenly as the original. With the help of pineapple juice + applesauce + honey, I conquer the impossible.

Please note this is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice + applesauce, but you can adjust the sweetness to your liking with honey if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted + chopped
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed pineapple juice
  • ½ cup Apple Sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup honey

Preparation:

Step 1: Put cranberries + cherries + pineapple juice + applesauce + water in a saucepan + bring to a boil.

Step 2: Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to burst for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: Reduce to a simmer. Pour the orange zest + orange juice + thyme over the mixture.

Step 4: Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the honey + turn off the heat. Set aside.

Step 5: Cool completely + store in the fridge at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight, before serving. It can be rewarmed after you prepare your pancakes.

Enjoy with family!

 

 

 

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD · LIFESTYLE

How to Make a Weekly Meal Plan (Plus! Free Printable)

Pre-PS: Enrollment for Life is Messy Bootcamp® is now officially OPEN. Click here to lean more!

Earlier this year, I took (what feels like) a 2 month vacation – Bogota + Basque Country + Paris + San Francisco + Sydney. It was epic.

And I did it right. I set auto-responders for the first time in my life. Fully disconnected from all my to-dos. Drank lots of wine. Had the most delicious feasts. Totally indulged. No regrets.

Coming back has been a little hard thou.

The week I returned I ended at the ER. Diagnosis: Vertigo. And that’s not all. Doctors had to run some blood tests. Results: My colesterol is 291 what the hell? And to top things off the scale is 10 pounds off (wink, wink).

Needless to say, I’ve had my wake up calls.

I had a totally different post planned for you this week, but in light of recent events + brought upon myself circumstances, I’m decided to share with you the ONE ritual that never fails me. This habit alone always helps boost my productivity + confidence + happiness + kickstart my road to feeling better about myself. 

The routine I’m talking about is: Sitting down to write a weekly meal plan.

By plan, I mean planned meals. Planned meals are weekly breakfasts + weekly lunches + weekly dinners that don’t feel rushed + that are put together with love + leave you feeling satisfied and happy. I’m talking about dinner parties with special friends + Mexican nights with the in-laws + Iron Chef Saturdays + romantic dates with my man serving homemade Black Bean Burgers with Roasted Sweet Potato Fries. I’m talking about meals worth sharing on Instagram.

When I don’t meal plan, things get tricky. One day spontaneity rewards you with your new favorite chili recipe. “Oh look! Adding mushrooms instead of ground beef tasted so good. WOW! But most times, you’re left with cupcakes that never rise in the oven + a grumpy stomach + having to play menu roulette once more + feeling like crap seconds later.

Planned meals mean never again wondering what’s for lunch. Never again wondering with the fridge door wide open. Never again rushing to the supermarket for last minute groceries without a grocery list. Been there? Done that? Me too.

Planned meals mean less rotten food in your fridge + less garbage inside your temple. Less excuses, more love in your belly.

When you have a system in place, you’re happy + you save money + you fit inside the clothes you wanna wear. Minus the tantrums. You feel centered + grounded + in harmony + empowered, most of the time.

I want to challenge myself, and I want to challenge YOU to steal my step-by-step Meal Planning ritual. Try it. Tweak it. Paint over the parts that don’t work for you.

Step 1: Pick the recipes

I start most Sunday mornings (emphasis on “most”) with (a) a Greek Yogurt Parfait with fresh strawberries + homemade granola + honey; (b) a stack of cookbooks; (c) a pad of Post-It Page Markers. I’ve pretty much ritualized flipping through cookbooks + flagging the recipes I want to sample next. Hubby thumbs up or thumbs down my picks while playing FIFA. Team work. Aha!

The goal is to pick recipes that match your diet + taste buds + lifestyle. What’s the point of adding “Cherry Rhubarb Country-Style Pie” to the mix if:

  1. You hate making pie crusts;
  2. You have a crazy launch week ahead;
  3. It’s not cherry season;
  4. Out-of-season cherries are freaking expensive
  5. You’re saving for a new DSL camera, remember?

Get real.

Don’t have any inspiring cookbooks in your collection? Crap excuse. There’s Amazon. Meet Google. Buy my cookbook. Visit YouTube. Cruise Pinterest. Hop on foodie blogs. They are your friends. Use these resources to find what you need. Type: “Healthy Salads” + “Clean Cupcakes” + “Green Smoothies.” My go-to Meatless Ragu recipe was born out of searching “Meatless Ragu.” Mind blowing.

In recap, pick one day of the week you’ll sit down + handpick the recipes you want to eat in the week ahead.

