Monthly Archives: July 2013

Oh My Gosh, These Cupcakes!

This is a tutorial for how to throw a birthday party for a two-year-old that really doesn’t care for birthdays.

Just kidding. This is where I tell you about how I stumbled upon the most amazing cupcake ever. But first, look at these pictures of my adorable children.

landon's birthday

Lucy took money from her piggy bank to buy Landon’s present. And wrapped it by herself. She drew a map on the inside of the wrapping paper “so that he can be a pirate”. And she made him a card and signed it herself [she has a weird aversion to letters]. Such a proud mama moment. Though she did say today, “I wish there were more B’s in my name.”

landon's birthday

After delicately unwrapping most of one present, Landon decided it was more fun to watch his sister and cousins rip into the paper.

landon's birthday

Every time I look at this picture I think, “Man, I love that eat-in kitchen.” Oh, and here’s a halfway there bump update.

landon's birthday

I swear he wasn’t miserable for the party.

landon's birthday

He even showed us a mind trick where he blew the candles out by smiling. ;)

landon's birthday

Certainly didn’t mind those cupcakes.
Oh yeah, cupcakes.

So these were amazing. No seriously. Maybe I’m on a sugar high but right now I’d choose these guys over juuuuust about any cupcake in my cupcake arsenal.

vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes | hey, beth baker!

I can’t really take credit for these. We were at a birthday party this weekend and someone made a “conventional” cake subbing out coconut cream for the oil. And, well, let’s just say a dream was born. So I took my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe from the first babycakes cookbook and adjusted it a smidge.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24+

1 3/4 cups garbanzo-fava bean flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup coconut cream
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup light coconut milk

1/4-1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes for topping

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line your muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: garbanzo flour, potato starch, cocoa, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add in the wet ingredients: coconut cream, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and coconut milk. Use that whisk to mix the whole thing until it’s smooth.

Fill your liners about 2/3 full. Bake in the center rack for 15 minutes, rotate 180 degrees, and bake another seven [22 minutes total]. Check them with a toothpick or give them a little pressure with your finger and make sure they bounce back to make sure they’re done.

Leave them in the tins after you take them out oven for at least 20 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.

While the oven is still hot spread some coconut flakes on a baking sheet and let them sit in the hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Frost them with your favorite vanilla frosting and top them with the coconut flakes.

vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes | hey, beth baker!

I have to say they don’t taste super “coconutty” as much as super fluffy and “chocolatey”. There’s no weird gluten-free gritty after-taste.

vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes | hey, beth baker!

And look how delicious they looked compared to the boxed mix I whipped up [you know in case these totally flopped].

vegan, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes | hey, beth baker!

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Kind

I had this post half-written called “Lucy’s Lamentations”. It was supposed to make you giggle [and maybe commiserate] as I recounted the reasons my sensitive daughter cried today. I feel confident mentioning the 30 minute saga that followed after the dress she chose from her closet was deemed “not twirly enough” would have accomplished just that. You’d maybe give me a “been there” when I told you about the shopping cart crying heard round the store and control-your-child stares received.

But I couldn’t finish it. Because she was awful. And she had a bad day. And it felt like she was trying to bring us all down with her. And it felt like one of those bad morning of a bad day of a bad week cycles. But when I think about my reaction to her, it’s not really funny anymore.

I was impatient. I was quick to anger, not abounding in love. Today could have been a different day if I’d reacted differently. Reflecting on it tonight, I was reminded of something I heard in a sermon a few weeks back: the way we look at others is a great indicator of what’s going on in our hearts. And then I thought of the main point that Chuck and I taught [taught!] in Sunday School last week, “The greatest kindness to us was God sending His own son, the Son of God, so we could be with Him now and forevermore. We should share this kindness with others!”

mama confessions | hey, beth baker!

It’s easy to be embarrassed when our children act out. It’s easy to focus on our imperfections. To try to redeem ourselves with our social images. To find solace in how we might be perceived; so much that the real mission of motherhood is forgotten. That we might raise our children to know Christ, to follow after Him, and to draw others to Him.

And when, in the everyday jungle that is raising toddlers, I find my boiling point tipped- I have to refocus on that mission. To set aside my daily ambitions and seek that greater cause. To chase after Christ and just… become less.

Less pride. Less rush. Less on the to-do list. More focus. More forgiveness. More patience.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. [Colossians 3: 12-17]

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What’s it gonna be!?

hey, beth baker!

 

Our ultrasound is on Friday and everybody around here is quite excited! The kids are ready to know who’s getting a new roommate – any guesses?

 

Easy Peasy Broccoli Beef!

So it’s summer. And it’s hot. And I’m pregnant. And I’m trying not to slack on my dinner duties.

This is a quick and easy meal that will leave the dinner table silent less the sound of chewing. It got four out of four high fives in the Baker household.

easy peasy broccoli beef | hey, beth baker!

Easy Peasy Broccoli Beef
Serves 4

3/4 lb top sirloin [Before we had kids we used filet mignon. Hehe.]
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons italian or oil and vinegar dressing
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 lb broccoli, cut into florets
salt and pepper, to taste
chicken or beef broth

1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup broth
1/2 teaspoon salt

Top with green onions and sesame seeds

Stir the soy sauce, dressing, oil, and garlic together. Add in the steak, sliced into 1 inch wide strips. Marinade for at least 15 minutes.

While that is marinating, start the quinoa [you could, of course, use rice if you’d rather]. Mix the quinoa, water, broth, and salt into a pot and heat until boiling. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat, cover, and set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off set the quinoa aside for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

After your meat has marinated at least 15 minutes, pour the meat and marinade into a hot skillet. Spread the beef strips out so that they’re in a single layer and cook for two minutes. Flip the beef and add the mushrooms on top. Cook for another minute and a half or until it’s as done as you’d like. Pull the beef strips out with a fork and leave the mushrooms. Stir them into the beef sauce still in the pan. Add the broccoli and add enough broth to cover the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the broccoli around. Check on it after about two and a half minutes, stirring and making sure there’s still enough liquid. It will probably take about five minutes total to steam the broccoli. You’re looking for it to give a little when you pierce it with a fork but still have a good snap to it.

When it’s all done cover the bottom of your bowl with quinoa and top with the broccoli and beef.