A little Reminder today

6 Oct

“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love” – Max Muller


Exciting plans for today friends! Read: DMV and a bit of grocery shopping…….and possibly a bath for my smelly dog. Even though life has thrown me some curve balls these past few days I am going to keep my chin up and a smile on my face as much as I can today.

Be someone’s Sunshine today!



Delicious Cacao cake and Potato Salad

12 May

Just in case you didn’t know, you missed it. And you have a lot of making up to do.

You missed Mother’s Day. Yeah. I’ll give you a minute as you realize what all that entails…..




okay, that’s enough. But, I thankfully realized a few weeks in advance that I didn’t want to be in your position, so I got cards for all four of our moms and had my mom over for lunch after church. My mom chose the meal we were to have, so I got on Pinterest (of course!) to find recipes that easily switched the dishes so they were safe for me and the OH to eat.

Fried chicken ( I needed gluten and dairy free and wanted less oil )

Potato Salad (needed egg and dairy free and wanted a bit healthier)

Chocolate Cake (needed chocolate , gluten and dairy free but still yummy)

I decided to let my OH handle the chicken – mwahaha – and focused on the other two dishes. I found an absolutely fabulous potato salad recipe on Healthful Pursuit, called Dad’s Famous Potato Salad. (I’ve since found other recipes on there that I want to try!) And then found a wonderful looking chocolate cake on Manila Spoon. It made me excited to find two new places for recipes – yay! I decided we needed a vegetable to go with the meal so I added in some zucchini to the meal plan. MMMmmm

Now, it so happens that mid week last week my back decided to spasm out on me so I spent about three days on the couch, but I was able to get to the grocery store Friday to grab the ingredients I needed. It turned out to be only a few items – which made me (and my mostly-empty checking account) happy.  Saturday I was feeling good, so I baked the cake (ah, what joy to be baking again!) and slowly chopped the vegetables for the potato salad (I say slowly because my OH had put a movie on, so I’d find myself sitting on the couch watching instead of chopping…).

Once Sunday came, my OH had changed my plans of making oven fried (read: healthier) chicken to actual fried chicken. How can you refuse lit-up eyes and a smile meant to change your mind? You can’t. So you don’t. All that to say, that the fried chicken was fantastic, the crust was crispy but not too oily, had a bit of a spicy kick to it and was simply amazing but I have no recipe to share with you. You’ll have to talk to him to get it, and you might not get it even then. He’s kind of a stinker about sharing recipes.

As for the potato salad it was delicious. I even liked the radishes in it- and I never, ever like radishes. My mom told me that for any potlucks we do from now on , the salad is what I’m bringing. I am actually thinking I’ll make another batch/bowl of it tomorrow. . . And the cake was good, you’ll see all the changes that were made to the original recipe. While it wasn’t as light as I like it, it was a really good ‘chocolate’ cake. It’s been calling to me ever since I had the first bite. I’m really trying to wait until after dinner to have one of the last two slices.

mothers day

So, on to the recipes.

Since I didn’t change anything (except for leaving out the boiled eggs and switching over to turkey bacon)  with this recipe, I will direct you over to .  It really is as good as it looks too. It’s full of radishes, potatoes, bell pepper, bacon, onion and pickles. Yum.

I love the name of this cake – Triple Chocolate Wacky Cake with a Dark Chocolate Ganache. Now, this recipe I’ll share with you because I mixed it up a lot.

Cacao (faux chocolate) Cake (gf, df)

1 1/2 c gf flour blend ( I used Namaste’ blend)

1 c sugar

5 TB cacao powder (not cocoa. the diff spelling is intentional – if you want to find out more about it, i have a link at the bottom of the post)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 TB vinegar

5 TB olive oil (use whatever oil, it’s just what I had on hand)

1 c cold water plus 1 tsp instant coffee granules (dissolved in water!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep dish (check out original post to see other pan options but I used a regular cake pan) by spraying with oil and then sprinkle with a little flour. Remember to shake off any excess flour.

Mix all dry ingredients. Then slowly add in liquids. To make it easier on myself, I added the oil, vanilla and vinegar to the water/coffee mix and then poured it into the mixing bowl while I had it mixing on speed 1 or 2. Mix until moistened. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. I had mine in for 30 minutes and it could have been in 5 to 10 more minutes. It was a little sticky in the middle. Let cool completely.

