How to bring awareness to your cooking and The best squash stew in the world!

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How to bring awareness to your cooking and The best squash stew in the world!

There are three things that I consider to be totally essential when we cook: the quality of the ingredients, the cooking style we choose to transform our food, and the attention we cook the ingredients with. Most of times we take it for granted the time we spend cooking, we don’t dedicate that much time to such activity, we sometimes cook in a rush, without love and attention….Cooking is an alchemist process that happens in the kitchen, it is transforming the food the earth gives with the energy of fire to produce the energy we want to live our lives with…it’s such a sacred act of love towards ourselves! Why not giving more attention and time to such a pure act that can bring so many benefits?????

I consider myself such a lucky woman for being able to share a lovely house with my beloved friend Ernesto, a man full of wisdom with whom I immensely grow everyday. Short time ago he suggested to me trying a new “exercise” to help me slow down in life (the ones that already know me know that I’m a little bit like an earthquake, so difficult to stop me!…). It has helped me A LOT to slow down, to be more awareness to my cooking and to be at peace with myself, so I thought I’d love to share it with you :) Do you wanna do the exercise with me?

It’s really simple :) You just have to pay attention to the noise you make when you are in the kitchen room. That’s it. So from now on, pay attention on how you grab the pots and pans, how you put down the glasses on the table, how you slam the door of the fridge…in a nutshell: just pay attention to the rithm and anxiety you cook with. This is such a good exercise to bring your mind and attention to the present moment, to be here and now. According to Ernesto, when I’m experimenting all my recipes in the kitchen there is such a noise in the house…The difference now is HUGE! The result in two days is that I cook waaaaaay more relaxed, I move slowly, I don’t rush in the kitchen and I DO ONE THING AT A TIME. I assure you that the state of piece, calm and relaxation is incredible and you can absolutely tell that energy in the food!

And…about the quality of the ingredients, I strongly recommend to find really good, organic, sweet squash…the difference is big! Hokkaido is a great variety that I love because of its sweetness, and I also like butternut squash a lot too ;) Now is THE season for good squash, so make sure you don’t let this recipe to sit there till Spring…Make it now!

It was beautiful yesterday while eating this great recipe…first because the quality of the squash was the best I had ever tried in my life, it was like pure honey… and second, I work as a chef so it is not everyday that I can be so lucky to have the opportunity to cook in such a state of PEACE and RELAX.

So take advantage of every moment you are in the kitchen and bring your awareness to the food you cook and eat, and feel the luckiest person in the world for having the opportunity to cook and taste your food in such a state of mind!


My friend Ernesto and me in the garden!

And now it’s time for all the pictures of the stew and the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

squash chopped-squash calabaza-cortada


estofado-de-calabaza squash-stew-with-mochi


Time: 30 minutes
Portions: 3-4


Olive oil or light sesame oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1, chopped in cubes
Hokkaido squash, or a very sweet squash: 3 cups, cut in medium size chunks
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Water: 1/4 cup
Mochi (optional)*: 1 cake, grated
Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme: 1/4 tsp


1.Heat up oil in a pot and fry the onions lightly for about 5 minutes until it gets translucent, adding a splash of water if they get stuck to the pan.

2.Add squash chunks and keep on stirring for about 2 minutes longer to coat it with the oil. Add salt, cover the pot, lower the heat to minimum and let it simmer in its own steam for about 25 minutes. If after 10 minutes the squash gets stuck to the pan you can add 1/4 of water, but sometimes it is not necessary as it starts realizing its own juice.
3.Grate mochi cake and add it to the stew, mixing carefully to avoid breaking apart the squash chunks. Let it cook for 3 more minutes.
Add fresh herbs and serve!

*The use of mochi is totally optional. For those who don’t know what it is, it is simply a Japanese recipe made with sweet brown rice that has been pressed, and dried. When grated, and added to different stews mochi add a nice consistency that resembles to cheese, its function in this recipe is just that one!



· Do you often think that you could slow down in life and bring more awareness to your food and cooking?????

• Do you wanna try this exercise and share with us how you felt about it??

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