Sunday, March 18, 2012

Healthy Cookies

Bowie was watching over my shoulder while I was writing that last post and wanted me to also report on the cookies we made today. He also wants me to tell Aunt Sarah that we are saving some cookies for her, and he wants to make sure that she reads about our dinner. So I hope you read this Aunt Sarah, or I can just tell you about it when I see you later.  Anyhoo....these cookies are [cane] sugar free (though I do add honey, and of course the nana) and gluten free as long as you use gluten free oats.  They are based on this recipe from 101 cookbooks. We have made them several times, with varying degrees of success. I always add more salt then she calls for and I just put the cinnamon in willy-nilly.  I like the flavor the honey gives them, though next time we make them I am going to try it without again. The recipe also calls for shredded coconut, but we were out. I did add some ginger and I have to say this is the absolute best these cookies have ever come out for us, B agrees!

PS I use treats as a bribe in BB's lunch.  I put veggies on one side of a lunchbots tin and these on the other side.  If B doesn't eat the veggies as well as the cookies he doesn't get the "treat" the next day.  Since all of the treats I pack are good for him I never really worry about him eating them....I'm just trying to get him to eat variety, even when he is not with me.  90% of the time this trick works for him.

PPS One day B asked me to send extra treats with him to share with his friends. It was the first and least successful batch of these cookies (good, but bland, and the bananas weren't quite ripe enough) but I sent along extra anyway.  B shared one with everyone at his table.  That evening I asked him if his friends liked the cookies....he said "not really" so I asked him if they ate them, and he told me that mostly they threw them into the trash.  I don't think they would toss this batch, but they certainly are not the sugar laden treats I think a lot of kiddos are used too (I believe his lunch partner usually gets candy for dessert).  I guess I am that mom (and proud of it!).

PPPS As long as I am reporting on our food this weekend, we also made this dip courtesy of another fave Pinterest discovery, Raising Foodies. We ate it with blue corn chips, but B said the lemon made it a little too spicy.

"This is better than jam on toast!"

Sesame Noodles with Scallions & Roasted Broccoli
That's what B said about tonight's dinner.  Sorry for the bad phone pic with a few bites already gone, but I had to do something to preserve the memory of this historic dinner.  It came about as a series of happy accidents and odd substitutions. Friday I made Chicken Satay or Chicken on a Stick as B likes to call it.  I used this recipe because it seemed simple.  I made some liberal changes.  I'm not so sure it can even be called "satay" since I really just grilled the chicken without marinating it (I wanted to make some avocado chicken salad for myself).  I also discovered that I didn't have any soy sauce, so I substituted Worcester sauce (dark brown, salty, anyone?) but stayed true to the other spices.  I haven't been keeping any sugar in the house, so I used honey, and they say not to use natural peanut butter (?) but I ignored that and it seemed to work just fine.  However, this recipe made a LOT of sauce!

B liked the chicken all right (and I liked the salad okay, not great, no crunch, next time I am trying Martha's version) but when I tried to pawn off the same meal on him the next day for lunch he said the sauce was way too sweet (which it really was after sitting in the fridge overnight) but I had all this sauce to get rid of!  I froze half of it and then picked up some soba noodles today and made another batch of the marinade (still with the Worcester), and added it to the left-over peanut sauce with a little water to thin it out.  I also tossed some broccoli that was starting to look a little wilt-y in the marinade and then roasted it while I cooked the noodles.  I chopped up some green onions, which B likes ever since the kids from his old school discovered them growing wild in the park.  The kids all munch on them like candy....not sure what is in the soil of that park, but it really can't be worse than what's in the pipes at the house......I digress, back to the meal.  B loved it, he said "Yum!" a few times, he asked for seconds (I don't remember when the last time that happened!), he ate all of the broccoli, and the ultimate compliment, I already mentioned.  What's more I loved it!  I think this is the first time in B's lifetime (or at least since he quit nursing) that we both enjoyed a meal equally.

We are definitely making this fact I still have some sauce left over so another night this week.  I am still planning on the creamy avocado pasta for tomorrow though.

New Blog Crush (es)

Creamy Avocado Pasta by Tina Jeffers

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?  I am sure there are copyright issues, and I hope I am not putting up anyone's pictures who doesn't want them used this way (please tell me if I have! and what I can do to fix it) but all of that aside.......this site inspires me.  B and I have been cooking all weekend (as I type this I am dehydrating sweet potato chips) I am cooking because there are only like a gazillion things I want to eat on pinterest or on blogs I discover through pins, and 99% of them are really pretty healthy.  I have a few new total blog crushes, the above picture is from Tina Jeffers at Scaling Back and I seriously want to make just about everyone of her recipes.  I pinned the link for this creamy avocado pasta and within hours it had been repinned over 70 times, and it is still getting repinned.  I mean CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA!  We are having it for dinner tomorrow (with quinoa pasta, my new favorite thing, since B and I are trying to go gluten free)  Can't wait to see if B goes for it.

Tina also posts at Blissful Blog, which is another new discovery for me. I love, Love, LOVE Mrs. French's style picks (her I heart Monday posts are the best)  I also found Fig & Sage, which makes me want to try out about a gazillion products, and I love that they all look safe.  (I am a bit of a product junkie, though lately I have toned it down a lot.....broke and trying to only use natural products)  I want to try everything from Vapour, but especially their skin perfector (only question does it have any SPF?

Anyhoo...these are all the things wasting time on Pinterest has led me to this weekend.....I'll keep you updated on that pasta!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Goals for my 38th Year

I was looking for a picture of me to post, this one at 19 sitting on my friend's bed in the dorms at Barnard, but I can't find it right now.  That picture is me before my life began really, before I found what being an adult really was, but  I had an idea of what my life would be, and an idea of how to get there back then....I have to say about 75% of that plan went awry, but the two most important things happened.  I am a designer and I am a mother.
I turned 38 a few weeks ago, and while there are a few things I am happy with (my delicious son!) I am not so happy with my life.  I spend a lot of time stressed out (especially about money and my relationships) and feeling insecure. I would like to stop doing that.  The big difference between me at 19 and me now is a plan.  Even if some of my plans failed I was moving forward.  Lately I feel so paralyzed by fear of my past mistakes that I can't step forward.....There are a few goals I have for this year and I thought if I wrote them down it might help me get there.  I want to write down things like "lose 20 lbs" or "make more money" but those don't seem very concrete, so I'll start with a few small things that will get me going. Here goes:

Enroll B in a school he likes.
File for sole proprietorship & get my resale #
Post at least one project on line per month
Jump rope at least once/week.
Do Tracy at least once/week.
Drink only 2 cups of coffee/day.
Stop eating after 8PM.
Wear sunscreen everyday.
Have B pick up his toys every night before bed.
Do the dishes before bed every night.
Listen to NPR every weekday morning.
Send before and after shots of Caribou to Design Sponge.

I might give some updates on this as I go along, but here is what I am aiming for.