I have this shirt hanging in my closet.
It's a comfy v-neck shirt, with three words imprinted on it--Keep Life Simple.
I don't wear it very often for two reasons. One, it's a tshirt. I'm so cold natured I wear about 4 layers this time of year. So a tshirt is the least of my wardrobe desires. And two, its hanging in my closet. I normally choose clothes in my dresser drawers. I neglect it because it's out of sight.
Despite those so called reasons *cough* excuses *cough*, I'm thinking I need to wear it daily.
Because things have gotten too darn complicated in my world.
I've got so many things rattling around in my head that I just need to get back to basics.
My nights have been sleepless. My brain just rolls. I'm disconnected from my body.
And after this week, I can't live like this anymore.
I'd even made waffles complicated. Sure, amazing recipes with a myriad of flavors does tantalize the tastebuds, BUT, sometimes simple is best. Then, I can take this blank canvas and dress it however I wish. No fuss, no stress.
Thats what I chose to do here.
I used a simple combo of chickpea and oat flour to form the base, and added OJ in place of some of the liquid for a subtly light citrus flavor. I topped it with vanilla ghee and fresh fruit. Simple and delish.
The way waffles---and life---need to be for me.
This week, I've been overcome--no make that overwhelmed--with a tremendous sense of gratitude.
Which I have to admit is quite odd considering my default setting is a one way trip to negative town, via the pessimism expressway.
But, this new setting is really cool. This morning, I took the time to watch a bluebird peck around in our planters while washing the dishes. It was strangely satisfying.
Getting into the kitchen to utilize my talents fills up my heart space. Because, there was a time not too long ago, less than 6 months in fact, when I wasn't well enough to even stand up for even 10 minutes to boil pasta.
Regaining enough strength to get back into the kitchen and cook for myself has been life affirming. I was so down in the dumps about not being able to care for myself (hello moving back in with my folks), it is like my own personal recognition of getting better. And releasing my bonds of self punishment by getting back on the waffle making wagon has added another level of healing in my emotional and spiritual realms.
Releasing the punishment has also helped to bring the "new" into my life--new friendships, new opportunities for career growth, and new outlets for my creativity (hi you lovely blog readers!).
I bet you're wondering---how did this releasing occur? Well, I'm glad you asked! I began to release the moment I decided to forgive myself. What has that entailed? Well, it began with saying out loud, "I choose to forgive myself." It also entails looking right into the mirror, right into my own eyes, and saying, "I forgive you and I love you." If it works for Louise Hay, it's good enough for me. Yes, it felt funny. And it still kinda does feel funny. But, I say it anyway. Over & over. Either phrase or both together. It's opened a while new line of communication with myself. Before, I was only able to "hear" my inner voice when I picked up my journal and began to write. Now, I can "hear" my inner wisdom speak during other times--the shower, my car, heck even a public toilet stall.
This is still a work in progress however. I have a ways to go. I desire to fully trust my wisdom and what it says. I have a tendency to second guess the messages I get--which is really frustrating, and super awkward to question yourself like this. Blame it on my control freak ego and the need to know right now.
Okay, B, so this is cool---but WHAT does this have to do with waffles at all?
Well, I'll tell you--in simplest terms, I've not gotten a message to make pumpkin waffles until now. Well, by "now", I mean I've second guessed myself five times. Yep, 5. I've asked things like, "Are you sure now? Do I really need canned pumpkin? Who cares about pumpkin after Turkey Day? Is this pumpkin overkill?"
So, I'm trying something new in addition to forgiving and loving myself. It is trusting the messages my inner wisdom shares with me--even if it's the 5th time. The messages don't need to be massive revelations--they can be simple, everyday things. Those in fact add up to massive revelations like the gratitude I have for being here, in this moment, making you waffles and being able to care for myself.
Namaste & enjoy!
One day a few weeks ago, while in the middle of a walk with Ginger, I totally received a cool "Divine Download". By the way, a Divine Download is the loving term I use to describe when I receive and hear messages from my inner wisdom.
As I stared at the leaves dancing in the wind, I wasn't sure I understood. "Ummmm, inner wisdom, can you say that again?"
The message was this: "Look up the difference between a dream and a goal. Make your goals concrete. Give them wings."
To be honest, I just tucked that nugget away in the notes section of my iPhone. It didn't even register with me until this past Friday, when I heard a song lyric and my mind immediately jumped to the image of the note I hastily typed in the middle of my walk.
I still didn't look up the definitions until yesterday though.
Wonder if my inner wisdom is upset it took me a while to "get" to this nugget or if she knew I'd totally put it away until the appropriate time?? Hmmmm......
