My recent Cooking Class at Central Market was focused on all of the wonderful things you can do with chocolate. While I didn’t care for the Chocolate Marinara Sauce, it even sounds bad, I loved the Chocolate Chunk & Cherry Biscotti, the Chocolate Bark with Cranberries and Almonds, but my favorite was the Chocolate Truffles. So decadent!
- 16 ounces of Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips (you’ll need two bags)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
You can also use fresh mint, almond extract or if you want more decadence – cook down 1 cup of Red Wine. Any of these ingredients can be used in place of the cinnamon and vanilla.
- Heat cream to simmer.
- Add vanilla and cinnamon (or other flavoring).
- Remove cream from heat.
- Add chocolate to cream and stir.
- Allow chocolate to set two hours in refrigerator.
- Scoop out with a spoon and roll into balls with your hands. (This is the tricky – and messy – part!)
- Chill overnight.
- Roll into mixture of 3 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp cinnamon.
These are perfect for a Mindful Eating Exercise. Enjoy!
Guests love our latest menu addition, Moroccan Chicken, served over Quinoa with dried cranberries and East Texas pecans mixed in. You can also serve on top of rice or pasta. Or add potatoes and veggies and make a stew. It’s a perfect hearty meal as the weather starts to cool down. And the leftovers can be frozen for another day.
Heather created our Morroccan Chicken Recipe for dinner on Saturday evening. We use leftover roast chicken and roasted veggies from Friday. The following recipe is from scratch.
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 4 onions- slice 2 onions and roughly chop the other 2
- 2-28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
- 2 inch fresh ginger(about 1 tablespoon)chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 medium carrots (about 6 inches long) peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup red wine
The latest addition to our summer retreat menu is this amazing cake. Not only is it delicious, it’s patriotic! The red from the raspberiess, the blue from the blueberries plus the dusting of white powdered sugar, make this the perfect addition to your July 4th festivities. And while Heather, our head chef, created this for Brunch, it’s also perfect as a dessert for your BBQ.
We get our blueberries from Ham Orchards and our organic raspberries from Costco. You could also use peaches for a different twist, also available at Ham’s.
Ham Orchards is located just outside of Terrell on Highway 80 and draws crowds with their fresh produce, to-die-for peach ice cream and peach smoked BBQ, including chicken, brisket and pork. It’s a nice drive from Dallas, but just a warning, they close mid-August.
Summer time, when cool and easy to prepare foods are a necessity! Guacamole is one of my favorites – appetizer, side dish or main dish. I’m only half kidding! I’ve been known to put a serious dent in a bowl of guacamole.
If you follow Ayurveda at all, you’ll know if you eat hot foods, you’ll feel warmer, while eating cool or room temperature foods can keep you cooler in the heat of summer.
A couple of tips: I like to buy my avacodos before they’re ripe and then let ripen in a paper bag. I always wash my produce before slicing into it, even organic, you never know what might be on the outside and if you cut into it, you risk spreading bacteria or something worse. If you put the lime in the microwave for about ten seconds (no more or you could have a disaster!), you can easily squeeze all of the juice out of it.
If you love fresh asparagus, or maybe you merely like it, this recipe will have you hooked. Perhaps your only experience with asparagus was asparagus in the can, the good news – fresh asparagus tastes NOTHING like canned asparagus. Thank goodness!
Just in time for asparagus season, this guest favorite is nice as a side dish, or with the addition of a protein (grilled chicken or quinoa are my favorites), a perfect warm weather main dish.
- 2 lbs asparagus
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup toasted walnuts
- ¾ cup Feta (or crumbled blue or goat cheese to add an interesting twist)
Risotto has been one of my favorite dishes for as long as I can remember. I found a recipe, and of course, made it healthier. This version can be made vegetarian by substituting veggie stock for chicken stock.
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 red onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pkg mushrooms, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt & pepper
- 1 ½ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cup Chicken or Veggie broth
- ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
One of my favorite creations from Kaycee, homemade applesauce, it’s delicious, yet simple. A great way to start your morning, by itself, or on top of our Ayurvedic Crockpot Oatmeal. Or for a snack, with a little more decadence, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Or still creamy, yet not as decadent, a dollop of Greek Yogurt. And of course I add extra cinnamon on top of mine for extra deliciousness.
- 5 lb of apples (peeled and cut into chunks)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
Sweet potatoes are abundant in East Texas in the Fall. Join us for a retreat the fourth weekend in October and you can check out the Golden Sweet Potato Festival. So much fun…even Oprah made a visit a few years ago.
We absolutely love sweet potatoes, not only for their great taste, but also for the nutritional value. They are high in fiber, yet low in sugar, plus a great source of Vitamin A (366% of the necessary daily requirement).
We serve mashed sweet potatoes and mini sweet potato pies (as a birthday treat) in the Winter. We add sweet potatoes to our Chicken & Vegetable Curry and we have a to-die-for sweet potato hash on Sunday mornings during our Fall and Winter retreats. But this recipe is my absolute favorite. A little bit of spice makes it interesting. This is especially good for you, based on Ayurveda principles, to warm you up in cooler weather and keep your digestive system happy and functioning properly. Plus, you can make a double batch and freeze what you don’t use. Enjoy!
Now’s the perfect time to savor the flavors of summer before it’s too late. The end of summer is always bittersweet for me – the promise of cooler weather, yet the end of the season for my favorite fruits and veggies. There’s nothing better than a juicy peach from Ham Orchards or a handful of plump East Texas Blueberries to make my heart sing.
If you have yet to savor our freshly prepared, Farm to Table dishes, you’re in for a treat. Our guests rave about our healthy and delicious meals, prepared with lots of love – from locally sourced produce and meat to homemade rosemary and garlic breads. Best of all, you don’t have to lift a finger. No chopping, no cooking, no cleaning up – just relaxing, chatting and enjoying the flavors. Hungry for homemade meals alongside yoga, laughter and wine? Book here.
Winter is officially here, but if you’re in Texas you wouldn’t know it. I promise I’m not complaining. The 70 degree days don’t really fit with the holiday festivities, but with February right around the corner I know I won’t be the only Texan missing these blue sky, balmy days of early winter.
According to Ayurvedic principles, Winter is the season that our digestive fire is the strongest. To maintain balance in our bodies during the winter months, Ayurvedic principles encourage eating foods that are warm, cooked, slightly oily, and well spiced. With our bodies being naturally inclined towards heavier foods during this season, oatmeal makes the perfect meal to begin those cold, winter mornings.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurvedic principles, read this: Winter Guide. We also share Ayurvedic Cooking & Eating Tips at our Detox Retreats.