Category Archives: Coffee

Dog Carnival & Blueb. Coconut Scones

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This is our happy pre-walk face. My little red riding hooded sweetheart! Poor thing has had a lingering cough for the past few weeks, and has been waking up really, really early. So, to get myself up and about in the mornings, I inhale this amazing coffee my sister in law got me from Texas, and head out the door for a relaxing walk/run with Gabsy pie.

This morning’s walk, however, was a disaster. DEE-saster. I took our pack of (3) dogs with us, and that might be the last time I take all three out while I have Gabs! It’s amazing I have any hair left- Gabs thought it was hilarious that I was yelling at our dogs every 3 1/2 minutes   attempting to control such a crowd during school commute hours. I’ll spare you my not-so-happy post-walk face.

 

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Ay yi yi! Never again, I tell you! I got back and was glad I saved my devotions for after the walk. My heart was in need of some softening after dealing with the dog carnival. My heart was in need of patience, and my tummy was in need of these delicious little numbers! Linds has a day off of school today and I knew she’d want to sleep in, thus giving me time to make some bangin’ scones, which I know are her favorite. (She’s staying with us this week while my parents are gone!)

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These will make ANY hectic morning better, I tell you! With each bite, the crumbly, melt-in- your mouth texture just wins your taste buds over. These aren’t your typical cookie-like scones, they are made from coconut flour and brown rice flour, which gives the scone a little bit of a denser, more fine texture. I had both types of flour needed for this recipe in my house- I’m weird like that. I like variety, so if you look in my baking cupboard, I have about 7 different kinds of flour. You’ll realize why after you eat these! I’m like the weird flour-hoarder you’ll probably see on TLC someday.

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Just kidding, I hope 🙂

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Gabs had to pass these up for rice cereal, but I don’t think she minded.

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Have a GREAT Friday!

~M

 

Blueberry Coconut Flour Scones

Adapted from The Hungry Hungry Hippie

Ingredients

1 c. coconut flour

1 c. brown rice flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. salt

1/3 c. + 2 T. coconut oil, melted

1/3 c. honey

1 T. vanilla extract

¾ c. frozen blueberries

Juice of one lemon + the zest

1 c. hot water

Directions

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Then add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and zest. Then add/mash the blueberries and the hot water. Stir until a moist dough forms.

Gather the dough into a ball and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Form the dough into a wheel (a flat round shape?), and cut into eight triangles by making four cuts across like a pizza. Brush with coconut oil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes, or until brown on the edges and firm to the touch.

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Filed under Baby, Baking, Coffee, Food Stuffs., Fridays

Espresso Meringues

This one is going to be short and sweet. I just had to share this recipe I made a bit ago and it is such an easy one! You probably have all the stuff to make it in your pantry right now!

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I made some just to nibble on and I brought the rest to work to share with the girls- they were gone in a heartbeat. Which is always a compliment 🙂
Make these, and have a coffee date with someone.
~K

**Espresso Meringues**
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 TBSP corn starch
A pinch of fine salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 packets VIA or 2 TBSP instant coffee (plus a little extra for dusting the tops)
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 285 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer (or using electric whisks) whisk the egg whites and salt on high speed until frothy.

Add corn starch and sugar (1-2 TBSP at a time) gradually and continue whisking.

Add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process- about 15 minutes.

At about 13 minutes add the VIA or instant coffee and vanilla. Taste the mixture and add more vanilla if you like.

When the egg whites form stuff peaks, spoon into a frosting bag (or my fancy way- into a large ziplock Baggie with a very small part of a corner cut off) and swirl into small dollops- about 2 inches wide and high- with an nice between. They will expand a little in the oven. Now, with a sifter, dust the tips with a little instant coffee/VIA for prettiness.

Bake about 30 minutes and check often throughout. When done, open oven door and let cool in oven for 15 minutes.

The instant coffee/VIA and vanilla addition is optional- another idea is pomegranate juice (fresh, straight from the pomegranate) or any kind of flavorful juice like that. Play with it!
Enjoy with friends.

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

More Almond Butter, please

Well, lets start with the good news!

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I’ve been working on improving my average pace and sub 8 minute miles have been a goal for a while now- Joey watched Gabs for a bit this morning so I could leave the stroller behind. I don’t mind running with the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to run & be able to move my arms!

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I was back around 7:30 and now we are awaiting the Internet guys to come fix us up. Until then, let me tell ya- Gabs is getting sooo big. And loves to talk. And loves to have her cheeks squished. And loves stories & songs. Actually, sometimes she sings along!

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Not sure she’s a true fan of baking yet, but we’ll get there. Apparently the dish soap seems more fun so far- maybe she’ll volunteer to do the dishes? For now, you can just enjoy your pretty little reflection, pumpkin.

