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Category Archives: drink

Ginger and Turmeric Matcha Latte

Inspired by the drink a made when I was under the weather, I started making this latte. Apparently it should be great for your skin as turmeric and ginger are anti inflammatory (less puffiness and wrinkles) and matcha is full of antioxidants. I have to say, it keeps me awake if not glowing and that’s good enough.

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ginger and turmeric matcha latte

Ginger and Turmeric Matcha Latte:

1 1/2 cm fresh ginger

1 1/2 cm fresh turmeric

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp matcha

1 tsp honey or agave syrup

  1. Peel Ginger and tumeric, chop and put with milk in a pot. Let it simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the milk.
  2. Strain milk into a blender (I don’t like bits of ginger and tumeric in my latte). Add matcha and honey and blitz until incorporated and foamy. Pour into a glass or cup and enjoy.

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Have you noticed that sometimes bad film are so bad, they are good? Like ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ or ‘Psychos in Love’ (my absolute favourite and worth a little cult following).

And then on the other hand you have critically acclaimed films which I cant even force myself watching as they are boring as fart and totally overrated. Let me give ‘for instance’:

  1. ‘English Patient’. WTF?! Tried 3 times to watch it and every time after first 5 minutes wanted to scream and hit my head on the wall. It is too boring, long, self indulgent, snobbish and it seemed like the whole movie was made with one and only thought in mind – to impress the Film Academy. I think it blinded some of the critics as well, but frankly my dear, I wasn’t giving a damn.
  2. ‘Notebook’. What is it with teenage girls and older women with the nature of teenage girls (exaltation, naivety and the longing for the romance) that makes them love this film so much. To me it is a cringe worthy movie, I felt embarrassed for Nick Cassavates as clearly he wasn’t, as he put his name on such a bad film. I wander what his father (a great director with integrity) would say. Again, couldn’t watch it, lasted only 5 minutes, tried to watch the middle of the film, still found it boring.
  3. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. I am sorry, but if you are rolling your eyes every 3 minutes, you know it is bad. The heroine is self-centred, vain and irritating. How can you understand a women who’s got everything, no big tragedy in her life, suddenly saying she’s sick of herself and going on a break to Europe and then India. News flash love, we are all sick of you. Sick of privileged people like you who don’t know what it means to go hungry for days, not having enough money to buy clothes for their children. Find me one person who wouldn’t love to go around the world to discover themselves. Then to make it even more eye rolling, the heroine hooks up with another boring guy, as she got bored of the first one. I mean, you could do that and still make it sound interesting, but the author of the book must be less intelligent, less interesting and a bad writer because she didn’t make me buy the story. She treated every native in a patronizing way, and who didn’t think of going to India for a bit of enlightenment and self- discovery? Funny though, she didn’t find herself but a Texan. Like the way of fixing yourself is to be with someone. Puhleaaaas…

I could go on and on. Sometimes I shout at TV. I also have got a pet hate for scripts where half the way something is important (like milking cows, because you own a ranch) but in the second part of the film totally forgetting about it, and never mentioning it (because the character’s family spends all days in town court as they fight for something, like piece of land or some shit, but I can’t concentrate as I am shocked no one is left home to milk the cows. WHO IS MILKING THE COWS YOUR LOUSY FARMERS?!)

Rant’s over

Ginger and Turmeric Drink

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turmeric and ginger drink

Yes, it was my birthday last week, thank you very much for you birthday wishes, you know who you are….

I was off work for 12 days so I was really looking forward to chill, relax and catch up on things I never have time to do. But it was my birthday, so it had to suck a bit traditionally. As it happens, I wasn’t well all the time (and I am still not). Not psychologically, that’s settled ages ago and it’s not going anywhere.

I got some kind of a flew or cold and some organs of my body stopped functioning properly. It’s like my body knows I am busy so it has to function, as soon as I am on my ‘me’ time, every cell knows and thinks now it’s the the time to mess around a bit.

Normally I would self medicate myself with wine, but seriously, I wasn’t even able to do it.

So I started making a drink which was like an elixir. Maybe it’s all placebo effect, but I think it actually helped me. After all the ingredients I put into it have anti inflammatory properties. So there.

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Turmeric and Ginger Drink:

2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 cm fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced

2 cups water

2 tbsp honey

juice of 1 lemon

  1. Put ginger, turmeric and water in a pot. I own a very fancy copper pot I got from my sister, not that I am bragging, so I use it for this. Looks cool, works perfectly and I feel very hip doing it. If you are not in a possession of a stylish sister or a fancy pot, sorry…And you are excused to use ordinary, ugly one.
  2. Heat it on the stove, lower the temperature when it starts boiling and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice and honey and enjoy.

I have to add, it wasn’t all misery and dread. I went to 2 concerts – one of Boyfriend’s former band reuniting for one night only – it was fantastic. I wrote all about them in a post with Pasta Aglio Olio e Peperoncino recipe, so go on, do your homework people, because I am not repeating myself.

The second was Fun Loving Criminals, and Huey Morgan followed me and Boyfriend on Twitter, so it was a great night.

