Gluten-Free Persimmon Cookies

Hi Everyone! I come bearing gifts just in time for the holidays. Gluten-free gifts!  The persimmons on our tree in the front yard were completely ripe and ready to picked. Growing up with a Jamaican mommy we would always just eat the persimmons. Now, they kind of tie up my tongue.  I wanted to make something with this sweet and succulent fruit that could please everyone. Being that it is the holidays, this yummy sweet and spicy persimmon cookie was the perfect fit for our family. I made these cookies gluten-free simply because my mother in law has become gluten-free recently and a lot of my readers on here have asked for yummy simple gluten free options. I hope you like this recipe. Be sure to comment below. Enjoy!

… and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families.

Ingredients 

1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 Stick of Unsalted Butter

1 Organic Egg

1 Cup of Blended Persimmon Pulp (about 4-5 small persimmons)

1 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour

1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp of All Spice

Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup of Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Handful of Chopped Walnuts (Optional)

Optional Lemon Glaze: 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter melted and hot, Juice of half of a lemon and 3 Heaping Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar

Directions 

Preheat your oven to 375. In a bowl mix brown sugar and room temperature butter together until smooth. Add in the egg and the persimmon pulp and mix until it forms a smooth wet batter.  Next, add in all of your dry ingredients and mix well until a thick batter is formed. Drop tablespoons of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for about 10-12 mins. Let them completely cool!

I decided to do two batches, one with chocolate chips and one with walnuts and the lemon glaze. They were both absolutely delicious. This is a great cookie to package as a gift or take to a holiday party. It will not disappoint! Enjoy 🙂

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Pearl Quinoa

Okay guys today we are talking about quinoa. Looks weird, tastes delicious. I find that any other grain besides rice can sometimes seem overwhelming or a bit foreign. Quinoa really isn’t, you actually prepare it just as you would traditional rice. There is so much you can do with this “super grain”. It’s a great alternative to rice as it is jam packed with protein, and doesn’t seem to weigh you down when you eat it. It’s also gluten-free so its a great side dish alternative. It also contains all 8 essential amino acids!

There are several different kinds of quinoa that I will be featuring periodically. Today, we are just going to focus on pearl quinoa which is the most common and the one we are all most likely familiar with. It’s a beige tiny pearl like grain when uncooked and becomes fluffy, yellow and “tadpole” like when cooked (The little stringy fiber hangs off after it’s been cooked, also a great indicator of when it’s done!)

Cooking this quinoa is simple. Add a cup and a half of liquid for every cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce and then simmer for 15 mins. Super simple!

Of course I have a hard time doing anything as directed and like to jazz things up a bit…

Instead of water using a homemade or store-bought stock of your choice is a nice additive instead of water. It just beings a more full-bodied flavor to the quinoa. After my quinoa is done cooking I love to transfer it to a saute pan with garlic, olive oil and finely chopped onions. So yummy. I know some people despise raisins, but they just taste so delicious in sautéed quinoa, it’s not even funny.

You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate it for the entire week! A great superfood for easy food prep.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little tie bit of information. Have you tried quinoa?  Feel free to leave your amazing recipes below!

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FITNESS FRIDAY: Easy Caprese (and video update)

Hi Guys !

I hope you all enjoyed your week! Here is a super simple caprese salad recipe that i’ve been making and eating all week long! So easy and so delicious! I also wanted to update you all by video this week about my/our fitness journey. Please share yours in the comments below. Enjoy the weekend!

Easy Caprese Salad 

Ingredients

6 -8 small fresh mozzarella balls

8-10 Cherry tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

3 Leaves of fresh Basil (chopped)

A Drizzle of Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Directions 

Comine all of the ingredients into a bowl, drizzle with balsamic and enjoy! It’s really that simple, I love it. Be sure to use aged balsamic as it has a thicker and sweeter consistency.

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Riley and Mommy Take Stanford (well… for a couple of hours)

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on my new friend Jennifer Aaker’s class at Stanford GSB. She teaches “Designing For Happiness” at Stanford as the Professor of Marketing. I was so excited and of course jumped at the opportunity. Naturally, Riley was with me as I take her everywhere. Jennifer did help with a great babysitter to fill in during the 2 hour class. She was wonderful with Riley and they played in the grass with her toys right outside of the building. I cheated a little and had her send me text updates and photos throughout the class ( I’ll get there fully one day).

I first want to say that the class was amazing! From the syllabus, the class develops and rethinks ideas on how to “design products and rethink brands.” One exercise we did was to come up with words that immediately evoke a sense of happiness in ourselves; specifically a word, a company, and a brand. My picks were family, Honest Company, and Little Lights of Mine (is that a brand? It could be…!)

I hope I get a chance to make it back up there and sit in again. I learned so much in that short time. (If you’re reading this, thank you Jennifer!). Second, the campus is BEAUTIFUL. It was my first time getting to explore such a large campus. It was beautifully kept and there were some really cool features at the Graduate School of Business. Until next time! 🙂

Here are a couple of photos from the day! Enjoy!

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Jack London Fun!

Riley and I decided to check out the Jack London Square farmers market this weekend in Oakland, CA. It was fantastic! There was live music, a cute little water fountain and plenty of grass to sit on and take in all of the sites. I picked up some fresh flowers, cherry tomatoes and beets (I LOVE beets! Not sure why so many people are afraid of them). Riley ate some pears and I sipped on  fresh papaya juice while we explored our little local farmers market. It was the perfect way to spend our sunday afternoon together.

