Thursday, September 22, 2011

Himalayan Salt - Sole Solution - Water of Life!

One of my most popular posts was about Himalayan Salt and the healing benefits from the 85 trace minerals. Now I would like to introduce to you the benefits of Sole (so-lay). Energy produced from combining purified water + Himalayan Salt Crystals.

Life is Energy… When water and salt are combined, they form a new element, Sole. Sole is Life. It’s essential mineral infusion for the body. You can balance your energy simply and naturally by drinking a Sole Solution each day. This will balance the pH factor of your body; remove heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, amalgam and calcium because the crystal salt is able to break up their molecular structures.

This process of drinking Sole solution will help balance the body and normalize blood pressure. It can also help with skin diseases, acne, addictive cravings, dissolve kidney and gall bladder stones and aid in arthritis.

Follow these steps to make Sole Solution:

Step 1 - Place Himalayan Salt Crystals in a glass jar with a lid. Add 3 inches of good quality spring water to the jar filled with crystals and let it set overnight. Make sure the crystals are covered with water.

Step 2 - In the morning, check to see if the salt crystals have dissolved. Then add a few more salt crystals to the water. The Sole is ready when the water is fully saturated with salt and can’t hold any more. The will not dissolve at this stage. Add salt crystals to remain in the water. As you use the Sole, add more water and more salt until the water is saturated again. Remember to always have undissolved salt crystals in the water. This will tell you that the water is totally saturated with salt.

Step 3 – Each morning before you eat or drink anything, add one teaspoon of the Sole Solution to a glass of spring water and drink it. This will energize your body with vibrations for 24 hours.

Keep the jar lid on tight to keep the water from evaporating. Leave it out at room temperature.

Sole Sacred Bath Salt Solution - Full Moon Phase – Healing Process for the body is at its peak during a full moon phase. The cleansing effect of this process is easy to make by making a Sole Sacred Bath Salt Solution, an ancient ritual performed by the Celtics. This is equal to a 3-day fast. (I like that!) Toxins are released into the water and the 84 trace minerals are absorbed in the skin and the process will rid the body of skin irritations, inflammation and many other health issues.

Sacred Sole Bath Salt Solution Recipe:

2 lbs of Himalayan Bath Salt

10 drops Rosemary Oil

10 Drops Lavender Oil

5 Drops Sage Oil

Fill with hot water in a glass jar. Pour the drops of oil into the water and seal. Occasionally turn the jar over every few hours until the crystals dissolve. Then fill the tub and bring the temperature of the bath water to 98.6 degrees with a thermometer. This temperature is the important to maintain an energy balance with the body.

Light some candles meditate to some peaceful music and enjoy the process of purification. This process should be 30 minutes.

After your bath, gently pat dry and almost air dry. Don’t use any lotions or chemical substances and don’t show until the following day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Smoked Salt Honey Almonds

This past weekend was so splendid! We had our first touch of rain in 100 days. Friday night I was so excited to hear the roar of thunder and soft gentle patter of rain for a few hours. Candles lit on the mantel, lights dimmed and it was a spectacular feeling. Saturday morning was a great day to hit the local farmers market and I ventured out to pick up some fruits and vegetables. However I was smitten with some local honey that a farmer had on display and picked up a jar. I knew I would be using it for my favorite granola recipe, in my tea and on a slice of toast. But on the way home I thought about this new smoked salt I just purchased and thought it would make a nice accompaniment to some honey glazed almonds.

Almonds are a great little snack to have lying around when you want something crunchy and don’t want to reach for the chips! I like to make different kinds of nut noshes to snack on and they make a great addition to lunch box meals.

Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt – This deep rich woody smoked salt contains trace minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. It’s, 100% natural and solar evaporated that is gathered from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Smoked sea salt is thought to be healthier and many rave about its bright clean flavor.

Smoked Salt Honey Almonds

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

3 Cups Whole Almonds

¼ Cup Honey

1 Tablespoon Smoked Sea Salt ( I used Alder-wood Smoked Sea Salt)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add olive oil. Add Almonds to the skillet and roasted tossing them around so they don’t burn. You will smell the almonds starting to roast after a few minutes.

Add the Smoked Sea Sat and Honey and toss together to coat well.

Transfer the honey coated nuts to a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread nuts out evenly.

Bake in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until the honey begins to dry. Let nuts cool completely before packaging in air tight container.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Opal Thai Basil

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in cooking is seeking out specialty stores in the area where I can purchase quality ingredients. Just recently I discovered an Asian World Market near my home that has the best selection of produce, fish and all kinds of things from Asia that I have never seen before. The first time I went in this place I was floored by how wonderful their fish market was compared to our terrible local Albertsons, Tom Thumbs and Kroger grocery stores. I just love fresh fish and find it so difficult to enjoy it in Dallas due to poor selection. When I would purchase fish it would be from Whole Foods, Central Market or Market Street and they still had fish that had been frozen and wasn’t like fish I would have when close to the coast.

This fish market is packed with so many types of fish, many I hadn’t even seen before. I was just in awe with trying to make my selection. On Saturday’s they had big bins filled with ice and a wonderful selection of fresh whole trout was out on display. I couldn’t resist it. Just the thought of grilling a whole trout with herb oil a fresh squeeze of lemon made me so excited!

