anthropologist, musician, artist, domestic gypsy and spiritualist…

Like Mama Made ’em Pancakes ~ The Gluten Free Remix

by Alisa Rose inspired by Mama Lisa


In the last year I made the incidental discovery that my body does not like wheat-gluten. Call it allergic, intolerant, psycho-symatic… whatever. All I know is that I feel happier and healthier when I don’t eat it. So this has posed both a fun and frustrating challenge that has forced me into some corners where I have had to get creative (and I LOVE it!). One of the primary creative challenges ended up being family recipes. For one thing, my family recipes that have been passed down through generations of Southern and Mexican women have been something like, “Add a large spoonful of…” “Start with a heaping scoop…” and “add milk till it looks right..” What does that even mean?!?! So, I had to learn. Then after all that, I had to learn to make it gluten free, which meant having to shift a lot of the proportions and ingredients so that I was getting just the right texture, flavor and taste. So, I started with what I thought would be easiest: Pancakes. I ended up going through five different brands of artisan gluten free flour mixes and eight different recipes before I got here. And, I am proud to say, they are just like Mama made them. Plus they are sugar and dairy-free! Triple bonus!


3 cups of Trader Joe’s gluten-free Flour Mix
1 tsp Salt
2 heaping tsp of Baking Powder
1 tbsp melted Virgin Coconut Oil
1 tbsp light Agave Nectar (optional)
2 large eggs
1- 1 1/4 cup Coconut Milk  or Milk (I prefer coconut milk)


Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, salt, baking powder).

With a spoon create a hollow in the middle of the flower mix, like a little cereal bowl.

Drop the eggs (cracked… this recipe does not call for egg shells) into the hollow, along with the melted coconut oil and agave. Gently mix the wet ingredients together. Do not worry if the flour starts to blend in… that’s the idea.

Start to mix in the milk a little bit at a time, slowly incorporating the flour and wet ingredients together. The texture should be like pudding. If the batter is still too thick after adding all the milk pour in a little bit more till you have reached the desired texture.

Light your griddle or skillet on medium heat and grease it with coconut oil or vegetable oil. In my family, we leave the batter to set a bit while the griddle is heating up, which gives it a little bit more rise. When the griddle is hot, use a small ladle or a measuring cup to pour your batter onto the hot surface.

When you begin to see bubbles rising and popping on the raw side of the pancake you are ready to flip. This is about a minute or a little more. Flip the pancake and let it set for 45 seconds to a minute. Remove the pancakes from the hot surface and serve them or pile them on a cooling rack with a towel under it (the towel is for catching the crumbs).

Serve them hot or save them for later!


Other Fun Add-ins:
Corn (yes)
Crispy Bacon (yes, again)
Chia Seeds
Poppy Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin Puree
Curry (O yes!)
Peanut Butter
Almond Butter
Cocoa Powder
Lemon Juice
Orange Juice
Lime Juice
Stewed Cranberries
Chopped Almonds
Chopped Peanuts

(place the following add-ins on the pancake while its raw on the skillet)
Chocolate Chips
Cored Apple Rings
Pineapple Rings
Cubed Apricots
Halved Cherry Tomatoes (yes… yes)
Sliced Star Fruit
Whatever… get crazy!


Crazy Mac & Cheese

by Alisa Rose P.

This is potentially one of the most unusual and craziest Mac & Cheese recipes you will ever try, while still remaining true to the essential aspects of the classic dish. This version of Mac & Cheese is zesty, flavorful and still amazingly gooey and comforting. I’ll explain the method to the madness in my summary but, really…  you just have to try it to really understand it 🙂



1 bag Brown Rice Pasta Spirals (or your favorite pasta)
1/4 cup Almond Milk
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
2 tbsp. strained Bacon Fat (yes….I used bacon fat)
1 cup grated Cheese
2 slices of Salami, finely chopped

The Steps:

Prepare your Brown Rice Pasta according to the package instructions. Note, that it is easy to over-cook Brown Rice Pasta, so keep an eye on it.

Finely chop two slices of Salami and briefly crisp them in a small skillet. Remove the toasted pieces from the heat and set aside.

Halve your Yellow Bell Pepper and remove the stem and seeds. In a blender, puree together your Almond Milk and Yellow Bell Pepper. Once it is creamy and smooth, heat the  mix in a sauce pan, adding the bacon fat to melt. Whisk the sauce regularly, as it heats up. When the sauce has heated sufficiently and the bacon fat has completely melted, pour it over the cooked and strained pasta. Stir in the cheese until it is gooey and melted.

Garnish your servings with the crispy, toasted Salami.


