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!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pears, Apples, and Bananas

Before my semester starts up tomorrow I wanted to get a blog posting in. If you couldn't get it from the title my recipes (yes there is more than one) have to do with pears, apples, and bananas.

Up first is a gluten free pear spice bread. It came out pretty darn good with out having xanthum gum on hand.

Gluten Free Spice Pear Bread

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup millet flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, allspice, ground caraway seeds, and salt
1/8 teaspoon cloves and cardamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon water
4-5 really ripe pears
1/4 cup golden flax seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a loaf pan (I spray mine with coconut oil spray).

Combine the ground flaxseeds and water.

Mash the pears.

Add in the spices and the flax "egg".

Add in the flour, oats, arrowroot, and baking powder and soda. (If adding flax seeds, add them too.)

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and firm to touch and when a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Also rotate pan half way through baking time.

That was recipe number one, here is number two: I still had one last pear left (it wasn't really ripe when I made the bread and saved it just in case I wanted to eat it, that never happened, so baking it was the only option.). I also had a super ripe banana on hand (well to tell you the truth I have about 15 or so frozen super ripe bananas, but this one was still out and ready for use). Add the same spice combo and instead of gluten free I used whole wheat white flour and you get:

Spiced Banana Pear Donuts

1 ripe medium pear
1 ripe medium banana
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
same spice mix as above recipe (allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and cardamon)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the donut pan with coconut oil spray.

Mash the pear and banana together. Add in the spices and flaxseed meal.

Mix in the flours and baking powder.

Put in a zippy bag and cut off a corner to pipe into the pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
little owl mug photo bombing

Frost with coconut manna (coconut butter) or a nut butter of choice or I mixed maple almond butter with apple butter and cinnamon.

I also topped them with some pomegranate seeds.

And last but not least, the third recipe is using apples and bananas.

Apple Banana Cake

2 ripe bananas
1/4 teaspoon vindaloo spice blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 small almost ready to be tossed cause they were softish apples, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven 350 degrees and spray a 8x8 pan or loaf pan with coconut oil spray.

Mash the bananas (could use 3 then omit water or use less water). Add in the flaxseed meal and spice and salt.

Combine the dry ingredients.

Add in the apples, toss, then add in the mashed bananas, and water. You may need to add more water if necessary.

Pour into the pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes. (I did 30 minutes 15 minutes then turned the pan.)

Yes I know I didn't add any sugar to these recipes but you are more than welcome to to make them sweeter. Just reduce liquids in recipes (if there is any) or add a liquid sweetener and add some more flour.

I pretty much like to top all my baked goods with a nut butter apple butter cinnamon combo. I absolutely love it, so my baked goods do too.

Well until next time all!! <3