Eskimo Nebula

Eskimo Nebula
We are all connected

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Join Me for Merienda: V,GF- Jesscafé Nog French Toast (to a new year!) =)

       It's almost a new year and what other way to ring it in (aside from the bells, okay), but with a toast. 
How about some Jesscafé Nog French Toast? If not for tomorrow morning, how about for a new year's brunch? It's very easy; especially if you've already made a batch of Jesscafé Nog; then it's even easier to make. There are just a few additions and voila; you'll have something awesome to share with your loved ones.

Vegan and Gluten Free- Jesscafé Nog French Toast


1C of Jesscafé Nog *
3 Tb of Organic Ground Flax Seed
Extra Saigon Cinnamon
A tad bit more organic cane or coconut sugar, adjust it to your taste
A few slices of toasted bread GF or Non-GF of your choice

*If starting from scratch:
 simply blend 1 cup of coconut milk beverage 
with a dash himalayan pink sea salt,cinnamon, nutmeg and 1tsp pure vanilla extract


Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and dip each piece of toast into the mixture and flip over once, being sure not to let it become overly saturated.  In a pan with perhaps a bit of coconut oil or any oil of your choice bring the pan to a medium hot temperature and cook each slice for 1-3 minutes on the first side and then flip and cook for additional 1-2 minutes. You can add a bit more sugar for serving, but that's entirely up to your taste. I didn't picture it here, but serving it alongside some fresh fruit is always nice or maybe with a nice organic marmalade or ginger syrup would be delightful too. 

Batter or Custard up?

Slices are cooking in the pan 

Happy slices on a plate.

I've also experimented with making this into a baked french toast, but I wasn't satisfied with the current version; so I'll keep working on that, but here's a photo of one of the versions with organic banana slices tucked in between the slices and on top. 

Getting dressed

Taking a bath

Sun tanned and golden?

Okay, well that's it for this year. I'll keep working on some good things for the new year. Wishing you all happiness, love, prosperity, wellness and good health for the new year and for many years to come as well!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Join Me for Merienda: V,GF- Jesscafé Nog aka a 'Hug in a mug.'

      It's almost the end of this year and I wanted to share a hug full of love with you all. Around this time of year people are gathering and celebrating and sometimes when you have restrictions; you may not  feel like you can fully participate in all of the fun, but fear not, there are many ways to join in the festivities. I don't know how popular Egg Nog, is as a beverage these days, but when I was younger, I did enjoy having it, sparingly because it could sometimes be cloyingly sweet. At present, I've only had Egg Nog-like beverages a few times over the years since and the vegan ones that I've tried are good and I don't think that my version of Nog could replace the ones on the market, but it's definitely more economical and you can make as much or as little as you want of it.

I don't own a clear mug; so here is the top view from my ceramic mug. I don't think that this is the prettiest shot of the Nog, but if you could smell it through the screen; you wouldn't care either ;p

V and GF- Jesscafé Nog


3C Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
A few dashes of Saigon Cinnamon
A dash of Nutmeg
1tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/3C or less of Organic Cane or Coconut Sugar
Tiny pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt


In a tall pot, mix all of the ingredients together, except for the pure vanilla extract. Carefully bring it to a simmer, stirring it constantly (it WILL boil over; if you leave it unattended). I recommend cooking it for at least 10-12 minutes. You should taste it and adjust to your liking, add in the pure vanilla extract after cooking and incorporate it well.

My version of Nog, will not have that same thick mouth feel that true nog or the commercially sold vegan nog have, but it is still tasty =)

You can modify the same ingredients for my Nog and turn it into a vegan custard mixture to make vegan french toast/bread pudding. I will post a recipe for that tomorrow because afterall, what would a new year be without a good toast? ;p

Wishing you all very happy holiday and hoping that the new year will bring you many wonderful and good things for your lives including good health and happiness <3


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Join Me for Merienda: Summer Refrescos

So, I am cutting it close right now for it will soon be August in less than an hour.
If I weren't so particular about my entries; you would already have stacks upon stacks of digital entries from me. Alas, I guess that I can dedicate this one to my family and the spirit of Mabuhay. A cousin of mine was asking me for some juicing ideas; so I've just been tagging her in my latest photo posts to my food album on the book of face. Well, pinsan ko (my cousin) here are some formal recipes for drinks or 'Summer Refrescos,' as I have been calling them in my photo posts. She asked me to make sure that they fit the criteria for her part of the world, which means using mainly things that can easily be found in the Philippines; so this project was fairly easy to accomplish. I mean, they have some absolutely amazing varieties of fruit with which to work and if I had my hands on them year round.... ooooh!  