The farmers market is a great way for you to get fresh organic LOCAL produce. They come from farms located right in your state! The produce is so much more affordable than the grocery store. If you juice, it’s the perfect place to stock up and buy bulk.

Jack London and the Ferry Building are two great places to go if you are in the bay area. If you know of any other awesome farmers markets in the east bay let me know and comment below!

Here are a couple of pictures I snapped over the weekend. Happy Monday !  🙂

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Great Reads

Here are a couple of books i’ve read this past year and loved. I’m not going to lie, I don’t read as much as I should (don’t really have much time anymore either) but these books caught and kept my attention. Not to mention they offered some wonderful home and mom advice. A couple of these books even left me laughing for hours on end (I love a witty novel). If you’ve read any of them, lets discuss! If you haven’t, read them and let me know what you think!

Bringing Up Bebe

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The Happiest Baby on the Block 

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The Family Fang 

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Healthy Child Healthy World 

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You can find all of these books on www.amazon.com    🙂

Enjoy!

 

Traveling With A Baby!

We travel a lot both as a family, and by myself. It has been like this for as long as I can remember. Traveling can be stressful, add a baby into the equation and the stress levels go off the charts. I’ve discovered some amazing and easy traveling tips and tricks that make traveling with a baby an enjoyable breeze! I hope this helps some of you moms and dads out there. Please note that sometimes a baby is just not in the mood and may cry on a flight regardless of what you do. These are the things that have worked for me so far and they are based on my own experience and opinion. If you have any additional tips comment below!

Packing 

*If you’re traveling for an extended period of time it is still important to travel light. You’ll be able to keep track of everything, stay organized and have free hands to take care of your little one. I’ve recently become addicted to the 1 suitcase and 1 carry on rule.

* Reusable plastic bags are your friend! I use them to pack away Riley’s favorite toys. I sterilize her bowls and teething toys before packing them in the bags. I also put all of the toiletries in them, in case of spills.

* I always back a couple of bed time stories, to ensure that I’m keeping up with our routine. I find that babies love routine, so if I keep it going while i’m traveling (to an extent) she is happy.

*Buy your diapers and wipes when you get there! You’ll save so much space in your suitcase. I have mine delivered to my destination from www.honest.com. It really makes everything so much easier.

*Pack double duty outfits. Leggings that go with multiple tops and vice versa. You can always hand wash a couple of items in the sink if need be. Trust me! The lighter you pack the happier you’ll be. I always use the same outfit for Riley going both ways on the plane (make sure it’s comfy one and don’t forget the socks! germs are rampant on planes)

*Bring your own crib sheets and baby towel! ( I learned this from a friend the last time I traveled- thanks Kate!) You can never be sure of what the hotel is washing their sheets in so for baby, its safe to wash and bring your own crib sheet.

* Pack a play blanket that you can lay on the hotel room floor so your baby can play on the floor and feel at home.

* I normally make Riley’s baby food at home but when we travel, Plum Organics makes great baby food. www.plumorganics.com. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the last time I traveled I packed a few avocados and they traveled great! Riley LOVES avocados, and they don’t need to be steamed so it’s a perfect option for us.

*Check you entire stroller and carry or wear your baby in a carrier. I find that checking my entire stroller makes going through security a million times less stressful. they also let you wear your carrier through the scanner so that you don’t need to take your baby out of it. You’ll be able to board a lot easier too, and won’t have to stop to gate check anything!

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While on the Plane 

*Pack your carry on/ baby bag as you normally would. We moms tend to get so worked up when we travel. Odds are you won’t need anything more than you normally do. STRESS FREE LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVEL!

In my baby bag: 3-5 diapers and small pack of wipes

Changing pad

Blanket

1 Serving of solids

Kleynimals teething keys (see teething post)

Small pouch containing : teething tablets, nail clip, pacifier, healing balm, infant tylenol, nose sucker/bulb, pacifier wipes, HAND SANITIZER.

* Bring 1 toy! Lately Riley has been loving the “Baby First” APP on my iPhone(works like a charm).

*Take a red eye if you can! (Scheduling a flight during your little ones normal bedtime hour means they will most likely sleep through the flight)

* Feed during take off and landing! Whether you’re a BF mom or a formula mom, it is imperative that you feed your baby during take off and landing. This ensures that their little ears don’t get plugged with the pressure change. if they’re not hungry try a pacifier for a couple of mins. This is by far the most important part of the STRESS FREE TRAVEL.

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These photos are from the last time we traveled. We were away for 5 or 6 days and I managed to get all of Riley’s things as well as mine into a medium sized suitcase. We went to two completely different cities as well (Houston and Salt Lake City). I hope that these tips help!

Have a great weekend. <3

Enjoy!

 

 

Baby Style 2

I am absolutely in  love with these baby headbands from an ETSY boutique called Little Hip Squeaks! I’ve never been a fan of putting Riley in a big bow headband, so this is a perfect alternative AND they stay on her head ( for the most part). I’ll include a link below to their site.

http://www.etsy.com/search?q=little%20hip%20squeak&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US&ref=auto1

Enjoy!

** I have not been compensated in any way for this post. Opinions are all my own**

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New Moms and The Babysitter!

I wanted to get opinions from all of the moms out there on finding a babysitter. Were you nervous the first time you hired one? How did you find them? At what age did you start leaving your little one with someone else?

I am asking because my husband and I have left our baby girl for a total of 10 hours combined, and it’s always been with a family member (she’s almost 7 months). I am absolutely petrified to leave her with someone. She is so little and can’t speak for herself yet, what if she needs me?! Have you moms out there had the same feelings? How did you cope? Please give me your feedback and comment below.

Thanks!