Monday, December 31, 2012

Reminiscing the Old and Planning the New

I am a planner. I like to plan things out, lay it out in manageable stages of logic of where I’ve started and how it will end. Starting things and ending things have always been a relatively easy task for me. The middle part on the other hand… not so much.

December passed by in a blur of anxiety, accomplishment, illness, sorrow, and people. There was a week following my final papers that consisted of a 101°F fever, coughing and sneezing and fairly vulnerable. All the plans I had for December, all those recipes, climbing problems, and yoga practices, didn’t happen. And for once, my plans to have everything done on time, precise and accurate, were tossed to the wind to make way of a much-needed break from it all. I slept. I wept. I ate. I loved.

I feel so grateful for this “shift or be shifted” year, with months of “aha” moments and triumphs and changes:
January was all about trying new ways to be physically active and making the perfect cornbread recipe.

February was a month of adventure, learning about various eating lifestyles, and the start to taking photography seriously as an art form/science.

March was the month of honoring my progression and loving myself, regardless of the bumps along the way.

April celebrated my one-year blogversary with what I learned and what I planned to learn before April 2013 rolled around.

May was the start of understanding how diet and exercise helped in healing a hypothyroid condition. Oh, and let’s not forget Graduation, which inspired me to continue my academic career in the graduate program in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

June was an honest month, and finally realizing how important taking care of myself really is.

July was the start of experimenting with pareve bento box snapshots, heartbreak on multiple levels, becoming adamant in weekend farmers markets, and supporting local food sources with a social justice twist.

August brought with it a movement of fermentation and homemade nut butters, personal growth and graduate school classes.

September gave me my first product review and coming face-to-face with hidden depths of life's grievances and growing pains.

October brought series of hard lessons, new priorities, a deeper relationship to family that will always be there no matter what, and loving all things simple.

November was my month of experimenting with Primal Blueprint eating, playing with gluten free beer, and twenty-three things I learned by my twenty-third birthday.

And December finished the year on a sweeter note than I could have ever hoped for.

With the last day before the New Year, I thought to share a recipe I was quite proud of. Even with many of December’s plans (there’s that word again) left undone, I have had plenty of time to get ready with January’s plans, more so intentions than they are resolutions. 

Happy New Year, everyone. Have fun and be safe!

Winter Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies (inspired by this recipe)

150 g Garbanzo bean flour
75 g Flaxseed meal
75 g Coconut flour
50 g Mesquite powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Raw cacao powder (regular cocoa powder is fine)
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1/4 tsp. Cracked pepper
125 g Unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
175 g Honey
1 Large egg

Measure out the flours, baking soda, and spices and pour into the bowl of the food processor to mix (a few pulses should do for mixing just fine).
Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs, and then add the honey and egg until a sticky ball of dough forms.
Remove the dough from the food processor and mold into a thick disk to wrap in with parchment paper or saran wrap.
Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface (I used additional garbanzo bean flour).
Using your choice of cutters (I used my Ikea animal shapes, plus a few people, hearts, trees, and moons), cut out the shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
Bake for 12-15 minutes (my oven’s baking time was between 13 and 14 minutes), or until lightly golden-brown.
Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Continue cutting out the dough and baking until all of it has been used.*
When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations of your choice, but they are delicious as is and perfect for dunking into hot drinks.

Makes (roughly) three dozen cookies.

*Be sure the baking trays have cooled down completely before adding another batch!

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