The Reason for the Madness:

Each ingredient has a reason for its presence in this crazy recipe, both practically and in relationship to flavor. Almond Milk provides and nutty and smooth flavor that does not rest as heavily as milk does, which is actually important when it is being paired with cheese and bacon fat. You want a liquid with enough fat to bind the ingredients but, that does not leave a coat of cream on your tongue.
Why I chose bacon fat was incidental but turned out to be genius. I had ran out of butter and was already mid-way in the recipe… the best substitute I had was strained bacon fat I had saved a couple of weeks ago. So instead of a quarter cup of butter I used two tablespoons of bacon fat, which is actually less calories in that amount than butter and provides TONS more flavor and the benefit of Omega-3’s. Chemically, it serves the same purpose and brings a touch of bacon taste and unique flavors to the dish.
The yellow bell pepper was included to add color and flavor. Bell Peppers, when blended, are both creamy and zesty, lifting the flavors of what can be a heavy dish. Plus, I love the benefit of “hidden” vegetables and the nutrition they provide in a comfort food meal.
I chose crispy, toasted Salami because the peppery and full flavors of Salami require no addition and hardly any cook time and provide so, so much flavor to the dish.
The Brown Rice Pasta? I am allergic to wheat 🙂

Cucumber and Lentil Salad

by Mama Lisa

This recipe is tremendously easy and is really great for potlucks, picnics or as a side for any meal. My mother was clever enough to think this one up on her way to a party one day, needing to mix up a last minute dish. And, it has stuck with us ever since!



2 cups Steamed Lentils
half a Cucumber, sliced and quartered
1/4 cup Green Onions, diced
1 Lemon, squeezed
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Slice and quarter half of a large Cucumber and set aside. Dice your Green Onions and also set aside.

You can either steam your own Lentils, or Trader Joe’s has lovely, pre-steamed Lentils in their Salad and Greens section of the Produce Department.

Place the Lentils, Cucumbers and Green Onions in a large bowl together. Squeeze the Juice of one Lemon into the bowl and add a swirl of Olive Oil (about 1-2 tsp. worth). Sprinkle in Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir all the ingredients together until evenly combined.


Other Fun Add-ins:

Pablano Peppers
Feta Cheese
Chopped Snap Peas
Brown Rice
Yellow Squash
Parmesan Cheese
Marinated Tofu
Shredded Kale
Steamed Spinach
Chick Peas

Building Your Pantry ~ Five Essential Herbs and Spices

by Alisa Rose P.

Herbs are an easy and essential way to bring excitement and interest to any dish. They are aromatic and delicious, they run from sweet, warm flavors, to spicy and savory. Herbs have been used the world round by many cultures both for the flavor as well as their medicinal and magical properties, according to each tradition. Dried herbs and seasonings are still an essential part of any kitchen and healthy home, bringing flavor both to our food and to our lives. These five herbs are what I have found to be the five most useful, diverse and are a good place to start building your pantry.



I don’t know many people, if any, who don’t love a dash of cinnamon in their cookies, on their toast, over their cereal, swirled in their coffee… It’s warm and sweet flavors add a lingering warmth to desserts and mellow smoothness to savory stews and casseroles. Cinnamon hails from Bangladesh originally and  is said to inspire motivation, clarity and comfort, as well as strengthen bonds between family and friends. Cinnamon also boosts your metabolism, helps with digestion and can help alleviate small headaches.


Rosemary’s bright flavors and distinct aroma makes any  heavy dish come to life, bringing it out of the muddy mire of flat flavors. I prefer fresh Rosemary, which I have grown at every studio, apartment and house I have lived in. All it takes is a small sprig. Strip the green leaves and chop or add whole. Rosemary is said to offer protection and healing, along with clarity and focus. It also can relieve headaches, reduce swelling, improve memory and is naturally anti-bacterial. Rosemary can first be seen in archaeological records as growing in Asia and the Mediterranean, but has been internationally prolific for centuries and become a cornerstone in many recipes.


The peppy and almost spicy flavors of ginger can brighten up and add a fresh kick to both savory and sweet foods. Ginger, both fresh or powdered, can be added to a salad dressing, sprinkled onto stir-fry, blended in a smoothie, or brewed into tea for a pleasant zing. Indigenous to Asia, ginger is said to empower and bring good luck to those who eat it. Ginger also eases nausea and cramps, prevents colds, can boost the metabolism and is, apparently, an aphrodisiac.


The rich and full flavors of cumin add depth and punch to any savory dish. Whether as whole seed or in powder, cumin is diverse and fills any flavor “gaps” you might have in your food. Which, is probably why it was so popular in Mediterranean trading routes in ancient times, as it is native to Egypt, and still remains a common element in the kitchen. Cumin also tastes great sprinkled on fruit, believe it or not, and dashed into drinks like Margarita’s, Orange Juice or Watermelon Slush. Cumin is said to boost loyalty and bonds in personal relationships, offer positive energy to a home and help release negativity. Cumin also is rich in iron and helps in liver detoxification.


Roasted, raw, powdered, sauteed or ground. I have never had a dish that I regretted adding garlic to. Garlics mild spice, rich tones and smooth warmth makes every meal flavorful and cravably perfect. While Garlic’s early ancestors grew in Central Asia originally, it has long been prolific throughout the Western world and become a staple for many culinary traditions. Garlic is said to offer intense protection, healing and inspire romance. Garlic tablets can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, prevents skin from wrinkling, and keeps mosquitos from biting.

