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Raising a Mom

I want to dedicate today’s blog to my family.  It doesn’t matter if you have one or seven children.  Birthing, raising, loving, and teaching children is hard work.  And I make a lot of mistakes.  But I decided while the twins were still pretty young that it was better to be myself as a silly laughable Mom instead of a neurotic Mom (I did try the neurotic Mom thing for a while).  I let the kids laugh at me, watch me have temper tantrums.  I let them watch me study.  And they know when I’m trying out a new chocolate (cause I need calm and quiet during those moments).  I want them to see me make mistakes and recover from them.

I  go to bed each night hoping that I did everything possible during the day to raise my children as happy, content and confident people.  They are allowed some sugar, ice cream, chocolate and cookies.  But we also drink a lot of tea, and veggies need to be eaten throughout a day.  My children really do teach me.  From Leila learning by observation and perseverance, to Zac’s love of hugs and kisses, to Julia saving an earthworm at the pool, and Darren’s selfless act when a glass chandelier broke just in front of his baby sister as he ran and scooped her up in his arms.

Here’s a couple snapshots I took at those proud Mom moments.  Studying herbalism, making a sweet for Cigfy…it’s all for them.  I pray they surpass me in everything I do, know, and learn.

learning to make cupcakes from scratch

playing at the botanical garden

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A Cigfy Year in Review

 

 

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And a Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday was a marathon of producing lots of raw cacao bars.  Today I’m switching gears and making pumpkin pies, a cake and even some “real” food.

I’m grateful for my family, friends, and all that Cigfy allows me to learn, every day.  Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

Cakes and Pies! 

Dipping Dips

Now, while I admire beautiful hostess dresses and any occassion to make an outfit, I do not plan on leaving my pajamas all day tomorrow, even for the car ride to my sister’s home.  (unless I hit a Bikram yoga class)

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Today’s Cacao Reflections

So, today had some high’s and low’s.  A wonderful order came in from a beautiful new friend.  At the same time, I got my first “not right now, call back”, from a local vendor.  Hmmm.  Should I be dissapointed?  Should I be thrilled?  I decided to just stay calm, with no holding on to either and just enjoy the intention of what today brought.

I shared a banana with Leila and then when she went to nap, I got to work on the chocolate order that I did receive.

Of course, thoughts came and went.  I decided that the word-of-mouth orders are very special to me.   My confections are my creative outlet.  My opportunity to give.  Some customers will love them and feel the energy and love involved.  Some will not take to it.  I’m not a foodie, I’m actually not really particular about food.  I nibble on fresh dates dipped in tahini and I like a bowl of boiled lentils with some ume vinegar on top.  I sometimes forget to eat a meal or even cook for my kids (they let me know when that happens).

This reminds me of my auditioning days.  Manhattan School of Music (my first choice) said, yes!  Julliard (third on my list) said no!  I laughed and saved both letters in my scrapbook.  Both were special.  Both opened up new opportunities.

 

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It’s so Good!

Yesterday I wrote that I was fine tuning one more raw chocolate bar.  And it’s done, it’s good, it’s ready.  The Salted Almond Cacao Bar.  It is so simple.  Raw cacao beans, dates, almonds, australian sea salt, and ginger (just a tad).  Here’s a pic. 

It is delicious!  The picture probably doesn’t do it justice.  It’s salty, nutty, clean.  It’s a chocolate bar, but it’s different.  I mean, no sugars, just the chewiness and sweetness of dates.  Ok, enough.  I’m just proud.   I wouldn’t take the time to peel off the skin from each individual almond for just anything.

No more kitchen time testing out new recipes.  Nope.  I’m ready to roll and show everything off beyond (but still including!) my local friends and supporters.  This is where Dan will step in.  Wish us the best!

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Raw Cacao Trio

Non stop cacao melting, blending, tasting in the house morning and night.  It takes a level of concentration hard to find in this house!  But when the moment hits, the creation happens.  For example, I knew I had to make a salted cacao bar.  But I also knew it needed more than just salt.  The melted cacao sat there and waited for that “ah-ha” moment, and it hit me what was needed.  I just had to wait, I knew I’d figure it out.  Dan watched as I paced in the kitchen.  Here’s stage 1 from yesterday.  Stage 2 is going on today.  Which is fine tuning the Salty Dark Cacao bar.

