Monday, February 1, 2016

FFF A Little Bit of Everything

As I sit in bed sipping on my morning coffee I am also giving thanks to God for all he has done and will do for me, my family, and friends.

I few of my beloved friends are going through some very rough patches in their lives, and as I was doing my morning devotionals I made sure to bring up their hearts and pain in my prayers, because their pain is my pain as well. Just remember that everyone you pass today is going through some sort of circumstance, so show love at all times and compassion, as our Father has shown onto us.

Sitting in bed, sipping on coffee, writing a blog post sounds like a fun thing to do for most people, well that is if you like coffee, being at home in bed, and writing your thoughts down for the world to see. I do enjoy this moment I get to have right now. To be creative, expressing myself, but there are times where I don't want to share what is going on in my life because I feel disappointed in myself. This is not where I "should" be at this moment in my life. I need to be working, being productive, or something. But, no, I need to stop and really give thanks for my current situation. I am blessed to focus on my school work and wedding plans at this moment. Finish my internship applications without fear of the approaching deadline. It is a bit freeing when I take a step back and see the peace God has provided me with at this moment. Yes, I have the back of my mind thoughts of fear of money, I am not providing for myself at the moment, but I trust in my God and know it will all add up soon. I just needed to get those thoughts out of my mind, so thank you for that.

Speaking of wedding planning, I went to get my first dress fitting last week and boy was that nerve racking. I know all of us females get that I hope I didn't gain weight since I last tried on ______. But this is a big one, a dress i have to wear four months from now needs to fit me four months from now. I have been stable with my weight lately, but the fear still is creeping in. So lets talk a little fitness now. I signed up for a few 14 day programs through the Love Sweat Fitness site, the current one is an abs challenge. Katie's workouts are fun and pretty tough at times, if you do the recommended 3 times through. You will feel it the next day. I got bored with a few of the other fitness women I followed because their calendars were getting repetitive and I didn't understand how they looked as awesome as they did if they were only really doing what they gave us to do. It wasn't believable so I will incorporate some of the moves I learned but they are doing more then what they are saying and I don't appreciate that. I have however been enjoying some of the workouts Men's Health has been posting on FaceBook lately and I have shocked myself with some of the moves I can do. BooYah!! My hard work is paying off. Now if only I can get a true pull-up bar in my house, then we will be talking. I also have been biking inside due to my Christmas present of a set-up to make my bike into a stationary bike. Its awesome!! I add some light weights every now and then and make it a full body workout.

Food!! I made some sunflower "cheese" the other week because I went to eat with a friend at Good Karma Cafe in Redbank and got a raw sandwich that had a sunflower cheese spread on it. Delish!! So I had to recreate it, plus I had a bag of frozen sunflower seeds in my freezer that needed to be used. The recipe was basic:

Soak the seeds overnight
Drain in the morning
Add to a food processor with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and pepper (I added some parsley in the end cause I love it so much)
Blend until smooth, adding water in small amounts as necessary to make smooth.

Here is a recipe to give you amounts, but I eyeballed mine cause I'm bad like that. Or am I good like that?? But you will see I didn't use everything it called for and made it my own. Next time I will be exact so I can make it my own.

Trader Joe's Multi Tortilla, spread cheese, topped with zatar spice,
sweet tatos, spinach, dollops of cheese, bake, fold over, eat
I used my "cheese" to make tortilla pizzas because that seemed like the best way to enjoy my new "cheese." I found some roasted sweet potato and kabocha squash in my freezer (I have a lot of nifty food things in my freezer), spread a tortilla with the sunflower spread, added the squash mix, and spinach, baked them so the tortillas would get crispy, and YUM!!! I made it like 3 days in a row because it was that good. Then I gave myself a break because its not good to eat the same thing for a week. =/

Oh and cause you are all dying to hear about how my lips turned out!! They are pretty again!! I no longer need chapstick as much as I did before, I got use to not being able to put it on all the time, and I started to take a B Complex to make sure it wasn't due to lack of that. I am super happy its taken care of now.

