Widmayer Wellness LLC

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Tag Archives: Christmas

Muffins and Sugar Cookies with Einkorn Flour

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I love baking in the fall.  I love muffins, quick breads, and Christmas cookies!  A “breakfast” muffin or sugar cookie with a light glaze of frosting, accompanied by an early morning cup of coffee, is one of my favorite things cooler weather.  And then my health care professional told me to limit or cut out wheat.  What’s a girl to do?  Just so we are clear, I am not allergic to wheat.  It’s just not the best thing to put in my body.  I had already been experimenting with baking options because I love muffins and have to have sugar cookies at least once a year.  I had tried coconut flour and other types, but I didn’t like the flavor so I gave up.  Then, Young Living introduced Einkorn Flour.  I have been using it ever since.

Containing 1% gluten, this may not be the product for you if you are allergic to all wheat; however, if you are just looking to eat healthier, even when you are eating sweets, Einkorn Flour is a great choice. Einkorn flour is Heirloom wheat that has not been modified. You can read more about that at Gary Young’s blog here.

If you do any research on baking with Einkorn flour, you will find most resources say that it can be used the same as traditional flour and your recipe amounts will not change.  From my experience, this works okay; but muffins, for example, are less dense and occasionally come out a bit gooey in the middle. After a few near misses, I decided to add a bit of extra flour to my recipes.  Typically, if the recipe calls for 1-2 cups of flour, I add an extra 1/8 –¼ cup.  I make muffins frequently, so I am getting pretty good at it; but I only attempt scratch cookies once a year.  I wondered if I could make a decent Christmas cookie with Einkorn.  I decided to try my sugar cookie recipe with Young Living’s Einkorn Flour.

I started out by following the recipe exactly.  I used a basic Traditional Sugar Cookie recipe from Betty Crocker.

I chilled the dough and then took it out.  I was ready to roll!  I spread a generous amount of Einkorn flour on my counter so I could roll out the dough.  What a sticky mess!  I was afraid that this would be the result, but I wasn’t ready to give up.  I scooped up my prepared dough, along with all the flour I had spread on the counter, and kneaded it together.  That made my cookie dough less sticky.  Then, I spread more flour on the counter and tried again.  This time, the dough rolled out perfectly, and I was able to use the cookie cutters to make perfect trees, bells, and stars.  The cookies also tasted great.  Just as I found with the muffins, this cookie recipe needed a little extra flour to make it work.  Next time I make this dough, I will just increase the flour amount in the recipe, probably by ½ cup.

I am no expert baker, and you will have to experiment with your own recipes; but I can tell you this.  Adding a little extra Einkorn flour to your recipes when you are substituting for traditional flour will probably make them turn out a lot more to your liking.  And you don’t have to wait until Christmas to bake these cookies.  Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter are all right great times to eat cookies. Trade your bells and Christmas tree cutters for  pumpkins, hearts, shamrocks, or bunnies. But don’t wait! Start now! Who doesn’t love a round, cut-out sugar cookie in the summer with a glass of sweet tea?  And when you make those summer cookies, try a bit of Lemon Vitality essential oil in your dough.  Yum!

The Colors of Christmas [redux]

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Into a dark and sin-filled world

A blessed babe was born.

To rescue men with blackened hearts

He came that Christmas morn.

A promised King, at last arrived,

His parents tired and worn.

No one to welcome their new Son,

With Kingly robes adorn.

How could all men with cold, black hearts

Display contempt and scorn?

For the One who came to offer them

New life in Him, reborn.

 

He hung upon a cross to die,

Forsaken and forlorn.

To bear my sins and on Himself

He took my shame and scorn.

Blood of red spilled from His side.

He like a sheep was shorn—

Stripped and beaten, nailed and mocked.

His crown, a crown of thorns.

“Abba, Father,” was His cry;

His Mother, nearby, mourned.

And from the temple came the sound.

The veil, at last, was torn!

 

Ring out the bells, sing out the news,

Let heralds sound their horns!

A promised King, at last, arrived;

A blessed babe is born.

And now, He does, with robes of white

The righteous ones adorn.

To all who come and humbly bow,

To all who’ve been reborn—

Rejoice in Him. Sing out your praise.

Let Him, your life, adorn!

And celebrate the birth of Christ

This year on Christmas morn.

