I've always been a #dreamer. I've always been able to make due with what I've got and make the most of a situation. Somewhere along the way, I've learned how to adapt and overcome. I didn't grow up with a lot of money nor was I given many opportunities to start a business. I walked back and forth to my neighbor's house to use her computer in order to get my #fitnesscertification. At that time my husband and I had a new baby and we were sharing a vehicle. I spent hours at home by myself and decided to make the the most of my time. So, my success has come from situations such as that. I just make the best out of what I have.
I've always loved cooking, wait, let me take that back. I've always loved eating, lol. Once I decided to change my eating habits and eat healthier, I had to learn how to cook. I can remember when I was a little girl, pulling up a chair to stand on while watching my 'Little Mamaw" cook for my papaw and I. We called her "Little Mamaw" because she was 4'11. I remember watching her make homemade biscuits and she always made sure to put and extra pad of butter and and extra drop of honey on mine. I can remember that honey jar that looked like a teddy bear. It was the best honey ever. I can remember her making homemade dumplings from scratch and letting me help her roll them out with a rolling pin and cut them.
Every time she knew I was coming to stay the night she had me a banana pudding and a crab casserole waiting with my name on it. We would sit and play the game "Sorry" and the cards "Old Maid." We would sit and watch Golden Girls and laugh until our bellies hurt. I can remember she would always drink a canned coke, and she always folded a paper towel, sat her coke can upon it, then wrapped a rubber band around it. It was her homemade coozie. My "Little Mamaw" was one a kind.
She woke up every morning around 5am, got up and got dressed to the 9's. Fixed her hair as high as the hairspray would hold.She was so elegant and beautiful. I use to play dress-up with all of her earrings and broaches. It was so funny, because she would sit and shop on #QVC and buy all of these randoms things and hide them from my papaw. So, don't think we were the generation to start hiding #Amazon boxes from our husbands. Our grandmothers were doing it too. I could sit and talk about her all day long. I love her so much and miss her so much. Til I see you again "Little Mamaw," I'll be cooking away making you proud.
The first thing I ever cooked by myself was a box of #kfraft macaroni and cheese. I was so proud of myself. As I progressed and moved forward, I started trying the more complex and complicated recipes. I remember making "Birds in a Nest" one time. It was basically stuffed chicken breasts. I can remember being so excited and feeling so proud. Tim and I sat down to eat it and as we both took the first bite, we looked at each other and spit it out.
It tasted like soap. It was horrible. I think I put way too much cilantro in them, and honestly I probably got cilantro by accident and instead needed spinach, now that I think of it. Anyway, let's just say I've had to burn a few cakes before baking the perfect one. I've had to throw entire casseroles into the garbage can. I've had lots of practice. Learning how to cook the basics is a good start. Once you learn the basics, then you can start to learn the more complex recipes. But then, to go even deeper, you have to then learn how to substitute and modify recipes to make them #healthy
That's when it gets real interesting. I've been practicing, researching, and experimenting with different foods for about 7 years now and I still learn something new every day. Everyone has their own meaning of "healthy" and everyone has their own way of cooking and eating. Nowadays the fitness industry has evolved into a whirlwind of different #diettrends and ways of living. There is no one size fits all diet or #fitness regimen. There is something out there for everyone. The key is to find what works for you, what you can enjoy and what you can maintain.
I have learned how to cook my favorite things by substituting with healthier ingredients. Now, I can say I absolutely love cooking. I also love watching #foodnetwork I could watch it all day. Maybe one day, I'll get to cook on there. Who knows. I love making all these beautiful elegant looking dishes. My kitchen is very small and I normally have to makeshift some of the fancy cooking dishes and cooking tools. I get VERY #creative in the kitchen to say the least.
So, let's talk about this pie. My 5 year old was diagnosed with the flu on Wednesday, and yesterday my 1 year old inevitably was diagnosed with it as well. We've been cooped up in this tiny house all running a high #Cabinfever While we were at the pharmacy picking up their meds, I decided to get some stuff to make a #veganlemoniceboxpie I always Google recipes to get a general idea of what they use, then I make my own. I have recently started cooking #veganrecipes and this is another level of cooking as well, if you are converting to a #veganlifestyle.
