Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Favorite Pumpkin Muffins

We love this recipe from Pamela Smith’s Healthy Living Cookbook—lower fat and sugar and still delicious. One can of pumpkin makes about 3 recipes. This batch is shorter and denser because I didn't have whole-wheat PASTRY flour. In that case, I usually use only half whole wheat, but didn't feel like dragging out two canisters of flour this time!

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated skim milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. honey
2 egg whites (or ¼ cup egg substitute)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray the bottoms of 12-well muffin tin with cooking spray
or line with paper baking cups.
Mix flour, sugar, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Add pumpkin mixture to
dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, each about 2/3rds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. (We found 15 to 20 minutes to be the right time) About 146 calories per muffin.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lessons from the Potter

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isa 64:8

Our youngest just finished a pottery class. The children began learning to shape clay on the wheel while also doing hand-built projects. I guess I didn’t realize how much practice it takes to shape clay into a usable vessel on the wheel. Here are some things Abby and I discussed about the potter and the clay. It warms my heart to think of how these apply to our relationship with the Potter, our Heavenly Father.

~Clay is not lovely to begin with, but has the potential in the right hands to be a thing of beauty.

~It must first be forcefully thrown onto the wheel and sealed around the edges so it will cling tightly and not be lost. These forceful movements yield to more gentle movements as the vessel begins to take shape.

~The Potter uses many muscles and movements of his hand to press the clay in just the right way at the right time, always keeping in His mind an image of the end result. Forceful movements give way to more gentle shaping as the clay begins to soften and yield. One forceful move when the clay is fragile or pressing too long in one spot would damage the work in progress.

~Sometimes the clay hurts the Potter as a rough spot brushes past his hands.

Father, may I learn to trust Your gentle hands to shape me into the image You have in mind. May I be moldable and yield to Your touch.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Birthday Treat!

Tuesday was a day for celebrating! Our oldest daughter celebrated her 21st birthday. We sent her a little "home away from home" package to brighten her day. She trudged through 5 inches of snow to the post office at college to get it.

A thrift store tea cup filled with Valentine candies...

A tea bag cozy (look familiar?) with her favorite Peppermint tea bag and a sugar packet tucked in also...

A microwave cake to make for herself, and another for a friend--smile--so she can share her birthday. In the back of the first photo, a heart-shaped wreath and a small dog calendar (not pictured) her little sister picked out and bought with her own money.
We called in the morning to see if she'd gotten it, but she hadn't gone to the post office yet. She sent me an instant message after she went to get it. I could tell she felt loved and missed.