Step 2: Pick the menu

After selecting my recipes, I grab my Weekly Meal Planner. I print many ahead of time. First, I put an “X” on the meals that I know will be eaten out of the house for family birthdays, showers, or extraordinary occasions. Then, I match up recipes I’ve picked with openings on the planner.

I’ll even lock down my snacks, so instead of reaching for Dulce de Leche, I go for the carrot sticks with turmeric hummus. Know what I mean?
Sounds easy? Cuz it is!

Step 3: Scan the recipes

When filling my Weekly Meal Planner with my dishes, I scan the recipes + ingredient list + special appliances + directions. Then, I check my pantry/fridge stock. Do I have what I need? What do I need to get? I write it down on a grocery list.

This easy step helps me plan out what I need from the store or my local farmer’s market, so I can skip what’s already in my fridge or cupboard.

Sometimes, I’ll even make two grocery lists: One big one for the month + another one for mini-runs to get fresh produce.

Marrying my Weekly Meal Planner with my grocery list is not only ridiculously helpful for stocking up the kitchen, but also to group + organize meals smartly on the schedule, knowing that some things need to be eaten before others + some make sense to make ’em in batches. Think ahead. Visualize the flow.

Step 4: Go shopping

My dad goes to the supermarket every other day. His juice factory is right behind a local supermarket chain, so he’s found a rhythm that works for him.

Hubby + I do one big ass supermarket shopping spree a month to get napkins + toilet paper + dried beans, things like that. And we do mini weekly runs to buy fresh produce + fresh flowers, typically late Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.

Look at your calendar. When’s convenient for you to habitualize grocery shopping?

Step 5: Meal prep

Around 4pm-ish, when my attention span crashes, instead of scrolling my social media feeds, you’ll find me in the kitchen whipping out treats or prepping sauces with my ninja chopping skills. Yeah, I bring my OCD wherever I go.

Maybe you need to soak nuts ahead of time. Maybe your crust needs to chill out in the freezer before pouring in the filler. Breads need yeast + time to rise. Pasta needs boiling water. Marina sauce tastes twice as good when it cooks on low heat for 3 hours. Can you Tupperware that + freeze it for next week?

When you’re a step ahead, you’re unstoppable.

Step 6: Bon appetit

When it’s time to eat, sit down for a mindful meal. Light candles. Turn off the TV. Cellphones go in the basket. Play a little Bossa Nova in the background. Use the fun cloth napkins. Fresh flowers make everything taste twice as good. I’m serious. I want you to fully experience the joy of eating. Look at your plate + smell it’s aromas. Party with it’s textures + let your palate run loose. Give thanks for all the good things that entered your life that day.

That is it my friend!

A Few Tips + Tricks

Allllllright alright. I know meal planning takes a little time, especially the finding your groove part, but ultimately it saves you time + stress during the week. You also may find that a meal plan helps you to eat better + cut down junk food from your diet. Pow!

Here are a few suggestions to take your system to a whole new level of awesome:

