photo credit

Thank you all for voting in last week’s poll. I hope y’all know that these polls are for educational purposes – for me. I find it really helpful to ask you questions and bounce ideas off of you. So thank you so much for participating in these weekly polls.

You may have noticed that I put a link to the weekly poll at the top of my sidebar. That is so that not a single one of you will miss helping me out with my questions.

Last Week’s Results

Last week I asked you “How often do you get out of the house in the winter?” Your answers ranged from every day to other (*smile*) 1 day per week. Some of you live in warm climates as well, making your circumstances a bit different than us northerners. We played in the snow yesterday, but didn’t leave the driveway.

  • Every day – I work outside of the home. 31% (8 votes)
  • 3 days per week 27% (7 votes)
  • Every day – I like to get out. 12% (3 votes)
  • 2 days per week 12% (3 votes)
  • 6 days per week 8% (2 votes)
  • 1 day per week 8% (2 votes)
  • Other: 4% (1 votes)

This Week’s Questions

This week I have two questions for you, both about blogging.

My first question is about blog readers (like bloglines, etc.) Just before I moved from blogger to wordpress I discovered blogger’s “following” concept. So I plugged in all of the lovely blogs that I keep up with and found a much simpler blog reading experience. Before that I had tried out bloglines but didn’t seem to like it, so just stuck with keeping bookmarks and checking them everyday or whenever I had time. That took up a lot more time. I find it so much more streamlined now that I am told when someone updates. Using a blog reader saves me lots of time, which is what I need.

For a while I was considering moving my blog back to blogger. Now that I’ve gotten used to the wordpress interface, however, I really like it and think I will stay. So… I have a wordpress blog, but read blogs in blogger. I am looking for something else, something better perhaps (though I do love the setup of blogger’s following). So, dear readers, please tell me how you read your blogs. I just put out a few things I have heard of into the multiple choice answers. Please share something else if it is out there.

[polldaddy poll=1206863]

My second question pertains to this blog in particular. I like elements of my blog’s theme, but not all of them. I was looking over my blog on our laptop and thought to myself “This is obnoxiously difficult to read.” Then when I was at the library I went to my blog again. On their fancy big computer screens I didn’t find it nearly as difficult to read. So, be honest, dear readers. (And I am talking aesthetics here, I suppose if you find the content obnoxious we can discuss that another day).

[polldaddy poll=1206877]

dec-16-pics-073

ETA: Organic mandarin oranges are in season through December! Find them here with free shipping for a limited time.

Oranges. Lovely, sweet, fragrant oranges. After not buying any fresh produce for a month and a half I bought about three pounds of these organic lovelies on Sunday. We ate one shortly after arriving home from the grocery store and it was so refreshing that I instantly thought "cake!"

I have been trying to get more coconut products into my diet for many reasons. First of all it’s so healthy for me, especially since I am still nursing. All of those great medium chain fatty acids are great coming through breast milk for my baby. Secondly, it’s a great help for losing those post-pregnancy pounds without going on a restrictive diet while nursing.

This cake is both refreshing and nourishing. I’ve used coconut from three different sources – the flour, the milk and the oil – all very nourishing. I never really liked coconut until I realized how good it was for me. Now I don’t mind the flavor as much, especially since I know I’m nourishing myself when I eat it. This cake is lovely in that the orange flavor predominates the coconut flavor. This gives you bright orange flavor without too much of the coconut. The two different sweeteners – raw honey & stevia – also help bring the sugar count down in the overall dessert. Finally, this cake is both gluten free and casein free for those of you who are trying to avoid these things. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Coconut Flour Orange Cake (gfcf)

Recipe notes: I give you a method for melting the coconut oil while greasing the pan, saving you a dish. You can certainly melt the coconut oil in one pan and grease the pan separately. Also, I add the coconut oil last just in case it is still pretty warm. Having the eggs already mixed with the other ingredients provides a bit of a buffer in case the oil is still too warm. Scrambled egg cake is not what we’re after here.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 6 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of 1/2 medium orange

Directions

  1. Take your eggs out of your refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Measure out coconut oil and place in an 8"x8" pan. Place the pan in the oven to melt the coconut oil.
  2. While the coconut oil is melting, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, honey, vanilla and orange zest together. Once the coconut oil is melted (probably around five minutes or less), remove the pan from the oven and let it cool while you mix in the rest of your ingredients.
  3. Combine coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Once your pan is cooled enough to handle, carefully swirl your coconut oil around your pan in order to grease all sides. Then pour the coconut oil into the batter and mix until all lumps are gone.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean.Place the cake on a cooling rack. After the cake has cooled a bit, but is still warm, poke holes all over the top with a fork. Juice the orange half right over the whole cake, making sure to evenly distribute the juice.

dec-16-pics-085

Orange Coconut Oil Frosting (gfcf)

Recipe notes: Be sure to melt your coconut oil in a glass bowl. I do this by putting the bowl over a small pan of simmering water.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted in a glass bowl
  • 9 drops of liquid stevia (alternatively, you could use a couple of teaspoons of raw honey)
  • 1 packed teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients into warm coconut oil. You are now going to place the bowl into the freezer in order to cool it down. It is very important to check on it every couple of minutes to catch it before it gets too cold. You want to take it out of the freezer right when it starts to get cloudy.
  2. At this point the cold bowl (and your cool kitchen) will continue to turn the liquid oil into a solid. Continue to whisk the frosting as it gets cloudier and cloudier and eventually turns into a whipped butter consistency. The idea is to get a bit of air into it. Once it is to a whipped (very soft) butter consistency plop it onto your cooled cake. Frost it very quickly before the coconut oil hardens. It will seem like a pretty thin layer of frosting, but it is just enough.

This recipe is a contribution to Stephanie’s Healthy Sweets Carnival.