Easy Enchilada Sauce

I've been conjuring up all sorts of sauces lately. I've always been a gravy-type food fan, so it's only natural that I love all sorts of sauces. 

The other day, I was cooking up some dinners I had frozen and came across some enchiladas. They were so sad there in the bottom of the freezer, so of course, I had to whip up some sauce to bake them in.

Enchilada Sauce | www.maplealps.com

I have a sauce that I usually make, but I was feeling a little adventurous, so I changed it up a bit. This one is a little thicker and a little spicier. Yes, it's very similar with one added ingredient, and I like it a little more!

Best part? Freezer friendly!

Related: Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce | www.maplealps.com

Enchilada Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBSP white whole wheat flour
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 1/2 Cups vegetable stock
  • 6 Ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Sprinkle flour over oil and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Stir in chili powder and tomato paste and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.

3. Whisk in stock,  cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cane sugar and nutritional yeast flakes.

4. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and use.

 

Adult Friendships: The Art of Keeping Friends

Friendships are sometimes harder as an adult. In school, you are automatically with most of your friends every day. You study together, you eat together, maybe you even meet up once school is over, or on the weekends. Sometimes you even live with your friends. But life moves on, and in this globalized world, you likely are finding yourself in a completely new place with completely new people.

This is a reality for many of the people I come across. Making friends is not the easiest, but it's not impossible. We talked about making friends, but now what?

You've made a new friend, or you've moved away from friends you already had. What now?

Adult Friendships Made Easy: Maintaining Friendships (+ Free Printable!) | www.maplealps.com

 

Check in once in awhile

There is no way to maintain or cultivate a friendship (especially a new one) if there is no communication at all. I know there are those friends where you can live your own lives for long periods of time, but when coming together again, it is like no time has elapsed. But seriously, check in once in a while. Both parties will come away feeling refreshed.

 

Be intentional about making time in your schedule

There are few true cases of not having enough time. Prioritizing your friendships is important. Make time in your schedule to meet up with friends, or if they are too far away, to FaceTime or Skype.

 

Related: Adult Friendships Made Easy: Making Friends

 

Send cards. Not an e-card or a text. A card in the mail.

Nothing quite shows that you are thinking of others like a card in the mail. Mark down birthdays and other special dates, or send cards "just because." It doesn't have to be extravagant or long-winded. I've never received a card I was not happy with.

 

Ask good questions, and really listen to the answer

Practice the art of communication. Ask good questions, but also listen and remember details. When people feel known, they feel loved. 

 

Pray 

Pray for and with your friends!

 

Just be yourself

Be yourself. As an adult, you have no more time to waste by pretending to be someone you're not (and don't waste the time of others!). On that note, though, continue to grow in excellence, making yourself the best version of you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 
 

Adult Friendships Made Easy: Making Friends

The last few years have been a little tough when it comes to friendships. Being in school, you are automatically with most of your friends every day - or at least with peers who could become potential friends. You study together, you eat together, you might live together, and maybe you even meet up once school is over, or on the weekends.

I have found that, for me, being an adult (a married adult even more so!) has done something to my friendships. Everyone goes their separate ways in separate places and making friends also takes a lot more intentional effort. In this age of cellphones and internet, staying connected may be easier, but it is not always ideal for cultivating true friendships. This is not to say that making or maintaining friends as an adult is impossible. Quite the contrary! It is possible but does require some extra effort.

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Be intentional about starting conversations

Do not wait for others to approach you wanting to be friends. While this may happen, if you truly wish to start a friendship, take action! Make the first move! The worst that could happen is that it doesn't work out. Do not, I repeat, do not, sit around feeling sorry for yourself because no one will talk to you!

 

Do not limit yourself to those in the same stage of life as you

People from all walks of life have things to offer you. I personally have friends who are much younger than me and friends who are older than me as well. I also have friends who are single, those who are married, some with kids, and even empty nesters. I learn from those who have gone before me and share my knowledge who come after. 

 

Find others with similar passions

Befriending those with similar passions creates an automatic topic for discussion! Make friends at your workplace, or those at the craft store you frequent. Talk to the people who share your pew each week at church. Meet friends in the dog park or the laundromat (everyone does laundry, right?)

 

Just be yourself

Be yourself. As an adult, you have no more time to waste by pretending to be someone you're not. On that note, though, continue to grow in excellence, making yourself the best version of you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Accept that long-term friendships take time to cultivate

The friend you made last Tuesday is not going to have the same connection with you as the friend you have had since the 5th grade. Deep friendships take time to cultivate

 


Do you find it easy to make friends as an adult? Why or why not?


