Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Absolutely ridiculous

But hysterical. The youth/music guys at the church I attend have waaaay too much creativity (and apparently, time).  Enjoy their latest:

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Who me?

A woman called me "beautiful" today. I've been having a kind of "confidence crisis" the last couple of weeks. My weight is up a little and won't budge. My running is slower than a year ago. I keep getting blisters (going back to Ryka running shoes). My clothes don't quite fit right. I haven't completed any of my planned projects for this summer and school starts in just over a week. (The workshop WILL be done tomorrow.) Suffice it to say, I feel substantially LESS than beautiful.

Then today. I was working in the Cafe at church, as I do every Sunday. Kiahla was on the espresso bar, so I was doing odd jobs: cleaning tables, pouring iced tea, fixing hot chocolate for kids (extra whipped cream), and making sure there are cream and sugar. Nothing fancy, nothing special. A customer was waiting for her latte and she said something--I don't even remember what-- but she ended with beautiful. The surprise must have registered on my face because she added,, "Every Sunday you're here with that beautiful smile and friendly spirit. You are beautiful." Wow. Thanks, Lord, I needed to hear that.

Then I decided to go for a walk. I downloaded one of Louie Giglio's sermons to listen to. It was the first in a series called, Wide Awake, and it was titled "Who You Really Are." It a nutshell, Passion City Church has been in a 30 day mission to "Receive Love and Reflect Love," sending out e-mails with a single scripture verse and the reminder:

Good Morning... just wanted to remind you who you are in Christ:
God-designed, purpose-intended, significant, lavishly-loved, prince/princess, son/daughter of the King of the Universe.

I had been reading the e-mails and even sending them out to friends whom I thought needed a boost. I hadn't really considered that God wanted ME to get the message. I am beloved. I am beloved of the Creator, who knit me together and knows me inside and out. Beloved. I know that. Apparently, I reflect that--even when I have nagging self-doubt. Wow.

That God can work through me when I'm not paying attention, or in the mundane tasks, is overwhelming. It also reminds me that people are watching--even though they don't know it. Finally, and most importantly, God loves me so much that He orchestrates words of encouragement in the most unexpected places.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Not Really a Recipe

Gluten Free Lemon Mint Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

First things first. I am not a chef. I'm not even a great cook. We have a saying in our home: "Mom cooks to fill the hole; Daddy cooks to fill the soul." My daughter, Carrie, has an amazing food blog with all kinds of terrific recipes that are both healthy and delicious. 

Having said that, I've had some success baking in my lifetime, and more recently, baking gluten free. Yesterday I hosted a creative event (another blog for another day) where a number of the attendees had gluten issue, so I made sure to have treats everyone could enjoy. The hit of the evening were the lemon-mint cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing. I promised a recipe, so, here it is...sort of.

I'm terrible about measuring--even when I bake. And I never write anything down. So, this is the closest approximation I can do. As I said, I'm not a chef. 

Lemon-Mint Cupcakes

1 package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix (it's mostly sorghum flour for loft and rice flour for structure)
1 lemon
A handful of mint leaves (the fresher the better)

Make the cake mix as directed EXCEPT:
    Finely chop the mint and add to the dry ingredients.
    Add the zest from the lemon plus a splash of lemon juice to the wet ingredients. How much is a splash? After zesting, I squeezed the lemon into the water--maybe a tablespoon's worth. Or less. 

Fill the muffin tins about half way, and bake according to package directions. I use an ice cream scoop to make sure most of the mixture makes it into the pan and the muffins are close to the same size.

Lemon-Cream Cheese Icing

1.5 packages of Neufchatel (light cream) cheese, softened
1/4 cup skim milk 
The rest of the lemon from the cupcakes ( no waste)  juiced to about a quarter cup liquid, lemon tidbits good; seeds, not so much. 
Scant teaspoon stevia powder
Powdered sugar---a couple of cups to make the icing thick enough to use

Blend the Neufchatel until smooth and fluffy.
Add the stevia to lemon juice. I heated the juice and stevia a few seconds in the microwave to help the powder dissolve. 
Add the milk to the cheese and stir in before adding the lemon (otherwise the milk curdles and that would be unpleasant.)
Once the lemon is fully mixed in, add powdered sugar until the icing is thick enough to spoon over the cooled cupcakes.

Spoon the icing over the fully-cooled cupcakes and let set up for 15 minutes or so. 
Add a fresh mint leaf as garnish.

Now, for a REAL food blog, visit A Guiltless Glutton and tell Carrie her mommy sent you!