Thanks all for a long post!! <3

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Food!!

Hello all!! So I know I let the rest of December run away without a posting, and I could blame it on all the business of the holidays, trying to apply for jobs, and all that includes, but I really should have gotten around to posting something. With that I am sorry.

I have been really digging avocado toast as of late, mainly on beer bread. Yes, yes, beer bread. I have been going through a faze of buying new beers from Trader Joe's and making them into pumpkin beer bread. I have then topped my avocado toasts with either sumac or pomegranate seeds, or nixed the avocado and topped the toast with almond cheese. I usually eat roasted green beans or a salad along side the toast.

Of course I do not have any good pictures of my latest obsession, I have been slacking hard core with picture taking lately. Mainly because I think I need to step up my picture taking game (something I am looking into and trying to advance in for better quality pictures to be taken for here).
Here is an avocado hummus sandwich with a side salad
and roasted red pepper dressing, so good!! Bread was Ezickel

I have made a few other beer breads in the past, but the difference with these recently made ones is the addition of pumpkin, a squash I am oh so greatly obsessed with.

 Pumpkin Beer Bread

(This one actually does have a pumpkin beer in it too, but any beer you like can work. I have also used gingerbread beer, a dark beer, and I think a few others- told you like going and buying new ones for my butt (fiance) to try haha. Also, I make my own self-rising flour when I make beer bread.)

Self-rising flour basic formula:
1 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour (or regular bread flour or just more flour, the bread flour has a higher gluten content so it gives the bread more chew)
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt (even if that, you can add to your desire, I never found it to really mess with the recipe)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 bottle of beer
coconut oil spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, spray a loaf pan with coconut oil spray.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Add in the canned pumpkin and beer.

Mix well, until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour into loaf pan.

Bake for an hour, turning half way through baking time. Test with a toothpick for doneness after the hour, if it comes out clean you are good. Let it cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then remove to let it cool completely.
Slice and top with what ever your heart desires.

Another one of my latest obsessions is making my own nut butters. I found this delicious one made by Kalots that cost $10 a jar (like 10oz jar). too steep for my budget, but I wanted to try it so I bought it once. It was a Superfood Nut Butter. Superfood because it has dried blueberries and walnuts in it along with almonds as the base and some coconut oil. I started to look up nut butter recipes and decided to just use the ingredient list as a recipe for me to create my own imitation version. Since then I have been trying out a few other recipes too but think I need a better food processor because it usually turns out more like meal and never fully into a nut butter- still working on this part.

Cinnamon Almond Walnut Cranberry Butter

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw walnuts
5 dates, soaked in water for 10 minutes
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries (mine were fruit juice sweetened)

Dry roast the nuts at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, watching closely so they do not burn.
Add all ingredients into food processor, except the cranberries. Let it whirl, scraping down the sides, until it starts to become a paste. This takes awhile, so be patient. Add in cranberries and pulse a few times so they slightly breakdown (I let mine go for too long and they just incorporated in).

Spread on everything!!

I like mine on top of apples with some chocolate chips!!

I have also tried making the recipe again but used soaked dried figs instead of dates- didn't turn out the greatest. Dabbled in making my own hazelnut butter- it just wouldn't smooth out and gingerbread almond butter- again didn't smooth out. So I am still playing around in the nut butter world but I have saved a lot by making it my self.

attempt at hazelnut chocolate butter

True life moment right now, so you are more than welcomed to stop reading and just go make a homemade nut butter on beer bread sandwich, or read on if you wish. I just want to be open and share my struggles to see if anyone has advice for me that I haven't thought of yet, so be kind and not grossed out =]

