Author Archive for Betsy B


Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

I just wanted to share this yummy recipe I tried this morning. We have lots of blueberries on hand right now (thank you, Costco!) and I was craving some yummy warm baked goods, so I browsed my pinterest boards until I found this one. I changed a few things around though so I’ll repost it with my alterations. I can’t vouch for how these taste when they’ve cooled as we always gobble them up right away! But I can say that straight from the oven they were extremely moist, almost to the point of seeming like a bread pudding type consistency. Maybe not everyone’s idea of a perfect blueberry muffin, but these really hit the spot!20130716-120830.jpg

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

makes about 16 regular muffins

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3 T. ground flax seed
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. full fat vanilla greek yogurt (I used Zoi)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350°. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray.

Combine flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.

Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon into muffin tins.

Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.



Amara Christian Becker

I wrote this memorial story about 6 weeks ago for our family blog, but I wanted to put it here as well because I’ve had some follow-up/miscarriage related posts running through my head that I wanted to put here and I thought I’d start with the story of our miscarriage.

“Could we hear our children speaking to us out of heaven, they would say, ‘Weep not for us who are happy; we lie upon a soft pillow, even in the bosom of Christ. The Prince of Peace is embracing us and kissing us with the kisses of His lips. Be not troubled at our preferment… You are in the valley of tears, but we are on the mountain of spices. We have gotten to our harbor, but you are still tossing on the waves of inconsistency.’ ” -Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

Yesterday we began to grieve the death of our third child, Amara Christian Becker. He was with us for a seemingly short while, but the impact of his death will remain with us forever. We do not grieve a loss, because we have not lost her. Rather, we grieve a delay in the day when we will be able to hold her and rejoice with her. We will never hover over him as he works to take his first steps next winter, but we rest in the comfort that he is already walking with God in heaven, and for this we are endlessly grateful. We will never get to hear her first words, but she is already singing praises in heaven that put Handel’s Hallelujah chorus to shame. I will never get to hold him in my arms and smell his sweet baby skin, but he is being cradled by the arms of our Father, whose love is perfect and far surpasses what our own could ever be. We named our child Amara, which means unfading and eternal, and Christian, which means follower of Christ and is also a family name.

This is not a private loss to us. This is not “retained products of conception”. This is the loss of our son or daughter, a Child of God, made in His image. We invite our friends, family, and church body to grieve with us, as we have grieved with you in your losses and rejoiced with you in your blessings. Our eyes are red and puffy, but we do not despair. We do not weep for our baby, because our baby has been blessed. We weep for our own loss, the end of the dreams that we had for our child here on Earth. We weep because we just have to wait that much longer to see our precious little one. God has not abandoned us, but rather He is drawing us closer to Him in this.

I went in for my first appointment and after getting reacquainted with my doctor, he began the ultrasound to confirm that everything was going well. As he began to sweep the wand across my belly, I caught my first glimpse of our baby. I had been nervous already about the appointment, so seeing the baby was comforting. Then he took a measurement of the baby, and she was small. She was smaller than Eva had been at her 8 week appointment, and this one was supposed to be 9 1/2 weeks. He spent a few more minutes in silence looking around, and I could tell that the baby was small and wasn’t moving. He then asked when I had gotten my first positive pregnancy test, and at that point my worst fears were confirmed. Our baby was measuring two weeks behind, and he could not find a heartbeat. He spent about 20 minutes with me talking about it, going over our options, answering questions, and giving comforting advice. I was very thankful to have the same doctor who had delivered Eva and who is a Christian and could share in our grief and our comfort.

I would like to take a second to thank our family and close friends who have stood by us and prayed with us over the past two days, but particularly my amazing husband. Andrew’s attitude, sacrifice, and constant attention have always served to make my post-partum period an absolute dream for me, and he has been an incredible blessing in this situation as well. While some husbands would hide their pain and pretend to brush it off, leaving me to grieve alone, Andrew has supported me and grieved with me and prayed with me. After all, Amara was his child just as much as she was mine. I am so thankful to God for providing me with a husband who so wonderfully models the unconditional love and care of our Heavenly Father.

Our sweet baby was greeted by aunts and uncles, great grandparents, and other children who would have been friends and classmates in heaven who have gone before us. Our child is surrounded by family and resting in the arms of God.


summer cooking recap

I haven’t been posting much on here, but I have been trying out a number of new recipes this summer (and resurrecting some old favorites). Most of the pictures make it onto my facebook account because it’s so simple just to take a picture with the good old iPhone for a quick upload. But, here I’ve consolidated a few of them into one post.

Salt crusted steak with warm bean salad.

Strawberry chocolate cupcakes

Fish tacos (a first for me!)

