Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins

Today I ventured out of my comfort zone and created my own recipe.  I had been looking for a good gluten free carrot zucchini muffin recipe to hopefully deceive my child into eating vegetables (yes, despite my best efforts, my one year old has decided that from now on he will only eat blueberries, oatmeal, peanut butter, and banana bread).

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins
Yields 24
These muffins are loaded with carrot and zucchini and are super healthy with no refined sugar!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Wet ingredients
  1. 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  4. 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  5. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  6. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  7. 2 tsp vanilla
  8. 2 cups grated zucchini (approx 1 large zucchini)
  9. 1.5 cups grated carrot (approx 2 large carrots)
Dry ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (see my blend below)
  2. 2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1.5 tsp xanthan gum
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350* and fill your muffin trays with muffin cups
  2. Mix together eggs, honey, butter, coconut oil, applesauce, coconut milk and vanilla
  3. Add in grated zucchini and carrot and combine
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients, then slowly add into wet mixture until well-combined
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake at 350* for approximately 20 minutes (or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean)
My All-Purpose Gluten Free Blend
  1. I make my own AP GF flour. For 2 cups of flour the ratios are: 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP of white rice flour, 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP of brown rice flour, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of potato starch, 1/4 cup of tapioca starch.
kathleen berbec http://www.kathleenberbec.com/

Earl Grey Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I am completely OBSESSED with Earl Grey flavoured-anything.  I’ve been meaning to make Earl Grey ice cream for awhile with my ice cream maker, and FINALLY got around to it!  It turned out ah-mazing, even if I do say so myself!  If you have an ice cream maker, you NEED to try this one!!!

Homemade Earl Grey Ice Cream
Yields 2
My standard vanilla ice cream just got taken to a whole new level with the perfect hint of Earl Grey!
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 cups whole milk
  2. 3 cups heavy cream (18%)
  3. 1 cup + 2 TBSP white sugar
  4. 2 TBSP vanilla
  5. 4 Earl Grey tea bags
Other materials
  1. Ice cream maker (I have a 2 qt Cuisinart countertop model)
Instructions
  1. Warm the 1.5 cups of whole milk slightly and steep 4 Earl Grey tea bags in the milk for about 20 minutes (squeeze the tea bags out when removing to get as much flavour as possible in the milk)
  2. Cool the milk as cold as you can get it (either for a few hours in the fridge, or stick in the freezer for half an hour or so)
  3. Mix whole milk and sugar together until sugar is completely dissolved (if using an electric mixer, mix on LOW)
  4. Add in the heavy cream and vanilla
  5. Immediately pour into countertop ice cream maker and let it churn until the desired consistency
  6. Eat it all right away before your husband or kids get home or freeze for later
TOP WITH
  1. Blueberries (optional)
TIP
  1. My ice cream maker returns ice cream that is soft-serve consistency when finished; I like to freeze mine for at least a few hours before serving.
kathleen berbec http://www.kathleenberbec.com/

What We Do When You’re Asleep

Dear J,

Sometimes I think it’s strange how we have this life apart from you.  My days revolve around you in such a beautiful way and yet when you go to bed it’s like I am a different person.  I am my own person, separate from you.  Your dad and I laugh and talk and watch tv shows.  We eat dinner and ice cream and talk about you.  We look at pictures of your day and try to figure out what you need.  We make plans and dream together.  We talk about dad’s work and my ideas.  I eat gluten free pretzels and drink glass after glass of water.  These days we are watching The Good Wife (or whatever’s on HGTV).  We talk about church and Tehillah.  We plan trips and decorating our house.
 
And then there are the moments I have all alone.  It is then that I am separate from everything.  It is these moments that I dream of things forgotten and think of you and your future.  I think of what I might like to do in the future and how I might like to do it.  I think of work problems.  I watch Parenthood and cry like a baby. I read. I journal. I make websites. I look for ideas on Pinterest and find ice cream recipes. I clean, I cook, I shower.
 
I just thought you should know the kinds of things that we do when you are asleep.  Most of all, I just miss you.