Here are some simple ideas for drinks to help quench your thirst on a hot summer day or just a hot day in general depending on  in which part of the world you live ;) 

All of these recipes are really simple, which is the way we should try to keep everything in our lives, right?

I save a lot of money by buying whole fruit and doing the cutting, prepping and freezing of them myself.
I always have labeled bags/containers of them in my freezer at all times; so it makes it very easy to experiment with different combinations.

The further nutrition boosting items that I use in most of my blends; usually include either organic flax, organic chia, a raw nut/seed, green tea powder (Matcha), Malunggay powder (Moringa Oleifera) or other greens like organic baby kale, spinach etc. The greens I usually prep and freeze them as well for ease of use. If you freeze your items; then there's no need to add in ice.

Jesscafé's Frozen Limeade


1C filtered water or if you want to make it even more spectacular; use coconut water
Juice of 1-2 limes
Handful of ice
Dash of Agave syrup or the sweetener of your choice (may I recommend anything natural over artificial? =)
*For a bit of heat; you could add in a small dash of either Powdered Smoked Chipotle or Cayenne pepper

Optional: you could add in a few leaves of mint or basil before blending for an herbal note


Simply put them in your blender or in my case a Nutribullet and blend until the ice is slushy
Pour in a glass and enjoy!

Ah, Limemade, how you quench my thirst =)

Jesscafé's Watermelon and Tamarind Chiller


1C filtered water
Handful of Frozen Watermelon Chunks
1-2 Tb of pure Tamarind puree* (this can be found at Asian or Indian groceries)
1-2 tsp of ground organic flax/organic chia
Dash of Agave or any natural sweetner to taste

Optional additions: Dash of Cayenne pepper for some heat

*Tamarind adds a tangy and sour element; so adjust it to your taste


Simply put them in your blender or in my case a Nutribullet and blend until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

So slushy!


Jesscafé's Cantaloupe Whirl or Ode to Filipino Ice Candy


1C filtered water
Handful of Frozen Cantaloupe Chunks
2-3 Frozen Pineapple Chunks
1-2tsp of Organic ground flax or organic chia
1tsp of Malunggay powder*
Optional: Dash of organic Agave to sweeten, but if your fruit was ripe when you initially froze it; then you won't need any additional need for sweeteners

*If you cannot find Malunggay powder; you can simply omit or substitute it with spirulina 


Simply put them in your blender or in my case a Nutribullet and blend until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

The ingredients in the Nutribullet cup before blending. I used Salba chia in this blend.

All mixed up and ready to drink!

Okay, well I am going to polish this post a bit more tomorrow, but look for more of my 'Summer Refresco, ' series. It seems to be working at the moment =)

Mabuhay! Cheers! To your Health!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Join Me for Merienda: Double Edition - V,GF - Green Papaya Salad and a recipe for an Italian Style herbed Vinaigrette

I really am not a huge fan of ripe papaya. I always liked the juice (so did my late Lola Frances), but the ripe fruit on its own was a little 'close,' for my liking. However green papaya, is in a different league. It's crunchy and versatile and can be used for pickles and salads. I have been making different variations on this kind of Green Papaya Salad for the past year now. I recently made it for a family gathering and a lot of people were requesting a recipe for it; so here it is. 

It is loosely based off of the Thai Som Tam, but obviously I have not used all the traditional ingredients because a few of them are not vegan (aka Nam Pla/Fish sauce). Some people have commented that it is similar tasting to Atsara (a Filipino style of sweet and sour pickle, using a variety of different vegetables). 

Whatever you think it tastes like, it is a very light and refreshing salad. The crispness of the shredded green papaya and carrot play nicely together in the sweet, sour, salty flavorful dressing.

This is one of many permutations of my Green Papaya Salad. This version includes the turmeric and red pepper flakes.

