Two Turtle Brownies

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On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me….Two Turtle Brownies

I really love to bake.

It wasn’t always this way. As a child, being in the kitchen was strictly about doing chores and eating food that someone else made. Though I’ve had a sweet tooth for as long as I can remember, the act of baking seemed really complicated and tedious to me. (And I was secretly afraid that I would mess up, too!).

In my eyes, my parents and other grown ups just knew what they were doing in the kitchen. My parents never actually measured anything, and it all came out so tasty! I could not imagine a day where I would ever know my way around spices and recipes with more than three ingredients.

And then I got older. And life became richer and more complicated – with deep friendships, a new relationship with God, responsibilities in the ministry, and now a career as a social worker. As a young woman, Christian, therapist, friend, sister, daughter, mentor – life can easily get so busy! It is way too easy for me to get stuck in a cycle where I’m going and going and my days just blend in to one another.

And this is why I love baking. For an hour or so I get to slow down. I have to slow down. Follow the steps. Mix it all together. Then wait for the ingredients to meld together and voila, a finished product. A tasty finished product

Beloveds, so much of the work God has called us to do does not result in a “finished product” that we can see. In fact, on this journey with our Creator, we are called to set our minds on things above, to lay down our lives to love people, and to constantly be in prayer. These are not tasks that we simply finish on this side of eternity. This life is indeed a marathon. Thankfully, as God’s daughters, we can fully rely and trust on God and His promises during this race. As His word tells us, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
(Galatians 6:9 NLT)

To celebrate this Christmas season, sisters, I encourage you to slow down. Take time to reflect on the miracle of the birth and Life of our Savior. Avoid the myriad of temptations to be too busy. Spend time with your family and friends. Love your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, and your God.

And eat tasty things. No seriously – do that too! Here’s something to get you started:

Turtle Brownies!

This is a healthier version of your standard brownie – with avocado to replace the butter. I promise it tastes just as great and is even more filling. And it helps to stay on track with healthier eating this holiday season. 🙂 (Recipe adapted from http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/guilt-free-turtle-brownies/)

Ingredients

1 large hass avocado, mashed until creamy

4 eggs

1 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cups roasted walnuts

1 cup caramel sauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mash up avocado until very creamy and smooth with a mortar or potato masher. Add eggs and whisk until well combined. Add vanilla extract, sugars and salt, mix well. Add cocoa powder and flour, mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 40–45 minutes, or until brownies pass
toothpick test.

2. Roast walnuts at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Spread nuts over brownies and top with caramel sauce.

Voila!

With love,

Esther

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