Tag Archives: busy mom

Father’s Day: Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

For Father’s Day, I decided to give my husband the gift of eternal life!

…in the form of these super nutrient-rich cookies!

(He’s not vegan, but I lucked out with a guy who is really into the idea of a plant-based diet as long as it includes hamburgers, too.)

I thought I’d share my recipe, straight from the Chef at the test kitchen at ABCGP! (Me, of course!)

Vegan Trail Mix Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • one pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar or other sweetener of your choice
  • 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk beverage
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla)
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs (My choice: 2 4-ounce jars of Earth’s Best Pureed Pear baby food and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1/3 pound trail mix (My choice: an organic blend of jumbo raisins, roasted pumpkin seeds, raw almonds, walnuts, goji berries, cranberries, and mulberries. See below)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets or stones with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a larger bowl, combine coconut oil, brown sugar, egg replacer, coconut milk and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Add dry ingredients along with oats and trail mix. Stir or use hands to mix well. Drop by large tablespoons onto cookie sheets. (Cookies will not spread, so flattening and shaping them a bit is a good idea.)

Bake until just browned and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Brush with agave nectar when slightly cooled, if desired.

Makes approx. 20 cookies.

And there you have it! I was a little afraid to experiment with this recipe because I really didn’t want to waste so many pricey ingredients, but, happily, the cookies turned out great! (I really did only eat one, though. Daddy got the rest.) 

Before the cookie madness started, we started Daddy’s day a little bit early with a fun Father’s Day Eve lunch that I picked up on my way home from work.

He: Salmon rolls

She: Roasted cauliflower and tiny roasted taters. I’m not happy about paying take-out prices for something so easy to make, but they were BANGIN’!

 I picked up a few other things while I was at it. I’m thinking there have been a few too many splurges on ingredients lately…but it’s all in the name of good health (and full tummies), right?

Good fats, iron and antioxidants…

The aforementioned trail mix, chia seeds and wheatberries, all organic… :) I got some Medjool dates, too, but they didn’t make it into the shot…

Maybe it’s time to use things up before I buy any more. That always leads to fun things in the kitchen, don’t you think?

Stay tuned for the rest of the Father’s Day lowdown! I’m hoping to check back in later today…

Now, go bake some cookies!

…and don’t forget to enter to win some free goodies from Turtle Mountain! Go coconut!

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Writer’s Block of Chocolate

Today, I don’t feel so much like writing. I think I wrote too much at work and used up all my words.

Instead, I feel like eating chocolate. And that shouldn’t be a problem because I just replenished my stash.

I love chocolate….and it loves me, too. Know how I know? There’s a love poem inside each one of these…

Found these on clearance at the Tar-zhay for $1 each. They were in my basket before I even knew what happened. Yup, I bought ‘em all. And they should last me a good, long time since I have to watch my caffeine while nursing. Only one little square at a time for the mama.

And on my last shopping excursion, I found this strange creature:

That’s right…bread and chocolate. It’s a chocolate bar with French bread in it. I’m going to h*ll, fo sho…

I’m not opening that one yet. It’s going to wait until I get in that French bread and chocolate mood. Don’t act like you don’t know that mood…

Don’t you just love the clearance aisle? I do…but it makes me sad, too. I often find my favorites in there, or products I’ve been wanting to try, and finding them there emblazoned with a big red clearance sticker is a little rush, no doubt, but it also means that those products are most likely being put out to pasture because nobody is buying them. Then, I can’t buy them anymore either. :(

I hate that.

My latest trip to the clearance rack also yielded a box of cinnamon Clipper Tea (it seriously is a soft, fuzzy blanket and slippers in a mug)  and a bottle of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. Fun!

So, I mentioned that yesterday was my husband’s family reunion. That might seem the perfect vehicle for blog fodder, but it just didn’t happen. I was going to put together a side dish, but I totally s**t the bed and brought drinks.

I know. You don’t have to say it. Bad blogger. Bad foodie. Bad healthy eating advocate.

But at least I brought Honest Kids juice. It’s not even sweet, and it’s the only juice I’d give my kid out of a little bag if I did, in fact, give my kid juice. 

We played some games and the husbo won a big watermelon. I was kind of stoked about that. 

Then I won. What did I win, you ask? Well, I won this:

Yes, that is a 7.5 lb bag of sugar. Ummm…….yeah. That’s what I thought, too. :?

The heat and humidity were out of control, but somehow I got talked into walking these steps carrying a 20-lb baby on my hip…

…and found this at the top! 8O

Who knew I’d find a big lake at the top of a flight of stairs? It was like finding Narnia or something. 

My husband got a hankering for a nip of wine on the way home, so we stopped at a local winery (Hunter’s Valley) that’s just a little too far out of the way to visit regularly, and picked up two bottles for home. Way to multi-task! 

