Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!



There is no time like Christmas time! 
Do not allow anything or anybody 
to take the joy of the Season away from you. 
Celebrate like never before! 

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 

Dominique Allmon

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Homemade Apricot Cardamom Pralines



Here is something I indulge in without any guilt whatsoever. I have a sweet tooth and love sweet treats, but I also know that sugar, especially the refined version, is really bad for health. A piece of fruit may satisfy sugar craving, but is not always what I want. I created these delicious pralines that can be made any time of the year, but especially when the Holiday Season comes. They make a perfect gift for Christmas and are very easy and fun to make. If you have children, they would love to do the work for you. 

This recipe makes 34 delicious pralines. They are vegan, gluten-free, and suited for people who follow raw food or paleo diet.  No sugar added.
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups dried, non-sulfured seedless apricots
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil (melted in water bath)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour (you can also use almond flour)
  • 1 Tbsp grind cardamom
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp mixed spices: allspice, nutmeg, cloves, dried ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic salt
  • coconut flakes for garnish
  • raw cacao with cinnamon for garnish
  • coconut flour with cardamom for garnish
  • raw sesame seeds for garnish


Method:
  • Place washed and cleaned apricots in a medium large bowl. Add enough purified or spring water to cover the apricots set aside. Allow to macerate over night.
  • Strain apricots but do not discard the liquid. It can be added to smoothies.
  • Place apricots in a food processor and mash using the S blade. Process until you receive a smooth paste. Add melted coconut oil and mix again. To melt coconut oil fill a medium large bowl with hot water. Put the measured amount of coconut oil into a small bowl. Place the small bowl in a bowl of hot water and allow it to sit there until coconut oil turned into liquid.
  • To make the dough you can use the food processor, I prefer to do it the old way - by hand in a large bowl. I use large spatula. It is quite a fun and a good exercise, but it takes a bit of time.
  • If you decide to follow me in the exercise, transfer apricot paste into a large bowl add spices, salt, raw cacao and mix well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add coconut flour and mix well. You should be able to make a dough that is firm, but sticky enough to form small round pralines. 
  • To make the pralines portion out a chunk of dough (about 1 Tbsp) and roll it to shape between your palms. Set each praline aside. 
  • Prepare four small plates with garnish ingredients. I leave the proportions to you. Divide the amount of pralines you formed out of the dough into four groups and give them the final touch rolling them in garnish ingredients. Shape pralines back to shape if necessary. Ready!

You can place the ready pralines in individual candy paper cups and box them or leave them on a platter for everyone to enjoy right away.

This candy never lasts long when I am around so I have no need for refrigeration, but I suggest that you keep your pralines in the fridge if you want to preserve their goodness. You probably can dehydrate them in your dehydrator on the lowest possible temperature, but this will, most probably, alter the texture a bit. If you have time and means you can also dip this confections in a chocolate ganache and decorate them as they cool off. Experiment. And whatever you decide to do, enjoy it!

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon©2015


          

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Climate Change



First it was global cooling (1970s), then global warming (mid-1990s and on), now, probably out of pure embarrassment, it is simply the climate change. The heated debate brings skeptics, climate change deniers, fanatics and the hypocrites to, or near, each climate conference. And while the skeptics are being ridiculed; the deniers threatened with imprisonment; the fanatics ready to damp their cars and ride on bikes in cold and snow; the hypocrites are not in the slightest ashamed to travel in private jets from one corner of the Earth to another. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is chilling indeed. 

The current conference is under way in Paris where delegates of 195 countries responsible for negotiating a climate agreement are working together to pass a binding document that will put an end to, or at least slow down, the change of climate on planet Earth. The treaty may, or may not, include a plan to extinguish the Sun whose activity is in great part responsible for the irregular weather patterns and climate formation on Earth.

Forgive me my sarcasm, but climate change is a big and very lucrative business, and much of what is going on, is happening in the "dark," behind closed doors. One can only speculate on who is really involved here and who will profit the most.

The climate is visibly changing and the powers to be decided that we will have to pay for it. Emphasis on "we" not them. I wish that someone told me why the same group of actors suppresses the research on free energy that was originally initiated by Nicola Tesla.

The climate change dogma does not tolerate dissent of any kind. It preaches that climate change is anthropogenic or man-made. It also preaches that the changes are irreversible, but can be slowed down by restricting human activities that caused them. No matter that climate changes are cyclical. No matter that some serious causes of climate change come from nature. 

The natural causes of climate change include changes in Earth's orbit and in the amount of energy emitted by the Sun. Furthermore, volcanic eruptions are also considered to cause variations in climate. The eco-fascists, however, do not even bother to take these factors into consideration. The wild nature only spoils the rigid models developed in laboratory setting. Such narrative supports a sinister political agenda of a certain group of people and cannot be changed. 

Scientists who propagate the "global cooling, global warming, climate change" theory want us to believe that recent changes in climate cannot be explained by nature alone. They claim that most of the warming since the mid-1900s is caused by human activity, most notably by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. This human activity contributes to the greenhouse effect whereas heat is "trapped" by gases such as carbon dioxide. A drastic reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels would consequently lead to cooling and stabilization of climate. At least in theory, as postulated by these same scientists. 

