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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

My three year old is really loving to cook these days. Since our family has lots of food allergies and sensitivities, cooking, especially baking is a bit more complicated for our family than many others. No using Grandma’s recipe here. I found a great blog recently that had a lot of recipes we could eat (or easily alter.) The Baking Beauties has a recipe for Snickerdoodles and since I had everything on hand when I found it, the kids and I went straight to the kitchen to make cookies.

K was way too excited to get started. It’s amazing to watch how much he’s grown, he was really helping quite a bit. I look at his sweet little face and I see a baby, but he’s not. He’s grown into such a unique little boy. He radiates charm and joy.

E is growing too, she’s really a toddler and not a baby now. Something that’s hard to admit on your last baby. (At least I am 90% sure she’s my last…) She had a lot of fun running around the kitchen playing in the cupboards, but had no interest in helping us bake.

K took his baking very seriously. He especially liked rolling the cookie dough in cinnamon.

They came out pretty well. I think next time I will use honey instead of sugar, which will hopefully make them more moist. All in all, everyone was happy with them though.

K even had fun cleaning up. I only wish his enthusiasm for helping around the house could continue when he’s older. It’s really too bad that when kids WANT to help they are too young to effectively help. He had a blast washing dishes even if I had to wash them again.

I used to try to keep the kids out of the kitchen or otherwise occupied when I was cooking. I’ve changed my tune, however. They gain so much from being involved in daily family activities like this. Besides more time with mama, K is also learning a lot about measurements, time, listening, patience and hard work. I love how much can be learned through daily life!

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These were so good! Keagan and I baked some Sunflower Seed Butter cookies yesterday. These are free of many major allergens, though if you can’t eat egg, you would have to use a substitute.
I pieced together a few recipes to try and make a gluten free peanut free alternative to a peanut butter cookie. Here’s what I came up with:

1 cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or you could use basic sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 for about 10 min.

These were seriously so delicious. A lot of allergen free alternative are good, but can leave you wanting the real thing. I liked these better than “real” peanut butter cookies.

Keagan had a lot of fun helping. Or should I say stirring the sunbutter, stealing the spoon and running to the living room to hide.

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He really did enjoy the whole process. I always try to distract him when I cook and I know everyone always says to include the kids and how much they learn from it, but it just always stressed me out. I realized yesterday it was no big deal and was more fun for both of us. I see a lot of baking together in our future.

Eden kept herself busy with some ribbon while we baked. She’s not quite ready for baking 🙂
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Naptimes’s over, so this blog is too 😉

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Since we can’t have virtually any prepackaged candies, I thought I’d look for some fun recipes for Halloween. We are soy, gluten, dairy, shellfish, nut and citrus free. We also avoid high fructose syrup. So there’s just not much left  for us to eat without going through extra efforts, especially when we want to celebrate.

It seems fairly easy to have Halloween treats if all you’re avoiding is gluten, by the way.  It seems that all Tootsie and Jelly Belly products are gluten free.  I also found this list of gluten free candies.  Since only my husband could eat those snacks, I found options our whole family (well those of us with teeth) can enjoy.

Sunbutter Cups and Popcorn Balls

We’ll roast pumpkin seeds.

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I’m going to try to make caramel apples using this caramel sauce recipe. I have no clue if it will work or not, but you have to try things out to learn. 🙂

I’ll probably just make soup and gluten free bread that night, and maybe use a cookie cutter to cut the bread into pumpkin shapes. Keagan loves pumpkins. 🙂

It’s funny. I never cared about Halloween one way or another, but now that I have kids (and that one is old enough to enjoy this all…) I am so excited about it. I’m decorating and making costumes. I’m planning silly meals and trying to figure out age appropriate activities for the day. It’s a lot of fun! I love that kids bring back the joy of celebration. I just want to make their world a little more special… a little more magical. And I know I am creating memories to last a lifetime. How great is that? I have a feeling that the time  from now through the new year will be filled with so much joy. I can’t wait!

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Well I can’t believe that 2008 is coming to a close. It’s shocking really.

A lot has happened this year. When the year started, we were so afraid of having another baby after Keagan’s traumatic birth that we thought we’d never have one.  We thought we’d probably have the husband get the “big v” and think about adoption.  Thankfully, a friend convinced me to at least TALK with a midwife about the possibility of getting pregnant.  And I did. I talked to a wonderful midwife and we’re so happy we did. We talked about all that went wrong last time, and how to prevent it this time. The OBGYN group I saw was not about prevention at all… they only acted after something went wrong.

