Gluten Free Baking…With Bananas!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. We’re at the tail end of the weekend and it has been the most restful one in a long time. Oh, and by the way the temperature in North Texas dropped about 30-degrees yesterday all of a sudden so for a minute I was contemplating bringing out some of my layers back out…. but according to the weatherman, it’s going to heat back up over the next couple of days.

Pollen and rag weed were pretty intense this week and although I got to rest and enjoy my days off, I could feel it being out and about. I love weekends! They’re my best days to bake because I have the time to take stock of what I have and what I’m craving. Since going gluten free, I have been trying to find healthy alternatives with lower carbs to add to my go-to list of recipes and I have to say that I’m still working on it. So far, I’ve found a brownie mix that kinda works – with some additives, and a pancake mix that’s so good you couldn’t tell it was GF. If you’re like me, I shop bananas by the bunch and freeze them for smoothies, Yonanas or pancakes when I have the time. This recipe was a way to literally get rid of some of the bags I had laying around in the freezer.

Baking a Gluten Free Banana Loaf/Cake!

I got some inspiration for this recipe watching a short recipe on YouTube but switched up the ingredients and added a couple of my favorites to the mix. Ingredients include: 4 Frozen Banana’s, 2 Eggs, 2 Tbsp Butter, 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, 2 Tbsp Psyllium Husk, A good dash of Cinnamon, 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded (dried) Coconut, 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour, about a 1/2 Cup Milk (I prefer powdered milk because its gentler on my digestion), Erythritol Monk Fruit Sweetener to taste, Baking Powder.

P.S.: I’ve recently started adding psyllium husk in small quantities to a lot of meals, cereal and baking. Its tasteless, odorless but a great source of fiber which is good for the gut, burns fat and aids digestion. I’d recommend you try it; you just might like it.

Now Let’s Go!

Place the frozen bananas in a bowl and let it thaw for a couple minutes. Using a fork, smash the bananas. Add the chia seeds, butter, shredded coconut and mix. Add both eggs and keep mixing. Add the vanilla extract, psyllium husk, Cinnamon, and milk. Keep mixing. Add Erythritol sweetener to taste. Add the Gluten Free Flour and using a whisk, keep stirring. Turn up your oven to 325F. Spray or oil your baking pan – I used my bread tin this time. Pour in the mix and then gently tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to settle the mix evenly before placing at the top rack of your oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes with constant checks. Turn down the heat and let it sit in the oven for another 15 minutes until its done and it passes the knife or toothpick test. Reason: Ripe bananas tend to cook pretty fast without cooking evenly through. Lowering the heat will ensure the top does not burn while the rest of the loaf is still uncooked.

After removing the pan from the oven, I let it sit on the counter for a couple minutes to cool.

Folks, this turned out pretty good and for those on a diet, this recipe works great, has minimal carbs, a great source of protein, Omega 3’s and fiber. Until I come your way again, stay fit, active and have healthy recipes for when you crave something sweet. I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Frozen Desserts That Don’t Expand Your Waistline!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. My heart goes out to the readers in the Ukraine. I hope you and your family members are safe and you make it out in good shape. Folks, it appears as if the world is going to hell in a hand basket. But we cannot lose hope because evil never triumphs over good…long term. Let’s stay positive, keep our hope up and pray for an end to the chaos; the pandemic was bad enough.

The temperature is warming up one Fahrenheit at a time and it’s been a huge relief. We’ve had more sunshine over the last couple of days so it’s time to get the plants out of the house, repotted with healthy soil and unto the deck. As the weather warms up, cold desserts are definitely a necessity. Being a sweet tooth, it’s so hard to not indulge especially when you have options…lots of them. Being conscious about fueling my body instead of just filling it with dead calories, my goal is to consciously invest in items that enhance my diet and overall health while sharing my findings with y’all. So, it had been a couple months and I had been scouring the internet for a healthy, homemade and affordable alternative to soft serve ice cream which has been a lifetime favorite of mine. A couple months back, I found a device that matched my criteria of being affordable, easy to use and with great results. I was skeptical at first and decided to research a bit more into it.

Its A Yonana!!!

