Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting – Recipe


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 (3 1/2ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 12 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • Filling

  • 12 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


Add ingredients to bread machine in the order as above. Using the DOUGH cycle, start the bread machine.

After the machine cycle has completed, punch down the dough and roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread brown sugar mixture over the dough as close to the edge as possible. Roll dough, from longest end, into a tight log then cut into 1.5 inch slices. Place on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. Warm oven for a few minutes and then turn off. Place the pan, covered with a cloth, into the oven and let rise for 45-60 mins.

Remove pan from oven and preheat oven to 350. Bake rolls for 16-21 mins.


2 1/2 sticks softened butter

16oz softened cream cheese

3c powdered sugar

1T vanilla extract

3T Bourbon

Place ingredients into a stand mixer bowl and whisk together until smooth. Ice the warm rolls.

Coconut Flour Lemon Pound Cake -Recipe 

Coconut Flour Lemon Pound Cake

This fluffy and soft pound cake is bursting with lemon flavor!


For the Cake

  •  5 organic eggs
  •  1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted
  •  1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  •  1/3 cup lemon juice
  •  zest of 1 large organic lemon
  •  1/2 cup plus 1 T coconut flour
  •  1/4 cup tapioca starch
  •  1/2 t baking soda
  •  Pinch Kosher salt

For the Glaze

  •  1/3 cup coconut butter
  •  2 T organic maple syrup
  •  2 T lemon juice


  •  Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 7.5” by 3.5” loaf pan.
  •  In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  •  Add the coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  •  Transfer to prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
  •  Remove from pan and cool completely.
  •  In a small bowl, mix together the coconut butter, maple syrup, and lemon juice for the glaze. Spread on cake.
  •  Slice and enjoy.

Ten Weeks Post Partum – The 411

Friday marked 10 weeks since I gave birth to the most perfect creature God every created.  My baby girl is growing by leaps and bounds.  She is now over 11 pounds !  She is truly my little chunk munk.  Her cheeks look inflated and she has tons of fat rolls.  I am constantly cleaning dust bunnies out of her fat rolls on her neck, legs, and under her arms.

At 10 weeks, my baby now laughs, giggles and smiles.  She also attempts to talk back when you are  talking to her… she coos and smiles !

The baby is still sleeping most of the day and night.  She awakes in 4-5 hour stretches to eat and get a diaper change.  She usually stays awake for no more than an hour or she goes right back to sleep after her tummy is full.  She drinks on average 3 oz of milk at a time.  She is still drinking breast milk and supplementing with Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula.  Because I had more clogged ducts, she has been drinking more formula this week than breast milk because my supply dropped and I didn’t take Motilium while the ducts were clogged because it causes worse pain.  It was my fault because I got busy and did not pump and then went to bed after pumping once and slept all night until the baby woke up at 5 am.  I woke up to pain !

My mom watched a bunch of Youtube videos and figured out how to assemble her Stokke Xplory stroller with the carrycot attachment.  It has been a bit cool except 2 days so I have not taken her out on the beach for a walk yet.  I went out yesterday for a quick jog and froze !

I have started back cooking and baking now that we are back at the condo and I have my kitchen stocked with all the gadgets I love.

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken & Gravy – Recipe


  • 1 small chicken, about 4lbs
  • 2 slices onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cornstarch
  • chicken broth (optional)
Seasoning Mix:
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  1. Combine all seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Brush chicken with olive oil and rub seasoning into chicken.
  3. Roll up balls of foil and place in the bottom of the slow cooker with 2 thick slices of onion. Place chicken on foil, breast side up so it is slightly lifted off the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. (165 degrees)
  5. Remove chicken and place on a small pan. Broil 3-4 minutes to crisp skin (optional). Rest 10 minutes before slicing.


  1. Remove foil and onion from slow cooker and turn onto high. If required, add broth to create about 2 cups of liquid.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water to create a slurry.
  3. Whisk about ⅔ of the cornstarch into the drippings/broth and let cook on high. Depending on the amount of liquid you may need to add more of the cornstarch slurry to reach desired consistency. Let cook at least 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake – Recipe



  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup organic sweet cream butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.
  3. Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Crème Brulèe

Ingredients :
  • 6 organic large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups organic heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
  1. Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooking pot and place the trivet in the bottom.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with a pouring spout, whisk together egg yolks, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk together heavy cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Heat over medium heat until cream just begins to simmer.
  4. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the warmed cream mixture into the egg mixture whisking until well blended.
  5. Pour mixture into six custard cups, cover with foil, and place three on the trivet in pressure cooking pot. Add a second trivet and stack the remaining three cups.
  6. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 6 minutes. When beep sounds, turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 15 minutes and then do a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
  7. Carefully remove the cups to a wire rack to cool uncovered. When cool, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  8. When ready to serve, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Working with one at a time, move the flame of the torch 2 inches above the surface of each custard in a circular motion to melt the sugar and form a crispy, caramelized topped.
Notes: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.