I ventured to the produce department and purchased a 4oz bag of Opal Thai Basil for $1.59! Not only do they have the best selections of items, their prices were outstanding. Fresh fish, fresh produce and an enormous selection of anything you can image Asian. It is my new favorite place.

This grilled trout is so easy to prepare, healthy and packed with flavors you will want to make this for a quick dinner, for guests or on a late Sunday evening enjoying a nice glass of wine.

Make sure to purchase your fresh fish by checking the eyes for clarity. Fish with cloudy looking eyes is a sign of fish that isn’t fresh and always ask to smell it. If it’s fishy, throw it back! Fish shouldn’t smell fishy it should smell very fresh. You will know the difference immediately.

Herb Oil - To prepare your herb oil, in a food processor, add your fresh herbs, a clove of garlic, sea salt and pepper. Give it a whirl, just enough to break of the herbs and garlic. You don’t want to emulsify the oil. Pour in a dish and set aside.

Whole Grilled Fish - To prepare your whole grilled fish, have your fishmonger remove the gills, guts and scales, ask them to pack it on ice so you can keep it fresh until ready to prepare. It’s very important to prepare the fish the same day so it will be in peak flavor. Slash the fish on each side about three times which will help the fish cook evenly. Otherwise your fish will be raw in the center.

Grilling fish is tricky so you want to make sure your grill is clean and oiled by using a paper towel and rubbing it on the grill grates. Season your fish inside and out very well with a mixture of sea salt and pepper. Do not add any additional seasonings at this point. To maximize the flavor of seasoning you will do this when it comes off the grill.

Prepare your grill to a MEDIUM heat and if you want a hint of smoky flavor, soak some hickory chips in water and add the grill to impart some added favor. Grill the fish on each side for approximately 10-12 minutes and then carefully turn over using a couple of spatulas or if you have a fish basket, even better. Only flip the fish one time. You will know when it’s done by looking through the slits and seeing the back bone and the flesh is cooked through. Transfer the fish to a serving dish and drizzle with the herb oil and serve with fresh lemon.

I made herb oil using an incredibly fragrant Thai Basil. Deep purple stems and a hint of licorice, Opal Thai Basil is sweet and spicy. Basil is from the mint family, is used to aid in digestion and has a history of healing anxiety, headaches and is nutritionally rich in anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Medicinal Properties include antidepressant, antiseptic, stimulant, antibacterial and expectorant.

Basil has been used to attract love, wealth, protection, fertility and purify the soul in exorcisms.

There are a variety of culinary uses in teas, soups, sauces, salad, pastas, oils and vinegars.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roasting Grapes!

This past weekend was a nice break from the scorching Texas heat we have had all summer. An old friend was in town and we decided to check out the farmers market and get something to fix for dinner, have a cocktail and enjoy the outdoors for the first time in a few months.

As we strolled along the walkway we couldn’t decide on what produce to pick up and then I spotted a tray of beautiful red and purple grapes. We started to pick off a piece to eat but the farmers were not too happy with that so they offered us a sample from their batch. These were so sweet and plump, I knew I had to do something with these. So we bought a few clusters and headed home.

At first we thought we would just use in a salad and make a nice dressing, but then I thought, lets, roast these suckers with some herbs and have it with some nice Gorgonzola cheese and grilled baguettes. That sounded perfect since we knew we wouldn’t eat a full meal until late for all the drinking and talking.

Roasting grapes bring out their natural sweetness and intensifies the flavors. Fresh thyme was the perfect herb to toss with them, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. I just threw them on a baking sheet and roasted on 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. I didn’t want them to break down too much because I can’t stand raisins, just a little bit of a wrinkle and softness to the touch.

I mixed a little heavy cream with Gorgonzola cheese to make it spread a little easier, sliced some French baguette bread and brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled on each side. Then the moment of love…We couldn’t get enough of these. They were so good! Sweet – Savory – Salty – Tangy…OMG these were a flavor explosion in our mouths.

We couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of this before. We were thinking up different ways to use these roasted grapes, sliced and sautéed with a port sauce, served with grilled or roasted poultry, in our holiday stuffing, mixed with wild rice and toasted almonds, a hearty winter salad with walnut oil, aged Parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts!

While we were roasting, drinking and enjoying our new found treat I told a funny story of my youth. I have always loved grapes and I remember when I would walk to school, I knew of several places along the way that had grapevines growing on the sides of houses, on the fence lines. I remember in the spring when the vines would just start to bloom and the white flowers would sprout. I would watch the process of blooming and couldn’t wait for the grapes to start to form. Every day when walking to school, I would check those grapevines waiting for the grapes to get larger and larger. One time I decided to go ahead and pop a green unripe grape in my mouth and boy was I excited. These were so good, sour and fun for a kid to eat! I would snack on those green grapes until my stomach would ache. Then when the grapes started to turn purple and soften they would be so sweet and unlike anything we ever brought home from the store. Those were some fond memories and something I hadn’t thought of until we started the process of roasting these grapes.

Grapes have been used for medicinal and nutritional purposed for thousands of years. The Egyptians ate grates 6000 years ago and several ancient Greek philosophers praised the healing power of grapes, usually in the form of wine. (Well of course!) However European healers would make ointment from the sap of the grapevines to treat skin and eye disorders. Grape leaves were used to stop bleeding, pain and inflammation brought on by hemorrhoids. Unripe grapes were used to treat sore throats. Round, sweet grapes were used to treat health problems such as smallpox, kidney and liver diseases.