Apple Dumpling Bread

As the community thinks about giving thanks to the people in their lives that have made a difference, we often think of gathering, food and drink. What are some of your favorite traditions around the holidays?

Welcome fall with this incredibly delicious apple dumpling bread recipe from Chef Robert Mills. You can have this for breakfast or dessert or any time of day. Click here to watch the video. Enjoy.

Apple Dumpling Bread 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 pounds medium Honey crisp apples, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dough:

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Cider sauce & glaze:

  • 4 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add the next 6 ingredients; stir to combine. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until apples have softened and released their juices, 10-12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a 15×10-in. rimmed baking pan; spread into a single layer. Add cider to Dutch oven and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until juices thicken and reduce to 1/2 cup, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract. Pour over apple slices; cool completely. (Filling can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.)
  2. For dough, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, oil, salt and 1-1/4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18×12-in. rectangle; spread apple mixture to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up the Dough and Apples and place in  a greased 9×5-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°.
  5. Bake until well browned, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. For cider sauce, bring 3-1/2 cups cider and brown sugar to a boil. Cook, stirring, until sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes. For glaze, beat confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and enough remaining apple cider to reach desired consistency.
  6. Add remaining butter and vanilla to cider sauce. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Cool slightly. Drizzle sauce and glaze over bread.

Grat·i·tude 🙏🏻

Gratitude or gratefulness, derived from the Latin word gratus, which means “pleasing, appreciative,” is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or a similar positive response expressed by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other sorts of charity, to the giver of those gifts.
 
What is amazing about this attitude is the power it has to help us live our best life. Click here to join Natalie and Kathie for a fun chat around connecting with gratitude today. Enjoy!

Gratitude Is Our Superpower

This Pandemic pause sure has taught us a lot about appreciation, hasn’t it? We’ve been reminded to value our health, our family and our freedom. We’ve learned to appreciate connection, even if it has been on a zoom call. We’ve risen during a time of great challenge and sadness to show appreciation for the front-line workers: those who look after us in emergencies, who take good care of our food supply and our most vulnerable. The Pandemic has been an exercise in patience, perspective and I think most importantly it’s been a great lesson in gratitude.

I want to thank you for making time to read our blog, for being open-minded enough to consider a fresh perspective or an idea you may not have considered before. Ideas like teaching yourself to express appreciation to someone when you’re feeling low because expressing gratitude when we’re not in the mood fosters more gratitude in the world around us and helps us to feel better. Perspectives like looking for opportunities to learn something from challenging situations because that’s how we make ourselves better. I encourage people to search for something to be grateful for in a difficult situation because there’s always something when we choose to look for it. I like to share with people that the two most important words in the English language are thank you and I always encourage their overuse.

 “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” -Maya Angelou

Developing an attitude of appreciation involves learning to value something as simple as a new day. Each sunrise and sunset is something we’ve never seen before. We also get to start over every day with a clean slate, even though our thoughts will remind us of all the things we haven’t done and all the reasons we should consider being grateful as a waste of time. Trust me on this: learning to be grateful is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself.

Research on the benefits of gratitude is ongoing with two psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami at the forefront. Studies show that gratitude is associated with a greater sense of well-being and happiness, increased generosity and empathy, better relationships, fewer aches and pains, more alertness and determination as well as better sleep. Doesn’t that sound like good medicine?

Often we reserve gratitude or appreciation for gifts we receive, right? Consider that we are receiving all the time as in receiving oxygen into our lungs, sunlight on our face, a bird song and nature; not to mention running water, hot water, electricity and all of the modern conveniences we use every day.

Whether you journal about five things you’re grateful for every day or you express your thanks to someone who has helped you out, by sending a thank you card, you’re developing an approach to life that will deliver great dividends.

 “Today is a wonderful day to have a wonderful day.” -Maya Angelou

 Gratitude can really challenge us though because showing appreciation can make us feel vulnerable and we’ve been taught that being vulnerable equals weakness. Many of us have been taught to be independent and not rely on or take too much from others. We easily turn down compliments and kind offers in the name of independence while missing the opportunity for another person to feel good because they’ve helped us out and we miss an opportunity to show appreciation for an act of kindness. What if I told you that gratitude and appreciation are your superpowers? You have an endless supply but you have to use your superpowers to keep the store replenished.

The next time you notice a beautiful sunrise or sunset, just say thank you. When someone offers to help you out in some way allow it and say thank you. This way of operating puts fear in the back seat and connects us with the beauty of life and the powerful force of interdependence. During this season of giving thanks, let’s shift perspective and make gratitude a gift we share with others all year round by giving compliments freely, using your gratitude journal and saying thank you every day.

