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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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.

What Is Your FEED FEEDING You?

HEY HEY!

Today, I got to have a beautiful coffee catch up at my new work place, Pure Kitchen, with my bestest friend Daniella. Wise, beautiful, kind-hearted Daniella and I had conversations in which I gleaned insight, as per usual. Among other things, like the fact that she just came back from a week-long trip to ICELAND, we talked about Instagram, and how much time we spend this precious life scrolling through media on a screen that, we both agreed, we certainly weren’t meant to spend our time on; that we’re also more joyful and equipped to serve others and listen to others and be KIND when we’re NOT on it.

So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

Hebrews 2:1

With so many lives and opinions on display online 24/7, it can be so easy to compare, to judge, and to heed wisdom from untrue sources. What are we subjecting ourselves to every day? Is it based on truth? Or is it largely a lie?

Oh, Jesus, keep my eyes on You, on the Cross of Truth, Redemption, and Love, and not on the varying opinions of this world. Oh Jesus, stop me from glorifying myself. Oh Jesus, give me a heart that wants none of the glory and wants that you would be seen in me. 

Whether we’re aware of it or not, Daniella reminded me, we are affected by the photos we scroll by. Every body that we believe to be fitter is a reason to think we’re not created in God’s image. Every snapshot of life filtered and coloured to look perfect in the most trendy way reason to think that someone out there actually lives life in that filter and with that perfect camera quality when in reality, we ALL in live in a much real and more beautiful quality than any camera, and that is through EYES that are pretty magnificent on their own, created by the God of the universe, and I don’t want to miss a moment of what HE’S doing. I want to get to know my Father before spending eternity with Him. I believe knowing my Father in this life, so that I can help others more like He does, so that I can love more like His example, is the greatest way to spend this life.

I don’t want to waste another SECOND living in a lie. I’ve experienced freedom and joy incomprehensible, and His name is Jesus Christ.

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This weekend, I experienced that freedom in the form of my dear friend Michele’s wedding, which I attended with Johnny and our beautiful friends from Christian Studies. I vowed to be present in what the Spirit was doing and step away from my phone entirely. 

Johnny and I also attended the church Maddie leads worship at, where the pastor gave an incredible sermon that convicted both our hearts and led both of us to Jesus’ feet, asking His forgiveness and inviting Him to recenter us to Him. To selflessly love each other, and to do it out of loving Him first; out of His love. 

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I also experienced His freedom and joy at my amazing, beautiful, sister-house-mate’s grad recital, where she played her SOUL out on the violin and blew the entire crowd away, leaving me in blubbery tears. 

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Life is worth living, and “social media” is a paradox. There is nothing social about sitting on a screen, and I don’t want it to dominate my life.

He Goes Before Me

I am learning about how much editing gives me life. How passionate I am about editing grammar and writing, and how little it feels like work.

Since beginning to curate and edit content for the wonderful people at LeadManaging, I have also become interested in the housing and rental market. Be sure to check out this company if you are interested in renting a space to see just how they help to streamline and smooth out the rental process from beginning to end.

Today, thus, I was blessed to sleep in and start work a little later. Beginning the day with breakfast, coffee, and Master Chef in my PJs, plus much needed convos and prayer with some of my beautiful roomies, I took in how blessed I am… to have my amazing, hard-working Johnny near, trying to intentionally take in my gratefulness a little extra and praise God. Give it to God. Maybe ask Him about where I’ve been neglecting Him.

I am learning, as I prepare for a message series that we’re in at the church with our youth, that asking for forgiveness, of both Jesus and my loved ones, is something I seriously need to work on, with God’s help. 

Here, a wonderful teaching sent to me by my pastor about the practice of reconciliation.

All throughout the day, I was reminded in a variety of ways of just how important it is to serve. To truly value others, recognize their lives and their value, and that other people are living wildly different lives that we cannot judge. To trust God and love others through Him.

One of those people is my beautiful friend from work, Aneta, who is leaving to work at DISNEY WORLD for the whole summer. A few of us went for sushi tonight to celebrate her. She is such a light in my life and I will miss her dearly, but am so excited for the opportunity this is for her, and the plans the Lord has to use her there. And our lovely friend Ashlie so selflessly planned the dinner.

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Youth tonight was yet again another incredible reminder of God’s call to selflessness. With so many people in my life, I’ve had a tendency in the past to believe it is my job to help or “fix” a person; that I am defined by how helpful I am. But I know now that this is a lie– that only Jesus can truly heal. And what an amazing thing to know! He isn’t asking me to fix people, but He IS calling me to humble myself to obeying Him, which in turn looks like living for others; “laying down my life for others.”

Johnny came to youth to help for the first time, too, and it was so special to share this part of my life with him.

Tired and headed to bed, I am full of a grateful and praisenish heart granted by my Saviour, reminded of just how very much I NEED Him.

 

Avoiding Procrastination: How I’ve Learned to Use my Free Time Wisely

One of the biggest things I have struggled with recently is feeling like I am better, more righteous, and more worthy when I am busy and moving. In many ways, I have fallen for the trap of productivity being a god, and productivity itself being my purpose.

2 Thessalonians 3:11

We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

Even if I am hard at work, and with what I feel like is good intention, if my ultimate intention is to cross something off a to-do list a la me, it’s busy-bodying.

I’ve learned that there is a way to be organized and to plan my schedule righteously– and that WAY is with, through, and for God. 

When I ask HIM every morning what my day should look like, He sometimes places people on my heart. He sometimes convicts me. I am sometimes guided to ensure I have allotted time for prayer; and I am always prompted to selflessness. To loving my neighbours. To seeing work not just as a means of getting by for me, but as a ministry.

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A big part of every day that involves Jesus involves unwinding. My new work schedule involves most days at the cafe from 7-2, followed by my freelance work for a few hours, and open evenings, to be with Johnny, friends, and family. I like to go to the gym, to cook every night, plus there’s always cleaning the house, running errands, ensuring that I have time for things like reading…

it’s easy, especially in our Western society where busyness is glorified, for life to feel like a routine, and to become self-serving in that routine. But a life lived in partnership with Jesus is NEVER self-serving, for what He does is serving His Kingdom, in ways both inward and outward.

If you haven’t thought about talking to Jesus about your day-to-day, I would encourage you to do that. Just saying a prayer, Lord, how do YOU want me to spend my time today? 

I bet you will be amazed by what He does.

To thwart busybodyness, He does call us to rest.

Hebrews 4:10

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Here are some of my favourite ways to do so:

  • Reading for pleasure (I love fiction. I’m currently reading John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down) with a tea and in a comfy spot
  • Blogging (cassiescookery is my little baby)
  • Watching YouTube videos– I try to keep this time to no more than half an hour a day, because it’s easy for me to get sucked in– but I love a good vlog or recipe video!
  • Masterchef, This is Us, the Office– my current shows. I don’t want much TV, but with Johnny here, we watch one episode of the Office most days
  • Cooking/baking and blasting tunes; my absolute number one hobby!
  • Coffee with friends; talking to Jesus; journalling. All of these things are a part of rest, and I am always learning from Jesus Christ, my friends, and journalling.