I love developing recipes whether I am making them from scratch or personalising an existing one; it is always a thrill! In the FFF FLab is where the magic happens!

So during my usual web wanderings, I found a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal choc chip cookies! I held my breath not daring to breathe as I skimmed the ingredient list. Sure enough I had every single item required!!!

As I raided my pantry, my eyes fell on some desiccated coconut, then I saw the canister of cayenne pepper and cloves looking dejected; so I grabbed those. Ooooh and there was this bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit! Why not?! I snatched those as well.

When I looked at my heap, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I would find out soon!
You can find the original recipe here. Now for my kitchen sink version!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (on this occasion I used canned but for a step by step on how to. Are your own pumpkin purΓ©e, which I recommend, read my post “Easy as Pie 2″

1 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped mixed nuts and dried fruit

The “How to”

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcious. Whisk together the flour, oats, coconut, baking soda, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large mixing bowl for 30 about seconds and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy (unless you’re aiming to build your biceps, please use an electric mixer πŸ˜€); pause occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add in the egg, when it is incorporated blend in vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and nut and fruit mix. Let batter rest for a few minutes; 5 – 10 minutes should do it. This will give the oats some time to absorb the liquids so that batter isn’t too sticky. Laos it helps the cookies to hold their shape as they bake.

Scoop dough out 2 Tbsp at a time and drop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 14 minutes.

Now this step is crucial; allow the to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Now you can munch away.

This recipe yields a chewy cookie but is oh so good. With just the slightest hint of warmth from the cayenne. It is a surprising experience. Something you wouldn’t ordinarily expect in a cookie.

Let me tell you, this cookie had everything AND the kitchen sink in it! Lol!

It was studded with choc chip, nuts and dried fruit like a bejeweled or even blinged out treat!

IMG_3203.JPG

IMG_3201.JPG

IMG_3200.JPG

If you live in North America, this recipe would be great for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holidays or afterwards when you won’t know what to do with all the pumpkin-ey left overs. You should try it!

You don’t have to live in North America to try it though πŸ˜€

FFF Tip of the Day

Whenever possible, make your own purΓ©e; it is so easy! Check it out here.

Welcome to FFF’s second interview!!! I hope you enjoyed the first, if you missed it you can read all about “Inspiring through Faith Food and Fitness”

I got to know of Jane Reed when another blog I follow (Leanne Cole Photography) had her on as a guest blogger. In that post she shared amazing tips on how to capture food beautifully with a camera. Her subject of choice was this stunningly vivid dragon fruit. I had never seen a piece of fruit look so beautiful! So after I had gulpedΒ  all her photography tips, I threw myself headlong at her blog and pored over it. …..If you are thinking I sound a little bit crazed and over enthusiastic, read my previous posts and keep up!!! πŸ™‚

The I went to the about page of her blog where she shared what she calls her “Green Tomato times of life” and I was transfixed and inspired. I immediately sought her out on twitter and left several messages for her telling her about how inspiring I found her to be. I think I also left my trademark trail of comments on her blog as well….lol. And graciously, ever so graciously, she responded to every missive I sent. She even offered to give me free photographuy lessons!!

I don’t want to give too much away. Please read about this special lady below.

Your blog is so beautiful with captivating pictures and pretty interesting recipes, how long have you been into blogging and photography?

I have been a photographer for over 20 years. I started in portraits and then moved on to documentary and finally food. I found my passion in food photography but still enjoy documentary, fine art and nature photography as a hobby! I officially began blogging in 2008 and have not stopped since.

I truly love how the blog has evolved and allowed me to meet interesting people all over the globe.

Despite, what I imagine is a busy life, you also manage some health challenges. Could you please share a little about it and how you cope?

Oh my goodness! Yes, I don’t think I ever sit still! I run a very busy household and a busy business. I enjoy both and I believe that is part of how I keep going through my health issues. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis several years ago. To say they slow me down would be an accurate statement, but they do not control my zeal for life. I learned to lean on the Lord for everything in my life, including these two illnesses. It is through Him that I find the strength to keep going and do what I enjoy doing. My family and my business are both beautiful gifts from Him so I do not take them for granted. Instead I seek ways to show the Lord how much I do appreciate every aspect of my life, including my illnesses.

You seem have an amazing relationship with God and speak freely about it in fact it is one of the things that drew me to your blog. How long have you been a Christian? And what has the journey been like?

I have known about Christ since I was a small child, but my personal true relationship with Him did not start until later in life. I grew up in a Christian family and have always loved Jesus as long as I could remember. I did not get serious about walking with Him until my 30s. I went through the defiant phase of life from my teens to my 20s and lived a very miserable existence. I knew the Lord was there and I knew I loved Him, but I did not have a true understanding of what it meant to really know Him.

