Standing Up To Cancer

Beautycounter in support of SU2C

This month, together with Beautycounter, I am raising awareness and funds for Stand Up To Cancer to support critical cancer research and prevention. Beautycounter has generously offered to match each dollar raised (up to $50,000), allowing us to double our impact.

As a consultant for Beautycounter, I try to keep as informed as I can about the dangers of everyday products that we all use in our homes and on our bodies. There are many ways to reduce our exposure to cancer-causing materials, but there is also important research that has to happen for the prevention and battling of specific cancers. SU2C is one organization that is working hard in this arena. Please help further their efforts and support my campaign!

You can donate here:—usa/fundraiser/oonamekas

In addition, a portion of all my sales this month of July will be donated to SU2C. You can shop my site here.

Shine bright! xo, Oona

The best truffles ever… that happen to be vegan.


Vegan truffles. But they don’t taste vegan. REALLY! Melt in your mouth, creamy, chocolaty, rich and wonderful. The recipe is for regular truffles, and then you can experiment with adding different essences (be careful, though! a little goes a looong way!) like orange or mint. Also, adding cinnamon or cayenne pepper (a tiny bit!) to your cocoa when rolling will add a little kick.

One of my favorite gifts to make! It’s great around the holidays or when I’m feeling grateful and want to spread the love… Everyone has some weird diet they follow these days, so I try to be helpful – I make little tags to attach to each box so people know what the ingredients are. It’s the most Martha Stewart I get. 🙂

The best truffles ever… that happen to be vegan.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 50-55 truffles

Vegan chocolate truffles. Made with cashew butter. So rich and creamy that you would never know were vegan!


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate
  • cocoa powder for rolling

Put cashews and cold water in a blender and blend at high speed for 1-2 minutes (yes, a long time).

Scrape the sides down and blend again until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler heat the chocolate until it's all melted.

Cool the chocolate until it's comfortable to work with and fold in the cashew cream. Make sure not to stir too fast or you'll create bubbles.

Cool in the fridge for 2 hours to set.

Remove from fridge. For this step it's helpful to have a little melon scooper or something similar. Take a small amount of the solid mixture, roll into ball, roll in cocoa powder. Place on wax paper or a cold plate. A nice touch if giving these as a gift is to put each truffle in its own little foil or paper cup.

Finished truffles can travel pretty well, but on a sweltering day, they will start to get soft and stick together if not refrigerated.

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Making the Bed the Family Bed

(Article reposted with permission from our lovely contributor’s website,


Let’s be really honest about this—Most moms have had their baby sleep in bed with them at some point. Yeah, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says babies should be in a separate, but proximate surface, like a crib, to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). And, yeah, bed-sharing can be dangerous, especially if measures aren’t taken to make it safer. But, the bassinet just doesn’t work out for everyone. Or a mom finds she gets an extra hour of sleep in the morning if she brings her baby to bed after that 5AM wake-up. Some moms swear they’ll never have their baby in bed with them, until the baby’s up all night for the third night in-a-row on a family trip, because he doesn’t sleep well in the pack n play. And, some families just believe the Dr. Sears’ family bed is best. Whether you’re the mom who swears you’ll never have your baby in bed with you, or you’re planning on a family bed from the start, there may be some things you can learn from five mamas, who bed-share full-time. Here are their tips along with some safety tips from the American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine on bed-sharing:

