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Friday, June 30, 2017

Vegan MoFo June 2017: FRUIT!

Hello friends. We've had a bit of a situation here. The other happy vegan has had a family emergency, and he jetted off in the middle of the night early this week. Things around the B&B continue, but I haven't had time to test & photograph the recipe that I'm sharing. I hope to do that maybe in a week or so. I'm still sharing the recipe at the end of this post, actually it's a recipe from a vintage tropical fruit book which I veganized and turned gluten free. I'm actually sharing how I intend to make it with all purpose flour instead of gluten free. Enough about my problems, let's get to the action.

Last Saturday we high tailed it to Key West's Little Truman White House for the 3rd Annual Grimal Grove Tropical Fruit Fiesta. You and I have been out to the Grove a few times, I've shared videos with you, interviews, and photos. It's an historical 2 acre (give or take) tropical fruit grove on the interior of the island where I live. The founder (Adolph Grimal) was eccentric. He traveled the world decades ago and collected the finest specimen tropical fruiting trees that he could find. Then he brought them back to Big Pine Key where he had property. He blasted the property with dynamite to create a basic but highly functional (to this day) cistern system for the fruiting trees. Some of the trees that are out there simply do not exist any other place in this country but there. So, the Grove fell into disrepair after Mr. Grimal's death, and ultimately became overgrown with invasive exotic plants, as well as a drug den (hate to say that, very sad, but true). Along came Patrick Garvey a few years ago to tour the property which had hundreds of thousands of dollars of code enforcement fines against it along with all the other problems. He bought the property and pulled it back from the brink of death. Enough has been done that he's had a few events out there, and 2 years ago he started the Tropical Fruit Fiesta to coincide with the beginning of mango season.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I never liked mangoes til I moved here. Rather, I THOUGHT I didn't like mangoes til I moved here. Those little things supermarkets sell in other parts of the country aren't mangoes, they call them mangoes, but they are not. I could live on mangoes this time of year, some days I do.

Anyway, this year, Patrick moved the Fiesta to Key West for more exposure and more space. This is an event where I usually sell food and donate the money to the Grove. I've always done jackfruit, it's perfect for the Fiesta, but this year unfortunately there was no way I could work here, get to Key West for set up and start time by 9am on the day of the event. In fact, we barely made it there for the event at all, it's a quick fiesta of only 4 hours. We arrived with about 40 minutes to spare, checked out the live music for a few minutes and got right down to searching for fruit. We came home with mangoes, rambutan, wax jambu, Key limes, bananas, and dragonfruit. Everything was local except the rambutan. Talk about fruit! Not even mentioning the mangoes that were there.... so many varieties. This is considered early mango time down here, so the early varieties are what's available. I'm a mango snob at this point.... I wouldn't even look at the mangoes from the mainland, I stick 100% to the Grimal Grove offerings. My freezer is slowly filling up as I stockpile for the entire year, and some days I will eat 4 or 5 myself. I haven't even begun to dehydrate mango, but I highly recommend you do so. The recipe I'm providing includes dried mango. Fresh will not work, as you have to soak the dried fruit in rum. If you cannot get mango, use pineapple.

Sadly the food options were beyond depressing for vegans at the fiesta, which I had a hard time reconciling the event with the very slim selection of vegan options. The smoothie person there had NO vegan options (seriously?!!!) We were so disappointed, as usually Date & Thyme attends and they always have all vegan smoothies. There was a restaurant representing on site (Firefly, Key West) who actually made dehydrated dragonfruit chips served with an all tropical fruit salsa which was vegan. We tried that and it was super great, neither of us had ever had dehydrated dragonfruit before, and I'm going to probably do some of that as summer grinds on. Beyond that, we stuck to fruit tastings. If there is any way I can move mountains next year, I will be there slinging the vegan goods for our community, and of course donating those proceeds to the Grove.

We saw so many people we know, and we really happy about that. Quite a few people came down from Big Pine Key to the event which surprised even us (you have to understand people up and down the Keys really don't travel too far on weekends, even in the summer. The roads are busy, and most of us just want to beat the heat and usually find a way to get out on the water.... unless you're an innkeeper of course, ha ha?)

We shot a quick video at the event, and as we got started we saw our friend Anthony who is from Key West and vegan. Anthony is one of the supervegans who helped us table at the Bahia Honda Earth Day celebration for our vegan advocacy booth. He pops up from time to time, that day he popped up at the Fiesta AND the Sugar Apple (bonus video at end).