When I truly gave my life to Him and began a daily walk with Him my life changed dramatically. I have felt true peace and happiness ever since!

Based on what you know about life now, what will you tell your 16-year-old self?

I would tell her to put Jesus first and stick to that walk with Him. I really wish I could do so because I would have saved myself an awful lot of struggle and pain, but then again, we grow and learn strength in our sufferings so maybe they were all needed for me to be the woman I am now!

Do you prefer to shop in super markets or farmers markets and why?

I adore farmers markets and will shop at one any chance I get! I enjoy talking with the people who have grown the foods. They are fascinating to listen to and you can feel the love they pour out over every single piece of food they grow. I also find that there are more choices for organic foods at the farmers markets than the supermarket.

What are your go to recipes when you cook for a large family gathering?

I am from the south and family gatherings there usually revolve around BBQ. While I have been known to BBQ some awesome chicken and beef, my talent is found more in the side dishes! I love to make potato salad and have an amazing secret family recipe for that! I also enjoy eating vegan and vegetarian meals and find that the majority of my meals fall into that category lately and because of that I have come up with an amazingly delicious fruit salad recipe that is usually a winner at gatherings as well. Taking that dish allows me to eat my vegan dish without cutting out the BBQ that everyone else loves so much.

fruit-salsa-recipe

What is your favourite American meal of all time?

Pizza!!!! I love a good homemade vegetarian pizza with fresh veggies and herbs!!!

 

Veggie Quinoa Pizza Jane Reed

What is your favourite meal of all time?

I would have to say my Chickenless Parmesan recipe! Before removing meat from my diet I loved chicken parmesan so I had to adapt in such a way I could still enjoy my favorite meal! I have to say I enjoy the meatless version better!!

 

wpid-chickenless-parmesan.jpg

By now you must be buzzing with encouragement and inspiration :-)…Told you!

Please visit and follow her blog – www.thegreentomatoexperience.com; you will be glad you did.

See you again soon with another refreshing post.

 

*photo credits: www.thegreentomatoexperience.com and Jane Reed*


Beyond cooking, sharing recipes and posting fab pictures of food on every corner of the web…….the web has corners; trust me it does……I also want everyone who interacts with FFF to come away with some inspiration and be armed with information about food and life as a whole.

Food is an amazing vehicle for bringing people together or at least getting people’s attention; so now that I have your attention πŸ™‚ Let me introduce you to Tayor Kiser the fabulous lady who runs Faith, Food and Fitness.

As is customary with me, one day I was trawling the web like a homeless food blogger when I stumbled upon her blog. I paused, furrowed my eyebrows, scratched my head and muttered to myself, ” There IS another FFF?!” SOUND THE ALARM! CALL SCOTLAND YARD (or in my case the NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE)!!! Anyway, after my dramatic session with myself ended, I proceeded to comb her blog and read her posts andΒ  I was completely bowled over! She was so funny, down to earth and creative! I liked her instantly! And like any true fan would, I lovingly left a trail of comments on various posts πŸ™‚ and like a true star that she is, she responded! Does it get any cooler than that? I think not!!!

Without fear of being dubbed a “weirdo cyber stalker“I approached her, virtually of course, and asked her to grant an interview and the rest as they say is history.

Because of her, I was able to convince my patient, ever longsuffering hubby to take us to IHOP for breakfast during our holidays to the States recently. The boys loved it and I must have gained at least 2kg from the meal that I had on that day but I have NO regrets whatsoever!! Thanks for tip Taylor!!

Kitkat at ihop

Gbemi and I at ihop

 

As you read this interview, be inspired by this amazing lady who thinks nothing of sharing her Christian faith, her amazing food and her health concious approach to life!!

 

What inspired the name of your blog?
I have ALWAYS said that I value the 5 “f”s in life: Faith, Food, Fitness,Friends and Family. Of course, using ALL of those would have been a little bit long for a blog name, so I decided to pick the three that my blog would focus on, and so “Food Faith Fitness” was born.

Β How did you come by making delicious meals that are healthy?

I have always loved to cook. I grew up around people that loved to cook as well, and also wanted to teach me how to do it. Because of this, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, so cooking has just been a natural thing. Once I was old enough to make my own meals, I decided to focus on healthy food as that was the lifestyle that I was after.

I noticed that you incorporate a lot of your personal life in your posts including your faith; why do you do this?