Merriam-Webster says a goal is "the end to which effort is directed."
Merriam-Webster says a dream is "a strongly desired goal or purpose."
Well, okay that makes sense. Dreams are just something which stay in your head, while goals are the steps you put forth to make those dreams actually happen.
And so, my dialogue began with myself. Yes, I do speak to myself, usually on a daily basis. It's totally normal and totally necessary for me to figure out what's real and what's not. It's typically curious banter, but I found myself getting a tad defensive.
But, I mean aren't I doing that already inner wisdom??? I mean, I work on my goals. I take the steps needed to achieve my dreams. Don't I??
Straight up silence.
Uh oh. That's not good.
I've posted on my Instagram (@brooke_langford_) before I have trouble dreaming. I have trouble actually thinking about my future. I have trouble picturing anything at all for my future.
Sure, I've totally blamed it all on heartbreak, life changes, illness, and financial crises. But, I think it goes deeper.
I think it stems from fear. Fear from claiming my desires. Fear of failure. Fear of heartbreak. Fear of more struggle. Fear of asking for more....so much more. Heck, even a fear of dreaming in general.
My dreams have been wrapped up in others for so long, the thought of having my own dreams is scary. But, it's necessary for my heart. For my soul. For my future.
Uhhhh, Brooke, what does this have to do with these waffles?
Well, a lot actually.
Because in my past, I dreamed a lot. I dreamed about food I wanted to make. I dreamed about a life where I'd cook food; bake for people I loved; and live in a house with a huge kitchen. I dreamed of romantic stories where I'd meet the love of my life, he'd whisk me away and we'd live happily ever after. I'd dream of helping women become who they truly are, away from what "everyone else" says. I'd dream of celebrating their triumphs and highlighting their growth. Heck, I even dreamed of waffles.
But I never did anything about these dreams. I never took them and made them goals. I never set forth the plan to do anything about these dreams coming true. And my dreaming dried up. For a long period of time. I figured they were gone forever. Or so I thought. I do have a tendency for melodrama just FYI :)
It still boggles my mind one decision can change everything.
My decision? To begin making waffles again after a long hiatus. With that one decision, slowly the dreams I put aside by began waking up from their slumber.
My desires to help other women. My desires to cook for the people I love. My desire to bake for people I love. Heck, those dreams to meet the love of my life and being swept away have even resurfaced. So have writing a book. And so does my dream of helping women to shut down those negative voices and help them reach their own dreams.
So, how do I celebrate the reigniting of my dreams??
By remaking the first waffle I ever made on my own--oatmeal cookie waffles!!
Redid my new gluten free way of course.
And as I was eating, I thought more about those dreams. I even went so far as to create a few goals. And I have actually begun to act on them. :) You'll learn more about those later.
For now, I'll end it here. But, let me ask you: what are your dreams? Do you have goals associated with those dreams? If not, contact me & let's talk!!
I've historically never been a good sleeper.
In fact, for most of my life, if even one creak occurred in the house, I was wide eyed and immediately ready to defend my home & family's honor.
Can you imagine me as a 9 or 10 year old, rocking an oversized Beverly Hills 90210 night shirt, stumbling clumsily downstairs with a baseball bat, flashlight, and no glasses??
Yeah, that image makes me laugh too. Because I wouldn't be able to see anything I would be swinging at!!
Fast forward to last year, when my chronic Epstein Barr infection took over my life. Sleep has never been so great. I'm usually asleep before my head even hits the pillow.
I have many theories for this new found ability to sleep. Could have been my body trying to heal itself. Could have been the new fan I got to completely block out noise. Could have been I was just.....fatigued (pardon the pun).
Recently, however, the sleep has evaded me once again.
But, instead of hating this non sleeping time, like I usually do, I'm embracing it. In fact, it's when I get new ideas. It's when I'm able to talk directly with my inner wisdom. It's when I hear my heart truly speak. And that's satisfying on so many levels.
Case in point--this waffle. I'm really digging figs these days. Like really digging them. I put them in oats. I put them in yogurt. I pair them with almond butter and flax. I eat them on their own. In short, I wanted to highlight them. I woke up early one morning last week with this waffle in my head. And I immediately got up at began to experiment.
I know my sleeping family loved someone scurrying around our kitchen at 3:30am.
Okay, they really didn't love it, but they did have a delicious breakfast to wake up to!
Gluten free buckwheat flour and flaxseed meal were the basis of my batter. Sliced figs and walnuts though were my stars. And don't forget the vanilla ghee. Total game changer in my world. It will be highlighted many more times. In fact, it's already crossed another one of my late night/early morning divine inspiration/creative sessions.