NOTE: I did not include Salt and Pepper, as these are counter top basics and seemed too obvious…. I also avoided my spicy essentials like chili flakes, allspice and chipotle powder for those who are less inclined. That’ll be a separate post perhaps 😉

So, tell me, what are you pantry essentials?

Cashew Pudding ~ Easy as 1,2,3

by Ailis Roisin

This sweet and creamy dessert is happily healthy and surprisingly vegan! It is full of protein, good fiber, low calories, is sugar-free and rescues you from your treacherous sweet tooth cravings in the most delicious way. And, it only requires three ingredients and takes less than three minutes!



8 oz Raw Cashews
1 cup Vanilla Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
1 tbsp (or less) Agave Nectar


Place all three ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Blend until creamy and smooth (less than a minute, if that).

Serve. Yes… it is seriously THAT easy!

Other Fun Add-ins:

To make chocolate pudding, add a tablespoon of Cocoa Powder and a touch more Agave Nectar.
Add 1/2 cup any fresh fruit you fancy… Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas, Mango, Freshly Grated Lemon Zest… near endless possibilities here!

**Keep any extras Refrigerated** 

Before You Travel~ Five Things To Do

by Alisa Rose P.


The transition from glorious vacation and rest, to the mundane and dull can be difficult and frustrating… dreaming of majestic mountains and pristine beaches and wishing you could be back there makes going to work so much harder than usual. So, here are five things you can do in your home before you leave to make coming home a welcome haven for rest between work and wonder land. It only takes a half hour to do everything on the list and it is so worth it. Because, when you come home from Paradise, the last thing you want to do is clean dishes or fold laundry. You need a nap! So, make sure that’s all out of the way (or most of it) so you can prepare yourself for the dull day ahead.

**I highly recommend house sitters do this as well… the last thing a home owner wants to do when they come home, is clean up someone ELSE’s mess.**

1) Take Out the Trash and Recycling-
This may seem like no brainer stuff, but you would be surprised how many families I have watched pets for who have left this undone, without realizing they will come home to stinky trash (so, I take it out). The scent of over-ripe veggies and past-its-prime meat packages is not pleasant to begin with but it is most unwelcome when its the first thing you notice walking in after vacation… your mind instantly turns to dread and the feeling that the next two hours are going to become a domino effect of chores. It’s a less than one minute task. Walk it out and dump the trash and recycling in the respective bins.

2) Do the Dishes-
I know… we all dread it. But, dreading it after vacation is worse than doing it before you leave. You can even leave them in the drying rack or fill the dishwasher right before you leave. Just make sure they are out of the sink and cleaned. No one wants to come home to a dirty pile, especially when you are hungry and you need a plate or bowl. I find that even the most horrendous piles of dishes take no more then ten minutes, fifteen tops.

3) Make the Bed-
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like coming home on a normal day to a made bed. It’s inviting, cozy and comforting. Travel is exhausting and coming home to a fluffy welcoming bed you can flop down on is relieving… much better than shoving the laundry and paper work off of it and curling up in a corner with a wadded up blanket. It takes about one minute, or a little more if you are like me and have a thousand pillows of various sizes and shapes. And it is sooo worth it.

4) Wipe Down Your Counters-
This includes your bathroom counters. Why? I don’t know many people who like looking at the Jackson Pollock like arrangement of food smears and jelly blobs, left on the counter after a quick departure or harried meal. Or, the fine layer of cosmetic powder and flecks of toothpaste smattered on the bathroom sink and tile counter. Coming home to the gelatinous, crusted mess after vacation is frustrating. I, for one, find that it adds to the exhaustion and makes me want to turn around and get right back on the plain to la-la-land and stay there until I am bankrupt. It’s a three minute job tops. Spray. Swipe. Done.

5) Put Your Laundry in the Basket
That’s right… I did NOT tell you to fold it, OR put it away. But, at least put it in its respective dirty or clean basket… AT LEAST. I know, as a clothes fiend, that packing somehow results in a scene that appears as if my closet has vomited all of its contents onto the floor, bed and down the hall. Coming home with dirty clothes in your luggage that you rummage through for souvenirs and your toothbrush before you promptly pass-out only adds to the mess. So, get it off the floor and bed and into a basket — one for dirty, one for clean. It takes maybe a minute, possibly two if you have to sort which is dirty and which is clean.

It’s a simple list, and it can be done in less than half an hour. You can spend your whole vacation without worrying about what you left undone and it will make coming home a relief … or, at least, less of a drag.


Welcome! Thank you for joining me here. This blog is an experiment and expression of my exploration of a new chapter in my life, as each day is. It is as much a place of assertion of my presence, as it is a wandering and wondering. But, this is life, right? A constant push and pull of an assertion that causes a reaction which we respond to with either accommodation or continuation.
This blog will be a sort of journalistic playground as I express my passions and explore them, finding who I am through art, music, wanderlust play and domestic indulgence (yes, I consider it a delicious indulging to live domestically). I hope that it will bring together people of many kinds as they seek a reflection in the world and affirmation of who they are… who you are. So, in all sincerity, again, welcome. May my words and actions resonate with you, and may we all find home in ourselves together.

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