  • Double check. Make sure you examine your fridge + pantry before heading to the store with your grocery list. You can easily blow way your budget buying a third jar of cinnamon. I bet you’ve got a lot of goodies in there. So check.
  • Stock up on the essentials during sales. Only two phrases can change a woman’s mood: (1) I love you; (2) 50% OFF. If you arrive at the supermarket + there’s a big sale on organic berries, snag those babies! They may not have been on your initial meal plan, but, hey, you can freeze them + throw them into your smoothies or make soft serve ice cream. The same goes for dry staples, like grains + beans that aren’t going to go bad in your pantry. When on sale… improvise + think on your feet.
  • But in bulk. While cruising the supermarket, head straight to the bulk bins + stock up, especially items that don’t perish too quickly! As your bulk food staples grow, you’ll have shorter shopping lists + an arsenal of inspiration for your home-cooked meals. Added bonus: Display your beautiful beans + grains + spices in mason jars throughout your kitchen.
  • Cut back on restaurants. Holy guacamole, do those restaurant bills pile up! Make your dinner table the new hot spot. Mouth watering backyard BBQs + romantic pizza nights + potlucks with girlfriends + family get-togethers over finger food can revolutionize your culinary senses. No need for Zagat stars. I’m not saying that you should never step foot in a restaurant again; just try to limit your visits. They suddenly become more special + more of a fun affair when they do happen.
  • Eat with the seasons + shop local. Farmers markets are a great place to buy organic foods on the cheap. In-season produce is almost always going to cost less, so try to be flexible + cook with the harvest.
  • Grow your own garden. This year David + I started a mini herb garden (I’m so excited!). It’s exponentially more economical to grow your own food. Whether you live in a studio or a mansion, there’s always room for a few pots of greens. A two-dollar packet of basil seeds will support your salad + pesto-making habits for months.
  • Get creative with the leftovers. Place your fresh herbs in water pots. Wash + store your produce in Debbie Meyer Green Bags to extend their life expectancy. When your produce looks like it’s about to go south, resuscitate it in a delicious stew or casserole. Have you ever tried leftover lasagna? Is even better than on the day you made the lasagna. I’m serious. With a little TV Food Network action, leftovers can be transformed into Pinterest worthy meals.
  • Batch. Batch cooking is another way to save time + money. Double or triple your favorite recipe + freeze the leftovers for a quick + healthy meal when you’re in a pinch. We do this all the time with my signature marinara sauce. We make it in advance + transfer it to airtight container + freeze + thaw for pizza parties or whatnot.
  • Play detective. If you’re like me, you definitely have budget leaks (aka knee-jerk spending at Amazon + Pottery Barn + Etsy + Anthropologie). Look at your bank statements. Identify where you need a little bit more self control. I noticed I was going a little overboard with nut butters, so I started making my own at home. Problem solved!
  • Pay attention. When my food expenses start creeping up, it’s usually because I’m being a bit of a slacker, not a culinary diva. Check for symptoms. Is your apron accumulating dust? Are the takeout menus getting more action than your ukulele? Do you have Dominos on speed dial? The signs are right in front of you, if you’re brave enough to open your eyes.
  • Start your personal/family recipe vault. After a while, you will start to notice patterns – recipes you naturally gravitate towards + others that you don’t fancy that much. Take note. Archive your favorites in cute recipe cards. This trick alone will make your menu picking ceremony significantly more efficient + guarantee you always have safety, comfort dishes on da menu.

DO THIS NOW: Download + take your Weekly Meal Planner for a spin, every week.

My request is simple: Just follow the steps + share your insights in the comments below – What are you putting on your Weekly Meal Planner? 

You know what would be even cooler? To see pictures of your meal planning in action. Snap + share ’em on social media. I want to see how it’s going. How you’re feeling. How you’re making it happen. Imagine how much fun it would be to see everybody’s interpretation + system? So inspiring!

And as for me, I hope to (at the very least) get my colesterol down. Bonus if I can fit into my clothes again.I can’t wear these sweat pants forevz.

 

 

 

PS: Would you like to be a part of a planning club for girl bosses who are all getting together to get our sh*t together? Click here to learn more!

FOOD

Drunken Cherries Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Here’s a deceptively impressive dessert that will WOW the crowd and your belly: Drunken cherries dipped in dark chocolate. Keep the kids away from these! The best part is that they’re super duper easy to make.

Hit play to check out the recipe!

And that’s really it!

What’s that one get-you-out-of-trouble dish you’ve got up your sleeve that’s quick + totally fancy + perfect for impromptu gatherings?

FOOD

Sweet Cookoff with @Fitseed

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You guys.

I mean girls.

I’m SO excited about this post!

If you’ve been following me on social media (on Instagram or Facebook), you know that it’s been a tough last couple of days. We’re “sleep whispering” Baby O into her big girl crib + helping her zzz longer stretches. We’re EXHAUSTED. If you don’t hear from me again, please dial 911. Tell them to pick us up with an ambulance, the helicopter kind, and inject us with Mickey Mouse ice cream bar elixir.

To tell you the truth, the hardest part hasn’t even been the lack of sleep. It’s been the emotional roller coaster, the upside down kind. The midnight loser tapes that tell you: “You’re not cut out for this mom gig. You’re not good enough.” So, I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately, “Am I a good mom?”

And here’s what I came up with: I am the best mom when I’m OKAY.

Want to be a good mom? Take care of yourself.

How can you take care of yourself?

  • Cry it out with a bestie who deserves to listen.
  • Wear red lipstick.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Get a babysitter, or better yet, call grandma.
  • Go to dance class.
  • Give yourself a gold star for brushing your teeth.
  • Treat yourself with your favorite breakfast.
  • Wear stretchy pants.
  • Quit your job, get one you love.
  • Buy something online.
  • Invite a friend over for a dessert cookoff.

Do whatever you need to do. But! DO IT.

Your baby needs you to be OKAY. We need you to be OKAY.

Being OKAY starts NOW!

And you know what makes me OKAY more than anything else in the world? Well, besides kisses from the Mr. of course. Dessert. Dessert making + dessert eating. That makes me the most OKAYist person in the galaxy.

And that brings me here.

To boost my OKAY levels, I’ve invited one of the smiliest + most crazy talented girl bosses I know for a Life is Messy Kitchen Sweet Cookoff, the friendly kind, where we both win + eat our own desserts over belly laughs.

