What I'm Into: November Edition

In the Kitchen
It's been stir fry's for dinner, and cinnamon everything.  Joy of Cooking Overnight Rolls, Joy the Baker's Cinnamon Popovers, and good old cinnamon coffee cake. I even tried making microwave cinnamon buns, but the real, yeasty ones were definitely the best. I bought a huge ten-pound bag of white flour from Costco, in the hopes that I can get some Christmas baking done this year.  I may be in over my head...

On my Night table 
Currently Reading: 
Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (Audiobook[AB]): I watched the movie a while ago, and decided to "read" the book to gain a better perspective.  Not sure how I feel about it yet.

Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God's Agenda, Henry & Richard Blackaby: So far, this book is great, and I'm getting some good insight into what godly leadership looks like.  It's tedious, but has a lot of great information.

The True Story of the Whole World: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama, Michael W. Goheen, Craig G. Bartholomew: We're studying this one in our weekly Bible study, and it reminds a lot of one of the classes I took in college.  Progress of Redemption took us through the Bible as a whole, with the focus being on Christ as the center, everything before Him leading up and pointing to His time on earth, death and resurrection, and everything after telling the story of His hope.

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (AB): I have heard of this book for many years, but now that I've finally listened to it, I want to buy it for our own home collection.  In my opinion, it's on par with the Narnia books in terms of the fight between good and evil, and good always winning.  There were some Biblical references, and many, many biblical analogies.  It's definitely a children's story, but has merit for adult readers as well.

Amity and Sorrow, Peggy Riley: I wouldn't recommend this book unless you feel like exploring the extreme oddity that is polygamous and cultish communities.  It tells the story of a woman and her two daughters who run away from their community and try to live in the 'real' world, juxtaposing their 'rules' and 'values' with a society where, to them, anything goes.  This book was truly disturbing, and exposed issues you would expect to find in a typical polygamous community, things such as brainwashing, emotional abuse, and incest.

Juliet's Nurse, Lois Leveen: I would highly recommend this book if you're a Shakespeare fan.  A new take on Romeo and Juliet, as seen from the nurse's perspective, is moving and tragic, but very enjoyable and detailed.

Through my headphones
Iesu dulcis memoria, Tenth Avenue North ft. Audrey Assad

The Piano Guys Christmas

Audiobooks - I love how I feel like I'm still getting books read, knowing that I can do it when I'm walking, doing housework, or nursing Adrian.  How convenient!

Sermons and The Current (CBC Radio Show- I love this one because I keep informed but I don't have to browse a newspaper)

Readings in my Bible
I downloaded the She Reads Truth app, which is a great devotional app for both iPhone and Android users.  Geared towards women, the app focuses on one particular theme or book of the Bible for a couple of weeks.  I just finished the study on 'Hospitality', and it was some great insight for me.  I realized that I don't let the Lord lead me to be hospitable enough, and I don't allow people to see me in my mess [without guilt, at least].  



When the Craving Hits...

The sweet tooth is unpredictable, or at least mine is.  Some days I can go without anything sweet, feeling so proud of my resistance to temptation. The next day, though...oh! how it hits me hard.  Wait, perhaps it's hormonal ups and downs?! 

Whatever the reason, I have recently discovered a little something that helps me during that sweet craving slump, specifically during the early afternoon after lunch when I'm a little tired, and also in the evening when I feel like ending my evening with tasty confections.

So here it is: Coffee Cacao hot drink

Mix 1 tsp instant coffee with 1 tsp cacao powder and cover with boiling water in a regular size mug. 

I usually drink this without any sugar (I sometimes add a drop of stevia), but it hits the spot.  If you prefer to add sugar, try a couple drops of stevia, or a little maple syrup.

Image Source

**Important Notes
  • Don't confuse cacao powder with cocoa powder.  Cacao powder is the cacao bean in its purest form.  Cold pressed and made into a powder, it contains many health benefits, including antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium.  You can get this at natural food stores or any grocery store that has a natural food section. 
  • Instant Coffee. I know. I went there.  People who know me know I drink my coffee black, so I can tell when coffee tastes bad (*cough cough Maxwell House cough cough*).  I picked up Giant Tiger brand instant coffee for a recipe, and was curious enough to try drinking it, too.  People, it's good! Don't believe me, try it yourself.  In a pinch, when you're desperate for some instant coffee, Giant Tiger delivers.
  • I have tried to double this recipe to make a giant mug, but for some reason it doesn't taste as good.  So I usually make another cup if I feel like more (again, the beauty of instant!) If you can figure out how to double the recipe to make it doubly delicious, please leave a comment.
I have discovered the joys of stevia recently, since it's a way to add natural sugar taste without the calories OR the added grams.  It is actually derived from a plant, and can be found in any grocery store/health food store in either liquid or powder (like sugar) form.  Be careful to check the label when buying stevia in packets.  I made the mistake of buying a brand that added dextrose!  
I would be interested to hear if anyone tries this delicious drink, and what you think/how you made it according to your taste.