23 February 2013

Fully Belly - Full Heart


What sustains us in life is not just the food that we are nourished by but also by the people that we share the meal with.  There are the big, substantial moments in our lives where we lean on others or where we are the pillar for those who are fallen.  But then there are the other, everyday moments that are small and simple and perhaps at times seem inconsequential.  But those moments, the simplicity of just being with others that are actually the times that nourish our soul the most.  Last week I yet again hosted Fat Tuesday Pancake night at my house with 6 of my girl friends and this year not only served my famous Carrot Cake pancakes but I also added on these Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes.  It was a simple meal with pancakes & fruit salad accented by a table full of love, laughter and sharing. 
 

Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes:
Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup agave syrup

2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup milk (skim works)

Instructions:
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking power, spices and sugar/agave. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.


The winter edition of The Wilderness Girls followed this past weekend - four fun-filled days of playing in snow in the beautiful sunshiney Muskoka air.  There were snow angels, tobogganing, snow treks and of course and exorbitant amount of food! I was on breakfast duty this year and so one day we had nice healthy egg & avocado roll-ups but on our final day, I broke out a new Pinterest recipe of S'mores Pancakes.  They were as delicious as they sound.  Simple to make really and sooooooo disgusting in a very good, yummy kind of way!! 

S'mores Pancakes are really quite simple to recreate.  Using which ever recipe or mix that you usually do for pancakes, add in a cup of broken up graham crackers and chocolate chips. I of course didn't really measure this so eyeball it and if you think it needs a bit more, go for it.  This is not the recipe to think about "healthy".  Cook the pancakes as per normal and while they are cooking add 2-3 tbsp of boiling water to a jar of marshmallow Fluff to make a sort of marshmallow syrup..... Top pancakes with said Fluff syrup and you are good to enjoy your S'mores pancakes!! 

When shared with friends, calories and sugar content doesn't really count so don't worry about it!! These are definitely best enjoyed at the cottage.  I'd have to say that most things are best while at the cottage - I don't know if it's because we actually take the time to slow down, relax and enjoy.  Life passes so quick when we are focused on work and family and extra curricular activities.  It's sometimes hard to take those moments to ourselves to just recharge but at the cottage, when there are no schedules and no to-do lists, it's just natural.  You can spend the day sipping coffee and reading books or playing cards.  My Wilderness Girls are all so amazing.  They are sisters, wives, mothers, aunts.  They don't nearly give themselves enough credit for all that they do and for the lovely women that they are.  My battery recharges in those four days and my heart refills with hope.  The day after we return is a sort-of friend hangover because I am on my own again but luckily memories also sustain us.  I am a better person because of them and after close to two decades of friendship, I forever grateful.  

  

02 February 2013

Congruence

Congruence (≅) is the state achieved by coming together, the state of agreement. The Latin congruō meaning “I meet together, I agree”. As an abstract term, congruence means similarity between objects. Congruence, as opposed to approximation, is a relation which implies a species of equivalence.  

As individuals can we ultimately find congruence - whether it be with another person, within a career, in a location or just with oneself? Anyone who has read my rambling words will know that I often struggle with the question of where I want to be or who I want to be or where I want to go.  I find myself often using the term "when I grow up" when referring to the future which is slightly ironic as I pass through the mid-30's.  There are parts of my life where of course I feel grown up - like with my businesses - but there are also other parts where I feel like I've reverted back to a stage in my life where the path is yet again undecided. 

Or is congruence something we achieve over and over again with many people, in many places and while trying to find our way? Do the dots ultimately connect? Does just believing they will give us the courage to keep trying - to keep moving forward in pursuit of dreams or in pursuit of who and where we want to be? Are we aware enough to capture the moments or the lessons in life that shape us? As we move along a certain path are we open enough to change or to accept that perhaps our path will fork? I'm lucky in that I've found congruence with family and friends who are the constant in my life that allows me to further search to find the rest of the answers.  I don't know where I want to be or who I want to be with or what I want to do but I do know that as I search I aim to do so optimistically and with peace in knowing that it's ok to not know. I don't have to have the answers, I just have to have the guts to search for them.