Over the past year + I have been struggling with chapped lips, or thats what I was guessing it was. When I was a kid I had licking lips syndrome (or what ever you want to call it), where I would get a red, chapped ring around my lips because I would lick them to make them feel better. My mom made me stop and I started to apply blistex to them and it worked, they healed. Up until maybe 3 years ago, I went for a run on a somewhat chilly, sunny day. I noticed while running my lips were getting dry, but didn't worry. I got home and the top of my lips (you know where the nose has the dip to the lips part) got chapped. I started to up more chap-stick on it, but that didn't seem to work. So me being the weird hippy loving tea tree oil, put some of that on it. The area dried up, peeled and was as good as new. For maybe a few months. I went to Florida in January about a year ago, the temperature change freaked it out again, and it got bad. I came back, started my last semester of undergrad and the stress would make it worse because I would play with it. So I started to put Vitamin E chap-stick on it, which would work for a time, then it would flare up again, peel, be red and raw. It was a never ending cycle. I've tried just about every over the counter chap-stick out there, homeopathic lip remedies, you name it. So last summer the side of my mouth cracked too, I would put Vit E on it also and it would get better, crack again, cycle. And then the bottom of my lip started to get dry too. It was going downhill, so I tried something new, not putting anything on it, any of my lips or around. They got crazy dry and looked horrible. I finally decided to look into seeing a doctor or to go to the dermatologist (something that I have wanted to do but the insurance aspect would stop me). So its bad, I decided to stop into a urgent care facility, $160 dollars later have a steroid cream with anti fungal (yes I'm embarrassed to share all of this but its what I am currently dealing with) to help heal it.
you can see the slight redness above my lip

the top portion of my lip looks better but the sides are rough

Being a nutrition major I did think maybe the cracked lips are a sign of a vitamin deficiency, but even the doctor said it doesn't seem like it but I need blood work to really find out. So I have to put this cream on once a day for 10 days. If it doesn't work I then have to get blood work and see a dermatologist. With a wedding coming up, wanting to feel and look beautiful for it, I am stressed that this isn't going to go away. I bit the bullet and went to the doctor because I want to be proactive about taking care of this, and I pray that it isn't something worse.

My lips are dry and sore, I can't fully open my mouth without fear of splitting my lips, and it sucks. I just want to healthy, feel healthy, and look healthy. Right now I do not want to leave the house because I feel like everyone would stare and be grossed out by me. So if you have any thoughts that would be awesome. Or have a great dermatologist thats also great. Advice welcomed!

Thanks for the real life talk and I hope you all appreciate your soft, smooth, lips- or better yet make sure you take care of your lips!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Let's Talk Fitness

Since I have updated the blog, I haven't actually talked about fitness yet, mainly just about my current situations (sorry about that) and I surely haven't posted about food in a long time (to change soon! promise!).

Fitness- Now I am not a personal trainer, I'm not certified in anything, so don't take what I say to heart or a 100% truth it will work for you, help you loose tons of weight or anything. I am just here to inform you on what other trainers I follow are doing, what workouts I do, and how to incorporate exercise into your life. That's it. Nothing crazy, no bootcamps here, no do this and pay me money stuff. Just information. Easy enough.

With the holidays comes a lot of fitness challenges. They are every where. Gyms, Instagram, websites, etc. Very easy to find and most very easy to follow. Some you need to have a basic fitness level, others a more advanced. Here are some fitness challenges I have signed up for:

The purely twins: Be fit. Be you. Holiday Bootcamp (this one has already started)

Natalie Jill Fitness: December free workout calendar

Love Sweat and Fitness: December 12 day Fitmas Challenge (a pop-up should appear for the fitmas challenge)

So I either follow these fitness coaches on Instagram or I have followed them for years for recipes/fitness (the purely twins).

Currently, my workout schedule consists of: cardio, leg day, upper body, and abs. I incorporate them by using different workouts I find (mainly off the Insta) or come up with things myself that I have seen before. I use PopSugar Fitness videos a lot, too. I also use Pinterest a lot too. There are so many great workout options out there. The hard part is the motivation to use them.

