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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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Filed under Books, Coffee, Color, Cookies/Bars, Family, Favorite Things

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Gluten-Free Option}

Between figuring out how to thread a sewing machine and watching the latest Top Chef last night, it’s amazing I have any hair left. I know, you can’t believe how stressful my life is. Me neither!

It's all fun and games, until THE WRONG CHEF GETS ELIMINATED!!

It’s all fun and games, until THE WRONG CHEF GETS ELIMINATED!!

In all seriousness though, I did figure out how to thread the machine and am SO excited to show you what I’ve been working on lately! It involves 1.) a sewing machine. Obvi. and 2.) these cute fabrics!

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I will report back when my project is complete for all the details. Until then, back to my ‘stressful’ life! I am definitely exaggerating, but wowee… I have not been so proud of accomplishing something so menial in a very long time. The moment I finally figured out how to insert the bobbin into the sewing machine and get the thread to come up through the base? I may have been dancing around the kitchen whooping and hollering. I kept thinking- everyone always digs on our generation for not having common sense and being steady-minded enough to figure simple things out, so it was a matter of principle that I figure this out. So, I watched about 7 YouTube videos until it made sense. *Cue older generation rolling their eyes.*

After hours of intense concentration, I made myself take a break and the first thing my eyes set on in the kitchen was some cookies I had made a few days ago. And man, did they hit the spot.

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This is my first attempt at using coconut oil in a recipe and it will not be my last! Technically, these could be gluten-free cookies if you used a special kind of oats, but I love gluten so I used the real stuff. So either way- if you’re one of those unlucky people that needs to avoid gluten- this is your cookie! If being gluten-free is not an issue, you can still enjoy these slightly ‘better for you than the typical cookie’ cookies with regular oats.

You can see how chewy and moist the center still is - and this is 5 days later!

You can see how chewy and moist the center still is – and this is 5 days later!

Somehow, these cookies remain incredibly chewy and delicious for DAYS! There is no flour, butter, or eggs in this recipe- normally things that make a cookie so scrumptious, yes I know. For missing those normally essential cookie ingredients, this cookie is incredibly light AND indulgent all at the same time.

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I almost considered saving half the dough balls just to leave raw and deem them “Energy Balls”- since they held together really well and had no raw eggs in them. No raw eggs= guilt-free snooping for this preggo lady! Plus, these babies have flax, oatmeal, and a little protein powder in them.

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Do you guys remember when I said I typically add double the amount of chocolate chips that the recipe calls for? I was going along my merry way adding double the amount of chocolate chips to THIS recipe, and the dough rejected the extra chocolate. How dare it?! I know, I was mad too.

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I tried to use 3/4 a bag of mini-chocolate chips- and the top picture shows you all the little chocolate pieces that I couldn’t knead into the cookie dough. If I tried to force them in, the dough had too many chips and it wouldn’t hold together- believe me, I tried! I was flabbergasted at the amount left over, so I measured it and it was a WHOLE CUP of precious little chocolate chips that didn’t make the cut.

This cookie is so healthy it won’t let you even think about making it unhealthy. Rude.

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End result? Still chock full of chocolate, and still good. Even the guys liked these!

~M

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies {Gluten-Free option}

makes about 2 dozen cookies

adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp salt

3 cups old-fashioned oats (or gluten-free oats)

1/2 bag mini dark chocolate chips

1 cup almond butter

2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp warm water (called a flax egg)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp soy protein powder (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the coconut oil, almond butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add vanilla extract and ground flax + water water mixture. Keep beating until everything is combined.

In another bowl, mix together the oats, baking soda, protein, salt and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined—be careful not to overmix!

Roll small balls of dough and place three inches apart on a silpat or parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Do not flatten dough balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy. Let cool for 5 minutes on sheet tray before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

Time:

30 minutes

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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs., Holiday Baking