It sounds like ‘Yo Mama’ only with an ‘n’ but that’s the name of the device. I looked up the reviews and they were all good. Besides, if it didn’t perform as expected, I could always send it back. There was nothing to lose. I was pleasantly surprised because it delivered the same day of my order. It was also very easy to assembly and safe. There weren’t any visible sharp edges especially for child safety; and it is compact and would fit nicely on any counter. It also came with a dessert book…with lots of options including recipes for cookies and cream, splits, cannoli fillings, sorbets, mojitos, liqueur etc.

Ingredients: Frozen Fruits Ex. Bananas, Berries, Pineapple, Mango etc. Natural or Sugar Free Sweeteners (if you’d like). Toppings (nuts, chocolate, crumble, cake). A serving bowl or waffle cones will do. And an ice cream spoon. Thats all she wrote! It’s ready to serve.

As the weather warms up, my Yonana will come in handy with keeping up with my health goals and not feeling like it’s a chore to get those nutrients in. If you’d like to look it up. You can find it on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Yonanas-902-Original-Delicious-Alternatives/dp/B005083ECS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=yonana&qid=1646160681&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyM1FXQlpGQ0NDN05KJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzcxMTQ2OE9MT1c1UjFDNzY3JmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAwOTkyNzgyNDFETVM5WTkyWkYxJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==). Until I come your way again, stay healthy, upbeat and positive. The best is yet to come! I remain

Periwinkle Starr💕

Anxiety and the Gluten Connection.

Hello Y’all! Its Super Bowl Sunday!! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. As promised, I’m back at you as I said I would. The year 2022 is going to be a year of ‘doing’ not just saying with each post being unique in its own right. My posts could be happy-go-lucky and running through a field of flowers and another be down to business and about life’s moments and experiences. It’s pretty much any way the wind blows or where my spirit soars. At the end of the day, I write to share my experience with others. Besides, what good is living if you can’t share and learn from each other’s experiences. Disclaimer* Today’s blog is to share my experience and is in no way a cure for any mental health ailment. So, stay with me.

The Gut, Our Second Brain

Medical scientists have called the human gut our second brain. I learned about this phenomenon recently and it made perfect sense. Our gut is a combination of our small and large intestine that contains microbiota and bacteria that aid digestion but are also a pretty good indicator of the condition of our health…whether good or bad. Awareness about this connection became available only very recently with many suffering with various gut related issues for decades. I remember growing up, if I felt nervous or suddenly frightened by something, I would get the feeling of instant diarrhea. The situation was obviously processed by my brain but for some weird reason, my bowels were connected. Or having mood swings after certain high carb meals or being susceptible to certain skin conditions.

If you are a millennial, you know that a good number of us grew up in households where as long as you weren’t in pain or bleeding you were alright. Well…a lot of gut problems were flying under the radar as a result; with symptoms that would start out mild but over the years would develop into bigger issues as they slowly eroded our digestive system and eventually affecting our overall health.

Let’s Look at The Science.

According to Wikipedia, ‘In industrial production, a slurry of wheat flour is kneaded vigorously by machinery until the gluten agglomerates into a mass. This mass is collected by centrifugation, then transported through several stages integrated in a continuous process. About 65% of the water in the wet gluten is removed by means of a screw press; the remainder is sprayed through an atomizer nozzle into a drying chamber, where it remains at an elevated temperature for a short time to allow the water to evaporate without denaturing the gluten. The process yields a flour-like powder with a 7% moisture content, which is air cooled and pneumatically transported to a receiving vessel. In the final step, the processed gluten is sifted and milled to produce a uniform product. This flour-like powder, when added to ordinary flour dough, may help improve the dough’s ability to increase in volume. The resulting mixture also increases the bread’s structural stability and chewiness. Gluten-added dough must be worked vigorously to induce it to rise to its full capacity; an automatic bread machine or food processor may be required for high-gluten kneading. Generally, higher gluten levels are associated with higher overall protein content’. End of Quote

It’s a known fact that the industrial revolution changed the world for ever. Food became plentiful. Mass production ensured that there was enough to go around but it also has led to new diseases and ailments that weren’t as prevalent back then. Gluten is a protein found in grain including wheat, barley and rye and comprises about 85% of the protein found in bread wheat. Everyone is unique and our bodies have varying reactions to different things. For some people, gluten can trigger adverse inflammatory, immunological and autoimmune reactions. Some of the ailments that people intolerant to gluten range from celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten ataxia.