So, we get home with all the ingredients, and my 1 year does not want me to put him down, of course, he's sick, he wants his mommy. I had planned on doing a blog post on some sort of dessert for this week's blog and had envisioned being able to stage and photograph every step of the process. Let's just say, that didn't go as planned. Like I said, I don't have a big fancy kitchen, nor do I have all the fancy things that they use on Food Network, but I do make a finished product that no one would've known it didn't come from a fancy kitchen without using fancy cookware.
So let's start out with with pie crust. I found these dairy free gluten free ginger snap cookies. I added them to my food processor with 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil and blended until it resembled a crumble. I then poured it into a greased pie dish and mashed it out evenly. I greased the pie dish with coconut oil as well. I then placed the pie dish in the freezer.
While the pie crust was in the freezer I then made #vegan sweetened condensed milk. All you need for this is a can of coconut cream and pure maple syrup. In a small boiling pot, add the coconut cream and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil decrease the temp and add in 1/2 cup of maple syrup and wisk together. Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid reduces by half. Once the milk has reduced, remove from heat and pour into a glass jar or container to let cool.
To make the filling, I found some coconut whipped cream in the freezer section beside the sugar free, gluten free, whipped cream. I got 2 lemons, and jar of lemon juice. In a mixing bowl, I mixed 1 and 1/2 tubs of the coconut whipped cream, all of the homemade vegan sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, zest of a lemon and the juice of the lemon. I folded it together until smooth. I then poured the mixture into the pie crust and placed it into the refrigerator.
Let the filling set in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, you could even put it in the freezer for an hour to help it set faster. Once it's set, take it out and decorate the top with lemons, lemon zest, and Reddi Wip.
So, as I said, you'd never know by looking at these pictures that I had a baby on my hip the entire time, meanwhile tending to and cooking for my 5 year old. You'd never know that I had to clean off each area specifically for each picture in order for it to be somewhat "post worthy." You'd never had known how tiny my kitchen is in order to get all of this done. You'd never know that the beautiful picture of the finished product is surrounded by stains, toys, half-eaten food, contents of a diaper bag that's been played with, and God know what else was in fact right outside that beautiful ever so carefully placed and strategically taken picture.
This life comes with many ups and downs. There is beauty along the ride as long as you can make the best of what you have to work with and don't let anything hold you back from dreaming. Making your dreams a reality is what you call goals. I had dreams of becoming a personal trainer and writing a cookbook. I then, made those dreams into goals that later became reality. It doesn't matter what I don't or didn't have or what I'm lacking. All that matters is, I use what I do have in order to make the best of my situation and that I have #FAITH in the process.
Don't let limitations in life prevent you from chasing your #dreams and reaching your #goals. You can make the best of what you have to work with right now, right where you are. There is always something you can do, to succeed. It's up to you to find your focus. If you only focus on what you need and what you don't have, you'll never get started towards your goal. If you put your focus on what you do have and what you can do, you're already half-way towards reaching that goal.
So, I encourage you, run that race, write that book, go back to school and get that degree, go after that dream and don't let anything hold you back.
You can purchase my devotional cookbook, "The Recipe to Faithful Fitness." I tell you about my journey of weight loss, and I give give you tons of easy recipes follow.
LEMON ICE BOX PIE
-1 7oz. Box of dairy free, gluten free ginger snaps
- ½ cup of coconut oil melted
Put into a food processor and mix until coconut oil and cookies are well combined.
Pour into a greased pie dish and place into the freezer.
VEGAN SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK:
- 1 can of coconut cream
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
In a medium saucepan bring white part of coconut cream to a boil. Once boiling whisk in maple syrup and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce reduces by half. Then pour sauce into a glass dish in order to cool.
- 1 and ½ containers of coconut whipped cream
- Vegan sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Stir and fold mixture together until thoroughly combined. Pour filling into the pie crust and put into the refrigerator for 4 hours to set. Garnish with lemon zest, lemon slices, and coconut Reddi Whip.
As always thanks for your love and support.