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She sat with me in her Bumbo while we whipped up a batch of scones a few mornings ago- my little sister was staying with me for a couple days while Joey was in Washington D.C. for a dairy politics trip, and I wanted to wake her up to the smell of something delicious. Is there a better way to wake up, I ask you??

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Linds didn’t think so, either. These scones are so flaky and melt-in-your-mouth that its hard to tell that they are pretty low-fat in the scone world. Ok, maybe I just tell myself that to condone having one with almost every meal, but hey- I ran fast this morning ok?

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Check these out and tell me what you think! Only thing I’d change about the recipe is to add more almond butter, please!

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What’s your favorite way to wake up in the morning?

~M

Whole Wheat Almond Butter Scones

Ingredients
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 stick COLD butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
1 bar (chopped) Dove dark chocolate (original recipe called for 1/2 cup choc chips)
Optional: 1 TBSP butter’ melted with 2 tsp almond butter for brushing on scones

Make your own healthy buttermilk!
Mix 3/4 cup almond milk with slightly less than 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min before using!

Directions
Preheat oven to 400, and grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like pea-sized chunks. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so touch it with your hands as little as possible! The colder the butter, the flakier the scones.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter milk and 1/2 the egg (half the white, half the yolk) until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and add the almond butter. Mix til incorporated, and add chocolate. Mix but don’t over knead!

Pat into a large circle on a floured surface and cut into 8-10 triangles .

Bake for 18-22 minutes and enjoy warm!

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Filed under Coffee, Favorite Things, fitness, Food Stuffs., Fridays

Coffee Date and Les Misérables

Sorry for M and I being more absent than usual. We are both experiencing some technical difficulties with our Internet, so we are communicating on this blog 100% via our phones. I thought I was tech savvy til now. Ha! We’ll see how this goes.
Mom, Linds, M, and I have decided to do a book club this summer and read Les Misérables ‘together’. We have all seen the old movie, most of us (everyone except me) have seen the new movie, and none of us have read the book. Coming from a family of ‘the book is always better than the movie’, this is kind of illegal- so! We are reading. And discussing. And the first discussion was so cool!
For any of you who do not know the story of Les Mis- Jean Valjean is a good man who served 20 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He is released from prison, but cannot find honest work anywhere. Valjean receives mercy from a very humble and truly godly bishop only to be pursued for the rest of his life by a so called ‘godly’ man named Javert.
Since this was the first meeting, we got sidetracked sitting outside Starbucks just catching up on each others news and also got into a conversation with a man walking by who was telling people about the mission he is running for men and he asked what Les Mis was about. After mom explained it, he said,’ it’s kind of like a parable isn’t it? An earthly story with a heavenly message.’ And it’s true! The first chapters cover nothing but how the bishop came to be such a disciple of Christ, and such a humble man, and we each had different views of it but we were all amazed at how this man chose to have absolutely nothing in order to give everything to those who needed it. Made us reevaluate our needs and wants a bit. Funny how ‘stuff’ we think we need and ‘stuff’ we think will solve all our problems can get in the way of doing what God has planned for us.
I think this book reading and discussing is the start of a really good thing…can’t wait to see what we learn next!
😉
~K
P.s. a man walking down the sidewalk with two 7 week old pit bulls allllmost had Lindsey convinced she’s an animal person. Allllmost.

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Filed under Books, Coffee, Family, Favorite Things, God, Pets

Cookie Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Remember how my Internet was getting fixed this weekend? Turns out my idiot darling dogs chewed through the cable outside again- so we had the Internet guys come rewire it. After they fixed it, I duct taped over the cord AND painted it the color of our house to avoid that happening again. THE NEXT DAY THE CORD WAS RIPPED OUT AGAIN!! $210 later, we decided to wait to reinstall the cable until we have an indestructible pipe to cover the wire. Therefore, my blogging will continue to be sparse and from my phone & most likely riddled with grammatical errors. Dogs, you are standing on thin ice, I tell ya.
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Onto sweeter, much happier things.
First though, a warning. If you are one of many getting ready for bikini season, this post will be cruel to read. I’m in the process of shopping for a bathing suit for my post-pregnancy bod and these cookies just set back my shopping date another month! Just kidding.. But seriously.

I made these cookies in a weak moment, er, half hour last night when Joey and I were talking about this past Sunday’s sermon which involved an analogy using chocolate chip cookies- I tried hard to concentrate on the message despite my watering mouth.

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Anyways, we were talking about it tonight and ten minutes later we were clawing through the cupboards looking for chocolate chips and flour!

No chocolate chips! but when has that ever stopped me? All we could find was white chocolate almond bark so thats what we used. White chocolate chips would have been better, but when a cookie craving hits, you just surrender to the contents of your baking cupboard.