The Problem with Big Pharma

It is a known fact that the big pharmaceutical companies don’t necessarily want you well. Instead of advising on a change of diet, removal of excess sugars, weight loss and a healthier diet, a lot of people are placed on medication to deal with issues that stem from food sensitivities. Their goal in many circumstances is to place people on an assembly line where you keep coming back without getting a permanent cure for the ailment. In this case, these conditions can only be resolved by eating a gluten-free diet. Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food‘ and that is so true. And until we get back to eating healthy, nutrient rich food, we will continue on this assembly line of medication that corrects one thing and destroys ten other things in your body. If you don’t believe me, just listen to one of those drug commercials on TV.

Getting a majority of gluten out of my diet did wonders for my skin, my digestion, my emotions, my energy levels, clarity and alertness of mind and overall health. But in today’s world, it’s very difficult to be 100 percent gluten free (I must say) but getting most of it out of your diet will do wonders for your health. The game is still on, and I hope the Cinci Bengals win the game, they haven’t in the last 31 years, and being a proud Ohioan living in Texas, my money is on them. Please like, follow, and comment. And until I come your merry way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Gobble Gobble….Here Comes Trouble!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are fine and doing well in your part of the world? Well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Fall at last. The leaves are falling. It getting windy-er and Thanksgiving is here. A lot of my friends have bought their birds and are working through their shopping lists at the moment. A few of us have been liberated from that nightmare and have decided on ordering an already made thanksgiving dinner….All you have to do is show up and eat. There is a level of stress in food prepping that is so tiring that when you do sit down at the table, you can’t even eat the food anymore. Trust me, I’ve been there. I would RATHER catch up on conversating and just enjoying the atmosphere than slaving away at the stove. I’ve done that so many times over the years that I feel like I don’t have to prove any thing to anyone at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, a home cooked meal is the next best thing but not having to spend the last 48 hours on your feet getting everything prepped and ready is even better. I will be enjoying a home cooked thanksgiving feast, I just wont be the one preparing it this year. Just the thought of that makes me dance without any music.

But on a serious note, things are a more expensive this year especially with the rise in inflation and per record, the most expensive Thanksgiving so far in the country. With that being said, I have been through far too much over the past year to not have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. All diets are off….I don’t think I would be 100 percent gluten free…LOL. I have been craving cheesecake for a while now and the opportunity to indulge has presented itself. I will have my slice of cheesecake and pay for it later.

So Much To Be Thankful For This Year!

I’m thankful for life. So many were lost over the past year, its so surreal. I’m thankful for my health, family, my friends, my work and the country I live in and for all the readers who follow this blog. I’m thankful for all of you. Folks, if this time makes you feel down, discouraged or sad; instead of looking at your glass as half full, why not focus on the things that are going well, things that are positive and anticipate an even better future for yourself. If you are religious, think of the story of the sparrow, if God takes care of a tiny insignificant creature, how much more you and I. From me to you, Happy Thanksgiving!! Until I come your merry way again, probably from the gym working off these self induced calories…haha, I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Chocolate Brownies…The Other Way!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Boy, I’m I glad that this month is over. It was A-L-O-T but here I am in zen mode watching reality TV and getting this post completed. It’s beginning to look more like Fall in North Texas…Thank God! But I still haven’t gotten around to changing out my closet yet…ha ha! I’m a fan of the 90 Day Fiancé franchise on TLC and recently, they branched out into 90 Day Fiancée – The Other Way. Its literally the same show but now the partners go over to foreign countries to meet and marry their significant others within 90 days. Well this post is about making brownies but not the way you’ve always known. This post is about making brownies the other way, the gluten free way. Enjoy!

Ever since I began this journey, I have been on this path searching for food substitutes that I can enjoy eating…It has been a challenge! I would find items that were gluten free but had high sugar contents and vice versa. I don’t how people who have adopted this lifestyle have survived for years because ‘difficult’ is an understatement when trying to find foods that are as close to normal everyday items; items that are gluten free with low to no sugars – and still taste like food. Its like searching for a needle in a haystack…..with so much hay (literally lol). But not to whine too much, there are pluses of going gluten free.

These Are Some of Them.

I’m a better planner…when it comes to food. Before now, I just ate whatever was readily available and easy to get my hands on.

