Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pinterest Fact, Fiction, or Fix? Glazed Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread

So I was browsing through pinterest yesterday and I found a friend had posted the recipe for a Glazed Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bread.  I looked at the recipe and saw that it was low in flour and decided to try it.  To find the original recipe you can click on the link here.

Picture from lovelylittlekitchen.com

Well I made it and this is how it turned out:

Sadly most of it ended up in the garbage.  There was such a strong taste of vegetable oil that it completely ruined the rest of the ingredients.  It want to put out there that my vegetable oil was old, so that may have been part of the problem, but it also lacked a certain sweetness. I decided that this was definitely a fixable recipe, so in an attempt to fix it (and still remain partially healthy) I changed the vegetable oil to coconut oil and added honey:

Author: Amber Dean inspired by lovelylittlekitchen.com
Makes: 1 loaf
Dry Mixture
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Wet Mixture
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (add more if needed to thicken)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
Mix all of the Dry mixture ingredients together and let them rest.  Pre-heat oven to 350. Then mix all of the wet ingredients. Slowly combine wet ingredients in the dry mixture.  Mix until both are properly combined. Do not over mix.  Put in a greased bread pan and bake for approx 45 mins.  Take out and cool.  
This is what the new loaf looked like:

 While the bread is cooling mix up the glaze and apply to the top if the bread after 20 mins.  This will fill in the cracks and keep it moist.

Prepping the glaze

 I forgot to take a picture of it glazed before I took a bite.  Oops!

With glaze

 Testing the fix.  All in all way better.

Time to dig in!

I liked my version so much better.  Will I make it again?  Probably not.  It was super moist and filling, but it was not sweet enough for my tastes.  However, this recipe would be good if you think banana bread is too sweet.
Overall this was a good Pinterst fix :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pinterest Fact or Fiction: Snickerdoodle Muffins

So when I was out with friends this weekend they mentioned snickerdoodle muffins.  "That's awesome!" I thought, so I immediately went on pinterest and found a bazillion different recipes for them.  I picked one that I had all of the ingredients for and here are my results:

I took the recipe from here.

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling*
1.Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.
2.In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar and nutmeg.
3.Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally.
4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar. Place muffin into muffin tin. Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 12 to 14 muffins. Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes in a 350F oven or until they are golden brown.

I mixed everything as described above and here is what it looked like in my mixer:

From there I put the batter in the muffin cups (I didn't roll in cinnamon-sugar like the recipe suggested).

Instead I sprinkled it cinnamon-sugar on top!

Put it in the oven at 350 degrees F.  In my oven it took 27 mins of baking.

The results are delicious!

Pinterest fact or fiction...Definitely FACT! :)  Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Giving in, not giving up: My wacky approach to lent

Every year I get the same question: "What are you giving up for lent?"  In the past I have given up facebook, reading for pleasure--by far the hardest thing I have done for lent--TV, and ice cream.  This year I went into it with, really Lord I have to give up something?  Thankfully I prayed about my attitude and what I should give up.  Instead I received a different answer.

Here is pretty much a summary of our conversation:

Instead of giving up something and saying "no" how about saying "yes?"
Well okay God, but that seems too easy.
Just trust me.
Umm..okay God, but you seem to be letting me off easy.

Becoming the "YESwoman"

I am sure he was really laughing at this point (saying yes has been far from easy, but more on that later).  So off I went on what I was sure was my easy journey through the Lenten season.  I have never seen the movie Yes Man but from the synopsis that is pretty much that I am doing.  I won't go into detail too much of what I am doing, but I have meet some extraordinary people these last few weeks.  I have had a glimpse at the ministry that Jesus must have had, and it has deepened my appreciation to a whole new level.  In the last few weeks I have met all kinds of wonderful people from all walks of life and have had my eyes opened to their pain.  I am so thankful for such an amazing Saviour and I am really glad I know him.  In just the first few weeks of this Lenten season I have had my world shaken, and I cannot wait to see what the rest will bring.