Good thing though I've grown up a little when I charge downstairs nowadays. I at least wear my glasses so I can see what I'm doing. No baseball bat required these days either. But, I can't guarantee an oversized old school ratty night shirt isn't worn ;) Enjoy!
My past week has been clean out central in my room. I've been gathering items which no longer fit my body....my mind....my life.
One of the major areas I've felt the need to clean up is my purse collection. Despite the fact I can only carry one purse at a time, I think I've kept all the purses I've owned since......2007. Yep, I have pack rat tendencies. Not afraid to admit it.
I mean, where else could I find one of those teeny tiny purses which only fit an old school Nokia phone and an ID??
Well, I totally thought I could make some money off my extensive collection, so I lugged them all into a local consignment shop.
Sure, I had very expensive designer bags in there....along with the purses I'd gotten for one event or another which admittedly not expensive.
But, either way, I was proud of what I'd amassed, even if they spanned the decades.
I dropped off my bag of goodies & walked away, dreaming of what I'd do with my new found wealth. I mean, I could spend them on buying a gift subscription to Gluten Free Baking Academy for a gal pal, or save up for a new (to me) DSLR camera---does anyone know where I can find one?), or save for my Strala Yoga certification workshop.....the possibilities were endless in my brain.
So, when that magic time to claim my items arrived, I walked triumphantly to the counter and expected to get at least $100.
The reality???? I got $28.
Seriously, all those purses. All those name brands....I mean who turns down a Dooney & Bourke?? Even if it was mini...and I do mean mini.
I was kinda upset. In fact, the girl who was asssessing my items tried to soften the blow by telling me, "Well, you had a lot of variety...tons of wallets, wristlets, cross bodies, and hand bags. Those sell well here. But, we just couldn't take yours." Oh ok. I walked out defeated.
The whole car ride home went like this in my head:
Uh, what?? But, I have variety. I mean, that's good right?
Why did my stuff not sell? Those were real designer bags...not counterfeit. I feel like I'm so totally out of style. Geez, I know I've been through a lot recently, but can my stuff be so irrelevant?
Sigh. Apparently, my stuff can.
All I can say now is thank goodness my waffles haven't ever been put into the irrelevant pile!! And I don't plan on them getting that title EVER.
These waffles highlighted vanilla ghee and the flavors of golden milk--see that gorgeous yellow, rich, earthy color. I don't even think my photos do them justice. I wish you could smell the fragrant spices in action....can't you just feel the healing vibes?? Adding chopped dates & shredded coconut took these over the top yum.
True delicious, soul satisfying nourishment.
Can't say the same about my purses though....they've outlived their soul nourishment. At least for the current trends and consignment offerings.
Anyone need tiny purses for a throwback party? I've got more than a few left. ;)
The other morning I woke up to some words running through my head....
"Drop the tension."
Woah. Pretty heavy for 5am don't you think? But, my heart wouldn't let this phrase rest (or let me go back to sleep either!). So, I do what I always do when woken up in this way: get up and write.
And boy did my writing just flow out of me. I realized how twisted & tied up I was over multiple things in my life. I didn't even realize I was tense. Tense is unfortunately a natural state for me. It has been for most of my life.
But one place I go where everything melts away is my kitchen.
Now, that doesn't mean I float into the kitchen each time on a puffy cloud of hearts and puppies. I will occasionally bitch & moan about "having" to cook dinner; being too tired to cook, or (my fave), not having "anything" to cook (yes I say this while staring blankly my pantry instead of staring in my closet).
But, when I get started---by pulling out my ingredients; washing veggies; chopping; seasoning; and, pushing play on my @spotify radio--things seem to slow down. Time stops. And I begin my effortless dance around my kitchen celebrating the beauty of creation. The beauty of combining flavors. The beauty of loving myself by preparing nourishing meals for myself. The beauty of the tension release.
Today's fun sauce actually could go on a savory waffle (I'm working on one as I type), but I used it as a topping for a roasted root veggie and lemon rice dish. Turmeric, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice create a mellifluous mix with one of my absolute favorite ingredients--tahini.
Tension gone from my body. Pride and confidence swells as I whisper to myself, "I created this." For the first time in many nights, I slept soundly all night long. Mission accomplished.
adapted from The Minimalist Baker
I love getting email. In fact, I received one just as I was sitting down to type this blog post.
It was a summary of a conversation I'd had a week before. It was brief but very effective. It jogged my memory of the deeper discussion we'd had and the work which remained. I began thinking about why summaries like these get sent? Well, I think one of the lines in the email sums it up nicely--"because we forget!"