Clearer skin. I have a better understanding now that all skin issues aren’t necessarily hormonal although hormones play a huge part in it.

Being able to burn stubborn fatty areas and loose weight without doing anything different from what I have always done prior.

I stumbled on a website!!! My search led me to this brand named Lakanto (www.lakanto.com). They have a variety of sugar free and gluten free items which range from snacks, spreads, baking mixes, powdered drinks…need I say more. I was so excited, I decided to try their brownie mix which is keto friendly, sugar free and gluten free amongst other plus points. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised… given the fact that I thought I was going to eat bland foods moving forward.

Ingredients: Brownie Mix, 2/3 melted coconut oil and 2 eggs. I added almonds and chopped walnuts to the mix to give it some texture. How to bake: Turn your oven on to 325F. Pour the mix into a bowl, add the melted butter, eggs and mix. Fold in the almonds and walnuts. Grease your pan and pour in the mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes with constant toothpick checks.

It came out really good although being without gluten, it didn’t really rise as it baked. But it was good. I plan on continuing my search for brands that cater to those of us on this path. Until I come your way again, Happy New Month!!! I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Breakfast Muffins Without the Top!

Happy new month folks! I hope your are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been a fun and frenzied start to this years Summer. Just when we were all getting back to living life as we once knew it…here comes the variant. And Guess what? The vaccine is just about useless to it. So we are on the precipice of either going back to masks or lockdown. If you ask me neither of these options look promising but we’ll have to wait and see.

We’re in July and I felt it was time to check in on my yearly weight and health goals and so far, so good. I haven’t attained my goals but I’m also not where I used to be so that’s a good thing in my book. I like looking out for new trends in health, wellness and fitness and after scouring the internet for the next best weight loss trend that is natural, low budget, requires no equipment and no payment plan, I came across a Youtuber named Wanyo Mori who has developed a unique exercise that sheds belly fat FAST! It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a gal, this exercise works and the results are unbelievable so stay tuned for a link at the end of this post.

Growing up in a society that idolized soccer, I remember a phrase that said ‘Bend it like Beckham’. For the younger generation, David Beckham is an Englishman and one of the best professional footballers who started out playing for Manchester United. He was good at kicking the ball in such a way that it curved and miraculously landed in the opponents goal post. Well…that was when he was young. The older we get, we’re not going to be able to ‘Bend it like Beckham’,…anymore…literally. Then comes the need for exercise, a change in diet, and moderation applied to E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. One of the things I have recently had to do is cut back on artificial sugars. At first, it was extremely difficult but as time went on, I adjusted and now, in a weird way, it’s my new norm. I named this post ‘breakfast muffins without the tops’ because you can still enjoy these muffins and not worry about gaining a massive amount of weight. These muffins keep me full until lunch time and keep the cravings down for four solid hours and counting. Now, if you’re a nibbler, you know that four hours is a long time to go without rummaging in the pantry for a quick treat.

Healthy Breakfast Muffins for Weight Loss!

Ingredients: 2 Cups of Oats (Original), 1 Cup of Flour, 2 Tbsps. of Baking Powder, 1 tsp of Cinnamon, 2 Tbsps. of Chia Seeds, 2 Tbsps. of Vanilla Extract, 1 Cup of Blueberries, 1/2 Cup Apple Sauce, 1/4 Cup Semi-Sweet/Unsweetened Chocolate Chips, 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries, 2 Tbsps of vegetable oil and 1-2 Cups of Water.

Add baking spray to your muffin pan and scoop unto baking pan. Bake at 325F for 20-30 minutes. P.S: Oats do not need to be overcooked because they dry out very easily so constant checks are recommended. Sorry I forgot to take photos this time.

Trick Your Body Into Loosing A Few Pounds By…

  • Cutting out artificial sugars from your diet as much as possible.
  • Move. Whether it’s via walking, hiking, running, going to the gym or Zumba. The key is to be active the best way you can.
  • Get out in nature. There is a calmness that comes from being out in nature. This helps relieve stress, reduce cortisol and in turn your body relaxes and lets go of stored fats.
  • Laugh…a lot. Find amusement in everyday living.
  • Eat the rainbow.
  • Make smoothies from real fruit and veggies.
  • Maintain a healthy, peaceful environment as much as possible because a toxic surround will up stress levels, which will affect your sleep, what and how you eat (we tend to crave sweet, salty and greasy foods when we’re stressed) and your bodies overall rhythm.
  • If you have an issue with your gut, find a great probiotic that works for you. Eating fermented foods such as pickles, kimchi or sauerkraut can help.