That plants need carbon dioxide for their growth and development is not often considered in these equations. The systematic destruction of the jungles in Indonesia and Brazil and the deforestation of other regions is an industrial factor often overlooked in the debates as if the one thing had nothing to do with the other.


We've been duped before. Do you remember the Climategate? Certain scientists had to admit in the past that they falsified data in their climate models to prove that there was global warming, and yet, their theories were sold to us as the only truth that there was. Can we trust them again? Why should we?

Individually, for each of us, the changing weather patterns are only a fraction of what we have been able to observe and understand in our relatively short lives. I was born in July and my mother told me that it was so cold back then that people actually thought it would snow. I have never ever experienced such a cold summer again and I would be lying if I told you that things right now are just the way they were five, ten, or fifteen years ago. Something is definitely going on. The summers are definitely getting hotter, the winters longer and colder. But this, of course, depends on where you live. 

In 1800s people in Northern Europe had a mini ice age to cope with. Charles Dickens witnessed a frozen Thames. In February 1814 London experienced the coldest frost it had known in many centuries. Reportedly, an elephant was led under the Blackfriars Bridge during annual frost fair. After that year Thames never froze again. From the perspective of Charles Dickens and his contemporaries this unprecedented climate warming might have felt like a disaster of sorts. And if it did not, it was only because people were so ignorant and unenlightened in the past. Right? I cannot help, but think that people in England actually welcomed that change and no one was thrown to Tower for causing the warm weather. There is also no record of whether the elephant was beheaded or not.

No one wants the planet to go under, but have you ever been near an oil field? The gas is often burned off, a wasteful practice that makes one wonder what is actually going on. And while the oil companies can do this without punishment, you might be fined in the future for having a barbecue party in your yard. Oil flaring seems to be an accepted practice, but a grill in the backyard might cause irreparable damage to the climate and perpetrators must be stopped by all means necessary. If this does not make you speechless, I don't know what would.

Not many people are aware of the fact that weather can indeed be manipulated and changed. The chemtrails and HAARP are not necessarily subjects of casual conversation. That this human activity may in fact be responsible for extreme weather and changes in climate does not even occur to those who decide to ride a bike to work in a snow blizzard with the hope that their humble contribution may save the Earth. There are too many unanswered questions, but when in doubt, follow the money.

Something must be done and everyone should care, but how much can you as an individual do to reverse damage caused by an extravaganza of others. Imagine a president of one country and his wife traveling in two different presidential 747 jumbo jets to one venue at one destination, to show up there at the same time, but feeling too important to even board one airplane. Imagine that the very same president vehemently preaches that climate change must be stopped by all means necessary, but it is of course you who must reconsider your carbon footprint. And to help you do this you were given a mercury loaded electric bulb that cannot be simply thrown away. So, remember to dispose of it correctly.
 
Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon©2015

    
Images source here

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!



True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not. - Seneca

Wishing everyone a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving! - Dominique Allmon

    

Image by Dominique Allmon©2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Paris Is Still Here



Tonight is a moment of pain, 
of tears, of mourning, 
but Paris is still here. 

Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Once again our hearts go out to Paris as the French President Francois Hollande declares a state of emergency across the country after a series of terrorist attacks that rocked Paris, killing at least 129 and wounding more than 400 people on November 13, 2015. 

Things must change in Europe before it's too late...

Makeshift memorial at Carillon cafe, Paris
November 14, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

240 Years of the US Marine Corps


The US Marine Corps Silent Drill

For James

"Mere words cannot express what it means to be a part of the most amazing and elite fraternity in the Universe." - Sgt. James W. Allmon, USMC

"I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past." - Cpl. Jeff Sornig, USMC, in Navy Times, November 1994 

For the last 240 years US Marine Corps was and continues to be a brotherhood of a very special brand of men, and relatively recently, women. They are the few, the brave. As Gen. William Thornson of the US. Army once said, There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion. 

The Marines are the first to go and the last to leave. Their courage and bravery is legendary. And they are never "ex", not even "former" Marines. A Marine is a Marine for life. He only wears a different uniform when not in active duty anymore. But only the Marines know why.

 Happy 240th Birthday US Marine Corps!
And a very Happy Birthday to my special Marine!

Dominique Allmon



         

Image source here

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Shadow



I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, 
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. 
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; 
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow; 
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball, 
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all. 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play, 
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way. 
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see; 
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me! 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up, 
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; 
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head, 
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed. 

By Robert Louis Stevenson

From The Golden Book of Poetry (1974)


   

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Image: Portrait of a Child, 1922
Image source here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pink October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month


October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Hot Pink Griffin Survivor Case for iPhone 5 

By the end of the first week in October, at the latest, everybody must have noticed that we are celebrating the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons, pink ribbon marathons, pink ribbon rallies, pink ribbon merchandise everywhere you go.

