Have I mentioned how much I like dark chocolate?! And then I discovered dark chocolate combined with tart dried cherries……heaven. Then, to really top things off, one of my assistants shared this recipe where the two heavenly ingredients are combined in a cookie that is both gluten and dairy free. I feel like I can have a few of these cookies and not feel any guilt about just eating 3 cookies for breakfast. These are also a great cookie for a pre or post-workout snack.
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Gluten-free Oat Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and dried fruit.
This dough is a bit looser than standard cookie dough. Use an ice cream scoop or regular spoon to drop the dough about 1 inch apart onto a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or Silpat mat).
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Makes approximately 18 cookies, each cookie is approximately 120 calories (see….guilt-free!).
The best part about these cookies is how easy they are to whip up. Literally mix the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients, combine and bake. If you are like me and have overripe bananas sitting on your counter (that you will definitely not eat), then use them to make a batch of these easy and healthy cookies.
Hubby and I are in Sacramento today for a wedding and fly to Kona, Hawaii tomorrow. We are taking a little vacation and many deep breaths before starting IVF #3. I’ll stop by to post some photos and to update you on our upcoming cycle. Happy Sunday!!! xoxo
Happy Birthday Little P, I can’t believe you came into this world a year ago! I know that your Mommy and Daddy love you so much and are so thankful you arrived into this world happy and healthy!
Sorry that we will miss your big Party, I’m sure it’ll be loads of fun and that you will be surrounded by many people who love you!!! Hope you get lots of fun things and most importantly…..EAT CAKE!!!!
We love you!!!! xoxo
First off-Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers, aunts, grandmothers, special people who are like mothers out there!!!!
Today is a wonderful day and a tough day. Wonderful because I can honor and celebrate my beautiful Mother, she is the most kind, compassionate, loving and fun Mom a girl could have. She really is a one-of-a-kind person, she is a registered nurse and has been working for many many years in a nursing home caring for those who can’t care for themselves. But she doesn’t just work at the nursing home, she is a friend to her patients and treats them with respect and kindness. I could never approach her job like she does, it amazes me.
I also get to celebrate my other Mom, Donna. My mother-in-law is wonderful and treats me like I’m one of her own children. Donna is also someone who is kind, caring, loving, and helpful to everyone around her. Hubby is a much kinder and gentler soul than I am, and I think I have Donna to thank for that. She raised 4 sons and did an amazing job at it. I know that I can turn to Donna whenever I need support.
Today we had a lovely lunch celebrating both of our Moms. The Seattle weather took a little turn from the warm temperatures and clear sunny skies, but it was still a very lovely day.
The part of today that is tough is that I really thought I would be a mother by now. I went off of birth control 3 years ago this month and we are still childless. I look at all of the mothers with their children today and I look at them with envy. I want to hold a child in my arms and know that I am somebody’s mom, that someone needs me and that I will have the special relationship that my Mom and I have together with my own child. I read Erika’s post yesterday and it really hit home, she embodies what every person who struggles with infertility feels this time of year.
IVF #3 and my 34th birthday are both coming up. I’ve started to dread my birthday, it’s just a giant reminder of my biological clock ticking louder and louder. I’m not getting any more fertile……
Thank you for your encouraging words regarding IVF #3, I keep thinking “most people take 2.2 times to get pregnant via IVF, this has to work”. I’m trying to get my head into a positive and optimistic place, I truly think there is power in positive thinking. I haven’t been so positive with our other cycles, it’s my defense mechanism, but maybe it’s time to know that I will survive if it doesn’t work and that I need to envision that it CAN work. We met with our RE this past Friday to sign consents (Yes, it’s actually been a year since we signed last time). I’m taking a week off from work in June, so we have a very specific window to work with, my RE is afraid I may not ovulate in time since I’ve been having very long cycles, so I left the clinic with a prescription for letrozole to help get the timing right. Third time’s a charm……..right?! xoxo
I’ve been thinking about my blog a lot, obviously, thinking is all I have done. No writing, little cooking, hardly any baking (except for a work project), no fertility treatments, just busy with life. Since buying my own dental office, I have been very busy with work. I love the new direction my career has taken, it’s kept my mind busy but I also have missed being in my kitchen and spending time writing on here.
I thought I would share a few pictures of some fun things that have been going on.
I baked these teeth cookies for baskets I made for the other offices that are in the building my office is located in. I used a premade dry mix for the cookies, but made a homemade butter cream. Every dentist loves sweets! I made some toothbrush cookies also, but they didn’t turn out as expected, so they didn’t make the cut for the baskets.