It was about a billion face-melting degrees last Saturday (in fact lately every day has been a billion face-melting degrees lately), we were soaked like sponges, everyone was soaked like sponges, in a way you sort of get used to this face-melting, sponge soaked feeling, but admittedly it would be so nice for a day with no humidity. After the Fiesta we ducked over to the Sugar Apple for lunch, to our delight Anthony popped up there as well.

There's 2 short videos for you, and at the end, the recipe. Hopefully next month's video will be shot inside somewhere so our faces don't melt off again, but who knows. It's summer in the Keys, if we can't take the heat, we simply shouldn't be here. 

Here's a video of us and everyone else at the face-melting Tropical Fruit Fiesta in Key West last week. Face melting..... we don't kid around, the heat index was around 108 if I had to take a guess. It's ok because supervegan Anthony popped up as a surprise guest!



Post face-melting lunch at Sugar Apple, with surprise guest again, Anthony!



There you have the videos, see how spongy we are!

Here's a recipe for you now too. I base this off a recipe from a vintage tropical fruit book. It was not vegan. I made it gluten free and vegan. This time around I'm making it with all purpose flour, as most people I know prefer to stick with regular flour, unless there's a reason to be gluten free. I've developed a non-Celiac gluten sensitivity to go along with some other crap I have to deal with. Despite this, I do occasionally eat gluten, witness the above video post-tempeh reuben. All I can say is those Sugar Apple tempeh reubens are totally worth any misery that comes my way as a result later. Mostly itching for me, what can I say, they do sprinkle rainbows and faerie dust on those sandwiches.

Jamaican Mango-Banana Muffins
Vegan, Contains Gluten

1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup diced dried mango (if you don't dehydrate your own, really try and find sulfite free)
4 T coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1T flax meal mixed w/3T filtered water, allow to gel/thicken a minute or 2
2 extra ripe medium bananas
1/4 cup unsweetened yogurt (I make my own with super low sugar, if you don't try So Delicious brand unsweetened, it's pretty low in sugar)
2 cups flour
1/2 T baking powder
 1/2 T baking soda
1t EACH: allspice, nutmeg cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Place the mango and rum in a bowl and let sit uncovered about an hour.

By hand or in stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugar, add the flax/water mixture and beat til fluffy (as best as fluffy will be for this style of baking). Add in the bananas, and beat well, scrape down as needed, then add in the yogurt and beat well. It may look slightly separated, this is ok/normal.

In separate bowl, sift in the flour, powder, soda, salt and spices. Add, alternating about 1/3 dry mixture to the wet mixture and very gently fold in, do not overmix and better to do this by hand, not with mixer. Drain the rum from the mango, and fold in along with the nuts (if using).

Let batter stand about 15 minutes, portion into lined or sprayed muffin tins (or use a 9" loaf pan if desired). Bake about 22 minutes, checking at that point with a toothpick. Bake another 2-5 minutes if needed. Do not over bake.

Double the baking time for a loaf pan, but check after about 35 minutes.

Options: use different choice of dried fruit, pineapple is a good pick.
Add some coconut extract (about 1t) for more coconut flavor if desired.
Mix in some dried coconut flakes if that's your thing.
You could use pumpkin pie spice in a pinch if you are out of any 1 spice.

Thanks for the love, we'll be back on track in a few more days, and I know I'm really looking forward to July's prompt.

I have a few other things to talk about, look for an additional post or 2 in July, plus our MoFo post. Hope the summer is treating you all well. It's hot as Hades down here, but if you're a local here's hoping you're on the water most days!

Vegan love.
xo





Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vegan MiniMoFo May 2017: FAVORITES!

Hi. Our Vegan MiniMoFo prompt for this month is "favorite." Favorite what? Favorite ANYTHING. Could be a restaurant, ingredient, recipe, meal, fruit, vegetable, you name it. Since I again thought this was a great prompt I really wanted to run with it; I had grand delusions for my post this month, all sorts of ideas for mini movies, recipes, and other fun things for you. I did manage to actually make a fantastic recipe (link provided) of my hands-down favorite dessert, vegan tiramisu! This time we took the raw route. Make it, I promise, you will not be sorry. We also took a short trip to Key West, there's a mini video at the end for you.

Summer has moved into the Keys, honestly I think my schedule should open up a little bit over the next few weeks. If not, what can I say.... hope springs eternal! For now, I'm simply elated that posts are up, along with fellow participating bloggers and vloggers which I make a point to check in with. We're awesome, what can I say?!!!