Yes, we do forget. We know things. We experience things. In our hearts. In our minds. Through our life experiences. Through our education. Through our lovers (or ex lovers eyes). Through our children...or pets in my case. We experience highs. We experience lows. We experience all the emotions in between.
But despite us feeling and experiencing things as we go through life, we do forget. It just slips into a little filing cabinet in our brain, only to get extracted when our memory is jogged. We smell a smell and it takes us back to a kindergarten class/teacher/school. We hear a noise and it sends us reeling, even if the danger is no longer present.
It's what allows us to fall in love with someone even after our hearts have been shattered. We remember....and when we are in our loving place with that new person, you silently hear yourself whisper, "I forgot how good this feels. I'm glad to have this back."
Now, I bet you're thinking---what in the world does this have to do with waffles? Easy....we forget how good it feels to create something amazing from our own kitchen. I'm reminded every time I create something yummy that sends my foodie self into overdrive. We forget how cool it is to love on our family and friends by sharing a meal with them and lingering over conversations. We forget how it lights up the faces of others as we bring them homemade treats to enjoy at their own casa. We forget that cooking takes us out of the rush rush rush of life....and let's us create magic on a slower scale.
These waffles reminded me of how fun sharing recipes are. It is a reminder of how simple flavors yield stupendous results. It's also a reminder to make these more often, as they are out of this world delicious!!!!
So, with this post, I just want to remind you of your amazing abilities. You have the power to make "ish" happen. You have the choice, on any given day, to choose again. You have the ability to change your life in one day, one hour, one minute. You have the power to create.
And if you ever need someone to jog your memory, come on over to my house. I've got a warm plate of waffles with some fresh coffee for you. Can't guarantee they'll be syrup though, so better bring your own. ;)
adapted from The Detoxinista
My favorite fruit of all time has to be the banana.
Sure, dates have tried to steal the show. Apples too. Even black mission figs on occasion.
They've all tried...and they've all failed.
No one has been able to eclipse the feelings I have for a banana. Even during the time I gave them up.
Bananas have always had a spot at my table. When I was a young kid, bananas were the only fruit I ate (unless fruit roll ups counted). I enjoyed them sliced over cereal.
As a teenager, when my eating disorder began, a banana and a cup of yogurt held me through the entire afternoon of school, swim, and dance (hmmm maybe that's being too generous...I think it held me until mid afternoon if I'm totally honest).
In college, when my disorder was in full gear, a banana was my pre workout snack (and often the only thing I ate during the day). It was, quite frankly, my safe food.
As I started my healing process, I'd add more foods into my diet but the one thing which has remained constant--my pal, the yummy, yellow banana.
And you know what? During this past year, when "fruit fear" totally had its grips on me, I gave up my beloved. I deemed it too much sugar for me. I decided it fed yeast, Candida, and fungus in my system. I thought giving them up would mean I'd have to say goodbye forever. I felt myself being so sad, but I set them aside anyway. "All in the name of my health", I said.
Then, I got constipated. Like really unable to go. For almost 9 weeks. I cut out all carbs and fruits, eating only meat and veggies. I was miserable physically and emotionally. It's a wonder I didn't get sicker than I was. (Yep, I'm talking about food and poop in the same post. I'm all about sharing TMI haha)
When I finally went to my doctor to see what the heck was actually going on with my unfortunate irregularity, I said to her, "I don't just want, I NEED my bananas." I missed their fluffy goodness. How easy they are to take anywhere. How they fuel me. And, how regular they made me. She knew I was serious, and I wasn't taking no for an answer.
And just like that, my banana ban was over.
Welcome back my old friend, I've missed you.
They've been back in my life ever since. In fact, every single day. So, what better way to celebrate than to create a waffle which is worthy enough to bear your name??
Omg...fluffy and flavorful doesn't even begin to cover the mouth happiness I felt upon eating this creation. Words just can't adequately describe these pillows of banana-y goodness.
I topped mine with what else? Bananas! Add a couple spoonfuls of my blackberry & cherry chia jam with some sunflower seed butter and I was a very happy gal. Like really happy. So happy I forgot I'd even walked away from these jewels for a brief period.
Here's to you banana.....you deserve it!
adapted from Savory Lotus
Today, I wanted to start a new series to celebrate all things waffle....making fun syrups, jams, sauces, chutneys, and compotes (just to name a few) to accompany your creations!
This theme day was inspired by the blog Yumuniverse. Heather Crosby is the creator of this blog/book bearing the blog's namesake, and it's so creative, thorough, and satisfies my need for knowing all things plant based!!
