My butt is so cold right now.
Sorry, too much information you guys. I’m just so stinking happy. Seriously, I’m grinning from ear to ear. Hat-covered ears I may add.
You see, on Friday I said that I was going to be stargazing for my astronomy class, but that ended up being cancelled due to bad weather. This week is the last chance for students to do it, and my teacher said that with the weather we’ve been having, the chances were just not very good that they would be able to hold anymore stargazes this semester. Since completing one was required for my class, you can just imagine the mental breakdown I had when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do it. There were a lot of tears, a lot of talks with my mom, and finally at the end of it all… acceptance. I had to accept that it was my fault, nothing could be changed, and I would just be more proactive with my next class. (Edited to add: I still would have received credit for my class if I hadn’t been able to go the stargazing, but since it was mandatory my grade would have dropped significantly.)
As my mom said in one of our Facebook conversations, “Remember all of these life experiences make us stronger.” To which my response was, “Ya. Ya.” 🙄 But I knew she was right.
Why may you ask am I smiling then? Because I didn’t give up. I kept on calling the planetarium, hoping each night that the automated voicemail would change, saying that the stargaze was on for that night. And finally it was.
All of the praying and hoping, and tonight I got to stand on the top of the astronomy building roof with a wind chill below 5 degrees and look at the stars with 19 other students who would rather have been anywhere but there. As I said, my butt is cold. Like so cold that I have been sitting inside for 30 minutes and it still hasn’t “defrosted” yet. But that’s okay. Because I’m happy.
Do you know what else makes me happy?
Seeing all of the bloggers who have signed up so far to help with my 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes. It is going to be amazing. If you haven’t already, check out what we are up to, and if there are still spots left when you read this, sign up! 🙂
Another thing that makes me happy would be that it’s Wednesday. Aka the best day of the week (well, as far as the blogging week is concerned at least).
The recipe that I am sharing today is a quick version of the usually yeast-based Amish Friendship Bread. If you have never tried the original recipe, you are missing out. It requires a process of letting the bag of batter sit for 10 days, with you mixing new ingredients in every few days. Then when the 10 days are up you take 1/4 of the batter and add a whole bunch of other ingredients (like flour, sugar, pudding mix, etc.) and then bake it up into wonderful loaves. With the remaining batter you now have more bags to pass onto friends (hence the “friendship” part of the title) or to freeze and keep for yourself.
What do you do when you don’t have a batch of starter lying around though? Or what if you just don’t want to wait 10 days for loaves of deliciously sweet bread? Enter my solution:
Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread
Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Dairy-Free Options, Paleo
Makes 2 loaves, 8 thick slices each
- 1/2 cup yogurt (I used cow but coconut would also work to make this dairy-free) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil/butter/ghee
- 1 cup granulated sweetener (I used Monk Fruit in the Raw, but coconut sugar, date sugar or baking stevia would work too)
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups flour*
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- milk (as needed— reference notes section below)
- 2 cups chocolate chips (or homemade carob chips)
- granulated sweetener and cinnamon for topping
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper.
- Mix together the yogurt and vinegar; set aside for 5 minutes.
- After the yogurt has set, combine the eggs, oil, granulated sweetener, yogurt and vanilla together in a large bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. (Add milk if using all purpose flour to consistency).
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter equally among the two lined pans. Sprinkle some granulated sweetener and cinnamon.
- Bake for 60-120 minutes. (I give the large range here because you should be checking probably starting at 1 hour and then in frequent intervals thereafter. This bread took about 90 minutes for me to bake, but oven temperatures vary so much, as do ingredients, that it would be wise to check often. Also, I baked the two loaves together in the oven, so if you bake them separately you will need to cut the baking time). The bread will be done when there is a golden crust on top, it springs back to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean. Check for all 3 to ensure a perfectly baked bread.
- Let cool for at least half an hour before slicing. Enjoy!
*Notes: To make this grain-free use almond flour (or another nut/seed flour). The grain-free version fell for me in the middle a bit and isn’t as pretty as these pictures, but it was still equally delicious. You can also use all purpose flour as most of the pictures reflect, but you will probably have to add some milk to thin the batter out. I added about 1/2 cup milk to reach a good, pourable consistency. And though not tested, an all purpose gluten-free flour blend should also work well in here; add additional milk if needed.
Thanks again to Jenn for hosting this lovely weekly round-up where we all get together and share great food!
Questions for you:
- What is making you smile today?
- Is there anything that you almost gave up hope on, but ultimately came through for you?
- How cold is it where you live?
- Have you ever tried Amish Friendship Bread before?
- What are you sharing for WIAW this week?