Hubby and I went to Ikea three times in the past month to look at kitchen cabinets while they were having their 20% off sale. We finally bit the bullet and ordered cabinets that will be installed in my office over the next few months. This delivery to our garage was over 4000 lbs and we still have more items to pick up that were out of stock. Hubby is very handy and will be building them in our garage over the next few months and somehow will be installing them in my office to replace some very old dental cabinetry.
Hubby and I were recently in my home town for a weekend. We arrived on a Friday and played golf with my Dad where I golfed as a kid growing up. The weather was a sunny 84 and we had a nice time despite playing terribly!
We met up with some friends for drinks while visiting. This is one of my absolute best friends, Amanda, we’ve been friends since grade school and she is a wonderful Mom to two great kids! We grew up dancing together, and then went to middle school, high school and college together.
Of course, I had to throw in a picture of my baby, Maya, this is her cuddled up on a loveseat in my old bedroom right next to my Pound Puppy that I HAD to have. I won second place in a school Jog-A-Thon, could have walked away with a new TV, bike, stereo, etc., but nope, I left with the Pound Puppy. I don’t think it can ever be given away for the pure principle of how much I wanted it.
Hubby and I are traveling later this month to California for a wedding and then back to our favorite vacation place, Hawaii. Once we return, we’ll be starting up with IVF #3. I’m doing the same protocol as IVF #2, but we have decided to add the growth hormone to the protocol. I’m willing to give it a try, seems like most studies are either positive or neutral, so we figure it can’t hurt. A lot of people I know who have been trying for a very long time have wonderfully become pregnant, it gives me hope that success can follow many failures. I still need to get my head into the game of optimism, faith and positivity!
I’m doing a lot of yoga right now and not following any sort of dietary changes, just enjoying life as much as I can. I haven’t shared anything about my infertility with my new employees, but with the crazy schedule of IVF #3 I will have to share with them soon. I’ll be coming into work late quite a few days to have all of my ultrasound and bloodwork appointments.
I’d love to hear any IVF #3 success stories…..please share!
Happy Easter!!! It’s finally starting to feel and look like Spring here in Seattle, blue skies, sun and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s. When the rain does let up, Seattle is one breathtaking city.
Easter is early this year…..but it’s also hard to imagine that it’s almost April. I love Easter, especially the candy. Cadbury mini eggs are my absolute favorite candy…..hands down, no contest! But, I’ve tried my hardest to stick to “no treats/sweets” for Lent, so I haven’t been eating the quantity of candy that I normally do.
But, deviled eggs are another type of egg that I love and I don’t have to worry about breaking my “no sweets” tenet with them. I pretty much love any type of deviled egg, but this one takes it to another level. Add truffle flavor and wowza……I’m in deviled egg heaven. I got inspired to make these after we had Sunday brunch at the Biltmore hotel in Santa Barbara.
Truffle Deviled Eggs
1. Fill a large pot with cold water, add fresh eggs, turn heat to high. Once boiling, allow the eggs to boil for about 8 minutes, turn off heat and lets eggs sit in hot water for about 30 minutes. I use to have a hard time getting my boiled eggs completely cooked through, this method has worked well for me. I forgot to do so, but adding baking soda to the water will help eggshells peels off easier.
2. Cool the eggs. (I chilled my in the refrigerator overnight). Peel the eggs and then slice in half, removing the yolks.
3. In a food processor, combine all ingredients above except the egg white halves.
4. Use a spoon (or piping bag if you want to be fancy) to place yolk mixture back into the egg white halves.
5. Top with chives, paprika or your favorite topping (mmm…bacon bits?!)
I buy my truffle mustard and truffle salt from a local wine wholesaler, but you can probably find them in any specialty food store. Truffle salt is amazing and versatile-I love to make truffle popcorn!
I used my Bake It Pretty piping bag to fill the egg white halves, use a tall glass to set the bag within to make filling it easier. This piping bag comes with several tips that are amazing for frosting cupcakes.
My parents are over visiting for the Easter holiday. Hubby’s family is hosting Easter brunch for about 15 guests. I’m contributing the truffle deviled eggs, mozzarella/grape tomato/basil bites with pesto and Jessica’s banana carrot cake cupcakes with coconut cream cheese frosting. Check out the recipe by clicking on the link. I’m so excited to wear a dress, be with family and share good food together!
Happy Easter and enjoy your day!! xoxo
The short hiatus I’ve had from all of the fertility treatments has been nice. I’ve concentrated on my new practice and haven’t felt consumed by all of the fertility treatments we’ve undergone. But Friday we met with our doctor and today I found myself feeling worried, looking at all of the pregnant women and babies at church and feeling sad and overwhelmed. I’m feeling impatient and wondering if and when it will happen for us.
