Perfect Single Serve Pancakes

My roomies will tell you that my breakfasts are always some sort of sweet thing in a bowl in the microwave.

I don’t know if it’s for the sake of saving time, but I love making microwave creations because they’re easy, so filling, and so delicious. Plus, things in bowls always taste better than things on plates in my humble opinion.

So today I took my pancake recipe, tweaked it a little, and made single serving pancakes in the microwave.

Drizzled with peanut butter and maple cream, and topped with warmed cherries.

Single Serve Pancakes

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup flour

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 cup milk or dairy-free milk (I used cashew milk)

1 tsp lemon juice

1 egg white

Method

1. In small, microwave-safe bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

2. Microwave 2-3 minutes, or until desired consistency.

3. Serve warm with toppings of choice, ie. maple syrup, berries, banana, peanut butter, Etc.

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Taking Advantage of My Gift

Today was my writing catch-up day. One of the least exhausting days I’ve had in awhile. I’ve been able to set up my schedule so that, while I work at Pure Cafe Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri, I work from home (or, in today’s case, Starbucks) on Wednesday. I slept in until 9am, got straight to writing, took one break to watch Masterchef and have brunch, and then wrote for the rest of the day.

And let me tell ya kids– when I’m just writing, or editing… basically when I’m in words– time just flies. Like, I am in my happiest of happy places, and feel sooo called to just write and write and write. It pours out of me, and I’ve finally embraced it as one of my gifts.

On Monday, I chatted with Josee about gifts, and how, sometimes, we think our gifts are unmerited when they come naturally to us or seem to flow too freely. Rather, I’m learning to embrace that writing is a gift that I am not only passionate about, but feel called to embrace.

So writing, reading, learning all day, I was so in my element and returned there when I came home, blasted music, and made dinner for Johnny and I to have quickly before youth tonight.

I have so learned that the most important thing about youth nights is connecting and being present with these kids. Sometimes I’m tired and my mind wanders, or I feel misplaced, but I know what comes with being in high school, and I’m learning to embrace being able to support and teach and love students where they’re at.

And being with Johnny, even in our often tiring and busy season as of now, is such a blessing, as he is my best friend, such a comfort and confidant, and someone I get to just be totally real with… he is working sooo hard and I am so proud of him, and to call him my boyfriend.

Top 5 Lessons I’ve Gleaned from Workin’ and Uni-in’

I am going on my fifth year of working in customer service, and entering my final year of my undergrad degree in English and Christian Studies. I am a very different person than I was before working and uni-ing, and I definitely believe for the better.

The top five things I’ve learned over the past four years:

1) Love trumps, period. So, being there for my friend trumps my to-do list. Laughter and spontaneity with friends trump watching Netflix. Having a conversation or connection with a customer trumps cutting orange slices or pouring mocha sauce or wiping a counter for the billionth time.

2) Routine is important. I just had an awesome conversation with my friend Josee about how, while routine has been a chaining, destructive coping mechanism for both of us, it is also one of our giftings, and something that, when given to God, is often necessary in our society in order to serve Him and serve others.

3) Quality over quantity. I have finally learned that I don’t want to do a billion tasks half-heartedly, but to do what I am doing with care, quality, and commitment. At the moment, I am taking on probably more than I’m called to be, and I acknowledge that. With a “spread too thin” summer, I know I need to alleviate some stress in order to serve without constantly feeling overwhelmed and busy.

4) Learning is such a blessing. I adore school. I love books. And I love learning. Absorbing information from previous theologians, thinkers– children of God– is the next best thing to me to absorbing the Word of God itself.

5) All jobs are about “customer service.” Whether dubbed a “customer service” profession or not, any meaningful job is about serving people, and, if I’m doing so in allegiance to God, that serving will be beneficial not only in the way of the material service, but the exchange will be fruitful in some way, too.

What Precedents Professionalism?

In many circumstances, I often feel the need to facade professionalism, or to “put it on.”

At work as a barista and server; in meetings marketing my freelance writing services; even with my kids at youth, sometimes I believe a lie that professionalism is a trait that I need to pull out of thin air and put on as my armour.

A little voice says, as long as you look professional and act put-together, that’s all that matters.

What is this thought based on? Where does it come from? Is it true?

Today at work, I was thinking about the person I am at the beautiful cafe I work at as I made a latte between customers. In the midst of our lunch rush, from about 11:30-1, my interactions with customers are often reduced to “I can help the next person… what can we get for you?” Going through the motions rather than approaching the soul.
And my allegiance, above a business and above a facade, is to Jesus, who loves these customers as His children, and who calls me to be real. To put on the armour of Christ, not a made-up armour that won’t actually shield or protect, because perfect professionalism doesn’t exist.

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What is Jesus’ professionalism? It’s stopping to listen to my roomies. Stepping out of my own bubble. Living allowing Jesus’ promises to speak over my life. Living open to the fact that I’m loved. Living knowing that I’m no more or less loved than the person I’m serving coffee, or writing for, or sitting next to on the bus.

What precedents professionalism? What is more important than perfect? 