Here's our video, scroll below for the recipe link with a few of my own comments, and then the bonus video.


Here's the link: http://www.peacefulplate.com/2012/03/04/tiramisu/

FYI, I didn't have enough cashews, so only used cashews in the cashew cream. I used only almonds in the "cake" and the "coffee" layer. It was a good swap, as there was virtually no nutty flavor, which is what I was going for. I thought pecans would be too pronounced in the recipe. I was shocked how cake-like the cake layer turned out to be. Indeed it IS fluffy for a raw recipe; do NOT pack down the layers. It was a little hard to serve, didn't quite firm up as much as regular vegan tiramisu would, but I was working with a spatula when I probably should been worked with a long handled spoon. You could also make a raw chocolate sauce to drizzle on your plate for effect using raw cacao -- look up any raw recipe if you choose (I did not).

I'm heading back more and more to a raw lifestyle, not sure how far it will take me this time, but last time I healed a fracture, plantar fascitis, and myriad other random issues. A raw dessert like this is pure indulgence, typically I stick with fruits, vegetables and eat very little nuts. If you serve this to anyone, you will get the "you must've spent HOURS in the kitchen making this!" haha.... if only "they" knew.

And, yes, I planned on making a mini-movie this month for you.... fun little clips of "favorites" from all the things I did this month, food-related. I managed ONE clip, and here it is:


Do you find it as humorous as I do when I look at this and hear me speak the words that I'll be bringing you lots of favorites this month. At least I meant it when I said it, I swear!

There it is, favorites for May 2017. No idea what June's prompt will be, but with any luck mangoes will finally be coming in..... I actually find myself daydreaming about eating Grimal Grove mangoes. Fingers crossed for June!

See you next time, vegan love to you as always!

xo



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Vegan Month of Food April 2017: What's In Season Where I Live?

Hello friends! Our prompt for Vegan MoFo April 2017 is "what's in season where you live?" You already know I live on an island in the Florida Keys. This is a subtropical climate, with very poor growing conditions generally speaking. Despite this, back in times when the settlers here lived off the land, pineapple plantations, Key limes, bananas and other tropical fruits were abundantly grown and shipped out of the area. That is no more, but we do have pockets of little gems here and there, one of them being the Grimal Grove which is an historical tropical fruit grove on Big Pine Key. We've spoken about the Grove before, and you've even seen videos with me for this blog out there. So, for this post I immediately called up the wonderful, knowledgeable and good natured Patrick, founder of the reborn Grimal Grove. It sort of went like this:

Me: Patrick, what's in season out at the Grove RIGHT NOW!
Patrick: Bilimbe, Mamey Sapote, and Jaboticaba
Me: Huh?
Patrick: you heard me.
Me: Uh.... ok.

Poof, 3 days later, all the fruit appeared.... actually I went out to the Grove, and he showed me jaboticaba growing on the tree. You gotta check this out:

This is an extreme close up of Jaboticaba growing at the Grimal Grove.
The fruit is about the size of a grape, has 3-4 seeds inside,
is very thick skinned, very high in tannins.
Jaboticaba is a shrub, the fruit grows on the branches and the trunk.
It looks like bubbles when you see it.
It's freakishly spectacular!
This is a bilimbi tree growing at the Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key.
The bilimbe is really great for juicing, among other things.
Patrick and I actually picked it off the tree for MoFo, but....
sadly my schedule got the worst of me, the bilimbe turned
before I could complete my recipe.
Next time for sure!
This is my mamey ripened and cut up.
It yielded just over a pound.
There was 1 very large black smooth seed inside.
The outside is reminiscent of a coconut, but not as
hairy or hard.
Mamey are ripe if they dent in slightly when pressed upon.
Exceptionally creamy texture.
This is one I REALLY love, totally new to me!

When I got the mamey, Patrick told me it will take a while to ripen, he wasn't kidding! It took almost 2 weeks sitting on my counter. When it finally did ripen, I cut it open... never seen one before, had no idea what to expect. He told me there was a large seed inside, as always he's right. The mamey is a berry technically, and grows up to 10 inches. The texture is exceptionally creamy. I was prepared not to like it (no idea why I felt that way) but when I tasted it, I LOVED IT! The texture so creamy, combined with a flavor to me of very mellow cantaloupe, maybe some apricot and sweet pineapple really surprised me. I sliced the mamey up and froze it for a smoothie. Looking on line, I learned that mamey is a staple food in Latin America, and I even found a reference that it's high in protein thus extra recommended for vegans and vegetarians (I guess that author is on the protein train with the rest of the world?) Both these fruits are noted to be known for anti cancer properties. Jaboticaba is off the charts with it's potassium content, noted to be good for heart health, as potassium is a vasodialator thus may lower blood pressure and other risks to good health.

