"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Friday, November 26, 2010

thoughts for today

“I feel like all of us choose whether to look at life from the glass half-full or half-empty perspective. I have made a concerted effort over the years to look at my life in light of all that God has provided for me. I have determined to find joy and to cultivate contentment so that I can have the strength and courage to face everyday.”  



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

thoughts for today

“The key to enjoying God in every moment of these daily pleasures is to open the eyes of my mind to see and to appreciate what he has given. A thankful heart galvanizes the connection between my God and me….
…….When we really see that God is a wonderful Provider and has gone to great lengths to make our earthly home pleasurable, we will appreciate him more and our hearts will be lifted to thank him. It is when we come to see what he has given that we begin to be mature. It is when we understand that God’s gifts are with consideration of our truest needs - for love, beauty, purpose and belonging- instead of for our selfish gratification, material possessions, ownership. When we are humble and appreciative of who he really is, then we move down the road to a more foundational intimacy with him. But without a heart of thanksgiving, in which we recognize his chosen gifts, our joy will not be full.”


~from Dancing with my Father by Sally Clarkson (pg 92-93)

Friday, November 19, 2010

thoughts for today

(in ref to Matthew 7:26-27...) 

“…… indicates that rain will come and the winds will burst against us in this life. We were made for gladness of heart and joy, but in this world, which is wildly rebellious to God and his ways, storms will indeed come and rage against our souls. What determines whether such storms will destroy our happiness or push us toward it is whether we struggle against the wind or let it push us toward God.”


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thoughts for today

“Clearly joy is an issue of the heart. Joy is not found in performing for people or in doing all the right things for God. Nor is joy in the absence of difficulties or problems. Joy is found in the presence of God in the midst of all circumstances, in delighting in the life he has given.”



Thursday, November 11, 2010

giveaway!

I have throughly enjoyed several of Sally Clarkson's books and read her blog regularly.

I am currently reading through "Dancing with my Father" and am going share a couple thoughts and things that were good reminders for me over the next couple weeks. It is a wonderful book on finding joy in life, regardless of circumstances. I've been making notes as I read and need to sit down and type them all out, the copy I am reading belongs to the library. I am so thankful our library had it as I couldn't go out and buy it just now, but wanted to read it. It is definitely going on my "wish list" to buy for myself someday.

Check out her latest conferences and a giveaway HERE!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade crackers

My kids and I have been loving Katie's recipe for homemade crackers.
The first time I made them, we ate them all that day :-)
The next time I made a double batch and they are lasting longer!
Click this link for the detailed directions - below is the recipe and simplified direction!


Homemade “Wheat Thins” Style Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
From Kitchenstewardship.com

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ Tbs sugar (or honey)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
4 Tbs butter
¼ cup water
¼ tsp vanilla
salt for topping

Method:
Mix ‘em: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it in thoroughly, using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. Combine the water and vanilla, and add to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.
(Note: If you use honey, just mix it in with the water.)

Prep ‘em: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. For crackers, I would HIGHLY recommend using a baking stone , or at least parchment paper. I roll the dough right out on the stone or mat and bake them. Yep, right on the stone. That way I don’t have to worry about rumpled crackers as I move the fragile dough. People say, “Those are homeMADE?” because most of my crackers have perfect shape and are sooooo delectably thin.

Roll ‘em: Divide the dough into 4 pieces; keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle, which should be at least 12 inches square when trimmed. Keep your pin and the surface of your dough evenly floured. Flip the dough frequently to keep it from sticking, but too much flour will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick. Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. I skip the trimming and just deal with weird shaped crackers. Those go to the toddler right away!

Bake ‘em: Transfer the squares to a prepared baking sheet; you can crowd them together, as they don’t expand while baking. See, I get to skip this step, which seriously cuts down the time and failure stress of making homemade crackers! Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt, if desired. Oh, yes – do it! Just use real sea salt with all its minerals intact! Sometimes I also poke the crackers with a fork to make them look even more like the “real” thing. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Save the scraps under plastic wrap and reroll them all at once just one time.


Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. If some of the thinner crackers on the edges brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. These crackers bake quickly, so watch them closely – even 30 seconds can turn them from golden brown to toast!
Are they done? You want them to be almost crispy, but not totally breakable to deem them “done”, because they will crisp up a bit as they cool. You’ll learn after a tray or two the difference between “too soft” “done” and “oops”. They’re still tasty when they’re soft, just not so cracker-y. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate; they cool quickly. These crackers will stay crisp for many days, but are best stored in airtight containers.


Soaked Granola Bars

Here's this great recipe from Katie's new Heathy Snacks to Go e-book.



4 1/2 cups soaked and dried oats (Directions for soaking and drying HERE)
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 or 3/4 cup butter*
2/3 or 1 cup honey*
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup add-ins (mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, etc)


In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and vanilla over low heat. Once butter is melted and bubbly, cook and stir for 5 minutes. (DO this! Don't cheat and just get the butter melted, it does actually need to COOK- not that I figured this out from experience or anything....!)
In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Mix the liquid with the oats. Incorporate add-ins at this point (mini chocolate chips melt, so you may want to cool first!)

* The difference in the quanities are in whether you want to make baked or unbaked granola bars......

For Unbaked- (Use the 2/3 cup honey and 3/4 cup butter)
Line a container of any kind with waxed paper. Press bar mixture in, well, with waxed paper. Allow to harden up (the refrigerator speeds it up but isn't necessary) and then cut into bars.

For Baked- (Use the 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup butter AND ADD 1 tsp baking soda to your dry ingredients and mix in throughly)
Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan; use wax paper on your fingers to apply pressure. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in pan until completely cool and then cute into bars.

Taste difference? Believe it or not, the 10 minutes in the oven does something considerable. The baked bars have a mouthfeel related to a cookie, but not quite and are less sweet. Unbaked bars are more like a sticky Quaker chewy bar but with 1 cup honey are much too sweet and more expensive anyway. You could make a half a batch of both and see what you prefer!

Makes about 20 bars.

My note..... I "think" I like the baked best. Not sure, both are good and are really pretty different. Your add-ins make a difference too. My unbaked ones tend to be really sticky, so they aren't great for the little kids when we are out and sometimes my baked ones turn out a little crumbly. BUT, I find if I refrigerate the baked ones they old together better when we are out!
I am going to play with a little more honey in mine next time- I am wondering if altitude makes a difference in them?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dutch Baby

This is the Dutch Baby recipe my mom made for us growing up, I love it still.

Dutch Baby

1/4 cup butter
Place in a pie plate or 8" baking dish and put in oven to melt while preheating oven to 350 degrees.

In a blender mix:
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour (wheat works, but unbleached white is nicer!)

Blend well and pour into heated dish with melted butter.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes till puffed and lightly browned.
Serve immediately, it will "puff down" quickly, so this is one to get right on the table :-)
Serves 4

For a little variation, you can add 1/2 cup cooked apples and a tsp of cinnamon to the baking dish before pouring egg mixture on top. Very yummy!

Granola

I have several recipes for granola floating around. Depending on what else is going on I might choose one over the other. I really like Katie's recipe, soaked and unsoaked in her new book Healthy Snacks to Go. I think her granola recipe that is posted is slightly different from the one in the book......... so if you want a really good recipe, get her book :-)
Below is my recipe, it's not a soaked version, but makes a nice granola for gift giving, need a more traditional version or when you are ready to make granola and forgot about soaking...... no, I've never done THAT!

We enjoy granola with a little milk or almond milk on it........ Or sprinkled liberally over yogurt....... Or a handful tossed onto the baby's tray to nibble on while I am making dinner...........

Granola

Mix together:
6 c. oats
2 c. bran cereal
¾ c. slivered almonds
¾ c. sunflower seeds
1 c. flaxseed meal

Heat in saucepan till blended:
1 c. honey
½ c. maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut oil

Pour over dry mixture and blend thoroughly

Pour into a shallow baking pan and cook at 250 for 2? hours, stirring every 30-40 minutes - (I forgot to time how long I actually cooked it!)