V,GF-  Jess' Green Papaya Salad 


1 Large Green Papaya
3-4 Organic Carrots

For the Dressing-

3-4 Minced Garlic cloves
3-5 Chopped Green Onions/Scallions
1/3C Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4C Canola/Safflower/Rice Bran Oil (any neutral oil)
2-3 Tb of Organic Agave,Organic Cane Sugar or Organic Palm Sugar
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and or 1 Tb GF Tamari
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
*Dash of Sesame Oil
*Pinch of Turmeric
*Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
*Coarsley chopped Organic Cilantro to Garnish
* A squeeze of lemon or lime juice

*Optional Items

This is the special peeler that I use to 'grate,' the papaya and carrots.

A close up of the blade

Grate the Papaya using a special serrated peeler. I bought mine from a local Asian market for a little under 3 dollars, but if you can't find one of these; you can just cut the papaya into big strips and julienne them with a chef knife. I've also seen people do a very fancy method of hacking at the whole papaya to make tons of indentations and then cutting it vertically, but I'm not an expert; so I just stick to using my peeler. (They do sell pre-grated green papaya at some Asian markets, but it can be a bit pricey, my local market sells it for around 2.99 a pound, but buying it whole is only 99 cents a pound; so you can see the difference.
Do the same thing for the carrots and set them aside in a big bowl. If you're not going to make the salad straight away; then I would recommened rinsing the papaya strips and carrots strips under cold water and then salting them (as if you were going to start making some sort of pickle). You can let it rest overnight either outside of in the fridge.

To make the dressing, you just need to mix the minced garlic, chopped green onions, raw apple cider vinegar, agave or sugar,pink salt, black pepper, canola oil. Blend them together and let it sit for a few minutes and then taste it to adjust for seasoning. Then combine with the grated papaya and carrot, toss using gloved hands in order to distribute the dressing through and through. You could eat it straight away, but this salad only gets better as it ages (if you haven't eaten it already ;p

In an airtight container I've been able to keep it fresh for a little more than a week. You just need to keep it in the coldest part of your fridge.

I like to eat this salad with a little crushed peanut, raw cashews or raw sunflower seeds, but it tastes awesome, all on its own as well. 

Bonus Recipe

Shiny and golden from the Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This dressing was made the other day for a dinner with some friends and they really enjoyed it; so I've tried to encapsulate it here. As always you can always play around with ingredients to come up with something that is just right for your own tastes.

V,GF- Italian Herb Vinaigrette

1/3 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
Favorite dried herbs: Oregano, Basil, Rosemary,Thyme
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tb Organic Sugar/Agave Nectar
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Diced tomatoes
2-3 minced garlic cloves
2-3 chopped green onions
*pinch of smoked spanish paprika


Mix all of the ingredients together and let them marinate for at least a few hours up until overnight before serving.

Okay, well those are some pretty simple recipes for Salads and their dressings. I hope that you'll give them a try someday. 

Until my next post, peace, good eating and happy cooking!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Join me for Merienda: V,GF- Cilantro and Parsley Pesto

Well, I am squeaking this one in, but I didn't want to leave this month without an entry.
This is a very quick recipe to put together; so here we go!

One of my favorite pestos used to be the Genovese style, which is surprising because I adore pine nuts and the Genovese style uses cashew nuts (I really do love cashews too, though). Being a vegan and not being able to enjoy the traditional pestos due to their cheese components; that salty complex tanginess was missing from the pestos; when I just used the straight up herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. 

So, nutritional yeast, stepped into the picture and brought back that complex salty taste that comes from cheese. I wouldn't say that it's an exact match, but it sure does taste good and work well with the other ingredients. At my local store it sells for 8.99 lb, but I never buy a full pound; so it doesn't cost that much in the end and you don't need tons in this recipe; so go ahead and get a tiny bit; you won't be disappointed.

Jessified, Vegan and Gluten Free Cilantro and Parsley Pesto

1 Handful of Cilantro (stems and leaves)
1 Handful of Parsley (leaves only)
1-2 Tb of Raw Sunflower Seeds
1-3 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 Tb of Nutritional Yeast
3Tb of Olive Oil
3 Tb of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Dash of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients together in the machine of your choosing, a food processor, blender or what I currently use a nutribullet. Let it pulse a few times before letting it run until almost smooth. If you find that you need more liquid a few dashes of filtered water, will help it run smoothly. You don't want to process it until completely smooth because you want some texture to the pesto.