I think people want to read about people who are “real.” They want to know that my life isn’t perfect, and that I actually have a life outside of the internet world. There is only so many ways to say “this recipe is really delicious, and you should totally make it!” Because of this, I have decided to include a fair chunk of my personal life. I know some bloggers disagree with this thinking,but I know that I like to know that the blogs I read come from real people. I also incorporate my faith because, as a Christian, I believe it’s my mission to spread the word about the love of Jesus. I am actually really shy in real life, so it’s hard for me to go up to people and express that, and the blog has been a great way to do so!

What is your go to recipe when you have unexpected guests?

My go-to recipe for unexpected guests is this Cilantro Lime Tilapia. It’s SO quick, easy, healthy and I always have the ingredients in my pantry. Plus, everyone seems to really love it. It’s my go-to for guests and for a quick dinner for myself, when I’m short on time…which happens a lot πŸ™‚

Cilantro-Lime-Tilapia-With-Quinoa-1

What do you do when despite your best efforts a recipe just doesn’t pan out the way you had hoped?

Cry. Just kidding…sort of. I have a “three times and you’re out rule.” This means that I give a recipe idea three times to be successful (unless it’s just TERRIBLE right off the bat, or I know EXACTLY what it needs to be great on the third round.) If it just isn’t working out after three times, there is no point spending all the money on groceries for it to keep failing. I have a huge list of recipe ideas, so I just move onto the next idea. No biggie!

What ingredients do you always have in your pantry?

In my pantry there is always Coconut flakes, Whole Wheat Flour, Brown/white sugar, Honey,Vanilla extract, cocoa powder, oatmeal, quinoa, cous cous, Brown rice pasta, peanut butter, coconut oil and olive oil. I consider those some good building block ingredients to both sweet and savory meals!

What advice will you give to people who want to learn how to cook or who want to carve a niche for themselves as food writers/bloggers, restaurateurs, chefs?

If you want to learn how to cook, well, COOK! You don’t need to go to school or have some fancy degree. You know what flavors you like, so just start cooking with them. Sure, some of your recipes will be terrible – so are mine! But, you’ll be surprised as to how many taste great! I promise. πŸ™‚

If you want to become a food blogger, my biggest piece of advice is to only do it because you LOVE it, not because you want to do it as a career and make money. There are TONS of food bloggers out there, and it’s REALLY hard to turn it into something that you make an income off of. I have put countless hours of work into Food Faith Fitness and, in turn, have missed out on a lot of my “real life.”But, I do love that it’s my job!

What is your favourite American meal of all time?
Okay: I’m not sure if you want an actual meal, like breakfast lunch dinner? Or a favorite food? Here’s answers for both and you can pick! πŸ™‚

My favorite American Meal of all time is, hands down, breakfast! I could eat oatmeal, eggs and pancakes for every single meal of the day. In fact, I make my husband go eat pancakes at IHOP with me once a week, or else I start going into pancake withdrawals. πŸ™‚

i hop Pancakes

My favorite American Meal of all time is cheesecake.
Yes, this isn’t a total “meal” but at the rate that I can eat it, it could be considered one! Ha! I love all flavours and varieties too! Now, if only I could find one that was healthy enough to live off of!

 

Gluten-Free-Brownie-6

About Food Faith Fitness:
Food Faith Fitness prides itself on producing delicious, creative recipes that are family friendly and have a healthy spin. Taylor believes that eating to nourish your body is as important as eating to nourish your soul, and that means that eating healthy should not be bland and boring. On Food Faith Fitness you will find a variety of different kinds of recipes including breakfasts, main meals, desserts, and snacks. You will also find a few various tips on health and fitness and thoughts on faith, all to promote living a well rounded and balanced lifestyle. Finally, all of this is tied together with story telling, wit and a sprinkle of humor to keep Food Faith Fitness readers coming back for more!

 

Be sure to visit and follow Food Faith Fitness; it is chuck full of s much!!

 

If you enjoyed this post stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

*photo credits: Food, Faith Fitness, and www.healthnewstexas.com*

In one year FFF has evolved in ways that I never quite imagined; the journey has been thrilling and educative.

The aim is to keep an upward thrust delivering great information and more importantly great food; lol……we loooooovvveeee our food here at FFF πŸ™‚

Our first ever video is testament to this fact; it was great fun to make and I hope you enjoy it.

This is first of many so stay tuned. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey.

You can view the youtube video below

 

FFF tip of the Day: Did you know that placing an order with FFF is as simple as filling our contact form? Now you know πŸ™‚ We look forward to receiving your orders and inquries.

IMG_3343.JPGIMG_3339.JPG