Check out the link here and don’t just laugh. Do it. It works! (2) A 13 minute workout collection! Lead you to exercise – YouTube

Folks, I hope you have a great month ahead!! Until I come your way again with another post, do like, follow and comment. Your insight is not only valuable but helpful to all. I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Coffee, Sweet Pastries & Great Conversations!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. We are already in the month of April and I checked up on my lifestyle tweaks for the year to make sure I was on the right track. I really need to stay on track and stick to the plan haha. But anyway, I had some free time on the weekend and decided to unearth my binder of recipes that I want to make (at some point) – It’s actually a folder of printed recipes with some cut outs from magazines. I decided to try my hands at Oatmeal Raisin cookies while I was at it. My thoughts went back to a year ago when we were all locked in and couldn’t even meet with friends for coffee or drinks. It was so isolating when all we had was zoom and phones to communicate with each other. I missed meeting up or cooking meals with friends and family, It’s kind of my way of spending quality time. It was so bad, the animal shelters were empty because those who lived alone went and got a pet…any pet just to help pass the time.

Meal prepping is like any other craft or hobby that takes my mind off everything else going on and I can zero in and focus 100 percent on a few things such as getting the taste right, the consistency on point and ensuring it’s edible in the end. Every family has it’s own relationship with food even from the earlier times. I remember growing up as a child and being around family during the festivities. I realized that the best adult conversations especially with the women of the family could be overheard when they were meal prepping. So the plan was to loiter around and pretend I was a fly on the counter just to get ALL of the gist…LOL!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!!

Finished Product:

I wasn’t pleased with the end result to be honest because, I mistakenly added twice the amount of baking soda than was needed…haha! The cookies turned out bitter (quite frankly) and there went my snacks. The good thing is I know what not to do next time. Meal prepping or baking can be a hassle for some but for those of us who sometimes find it therapeutic, I’d say ‘keep trying your hands at recipes until you perfect it’. I’ve posted the original recipe on here…no need to use mine.

If you’re on a diet, look up healthy-er recipes if you must and if you’ve never really tried your hands at making ‘anything’, why not start today. It’s never too late to start. Get together with friends and have a laugh while you’re at it. Be safe, upbeat and full of positivity!! Until I come your way again, keep on baking.

Periwinkle Starr

Tell Your Story!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. It’s been a minute since my last post and life has somewhat returned to normal since Snowstorm Uri decided to take a hike. Its March!! Happy New month to you all. I hope your new year resolutions are still on? People say that most individuals fall off the wagon by the end of January but hopefully you’re still in it till the end.

Do you ever have those days where you’re up late and craving all things rich in calories, savory on the taste buds and filling for your belly? Well, this was one of those nights for me. I had been craving pizza all week but tonight was different. It was as if my stomach was saying ‘It’s either you do something about this or neither one of us is sleeping tonight’…jeez. So I do the right thing by looking up the calories in a pizza I would usually get in the past and the time of day I intended ingesting those calories…I changed my mind and decided to make my own; Free of the excess oils and hidden fats. A recipe that I could count all the ingredients on one hand…Ha Ha! Off to the kitchen I went to make my own pizza. Surprisingly, once I got started, the growling in my stomach settled down quite a bit. I started to wonder, best hurry up now before it resumes again. Photos and recipe are below!!!

My post today is about the power of communication. We all have a story. Life happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, are phrases we are all too familiar with. I noticed that the most open phases of communication is when we’re kids and have no filter, and when we’re old-ER and no longer care what the world thinks. But there’s a gap between these two phases where we are either outwardly silenced or inwardly feel the need to conceal, withhold, or reveal as little as possible. Keeping up with appearances, not wanting to ruffle feathers, show weakness or simply ignoring things and hoping they’d die off or disappear are some of the coping mechanisms that we pick up along the way. This may appear fine and good in the moment but can I tell you that the burden on the human body is so heavy that emotional and mental weights have now been proven to cause illness, cancer, tremors, hernias, high blood pressure…you name it.