I also had dinner with the French family we are friends with, and we talked aesthetics and films, so it was great.

So it wasn’t all chest pain, headache and ‘I am not gonna get out of bed today’.

The good thing about not feeling well is the excuse to watch rubbish TV, and I found a huge comfort in that.

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Have I mentioned that I LOVE autumn? Probably like hundreds of times, but I have to say it over and over again because it’s true. And it always surprises me when early autumn arrives, how excited it makes me feel.

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Nowadays not only colder evenings and crispiness of the air reminds you it’s that time of the year, but also Starbucks by starting to sell their pumpkin lattes.

I love the smell of it, but I can’t stand the amount of sugar which is in it. And autumn is all about comfort, so you need the alternative of your favourite drink, warm blanket and a few DVDs of not so ambitious but oh so comforting films.

To start with you need to make your own pumpkin spiced latte.

I use an Italian coffee maker which looks like this:

ECM

Pumpkin Spice Latte:

pumpkin spice latte

2 tbsp freshly ground coffee

1 cup water

mixture of 1/2  tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/3 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp allspice

1 1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp date or maple syrup

  1. Start by making coffee. Put water at the bottom of your coffee maker, then add coffee mixed with spices in the centre part and screw down the top. Let it brew on the stove.
  2. In the meantime heat the almond (or any milk of your choice) in the pot. When the coffee is done and milk hot, Put your milk with date or maple syrup in the blender and whiz until foamy.
  3. Pour your milk into a tall glass, add coffee and voila!

pumpkin spice latte

Now you just need a really soft and warm blanket and DVDs. My comfort films mostly come from the 80s. I didn’t have a happy childhood, it was like a cross between ‘Mommy Dearest’, ‘A little Princess’ (without the father bit and the happy ending, just the middle bit about living in the attic in poverty), and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – as I was living in my own imaginary world. But I really found comfort in watching films. Even not so good ones (not to point fingers but hello ‘Undaunted Wutang’, you were lost on me but I would never regret meeting you).

Here’s what I like to watch on a crispy autumn day:

  1. ‘Romancing the Stone’. Ah the adventure films of the 80s, how I adore you… There is so much humour and gentle fun poking at some stereotypes in this film.
  2. ‘Legal Eagles’ because I can watch Debra Winger in anything, and I feel nostalgic about this film. I love the fact that Tina Fey as an attorney in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ admits she prepared for the trial by watching ‘Legal Eagles’.
  3. Escape from New York’. Even though it was made in the 80s it still holds the ground and doesn’t look too outdated. Maybe because of the atmosphere and not trying too hard…
  4. All ‘Back To The Future’ films. I still remember going to the cinema to watch them 3 times in a row. Not only because they were so good but also because the life of a school kid looked so much different in America than in my grey communistic reality.
  5. First (or fourth if you like) ‘Star Wars’. It wasn’t released straight away in Poland but a few years after the official premier. Because censorship had to decide if it wasn’t too ideologically corrupted by the rotten West. I was about 9 when I first watched it and my life changed dramatically. I became a ‘Star Wars’ fan. Only the first 3 though. Can’t wait for the new one. Hopefully it will be more like the first – about telling the story and not the special effects.

I could go on, but there is not enough cosy evenings to watch all them. So, till next time!

Calm the Spirit Tea

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calm the spirit tea

calm the spirit tea

I have had anger issues for quite a while. I didn’t used to. Then things happen in my life and I didn’t feel like I could deal with them at the time, so I never worked them out, just suppressed them. Many of us do.

But at some point if you bottle things up, they start to come to the surface at the most unexpected moments. I started having angry outbursts. I am quite temperamental anyway. But the anger was damaging my liver. If you know anything about Chinese medicine, you know that anger is an emotion connected with one organ – liver. And even in Western medicine it’s known that eyes are reflection of your liver’s health. People with liver problems have yellowish eyes, etc. I started having blood vessels bursting in my eyes. It was getting quite annoying, walking around, looking like a vampire with my red eyes.

My dearest friend started studying Chinese medicine, and when she visited me few years ago, she would always say whenever I got angry, ‘cool down, your liver is getting heated’. It was quite funny but you don’t really want to damage your health. So I started doing more yoga and drinking ‘Calm the Spirit Tea’.

After few weeks of drinking the tea people started commenting on my mood. I was bouncy and happy, which wasn’t the case for a long time. I was telling them that I’m drinking this healing tea, and some people started asking for the recipe.

I found it in a book recommended to me by the mentioned friend, ‘Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen’ by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono. According to Chinese medicine it treats restless organ disorder called zang zao, which includes emotional outbursts and distress. It is for anyone suffering from mild depression and emotional distress. I have to say, apart from helping me with my angry outbursts, I can clearly see the depression part being cured as well. My moods seem to be more leveled now, I am quite happy and optimistic. Maybe it is combination of tea, yoga and other things but it works.

The tea was developed by Zhang Zhong Jin (circa 150- 220 CE), one of the most famous physicians in Chinese history, and passed down through centuries. It is still used today and it’s nicknamed ‘Happy Tea’. I am a living example that it works, and even though I hate its sweet taste, I drink it every day.