I had only eaten some mixed bean salad at the reunion, so I was ravenous. I had visions of a falafel salad dancing in my head, so I got out the mix I had in the cabinet…

Did you all know about this stuff? 

It was the easiest thing ever, inexpensive, and it made really good falafel! Better than I’ve had in a lot of restaurants even.

Who knew?! 

I’ve been paying out the nose for falafel! NO MORE! Five bucks, my foot!

Falafel from scratch would be more impressive, yes. But this stuff is welcome in my pantry any time! Thanks, Casbah!

Feeling very proud of my warm falafel patties, I found them a home on top of a bed of organic greens and baby spinach, along with organic grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, fresh crumbled pepper-crusted chevre, a few artichoke hearts and a dressing I threw together with dill from the garden. (I thought it was a lot like tzatziki, until I looked it up and realized that I had, in fact, made tzatziki.)

Wow. This post is way random, and I think it has too many links. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow. 

I’m gearing up for my first giveaway in the next few days, so be sure to check back in soon!

‘Nite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………

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Have you ever made falafel from scratch? How did it turn out?

Do you ever have trouble stitching the pieces of your day together into one cohesive blog post?

and finally,

what would YOU hope to find at the top of that flight of stairs?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Banana Soft-Serve Sundae Bar!

Yesterday was a SCORCHER! The high temps and humidity caused my dessert to wilt. :(

But I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

My brother and his girlfriend are in town from Ohio. He’s finishing up his doctoral dissertation at Ohio State (O! H!) and has quite the budding music career, so we don’t get to see them a whole lot. (If you choose to click on that link, you are doing so at your own risk. You have been warned…)

I was in charge of dessert, and since my bro and his crafty companion are always up for new and interesting foods, I decided to make Vegan Banana Soft Serve with a close-but-not-quite-vegan toppings bar! 

I made the biggest batch ever – 12 nanners. It came out perfectly smooth and ice-creamy, but then the heat got to it and it started to break down, so we had to eat it superfast!

Mmmmm….

I think everyone was surprised at the short ingredients list. :razz:

I asked the husbo to stop at the local farm stand on the way over to pick up some local berries. Boy, did he ever!

He brought these…

and these!

They were tiny and sweet, just like real berries should be.

Some toppings, which I coarsely chopped. 

Couldn’t forget the peanuts. Salted, of course, for that real “banana split” taste.

…and there you have it! Easy as pie. Actually, much easier than pie.

Healthy Banana split-ish desserts, perfect on a hot summer day. And I didn’t even feel bad when I went back for seconds. ;)

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the ‘rents. Since they are the ones who inspired my veggie love so many years ago when I was just a wee pea, I’d like to share a few pics of their garden…

I’m off to my husband’s family reunion for the day. I’m not sure what I’m bringing yet, which is really unlike me. I usually have those things figured out weeks in advance after flipping through cookbooks for hours. But this is my first year with the baby, so I think I get a pass, right? :lol:

Have a HAPPY Sunday Sundae, everyone!

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

The Monday haps.

It’s a yucky Monday, but I sure ain’t complaining.

I pumped over 14 ounces before noon today! It seems that cosleeping, Mother’s Milk tea and round-the-clock pumping work wonders for a dwindling milk supply. Many, many thanks go out to my La Leche League leaders for telling me that the dip in my supply was not due to my forgetting my pump, but rather a response to my baby’s slowing down in growth, the introduction of solids, and a phase of rapid development (which causes distraction and a decrease in interest in food.) 

Thank the goddess, because I was definitely not feeling like Mother of the Year over the weekend. I didn’t realize until now how much my being able to breastfeed my son has gotten tangled up with my general sense of purpose. I’ll need to revisit that, I think.

We spent all day Sunday in cloth, which was…interesting, and pretty successful. The hardest part? His constant SQUIRMING! 

I learned that cloth diapers have to be changed a lot more often, but that only makes sense since they aren’t filled with that weirdo gel you find in disposables. I’m not so good at the folding yet, so his bum is looking a little poofy. But that’s a handful fewer diapers in the landfill! Yay for progress…

I’m totally loving the brand new Boppy cover I found on clearance! 

Today’s lunch is reliable Kashi. I didn’t have any leftovers because, to be honest, I was a mess all weekend and didn’t cook much. I feel SO much better now. I’m wishing I packed something else because I’m really hungry (that was another bit of advice from my consultant…EAT!!)

My afternoon plans:

Forget “dried plums.” I like PRUNES and I’m not afraid to say it! Go ahead. Call me grandma. I don’t care.

Found this in my Jones Organic White Tea with Cherry – a little shout out to one of my lovely bloggy friends…can you guess which one?