Meet Rivca Zayat!

Rivca is the 24-year old who right out of college refused to set foot in an office. That’s when she opened her, now famous, Instagram account @FitSeed with the purpose of recreating not-so-healthy sweet recipes + turning them into good for you treats. She then went on to found FitSeed, “The Bakery” and the rest is history!

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One thing that Rivca + I share is a love of food, the kind that loves you back. I will say, though, that Rivca is on another level than I am of loving food… making food… and fully living a healthy lifestyle.

I thought it would be fun to do an interview with her where we dive into her life with food + health in general. Let’s get to it!

1. Tell us something about you that’s not in your bio. 

My best recipes are always inspired by someone, cooking is an act driven by love and inspiration!

2. What is your most “preciouzzz” moment or happiest memory in the kitchen?

It was something very unexpected! I have a client/good friend and she totally loves nutella and anything nut butter related (just like me hehe) and I remember that one day she stopped by my bakery and I happened to have a fresh batch of “Nutella” stuffed cookies (which btw I had not tried yet and were a NEW product I was going to release and I wanted her direct feedback) to make a long story short she tried the cookie and her eyes got teary and she told me she was having a VERY VERY bad day and that “my cookie” made her remember so many good memories (without feeling guily) of her late father and she started crying! This is a very SPECIAL memory since it was until that moment, which was not so long ago, that I understood the impact my “healthy treats” could have in a person, and I am so grateful to be able to convey such emotions though a single bite!

3. Any hot messes or complete cooking failures? We promise not to tell anyone (wink wink).

Humm… let me think! So… I wanted to make coconut fudge brownies but I don’t know what happened in the process and they ended up tasting like dirt! It was horrible haha, coconut flour has a very particular texture when it bakes and It was like the first time I was using it and it was not a good! Now, it is a whole different story, I am proud to say I have mastered the ART of baking with coconut flour.

4. What ingredients would you bring on a desert island with you if you could only pick 3?

Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Bananas. I mean these three are bomb.com by themselves, but combined they are even better. The cool thing about my first ingredient is its versatility, and if you know me you should know I am all about versatile ingredients, I could make coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water… So that is my smart ingredient! Then, bananas are just perfect complements to anything and well I LOVE dark chocolate so I could live off these three.

5. What food is your kryptonite? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.

Beans! Since I love baking, beans give an amazing texture to baked goods without the need of butter or dairy. I never mention this to my clients because the idea of beans in sweets freaks out people since we are so accustomed to eating them as a savory dish! But in Asia red bean paste of bean desserts is a must have. Then, when I tell them ”Oh btw it has beans!” they are surprised and are totally amused by the idea of beans in sweets!

6. When you want to treat yourself or loved ones what do you prepare?

Well, to treat myself It would definitely have to be something involving chocolate! I ACCEPT IT….I AM A CHOCOHOLIC!!! I recently made a lave cake with an almond butter filling and I am totally hooked so I guess that would be my treat. My family on the other hand…(my husband cough cough) is addicted to my cheesecake and when ever I have the chance I make a fresh batch for him with his FAV topping of all times, my decadent almond butter.

7. Are there foods that you won’t eat or don’t like?

I would eat anything except bugs haha… My daily diet consists of a lot of greens, lean proteins and complex carbs like oats and brown rice. I don’t eat dairy, refined sugars or processed stuff. I prefer natural and local ingredients. That being said, since I told you all I eat anything it is because I do, but I try to keep my eating habits pretty clean during the week and on the weekends I treat my self and go out to eat a pizza or something I am craving!

8. In case of a zombie apocalypse, what would you pick for your last meal? And who would you like to eat it with?

Ok so if I was a character from The Walking Dead (hehe addicted to the show btw) I would choose a Veggie Pizza with Tequeños on the side (current favorite) and it would be with my husband! I love going out and enjoy a glass of wine, good food and just catching up on how was our week.

9. Fill in the blank. Happiness is _________.

Self LOVE.

10. If we want to totally fan crush you, where can we follow?

On Instagram I’m at @fitseed and @fitseedpanama. My personal account is @rivcaz.

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Sticky Cookies Filled with Expresso Ganash / Powered by @Fitseed

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
  • 3 tablespoon stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoon date paste
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Preparation:

Preheat your oven at 275. Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl mix your humid ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated. Then proceed to place your humid ingredients into your wet ingredients and fold the mixture util it has a thick but creamy texture. Then divide your mixtures in your muffin tins (1/4 cup per mold) and place in your oven for 30 to 40 min or until golden. This recipe yields 7 muffins.

