Pumpkins arent just for Lattes

Pumpkins aren't just for Lattes!! I personally love drinking and eating things with pumpkin in it!

Besides carving pumpkins during Halloween, and going to your favorite coffee shop for pumpkin lattes you can eat Pumpkins many other ways. 


Here are my top 5 Pumpkin Recipes:


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese--

Ingredients:


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes; drain.
  2. Stir pumpkin puree, butter, and cheese with the drained macaroni in a large bowl until the butter is melted and the noodles completely coated.
  3. Top with Breadcrumbs 
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins 



Pumpkin Soup

  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley

Pumpkin Brownies


Ingredients
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract; beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoon. Gradually add the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it's evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half in two separate bowls.
  3. Into one bowl of batter, blend the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter, stir in the pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, and follow with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer, and drag a kitchen knife or small spatula gently through the layers in a swirling motion, to create a marbled appearance.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, cut into squares, and serve.

Pumpkin Meatballs


Using a fork, mix together the turkey, pumpkin puree, sage, sugar, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, garlic powder and egg in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form the turkey mixture into evenly sized (approximately 1.5-inch) meatballs. You should end up with about 22 in total. Note: If they're fussy, you can smooth them into a rounded shape once they're on the baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes on one side. Carefully turn them over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Add the meatballs to a pot of simmering Cinnamon-Sage Tomato Sauce. Cover and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the meatballs to soak up the yummy sauce flavor. Serve with the Spaghetti Squash "Pasta."


Pumpkin Eggnog

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups dark rum or brandy
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. 1.

    Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and, watching carefully, beat until they are about the consistency of shaving cream, about 90 seconds. Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, add half of sugar and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Do not wash bowl.

  2. 2.

    Add egg yolks and remaining sugar to now-empty stand mixer bowl and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbony, shutting off machine and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 2 minutes total. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and allspice and mix on medium-low speed until homogenous, about 15 seconds. Add milk, cream, and alcohol and mix on low speed to combine.

  3. 3.

    Using a rubber spatula or handheld whisk, fold the whipped whites into the egg yolk/milk mixture until completely incorporated. Serve by ladling into goblets and garnishing with whipped cream (if desired), grated nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick if desired.




Here are some other things you can make with pumpkins!!! 



Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Tea
Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pasta
Pumpkin Ravolii
Pumpkin Ice Cream



I hope you enjoyed, stay tuned for some live cooking videos on my instagram story. 

Xoxo,
Loralyee 

PCOS Vs. Me

I am in a point in my life where i feel like it is important to be honest and share my truth. One of the most important steps in a journey of finding oneself is to accept who we are. I don't share my whole life, but i think its time for me to share this part of my life.

 For the past 15 years, i have been struggling with a disorder called PCOS. At first, i didn't really understand what it was. The doctor found small cysts on my ovaries. The doctor told me it was just going to cause my periods to be irregular and some pain.  At the time, since i was young and not trying to start a family, i didn't see it as a big deal. Now that i am older, i am learning and working towards finding ways to deal with this disorder. I want to share my journey with you all. 


I am sick and tired of reading wrong information about PCOS, which is why I have decided to share my experience, as well as do more research. 

Having PCOS doesn’t mean the woman will never have kids. Not all women with PCOS suffer from the same symptoms. We all have our own story. 


 Important Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, the information that i am going to share is from my own personal experiences and research. If you want more information please contact your doctor before starting any treatment or medications. 


 For those who don't know what PCOS is, PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

 Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a wide-ranging and complex medical condition. 
According to the Huffington Post  "Between 5-10 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States, or roughly 5 million, have been diagnosed PCOS, yet,  Less than 50 percent of women are properly diagnosed, leaving millions of women living with PCOS undiagnosed"
 
 Although PCOS is the most common endocrine condition afflicting women, the exact cause of PCOS is as yet unknown. Because of the complexity of symptoms of PCOS, it is difficult for scientists to determine whether something is a sign of PCOS or a causal factor. For example, women with PCOS are often overweight, but it is unknown whether being overweight causes PCOS, or if it’s the other way around, with PCOS causing women to be overweight.

PCOS can cause weight gain, access body hair, painful periods, anxiety, depresson and infertlity. 

 According to Sasha Ottey, founder and executive director of PCOS Challenge, Inc., “PCOS is one of the most critical, under served, under-diagnosed and under-funded conditions affecting women’s health. We need the help of media, government agencies and funding sources to improve patient outcomes and help save lives.”

 PCOS causes different symptoms for different women. Some treatments might work for one woman and not work for another. It causes a hormonal imbalance, so every woman reacts different. It attacks our mind and our bodies.

My symptoms are usually anxiety, painful periods and the scariest of all, miscarriages.

In the past years i have suffered through 3 miscarriages. It was the worst experiences of my life. I never thought i would share this part of my life, but i am realizing that i am not alone.  Listening to stories, and reading about other women's troubles getting pregnant i found how important it is for me to share my story.  Each miscarriage hurt more than the other. This was because the doctors didn't have any answers for me. All the doctors kept telling me was that it was normal and that women go through it all the time. I am in a point in my life, where i know that there is a chance for it to happen again, but i will continue to try because i have faith that i am meant to be a mother. I kept trying to find a doctor that specialized in PCOS, but it was so hard. I find that there is either doctors that specialize in fertlity or just regular gynecologists. It is hard to find doctors that understand PCOS and can help all aspects of the disease.


