Times are hectic, friends. In the best way possible.
I'm cooking and baking away for my new job. That's got me in other people's kitchens two days a week, and it's got my brain wheels a crankin' at least another three. The alarm clock is still doing its annoying electronic jingling a few times a week at an awful hour of the morning, reminding me that there are mounds of groceries waiting to be shelved for my other source of income. I'm also immersed in my health coach training, with my fancy little i-pod broadcasting lectures and videos about things like whole grains and the importance of drinking water (have you had enough today?).
Sprinkled in with those responsibilities, I'm starting to practice health consultations with my classmates. It's really exciting to have conversations with people about what's going on in their lives. But who knew it could be such a challenge to shut my own, relentless brain up and really listen? Not just wait while the other person talks. Not just think about what I want to say next while they jabber on. But truly pay attention to everything that's coming from another person's mouth, and then listen some more. No nervous silence fillers, no finishing sentences in a "you're so predictable" kind of way. Just listening to someone spill it.
I'm realizing how terrible I am at it.
But that's what all of this practicing is about. Getting used to being present with people and offering them a space to safely come clean about all those Oreos they scarfed around 2 am last night... and the piles of stress that led them to seek comfort in that crinkly package of creme-filled, guilty pleasure in the first place.
The practicing is a little scary, to be honest, but satisfying at the same time. Maybe I'm growing a bit. Becoming at better person, one free consultation at a time.
Amidst all of that, I did take some time to bake this crisp. It was a whim of a thing, made up of this and that I had laying around. For whatever reason, those spontaneous moments in the kitchen are sending out some seriously delicious goods. No chance to over-think things, I suppose.
As you're aware, I'm sure, it's December already. Enjoy these snuggly months, friends, and just remember to keep baking :)
Cranberry Apple Crisp
4 C. apples, sliced (or enough to fill a 9-inch pie plate)
1 C. fresh cranberries
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 C. gluten-free oats
1/2 C. gluten-free flour (I used sorghum)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/3 C. maple sugar
1/3 C. coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss apples and cranberries with the maple syrup. Pour the fruit into the prepared pie plate.
- In the bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and maple sugar. Using a fork, stir in the coconut oil until well combined. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the fruit.
- Bake approx. 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the apples are fork tender.
- It tastes best warm, straight from the oven.