Our RE didn’t have any grand answers when we met with her on Friday, she presented our case to all of the doctors at the clinic, but no one seemed to come up with anything too out of the ordinary.
The group advised adding aspirin to my regimen to help with inflammation and to repeat the luteal lupron protocol with 375 units of Follistim and 75 units of Menopur. The group was strongly against steroids but are split on whether to add growth hormone. Our RE is leaving it up to us to do some of our own research about the growth hormone and then decide if we want to add it to our protocol. It will add about $1000 in treatment cost and will be another injection I’ll have to give myself. Has anyone out there used growth hormone in their protocol? Was it successful? Were there significant side effects?
Another thing we wanted to do was PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) and our doctor thought it would be a good way to determine if our problem is more of an embryo issue or more of a uterus issue. The embryos we have selected for IVF #1, IVF #2 and our FET all looked beautiful, but none implanted, the PGD would help us to determine if the embryos are genetically abnormal even though they appear to be great embryos. But, here’s the hitch, we are part of the Attain Refund Program and as far as we know (I’m going to call Attain to double check) doing PGD for IVF #3 would automatically disqualify us from getting a refund. At this point, we can’t afford to not get our refund. Our RE has definitely been talking about the refund, which makes me feel like she has reservations about how successful IVF #3 or our next FET will be.
We also spoke to with our RE about a gestational carrier if we find out that we do have genetically normal embryos (which would be at least IVF #4). We live in Washington state where gestational carriers cannot be compensated legally, so we would likely have to look for a carrier in Oregon. Unfortunately, our doctor said that a gestational carrier would run about $100K!!! My heart almost stopped when I heard that number. I knew it was expensive, but I didn’t realize it was THAT expensive. Hubby and I really want our own biological children, but we will have to really think about how much it will cost if we get to that point.
I really hope that I’m getting ahead of myself and that we WILL be successful with our next IVF cycle. I’m taking a week off from work in June, so we are shooting for that week and our nurse will be making a calendar counting back from that week. I feel like I’m on the cusp of feeling all of those infertility emotions again……I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.
On a brighter note, my RE checked my endometrioma cysts since I told her I have been having tenderness in my lower abdomen and they have shrank since the last time I had an ultrasound, I guess the wine, coffee and not so stellar diet hasn’t affected them as much as I was worried it would.
I would love any success stories from those of you who have come this far in your fertility journeys. I hate to think about getting our money back….I use to think that IVF would be the answer. And maybe it will be…….I can’t lose hope, otherwise I’d just be “hungry”.
On our last day in Santa Barbara last weekend, we had brunch at the Biltmore hotel (where we stayed). This Sunday brunch is well known, the selection is huge and price tag is noteable ($72/person). It’s definitely not somewhere you would eat weekly, but it’s a nice splurge while on vacation.
Hubby and I went for a short run around the area before getting our bags packed and heading to brunch, we should have run 10 miles for all of the food we were about to indulge in.
We were seated outside, it was a little brisk out, but the heat lamps kept us plenty warm and it was actually the warmest day that we had while we were down there.
We started things off right with some fresh squeezed orange juice and mimosas!
The brunch selection was in a separate room off the main dining area and had several stations-an omelette station, salads, seafood, sushi, hot breakfast items (bacon, sausage, waffles, etc), a carving station and lastly a huge dessert spread.
We started off with omelettes, here they are being prepared by the nice chef.
This is plate #1 for me!
I love seafood and love raw oysters, plate #2 was my seafood plate.
When it came time for dessert, it was a little tough (Hubby and I gave up sweets for Lent, but did a little indulging while we were on vacation-we are sinners!). The selection of sweets was enormous. I finally settled on coffee cake and vanilla panna cotta, and shared Hubby’s dipping chocolate for my strawberry.
The brunch was fabulous, we tried to eat enough to get our money’s worth and definitely had enough to eat to get us back to Seattle. But, the true highlight of the brunch was seeing Oprah!!!! I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt her brunch with Stedman and another couple of friends, but Hubby snapped a picture of her hugging another fan, wish it would have been me! She seemed really nice and spoke to people who came up to their table. I never see celebrities, so I was starstruck! Jerry Seinfeld was at the Biltmore on Friday, Hubby saw him but I didn’t. So….if you are ever at the Four Seasons Biltmore, enjoy the Sunday brunch and be on the lookout for the occasional celeb!
On a fertility note-we had a consult with our RE yesterday, I’ll update soon.
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