She’s Here !!!!

I had to deliver her today due to a subchorianic hemotoma near the placenta, IGUR, and placenta abruption. I had to also have an emergency hysterectomy because of placenta increata.  The placenta had fused itself to the uterus, grown up into it and into the muscle.  It had developed it’s own highways of arterial vessels.

How the day started: I went to NYC for my MFM and OB appointments; the 36 week check up.  The MFM doc says she was very concerned about the Sch beside the placenta and the rate of growth over the past few weeks of the baby and asked how I felt about delivering this weekend.   I told her I would prefer to wait until Dr. Karamitsos returned from vacation on Sunday so he could do the procedure and she said she would confer with my OB’s office and call me on my cell if she feels I need to deliver.

I went to the OB appointment next and saw Dr.P, whom I had never met and he explained that Dr. Minor had called and he agrees with her that the baby needs to be delivered to reduce risk to my life and baby’s.  He felt the placenta was no longer functioning as it should and if I had another bleed like I had the week before that landed me in Labor and Delivery for two days, the abruption could be so bad that they could potentially lose me and the baby.  By delivering today, the baby would be fine and could grow properly outside the womb.

Luckily I didn’t eat anything so I was in the OR within three hours.

I called my mom and sisters and let them know what was going on and my mom freaked out.  She was ready to walk to NYC if she had to lol.  She was a week out from major surgery. I assured my mom that I was fine and that I was not afraid at all.  My pastor called me before I went into surgery at 4 pm and I felt this calm.  I am surprised that I was not freaking out, going through a birth, and a surgery at that with no family or anyone by my side…. so NOT the way I envisioned this day, but this is what it is.

I walked down the hall to the OR with my two nurses ,Dr. P, her attending, and the Anesthesiologist.  When we got to the OR, there were two Perionatologist, two Urologist, and two NICU nurses.  I thought, quite a few people for a simple procedure!

The Anesthesiologist got me to sit on the cold metal table and told me to arch my back like a cat. He took two tries but got the spinal in and my legs got heavy quickly.  They had me lie on the table that they undressed me, positioned me, and washed me down.  The curtain went up and then they explained things to me as we went along.We went in at 4 pm and at 4:18 pm., my daughter was out and screeching with powerful lungs !   They wiped her down and then brought her to me to see and I looked at this tiny 4 lb 10 oz being and said ” Hi Momma !” With that, the baby opened her eyes !  She looked at me as if she recognized my voice.  They let me kiss her and then they whisked her off to the NICU to get her in the warmer.

I started getting cold and feeling queasy so they gave me something for the shaking and nausea and placed an alcohol soaked pad under my nose to help ward off nausea and it worked.  They had some contraption with sleeves on me that they turned on and it was a heater !  That thing felt sooo good !

Next, I felt like I was on a boat rocking back and forth.  Dr. P tells me that my placenta is not budging !  She said she was going to try one more time.  In the mean time, the other doc ordered three units of blood and they put another IV in my other arm.  The blood arrived and they quickly gave me two bags and then started the third on a slower drip.  Dr. P then comes to my head to tell me the placenta has grown up into the uterus and has fused itself into the uterine muscle and she has to remove the uterus to save my life.  She said I had lost blood.  I told her to do what she has to do !  I have four babies on ice, two sisters and female friends AND a healthy baby, so I was not worried about not having a uterus.

Some time later, they were all done and I was being wheeled to recovery.  When I go to recovery, the nurse, Lisa, who served as my photographer since my film crew could not be there on such short notice, handed me my phone and my friend Crystal, another SMBC, was there waiting for me and congratulating me !  My pastor called shortly thereafter to see how things went and to call my baby’s name aloud.  Only two people, my mom and sister friend in Canada, knew my baby’s name and I would not say her name nor tell anyone until she was here and Pastor Hicks said her name aloud into the Universe.

I named my daughter Chandler (which means she who brings light) Grier (watchful and alert).  It is so crazy to me that my baby came out the spitting image of the most important person in my life; My Mother !   She is the spitting image of my mom’s baby pictures and she has my grandfather’s gray/blue eyes for now anyway.

