Classic Nourishing Hot Cocoa

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What is better than steaming cup of hot cocoa on a cool morning? I love to wrap my hands around the mug to warm my body and soul. 

 If you haven’t guess already I am a bit obsessed with hot cocoa. I have seven different varieties on this site. It all started with a simple cup of coconut milk hot cocoa and grew into a love for the tasty beverage. After making raspberry, peppermint, Mexican and a mix just to name a few I thought it was time I finally shared a recipe for a classic hot cocoa with a nourishing twist of course. 

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My milk of choice these days is raw cow milk but you can use whatever type of milk you prefer. Each will add its own unique flavor but will still be delicious!

Classic Nourishing Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 3/4 cup of the milk in a small sauce pan. If you are using dairy carefull not to let the milk curdle. For raw milk it is best to not let it get any warmer than 110 F to preserve most of the benifical properties of the raw milk.
  2. In a small bowl or mug mix the remaining 1/4 cup milk, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla. Stir with a fork or a small wisk until a smooth paste is formed.
  3. Once the milik is heated pour the cocoa paste into the milk and wisk until smooth.
  4. Serve each cup of cocoa with a generous dalop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. You could also serve your cocoa with a homemade marshmallow or two.
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Gluten-Free Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

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American Chinese food. There is nothing like it, definitely not in China anyways. It is it’s own delightful cuisine that I have been in love with since I started on solid foods, or rather since the first time I went to a Chinese restaurant. Almost every single birthday until I moved to Mexico was celebrated with Chinese food. 

Chinese restaurant dates were always a special treat whenever we saw my mom’s mom. Grandpa didn’t like it but when we got together “the ladies” would always go out for Chinese food. There is this one place in town, King Tsin that makes the best Chinese chicken noodle salad ever! If has been a favorite in my family for the past 25 years.

There really is nothing like it. Crispy fried chicken and noodles served with crunchy veggies and a savory sweet dressing. There was a time when they added tomatoes to the salad, they were always pale pink and firm. My dad alway commented on it when we got the salad. Well one day Grandma came to town so naturally we had to go to eat Chinese food, just Grandma, Mom and Me. (Sounds like a Little Critter Book.) Naturally we got the Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad because how could we not. Low and behold but what was on the salad, bright red, juicy tomatoes. I remember being tickled pink (or red in this case), I couldn’t wait to tell my dad what we got. 

This salad is light and refreshing and full of flavor. If you are only serving two it can be a meal in itself but it’s even better paired with Mushu Chicken and Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup. Sadly I have yet to find the secret to recreating those. This salad on the other hand is almost spot on and it so much better for you since the oil for deep-frying is coconut oil ( palm shortening works great too). Another healthy swap was using Napa cabbage in place of the original ice burg lettuce. An add bonus is that it is gluten-free!

 

Gluten-Free Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

Serving Size: 2-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs
  • 1 package mung bean noodles
  • 1 large head napa cabbage, thinly sliced and core removed
  • 1 large carrot, cut into circles 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 recipe dressing
  • 4 cups coconut (for frying)

Instructions

  1. Prep the cabbage, carrots and green onions.
  2. Cut the chicken into tiny pieces.
  3. Heat your oil over high heat. Drop one noodle in the oil. If it puffs un instantly you will know that your oil is ready. Preced to fry the noodle until all are cooked. Set aside on a cloth to drain.
  4. Once the noodles are cooked add the chicken pieces to the oil, fry till crispy. This should take only a couple minutes.
  5. Divide the noodles evenly on each plate. Top with the chicken, carrots, cabbage and green onions.
  6. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and drizzle with desired amount of dressing.
  7. Enjoy!
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Gluten-Free Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar paste
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Blend or whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. It should save for at least one month.
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What is your favorite Americanized Chinese food?

Fruit Bowl Tisane {herbal infusion}

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I love tea! There is a simplistic beauty to savoring a cup of tea. I start and end most days with a few minutes of quiet with the LORD over a cup of tea.

As special as those moments are I find even more joy when I share tea with my girls. There are few that will say no when I offer. Fancy “tea times” are always fun but our favorite times are when we decide spur of the moment to spread a few blankets on the grass on a sunny day. 