So, being that today is the last day of April, I had to get my contribution here up by midnight for this prompt. I looked for mamey smoothies, and found a great recipe from icuban.com. It included sweetened condensed milk, but I used Let's Do Organics usweetened condensed coconut milk as that's a brand new offering from Food for Thought in Marathon (OMG, it is SOOOOOO good!) If rum is your jam, I can imagine some rum added in. After I shot the video, I added in some frozen bananas too because, well... because bananas. I've learned I absolutely LOVE mamey. The addition of unsweetened condensed (coconut) milk apparently is a very Cuban "thing." Extra bonus points here for me ... we're closer to Cuba than we are to Miami, remember?

I used the jaboticaba to make jelly. I pulled a link off food.com. I modified the recipe using 3# of fruit, and it yielded about 3 QUARTS of jelly in the end. I didn't "can" mine, I'm allowing it to set up overnight, and then I think I am going to try it in pastry pockets and give them away. Any jelly left I'm giving to Patrick and his beautiful wife Angelica, hopefully I'll have some left and it will be good enough once it sets up that they'll enjoy it.

Recipe links are at the end of this post.

Here's my video for this month. I hope you enjoy it. If we were just a teensy bit closer to June, we'd be showered in mango, but it was not meant to be.  A mango! A mango.... my kingdom for a mango!



Links for the recipes: https://icuban.com/food/batido_mamey.html (this is the site I used 2 years ago when I veganized the Cuban bread...remember that one?)

http://www.food.com/recipe/jaboticaba-jelly-104674

Well, there it is. Another raggedy video from me at the awesome bed and breakfast I call home. Hope you enjoyed it.... I'm sure we'll be back in May for a prompt, and hopefully for another post or two about some of the other things we've been up to around here.... it's been BUSY!

See you soon. Vegan love. xo



Friday, March 31, 2017

Vegan Month of Food March 2017: Mini MoFo.... STUFFED!

Hi there. These Mini MoFo themes are great. Not only do they keep hope alive that I'll come back to more frequent publishing, but I am enjoying the prompts. This month we were tasked with "stuffed!" I planned on making breakfast items for you, but as you'll see in the video I changed my mind. After the video there are the links to what I used, as well as the main recipe for the pirogi, which I veganized of course.

Let's go to the videotape!


Now that we've got that under our belt, let's see what we actually used:

Caramelized Onions:

Vegan Black Metal Chef method. If you don't have his "Seitanic Spellbook" cookbook, you're nuts, go and get it. For the onions, pull out your crockpot, slice your onions thin, cover with some olive oil, put the cover on the unit, set to low and go to bed. Stir when you wake up, and stir again before they finish. Give them a good solid 12 hours to caramelize. You'll want to kiss Chef for this, trust me. You can make these ahead. Make more than you need, and put them on everything else you make!!

Vegan Farmer's Cheese:

As I mention, I didn't even know what this was, so I googled it. This link provides the recipe I used. I would reduce the lemon juice by half. If you have a nut allergy, I don't see why you can't use sunflower or pumpkin seeds to replace the nuts. I have no suggestions for substituting the tofu on this recipe if you have soy issues. Make this at least 1 day ahead, it becomes more tangy as it sits.  http://anunrefinedvegan.com/2012/10/16/veganmofo-khatchapuri-day-1-tofu-farmer-cheez/

Pirogi
Recipe adapted from The Essential Root Vegetable Cookbook by Sally & Martin Stone

"Russian Potato & Farmer Cheese-filled Pirogi in Sour Cream Dough" VEGAN STYLE FOR SURE!
Yield 70-80 3" cut pirogi

Pastry Dough:
3.5 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter
6 tablespoons aquafaba
1 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti brand)
extra aquafaba for sealing/wash

Filling:

1.5 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled/quartered
3T olive oil
1 med/large onion minced (NOTE: I CARAMELIZED THE ONIONS AHEAD OF TIME USING VEGAN BLACK METAL CHEF METHOD)
3/4 pound vegan Farmer's cheeze (see link from An Unrefined Vegan above!)
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 cup vegan butter (for the topping if desired, this is not for the filling!)

Vegan Farmer's Cheeze:

Use the link above, you need to make this 1 day ahead or more.... I did mine 4 days ahead of time, it was still great!

