break time

you may have noticed my break.

my posts have been sparse!

i have been working on a move for the last few months, on our way to cleveland. we made a quick home at my husband’s parents home along the way for a few months, and in 2 weeks we will will pick up and be off to eastern ohio! hooray!

please, stick with me until we settle in a little. i will try to sneak tasty snippets in here or there, but my commitment for the next several days will still be getting juniper and my husband on track on our new setting.

thanks!

Whole 30, day 11

i am fighting an infection right now from nursing. it is horrible. fever, pain, tummyache.. i am on a good dose of antibiotics, so i’ve started adding applesauce to my diet. i have to. antibiotics effect my digestive something horrible, so i need the pectin!

breakfast: 3 fried eggs, sausage. coffee with coconut cream.

snack: applesauce & cashews.

lunch: turkey, avocado, lettuce, peppers. some kale chips. -yeah, i know kale chips are pushing it…

dinner: cilantro lime grilled pork loin, fried plantains, mango chutney. -my parents were over for a visit, so no pics, sorry!

results: i’m feeling pretty crummy today because of my infection. so far as food goes, everything satisfied and i wasn’t left feeling hungry at all!

thanks for hanging in there!

i know my posts have been spotty and sparse, but i’ve been really busy lately!

being pregnant sucks a little energy out of you in general, but i’m doing great for the main part. despite brian and i having the nastiest version of the flu last week, i’ve been in tip top shape for a 7 month pregnant lady. i still go to the gym, i still work full hours, and i refuse to let anyone treat me like i have an illness. -it’s pregnancy, people, my body was BUILT for this!

i’m proud to report that we finished baking 2 layer cakes for my shower, which is tomorrow. today we will fill and decorate both cakes, and also make a tart. what fun! seriously, i don’t get much 1 on 1 time with sis, so just sitting around baking monotonously is great. she and i operate on the same level.

needless to say, i’m looking forward to posting pictures of our adventure as soon as i can!

carrot cake cupcakes

carroty cakes

i made these little gems for my dad’s birthday last month. i prefer carrot cakes to be somewhat traditional, meaning i don’t add coconut or pineapple to them at all. i find that those two additions make more of a tropical, hummingbird cake. this recipe comes from elana’s pantry, though i did make a few adjustments. i used maple syrup to sweeten them instead of agave nectar. also, i used bob’s red mill brand almond flour instead of the honeyville brand she recommends. finally, i added some raisins to the batter.¬† i suspect it was these adjustments that are what made these cupcakes slightly dense and muffin like. even when frosted with the dreamy, fluffy cream cheese frosting, these resembled a delicious breakfasty baked good rather than a birthday indulgence. -but that was totally my bad. anyhow, the cupcakes were still really tasty, and my dad really enjoyed them. carrot cake is his favorite thing, so he is the judge! i toasted some walnuts with cinnamon to top a few of these, also i topped a few with candied ginger. i recommend both.

this recipe makes 10-12 cupcakes

carrot cake cupcakes

1.5 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

*3 eggs

2 tbsp oil

1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup

1.5 cups graded carrots

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/4 cup raisins

*note: i’ve been restraining myself from beating eggs before i put them into a recipe to see if this yields in a fluffier result. it does. especially with brownies and cakes. try it!

method: prehat oven to 325f. prepare tin with paper liners.

combine almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl. i use a whisk to break up clumps, in the case that they may form.

separately, mix together eggs, agave, and oil until well combined. stir carrots, raisins, and nuts in.

combine the batters until just mixed and coated evenly. scoop 1/4 cup batter into each liner.

bake for 18-22 minutes. allow to cool completely before icing. top iced cupcakes with candied ginger, toasted nuts, raisins, or whatever tickles your fancy!

this frosting recipe makes a lot. be prepared to get creative in figuring out how to use it all up- i recommend straight of the pastry bag. it is super fluffy, slightly delicate, and once chilled, should keep its shape for 2 days or so.

cinnamon-toasted walnut

fluffy cream cheese frosting

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup cream cheese at room temp

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

method: whip cream until it is stiff.

in separate bowl, beat cream cheese until it is creamy. blend in sweetener and vanilla.

fold cream into cream cheese gently. fill a pastry bag and go to town.

plain, ginger, and cinnamon-toasted walnut

spicy peanut chicken with kelp noodles

most gluten-free noodles are made from rice or corn. these noodles, which i found at my favorite grocery, are made from a sea vegetable, kelp.the nutritive benefits of kelp are fairly unclear, but here is what we know: it is vegan, it is practically calorie and carbohydrate free, it is gluten-free. being from the ocean, it is naturally super-loaded with calcium. these noodles are an ideal addition to meals, especially those where rice is a filler. they settle lightly, unlike rice, which tends to soak up a bunch of water and sit in the stomach.

i was skeptical about the use of these. though i eat rice every few months or so as a treat with asian meals, i do love their ability to soak up all the yummy sauces that would otherwise remain on the plate. rice is just good. but again, rice is a treat.

the noodles soaked up the sauces that i carefully formulated for my meal, and their texture was a great compliment to the whole meal. if you prefer a rice style noodle, cook them a little longer, with the lid of the pot on, in a little broth or extra sauce. if you want them crunchy, get them just hot through and serve your stir-fry on top.

i like mine a little softer, like rice noodles.

they can be served cold and raw, so adding fresh veggies and topping with peanuts, soy sauce and sriracha would be a great salad idea here.if you can find these in your grocery, stock up. they are a little expensive, but oh so yummy and worth it.

if you do not have fresh ginger or garlic, you may use powdered or granulated if you must.

this recipe serves 3

spicy peanut chicken with kelp noodles

for the chicken and marinade:

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips

1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated

1 tsp fresh garlic, minced or finely grated

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sriracha

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

for the stir fry:

2 carrots, shredded

1 bell pepper, cut into long strips

for the finishing sauce:

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tsp fresh ginger

1/2 tsp garlic

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sriracha

1/4 cup orange juice

for the rest:

1/2 cup peanuts

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1 pkg kelp noodles, rinsed and drained

method

combine all ingredients for the marinade and let chicken swim in it for at least an hour.

mix up the finishing sauce while chicken marinates to allow flavors to mingle. taste and add stuff as you see fit.

place rinsed noodles in a large pot with a lid and a couple drops of water. heat on low. allow to warm as the rest cooks.

allowing the veggies and chicken to rest with the sauce for a few minutes is key!

heat up skillet and some peanut oil or sesame oil over medium/hot. add chicken, reserving the marinade. fry chicken until just cooked, then add remaining marinade. cook for another minute or so, then pour into a large bowl.

quickly add more oil to skillet, and fry up carrots and peppers until just soft. turn heat off, stir chicken back into skillet with veggies, and pour 3/4 of the finishing sauce into skillet to warm up a little. -just for a fast minute. pour everything back into large bowl, and add the remaining finishing sauce. stir it and half the chives in.

put noodles into serving bowls, serve with stir-fry, adding remaining chives and peanuts over. serve with more sriracha, if you like it hot.

warning!!! -or watch..

so there is a tornado warning for my area right now. -ok, it might be a watch, i’m not sure.

i am not afraid of tornadoes.

i am only afraid of not doing things that i wish i had before i die suddenly.

so i am going to eat this bar of expensive chocolate all by myself now, ok?

if something happens to me in this possible tornado, i ate the chocolate. just know that.