Cool completely

Add:
1 c. assorted nuts, chopped
1 c. coconut flakes
½ c. raisins
1 c. dried fruit
½ c. dark chocolate chips (if you like chocolate in your granola, my husband didn’t care for the chocolate, but liked the rest!)

Store in an airtight container. Serve with milk or over yogurt.

Waffles

This is a basic waffle recipe and my classic standby. It's fromallrecipes.com, I just modify it all little bit. To make a soaked version, mix the flour and milk and add a teaspoon of vinegar the night before and add everything else in the morning. You can leave on the counter if you use raw milk, if you use regular milk I would refrigerate.

Waffles

2 cups flour (any mix will work, I usually use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 wheat or all wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
2 TB sweetener (depends on the moment, any version of sugar or honey works)
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 TB oil (I use coconut or olive)

Mix well and cook on hot waffle iron.
Serves 4-6

Pancakes

This is my favorite pancake recipe.
I thought it came from Katie, but I can't find it on her site, so maybe I am
remembering wrong :-) If it is your recipe, let me know and I can link properly to give you credit!

The Best Pancakes Ever

3 cups whole wheat flour*
1 cup buttermilk or milk or yogurt **
1 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Combine ingredients and leave on the counter, covered, to soak 12-24 hours.
(I usually leave overnight and I find I often need to add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup of water to the recipe, otherwise my batter is too thick, sometimes I add it in water with the above and sometimes I add it in milk with the ingredients added in the morning)

Just before cooking, add:
4 lightly beaten eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter or spray oil in your pan and heat. Cook on a med/high temperature.

For us, a HALF batch makes enough to easily feed me and the 3 kids. If there is anyone else eating with us I make a full batch. OR I make a full batch and freeze the remainder for a quick breakfast later!

*This recipe works with all regular whole wheat flour, it is much better with half whole wheat and half pastry/white flour and is best with all pastry flour.
I use 1/2 and 1/2 almost all the time.

** Because you are adding vinegar to the milk, it's a "fake" buttermilk of sorts and hasn't had a problem sitting on my counter overnight. Raw milk would be safest for this though if you choose to use milk. You can also use the dairy choice in place of the water for richer pancakes.
I usually use yogurt and water with the added vinegar and have no issues leaving it sit out. If I am going to add milk rather then water for any additional liquid, I usually add it in the morning and let it sit with the water overnight.

I also often add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter in the morning, I think it adds nice flavor and some added nutrition.

Meal-planning

Menu's and meal planning really help me out...... alot. It is so helpful to know what direction I need to head each day and thru the week. However, my menus are never "set in stone". I usually make a list for the week of the meals I am planning to make. If I know how my week is going to go, what my husband's work schedule is like, what we have plans to do, I will try and assign days for the meals. Some weeks, I put meals with days and though we eat many of the meals planned, they don't end up on the day planned. That's okay. It used to bother me. I got over it. Some weeks I just list meals I have everything for and go from there. But, it is helpful to know where I am heading in the week. For example: if I have planned to make White Chicken Chili, I need to start soaking the beans ahead of time, unless I have some in the freezer I want to use. And since I often try to have dinner well under way before late afternoon, it is helpful to get my meats or beans out of the freezer a day before rather then the morning of, sometimes frozen ground beef is hard to work with :-) I use my crockpot often. And I usually plan for at least one leftover meals day a week. Oftentimes Sunday so I don't have to cook.

