Tag Archives: Pugs

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze Paleo

I’m sitting in my kitchen this morning listening to the rain pour down outside. It is really pleasing and cheerful after such a long hot and humid spell. It feels so refreshing after the oppressive heat. The air is cooler and more invigorating. I am envisioning everything getting washed fresh to bring in the new season.

Apple Maple Cake Grain Free Moist and Delicious

Because it is September, and the apples are in season, my mind always wanders to baked apples, warm cinnamon, cloves and spices.

What better way to welcome in the cooler weather than a coffee cake filled with delicious softly baked apples.

Whole Apple Maple Coffee Cake - Whole top View

Ming always gets frisky in the cooler weather, so we will be doing more outside walks. In the heat she just plops down and refuses to budge. Fawn pugs do have a double coat, which must be terribly hot. I can only imagine if I were wearing not one, but two coats in the hot weather, what I would do. Here she is in her beautiful new collar and leash from Pack Leashes. We always get her a brand new spiffy collar after Summer, and I found this company recently that donates 4 pounds of dog food to a no kill shelter with every purchase, plus their leashes are guaranteed for life! Gotta love that! You can get 20% off your purchase from me when shopping with them by using the code MINGANDLILY at checkout.

ming

I’ve recently been busy in my sewing room making quilts. In this case they are two panda quilts, one is finished, and I am almost done with the second. I’ve been sewing since I was in middle school. I made one of my prom dresses in high school, then when my husband and I bought our first home, I made window treatments, pillows, table runners and other home decor. When we had our little girls, I sewed them dresses and Halloween costumes and stuffed animals. Then a nice women in our town introduced me to quilting, and I found a whole new avenue that I really loved. Two years ago I opened an Etsy Shop, Porcupine Craft Studio.  You can visit if here: Right now I have many different bags available, and my daughter Jessica makes greeting cards using quilling art. The quilts will go in the shop in the next couple weeks. I find time to sew in the evenings, and I  find it relaxing and an enjoyable creative outlet.

Here’s my latest quilt.

Apple Maple c

Back to the Apple Maple Coffee Cake! It is perfect for a rainy day or a sunny autumn day. This recipe is grain free, dairy free and nut free. I topped it with a creamy coconut butter maple frosting which is spread over the baked apple top. The cake is baked with the apples in the bottom, which makes them perfectly soft.

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Preheat the oven to 350º degrees F.

Ingredients for the Cake:

3 Cups of Peeled, Cored and Sliced Apples

1/2 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/2 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

6 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Organic Shortening 

1/4 Cup of Coconut Butter

1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

2 Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon of Ginger

1/4 Teaspoon of Allspice

1/8 Teaspoon of Cloves

1/4 Teaspoon of fine Sea Salt

Ingredients for the Maple Glaze:

1/2 Cup of Coconut Butter 

2 Tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup

Directions:

Grease an 8″ spring form or cake pan with organic shortening. Draw a round circle on parchment paper using the bottom of the cake pan as a template. Cut out the circle and place it in the bottom of the greased pan.

Place the peeled, sliced apples in the bottom of the pan in concentric circles starting on the outside and working your way in.

apples

In a food processor, add six eggs and the maple sugar. Process until creamy. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, coconut butter (soften the coconut butter just slightly for ten seconds in the microwave) and palm shortening, process until creamy. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and all the spices. Process for thirty seconds, then scrape down the sides of the processor, and process another minute. Scoop the cake batter over the apples and spread evenly over the apples to the sides of the pan.

*If using a spring form pan, I recommend placing it on a cookie sheet to bake in case of leakage.

Bake in your preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when poked in the middle of the cake with just a few crumbs on it.

Remove the coffee cake from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and cool completely. If using a cake pan, run a knife around the edges of the cake pan, and invert onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake is cooled, you are ready to make the glaze.

This is super simple and delicious. Soften a half cup of coconut butter in the microwave. Do this in ten second increments just until it is soft. Whisk in two tablespoons of pure maple syrup with a fork. Then, spread the glaze evenly over the coffee cake. Now it is all done and ready to serve.

You can absolutely pour this glaze over the cake when it is still warm and serve it that way too! There is nothing better than a warm coffee cake!

Apple Maple Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze. This cake is moist and perfect for Autumn. Grain, Dairy and Nut Free!

Supercharge Kiwi Green Smoothie

We are into mid-October already, the winter season is almost here as well as the holidays, and school is in full swing! My two teenage daughters have super busy schedules this year, as well as myself and Doug. Our whole family starts their mornings with a healthy smoothie every weekday, because they make us feel so good all morning! I am happy everyone is leaving supercharged with great nutrition before they go out the door, and we even got our 22 year old son, Jeffrey on board! What convinced him was not only that they tasted good, but how he felt having them! Young men are tough to convince, you know that invincibility and all.

So, we are big on smoothies here at our house, and especially when they have some leafy greens in them. Did I ever tell you that when my husband, Doug, started having green smoothies consistently five years ago his grey hair almost completely disappeared? He noticed the way he felt was different too, more energized and lighter. He has gotten asked if he colors his hair. If you knew him, you would know that no way would he do that being a no fuss, get it done, kind of guy. It was all the antioxidants in smoothie form easily accessible to his body!

