Monday, January 31, 2011

My One Word

Have you heard anyone chattering about One Word? Maybe you’ve seen it on Facebook? Here’s the idea: instead of writing a resolution for the year, you select one word and drill all the ideas behind your resolution into a single goal, a single focus. Here’s an introduction from

Our resolutions seldom work because they focus on the type of person we want to become rather than who God wants us to be. Many people do not see God at work in their lives simply because they don’t know what to look for. So, what if our hopes for the year centered on who God wanted us to become instead?

It’s okay to want to be a better you—and the New Year is a natural time to start. The question is, how? My One Word replaces broken promises with a vision for real change. When you choose a single word, you have a single focus. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past.

With My One Word, you’re right where God wants you: in His hands. And it’s not an extreme makeover we’re talking about. This year, the goal is to see His work in one area of your life.

Here are the steps behind the idea of choosing your word:

1. Think about what kind of person you want to become: For me, this is a bit too broad for goal setting. I normally like my goals in bite-sized chunks. But, it’s some else’s idea, so here we go.

2. Identify the characteristics of that person

3. Simply pick a word: boil down the broad concept of your ideal image of yourself into a one-word focus

So then you can go to My One Word and join and post you word, as I did. There are also links on Facebook. For me, Mrs. Kate L. Valiente, my word for 2010 is PROACTIVE. I feel like I need to write that in all caps to make it really stand out.

I’ve written many blogs and essays and journal entries about the idea of excellence in my life-a concept that’s eluded me, sadly. I’ve pursued health, expertise, and religion in various ways with the end-goal of excellence in mind. It’s a pretty high target that a person can never really hit in life but one that I’m still pursuing. One piece of the puzzle that I’m constantly lacking and bemoaning is motivation to actually get moving and reach my goals. I don’t exactly know how one manufactures motivation in his/her life but for me, I find that some days I just have to make myself get moving, whether I feel like it or not. That, in my opinion, is proactive. Proactive means heading a problem off at the pass, attacking it before it attacks you, finishing a project before the due date—in essence, it means to GET MOVING and to stay in motion. Whether I feel like it or not, whether I want a nap or a cup of coffee, even if the only think I want to do is snuggle on the couch under a blanket and read all day, PRACTIVE in my life means I just DO IT.

So that’s my one word. Published for all to see. And by “all” I mean the handful of people who read my blog J

Oatmeal - Raisin - Cranberry Cookies

Energized by the pumpkin bars, I went back into the kitchen the next day to try another new flour. This blend is by a brand called Namaste and it's called the "Perfet Flour Blend." On the back of the package there is a recipe for these cookies.

The problem with flour blends when you're eating GF is that when there is a off-taste, it can be hard to detect what's making it taste wierd. This blend has rice flour, potatoe starch, tapioca, and xanthan gum, among other ingredients. How in the world would I know what makes it taste bad?

So here are the cookies:

The look pretty nice huh? I'm quite proud of my ability to make cookies approximately the same size. Symmetry makes me happy, what can I say? They were overall pretty good. While they were fresh and warm, thee was this kind of sourness to them. That's a pretty common complaint from GF foods- either a gritty, dry texture or a sour kind of taste. Once they cooled, they tasted even better. Here's my face, contemplating the taste of the cookies:

And here's me, thinking they taste okay. Not great, but not bad either. All in all, I was pretty happy with the cookies. I added cranberries, instead of just raisins to add some antioxidants. I used oil instead of butter, too.

Overall, I'm a pretty happy girl.

Pumpkin Bars

After the amaranth disaster, I got pissed. Pissed at Gluten. Screw gluten. I don't begrudge any person I know the opportunity to eat gluten-y things, not even the Yankee. But I am NOT going to eat things that make me sick and I am certainly NOT going to eat gross things either! Forget that business! Surely the fools at Bob's Red Mill tasted that recipe and surely someone commented how it tasted like the bottom of a boot!

So I went back into the kitchen and made Pumpkin Bars. These bars have almond flour and agave nectar in them- making them quite pricey per bite. When I took them out of the oven and let them cool, I kept dancing around the dish, waiting to taste them. I cut off a tiny square and I got goosebumps and tears- this time because the bars were like cake! Cake is literallly my favorite food. I ate it at my wedding and got really sick right after. Before that, it had been months since I'd had cake.
I ate most of the rest of the pan pretty quickly, except for the pieces I gave the Yankee and my parents. Here's a photo of a remnant of the bars:

And here is a vey happy Mrs. V:

These bars were completely delicisious. And now I am a happy girl.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amaranth Flour

Tonight I tried making Carrot-Raisin cookies. I found this recipe on the back of a package of Amaranth Flour that I received from my mother for Christmas. It's been pretty hard to find recipes in which to use this kind of flour; since this recipe was on the back of the package, I gave the goons at Bob's Red Mill the benefit of the doubt and tried it.

Preparing for this recipe involved two trips to Sun Harvest for arrowroot flour (I couldn't find this at five HEB's OR Whole Foods) and an investment in a small bottle of agave nectar. Please allow me to digress and say that EVERYTIME I went to HEB for about a month I looked for arrowroot and I made two trips to Wholoe Foods, assuming I'd surely find arrowroot there. I bought the agave and ended up getting organic agave because I figured I should at least buy the douchiest version of the douchiest food I've ever purchased.

So I made the cookies. The flour smelled funny and I should have taken then as a sign of things to come. The batter blended well and scooped nicely. The cookies made the apartment smell like carrot cake, which is officially deemed Delightful in my book. Here's what the cookies looked like after taking them out of the oven:

And here's what my face looked like after tasting the cookie:

Pretty pricey mistake. This failure made me cry big alligator tears and then I sobbed into the Yankee's shoulder for a bit. I'll write a little more about that once I've managed to bake something tasty.