Meanwhile, between these stages, I’m on to another assignment with my Herbalism studies.  This week I prepare one herb each day for seven days.  Each herb I steep for an assigned time, I drink it, I record tastes/emotions/physical changes, then I repeat later in the day.  Seven herbs total.  Since I’ve been quite young (10, maybe 11 years old?), I recognized the reaction of foods in my body…though I had no idea how to relate to it!  And now, at 40 years old, I get to practice and fine tune this skill.  So cool!

Now back to raw cacao. 

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Sunday and a Sea Salt Chocolate

Today is especially cold, dark and rainy.  The morning got off to a pleasently slow start and here’s a little spontaneous picture to prove it.  Leila is my cuddle bug and I can’t get enough of it. 

I ran off to Whole Foods later on and had a nice chat about salts at the cheese counter.  I picked out a beautiful pink salt from Australia.  I think this is my next dark cacao bar…Dan and I are going to make the first prototype later this evening.

Hopefully, Cigfy will have the PoppyDate bar, the Midnight bar, and …another addition by the end of the day.

The funny thing is, that when I get a feeling that something is going to work, it usually does, fast.  But if it doesn’t work in the first couple attempts, then it’s just not meant to be and I move on.  Also, the less ingredients the better for me.  If I start adding this and that, then I just know it’s not working.  So, I’ll know by bedtime how this beautiful salt is going to merge into Cigfy.

 

 

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Cigfy Fall Menu

Though mid to late summer was filled with packing boxes and moving to a new area of Cleveland, the creating and planning for Cigfy never stopped.  Dan was packing boxes in every room just days before the moving truck arrived, as I was in the kitchen preparing over 100 delightful little cupcakes.  It was crazy, it was great!

My new kitchen is set up and though it’s about 1/8th size of my old kitchen, it has so much more soul and intention.

I couldn’t be happier.  Photo: Fall menu is coming out tomorrow!!!!  Special seasonal treats include Pomegranate Chip truffles, Cinnamon Fire truffles, Poppy-Date cacao bars, cupcakes and The energy bars (that are dipped in raw cacao).  Only raw fruit, nuts, and spices in each treat.  I'll post all ordering information tomorrow.  Love Cigfy!

And Dan noticed something that I had not.  I’m working on Cigfy daily, delivering treats weekly.  I hadn’t noticed the pick-up as I just get into the groove.  All while the kids  transitioned into the school year and now even I’ve picked up the pace with my herbalism studies.

I have such faith that Cigfy is developing with pure, organic intentions and that my family, my friends, my cacao and herbal fans will watch us mature into a beautiful and intimate store!

With that said, please let me introduce the Fall Menu!  You will not be dissapointed.

TrufflesMatcha Tea:  featuring matcha tea, cashews and cacao nibs.  Coconut Almond:  a classic matching of crushed almonds and shredded coconut.  Pomegranate Chip:  raw pomegranate powdered and cacao nibs.  Cinnamon Heat: a lot of cinnamon and a little cayenne for heat.

Cacao Bar:  Poppy Seed Date, featuring four (just 4) ingredients.  Cacao beans, raw dates, poppy seeds and sea salt

The Energy Bar:  This season it has about 7-8 raw nuts and seeds (almonds, chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax…) and mulberries.  Yes, still dipped in raw cacao “magic shell” (remember magic shell???)Photo: The early fall menu is a welcoming to autumn. Pomegranate, Cinnamon and Cayenne, Matcha tea, Poppy seeds crushed into fresh dates, seed bars with pumpkin seeds, and little decadent cupcakes. All raw. All nuts and fruits. no flour, no sugar...

Cupcakes!:  OMG, these are all raw cacao fudge cakes and layered with two icings.  The icings are made with cashew cream and cacao butter (one vanilla, one chocolate).  Can also be made into full size cakes….

So, this fall you have a beautiful, invigorating, and nourishing assortment of truffles, bars and cakes.  They mix and match beatuifully.  And I will customize fall teas to your order.

Call for prices, as I am still working on that page of the website…. 216-789-8811

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CIGFY honors Dan and Father’s Day

Lots going on as we enter our fourth week of transitioning CIGFY to full time status.  It hasn’t been without drama!  Sometimes I think blogs and facebook sugar coat their posts!  Nope.  There’s been a few panic attacks and a few mistakes.  But the good outways the bad.