Cinnamon roll pancakes with maple bacon

And an old favorite, Chicken chilaquiles


super burgers

I have always hated hamburgers, especially homemade ones. Dry, briquette like patties with mediocre condiments and, well, I never even noticed the buns, that’s how interesting I found them. My opinion has changed a bit since we discovered this recipe in Everyday FOOD for feta stuffed BLT burgers. We serve these with the traditional mayo/mustard/ketchup combo because some people (particularly my husband) can’t do without the sauces. One day I will find a sauce to rival Carl’s Jr (I set a high bar, huh?).

Last night we had friends over for dinner and I’d forgotten to buy buns, so I used this recipe from my friend Katie’s food blog. Because we like our burgers big, I used 4 oz portions rather than the recommended 3 oz, and I opted for oil and buttermilk. I think this gave us 10 hamburger buns and I topped some with sesame seeds, some with poppy seeds, and some I left plain. I was quite pleased with how well they turned out.

While I did notice a distinct lack of dry, sauce soaked “bread”, I have to say I wasn’t completely wowed by the change that homemade buns gave to the burgers. The moister, denser bun was nice, but I think next time I will try adding garlic or onion powder or putting onions on top or something. But, the overall effect was great and I think we might want to check our love for bigger burgers. I only made it 2/3 of the way through mine, and I think my husband hurt himself by finishing his.


Twelve Layer Mocha Cake

If you have anyone to impress, this is the cake to use. Unless of course they don’t like coffee or chocolate. I made this for Christmas Eve last year and it was requested as a birthday cake again in February. It is time consuming, but there are some do-ahead things and it’s really quite simple. One thing that I love about it is that it’s not frosted or at all finished on the edges, so it’s very easy to sneak off a piece to “sample” before you serve it, or else you can easily cut it in two to use for two separate occasions (provided they’re within a day or two of each other).

I have to apologize because the picture does not do it justice at all, but I had no time to do an “artsy shoot” because everyone was hungry!

I will add that this recipe makes the best buttercreams that I have ever tasted. The two are simply amazing and it’s very tempting to just pipe them into martini glasses and serve them with a spoon and maybe some berries or something for garnish. I have always hated buttercreams, but now I am a true believer, even if it does take a half hour of standing in front of your KitchenAid putting in one tablespoon of butter at a time!


falling water scarf

This is the scarf that I made for my mom for Christmas. I meant to post “work in progress” pictures, but never got around to it. So here’s the finished deal!
I used the falling water pattern, found here. It’s also on, with some good examples. I used a lovely baby alpaca yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. I have to say that it took me forever to decide on a yarn to use for this scarf. I needed something soft but not so feathery or bulky that it disguised the pattern, and I also needed something in a decent color. I am not very good at venturing out of my comfort zone when it comes to yarn colors, and I don’t want to spend $40 on yarn for a project that I’ll end up not liking. But I finally decided on this yarn after about 12 trips around the store, and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s a picture to give a bit of a clearer idea of the pattern…

One great thing that I learned with this scarf is the importance of blocking. I was busily knitting away early on the morning of December 23rd and decided that I just had to be done because it had yet to be blocked and I wanted to make sure it was completely dry before wrapping it up. It wasn’t quite as long as I wanted it, but the pattern promised that it would grow sufficiently with blocking. Amazingly enough, the pattern was right. Here are the before and after shots, with another scarf for scale.

As you may also see, the blocking also opened up the pattern and made it much more delicate and visible which I really loved. Maybe some of you more experienced knitters can tell me if some patterns require blocking more than others…maybe lacy patterns need it more? I’m almost inspired enough to go ahead and block my Shalom Cardigan from last year that was always too small….


pink grapefruit margaritas

I saw this recipe a few weeks ago while perusing my cookbooks and thought it looked very tasty (margaritas+grapefruit=whatsnottolove?). Yesterday I remembered the grapefruit that had been hiding in my fruit bowl for a few days, and decided we needed to make a date. I had to make some adjustments to the original recipe, but I think it turned out pretty well. I would actually even add more grapefruit juice, but I tend to like things on the tart side. So here’s the recipe as I made it last night, and there was some left over that I just left in the shaker and threw in the freezer!

juice from 1/2 of a ruby red grapefruit
juice from 1 rather hard and un-juicy lime
4 ice cubes
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used the cheap Harlequin stuff, but I’m sure Grand Marnier would be better)
1/4 cup 1800 tequila
2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
extra ice

Combine the grapefruit and lime juices in a cocktail shaker with the ice. Measure the orange liqueur and tequila into a measuring cup and swirl in sugar until it’s somewhat dissolved. Pour into the cocktail shaker and shake. Serve in lowball glasses over a little ice.

Like I said, this was a bit sweet for me, so I think I’ll juice the other half of the grapefruit and add that to the leftover mixture in my freezer for tonight! I might also add a bit of salt, as recommended in the original recipe…

Edited to add: The next night I added the juice from the other half of the grapefruit, along with the juice of half of a big juicy lemon, and another generous splash of tequila (maybe a shy shot?). That was pretty good. Then the next night I poured the rest into a big margarita glass with a pinch of kosher salt at the bottom and that was really really good.