Category Archives: General

Gluten Free!

Exciting news!

For many years I have been making an all natural oatmeal cookie with ingredients such as flax seed, all bran, a bit of whole wheat flour, various dried fruits, and almonds. Sometimes I add peanut butter or pumpkin to the base of the cookie. Rather than white sugar, I use honey or applesauce to add sweetness to my recipe. It is a delicious bite and I am thrilled to sell bags daily at our Centerpeace studio and now at Local, a new restaurant in Chappaqua.

Over the course of the past few months, I have been reading about the benefits of removing gluten from our daily diets to reduce inflammation.  A gluten-free diet excludes foods containing gluten, which is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barleyrye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as “dextrin.” I am hopeful that this connection might be specifically helpful to my goal of reducing my own ever-present inflammation in my right leg causing pain and discomfort.

While I had taken a step years ago by switching from white to whole wheat flour, I now wanted to find ways to continue to bake delicious homemade cookies, breads and muffins using only gluten-free ingredients.  And so I began to expand to the gluten-free aisle of the markets where I found a wonderful product.

I am happy to announce a gluten-free version of my cookie.  Its base is made from an amazing baking and pancake mix made by Pamela’s Products, sold at Whole Foods. It is wheat-free and gluten-free.  I have used this brown rice and natural almond meal mixture in pancakes, pumpkin bread, zucchini muffins and now my cookies with delicious success!

Bon Appetit…..




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Slowing Down

“When we lack the proper time for the simple pleasures of life…then we have missed the purpose of life” – Ed Hayes

I hope you all enjoyed the quiet last week and were able to slow down a bit and recharge. This week, as we move back into our schedules, let’s be mindful of the speed by which we travel.  Acknowledge that in our quest to accomplish so much throughout the day, there are meaningful moments not to be missed along the way. Moments that if we consciously slowed down we would be able to see, feel and experience.

How can we balance our daily busy lives while remaining coscious and present to the small moments?

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Greeting Each Day With an Open Heart

Friends,

It’s been a while.

I do my best in greeting the world and each day with an open heart and soft eyes.

I want to share with you a video that really moved me.

This short film illustrates the wonder of our world, its beauty, its people and how profound living a life with gratitude can be.

After you’ve watched it I hope your hearts too feel open to all of life’s blessings.

Have a peaceful holiday season and may your souls fill with Centerpeace.

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“We let love win, when we let love in”

(Saturday, October 8, 2011)

It was a privilege and a gift for me attend Romemu’s Kol Nidre service last night.  While I am three quarters of the way through the day without food, please forgive any grammatical and spelling errors due to the fact that my brain is hungry and not functioning optimally.  That said, my heart is open and I will do my very best to summarize and share with you Rabbi David Ingber’s most thought provoking, inspiring, heartfelt service. What’s missing from my summary is what my words cannot possibly express: the magic of  an enlightening Kol Nidre, beautiful music, smiling faces all around me, spiritual energy, connection,  dear friends, my husband’s hand, and most importantly a Rabbi who I feel so lucky to have in my life. Your spiritual guidance helps, teaches and inspires me to live each day mindfully and lovingly.  Thank you, Rabbi, from the bottom of my heart.

We made it! Another year! Another chance for confession (Toda and Moda which in Hebrew means I admit confession and wrong doing). Yom Kippur is 25 hours of introspection and soul searching.  Reflection!  “Its when we hold up the IS in our life, against the OUGHT of our life.” As long as we are alive we can do the work of repair and detoxification.  We get to align ourselves appropriately each year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  “So how will you use this time?”

Rabbi David says, “everyday our lives are confronted in some way with resistance to love.”  It is a choice we make to give love and let love into our lives.  To let love win…..there is tremendous power in kindness, compassion and loving each other.  “Compassion is our most precious quality.”   Though we are all different, compassion is a trait we all possess.  We are born with it.  Some of us use it more than others but it is in us all.  Living compassionate lives enables us to understand, connect, not judge, like and love.  Living compassionate lives enable others to feel good when they are in our presence.

I left Romemu mindful and ready to begin my 25 hours of introspection and reflection feeling very connected to g-d.  You don’t need to be Jewish to reap the benefits of this message.  Just a human being open to being better; open to living with love and compassion daily.  We may not be able to change the world at large but each one of us has the power to change ourselves.  And one by one, we can make the world a better place to be.

“We let love win, when we love in.” David Ingber

I will use these words as a guiding principle in my life today, tomorrow and the year ahead.  May you find this message rich and meaningful.  Share the words with those you love in hopes that this might spark an opening in their lives for more kindness, more compassion and more love. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “We become what we think about all day long.”
Blessings, Stephanie

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Muffins, Memories and Mom!

My mother was always creative with breakfast when I was growing up. She felt it was the most important meal of the day.  Poached eggs, pancakes, cut grapefruits, fresh squeezed orange juice were some of the highlights on our kitchen counter each morning.  

My favorite was a homemade honey bran muffin.  I can remember loving each bite and hearing her reminder of how healthy this high fiber muffin was for my brother and me to enjoy on occasion. While it does have sugar in it, it’s  filled with so many nutritious ingredients as well.

Have fun taking the time to make these and I hope your family enjoys them.
Thanks, Mom for muffins and my childhood memories that I reflect upon so often as I raise Morgan and Brandon. I love you.
Glaze
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoon honey
3 tbl. boiling water

Muffins
3 cups raisins or 3 cups dates, 3 cups prunes pureed in food processor.
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup flax seeds 
1 cup wheat bran
3 cups all purpose flour
2.5 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.Make the glaze first and use a brush to coat the bottom and sides of muffin tins generously. (Use all of the glaze)
3. Begin the muffin mix by mixing the fruit, honey and oil until smooth.
4.  Beat in eggs, then buttermilk and bran to mixture.
5. Add flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Beat until just combined
7. Fill tins 3/4 full
Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through
Cool 2 minutes and invert onto a rack for cooling.

Recipe makes 12 muffins.

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Watch my garden grow!

This past March I celebrated turning 40.  My husband built me a garden. A square, completely fenced, where I watch Mother Nature create some of the most delicious produce. Each one of my friends contributed to this gift by giving me the seeds to plant, shovels, gloves, hats, gardening shoes, and even bags for the produce labeled with my name. Only a few months later, my family is eating lettuces, striped zucchini, squashes, cucumbers, a variety of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, green peppers, and soon, corn!

Happy Summer! Are you growing anything fabulous this summer? If so, please share!

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Freshen up your cooking with beautiful homegrown herbs!

Whether you love to garden, have the space to plant or simply just love to cook with Mother Nature’s finest, there is nothing quite like fresh herbs.  This season make a pot full of fresh basil, spearmint, rosemary and chives and don’t forget fresh cilantro.  The combination of all four look gorgeous together and will give you a variety to choose from all summer long.

Fresh basil with tomatoes and cucumbers…yum.  Spearmint sprigs in your favorite iced tea make it a most refreshing afternoon beverage.  Rosemary can be added to most roasted veggies, chicken and fish dishes, and chopped chives are always great to have on hand.  Summertime guacamole is extra special with cilantro.  Not to mention, once all of these are ready to harvest, they look beautiful in a vase (instant centerpiece) adding an aromatic freshness to the air….

Try it — you’ll see just how fulfilling it can be to take ingredients from the earth and bring them directly to your table…..with a bath in the sink first of course. Enjoy!

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