Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just a Saturday Hello

Happy Saturday. 



Just a day of sunshine, adventure, and joy.
xo,
Candace and Zachy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

He Heard My Cry.


I gave Him brokenness and He has renewed my soul. The riches of His blessings and mercy have continued to pour out over my life and have reached to Candace Rae Photography. I am overwhelmed. As new sessions are being scheduled, I indeed know that the road I had least anticipated became alive all for His Glory.
Everyday is new, and though I'm not always blogging here, I'm vigorously working on establishing my Candace Rae Photography here on the central coast. Check out my new Photo Site
Stay tuned for an exciting announcement!
Forever Amazed,
Candace Rae

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Homemade Peanut-Butter Graham Crackers


What do you make with all these amazing ingredients? Well homemade peanut graham crackers of course!  When I recently came across this recipe I knew it was a must try! I LOVE graham crackers but most importantly Zachary loves them more. With a little smear of peanut butter and a few slices of banana - an instant afternoon pick me up becomes the perfect snack. 

I was thoroughly impressed with this recipe and buying the ingredients in bulk made the creation less than 19 cents a cracker!

I know you'll love them! It's a must try! 


Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

Crispy, flavourful, lightly sweet, with a hint of delicious peanut butter flavour, these vegan PB graham crackers will have you coming back for more and more! Enjoy them plain, with nut butter and jam, or make delicious homemade s’mores. They have a nice crumb and an authentic graham cracker texture when using whole wheat pastry flour.
Adapted from  Oh She Glows
Ingredients:
DRY:
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sucanat (brown sugar might work)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8th tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

WET:
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp almond milk plus more if needed to hold dough together 
  • 3 tbsp smooth Peanut Butter
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • modified flax egg (1/2 tbsp ground flax + 1 tbsp warm water, mixed)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.In a small bowl or cup mix together the modified flax egg: 1/2 tbsp ground flax and 1 tbsp warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes so it can gel up.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and make sure everything is combined very well. In a small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients, including the flax egg, but give the flax egg a good stir before mixing it in. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well with a spoon and then set the spoon aside and get in there with your hands and squeeze the dough together with your fingers. Like any dough try not to over knead. You may need to add more almond milk if the dough is too crumby. 
Form the dough into a ball and place it on a very lightly floured counter. Be sure not to use too much flour or it will dry out the dough.  Lightly flour a rolling pin and begin rolling out the dough until you have a rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick.
Use your favorite cookie cutter to shape your crackers :)
Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pan degrees half way through the baking time.  The amount of time you have to bake will depend on how thick they are. The crackers should be slightly firm when coming out of the oven. They are much better crisp than chewy, so err on the side of cooking longer, but keep a watchful eye on them.
Allow the crackers to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. They will firm up quite a bit as they cool. Enjoy plain, with nut butter and jam, or make s’mores! They are highly versatile and absolutely addicting.
Makes about 18-24 medium sized crackers.




Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just a POP! DEAL of the Day!

Today's great deal! A $1/1 Naked Juice coupon available via Facebook. Use this coupon to pick up Naked Juice at Target for only $.49. *** Price may vary on location! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frugal Foodie Family

Among the countless hours I've spent baking and creating new recipes and ideas - I've never truly sat down and created a budget on food. Do you have a food budget? If so, do you honestly stick with it? I'm fascinated with the concept of creating healthy gourmet food on a budget, but have yet to conquer the concept.

It wasn't until a familiar name caught my attention in a recent article that I even really began to become excited about "budgets" again. An old suite - mate from Biola University has graciously and wisely thrown her fascinating and very delicious recipes out in the blog world with one word as the over all
theme : FRUGAL. Yes, Frugal Foodie Family - A family of 4 eating well on a budget. Really, they are! These recipes are practical and worth the effort. She has recently been featured in Martha Stewart Every Day Food for her smart savings. I'm impressed and simply want to join this frugal revolution - after all don't we all love food? ... I mean saving?



Frugal Recipes Food Blog



She has created a handy little shopping guide that provides an average cost on each ingredient including the cost per serving. Her guide also provides the best place to buy the ingredient. Thank you Kelly for sharing! I've printed mine and hope to add on to it.

Happy Savings!
xo, Candace

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Treat



I drooled, I pinned, and I baked! Yes, got to love Pinterest! The ideas are endless. And truly, I mean come on ... what mama wouldn't want to whip this delicious recipe up on Valentines morning? Well actually, the dough is not flawless. In fact, I had to throw my first dough away. Beware of the temperature of the milk that gets added to the flour mixture! Aka: Follow directions. 


*These step by step photos are not mine nor is this recipe. The amazing talent comes from joythebaker.com. Here is where I begin paraphrasing:

"After making the dough ...
After the dough has rested and risen for an hour, I knead it in a few tablespoons of flour.  It’s soft, and no longer sticky… and just a little pillow of heaven.
This is the part in the bread process where you can wrap the dough and place it in the fridge to rest overnight.  Once you’re ready to work with it, let the dough sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before rolling out.
I worked with my dough right away.  I rolled it 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  Then I slathered it with browned butter, cinnamon, and sugar.


I sliced the dough, vertically, into six long strips.  I stacked em.  I sliced em into six little stacks of dough squares. 

Stack into a greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pan… 



and.... Pure Pleasure! 


Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Makes: one 9x5x3-inch loaf
Recipe I have learned was originally adapted from HungryGirlPorVida
For the Dough:
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned
In a large mixing bowl (I used just the bowl of my stand mixer) whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.
Whisk together eggs and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together.  Keep stirring.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  That’s just right.
Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.  If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.
While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.
Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll it as large as the dough will go.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar.  Seriously?  Just go for it.
Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw.  A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.   Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board."  
Oh and PS... here is what my bread looked like: just a bit of a crust and a gooey inside! 



Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

At The Beach

There is something magical that happens when your toes hit the sand ... I call it "Child Like Adventure". I still feel it as an ALMOST 30 year old. The minute my toes sink into the warmed sand, I begin to allow the child like adventure to begin. If only the sand wouldn't get into every nook and cranny ...


Zachary and I chased the birds, ate a PB&J, and caught the waves, as I began to fully process what my story now is. My story as a single mom. A single mom I might add, who FULLY believes in the God designed act of marriage and the Biblical foundation it must have. I found my identity in being a wife for five critical years of my life. Now, that's no longer apart of my title. As I chased Zachary up a down the shore, I wondered - how this next chapter would unfold. 

Somewhere in between watching the tide and chasing Zachary did I finally just take a sigh of relief. If my identity is in Christ - than that's exactly what will march on in this next chapter. I've been amazed throughout this radical journey of just how personal my God became in the midst of the storm. Both women and men, friends and family have come beside me and have held my hand as they had been divinely directed. I am so thankful. 

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

What I've learned is that God hears. He heard my cries and reached out to me. I've learned that it's OK to be angry. That God designed that emotion. I've learned that it's OK to tell someone, "not today" and furthermore turn off my phone. I've learned that God's hedge of protection was more vast than I could have ever imagined. And I've learned that though there are a million questions I have as to why this happened, sometimes the unknown is just a way of God protecting me. 

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" 
Jeremiah 33:3

Daily as I take each day all by itself, it's Zachary that I have the honor of mothering. It's my God given role to raise him to Fear God and mold him into a man.  That's a story in it's own! Our daily routine has changed ... I'm working again ... and for right now, that's OK. 

     

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Humbled and Loved,
Candace