All the miles of a hard road are worth a
moment of true happiness.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Graham Crackers

A while back I started thinking about what kind of junk was entering my sons body via additives and preservatives in his snacks. I am sure packaged graham crackers are just fine but because I was wanting to be able to really monitor what he was eating I found this recipe. I had a hard time finding graham flour so I just called a local small health food store and they special ordered it for me at no extra cost. They ordered the Bobs Red Mill brand. These turn out so good everyone will love them...and you for making them!

My husband was a little confused at first because rather then making them square I used a round cookie cutter to cut them out with. He kept referring to them as flat harder cookies. "No Dear they aren't hard cookies they are graham crackers. " Next time I will make them square so no one gets thrown off.

3 c. flour
3 c. graham flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
Water to make a stiff dough

Make a stiff dough and knead until well formed. Roll out thin, make sure you dust the area with flour first. Cut into squares and prick with a fork. Place on cookie sheet. Bake until crisp at 35o degrees. I sprinkled mine with a little sugar...yummy!

Quick Pickles

For Christmas dinner one year I decided to go with a BBQ theme. What would BBQ be without pickles? Well if you have spent any time in the south then you know you simply can NOT have one with out the other! A truly southern treat would have been fried pickles, but I am not ready to have a coronary yet so I went with a basic version. This is so unbelievably easy it makes my heart flutter. Is it bad that my favorite part of dinner were the pickles? This recipe is good for 2-4 people, depending on how many pickles you like (wink, wink!) 

1 large cucumber sliced in rounds 1/4 inch thick
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbs salt
couple dashes of dill
couple dashes of celery seeds
5 black pepper corns

Place cucumber slices in a bowl or mason jar, then bring all other ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Boil on low for about ten minutes, when done pour over cucumbers. Place in refrigerator until you are ready to eat these tasty tokens of love!

Best Ever Parfait!

I have created the best ever: vanilla infused granola, blueberries and lemon cream parfait! I repeat BEST EVER!!!

Just look at this picture if you aren't sold by it and it alone, then you might as well move on. I have to admit that the recipes individually were not my own, but finding them and weaving them together is where I will take the credit. LOL!

I have NEVER had homemade granola that was remotely good. I have been eyeballing these pretty little bags of locally made granola at Whole Foods. But paying eight bucks for the small bag wasn't very appealing to me. So I decided to get back on the horse and find that one awesome granola recipe that I knew had to be online some where! I found that recipe with Alton Brown. For some that will be no big surprise I am sure. I did make a couple of changes to his recipe just so I wouldn't have to run out to the store and buy any ingredients.

I used walnuts rather then cashews. I added a little but of unmelted coconut oil only because I thought I was out of shredded coconut. Then I looked in my freezer and found a big jar of it! Hurray, so it had both. I tried grinding up just a Tbs or so of flax seeds to add to it. But sadly my grinder was jammed. WHICH by the way, if you are new to grinding your own flax seed make sure you clean your grinder very well, or you may be in for a little not so nice surprise the next time you pull it out of your cabinet. Gurrrr! So I added a couple spoonfuls of sunflower seeds to my little bitty food processor and the flax seed and tried to grind it up that way (the flax alone wouldn't have ground up in it) some ground up and some stayed whole. WHAT EVER, its not important really! Also I omitted the raisins. I then stored the granola in mason jars with vanilla pods, to lightly infuse it! All I did was slice the pods length wise, scrape the seeds out and place the pods inside the mason jars, then fill them up with the granola.

Best ever homemade granola recipe ~thank you Alton Brown!~

Next I went out to search for an alternative to using yogurt in my parfait. I am not sure how I stumbled onto this recipe but it is so insanely good you have to use it instead of yogurt!!! Its tart and refreshing and adds the perfect zip to this parfait! I added more lemon juice at the end to make it as tangy as I like. This recipe hails from the Tasty Kitchen site. If by the way you haven't used this site before its time to get going! Its just like Allrecipes only it is newer and seems to be a little more human friendly (I have had recipes pending to be published on that site for MANY years now.)

The third and final layer in this parfait is fruit. I choose blueberries and it was the perfect simple healthy option! I wouldn't change that as long as they are in season.

All you have to do is layer these in pretty glasses or use a small mason jar like I did for a nice country effect. I used a wide zester to make pretty little lemon curls on top, which are totally edible!

Here are the links to the two main recipes:

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

So here's the deal I have multiple blogs, and rarely add to any of them anymore. There are just too many for me to wrap my time and attention on any one specific one. Blah! Its like ADHD in blogger land around here!

I am going to import my posts from my other blogs onto this one, and only use this one from now on. Simple enough.

The picture above is from two summers ago. We took T-man to Disney Land for his fifth birthday. He was really into "spy" stuff that year. Man he is a good looking kid!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am that mom...

