Winter Blues

Happy 1st of December 🙂

There’s no way around it — winter is here. We were spoiled in the east for a little bit there, 
but now, Mother Nature ain’t playing no games.

I’m coming to terms with the colder temps, but it’s a sad, heartbreaking process. It takes me twice as long to get ready these days, mostly because I’m wearing twice as many layers.

It’s not all tears and frostbite for me, though. With coat,
Vitamin D and a cup of hot coffee to go, I have what I consider a sure cure for the winter blues.

 

 

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vegetarian quesadillas

Darlings,


What do you when you’ve super low white blood cell count,
Stuck at home, avoiding human contacts?
Create and practice recipes duh…
It is no secret that I love spicy food! I love that hot-mouth, runny-nose, starting to sweat a little type spice. I always order hot peppers on my food when there’s the option, I load foods up with red pepper flakes, and Siracha is frequently the final topping on most all of my meals! So of course I was all over this week’s vegetarian quesadillas using raw jalapeno peppers.
This time around I decided to go with a classic approach, and of course that means Mexican!
And what is one of the best Mexican dishes out there?
Why, quesadillas, of course!

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But not just any quesadillas, these ones are sweet potato black bean quesadillas!
Does anyone else think that sweet potatoes and black
beans are the perfect combination?
The creamy sweet potato and cool avocado are the perfect contrast to the spiciness of the jalepenos, and the slightly mashed black beans give them a robust and hearty texture to make it a meal.
And of course, ours were rounded out with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese!
You may adjust the amount of jalepenos according to your desired level of spiciness, but if you’re like me, you won’t hold back

Spicy Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1 c. cooked black beans
1/2 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1 c. prepared salsa
1-2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and diced
1c. spinach, loosely packed
2 tbps finely chopped cilantro
1 green onion, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
2 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
1/2 an avocado
1/3 c. grated cheddar cheese (or cheese substitute)
Directions:
In a medium-sized bowl, roughly mash the black beans, leaving some whole beans to retain the texture. Add the next eight ingredients and mix until fully combined.
Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on the frying pan and spread half of the black bean mixture onto half of the tortilla. Top with avocado slices and sprinkle with cheese. Fold the other half of the tortilla over, and repeat with the second tortilla. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned, then flip and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
Serve with more salsa and a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.

Love,

Faduma

Thanksgiving

We are in what is known as the transitional time of the year.
You’ll see the headlines everywhere — How to transition your wardrobe from summer to fall — and they’re not entirely unhelpful.
This summer I became enamored with vintage-inspired fashion and oversized sweaters (I’ve super low white blood cell count, so I’m always feeling cold.) I would’ve lamented their loss if I thought I couldn’t wear them for just a little bit longer.
Thankfully, an oversized blazer proved to be just the styling tip I needed to transition it from wispy summer goddess.

I still can’t quite put my finger on; can anyone tell me how Thanksgiving is this week? I know everyone is already asking it, but where did 2018 go? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was laying out my goals and dreams for the year.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Its fall and the leaves are gorgeous, and everything looks beautiful (except when snow shows up October)!
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? We assume there will always be more of something — friendship, health, money, days of summer — I don’t regard what I have in the present with as much reverence as it deserves. I don’t want anything back, but I do want to practice gratefulness for what I’ve experienced. Life has kept me moving and going and achieving, just knowing there’ll be more of everything to come.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful day spent with loved ones; eating delicious food.

Love,

Faduma

Past and future letter to myself

I was recently asked to write a letter to my younger and future self for my linguistics class. It was very hard to write, but It was a powerful exercise that I believe everyone should experience. Here is my letter…

Sweet young Fai,

Where do I start… Oh, the places you’ll go – It seems like you’ll never leave your small town life, but all of this will change with years to come. Lots will change when you go to college. Your decision to do a study of abroad in London and move to the across the country for med-school will be stressful at times but you will be happy you did. The friends and memories you make will be lifelong. Those you meet on your journey will embrace you. As you meet new people, be kind. Smile, make friends, get to really know them, and treat everyone well even if they don’t.

Don’t waste any opportunities that are brought to you. Just one rare opportunity can change your life forever. Knowing all the elements in the periodic table may seem lame and nerdy in middle school, but believe me it will come in handy. You will have a career that will take you to places you can only dream of. That cereal you brag hooyo (mom) to buy for you and the fancy makeup at the mall that you cannot afford someday you will be the formulation Research Scientist behind it. So many great things will happen. I can’t explain to you what they are but you know soon.

