faith, freedom, food

Tag: #love

Blackberry Crumble

Blackberry Crumble

In case you didn’t know, I tasted the most amazing food in the world a couple weeks ago. An avid foodie– and, more importantly, an avid peanut butter lover– I was so intrigued when I first noticed Salted Caramel Peanut Butter (sugar free, whole foods, […]

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Raise your hand if you were a picky eater as a kid. (I’m raising my hand). I was the PICKIEST of the picky. I could count the number of foods I was happy eating on both hands (well, both hands if you’ll allow me to […]

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

When I first stumbled upon Curated KW, I was so intrigued.

Quite honestly, I wanted to WORK for the business, be a part of it in some way. I assumed, given the obvious effort and passion displayed in this initiative to help Waterloo Regioners understand the amazing deals and events going in their city, that it was a paid gig for its CEOs.

What I learned was that this beautiful account is actually a volunteer passion project for dynamic duo Shirley and Alyana.

Check out my interview with the girls to learn exactly why you need to be following Curated KW if you live in, or ever plan to visit, the Creative Capital of Canada we call Kitchener-Waterloo.

I don’t think I’ve ever related to anyone more in my life surrounding my passion for the local scene in our city, the reward that comes from pursuing a hobby, and the priceless beauty of food & fellowship.

Thank-you, Shirley and Alyana, for inspiring connection in our region!

The Power of a Friend Like Alicia: Three Things To Absolutely Always Be Doing, Everyday Period.

The Power of a Friend Like Alicia: Three Things To Absolutely Always Be Doing, Everyday Period.

The buzz of my alarm greeted my ears this morning at 5:30AM, and I found myself instantly missing waking up with the sunrise time on the daily for work. As I have transitioned out of a three-and-a-half-year period of working at coffee shops just this […]

My Ear Piercing Disaster, Redeemed.

My Ear Piercing Disaster, Redeemed.

Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced. And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity. Excessive? […]

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Optional Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Optional Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

I’m a big fan of single-serve desserts.

Mostly because dessert is my preferred meal, but certainly not everyone’s.

If I could eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… I probably would. And, tbh, I have.

But if you’re not like me, I bet you still crave cookies and baked goods at some hour of the day, but making a whole few dozen seems not only wasteful, but selfish, especially if you’ve no one at the ready to share them with.

Enter: the single serve Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie.

You could certainly multiply these measurements by 12 to make a dozen, or however many treats you wish. This dough would also make delicious bars!

It is also very easy to customize. Don’t have almond butter? Sub peanut butter, coconut oil, or plain butter. Play around with the sweetener you use, try blueberries instead of cherries, or replace the oats with normal flour!

Have fun with this concept. I would love to see what you come up with!

Single Serve Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

Ingredients

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp oats, ground into a flour (or sub regular flour)

3 Tbsp almond flour

2 Tbsp almond butter

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub stevia or maple syrup or white sugar)

1 egg

4 dark sweet cherries, quartered

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

For the drizzle

1 Tbsp almond butter

1/2 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp sweetener of choice

1 Tbsp almond milk or cream

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In blender or food processor, place oat flour, almond flour, almond butter, and coconut sugar, and blend just to combine. And egg and blend until incorporated.

2. In separate bowl, place cherry pieces, lemon juice, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture from blender to the bowl, and mi with hands or wooden spoon to combine. Add a bit of water or milk if necessary to make a smooth, consistent dough.

3. Grease a small pan or rimmed dish with cooking spray or butter. Press dough into dish. Bake in preheated oven for about half an hour, or until golden brown and slightly crackly.

4. Meanwhile, make the drizzle by placing all ingredients in a small dish. Microwave about 15 seconds, and stir to combine.

5. Serve cookie warm out of the oven with almond butter drizzle.

A Weekend In Paradise

A Weekend In Paradise

“Paradise.” That’s what my sister’s friend called my family cottage after just a few hours of exploring the grounds. “I’ve never been to a cottage like this.” Krystal, Johnny, and I exchanged satisfied glances; Aly was not wrong. Papineau Lake was not like most lakes, […]

05. Healing

05. Healing

This is the fifth instalment of six in my series telling my love story with my fiance Johnny. Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, Part 3, “Distance,” here, and Part 4, “Letters,” here. Following the grandly miraculous healing that Jesus reigned in over my life […]

04. Letters

04. Letters

Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here, Part 2, “Dating,” here, and Part 3, “Distance,” here.

It was our second New Year’s Eve together, over our first reunion during long distance dating, that Johnny told me there was something really important he needed to talk to me about.

Now, for some context. Before Johnny and I met, I had come through years of entrenchment in eating disorders. At the time we met, when I was entering university, my health appeared much better than it had previously, but my mind was still quite the war-zone. My brain was still hyper-focused on calories and lack of calories and minutes spent burning calories. And I hadn’t even admitted to myself, but, when Johnny left, that war-zone in my mind had waged harder, threatening to take over.

Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 SAMUEL 7:28

Since Johnny and I had just gone months without seeing each other, my decrease in health was apparently incredibly obvious to him when he returned. Not simply in my physical appearance, but in my mental clarity and focus.

Never once did I feel Johnny’s lack of love and support. He clung MORE tightly at first, and his gentle, loving promptings scared the eating disorder inside me.

But, Johnny soon realized that clinging tightly was not the answer to my health. If he truly loved me, he would have to let go.

So, New Year’s Eve, Johnny explained to me what he had prayed through. He felt strongly that God was asking Him to step away from being such an influential voice in my life, just for this next season. Johnny explained that he wanted desperately to make everything better, but he needed to act according to his belief that only God could remedy this dark mental illness, and Johnny didn’t want to stand in the way of that because he loved me too much.

We rang in 2017 crying our eyes out, as the eating disorder cringed because Cassie woke up to the reality of her sickness that day. Living this life could mean losing the love of my life… I couldn’t foresee it for what it was just yet, but I knew that I wanted to live freely and whole-heartedly for Jesus, and that the eating disorder was preventing me from doing so.

So, when Johnny left again for Winnipeg, we committed to no communication outside of letter-writing for the next four months.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. PSALM 9:10

I spent a large part of the coming months in spiritual therapy with some of the most humble and self-sacrificing people I have ever known. To read the full story of how God used this time to heal the eating disorder in my life, head here.

I was a new creation in Christ, and Johnny had shown his trust in both me and in the Lord during this time, which was HUGE.

May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. PSALM 20:5

I have also witnessed Johnny come through immense trials, honoured to walk next to him in his journey with Jesus. The time we both gave in which we synced our words with our actions– we trust you wholly and completely, Lord, so we’re going to surrender everything to you– glorified Him and taught us both so much in the process.

As Johnny last summer endured a lot of challenges and pain during a time that I was much healthier and more thriving, God shifted our perspectives yet again. I have watched Johnny grow from that difficulty in pursuit of God; watched God grant him an amazing job opportunity, soccer skill that blows my mind, and transform his character to become only ever more in the image of Christ. I am absolutely amazed by the grace, love, and genuineness of the man I get to marry.

3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. ISAIAH 51:3

02. Dating

02. Dating

All photos by the best wedding/engagement photographer on planet earth, Liam Good. Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here. That first coffee date made Johnny’s intentions even more clear. We spent it talking about what God had done in our lives, and to give Him glory for those […]