The Rest of the Christmas Story (Luke 2:25-35) [redux]

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Just a baby in a manger

Holy, precious heavenly child

Born in humble, poor surroundings.

First born Son so meek and mild.

Nearby shepherds hear the story

Told by angels, joyous news.

Born to you this day a Savior,

Resting now with cows and ewes.

Swaddling clothes, a sign of glory.

Angels sing, their voices raise.

Shepherds seek in haste to find Him,

Share the news and give God praise.

Mary ponders all their sayings,

Weighing thoughts within her heart.

Joseph’s quiet strength beside her,

Silent presence from the start.

Came the time for dedication.

Jesus was the baby’s name.

To Jerusalem they brought Him,

He, who’d later suffer shame.

Now there was a man named Simeon,

Righteous and devout was he,

Looking for the hope of Israel,

Promised death he would not see

‘Til the Christ, the Lord’s Anointed

Had been held within his arms.

And when Simeon held the baby,

At the moment safe from harm,

He revealed the Child’s appointed

Destiny—a Light to bring

Glory to God’s people Israel,

Salvation through a promised King.

Though an earthly King they looked for,

God had planned another way.

“And a sword will pierce your own soul,”

Mary heard old Simeon say.

And a prophetess named Anna

At the temple day and night

Offered thanks to God for Jesus,

Israel’s redemption now in sight.

Little baby, news so joyous.

The Messiah, promised King

In a manger, His life started

Born to reign, the angels sing.

But a coming shadow lingers

Prophets of His future told.

Destined death to save His people

To return them to the fold.

As we linger at the manger

Celebrating Jesus’ birth

Let us not forget the shadow

Of the cross—this baby’s worth.

Not to weep or moan in sadness

But to multiply our joy.

Saved by grace because He suffered—

Holy, precious baby boy.

Santa’s Reminder

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I had already scheduled to post all of my old Christmas poems because I hadn’t written a new one this year; and then, this morning, I was inspired to write this one.  Hopefully, you won’t feel poetry overload.  Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and blog readers.

Santa’s Reminder

The workshop is empty.

The elves have gone home.

Mrs. Clause is resting.

Santa’s alone.

 

The tools are all quiet.

The floor is clean-swept.

The toys are delivered;

Yet, Santa’s bereft.

 

He’s tired and he’s weary.

His mind is confused,

Abstracted, bewildered,

Perplexed and bemused.

 

He worked through the year.

He did a good job;

And yet, at the moment,

He’s holding back sobs.

 

He wonders if working

So hard every year

Is worth all the effort,

And this is his fear.

 

That children and grown-ups

Alike will want more

And never be happy

With presents galore.

 

That come Christmas morning

When gifts are unwrapped,

The joy of the gifts

Will be gone in a snap!

 

Cause Santa knows true joy

The joy that can last

Comes from the One Who

Was born in the past.

 

On the morning of Christmas

In a manger He lay,

The Greatest Gift ever.

For our sins He would pay.

 

And then, in a moment

Santa heard very clear

A whisper, a voice that

Said, “Have no fear.

 

You’ve accomplished the task

That I’ve given to you,

And it’s time to move on

To a year that is New.

 

The gifts you’ve delivered

Came wrapped in your love

Like the Gift I delivered

That came from above.

 

We’ll patiently wait

For all people to see

That the Best Gift of all

Isn’t under the tree.

 

The True Gifts of Christmas

Are peace, love, and joy,

Which will reign in their hearts

When they first meet My Boy,

 

Who grew to a Man

And sacrificed all

To redeem all mankind

From the curse of the Fall.

 

And during this Season

The Message rings out

That Jesus is born.

There can be no doubt.”

 

And hearing the Message

Again in his heart,

Santa leaped from his seat

And he gave a great shout!

 

Joy flooded his soul

And he knew right away

His job wasn’t finished;

He’d start now, today!

 

With a heart that was happy

Santa pulled up a stool,

Grabbed his design book,

And got out his tools.

 

He started the planning

For gifts he could give.

This was his calling

As long as he lives.

 

As long as he could

He’d still do his part,

And leave it to God

To change men’s dark hearts

 

Now the workshop is empty,

Not a mouse makes a peep.

Santa’s retired

For a well-deserved sleep.

