A Night at the Dune Eco Village Resort near Pondicherry – Travel with Tom and Priscilla

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Priscilla had found the Eco Village Resort as a pretty well rated place to stay, but at $40 bucks a night, I was let’s just say a bit skeptical… Wow was I wrong! This is true paradise that feels as if you have been dropped onto another planet of beauty and lifestyle.

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To find the Eco Village, you turn off the paved highway to a pothole ridden dirt road passing by a few less attractive residences… Then you pass through a large gate to circle drive and gravel parking lot to check in. At this point you still don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into… “Alright let’s try it out” and we parted with our driver for the night and jumped aboard the mini-van fully equipped with a tiger painting.

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Bumpty bump on into the resort along a small one lane dirt path lined with palm trees and mini cottages with thatch roofs. We were really into the village now! As we approached our lodge, the “Flex House” as it is named, was magnificent little rustic cottage with an other worldly feel. Pop open the padlock and enter to a spacious room with a boxed-in bed, high cieling that exposed the natural roof, and totally cool translucent walls with flower photos printed on them. Wow.

We only had one night here, so we were off right away to explore the property. Exotic trees and plants fill every view as we walked through the property at sunset. It was amazing, each “house” on the property was unique and had an authentically different experience. Some had outdoor showers, one was built high above the rest to give the ultimate view of the Indian ocean, and all had a feeling of true India. As we explored the area, we found the farm on site with a number of cows and fresh vegetables. The village was developed to be generally self sustaining, minus the beers and a few other modern conveniences.

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One of my most vivid memories from this stay were the sounds. Our lodging was located just off the beach from the Indian Ocean and the sound of the waves breaking set the baseline for the atmosphere. Then early in the morning, the temple just outside of the village began with chants that remind you that you are definitely not in Illinois any more. Check out this video for a snippet of sound from the early morning hours.

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Aeropress Inverted Brewing Method – Chicago Coffee

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Best Aeropress Brewing Method by Joshua from Everybody’s Coffee Chicago

Nothing starts the morning off like a cup of coffee. Or really, the afternoon… or the work week… or even the weekend! With so much coffee, shouldn’t it be awesome? Joshua from Everybody’s Coffee in Chicago is a coffee aficionado who has studied, and perfected the art of the Aeropress inverted brewing method. People come from around Chicago to enjoy his brews, I’ve seen them at the shop… This video and recipe outline the step by step instructions to craft an amazing cup of coffee that doesn’t suck, right at home!

Videographer Tom Schmidt in Uptown Chicago Everybody's coffee brewing recipe and method for inverted

The recipe video begins by explaining the grind size and how it should look (like a coarse sand) for the best result. We used the Hario Ceramic Slim Mini Mill hand grinder with 6 clicks from closed on to get the perfect grind for this variety.


“If your coffee tastes too acidic, grassy/vegetal, or weak, go down one click at a time (a finer grind) & if your coffee tastes too bitter, drying, or harsh, go up one click at a time.” -Joshua


Turn the Aeropress upside down and toss in the grounds. Josh then shows us how to use the Bonavita Kettle to properly moisten the grounds with a swirling motion. This sounds a little silly at first, swirling and pouring slowly… but it helps to open up the flavors and get the hot water more evenly throughout the Aeropress chamber. Can’t argue with results… Once the chamber has reached capacity, give it a gentle stir with a metal spoon or the included stirrer. Replace the lid and LET IT BREW!

Josh uses a basic kitchen timer to track the brewing time which totals just about two minutes, 1:40 for brewing and about :30 for the plunging. He makes it look so easy… that you will definitely have to try it at home. To really geek out on the Aeropress, stop by Everybody’s Coffee and pick Josh’s brain or look up the World Aeropress Championship (no kidding!) for creative and crazy recipes.

Let’s Brew!


