Friday, May 31, 2013

From my favorite radio host...

13 Kids, working and keeping it all together....

A daily does of inspiring your child...

Stephanie Thompson in her Fearless Parenting column (The Brooklyn Paper) talks about the importance of parents inspiring their kids, and not only is she right, but we can do it on a daily basis by being authentic, kind, respectful, and compassionate, so our kids learn these values from us (as the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words.")

Stephanie Thompson's recent column

Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Since a friend asked...

Bourbon Balls (from the Derbytown Winners cookbook)

1 C. Vanilla Wafer crumbs
1 C. chopped Pecans
1 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
2 jiggers Bourbon
1 1/2 tsp. Corn Syrup

Blend the dry ingredients. Then blend in the wet ingredients. Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar if you want. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

1. Try chocolate wafers
2. Substitute flavored liquor or rum for the bourbon
3. Roll in ground flaked cocoanut instead of powdered sugar

What is a jigger?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Add Baking Soda

Add 2-3 Tbsp. baking soda when running your dishwasher or washing machine to give the soap a boost and help keep the appliance clean.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A massage many years ago taught me a valuable lesson—Let go at the beginning

Many years ago I had a Shaitsu massage end the practitioner said to me at the end that was I know calm enough to begin and that is how I felt at the end of this weekend after spending days in a cabin nestled among trees by a lake that I was ready to let "cranky" go and let in peace and tranquility—only we were driving home, so next time I better start earlier in the weekend to let go.

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's individual.....

This picture proves that everyone has their own opinion and the right to express because I personally think an Oreo is a classic.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Gluten Free Muffins to gobble up

1 C. Almond Meal/Flour
1C. Flax Seed Meal
1/2 C. applesauce
1/2 C. butter (1 Stick), melted and cooled
2 eggs beaten
1 Tbsp. baking powder (gluten free)
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground Nutmeg
pinch of salt

Add in:
2-3 Tbsp. grated carrots
1/4 C. golden raisins

Line a cupcake pan with liners. Pre heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients, except add-ins, together until thoroughly blended. Then mix in add ins until just incorporated. Spoon batter into muffin tins so each is 3/4 full. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

They are moist, light, delicious and don't even need any butter or jam.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's words from John Wayne

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in your handfs. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
—John Wayne

John Wayne Biography

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Patent Leather like new

To keep patent leather looking shiny and to prevent cracking rub with petroleum jelly and shine with glass cleaner.

From 1003 Household HInts, copyright 1947

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I learned from having a new fence installed-- Quiet Time

At this very moment work is being done our house (new front fence, backyard lights and basement drain) and I am realizing that as a house needs to be reviewed and updated every so often, so do we as humans and that is what quiet reflection time is for, so today amid the sounds of drills and hammers, I plan to take some quiet time (and hope to do so every day this week) and you should too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Family as Community and a Stubborn Mule to complicate things

My daughter has asked to drop out of Gymnastics and her father and I said, "No," and then I spent the rest of the morning explaining that a family is a community and as such we help each other out and it would be a big help if she went to gymnastics today (and didn't argue with the sitter) and the her father, I and she sat down and further discussed it over the weekend and the whole time she kept saying, "No," and therefore it was not a good morning that was rectified with a home made brownie, since I made a batch for her school's bake sale tomorrow at the Spring Fling.

(P.S. I called my daughter a stubborn mule just like my parents called me at age 8.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Pesto Reinvented

Spinach Pesto

2 C. Spinach leaves, washed
5-10 Basil leaves, washed
1/2 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Walnuts
1/4 C. Olive Oil
1/3 C. grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese

Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric chopper (i.e. Cuisinart) and pulse until the leaves and walnuts are finely chopped. Toss on your favorite pasta and garnish with more grated cheese and chopped walnuts.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's Tip....Candle wax removal

To easily remove candle wax from inside a candle holder, pour boiling water into the holder, and then after 2 minutes use a dull knife to pry out the wax and on the flip side you should freeze wax to remove it from table linens with a dull knife.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How about a mom's week?

My daughter's school has a teacher appreciation week that culminates today in a pot luck appreciation lunch (food supplied by parents) and it got me thinking, that I get one day, but her teacher's get a week and so I want a week too— no cooking, no laundry, no bedtime routine, no clean-up, no calendar conversations, no parenting discussions, etc (in reality, this couldn't work).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Vegetable Risotto

2 Tbsp. Oil (Sunflower, Grape Seed or Safflower)
1 medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1 C. Aborio rice
4 C. vegetable broth
3/4 C. Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 C. white wine
10-12 Asparagus stalks

Heat oil in 10-12" skillet. Chop onion and garlic and add to skillet. "Stir fry" until Onion is just brown, add rice and toast for two minutes. Add broth in 1/2 cup increments and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, 5-7 minutes. With the last 1/2 C. add the cheese and stir well. Then add the wine and Asparagus. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Kid Friendly Variation: Remove 1/2 -3/4 C. before adding the wine and Aparagus. Place in a small pot and add 1/4 C. thawed mixed frozen vegetables. Heat on low setting until veggies are warmed through. Makes 1 serving.

(Left: Asparagus, Right: Mixed Veggie)

(P.S. My daughter cleaned her plate last night and asked to have the same dinner tonight.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coffee and creativity....

Today I was at my mom's wanting a cup of coffee and created a drip to avoid instant and realized in that moment that some problems require really creative solutions.
(Just remember to firmly hold the edges of the filter when pulling it out.)

Wednesday's Words: Traffic

"Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?" — Robin Williams

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Gift Ribbon....No more tangles

I used a plastic strawberry container by threading the ribbon through the open slots at the bottom and store multiple colors by utilizing the slots on both sides.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Paint and Sadness

Once again my 8 year old daughter, who is into room layouts, interior design and watching HGTV, went to bed said because she doesn't think that her father and I like her grand redecorating ideas for our house, complete with paint color choices (selected today at the hardware store, when she was there with her sitter) and the real problem is we renovated the house to move in and don't want to do it again.

(Some of her selected paint colors)

Friday, May 3, 2013

The only kid in a grown-up world

Last weekend we celebrated my great-uncle's 93rd birthday and my daughter explained that she left the table because the conversation had been "adult" and she didn't feel included and once I got over the shock of her level of emotional expression, I realized that as the only child there she was right and we needed to do a better job of including her (maybe after seeing the baseball game this weekend, she'll be able to be a part of a discussion on the history of the sport and its greatest players).

(P.S. My uncle was talking about how he met Jackie Robinson through his work in PR.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Awesome chocolate cake (and vegan too)

3 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C. hot water (not boiling)
3/4 C. Oil (Sunflower or Grape Seed)
2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Instant coffee
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 8" round cake pans. Mix together all dry ingredients. Stir together all wet ingredients and slowly mix into the dry ingredients. Pour into to cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and then invert on to cooling rack to finish. Layer cake with icing. This recipe can be cut in half and done as one 8" round cake.

The cake was no longer vegan with the addition of vanilla ice cream and then I added strawberries. This made for an awesome and tasty cake for my great-uncle's 93rd birthday.