Monthly Archives: March 2010

Chocolate Beet Cake

Yes, you read that title right. Chocolate Beet Cake …and it was delicious, too! The reason for the chocolate beet cake was my daughter’s 1st birthday and, yes, I even baked it myself! My husband, the baker in the family, made the cake for the party for everyone else but I reserved the right to make Marcella’s little cake (“little” ended up being 2 6 inch rounds actually.) He frosted it but the cake underneath that frosting was all my own creation and I was darn proud of that fact, too. You see, I am baking-challenged. Making even a simple cake mix is normally not in my job description but as this was the first cake Marcella has ever had and her first taste of sugar ever, I really wanted to be the proud mama that made it for her.

I had promised my husband that as long as he went along with this no sugar thing, I would let her have it for her first birthday but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t cringing at the fact of her eating cake in all its unhealthy glory. So, I was on a mission to make a cake that had some nutritional benefit to it, even with the requisite sugar.

I let my husband decide the flavor (I gave him the choices chocolate, apple or carrot) and he chose chocolate. As soon as that decision was made, I already knew which recipe I would use. I had heard of this chocolate beet cake in the past and my husband had even told me back before food coloring, that it was beets that were used to color a red velvet cake. So, it really isn’t so far-fetched that I would use beets in a chocolate cake and that it would even taste good. I had history on my side and Green Smoothie Girl’s blog has a very nutritious, even healthy chocolate beet cake! I subscribe to her emails and remembered seeing it in the past so I went to her blog and did a search and, voila, there it was.

I will admit to being a bit of a procrastinator by nature so in the midst of all the last-minute party planning and a move back into our house we had been renting out, I didn’t actually get to buying the ingredients until a couple days before the party. Turns out since my baker husband always has cake ingredients on hand, my chocolate beet cake wasn’t nearly as healthy as Green Smoothie Girl’s is by any stretch. I didn’t use whole wheat flour or coconut oil (couldn’t find this but I actually did look for it) and I used real sugar instead of Sucanat, a sugar substitute. Real sugar was, after all, one of the requirements of my making the cake. But it did have beets. Messy, staining beets that I myself peeled, diced and pureed (not to mention LOTS of rinsing off of anything that the beet juice touched for more than a tenth of a second). Really the rest of the recipe was a piece of cake (did you like my pun??) and the beets weren’t really that much of  a mess. I also didn’t make her healthy frosting since my husband already had white frosting made in the fridge. And because I didn’t want it to be a hideous, ugly mess I had him frost it and throw some pretty sprinkles on for good measure. The end result? A cute little 2 layer cake that my beautiful girl had a great time demolishing…and a proud smiling mom that could at least know her little girl was getting something sort of healthy, even if everyone else watching thought it was just sugary cake.


Trust

Our little family has been through a lot in the last couple years. One of these hardships has been unemployment. Currently we are both unemployed as we were both laid off last year, me during maternity leave and my husband 5 months after we had our daughter. God has shown us a lot through this time and taught me to rely solely on Him. I have struggled with anxiety and worry all my life but through this I have seen God show His faithfulness and provision for us over and over again to the point that I hardly ever worry now about money, jobs, security, etc. God has truly changed me through this experience and taught me to trust Him in ways I never was able to before. There are many verses in the Bible about trust that we can turn to in times of uncertainty. I wanted to list some below to give hope and a sense of peace to others that might be struggling with this, too.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27: 1, 3)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7-8)

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

Trust in the Lord and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:3-5, 7a)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation. (Psalm 91:14-16)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139: 7, 9-10, 23-24)

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145: 18-19)

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26: 3-4)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1b-3a)

Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17)

Your father knows what you need before you ask him. So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:8b, 31-34)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-31)

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest. (Luke 12:25-26)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 31b, 35, 37-39)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4: 12-13)

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’ (Hebrews 13: 5-6)

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4: 18-19)

Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:13a,14)

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:6,8)

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. (Job 11:16)


Parenting Podcasts and a Giveaway!

I love listening to podcasts about parenting and other baby stuff! You can even see on the righthand side, I list some of my favorites. I was recently asked to review a new podcast here on my blog so I thought it would be a great opportunity to review a couple others as well.

