Elena is Two! (and a yummy Honey Vanilla Frosting!)

This past weekend we celebrated my daughter Elena’s birthday. We took her to the Zoo in the morning with my sister Katie (unmarried), my dad, and my sister Christina with her husband and two young children. Children are so wonderful. While going to the Zoo as an adult may not be quite as thrilling anymore, seeing the Zoo through the eye’s of your child makes it an exciting and interesting experience. Elena’s favorite animals were the monkeys.

(Before going into the Zoo, we stop to see a train)

Afterwards we came home for naps, and then had a feast of wonderful food for her birthday dinner. It was a relaxing and fun time.
Finishing up her birthday soup

We are so thankful for the privilege of being Elena’s parents. She has brought so much joy and happiness to this little family. She really is a sweetheart and though she didn’t seem naturally attracted to being physically affectionate, she now loves to give hugs and kisses. When her daddy leaves, if she is up, she will stand at the door and send many kisses and waves to him as he leaves.

Some of her favorite things to do are: Helping Mommy with her chores, playing with her blocks, reading books, counting, watching her learning DVDs, looking at her flashcards, and playing in her pretend kitchen. Since we have chosen to have me be a “stay at home mom” as much as possible, Elena and I do everything together. She usually will want to help me in the kitchen when I am making something. From a fairly young age she has helped stir, dump ingredients, and other simple chores.
The really sweet thing is that it’s usually her who comes up with a way to help me. She is very observant, so she will actually watch to see how she can help. For example, from watching me sweep, she knows that I need the dustpan. She will always go get it for me when I am sweeping. Or, if she sees I am going to feed the chickens, she will go and take the lid off of the trashcan we keep the food in.

We have been also very thankful that Elena has been a relatively healthy baby and child. Because I had a lot of antibiotics right after she was born, she was plagued with stomach gas for a long time, but we have worked hard to improve her digestive system and it seems to have really paid off.

I wanted to make a special cake for her (and, of course, I wanted it to be a healthy one!), so I made a Pumpkin Coconut Flour cake. It turned out great (even though I had to make it twice) and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

But today, I thought I would share this wonderful recipe for a healthy frosting that I used for the cake. I have always loved 7 minute frosting, but we always used to use white sugar to make it. I was thrilled when I saw this recipe in my Mom’s 1970’s era cookbook, Naturally Delicious Desserts and Snacks by Faye Martin, for a honey sweetened recipe. Oh, it was delicious. My only change was cutting a bit back on the honey. We were glad that we did, because it was very sweet, even with cutting back on the honey, and very flavorful. I have made just one change in the directions (they said to beat on low, I had to beat on high to achieve “soft mounds”.

Honey Vanilla Seven Minute Frosting

3 egg whites
2/3 cup of honey (I used a scant two-thirds a cup)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the unbeaten egg whites, honey, and salt into the top of a double boiler over hot water. Beat with an electric beater on medium to high speed, while you bring the water to a boil. Continue to beat for 7 minutes, or until the mixture forms soft mounds. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla slowly and continue beating until frosting is stiff enough to hold it’s shape.

Yield: 3 cups

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Linds says

    You just made my day! My son turns 3 on Wednesday and I was about to give in to powdered sugar frosting. Thank you, thank you!

    Also, I tried your “Mounds” Candy Bars over the weekend. We left out the almonds due to allergies but they were fabulous. Our company loved them!

  2. Alisa says

    Happy Birthday Elena! This is such a magical age. I miss when mine were little bits.
    That frosting is yummy.
    Thanks so much for sharing ways to make junk food more healthy for us all. I can’t wait for an occasion to try this frosting out.

  3. sarena says

    Happy Birthday. I love babies and I have 2 grandkids already and I am only 46!

