Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Paradise by the Slice

One can never have too many variations on loaves of bread!  And this one did not disappoint.  It has just the right amount of sweetness for breakfast and the flavors are like paradise in bread form.  I did a combination of a few recipes I had seen from some of my favorite food bloggers and came up with a mixture of my own.  It's a perfect summer treat, whether you live in the tropics or not.

Pineapple Coconut Banana Bread
(adapted from Joy the Baker and Chocolate Covered Katie)
2 large bananas smashed
1/2 cup heaping finely chopped pineapple
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan, then set aside.  In a medium bowl mash the bananas, then add the chopped pineapple, coconut oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and stir until well combined.  In a separate bowl sift together the two flours, baking soda & powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  Add the dry mixture the wet mixture and stir together.  Then fold in your coconut and macadamia nuts.  Put in your prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until bread is nice and golden brown on the top.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes then cut up and serve!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Always Learning

And this is the last week of the 2nd trimester people!  Crazy!  What's new this week?  Well I'm fighting a cold, which is no fun.  Here's to hoping it passes quickly.  In good news I passed my glycemic test and there is no gestational diabetes to worry about.  My doctor told me I actually have a pretty low sugar count.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but I feel good, so I'll take it.  
Being pregnant has been quite different than I envisioned.  I guess I don't really know what I thought it would be like, but I didn't think it would be like this.  And I don't mean that in a bad way.  It's been interesting to see how things have progressed and panned out and what this journey has been like for me personally.  I still don't understand how things seem to move so slow, but then it shocks me of how little time is left.  I'm just constantly being reminded to be patient and content.  Why is that so hard for us to do sometimes?
And why is it shocking to us to see how God has His perfect timing of things.  I'm currently participating in a reading plan through this awesome website that you can sign up with through the YouVersion App:
A new devotional has started and wouldn't you know it, it's all about the Surrendered Life.  Giving up control, learning to let go, to take things as they come, and how to live in the midst of it all.  Perfect timing I'd say.
I love how God uses tangible things to teach us so much even when we're stubborn or slow.  So I'll just leave you with todays verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

New Living Translation (NLT)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Amen and amen!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh Sweetness

I don't mean to toot my own horn...ok maybe just a little, because there's only one name I could think of for this next recipe.  I give you:
Seriously, they're that good!  But what's not good about doughy sweet pillows of heaven on your plate?
One of the things I looked forward to the most about being settled was having a kitchen of my own to create and experiment in.  Cooking for other people has really become a ministry of mine.  We host several meetings at our house each week, at which I provide a meal.  And any time we have guests I want to give them my best, thus I bring out the big guns for breakfast.
And if you ever come to our home...I promise to give you the same kind of treatment.  But in the meantime, here's the recipe:

The Most Delicious Cinnamon Rolls You Will Ever Taste 
(adapted from

For the Dough
     3 TBS. water
     1 TBS. flax meal

     4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
     2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

     1 cup + 2 TBS. warm water
     1/2 cup raw sugar
     1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
     1 tsp. salt

For the Filling
      3/4 cup +2 TBS. brown sugar (not packed)
      1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
      2 TBS. sorghum syrup
      3 tsp. cinnamon

For the Vanilla Icing
       2 cups powdered sugar
       1/4 cup coconut oil
       2 TBS. soy/almond milk
       1 tsp. vanilla extract
       pinch of salt

        In a small bowl stir together the flax and water, then set aside.

        Then in a medium bowl, sift together flour and yeast.

         In another bowl, combine water, sugar, melted butter, and salt.  Then add your flax
             mixture and stir till all is well combined.

          Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, and continuing stirring until dough begins to form
               into a nice ball.  This make take some time and I often use my hands.  Don't worry, it
               won't be too dry, you just have to work it.

           Now turn out dough onto a clean surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.  Flour if you need
                 to, but the dough should b firm and smooth, not sticky.  Then place it back in the bowl
                 and allow dough to rest and rise for 1 hour in a warm dry place.

           Just before dough is ready, in a small bowl stir together all of your filling ingredients;
                  brown sugar, butter, sorghum and cinnamon.

           Roll out your dough on a well floured surface into a nice rectangle reaching the
                   dimensions of about a 16X20.  Then evenly spread your filling mixture leaving a
                   little bit of a border all around.

            Carefully roll up the dough on the shorter side, and cut into 1 1/2 inch sections.  Placing
                    in a greased 13x9 pan leaving a little room for each roll, as it will rise again and
                    spread out.  Once you have all of your rolls placed in your pan, cover loosely and
                    allow to rise for one more hour.

             After this your rolls are ready to bake.  However, you can store them in your refrigerator
                     over night and bake them the next morning.  If you do this method, allow them to
                     come back to room temperature or give extra cooking time.

             For baking right away, make sure oven is preheated to 400 and bake rolls for 15-20
                      minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the baking process.  You want the tops
                      to begin to turn a golden brown.

              While they're baking prepare your vanilla icing, so you can serve them nice and warm.
                       Once rolls are done, allow them to cool just a minute, then drizzle with as much
                       icing as you please.  

And there you have it.  A breakfast of champions!

Perfectly matched with a warm cup o' Joe!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Knowledge is Power

And I need some quick!