Peace and Love to you all!  (I know I sound like a hippie)   :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Don't Blame Barbie

With Christmas fast approaching there has been a new trend in girls toys.  There has been toys that focus on engineering and math focused at girls.  There are also toys that are generated to help girls deal with self-image.

Photo from buzzfeed.com

photo from buzzfeed.com

Recently I came across a "more realistic" doll.  This doll comes with stickers of stretchmarks and zits that you can put on her(see it here).  This is the counter-culture backlash to the unrealistically proportioned Barbie doll.  While I applaud the attempts of this company to make normal look beautiful I had one major problem.

Barbie was not the one who told me I wasn't beautiful...

People say there are a lot of factors that are influencing the way women feel about themselves--including the hyper-sexuality that the media and advertising moguls want you to think is prevalent. It is true that while I was in a store the other day I saw a Sports Illustrated magazine calendar with Kate Upton on the cover and did feel undesirable, but it made me think "when did I start to feel this way about myself?"

I had a pretty good sense of self esteem growing up. I went to a small private school where I was often the only girl in the class.  It was not until I went to high school that I started to feel bad about myself.  Was it the media that had finally started impacting me?  How about the boys catcalling me in the hallway objectifying me?  No, it was my fellow female schoolmates.  They ultimately are the ones who told me I was fat, ugly, and obviously gay because I was in 9th grade and didn't have a boyfriend.

Standing up for the little gal...

"You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores."--Ms Norbury, Mean Girls

There is a huge problem in this world.  Women are not sticking up for other women.  In a male dominated culture, we should be sticking up for each other, not tearing ourselves down. Make no mistake, I am not a femi-nazi, but I believe God created us Male and Female, not Male and lesser being.  

Getting back to the point though...I don't blame Barbie for making women have low self-esteem.  I blame ourselves and our daughters.  We need to stop this continual wheel of self flagellation by teaching our daughters that we are all created in God's image, that we are all beautifully and wonderfully made.  We need to create a culture of love and respect.  So next time instead of blaming Barbie for your low self-esteem, think what can I do to make my daughters (and sons) instruments of change?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I won't apologize...

What are you not apologizing for?

If you are like me at some point in the day you go over to your computer, you pull up your internet browser, and open facebook.  You are browsing through all of your friends posts and you see it, the terrible, ineffable, superfluous relationship post.   It usually goes something like this,

"I am so excited that we are celebrating our 3 month anniversary!  I love you so much John Doe!!!!!  I cannot believe I have been blessed with such an amazing, wonderful, and handsome guy!  On top of all of that he took me to etc......."

You know how much I want to gag when I see these posts? I know what you are thinking, "Hang on Amber, haven't I seen you post something like that?"  The answer is yes, but let me get to that in a minute...

When I see such posts I usually have 3 main reactions

1. The "Oh Honey," this reaction is meant in the best way possible, but after being married for a couple of years I feel pretty safe in saying you are in the "honeymoon/newrelationship/delusional bubble."   This is not a bad place to be.  In  fact it was one of my favourite times of my life.  I approach this with the cynical "just you wait and see" attitude.  The just you wait until you get sick of X and he leaves out Y on the floor all the time.

The thing is, is this attitude right? The answer to that is probably not, but I discuss that later on :)

2. The "Quick Where is the Puke Bucket," sometimes this is just so nauseating I cannot help just clicking and removing the post from my feed.  The rest of this feeling is rather self explanatory.

3. The "Who Do You Think You are Fooling," we all have those friends that are constantly posting all of their relationship problems on the internet.  So if you post you hate your significant other one day, don't expect me to believe you the next day that you had a complete change of heart.

photo taken from actlikeaman.org/

Why are you telling me all of this Amber?