    The frosting looks good but the only prob is that I would eat it all up!! Myself:-)

  4. Samara Root says

    Wow, she sure is so cute! I can see definite Paul and Harris in some of those different pics! Thanks for the crockpot breakfast recipe! I make oatmeal each weekday morning and usually forget to soak it the night before and then am usually late in getting it on the table (Tim leaves for work at 6:30)…so this sounds great! I don’t have a couple of the grains but I’ll experiment.

    Thanks Kimi!


  5. Heather says

    Happy Birthday Elena!
    What a sweet day you had. Thank you for the icing recipe. I really enjoy your recipes and other posts, so much so, that I have nominated you for an award. Thank you for reminding me to keep up with healthy living.

  6. Kimi Harris says

    I am so glad that you enjoyed them. It’s hard to go wrong with a recipe like that. 😉

    I will share it soon! 🙂

    LOL, I hadn’t thought of the frosting as “healthy junk food” before. I tell myself it’s gourmet, nourishing desserts (makes me feel
    better about eating it *wink*)

    Tell me about it…..


    Yes, I see those Paul and Harris looks coming out too! 🙂 I have such a hard time with breakfast as well. It can be hard enough to plan lunch and dinner!

    The FD,
    Thanks. 🙂

    Thank you! That was so nice of you! I so appreciate that! I will go and check it out!

  7. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home says

    Happy Birthday to Elena! I’ve actually never seen a photo of her before, but she is just gorgeous! What a blessing!

  8. Ruth says

    OK, I went here from Elena’s Pantry, as you mentioned making coconut whipped cream? Where is your recipe for coconut whipped cream?

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Ruth,

      I actually don’t have a recipe for coconut whipped cream on this site as I find that it is a little inconsistent. It’s made from the creamy part on the top of coconut milk. You chill it and then whip it with sweetener of choice. You just want to make sure that it doesn’t get too hot otherwise it will melt. 🙂

  9. Ruth says

    OK, let me get this straight.
    Buy a can of coconut milk (I use the natural kind, so it’s practically
    solid at room temperature, definitely solid in the refrigerator).
    Take the solid part off the top.
    Chill it,
    Whip it with a sweetener.
    So, since the kind I but is solid in the refrigerator, I just try to
    whip it??



  10. says

    It is a great fun to read about your precious daughter. I can imagine how you enjoy spending time at home together. Both of you are so lucky.

  11. says

    Hi Kimi,

    This frosting recipe saved me as I did a big blunder and ended up with sugar cake instead of sugar cookies. I am just learning this grain soaking routine. One question I have is what do you do with the leftover frosting? Will it keep for a bit?

  12. Kelsey says

    Your site is such a gold mine!! You make it much easier (and more delicious) to eat nourishing foods. Even deserts! Thank you!!

  13. says

    Is it possible to make this frosting in advance or will it lose its form? My daughters 3 year birthday party is Saturday & I would like to make a healthy cupcake/frosting this year. I would like to prepare them on Friday to minimize craziness the day of. Your thoughts? Thank you!

  14. Jill Pond says

    I made this frosting yesterday for my daughter’s birthday today- it was very yummy.

    The only problem is (being a novice baker), you didn’t say whether or not to leave at room temp or refrigerate… I’ve now wasted 6 eggs and gobs of honey and have a sore shoulder from beating the stuff and have to make new frosting. Sigh. Please specify what to do with the frosting if you aren’t going to use it immediately.

  15. Melissa says

    We made this for my daughter’s 4th birthday, and everyone loved it. She wanted pink, so I added just a little puréed beet to part of it. It turned a very gaudy pink. It looked fake. We piped some pink on top of a layer of white. She was very happy with it.

  16. Micah says

    I’ve never made or even eaten 7 minute frosting. This stuff is delicious!!! I helped my 12-yr-old daughter make a chocolate cake. We used your ganache recipe between the 4 layers & this 7 minute frosting on the top & sides. I confess I finished the frosting that was leftover with a spoon! We have to wait for my husband and boys to get home as the cake is a surprise for them but I’m tempted to serve dessert before soup tonight! What is the best way to store the leftover cake, in the fridge or on the counter?


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