And the best is that Dan is awesome at making chocolates!  I think he found his calling.

To celebrate Dan’s patience and talent in making dark raw chocolates, we are making extras for Father’s Day.  So, for the men in your life, YES I believe men love chocolate as much as women, here’s what we are offering.  Dark Raw Chocolate Bars with cacao nibs and The “Energy” Bar loaded with goodies such as hemp seed, nuts, goji berries, and dark cacao.  Call with interest and orders.  These treats might add a little stamina into a long day that starts with golf and ends with a cookout.  Though Dan will probably prefer some landscaping at home.

I have to say it was hard getting these babes to smile for the photo.  But it gives you a good idea of the intensity of these treats.

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RAW

Day #1 of my having my hubby home and pushing Cinnamon into full time status.  So what did we do?  Spend times with my good friends that are visiting from San Francisco.  Hey!  We need at least one day to transition. Of course, I couldn’t let the day go without some Cinnamon effort.  So, I ground up some cashew butter, mixed it with cacao butter, agave/maple syrup mix, cacao powder and I have fudge!  It was an accident, but it’s good.  I will continue sampling tomorrow.

Now let’s focus on the title of this blog, RAW.  I introduce Cinnamon as vegan, organic, and RAW inspired.  Now, what does that raw mean?!

Let me explain.  Raw in the culinary world is a word used to describe foods that have not been cooked.  The enzymes are kept intact by not heating any of the foods over 108 degrees.  Raw can be a salad.  Raw can be a lifestyle.  Raw foodists will say they eat 50% raw or maybe 100% raw.  Most are vegans (though a few might eat raw fish or cheese).

When I was training as a pastry chef I had no idea what Raw meant.  I used eggs, cream, and an oven.  But, as a curious type, I dabbled into the raw world for a few years.  Actually, I was a raw foodist and claimed to be 100% raw for over a year!  I was so proud.  Ok, the reality was that I was quite gassy and a little too energetic.  I came back to the cooked world though never left my appreciation or taste for the amazingly gorgeous raw desserts.

A raw foodist will probably test my knowledge on the true source of my raw nuts.  (Gosh, this sounds like kosher talk…what hechshers do you use?!)  That’s why I say Cinnamon is RAW Inspired.

I use the natural ingredient.  The vanilla bean (never the extract), I crack open the coconuts for the meat, water and milk (that’s fun to watch, just stay back cause I use a huge knife)!, I pit the dates by hand and use my dehydrator as an oven (never over 108 degrees).

The taste, textures, the fun is all RAW.  Now dare to try something off the summer menu.  I have cupcakes waiting….

photo by Simone Jowell
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You have to read this: Cinnamon News

The day has come.  I am excited, nervous, and completely in the moment.  A practice of mindfulness. Or I’m just numb.

Somehow on this wonderful Cinnamon journey, my husband, Dan, has decided to join me for the ride.  His last day of work is today.  When he comes home, he will not be going back “to the office” on Monday.  He will be home.  He will have his hands in cacao.  He will help me find the best boxes for the cupcakes, he will be behind the scenes, he will help make my dream come true by feeding and nourishing through Cinnamon.  When I first met Dan, I was half way through my pastry chef training.  I was working at a restaurant that kept me from seeing him more than once a week.  When I knew he was potential “husband material”, I left the restaurant so I could see him more.  Little did I know, 11 years and 4 children later, we would return to my love of baking, together.

This is a spiritual journey for him.  Dan is not the same man I married.  But he is now the man I always dreamt I would marry!  It’s an adventure with him.  I learn from him and he learns from me.  These days, after the kids are all sleeping, instead of turning on the t.v. (well, we do turn it on to watch Weeds or a little Dr. Who) we sit down with teas and open up our books.  The kitchen table is filled with books from 9pm till at least midnight.  Sometimes he takes his guitar out and practices a little.  It’s so quiet and peaceful in the house.

I study my Herbalism books and baking trends.  He brings out Kabbalah, Jewish law, and Homeopathy.