You have to want to workout, no one can make you (well they can, but you will hate every minute of it that way). I have loved workout days with friends in the past, I would come with a challenge I saw and we would run around the track a few times. Its great to have a partner. I very often walk with my momma to our town park, I run around it a few laps while she walks, we talk the way there and its awesome. I have even done it with my brothers a few times too. My younger brother and I have done Shaun T's Insanity workouts together, too. I just love exercise. It is my stress release (that and cooking of course) but I have noticed that my optimal time to workout is in the mornings. If I don't I get anxious throughout the day and when I finally do get to workout it's not always the best workout but usually halfway through I get those endorphins and power through. My most optimal workouts happen in the morning after a cup of coffee- so awesome. The caffeine is a natural amp up over taking pre-workouts (which I'm not into at all).

SO, what are you going to do?? Follow some fitness people on Instagram, do one of the challenges I posted, or come up with a routine that works for you? Good luck with what you do choose. I'm actually going to incorporate all three of those links into my workouts because I tend to do 45 minutes to an hour long workouts, so I love incorporating a few different routines into those sessions. Have fun with it!! And lets burn some calories together!!


p.s. the next post will be about food ;]

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Giving Thanks Time

I love this time of the year. Colder weather, bundling up, boots, scarves, sweaters, family, and FOOD!

But most importantly we are celebrating. Celebrating the birth of Christ. Probably the greatest gift, of all time, to the world.

At this time of the year, family and friends gather together to celebrate with one another giving thanks for all they have in their lives. It is a really beautiful time of the year. Aside from all the crazy shopping and spending, the root of what the holidays are is what we all really need to remember.

Quick story: I was at 5 below yesterday picking up a new car charger and a few exercise things. I was waiting on line to pay when a cashier opened up, called for the next customer to step down, and this lady who wasn't actually standing in front of me, walked in and went to the guy. Her son had a limp of sorts, so I was like, meh isn't hurting me to stand here another minute. But the lady behind me said, "Was she even in line?" I responded with a no but it's no big deal. She replied, "Well maybe you don't have any where to go but I do." I said, "Well, I do, but what am I going to do, its already done." To which she responded, "Say something." I didn't reply back and the next register opened. Moral of my little story and what I really wanted to say to the lady was: Its Christmas time and being kind to one another is what really matters. So what if the lady jumped me in line, I wasn't hurt by it, I saw her son wasn't of full health, and she wasn't really paying attention to what was going on around her. It was fine. We both still got out with in a few minutes any way. Cheer up people!! Spread love people!! It's about to become the busiest time of the year; are you prepared for that? Is your heart prepared for that?

I have been going through a transition period of my life. With graduating college, starting on a Master's degree, getting married, trying to start a career, making sure I stay true to myself, showing my family love and respect, and keeping my heart open to hear the voice of Jesus. I have been falling short in some of those areas because I have been focusing too much others. With Christmas coming, I want to try and balance everything out so by the time the new year comes I don't have to try and restart everything all at once. Sure, we all have a lot on our plates, but remember balance is necessary. Down time as much as busy time is needed. Loving on yourself is needed as much as loving on others. Reaching out for help is ok and some times necessary. Don't get lost in the Christmas rush of trying to get things done, check off lists, take a moment to breathe and say thank you. Thank you for all you do have, thank you for all that will come, thank you for your past and thank you for you present.

I really hope with my past few crazy years that I haven't offended anyone I love, haven't pushed them aside, or made them feel unnecessary in my life. That was never my intension, but changes happen, lives evolve, and people move on. Its sad to say, but we all know it happens.

Hug those around you a little tighter this Christmas, tell them you love them a few extra times, and make sure you don't beat yourself up for those that are no longer a steady presence in your life, just send prayers and love that way.

Give thanks always and share lots of great memories this Christmas Season!

Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will you in Christ Jesus."


Monday, November 9, 2015

Life Update

Hi all.