The Weight Of You

Dear J,

The last few days you have suddenly added some weight to you.  Your little legs have baby rolls on them and you feel more solid.  I love cuddling you close to my chest while I feed you (you clutching onto my shirt for dear life) and feeling the weight of you in my arms.  It amazes me that I grew you in my body, delivered you out of it and continue to feed and nourish you from it.  You are growing so fast.  Every day you change in front of my very eyes and I am overwhelmed by how much I love you.  The way you cuddle close to me and sleep so softly next to me when we nap together.  Oh my little boy… You are everything I could have ever wanted in a son.  I’m so glad you are my firstborn!

 

A Mother Was Born Too

Dear J,

Today I looked at you lying next to me  in bed and whispered to you “sometimes I hate breastfeeding”.  It’s not just the frustration of having to use a nipple shield 100% of the time. It’s not just the fear of forgetting or losing my shield and having to feed you without it.  It’s not just getting up at all hours of the night while your dad sleeps peacefully for eight hours straight.

It’s the loneliness of having you 100% dependent upon me.  It’s the realization that without me, you would starve.  It’s knowing that your dad doesn’t understand what it’s like to be 100% tied to you.  To not be able to be alone or apart from you for more than an hour or two without feeling anxiety that you are hungry or sad or in need of comfort.
 
And I am also dependent on you.  Without YOU to nurse, my own breasts would betray me and create extreme infection and pain.
 

Yet sometimes I love breastfeeding.  I love the tender moments with you next to me.  I love how you need me and settle when I put you to my breast. I love how you grab onto the front of my shirt and hold tight as if to remind me to not let you go. I love when you open your eyes and look at me and know I am your mother.

 
Being your mother is so very hard. I feel as if I am a whole new person. Sometimes that feels like a good thing – a beautiful thing.  When you were born, a mother was born also. When they handed you to me I knew I would never be the same.  Yet sometimes I feel that there is a tiny crack inside that reminds me on some subconscious level that I am forgetting who I am.  My body, my heart, my sleep, all of it belongs to you now.
 
I had thought that once you were born my body would belong to myself once again.  And now I am facing the fact that I will never be “myself” again.  From now on I am your mother.  And that fact threatens to demand everything from me.  Being your mom is so time-consuming and such hard work that I feel it keeps wanting more of me.  It wants wife and friend and sister and me. I don’t know how to be otherwise.  All I know is that you need me so desperately and I need you. It is beautiful but also frightening.
 
Because I also need me. And so do so many others.  I am pulled in many directions and one of them is not towards myself. I am an entirely new person, reborn with your birth.  It is beautiful but also frightening.
 
Because I am not myself.  And I cannot do any of this if I do not know who I am. I am trying to rediscover myself in the midst of this chaos of sleepless nights and feeding you and bathing you and trying to have a hot shower myself every day. I hope I find it soon.

Three Weeks With You

Dear J,

Tomorrow you are 3 weeks old.  I’ve been meaning to write you a letter for awhile, but you’ve been kind of keeping us busy!
 
Today you were pretty needy.  I’m sure I’ll laugh about this one day, but every time I put you down for even a moment, you acted like your world was ending.  You’ve been nursing non-stop all day.  You’re nursing right now and even though you’ve been attached to me for hours, I love feeling your warm little body snuggled up next to me.
 
I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you what I feel about you.  You’re still brand new and we are still getting to know you and your little personality.  But when I look at you, sometimes I just want to cry with how much I love you. You’ve stolen our hearts so completely already!
 
I can’t wait to see the man that you will grow up to be.  And yet, I also feel like each moment is rushing by too fast.  It feels too sudden – you’re growing so fast and becoming more aware of us every day.
 
I’ll never forget that first moment I heard you cry.  You were silent when you were born and even though they didn’t say anything I knew instinctively something was wrong.  I remember asking “why isn’t he crying?”  And after what felt like ages (although probably only a few moments) I heard you cry out and I knew you were ok.  They put you on my chest and I felt so overwhelmed by it all. I barely knew what to do with you – I had been so focused on labour and pushing that I didn’t feel ready for you yet.  Maybe nothing could have made me ready for that moment.
 
