As I sit here in my kitchen eating my fourth piece of sourdough toast, dripping with melted butter plus lemon zest, sea salt, and raw honey, I’m looking around the kitchen and realizing there are four kitchen machines that I use every day and don’t ever want to be without. I would even say that I use each of them multiple times a day. That’s a good return on investment.
It will come as no surprise that my Instant Pot is one of my favorite kitchen machines. I use it, at a minimum, once a day. It EFFORTLESSLY does everything from making rice to oatmeal to hard-boiled eggs to soup or stew to chicken to cheesecake to pretty much anything you want.
When we move abroad I will do everything I can to take that sucker with me.
Coffee Pot ☕️
A stunning coffee pot.
A good cuppa coffee really makes my day special. It’s the little things. When I go to bed at night, I think with excitement about waking up and having my coffee.
My love with coffee started back when I was seven years old, and my Nana gave me my first taste. We are Italian after all. Start ‘em young. She also taught me to shave my legs at that age. We are Italian after all.
I’ve been using my coffee machine, a Technivorm, for about five years. It’s a beautiful machine, and its hefty price tag is worth it. As my Papa used to say, “It doesn’t cost more to go first class.” When you spend more for something, it’s usually for quality and it will last you.
Electric Tea Kettle
A well loved tea pot and my good ol’ blender
I’ve had this electric tea kettle for many years. I love how fast it heats water. I can also program it for a specific temperature to ensure the best tasting tea. I probably use it 4-5 times a day between using it for heating water to make oats, tea, or heating a thermos with the hot water.
A kitchen would not be complete without a good blender. I’ve had my high-powered blender, a Vita-mix, for about 10 years (and it looks like it – but, hey, it still works like a charm). My blender gets used every day, multiple times a day. I make everything from smoothies to dressings to ice cream to soups to chia pudding to Bulletproof Coffee.
“Golden” Bulletproof Coffee made with Bulletproof cubes.
I sound like a broken record by frequently blogging recipes and variations for how I drink Bulletproof Coffee™.
For those of you who don’t know, Dave Asprey created Bulletproof Coffee, which is coffee blended with butter and MCT oil. Or, more specifically, his recipe calls for using his Upgraded (mold-free) coffee beans to brew the coffee, which is then blended with grass-fed unsalted butter and his Brain Octane (a special amped up version of MCT oil that is supposed to give more brain power).
Here’s Dave making his delicious Bulletproof Coffee in a video.
I love Bulletproof Coffee and find myself making it in different variations to increase the nutrition, as most of you have seen over the years.
Anti-inflammatory coffee recipe. It’s Golden.
My one complaint about my process is that adding the extra nutrition boosters…. takes extra time. Before I know it, I have 6 or 7 jars on my counter with spices, fats, etc. It can be messy and time consuming.
I had a lightbulb moment.
I thought, “What if I mixed the ingredients together, including all those extras I add… and froze them?”
So, the other night, I made a delicious decaf coffee elixir utilizing some powerfully relaxing reishi, and it was so effective that I had to share it.
Reishi: A powerful herb for the immune system and longevity
For those of you who don’t know, reishi is basically a potent mushroom tonic herb with many potential health benefits, including some mega relaxation. There’s even a legend that women who consume reishi while pregnant end up having calm babies, known as “reishi babies.” It also has a long history of use as an immune health builder, cancer fighter, and overall longevity supporter. It’s known as the “Mushroom of Immortality” which pretty much says it all.
Um, yeah okay, I’ll take some of all of that.
Reishi Nighttime Mocha Recipe
8 ounces of decaf organic coffee
1 to 2 teaspoons cacao butter (or a little hunk of it solid)
Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.
In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.
While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.
Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.
I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.
The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.
I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.
I love soup. They’re (usually) easy to make, easy to digest, and fairly portable. I can carry my lunch around the house in a mug, while I get everything done. Multi-tasker extraordinaire here. (Though we really should be more mindful when we eat – relaxing, noticing the flavors and textures with each bite and swallow. Sigh, a girl can dream.)
Speaking of portability, you could make this soup on the road while traveling, if you travel with your blender and a cooler full of food like I do. :)
So, you might be wondering why I’d post a warm soup recipe like this in the summer, when it would clearly be awesome for the fall and winter. Well, besides calling me a planner so I’m already experimenting with fall-flavored soups, I knew I’d be drinking it again in spite of the hot weather. I plan on putting it in my travel coffee cup and sneaking it taking it into the theater so I can keep cozy and warm in the blasting air conditioned theater.
Some health experts talk about the importance of balancing energies in the foods and drinks we consume to receive an optimal experience – not too jittery but not falling asleep either.
Well, I’ve taken that advice and present an energy balanced mocha, Bulletproof Style (of course).
Yeah, it’s awesome.
You see, coffee (caffeine) has a stimulating energy. It could be beneficial to balance that energy by adding an herb or component that is calming, such as the medicinal mushroom reishi. For that, I jumped to Four Sigma Foods (quality) reishi in the form of their XOCO product which also has chocolate in it (they’re called chocolate shots).
Ergo, I ended up with a mocha. Cool.
In fact, those smarty-pants guys over at Four Sigma Foods even make a mushroom coffee! It’s a genius little packet of instant medicinal mushroom (lions mane + chaga or cordyceps + chaga) plus coffee – all in one. Just add water, stir and drink. (I love those – oh hey, I’ve made it Bulletproof style here.)
I’ve written about why (and how) I use Four Sigma Foods products in a detailed post here. You should read it.
I have a whole counter dedicated to my coffee and teas. (Read this post to see how my whole kitchen is organized.)
If you’ve ever heard of David Wolfe, then you know his latest passion is talking about the importance of eating colorful foods and, more specifically, what those different colors (and those colors’ shapes!) can mean for your health.
For example, I recently heard an interview where he discussed how eating orange foods can offer anti-inflammatory compounds, consuming green foods can offer detoxing and liver benefits, red foods are prized for energy, blood, and qi (pronounced chee) health, and black foods are associated with adrenal/kidney health and jing.