Ganash Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces of kidney beans cooked
  • 2 tablespoon of espresso powder or instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in your food processor and mix until creamy. You need to pulse your food processor and scrape the sides as you go to achieve the creamiest consistency. Store in a mason jar and use as a ganash or spread for anything you can think of!

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Bonus: Oh look! You can turn these cookies into muffins too. Same recipe. Different presentation. Awesome, right?

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Cranberry Pecan Pie with Oatmeal Crust / Powered by @MayiCarles

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preparation:

Preheat your oven at 350. Put oats in the food processor + blend, until a rough flour is formed. Add the remaining ingredients, until well combined. When dough comes together, remove it from the food processor + gather it into a ball + put in the the center of a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough out to the edges + sides. Prick holes in the dough with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden. Remove the crust from the oven + let cool. Leave the oven on.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup barley malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (do not use dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, to decorate

Preparation:

Put the barley malt + maple syrup + almond butter + vanilla extract + cinnamon + arrowroot in the food processor. Blend, until smooth. Transfer for a mixing bowl. Add chopped pecans. Fold in. Add cranberries + blueberries. Fold in. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Decorate with the whole pecans. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling and evenly browned. Let the pie cool completely before slicing + serving.

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A big thank you to Rivca for sharing this fabulous recipe with us + giving us a sweet peak inside her world.

Spending time with her in the kitchen was so much fun + it reminded me that real radical happiness is not something big + looming on the horizon ahead, but something teeny tiny + already here.

Happiness is:

  • Finishing a hot cup of tea without having to microwave it 7 minutes later.
  • Watching a full episode of Game of Thrones without interruptions.
  • Finding out the dress I’m about to buy is actually 50% off. Ah!
  • The sound my phone makes every time a new order comes in… Ca-ching.
  • Closing the office early on Friday to drive to the beach.
  • Driving to such beach with the handsomest pilot, who also happens to have great taste in music.
  • Praying Baby O falls a sleep so she doesn’t cry in her car seat the whole way, and having my wish granted.
  • Indulging in the most delicious dessert + oh la la, finding out it’s totally healthy too.

Little, everyday joys all lines up in a row. That is it!

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I wish you the happiest week EVER. Take care of yourself, alright? We need you to be OKAY!

PS: Be sure to try these recipes at home + let us know what your taste buds say. You don’t even have to pick out a favorite, cuz in our messy kitchen, every chef is a Big Mega Lotto winner.

PS2: Who do you think I should challenge next for a cookoff? Cast your votes in the comments below!

Photography Credit

Susana Aramburú

FOOD

Grandma’s Festive Rum Cake in a Jar

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This is one of those secret vault recipes I had to bribe granny to share with me.

Then some more bribing was involved to convince her to let me post it here.

Traditionally, this recipe is called Sopa Borracha. The direct translation is drunken soup. But as you can tell from the pics, it isn’t a soup at all. It is a delicious + airy + drunk in all the right placed dessert from Panama, very popular in weddings and quinceaños.

This year we are making it for New Years, cuz we are rebels like that. And we’re calling it Festive Rum Cake in a Jar. Here’s how to make it:

Psst… it’s easier to make than store-bought cake in a box. I swear.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a square baking pan.

Step 2: Combine the flour + baking powder + salt.

Step 3: In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks + sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl, using a wire whisk or electric mixer, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Then fold the combined egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring only enough to wet the dry ingredients. Add vanilla.

Step 4: Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife tip inserted in the center comes out clean.

In a hurry?: You can totally skip this step + get yourself some store bought vanilla cake, just make sure it’s dry. Moist-y cakes don’t work for this recipe. There’s a famous pastry shop here in Panama called MOMI + we buy our cake from them all the time. It’s part of this recipe’s charm.

Rum Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound raisins
  • 4-5 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pounds prunes
  • 1 bottle run (I used Bacardi)
  • 1 bottle dry sherry (I used Tio Pepe)

Preparation:

Step 1: In a saucepan, combine the sugar + cinnamon sticks + water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring briefly, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the raisins + prunes during the final minute of cooking.

Step 2: Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the rum + dry sherry. Allow syrup to cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks before assembling.

To assemble: Cut the cake into small squares + place them in a deep serving dish or individual portions. Bathe with the syrup + let them soak well (“to get drunk”). Garnish with prunes + raisins. Traditionally in Panama we use silver sprinkles as decoration.

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Skip the confetti this year. Grapes are so last season. Make this Festive Rum Cake in a Jar instead.

Enjoy it with your favorite people in the whole wide world!

See you back here in 2016!

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

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