25-Minute Cardio Dance Workout

Dancing works your heart and lungs, and the more intense the dance, the more complex the workout. Simply put, dance cardio is moving your body while dancing. Cardio is striving to increase metabolic rate, burn calories, and improve stamina.

Benefits of Dancing For Health:

  • Heart and lungs health.
  • A gain in muscular strength and endurance.
  • Better aerobic fitness.
  • Strength and muscle tone.
  • Weight loss.
  • Stronger bones, less osteoporosis.
  • Greater flexibility and coordination.

Click here to participate in the class now.

5 Quotes To Inspire Carefreedom Living

“I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” ~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

“Everything that happens to you matters to me.” ~ Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels

“Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” ~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Embracing Carefreedom® Living

What’s one thing you’ve been missing during this Pandemic pause? Most people say they’ve missed in-person time with their family, friends and community; I couldn’t agree more. It’s been a few years now since I’ve spent quality time with my brother, who is my only remaining immediate family. We’ve had two weekends together this summer; nothing spectacular happened and I think that’s what’s so brilliant. We enjoyed sharing stories from our childhood; both grateful to have made it to adulthood LOL and we appreciated the time we had together. It felt good; it felt like freedom.

During this Pandemic, we’ve all been invited to treasure the simple pleasures in life. We’ve had time at home to consider how we really want to live on the other side of this pause. One thing I know I want to diminish in my life is the feeling of chaos and fear that’s been so prevalent over the last many months. It takes clear intention and courage to step back from what’s going on in the world to examine how we want to live and to choose how we can make a difference. Each one of us can contribute to making the world a kinder, more compassionate place by being kind and compassionate toward ourselves and others. This can mean editing our friends list so that we feel safe and comfortable in our friendships. Where in the past we might have over-given or allowed people to take advantage of our goodness, we can set healthy boundaries and invest in caring for ourselves, so that we protect our emotional and mental wellness, while giving to others from what we have an abundance of.

Where we live and how we invest our time and resources can make a world of difference to the quality of our lives. When we’re young and building a foundation for our family, we have a long to-do list and while it’s important to stay on top of our responsibilities when it comes to taking care of our family and our property, there comes a time in life when we can relinquish many of these responsibilities in favour of a new kind of freedom.

It can be one of life’s biggest decisions to change not only our address but our lifestyle as well. Many people fear that they’ll lose freedom and autonomy when they make the transition into retirement living. The model for this lifestyle hadn’t changed much until a few years ago when The Wellings came along. The vision for The Wellings is truly community living with plenty of freedom and lots of choices. Folks can live in a rental apartment with a central atrium that makes getting together and sharing meals super easy. Some models of The Wellings have individual dwellings with a Clubhouse for socializing.

In my interactions with Wellings members, it’s clear that freedom has kicked in. While giving up what we know can be a daunting task, many Wellies have told me that they only wished they had done it sooner. No more honey-do lists, no more unexpected expenses; instead there’s more time for fun on their terms. The old model of retirement living didn’t suit them because what they wanted was to live the next chapter of their lives fully. It made me realize what a catalyst for change this new concept called The Wellings is. The mission here is to help people unlearn what they think they know to be true about retirement living and introduce them to a welcoming environment, where everyone is presented with opportunities rather than obstacles. The entire team at The Wellings wants to make sure that our need for independence is taken to heart while providing a safe environment for socializing, enjoying nutritious food, and exploring new or favourite activities.

We call it Carefreedom® living and we believe it’s where you belong if freedom and choice are important to you. Here’s where you can begin to explore whether or not this lifestyle is for you.

Imagine your best day filled with activities you love. How close are you to living that right now? Would you be closer if you didn’t have the worries of property tax bills, house chores and those pesky unexpected house expenses? Would you feel more connected if you had a community of people your own age to talk to, as well as share laughs and meals with? The people you’ll meet at The Wellings have upgraded their lives by letting go of certain restraints in favour of freedom. While we’re all unique and change is challenging for each of us in a different way, The Wellings members I’ve spoken to say it was well worth it; now that they’re enjoying their best day every day.

4 Refreshing Drinks To Finish Summer 😎☀️🍹

Here are four summer drinks that will refresh your day. Special thanks to Pick Up Limes for the great recipes. 

Enjoy!