For breakfast and lunch, I usually just have a list - in my head or sometimes written out - of ideas to work off of. Breakfast usually rotates thru a variety of egg dishes (especially if my husband is eating with us), french toast, oatmeal, yogurt or muffins. Lunches are usually pretty random. Leftovers, sandwiches or pasta are typical. Though I am working on expanding my ideas here and making some "real" lunches for the kids instead of just tossing something together at noon :-)

So, as I post various meal menus, know that as pretty as a planned list looks, it probably won't happen like I have planned. Life happens, being self-employed and having 4 young children my life is busy and unexpected things are expected and I often decide for sure what's for dinner each day anticipating what that day will be like.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thoughts for Today - Daily Choices

"I am more convinced then ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find His joy. He want every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He want me to celebrate life - the life he has given me...... the joy-filled life is not found by diminishing my God-given responsibilities as a women, wife and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy. To celebrate life is simply a choice. Every day, God extends his hand to offer me the gift of another day to live. I have the choice to take that gift and turn it into 24 hours of real life in Christ, or just let it become another 24 hours endured in a broken world. If I choose to accept it-to transform those minutes and hours into life lived for and with my Savior- I have the opportunity to see God at work, enjoy his presence, wonder at his creation, appreciate the expressions of beauty and love and touch the minds and hearts of my children with his reality. That's certainly what I desire, but it is a choice I have to make daily"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thoughts for Today - Savor the Season

Time is short and forever is eternal.
It constantly reminds me that we need to spend the time we have left on earth accomplishing things for the Lord Jesus. We are here for a purpose. It also is a constant reminder to me that I don't know how long I'll have with any of my kids. Let us remember that relationships we build here with our kids will last forever as we spend it in eternity together. When you're tempted to be upset about temporal irritations, remember, the heart of your child is so much more important and we need to invest our time in building little lives that will honor and serve their Savior.
Savor the Season
~Marilyn Boyer
www.thelearningparent.blogspot.com

This paragraph stood out to me in THIS blog post from the Boyer's blog. I am constantly encouraged by the Boyer's reminders from parents who are further along the road of parenting then I am.
You will also be encouraged by THIS article with the reminder of keeping an eternal perspective as a mama and housewife.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Breakfast Menus

Breakfast menus

I don't usually schedule breakfasts, but I do have a handful I rotate through and try not to have the same thing every morning :-) Unless of course, my husband is around and he would be thrilled if I just made bacon with eggs and potatoes every morning!

Here's a list of breakfasts you might find around here:

Eggs and potatoes
Quiche
Yogurt Muslei
Granola (either on yogurt or with milk)
Biscuits and Gravy (we all love this, but it's not the healthiest meal we do, it's usually a weekend treat!)
French Toast
Waffles (although my pancake recipe above works good for waffles too!)

For the couple meals listed above that don't really need a recipe :-) Here's what I usually do.

Eggs and potatoes

Cook potatoes the night before, if you're smart and remember in the same oven you heat up for your dinner :-) Cool and refrigerate.
In the morning, dice the potatoes. Brown in a skillet with a little butter and olive oil. Once warmed through and browned to your liking, add in eggs (already broke and mixed well!).
Cook and serve with toast.
This is also very easy to add other veggies too - spinach, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower are favorites around here. I usually add when the potatoes are done before the eggs, except for onions, those go in with the potatoes!

If you have never tried eggs and cauliflower together - you have got to try it! They make a wonderful combination and not one I am sure I would have put together except for my husband telling me to try it.

French Toast

Beat well 3-6 eggs (depending on how much you are making)
Add in a little milk, dash of salt is optional. Mix really well.
Dip in bread, flip over with fork until all the bread is well coated.
Cook on a med-high pan, with butter or coconut oil melted in it, till nicely browned.
Depending on what kind of bread you use, will also vary the amount of eggs you need. Some breads absorb the liquid much more then others - homemade and such I often need to double the eggs, a firmer bread like store bought sourdough doesn't absorb as much.

Serve with butter and cinnamon (and a little powdered sugar if you wish)

My mom also used to make this by coated the egg dipped bread into some flaxseed/wheat germ/cinnamon mixture before placing in the pan. This makes a nice coating and adds some wonderful flavor as well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts for Today - Are you content?