As you can see I made some changes to the blog- updated the background, got rid of somethings that I didn't need, and changed my description to: Food, Faith, and Fitness. My intentions behind all of this is to make a fresh start, revamp my blog, and to broaden topics I can touch on here. The main focus will still be food, cause after all that is my love, but I also want to help others in new ways. I have had posts about my life journey before and hope to inspire others by doing so. I will also include some fitness tips and things that I am currently doing in my workouts to help others in that area. So heres to new horizons!!

And now for a quick update with where I am currently in my life, because I know you all care oh so much... As I stated in my last post, I had just started a new job with ShopRite, well that has come to an end. There are many reasons as to why its done with, but mainly my time there was done. I had good moments and bad while there, hopefully helped many people along the way, and truly hope that the position continues to grow. It was just not the right fit for me.

With all that has been going on in my life recently I have been praying and realizing what my strengths and weaknesses are, where my calling is, and what my passions are. Through this blog hopefully you can see what some of my passions are- cooking and baking, health and wellness, but some may not be so obvious. I have been discovering what one of my "reasons" of being in certain situations is. I believe I am put here to inspire others to not loose faith in their dreams and passions. What I mean by this is that I hope when people meet me they see and learn what my passions in life are and that I then spark in them to reach for their dreams and passions. I hope to bring about change where ever I go, as do many other people I bet, but I hope to bring out a positive change.

One of the reasons I am leaving ShopRite is due to the amount of negativity it has brought to my life. I found myself to be going down a rabbit hole that I do not need to go back down, so I decided to leave the situation. Is that the right choice? You know what, I believe so, I know my mind, my body, and my soul best and for me to stay positive and happy I needed to leave. I do hope that all of the people I interacted with will remember me for being a positive aspect during that time, that I inspired them to think a little healthier, eat a little better, be a little happier, dance like no one was watching (even though someone is always around the corner in a supermarket), sing like no one is listening (you have no idea how many times I was snagged singing at the top of my lungs while working), try and bring out a smile with a smile, and to never loose hope in their dreams. Every fellow employe I would talk to I would always ask the question of what they truly wanted to do in life and what was actually stopping them from doing so. In time we will see what type of change I did bring out while there, but for now I wish all my fellow employees the best.

Next posting I make I hope to have a recipe or some awesome fitness things, but this one here was more focused on faith. Because my faith runs deep and I trust that I made the right choice and good things will be coming my way!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Well Hello There

Yes, yes, yes, it has been a while. Like a lifetime. Just about forever. I know, I know.

What has happened within the past, what, 2 years or so, I started my toughest semesters at school (and graduated this past May), worked some "real, big girl" jobs that took up a lot of my time, and then decided I wanted to be creative again and start my blog back up because I've missed it. My TimeHop would continually remind me of all the awesome recipes I use to make and how much I missed doing it.

So here I am. Back with a new idea and ready to get started.

Let's start with, I am a college graduate!! Woot Woot!! I now have my bachelors in Foods and Nutrition! (The joke in my family is that I know foods! This gives me lots of rights to do this blog, haha.) I am starting on my Masters in Nutrition in the Fall, so my school journey is still continuing. Only 4 more semesters!!

I have a new job with ShopRite, Saker ShopRites to be exact. I am running one of their Nutrition Centers. They are stepping up into the "Health Food World" and placing a section in their stores that carries organic, gluten-free, and all natural foods, with someone that understands and can answer questions about nutrition. It is a fun, newish frontier for me, having worked in Health Food Stores before, it's similar to that, but with some more responsibility. I am enjoying it.

And now for my new idea with this blog. I want to make it more of a Life Style blog. Meaning let's talk about physical, mental, and emotional health, not just food. Let's bring this to a new level, so I can really dive into the world I would like to take my career to someday. How does that sound? I like it, and can't wait to see where it goes. Some days I may write about an article that I have seen and what to understand about it, new food trends in the healthy world, recipes (still), mental health, workouts, and anything that comes up.

I'm excited. Stay tuned for some upgrades with the look and such. (If I can figure that out, haha.)