I love the immune boosting benefits, fiber and nutrients in this delicious new green smoothie recipe! Kiwi is an amazing addition to a smoothie, because just one kiwi packs 106% RDA of Vitamin C! They are also a good source of digestive enzymes and fiber. There are two kinds of leafy greens in this smoothie, kale and spinach. Kale and Spinach contain Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Calcium and Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Fiber, and are detoxifying plus so much more! I added avocado for healthy fat and creaminess and frozen banana. There is also a splash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of raw honey.

Supercharge Kiwi Green Smoothie

I will be writing some new healthy smoothie recipes the next few months that are palate pleasing, because healthy smoothies should be delish! You can choose from them based on your preferences and health goals. I recommend rotating them. You can find more tasty and healthy smoothies in my Seven Days of Smoothies Challenge in my recipe index here under beverages and breakfast.

Food should be our first defense and protection of our health. Every person is bio-individual, but healthy food is a must for everyone! Your body knows the difference! Supercharge your day by starting with a healthy smoothie!

Supercharge Kiwi Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 Kiwi (ripe and peeled)

1/2 Cup of Frozen Green Grapes (You can use unfrozen)

1/2 Cup of Frozen Kale

1/2 Cup of Frozen Leafy Spinach

1/2 Frozen Banana (I keep a bag of peeled, ripe bananas in my freezer cut into pieces)

1/4 Avocado (ripe)

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon of Raw Honey

1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup of Crushed Ice

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall glass and add a straw. 🙂

and……… I realized you haven’t seen Ming Ming in a while unless you are following me on Instagram! So here she is in her No. 1 Dog Sweatshirt!

Enjoy Your Day!

Sam

Ming

 

 

Merry Christmas Greetings from Me and Ming Ming!

Wishing all of you many blessings this holiday season and the year to come! May your year be filled with happiness, health and peace even through the challenges life brings us all. My wish for you is that you grow day to day and are showered with abundance and gratitude! Ming Ming is excited to have everyone chilling out more, because it means there are more laps to sit in, plus she loves the holiday bling! 🙂

merry-christmas

Warmly,

Sam and Ming Ming

Ming Gets Ready for Santa

Ming loves holidays! This year marks her fourth Christmas! On her first Christmas she was the gift that arrived under the tree, and the holidays without her would be like Christmas without cookies.

Ming gets ready

Although she is not a fan of dog sweaters like her little sister Lily (who loves them), she doesn’t mind a loose T-shirt.

I completely understand the power of comfortable cotton over a bulky, hot and possibly itchy sweater. She also has a double coat, as all fawn pugs do. So, when she does wear a extra coat of clothing, it is to go outdoors for a walk in brisk weather, or to please a human family member, who wants her to look “nice”. 🙂

Elf in Training

There is one blaring signal she wants it off. If you try out a new fashion accessory on her and she is displeased with it, she will promptly go to a corner and sit, refusing to budge, until the offending object is removed restoring her to her original good humor.

Nonetheless, she is a good spirit when it comes to Christmas. I am sure if she had the opportunity to be an Elf in Training she would embrace it with enthusiasm. There would be all those bright colorful toys, soft stuffed objects, and other gifts in the making to feast her eyes upon, and maybe chew, roll or lay on when Santa wasn’t looking.

But seriously, how can I tell Ming loves the holidays other than having more opportunities to bark at delivery people? She loves the excitement of the bustling home, kitchen smells, and extra company. It gives her more opportunities for scratches, hugs, tricks, conversation, and treats, and what self-respecting pug wouldn’t love that?

 

Ming in the Moon (The Autumn Moon Festival)

This weekend is the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is based on the lunar calendar and is celebrated on month 8 day 15. This year it falls on Sunday, September 27th. The moon is said to be the brightest and fullest it will be all year at this time.

It has been tradition for our family to have an Autumn Moon Festival dinner party every year since my daughters were adopted as babies from China. Ming’s roots are in China as well, as all pugs are. Pugs were companions to Chinese Emperors and are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. So, I thought, how fun to have a picture taken of Ming in the Moon!

Ming in the Moon

As part of the celebration we eat Moon Cakes. These are sweet pastries filled with different fillings like red bean paste, lotus seed paste, or a nut filling.  They often also contain a hard boiled salted egg yolk that symbolizes the moon. I prefer them without the yolks, as they are an acquired taste. The moon cakes are round like the moon and symbolize togetherness. We used to order our delicious moon cakes from a bakery every year in New York City’s Chinatown. Moon Cakes are beautiful! Read more about them here. Since becoming gluten intolerant a few years ago, I have made a gluten free version at home instead. The recipe I make can be found on Kirbie’s Cravings.

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

 

My older daughter, who is a nurse, came over today and spent the day with me in the kitchen prepping the dishes for the party. It will be a gluten free dinner using some of my favorite Paleo and Gluten Free Chinese Recipes, including the Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites from my blog. Have you tried them yet? They are so easy and delicious.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

 

As part of the decorations, I made Crepe Paper Party Balls as a party favor for each guest. I found the idea on Martha Stewart’s website under Erin Furey’s craft videos. If you enjoy crafting, there are some great ideas there! I hope they are as fun to open as they were to make! After dinner we will go outside and see the full moon and release colorful Sky Lanterns. It should be a fun time, and Ming Ming will be right there also. She loves a good celebration!

 

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