Inverted Aeropress Brew Recipe with Step by Step Instructions

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Coconut Macaroons Recipe – Lynnette Astaire

Tom Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Party Food, Recipe, Snacks, Vegan, Video 0 Comments


Lynnette Astaire’s Coconut Macaroon Recipe


Let’s face it when you get hungry, you gotta eat something… And you can’t just bake a chicken or make a fresh kale salad every time the HUNGER strikes! These coconut macaroons sweet, filling and store well for at least a week. That is if you can resist eating them all at once…

Recipe Inspiration: Lynnette Astaire – LiveLynnette.com

lynnette astaire featured on Eat with Tom chicago food blogFor this post we’ve brought in the lifestyle expert and healthy food queen Lynnette Astaire to help us out with a healthy snack recipe. She is a true health fanatic and loves to share her tips and tricks for a great life on her site www.livelynnette.com. The content is raw, real and super funny! Her recent Beyonce 7/11 parody video had me cracking up as her and a friend lip-sync the song on the beach in Mexico.

This recipe was inspired by one of Lynnette’s favorite snacks from Whole Foods. The only problem was, she loved them so much that the pre-packaged price tag was eating a hole in her pocket. With a bit of ingredient list research and a few Google searches, voila Coconut Macaroons on the CHEAP!!

This recipe includes almond flour (or meal) to keep it gluten free and gives it nice nutty flavor.  This is a new ingredient for me, but it is a fun one!  Angela the Baker first introduced almond meal to me with the Peach Crumble recipe where she combined it with ground up quinoa for a tasty grain-free topping.

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Step-by-Step Coconut Macaroons Recipe Instructions

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Kale Salad Recipe Parmesan True Food Kitchen

Savory Kale Salad Recipe w/ Parmesan – From Dr. Weil

Tom Dinner, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Salad, Side Dishes, Video 4 Comments


Kale Salad Recipe with Parmesan, lemon and Breadcrumbs


This super quick kale salad recipe will remind you of your favorite Cesar salad, but without all the dressing! It features my favorite deep dark green lacinato kale. You will love this recipe as a savory contrast to the sweeter Massaged Kale with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds.

The lemon juice with a little salt magically wilts down the greens making them soft and luxurious. I like to give this one a quick massage speed up the process and make it extra tender, but you can also just let the lemon and salt work their wilting magic over a few hours. Check out the video to learn how-to massage the kale!

Kale Salad Recipe Eat with Tom Foodie Blog Chicago

Parmesan provides the blast of flavor. Be sure to look for a quality chunk of parmesan to grate into your salad, mmmmm… worth every penny. Even with the best parmesan you can find, you only need a few bucks worth for a whole dish!
True Food Kitchen Restaurant and Cookbook Review

Recipe Inspiration:

Adapted from Dr. Weil’s cookbook, this is a close cousin to the Kale Salad served in the True Food restaurants. On my recent trip to Denver, I tried the real deal at True Food in Cherry Creek. The restaurant is super hip:  fun concept and lots of veggies on the menu (but also some meat and booze — look, it’s a party; bring friends!)

The True Food – Cherry Creek experience: trendy neighborhood, fashionable folks, intellectual chatter and open concept kitchen and food prep areas. The layout and attitude implies respect and authenticity on HOW your TRUE FOOD is PREPARED, the heart of the “True Food” concept. The service had a educational flair, with the waiter answering all menu questions with an underlying knowledge of the health benefits. Bottom line, a cool place to stop by in Denver.

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The salad was great at the restaurant, but a little pricey for my big appetite for greens. As with any great experience comes a price tag, but HOORAY: this salad is one you can make at home. Thank you, Dr. Weil — for the cookbook featuring many of True Food’s popular dishes. Filled with beautiful images and fun commentary from the Chefs who worked along side Andrew Weil in creating these recipes, this cookbook is a treat. Pick up the True Food cookbook and read the story of how Dr. Weil convinced the Chef to embrace the use of a garlic press. Funny stuff!


Massaged Kale Salad Recipe Step by Step Images

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