What to put up today, how about a trending food...jackfruit. Have you heard of it before? It is very popular in Asia, I had to go to an Asian Food Market to buy some, canned in water not syrup. But some "normal" grocery store will carry it now, fresh. It is a fruit, that is fibrous (it shredded quite nicely) and starchy, and a good source of dietary fiber. It can be eaten, ripe and fresh along with other fruits, and it has a similar taste to bananas, apple, and mango (I didn't try it raw, so I can't really tell you which one it really taste like but that's what I read). It can also be cooked into sweet or savory dishes. It is made into curry dishes, fried, made into chips, or do what I did and use it as "pulled pork" for a vegan. That has been the recipe trend I have seen in the blog-o-sphere for a while now. Being me, I wanted to try it.

I made a BBQ sauce and then cooked the canned jackfruit in it. Delish!! I had the idea of making a coffee BBQ sauce because I do have on here another sauce I made but I wanted to expand my sauce diversity. Here are the recipes and tempting pictures:

Coffee Maple Spicy BBQ Sauce

1 heaping teaspoon instant coffee
3/4 cup water, hot (for coffee)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 more water
1 can tomato paste

Add everything into a blender, and blend it up until a smooth sauce.
You can totally eat it as it is or cook it down to develop more flavor. I found it just fine without cooking it down but for the jackfruit I did cook them together.

BBQ Jackfruit Sammies

2 cans Jackfruit, in water, drained
Above BBQ sauce
1/2 more water

Place everything in a nice thick pot with a lid, bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer for 3-4 hours. (I cooked mine for 3 1/2 hours.)
Pull the fruit apart after it has been cooking for about 2 hours, when it starts to fall apart by just mixing and allow to cook for another hour or so.

Get some buns, wraps, or any bread you want, sliced avocado, and boom sammies made. Devour!!

The buns I used where from a food show I went to for work. They are multigrain thin ciabatta bun. These were so good and the sauce has a nice spice where the avocado helps cut that spiciness. Even my fiance tried a bite and really liked it. The texture of the jackfruit is "meat" like and totally worked by using it this way.

Enjoy everyone!!

And, I'm back!! Finally!! <3

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm Back

Finally, I have a chance to breathe and get back to doing what I love (and miss)- cooking.

I know I haven't blogged in a really long time, I'm not sure where to start, other then after coming back from camp last summer, then starting a very crazy fall semester where I had class all day then got a job at a gym where I worked all night, I really didn't have much time to eat let alone cook or have a life or sleep or do much of anything. Then this semester came around and I got a new job as a nanny that one would think would give me a little more time to enjoy stuff but no, I was working all day had class most nights/evening, not leaving me much with the energy to cook or create anything. I did make a few things here and there for a birthday, for Valentine's Day, just random stuff, with the plan of making a blog posting for them, just never had the chance too.

But now I find myself at a crossroads of sorts, still a "nanny" but I have no real placements so I wait for an on call job that just don't seem to come, so I am on the hunt for a new job. That leaves me with long boring days to fill with food and other things I love/miss doing. But for some reason, even with the weather getting nicer, even with school no longer hanging over my head, assignments, all that fun stuff, I find myself unmotivated to do much of anything. Sad, yes, I'm still getting up super early and working out in the AM with my momma (we are talking 6am people, so I have some motivation still) its just as the days keep going I don't want to deal with stuff, like for instance with my DTR (if you didn't know I was, now was cause I lost it, a dietetic technician registered, meaning I sat for like 2 hours to take an exam to get the credentials that really ultimately never helped me with anything. I applied to jobs to use them, never got any because I didn't have experience, you know all that stuff, so here I am like 5 years after taking that exam and then you have to pay each year to keep them, something I had a hard time doing because as you can see I am frequently "between" jobs. So I go to handle this whole DTR thing only to realize I lost the credentials and the only way to get them back is to retake the exam- not happening it was 5 years ago and the classes I have been taking now won't help with it- or pay money to apply for an appeal to say I have finical hardships with paying- seems sort of backwards hun.

