food + drink

Moroccan Inspired Blessingway

Moroccan Blessingway Party

What is a "Blessingway," you might be asking? A blessingway is kind of like a baby shower for the new mama.  In our culture there's a lot of importance and pomp and circumstance given to a new baby.  Which is fair enough, a new human is exciting and should be celebrated!  But in all the hullaballoo about the baby, the fact that this other new creature is also being birthed-- the mother-- is forgotten and ignored.  We just expect women to shift into this new, completely life-altering role, as if it was like changing a pair of underwear.  

But it's not.  It IS life altering.  It IS important and deserving of creating a sacred celebration for.  Mothers deserve honoring, just as much as a new baby.  And that's what a blessingway is-- a celebration and honoring of the woman making the huge transformation from regular human to mother human.  I was given a blessingway by my best friends when I was 36 weeks pregnant and it was so lovely, so I wanted to do the same for them, now that they are both in their final month of pregnancy!

I'll pop the sources for everything I can link to down at the bottom of this post if you're wanting to throw a similarly styled party!  A lot of the stuff is either DIY or craigslist/thrifted, so some things I won't be able to link, but hopefully you can find something similar!

So what does one do at a blessingway?  Want to throw one for your pregnant mama friend? Here are some ideas for blessingway activities!  I'm not into the hokey activities that often accompany a baby shower, and thankfully blessingway activities are much more beautiful and simple.  Obviously you can come up with your own way to celebrate the new mother, but if you're looking for somewhere to start, here are some great things to incorporate:

Labor Bracelets
Get a long piece of string/twine.  Long enough to go around everyone's wrists in a circle.  Have everyone stand in a circle, and then pass the string around to everyone, wrapping the string around each wrist once or twice.  With everyone connected, have each person give the mother an affirmation or blessing, then cut the string between each person and have them tie it into a bracelet.  The bracelet stays on until the new mama goes into labor and then you cut it off!

Mother affirmation bead necklace
You can either have each person bring a bead to the blessingway, or have some beads ready if you don't want to make people procure a single bead.  Each person adds a bead to the new mama's empty necklace string/cord and as she adds it, gives an affirmation for labor or motherhood.  The mama can wear this or bring it to her labor so she can remember the affirmations as she's laboring.

Foot soak
Get a little tub big enough for the mama to put her feet in, put hot water in and some epsom salt and/or essential oils (make sure they are safe for a pregnant woman).  You can also get some oil and rub her feet after she's done soaking

Belly Henna
I had this done at my blessingway and it was so fun!  If you're decent at henna, you can get some henna and do a henna belly mandala design yourself, or find a local henna artist and have her do a gorgeous belly henna!

Flower crowns
This one is just for fun, but I love flower crowns.  At my blessingway they just got a bunch of flowers and the stuff to make flower crowns and we all made one.  For the blessingway I just threw I decided to just make two custom flower crowns for the two new mamas so they felt special and like mother goddesses. I've got a faux flower crown tutorial you can use, it works the exact same for real flowers.

Labor affirmation prayer flags
This is something I tried to do at my own baby shower actually, but it just didn't quite pan out. You can create some square blank prayer flags using just fabric, rope, and hem tape (you can use my bunting tutorial, this is exactly how I made the flags for the blessingway I just threw-- it's no sew!).  I just created white, blank flags, and we all went around writing labor affirmations on them, so they can hang the flags in their labor/birthing space and look at it while laboring. Labor affirmation examples are: Your body was made for this, Your body knows how to do this, Breathe, I am choosing love not fear, each wave has a purpose, open open open, my body opens easily and naturally, my breath surrounds my baby and opens the way out, I trust my intuition.

Oh, and make tasty snacks because everyone loves tasty food.  And hopefully your pregnant buddy has enough room in her torso still to eat lots of tasty things.