Your body is embarrassing to you and your introvert attitude is intimidating to others, but you will realize is what makes you, you. You’ll grow to love it. Your circle of friends will change; and the ones that fall like leaves, will be the ones your mom have predicted. Her repetitive advice will finally sink in. See that your sisters are your best friends and biggest supporters.

I can’t stress how much your parents love you. They’re willing to do anything for you and will give up all to make you happy! Your dad will need you more than ever, especially the last year of his life – remember what he’s given up for you. Make sure you’re willing to give everything up for him. Your mom will go through many dark stages but you will all be her light. Sometimes it will be hard to stay in that “I’m so blessed” mode when part of your world is missing. But even with the biggest lump in your throat you’ll wake up with so much gratitude; because you know It Could Always Be Worse.

Hold tight to your beliefs, your love for God, and your roots. Somedays it will be difficult to give back and easy to give up on Somalia, but you will find a way for Somalia to love you as much as you love Somalia. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. There will be a lot of obstacles in your path. But remember, the struggle you go through will make you become patient, kind, compassionate and humble.

Love,

Future you

Dear Future Faduma Sahra,

Take a breath. I wanted to write this letter to tell you how far you’ve come, even if you don’t feel it. You’ve been doing this adulting thing for a while now, and it’s safe to say you don’t totally suck at it. I admire your passion for God, people, and travel, and I hope you never lose that. When life gets hard, I hope you always remember how strong, funny, and capable you are! May you never forget the times you’ve endured and use that strength and courage to know that you can overcome. May you always choose fear over comfort!

I hope you don’t allow the pressure and opinions of others to be a catalyst for decision making in your life. I hope you continue to put God first and keep building that relationship. Remember that this life is much bigger than you. I hope you continue to use your passion and purpose to propel others. On that contrary, I hope you married, the love of your life and you are living out of your dreams.

I can’t wait to celebrate the future with you, and watch you develop into who God’s called you to be. You are so enough, even when you don’t feel like it.  I would be remiss to end this letter without telling you how proud I am of you. You are one the strongest people I know. I love you so much, and I hope that you keep learning to love all the parts of you, not just the ones that easier to love.

Love,

Faduma

Pumpkin spice latte

I love love love Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. While I’m loyal customer, I often like to experiment in my own kitchen at home. Don’t get me wrong the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks can be fairly healthy (Steamed Milk , Espresso and Pumpkin syrup topped with optional Whipped Cream and Pumpkin Spice) however I knew I could replicate the recipe with an even healthier twist.

Ingredients:

• 2 cups non-dairy milk (I prefer Almond milk, but soy milk works well)
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
• 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or All Spice)
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Optional: Stevia or another sweetener to taste
• Optional: ½ tsp of instant coffee mixed with 4 tbsp. hot water

Instructions:

• Combine all ingredients except sweetener in blender.
• Blend at medium speed until smooth.
• If the sweetness is not to your liking, add sweetener to taste and blend until combined.
• Pour into a saucepan and heat, stirring at regular intervals, until steaming. Pour into two mugs and serve.
I thought this recipe was all too perfect… latte to wake up to. Why not add more pumpkin? 

Homemade waffles recipe

I love a stack of piping hot, golden brown waffles. I mostly eat them for breakfast, but they’re REALLY good for dessert too.
Waffles and ice cream is a total classic!

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Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
1 egg, whisked (Vegan – use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg)
2/3 c. + 1 tbsp Almond or (milk of choice)
1 tbsp jam (I used strawberry)
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just incorporated. Spoon the batter over your waffle iron and close the lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the waffles are firm and slightly crispy. If you’d like an extra-crispy waffle, pop them in the toaster for a couple minutes once they’re done cooking.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I love Pb&J sandwich (peanut butter and jelly) – I can’t remember if it was 7th or the 8th grade that my teacher thought us how to make jam but ever since then I’ve been making my own homemade strawberry jam. Pb&J sandwiches definitely came in handy when was broke college student.

Here is my quick and easy recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 qt ripe, organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3⁄4 to 1 cup raw organic sugar (or substitute regular granulated sugar), depending on the
  • sweetness of the berries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

 

Preparation:

  • Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring the strawberry mixture to a rolling boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and mashing the strawberries slightly (I used a potato masher for this). Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Put about a teaspoon of the jam mixture on the a plate and swirl the plate around. If the jam runs, cook for 2-5 minutes longer and repeat the process. (The jam should firm up when it hits the cold plate and should no longer run.)
  • Transfer to clean glass jars and cool. When completely cool, cover and refrigerate.

 

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