I have been seeing a lot of these, so I simply MUST join the fun. I have seen this post at the following blogs:

I am that mom, who sometimes looses her cool, but knows how to ask for forgiveness. I am that mom who turns the car around when her son misses seeing some thing from the back seat. I am that mom who will kiss a booboo a hundred times if it helps it go away. I am that mom who's shirt is also her sons napkin and tissue. I am that mom who hovers a little to close sometimes because I love my child more then anyone could ever know. I am also that mom who allows her child to be free and roam further away then my heart can possible stand because I know it makes him a stronger person. I am that mom who has helped build a strong child only to secretly worry if he might some day be to strong. I am that mom who worries what other moms think but who sticks to her guns because I know in my heart my child is what matters the most. I am that mom who still sleeps with her child because that is the only bed he knows and wants. I am that mom who has a sharp ear out ready to pounce on anyone being hurtful to a child. I am that mom who wants to pick up that other moms child who is crying. I am that mom who has the right to change her mind at any given time. I am that mom who HATES to hear anyone tell my child what to say or do. I am that mom who was given the BEST gift of all...MY SON!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Half breath= Half dead!

How much thought have you ever given to your breathing? I think about my breathing every once in a while, mostly at night when I am trying to clear my mind so that I can fall asleep. But what I haven't given any thought to until just moments ago is what about all the other times I am breathing, and how my "half breaths" might be killing me! Ok if this doesn't make sense please keep reading, I am going to try and make it make sense.

I don't know how many times I have heard someone talk about how many days people can live without food, and then how many days a person can live with out water. Doctors will tell you the average person can live 4 to 6 weeks without food. Obviously there are numerous factors that can influence this number. Without water the average person can live somewhere between 3-6 days, this will fluctuate according to the temperature. So what about air? I never hear people talk about this. We have all probably tried holding our breath to see how long we could last, maybe in a pool or at a party (ha!) I have read that anywhere after 3-5 minutes without air your brain will start dying. THREE TO FIVE MINUTES! That is all. Our body's MUST have oxygen, it is ESSENTIAL to life. So what happens if you spend your life only breathing half way???

It was brought to my attention recently that I needed to "work" on my breathing. I was left a little mystified. Not sure what to do or think about this comment.I started by really trying to think how I normally breathe. I guess the fact is that I give little thought to the quality of my breaths, I take in oxygen and air but I never think mush about the quality of that air. The more I research life, energy, and of course breathing, the more convinced I am that learning to REALLY breathe will ensure me a longer, healthier and happier life.

So how do you do it? Here is one neat little trick I learned so I thought I would share it here. This is called Prana: the breath of life.

Sit in Lotus pose, close your eyes, breathe in and out slowly for as long as feels comfortable, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, focus on breathing in and out for the same amount of time, count your breath if this helps, hold the palms of your hands over your navel, feel the movements as you breathe in and out, try doing this everyday, if you can: start with 10 minutes and gradually increase to one hour over the course of one year. I found this pose in a book called The Chakra Bible Here is a quick video on youtube that also shows Prana breathing

As a parting note I will leave you with the original question at hand: What if we only half breathe all our lives???

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well, life is very busy these days, and my blog has been collecting dust. At this moment I am snuggled up in bed with Thomas at an RV park in Mira Mar (San Diego) California. Here there is cable and internet...more then we have at home, LOL! I think its a bit weird to be on vacation and hook up to all these things...but I wont go there at the moment. Instead I will take advantage and tell you what we have been up to lately.

Let me start with latest development. As part of my thirty year crisis I went to the hair salon for the first time in over two years. I think the universe punished me for my vanity (ha!) and I received the worst hair cut of my life! I went in with hair to the middle of my back and came out with hair shorter then my military husbands! I will say no more on this subject or I might throw up! Pat should have been more agreeable on me getting dreadlocks...

We are snug in our new home. Thomas has a great big tree, that he climbs daily. He is a climber! I cant write about it and do it justice. This is one of those things you have to witness to truly understand.

Our clothes dryer wont work in this house (its electric, the house requires gas) so I have been hang drying EVERYTHING. This is life not a fun experiment that I can deviate from. It was to cool out to get anything dry out side, although that is changing now. So I have been hang drying everything around the house. "If you brush your teeth, move the socks, please!" Turns out dryers are not a necessity.

Life with out cable and internet, is proving to be good and interesting. There were and possibly still are moments of with drawl. For all of us. Pat and I get to use computers at work and school so that helps with the little things. Not enough time to use them for blogging or much else, but we do have a slight access to them.

Pat pulled out Thomas portable DVD player a few nights ago and when I am not around will occasionally (I think twice) lets Thomas watch videos. I am very opposed to this. Even a little tv time makes him act different.

School is turning out to be such a JOY for me! I love what I am learning and where I am going. I just finished my first 6 weeks. I am really excited about the next 6 weeks, as it is all hands on. I am going from three classes to one. The same class for six weeks, which is all cooking all hands on. We each get our own kitchen station and after Chef demonstrates something we go on and do it our selves. I will miss Chef Gilbert from my last six weeks, the most. I was able to make it a couple hours early almost every day and he allowed me to work with him and learn bits and pieces. He has certainly inspired me. I have been reading a book called The Perfectionist. It was written about life from his era and takes place in France (wish is where he is from) so I am becoming oddly consumed with all things French these days. LOL!

Well, my wee little RV shower is calling my name! I am wondering if the hot water will be in fact hot....