You know when I mentioned above about being guilty of this.  The above is to showing my previous attitude towards these posts.  There have also been several blogs this past summer written by single people that I have seen agree with my sentiments, but my attitude has changed. I occasionally still gag at a post or to, but I'll survive.  

So why am I not apologizing?  Is it to rub my married happiness in my single friends faces?


Marriage is hard work.  In fact I can say it is the hardest thing I have ever done/taken part in, but it has been far been the most rewarding.  Did you ever notice in the bible that Satan did not tempt Adam and Eve until they were together?  I do not think that is a coincidence.  So I am not going to apologize for the occasional syrupy posts I have, but I believe that everyday we stay together, as a slight symbol of the love Christ has for us, learning that love is more about giving than taking, is worth celebrating.  I will also let you in on a little secret...our significant others LOVE when we brag on them in public, so brag away! 

Blessings to you all,


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Two of the reasons my childhood was awesome!

Okay so Mom and Dad both have birthdays coming up soon, so I thought I would write a post about a few of my favourite memories growing up.

My mom's birthday is coming up first so I think she will go first.  To be honest I am pretty sure I had the most wild imagination out of anyone growing up, add in my extreme passive aggressiveness and you have a child that does things like tearing wall paper off of the wall when she is put in time out, and spending many hours dancing around the living room.  One of my favourite memories from where I was younger was our Mother-Daughter dates.  There are two in particular that I remember very well.  My mom introduced me to the world of ballet around the age of 3 or 4.  She took me to go see The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky.  I had the book growing up and I listened to the tape endlessly.  I was so captivated by the ballerinas and I remember the sugar plumb fairy scene in particular.  It was so beautiful!  This started my journey into dance.  Another memory I had was when we went to Summer Hill Farm.  This is a wonderful place.  It is basically a farm that was turned into a restaurant and a boutique shop. My mom let me pick out one thing. I choose a bar of lavender soap, and to this day lavender is one of my favourite scents.

I also have two favourite memories with my dad.  We are both huge scifi fans.  I can remember sneaking in to watch star trek while I was supposed to be in bed.  I blame the wrinkles on my forehead from all of the hours I spent as a child trying to look like Worf. I have always had a love of space and astronomy.  I will always remember when I was in third grade my dad let me watch Star Wars.  You may be thinking "so what, what is so special about that?"  Well the best part was it was during the Perseid and the Orionid showers that I got to stay up late watching Star Wars so we could sit outside in lawn chairs later watching the meteor showers.  One of my other favourite memories is when the Lord of the Rings movies were coming out.  We always made a point of going opening night-even if we had to drive 45 minutes away to the town of Fosston to get tickets.  The night of the Two Towers release we went to the Great Wall Buffet.  For some reason they had the best crab legs there.  To this day we still call it the "Two Towers Crab."

Well Happy Birthday Mom and Dad!  I love you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Singing in the storm

Sometimes you get thrown challenges out of nowhere.  It is how you deal with those challenges that makes you who you are.

I got in a car accident when I was 18 and sprained my upper and lower spine.  It usually does not cause me problems except lately my entire back is throbbing.  I think a lot of this is due to the stress in my life, but I have also been hauling boxes of books around lately so I think that is part of it too.

Anyway the point of this post was not to throw a pity party, so here is the point.  I went up in church to receive prayer for my back.  As per usual God was not content with just dealing with my physical pain.  A person told me that when I am feeling down I need to sing.  I doesn't really matter what or how I sing, just to sing.

So I thought why not, what is the harm?

There have been some tough challenges in my life this week that have been slightly overwhelming so I tried this singing this and it has greatly helped me.  One of the songs I have had stuck in my head is a song we used to sing in school so I thought I would share it:

When the storm roars,
When the storm roars,
When the storm roars all around,

When the storm roars,
When the storm roars,
When the storm roars all around,

I am weak,
But He is strong,
By His strength we move along.

When the storm roars,
When the storm roars,
When the storm roars all around,