There are only 98 days left in my pregnancy!  That still sounds like a lot, but it shocked me today when I saw we were under 100.
He will be here before we know it, and some days that really freaks me out because I still feel so clueless.  I was the youngest in my family so there was no one to baby but me.  And I was never really a fan of babysitting, so I'm not too experienced with kids.  And I never really liked them all that much anyway.  Some people laugh when I tell them that, and I'm sure they're thinking poor Desmond.
But before I leave you thinking I'm going to be a terrible unfit mother, let me just reassure you something had changed in my heart.  Not as dramatic as it was with the Grinch...but maybe similar.  When I got married I really couldn't wait to be a mom.  I love the idea of family and couldn't wait to have one of my own.  And though taking care of another human overwhelms me to no end some days, I cannot wait to hold this little boy and love him with everything I have.  
We're nearing the last segment of this pregnancy and I'm quite excited for all of the days ahead.  Any advice you have is quite welcome.  I have a lot to learn in the next three months!   It's cram time!

Super Dad

I will take every opportunity I get to brag on my husband, because he is the most wonderful man!
I am so blessed that God brought us together and that I get to spend my days with him.  A lot has happened in our first years of marriage and while some people may think it would have made things more difficult, I believe it has caused us to grow individually and closer together as a couple.  I'm thankful to have a husband who is kind and considerate and always strives to be better.
Knowing what kind of husband he is fills my heart with joy, because I know what kind of father he's going to be.  And Desmond will be one lucky boy!  He has been so wonderful throughout this whole pregnancy and has made this time in our life an easier one to transition into.  He is our hero and both Desmond and I love him more than words can express!
You are going to be one Super Dad!

Monday, June 11, 2012

25 Weeks

Oh Little Desmond...your Dad is hilarious!  He really knows how to make me laugh.  Though some times he claims I don't laugh at his jokes like I used to, but it's not true.  He is such a funny man.  And I absolutely love him to pieces!  He made it hard for me to get any serious pictures today.
I'm still feeling really well aside from the occasional day when sleepiness seems to hit me and knock me out for a while.  I've always hated naps, but there are some days I just can't fight it and closing my eyes is all I can do.  But there's still 105 days left to go.  Oh mercy.
People have been telling me they can finally tell I'm pregnant and every day I feel Desmond moving around and around.  He's probably quite annoyed with me as I like to poke my belly and try to get him to move around, just so I know he's there.  Though there aren't huge mile stones each and every week that are noticeable to anyone else, I love that as each week passes things become more real.
I am feeling a little antsy to finish getting his room set up and making sure he'll have everything he needs once he enters this world.  After all, I'm not sure I'll be of much use when he gets to be the size of a small pumpkin.  The thought of that still scares me a little.  We've gotta get movin...
I show Jordan new pictures of clothes and bed sheets all of the time!  I'm trying not to get too anxious and just enjoy each and every moment and be patient...and obviously that fluctuates from day to day...after all, I am a pregnant woman.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


In a recent conversation with Jordan and his Grandpa, he asked the usual of how I was doing and if everything was going well with the baby.  And then he wanted to know to the real she craving anything or eating unusual foods?  To which Jordan replied, she already ate unusual foods.  They both had a good laugh about it and he said he knew Jordan was gonna say that!
I've always been a foodie.  I love to cook and bake.  Food just tastes better when it's homemade.  I wondered what my eating habits would be like during my pregnancy, but honestly I don't think there's been much change.  What was good to me before is still good.  And it's no secret I've always loved to experiment with new things and that has still held true.
And yes a normal dinner for me is pickles, olives, pepperoncinis, hummus and pita bread.  Unusual...maybe.

I've been a reader of food blogs for quite a while and I have some sites I love to scope out for new recipes, but Pinterest has made that all too easy.  There are so many tantalizing recipes just waiting to be made!  And make them I do.  And when I show you this next recipe, you'll see why!
OMV! (oh my vegan) My house smells so good!  These are just the right amount of sweetness for the morning and the bursts of strawberries in every bite is killer!  These are absolutely necessary to add to your summer baking!
Not to mention the fact that Desmond did a happy dance in my belly after I ate these.  He's quite the fan too!  But I can't claim all of the success of this delicious recipe.  It's adapted from Smitten Kitchen.  But my version is veganized.  So if you want the original head over there, though my changes are not that drastic.

strawberries and cream biscuits

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBS. baking powder
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 TBS. cold vegan butter
1 cup chopped very ripe strawberries
1 cup full-fat coconut milk

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Then cut in your cold butter until little pebbles begin to form and your flour becomes crumbly.
Now stir in your strawberries.
And fold in the coconut milk, being sure not to over mix and over work your dough.
Flour a clean surface and place dough there, sprinkling a little more on top to make it easier to roll out.
Roll out to 3/4 of an inch, then using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut straight down into the dough without wiggling to cut your biscuits.  Gather the scrap dough to form remaining biscuits.
Place on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, but I think their best eaten warm!

You could even add a dollop of your favorite ice-cream or whip topping for a lovely summer evening treat! it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Yup I'm Still Pregnant!

And he's still growing.  We're up to the length of an ear of corn now in his size comparison!
And Jordan even felt him moving around this week.  He didn't believe me at first, but it was so fun to see his face light up when he placed his hand on my belly and waited patiently till he felt that first little nudge from Desmond.
He gives two thumbs up for us having a baby boy.  There are two things I hear him saying all of the time.  (1.)  I want Desmond to be here now.  And (2.)  He's gonna look just like me!  (Remember that post I did early on of Jordan being enamored with his baby photos???)  Needless to say he's quite excited to be a Dad.  I'm so lucky to have a man like him by my side as a husband and in raising our kids.

And since I wore the same shirt as from an earlier shoot, I thought I'd do a comparison...
I dunno...can you see a difference?