And now you’re here.  After 9 long months of nausea and throwing up on the daily, hip pain and restless nights, you’re here.  And we love you so desperately!  I’m so glad you’re in our world and we are so grateful for the gift of being your parents.  I hope you grow up to like us, not just love us.  I hope we don’t mess you up too bad.  And I hope you become all you were created to be.  We know you have such an incredible destiny ahead of you!  We are already so very proud of you!  We love you forever.

Saturday Love

Today is such a lovely Saturday.  After an incredibly long week and no rest last weekend, it is such a much-needed day to relax and get caught up!  Despite getting up early this morning for the attic-checking guys who needed access to my bedroom (who never actually showed up), my bedroom is spotless, my bathroom is scrubbed top to bottom, my lace curtains are blowing in the breeze of my open window, it’s fresh and clean outside, little trip to the mall with Tiffany resulting in a new delish lilac candle that is making my bedroom smell like SPRING, everything is organized, toenails are painted, The Lone Bellow is blasting…  have I mentioned that I love my life?!  Now I get to Skype with my man (hate Skype, love him), get caught up on Revenge, and make some coconut rice with Tiff.  Weekend=heaven.

He Put a Ring On It!

YOU GUYS! I’m getting MARRIED!  This is intense.  As intense as a double rainbow.  Or more.

I just realized that I haven’t blogged since before New Years.  Hopefully you’re my Facebook friend, otherwise I apologize for the drastic lack of communication.  A lot has been going on.  Basically, I work like crazy all week, sleep all weekend/hang out with Tim all weekend (depending on the weekend), and then do it all over again on Monday.  It’s ridiculous.

But, I chose my word for this year and it is: Arise.  More on that later…

The rest of this post is going to be somewhat mushy.  Please be forewarned :)

Also, I got a freaking beautiful diamond RING from the man of my dreams.  Oh. My. Lanta.  I’ve been engaged for over a month now and in exactly 151 days I am going to be MARRIED to the love of my life.  Pretty much being engaged is awesome/stressful.  Awesome because I love staring at my ring ALL THE LIVELONG DAY.  Stressful because I have to figure out how to coordinate 8 bridesmaids into matching dresses.  Just kidding, wedding planning is actually fun (most of the time).

The biggest thing on my mind these days is figuring out how the heck do I join my entire life to another person and oh my gosh, I have to live with a BOY in 151 days!  For the rest. Of. My. Life.  But seriously, how scary is this?  It hit me tonight (as I watched The Bachelor, please don’t judge me) just what it means to get engaged and then married.  Seriously…No matter what, I’m committing to loving this one guy and working it out no matter how crazy frustrated he makes me and no matter how selfish I feel.  He is it.  I’m still wrapping my mind around this.

What does it really mean to commit to loving someone until death do you part?  I know myself and my flaws and I know Tim, but like how much can you really KNOW someone until you’ve spent a whole lifetime with them?  I have friends who have been in my life for over 2 decades and we are still getting to know each other.  My parents have been there since day 1 and we still don’t know each other fully.  We never will.  And yet, I can look at this man with this deep certainty and peace in my heart and know that God brought our paths together.  We have been on this collision course for years.  God has been knitting our hearts together for so long and now it is clear to us as well – this is the one for me.

Every day I am learning more and more how to see and love someone else the way God sees them.  It’s a crazy thing, this love.

I realize this is a super mushy post.  I’ll add some spoilers up at the top for y’all.  But really, I am just so grateful that the Lord has led us to this place.  So thankful that this is my man.  And so excited to live life alongside him!  What a crazy journey this has been.  And it is only just beginning…my man is slightly crazy himself :)

In 2012, I Moved

At the end of every year I take time to reflect on the twelve months prior, to remember all of the things I experienced and learned, to laugh over the funny pictures, to make sure that I properly close the book on 2012 before I open a new one (see last year’s post here).  This year I feel overwhelmed just thinking about doing that.  There is just SO MUCH!

