Dorothea’s Dishes: Cinnamon Applesauce!

Hello everyone!

I am so excited to another one of Dorothea’s Dishes with you all! To go along with our current Autumnal theme since apples are beginning to come into season, I thought it might be fun to share my grandmother’s cinnamon applesauce recipe! I have such fond memories of this recipe from my childhood– she often make this dish keep extra quarts in her freezer for whenever I would come to visit. I must admit I became so spoiled by this recipe, any other store-bought applesauce just doesn’t compare!

Here is the recipe:

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please be sure to tag me on Instagram, my handle is @thegingerintrovert! Also use the hashtag #Dorothea’sDishes, so everyone else can see it, too!

Happy autumn!

XOXO

Dorothea’s Dishes: Easter Eggs!

Hello everyone!

One of my most precious belongings is a cook book that my grandmother put together in 2016. My grandmother was a cooking legend in our family. She was known for many things: her expertise in the kitchen, always having at least three desserts after dinner, and her three refrigerators that were filled with leftovers and pre-cooked meals. In 2016, my grandmother made these cookbooks for my mom and my aunts. And after her passing in November, I inherited the copy that she made for herself. Ever since then I have been trying to connect more with her memory by learning to cook, and trying out some of her recipes every now and again.

Since Easter is a day away, I thought I would share a fun recipe with you guys, in honor of Dorothea (and Jesus!). Easter and Christmas were the two biggest holidays for my grandmother, and she made these eggs every year… In at least three flavors, of course! Below is her recipe for her peanut butter and coconut flavored chocolate eggs. She also made a cherry and vanilla flavor, but I can’t seem to find those recipes… So I suppose I’ll have to do a little digging in the family archive (AKA the cook book cabinet) and publish a part two next Easter! I’ve also added a couple of notes in brackets, just in case something didn’t make much sense or needed clarifying.

Dorothea’s Easter Egg Recipe

Cream [mix?] until very soft:

1 stick of butter or butterine [a word my grandmother used for margerine]

1 pkg. (8 oz. size) cream cheese

Mix in:

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

For peanut butter eggs add 1-1/2 cups peanut butter.

For coconut eggs add 2 small cans of coconut.

If you want both kinds of eggs, divide the batter into halves or 2/3rd and 1/3rd. For half the batter for the peanut butter eggs use 2/3 C[can?] peanut butter or a little more depending on how strong you want the peanut butter and for coconut eggs divide batter accordingly.

Shape eggs and chill (freezer is the best way) on a cookie sheet with waxed paper before dipping in the following:

6 blks. Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 bar German chocolate. We like to use a milder, lighter chocolate from Wilber Chocolate factory [Wilber Chocolate is a local brand in Lancaster, PA]. Better yet, a semi-sweet chocolate, light. Hershey’s is good, too.

After the egg is dipped in the chocolate you can roll it in crushed peanuts [if desired], and put egg immediately on wax paper one at a time. Chill in the freezer again until hard, and then serve!

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you do end up trying your hand at this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I would love to see! My handle is @thegingerintrovert 🙂 I am planning on making this a semi-regular series on this blog, since there were so many dishes that my grandmother made year round that I would love to share with you all. So stay tuned… I may be sharing her Creamsicle Cake and Lemon Bar recipes in honor of the spring and summer months!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter–He is risen!

XOXO

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Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  
John 14:6

Healing from the Holidays

Hello everyone,

It’s been about a week since we rang in 2019 and closed the door on 2018 for good. In doing so, we also said goodbye to the holiday season once again. While the internet really does love to hype up the holidays, we all know that it can be a rough time for a lot of people. Whether it be family issues and conflicts, personal hardship, or in my case, the recent loss of a loved one, sometimes the holidays just leave us feeling drained and sad rather than joyous.

I’ve mentioned Katie Dalebout’s podcast Let It Out many times before on this blog. In the early part of December, Katie released a solo podcast about how to take care of yourself in the face of all of these hardships during the holidays. I found this podcast really inspiring and used a couple of the ideas she mentioned. However, no matter how hard I tried, I still found the holidays to be extremely difficult after the passing of my grandmother on Thanksgiving. No matter how many extra self-care tactics I employed, I still couldn’t shake the dark cloud of loss that hung over my family during Christmas dinner and donkey kicked me with emotion when I realized I would ring in 2019 without her. So, I’m gonna be brutally honest. This holiday season kinda sucked, not because of anything my family did wrong, but just because I missed my grandmother. And because of this, I’m still feeling a little raw, even eight days into 2019.

