I Needed a Social Media Fast and I’m Back

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It’s hard for me to come back after a long break.  I don’t consider this a bad thing. Almost every vacation I have ever taken, I begin to get sad the last couple days.  I begin to feel that I don’t want the time off to end. My mind begins to plan the next break or get away. There is joy and rest in a break.  

Over the past seven weeks, I gave myself a break.  I pulled the cord on social media. My Social Media Fast began the weekend before Thanksgiving and was intended to last until the first part of January.  

I knew I needed this fast for so many reasons. 

  1. I needed to stop scrolling.  There would be times I would find myself scrolling through picture after picture.  Looking at these squares before me and paying no attention to the actual faces and conversations happening right in front of me.  I was using social media as an escape, as a filler, and as a source of recharging. As I pulled myself from the scrolling, I realized how much unnecessary time I spent on social media.  Not only was I scrolling through the pictures, I was scrolling through the comments and the links and clicking on other’s profiles to figure out how I knew them. These investigations would lead me into multiple hours a day on social media.  I had to ask myself, FOR WHAT? 

 

  1. I needed to focus on the season.  I timed my social media fast during the busiest, craziest time of the year.  My fast began the Sunday before Thanksgiving and ended after the New Year. This year was going to be different.  While preparing for a Bible study, I was reading about the birth of Jesus. It became so clear that no one in that story was in a hurry except the shepherds.  In Luke 2:15-16, after the angel told the shepherds that Jesus had arrived, they hurried off to find Him. This really struck me. What if that is what I was hurrying towards  this season? Just hurrying for Jesus. Unplugging from social media, made me realize the free time I actually had. I spent more time reading my Bible and devotions, listening to podcasts, and playing worship music in my house.  I committed each day to be a day that I would hurry towards Jesus. This time was full of lows and highs but there was such a peacefulness knowing that each day I had handed it over to God.  

 

  1. I needed to reevaluate why I do what I do and WHO I’m doing it for.  I started my blog about nine years ago. Sing and Dance in the Kitchen was a place for me to share my recipes with family and friends.  Simple as that. Facebook was something I used to stay in contact with everyone since we moved around so much. I would post pictures from the weekend to share with out of town grandparents.   On my blog I would share the latest creation I had whipped up in my kitchen. Within the past few years, Instagram and blogging have grown. It seems like so many are using Instagram to share their stories and their lives.  Very quickly, I was coached that I needed to push my Instagram more. I needed to post more pictures and push for the likes. Quickly I learned if I was not going to continue to engage on Instagram, I would lose followers and connections.  There are goals, algorithms, leverage, hashtags, giveaways, geotags, and the list goes on of things you need to focus on to have a social media account that is worthy to be considered. This all started making my head spin because my heart just wanted to share a piece of my world with others.  

This fast was the perfect time for me to ask myself these questions, 

“Why am I posting this?” 

“Who am I posting this for?” 

“Who’s approval am I seeking?”  

“What’s my motive?” 

During my social media fast, there was no posting, no scrolling, no seeking approval, no comparison, no thinking behind posts, no second guessing comments or wondering why I was not included or invited.  I was not ON to be part of any of it. It was so freeing. It gave me true rest and peace. In mid December, God made it so clear to me. It was like He was sitting right there on the couch with me and I was reflecting.  I’m His Daughter (2 Corinthians 6:18). There is no one’s approval that is needed besides His. As much as I love my husband and children, their approval does not have comparison to God’s. My family and friends are wonderful and support me in so many ways but they are human and will let me down. Their approval will not hold a tiny spark to what Jesus holds for me.  

It became so clear that my small, little platform of whatever I want to call it can only and will only be based to point to Jesus.  Jesus wants to use my love of hosting, cooking, baking, gathering, telling long stories, building up mommas, encouraging others wives, find deals, punching boxing bags, crazy dancing, and off pitch singing for HIS GLORY!  He wants everything that makes Amanda be Amanda to point to HIM! (all the feels and chills as I write this)

 

So, as I dip my toes back in to this year of 2020 and all that God has in store, I want you to know that my social media fast was one that changed my trajectory for Sing and Dance in the Kitchen.  I’m so honored and humbled that you are part of this journey with me. Thanks for hanging on and waiting on the other side.

