Soup Season

November 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Cold winds are blowing, vibrantly colored leaves are fluttering to the ground, and people are wearing tights as pants again, tucked stylishly into riding boots. A friend at work suggested The Pioneer Woman’s Potato Soup recipe¬† to me last week, and I’m glad she did. It’s certainly yummy and feels healthy because of the carrots. When I made it over the weekend it was actually still getting up into the 70s during the day, but yesterday was a blustery mid-40s and this soup the perfect comfort lunch.

potato soup

Self-Aware Baking

October 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

There’s an episode of Friends where Monica makes Christmas candy for her neighbors, and Chandler, in a moment of brilliance, questions her as to why she became a chef. “So people would like you”? he asks. Zing. She counters him right back, because, as we all know, Chandler’s jokes and one-liners serve a deeper purpose for him as well.

I’ve baked several good things lately, and I’ll admit to more than a passing familiarity with this fictional scene. I love to bake and enjoy what I’ve made, and sharing my experiments adds even more fulfillment to the mix. I like it when I’m proud of something I’ve made, and when others are enthusiastic as well.

IMG_5795But, in knowing myself more and more, sometimes my desire for people to like my scones/caramels/cookies turns into a need for their affirmation of me. It is a struggle, I confess, this wanting people to like me (and, moreover, to show it), and it’s been thrown into sharp relief as of late in specific relationships in my life. My desire for friendship and connection is genuine and good, but all too easily becomes what I’ve heard described as an “overdesire,” a self-centered interest. That’s a hard thing to admit, even more disappointing to realize that I’ve been struggling with versions of this same selfishness for most of my life. Yet, I am thankful for how God is using this in me. He is gentle in reminding me that I am accepted by him so that I can accept myself and I can accept others without burdening them to respond to me in a certain way.

IMG_5806I’ve been so wonderfully affirmed and loved by my parents, and that is one of the most defining characteristics of my relationship with them. And in turn, thankfully, their love reminds me of God’s love and encourages me to share that with others who have much the same need. Differently received or expressed than me, of course, just as tastes differ. As I made the pumpkin cookies below yesterday, I was still ruminating on all this, but maybe just slightly more so, I was happy to be in the kitchen, making something to share with people I am growing in friendship with. For once, I let the cookies be cookies and me be okay with me. IMG_5843

“Pretty” Good Pancake

August 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Leave it to Joy the Baker to come up with deliciousness, tastiness, and comfortingness and then make it work for one. I’ve made her single lady melty chocolate cake before and all the judges (me) agreed that it was fantastic. When I saw¬†her post recently about the single pancake and realized I had all the ingredients, well, pancakes were had this morning. I went with making two instead of one whopper pancake. On a related note, why is it that the first pancake always has issues? The pan wasn’t hot enough, you didn’t use enough butter, you flipped too soon or too wildly, it burns/doesn’t get done in the middle…the list goes on. In my case, maybe impatience to be eating the pancake causes any or all of these catastrophes. By the 2nd or 3rd pancake, I’ve usually hit a stride, but since this recipe only made two…it wasn’t pretty. But, as my family says “It’ll eat.” Or, in the words of The Black Keys: “the look of the cake, it ain’t always the taste.”

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I want to call those extra crispy bits on the first one “pancake cracklins” and market them cleverly. But maybe that doesn’t sound appealing to anyone else. I will be keeping this recipe on the fridge, though, for when the breakfast-for-dinner mood strikes. Look past the humble appearance of mine and make these yourself!

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