Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almond Crunch Coffee Cake: Two Thumbs Up!

One passion I have is healthy eating. This has come about more as an act of desperation than a natural inclination.

I was recently asked to review a recipe from Sue Gregg, in order to consider further reviewing her cook books. Just perusing Mrs. Gregg's website made me eager to get some of her books and tackle other recipes. She has taken the guess work out of eating healthy and also makes it taste fabulous! The website is full of ideas if you are ready to start your journey into eating wholesome and natural foods. Check it out at:

The following recipe I made just this morning, doubling it in order to feed the company we are hosting. Sweetened with honey and using whole wheat flour, this was a hit with everyone that tried it! It tasted as good as any I've eaten, even at Starbucks where coffee and coffeecakes are a match made in heaven! You may want to double it yourself, just to have enough to enjoy for a few days.

Almond Crunch Coffee Cake (Flour Version)

This version of the recipe is found in The Creative Recipe Organizer.AMOUNT: 11.5" x 8" Pan (12 to 18 pieces)
Bake: 325° for 35-40 minutes

1. Preheat oven and grease or spray baking pan.

2. For topping blend first 3 ingredients with a fork and stir in the nuts; set aside:

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons crystalline fructose
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds

3. Thoroughly blend dry ingredients in small mixing bowl:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder (low sodium preferred)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (unrefined sea salt preferred)
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

4. Thoroughly blend liquid ingredients together with a wire whisk in a large mixing bowl:
2 eggs or 4 egg whites
3/4 cup honey

5. Alternately blend dry ingredients into liquid ingredients with: 1 cup buttermilk or nonfat yogurt

6. Pour batter into pan. Spread topping evenly over top. Press topping slightly into batter with tines of a fork.

7. Bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes or until knife comes clean out of center.

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At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.