This was a version that I mixed with Italian Fusilli and sauteed Chinese Sher li Hon. Super delicious together =)

You can use this for pasta, but of course you can eat it with just about anything you can think of. Spread it on crackers, toasted bread, dip veggies in it, mix it in with some hummus to make an awesome pesto hummus, use it to marinate, facial mask.... oh well, maybe not the last one. It's a bit garlicky for that application ;p

I hope that you enjoy this easy pesto recipe. I make extra batches of it and keep it in a glass jar in the fridge, always making sure that I put enough oil on the surface to protect the pesto. It will keep for about 2 weeks; if you store it in the coldest spot in the fridge and do the aformentioned oil 'trick.' Although, it may not last even two weeks; if you decide to experiment with a bunch of different applications =)

I hope that this March, hasn't been too 'mad,' for you all and hope that April, will bring us better weather and even more good things into our lives.

Happy Cooking!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Join me for Merienda: V,GF- Simple Smoothie of Deliciousness: Chocolate, Banana and Blueberry with some added benefits =)

Well, it's almost the end of February and I wanted to make sure to post this month, instead of letting it slip by once again. It's still bitterly cold out and I've been making a lot of stews and soups, but I felt like going contrary to this trend and post a recipe for a smoothie today. 

Honestly, smoothie recipes are simple. You just put all of the ingredients into a blender and let it run, until well blended. So, I'm sure that you've got a few standards in your pocket already, but if you feel like giving this one a go; then by all means, have at it! 

One of the simplest versions of this smoothie involves 5 ingredients:

Frozen Organic Bananas
Tumaco Cocoa Powder
Coconut Milk/Almond Milk or any Vegan milk of your choice
Organic Flax Meal
Organic Agave Nectar or a few Organic Dates (to sweeten)

This photo just looks weird, but here are some of the ingredients waiting in the Nutribullet container to go swimming with Coconut Milk.
However this version includes frozen blueberries because it's winter and we need a bit more boost of those antioxdiants and anthocyanins to bolster our immune system. You could also add in a bit of ginger into this and that would really add some punch to it.

So here is the 'official,' recipe for this version:

V, GF- Chocolate, Banana and Blueberry Smoothie

1 Frozen Organic Banana
A Handful of Frozen Blueberries
*3 Heaping Teaspoons of Tumaco Cocoa Powder (any good quality Cocoa powder will do)
1 Cup of Coconut Milk or any Vegan Milk of your choice (water will do, but it won't be the same!)
1 Tablespoon of Organic Flax meal
1 Tablespoon of Organic Agave Nectar or 2-3 Organic Dates

*You can substitute Carob powder, but you may want to add less than 3 heaping teaspoons, as Carob tends to have a sweeter taste.

I use a Nutribullet; so I just make sure that the liquid doesn't surpass the 'Max,' line. Make sure that your lid is on tightly before you blend; or else you'll have a mess to clean up ;p

I pulse it a few times before letting it run continuously for about 20-30 seconds. 

It's a very satisfying smoothie in my opinion; so it's a nice treat to both your tastebuds and your body, as it supplies healthy nutrients, good fiber amongst many other benefits.

You can even take this smoothie and freeze it into popsicles, for a frostier treat.

All blended up and ready to be savored.

I think that I may still post a recipe for a Ginger Tea, that I make, but we'll see. It's getting down to -8F over here; so it depends on how thawed out, I'll be tomorrow.
Thanks to my brother for this awesome magnet. It's what we do!

Mabuhay!  To your Health!  Cheers!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jess Tells Tales: What was that song about? Teachers lie about things.

Hi again!
I know, aren't you surprised to be having another post soon after the last?
Maybe it's the cold temperatures that encourage my fingers to type incessantly or recant tales in order to keep my brain from freezing.

In this installment I have a short anecdote from my choir days. I had a good time in choir when we were singing, but not so much when dealing with the cliques and politics of favortism etc. There were definitely a lot of people who thought they were 'Divas, all that an a bag of chips, yes folks,' but yeah...

I love languages; so it was always fun to sing in Spanish, Japanese, Kisawahili and of course a lot of songs in Latin. I always loved singing Vivaldi, Brahms, John Rutter, well you get the idea. We had to sing  'O Fortuna,' from the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, for one of our yearly shows.