Join me at For the Family where I am sharing the newest blend that we are enjoying! 

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A Day in the Life: I’m Just a Dorm Mama Living in Mexico

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Real daily life. It’s full of the good, the bad and the ugly; the joys and pains of being human. I thought it might be fun to show you what life looks like for this natural living real foodie. 

Keep in mind that I am a dorm mama that lives in a school campus in Mexico. My house is a one room dorm. :) 

6:00: I’m already up late since I my goal is to wake up my 5:30. That dang Daylight Savings, I like rising with then sun not pitch black. I decide to pray for a few minutes in bed…

6:10-6:30: I wake up from a startled and brief sleep. I stumble out of bed, turn on my calming play track and click the on switch for my electric kettle. I go back over and make the bed and turn on a small dim light. I get dressed and quickly check facebook and my email. 

6:30-6:55: It’s time to wake the girls up. I flash the lights a couple times and go make myself an Americano. What can I say  my espresso percolator is my new found love. I solve a couple early morning scwables and start some broth to boiling for soup while the girls change their cloths and tidy up the house.

6:55: We all pray. A couple of girls are still grouchy. Hopefully they will be in better moods after spending some quite time with Jesus.

7:00-7:20: The girls grab their things for school while I finish up my soup and pour it in a jar to take it to the dinning hall. 

7:30-8:00: Breakfast in the dinning hall

8:00-8:35: The kids play outside while the staff have Bible Study

8:35-9:00: Taught Bible Class for our level 2 class. I love it when they actually remember what they are taught! 

9:00-10:30:  I finally get around to folding the laundry that has been sitting on the laundry basket/hanging on the line since laundry and briefly check facebook and email on my phone. I washed the dishes. I chat with my assistant who is on her day off for a bit.

10:30-11:15: I make myself another Americano. I check facebook and start working on a post. The girls come in around 11 for a bathroom break and we chat for a bit. Then I walk across campus to get meat out of our shared freezer. 

11:15- 12:30: I get back to work and finish my now cold coffee and wash a few more dishes.

12:30-1:15: I fix a lunch of pasta, with cilantro pasta and ground beef and chat with a friend about vaccinations a bit

1:15-2:00: Lunch in the dinning hall with the kids

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2:15-3:15: The girls work on homework/rest/play outside. The spelling be is coming up so there is lots of studying going on. My 13 year old tries to convince me that 3 chickens can lay 10 eggs in one day, um….no they can’t….. 

3:15-4:45: We do outside chores, weeding the garden, more dishes, clean the chicken coop.

4:45: We clean up and get ready to make dinner for the whole school.

5:00-7:30: It’s left over night Mexico style. We reheat, rice, mole, pozole  and cut up WAY too much papaya. Once dinner is over the kids and staff head out back while three of the girls and I stay behind to clean up the kitchen. Everyone works together well and have amazing attitudes. 

7:30-9:15: We head to the dorm, a couple of the girls shower while everyone else starts to get ready for bed. At 8 I have the girls sit down for I can read a book to them. Craziness ensues and everyone but me refuses to pay attention and beg for a movie.This dorm mama lost her cool and gave couple girls early bed. We finally get started on a story once they decide to pay attention again. By the time we finish it’s past the youngest bed time. I pray with her and have everyone else tidy up to get ready for bed too. The oldest decides she is tried sends herself to bed early. 

9:15-11:00: I start cleaning up my kitchen area to find my third Americano of the day cold and half finished from hours ago. I get the bright idea that it is the perfect time make a candle out of my new soy wax. I finish my cold coffee (yes at 10:00 at night.) Candle making isn’t going so well so I clean up a bit and leave the rest for the morning. I finally decide it’s time for a cup of tea. Good night. 

 Adayinthelife2

Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf


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Simple and wholesome, rice pilaf makes a wonderful addition to almost any meal. I remember being giddy each time my mom said we could have rice pilaf for dinner. It was my favorite despite the fact that is came from a box.

There is no wrong way to make pilaf. All around the world there are different variations of this simple and tasty side. Join me at The Nourishing Gourmet and learn more about this simple and tasty dish!