I stumbled upon a show where a neurosurgeon was talking about the connection between the body, the mind and the human spirit and it blew my mind. I later listened/read (can’t remember which), a story of an elderly woman who had a tremor. She had issues with walking and just doing everyday simple things. A neighbor invited her over to join their small group which she obliged since she lived alone and company would be good. On a particular day during the groups meeting, everyone was to share on something that happened to them that they never really opened up about. One by one, each person shared their story – nothing was too big or too insignificant, if it mattered to them, it was important.

It came time for the old lady to speak, she looked down, took a deep breath, and still shaking started talking. Her son had died many years ago. It was devastating. Everyone expected her to get over it and move on after the grieving period was over (technically). But she wasn’t ready. Attempts to talk about it were shut down. It was too painful for her husband to remember. And so, she buried it within her soul. As she spoke, pausing to wipe her eyes every now and again, one of the people in the group spoke ‘you’re not shaking’ he said. The old lady stopped and looked down at her hands. The tremors weren’t there. She could not believe it. She held out her hands and the shaking was almost non existent. The meeting at this point was over, everyone came round to give her hugs, there were more tears but it could only be a miracle that this happened.

When I listened to that story, I feel like the grief she was not allowed to express had to be suppressed. Since it was suppressed, the emotional stress of carrying this burden began to break down her physical body, manifesting itself as a tremor. Folks, I am not a medical doctor of any sort but I strongly believe that our mind, bodies and soul are intertwined and have the ability to affect the other especially when we’re out of sync, stressed, traumatized or holding unto blacked out memories that we have forgotten we even have. I feel that instead of waiting for the ‘I don’t give a rats behind years’, why don’t we give ourselves permission to be our authentic selves and speak our truth…NOW. I feel like old age should be enjoyed and not just spent in and out of medical facilities because of things we could have dealt with.

Disclaimer: Not all ailments are mentally or emotionally related but a lot of them are.

My Late Night (Two Crust) Pizza Recipe!

Crust Ingredients: 2 Cups of Flour, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2 tsp of Fast Acting Yeast, 1/2 Cup of Water, 1 tsp of Sugar.

Topping are whatever I had in my fridge at the time: Pepperoni, Black Olives, Pickled Banana Peppers and Green Bell Peppers, (No Cheese TYVM).

Sauce: A combination of Marinara Sauce & Ketchup.

Directions: Warm the water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add sugar and then yeast. In a mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix. Pour in the foamy, activated, yeast water. Mix and cover for one hour. Turn your Oven to 350oF. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the dough and a dusting of flour. Divide dough into two and refrigerate one half for later. Get your rolling pin and stretch the dough out. Get a pan and apply cooking spray. Transfer the dough and stretch some more using your fingers. Add the tomato sauce, toppings and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Its ready. Cravings satisfied. Time for bed!

Until I come your way again. Tell your story, it may be the one thing that can save your life, your health, your relationships…you never know until to speak your truth.

Periwinkle Starr

For The Sweet Toothers Out Here: Let’s Make Chocolate!

Hello Y’all! Happy New Year and a Belated Merry Christmas to you! I hope you got to rest, celebrate and enjoy the holiday. We made it into 2021! What a year that was but its gone now and we are looking forward to bigger and better. My plea to 2021 is to be kind and gentle on us all. With the festivities being over, I’m about ready to be begin my health routine aka diet but I decided to have one last hoorah before I did. I was organizing my pantry and stumbled upon a chocolatier/chocolate making kit. This was a Secret Santa gift from work that I totally forgot about. It had been sitting there for years and I felt it was about time I at least tried my hands at making my own batch of homemade chocolate. The kit came with a little recipe book, a couple of tiny molds and a spiral stirrer. Since I recently watched reruns of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, I felt it was a sign.

So I looked up the recipes to see what I wanted to try my hands at. I’m not exactly sure there is any such thing as a low calorie chocolate recipe that still taste good but I was up for the challenge. I found some of the recipes so delectable and high on calories that I decided against making any of them and to instead go on YouTube and find something lower in calories – for starters. I mean, a tiny piece of chocolate was the same amount of calories as a small salad bowl. C’mon man! (Joe’s fav phrase), we just had two holidays back to back, and I am trying to choose the lesser of two apparent evils here ha…ha!

