More Than Food

You all know of my love for cooking and baking.  You have helped make the Air Fryer Book the one selling book in the world on Air Frying as it is now published in 5 countries. As I finish up on my 9th book, I thought it would be appropriate to explain what inspired and brought me to the kitchen.

It seems that all of my life there have been big moments celebrated with food.  Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and weekends were a time when I would gather with family and friends to mark big moments in our lives.  That being said, for me, any moment that I get to sit down and break bread with those I love is a special time for me.

We live in a world that is constantly moving, with fast cars, planes, workdays, kids — so taking time to stop for a moment each day and give thanks for the good things in our lives is important.  Why not take that moment over a delicious meal? I grew up in a home where Sunday was always accompanied with a big family meal that I eagerly awaited all week.  My mom is the best person I’ve ever known.  She raised her children in a home filled with love, conversation, and laughter.  She was quick witted, driven, and warm in a world that was not always so kind.  My mom was thankful for every moment with her children and her family, and that came across in her cooking.

My love for cooking grew from our Sunday meals and the other big moments of my childhood and adult life.  In culinary school, I was lucky enough to enhance my experience in the kitchen under the guidance of the most inspiring mentors.  They taught me to appreciate each ingredient — the look, the taste, the texture — and experiment with different flavors.  I found serenity under their mentorship, and a deep appreciation for the way food heals and brings joy.

Today, I find joy every day in a trip to the market — finding fresh fruits and vegetables, preparing a meal, and sharing an evening with family and friends.  Everything comes together when you find a tomato so ripe, it’s almost sweet; or take in the aroma of fresh baked bread, knowing the care that went into the many hours of mixing, kneading, rising, and baking.  It is, for me, the best way to find a balance between salty and sweet, robust and delicate, good and bad.

Today, I’m blessed that I’m able to share these experiences in my personal life and in my work.  I get to share the warm moments with my mom and my daughter, Jordon.   I get to make new memories every day.  And, of course, I try to do as my mom did — be kind, give love, and share laughter, in and out of the kitchen.

I’ve learned that one person does not make a conversation, nor does one tomato make a sauce.  So, invite a friend over to your kitchen, try something new for dinner, and enjoy.  You will always walk away with more than you came to the table with.

On that note….what should be the next book feature?

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You Are Sweet Enough Just the Way You Are

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?  Maybe yours is similar to mine.  I resolve to limit processed foods, and artificial sweeteners from my diet.  I have been 60 percent on plan for several months, but the holidays were tough on me.  I’m aiming now to up my efforts and go from 60% to 80% of the time to eat as clean as possible.

Easier said then done.  So I will start with the basics.

 I will try to eat as much “real” food as possible and if I am going to indulge in a sweet treat from time to time,  I will aim to get my sweet fix from fruits, and natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar.

The good news is that I have found dozens of recipes for naturally sweetened treats.  I have included my latest find.  The most delicious, moist banana bread ever.  It’s FABULOUS!  The recipe is free of all  processed sugar and can be made dairy free and gluten free, if you wish.

I hope you love this yummy bread as much as my husband  and I did.

Here you Go…

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  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of milk, almond milk, or water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (gluten free flour if you like)
  •  Optional, 1/2 cup walnuts, pecans, carob chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and grease 9 x 5 loaf pan

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In a large bowl, beat oil, honey, eggs, mix together then whisk in bananas and milk

 

Add baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and flour, (and extras if you i.e. nuts) use a large spoon and mix all ingredients together….don’t over stir, leave a few lumps in the batter.20160907_201307

Pour batter into your greased pan, sprinkle the top with more cinnamon

Bake for 55 to 60 mins, or until toothpick comes out clean 

One loaf gives you 10 servings

Per serving: Calories 215, Fat 8.7 g, Sugars 16 g, Protein 4.3g,

Enjoy!

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