My last few days in a nut shell. So lets get to some happy things like food. I'm going to post all the fun pictures of stuff I did make and hopefully make a few blog entries to give the recipes of those items, and I do have a few recipes to give you today. Like how about some ice cream. Oh yea!! I finally put my ice cream maker to good use, other then just sitting in a box looking all pretty and such, it actually works haha.

With Memorial Day just passing we (my family, and by family I mean my parents, brothers, and fiance {oh yes you read correctly, fiance =] some one got engaged and I'm not gunna point any fingers, well maybe just show you one haha with a gorgeous ring on it} and a few friends) had a small BBQ where my dad actually made hamburgers, in all of my life I never ever can recall of him doing this. Sad I don't eat that stuff any more. Nope I made a yummy salad. And when I say yummy I mean it was banging. Like I have this new obsession with fennel. I am in love (don't tell my fiance) with it. Raw or roasted, like roasted it ten times better, but either way it is delicious. That was in the yummy salad, along with orange segments, and roasted chick peas with a homemade orange and olive oil dressing. With some of the best olive oil I have ever had in my life. It is fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil from Eatly in the city, it smells like tomato vines and tastes so fruity, so I call it the fruity oil =] me being me. Here is the said salad with some corn on the cob, my favorite summer time thing.

Vindaloo spice mix roasted chick peas

double fruity dressing (oj and oj zest and fruity oil)

And now for the ice cream. I have been getting back into watching Food Network and Cooking Channel and there keeps being ice cream cookie sandwiches on stuff, so I wanted to make some for myself and I did just that. We all know I have a deep deep passionate love for cinnamon, so of course that was the ice cream flavor and I made some gluten free chocolate cookies that remind me of chocolate wafer cookies that my dad use to make cheesecake crusts from when I was little.

Cinnamon Coconut Ice Cream

2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla powder (or 1/2 teaspoon of extract)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of maple syrup

Mix everything together and them let it chill in the fridge. (And you know what, you could add some rum to this and it could be a vegan horchata.)

For my ice cream maker I had to set the bowl part in the freezer and I did this over night, as well as my ice cream mix.

Place the ice cream mix in the ice cream maker and use according to the directions, mine took only like 30 minutes to be nice and creamy and ice creamy.

Chocolate Cookies

1 banana, mashed
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup coconut oil, soft liquid like
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oat flour, I made myself
1/4 cup cashew meal
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Mix the flaxseed meal and water to gel up.

Add to the banana along with the coconut oil.

Mix in the dry ingredients.

You can just make drop cookies but since I want these for sandwich purposes I flattened them down.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, I wanted them to be a bit crispier so I left them in for the 20 minutes, but for softer cookies bake for the 15 minutes.

Assembly time!!

The two of them together tasted really good. Yum Yum!!

Food porn up next!!  HAHAHA
Valentine's Day dinner- eggplant pesto roll ups with sundried tomato bean balls and balsamic drizzle

Homemade vegan gummy bears- cherry juice concentrate, water, agar agar

Pumpkin flat bread with my favorite almond cheese with roasted beets and beet greens

Pomegranate seeds with roasted veg and avocado and parsley salad

hot sauce and balsamic baked tofu

lemon pepper and tamari baked tofu

orange poppy seed donuts with coconut butter 

cinnamon raisin caraway seed flat bread with almond cheese and vindaloo roasted carrots

then topped with parsley (actually I added more after the pic)

Vegan carrot cake with coconut butter frosting

vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

vegan carrot cake with vanilla buttercream frosting (for the Mr's bday)

Whole Foods had these I needed them

then roasted them

vegan scones for momma's day- cranberry walnut

Pineapple coconut bread- had tons of left over pineapple

did I mention I added walnuts to it cause I did

then topped it with cinnamon cashew apple butter mix
corn on the cob season!! with strawberry, avocado, and almond cheese salad

pretty carrots!! from good ole' Trader Joe's- organic too!!