Crystal sat with me for a while and then left to let me get some rest and then my best friend, Janus and my godson Shai came and stayed with me until I was sent to the ICU.  Once in the ICU, they gave me more morphine in my drip and I remember sleeping for quite a while.  Later that night, I kept asking for my catheter to be taken out so that I could get up and walk.  They told me they would take it out later that morning.  I did not get the catheter out until the afternoon and then I got up and walked up the hall and back.  It was not bad !  I slept a lot in the ICU. Later that afternoon I walked down the hall to the NICU to see my baby.  I had never been so glad to see a little person before in my life !  I knew exactly which baby was mine as soon as I saw her. I was able to feed her a bottle of donated breast milk.

(My OB, Dr. P)

My baby girl only spent one and half days in the NICU before being transferred to the regular nursery.  I was sent to the maternity floor two days after my cesarean.  Medication management is a lot better in the ICU because it is all IV meds.  On the floor, they try to make you pop pills.  I refused and demanded that they dope me up.  I was sore and was not having it !  They gave me IV pain meds for a while and then we switched to Percocet every four hours and Motrin every six hours.

I spoke with my family and my sister informed me that our mom was still a bit weak and sleeping a lot.  I told her to make our mom stay put until I found out when I could go home. I spoke with my docs and they planned to release me on Tuesday afternoon, which was the normal four night stay, but since I had to come back to get staples out and the fact that I had an emergency hysterectomy, they were not rushing me out the door.  I asked to stay once more night so that I would not have to come back to the office for staple removal the next day and to give my mom and sister time to get to NY with my car seat and baby / mommy hospital bags.

Wednesday morning, after my shower, the doctor came in to remove the staples and it did not hurt. My sister called to say that our mom was feeling tired and a bit weak so I told her to leave her at the hotel and my driver would be there to get her and bring her to the hospital.  My sister and driver, who is a good friend of mine, came about 10 am and I was really glad that the hospital had done the car seat test on the baby the night before since it took a whole hour.  Because my baby was under five pounds, they had to place her in a car seat for an hour and then check her vitals and breathing.  My sweet little baby had been blowing the tops out of all her tests thus far.  She scored 9.9 on the APGAR and passed all the tests with flying colors.  She did well on her car seat test too.

I got my release papers and had to go down to the financial office to settle up and get a receipt and then bring it back to the nurses station for release.  I had to wait a while for the nurse to come to release the baby.  She FINALLY came and we got released and we went straight to Walmart to fill my scripts and grab a few things I needed and then to the hotel.  My mom was sitting up in the bed waiting in tiptoe anticipation for our arrival and she took the baby and I became persona non grata instantly !  lol

My sister said that Dr. P called her after my procedure and told her what went on but she was short and to the point. My sister did not tell my mom much for fear of upsetting her and then not being able to talk her into staying in VA until I was released.

The day after we got released, the baby had a Pediatrician appointment.  I noticed when I got to the car that my pants felt damp across the front and it was blood !  My incision has opened a little. Thank goodness my OB’s office is down the hall from the Peds office.  I checked the baby in and left her with my sister and then walked down to see the OB on call and they looked at the incision and determined that indeed it did open and that it was not infected and is only the outer layer that opened.  They put gauze over it and ordered Visiting Nurses to come out to redress it.

Later that night, I had counted a total of FIVE soaked thru maxi pads that I taped to my incision area and I called Labor and Delivery and asked for the OB on call from my practice and they had me come in.  Dr. Moisa was the same OB I saw earlier.  She said it was just draining built up fluid and would continue to drain for a few weeks and will close back up on its own.

Saturday morning, my sister and I took our mom back to Northern VA to be near her doc and surgeon and we called the surgeon and left her a message informing her how weak our mom was and that some coffee colored substance was leaking out of her side.  She called us back and gave us her cell number and said to bring my mom into the hospital.  She said my mom was severely anemic and that she has seen the drainage in other patients and that is was not alarming. During one of our stops, the left side of my incision opened and was bleeding like it had done about 2am before we left. Long story short, my sister ended up taking both my mom and I to the ER.   I was given wound care and told to redress the wound daily. It was not infected and was already healing from the inside out.

My mother was given a blood transfusion after the CBC showed a low blood count.   Infectious Disease was called in to consult regarding the fluid draining  from mom’s drain port.

Fast forward a few days and I have been to the ER every other day to have my incision looked at and treated.  I was placed on antibiotics four times a day as a precaution and on 9/21, I was given Lasix to help bring down the horrible edema in my legs.  

The lab results came in for my mom and she has a localized staff infection.  Mom has to stay in the hospital for several more days.


Grilled Salmon, Lemon & Lime Skewers – Recipe

Grilled Salmon, Lemon & Lime Skewers
  • 1 1/2 lb. salmon fillet, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces;
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Wood or metal skewers
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Thread the salmon, lime, and lemon onto a skewer, alternating.
  3. Brush the skewers with oil generously.
  4. Season the skewers with oregano, cumin, sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Cook the skewers for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes.
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