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Monday, December 14, 2020

2020 Joyful Holiday Baking (Gingerbread Loaf w/Caramel Sauce)

We all know 2020 has really been quite a year, to say the least, and I am not going to attempt to say much more. What I can say is I am praising God we finished our first term of offically homeschooling my kids and I think we all learned something. We celebrated what we learned this past week through 'exams', but it was a whole new concept of exams for me...because they were all about celebrating and seeing what we HAD learned not what 'we hadn't.' And to finish our week we ate yummy icecream sundays with homemade salted caramel sauce and all felt joyful for at least a few moments!

Yesterday I woke up determined to crank up the Christmas music in my kitchen and kick off some holiday baking by experimenting with a new gluten-free gingerbread loaf, drizzled with some of the leftover salted caramel that Mason and I had made the day before. I love gingerbread and molasses and all those warm delicious spices, and I was feeling determined to put my new flour mill to work grinding up some of the sprouted oats I have enjoyed baking with lately.  And even though it is costly, I also love adding almond meal or pecan meal wherever possible to cookies, quick loaves or pancakes which brings flavor and moisture and a little protein.

Anyhow, I was very pleased with how it turned out and thought I would share the recipe. I was even MORE pleased that the car wouldn't start (one of my darlings left the lights on again) and it meant we had to tell the friends we were planning to meet at the park to just come on over to our house. This meant I could actually serve this gingerbread spice cake with caramel sauce to dear friends that we had not seen in ages, and if you know know food means nothing without people gathered around it to enjoy! 

Not only did I kick off the holiday baking, I could not help myself from getting personal and posting about it on social media - hopefully it felt like a joyous 'Leila post' celebrating some daily life instead of just sharing about Patty's Hope and foster care(which is also my daily life), but you know what I mean, a different topic! 

Okay here ya go, I based the recipe on a gf bundt cake recipe I found on another blog and made a few tweaks using the flours I wanted and dropping the sugar levels a bit. This can also be made in a bundt pan as a cake, but I decided to split it into two loaves.

Gingerbread Spice Loaf with Salted Caramel


  • 1.5 cups oat flour (or other GF flour of choice)
  • cup almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


  • 1 cup brown sugar (a little more if you want a sweeter cake)
  • 1 stick butter(8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water 


    • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease 2 loaf pans (or use parchment paper to line) or use a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan.
    • In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the brown sugar and butter. Mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Mix in the lemon juice and molasses. Mix well to combine, scrapping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
    • Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
    • Bake for 35-45 minutes if doing two loaves otherwise 50-55 minutes if bundt cake, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with, at most, a few moist crumbs.
      Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

  • OTHER:

  • I drizzled mine with salted caramel sauce but you could do a lemon glaze or it would pair nicely with a cream cheese frosting. Here is the link to the recipe I followed for the caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reviving my food passion...PLEASE!

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh I cannot believe how long it has really been since I wrote a blog post and how times have changed with my precious little ones keeping me busy! Nonetheless, I am still passionate about food and cooking and eating.  But I have a lot less time to think about it and am often exhausted when it comes time to cook dinner.  However, with the garden beginning to grow and some recent health issues, I am rebooting my paleo, auto-immune, healing body with good food journey.

With that being said we are also still working diligently to get the doors open of our nonprofit organization (Patty's Hope), today I had the thought that I think it might be easier to run an 'underground' Paleo restaurant than running a nonprofit...whew it is HARD work, but we are determined and the NEED is so very real.  Wouldn't it be awesome if one day I was running a little cafe with a paleo menu and more and best of all able to employ and teach the moms with work with...this is a good dream.

So, I am slowly going back to paleo and eventually maybe auto-immune protocol (a much slower approach this time and hoping for longevity!) I am thinking it might be nice to blog a little along the way, especially the good recipes I discover as well as any health changes and healing.

Here goes to better eating and more healing...Again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Holiday baking...Holiday eating!!!!!

Oh it has once again been entirely toooooo long since I posted.  Tablenosh I am sorry!  I am still here and still longing to cook more and feed more and host more.