Breast cancer is a cancer that affects the breast tissues. It usually forms in the ducts that carry milk to the nipples and in the glands that make milk (lobules). This life-threatening disease affects mostly women, but also more and more men. 

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world. It is a deadly disease that claims countless lives every year and yet, till this day there is no efficient cure for it. The currently offered therapy leaves breast cancer survivors scarred for life - if not physically than at least mentally.  

Breast cancer diagnosis comes as a shock even to those who have a breast cancer history in their families. To many people breast cancer certainly seems like a death sentence. And yet, breast cancer, like many other cancers, is a symptom of wrong choices we make daily. 

Breast cancer can be prevented! Prevention means a conscious, drastic change of a lifestyle - a step that more and more people are willing to take.

The importance of early detection of breast cancer cannot be underestimated. It takes only a few minutes a day to perform self-examination. 

Physical activity, stress control and healthy nutrition are absolutely vital in prevention of any disease and cancer is no exception. 

Research shows that many foods and nutrients have very high anti-tumor potential. By adding them to your daily nutritional plan you may be able to increase your survival chances. 

The anti breast-cancer diet should include high doses of:
  • vitamin D 
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin C 
  • calcium D-glucarate 
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • oleic acid
  • power foods such as pomegranate and raspberries
  • cruciferous vegetables rich in the cancer fighting indole-3-carbinole
  • curcumin found in Indian curry (turmeric)
  • green tea
  • graviola (soursop) 
  • soy isoflavones
  • flax rich in lingans
  • medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake and maitake
Currently even Cannabis is considered to be a potential cure for many cancers, including the breast cancer. Although by federal law possession of cannabis (marijuana) is illegal in the United States, a growing number of states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize its use for medical purposes. 

Research shows that cannabinoids (compounds of Cannabis) activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce healing effects, especially in the nervous system and in the immune system. 

The FDA does not approve Cannabis as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition. However, commercially available cannabinoids, such as nabilone, are approved for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.

Advanced breast cancer does not respond well to therapy. This fact makes prevention more important than ever. Knowledge may save lives.

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon@2015


    

* This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Quote of the Day




Things never go the way you expect them to. That's both the joy and frustration in life. I'm finding as I get older that I don't mind, though. It's the surprises that tickle me the most, the things you don't see coming. - Michael Stuhlbarg

Image source here

         

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Star Wars Wisdom


Alex Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi

You can’t win, 
Darth. 
Strike me down, 
and I will become 
more powerful 
than you could possibly 
imagine. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
 

         

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Already?!


Taking off into September

In many ways, September feels like the busiest time of the year: The kids go back to school, work piles up after the summer's dog days, and Thanksgiving is suddenly upon us. - Brene Brown

Image from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2015 


         

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Spicy Bacon Cheddar Muffins



After our visit to the annual Roswell Farmers' Market only a week ago my husband and I were tempted to attend as vendors. We only had a couple of days to decide what we wanted to offer to visitors and I came up with a few recipes for muffins and cakes. We baked the goods in our kitchen and brought them to the market last Saturday. The response was much better than I expected. A real success, to be true. 

In this post I am sharing with you my, now famous, Spicy Bacon Cheddar Muffins recipe. Since more and more people are becoming sensitive to gluten, I used a high quality gluten-free baking mix. You can use regular flour to bake them, but remember to adjust the amounts of ingredients and add baking powder.

Ready for the market! 
Spicy Bacon Cheddar Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
  • 8-10 slices of smoked bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk (use water if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (you can use the fat from frying bacon if you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp crushed hot chili pepper
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried crushed thyme 
  • 1 egg, beaten until liquid
  • 1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper

Tools: 
  • frying pan
  • large mixing bowl
  • balloon whisk
  • 12 medium cup muffin baking pan 
  • pastry brush
  • cooling pastry rack 
   
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/around 176°C.
  • In a frying pan fry bacon slices until crispy. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a sheet of kitchen paper. Once bacon slices cooled off crush them with a wooden spoon into a small chunks. Set aside.
  • Transfer the baking mix into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk and melted butter. Using balloon whisk mix the ingredients until you obtained a smooth, flowing batter. Add crushed bacon, shredded cheese, and spices. Mix well. The batter should be slightly flowing, but not too thick and not too thin.
  • Depending on the type of your baking pan you may want to use paper cupcake liners or melted butter to prevent the muffins from sticking to the pan. Prepare your baking pan accordingly and fill each cup about 2/3 with the batter.
  • Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for 18 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Using a pastry brush spread the beaten egg over the muffins. Sprinkle some hot pepper flakes and place the baking pan in the oven for another 2-3 minutes. 
  • Insert a toothpick to test whether muffins are fully baked. When toothpick comes out completely dry, your muffins are ready. 
  • Remove the muffins from the baking pan and place them on a cooling pastry rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

These muffins will kick you out of your socks. They are perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat them instead of your traditional bread rolls with fried eggs, soup or salad. Enjoy in good company!

By Dominique Allmon

Dominique Allmon©2015