  • Take steps to avoid anything soft or fluffy near your baby’s mouth: Bed-sharing pros encourage moms to place their baby on her back and to use a firm mattress. Remove pillows, stuffed toys, blankets and fluffy comforters. “We short-sheeted our bed so our covers only came up to our waists.” Bella explains of her family’s strategy for keeping their daughter safe from fluffy bedding, “Our baby slept with her head in line with my breast, for easy breastfeeding but also to keep her away from my pillow. I also only used one pillow and made sure my head was only on one corner of it and the rest was behind my head not near the baby.”
  • Prevent anyone rolling onto the baby or knocking sheets over baby’s face: It’s a good idea to avoid sharing a bed with your baby if you have consumed more than two alcoholic beverages, taken medicine that makes you extra-tired, have had any drugs, or if you’re over-tired. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid bed-sharing with other children or pets in the bed. Denise also offers that “It’s totally normal to kick your husband to the couch occasionally if it’s just too much.”+
  • Side-nursing is glorious: For some, it takes a little figuring out though. “Side-nursing takes practice, especially with large boobies! I couldn’t figure it out till a few months in,” explains Nancy, “I had to rest baby’s head more on my forearm rather than my elbow and lean back a little to get the right angle.”
  • Dress for success: “Keeping your top half warm is a negotiation,” Ilana shares. She wears button front PJs, and just leaves a few undone at night. Some moms also wear a nursing tank underneath a button-down top. Natalie took bed-sharing attire to the next level—she cut holes in her shirts. When her baby, Tara, wiggles at night for food, she just leans towards Tara and she can just latch on. Natalie likes that she stays warm and doesn’t even have to move her shirt.
  • Study up on safety tips: “I was told that if I was going to co-sleep I had to read James McKenna’s book, “Sleeping with your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping“, and follow safe practices as outlined in the book.
  • Beware baby falling (or crawling) off the bed: “Talia crawled off the foot of the bed once. She was fine and didn’t even cry,” shares Natalie, “But, if you’re really committed to co-sleeping, and you’re scared about your baby falling on the floor, you can just put the mattress directly on the floor.” The other moms echoed that putting the mattress on the floor was a life-saver. Moms also found it helped to teach their babies how to climb off of their beds feet-first.
  • Get comfortable: Ilana shared that she got a lot more rest but that it took some tweaking to get comfortable. “I have really broad shoulders, so I needed extra support under my neck to keep my head from rolling uncomfortably. Definitely a long pillow (or a partner!) supporting your back helps,” Ilana explained. “I found that sleeping on a Luna Lullaby nursing pillow was ideal! I recently found a high end “side sleeping” pillow that was just like a smaller Luna— it was almost $300!!!! I felt pretty smart about sleeping on the nursing pillow after that, lol!”
  • Consider a few other safety tips: Second-hand smoke increases the risk of SIDS, so it’s a good idea for you and your spouse or partner to avoid smoking if you’re bed-sharing. Try to avoid sleeping with your baby on a couch or in a recliner, as these are considered especially high risk for SIDS. Also, try to eliminate any gaps between the bed and bedframe or bed and wall. If your husband or partner is a deep sleeper, some moms suggest keeping their baby between mom and a crib or bed-rail attached to the side of their bed.

Whatever you think of co-sleeping, I hope these mamas have had some tips that can help you and your family to stay comfortable and well-rested. Thanks to these mamas for sharing their tips and experiences.  If you want to receive Mama Lovejoy articles automatically through your Facebook feed you can, by liking the Mama Lovejoy Facebook page.


Chocolate sourdough goodness…

As someone who bakes my own sourdough bread every week, I always have a ton of sourdough starter “discard”. This was my first try with this delicious looking recipe for Chocolate Snack Cake from the Cultures for Health website (a great resource for all things fermented). It turned out great! I used coconut oil instead of butter because I was lazy and wanted to be able to pour out my shortening without melting it in a double boiler. I also enjoy the taste of coconut oil. It was quite strong, though, and I think next time I’ll try it with butter.

In our little household this cake was devoured in two days!

*Update 10/9/15: I made this cake a second time this past weekend and added 1/2 cup of buttermilk to make the cake a bit more moist. It was a perfect addition, working nicely with the sourdough flavors.


Chocolate sourdough cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 cake

Chocolate sourdough cake

This is a lightly sweet chocolate cake that has a slight tang to it. Coffee and cinnamon add to an intense flavor!


  • 1 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cold, strong coffee
  • ½ cup fresh sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped nuts or naturally sweetened mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or bundt pan; lightly butter and set aside.

Mix unrefined sugar and butter together in a large bowl until sugar is thoroughly incorporated into butter. Beat in egg, vanilla, coffee, buttermilk and sourdough starter.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder,

baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until batter is mixed through.

Fold in nuts and chocolate chips if you are using them in your recipe. Do not over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack and serve plain or frosted.


(Originally found on, a great resource for all things fermented)

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Brisas del Caribe…

IMG_2744In a previous post where I shared my recipe for Chilean eggs, I realized I couldn’t have breakfast without coffee. I’m not a caffeine addict. Really, I’m not! I went for 6 years without caffeine in my 30s. I just love the taste of coffee. I am a coffee snob and I like to freshly grind my beans. I made it a game with my daughter when she was just a couple of months old, and now every time I start the grinder, she does a little toddler jig while the beans grind. I go back and forth between loving my Melita and getting bored with it. These days I use a Bialetti stove-top espresso maker (3-cup version). It makes a great cup of strong coffee. I make a strong cafe con leche by scalding whole milk in a pan and adding it to my coffee.

