Tag Archives: coffee

Deliciousness :)

At the beginning of summer, I had invited my friend over for a brunch. Because planning ahead is a personal forte, I made the menu days in advance and set out grocery shopping. I especially wanted to make banana bread, so I made sure I had all the ingredients on the recipe card from my grandma that I found in my mom’s cookbook.

Upon gathering the ingredients to get started baking, I realized I had forgotten the shortening. With my parents out of town,  I started to panic as I am not good with these mess-up-to-fix-with-different-ingredient kitchen professionals. So I just went to the computer. I figured someone else had been in the same situation. I was right.

I found this banana bread recipe on Simply Recipes (http://simplyrecipes.com). It is quite simple: no shortening, no problem!  You just replace it with butter instead. 🙂 I also added in some blueberries to the batch and once in the pan, I sprinkled (in very gracious quantity) nutmeg and cinnamon spices on the top before placing it in the oven. Simply DELICIOUS!

I just made another batch last night as I wanted it for a fast breakfast on the go, because Mom and I set out in the very early morning today for Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati for my MRI. Last night’s cooking experience was NOT as easy as the first time, due to the increased numbness and weakness in my hands; But the finished product was totally worth the huge mess I made in the kitchen otherwise. 🙂

Banana Bread

Prep time: 5 minutes (Not in my timing, but just what the recipe says, LOL)

Cook time: 1 hour


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • *Blueberries: approx. 1 cup
  • *Optional: 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon; 1/8 Tsp Nutmeg; 1/4 cup crushed Walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt (*and optional ingredients) over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. *Add in blueberries last. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. *Add cinnamon and nutmeg on top if desired. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

I mentioned to my interpreter this morning that I had baked this and she gave me the idea to serve with cream cheese. We just so happen to have whipped cream cheese in the refrigerator at the moment–I think I will try that on my next piece. 😀 Enjoy!

*I added in the blueberries and optional ingredients myself. It is not part of the original recipe:



Filed under Hospital Trips, Random, Uncategorized

“Awaiting a Cup of Coffee” and other ramblings…


It’s like waiting for a cup of coffee.

And while I feel like I sit around waiting for the brew button to shut off, I am finding that the cup of coffee comes with preparation. I wake in the morning and come to the kitchen. Lights turn on and the cupboard to the stash opens. I place in the filter and measure the fine grind coffee, often adding an extra pinch for a strong cup. I add water, push the start button and watch the coffee begin. The smell enters my nose. I get excited as I pull out a mug, the creamers, the spoon to stir. Then I wait.

Most days, I feel like I too am just sitting around waiting for the signal to turn off so I can grab my cup and go. Do something meaningful, something big. But God is showing me that while I wait for His timing on a job, there is work to do. There is preparation. I need to let go of my expectations, impatience, doubts that form in my limitations.

Then it happened. This morning the light came on and the door to my heart opened. I filtered my thoughts and measured the cost of saying “Yes, I will wait for the Lord.”  I added in His promises and watched the day begin. And in seeking Him, the sweet aroma of peace started to fill my body.

And I wait.

Psalm 40:1-5, 16-17 ESV

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told…

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Paintings, Random, Uncategorized

Goodbye, carbonated soft drink.


This is me. College freshman at best. It was the year I embraced carbonated soft drink’s invitation to lunch everyday, often getting together again for dinner or a late night study in the Student Union. Pepsi became my friend; the terms tea or coffee were unheard of in our conversations.

Things started to change my sophomore year–I was not as dependent on my carbonated soda friend. I started making new acquaintances in the social world of caffeine. I spent my time rotating between the new friends, such as soy chai, and my old soda friend…who by now had changed its name to Coke.

As I stared to mature, I added a few more friends: iced and herbal teas. All these caffeine friendships demanding my attention. Some days I would ignore them all; other days I found it necessary to enjoy one or even two. Don’t get me wrong, I still find my best friend is water, but on the downside–it is a bit bland.

So why all this? Because my friendship with carbonated soft drinks has come to an official end. I spent Monday’s car ride home lamenting on good days past–good times, good tastes, good vibes.

At the end of September, I started seeing colored spots. If I looked at you directly, you would have been green or black depending on the other lighting in the surrouding area. At first, it came and went…by the first of October I realized that the problem was happening more frequent. By the time I mentioned the problem to my parents (in which we decided this was something more than just fatigue or dry eyes), the problem was constant. Doctors sent me to a neurooncologist who discovered that my optic nerves were swollen (and I did have extremely dry eyes!)

I do not have tumors on my optic nerves, but there was pressure on the nerves from other tumors in the brain that made the optic nerves swollen, resulting in the colored vision. The doctor started me on a medicine that would decrease the swelling and keep the nerves stable. There were to be no major health side affects from the medicine and I was assured that I could be on this medicine for life if needed without it causing problems that you sometimes see in other medicines after taking them for so long: I would not become immune to these pills.

But there was a sacrifice: the only side effect that affected me personally was that these pills had a bitter revenge on my soda friend–so much so, that it would make soda taste like metal. I tried to keep upbeat about the current loss, which I deemed temporary. I figured I would be off the pills in no time! I just needed to get my optic nerves unswollen! 🙂 But after the next doctors appointment, it seemed that this was going to be a long-term situation.

I did not really lament much over winter: warm teas and coffees were satisfactory. Then I started having salads for lunch and the thought came to mind: this would be so perfect with a Coke. And then it started: my cravings for my carbonated soda friend! I had already experienced the metalic tasting soda once before and because I remembered how I about spit out my Sprite a few days after I started the medicine–I took a full embrace for ice tea with my salads instead. More specifically Arizona tea in the can! (The kind you find a gas stations for 99 cents.) The plan was genius! It made me feel as if I was drinking Coke, but I was not.

Then this past weekend: my first blunder resulting from hurried decision-making and McDonald’s lack of lemonade the day I order a meal to go. “No lemonade!?” I say–feeling pressure from the line behind me. I could have said, “Ok, well I will take an iced tea,” or substituted it for a Shamrock shake. But no…before I have time to think of the words coming from my mouth, I blurt out, “I will take a Dr. Pepper then.” What!?! Don’t ask. I don’t know where it came from either. It took getting to the car to realize my mistake. I went ahead and tried it anyway.

First sip: “Yeah, that is not a Dr. Pepper taste.”

Second sip: “This burns my throat. Maybe if I try leaving some fries in my mouth, it will help the taste.”

Third sip: “Nope. This is gross!”

Fourth sip: “I sort of taste the Dr. Pepper right when it goes in my mouth. Maybe if I swallow fast!”

I get about three more sips in, then abandon all hopes of enjoying my drink. It was then I realized, it is over.

So, my dear carbonated soft drink friend, I bid you adieu. I will no longer be tempted by your advertisements or have cravings for you when I walk down the drink isles at the grocery store. And if I do, I will just remember what the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “For everything that happens in life—there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven (3:1).”


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Funny Stories, Random