Cinnamon is going to be our adventure, together.  Our kids will watch us work together.  We have no paycheck coming in soon.  We are going to learn to cut the budget down to the bare minimum.  But we will not sacrifice our organic foods or natural living, in fact, we will enhance it.  We will find a smarter way to live.  We will prioritize what luxuries really are.  We will teach ourselves and raise our kids with happiness and gifts that come naturally.  Not from toy stores.

This is going to be hard!  And I’m sure there will be some good tantrums (especially from me).  But I feel up for the challenge.  Dan and I have been blessed in this life.  And we both want to slow down and be gracious for it all.

This journey will be blogged.  How can it not be?!  Please watch us grow.  We will be open and share it all.  This is just too crazy to not share.  With love.  Debbie and Dan
 

 

Dan carrying our sleepy Zac to bed.

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Happy New Year’s from Cinnamon

I thought, as I somewhat patiently wait for my baby-to-be to arrive, I would greet everyone with a Happy 2012 New Year, a recipe, and some neat information about cinnamon (the spice!). 

We celebrated New Year’s at home.  Nothing too “over the top”, yet it was really nice.  I took a nice warm bath while the family watched movies and then made my favorite and really fast ice cream (recipe following below, I’ll make you read all of this first).  My twins, who are 7 1/2 really wanted to stay up to midnight so we let them try.  My son made it to 11:45 and then he was in a deep sleep on the couch.  My daughter did it and was in bed at 12:15.  Both, this morning, are crabby (not surprised!) and watching more cartoons in my bed.  I had constant contractions (not the real deal, though) for about 4 hours.  But not enough to get me to a hospital and now everything is calm again.  So, this baby is going to be a 2012 baby.  And now it’s just a lazy day of tv and the annual tradition of visiting my Mom and Dad along with my sister and her family.  And I’m going for my annual New Year’s Day walk before we go. 

Since this is a year of more blogging, sharing, and growing, I thought it would be nice to introduce my favorite spice, Cinnamon, properly.  I mean, Cinnamon really is good for you! 

From a new addition to my library, A Kid’s Herb Book, for children of all ages, by Lesley Tierra. 

Cinnamon:  Bark of Sweetness
Cinnamon is a kitchen medicine.  “The cinnamon tree grows in the Orient and is used there as a spice in cooking and as a medicinal herb.  Cinnamon comes from the dried inner bark of the shoots of the cinnamon tree.  It has a hot energy and will warm you up nicely on cold days! 
Uses for Cinnamon:  feelings of coldness, colds and flu with strong chills and a mild fever, coughs of clear congestion, indigestion, diarrhea, gas, cramps, abdominal pain, and whitening teeth!  
Make as a:  tea, milk, paste, tincture, spice, powder, capsule, tooth powder, oil, potpourri, sachet, syrup, pill, candy, liniment, mulled cider, chai tea.” 

And here are some of the suggested recipes:
Cinnamon Brew:  This will warm you up!  Steep 1 teaspoon cinnamon bark in hot water for 15-20 minutes.  Sweeten if needed.  (You can also mix 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon powder into 1 cup hot water and sweeten, if needed)

Cinnamon Milk:  “Herbal milks are often used in India.  Their ancient system of medicine uses these milk ‘decoctions’ for nutrition and to heal different ailments, depending on the herbs used.  Cinnamon milk especially helps to firm loose or runny bowels (this works well for both children and grandparents!).  It also warms the body and aids digestion. 
Heat one cup milk (your choice of “milk” in a pant to scalding); add 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon; add 1 teaspoon sweetener if desired.  Stir well.”

Bright Smiles:  “When you brush your teeth with finely ground cinnamon powder; it helps whiten and brighten your teeth.  Try it!  It tastes so very good.  The powder must be finely ground or it can scratch your teeth.”

Ant Barrier!  “Did you know that ants do not like cinnamon?  To keep them off your counters and out of your plants, sprinkle cinnamon powder along their tracks and around the areas they are traveling.  They won’t cross the cinnamon barrier.  Soon, they will leave the area entirely.”

This is just the beginning, more information on Cinnamon will keep coming.  But this is a fun start. 

Ok, here’s Cinnamon’s recipe.  I made it as my New Year’s Eve dessert, I call it “Banana Halavah Ice Cream” and it was so yummy!

