Monday, December 05, 2005

Overstuffed at The Holidays

I don't tend to overeat during the holiday season since veggies are my favorite food. OK, I will admit that I am a sucker for chocolate but only the dark kind and as we know it provides beneficial antioxidants. Heck eating chocolate may even lower my blood pressure although it's already just fine. I'll even eat the 85% dark which truly has minimal sugar and lots of attractive bitter flavor. My favorite bar is made by Dagoba ( and is called Xocolatl (the Mayan name for chocolate). It's 74% dark with chilies, cacao nibs, maca and nutmeg. Maybe it gets my endorphins going or is an aphrodisiac but for me it's all about the bittersweet and hot taste.

I heard about chocolate with smoked sea salt on it from Seattle. Sounds strange to me but since I really like smoked salt (look for it on my website early next year) I might give it a try. This is a good reminder about being open to possibilities, for one never knows.

I like to take time during the holiday season to show appreciation. I find that the best gifts are those that someone would not get for themselves - be it a hug, a smile, a warm hat, a massage, expensive oil, a three dollar chocolate bar and on and on. Or make gifts.

There's nothing easier to make than flavored vinegar. Get a nice bottle, some halfway decent or better red wine, white wine or golden balsamic (the best is Spectrum organic) vinegar. Put clean herb sprigs in the bottle along with peppercorns, garlic cloves, chile peppers or a combination of these and fill the bottle with vinegar. Put in the closet until gift giving time and there you go. Some of my favorite combinations are basil, garlic and peppercorns or rosemary and garlic. Let you imagination go wild. This vinegar can be sprinkled on salads, eliminating the need for oil, or used in your favorite salad dressing recipe.

I also like to make vegan biscotti as a gift since they last a long time and people think that they are hard to make. There is a great article about them (but alas without my wonderful recipe but feel free to email me for it) at Vegetarian Resouce Group (

Remember to take the time to breather deeply, the holidays are coming. And then we can look forward to a New Year.

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