Saturday, October 26

GF Adventures: Homemade Applesauce

There's a nip in the air, the leaves are starting their slow cascade to the ground, and Starbucks has rolled out their Pumpkin Spice Latte; know what that means? Autumn must be upon us! I don't know about you, but my family has fall traditions that we always like to do: pick apples from an orchard, run through our local corn maize, eat our favorite carmel apples flew in from Minnesota, and pick pumpkins from the patch! 
Usually when we pick apples from the orchard we have an exorbitant amount of apples left over and there is only so many apples you can eat and so many apple pies you can make, so I decided to make my first attempt at homemade applesauce. 
After searching for the perfect recipe I decided to try our the Pioneer Woman's recipe, who also happens to be one of my personal favorites.  

Homemade Applesauce 


6 pounds Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices

1 cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider

Juice Of 1 Lemon

1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed

1 teaspoon Cinnamon, More Or Less To Taste

Optional Ingredients: Nutmeg, Maple Syrup, Allspice, Butter

Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Carefully puree in a food processor or blender (don't fill too full; split into two portions if needed) until smooth.
Store in the fridge and serve by itself, over pork chops, over ice cream, over pancakes...or any place where applesauce is needed!

Tuesday, October 22

Can't You or Won't You

"I trust you, I don't trust myself" I said through gritted teeth holding on for dear life as I glanced anxiously at my coaches face. 
I've pushed my body to its breaking point and done things I would've been scared to do three months ago. I've put my body through some of the most physically demanding challenges and come out physically exhausted, bruised, calloused, beaten up and to the point of vomiting, yet I keep coming back for more. However, there are still things I can't do, I can't push myself to do it. 

It wasn't until I was lying there horizontally, about 3 feet off the ground and he was telling me to let go of my arms so I would just hang by my feet that I cracked. He kept telling me what to do and all I could say is "I can't". He squatted down and looked at my in the eyes and said "You can't or you won't?" and I didn't know how to answer. I hung there for a moment and tried to release my hands but every ounce in my being was terrified that I'd fall to the cement floor below me and that'd be the end. "Trust me" he said and that's when I realized I trusted him 100%- I believed what he was telling me was true. He could've said anything to me in that moment and I would've believed him and trusted him; I just didn't have faith in myself, my own body and my own mind. 
The Lord says in Isaiah 40:11 "Do not fear, for I am with you" so why do we fear so much? I realize how much fear has held over my life. Fear of the unknown, fear of the known. Fear of failing miserably, fear of succeeding. Fear of the past but also fear of the future. So much fear and so little living.

Within those few seconds I had to chose to trust myself and have faith that I would not plummet to the cement ground. I let go and guess what, I'm still here today and hanging upside down isn't as terrifying as before. I put incredible faith in other people and even after being burned multiple times I continually put faith in others, yet I have the hardest time putting faith in my own self.  "Fear is an idea-crippling, experience-crushing, success-stalling, inhibitor inflicted only by yourself" Sometimes we are the ones standing in our own way. Trust in the Lord, trust in yourself, because He is always with you.

Let your FAITH be bigger than your FEAR. 

Monday, October 7

A New Season

"God prunes us when He is about to take us into a new season of growth & expansion" 

It's important to have dreams and aspirations, and I realize that more than ever today. I did everything 'right' in school, joined the clubs, worked the jobs, participated in the internships, graduated with honors in both degrees, and landed a fantastic job right out of college; every college students dream. Yet, I can't help but feel there's more out there than just a great paying job. 

What happened to spontaneity and adventure? What happened to adventures and stupid decisions? Ah. Adulthood. My life has become a routine of wake up, get to work before the sun rises, leave work, workout and get home after sunset. Shower, eat, repeat.

Don't misunderstand my words as complaints, I love my job and am ever so grateful that I landed a job like this out of college. However, as one of my professors in college pointed out, life is a lot more than having an amazing paycheck; it's about being happy. He made me wonder, am I happy? Or more importantly, when was I last happy?

Quietly and consistently I have felt the Lord leading me in a new direction. Sometimes it's scary to take a leap of faith and trust the small voice inside your heart; but when you finally do take that leap, there is an amazing sense of peace that overcomes you and when you look back that big 'scary' jump looks more like a hop. 

God is slowly transforming me for a new season in life, which is extremely scary and exciting at the same time. My future is a complete question mark but I know that my future is in good hands. There is more to life than our job title and the amount of money we make. We need to realize what makes us happy and strive to make that a priority in life and our job.

So here is to a new change in my life, a new path that God is slowly shaping me for, a new sense of freedom and excitement and a completely new season.

"God prunes us when He is about to take us into a new season of growth & expansion"