Macrame Table Runner : World Market | Colorful plates + cups : Michaels | White plates : Crate + Barrel | Poufs : D+K Renewal | Wooden Flatware : Amazon | Gold Sequin Backdrop (similar) : Drop it Modern | Table : DIY | Peacock Chair (similar) : Facebook Marketplace | Dip Dye Ombre Napkins  (similar, similar) : DIY | Rugs : Craigslist
 

Outfits: 
Kristina's Dress: Free People
Amy's Top: Free People
My dress : Thrifted | my shoes : c/o Modcloth | My hat (similar) : Forever 21


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Perfect Summer Raspberry Frosé Recipe

Raspberry Frosé Recipe

So I'm sure it's no secret that I'm loving rosé (along with everyone else, right?), and since hot summer days are nigh, I wanted to try my hand at some Frosé!  When Stevia In The Raw contacted me to see if I'd be interested in partnering up for a fun summer cocktail recipe, it felt like the perfect time to try making Frosé. 

Since I've been trying to keep my sugar intake down on Keto, Stevia seemed like a great way to give my Frosé some sweetness without the extra carbs, and it's a zero-calorie sweetener which contains extracts from the sweet leaves of the stevia plant.  It comes in convenient 1g packets, so you can easily pop one in your iced tea to add some guilt-free sweetness!  I wanted to add a little something fun to this recipe, so I included raspberries, but if you want to stay really low-carb, nix the raspberries in this recipe!

Raspberry Frosé Recipe

3 cups Rosé wine (I used Ruza from Winc!)
2 cups Fresh Raspberries
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Stevia In The Raw Simple Syrup

01/ In a blender, blend the Rosé, raspberries, and lemon juice.  Pour the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the berry seeds.

02/ Pour the mixture into ice trays and place in the freezer to freeze for a few hours.  Since there's alcohol in the mixture, it won't ever freeze solid (which is actually perfect for the texture!)

03/  Make Stevia In The Raw simple syrup by heating 1 cup of water with 1/8 to 1/4 cup Stevia In The Raw (1 packet of Stevia In The Raw® is as sweet as two teaspoons of sugar, so keep that in mind!).  Let cool.

04/ When you want to make your Frosé, empty the "ice cubes" into the blender and add 2 tsp Stevia In The Raw simple syrup (you can add more to taste). Blend it all together, (it'll quickly get a slushie texture) and pour!  Makes appx 4 servings.

I actually tried the Frosé with and without the simple syrup added, just to see how it changed the flavor, and I definitely prefer it with that little bit of sweetness added!  This is the perfect summer grown-up slushie, and I plan on spending the next hot day on my patio with a glass of Frosé!  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can keep it in the freezer until you're ready, so it's great if you want to prep for a party beforehand, or if you just want to keep it on hand for yourself!

Want more Stevia In The Raw recipes? Check out these summery recipes:

Raspberry Frosé Recipe
Raspberry Frosé Recipe
Raspberry Frosé Recipe

The product, information, and gift card have been provided by the makers of In The Raw® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the makers of In The Raw® sweeteners.

Cheers Delivered

Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow

I've pondered the idea of a wine subscription for a while.  I used to be a beer drinker, but as I've gotten older I feel like beer just makes me sleepy, so I usually opt for wine these days.  Even more recently as I've ventured into doing the Keto diet, white wine and rose have been my lifesavers as their pretty low carb (and my favorite summer wines anyway!).  So when Winc contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying their wine subscription I was like, um absolutely.

To be honest, I pick wines at the grocery store based on how cool the label is (sorry not sorry I used to be a graphic designer, I can't help it!).  So having a wine service that evaluates my personal tastes and then has a professional recommendation for wines is rad.  And you can pick how many reds vs. whites you want in each box!  So for this summer box I went for, you probably guessed it, all whites.  It's summer!  All I want on hot summer nights are chilled sparkling wine or rose!

I'm super stoked about Winc, and they were kind enough to send over a discount code for me to share with you guys so you can get $40 off 4 bottles too!  Just head to trywinc.com/lizmorrow to get your summer wine fix!

Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow
Get 4 bottles of wine for $40 at trywinc.com/lizmorrow

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Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Father's Day wasn't a big to-do around our house this past Sunday but I wanted to do something special for Dan, so I decided to make his favorite cake: Carrot Cake.  But Keto!  I always tend to give keto versions of delicious non-keto foods the ol' side-eye but this cake was seriously delicious. And with only 5.5 net carbs per slice, I can eat a slice for breakfast, ain't no thang!  

Keto Carrot Cake
Recipe slightly adapted from WholesomeYum


Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Erythritol (I use Swerve Confectioners)
  • 3/4 cup Butter (softened; I use Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cup Almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Carrots (grated, measured loosely packed after grating)
  • 1 cup Pecans (chopped; divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup)

01/   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9 in round cake pans (springform is best) with parchment paper.  Grease the sides.

02/   In a large bowl, cream together the butter and erythritol, until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Set aside.

03/   In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

04/   Stir in the grated carrots. Fold in the chopped pecans.

05/   Transfer the batter evenly among the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is spring-y.

06/   Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream cheese (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 4 tbsp Butter (softened, cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup Powdered erythritol (again, I use Swerve)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream (or more if needed)

01/   Use a hand mixer to beat together the cream cheese and butter, until fluffy.

02/   Beat in the sweetener and vanilla, until well incorporated.

03/   Add cream and beat again, until creamy. You can adjust the amount of cream to desired consistency.

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

Put it all together

If you aren't looking to make a fancy lookin' cake, you can just frost the two 9in. cakes like you normally would, with frosting between the layers and then on the top and sides.

I wanted my cake to have a little more style to it so I tried something new! I recently watched the Milk Bar episode of Chef's Table (if you aren't craving sweets, you absolutely will after watching it), and I loved how she used a plastic sheath mould thing (you can see what I'm talking about here) to create her naked cakes, and I also like how she deconstructed cake, mixed it with frosting and pressed that in to the mould to create layers. 

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

So that's what I did.  I took my two 9 inch cakes and cut 6 inch rounds out of them, then used the remaining pieces of cake and frosting mushed together and pressed that into the mould to make layers.  And I frosted it in a more "naked cake" style.  I think it definitely was more delicious with the layers that were frosting/cake mixed together than a standard cake-frosting-cake situation. 

I didn't feel like putting chopped pecans on the top, so I made a little carrot round flower instead, but if you want a more classic topping, cut up 1/2 cup more pecans and add those to the top!

If you want to get the nutrition info on this cake, head over to Wholesome Yum, the info might be slightly different as I didn't include a couple of the ingredients she used but it should be about the same!

Keto Carrot Cake Recipe

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Keto Chocolate Cookies

Keto Chocolate Cookies

Being on a high fat, low carb diet means that you can sometimes get cravings for baked goods that are off limits.  Luckily I've found some great recipes for keto-friendly goodies and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand the other day when I was having my cookie craving so I threw them together real quick, popped 'em in the oven and was happily munching on cookies in less than an hour.  The original recipe calls for chocolate chips which was the only thing I didn't have on hand, but next time I make these I will definitely be adding those for some additional gooey goodness.

Keto Chocolate Cookies Recipes

Keto Chocolate Cookies

(makes 12-18 cookies. recipe via peace love and low carb)
Ingredients: 
1 cup natural creamy almond butter
2/3 cup confectioners erythritol (I use this brand)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon melted salted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/ Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2/ In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, erythritol, cocoa powder, peanut butter powder, eggs, butter, water, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Using an electric hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are well combined. It will be a very thick dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3/ Form the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch balls. This will produce 12 good sized cookies. You can make them smaller to yield more cookies.

4/ Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. At the 9-10 minute mark, remove the cookies and press them down to keep them from getting to big and cake-y.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack to allow the cookies to cool before eating.

Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Keto Low Carb Flourless Chocolate cookies
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Cookie Recipe