Chocolate originated in the Amazon basin and was transported throughout Central and South America in ancient times. The scientific name, Theobroma, means “food of the gods” and I can certainly see where they are coming from. The Maya first drank chocolate in drink form using chocolate, chilies, and cornmeal (the three Cs of early American cooking) they ground it into a paste and mixed it with water. Eventually the Spanairds came along and added milk and sugar. The Europeans also removed the chilies and added cinnamon. Of course, the US came along and made and instant version full of fake marshmallows and other nastiness which turned many off of this delicious drink. They key to making hot chocolate for me is to take it back to its roots and make, what we now call “Mexican Hot Chocolate” although really it is hot cocoa if you are making it from a powder and only hot chocolate if you are making it from chocolate bars.
For me it is the perfect winter drink because it is spicy hot and hot hot so you can ward off the chills in two seperate ways. I also like to make it because it is a little of this and a little of that and different every time. For that reason, I will give you a guidline with pinches and drops rather than teaspoons and tablespoons because you have to experiment and find what your perfect ratio of sweet to spicy is.
Fill the mug (or mugs) that you are going to use with Almond milk and then pour the milk into the pan
Heat the milk to warm and then slowly whisk in 1 heaping teaspoon of unsweetened coocoa powder
add 2 tsp of Sugar or 1 tsp Agave Nectar
a drop of vanilla extract
a drop of almond
a pinch of cinnamon
a tiny pinch of cayenne
a sprinkle of chili powder.
Whisk it all together, taste and adjust flavors and enjoy! Preferably in front of a warm fire cuddled up with a warm beagle. But don’t let him have any because dogs shouldn’t have chocolate. Or poinsettias. Or Ivy, apple seeds, raw onions, and grapes.
After blogging yesterday about the wonder that is the Whole Food’s Breakfast Taco I became really hungry. I knew that only a breakfast taco could satiate me and so we went to Polvo’s for a glorious breakfast that only cost $4.20. I got one taco that had mushrooms, spinach and potatoes.
And the other was napolitos, beans, and rice. One of the greatest aspects of Polvos is that they have three different salsa’s that are some of the best I have ever had.
After Polvo’s we drove out to the Hill Country to play some Frisbee Golf, it was the most beautiful day.
The Vegan Month of Food has begun! For my first post I thought I would talk quickly about why I became vegan.
People ask me all the time why I became vegan. They usually find it fascinating and often get immediately defensive. Sometimes they say really weird things like “I am going to eat extra veal tonight” or “don’t you think plants have feelings too?” How I respond depends on my mood and whatever is on my mind at the time. Sometimes if you ask me I am in a particularlyconfrontational mood I will start talking about rape racks and debeaking. Other times I will tell people about how unnatural it is to take milk that is supposed to be for a baby cow, pasteurize it, enhance it with vitamin D and then serve it to adult humans. Or let it mold and cover your salad with it. If people are of the whole foods set I usual talk about the China Study and how animal products have been directly associated with heart disease, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds can be mighty tasty.
But in the end none of that is really why I am vegan. Its because of this guy and his sister. My dog grunts like a pig when he is happy or content. We always say his mama’s mama’s mama was a pig. His body is
almost the same as a pigs’. He has more personality than some people I know and I would never eat him. Not if you paid me a million dollars. When I used to cook animals I always felt disgust with handling it. Now I cook vegan food and I am so happy in the kitchen. I make my “meat” now. No anti-biotics, no growth hormones, no blood, no torture, no guilt just good food.
The next question that people ask after the “why vegan” is well what do you eat. Vegan food is disgusting. I guess I used to think that too. The first time I had fake meat I thought it was revolting. Fake cheese is even worse. Very few people enjoy a cool glass of soy milk, but you know what? I rarely eat any of those things. I use rice milk and almond milk in my cooking and drink Horchata or juice or soy mochas. I make my own seitan and eat tofu and beans and I make it just how I like it. I make cookies with whole grain flours and flax seeds and it sounds crazy but they are just as yummy as the butter and egg kind. My cookie fiend omnivorous boyfriend- who works a cookie shop- makes the vegan kind all the time. I couldn’t believe how little I wanted animal products after I stopped eating them (smoking is another story). People say don’t you want a juicy steak? I smile and say no and think to myself Ewww. It is totally unappetizing.
I hope that you see from this blog who wonderful- and yummy vegan food can be. For me that its not about what you can’t eat, its about what you love to eat!