“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get” ~ Oprah Winfrey
The weather in Iowa has been so beautiful this week. Perfect fall days if there ever were any. Our tree-lined street is so colorful and it's such a treat to have all of the windows open. I love to feel the breeze as it blows through the house
Yesterday I found myself in the middle of the living room floor folding a big pile of laundry. For some reason .. it's the folding that always seems to slow me down .. so I put off as long as possible
As I worked .. I was listening to Pandora and playing a game of fort with a kitty, the laundry basket, and a big fluffy towel. In between going through the repetitive motions of folding tees .. squaring up the napkins .. and an unsuccessful attempt at folding a fitted sheet (how anyone is able to do this is a mystery to me)
I was thinking about so many of the terrible things that have been in the news as of late. Of the friends who were at the concert on the evening of the Las Vegas shooting. Of all of the other images of people caught in fires .. hurricanes .. and other unfortunate situations all around the world. It can be so tough to watch and sometimes leaves me feeling helpless
So I simply sat and kept folding
As I did .. I realized how lucky I was to be doing such a mundane thing. Something that a few minutes earlier I'd been avoiding. I felt a deep sense of gratitude to know there were yet more things to tidy up outside .. after the sheet and I were finished having our moment
That the people and friends I love are safe
But I also know life can go from humdrum to harrowing in the blink of an eye.
So I realize it's a privilege to be in this moment .. blessed with its sense of peace and (relative) normalcy. I've always thought that if I'm fortunate enough to have both feet on the ground .. I should offer a hand to someone else. But sometimes I forget as I go through the checklist of my everydays
I think about a fellow blogger and kindred spirit on a quest to be grateful. I've loved following his weekly posts “70 Days of Thankfulness” .. a countdown of sorts until Thanksgiving. Traditionally the time for everyone to pause and remember how blessed we truly are
The stack of Thanksgiving recipes on the coffee table reminds me how excited I am to start experimenting. That in a month or so the big meal will be winding down. We'll be loading the dishwasher .. wiping the countertops .. and dreaming of turkey sandwiches
I've been thinking a lot lately about how to take that sense of security and gratitude and share it with someone who would be relieved .. if not thrilled .. to be sitting in their living room folding socks. Certainly, we all know how to do it via volunteering our time .. donating money or supplies. But actually doing it .. I suppose .. it the key
And so .. in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving .. I'm going to reminding myself that folding the laundry in and of itself .. is a blessing everyone deserves
We've been loving all things pumpkin at our house and these pumpkin blondies have made more than one appearance. I'll just get this out in the open .. they're absolutely delicious and such a fun thing to snack on this time of year
They're chewy, buttery, crisp and golden around the edges. Studded with chocolate and pecans .. with the flavors of pumpkin, almond butter, and a clever hint of cinnamon. The kind of sweet treat that everyone should make because they come together easily and taste a lot like your favorite pumpkin cookie
Topped with a drizzling of chocolate. It's all good news
~ Adapted from foodfaithfitness
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or other natural sugar such as Sugar in the Raw or turbinado)
- ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
- ? cup creamy almond butter
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate (optional for the drizzle)
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F
- Line an 8"x8" square pan with parchment paper, and butter to grease. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the dry ingredients and combine.
- In another bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, egg, and almond butter. (Making sure not to over-mix)
- Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
- Add the chocolate chips and pecans,
- Spread the batter into the pan and smooth the top until it's even
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Melt unsweetened chocolate and drizzle over the blondies (if using).
- Cut into squares.