My anger issues remind me of one film in particular – ‘The Other Guys’. It’s a film about two detectives – Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Walhberg).

Terry Hoitz has got serious anger issues and every time he gets angry I have to laugh, he reminds me of myself so much. So have some tea, keep calm and watch ‘The Other Guys’.

calm the spirit tea

calm the spirit tea

calm the spirit tea

calm the spirit tea

Calm The Spirit Tea

9 grams licorice root

1 tsp triticum (fu xiao mai)

10 Chinese red dates

2 1/2 cups of water

1. Combine everything in a small pot, bring to boil.

2. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Strain out the herbs and serve.

I make sometimes big pot of tea and keep it in fridge.You can get tritictum in Chinese herb stores or the internet.

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Matcha Vanilla Drink

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Matcha Vanilla Drink

Matcha Vanilla Drink

When you need a bit of a kick and an energy boost, nothing works better than matcha. Trust me, I know. It wakes you up and makes you feel bouncy. Which is not like me at all, but there you go.

There is also a film which always gives me a bit of a boost. It’s ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s simply excellent, party on!

If you have never watched it (to which I can only say ‘Bogus. Heinous. Most non-triumphant’), it’s a story about two rock star wannabes who are about to flunk their finals. Their history teacher gives them a last chance to prepare a presentation on how a famous historical personality would react to modern times. Unexpectedly they get help from Rufus, Emissary from the Future. They meet many important historical figures, including Napoleon and Socrates, experience the most bogus adventure and manage to pull of their presentation.

I don’t really care about some historical facts not being exactly right. I laugh every time I watch it and it always make me feel better. There are so many things that make me giggle – for instance when Bill quotes Socrates: “The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing”, to which Ted responds: ‘That’s us, dude’. Or Sigmunt Freud responding to most questions by :’Tell me about your mother’.

So have matcha drink and watch ‘Bill and Ted’ and be excellent to each other…

Matcha Vanilla Drink:

1 tsp matcha

1 tsp Lucuma

1/3 tsp vanilla

1 tsp agave syrup

1/3 cup hot water

1 cup almond milk

1. Mix matcha tea, lucuma, agave syrup and vanilla extract. Add water and mix to a paste.

2. Warm or steam almond milk. Add to your paste, mix well. Enjoy!

matcha vanilla drink

matcha vanilla drink

matcha vanilla drink

matcha vanilla drink

 

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Almond Mocha Latte

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I don’t drink coffee very often but it’s not every day Princesses are born (Congratulations Duchess of Cambridge) and I waited long enough for a new series of ‘Silicon Valley’, so there you go, it’s my celebration day.

Why I love ‘Silicon Valley’ so much? Because it is divinely hilarious and quite intelligent. It’s got something that ‘Big Bang Theory’ is lacking for me. I never finished watching a single episode of Big Bang Theory, it got me annoyed and bored. It always felt like the show was made for the public to think they are more clever than they are, because they watch something about nerds. The viewer is not laughing with the geeks but at them, jokes are stereotypical. On the other hand in ‘Silicon Valley’ characters and situations seem more realistic and not geek offensive. I love when creators don’t treat their audience like idiots who can’t understand coding jokes or sci-fi and comic book references. So to me, SV is a winner. And I raise my mocha latte to it!

Almond Mocha Latte

1 or 2 shots of coffee

1 tbsp lucuma

1 tbsp cocoa

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp almond butter

honey or agave syrup (optional)

1. In a cup put lucuma.

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2. To lucuma add cocoa.

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3. Add coffee and almond butter and mix well into a pasty form.

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4. In the meantime steam almond milk. Add to your coffee and mix well. Add honey or agave syrup if you like it sweeter. Enjoy!

Almond Mocha Latte

Almond Mocha Latte

Almond Mocha Latte

Almond Mocha Latte

Almond Mocha Latte

Almond Mocha Latte

Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate

hot chocolate

The award season is in full swing. We are past Golden Globes, this weekend it’s time for SAG Awards, next month BAFTA’s and the Oscars…

And while the stars are doing their detox and starving themselves to look good on the Red Carpet, I like to watch it all under the blanket with hot chocolate/cocoa in hand. It’s delicious and really good for you.

Hot Chocolate:

1 1/2 cup oat or almond milk (I personally love Rude Health gluten free almond milk)

1 tsp cocoa butter

1 tsp almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp lucuma

2 tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp honey or agave syrup

1. On the low heat warm up 1 cup of oat milk with cocoa and almond butter. Stir until the butters dissolve.

2. Add to remaining cold 1/2 cup of milk lucuma and cocoa. Mix thoroughly with a spoon till it makes a paste.

3, When the cocoa and almond butter dissolves and milk is hot, add your cocoa and lucuma mixture, mix well. Add honey or agave syrup to sweeten it . Serve!

I know lucuma powder sounds weird to you, but it’s a great natural sweetener,makes hot chocolate thicker and what’s the most important – will give you radiant skin. Come on, you know you want to…

 

hot chocolate

hot chocolate

hot chocolate

hot chocolate