Here is a video from youtube; if you don't immediately recognize the name of this piece. It gets used in so many things, adverts, movie trailers. You name it, they've probably used it for whatever or whichever purpose.

Carmina Burana Wheel

Okay, so now that you've said 'Oh yeahhhhh, I know that one!,' we'll continue with the story now.
It's a very dramatic and ominous sounding piece; so you can imagine how many epic and horror movies have employed this piece of music. During one of our rehearsals, one of my classmates asked what the piece was about and my choir director proceeded to say 'It's about this woman named Fortuna, who is being condemned to death by stoning.' I heard her say that and was thinking to myself 'Uhhhh, no it's not.'
I never studied Latin, but I've studied plenty of Romance languages to understand the Latin lyrics.
Here are the lyrics courtesy of  the Wikipedia article:

Original Latin:

O Fortuna

velut luna

statu variabilis,
semper crescis
aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis
nunc obdurat
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.

Sors immanis
et inanis,
rota tu volubilis,
status malus,
vana salus
semper dissolubilis,
et velata
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
dorsum nudum
fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis
et virtutis
michi nunc contraria,
est affectus
et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!
This is a beautiful blue moon!
Now the English translation:


like the moon

you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as the sharp mind takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!

Yeah, my choir director was pretty far off from the subject, although there is a slim chance that they were just trying to shut up the students to speed along the rehearsal, but you can decide the truth for yourselves.

Short and sweet one, for today. I hope that you enjoyed it!

Love and Well Being,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jess Learn Something!: More Cool Pasalubong from the Philippines

Oh, it's the first post of the new year. I hope that you new year is treating you well so far.  I've been busy being a Jessicle, but there are more posts in the queue as usual. Today it'll be more 'show and tell,' and the next post will probably be a recipe or another tale.

This blog doesn't have a set schedule, but I think that I would like to try and post at least 2 times a week.
I'm thinking of making the 'essay,' type posts shorter; so that I can post more, but who knows. I'm going to experiment and we'll see what I end up making.

So, here are some more photos of cool Pasalubong from the Philippines.

This is a bag from the 'Cream of the Scrap,' line from the store Artwork. A really cool chain of stores that is based out of the Philippines and features local artists/contributors. This bag is made out of the scraps and fabric samples that are leftover; so each one is unique. 

This is the other side of the 'Cream of the scrap,' bag. I like the crazy strawberry suit man.

I don't usually wear hats, but I really liked these type of hats. The designs were really cool as well. My favorite is the one with faces.

The hats are reversible. This is what the design is on the interior.

Canvas/Jute bags, this one features the Salakot.

Kiss kiss!

I love the graphic print and text of this one.

2 types of batik bags

Another view of the batik bags

These are fairly common and I think these two are from the Baguio region.

Cebu's Tay Seng Bakery's special hopia.

Did you see the price of this wonderful snack?

Tay Seng, Sesame cake- Ingredients: Sesame, Flour, Sugar, Glucose, Mongo (mung bean) and vegetable oil.

I was so happy to find this unique treat that is a Cebu specialty. It's also one of the few types of Hopia that I could actually eat. 

Artisan Chocolate Bars from Manila based Theo Philo- Dark Chocolate with Calamansi, Dark Chocolate with Green Mango and Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate with Siling Labuyo (Labuyo Chile). 

While I was in Manila I saw a piece about Ralfe Gourmet and their Tablea/chocolate empire based out of Cebu; so I had to pick up some of their Tablea. This one is the quick cooking version. the tablets are like thin wafers of chocolate.

This is chocolate tablea from Argao, Cebu by the Tablea chain. They have a wide selection of chocolate from all the different regions of the Philippines. 

Chocolate Tablea from Argao, Cebu.
I will have to put a review of the different types of chocolate and I'm sure that'll be soon enough; since I'm a Jessicle right now and could stand to drink a few cups of good and true Philippine Cacao.

All of these things hold different memories of my visit and of course help me to keep my well wishing thoughts for the Philippines and all of my family and friends over there. Recover, rebuild and thrive! I love you all <3

I will possibly come back and elaborate on a few of the items, but for now; I'm going to make some tea and try to thaw myself out!

Love and good health to you all,