 

Honey Oat Chia Bread

There are plenty of opinions on using honey as plant-based eaters. We are rebels, though. Bees are crazy amazing and honey is called a superfood - full of nutrients and thought to be immunity-boosting and antibacterial. I love that it can be produced locally as opposed to some of the other natural sweeteners that are imported. On that note, we love local maple syrup as well! 

Someone recently gave us a bottle of honey from their own beehive. How can you say no to a gift like that? Well, you can't. And before you get on me for using [local, gifted] honey and how horrid and unethical I am, just know that you can use agave or maple syrup instead :)  

I decided to try a honey oat chia bread, and I love what came out!

Honey Oat Chia Bread | www.maplealps.com

I had not had much luck with baking bread in a loaf pan, so that is why I stuck with the super easy artisan bread that I made in my dutch oven, but last week I was inspired to try something new. I hadn't made bread for a bit and my husband really wanted some. The only problem with the bread I usually make was that I prep them the night before to be ready to bake the next day. Of course, I kept forgetting to do that, and when we finally ran out of bread, I knew I needed one to be done that day. So I tried and after a few tries, I finally got it just how I liked it, and am pleased to say that we have a new favourite quick-loaf. 

I also have a loaf pan with 4 cavities, so I am going to try to make mini loaves for neighbours!

It's a perfectly sweet-ish bread that is great for sandwiches and your morning toast fix. 

Related: Tomato Roasted Almond Spread

Honey Oat Chia Bread | www.maplealps.com

Honey Oat Chia Loaf
Yield: 2 loaves

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave or maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 TBSP ground flax
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  1. In a large bowl, mix water, yeast and honey. Let stand for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  2. Mix in olive oil, oats, ground flax and salt
  3. Mix in all-purpose flour.
  4. Mix in whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time. You might not need all the flour.
  5. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Dough should be tacky, but too sticky.
  6. Put dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let sit for at least one hour, until doubled.
  7. After it has doubled, gently deflate the dough by pressing your fist into the center of it.
  8. Divide the dough into two and shape into two loaves. Place loaves into greased bread pans. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees about 20 minutes in.
  10. Optional: Just before baking brush loaves with water, and sprinkle with oats and chia seeds.
  11. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  12. Once baked, allow the bread to rest and cool for about 5 minutes before removing it from the pan and cooling on wire rack.
 

Do you make your own bread? What's your favourite kind?
Let me know below - I always want to try something new!


 

True Hospitality Made Practical: 3 Easy Tips

Last week we talked about hospitality and some myths that surround it, as well as how we are called to practice it. As promised, here are some practical ways to be hospitable even if your guests are extremely last-minute. 

True Hospitality Made Practical | www.maplealps.com

 

Create A Warm Atmosphere

While fresh flowers and candles do go a long way to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, nothing is as refreshing as a warm, loving smile and willingness to serve. That being said, light some candles and cut some fresh flowers for your guests to enjoy as well! It’s simple and makes a great impact.

Welcome everyone into your home. Let them feel loved, not only by you, but also by God.

Related: The Myths & the Calling of True Hospitality

 

Be aware of needs

Be aware of those around you. Remember that hospitality is not limited to inside your home. Pay attention as you interact with others, and do not let anyone go unnoticed. Take time out of your day to encourage someone, to pray with someone, and to show kindness.

In your home, make sure your guests have what they need, and feel comfortable enough to ask for it. For overnight guests especially, I suggest making everything as accessible as possible. They should feel that they are at home. Make warm drinks and water easily available and stock the bathroom and guestroom with essentials like towels of every size, toiletries and extra toilet paper.

 

Serve Meals With Love

Meals do not have to be extravagant or use expensive ingredients. Make simple meals with love, and do not feel pressured to make something new or complicated (there's always the danger that something new will flop anyway!). Your guests are not there to judge your cooking. They are there to be blessed by you (whether they know it or not). Don't let them leave just thinking about the spectacular meal you just served them, let them leave rejoicing that you have served their souls.

Build a relationship with those around your table and talk about the things that truly matter. Our motto should be like John's; Less of me, more of Jesus. And remember: entertaining is to impress, but hospitality is to bless!

 


How do you show hospitality? Tell us about it in the comments!