This Writer’s Daily Bread (and some baking, too)

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Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.

(Nikolai Berdyaev)

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Baking is a rarity around here. I haven’t pulled out a recipe book since before Christmas. When my hubby gets desperate for a homemade sweet, often as not he  ends up baking something himself — his peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are wonderful!

My biggest effort is usually a loaf of bread. Admittedly, there’s nothing easier than tossing the ingredients into a bread machine and letting it do its thing overnight so we can wake up to the unbeatable aroma of a fresh baked loaf for breakfast. And yes, I’m sure the texture of a hand-kneaded loaf is finer than what I make, but a little arthritis goes a long way towards discouraging that kind of effort.

I admire those people who can live immersed in their kitchens, loving their interaction with flour, sugar, vanilla and the like. I really do. I wish I were like them. I don’t hate baking, I just seem to have other things I’d rather spend my time on. But Love Inspired author Ruth Logan Herne comes as close as anyone to getting me back to cooking adventures. I first encountered Ruthy on the Seekerville blog. From there I’ve regularly trailed after her and the other Seekerville authors who take turns posting recipes and links on the Yankee Belle Cafe blog. I think it’s their irreverent approach to nutrition, calories and cooking shortcuts that appeals most, but I’ve collected several great-sounding recipes from them. Besides being good cooks, they’re great authors, too. Because of them I’ve been coaxed into reading genres that I never expected to enjoy.

However, this morning I’m not reading. While waiting for another loaf of just-baked homemade-but-by-a-machine bread to cool enough to slice, I am about to tackle a real baking recipe. It didn’t actually come from Ruthy, but was a result of following one of her links. It sounds outrageous, but too fascinating not to try. Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies! Who doesn’t love Sugar Cookies and Cinnamon Buns, right? So who can possibly resist the thought of a combined version? It’s enticed me back into the kitchen. I’ll let hubby do a taste test later on today and if they turn out well enough to brag, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, do you like baking (or cooking in general) as much as you like your other creative pursuits? What’s your favourite thing to bake? And I’ve always wanted to ask… do you nibble as you read and/or write?

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“People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

(Matthew 4:4)

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UPDATE – When Hubby says, “Can I forego lunch in favour of more of these?” you know these cookies worked out better than okay! I was a little generous with the icing glaze, but nobody ever complains about too much icing.

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♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

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Cherry Chip Cupcakes

I’ve nothing profound from a writing perspective to share, but with all the focus on love today, I thought I’d give you a peek at the Valentine goodies I made for my hubby.

I’m not a creative cook — nothing like Ruth Logan Herne at her Yankee-Belle Cafe (go check out the guest post on brining a romantic turkey… I kid you not!) — so he doesn’t get anything fancy. But since I seldom bake at all any more, his sweet tooth should be happy with these.

Super-sized Chocolate Brownies

Of course a little chocolate (or a lot) is imperative today, don’t you agree? I cut generous hearts out of a pan of brownies, and afterwards made the still-warm leftover bits into balls and rolled them in sugar, too. Extra yummy bite-sized goodies. (What? You didn’t expect I wouldn’t sample them, did you? Be reasonable. We’re talking chocolate here!)

Wishing you an abundance of love in your life today … from friends, from family, and best of all, from God.

♥   Happy Valentine’s Day!   ♥

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“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.”

[Deuteronomy 6:5 – NIV]
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 “… and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” 
[Ephesians 5:2 – NIV]

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“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 
[1 John 4:7a – NIV]

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“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
[Romans 12:10 – NIV]

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