If I’m feeling this way, I have no doubt that there are a couple of you out there who are still struggling. So, I thought I might tell you how I’ve been coping, and maybe they’ll help you, too.

Find an ally.

An ally can be anyone. A friend, your partner, your mom or grandmother, they just have to be someone who understands what you’re going through and has either been there or can empathize without judgment. Go out to grab a coffee or even have a knitting session—anything— with said person and just talk. Give and take. Listen to what they might be going through, and they’ll listen, too. It’s both a dose of normal life in the midst of chaos, as well as a small distraction.

Take some time to yourself.

After the frenzied holiday season, sometimes one of the best ways to heal is to just give yourself some much needed. While this is coming from an introverted perspective, I really do believe that it is important to give yourself time to breathe and process whatever you may be feeling alone. Writing, cooking, meditating, exercising, or doing something else you enjoy by yourself can really give you both peace of mind and space to figure yourself out.

If you’re really feeling low, get yourself to some counseling or therapy.

I will always be a big believer in the power of therapy. I’m one of those people that view mental health in the same light as physical health. If something is off or wrong with your body, you get yourself to the doctor. The same applies to your mental state. If things are really off, a professional opinion can only help. I go to the counseling services at my school, so I haven’t been able to follow this advice. However, I have been taking notes on things to discuss with my counselor so that when I make my first appointment, I’ll know exactly what to talk about. Much like exercising, I never regret going to counseling, and I always find that it gives me peace.

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As we are all moving forward into healing in this new year, I hope you are all doing well and are helped in some way by this post. If you have anything you would like to share or can think of another helpful tip, please feel free (as always) to leave it down in the comments! Or, head on over to my Instagram and start the conversation there. If you do, leave the evergreen emoji on my last post so we can all see who read this post! (I’ve seen other bloggers and influencers do this, and I thought it would be a cute idea to do as well!)

XOXO
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10 Tips to Eat Healthier

Hello everyone!

I struggle with my nutrition and eating right so much. I have no problem motivating myself to get up and exercise most days, but for some reason, food has always sorta stumped me. I’ve wrestled with healthy eating choices for years, so I’ve developed some tricks along the way to make sure that I eat what I should… And not what I shouldn’t.

1.

Everybody always says that the ratio is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, and I know through experience they’re right. If you don’t keep an eye of what you put into your body, the exercise may as well be futile. Keeping a food journal is a good way to start tracking what you eat. I’m not necessarily saying to count calories, but journaling helps you be more mindful of what you put into your body.

2.

Drink. Water. And lots of it. If anything, try to cut sugared drinks out completely. When I was in high school, I drank one to two Cokes a day after school. When I stopped and just drank water, I swear it made a huuuuge difference. Try to only have two or three sugary drinks a week. This goes for iced teas, sodas, and alcoholic drinks. Still want a refreshing drink for those last days of summer? Find a seltzer water you like, or infuse your water with fruit!

3.

Try not to have too many salty snacks as well, such as chips and things like that. Cut down on snacking on chips and cookies and other things like that, and choose things like fruit or hummus. A few handfuls of chips or crackers can easily turn into polishing the entire bag or box. Again, I know from experience, haha!

4.

Not all granola bars are made equal. Avoid bars that have less than 3% protein, because that’s the stuff that will make you feel full! If there’s even less than 4%, you will probably still feel hungry after you’ve eaten the thing.

5.

If you get a sugar craving or feel unnecessarily hungry soon after you’ve eaten, take a drink of water. Sometimes when our bodies are thirst or need water, the signal gets confused and translated into a craving.

6.

Find some superfoods you know your body and your tastebuds like. I’ve gotten into eating overnight oats and greek yogurt with fruit lately. I eat them at both breakfast and lunch most days because I like how they taste, they travel well, and they keep me feeling full so I don’t snack. Find a couple things like this you can switch throughout the week, so you won’t get tired of them.

7.

