Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cheese dip that isn't....

For those of you who are lactose intolerant or have loved ones who are, here is an INCREDIBLE recipe for a nacho cheese dip that you just won't believe. At least I didn't. It's from one of my favorite food blogs, Schmood Food. Another great name, I might add.

What I am amazed at, is the fact that the more I look at these vegan recipes, the more I think, given a few years time to acclimate to the unfamiliar ingredients and transitioning my children very slowly, we might, just might, be able to eat more and more vegan. I don't think we'd ever give up meat, we don't have a problem with local, free-range sources of beef and poultry, and we eat much less meat to be able to afford the better quality. But I can see eating more vegetable and nut based foods and fewer of the chemical concoctions that apparently make up many of our old favorites. I also didn't know how many ways there are to use beans. My new favorite is grinding them into flour and adding them to our bread dough. It makes the bread a complete protein. Considering how much bread my family likes to eat, especially my hubby, that's a very, very good thing!

Very exciting new recipes

There is a whole world of food blogs out there, such as one that I just discovered called Coconut and Lime (just love that name), which posted her original recipe for cranberry pancakes. This is dinner for us tonight. I have a whole Costco bag of cranberries waiting for tomorrow and while my family of 6 eaters will make a dent in it, that's about all that will happen and I'll be left with 3/4 of a bag of cranberries, desperately hoping I find the time to pop them into the freezer before they go bad.

Another new recipe I'm going to try is Thanksgiving bread, except I'd like to substitute mashed sweet potato for the pumpkin. We had sweet potato pie for the first time ever a few weeks ago and I was just floored at much it tasted like pumpkin pie. Ever since, I've been using sweet potatoes in any recipe that called for pumpkin pancakes.

I read an article this morning about how a typical person gains around 7 lbs. from Thanskgiving to Christmas. The author recommended simple ways to add extra activity to our days to combat the additional calories from these yummy meals.....such as taking a brisk walk in the morning and before and after eating, to increase our metabolism. I know there were other suggestions but that was the one that resonated with me because frankly, it's the only one that's even reasonably possible right now. I guess the sit-up and push-up competitions sound like fun but I'm not ready for that kind of humiliation by my lovely kiddos....

So I say, s'il vous plaƮt...if you will, take a stroll with your loved ones and strive to be conscious of and thank God for all of our gifts and blessings. I'm really a C.S. Lewis wanna-be....I really believe there's little that is as lovely as walking and talking for miles....the discussions can just be remarkable.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy 12th anniversary to us!

Anniversary delicacies by Z(11) and A(8) that even S (hubby) can eat!
Waking up to this scene (even at 6:30am) never fails to make my day.

Good thing the kitchen was tidied up last night or Z(11) would've never have been able to work his baking magic.

With a bit of effort, I turned a blind eye to the mixing bowl coated with rapidly drying batter perched on top of the open flour canister (there was still fresh ground wheat in there) and that Z(11) found and used the canola oil....I was trying to get rid of that wretched stuff. I had to focus on rescuing what was burning on the stove (pancakes sticking to my formerly pristine pan-Z(11) couldn't find the Pam spray) and help him scrape it off and flip the poor pancake.

Nothing beat his smiling face though. He and his sister A(8) had been whispering madly amidst themselves for the past few days, ever since they had overheard that our anniversary was approaching. They were 'quietly' working in the kitchen this morning until J(2) woke and joined them. Then A(8) read J(2) Cubbies book to her while Z(11) cooked and baked our breakfast feast. Pancakes, sausage, and minature cakes with lemon icing. (see pic above) What a team! This was music to my seems all I've heard of late is bickering between them.
Thank God for these celebratory times that offer some reprieve.

When I start to worry about his antics and wonder what is wrong with him, I need to remember these moments. They had gone to bed later than usual last night because they have AWANA on Wed. evenings and don't usually get to bed until around 9pm. I'm impressed that they set an alarm for 4:30!!! A(9) slept in Z's (11) room and she woke him when the alarm went off. That couldn't have been easy, he is not a morning person.
So, even though my kitchen is a disaster, there is a tower of bowls, bakeware, and pans to soak and scrub, even though J(7 months) and J(2) are a mess and in need of attention, we have a very full day ahead of us, and once again, I'm running heart is full of joy for the gifts God has bestowed on us. As my dear husband always reminds me, "these are the signs of life."
One of the many reasons I am thankful for him most of all.