Whole Wheat Cranberry Newtons & Life Lately.

I had to leave for a bit. I had to give myself a time-out to figure out what was going on inside me. In the midst of the chaos of life, my voice was going through a growth spurt, or a transition phase of sorts. I didn’t have a clear direction of where I was going with this blog, and knowing that, it was very difficult for me to move forward. It felt directionless with no end, and a slight loss of purpose. Not that there was no purpose, but I seemed to have lost sight of it amidst all the other rig-a-ma-roll. But now I seem to have gained back a bit of my gumption and a fresh look at my purpose. I think it is healthy to take a step back every once in a while, look at areas of your life objectively, & ask yourself the whats, hows, whens, & whys. These things are your motivation & give you your direction. I was writing without a direction, & after some time, conviction, prayer, and getting lost in dreams of where my life is headed, & have come up on the other side ready to put pen to paper.
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In the beginning of April, Matt & I traveled to Orlando, FL for the Gospel Coalition conference. Getting out of the rain and being immersed in humidity & sunshine was pure bliss! Even though we spent most of our time in a conference room, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. But the best part of the trip was getting to hear some of our favorite authors, speakers, & preachers (John Piper,D.A. CarsonTim KellerMatt Chandler, & Paul Tripp, to name a new) teach about what it is to be on mission for Christ in every area of your life, & teach about the gospel of Luke. It was so inspiring & eye-opening! To all of a sudden have my eyes opened to a new way to look at the life of Jesus was remarkable. I saw with such plain clarity Jesus’ resolve to go to the cross, that nothing would detain or misdirect him. Some religions believe that he was simply a good teacher, and even some “Christians” believe that he was put on this earth to teach morals & ethics, but nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, he did teach us those things, but that was never his purpose. His purpose? The Cross. To give mankind a chance. Because without Jesus & his sacrifice, we would be absolute toast! His intense love in saving us blows me away.What else has happened recently? Well . . .
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These night stands got a makeover.
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These Corona bottles got string tied around them, lit on fire, and turned into lil glasses.
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This soil has been composted, tilled, planted, and we now have little sprouted seedlings. I have discovered that my husband is the green thumb in our family, which, btw, is kinda hot.
(Pictures coming soon!) 
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The bike has been taken on adventures, & we’re thoroughly enjoying finding the glories in the nooks and crannies of Creation.
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Whole wheat cranberry newtons were made. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I have a thing for the Newton. So much so, that a fella once told me his feelings & gave me Newtons.It’s a big love.
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Dough gets made, chilled, rolled, spread upon, and folded.
Oh Newton, you just look delicious up close & personal.
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Now you see them, now you don’t.
Whole Wheat Cranberry Newtons
makes about 40 cookies1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 ounces butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 T brown sugar, packed
1 T whole milk
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp saltfor filling:

1 bag (12 Oz. Bag) Cranberries
1 cup Cranberry Juice (or orange, apple or any other juice combination)
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup (not pancake syrup!)
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar (depending on whether or not you prefer your filling sweeter)
3 Tablespoons Juice (you could also do orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice – anything citrusy)

Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Add the cream and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until a soft dough forms (be careful not to over-mix). Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and form a smooth ball. Let chill in fridge for 2-4 hours, or overnight.

Meanwhile, back on the farm . . . 

Wash bag of cranberries under cool water, then dump into a medium saucepan.
Pour in 1 cup of cranberry juice (or whatever juice you choose).
Pour in 1 cup maple syrup.
Add orange juice (you could also do orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice – anything citrusy).
Stir together and turn heat on high until it reaches a boil.
Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium low and continue cooking over lower heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the juice is thick. Smash some of the berries against the side of the pot to make the filling a bit smoother. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut dough ball into two parts and keep the part you’re not using in the fridge. Roll out one part into a large rectangle  Carefully pick rectangle up and put on a lined baking sheet. Spoon about a half cup of cranberry filling down the right side of the rectangle. Carefully fold the un-filled side (the left side) over the right. slice the cookies into the size you prefer & place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough & filling.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on size). or until golden. Let cool on cookie sheet before lightly dusting with powdered sugar.

Source: inspired by Eat, Live, Run & Pioneer Woman
Listening to: Steve Martin & Edie Brickell “When You Get To Ashville

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