 

Looking Forward!

Amanda

 

Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus

My Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus is a versatile dip that you could have any time of year, but tastes especially great as the season of pumpkin spice everything is upon us.  At our house, we enjoy throwing in popcorn, pretzels and pita chips along with the usual veggies.

Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus

1- 16 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon olive oil
4 teaspoons agave
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Place all the ingredients (except the pumpkin seeds) into a food processor and blend until smooth. If your hummus is a little thick, add more olive oil.

Place your hummus in a serving bowl.  Garnish with a light sprinkle of chipotle chile pepper and pumpkin seeds. Serve with popcorn, pretzels, pita chips, veggies, etc.

Amanda’s Apple Crisp

Whether you have already been apple picking or it’s on your “apple bucket” list, you will want to save some apples for this crisp recipe.  All the ingredients play together to make fall come alive. My boys believe it must be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This Apple Crisp is the perfect fall dessert.  

Keep Sing and Dancing in the Kitchen, Amanda

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Warm Apple Crisp

Yields: 12 servings

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (other varieties can be used)

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes

1 tsp of vanilla

pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Butter an 8×8 baking dish. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add chopped apples, granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of cinnamon and lemon juice.  Stir to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

In a separate mixing bowl, add crisp ingredients (brown sugar, oats, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and diced cold butter).  Use a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the oat mixture, using a slight downward twisting motion, until mixture is in small crumbs.  If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two forks or even your hands to cut butter into the mixture.

Spread topping over apples in baking dish, and gently pat to even it out.  Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve warm.  We like to add a scoop of vanilla ice to our Apple Crisp.  Enjoy!  

I thought we were just having coffee

Back in July, I received a text from a friend who I had not seen in awhile asking to meet up for coffee. We became friends several years ago sharing elementary PTA adventures. Now our kids were a little older and in different places. I was excited to see her name pop up on my phone. Also completely thrilled to actually get to share coffee and a conversation with her. We had so much to catch up on.

Our anticipated coffee date arrived. We started with catching up and she quickly moved to the reason she called the coffee date. My friend had recently became editor of a local magazine. She shared how the oppopportunity came up and her vision for the future of the magazine.

Then she dropped her big idea! Without a pause in her conversation or thoughts, my friend throws out “and in the magazine we will feature a monthly recipe. I WANT YOU TO WRITE THEM.” (WHAT!?! ME? Amanda Fuller, girl from small town Texas?). She goes on to tell me she needs my headshot. (What, again?) She gives me deadlines and criteria. Then she smiles, says she is so excited to work with me, and cannot wait to see my work.

So lots of details in between: One hour with my favorite photographer, a few test products and pictures, and my first article was ready.

I share all this with you because it was a big step for me to take and to believe in myself when others already had. This is my first time to be published for my work in the kitchen. I’m beyond thrilled to be a contributing recipe writer for Our Milton Neighbor.

As I publish my monthly recipes, you will find them added to my blog as well. Thanks for sharing along with me in this new adventure.  Here’s my first published article:

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Looking Forward,
Amanda

 

Why I Sing & Dance…..