"If I learn to be content, joy will naturally follow. Like thankfulness though, I have to choose to be content before I can know joy. It's an act of faith......... The only way to attain true contentment is to rest in God and depend on his grace. It is a spiritual issue, not a practical one. Contentedness will not come from being more organized, sleeping longer, being a better wife, keeping a nicer home, using higher-quality materials, taking more time for yourself, or what it is you think might help. Contentedness is learned by accepting life each day as God gives it to you, and adjusting your expectations to life's limitations. "


Are you content?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Walk Worthy

"We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory."
1 Thessalonians 2:12
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3
"... So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy..."
Colossians 1:10-11

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Savor the Season

Time is short and forever is eternal.
It constantly reminds me that we need to spend the time we have left on earth accomplishing things for the Lord Jesus. We are here for a purpose. It also is a constant reminder to me that I don't know how long I'll have with any of my kids. Let us remember that relationships we build here with our kids will last forever as we spend it in eternity together. When you're tempted to be upset about temporal irritations, remember, the heart of your child is so much more important and we need to invest our time in building little lives that will honor and serve their Savior.
Savor the Season
~Marilyn Boyer
www.thelearningparent.blogspot.com

This paragraph stood out to me in THIS blog post from the Boyer's blog. I am constantly encouraged by the Boyer's reminders from parents who are further along the road of parenting then I am.
You will also be encouraged by THIS article with the reminder of keeping an eternal perspective as a mama and housewife.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

thoughts for today

"If I learn to be content, joy will naturally follow. Like thankfulness though, I have to choose to be content before I can know joy. It's an act of faith......... The only way to attain true contentment is to rest in God and depend on his grace. It is a spiritual issue, not a practical one. Contentedness will not come from being more organized, sleeping longer, being a better wife, keeping a nicer home, using higher-quality materials, taking more time for yourself, or what it is you think might help. Contentedness is learned by accepting life each day as God gives it to you, and adjusting your expectations to life's limitations. "


Are you content?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I've been busy....


.... but isn't he so sweet?

Yes, I am still alive and around, just a bit pre-occupied and adjusting to life with 4 little ones 5 and under! Somehow the laundry keeps piling up, and the kids seem to want to still eat 3 meals a day..... and Tadhg enjoys his nursing time and loves to sleep on mama....... we are getting back into a routine this week and hopefully I will get back to more regular posting soon!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

thoughts for today

"I am more convinced then ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find His joy. He want every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He want me to celebrate life - the life he has given me...... the joy-filled life is not found by diminishing my God-given responsibilities as a women, wife and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy. To celebrate life is simply a choice. Every day, God extends his hand to offer me the gift of another day to live. I have the choice to take that gift and turn it into 24 hours of real life in Christ, or just let it become another 24 hours endured in a broken world. If I choose to accept it-to transform those minutes and hours into life lived for and with my Savior- I have the opportunity to see God at work, enjoy his presence, wonder at his creation, appreciate the expressions of beauty and love and touch the minds and hearts of my children with his reality. That's certainly what I desire, but it is a choice I have to make daily"



Are you making the choice of JOY today?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

thoughts for today

"This is the Lord's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~Psalm 118:23-24

Six years ago today I married my husband.
The above verses were on our wedding invitations.
It is wonderful to look back and see how the Lord was the one who brought us together, and even more so, HE is the one who has continued to knit our hearts and lives together more and more each year. I cannot express how much I have changed in the last 6 years and how marriage can truly be a wonderful refining process. When we allow struggles and difficulties to be viewed through an eternal perspective we can use them rather then tearing us down and discouraging us to grow us into the likeness of Christ.
But, lest you wonder if the last 6 years has been all struggles :-) It hasn't.
We have been blessed with 3 little children and another one due any day now. Our lives are busy, sometimes crazy but full of joy. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Friday, July 30, 2010

thoughts for today

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

~ Hebrews 12:1-2

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thoughts for today

Some people say it so well!
I read a couple other blog posts this morning that I just had to post the links too because they were wonderful reminders to me and I hope you enjoy them as well.




Saturday, July 24, 2010

Soaked Granola bars


Well, better late then never..... right? Sorry I forgot to post this earlier, but here's this great recipe from Katie's new Heathy Snacks to Go e-book.



