23 September 2013

Vegan Sugar Plum Cake

When I went shopping on Saturday I had a great find: sugar plums. I had never seen them in America until then. While I grew up with them and missed them (but not enough to go on a big search), it seems they are less popular over here. So I bought them.

Tonight, when I was washing them, prepping them for tomorrow's snack, I got the urge to make a plum cake. Like the one I remember from when I was a kid and my aunt would bake it - she is a great baker! Mmmmh.

My search was successful: on a German site (the link is here in case you want to check it out). I had to quickly change the metric measurements into the American units - with alot of guessing. And it has a special ingredient that I was dying to try out: it's what we call in our house bubbly water, aka seltzer. We drink it every day (it is a very common drink in Germany), but I had never baked with it.

Also, I just bought my first spring form, so I really wanted to use it! ;-)

Let's see how it turns out when I take it out of the oven.

I followed the recipe almost to a T (big surprise):

For the cake mix:
2 cups of flour (I used my regular all purpose flour)
1 cup of sugar (Vegan!) - it seems alot, so I need to taste and see if it could be reduced to half a cup or 3/4
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup of seltzer

For the Streusel (aka crumb topping):
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons of vegetable oil

In the middle:
enough sugar plums - according your own liking
I couldn't tell you how much I used - maybe about 15 in total

Making the cake:
* mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
* then mix in the seltzer
* grease the spring form
* put dough into the spring form, raise it a bit on the sides
* wash, clean, and cut the sugar plums
* spread the plums all over the dough, as thick as you like
* make the streusel in a different bowl, mix all dry ingredients together, then add the oil little by little
* you want the crumbs to be wet enough to stick together
*spread those over the plums
* bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes

Guten Appetit! 

 Mmmh, Lecker!

18 September 2013

God is all you need!

I did not want to be strong.

Nobody asked me if I wanted to be vigorous, tough, and courageous.

Neither did I know how capable I really was.

Lately, I have had a few people come up to me and say things like "I admire your strength" or "I envy your faith" and even "You are an inspiration".

Believe me, when I think of myself, I do not see any of this! And yet, I have to admit, there is a certain strength inside of me that I never knew I had before - and may it merely be my survival mode. I am a fighter, and not a person to be known to give up (easily). I CAN endure.

Though as nice as these compliments are - and they do feel good - I can not take in the praise for something I did not do myself! It was only with God and through Him that I am where I am today. God only gives us what we can handle, even when we think we can't take it any longer. He knows better. And He rewards us when we follow His lead.

Am I really stronger? Or have I simply learned to lean on God - more? I think what is bigger is my faith, not my tenacity or perseverance. I KNOW I can rely on my Savior for anything. My world might get shaken up, but my Rock will be the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  Nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38), and He won't give me anything that I am not able to withstand.

God was my hope in my darkest times. He saved my life, and today, I can 'claim' to be a survivor. He helped me to turn my anger into faith, in Him. He healed me physically and emotionally. It was a long road, and I do expect to fall back once in a while, but I also know that I will bounce back to the truth, God's truth. I surrendered and entrusted my life back into His hands, and I am very comfortable with that.

So I guess God made me stronger. He transformed me into a confident woman that desires to bless others. I have more courage to follow my dreams. I dare to be bolder about my faith. I believe that I am a little wiser, at least in my knowledge to cherish each and every day and not to waste life with foolishness. And if I lose all of the above, I am certain that I will always have HOPE!

If YOU are at a point in your life where it seems that you can't go on, that there is not an ounce of strength left inside your body to carry on - stop! Stop, get down on your knees, surrender, and let God carry YOU! It is a wonderful experience. Once He has picked you up, it will bring you joy; the joy of sharing His glory, and be a testimony to others.

God can do so much for YOU. God loves you. He delivers you from your trouble and lifts you up. He is satisfying. He brings peace, hope, and happiness. It's pleasing to please Him and others. It fulfills and gives a purpose.
God is all you need.