How do you handle change? Sometimes I handle it really well, like changing my pajamas or coffee (teehee), other times, umm, not so much. My emotions have been on a roller coaster the last few weeks from wonderful highs of a great week at VBS to a hi-low with my last day at my job yesterday. I shouldn’t even call it a job, it was a privilege to work alongside amazing people, pouring our hearts into kids, revealing truths about Jesus, watching kids and families change for the Kingdom….it was much more than a job! I know change is good, I know it’s hard, I know it always seems to be mixed with joy and sorrow. One of our pastors at church was talking about the odd journey of joy and sorrow just last week, how they seem to live on parallel tracks, traveling together; perhaps we can even experience joy within our sorrow. Perhaps we should embrace it, which I’m trying to do, perhaps it’s okay to feel sad and miss what once was. Perhaps.
I’ve been in Kids Ministry for almost 10 years at our church, and while we’re not leaving our church, it’s tough to say good-bye to the everyday interactions with people who have become family to me. While I want to be intentional and keep those relationships up, things can’t help but change. Oddly I’m at peace with all of this, knowing this is the right decision, for me, right now. I know that God is in this, even when it’s hard and sad. Joy mixed with sorrows, ebbing and flowing like the tide. Below are two of my co-workers who also decided to “retire” it will be so strange not to see them multiple times weekly. I love these ladies, more than just co-workers and my boss, they are dear sisters and friends.
So why did I leave a job I loved? There were several reasons, but the one that gave me the inertia to take that plunge was thinking about some advice I received a very long time ago, when my babies were babies. Our very wise neighbor (her girls babysat for our us) told me, “While it is important to be home with your babies when they are young, it’s just as important, if not more so to be home when your kids are teenagers.” And now that I’m there, I couldn’t agree more. They choose the strangest times to open up and I want to be available for them, schlepping them all over we have great conversations–something about that windshield time, or maybe it’s that I am privileged to eavesdrop while I’m driving them and their friends places, you can learn a lot just by listening. Specifically, I can learn a lot more by listening! After all God gave us all two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk…hmmm, I need to practice that one a lot more.
I am also very excited to be able to focus more on The Fresh Cooky, there is so very much to learn and I’m excited to dig in deeper and understand more about the food and hospitality blogging world. However, it might come slowly as I hope to enjoy my summer with my kids and husband!
But back to food, baking to be specific, I know I said that the Simply Crumbly Coffee Cake was the best and I still love it, it’s super easy to make, but this one; mmm, mm, good. It’s nutty, crunchy, chewy, rich and crumbly and oh so moist with a bit of spice and wonderful flavor. And it’s gluten free to boot!! Though you can make it with regular flour as well, though I love the earthiness of a mixture of gluten free flour’s.
My friend Emily, the delightful originator of this recipe, brought this coffee cake to a retreat a few months back, a must have in your repertoire! You don’t have to be gluten free to enjoy it either!
I used 3 different gluten free flours to add a little bit of depth to the cake, but feel free to change it up to your favorites as well, try different amounts and mixes.
Start by mixing in your flour’s, I’m a big fan of oat flour, I feel like it lends better moisture to baked goods. Combine your flours, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, mix until combined.
Next add the sugars, mix in.
Add the oil and mix well, but don’t over mix.
Mix until crumbly and remove ¾ to 1 cup of dough before proceeding. I like more crumbs on top, so I do closer to a cup.
Next add 1 cup buttermilk, baking soda and egg, mix until combined and smooth.
TIP: Remember if you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of regular white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of buttermilk, stir and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes and voila you’ll have buttermilk!
Spread into greased 9×13 pan
Take reserved crumbs, mix in 2 teaspoons cinnamon and ½ cup chopped pecans (optional) and mix into crumbled mixture. Unless you are like me and do things too fast without reading well, then you’ve already crumbled your topping over the top, so then just sprinkle your cinnamon and pecans (optional) over the top. I’m sure it’s better the other way, but it has tasted just fine this way too. I do half nuts and half without as my family doesn’t like nuts in their baked goods. Nut lovers unite!
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until it’s no longer jiggly. While baking, mix together ingredients for the glaze as you’ll pour it on while the cake is still hot from the oven. Mix until it’s pourable, I needed to use a bit more water
Pull the cake from the oven and drizzle the icing over evenly over the top. Let cool slightly before slicing, delicious warm or cold, truly a moist and flavorful cake.
I almost didn’t get this picture, I brought the cake in to work to share and almost forgot to take a picture of it, but while it’s not very pretty it’s at least a picture of it sliced.
According to Emily, you can not mess this cake up, she says, “I’ve adjusted this recipe every way you can think of and it always turns out great! I’ve used walnuts, almonds, no nuts, almond extract, gluten free flour, regular flour, regular milk, orange juice, you name it. I dare you to make this cake not delicious.” Thanks Emily, we’ll be making this often! Everyone I’ve made it for so far, including my sometimes picky family, LOVES IT!
Oh and it’s a wonderful cake to make for Father’s day as well!
Thanks for your patience in this post, I guess for those of us who process internally, writing it out is a cathartic experience.
- 1 ½ cups gluten free All-Purpose Flour (or cup for cup)
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- May replace above flours with regular all purpose flour (2 ½ cups) if desired.
- ¾ cup sugar (I like natural cane sugar)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup oil
- Reserve 1 cup crumbs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 cup reserved crumb topping
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup pecans (chopped or whole)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 Tablespoons water
- Mix flours, sugars, spices and salt, mix until combined.
- Add oil and mix until crumbly.
- Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture, set aside.
- Add buttermilk, baking soda and egg to remaining dough.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Spread (it'll be thick) into greased 9x13 pan.
- Take reserved crumb mixture and using a fork, mix in cinnamon and nuts,
- Crumble on top of the dough.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until center doesn't jiggle.
- While baking, prepare icing.
- Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and water until smooth and pourable.
- Drizzle over hot cake once finished baking.
- Cool a bit serve warm or cooled, delicious either way.