4 1/2 cups soaked and dried oats (Directions for soaking and drying HERE)
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 or 3/4 cup butter*
2/3 or 1 cup honey*
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup add-ins (mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, etc)


In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and vanilla over low heat. Once butter is melted and bubbly, cook and stir for 5 minutes. (DO this! Don't cheat and just get the butter melted, it does actually need to COOK- not that I figured this out from experience or anything....!)
In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Mix the liquid with the oats. Incorporate add-ins at this point (mini chocolate chips melt, so you may want to cool first!)

* The difference in the quanities are in whether you want to make baked or unbaked granola bars......

For Unbaked- (Use the 2/3 cup honey and 3/4 cup butter)
Line a container of any kind with waxed paper. Press bar mixture in, well, with waxed paper. Allow to harden up (the refrigerator speeds it up but isn't necessary) and then cut into bars.

For Baked- (Use the 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup butter AND ADD 1 tsp baking soda to your dry ingredients and mix in throughly)
Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan; use wax paper on your fingers to apply pressure. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in pan until completely cool and then cute into bars.

Taste difference? Believe it or not, the 10 minutes in the oven does something considerable. The baked bars have a mouthfeel related to a cookie, but not quite and are less sweet. Unbaked bars are more like a sticky Quaker chewy bar but with 1 cup honey are much too sweet and more expensive anyway. You could make a half a batch of both and see what you prefer!

Makes about 20 bars.

My note..... I "think" I like the baked best. Not sure, both are good and are really pretty different. Your add-ins make a difference too. My unbaked ones tend to be really sticky, so they aren't great for the little kids when we are out and sometimes my baked ones turn out a little crumbly. BUT, I find if I refrigerate the baked ones they old together better when we are out!
I am going to play with a little more honey in mine next time- I am wondering if altitude makes a difference in them?



Monday, July 12, 2010

Healthy Snacks E-book GIVEAWAY!

And the WINNER IS....
Doodlebug's Mommy!!!
Thanks to everyone, and don't forget to check out Katie's site and get your own copy

A couple months ago, Katie at Kitchen Stewardship, introduced her E-book "Heathy Snacks to Go". I read a couple early versions and throughly enjoyed the recipes and snack ideas. Katie has offered to giveaway a free copy to someone this week!


This is a great book for finding some snack recipes beyond Cheerios and Goldfish! Yes, some of them are a little time consuming BUT once they are made, you have easy snacks on hand to grab for the park, car or late afternoon pick-me-up.

I made the wheat crackers a while back and shared that recipe with you there. And since the book came out we have enjoyed numerous versions of the granola bars. Soaked, unsoaked, baked and unbaked...... my favorites are the ones I have added mini dark chocolate chips to! The peanut butter kisses are one of our favorites too, and it's a really easy recipe to mix up quickly.


This book would be a great addition to any kitchen, but especially for those of you starting to think about school lunches or who pack lunches for their husbands, the $6.95 for this e-book is a great value.
You can take a peek at the table of contents HERE.


To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post sharing YOUR favorite snack to make.
And don't forget to leave me a good email address to contact you at if you win!

For additional entries you can do any of the following, please leave a separate comment for each one!

Go over to Kitchen Stewardship and tell me which recipe listed you would like to try

Subscribe to Kitchen Stewardship emails or on a RSS feed

Subscribe to A Heavenly Perspective on RSS feed

The giveaway will be open till Friday and I will post a winner soon thereafter!

And if you don't want to wait to win a copy...... you can buy your own copy HERE!


Now.... I have oats soaking for granola and granola bars, so I must run! I will share the granola bar recipe later this week for you try on your own!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wild Olive giveaway


Wild Olive has a giveaway going on!
I love their tee-shirts. I don't own one yet.
They don't make one in maternity!
BUT I would love to have a couple.
These are my favorites

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dutch Baby

This is the Dutch Baby recipe my mom made for us growing up, I love it still.
Here's a soaked option as well

Dutch Baby

1/4 cup butter
Place in a pie plate or 8" baking dish and put in oven to melt while preheating oven to 350 degrees.

