Snapshot Sunday — Epic Brunch

~ On Sundays (Snapshot Sunday!) I post a photo (or a few) from my life in the hopes you get to know more about me.  Sometimes with a few words, sometimes without. I am more than my lymphedema, and so are you. ~


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I love brunch. But most of all I love American brunch–when I want brunch I want pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls, etc. etc. What’s even better than a good ole fashioned American brunch? An American brunch BUFFET. That’s it, I’ve died and gone to heaven. Farmers Fishers and Bakers on the Georgetown waterfront in DC not just has a brunch buffet, but has delicious food. This brunch was epic. The highlights for me were definitely the above pictured cinnamon rolls and biscuits, as well as the pepperoni pizza and bananas fosters French toast. A nice touch is that only about 2/3 of the food is actually displayed out in the buffet, and about 1/3 of other dishes are brought around fresh by waiters. LOVE. Would definitely go here again! But bring a hearty appetite to make the hefty price tag worth it. I may or may not have said it felt like Thanksgiving. In August? Yummmmmmm

This entry was posted in Photos.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I stumbled upon this recipe when I was on the hunt for a coffee cake a few weeks ago. Boy am I glad I found it!! It is EPIC. So much better than just a plain old coffee cake. Oh, and so much easier to make than actual cinnamon rolls. I worried that the “sink holes” were a mistake, but it turns out they were the best part!

I have the glorious Kristyn at the Lil’ Luna blog to thank for this recipe. Check her out! She has some great step-by-step photos of the recipe (and some much better photos 😉 ). I’ve also pasted the recipe below. Enjoy!!

Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TB flour
  • 1 TB cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla together.
  2. Stir in melted butter, slowly. Pour into greased 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix topping ingredients (3/4 cup butter softened, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon). Drop over cake mixture evenly.
  4. Swirl your topping and cake mixture with a knife going up and down the length of the pan (but only inserting it in the cake mix a little – not all the way).
  5. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.
  6. Top with the glaze which is made by mixing 2 cups powdered sugar, 5 TB milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Drizzle over the cake while it’s still warm. ENJOY!

Motivation Monday — August 25, 2014

~ On Mondays (Motivation Monday!) I write a post with a quote to motivate and inspire. Sometimes it will be something directly related to lymphedema, and sometimes it will just be because I like the quote. But it will always be something worth sharing. ~


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Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.

After sending my fundraising email to my family, friends and coworkers, one of the senior staff at work not only contributed to my participation in the walk, but she thanked me for sharing my story.

Of all my coworkers, I least expected her to contribute. So you can imagine how much of an impact her contribution and her thank you for sharing your story meant to me.

At that moment a light went off and I finally realized that I had a story worth sharing. I was finally able to let go of the shame and be open with my coworkers. I shared my story with them and I’m so very glad I did.

I’m here now to share my story with all of you. It is my goal that something I write inspires at least one of you.

Finally sharing my story with the people closest to me (and now the worldwide interwebs!) has been one of the most fulfilling and downright therapeutic experiences of my life. I know I’m getting cheesy here, but bear with me :)

That’s why I encourage all of y’all to do the same. If you’re ready now, or if you need some more time, please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to share your story on this blog, whatever part or whole of your story you choose. You have something worth sharing and I want to give you the opportunity to do so.

This is about your journey–about learning, loving and laughing with lymphedema.

Share Your Story!

I created this blog as a platform for those with lymphedema to share their stories and learn from each other. So, I want to hear from you!

It doesn’t matter whether you are man or woman, 20 or 80, have primary or secondary lymphedema, have it in your legs or arms, or have another condition (lipedema sufferers, I’m looking at you!). We all have different stories, different journeys, but we all share a common thread, all have something to share and all have something to learn from each other.

You can write about life in general with lymphedema or about a specific topic. You can write one post or you can write ten posts. You can use your real name or be anonymous. Whatever you feel more comfortable with.

If you’d like to share your story please use the contact form below. Can’t wait to hear from you!!

Best chocolate cake recipe EVER

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This is absolutely my favorite chocolate cake recipe. Ever. There are so many things I love about this recipe.

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It is a rich chocolate, but only uses cocoa powder (no having to melt baking chocolate!).

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It only requires one bowl (no dirtying multiple!).

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No need for a stand mixer to cream butter and sugar (but you can still use one if you want). Thank goodness for glorious oil!

It’s always so moist; never fails.

Oh, and it’s nice and airy. Not dense. I hate dense chocolate cake.

Basically, it’s really hard to screw up this recipe. One of the most unassuming crucial ingredients is the cup of boiling water — I once made a recipe similar to this (but was peanut butter flavored), forgot the cup of boiling water and was sad to open the oven only to find a dense, sunken cake. Still tasted great! But wasn’t the right fluffy, airy texture.

The only change I make to this recipe is that I omit the espresso powder. Not because I think it’s better without (I’m sure it’s even better with), but I just don’t use espresso powder for anything else so I never see the point in buying it for just this recipe. I think it’s divine without!

I’ve copy and pasted the recipe below, but please head over to Add A Pinch for the original recipe. Robyn is a genius!

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}

Chocolate Cake with decadent chocolate frosting that will quickly become your favorite!
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
  2. For the cake:
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  7. Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

2014 #LymphWalk Bake Sale

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This past weekend I hosted a bake sale to benefit the 2014 Walk for Lymphedema & Lymphatic Disease. As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I will be participating in the walk that is going to be held on September 14 in Brooklyn, NY. All the while I’ve been fundraising from my own network, but decided I wanted to ramp things up and put on a bake sale. Why not!

For the venue I chose a local grocery store in the DC ‘burbs, and since they don’t allow bake sales on Sundays, Saturday it was!

About a week in advance I got to work on these babies (colors based on the LE&RN color scheme, of course!):

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So funny story about those cookies — I left half of them out on the table to dry, only to come home to discover that not only had a bird entered the house and taken up residence in my room (and pooped all over my room), but it had also pooped on the cookies. Yes, you heard me right. Needless to say I had to throw that half out. Devastating. 

Later in the week I tackled cupcakes — peanut butter cup, oreo and the classic vanilla/chocolate combos:

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Also cranked out some banana bread, cookies (chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin) and various kinds of brownies and blondies.

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It’s a good thing I love to bake, because this was a lot of work. Like, holy cow I took on way more than I can chew a lot of work. BUT, it was all for a good cause and a great learning experience :)

At the end of the day I didn’t make as much money as I was hoping for (turns out the weekend before school starts is dead at the grocery store…oops) and was left with lots and lots of goodies. My aunt brought the leftovers to a couple local homeless shelters, though, which I’m told brightened their days immensely!

All in all I’m so glad I did this — I raised more money for LE&RN, raised awareness about lymphedema/lymphatic disease, dusted off my baking skills and brought smiles to a few people. I’d say that was a success :)

So, how did my lymphedema fair with all this baking?

Surprisingly well! I wore my compression stockings almost every time I baked (this is quite the accomplishment in Graceland). I also wore my night garment every single night and brought in an additional fan to the kitchen. All in all, the swelling did not become much more inflamed than usual. (Usually after baking my ankles look like golf balls and feet like grapefruit, as I mentioned in my previous post about baking.)

The lesson here? WEAR STOCKINGS WHILE BAKING. Seems simple enough, yet so hard 😉