Now, here’s where it got a little iffy. Ganache is a wonderful combination of heavy cream and chocolate. You put it over heat and mix and wait til it’s a beautiful shiny smooth texture. But, now, we can’t have heavy cream and my OH can’t have chocolate. So, since he was home by this time, we worked on it together. And I might get in trouble, but I’ll tell you our secret (just don’t tell him I told you).

Go buy yourself a few containers of culinary coconut milk. Make sure it says culinary.  It is the cream of the coconut  which means it is thick thick thick.

Now, since he was helping me we didn’t measure anything. Each container is 11 fl. oz and we used about 1 1/2. Then we added enough cacao powder to get the color/flavor we wanted. With some coconut sugar to sweeten it, we heated it on the stove for a bit until it was smooth and sorta shiny, then poured it over the cake.


Set in fridge til the ganache has set. Enjoy!

The meal was delicious – if I do say so myself – and afterward we played a few games of cribbage (sorry we beat you both games mom) and had a wonderful relaxing time. I hope your Mother’s day was as relaxing as mine was.

gf df cacao cake


Marriage advice Collaboration- part 4

19 Apr

Happy Saturday!

I’m sitting with a bowl of strawberry nut oatmeal,  have some gaelic folk music playing, grabbing my glasses and getting ready to type up a storm full of wonderful thoughts for you all today! This week has been a bit crazy – I was finally feeling decent enough to go to a 19th century dance class(!), work a bit and plan a seder meal with my OH and mom. Of course, pinterest has been a companion during the down times – checking out gardening tips and plans since I am hoping to grow a decent portion of our veggies this summer and i’ve gotten hooked on a blog called, check it out, that’s all i’m gonna say.

For today, I am going to share with you some words from my aunt Lisa in California. She has a spitfire personality, is a blast to go antiquing with and made us the most beautiful quilt for our wedding. Her and my uncle Dan have been married 30 odd years (sorry I don’t know for sure Aunt Lisa!! )

Marriage is full of momentous days : weddings, births, graduations, new jobs and more. However, when I look back over more than three decades of married life, these aren’t the things that resonate with me as the true gifts of sharing my life with the one God has chosen for me. It’s the little things that have become the foundation that keeps our building strong. When Dan and I were dating he frequently left notes on my car windshield. These were invariably signed with the same five words of endearment, little did we know these would become our signature in all notes to each other for a lifetime! These words of love still make me smile and feel completely loved. As with all couples when the children came along ,it became increasingly difficult to find moments alone to share daily happenings, concerns and joys. In our children’s teen years, my husband and I began taking evening walks after dinner in order to carve out those 20-30 minutes to talk without interruptions. Now, many years later, we still enjoy these daily walks, although our interruptions have moved on to begin lives of their own, the time together is still precious. so, whether it’s Dan bringing home my favorite veggie (his least favorite) from a local farmer that was harvesting it fresh from the field, because he knows my love of broccoli or my afternoon phone call to him to let him know it’s a good fishing day if he’d like to go after work, or a sticky note left to share those five most precious words, our wedded bliss is most definitely found in the little things. Look for joy and laughter in the smallest of everyday happenings, these will become your sustenance to fill the gaps between the momentous days.”

How wonderful are Those words?  I love it love it.

mariage advice part 4

I am also going to include another dear womans advice – I met Shirel through my OH, when he took me up to Portland to meet his ‘adopted’ parents. This wonderful couple has been there for him for so many years, and I am blessed to call them family now too. Shirel and her husband, Warren are rabbis at their synagogue and have been married …. somewhere near 30 years (hehe, can you tell i’m guessing this one? I obviously forgot to ask that question)

“Keep God central in the relationship. When we follow His commands, all parts of our lives benefit. Never let the sun go down on your anger. Practice good communication. I think a date night is also very important. It keeps romance alive when we anticipate and prepare for some one-on-one time with no distractions.”

Amen! I love date nights. (ha – what woman doesn’t?)  We have plans to celebrate our anniversary (that was last weekend) this evening, so yay for on on one time!

I certainly hope you are enjoying this series, I got a much better response than I thought I would – so I am going to continue it until I am out of  pieces to put up! I am thinking of new future posts, so beware for that!

Have a wonderful weekend dear friends! Get out and enjoy that sunshine!


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