In a blender mix:
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour (wheat works, but unbleached white is nicer!)

Blend well and pour into heated dish with melted butter.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes till puffed and lightly browned.
Serve immediately, it will "puff down" quickly, so this is one to get right on the table :-)
Serves 4

For a little variation, you can add 1/2 cup cooked apples and a tsp of cinnamon to the baking dish before pouring egg mixture on top. Very yummy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Granola

I have several recipes for granola floating around. Depending on what else is going on I might choose one over the other. I really like Katie's recipes, soaked and unsoaked in her new book Healthy Snacks to Go. I think her granola recipe that is posted is slightly different from the one in the book......... so if you want a really good recipe, get her book :-)
Below is my recipe, it's not a soaked version, but makes a nice granola for gift giving, need a more traditional version or when you are ready to make granola and forgot about soaking...... no, I've never done THAT!

We enjoy granola with a little milk or almond milk on it........ Or sprinkled liberally over yogurt....... Or a handful tossed onto the baby's tray to nibble on while I am making dinner...........

Granola

Mix together:
6 c. oats
2 c. bran cereal
¾ c. slivered almonds
¾ c. sunflower seeds
1 c. flaxseed meal

Heat in saucepan till blended:
1 c. honey
½ c. maple syrup
1/3 c. coconut oil

Pour over dry mixture and blend thoroughly

Pour into a shallow baking pan and cook at 250 for 2? hours, stirring every 30-40 minutes - (I forgot to time how long I actually cooked it!)

Cool completely

Add:
1 c. assorted nuts, chopped
1 c. coconut flakes
½ c. raisins
1 c. dried fruit
½ c. dark chocolate chips (if you like chocolate in your granola, my husband didn’t care for the chocolate, but liked the rest!)

Store in an airtight container. Serve with milk or over yogurt.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Waffles

This is a basic waffle recipe and my classic standby. It's from allrecipes.com, I just modify it all little bit. To make a soaked version, mix the flour and milk and add a teaspoon of vinegar the night before and add everything else in the morning. You can leave on the counter if you use raw milk, if you use regular milk I would refrigerate.

Waffles

2 cups flour (any mix will work, I usually use 1/2 unbleached white and 1/2 wheat or all wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
2 TB sweetener (depends on the moment, any version of sugar or honey works)
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 TB oil (I use coconut or olive)

Mix well and cook on hot waffle iron.
Serves 4-6

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pancakes

This is my favorite pancake recipe.
I thought it came from Katie, but I can't find it on her site, so maybe I am
remembering wrong :-) If it is your recipe, let me know and I can link properly to give you credit!

The Best Pancakes Ever

3 cups whole wheat flour*
1 cup buttermilk or milk or yogurt **
1 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Combine ingredients and leave on the counter, covered, to soak 12-24 hours.
(I usually leave overnight and I find I often need to add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup of water to the recipe, otherwise my batter is too thick, sometimes I add it in water with the above and sometimes I add it in milk with the ingredients added in the morning)

Just before cooking, add:
4 lightly beaten eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter or spray oil in your pan and heat. Cook on a med/high temperature.

For us, a HALF batch makes enough to easily feed me and the 3 kids. If there is anyone else eating with us I make a full batch. OR I make a full batch and freeze the remainder for a quick breakfast later!

*This recipe works with all regular whole wheat flour, it is much better with half whole wheat and half pastry/white flour and is best with all pastry flour.
I use 1/2 and 1/2 almost all the time.

** Because you are adding vinegar to the milk, it's a "fake" buttermilk of sorts and hasn't had a problem sitting on my counter overnight. Raw milk would be safest for this though if you choose to use milk. You can also use the dairy choice in place of the water for richer pancakes.
I usually use yogurt and water with the added vinegar and have no issues leaving it sit out. If I am going to add milk rather then water for any additional liquid, I usually add it in the morning and let it sit with the water overnight.

I also often add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter in the morning, I think it adds nice flavor and some added nutrition.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Breakfast menus

I don't usually schedule breakfasts, but I do have a handful I rotate through and try not to have the same thing every morning :-) Unless of course, my husband is around and he would be thrilled if I just made bacon with eggs and potatoes every morning!