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My sister-in-law sent me a care package just before Gabby was born that was full of all sorts of goodies, including apple strudel coffee (swoon) and speculoos cookie butter. Into the batter it went! (Not the coffee, although apple coffee is my love.)

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Speculoos are Dutch cookies best eaten with coffee, and are a special treat. Some genius decided to make a sort of peanut butter-like spread out of them, thus completing my life. And these cookies!

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Speculoos + white chocolate= bikini season can wait.

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Gabs really wanted one, but her little fingers were apparently tasty enough for her liking!
Make these tonight 🙂

~M

White chocolate Speculoos butter cookies

Adapted from original tollhouse recipe

Ingredients
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cookie butter
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until combined. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture until combined. Add cookie butter until incorporated. Stir in white chocolate.

Chill dough for 30-45 minutes in fridge, then arrange into balls and bake for 9-11 minutes. Serve warm and melty!

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

Cleaning House

Starting the summer off with the wedding of my cousin (who is has also been one of my best friends since I moved to California) is probably going to be really hard to beat! The wedding itself was beautiful- Ashley has a way of making her visions come to life, and this was no exception. It looked like a fairy tale!!! I’m waiting for pictures to be posted because I, dork that I am, barely took any photos at all. We’ll have to rely on M for those.
As M mentioned, last weekend was also baby sisters graduation from high school. Not sure how I feel about that yet….
…happy that she’s done with high school?
…excited that she gets to start college?
….I feel really old? (Maybe)
….feel like she should still be collecting rocks and playing tea party with Kool-Aid and Cheerios?
that’s it.

Ah well. We all have to grow up eventually. 😉 I’m sure Linds feels like we wish she’d be 4 forever! Hehe…;)

I started off my summer after wedding and graduation by tackling my toilet. Sorry for the face plant into my reality, but there ya go. My home suffered during this past semester so it is now time for spring cleaning! And it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. For years I have tried to use a pumice stone- never again. Drywall sanding screens are the only thing that even made a dent and my toilet bowl looks brand new. I’d post a picture, but I forgot to do a ‘before’ shot and I feel like that might be too much info for one post. You’re welcome. 🙂
~K
P.s. here’s two pics of two cuties just cuz it’s Thursday.

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Filed under Books, Coffee, Pets, Wedding

Gabkins’ Whole Wheat Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins

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Gabkins. Gabbeecake. Gabby pie. Gabberroo. Glably. Punkin. Gabby. Pumpkin Pie. Sweetcheeks. Gabbybear. Boogabble. Gabbypear. Gabbylou. Fluffernutter. Gabs. Sweetie Pie. Princess. Gabmuffin. Gabserella. Gabzilla (when she’s mad). Gabbypoo (when she’s dirty). Chub-chub choo train. Drooly-bear. Gabba-Gabbo-goo.

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These are just a few of my daughters’ many nicknames that we have come up with.

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The other day I must have called her Gabbeecake and Punkin really close together because all of the sudden I really wanted to make Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins.

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And THAT, is the story of my Thursday morning.

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~M

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Muffins
adapted from Crumbs And Chaos
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
15oz can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour { I used 1 cup whole wheat flour & 1 cup AP flour.}
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
 {or you can use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon,ginger, nutmeg, salt & cloves}
Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs beating well after each egg is added. Combine pumpkin and vanilla and set aside. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture to creamed sugar, alternating between wet and dry.

For the streusel, add all topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined.
Grease a muffin tin and spoon one dollop of the batter into each muffin slot- then layer a spoonful of streusel. Cover layer of streusel with more batter until 2/3 full- then top again generously with streusel.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and enjoy hot!

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Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Between having a new niece, a new second cousin (!! It’s baby season, ya’ll!!), friends, school, work, and housework, I am getting to be one cranky lady by about Wednesday afternoon. I simply cannot stretch myself thinly enough to do everything I want to do, and it can drive me batty. I’m sure you understand. We all do this in some way- say yes to everything, because ‘everything’ is stuff we want to do, and end up going crazy because there’s not enough hours in the day.

It’s all about- I’m gonna be cliche- taking time to stop and smell the roses. Or, in my case, wiggling my toes in freshly mown grass.

**pedicure courtesy of M, who treated me to a 'me' day, cuz she's psychic or something

**pedicure courtesy of M, who treated me to a ‘me’ day, cuz she’s psychic or something

Also, I’ve been listening to K-Love on the radio lately and trying to make it more of a habit- and I love what it’s doing for my attitude. I’m sure some of you understand- the ‘on-the-go’ nature of  life can suck you dry, but having a radio station dedicated to awesome worship music and talk on how to live a God-centered life in a self-centered world has made a huge difference for me….I highly suggest turning your radio channel if you haven’t already.

