Life

freshly baked

October 26, 2017

This cute little lemon loaf is the reason i’ve been m.i.a. 

Our daughter (crazy!!) made her way into our hearts on august 28th. 

We had no idea if baby was going to be a girl or a boy so it was quite the surprise!

It’s been two months now (holy!) – I can’t even believe it’s been that long even as I type it. The first month was a complete blur, and now the second month has moved way too fast. 

All of the stories and things friends tell you about a baby are true – so, so true. Time goes by way too quickly, your whole world changes in an instant and everything is about this new little love. Some days I don’t shower, other days I can’t remember if I’ve eaten anything. We’re definitely getting into a rhythm now as we enter month 3. She’s sleeping well, we have a ‘schedule’ and she has such a little personality. She’s smiling, starting to play and (gasp) trying to Roll Over!! (staahp)

I was 10 days overdue when she came. I went in that morning to be induced – and boy did it work. So much so, that after 30 minutes of the cervadil, contractions started. Only, they didn’t just start – they never. stopped. Usually it takes a day maybe two for the cervadil to work. But for some reason I had a crazy reaction to it and it basically put me into active labour within the hour. Uh – what?!

Yup – contractions every 30-45 seconds, lasting 30-45 seconds. Put it this way, once you’re almost at the end of labour you should have 4-5 contractions every 10 minutes. I was having 6-7 every 10 minutes in the first hour. No breaks. No meds. Not exactly what I expected (but really, no one can plan for birth. what happens, happens.)

After the nurses continued to monitor me, and the contractions wouldn’t stop, they gave me some nitrous oxide to take the ‘edge’ off – but really it just kept your mind off them for a second while still having the full-on pain. This continued for 3-4 hours where I finally couldn’t take it anymore, and me (and baby) were finally ready to be admitted – and ready for the drugs!!

Thankfully I got an epidural right away after I was admitted and it was 1000 x better. I basically slept for the next few hours until it was go-time. 

After an hour and a half of pushing, our little girl was finally here. She was perfect – since she was overdue she wasn’t wrinkly at all, her skin was perfectly smooth – her little face was perfect. I remember all I kept saying over and over was “she’s so perfect!” 

We named her Evelyn, a.k.a. Evie. 7 lbs 12 ounces of sweetness. 

photo: erin ocampo

We’re finding our groove, and I can actually find some time to bake again. She loves playing on her mat, which gives me time to get things done. I’m hoping to return to blogging again regularly-ish. 

I call her my little sweet, or sweetness. I always did have a sweet tooth. 

She’s most certainly the best thing I ever baked. 

 

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Bread, Loaf

Lemon Loaf

May 10, 2017

I’m kind of disappointed that I haven’t had any real ‘pregnancy’ cravings. I mean, I didmake a toasted tunafish sandwich at 4 a.m. one night, but let’s be real – what pregnant lady doesn’t?

I also keep asking my husband if he can ‘smell that,’ like food smells, or if it’s just me. Usually, he can also smell it. Which means I clearly don’t have the super-hightened-pregnancy-sense-of-smell. Darn.

I realize this is a blessing in disguise – I have had a pretty easy pregnancy as far as symptoms and complications go – knock on wood. We’re also halfway – 21 weeks this week. It’s crazy to even think about how quick this has gone.

I shouldn’t complain that I haven’t experienced anything – I have the protruding stomach that now looks like I’m actually pregnant, and not the ‘i just ate two burgers’ food baby. But other than the growing baby bump, I feel pretty normal-ish. The only recurring pain is sleep – the lack of, and discomfort. My pregnant best friend (who’s having TWINS!) and I had a spa day last month and the prenatal massage was glorious. 

Thankfully I also haven’t had any food aversions. Though I have eaten less meat, and have little desire to cook chicken (I can’t eat red meat because of an intolerance/allergy). There’s been lots of veggie/vegetarian meals for dinner and lunches. Black bean burgers made a big comeback when I was seriously hankering for a beef burger. 

My sweet tooth disappeared in the first few months of pregnancy, replaced by all things tangy-salty-vinegary (tuna sandwich with pickles) – but it’s definitely back.

I’m also baking more now than the first few months – gotta fatten baby up. Spring baking comes back strong with all the fruits popping up, lemon loaves and carrot cake. 