And somehow it is already November...truly truly where does the time go?  I always do enjoy this time of year and somehow find the energy and zeal to bake more, especially for friends and family and festivities. Tablenosh is going to be selling some fresh baked goods at a little RVA Holiday Event this coming Sunday and I am also going to take orders for Christmas.

I am definitely feeling more confident in my gluten-free baking skills and have actually found multiple recipes that I prefer over recipes with gluten.  I wish I could say I had time to pull off a real deal 'tablenosh' holiday feast but can't fathom it yet.  M & A really need to learn how to be my sous chefs!  They are in training :)

I had a few gals over last week and practiced with some GF spiced pumpkin cheesecakes, chocolate caramel brownies and classic vanilla bean creme brulee!

Okay that's it...gotta get dinner on the table!  But am blogging something again SOON...maybe some holiday recipes?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tablenoshing on the Side Porch!

Well friends I have decided it is high time I do some 'tablenoshing'...we have the space...the kids are a little older and I miss gathering people from different walks of life, places, stages etc. over food!  So I am attempting to get a little morning side-porch cafe action happening.

The Concept: 'Tablenosh' in my mind basically means bringing people together through food...gathering, eating, drinking and delighting in the goodness of creation.  My side-porch and home will be opened up through word of mouth to friends, neighbors, moms, college students and whoever else finds their way here.  You are free to grab a fresh baked muffin and cup of coffee while watching your kids play in the backyard, or meet a friend and relax in a cozy setting to catch up, or bring your laptop and get some work done...hopefully the setting will be suitable for a number of different people.

The Menu: Each time the side-porch is open their will be varying things on offer to savor and sip.  Always coffee of some sort maybe a cold-brew over ice or something warm and steamy.  Ingredients will be sourced as local and organic as possible and the menu will always have something gluten free or paleo friendly.  Tablenosh has always operated on donations, so there will be a donations jar out and donations are welcome, but not necessary to come and partake.

The Time & Place:  My first 'tablenosh' side porch cafe will happen THIS Friday, August 28 from 9am - 12pm on the side porch of my home in RVA located at 7704 Brookside Road.  And future events will be updated onto this blog site, facebook and word of mouth.

The People: Friends, neighbors, moms, college students, workers...anyone who needs a unique comfortable place to eat good food, chat, work, play in the yard, etc.

I wish I could tell you the menu for this week but I am still thinking about it...and also want to get an idea of how many people might actually come by!  So please let me know if this type of thing sounds like it 
is up your alley...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Falling off the AIP wagon...

My confession picture!
Well friends what can I say the Auto Immune Paleo diet is REALLY REALLY hard and I did a great job for 7 weeks before I began to crumble.  I imagine if I could have stopped my life and had no travel plans for the summer, no outings, no dinners with friends or family and an endless budget I could have maintained things a little longer (and maybe if I was a more disciplined person).

I really thought summer would be a great time to do AIP because of all the fresh veggies and fruits in season, but one of the things required on the diet it avoiding 'nightshades' this includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplants which are all very popular in summertime (and delicious).  It also did not help that after a couple of weeks of travelling from the Bachelorette weekend to a family beach week my husband went overseas for three weeks.  I thought the diet would be easier with him gone - this was not the case as I was so exhausted from chasing my two 2 year olds around that I had zero energy to prepare and cook for myself...and my old emotional eating habits came right back into play (I even got so crazy as to dress my kids up like cows and go to Chik Fil A and buy myself a milkshake!).  The good news was I did not suffer from any migraines the whole time he was gone - despite the fact I totally derailed from the diet and was eating sugar, dairy, grains, etc. - so I am still very hopeful that some healing happened in those 7 weeks.

Another thing that I think is really important if you want to succeed in doing AIP - get a buddy!  Those first 4 weeks I had a friend who was also doing it and it was really encouraging to be sharing recipes, checking in with each other and having someone to relate to.  So if my husband and my kids were all eating like this and I had an endless budget for fresh produce, good meats, etc. then I think I may have lasted longer.  All this to say I learned a lot and actually hope to resume again when the timing is a little better...maybe the fall when apples, sweet potatoes and all those good root veggies are in season! :)

If you are trying to get yourself motivated to give AIP a try please do not let me discourage you - just know you need to be well prepared with time, energy and resources to devote to it.