Figure out what your body runs best on. For me, I need lots of protein in order to feel fuller longer. For some others, I know carbohydrates are the thing their body needs to run right. Feel out what makes your body feel the best after you’ve eaten it! If that turns out to be pasta in small doses, so be it.

8.

Keep it balanced when you’re eating. Keep general portions in mind when you eat. I like trying to adhere to the old plate-pie chart: 50% proteins, 25% fruits/veggies, and 25% starch (mashed potatoes, chips, etc.).

9.

If you’re craving something, just have it. Have that cake, pie, chocolate, or whatever it may be. Just don’t let it turn into more than one portion. Set a goal for yourself that you’ll only have three or four sweet treats a week, and stick to it. That way, you look forward to those indulgences, but you also learn to set limits for yourself.

10.

I rely on Pinterest for healthy recipe ideas, as clichĂ© as that sounds! But it truly is such an amazing resource. When I’m just not feeling my go-to meals, I just search “healthy recipes” and thousands of options pop up. There’s something for everybody, and I find the Pinterest algorithm less intimidating than the deluge of information that comes with a Google search.

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I’m not a nutritionist. I am just a girl who tries her best to eat as healthily as possible, and I stumble and make mistakes frequently. And I mean it when I say frequently. Everybody is different! Do your research, and do what’s best for your body. And as always, know that when you slip up, that it’s not the end of the world. Just keep on going, and doing your best!

What are some of your favorite tricks to keep yourself on track and eating healthy? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO

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How do you start working out?

Hello everyone!

If you’ve never really exercised much before and you want to start, I know from personal experience how daunting it may seem. I’ve written before about my weight loss journey (read more about how I lost 70 pounds), but I don’t think I’ve ever posted about how to start your fitness journey. Here are some of my tips and recommendations on how to just jump into your fitness journey, no matter your fitness level!

Starting off…

It’s a good idea to start slow. Something manageable that you can easily fit into your day and can even enjoy. For me, it was yoga videos on YouTube. Just something to get your blood moving, and to start building a habit. I heard it takes 21 days to break a habit, so try going for 21 days exercising either every other day, or even aim for three times a week. You don’t need to train like an Olympian to start a healthy lifestyle, just take it easy. One step at a time.

So tomorrow?

Wake up, and pick a YouTube video that is 10-20 minutes long. Here are a couple of my favorites, but feel free to use anything on YouTube you want to try!

Tone It Up

When I first lost the weight, TIU was what I used every day. They had (and still have!) a daily schedule that I would follow, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. Go at your own pace and take everything with a grain of salt. However, I liked having someone else create a schedule that I could follow when I didn’t know what I was doing. If you do use their “Daily Schedule,” right now TIU has an app called “Studio TIU” that they advertise on there for. Whatever workout they say to use Studio TIU for, look up on YouTube. They have SO MANY fantastic workout videos on YouTube, that you will never need to pay for their app. Here’s the link to their Daily Schedule if that’s a resource you would be interested in: https://my.toneitup.com/pages/daily-workout-1 The web page updates every day, and I have it saved on the hope screen on my phone to refer to, because I still do their workouts every day.

Blogilates

This is a great YT channel because most of the workouts are a good balance between easier exercises and harder ones. That, and they’re always pretty short and easy to fit into your day. Cassey, the founder of Blogilates and who leads most of the workouts, has a wonderful energy and makes the workouts fun, which is what you want! Make the workouts fun, and you’ll start enjoying exercising before you know it.

These are just two of my favorite channels, but there are so many great videos online that you can use as a resource! Just click around and find one you like, and do it. And the next day, repeat. If you liked yesterday’s video, do it again! If you hated it, pick something else that looks intriguing.

Of course, YouTube is just one option! Go for a walk, take a class at a local fitness studio or gym, research how to get into running, go for a hike. Do anything that sounds good to you, and figure out what works best for your personality and body!

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Do you have any tips and tricks of your own? I would love to hear your fitness hacks if you have any! And if you’re just starting your fitness journey? You can do this! I hope this post helped you 🙂

XOXO

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No technology before bed?

Hello everyone!

