Tag Archives: Mocha

A Signature Smoothie

Standard

I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

Yellow

Standard

Sunflower .  .  .

Bee Pollen .  .  .

School Bus .  .  .

M & M  .  .  .

I don’t know how to name it; that deep, saturated, syrupy, golden-yellow that hitchhikes in on a slant of late summer and gifts the world with the profound, happy wisdom of a primary color.

When I gaze at the word “primary” and rotate it around on the lazy Susan of my mind, I think of it as meaning: First. Original. Source.

It’s a beginning. A piece of purity. It stands in contrast to the mangled creations of my imagination. The ones tainted with memories and habitual reactions to those memories.

The chaff I’d like to rake out from my fields of mental-thought, so that I can live in the cleanliness of pure yellow. In all its happy innocence.

But somewhere along the riverbanks of life, I lost a lot of my innocence. And I began to dwell in melancholy.

It was comfortable. In a strange way, it felt like home. As though I’d lived there before.

I knew the protocol and the inflections. I could walk the gait of the lonely along the moors.

This is the onset of my private Blue Period. It arrives like a marauding uncle without much warning .  .  . a drifter sad and blue.

The antidote is: Yellow.

When I’m conscious enough to catch myself hoboing into the silky arms of melancholia – that train without a track – I halter myself with images of yellow.

Yellow ascends.

And I follow like a Velcro balloon craving attachment. Once we connect, I feel a lighter beingness. I begin to settle into the coven of contentment. I start to peel my sagging countenance up from the sidewalk and stand in the spotlight of a loving, happy force that applauds my discipline.

I’m at war in these moments. A quiet inner war. With the blue note in my soul that I was born to wrestle in this lifetime. With the minor keys I’m destined to play on the piano of my universe.

My peace is to huddle next to a yellow wall. An entire wall of blossoming, rising happiness – the warm air of love on a vacant street corner.

Woman - Walking Against Yellow Wall

This wall is especially seductive as the world turns tortoiseshell.

As October marbles into November.

As colors swirl from gold to brown.

As the browning of late autumn signals the advent of burrowing in for winter.

As musing twirls to mocha.

As I peek through the lacework of naked trees, it’s the cozy of yellow I chase.

 

 

Lemon Chiffon

Standard

It was early morning. I wandered out into the front courtyard garden and was greeted by a late-blooming lily of exquisite delicacy. Flower - Lily

 

Like a parachute at dawn, this lily had silently landed – petals spread aghast – in a color impossibly soft.

 

Made of flouncy fabric with ruffled edges, so like a trill of tiny pie shell scallops that I jolted.

 

“Lemon Chiffon,” I thought.

 

Yes. The lemon silk pies my mother baked in the moist summer heat of her cherished kitchen.

Pie - Lemon Meringue

Attributed to BettyCrocker

 

The kitchen designed in tones of mocha icing: big brown blocks of linoleum knitted the floor together in a spray of geometric patterns. Countertops were speckled with confetti inlays of chocolate and bronze-metallic.

 

Why, I wonder, was tidy splatter ever appealing as décor in the 1960s?

 

Was it the mirror of a rebellion brewing in the human heart, or, something simpler: camouflage for crumbs?

 

My mother’s kitchen was, always, well-scrubbed with elbow grease. She had little to hide. Perhaps just a few . . .

 

Stealthy crumbs like pie crust crystals left behind after the rolling pin ironed the dough ball flat and the pewter knife trimmed the jagged ends and the crooked knuckles of my mother’s hands had crimped the 9” diameter of a tenderized tin plate.

 

The hot clammy summer weather soothed her crippled fingers, while its weight caused the pastry ruching to droop.

 

The process always looked futile.

 

Until she poured molten lemon custard from a stainless steel double boiler into the slumping, buttery pie shell.

 

And slide the tarnished pan onto the oven’s middle rack, baking it at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

 

Tangy Lemon Chiffon Pie Photo by Taste of Home

Although this routine raised the already sweltering heat of the kitchen, she produced an animated, flaky-crusted, glossy-skinned meringue that floated cloud-like atop a lemon silk pie.

 

Impossibly soft in color.

 

Tartly refreshing in flavor.

 

Bordered with crisp, fluted edges.

 

Just like the perfect lemon chiffon summer.

 

And as the dog days of summer relax their bark and collar their bite, a slice of nostalgia seems so fitting to me.

 

A vision carried from childhood on the breath of God.

 

A snapshot of mother-magic.

 

To boost me forward on my earthwalk.

 

My Cake House

Standard

tuxpi.com.1428006931I grew up in a three-tiered, cedar-shingled, mocha-iced cake of a house.

As I like to think, in retrospect, it was a tribute to my mother’s dessert specialty – that silky brown confection of mocha icing brocading over two layers of yellow cake.

Most every house on Greenway Avenue was either white or a grim red brick. In fact, those were the top choices for nearly every house in my suburban neighborhood. It was central New Jersey in the 1950s and paint colors were about as blank as our writing tablets and coloring books.

Perhaps it was in respect to The Good War – World War II – that the houses were somber and the housewives were demure. We were, in fact, giving birth to babies and hope at an alarming rate, but, nevertheless, these passions did not translate into color statements in my childhood.

Consequently, I was awed as a little girl that I lived in a home with an expression of personal identity. I couldn’t conceptualize this at the time, but, I did take note that there was a difference between my house and the houses of my friends.

The mocha icing seeped inside also. My mother had slipcovers made to update our hand-me-down furniture. And these were stitched in tones of brown and autumn gold. They created a soft, warm inviting effect that drew au courant comments from many a middle-class visitor. They also connected my family with our autumnal birth dates .  .  . all October’s children were we. Greenway Ave. - in Polaroid

Yes, Mom had a knack for making life look pretty and taste delicious. I think I inherited a tidbit of her talent. For as I grew into adulthood, I collected ragged old antique furnishings and clothing. Junking became a passion. And transforming an anonymous person’s trash into my personal expression of being became my art form.

I’ve always had a quirky tilt toward the abandoned, the rusted, the flaking, the fraying, the desolate.

I’ve always wanted to adopt the jilted objects of affection and buoy their souls with color – or – perhaps it was simply ferreting out the innate color of their souls that I’ve spent a lifetime questing for.

Regardless, I credit my mom for painting our aged, shingled house with a blend of chocolate and coffee.

Mocha. Probably the first color that shaped my destiny. And most likely to be the final color that places the psalm of a grace note on my life.

I may not like the taste of coffee, but, I love its velvety color and its fragrance of Home.