In your favorite blender put in the following:
frozen bananas (always have peeled bananas waiting in your freezer for this)
tahini (or a nut butter of your choice)
a sweetener (agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, a pinch of stevia, dates) mix and match for more “depth”
cinnamon!
a splash of “milk“, again your choice

Blend like crazy till it’s like a soft ice cream or even a milk shake.  It’s so decadent. 

Happy New Year!

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Cinnamon’s year in review

It was last January that my husband and I decided to do a 3 week cleanse.  It was the Clean cleanse, my second time around, my husbands first.  Being a pastry chef and loving sweets, a cleanse is never easy, so this time I decided to treat my husband and I to my favorite vegan, raw, and cleanse friendly treats each Saturday of the three weeks.  It was a hit!

And I decided to reach out to a local group of cleansers at Cleveland Yoga and give them the same cleanse friendly treats.  Knowing how hard a cleanse is!

Cinnamon was off and running by the end of January.  I met with two very good friends at a coffee shop to pitch my truffles, macaroons and cakes.  They became my support system.  And one took on all the visual designing.   Weeks later, business cards were printed and a website was going to be designed!

In February, Cleveland Yoga asked me to sell truffles for Valentine’s Day in their studio.  I made hundreds and hundreds.  Anything leftover I gave to other possible vendors and to friends to taste test.  In late March I sold out of truffles at EarthFest (also the coldest spring day imaginable and the day before Passover began).

I added in a photo shoot for my truffles and cakes later that spring while still hiding the fact that I found out I was pregnant!  I didn’t stop, just paused, during morning sickness making Cinnamon cakes and truffles for individual orders.  My husband, Dan, took over a few times late at night while I taught him how to make some of the treats.

During the summer I sold mostly to individuals and I never had a week without filling an order or making a new recipe.  I learned to blog and use facebook more than I ever imagined.  And I was excited to add Energy Bars to the Cinnamon menu!

Even during autumn and the craziness of preparing for the Jewish New Year and all the holidays following I made new truffles for the season.  Including apples & honey truffles and pomegranate truffles.  And this last couple of months I prepared for winter with more raspberry and matcha tea truffles and teas.

Thanksgiving was a different yet fun challenge.  My Mom broke her hand and my sister found out just a couple weeks earlier that she must go on an all gluten free diet, permanently.  So, I took on another holiday and made a gluten free Thanksgiving feast (it seriously lasted 5 days).

As I was preparing all of that food, I got a phone call to sell at a holiday boutique.  What a great way to add in my newest love, teas!  This last Wednesday I sold gift bags of teas and truffles with beautiful tea infusers and received compliments from vegans, people who know vegans, and many who suffer from gluten intolerance.  And I just sold 3.5 dozen truffles to a fellow vegan blogger with the approval (of the ingredients) of a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic.

I couldn’t be more pleased to be ending this year on such a high note!  I have truffles well stocked in my freezer whether for sale or for gift giving.  And I have Cinnamon’s basil leaf and rose petal herbal chai tea stocked in my pantry (for sale or gift giving, too!).

My legs are going to rest now (my Mom will be so pleased!) as I blog, blog, blog, share and share with my new Cinnamon friends.  And I wait for this little baby to arrive in the next few weeks.

Enjoy the holidays!  Debbie    PS, Here’s a snapshot from my display this past week.  I enjoyed watching people smelling and touchig the ingredients used in the truffles and teas.  Cacao butter smells and feels so good. 

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Pre Holiday and Baby, Introducing Basil and Rose Chai Tea

34 weeks and counting down…while Cinnamon is brewing tea.

Here’s a little Cinnamon history on tea.  Personally, I’ve always enjoyed tea and an occasional coffee.  Hey, I’m happy with hot water and lemon.  But my husband, Dan, has a more interesting story.  He was a coffee drinker!  And when I say coffee drinker, I mean that no one should talk to him before that first cup was in his body.  And, honestly, he didn’t even like the taste.  It was the cheapest coffee I could find at the store brewed in a very old Mr. Coffee.  Even my children were trained from the beginning not to talk to Daddy till he was drinking his coffee.  Then just over a year ago he transitioned to green tea.  I can’t recall all the reasons why he transitioned,  but I know it included a combination of actually enjoying some of my teas now and then and cleaning up some of his eating habits.  And now a different man enters the kitchen in the morning.  One who is calmer and smiling, even before his first mug of tea.  These days he likes his green teas, but he’s exploring twig and white teas.  And I’ve introduced him to the world of loose leaf teas and brewing his own.  Night time is fun when he mixes up some chamomile, nettle and who knows what else for both of us.

