A Change

It's been a good long while since I've been committed to this blog, against my preference.  I've become so busy working on a big life change that I haven't been able to share here, so I focused on what what going on elsewhere.  But now it is time to share, and to be here again.

You may know that I have been working at a corporate job since I graduated from college.  I followed my partner and best friend to Minneapolis, and we were living here together happily.  I love Minneapolis and the people we have met here.  But, I never enjoyed my job, and despite being in a wonderful city with great people, I felt less and less like the person I was in college.  The problem with that is that I loved my college self.  I have never felt more like myself than when I was in my undergrad years.  A big part of my soul woke up back then when I took ownership of my education and started truly shaping my ideology independently.  I immediately related to feminism and women's health issues, and concepts like social justice, privilege and oppression, and agency started guiding what I learned and how I conceptualized the world.  I quickly became a "change-the-world" type, wonderfully naive and optimistic.  But at the same time, my background and my own life expectations were leading me down this road toward business, and I followed that too. 

So then after college, I accepted a job at Target HQ because, well, it was a great job.  It just wasn't "me", and I knew it right away.  But I didn't know what was more me.  But in May, I decided to finally go after what feels like a calling I've been ignoring since I was 18: midwifery.  2 weeks ago, I resigned from my corporate job to go back to school next fall.  I am moving back to Michigan in the meantime to focus on completing prerequisite classes and being a nanny.  I'm not a risk taker, so leaving a comfortable and secure job was a big jump for me.  But I have no doubts that this is what I am meant to be pursuing.  I can't wait for my next adventure to start.


Pear Cornmeal Cake with Caramel

I made this gluten-free cake for Thanksgiving this year, and I'm still debating if eating it for breakfast the next morning was better than having it for its intended dessert purpose.  Either way, it's great paired with coffee in the morning or bubbly at night.

Upside-Down Pear Cornmeal Cake with Caramel (Gluten Free) 
Based on recipe from Whole Foods

2-3 just ripe pears (I used Bartlett) 
1 cup liquid caramel (bought or homemade) + extra for drizzling
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar 
2 large eggs  
1/2 cup strained cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup almond flour 
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract 
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice  
1 cup yellow cornmeal 
1 teaspoon baking powder  
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
Preheat oven to 375.  Coat a 9" cake pan with nonstick spray.  Pour caramel into the bottom of the pan and distribute so it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.  Cut pears into thick slices (~1-1.5" thick, to your liking) and arrange in a circle on top of the caramel.  
In a large bowl, beat butter until light and creamy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in cottage cheese (best if you mash it with the back of a spoon first so it's not so chunky) or ricotta, almond flour, vanilla, and orange juice. Mix cornmeal with baking powder and salt, and fold into batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is set and you feel like it's done.  Carefully flip the cake over onto a platter and serve slices with extra caramel drizzled over the top.  


Holiday Gift Idea | Apple Cider Syrup

Happy December!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Ours was filled with so much food & wine, family, ankle-deep snow, and coziness by the fire.

There is a shorter time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so it's time to get in the full swing of the holidays!  And to get in the spirit, I have some homemade gift ideas that are great on a budget.  First up - apple cider syrup! 

I brought a half gallon of minimally processed cider to a boil on the stove then let it simmer down for about 3-4 hours until it got nice and thick.  The half gallon yielded exactly this one small jar.  To make it extra special, I added a drink recipe that uses the syrup as an ingredient.  This makes for the perfect holiday host gift.  Enjoy!