Let me start with a recipe! This is the most wonderful cupcake I have ever made, inspired by my sister-in-law Whitney‘s birthday on Saturday. I cooked up a rainbow carrot cupcake with Meyer lemon cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of sweet and savory Middle Eastern spices on top. Please try not to get annoyed by all the corniness that is about to ensue, and let me tell you why this is the perfect cupcake for Whitney. First, she is sweet, a little spicy, and sister loves cream cheese frosting. Rainbow carrots because I love Whitney’s style and she always inspires me to wear more color. Meyer lemons because they are unique and gourmet, (just like Whit, obv). Last, the Middle Eastern spices because not only did we meet in Israel when she first met my brother in law Yoni while we were all living in Jerusalem, but Whitney and I both truly fell in love with food and started our journey of cooking in Israel. Thus, these were the cupcake version of a story, because I love to express my love with food. Happy birthday Whit, blessings for the best year ever!
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup room temp butter
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups grated carrots (rainbow if you can find them!)
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- juice of 3 Meyer lemons and zest of two
If you can’t find Meyer lemons I recommend oranges rather than lemons.
The spice on top is a combination of baharat spice mix, coconut sugar, and Himalayan pink sea salt. Mmmm.
Okay, now for the rest of the post! Guys, seriously, who took the past month and hit fast forward? It has been a whirlwind. My husband Mo was out of commission for about three weeks. It’s a long story, but the outcome was that first he saw one regular doctor who referred him to a surgeon who wouldn’t see him. Then he saw another doctor who referred him to the same surgeon who still wouldn’t see him, and she didn’t care when Mo told her that the surgeon wouldn’t see him. Then he saw one more doctor who prescribed him two very strong antibiotics and told him that if that didn’t work, he would refer him to the same surgeon again. All of this was stressful and felt incredibly hopeless.
I was not about to let the crazy world of modern medicine give my husband the run around, so I sprung into holistic healing action and called in all the forces I could think of. We managed to get him an appointment with a world renowned homeopath who happens to have an office in South Florida. This felt like it was meant to be, because I have been using her awesome book (with great success) to treat myself and my family for acute conditions for the past ten years. Then a friend connected us with her husband who is an acupuncturist. Mo started the antibiotics and I gave him all the safe and effective herbs that I know. Let me also mention that my champion husband went into work for all of his teaching hours for two weeks, holding on until Spring break. In his off hours Mo had to rest as much as possible, which was really hard for me and the kids. I felt so strong and so alone at the same time. It was a chance for me to flex my parenting muscles and be forced to connect with my kids in a very real and intimate way, because I couldn’t rely on Mo as much for his share of the parenting. I felt scared and alone, but also hopeful because I believe that a crisis of any kind can be a huge growth experience and a start of a new chapter. In this case, for Mo especially, but really for all of us, because we are a unit that travels through life together.
In marriage, and especially with kids, I have the opportunity to be challenged and shown all the things that are hard for me. If I allow myself, I get to notice the hurt places, and the things that make me react intensely. I also get to see the hard things that I can do. Every day I get up and do things that are difficult or uncomfortable, and sometimes, I get to be really brave. I always tell Ben that being brave means being scared but doing it anyway. I do that every day. As I become more aware of my own actions and motivation, I try to share with my family what I’m doing and how it feels. When I feel anxious, I tell Mo, because then he knows that I’m being brave, even if it’s just by getting out of bed in the morning. When I’m feeling tired and frustrated, I tell Ben, because I want him to see that I can be kind even when it isn’t easy. Not to say that I always manage to be kind when I’m tired and frustrated, but you get the picture!
I had planned to make this a post about my spiritual musings on the Passover holiday, but instead I felt like I needed to play catch up. The rest of the story is that Mo is healing and we are all growing, as always. I have tried not to feel resentful, but I was getting grouchier as Mo was getting better, like a delayed reaction to all the stress. I am trying to take time out to relax and keep talking it out with Mo as each day goes by. I can say that the more we practice honest and open communication with each other the easier it gets. We still fight occasionally (ahem, yesterday), but it feels like more of an airing out of confusing feelings that we then sort through together once we’ve calmed down. As I learned when I was reading about the Everglades the other day, a storm can be good for an ecosystem.
I will be back soon with more deep thoughts, photos, and recipes!
PS- I tried to take a photo of Ben and his friend Chloe sitting at the edge of the ocean today, but just as I walked away from the stroller where Ella was sitting, she took a nose dive into the sand because I had apparently forgotten to strap her in. Poor kid got a face full of sand, in her nose and mouth, around but thankfully not in her eyes. Geez. So just picture the cutest blondies facing turquoise waves and a grey sky. And if you want, my sweetest girl covered in sand like a little cinnamon donut hole. #momfail #happenstothebestofus