I struggle so much with unplugging before I got to bed. But I know when I do pry my eyes away from a screen beforehand, I definitely sleep better. It is so incredibly hard for me to do this, it’s almost like an addiction. I know I’m not the only one. Scrolling through Insta right before I fall asleep does not help me sleep. In fact, it is so easy to waste an hour or two of prime sleepy time on social media.

I find it gives other people too much power over the beginnings and endings of my day. When I take the wheel and fill that time with things that I enjoy and aren’t pixelized, I feel more positive. And in this case, more well rested. So here are some of the tech-less alternatives I’ve come up with to help me wind down and get ready for sleep.

First thing’s first.

Set your morning alarms and plug the phone into the charger across the room. That way, you’re not even tempted to scroll. I’m the laziest person ever, so if the phone is far away, I won’t get up out of bed to go get it unless I seriously need it.

Stretch out.

I’ve recently enjoyed doing a little bit of yoga before bed to shake out the day’s frustrations. While I admit, I do sometimes use my phone to listen to instructional YouTube videos to guide me through a flow, I have been trying to do the moves on my own. Concentrating on breathing and clearing my mind puts me in the perfect mindset for sleep.

Read a book or a magazine.

I feel like this one’s a given, but reading is the best way for me to forget about the events from my day and put my thoughts onto something else. Read a set number of chapters/pages/articles, and then put yourself to bed after you’re finished. Or until you feel tired enough to sleep.

Do something to nourish your soul.

For me, it is doing a devotional and reading my Bible. For others, it might be meditating or journaling. Or even completing a page in a coloring book. Whatever it is, as long as its relaxing and enjoyable for you.

Write out your goals for the day to follow.

When I write out my goals and read them in the morning, I find that I go throughout my day more mindfully and intentionally. Also, crushing that to-do list and rereading my completed goals and intentions makes me feel super accomplished and relaxed before I head to bed.

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I’ve found that when I do any number of these things before I sleep instead of using technology, I’ll feel so much better and sleep so much easier. However, a habit isn’t built overnight. I would like to challenge any of my readers who would like to join me in a 21-day bedtime technology detox. Starting tonight, put the phone aside with me. Let me know if you’re joining me in the comments!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Routine

Hello everyone!

So far this summer I’ve succeeded in keeping up a healthy lifestyle. However, I’ve tried multiple different exercise regimens, such as BBG and the Rebecca-Louise Burn app, but I haven’t really enjoyed either enough to stick to them consistently. Mostly, I like doing my own thing and making up routines for myself. I just do what feels best for my body. If I feel like a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I’ll do it. If I only have time for a 20-minute yoga routine, I’ll do that. I’ve found that I stick to a healthy lifestyle much better when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, rather than forcing myself through something that I hate every second of.

Normally, I’ll start with some cardio.

I’ll do 30-40 minutes of cardio to start my workout off every day. Due to the beautiful summer weather (when it’s not ghastly hot and humid outside), I enjoy going outside to go running around in the sunshine. I’ll go around the neighborhood or to the track near my house, or even do sprints up and down the bleachers at the football stadium at my old high school. If the weather is too ugly for this, I have an elliptical I can use in my garage. Sometimes, I just feel in the mood to do that and watch YouTube videos until my 30-40 minutes is over. It all depends on my mood.

Next, I try to do something “toning.”

I usually do a Tone It Up video, but sometimes I like switching it up. I’ll do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even an old-school aerobics video. I also try to incorporate an ab routine into my workout as well. I’ve been exercising so long, I usually just stick to the ab moves that I know and love. Here is a routine that I put together for you guys I’ve been loving, too!

 

Short ab exercise routine graphic. 60 second plank, 25 bicycles, 15 single leg raises per side, 20 butterflies, 20 v-sits, 15 hip raises, 25 side crunches, 60 second forearm plank, and ten burpees to finish. Then repeat.

Before ending the workout…

It’s sooo important to stretch. To prevent feeling too sore (because we all know it happens anyway) I’ll stretch and use a foam roller on my leg and back muscles.

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All in all, I try to keep my workout time to an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s not even that much. As long as I fit in even 30 minutes, I’m happy. A shorter workout is better than nothing, and as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I know I’m doing what I can.

What have you guys been doing so far this summer? Leave your adventures and workout routines in the comments, I would love to see them!

XOXO

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