This year I….
Felt stuck and sad
Was sick, exhausted and burnt out
Lost my job
Decided to move to the Middle East
Changed my mind and decided to stay in Canada
Met the man of my dreams (literally)
Moved to the Mainland
Put 5,000 km on my car driving back and forth to Portland, Oregon
Got my dream job about 10 years before I expected it

And those are just the high points!  I learned more this year about listening to the still, small voice of God than ever before.  I spent a lot of time resting, investing in relationships, drawing back from time commitments, driving alone, listening to music, and re-discovering what I want to do when I grow up.  I experienced so much and learned so much this year that I cannot even hope to do it justice in a blog post.  These things are rolling around in my heart and I am still figuring out how to process them all.

Last night as I sat watching The Hobbit with my head on Tim’s shoulder, it hit me all at once.  “This is my life.”  It looks nothing like I expected it to.  Not even remotely.  I looked up at my bearded man, wearing his hipster toque and smiled.  I was supposed to be celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem this year.  Instead, we spent it with our two amazing, massive families.  It’s not Bethlehem, but my goodness, it is such a beautiful thing.  What a beautiful gift this life is.

This whole year has been so very unexpected, but so very special.  The hardest year of my life, by far, but also the best, by far.  God knew.  Last winter when I laid my head down on an empty floor and cried my heart out for clarity and vision, I had no idea what would come next.  But He knew.  He knew what I desired, what I hoped for, what I dreamed, what I needed.  Each Season of this year has been so distinct.  He held my heart through the darkness of Winter, whispered peace and joy to my soul throughout the tumultuous Spring and Summer, brought my passion and fresh revelation bursting to life amidst the changing colours of Autumn.  It is Winter again, but it is dark no longer.  This year has been one of rebirth, regeneration and redemption.  Things that were lost in me have been found again.  The Light is alive and well, gleaming within me.

At the beginning of this year I chose the word MOVE for 2012.  I had no idea how prophetic that word would turn out to be.  In the midst of all the seemingly standing-around, things were shifting by the moment under my unsteady feet.  This year certainly moved me from one place to another.  I started this year in tears (literally), but I end it filled to the brim and overflowing with joy in a whole other place.

When I look at my list of Goals for 2012, no, I didn’t complete every one.  I didn’t blog as much as I intended or journal as much as I should have.  I didn’t take piano lessons or exercise three times a week.  But the things that mattered?  I did them.  And yes, there were days that I hid in my bed and cried because I just couldn’t comprehend what God was doing.  But I grew.

And I moved.

Moved Forward in my relationship with God, my dreams, my vision and my career.

Moved Out of Nanaimo and Moved In with two amazing girls (in Langley) who daily speak life into me and bring so much joy and laughter to my world.

Moved Back my opinion of myself and Moved Up the importance of God’s voice in my life.

Moved On once and for all from some things that really needed to just stay in the past.

Moved Over and made space in my life and heart for new relationships, possibilities and experiences (including one incredible man).

I Moved Up from the hole I was stuck in and stood once more on the Rock that is higher than I.

I Moved In on the dreams and desires that God had long ago placed in me and Moved Into a new full-time ministry position.

Moved Down some misplaced priorities, and Moved Up others to their rightful places.

Moved Over and allowed silent and empty space to form in my life, to make room for the Holy Spirit to Move In Me.

I am not done moving yet and He is not done moving in me.  But as for 2013…well, I expect it is going to be one crazy adventure!!  And that, will be a whole other story.

New Adventures

So I just discovered that there is an iPhone app for my blog!! So great! Now I can lie in bed and write up a post as easy as pie!

Anyways, this post is just a little update. After a LONG 3 weeks, Tim came home and it was absolutely amazing (as usual)! Awhile ago we have picked up a deck of playing cards in Portland that featured 52 hand drawn scenes in and around Vancouver. We had the great idea to recreate the scenes (with us in them of course!). We finally started our project and spent some time in Granville Island and Gastown. Gastown this weekend was quite the adventure – we got completely drenched but it was a ton of fun laughing and posing in the torrential downpour!! See below a candid shot as I climbed down from my perch on the streetlight :)

Today we had fun designing our photo blog together. If you’re interested in following our adventures check out www.52reasonstolove.blogspot.ca!!

Anyways, my man has gone back to the US of A and it’s time for me to crawl into bed and catch up on the last few weeks of Downton Abbey :)

Goodnight my dears!!