Colors

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Black was the color of sinful hearts.

Black was the midnight sky.

Into the darkness, a Light did appear

In the form of a baby’s cry.

Red was the blood the Light did shed

Men’s blackened hearts to buy.

Into His side the spear was thrust.

“Abba, Father,” was His cry.

White are the robes of the redeemed

And the angels sing on high,

When sinners bow with humble hearts,

And “Jesus” is their sigh.

Gold are the streets in heaven above

Where the King does reign on high.

Look up with hope. Christ will return

For the Church, His spotless bride!

Do you have the JOY of the Season?

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I love Christmas! I say that every year, but it continues to be true.  Through the years, through the changes in tradition, through the loss of family members and the birth of new babies, the Christmas Season remains my favorite time.  My heart is filled with joy and overflows with love to those around me.  I rededicate myself to showing my family and friends how much I love them.  I find pleasure in shopping, wrapping, and giving gifts that will bring smiles to the faces I love.  I enjoy the different foods we eat—yes, sweets and all!  I enjoy baking, decorating the house, and setting the table.  All these simple pleasures bring me joy because I’m doing them for those I love and that focus provides purpose for my days.  Love and purpose bring me joy!

Are you experiencing the joy of the season?  If not, examine your heart and see what’s motivating it.  For many families, gatherings can be stressful instead of joyful because people harbor old resentments that are hard to release.

But Jesus came for the purpose of ridding us of those old resentments.  Jesus came to show us TRUE love.  He Himself gave up His place in heaven to come to us. He did not hold on to resentment because we were away from Him and His perfect plan.  He found a way to bridge the gap through love.  Because of His love for us, He forgives us for our wrongdoing when we ask Him.  When we are forgiven, we find freedom.

But Jesus asks us to extend forgiveness to others.  He wants us to lt go of hurts and resentment.  Why?  Because He wants us to be happy, and we cannot be happy when we are in conflict with others.  It robs us of our peace.  If you cannot forgive others for their sake, do it for yourself.  Let peace, love, and joy be the present you give yourself.  Choose forgiveness, even if you don’t feel like it.  Your feelings will follow your actions.

Be a light and an instrument of peace.  Begin the holiday season and the New Year with a heart that is free to love.  Allow Jesus to fill you with His love and embrace the joy that comes in knowing Him.  Embrace the Reason for the Season.

Merry Christmas to you all.

The Evergreen [redux]

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I came upon an Evergreen
Its branches stark and bare.
Its edges sharp and prickly,
Poking out everywhere.
Its trunk somewhat misshapen;
Its needles parched and pale
Its roots all bound and withered
Neither hearty, whole, nor hale.
Fading, failing, lifeless
Without love or care.
I took it home to love it,
An opportunity rare.

I propped it in a bucket
And helped it stand upright.
Its branches scraped and bit me;
It put up quite a fight.
A strong and firm foundation
Was needed at the base,
To help rebuild its shape and form—
To bring it back to grace.
I warmed it and I fed it;
I watered it and more,
I offered it my time and help
So it could be restored.

It slowly started trusting.
Letting down its guard.
But next I had to prune it;
A task that proved quite hard.
Branches required trimming
To even out its look—
Snipping, clipping, cutting
All of these it took.
It cried and pleaded, “Stop it.”
But boldly I kept on.
I knew exactly where to cut
Each part, each branch, each frond.

But finally I was finished
With the hard but needful task.
The time had come to lavish love
And let my new tree bask
In love and care and nourishment
And all things being new.
The time had come to bestow gifts,
Many, not a few.
To restore the radiant beauty
That’s lost without the Source.
Without the Giver of the Life
The tree wandered off course.

So I opened up my treasures
And began to trim my tree
To show the world my love for him
To make him glow for me.
I started with some garland
Gold and twinkling bright.
I added light to help him shine
A beacon in the night.
Some ornaments of red and green,
Some beads of gossamer white,
And on the top an angel
To give him added height.

And then, The Lord, He whispered,
“You see what you have done?”
You’ve modeled what I’ve done for you
By giving you My Son.
My child, you are rooted
Grafted in the Vine;
You shine MY LIGHT through all the world
And let them know you’re mine.
Your tree will be a symbol
Of life restored, reborn
A reminder of the birth of Christ
That long ago Christmas morn.”