As a body positive woman, promoting self love and body acceptance is a part of me. Sometimes, It gets really hard to love my body, when my body is fighting against me. When it is the time of the month, i get really sick the week before, the week of and a few days after. Sometimes it's so bad, its really hard to get out of bed. I have learned cooping mechanisms and ways to deal with it because i work a full time job as well as my Photo shoots for brands. I don't have the luxury of staying in bed for a week. I have come up with ways to cope and heal and i would love to share it with you all.

 I personally have had bad experiences with medicine. I have tried birth control, and it just made me sad all the time. It messed with my hormones too much. I have also tried a medicine called Metformin. Metformin was the first medicine that helped me get pregnant. It made me very fertile but it also caused, kidney pain, and horrible stomach issues.


Lately i have been going to a fertility specialist. They have been amazing and helpful. I started  medicines called Clomid and Ovidrel. These medicines are supposed to help me ovulate. Its just the beginning lets see if they work for me. If you have PCOS, and are trying to get pregnant, ask your doctors about these medicines.

Besides medications, I believe Self Care can be really helpful in having a positive mind and body.

Self-care rituals that invigorate and balance the mind, body and spirit The power of a “joy list” | Read More on PCOS Diva
Some Self Care rituals i take place in are Meditation. I downloaded an app called "CALM". This app shares mediation and stories that can help anxiety and stress.

A joy list is one of my favorite ways to stay positive. I write out things i want to accomplish every month and things that bring me happiness and i make sure to do at least one a week. This way i stay busy, and i stay motivated to accomplish things. The more busy i am, the less anxiety i get.

I follow and read a blog called PCOS Diva, There is a lot of helpful information and facts that can answer a lot more questions.

PCOS DIVA

Like i said before, i am not a doctor. I am learning about this disease every day, but i believe it is so important to share my experience with you all because we are not alone!! PCOS is a disease that we can fight with a healthy mind and body. I have learned the hard way, but i am excited to be on the right track. I will not let PCOS defeat me, and you shouldn't either. I will continue to share my experiences with you all, and i hope it will help you too!! 



My top 10 jackets for the fall season

My favorite season of all is here!!! i am so excited to wear layers.. long sleeves and most importantly JACKETS & COATS!!!

Growing up i found it very hard to find different styles and colors of jackets. Old navy was my go to place!! Well ladies.. i have found some great stores that have good collections of jackets and coats!!!

 I honestly used to buy jacket and leave them open because i loved the style. I get so excited now when i can finally buy jackets that close!!!!


Here is a list of my top 10 jackets and coats for the fall:

1) Charlotte Russe has a great collection of fall jackets. I would recommend sizing up because they fit more like JR Plus. I bought the Long Line satin Bomber that fits beautifully. The Fur lined Navy Blue leather jacket will be perfect for the fall and winter!

Fur lined Leather Jacket 

2)ASOS!! Is my favorite!! they are pricy but the quality is amazing. I still have the same jacket i bought 4 years ago and its still in great condition.

My favorite right now is the
Missguided Plus Studded Leather Look Biker Jacket 

I love anything with stones or studs!! I recommend sizing up!

3)Ashley Stewart has this beautiful Faux leather trench coat that is to die for!!!! I love it so much! I love leather jackets and i love trench coat, so this mixture is perfect!!

Faux Leather Trench Coat

4)Boohoo has some really unique jackets as well. My favorites are the Parkas with the bright colored fur inside. They are unique and colorful!

Colorful fur parka 

5) Jcpenny has a great collection of different jackets and coats. The pricing is a little more but its def worth your money!!! I love this dark orange parka jacket.

Orange Parka

6)There's something about wearing Faux Fur that makes me feel like a queen!!! I wish i could wear it all year round!!! This Black and White SIMPLY BE Contrast fur is soo fly!! I cant wait for it to be delivered!

Black and White Fur

7) Every girl needs a stylish raincoat!!! I have 3 lol. I love this one from Simply Be!

PU Trim Raincoat

8) I feel like as plus size women we get scared to wear Puffer Jackets because they make us look bigger! i personally love them because its like wearing a big blanket all day lol. The only i love from ASOS has Mittens attached!!Like Mittens are attacheddddd!! how cool!!!!

Mitten Puffer

9) I love Embroidery on jackets! It gives it a prettier look. I love this Embroidered bomber jacket from Roaman's Fashion. Check it out!

Embroidered Bomber Jacket


10) Torrid has a good collection of jackets and outerwear. I love this embellished Zip Front Military jacket. It is so fashionable!! Torrid sizes sell out fast so don't over think it lol

Military zip up jacket


Every year I use three different jackets. A leather, a sporty one and my winter coat. My husband on the other hand has every color and style lol. This year i want to work on my jacket collection. So stay tuned for pictures and more jackets!!

xoxo,
Loralyee