Monday, March 29, 2010

paper mache and a birthday

this weekend included church, our weekly church potluck, experimenting with paper mache, eating Indian food and then baking up a birthday cake~

~tissue paper everywhere

~adding glue paste and tissue strips to the ballons

~ready to dry

~ingredients for carrot cake

~my husband's birthday cake frosted with cream cheese pecan frosting

an enjoyable yet full weekend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

oatmeal cookies with a power punch

I admit, I have a serious sweet tooth-and yet I know that this has to be kept under some control. Lately I've been having an insane craving for oatmeal cookies, but a lot of recipes for oatmeal cookies call for at least two sticks of butter. Believe me I'm a fan of butter, but I like to spread out my butter/oil consumption through out the day-and not be done with it in just a couple of bites. So this morning after dropping the kids off at school I got in the kitchen to do some experimenting.
My goal was to make a good oatmeal cookie, with less fat but that also had a bit of a nutritional punch. Basically I took a standard cookie recipe and made appropriate substitutions.

Another goal I wanted with this recipe was to use less flour. I replaced some of the flour with super fine grated coconut (pictured above) and I also added flax seeds. When the cookies came out of the oven I couldn't resist and had to try one right away. Being very hot, the texture reminded me of small oatmeal cakes, but as they cooled a nice slight crunch developed. After school the kids ate them and then asked for more-which I see as a good indication that I'll be making these again (and maybe I'll try a few more tweaks, you know me :)

here's the recipe~

dry ingredients
1 cup of super, super fine coconut
1 and 3/4 cups of old fashioned oats
3/4 cups of sugar (I used a combo sucanat and raw sugar)
1/4 cup of flour
2 tsp of baking powder (next time I'll reduce this to 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of golden flax seeds
1/2 tsp of cinnamon

wet ingredients
2 eggs
4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/4 cup of applesauce
1 tsp of vanilla

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Beat eggs and stir in cooled melted butter, peanut butter, applesauce, sugar and vanilla-combine until well mixed. In another bowl place dry ingredients and combine very well also. Take mixed dry ingredients and add gradually to the egg/butter/sugar mixture. Stir all ingredients together. Spoon drop cookies on cookie sheet bake for 10-15 minutes (when tops are a bit golden) at 350 degrees.

(I also think adding raisins, or some other dried fruit would be great, but my youngest has thing about cooked raisins).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

this Tuesday....

I'm noticing what's growing~

*chives in our garden box

*basil on our plant table

I'm figuring out what I want to grow~

*something new to grow this year, peas

I'm also figuring out my way with a crochet hook and some yarn leftovers~

I'm always grateful for this time of year-the sunshine, the rain, the warmer weather really does something for me. I'm also looking forward to some seed starting and some Easter crafts in the upcoming days.

happy Tuesday friends!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a little bit of spring

a little bit of spring, originally uploaded by *nichole*.


is here.
a time for
new growth,

new possibilities.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

random with a little crochet

just wanted to share some random bits that have been going on~

*we attend our first ceili last weekend, had lots of fun dancing.

*the weather is getting nicer, I even walked to my daughter's school today to pick her up from her kindergarten class (she was so surprised to see me without the car :)
I'm thinking that we should do this at least twice a week.

*I've been eating lots of oranges.

*like last year I'm planning to participate in the community garden and a friend from church is going to share the plot with me.

*from the local food co-op I'm liking this, this, and this.

*I've been doing a little crochet-just keeping it simple. I've made a headband (with leftover yarn from this project) and now I'm just single crocheting up some peaches and creme.


~single crocheting some peaches and creme

*I've been buying coffee out a lot lately, and really not feeling to guilty about it.

Okay, I think that's enough random for today.

Have a good weekend friends!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

tv definitely worth watching

Last night I tried to get most of my evening chores done early so I could sit down and watch Faces of America, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Really if you haven't seen this show you should try to (it comes on Wednesday night, check your local PBS listings). I have been utterly fascinated with how much information that Gates and his team were able to find out about each of their guests genealogy and how current technology (through DNA analysis) helps to uncover links to the past as well. In fact last evenings program even showed that some of the guests themselves were distant, distant relatives (which only tells me that we all may be more related than we think).
As a family last night we watched this program and it really got us asking questions about our own history, who we belong to-who did we come from? I love shows like this that actually make you think.

I've been fascinated with Gates work for awhile. I remember picking up a copy of the dvd African-American Lives from the library maybe about a year ago and just sitting on the couch for 3 hours looking at the program almost in its whole entirety-I was hooked.
So if you are looking for something educational yet fascinating to watch definitely check this series out.

(hey, I just realized that the last episode aired last night, but past episodes can be viewed at the website I linked above).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

playing with dirt

warm enough...., originally uploaded by *nichole*.

It was warm enough today that I was able to go outside and re-pot some plants (which are inside now because it still gets very cold at night), but even so being outside with some dirt on my hands felt good. The current warmer weather (being the mid to upper 30's, hey we're talking the midwest here) has got me thinking about which seeds I need to start indoors and all the pre-garden planning I still need to do. I think this year my theme for the garden will be less is more. Last year I tried to cram too many plants in my garden plot (uh, seven tomato plants in one row times 3-really what was I thinking!)
I know it will be best to spread things out, and I now have the realization that yes those little seedlings do actually grow, they need space. I love how gardening teaches me so much, really I love it so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

what we ate today....

After a morning doctors appointment my youngest girl and I headed to the library cafe for a cookie and some tea (or in her case hot cocoa)~

for lunch we had broccoli soup, cukes, tomatoes, and pita bread with hummus~

and finally for dinner we all had~

chicken pot pie (:

happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

photo February-day 28

practicing dance steps

with friends
makes for

a fun
Sunday afternoon.

*(this is my last photo for photo February, thanks for the positive comments and support. Can you believe that March is here already? Garden time is around the corner ~yay! and this year it should be interesting-for many reasons).*