I also am excited to announce my first giveaway! Peds in a Podcast has given me a  free podcast (a $10-$18 value) for five of my readers! How cool is that? All you have to do to win one is comment on this post. (ETA: I have 3 more to give away! Just comment and I’ll send you a code!)

I’ll start with a free podcast I discovered when I was pregnant called Pregtastic. It is such a fun and informative podcast to listen to while pregnant and commiserate with other soon-to-be mom’s. The show always starts with the podcasters (other pregnant mom’s) giving to 2 ups and 2 downs of their pregnancy. Then they discuss various pregnancy/baby/parenting topics either with an expert guest or amongst themselves. I really enjoyed listening while pregnant and learning about all sorts of topics along with the other podcasters. They also usually have the podcasters come back and give their birth story which I loved, too.

Some of the topics they have covered include breastfeeding (as well as having a sister show hosted by a lactation consultant, Mommy’s Milk and More), Epidurals, Hypnobirthing, Maternity Clothes, and Baby Bargains, just to name a few. As far as their website, I like that if you hear about something on the show (like a book, CD or website) that you want to check out later, they include show notes as well as have a store that sells anything mentioned on the show. I don’t have to try to scribble down a website while driving down the road. :) Also, they have forums so you can talk with the other podcasters and other listeners. The podcast is free but if you want to contribute, you can donate on the site.

My next review is Peds in a Podcast, a fee-based podcast where the prices range from $10-$18 a podcast, depending on the topic. The basic gist is a pediatrician (Dr. Bill Satterwhite, to be exact, out of Winston-Salem, NC) discusses his thoughts on various childcare topics that can be confusing to new parents and his suggestions for how to deal with them. My first thoughts on coming to the site were how cute the logo was and that the site was easy to navigate and overall aesthetically pleasing. I could easily find out about the Dr. behind the podcasts and enjoyed the video intro as well. It’s always nice to see the person you are listening to after all. :)

There is one free podcast, Sleep: Birth to 2 months, and this was the first one I listened to. I found Dr. Satterwhite easy to listen to and friendly. I felt like I was sitting in his office with him. He presents the different sides of the sleep debate and then gives his own advice from his experiences as a pediatrician. I felt it was fair and didn’t feel offended even though his conclusions are different from the ones I personally hold. I will say I didn’t like that he had some faulty information about co-sleeping. (Co-sleeping done safely actually has a lower SIDS risk than crib sleeping because the baby spends less time in deep sleep and thus arouses more easily and also is next to mom who can hear if her baby’s breathing patterns change or cease altogether and can take action.)  He also presents the history behind the back-to-sleep campaign and I enjoyed that as I had not heard that before.

The second podcast I listened to was provided to me by Peds in a Podcast, Sleep: 6-12 months. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a lot I personally agreed with for me in this one but I’m sure it would be beneficial to moms who take a different approach to sleep than I do. It’s definitely worth checking out and I even have a 25% off coupon code for my readers to do just that! Just type in “wifemom&more” when you go to order a podcast.

The last podcast I am going to review is a free podcast called Babies and Moms: Birth and Beyond. Listening to this podcast is like hanging out with your girlfriends that are moms. It is a group of other mom’s in various stages of parenthood and they have a range of topics they cover. Sometimes they will have an expert guest and sometimes they will just discuss amongst themselves. They discuss babies as well as older kids and other family matters. I have learned a lot from these other moms and their guests and always enjoy hearing their different perspectives. They all seem to respect each other even though they might parent differently which I really like.

The website has a tips and tricks section with product recommendations and links to their latest shows. They have a broad range of topics including Children’s Toys, Bonding with Dad, Babywearing, and  Organizing Your Pantry.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Leave me a comment and let me know so I can check them out! Also, don’t forget to leave a comment if you would like a FREE podcast from Peds in a Podcast! I have 5 to giveaway.(ETA: I have 3 more to give away! Just comment and I’ll send you a code!) You can also get 25% off as a reader of my blog if you enter “wifemom&more” at checkout.


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