Blue Bell Morning

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A rare blue full moon illuminated the sky last night, it was truly beautiful in a clear New York darkness. Full moon is always the time to evaluate if your plan came to a fruition (the one that you set for yourself during a new moon, and the one you either set in place or disintegrate during a waning moon cycle), this is how the story goes every moon, or at least it should. So set some time this weekend, full moon is usually on for 3 days, and see where you are in relation to your intentions set  14 days ago.

We are now in another rare celestial event – most major planets are in a retrograde mode, and a couple more are swinging back and forth. Retrograde period is a good time to Re-view, Re-work, Re-align, basically see what’s working and what’s not in your life and take a necessary action to make yourself happier, healthier and more balanced. And, like I mentioned, since most planets are stationary, and each planet governs over some area, that means that most areas of our life are up for a review and rework, be it home life, career, relationships or projects, take some time to “audit” it all and bring more balance in your life.

The sky is lit with a rising morning sun hiding the blue moon for a while, I haven’t gone to bed yet after a night out. Whether you review, rework or release, make sure you feel happy about it, and it feeds your essence and nourishes your soul.

What’s Cooking This Week

Every morning should start with a good nourishing breakfast. Blue moon or not, blueberries are my favorite fruit to greet the morning with. This recipe is filling and nutritious, and it’s full of blueberries inside and out. Have it with your morning coffee, you won’t regret it.

Grain-Free Blueberry Swirl Bread

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2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of coconut flour

2 cups of blueberries, divided

6 eggs

6 oz of plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup of melted coconut oil or shortening

1 Tbsp of honey

1 Tbsp of baking powder

2 tsps of vanilla

1/4 tsp of salt

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Combine separately all wet and all dry ingredients. Take half of blueberries, and, using a potato masher, smash them to release all the liquid but still have some berries almost intact.

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Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ones and combine to mix the dough. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with oil, pour the dough in and pour smashed blueberries on top, then, using a knife or a fork, poke holes and make sure the blueberry juices get all the way in. Top the loaf with whole blueberries set aside.

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Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for about an hour. Cool before removing from the pan. Blue moon nights produce blue bell mornings, enjoy the taste and aroma of a freshly baked bread.

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Tea and Gossip

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That was my BFF and I Thursday night, just sub tea for wine, or rather say, first there was wine, tea and cake came later. We played our own version of an adult sleepover party, which was actually long overdue, we haven’t seen each other in a few months – gone are the days when we could just stop by each other’s house after all kids are in bed already and nestle in the kitchen with wine and chocolate deep into the night talking about everything. This has been our reality since we met 22 years ago, but now there’s a bridge between us, an actual bridge going from Brooklyn to Manhattan, my friend moved to the city last year so meeting up requires scheduling and planning.

We do touch-base almost daily though, mostly via texts, it’s a rare time that more than 2-3 days pass without at least a hello, but meeting is more of an event rather than spontaneity now. We are both kind of pouting about it, but this is life, she had to move to give better opportunities and schooling to her kids. And life just generally moves on, my son and her oldest daughter are college-bound in a month, she has two more kids to take care of, and I’ve been in a complete whirl of setting up my private practice, dealing with health issues and other events this year, we have about 7 years till the time when none of the kids live at home anymore, as often all 4 of them are somehow hovering over when we try to talk. They better not be returning home again after college!

One day, Girl, we’ll have peace and quiet and will be sitting on a white porch sipping cocktails and looking over the ocean waves… We may not remember our names by that time though – we have discussed possibly going to a nursing home in Hawaii. :)

What’s Cooking This Week

My friends always say that I’m the best guest to have over – I come with my own food! Yes, sometimes I do bring some foods for myself when I know a host won’t have anything I’d be able to eat, mostly it happens for some spontaneous meals rather than a planned party, as all my family and friends make sure there’s stuff for me to eat too. Often though I bring something homemade anyway (my theory why I’m invited to begin with LOL). Something like a girls gathering requires sweets, but you don’t always want to make a big fuss about it or just don’t have much time or energy to spend on it. Today’s recipe is “rustic” – read “fuss-free and make the way you want it” yet it’s still pretty looking and mighty tasty. The recipe calls for almond paste, for those who’ve never used it, don’t be afraid of it, it looks kind of stiff and makes the dough feel dry but once baked in, produces a moist dessert full of almond flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

Rustic Almond Mocha Scones with Apples and Dried Apricots

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1 can almond paste

2 3/4 cup of flour (I used Domata gluten free mix)

1/4 cup of very strong coffee mixed with 1/2 cup of warm sweetened coffee creamer (I used hazelnut)

2 cups of chopped dried apricots

2 medium apples, chopped,

1 egg

1 Tbsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

coconut flakes to garnish

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Using a food processor, pulse together flour, salt and baking powder. Add almond paste and pulse until well combined, then add an egg and coffee creamer mixture, combine until the dough is smooth. All this could be done by hands too. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, it will feel dry but don’t worry and don’t fuss about the shape – it’s rustic. Spread apples and apricots over half the dough.

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Roll the dough and seal off the ends. Cut into square or triangular shapes but don’t cut all the way through or separate the scones. Brush with some coffee creamer and top with coconut flakes.

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Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and then cut through to separate the scones.

Serve with tea, coffee, wine and a big helping of love.

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