Peach Thyme Iced Tea

Ingredients

Lemon tea

4 cups (960 mL) boiling water, ideally around 185°F (85°C)

4 white tea bags 

3 lemons, juiced

Peach thyme syrup

6 ripe peaches, pitted and roughly chopped

10 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup (240 mL) water

⅓ cup (80 mL) maple syrup 

Drink assembly

1½ cups (166 g) ice cubes

½ peach, sliced

4 small sprigs fresh thyme

Directions

To a large jar or bowl, add the boiled water and tea bags, and let it steep for 8 – 10 minutes, then remove the tea bags and let cool off. Once cooled off completely, stir in the lemon juice.

To a saucepan, add the peaches, thyme, water, and maple syrup. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.

Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the peaches have started to soften, use the back of a wooden spatula or tamper to mash the peaches to release their juices and flavours.

Place a sieve over a bowl and strain the peach mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press out as much liquid from the mixture into the bowl as possible. Let this cool off completely. Note: no need to throw away the peach puree that remains in the sieve. You can either eat it as is (it’s like eating applesauce!) or add it to a smoothie.

To assemble the drinks, divide the ice cubes between your glasses. Then pour one part peach syrup to two parts of the cooled lemon tea mixture into your cups. Stir it, garnishing with peach slices and fresh thyme. Enjoy!

Grapefruit Rosemary Spritzer

Ingredients

Flavoured syrup

2 large grapefruit

2 cups (330 g) fresh pineapple chunks

6 large sprigs fresh rosemary

½ cup (120 mL) water

⅓ cup (67 g) granulated sugar 

Soda

1½ cups (360 mL) grapefruit juice

3 cups (720 mL) carbonated water

3 cups (333 g) ice cubes

Optional garnish

grapefruit wedges

rosemary sprigs

Directions

Start with zesting the grapefruit. Reserve the zest for later.

To a medium saucepan, add the juice from the same grapefruit, along with the pineapple, rosemary, water, and sugar. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook uncovered at a gentle simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, we can add the grapefruit zest to the saucepan. By now the pineapples should have softened as well, so using a wooden spoon or wooden tamper, mash the pieces of pineapple to release its juices and flavour.

Place a sieve over a bowl and strain the mixture, using the back of a spoon to press out as much liquid from the mixture into the bowl as possible. Let this cool off completely, first on the counter, then in the fridge.

To make the drinks, divide the ice between the glasses and for each cup add 1 part of the flavoured syrup, 1 part grapefruit juice, 2 parts carbonated water. Garnish with grapefruit wedges, and rosemary sprigs, and enjoy!

Ginger Mint Lemonade

Ingredients

1 Tbsp (6 g) freshly grated ginger

20 (13 g) fresh mint leaves, or more as desired 

3 lemons, juiced

3 cups (720 mL) water 

2 cups (222 g) ice cubes

2 Tbsp (30 mL) agave syrup, plus more as desired

Directions

Wash the ginger, and grate it into a pulp. Gather the pulp into your fist and squeeze with your hands over a pitcher to extract the juice. Discard the pulp. Note, the more ginger you use, the spicier the kick. If you want a subtle ginger flavour, just cut the ginger into slices and add to the mix, instead of grating and squeezing.

Add the mint to the pitcher, and using a wooden spatula or wooden tamper, give the mint a mash. We want to bruise the mint leaves slightly, just enough to extract some of their flavours into the drink.

To the pitcher, then add the lemon juice, water, ice cubes, and agave syrup. Stir it all, and serve immediately. Add more syrup if the drink tastes too tart. Cheers!

Pink Lemonade

Ingredients

1½ cups (225 g) frozen raspberries 

¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup, or more as desired

4 lemons, juiced

4 cups (960 mL) cold water

2 cups (222 g) ice cubes

Garnish

fresh mint leaves

fresh raspberries

lemon slices

Directions

Add the raspberries and maple syrup to a saucepan on medium-high, cooking for 3 – 4 minutes. Keep the mixture at a gentle simmer, and as the raspberries start to soften use the back of a wooden spatula or tamper to mash them up.

Place a sieve over a pitcher to strain the raspberry mixture, using the back of a spoon to press out as much liquid from the mixture into the bowl as possible. Let this liquid cool off completely.

When cooled, stir in the lemon juice, cold water, and ice, and give it a stir.

Garnish with lemon, mint and fresh raspberries if desired, and enjoy!

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A New Concept in 55+ Community Living

You’re too young to live in a retirement home, so why consider it? Discover Carefreedom Living® in a community lifestyle, with larger apartments, fully-equipped kitchens, a full range of amenities to choose from. The Wellings concept promotes complete independence, lots of amenity choices, and modern conveniences you will appreciate.

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