This Lemon Loaf is just how you want a Lemon Loaf – fragrant, perfect crumb and a light glaze on top. 

 

Lemon Loaf
A delicious Lemon Loaf drizzled with icing.
 
 
For the Loaf
  1. 3 eggs
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 1 cup almond milk
  4. 1/4 cup coconut oil OR vegetable oil
  5. 1/4 cup light olive oil
  6. Zest from one lemon
  7. Juice from 1/2 lemon
  8. 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  9. 2 tsp. baking powder
For the glaze
  1. 1cup icing sugar
  2. 2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and almond milk and blend until smooth.
  3. Add in both oils and continue blending.
  4. Add lemon zest and juice and continue to blend.
  5. Using blender on low or spatula, add flour and baking powder. Don’t over-mix.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 50 mins.
  8. Allow loaf to cool in the loaf pan.
  9. Remove loaf from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.
Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, add the icing sugar and slowly mix in the lemon juice and continually stir until smooth. Add more icing sugar or lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency.
  2. Evenly drizzle glaze over bread. Allow glaze to set and dry before slicing.
Notes
  1. Store on countertop in container, or slice and store in ziplock bags. Also freeze individual bags for a quick on the go snack or breakfast!
Bars & Squares, Berries

Blueberry Oat Bars

May 5, 2017

It’s starting to feel a little like spring around here. The snow has disappeared (thank god) though it rains most days, there are some breaks in the clouds with sunshine beaming through.

With spring comes all the spring baking – fruit galore and spring vegetables. Winter dishes are carb heavy and comforting, while Spring brings a lightness with crisp veggies, the return of the green smoothies, and a variety of fruit.

Even in the last few weeks, especially while on spring break (woot), I’ve enjoyed making smoothies, salads, and springy baked goods.

While certain fruits like blueberries, for example, aren’t quite in season – I can’t help but crave them in baked goods. Thankfully, frozen berries are available all year round and we’re always fully stocked in the freezer for things like smoothies, chia-seed jam, berry compote, and of course – baking.

Being pregnant during the winter (and holidays) meant lots of comfort food. Although winter produce is great, you just don’t crave those raw veggies as much. But next week marks 5 months (halfway!!) and I’m determined to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can for baby. And sometimes, that also means fruit in baked goods. Hey – still counts right?

These Blueberry Oat Bars come together quickly, and you probably already have everything on hand. I’m sure you could even try them with frozen raspberries! or even Blackberries!

Bring on spring.

 

Blueberry Oat Crumb Bars {gluten-free}
A gluten-free blueberry oat crumb bar that’s perfect for breakfast, a snack and even delicious enough for a healthier dessert!
 
 Crumble:
 
  1. 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  2. 1 1/4 cups oat flour (can use whole-wheat flour)
  3. 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 egg, whisked
  6. 1 cup coconut oil, room temperature or slightly melted
Filling
  1. 3 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (can use fresh if you have ’em! reduce to 3 cups for fresh)
  2. 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  3. 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  4. 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  5. 1 tbsp cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Pulse 2 cups rolled oats in food processor or blender to soften, but still slightly maintain their shape.
  2. To make your own oat flour, add 2 cups oats to high speed blender to blend until fine flour forms. Measure out 1 1/4 cups.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line square 8″ x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. In mixing bowl, add pulsed whole oats, oat flour, coconut sugar and baking powder.
  5. Add coconut oil and egg. Mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until dough forms.
  6. Dough will be moist and should stick together. If too dry, add more coconut oil or a splash of non-dairy milk.
  7. If using frozen blueberries, microwave for 2 minutes to slightly thaw. Stir in coconut sugar, lemon zest, half of the lemon juice, and chia seeds. The chia seeds absorb the extra liquid and make it jam-like when baking. Mix together well and add cornstarch. Stir again.
  8. If using fresh blueberries, add 2 tablespoons of water to microwave-safe bowl before heating up.
  9. Place 3/4 of the dough in prepared baking dish, flatten with spatula and press with the back of a spoon.
  10. Spread Blueberry Filling on top evenly.
  11. Add a small handful of rolled oats to the leftover dough, and crumble remaining dough on top of blueberries in small clumps.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
  13. Store in container on counter, in fridge or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. I prefer these bars chilled from the fridge, or heated up!

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