Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cookies for Breakfast

I have been struck with the same yuckies that took the kiddos down last week. I don't think I have it as bad as they did, but I've certainly been having slow mornings due to the restless nights that come from not being able to breathe out of your nose. It makes for quite a lack of creativity in the breakfast-making department.

However, in the afternoon I've usually gathered a little momentum, and yesterday I decided to take advantage of it and bake something. No more toast with peanut butter for us this morning! Today, I'm giving my kiddos cookies for breakfast!

Giant Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 12 huge cookies

1/2 cup raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw cashews (wash 'em first)
1/4 cup ground flax meal

6 TBS softened butter*
2 large eggs
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional but awesome)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (optional, but again awesome)
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a food processor or blender, blend pepitas and cashews into a coarse meal. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter with brown sugar and add maple syrup and eggs. Add seed/nut meal to butter mixture along with flax meal, then add salt and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, making sure your stand mixer is on a low speed, if using one (otherwise you'll have flour everywhere, ask me how I know...).

If dough is crumbly and needs a little help coming together, add up to 1/4 cup whole milk until slightly sticky dough forms.

Add chocolate chips, dried fruit, and/or coconut.

Scoop in 1/4 cup mounds (I use a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop) onto greased or parchment paper-covered cookie sheets, and press into a flat-ish disc shape. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until browned around edges and no longer shiny in the middle.

Allow to cool some before removing from cookie sheets.

*Remember, if you're eating good, organic butter from pasture-raised cows, it is basically a health food! Don't be shy... but if you sub, don't sub with margarine or Crisco, use coconut oil instead!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Walk Through the Garden, April 14th

My walk through the garden last night was a little less than a casual one. This ridiculous "spring" weather! The last time I checked on things, almost all the seedlings were still safely tucked under their warm soil blankets... and the days were getting up near 80 (and sometimes beyond). Now that there is something precious sprouting in almost every spot of open space, of course, we get a freeze warning.

They say we won't be out of the freeze until 10am, so I have yet to pull up the covers and see if my efforts were successful. I'm really the most concerned about my tomatoes. I hope the 2 layers of sheets I draped around their trellises did the trick. Some of them even had flowers. Ugh.

I can't help but hope that despite the inconvenience of this cold snap it might be indicative of a cooler, milder summer on the way (though I know there's just as much of a chance that the extremity of this spring might be telling us it's going to be a scorcher).

On the upside, didn't I have the best help? Sister stayed with me the entire time I was tucking things in, actually helping. She gathered rocks to keep the sheets down, she carried towels and pillowcases, she held clothes pins. What a trooper.

So now we wait... and hopefully have green and growing things left to see on our next walk through our garden!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving a weekend that saw...

...a sneaky trip down to Mimmy and Pappy's house, a quick setup, and a surprise.
...happy kiddos, quality time with ones they love so well, and a few cold ones.
...a meal prep with my helpers, me watching them focus, focus, focus, because it's a special dinner.

...the peeps' move from bathtub to hen house... finally!
...the reinstatement of a functioning guest bathroom, scrubbed from top to bottom and now chicken-free.
...the reigning in of the out-of-control garage (we might be able to park cars in there soon).

...the first radishes out of the garden- eaten standing in the garden.
...long naps by still-not-feeling-quite-100% coughing, sniffling kiddos.
...the first shorts of the season, the air conditioner on, and eventually a very wet and rainy afternoon.

Right now I'm anxiously watching out the windows for the first rays of light (or at least the glow of the morning sun, if the clouds are still present) so I can sneak out to the coop for a peek at the chickies. There was a cold front last night and we're kicking off the start to this week in the low 40s. Their heat lamp is on, but they've never been exposed to temps this low before, so I find myself feeling like a fretting mother hen (ha).

Our weekend was quiet and peaceful (if you ignore the part about the kids still not feeling all the way better), and we were able to get some things done and spend time together- in my book, the best way to do a weekend.

Hoping the same for all.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Important Work

Ever have one of those weeks where you could sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and easily write up three, four, five pages of things that need your attention, like, yesterday?

I am totally having a week like that. It's already Wednesday and it feels like I've gotten nothing done. Granted, sick babies throw a wrench in whatever plans one might have, and also I think this beautiful spring weather is adding to the more urgent feeling of godoaccomplishnownownow, but that doesn't change the still-not-done status of the to-do stuff on all my lists.

The chicken coop is probably only one focused day away from being ready for the peeps. There is a trip to the local plant nursery long overdue. If I don't make it to the grocery store today I'll have no coffee for tomorrow morning, and the house isn't cleaning itself. I'm sure everyone knows this music.

It gets a little hard to prioritize... until you push it all out of the way and let the priorities sort themselves out. The important stuff always rises to the top. Funny.

This morning we woke up to another beautiful day with the same opportunities to get stuff done as yesterday. Our lists waited, our errands waited, our chores waited (imagine that!). In letting our priorities sort themselves out we gained more than we bumped, to risk sounding cliche. What felt like sitting still (me) and playing (the littles) really ended up being important work for all of us. Rest. Recuperation. A good recharge.

So now, as the sun reaches into the woods and all around, stirring things up for another day, we'll be ready to make the most of it and get our stuff done! Yeah, we're having one of Those Weeks, but staying busy isn't the only way to take it down.

Sometimes the best way to work through the day (or week, or month...) is to take a moment and stop working.

After all...

"It is the quality of the moment, not the number of days,
or events, or of actors, that imports."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Right Now, Belated

Right now, I'm...

...feeling tired. That kind of tired that only parents know... the down-to-the-bone weary that comes from lack of sleep, worry, and juggling all the moving parts that go along with having sick kiddos.
...hoping the meds, the naps, the teas, the fresh air, and the sunshine will keep working their magic on this house and get us back in our rhythm!
...realizing that in the dim light of dawn this house doesn't look so dirty! Nice.
...wondering if we'll get the chance to get out to the grocery store today, or if we'll be diving back into the freezer for dinner and going rogue for tp............ it's getting dire over here folks.
...planning the movement of the way-too-big-for-the-bathtub chicks out to the coop, and soon. Only a few more touches will make the hen house ready, and oh, am I ready to get them out of my house.
...loving the gentle rain we've had for the past few evenings and the beautiful green that's popping up in the garden! The house may be a mess, but when we're out walking between the sprouting beds in our garden, who really cares?

At the risk of 'jinxing' us all, let me just say the kids seem to be on the mend, the day seems to be promising beautiful weather, and I for one am ready to take full advantage of the upswing. We may be tired, but it feels so energizing to look out the windows at the bright warm sunshine.

Let's do this.

Happy... Tuesday!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Today my Baby Bubba turns three years old. We had grand plans of celebrating this kind, laid-back little man with special foods, an outing to feed some giraffes, and some construction work with his new tools, but sadly he gets to spend his birthday with a 104.7 fever and a dry, hoarse cough.

Our poor sweet Hen, what a crummy way to kick off your third year.

The amazing thing about this guy, though, is that he'll still be just as loving and sweet, despite it all.

So we'll trade the special foods for oatmeal and he'll be just as happy. We'll swap getting out for staying in, probably piled on top of each other on the couch (Audrey's still under the weather, too), and he won't mind. We'll put off working outside until another day when he's on the mend, and that'll be OK too.

At least there's a silver lining- if not for this, there's probably no other way I'd get to spend his birthday holding him... and that's what this Mama really wants for this landmark day. Wishing he were well, but glad to hold him a little more than usual.

Happy birthday Henry Warden, we will totally have a do-over when you're feeling better.