Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eggless Waffles

So, my delightful husband requested/demanded waffles for breakfast this morning. However, we had no eggs, and I had to get creative. Fortunately, we typically have yogurt in the house, so I was able to tweak something to get the job done. I'll admit, they didn't taste exactly like waffles, but they still tasted good. Hubs described them as tasting like the bottom of a cupcake. Not too bad for an early morning experiment....

1 3/4 c flour (I used bread flour, so that may be why they were more like a cake)
3 T sugar
1 T baking powder
6 oz. vanilla yogurt (one of the single-serving cups)
1/4 c oil
2 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients separately, beat together, and then add to dry ingredients.
Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
Prepare according to your waffle iron's specifications until golden brown.

I wager that I used too much vanilla, but they turned out well. I thought the bread flour would help them stay fluffy, so that's why I didn't use all-purpose. In the event that I am lacking eggs in the future, I would make them again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

I set out to make muffins for our Sunday school class this evening. It was easy to find recipes that aren't healthy, so I had to get creative. I'm pretty pleased with the results. 

So, without further ado, I give you the recipe that I found online and then hijacked. 

1 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 egg
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c granulated white sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1c + 1 T plain yogurt (vanilla would work too, and then you can cut out some white sugar)
1 c Craisins (you can use fresh or frozen if you prefer, but sweeten them if you decide to go that route)
3/4 c white baking chips

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. 
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda and blend all together. 
In a medium bowl, combine egg, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, applesauce and yogurt. Whisk until smooth.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir as little as possible until mixture is moist throughout. Fold in Craisins and chips. Bake for about 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Voila! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Ultimate Minimalist

To begin, I must be honest - I don't have much exposure to the minimalist style of thinking, but I have true admiration for the people living this out. What little I have learned thus far has led me to believe that Jesus is a stellar role model of minimalism.
When I started researching for this post, I was disappointed to discover that I didn't have much to go on. I found only a handful of blogs written with a similar topic. I'm not opposed to doing my own digging, by any means, but I have to admit: I was hoping for some training wheels. 
(This is bound to be rough. I haven't done much writing lately, and I hope you can stick with me through the rust. It is highly likely that I will ramble, or have no logical transitions between ideas...)
As I began considering this topic, the very first passage that came to mind was Matthew 19:21. 
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." The background story is that a rich man came to Jesus, asking what he had to do to go to heaven. Jesus tells him this. The rich man left. He couldn't do it. He wouldn't let go. Jesus knew that the rich, young man loved his stuff more than the things of God.  (A tangent concept I gleaned here would be that if you choose to live with a limited number of possessions, but are doing it without a purpose to further the Kingdom of Christ, then why bother?)
The problem I found with using this as a strong example of a Biblical stance on minimalism is this: theoretically, a rich man could be or become an excellent minimalist. Because of that, I have to move on. Pursuing passages that discuss wealth are not what I'm looking for. This isn't about riches. It's about stuff. Or so I thought...
One of the few articles I did find regarding the Bible's take on minimalism had this to say: "Are you counting your possessions because you'd like to have insight in the number of things you own, or so you can brag about how little you own on your blog?"
This clicked for me. Pride. It's still a sin, no matter what the current culture has managed to label it. So it turns out, for some people, that getting rid of all your stuff only highlights your weakness. God may command you to get rid of all your belongings, but I promise it's not going to be so that your pride finds a new venue - it will be to humble you. It will be because He called you to do it. I'm certainly not saying that any individual leading a simple life is automatically on a special "list" God has of those He's going to use. But it does bring us here:
"Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes..." Luke 10:3-4a. Jesus spoke these words to his followers. Specifically, He spoke them to those who were sent to cities ahead of Him. His messengers. Just before that, "Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'" (Luke 9:58) Christ Himself had no earthly possessions. He set the example. 
We know, because of Luke 12:15-21, that we can't take our stuff with us when we die. "Then He said to them, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.' And He told them a parable, saying, 'The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.' But God said to him. 'You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?'" (Emphasis added. Personal pronouns, much? Think this may perhaps be indicative of something?)

It all boils down to this: Who do you worship? Who do you depend on? 
I'm not telling you to go and live a certain way. Only you can decipher your calling. But if you do it without His guidance, your minimalist living still won't fill that hole in your heart. 

*All referenced verses come from the New American Standard Version of the Bible.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Way to twist my head up...

Sometimes you can't justify an action. Or a response. Sometimes all you can do is make excuses. But that doesn't make what you did wrong. It also doesn't make it right.

I can't remember when life got so complicated.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review: The Fiddler's Gun

It's been a while since I've picked up a book that made me want to write a review. I've spent a lot of time comparing everything I read to Twilight, and since I'm so in love with Edward Cullen, it's been hard for anyone else to measure up. To find great reading, I had to break free from vampires and try something else - something totally different. I went back to my "old faithful." Historical fiction is a genre I hold near and dear to my heart. The Fiddler's Gun didn't let me down.
The book is written by A.S. Peterson, the brother of one of my all-time favorite singer/songwriters, Andrew Peterson. I have to be honest - I thought A.S. Peterson was one of Andy's pen-names. Despite that misconception, I was captivated by this beautiful and refreshing story, and I am amazed that this is the author's first novel.
When a man writes a book with a female as the protagonist, you can't ever be sure of the end result. I was so pleasantly surprised and entranced by the character, stamina, and depth of Fin's persona. The story begins before America reaches the brink of revolution from Britain. Fin's character develops from childhood to womanhood, and the reader lives this transformation. She is such a believable individual, and I immediately felt a connection with her temper. (There may be a few people who think I happen to have a short fuse.) I don't want to give away the plotline, so I won't go into detail. However, it was a phenomenal read. I'm sometimes tempted to skim through sections of some stories, but I read each word of this tale. I'm very much looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel, Fiddler's Green