It’s holding myself to the standard I’m called to, and therefore holding others to it, too. Of grace, and not perfection. Because perfection doesn’t exist in any person besides that of Jesus, and it’s only when I lean on His very present Spirit that I can live out of His compassion, patience, and love. I often ignore Him. I often walk my own way. But I want to follow Him, and, contrary to what my brain and the world try to tell me, I know that my strength is so, so, so weak, where His is astronomically great.

Hearing about this Jesus for the first time?

Well, He is for you. He is for everybody. He loves you infinitely more than any human being loves you. He formed you in His image, and He simply invites you to talk to Him to receive His love and word. Relationship with Him moves on from there. Recognizing His voice and movement in your life is just the start of that.

Is He speaking to you today? Wanting to change up the routine way you’re living? Wanting to help you to see individual souls throughout your day rather than just more consumers and customers? Wanting to fill you with joy, hope, and purpose?

I am not perfect, and false professionalism will look false. But Jesus’ professionalism is for my good, and I’m learning how glorious it is.

Chicken Burritos or Pasta

Out of feeling stuck in a dinner rut, and wanting to make something both my boyfriend and beautiful friend Maddie would enjoy, I whipped up this quick and versatile recipe for chicken burritos! Yummy, bacony, and a little bit spicy. Enjoy with your favourite taco toppings!

This delicious and easy tomato sauce is so versatile and can also be served over pasta or another grain.

5 flour tortillas

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 T tomato sauce

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch pepper

9 large leaves romaine, chopped

1 1/2 cups black beans

1 1/2 cups chopped chicken

2 strips bacon, cut into small pieces

1. Combine tomato sauce and chicken broth in small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add all spices.

2. Add bacon to a medium skillet and cook over medium heat about five minutes. Set bacon aside; leave grease in pan.

3. Add chopped chicken and beans to pan and cook stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add in the beans and then pour the broth mixture over top. Stir well; simmer on low about 15 minutes. Turn off heat to cook completely.

4. To assemble burritos, line rice, meat/bean mixture, and lettuce leaves up on centre of each tortilla. Roll up as desired. Serve with toppings of choice (ie. shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa).

The Value of Intentionality

It’s been so heavy on my heart of late– the importance of giving my 100% to everything I am called to do. Whether that be my job as a barista, my studies, my relationships… where Jesus set the example of being so present with everyone He was with, I know that He calls me to be the same.

Where vegging and indulgence can try to seep in and become the thing to serve, the false god, I know that my God is Truth, and that to serve Him means to care about others, listen to others, and be truly and unconditionally there for the people in my life.

And so today, when multiple times I was at a crossroads of serving myself and my flesh or serving Jesus and His Kingdom, my flesh and own desires won out sometimes, I realized, and would win out every time I didn’t pray, give these things to God, and ask Him, even quickly, what HE would have me do in the situation.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one. Galatians 5:13

For example, I really wanna take a nap, but this friend has something important to talk about.

I really wanna cross ____ off my to-do list, but I know I need to pray about this. 

I really want to get this letter written and out of the way, but I know it deserves time and prayer and thoughtfulness. 

Overall, I’ve been learning the value of quality over quantity in sooo many ways. Jesus has been breathing this Truth over so many aspects of my life. Here are some Truths I’ve learned, both big and small:

  • a task really well done and allotted time for and cared about is more helpful than a million tasks done at 50% effort
  • a really good, life-changing conversation in which God was glorified because His Spirit was actually consulted and therefore a life was changed for His glory is better than a bunch of little conversations where the Spirit is not consulted because of burnout or laziness
  • I am not immune to sin, and I need to ask others’ forgiveness when I’m in the wrong and convicted of it

I am on a journey of seeking God and being continually reminded of His Mastery and of how much I need Him.

Lord, be my One and Only. Remind me of the fact that my life is purposeful when I give the wheel to You, because You already have it. I surrender my heart, my desires, and my days to You. Amen.

Get to Know the Blogger: Five Random Facts About Me

I used to be a major tomboy. Up until second grade, all of my friends were boys, and I only wanted to hang with the boys. I didn’t have much interest in dolls, but rather cared about video games and dinosaurs and, more than anything, sharks.

I used to do the “Peter Piper” tongue twister at school talent shows.

I was never really aware of what other people thought of me. As a kid I was unapologetically myself, and, in elementary school, that involved an unlikely preoccupation with the art of tongue twisters.

I first said I wanted to be a pastor when I was 8, going on 9.

I remember hearing a sermon that God spoke into my heart, realizing that HE was the true longing of my heart, of all our hearts, and our healer. That if He was the only eternal thing, that if I believed He created me and had a plan for me, I was probably meant to get to know Him. So I accepted Jesus as my Saviour at this time, and since then have been on a journey of responding to a call to ministry, of continually being reminded of my need for my Father and Saviour, and dumbfounded by His greatness and the masterful way He works.

I have always been an extrovert.

People give me life. I’m not shy and love meeting new people. I feel called to people and large groups and individual lives. But I also have always craved and thrived off bouts of alone time and independence.

I finished a novel when I was fifteen.

It’s 300 pages long and I don’t know how I did it. I am proud of it still, but wish I had waited to write it when I was a bit older, as the naivety of my age shines through in even the storyline, although I suppose I might always feel that way looking back at a piece five years later!