Now, when guests come over we offer a cup of tea.  And we don’t have any tea bags.  We have tea infusers that I’ve started to collect, from bamboo to heart shaped metal, and we brew everyone their own tea.

I am trained in baking but I really enjoy just listening to the little voice inside of me, what I read, and what my friends share about their new interests in food.  And then I just start cooking, baking and creating.  And tea just seemed like a great balance to those who don’t want to have truffles pushed on them all the time or who want a hot cup of tea with a truffle (that’s my favorite way to enjoy them).

This Wednesday evening I’ll be introducing my Basil and Rose Chai Tea along with raspberry truffles as gifts to give yourself or anyone on your holiday gift shopping list!   Information about the event is on Cinnamon’s facebook page.   facebook.com/cinnamonisgood

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A little bit about…ME.

I’ve been pretty quiet about this pregnancy and the adjustments I’ve had to make to Cinnamon since late spring.

At the beginning, I couldn’t look at chocolate (what a shame!) and I took two months off of all truffle rolling and baking.  I spent many days with crackers in my mouth on the couch watching cartoons with my little boy while the twins were at camp.  Popcorn and tortilla chips were also a favorite food.  And I hid since most people didn’t know I was preggy, yet.

As the morning sickness wore off, the bump appeared, and the “honeymoon” period began, I got right back into baking, truffle making and coming up with new recipes.  And everything was pretty much a hit.  It was all good.

The school year started and a game plan was made.  I make one or two truffle flavors a month, friends and customers will stock up their freezers.

Well, it did work, but now the freezers are bare and I’m in my third trimester and wanting to put my feet up a bit more and ready to enter that nesting phase.  As I’m typing this I’m enjoying kicks, pokes, jabs from inside and want to take all of this in before the reality of sleepless nights and four children hit me hard!

I never claimed or wanted to be a supermom, what I want is to nourish my children with laughter, playing, good food and treats, and helping them welcome a new family member.  But I also want to bake and learn…

What do I learn?  Well, I’m a homeopathic junkie.  I go to study groups, I remedy my children and husband at every sign and I am humbled by the world of homeopathy.  I also am fascinated by the effects of food on the body and spirit (hence, Cinnamon!) and the practice of Ayurveda.  And I read books on these subjects at any moment.  Now I’m reading this awesome book by Paul Pitchford.  It’s funny to see me in bed with a 800 page book on a big belly.  I love tea and talking about all types of teas with my husband.  We talk about teas, a lot.  And I love music, I miss my music.  I was (am) a percussionist and play around on the piano with my children.

So, I suppose I just wanted to share a bit about myself.  Cinnamon means the world to me and my growing family.  I fantasize about the day I can have my little vegan bakery, maybe a soup or two, teas, and a fresh juice for the customers, some beautiful music, and a library of “nourishing” books.  And my family hanging out being a part of it all.  And it’s a work in progress!

Deb

 

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The newest addition to the truffle family:

Here is the newest addition to Cinnamon’s truffle family.  The Pomegranate Truffle.  The fun part of working with a new truffle is that it can take on a life of it’s own.  My first version was small, smooth, simple.  But the second time I made it nothing was coming out right.  The coconut would not turn into a sily smooth butter and I decided to just let the truffles become what they wanted on their own.

My husband says that’s when my baking and cooking is it’s best.  That’s when I wow him and friends with my creations.  So I had faith…more coconut to make the truffles chewy, more ginger for a little hiddin spice, two pomegranate seeds stuffed in each truffle (instead of one) because I just had to make these babies large!

And with Sukkot beginning in about three hours, I plan on bringing out these little treats as guests and family come to visit.  Maybe it’ll brighten our moods since rain just arrived and it’s going to be a very wet and cold Sukkah to eat in.

Cinnamon is working hard during this busy holiday season taking orders including banana split cupcakes, a November truffle party, and a late October themed pumpkin spice truffle recipe in the works.  My legs might be getting a bit achey now that the third trimester has hit, but it’s all worth it.

