Husband typically eats a bagel for his breakfast every morning, and I was getting tired of buying him commercially-made bagels from the store when I was convinced I should be able to make my own at home for far cheaper (and hopefully tastier). This year I’ve been really trying to focus on making my family as much real, from-scratch food as possible. We have kicked the restaurant habit, and haven’t eaten out dinner since last December! It’s been so awesome for our budget, and our health. I’ve actually made some really, really good copycat recipes from our favorite places, but that’s a whole other story for another day. So the last several weeks have been a flurry of bagel baking activity! I’ve tried my hand at all kinds…plain, cinnamon raisin, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon streusel crunch, plain with streusel topping, cranberry, orange cranberry streusel, and then this morning’s flavor of the week…blueberry with crystal sugar topping. Check ‘em out:
Don’t get me wrong, these were yummy, but I have to admit, I was hoping for a stronger blueberry flavor since the berries on their own were incredibly sweet and delicious. BUT the crystal sugar topping totally put these over the edge with its crunchy sweetness. Heaven! I’ll keep experimenting, but definitely will be adding the crystal sugar regularly from now on! What about you? Have you ever tried your hand at making bagels? Do you have a recipe you’re in love with the I absolutely have to try? Do share!
I love Pinterest, and let’s be honest…who doesn’t? I was checking out my boards the other day for some inspiration and noticed that I have over 7,000 followers! What?!?! Looks like some of you love baking as much as I do! :) It gave me the idea to start sharing some of my favorite things from Pinterest over here…and I’m starting out with my faves this year for Valentine’s Day. It’s only a few days away you know, and if you’re like me, you’ve got to plan not only the perfect thing for Husband, but there’s the kids’ class parties to worry about, too. And I myself like to get in on the holiday fun! So, here are my 2014 Valentine’s Day Pinterest Picks!
photo credit: respective sources
So much of Valentine’s Day is centered around sugar, and while I’m all for a sweet treat, I wanted to get away from the candy a bit and focus on the love! Of course, though, I had to include one cake! :) Hope you enjoy a fabulous day of celebrating love in your life!
It’s the end of the third week in January. Typically it’s around this time that the luster on a lot of people’s bright, shiny new year goals begins to dull…or fizzle out altogether. And this year seems to be no different for me so far. I loosely planned some ideas of things I wanted to accomplish, and so far, the only one that’s panned out with any consistency is following the reading plan for reading through my Bible chronologically this year…I’ve actually kept up with each day’s assignment. And while I’m super glad to be on track with that, there are still other things I’d like to accomplish and have just stalled out on getting started.
So, I was super excited when I found out this week that the next upcoming Proverbs 31 Ministries online study is going to be Made to Crave. Now, I read this book when it first came out, and let me say…it was life changing. Really. But a couple of years have passed, and I’ve lost the fire I had when I first studied the things that God has to say about my health, my body, my cravings, and my stewardship. And I’m excited to be doing it this time around with an online group that will provide feedback, insight, and some accountability from like-minded Christians who are facing some of the struggles I am. Sound like something you could benefit from? Then sign up at the Proverbs 31 Ministries Web site! I’d love to have some fellow friends from the Interwebs participate so we can support, encourage, and pray for one another!
The Monkey is four. FOUR! Took him yesterday for his four-year well check and he did such an amazing job! The kid is super happy and healthy, just the way he should be. He’s now 3’4″ tall, and weighs 34-and-a-half pounds (he doesn’t get to switch to a booster seat until he’s forty pounds, but I’m actually ok with that…it makes me feel a bit safer to still have him in a five point harness). He passed the hearing and vision screenings with flying colors, although we’re keeping an eye on him with color recognition…it seems he’s a little unclear about red and green, which makes us a bit suspicious about red-green color blindness. Although it’s more prevalent in boys, it’s usually hereditary, and there’s no family history of it. The doctor thinks it’s really too early to test him until they are confident he knows his letters and numbers accurately, since all of the color blindness tests require kids to identify either numbers or letters. Plus, it’s not a developmental issue and we couldn’t really do anything about it if he were color blind. It would be more for our information to help him adjust. I was actually surprised that this check-up included the round of vaccinations for kindergarten! Kindergarten! Seems so soon for that, but really, it’s not that far off…it’ll be here in a blink. I’ll keep trying to live with my eyes wide open…wouldn’t want to blink and miss this precious time with my Monkey!
Husband and I have been using our nightly Bible reading time together to do a chapter from John and a chapter from Proverbs each night. The week before last, we got to the scene of Jesus and the disciples in the upper room, and while Husband was reading it out loud to me, the Holy Spirit made me notice something I’d never really paid attention to before. Here’s the passage, with the parts that stood out to me:
“…He loved them to the end…the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot…to betray Him, Jesus…rose from supper…then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet…for He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet…if you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.’ When Jesus had said this He became troubled in spirit, and testified , and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me…That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.’ So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas…And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’…And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately.” ~John 13:1-30
Did you catch it? I hadn’t before…mostly I’ve read this passage as, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet…and then moved on to the rest of the Lord’s supper, the breaking of the bread and the wine, certainly important symbols and most often the focus of this passage. But this time I stopped. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. All of the disciples. All of them…including Judas. Judas, who, right after Jesus is finished with washing the disciples’ feet, actually gets up and leaves the event to set into the motion the plot to betray the very Lord who just washed his feet! I stopped in my tracks. This passage has haunted me since, I can’t stop thinking about it.
2013 was a difficult year in many respects…a year in which I was called to serve and forgive others in ways that, I’ll be honest…I just didn’t want to do. I’ve paid lip service and intellectual assent to my supposed forgiveness. And then I read this. And the Holy Spirit nudged me. That, even knowing that mere hours from this very moment in Scripture in the upper room that He will be dying on the cross, even knowing that mere moments from that one that Judas will go out to betray Him, even with the full knowledge of these facts…Jesus washes Judas’s feet. And right after doing it, Jesus says, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet…if you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
And so I was left asking myself…
Whose feet have I been unwilling to wash with forgiveness? Whose feet have I been unwilling to wash with my service? Lord, forgive me, and help me to be more like Jesus!