Springtime Is Lemon Time!

Utah is being typical Utah and can’t decide if it wants to be spring or winter still. But we have had a handful of beautiful days and my tulips are in full bloom and I am craving all things lemon! I got a little crazy and bought the huge bag from Costco, it has a lot of lemons so I decided to break them out and do some baking last night.

I love Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She is my go to blogger and I know that anything of hers I make will be delicious. I saw her recipe for Lemon Yogurt bread and had to try it. I was missing a few ingredients and too lazy to walk out to the garage and get some others so I adapted it quite a bit and it was delicious! Today as I was eating another slice I thought this is so good it must be shared!

Make sure to eat a slice warm, SO good! And I happened to have strawberries and cream so I make some shortcake, best decision ever!

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Enjoy!

Lemon Yogurt Bread
2 Loaves

3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup zest (I used 3 large lemons)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable, canola or melted coconut oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, lowfat or regular (I used nonfat Greek)

Glaze:
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I didn’t measure and just used all the juice from those 3 lemons I zested)
1 Tablespoon sugar (I like lemon things a little tart, feel free to add up to 4 T to make it as sweet as you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two bread pans well. (I used metal and the bread browned some, I am going to try glass next time to keep it from browning as much.)

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl combine sugar and zest. Rub zest and sugar together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and very fragrant. (Don’t skip this step, it only takes a minute and makes a huge difference!) Stir in the eggs, vanilla, oil, buttermilk and yogurt. Fold in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Don’t over mix, it will make it tough.

Pour into the pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Mine took about 45 minutes.

While the bread is baking combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small pan. Bring to a boil, stir and remove from heat. Once bread is done, carefully pull out of pan and put on cooling rack that is on top of a cutting board or cookie sheet to catch extra glaze. Pour glaze or use a pastry brush like I did and cover the tops. Mine absorbed right in with very little running off. If it is running off take a toothpick and make a lot of little holes in the top for it to absorb into.  Let the bread cool completely and then store in an airtight container. It should stay just fine at room temperature for 2-3 days. If you won’t use it all then just wrap it up and put in the freezer.

 

 

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Just Start, Just Do It

YOU THINK YOU NEED TO FEEL CONFIDENT OR COURAGEOUS TO GET STARTED. YOU DON’T.

–MEL ROBBINS

It’s true, you don’t. If you wait until you are feeling confident or courageous then let’s be honest, you won’t ever start. It’s the making yourself start regardless of how hard it is that gives you that confidence and courage. I can tell you this from experience. If I had waited till I felt that way to start making changes in my life I would still be 95 pounds heavier than I am not…or heavier. I would still be unhappy and depressed. But I can also tell you that through making myself do hard things pretty much daily, I have slowly, over-time, gained that confidence and courage. And I will keep working to gain more. Because when you have confidence and courage then what is there to stop you? Don’t wait.

The Bright Side

I have been having a little pity party for myself the past couple of weeks. I have suddenly been really missing going to the gym and to spin class and having a really hard workout. Having someone push me to the point that when I was done I was tired but felt so good. The only gym we have right now near us is a Vasa and i just don’t know if I can bring myself to go there and they are building an Aquatic Center within walking distance from us but it won’t be done until the end of the year and waiting till January for a tough workout just seems so far off. I know I could pay and just go to one class at a Rec Center but I can’t bring myself to pay that much. Anyway, so I have been struggling.

The change in my body post baby has been bothering me for awhile and has bothered me off and on over the past almost two years. Holy cow, can you believe I have an almost 2 year old?!?! I think what really spurred this latest “unhappy with my body” bout was seeing my reflection in a swim suit. My legs aren’t strong like they used to be. I used to be able to see the muscle and now it’s hard to even feel it. I knew it would happen because when you aren’t using your muscles you lose the muscle and it’s replaced with fat. My size of clothes hasn’t changed but my body composition sure has. But I saw my reflection and I just felt bad about myself. Felt guilty for the amazing Gyro I had eaten and all the TJ’s Cookie Butter ice cream I had put down…the great evening I was having with my hubby was suddenly overshadowed by my body insecurities once again surfacing.

And then I felt frustrated with myself that I let them resurface. I try SO STINKING HARD not to let them but there they were again shining their ugly faces right at me. So anyway…I am struggling, there I admitted it. But I stumbled upon this video just now and it really had me thinking…watch it, please…this is me begging you…

http://in.allure.com/EeDG3S1

I think this woman is incredible. I have heard of her but this video was just awesome. She is someone who has definitely had her own sets of troubles and hard times. Insecurities with her body and the struggles that she has. But her outlook was amazing to me.

“There is always the bright side.”

Write that on a sticky note and post it on your mirror, on your fridge, heck write it on a billion of them and post them everywhere! And repeat it to yourself over and over. As she said that I thought, my legs may not be as strong as they used to be but I can still walk. I can still play at the park with my little girl. Heck, my body created another human being, now that is definitely a bright side!

She is so right when she says that all you really have is just you. You have what is on the inside. Your personality and values, the things that mean the most to you and your dreams. It’s true that those things are what makes us beautiful. It isn’t what is on the outside that matters or makes us beautiful. It is those things on the inside. I couldn’t agree with her more when she says, “That’s what the standard of beauty to me is. The person that you are, not the person you look like”

Lizzie Velasquez you are incredible and thank you for reminding me of what really matters. I am going to try harder to work on my inside and teach my little girl that that is really all that matters.

 

Weak Things Strong

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME. THOUGH WE ALL HAVE WEAKNESSES, WE CAN OVERCOME THEM. INDEED IT IS BY THE GRACE OF GOD THAT, IF WE HUMBLE OURSELVES AND HAVE FAITH, WEAK THINGS CAN BECOME STRONG.

–PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF

Don’t Quit

IF YOU GET TIRED LEARN TO REST, NOT TO QUIT.

I know the process can seem long and hard and sometimes we are so tired from trying. So tired from all that is required of us in life and it just seems so much easier to quit. But don’t do it. Don’t quit. Learn to rest. Whether it’s a day off from exercising, a day where you eat whatever you want. A nice leisurely walk with your kids. A massage or getting your nails done. Shopping with your friends or a date night with your hubby.

Figure out what kind of rest if just right for you and do it. You are tough, you can do this. Don’t give up, just don’t quit! Just think how happy you will be one week from now, one month from now and one year from now that you didn’t quit. When you can look back and see how far you have come!

Shake It Off

EVERYBODY ISN’T GOING TO LOVE YOU.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN LOVE THEMSELVES.

One of the very best and absolute most important things you can do is to learn to love yourself. It’s hard I know, I struggle with this one a lot. But it is something I have really been working on and am finding that on most days it is getting a little bit better, a little bit easier. The cool thing is that as you learn to love yourself more you realize that what others think of you doesn’t matter as much as you thought. Just because they may not see your awesomeness doesn’t matter at all. You know how great you are and you learn that you are not defined by what others may or may not think of you.

My little girl may be a little obsessed with Taylor Swift and her song Shake It Off. I hear it a lot and it’s become one of my anthems. So I leave you with her profound words of awesomeness, just shake it off. Who cares what they all think, just be the awesome you that you are! Enjoy!

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off