Make the pirogi as follows:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder & 1 tsp salt. With your fingers or a pastry cutter work quickly and rub in 1/2 cup vegan butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl mix the 6 T aquafaba (I did this part in a stand mixer and whipped the AF for about 4 minutes, you don't have to, just use it straight), then mix in the vegan sour cream until well combined; add this to the flour mixture, and gently combine with your hands til mixed.

When well combined, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and either knead with your hands til smooth or do this in your stand mixer using a dough hook til it's smooth and pliable, adding flour if you need just a bit at a time to prevent sticking (I didn't add any flour). Divide dough in half, make into discs and wrap with cello wrap, chill about 30 minutes or til needed.

To prepare your filling, place your potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water (salt if you want, I didn't). Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook til tender. Drain and cool. When potatoes are cool,  mince your already caramelized onions, measure out your Farmer's Cheeze and combine those ingredients in a bowl, with about 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp black pepper (I used a little more pepper). Combine well.

On a floured surface, roll your dough out thin (it will act very elasticy the more you work it, work fast and keep the dough cool) Roll thin! About 1/8" at most. Using a 3" biscuit cutter (use a glass if you don't have one) cut out rounds til your dough is done, I got about 75 of them! Measure out about 1 tsp of filling for each pirogi and place onto each round. Fold the rounds in half, pinch very well closed, and then press with a fork to make a decorate edge (this seals them even better). Place the pirogi on a floured towel. If you're not going to cook them right away, place them on baking trays in a single layer, freeze, then when frozen store them in containers in your freezer.

To cook, bring a large pot of water (salt if desired, I do not) to boil. Add a few pirogi at a time to the water, when they float, cook about 3 minutes, remove with slotted spoon to a platter. Keep warm as you cook the rest. When ready to serve, either use vegan butter, brown gravy, red sauce, or whatever. The original recipe said to saute more onions ... seriously? Plenty here for me, no more onions.

I used the Yup It's Vegan rice paper bac'n recipe, and made some bak'n bits, which I sprinkled over the top with cracked pepper and a little vegan butter.

This recipe is worth making! Here's a few pictures:

As you can see, not all were perfectly round as I worked.
Using a 3" biscuit cutter on the dough works perfectly,
however the dough is quite elastic. This works against us when cutting
but works in our favor when shaping after filling! 
Look at all these beauties!
After ya pinch them, press the edges gently with a fork.
Makes a pretty pirogi and keeps the filling in nicely.

Divine perfection.


Vegan Hand Pies as shown in video:

Recipe adapted from puffpastry.com (Pepperidge Farms, can you believe it?)

3T aquafaba
2T flour
1 package (17.3 oz) puff pastry sheets, thawed
4 ounces vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand yellow label) softened
2T sugar (I use organic vegan sugar)
1/2 cup chopped vegan chocolate of choice
6 oz minced strawberries (or fruit of choice... wait til mango season!!!!)
3T coarse sugar for sprinkling on top, and more aquafaba
Not bad for first time on a whim! 

Sprinkle work surface with flour, and roll out 1 sheet of pastry. Either using a 3" round cutter, or just cut square to save dough, make 12 individual pieces, equally. Repeat with other sheet.

Stir the Tofutti and sugar in a bowl, stir in chopped chocolate chips or whatever you're using. Brush the edges of the bottom pieces of pastry with the aquafaba, put about 1T of Tofutti mixture in center of each pie, top with about 1 T of diced berries, cover with top piece of pastry, seal tight. Either make a decorative boarder or use a fork and seal again. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Brush tops with more aquafaba, cut small vent holes in top of each pie, sprinkle with decorative sugar. Bake in preheated oven (I baked at 325 for convection) about 20 minutes, use 350 if non-convection. Bake til golden.

Whew!

That's a lot of typing.

There it is. Get stuffed, vegan style!




Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mini MoFo February 2017 - SOMETHING RED!

Hello dear ones. We are in the throes of high season over here, so no video this time. We got a nice Mini MoFo prompt to post "something red." Easy peasy once again.

Valentines Day has come and gone, but I made this as the entree for our guests:




So, those are double chocolate waffles done strawberry shortcake style. I used So Delicious CocoWhip, with organic berries, organic fair trade shaved chocolate; everything about those waffles is organic and fair trade. You can do this too.... choose your own recipe and toppings and get to it.

It's hard to see, but that tiny red bowl is the CUTEST thing going.... I got it at the local thrift, it's hand painted with tiny hearts all through the inside, even signed by the artist on the bottom, from Italy! Fifty cents!

I also made gobs of these:




These are mini bundt cakes using a recipe I think from Minimalist Baker, I used organic ginger ale instead of stout. I dipped each one in my own ganache and sprinkled with red vegan sprinkles. I made the cutest toppers for each cake, but was (as usual) very pressed for time so the best I could do was slap these bad boys into boxes and call it a day. We had a beautiful Valentines breakfast for our guests with heart shaped white chocolate strawberry muffins, Love Potion #9 beverages, pink smoothies, fresh fruit, Valentine cookies for all, and mini cakes. I learned the hard way that these larger sprinkles have a relative low melt point, so never again will I coat my sugar cookies before baking if using the large sprinkles. I'm pretty new to this line of sprinkles (Sweetopolita, on Etsy, she has an entire vegan section). They are really great variety and brightness, but they are no good for the baking situation which is why no pictures of the sugar cookies.

There it is, short and sweet... something red. Vegan for the win as always!

See you soon!

xo

Saturday, January 28, 2017

MiniMoFo "NEW!" .... come on baby, light my fire (cider)

Yay! We have a prompt for January and it's "NEW!" Anything new! We have free reign to do any vegan topic, as long as it's something new to us. Easy peasy!

This time of year keeps us hopping around here. How have you been? We've been doing great, the weather is glorious, the animals are healthy, and overall we are feeling pretty good too. For those participating in "MiniMoFo" themes this year (you know my plans are to hit up every single theme....  so far I've not missed any!) When  I saw the theme "NEW!" I thought about so many possibilities. When push came to shove, I decided on taking a little road trip to our perfect health food store on our tiny island which is called Good Food Conspiracy. You already know all about them because we've done videos, photos, stories, and had so many laughs here together courtesy of Good Food. You also might remember the fact that one of the top 3 reasons I agreed to move to Big Pine "for a year" (ahahhahahahah, a YEAR!) was because of that little store. Good Food has been on the island, in the same location, for well over 30 years at this point. I'm not really sure everyone can grasp how epic that fact is (over 30 years) unless you've spent some time living in the Keys. So many people come and go so quickly down here, and the same can be said for businesses. There's an ebb and flow to living and working in a resort destination such as the Keys, and some people clearly are not cut out for that. For those of us that ARE cut out for that, we have the backbone of our community.... small businesses like Good Food.

About 3 years ago (give or take) sometime after Superstorm Sandy destroyed so much of the East Coast (especially Jersey), and then the fire on the Shore boardwalk (again.... Jersey), a woman named Debbie Quinn came to the Keys to heal from the disaster at the behest of a friend. Debbie is an herbalist, a REAL herbalist. She's also an aromatherapist (her company is Blue Moon Herbals), a REAL aromatherapist. I've never met anyone like Debbie before. I remember the first time I met her too... it was in the garden at Good Food at a New Year's event. There were healers, vendors, merchants, food, music and fun. And Debbie was there with her booth selling some of the most beautiful essential oils I'd ever been privileged to experience. We chatted, I bought things from her for a friend in need of healing, and called it a day. Then I began to see more and more of Debbie at the store. Now she's essentially the resident herbalist at Good Food. Between Debbie and Marney (we've spoken at length about Marney, she's a miracle) we have 2 of the best healers I've ever EVER met in my life, right here practically in my backyard.

One of the most wonderful things that Debbie has brought to Good Food is her recipe for fire cider. Fire cider is a folk remedy for many ails including inflammation, which is my personal nemesis. One day not too long ago, I walked into Good Food on a day they were making many jars of fire cider. I wasn't sure what it was, but as soon as I heard it was made with apple cider vinegar as the base, I was all in.

"Set me up with a shot of that fire cider!"  BOOM, down the hatch!

Ooooo.... little warm tingles all over in just moments!

So, today for "NEW!" we are at the Good Food Conspiracy with Debbie and Meghan (who makes the cider, she's absolutely adorable). Fire cider is no longer new to me, but it probably will be to you, and I honestly can say if you come to the Keys you MUST stop into Good Food and add a shot of fire cider to your order, you will not regret it.

Come, watch and learn.


There ya have it.... my friends from the Good Food Conspiracy making fire cider. That's our "NEW!" for January, and of course we'll be back right here in February for whatever comes next, along with a few random other posts from yours truly in between.

Until next time, get your fire cider on. Now go forth and let your epic vegan side shine!

xo