So after talking with the midwife, we decided to start to try to conceive. We thought it would take months -I was still nursing and my cycles were anything but regular. On the midwife’s recommendation, I picked up “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” (and happened to find it at Goodwill for $2! I love thrift shopping!)  and we got pregnant on the first cycle! Even the midwife was shocked to see how quickly I was pregnant!

So thanks to all of that, our sweet Eden will be here sometime near April 4th. And we are very grateful for that. This pregnancy has not been full of any of the problems I faced with Keagan’s. I am visualizing a wonderful, peaceful water birth in a birth center and feel that I will be able to achieve that. And  I think that Keagan will benefit greatly from having a sister to share his childhood with.

Another big change this year came after reading Shane Claiborne’s book, “The Irresistable Revolution.” It really changed how we thought about a lot of things. It’s from a Christian perspective, but I suggest it to anyone and everyone. It’s about humanity;  it’s about love; it is about how human beings should treat one another. It made me think about things I’d never considered before. Now, because of this book, I am not afraid of the homeless. I am not afraid to try and help people in need. We’ve also simplified our lives quite a bit. I’ve gotten really into thrifting after reading about how badly child laborers are treated. I don’t want to support the companies that hurt those kids, plus it is great knowing that I am reusing materials that could have otherwise been thrown away. It brought on a lot of changes for our family, all for the good. When  a friend recommended it to be the first time, I was pregnant with Keagan and just didn’t have the attention span. I am glad I went back to it later.

My husband took a lower paying job this year, but it was a step in the right direction. He’s in a feild that he wants to be in, his job is secure, and he’s moving up quickly within his office. It was a scary choice to make, but it was the right one.

Keagan has changed so much this year. He was a baby when the year started. As the year closes, I have to admit that he’s much more of a little boy than a baby. He’s smart, funny and full of life. What more could a mama ask for?

We also moved this year. Our new home is much smaller, but much better suited for us. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, but that’s okay for now. We do toy around with the idea of living in Tacoma, where my husband works. I always thought I was a country girl, but more urban living really seems appealing to us right now. I think that is a change 2009 will bring for us.

All that said, I am ready for our new year and the many new challenges and changes it will surly bring. I am a little nervous about being a mama to TWO kiddos, but I think I am up to it. I kind of have to be, don’t I? 🙂

I have quite a few goals for 2009

1. Read the Bible. All of it. It’s not as if I’ve never picked it up before, I’ve read most of it, many parts over and over again. But I want to read it all and I want to make sure I am doing it every day.

2. Get Organised! My dirty little secret (or not so secret if you know me in real life) is that I am a TERRIBLE hosuekeeper. I will not let this be the case anymore. I won’t! If anyone has any motivation and organisation tips, please let me know!

3. Quit being scared of my sewing machine! I KNOW I can use the thing. I am capable. I need to realize it.

4. Complete 40 craft projects. I love to craft. But I never do it, or I start and don’t finish. I want to do about one a week, giving my self space to take time off with the new baby and to have some projects that are bigger and therefore take longer. I am going to quit drooling over other people’s creations and make my own!

5. Get out more! I’ve been in mama isolation too long. I love my son, but I need to get out. With a second one coming, this is going to be even more important. I am to the point where I get out so rarely that I become awkward in social settings sometimes. EEK. I need to get out. With the kids or without.

6. Get back into my charity work. I was doing great for awhile, but the move, the pregnancy, the holidays etc all got in my way. But that’s no excuse. People are still hungry out there!

7. Find more natural learning activities for Keagan. He is so smart and he just eats this stuff up. I need to nurture his little mind.  I am not talking about flash cards and drilling information into him here. I am talking more about Montessori inspired, child-led activities that will help nurture his learning and creativity.By the end of the year, we will probably be working on a bit more, still child led as he will be preschool aged and we’re going to homeschool him. I have a feeling, however that it will be leaning to the side of unschooling, at least for his early childhood.

8. Be a better cook. I really fall short in most things related to home making, so this is another goal I am going to be working on. I hate processed foods, yet I get lazy and use them anyway. I’d like to stop that!

That’s all I can think of at the moment. Maybe I should stop it there for now anyway. Don’t want to set myself up to fail 🙂

What are your goals this year? Have any tips for me to help accomplish mine?

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