I detect some parsnip fries in my very near future…like dinner, tonight (I hope.) Plus, we’re getting ready to do some harvesting, and my worried mind is beginning to calm, so I’m sensing some fun homemade food on the horizon!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Cloth Diapering: The Adventure Begins…

Yeah, baby! Our first shipment of cloth diapers has arrived! Let the games begin…

I will admit without shame that I am intimidated. No doubt. The thought of swishing these things around in a bucket full of vinegar and poop is not helping me sleep easy at night… 8O

Little did I know when I first decided to try cloth how much research it would require, and how much learning I’d have to do. These things are not cheap, and I sure didn’t want to spend money recklessly on diapers that we wouldn’t end up using. Plus, I just really like lots of information :)

My two main sources of info were, of course, the internet, and the incomparable Mothering Magazine. I found that there are several different styles of cloth diapers: flats, prefolds, fitted, wraps and covers, pockets, all-in-ones, hybrids–and they all come in a variety of fabrics: cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, polyester, etc. With each, you can opt to add additional liners, inserts, stuffers and doublers, also available in a variety of fabrics.

Once you choose the style of diaper you want, there are no less than a billion different makers, including: Bummis, Bumkins, Fuzzibuns, Mother-Ease, BumGenius, Flip, Imse Vimse, Gdiapers, Smartipants, Thirsties, the list goes on and on and on…

And then, you have to decide where to order them, because you can’t just go to the store and pick them up. I did a search of the entire Central PA area, and the only ones I found without a minimum of a 2-hour drive were Gdiapers (a hybrid), sold at the Babies R Us about an hour away. You may have more luck if you live in a more populated area. (Wal-Mart offers a few options through their site-to-store feature, and they don’t make you pay shipping, but I prefer not to shop at Wal-Mart.)

(Just FYI: We started out by registering for Gdiapers when I was pregnant. I got several from a friend who buys the best gifts, but we found that the snaps and waistband irritated our baby’s skin. I wish we could have figured out the problem, because they’re super cute. They are currently for sale on eBay, and I’m sure someone who uses them will gets lots of use out of them. So we did actually have reusable diapers since he was born, but found ourselves not using them in favor of disposables. That’s why we are considering NOW to be our first real foray into the world of cloth…)

I found way too much info to share it all, so I’ll share what we decided on. Because cost is an issue, we decided to go the old school route and try prefolds (the type used by diaper services) in organic cotton. We purchased 8. Pros of these seem to be affordability, proven track record and durability. Cons seem to be bulkiness, the fact that they have to be carefully folded, and, well, I haven’t used them yet so I don’t really know what else…

This is what they look like. They have to be washed 3-5 times before use to quilt them up and establish absorbancy. I will use the dryer to shrink them up as directed, but after that they will be dried on the clothesline!

As soon as I noticed how soft these were, I felt reassured that I had made the right decision for my baby’s bum. They are big, though. I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to make that fit…

Now we needed something to fit over the prefolds. After weeding through the mountains of options, I chose one Flip cover in Moonbeam (Blue), adjustable so one size fits all, made of polyester. :? We also got one Imse Vimse cover, size large, in organic cotton with a cute farm animal print. 

Personally, I’m rooting for the organic cotton cover for obvious reasons, but I’m keeping my mind open. I would love to love both.

I ordered from BananaPeelsDiapers because I stumbled upon a $5 off $50 and free shipping code in Mothering Magazine, and that was the best deal I found. Customer service was great and shipping was prompt, so I would definitely order from them again.

They included a free sample of Punkin Booty Bits in Breezes and Sunshine scent. How nice to get an added bonus! (LOVE FREE SAMPLES!) You just melt them in hot water and add them to a container full of reusable cloth wipes or folded paper towels for soothing, homemade, all-natural wipes that smell lovely and keep your baby’s butt soft and clean. Perk: They don’t contain any sulfates or phthalates, and are made with essential oils. Yummy butt! 

I want to try different online sellers, and Kelly’s Closet is offering a free All-in-One diaper with a $25 purchase, so our next order will be placed with them!

I’m currently in laundry mode, but I’m anxious to start diapering in the next few days. I plan to use the jelly roll fold to start. Ha ha, I love the way it sounds like I know what I’m doing!

I’m starting to hate even looking at those yucky old  ’sposies. 

Stay tuned for our Adventures in Cloth…this could be entertaining… :P

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Do you use (or plan to use) cloth diapers? Were you as clueless as I am when you started? How is it working out?

Please feel free to share any tips or recommendations! I would appreciate the help of any and all seasoned cloth users out there, mommies OR daddies!

***Giveaway notice! The Progressive Pioneer is giving away a gift certificate to the Vintage Pearl here. Beautiful stuff!

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Parenting & Family, The Everyday