Thanks for growing with me (in more ways than one!).   Debbie

 

 

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Update: Part II, A Labor of Love

What a ride!  As any creator, I have never ending thoughts on the evolution of Cinnamon.  And I have my husband, kids and many friends who let me know however they can whether its during the bedtime routine, a phone call or text me with their own ideas.  I love it.

And then there is the actual physical labor.  I’ve worked as a pastry chef in a restaurant and I know the sweat and tears involved.  It’s no different when you’re working in your own kitchen.  I think it’s harder with so many distractions.  Kids need help with homework, maybe a sibling fight here and there, and then there is a growing belly that is asking me to put my feet up!  But I take a deep breath, maybe shed a few tears when I’m working past my own bed time and just keep going.

It’s a labor of love!             Zac and Mom taking a breath of fresh air after making the coconut truffle

Please, please stay tuned with Cinnamon and all that is coming in the near future.  You won’t be dissapointed.

Zac eating truffle!

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A simple Pink Lemonade

I’m getting a bit lazy in the kitchen these days.  It’s hot out and I don’t want to be in a warm kitchen to cook, I just want to be outside with toddler blow up pools and slides.  I’ve been buying enormous watermelons and loads of local strawberries to keep the family cool and hydrated.

And the other day I decided I wanted lemonade.  I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and couldn’t find a lemonade for my family.  Either there was way too much sugar or it wasn’t kosher.  That was frustrating.  So, I bought a bunch of lemons and decided to do it myself.

 

Pink Lemonade, Cinnamon style

1 cup freshly squeezed lemons
10 cups cold water
1/2 cup raspberries
maple syrup
agave

I added the juiced lemons (even a little pulp), 6 cups of the water and the raspberries into my vita mix, or any blender, and started adding the maple syrup and agave to taste.

I do not have the amounts sweetner because I think it’s very personal (I like it tart) but I’d say I used about 1/2 cup each.

Then I poured the pretty pink lemonade into a huge pitcher added the rest of the water (4 cups) and chilled it well.  A complete hit for the weekend.

Now go outside and play!

 

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Rose Water Truffles!

I’ve wanted to use rose water in my sweets for a long time.  And I was just at Sur La Table where I found a beautiful and kosher Rose Water.  Immediately, I went to work and added it to my truffles with fresh vanilla beans and a cinnamon stick.  I successfully made a beautiful truffle to add to the Cinnamon repertoire!

If you want to try a Rose Water Truffle, write a comment below or on Facebook (local friends, only) and I’ll personally deliver one to you.

With love,  Debbie

 

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Nourish Yourself!

I’m sure you can all relate to this.  As a Mom, I take care of three children and a husband.  I worry about my friends and family.  But I forget to take care of myself.  Do I sit down and feed myself a warm plate of food during the day?  Do I ever take a long bath?  Do I laugh and giggle with my kids enough? 

There was a time that I didn’t do anything for myself.  I thought my job was to take care of everyone else.  And I noticed I wasn’t laughing enough.   

Recently, I’ve started taking baths again.  With sesame oil, essence of orange, and even lemons floating in the water.  I make at least two cups of tea during the day and sit with it and feel the warm mug.  I color and paint along with my children and compare our stick people. 

My intention with Cinnamon is to help Nourish people with my sweet creations.  Cinnamon, the spice alone, is Nourishing.  It warms you from the inside as it increases blood circulation, it balances blood sugar, relieves muscle tension and is really good for your teeth.  It is a universally healing food! 

Here is a Cinnamon tooth powder you can make at home!

2 Tablespoons Cinnamon powder, 4 Tablespoons Arrowroot, and a pinch of Pepper.  Mix the ingredients to a paste with water and brush.  This is really good for sensitive teeth. 

And here is a simple Cinnamon snack for the family!  (no amounts here, just enjoy mixing till it tastes like you want it to)

Almond butter (raw or roasted, your choice), Brown Rice Syrup, ground Cinnamon and a dash of salt.  Mix in a bowl and spread on rice cakes, toast, muffins, OR take the pit out of a Date and spoon it into the now empty space, seal it up and pop in your mouth.  It is so delicious!  This is  my favorite dessert or snack these days. 

Enjoy!!!

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