Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recipe: Cinnamon Glazed Scones

Cinnamon Glazed Scones

Scone Ingredients:
2 cups flour (I used unbleached, but you could use half whole-wheat, half unbleached)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, separated
3 Tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar)

Crumb Topping:
1-2 Tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2teaspoons milk (enough to make a glaze)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Separate the egg white and yolk.  Set the egg white aside.

In a separate bowl, mix egg yolk, sugar and buttermilk (or milk/lemon juice mixture). Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Form dough into a ball on a floured surface. Roll or pat out to half an inch in thickness and eight inches in diameter. Cut into eight equally-sized pieces.
Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Whisk the egg white until froth forms and brush over the tops of scones. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over egg-white-topped scones.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Mix together powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon until glaze forms.  Drizzle over scones after they bake.
(Recipe adapted from The Coupon Project)

Monday, April 20, 2015

The benefits of lemon drinking water

Starting your day with a cup of warm lemon water has tons of benefits.  The following information is taken from the website/book Hungry for Change.  I highly recommend the book and the documentary.

Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
Lemons contain pectin fiber which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial.  It balances maintain the pH levels in the body
  • Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins
  • It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
  • It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
  • It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
  • It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid
  • It helps cure the common cold
  • The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells
  • It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute
  • It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heart burn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
  • It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne
  •  It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems
  • Aids in the production of digestive juices
  • Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session

Packed with all the goodness, make it a point to begin your day with a glass of warm lemon juice. Its cleansing and healing effects will have positive effects on your health in the long run. However it is very important to note that lemon juice when comes directly in contact with the teeth, can ruin the enamel on the teeth. Hence, it is advised to consume it diluted and also rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking lemon juice.

Moving through the stages of grief.

Everyday someone asks me how I'm doing, for the most part I just smile and shrug my shoulders.  It's been 4 weeks today since my dad died.  The pain in my heart has gone from being a sharp searing pain to more like a dull ache.  I picked up my dad's ashes last Tuesday and that was tough.  By Thursday I was finally ready to look at the death certificate and found something that surprised me.  The cause of death was listed as "end stage senile dementia".  He didn't have Alzheimer's so I did some research.  I found this article about how the brain behaves after a stroke, or with dementia or Alzheimer's.  It basically outlined what we've been through the last year.  I wish one of his doctors had shared this with us before I think it would have been helpful.  I have to remind myself that I was very lucky, my dad never got to the point where he didn't know me and he never lost his speech.  And as much as I miss him I know it's better that he's not trapped in his body any more. 

Below are the 5 stages of grief, it's something every deals with differently...

How Do We React to Grief and Loss?

There are specific stages of grief. They reflect common reactions people have as they try to make sense of a loss. An important part of the healing process is feeling and accepting the emotions that come as a result of the loss.
Here are the common stages of grief that people go through:
  • Denial, numbness, and shock: Numbness is a normal reaction to a death or loss and should never be confused with "not caring." This stage of grief helps protect us from experiencing the intensity of the loss. It can be useful when we have to take some action, such as planning a funeral, notifying relatives, or reviewing important papers. As we move through the experience and slowly acknowledges its impact, the initial denial and disbelief fades.
  • Bargaining: This stage of grief may be marked by persistent thoughts about what "could have been done" to prevent the death or loss. Some people become obsessed with thinking about specific ways things could have been done differently to save the person's life or prevent the loss. If this stage of grief isn't dealt with and resolved, the person may live with intense feelings of guilt or anger that can interfere with the healing process.
  • Depression: In this stage, we begin to realize and feel the true extent of the death or loss. Common signs of depression in this stage include trouble sleeping, poor appetite, fatigue, lack of energy, and crying spells. We may also have self-pity and feel lonely, isolated, empty, lost, and anxious.
  • Anger: This stage is common. It usually happens when we feel helpless and powerless. Anger can stem from a feeling of abandonment because of a death or loss. Sometimes we're angry at a higher power, at the doctors who cared for a lost loved one, or toward life in general.
  • Acceptance: In time, we can come to terms with all the emotions and feelings we experienced when the death or loss happened. Healing can begin once the loss becomes integrated into our set of life experiences.
Throughout our lives, we may return to some of the earlier stages of grief, such as depression or anger. Because there are no rules or time limit to the grieving process, everyone's healing process will be different.

We're still a long way from our goal for the memorial, please contribute if you're able.