The Secret to a Long Life, Inner Beauty and Happiness – Giving U™

Erin as  Sous Chef

Erin as Sous Chef

San Francisco – May 29, 2010

We all know that I’m a sucker for a good cause. And Wednesday night was no different.  I paid $150 to cook my own dinner.

I attended a Parties that Cook! fundraiser. I had heard of these types of interactive parties before, and I have to admit, it was a pretty good time.

During the Happy Hour, we got a cooking demonstration and few food prep tips, like:

  • • Don’t want to cry while cutting an onion? Place it in the freezer for 10 minutes beforehand.

We then split up into 7 teams to prepare a portion of the meal we were to eat later that night. I was on Team Couscous, which I was not thrilled with.

See, I eat couscous all the time.

You buy it in a box, pour the contents into boiling water and let it steam for 5 minutes – voila!

Granted, this couscous had sautéed tomatoes, mint, preserved lemons, so I guess it was “party” couscous. The rest of the menu was pretty spankin’.

“Non-party” couscous from my pantry

“Non-party” couscous from my pantry

If you want the recipes, contact me and I’ll send ‘em to you:

  • • Crostini with Goat Cheese and Black Olive-Orange Tapenade
  • • Pancetta Wrapped Dried Plums Filled with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Glaze (Mmmmmm – Bacon!)
  • • Spice-Crusted Chicken with Harissa-Yogurt Sauce
  • • Green Beans with Apricots & Almonds
  • • Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Raspberry Coulis

It tasted pretty good going down


Most importantly, we were cooking for a good cause: Women’s Initiative, which provides low-income, high-potential women with the training, funding and on-going support to start and grow their own business and achieve economic independence.


It tasted pretty good going down

We also got to meet one of the Women’s Initiative graduates: Morsinah Katamin. Morsinah is Indonesian and she started her company Sajen to bring the traditional Indonesian drink JAMU to America.

An “earth drink”

JAMU is an “Earth Drink” that provides the essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy body and mind and is a mix of root spices, leaves, barks, fruits, stems, flowers, and flower buds for health, wellness, and beauty inside out.  Sign me up!

But it’s more than just a health drink, according to its label, JAMU is also a culture–a culture that believes in the power of Mother Nature and its health impact on our well-being. 

An "earth  drink"Here’re a few of the benefits of drinking JAMU:

  • • Increased Energy & Stamina
  • • Improved Liver and Kidney Function
  • • Improved Digestion
  • • Fights Fatigue
  • • Provides Calming & Balance

I’ll take the extra calming, minus the shot of energy.

Watch why I don’t need any more energy:

  • • Erin jumping out of a plane in South Africa
  • • Erin falling out of a raft in Uganda
  • • Erin riding ATVs in Turkey

In any case, JAMU seems to be pretty powerful stuff. The secret ingredient in JAMU is turmeric, christened the “Superstar of Spices” by The New York Times in its article about the “11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating.”

And the USDA says turmeric is higher in ORAC values (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity – I had to look it up) than other super foods like blueberries, cranberries, and pomegranate.   Who knew?!

JAMU is currently in 16 stores around the Bay Area, including:

  • • San Francisco: Rainbow Grocery
  • • Marin: Good Earth Natural Foods
  • • East Bay: The Berkeley Bowl


Let’s help Morsinah get JAMU into the big kahuna: Whole Foods!


You can also:

Remember: the secret to long life, inner beauty and happiness is turmeric! (and dried plums, red cabbage, and beetroot).  But not all at once.


This entry was posted on Saturday, May 29th, 2010 and is filed under The Giving Guide.

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