I received her cookbook as a birthday gift for my Kindle, and I tore through it like I did reading 50 Shades Darker (looking forward to seeing that movie next week btw).
One recipe I just HAD to make from that book was her raspberry and chia jam. There was only one problem. Well, I didn't have any raspberries. And I've never made this type of jam before in my life. So, make that 2 problems.
Well, what type of jam is this? One that's way easier than what I learned growing up--you know, sterilizing the jars, spending long times cooking over the stove, slicing fruit, filling the hot jars, sealing the jars and then storing them. While it is a fun process, it's certainly a long one. And sometimes I just want a quick jam I can make up in a few minutes to enjoy on waffles, oats, crackers, rice cakes, and ahhhhmazing gluten free bread courtesy of Heather and her Gluten Free Baking Academy.
This recipe absolutely fits the bill. It was quick, fresh, and uses chia seeds for the gelatinizing agent....why had I never thought of that before? I'm glad she did...because my jam life will never be the same! This is my new go to. And while I didn't have raspberries, I had some frozen blackberries and cherries which caught my eye. Excellent choice B if I do say so myself.
The two biggest things to remember here are:
1) you can use any combo of berries or fruits you'd like. Throw in some spices to be saucy if you wish! Ginger and blackberries or even rosemary and blackberries would make a mighty fine combo (not my dog Ginger, but the spice hahaha)
2) make sure you take the jam off the heat before you stir in the chia seeds. The wonderful, magical chia seeds will do the thickening for you as your jam cools. No pectin or boiling jars required!!
After sitting for just about 5 minutes to allow the mixture to cool, I just spooned it onto my yogurt for a fun, refreshing, mostly homemade snack!!
What jam combo could you come up with using this simple go to recipe? I know there's plenty out there, so let's brainstorm some ideas.
Hmmm, I wanna do something with figs....that's my next not so secret project!! Any suggestions as to what goes well with fig? I thought of caramelized onions for a savory combo....but what about a sweet one??
Happy Friday....may it be jammin' ;)
adapted from YumUniverse
With all of the changes going on in the world, I'm really glad I have waffles to make.
I want to cut through the uncertainty, anxiety, and the numerous versions of spin out there...and take you back to an old favorite muffin flavor...the deliciously fragrant lemon poppyseed.
Let me preface all of this by confessing: I love to grocery shop. I have since I was able to remember. Back then, we didn't have those little carts for kids some stores currently have. No no..I got to walk alongside the adult buggy. I'd assist with the reading of the list; keeping up with the coupons we'd use; and mayyyybe getting to toss in a box of Golden Grahams (or 2) if Mom was in a good mood. She wasn't the biggest fan of grocery shopping (still isn't), so being at a grocery store wasn't her favorite way to spend her time. But, for me, it is. The chance to get new things; restock what's been eaten; and just explore various cultures through their food gets me excited. It may be a tad dorky, but it's just perfect for me.
Okay, back to my childhood grocery shopping days....there used to be these muffins we passed at the bakery which were kind of an electric (dare I say unnatural...hmmmm too much food coloring) shade of yellow, with these blue speckles.
They looked strange, but woah they had an intoxicating smell. I didn't really speak up to get these items because a friends told me at school they were drugged (I was real naive back then and believed most of what I was tolearn) and I was freaked out. What did drugged exactly mean? I didn't know and I sure as heck wasn't gonna eat them to find out. So, I avoided them completely.
Fast forward to a tea someone had in high school and we got a cake which looked eerily similar to those muffins--minus the neon yellow color. Well, I didn't want to be rude, so I took a piece and began eating (yep, still avoided eating them even though I knew better than to call them drugged by now--what can I say? Old habits die hard.). It wasn't overly yellow, had those poppy seeds...and was just plain delicious. Wowsers....where had this cake been all my life??
From then on, it's been in my home whenever I see fresh, plump lemons. But, since I've been gluten free, it's not been eaten....until now.
This waffle creation smells like those lemon Girl Scout cookies I used to love as a kid....again, minus that faux yellow coloring.
It's real important to let your coconut flour batter sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flour and the liquids to meld. It will yield a better product every time. So, take the time while you're waiting to preheat your waffle iron; clean your area; and, wash dishes. Makes clean up so much easier if you clean as you go instead of and all at once cleaning at the end (I speak from experience).
I served this with a simple blueberry/raspberry mix and a dollop of sunflower seed butter. Nothing better.
Now, time to go to the grocery store and get some more goodies to create. Think I'll outgrow my grocery store love? I sure hope not.
Do you have a fave waffle you'd like me to try...please let me know!!
adapted from The Roasted Root