And I started reading Blue Like Jazz again. If none of you have read it- make the time to do it. It’s by Donald Miller, and it is a phenomenal book on how to be a Christian today…

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It’s so crazy how much more calm I feel when I take more (nonexistent) time out of my day to focus on what’s important (God and family), time suddenly seems to slow just a bit, life seems a little brighter, and graduation doesn’t seem quite so far away.

Coffee dates with my momma also help.

🙂

~K

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Coffee, Family, God

Mini Vanilla Bean Scones and 40 1/2 weeks


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This whole due date thing was like a bad surprise birthday party, wasn’t it?

Just kinda came and went, just like that! Like I said, my patience was better than ever on Tuesday. Even Wednesday, I was pretty good. Thursday… well, Thursday was a day I’m not proud of. I may have spent most of the morning in tears and my pajamas watching ‘A Baby Story’. All this was after a night of not sleeping hardly at all- be glad you weren’t here!

My mom came over that day and made me take a nap to recharge and then we walked in our orchard for a while- it totally did the trick and I felt much better afterwards. Ever since Thursday, Joey, my mom, and my little sister have joked that they are ‘taking shifts’ with me to keep me distracted and happy 🙂

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Aaaanyways, each day since Thursday has been much more positive, and I’m trying to return to my ‘patient’ self. Actually, what’s pretty awesome is that our Bible study right now is the book of James, and I’m trying to memorize the first chapter right now and it’s all about perseverance! Thank you Lord! Hint taken.

Working on patience and perseverance is hard work guys- I’m sure you’ve all had your fair share of it. To help us have energy for that task, would you like a scone? They’re super good.

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Remember when we were making all the Starbucks goodies a few months ago? It’s back! This is the Mini Vanilla Bean Scone- I love these because they’re small and you don’t have to feel bad about having like, six of them because they’re mini. Six basically equals one. I was always a rockstar at math.

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They were a last minute decision to make, and took next to no time at all! They’re a lovely little accompaniment to a hot cuppa joe. Light, fluffy, and absolutely PACKED with vanilla flavor! They’ll pick you right up if you’re feeling overly pregnant a little down 🙂

Enjoy! I’m just going to assume that I’ll be sharing another pregnancy update with you this coming Tuesday. We shall see!

~M

P.S. I’m still feeling very good. Not sleeping quite as well, but I’m not sure if it’s due to being anxious about baby’s arrival or being large-o. Not too much has changed since my last update! I had been having contractions about 5-6 minutes apart earlier this week but those have come and gone. We’ll see if they come back!

 

Mini Vanilla Bean Scones

lightly adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking, simple cream scones

makes 16 small scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold & cut
1/2 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
1 egg
1 vanilla bean (scrape 3/4 of the vanilla bean, save 1/4 for glaze)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 of the vanilla bean

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in food processor. Add butter and process until butter is combined and resembles coarse meal. In small bowl combine, egg, yogurt, vanilla extract, and 3/4 of the vanilla bean. Add to food processor and pulse until dough forms a ball. Remove to a lightly floured surface and divide dough into two balls. Pat each ball into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut each circle into 8 triangles, making a total of 16 mini scones. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 10-12 minutes,. While scones are cooling make the glaze. Combine 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with milk, vanilla extract, and remaining vanilla bean. You can use a spoon to spread on the tops of each scone or dip each scone to coat top.

Note: You can use vanilla bean paste as an alternative if you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand.

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Book Review: The Giver

I needed a quick read this past weekend, something to sit down with and just relax and not get sucked into. So I re-read The Giver, by Lois Lowry. If you never had to read it in high school, I highly suggest it! It’s another of my favorites.

 

 

The Giver Photo

It’s a story about a community where there is no color, no sense of love or family, and there are no memories of a world where there they had any of those things. By choosing ‘sameness’, this community believes they can avoid strife completely- family ‘units’ are selected by a committee, live in a dwelling together, and separate when the children grow and are selected for their own family units. Career paths are chosen for each person by another committee who judge each person’s aptitude. All aspects of life are viewed on a basis of usefulness and efficiency rather than emotions and personal choices. The story follows a boy named Jonas who, when it is his turn to be chosen for a career path, is selected to be the community’s next Receiver of Memory- a rare selection. The Receiver of Memory holds all past memories of the world- love and hate, war and famine, colors and music, none of which is known by anyone but the Receiver. He is a part of the community only to hold these memories in order to aid the committees with his wisdom of past times when they come across a problem they do not know how to solve. This story deals with Jonas discovering that his utopian world is actually dystopian- and coming to realize that he will have to choose his path on his own for the first time in his life. 

It’s quite a short book, and perfect for a little bit of light reading with some really amazing insights to living an imperfect world.

Enjoy!

~K

P.S. Goes really well with a good cup of coffee and some of M’s Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies…..

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