For a special treat, I’ll make a Cuban-style cafe con leche. It’s my version of that bullet-proof coffee that everyone is talking about these days. I grew up in lower Manhattan, and my building was right next door to a really amazing restaurant called Brisas Del Caribe. Sadly, it’s no longer in business, like most things that were great about that neighborhood. Everything I do in the kitchen with rice and black beans and maduros and tostones starts with a memory of the wonderful food at Brisas. My favorite drink with all of that? A hot sweet cafe con leche.

It turns out this style of making cafe con leche, which I always thought was Cuban, is actually Miami-Cuban, to be more correct (no wonder I could never find this particular taste in Havana! In my experience hey like their cafecitos without milk – just a nice strong espresso coffee with or without sugar). The addition of butter and salt started in Miami by Cuban immigrants there. I’ve never been to Miami, but I know that I’ll be in search of the best cafe con leche when I finally get there!


Miami-style Cuban coffee

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 6 minutes

Miami-style Cuban coffee

Miami-style Cuban coffee made with a sliver of butter and a pinch of salt. YUM


  • Espresso coffee (roughly 1/3 cup)
  • Scalded milk (roughly 2/3 cup)
  • sliver of butter
  • pinch of salt
  • unbleached sugar, agave or sweetener of your choice (sweetener is traditionally added, but optional)

Brew your dark coffee (preferably espresso), pour into cup. Add a sliver of butter, salt and sweetener and stir until butter is melted. Add a generous amount of scalded milk.

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Savouring the mornings…


Since having a baby, my mornings sometimes seem overtaken by toddler craziness, but I try to always make a breakfast my daughter and I can both enjoy. One of my go-tos is what I call Chilean eggs, a dish I learned to make almost twenty years ago when I was married to a Chilean. I’m not sure why we started calling them Chilean eggs. I think it’s because my husband at the time grew up eating them that way. No matter what their origin, they are still my favorite egg dish. I’ve since made the recipe my own, but name has stuck. With simple ingredients and quick to make, they are the only eggs my 19-month-old daughter will eat, so I call that success! Add a nice cup of dark roast coffee for Mama and some homemade sourdough toast (more on that subject in my next food post) and I savour my mornings hanging with the little one. Yes, sometimes, I have to warm up my coffee because it gets cold before I can finish it, but I still get to enjoy every drop!

While the eggs are cooking, I toast a few pieces of bread (usually homemade sourdough) and make my coffee. I am a coffee snob and I like to freshly grind my beans. I made it a game with my daughter when she was very young, and now every time I start the grinder, she does a little jig while the beans grind. I go back and forth between loving my Melita and getting bored with it. These days I use a Bialettie stove-top espresso maker (3-cup version). It makes a great cup of strong coffee. I make a strong cafe au lait by scalding whole milk in a pan and adding it to my coffee. For a special treat, I’ll make a Cuban-style coffee (Miami Cuban, actually). It’s my version of that bullet-proof coffee that everyone is talking about these days.

Brew your dark coffee (preferably espresso), pour into cup. Add a sliver of butter, salt and sweetener and stir until butter is melted. Add a generous amount of scalded milk.

Buen provecho!

Chilean Eggs

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes


Chilean Eggs

Chilean eggs and Cuban coffee! Simple ingredients, quick prep, a great savory breakfast to enjoy...


  • butter for the pan (or your choice of healthy oil)
  • handful of diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 eggs (depending on how big the eggs are, how hungry I am and how much I share with the little one)
  • big dash of cumin
  • sprinkle of oregano
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat pan, add butter. When butter has melted, add diced tomatoes and add spices. Let tomatoes soften. Crack eggs directly into pan. Let them cook for ten seconds or so, then mix them in with the tomatoes gently with a fork (be careful if you are you using a non-stick pan to not scratch the pan! I don’t own any non-stick pans, but if you must, then at least take precautions and use a wooden fork). Continue to gently scramble in the pan until the eggs are cooked through and are uniformly mixed. You probably will still be able to see yolk and whites in some places, but that is the beauty of this dish.


* A note about ingredients: I always prefer fresh tomatoes from the garden or farmer’s market. I use whatever is ripest, whether it’s cherry tomatoes or plum or a small regular tomato. If it’s winter and there is nothing local available, I like to use canned tomatoes because I’m making an effort these days to be conscious of staying local and eating what is in season whenever possible.

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