A Simple Chocolate Recipe!

Ingredients: 1 Cup Icing or Confectionery Sugar. 1/2 Cup Milk Powder. 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder. 2/3 Cup of Coconut Oil. Extra Additives: Some prefer brown sugar instead. Others may add nuts or vanilla extract for an extra pop. The choice is yours!

Utensils: A sauce pan, a sturdy glass bowl (preferred), a sieve, chocolate mold, a mixing spoon and measuring cups.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add water to a sauce pan and turn up the heat. Place the glass bowl over the sauce pan and add the coconut oil. Then slowly add the powdered mixture in small quantities while stirring as you go. Keep stirring till it’s well incorporated for a few minutes. Remove from sauce pan and using a table spoon scoop into molds and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Le chocolat et pret!!

My Take. The Results: Instead of the 2/3 Cup of coconut oil, I used a little over 1/3 Cup in mine. Many reviewers said theirs was runny and didn’t solidify at all and I guess that was the reason. I also cut back on the amount of sugar I used. Instead of one full cup, I used a little less than a cup (almost a cup). You might need to purchase more molds if you don’t have those already. I ended up improvising with small plastic containers because I ran out of molds 🙂 All in all, it was an easy pea-sy recipe. So try it out!

(14) 4 ingredients Homemade Chocolate Recipe | How To Make Chocolate At Home | Yummy – YouTube

As you enjoy this sweet treat, be hopeful, optimistic and full of faith and positivity that 2021 will be a sweet year despite whatever the happenings are in the world around you. Many thanks to all followers of this blog and to those who stumble upon Periwinkle Starr, thank you for reading as well. Until I come your way again, please like, comment and follow. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Happy Turkey Day!

Hello Folks! I trust you are doing well in your part of the world. Here in North Texas, it’s Thanksgiving Day. I’m not so certain in these times we are in with giving ‘absolutes’ on any information especially now that we have a couple of states banning the Holiday or limiting the number of family members you can have over at your Grandma’s house, which I think is absurd but another story for another day.

I woke up this morning to the news that Diego Maradona has passed on and it was a shocker. Now, for some of the younger millennials or Generation Z folks who may not be familiar with this guy, He was like the Michael Jackson of soccer. He was phenomenal on the field. Once he got the ball, the opposing teams could literally see their courage leave the stadium, go back to their hotels, pack their bags and head to the airport because it was GAME OVER – that was how amazing he was. But like all great talents, it almost seems like their demons are more fierce (for lack of a better word). All in all, he made his mark in the world. He put Argentina on the map and he will be missed. May his soul find peace and his family comforted.

The weather was bright with a tolerable hue of sunshine. We had a soft breeze that wasn’t typical for this time of year but it was awesome and I had a great time. Thanksgiving this year was great but … different. We all know 2020 started off right until it got ‘jacked up’ by COVID and just when we were just about getting our lives back to normal, then we got on the political impeachment, then the second term election trail which, hard as many of us tried to stay out of it, could not because the craziness hit an all time high. At this point, I kinda want my money back, and I mean for the first 6 months of the year LOL…as if we, the mere mortals that we are can ask anything of the creator. But hey! On a lighter note, we have so much to be thankful for; because if you are reading this post, you are still here. And that is more than enough.

I don’t know about you but I see a trend over the past couple of years especially with the holidays and if you are seeing what I’m seeing, then you know what I’m talking about because you see it too. Less and less people are cooking meals these days and instead opting for meal pick-up services, curb side deliveries or even getting a chef to cook in their homes while they channel all the energy that it would have taken to cook the meals to actually relaxing, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. If you ask me, that makes a lot of sense and is justifiable on all counts BUT there is such a thing as a home cooked meal, a meal made with love, care and patience that trumps restaurant or ”assembly-line’ delivered food. But at the end of the day, everyone is not going to be a Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart and for some that is ok. Friends, today is the day to sit back, throw off all diets, all food trackers and treat yourself.

It’s been a very different year than what we have ever experienced but we are still here and it’s worth being thankful for. Hug your loved ones. Do something nice for your friends and or co-workers. I’m just a little intrigued as to whether there will be any social distancing for the Black Friday shoppers this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Be safe, have fun and until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr