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Posts Tagged ‘gluten free’

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Did you know that your environment will influence you, for good or bad?  If you happen to walk into a house where there is a lot of conflict – even if there is peace at that moment, that “conflict” energy will sooner or later get to you, one way or another.  This is what Dr. Tae Yun Kim has taught me, and she went to explain further that we also associate different foods with different qualities.  For example, Dr.  Kim explains, if you were eating spaghetti when you got news that your sister just had that baby, you will most likely – consciously or subconsciously – associate spaghetti with “happy” and it will be a great time for you whenever you have it.

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Well, in my case, the above.  Punschkrapferl, as they are called in my native Austria.  It could be translated into something like punch cupcakes.  Growing up, when we were poor, being able to go to a pastry shop on a Sunday afternoon, and get one of those, was pure bliss.  It was heaven with a pink frosting.  It is, to this day, a reminder of happy, peaceful, childhood days.

I hadn’t had one in about 7 years, before I went gluten-free and was on a visit to Austria.  But ever since I found that “Perfect Pound cake” from Shirley, it has been on my mind to re-create these Punschkrapfen.  Last night was it!

First, either get some organic, apricot jam.  Or, make your own on the spot, as I did, from home-frozen apricots, a touch of honey, and some brandy.  Let it cook until nice and thick, and taste often 🙂  Quantities?  Well, maybe 3-4 cups fresh or frozen apricots, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup brandy.  Cook until thick, set aside.

For the cupcakes, I used a double quantity of Shirley’s pound cake, recipe here.  It really is the perfect building block for this!  Bake it in cupcake tins.

Once done, let them cool off, and then cut them into thirds, like this:
IMG_4479 copy cupcake cut up

Take all the middle pieces, and mix them with the apricot jam until you have a consistency of cake pops, so, not too smushed up, still having some texture, but very very moist.  Add some brandy according to your taste buds, and add some chopped up walnuts, or hazelnuts.

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Punschkrapfen filling

Now, take some of the filling, and put it nicely on the bottom layer of the cupcake.  Be generous with the filling, make it at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches tall, then put the top on.  Repeat with all the cupcakes.  You may need to change the cupcake paper holders, to make it all look nice.

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Then, the frosting is the easy part.  If you are squeamish about regular powdered sugar and food coloring, feel free to use any substitute you can think of.  Please let me know too – would love to try!

Mix gluten-free powdered sugar with a small amount of brandy (or just water) and tiny amount of red food coloring, just enough to make it look bright pink.  Mix enough to get out any lumps, and then pour over the assembled Krapfen.

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Don’t you just want to grab one and bite into it?

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To make everyone happy, I covered some of these cupcakes in chocolate.  Completely untraditional, but still very good, and a concession to those that can’t do without.

And here you have it!

Dr. Tae Yun Kim says that of course we cannot go back in time and re-live even so much as a minute, but we sure can go back in our memories and re-create things that made us happy!

Note: all the food styling was done by my dear friend and fellow Jung Suwon warrior, Master Holly Chamberlain!

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Before I get into this great topic – let me tell you that at the end of this post you will find a most delightful story by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, where the lowly humble cabbage plays a major role.  If you have time – please read it!

I am sure everyone has heard how healthy cabbage is.  It’s full of cancer fighting components, helps reduce cholesterol and is therefore good for heart health, is packed with antioxidants, has a lot of anti-inflammatory qualities, and is excellent for your digestive tract.

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Several cultures have propelled cabbage to their national foods, such as Kim Chi in Korea (a very nice spicy fermented cabbage) and of course Sauerkraut of the Germans.  They are both very very good and very very healthy.  Give them a try, if you haven’t!

Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s favorite is to have either just plain Napa cabbage leaves, raw, and eat them with a spoon of brown rice and goju jang, a hot red pepper sauce.  Or steamed regular cabbage.

I love cabbage prepared in all kinds of ways and always like to come up with new and exciting ways to incorporate it into our food plan.

Yesterday, I started out, like I so often do, by sauteing chopped onions and chopped garlic in a little olive oil.

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Then, I added shredded cabbage .

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Just that, by itself, with a tiny bit of salt, was very very good.  But I wanted to combine it with some protein and make a meal out of it.  On consulting with my refrigerator, I saw organic, non-GMO tofu there, as well as eggs from the local farmers market.  I put half the block of tofu and an egg into the blender, and some parsley and gave it a whirl.

Then I combined the tofu mixture and the (slightly cooled off) cabbage mixture and put it in ramekins, which I then steamed.

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It didn’t take very long, about 10 minutes or less, to have it “set.”

It turned out really good, very subtle and gentle flavors, yet the cabbage still shining through.

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I understand many people nowadays don’t  eat any soy products, but still give this a try – just leave out the tofu and add another egg, or maybe substitute cheese if you can have dairy.

2013-07-31 cabbage ramequin closeup

Go ahead, dig in your spoon and enjoy, and if you like, you can add any sauce you want, although I myself prefer to just let the simple earthy flavors come through.

Now, to that cabbage story.

“Once there was a king who had grown very bored and disenchanted with life.  He went from one meaningless and stagnant day to another finding no satisfaction or pleasure in anything.  He had even lost his taste for food, and all his traditional exotic dishes no longer yielded the joys they once had.  He grew so tired and apathetic that he issued a proclamation that whoever could bring him a dish that truly pleased him would be richly rewarded.

The greatest cooks came from all over the world bringing their best dishes.  But the king didn’t like any of them.  Life continued to be one boring dish after another.

One day a poor farmer came to the palace.  “Your Majesty, I have the most incredible dish you have ever tasted.  On this earth there is no other that can match it, but this dish takes some special preparation, and in order for you to fully enjoy it, I must ask that you eat nothing else until it is ready, ” the farmer said.  The king, by now so bored with his life, was willing to take the chance.

So the farmer left to prepare his special dish.

The next day the farmer arrived empty-handed in the king’s hall.  The king asked, “Well, where is my food?”

“I am sorry your Majesty.  It will be ready soon, I promise, but you must still keep your bargain.”

The next day, the farmer returned again, empty-handed.  This time the king was furious.  “Where is my food?” he roared.

The farmer replied humbly, “Oh, Your Majesty, I am still preparing.”

“Still preparing?” the king fumed.  “I am starving, and you are still only preparing?”

“I assure you this is the most fabulous food you have ever tasted,” the farmer pleaded.  If you’ll only wait one more day, it will be ready.”

Although the king was very angry and hungry, he was also anxious to relieve his boredom.  “All right,” he agreed.  “One more day.”

The next day the king awoke very early, his whole body filled with anticipation.  He could think of nothing but the farmer’s mysterious dish.  When the time came near for the farmer to arrive, it was all he could do to contain his excitement.

Finally, from beyond his hall the king heard the light footsteps of the farmer.  He smelled the most divine of smells.  His whole body reverberated with incredible sensations of pleasure and delight.  The farmer came closer.  The king could feel his mouth salivating and his stomach grumbling as his entire attention focused on the farmer’s simple porcelain bowl and its precious cargo.

The farmer lifted the lid to expose one thick slice of cabbage, steamed perfectly.  It was the most simple of dishes, but at that moment, it was a precious as the world to the king.

The king bit into this pure, plain, and simple cabbage.  Nothing in his life had ever tasted so good.  His senses came alive as he felt once again the intense pleasure of taste, and smell, and texture.  The king was so overjoyed that he made the poor farmer a rich man.”

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2013-07-30 finished power drink

Sometimes I get really lucky.  A couple of days ago, I got to try Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s her super secret – and now shared – recipe for a very healthy power drink.  You can either have this as a smoothie, or a more liquid drink.  If you prefer a smoothie, make sure your blueberries are frozen, and add some ice cubes.

Here is the original recipe, but feel free to experiment if you have any nut allergies.  The blueberries are there for a reason, as they are helping with antioxidants, fight Alzheimer’s, and do a host of other good things for your body.  But of course, you are welcome to experiment.

Start by assembling the nuts.  To save time, I have made up individual serving baggies that look something like this:

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In each bag, there are (approximately) 3 – 4 of each (except more of the pine nuts because they are so small):

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Put those in a blender, along with about a cup of blueberries, more or less.  I always use frozen ones.  Add honey according to your sweet tooth, and add enough water to make it your desired thickness.  If you want more of a meal replacement, use any milk instead of water – coconut milk is superb with this.

Blend really really well, and enjoy ice-cold.  If I have this for breakfast, I am not hungry for a long time!

And my quote for the day, by Dr. Tae Yun Kim, doesn’t really have to do with either nuts or berries or even food, but I happened upon it and loved it so much I wanted to share it with you:

“The whole purpose of change, the whole purpose of continuous cycles of yin and yang is to take you higher, to make you grow, to give you more of what will lead you to a truer expression of your Real Self.  Never be afraid of change.  All changes lead you into greater good.  That is the purpose of change and the purpose of life.”  (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 51)

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2013-07-26 red bean ice cake

When Dr. Tae Yun Kim was just a little girl, they didn’t have any ice cream in Korea.  They didn’t have electricity, or ice cream makers, or even the concept of any food that wasn’t meant to simply nourish.  Sweets?  Ice cream?  No way.  Just things to keep you alive and reasonably well, especially during and after the Korean War.

With the American Soldiers – to whom Dr. Tae Yun Kim is forever grateful for saving her and her family’s lives, came some things she had never heard of before, such as chocolate, coffee, candy, ice cream, among many other things.

And while she could never even dream of having any of those goodies – she was barely allowed to survive on whatever little food she could scrape and scratch together – she always wondered what they would taste like.  For example, once in a while an ice cream vendor would come through her village, in the summer, peddling his wares, yelling out, “Ice cakes, ice cakes….”

It was only much later in her life that she finally could taste these simple treasures, and enjoy them.  Here is how I have learned to make this ice cream, healthy dairy free, gluten-free version.

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First, soak your red Azuki beans.  Soak them in a LOT of water.  They are big guzzlers, so go overboard with the water, and soak them for at least a day.

Boil the soaked beans and you will need to make enough to have 2 cups of boiled beans.

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This is what the red beans look like after boiling

It’s ok if you end up overcooking the beans, because most of them will end up in your blender.  Let the beans cool off.

Now, put a can of full fat coconut milk (or use any other milk you like) in your blender.

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add 2 cups of cooked beans and keep the leftover beans handy.

Add anywhere between 3/4 cups – 1 1/2 cups of honey.  Traditionally, this isn’t very sweet, so I normally use less than a cup.  But if you prefer it sweeter, use the full amount.  Here is my current favorite honey:

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I love how it says “made by American bees!”

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This is the inside of my blender, with all the ingredients in place

Set your blender on either Ice cream, or smoothie setting, and process until it’s all nice and smooth.

Put it all into your prepared ice cream maker, and let it go!

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Doesn’t it look cool how the ice cream maker swirls around the future ice cream?
When the ice cream is almost done, add the rest of the cooked, cooled, whole beans, up to 1 cup, but you can add as few as you want.

Then, either put the ice cream into popsicle molds (which is the traditional way to serve this) or put it into a container and store in freezer.  My popsicle didn’t look good enough to take pictures of, although they tasted awesome!

Either way, it is a most delicious and healthy way to enjoy a cool treat on a hot summer’s day!

If the ice cream isn't sweet enough for you, drizzle with honey....

If the ice cream isn’t sweet enough for you, drizzle with honey….

“You have the power to fulfill your dreams!”

Note: Shirley over at GFE gets the credit for me attempting to convert the original recipe – so surprise my teacher with this new concoction.  Thanks for your ice cream recipes!

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2013-07-13 21.29.43

…When the dog bites, when the bee stings….who hasn’t had days like that?  Days when you just need a little something to eat, something that soothes you, and makes you feel happy inside and out, and that makes you forget whatever troubles, worries or bad things you have gone or are still going through.

My Martial Arts teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, has this to say about those times:

“Rejoice in the lesson of pain and hurt, it gives you strength, it gives you freedom!”

And why not have some food to help with the rejoicing?

Strangely enough, in the winter, this can be a nice bowl of home-made chicken soup.  But in the hot summer, what to do?  Real comfort food, when I myself need comfort, needs to be fast, easy and have that taste that spells home-made, and makes you feel the world is ok.

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When nobody is around, I like to resort to a mug cake, or mug cookie or mug anything – they are so quick and easy and one-portion goodness.  But when family is around, I like to make something that everyone can enjoy.

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So, I make some concessions.  While I could easily make Shirley’s perfect pound cake over and over (and over and over) again – it is that good – I realize that this will not work for everyone.  But, I just discovered her Blueberry Banana Buckle (recipe here) and it surely hit the spot.  It’s summer comfort food to the max.  Check it out!

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This time, I did something new:  didn’t add anything, didn’t change anything – but I left out the topping!  My recently cast-less foot was starting to hurt and so I just figured this cake will be just as good without – and it was!

Enterprising family members informed me that it was the perfect “underneath” for ice cream as well 😉

And because I just love this part of one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s motivational books, I thought I would share it with you:

“You are complete, peaceful, and fulfilled.

Being complete does not mean we have nothing more to learn, do, be, or become.  Being complete means we have the potential to accomplish anything that is naturally a part of the universe.” (The First Element, page 88)

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Dr. Tae Yun Kim, has been encouraging all her students to eat organically, eat good foods, balanced diet.  Part of that is eating mostly whatever is in season!

It is definitely berry season here in Northern California, and right at the moment, black berries are prime time!  They are delicious right as they are, but if your family got a ton of them – what’s the best option?  For us, that would be pie!

Now, I had in mind, to show you each step how I make the pie, but somehow the pie ended up in the oven and had completely forgotten to take pictures.  Sigh.  Maybe I needed to make another pie?

As so often happens, a quote right out of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s book “Seven Steps to Inner Power” came to mind:

“The key to creating harmony in all your life is to live only in the present moment.  Do you do that?  don’t be surprised if you find that an examination of your thought habits reveals that you never or hardly ever live in the present moment.  When it is now, how often are you mentally somewhere else, thinking or worrying about what just happened or what’s going to happen?  Is your mental video recorder constantly playing pictures of the past and concerns for the future?  If so, you are giving up your creative power in the present moment.” (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 53,54)

Yes, guilty as charged!  As I was putting together the pie, my mind was elsewhere, and it was obvious.  I was far away from the present moment, and I forgot to take pictures of what I was making.  Luckily, I did measure out everything right, and the pie was smashing success!

Normally, I use this pie crust recipe from Shirley.  It is very simple, and easy, and most importantly, it tastes like pie crust is meant to taste – good!  Not some cardboard imitations of a pie crust!  Some pies, I love crustless.  But some pies must have a good, old-fashioned crust, and this is one of them.

For the filling, I do a standard 5-6 cups of blackberries mixed with a little cinnamon and approximately 3 -4 TSP of either arrowroot, or tapioca starch, or corn starch if I don’t have anything else.  I use coconut sugar to taste, it depends on how sweet the berries are.  I have also found that honey works very well!

Sometimes I mix in cinnamon, sometimes vanilla, sometimes even almond extract.  Once in a while I sprinkle some lemon juice – I don’t really measure too much for the filling other than perhaps the amount of starch.  Oh, confession time – sometimes I let the berries soak in some brandy – also very very good!

As you can see from the pictures, this time I did something I normally don’t do – I used a ready-made gluten-free pie crust. This came from Whole Foods Store. I had just gotten my cast removed and can move now, but at the same time – this moving is also a lot more painful – therefore the shortcut on the crust.

For the topping, I used this recipe  – delicious and gluten free!

So, here is the finished beauty – I did not forget to take pictures of the baked pie!

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Additional note:  This pie was made with all gluten free ingredients.  The oatmeal/oat flour was certified gluten free, and the rest of the items were naturally gluten free.

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2013-07-02 dumplings on plate

It’s still hot here – in the 90s.  But I was inspired to cook a favorite childhood comfort food after Dr.  Tae Yun Kim invited us to help pick and taste test her apricots and early plums.

2013-07-01 home grown apricots

While picking this most delicious and sweet fruit, Dr. Tae Yun Kim talked about patience – as in, when you want to harvest your own fruit, you have to be patient and wait for it.  There is no speeding up the process!  You cannot harvest the flowers, or the hard green fruit – you must wait!

I couldn’t get apricot dumplings out of my mind.  I hadn’t made them in a very long time ( such as, about 30 years or so) and now there was the added challenge of making them gluten-free.

Following the basic recipe, I boiled 5 medium potatoes, whole, skin and all, until they were soft, and let them cool off.

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After peeling them, I forced them through a strainer (mashing them doesn’t work well here), and added 2 medium/large eggs, a couple of tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup almond flour, and enough gluten-free flour to make a soft, pliable, but not sticky dough.

2013-07-02 apricot dumpling dough

I covered the dough and prepared the apricots, by cutting them just enough to get the pit out and putting in a half tsp of honey, more if you like it really sweet.

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Then, I wrapped each apricot into its own piece of dough.  Sorry about the fuzzy picture.

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The traditional recipe calls for boiling the dumplings in water.  However, I prefer to steam them.  Here they are all lined up in my steamer:

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I steamed them for about 20 minutes and sprinkled them with ground pistachios.  (Traditionally you would serve them with breadcrumbs, fried in butter, and liberal amounts of powdered sugar.)

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Now try this, and enjoy!  Let me know how you like them!

Note: I made this with Shirley’s gluten free flour mix, which you can see here, in her notes after the recipe.  I am pretty sure it would work with a lot of different combinations!

2013-07-02 split open dumpling

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A few years ago Dr. Tae Yun Kim went to Jeju island, Korea.  I got to come with her, as videographer.  All was well, except it was extremely hot.  Hot and humid, as in, over 100 degrees, and about 80+ humidity.  Dr.  Kim was cool as a cucumber, in her black, knit St. Johns pantsuit, not even breaking a sweat, while the rest of us were moaning and groaning and sweating like crazy.

Add to that the fact that most Koreans do not like air conditioning, so the rooms and lecture halls that she was giving speeches in, had no A/C, and the fan, if there was one, operated at a speed slower than snails.

Your thoughts create your reality!  This is one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s signature sayings.  She also said that if you focus on the heat, you will feel the heat a lot more.  If you focus on being cool, the heat will not get to you.

Dr.  Tae Yun Kim also says that “The first step in taking charge of your life is to learn to take charge of your thinking.  The difference between a limited you and an unlimited you begins with your attitude and state of mind.” (Seven steps to Inner Power, page 17)

So, in furnace like weather like today – mid 90s – I thought about that a lot.  And among other things, ice cream came to mind!

Armed with a recipe for ice cream from Shirley (You can find it here) I got our new blender ready – love this totally insanely great machine!  No, they don’t pay me for writing this and they don’t even know I exist, but here is the beauty:

2013-06-29 Blend tec Blender

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Look at all these helpful buttons!  I have used almost all them and this is really great machine!

I put all ingredients into the blender, and had some fun.

2013-06-29 Blend tec ready

I even went outside to get some roses for the ice cream bowls.

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From my taste tests during the preparation, I knew I had a winner!  It was completely wonderful!

2013-06-30 Chunky Monkey knock off

So, when it’s hot out there – do yourself a favor – make this ice cream and chill!

New note to this blog: this is indeed the best ice cream ever!  It was just declared such by a 16-year old ice cream afficionado/connoisseur…

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Cooking is definitely a creative process.  Whether you follow a recipe exactly as is, or whether you develop your own recipes, or whether you are somewhere in between, creativity is needed!

And what does Dr.  Tae Yun Kim say about creativity?  Here is a little gem:

“You can have whatever you can think.  Because we have such great freedom to create, we must take responsibility to use our power constructively!” (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 32)

Korean food is highly creative and its hard to get exact recipes.  I have had these stuffed peppers in several restaurants, and usually they are dipped in egg and fried.  I try to minimize my fried food intake, and I thought I would do some experimentation in re-creating this delicious and gluten-free dish.

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First, I cut a few Jalapeno peppers in half, lengthwise, and baked them in the oven just enough to make them a little soft, at 350.  This will probably take about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cleaned some leaks and cut them fine

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I sautéed some hamburger meat (from grass-fed beef) with a liberal amount of garlic and chopped onions, and then added the leeks.

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At this point you can add spinach if you like, or any other veggies, although, if you decide to add carrots and other “hard” vegetables, pre-cook them to make sure they are cooked.

Salt and pepper to your taste, and if you want to make sure you get the Asian flavor, put in some gluten-free soy sauce and/or gluten-free hot bean paste called “Goju-jang.”  Go easy at first, until it’s hot enough to your liking.

Then, stuff the pre-cooked peppers, and heat them up in the oven.

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Enjoy one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s favorite dishes!

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2013-06-22 12.36

Today, I decided to take charge and get back into the kitchen.  After all, I had just read what Dr. Tae Yun Kim has to say about taking charge:

“Who are you?  Waiting quietly within you is a Presence, a Force, a state of Consciousness that gives you power to overcome mental and physical limitations in your life power to harmonize and change discordant situations, power to create and to achieve goals, power to experience peace and joy regardless of the circumstances around you – power to be who you really are.” (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 3)

All right – armed with these positive feelings, I made my way into the kitchen.  I wanted to make something easy, yet very comforting.  I found the perfect recipe for that here: http://glutenfreeeasily.com/gluten-free-mug-pancake/

I absolutely love the idea of mug muffins, mug cakes, mug anything.

I wanted to experience that joy mentioned above, and so I set to work.  As I was assembling the ingredients, I saw some lonely black berries in the refrigerator, and right away I had an idea.  What if I made that mug pancake with its own sauce/syrup in the mug?  Hmmmmmm.  I heard Dr. Tae Yun Kim’s voice in my head ” how are you going to find out unless you try?  What do you have to lose?

I put some maple syrup on the bottom of the mug, and added some black berries, and microwaved that for a little less than 2 minutes.

I mixed the rest of the ingredients (substituting coconut oil for the butter) in a separate bowl

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and poured it over the “sauce” in the mug/ramekin.

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I cooked it according to the directions, and the most delicious pancake with built-in syrup was ready!

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The flowers, by the way, are a gift from Shirley, the originator of this recipe, and a dear friend. After 10 days, they continue to provide great enjoyment!

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