Here's a list of breakfasts you might find around here:

Eggs and potatoes
Quiche
Yogurt Muslei
Granola (either on yogurt or with milk)
Biscuits and Gravy (we all love this, but it's not the healthiest meal we do, it's usually a weekend treat!)
French Toast
Waffles (although my pancake recipe above works good for waffles too!)

For the couple meals listed above that don't really need a recipe :-) Here's what I usually do.

Eggs and potatoes

Cook potatoes the night before, if you're smart and remember in the same oven you heat up for your dinner :-) Cool and refrigerate.
In the morning, dice the potatoes. Brown in a skillet with a little butter and olive oil. Once warmed through and browned to your liking, add in eggs (already broke and mixed well!).
Cook and serve with toast.
This is also very easy to add other veggies too - spinach, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower are favorites around here. I usually add when the potatoes are done before the eggs, except for onions, those go in with the potatoes!

If you have never tried eggs and cauliflower together - you have got to try it! They make a wonderful combination and not one I am sure I would have put together except for my husband telling me to try it.

French Toast

Beat well 3-6 eggs (depending on how much you are making)
Add in a little milk, dash of salt is optional. Mix really well.
Dip in bread, flip over with fork until all the bread is well coated.
Cook on a med-high pan, with butter or coconut oil melted in it, till nicely browned.
Depending on what kind of bread you use, will also vary the amount of eggs you need. Some breads absorb the liquid much more then others - homemade and such I often need to double the eggs, a firmer bread like store bought sourdough doesn't absorb as much.

Serve with butter and cinnamon (and a little powdered sugar if you wish)

My mom also used to make this by coated the egg dipped bread into some flaxseed/wheat germ/cinnamon mixture before placing in the pan. This makes a nice coating and adds some wonderful flavor as well.


Menu planning

After moving this month and feeling rather disjointed I am finally sitting down today and planning meals for the rest of the month. I need my menu plans back! I need to know what needs to get soaking or what I can get a jump on first thing in the morning to save time later in the day. When it's HOT and I'm TIRED and dinner is the last thing I want to deal with. You know, I would much rather get the kids into their swim things AGAIN(!) so they can run in the sprinklers or change the laundry or balance the checkbook. No really, I am reminded once again, that menu planning is so helpful. It just makes the day go better.
I am somewhat re-vamping my menus a little for the summer months. Looking for "cooler" recipes. Maybe some that don't take the oven, or include more fresh veggies. As much as I love it, White Chicken Chili, just hasn't sounded good lately! I am making this meatloaf for dinner tonight. Maybe with scalloped potatoes, or potatoes of some sort. Obviously, it's almost 3 in the afternoon and I don't have the potatoes done, but the meatloaf is in the fridge waiting to go in the oven! But seriously, I don't know if I mentioned it yet, but this is THE BEST MEATLOAF ever. I really think the grass fed beef is so key, don't make this with cheap meat!
My husband has had an odd work schedule this month- he's been home most mornings, so that kind of slows me down some :-) I am sure you can relate!

How about breakfasts? I don't usually plan out breakfasts, but I do try and decide what I am making the night before. Even if I don't need to prep for it, knowing in my mind what I am planning helps the poor tired 35 week pregnant mama get breakfast on the table! I am working on a breakfast post too.........




Thursday, June 17, 2010

giveaway!

Another great giveaway from Keeper of the Home & Saving Naturally - a large gift basket of lotions and soaps from Graham Gardens. I have heard alot about their products and have wanted to try them out!



Monday, June 14, 2010

cloth diaper giveaway

Keeper of the Home is giving away a sample pack of Eden Cloth diapers this week -
GO HERE to enter and read her review of this product!


(And yes, I will try and get back to more regular blogging next week!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

another giveaway

I am always a sucker for a good book - this look like it would be worth having around!

GO HERE to read about The Real Food Health and Nutrition Textbook and enter to win one.