Carrot Cake on a Rainy day, Unfinished Puzzles and Rigors of Being a Student

As I sit here thinking of the list of assignments that I need to complete for the day I sip a cup of strong French roast coffee. As of now, I think West African coffee is perhaps my favorite.

I just love stepping out on my balcony in the brisk morning air with my coffee.

Right now, it’s very strange outside. The clouds are smoky and there’s fog everywhere, literally, blanketing the trees. Very humid too.

I just popped into the oven a carrot cake—because, Friday. Friday’s, I feel like, sometimes just require cake. Haha!

Before
After

Really, though, I think that cakes should set a day in the fridge after frosting for maximum flavor.

Wow, this cake bakes for an hour!

For me, baking, is a form of love. Baking is the perfect way to spread love to others.

I have a long laundry list of assignments I’m working on starting at 8:00, sharp. Unfortunately, knowing myself, that time will probably be not as sharp, as I would like, because sadly I don’t have wedding shoes yet. Honestly, I have tried on so many beautiful “no-go” shoes, so far. Sadly, none of which fit, so, I will persevere in the search. I’m thinking, though, that I will section out some time after lunch for that.

Aaah, psychology, it’s a hound for your time.

Though, I am so happy to be able to go to college and complete a degree. I think, often it is easy for me, to forget about how lucky I am to be able to pursue a degree or any further education at all. I think it is easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to pursue higher education as many people don’t have that option.

I enjoy getting wrapped up in studying the complexities of how the human mind works. How people think.

I am looking forward to putting all I have studied into practice. In my everyday life, I love listening to people.

My assignments for today consist of buckets of reading. I just developed a little office which makes for a good dedicated reading place.

And!! It’s going to rain today, hopefully. I just love watching the rain. And studying with the rain coming down outside my window really helps me.

I find it so mesmerizing.

Chili—To Write Home About

I grew up going to a small 1A school. During the wintersour wonderful cook, Jackie, would make homemade delicious meals for us.

The meals were always hot and sooo good!

Some of my favorites were the hot ham and cheese, which was a delicious pocket of ham and cheese with a gooey center.

Towards winter was one of the best times for cafeteria food, if you ask me.

When piping hot cinnamon rolls oozing with frosting were served alongside a bowl of steaming chili.

Yes, chili and cinnamon rolls, my friends, this is a match made in heaven.

Granted my fiance thinks that food combination is crazy.

Admittedly, my tastebuds are… how to put it….

interesting, unusual— dare I say, piquant taste preferences.

That’s a cool word. Piquant. Definitely, the word of the day.

ANYHOW

I thought, for sure, that I would never be able to top this chili of my dear childhood elementary school.

….Until….

Now.

I found a recipe for LOW-FODMAP chili that will turn heads. And people WILL ask you for the recipe.

Bet your bottom dollar.

This recipe is for approximately 3-4 people. If you need more servings double the ingredients.

Chili to Write Home About

1 lb. ground beef

4-5 Tb tomato paste

1 cup water (depending on how thick you want it could be less or more if you like it runny)

1 cup fresh or diced tomatoes (no onions or garlic added)

1/2 cup corn

1 T olive oil

1 tsp salt (I like to use sea salt)

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 cayenne

2 Tablespoons chili powder

A touch more salt depending on how salty you like your soup. Be careful if using sea salt as this is generally saltier.

Brown beef in skillet with oil. I didn’t drain my beef after this. After browned put beef in slow cooker (I used my instant-pot slow cooker setting). But a slow cooker would do the trick too.

Mix in all the other ingredients mix until combined. Cook 6 on high or 8 hours on low.

Serve with a spritz of lime juice, cheddar cheese, sour cream and crackers.

This chili, my friends, is something to write home about.

I hope you enjoy!

Coffee, Sunshine, God’s Grace to Perservere, Homily Reflection

       This morning began a little too early for my pleasing. 

The sun beamed through my window at the break of dawn. 

Which would be fine if the windows had curtains. The curtains, however, are not up. 

This morning is gray and rainy as I sit back and enjoy coffee on my balcony this morning the stray drip drip drips off the gutter spot my shirt. 

The sun glistens through my balcony now. 

What a beautiful reminder of God's grace as I persevere today through my studies. 


I'm considering this past Sunday's homily. The priest shared with the congregation that we must live everyday through love and not get to caught up in our own aspirations but awaken to what the Lord has for us to do that day, that hour, that minute. 

This caused me to think about how I am living and how I may not be living up to God's calling in my life. I have been reflecting about this during this chaotic time where every business needs all hands on deck and is hiring everyone and there dog, literally. 


It is a reflection that I am taking to heart.

He also reminded us of the Lord's enduring love. 

Which sometimes can be a struggle for me to embrace that truth, as a sinner. 



The priest reminded us that there is hope through God's grace and we must just follow him and not get caught up in our worldly ways, to the best of our ability. 



Those are powerful words and I can only hope in my little way to follow the Lord and do good. 

Sea-of-Galilee

“God’s grace

is sufficient

for me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

Stormy Day American Brownie

When I was young I often licked the brownie beaters.

I still make brownies on those cold, stormy unforgiving weather days.

It brings me joy to bake in my little kitchen. My apron tightly wrapped around me as I gingerly dip my head to examine the brownies rising in the oven.

If you find yourself in a similar rainy day need for brownies.

I love this recipe because it only uses one bowl.

Try my brownie recipe!

MAGGIE’S BEATER LICKIN’ GOOD BROWNIES


  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Nestle Tollhouse 100% pure cocoa)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. gluten free FLOUR (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Rising Flour)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • CHOCOLATE CHUNKS (ABOUT 3/4 CUP DEPENDING ON HOW YOU LIKE YOUR BROWNIES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Beat pretty darn well so that there’s no lumps. Add eggs one at a time beating after each egg is added then drip in vanilla and stir well.

Stir in flour and salt. Do not over stir!

Spoon into an 8×8 pan and spread evenly.

Sprinkle chocolate chunks on top of the brownie batter.

Bake 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven and wait a good bit to let the brownies cool enough. Then cut yourself a piece of Maggie’s Beater Lickin’ brownies and enjoy!


I gotta say baking has been such a relief for me during my classes. Wow, brownies give me studying “super-powers”, well, hah-ha, maybe that’s an EGG-ZA-GERATION!

Heehee, I couldn’t resist the terrible pun.

I love baking and am so happy to share my recipes on this blog and hopefully brighten someones day!

Ice cream and Suits

As my fiance held the door for me I felt the chill of the ice cream store. So pleasant compared to the ghastly humid weather outside.

For a second there I thought I needed to tap my toes together again.

(Dorothy pun intended… 😂)

The ice cream shop had rows of different ice cream lined up in rows, their metal circular rims shining and inside bursting with decadent flavors.

The metal circular rims kinda remind me of chicken coops. #farmgirl

I was floored. I mean I’ve never been to an ice cream shop as loaded as this one! Golly me.

I must’ve walked that row back and forth back and forth 10 times.

I first sampled the Sleep Deprived Parent. Which was solid! Espresso and chocolate malty flavors. I decided against it though because I wanted to get some shut eye that night.

After musing over so many flavors I decided that is go with blueberry cheesecake. DIVINE let me tell you! The cheesecake bites were so large and the blueberry was sweet, tart, and tasty.

During, this time my fiance and I talked about our wedding planning and the suits that need ordered.

We messed around with our design on our knot wedding website, too.

Strongly recommend for all the future brides out there.

I just received a free gift from them of two Mr. and Mrs. tall insulated coffee mugs. So cute!