Gift of all Gifts

I celebrated my birthday last week by working 5 AM-10AM and sitting in class until 9:30. My boyfriend took me to lunch where I got free pumpkin cheesecake, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Getting old already sucks.

My dad and grandparents came to visit on Thursday, the day after my birthday. I decided on Greensburg’s Joio’s for dinner. Joio’s is by far the best restaurant in Greensburg. Most people like them for their pizza, but I go there specifically for their Tomato Cream Sauce on Angel Hair. There really is something angelic about the plate–a huge bowl filled with skinny noodles and a sauce made from marinara and heavy cream.  I wish I would have taken pictures that night, or the next two I nights when I had leftovers. The portions could feed a family of 5.

After a great meal along with good conversion, my dad told my boyfriend to pull his car up because my present was heavy. I’m not one for big gifts, so I was nervous. You could hand me a million dollars and I wouldn’t look excited. I have a severe case of resting bitch face that I can’t seem to shake. Trying to show that I am surprised and happy isn’t my strong suit.

So we hopped in the car and pulled in next to my dad. He handed me a bag with something big and round in it, along with some cards. I felt around the plastic bag until I figured out what it was. The silver bowl that goes to my mom’s KitchenAid Mixer.


After he handed my boyfriend, the muscles of our relationship, the actual mixer, I gave my dad a huge hug. It couldn’t have been more perfect– something that was such a big part of my mom and my memories of her.

It’s corners are rusted and it’s missing a few pieces, but it’s everything I remember.

I tried it out the next day. No longer having to use the $5 hand mixer from Walmart that makes my house smell like it was melting is a big relief. That thing wasn’t going to last much longer anyway.

I have been attempting to make bread over the past year and both times it’s turned out like rubber and was inedible.

This time I took a shot at Coconut Banana Bread. I’m a sucker for banana bread, well, any bread really. I’m carbs biggest fan.

The mixer worked it’s magic, just as expected. The bread turned out as I had hoped. I’m not sure what the difference was, whether it was the ingredients or the mixer, but I’d like to think it was that little piece of my mom’s love that went into baking it.


Coconut Banana Bread


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 egg whites

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tbs skim milk

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix flour baking powder and baking soda together in a large bowl

In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, brown sugar, and vanilla

Add egg whites and mix until smooth

Add oul

Slowly add flour and mix until moist

Add Greek yogurt and orange juice.

Add milk (if desired for softer consistency)

Add 1/2 cup of coconut and mix

Pour into greased 9-by-5 loaf pan

Sprinkle 2 tbs coconut on top

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean



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