Hey, I’m Amanda! Some of you have been with me for over eight years when I wrote my first recipe on my blog. Others have just joined me. Whether you are a cherished friend, family member, or new to my kitchen, I am so thankful you are here.
I wanted to reintroduce/introduce myself and give a small background to the meaning behind the name “Sing and Dance in the Kitchen” If you could ever be a fly on the wall in my home, you would see that singing and dancing occurs A LOT! I started singing and dancing as a very young child and completely missed my calling as a Broadway actress because 1)I can’t really sing 2)I really can’t dance well either. However, no dance teacher, music teacher, church choir instructor, or my parents told me differently so I continued my life as a happy, singing & dancing child.
As I grew older I began to notice my voice and range did not match Whitney Houston’s (childhood music role model) and my moves did not keep up with Olivia Newton-Johns (Let’s Get Physical’s music video). This did not stop me! Singing and Dancing made me happy so I just continued. My first job as a kindergarten teacher was the best fit! My students thought I had the best moves and they didn’t worry about my voice.
And I have digressed! Since the beginning, I loved to be in kitchen. I liked cooking with my grandmothers and my mom. I loved learning tricks. I would check out cookbooks from the library and spend hours going through old family recipe cards. If I could find a cooking show, I was glued to the television. Cooking was so inspiring to me. I loved how you could create yummy foods and then gather others around.
Basically it all just clicked at one point, I wanted to share my love for cooking and gathering others. And I had to share that most of the time it involves singing and dancing in the prep, serving, and cleanup. It became so clear that I needed to share that all of my silly recipes, life hacks, table settings, songs and dances are all inspired by Jesus. Everyone has a place they feel closest to God. One of my top places is in my kitchen. It is where I prepare food for my family and friends. This is where I usually say most my prayers and have my devotion time. I have honest, lifegiving conversations with my sons around our kitchen island. In my kitchen I will pump up my music and dance around while I’m cooking or just need a break from the crazy.
Sing and Dance is my place to share my messy & crazy life that is not perfect but I am loved and saved by someone who is. I will share recipes, tips, tricks, things that make me laugh and cry. I’ll talk honestly about pits and valleys that I have been in and how God is continually working on me and my heart. Oh and I will share my crazy adventures in motherhood. You never know what someone singing and dancing will throw out there.
I am so glad you are here. I look forward to learning more about you and what makes you “sing and dance”
Looking Forward,
Amanda

Strawberry & Blueberry Bruschetta

We are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July.  Desserts that include strawberries and blueberries naturally give you a patriotic feeling.  This little recipe was inspired by my friend, Erin at The Speckled Palate.  Jump over to her blog to be completely inspired plus she makes meal planning fun!

This little dessert will leave your family and friends wanting more!  Prep is simple and can be done ahead of time.  Feel free to play with the ingredients and make it your own.  Have a happy and safe 4th of July! -Amanda

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2 cups strawberries, sliced

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 pint blueberries

1 pre-made Pound Cake loaf (I purchased a Vanilla Pound Cake at Whole Foods)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

8oz of Cream Cheese,  allow to sit at room temp for 15 to 20 minutes

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Wash & Dry your strawberries and blueberries.  Slice your strawberries.  Toss  strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Slice your pound cake into 1inch (or less) thickness. I made sure to make 12 slices to have enough for dessert.   Brush the pound cake slices with melted butter.  On a preheated grill or grilling pan, toast both sides of your pound cake.  Let the pieces set long enough to get grill lines.  Once all slices are toasted, set aside and allow to cool.  

With a mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Once all combined, place in refrigerator until ready to create dessert.

When you are ready to serve dessert, place your pound cake slices on a serving platter or individual plates.  Smear the cream cheese mixture on to your cake slices.  Make sure there is enough cream cheese mixture to allow the fruit to stick to your cake slices.  Then top that with a tablespoon of strawberries and their juice. Add blueberries by giving them a little push to stay on the cake slices.  Serve immediately, or let stand in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  

Make Your Own Pizza Night

One item on our summer bucket was “Make Your Own Pizza Night” We have done this several times but we jazzed it up with our head chef, Whitaker!

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You can buy pre-made dough or make your own. This is my go to Pizza Dough. If you want to try something different, Trader Joe’s has a great frozen Cauliflower Crust.

We are all about the ingredients in this house. Chop up what you want and add some variety. In my mind there can never be too many toppings. I love them all! Some our favorites: Mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced), pepperoni, olives, sausage (cooked ahead), bell peppers, onions, jalapeños, and mushrooms.

We use pre-made pizza sauce to keep it easy. Once your dough is ready, start adding all the fun. It’s a great way to get everyone on the kitchen.

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