Ho Ho Homemade Cookies

ChristmasCookie

I’m a planner. All part of having a Type A personality, I guess. I don’t mind. I’m weird. And orderly. And proud to be such. So, the second pumpkin everything starts infiltrating our lives (That’s a bit harsh isn’t it? Blessing our lives, not infiltrating), which I love by the by, my mind goes straight to its own little planning committee meeting. Mostly about food for the upcoming holidays, and lunches, of course. And outfits. All coordinating, as best I can. This holds true for all holidays for me. But right now, we are discussing The Christmas Cookie Baking.

ChristmasCookies

My Christmas cookies from last year (sugar cookie trees, salted double chocolate espresso cookies, soft ginger cookies and fruitcake bars). I can dig up these recipes if anyone wants them.

So, just know that I am planning ahead, not skipping Thanksgiving foods. Because…why, just why? That is my favorite food holiday. More on that at a later date. I have a few wonderful Christmas cookie recipes to share. I try to do new ones every year. By getting started on the planning part of this, it will help keep us (me) organized enough when the time comes to actually do the baking. Since I’ve already done these cookies, I’ll probably try something new. But maybe YOU can use some of these recipes!

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http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-chip-cookies-10000001622526/

These are chocolate chip cookies, lightened up, but still so good. I love how the cookies are still in their scooped state, post-baked. They look like ice cream scoops.

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http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bevs_chocolate_chip_cookies.html

This is another chocolate chip cookie recipe, but using oats as part of the flour content. A little healthier, but hearty and delicious, and a bit rustic.

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Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites.

These were REALLY good. I think you’d need to keep them refrigerated, but that’s okay. I’ve received gifts before that required refrigeration and I didn’t mind. I am not sure anyone would mind if they received these little gems – an eggless chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed in between two salted pretzels and then dipped in chocolate. In this picture, they were freshly dipped in the chocolate, still resting on my Silpat.

And, it’s important to cater to all sorts of dietary restrictions, if you are kind (lol), because everyone deserves cookies. I’m an equal opportunity cookie baker (and eater). Here are two REALLY good gluten-free cookie recipes.

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http://food52.com/recipes/19209-divine-gluten-free-chocolate-cookies-no-seriously

And I’m not even kidding when I say that those chocolate cookies are some of the best I’ve ever had. I make them all the time.

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http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/gluten-free-peanut-butter-cookies

These GF peanut butter cookies are soooo good. They are nutty (obvi) and crumbly, in just the right way…melt in your mouth.

We love cookies in our house. Last year, as a little useful addition to my cookie bags for friends, I made non-edible cinnamon “cookie” cutout ornaments. They smelled so good hanging on my tree! I remember these from my childhood. Do you? But from your childhood (lol)?

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http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Other/Cinnamon-Ornaments

My kids love cookies. Especially the Publix ones that they EARN by being good the ENTIRE grocery shopping trip. I’m hardcore. I make them work for it. Hey, grocery shopping with two kids is not for the faint-hearted! Here is a picture of Bigs, last year, decorating a Christmas cookie at a Christmas playdate. He was very into pouring on the sprinkles. Did I say pouring? I meant dumping…with a quickness. Before I could stop him. Attaboy!

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Our family’s elf, Duncan (aptly named after our favorite place, Dunkin’ Donuts, of course – see here) was even caught, several times, getting into my decorating supplies. Everyone likes cookies around here.

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And, of course, and somewhat importantly, Santa enjoyed our cookies. Must be a fun job. Not the schlepping around of toys or ordering around a bunch of sweaty reindeer, but the eating of cookies. By the ton. And so many different kinds! If only!

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I hope you are able to use some of these cookie recipes. By starting now, you can plan out what you are going to do. This is somewhat [completely] hypocritical of me, as I currently have NO idea what cookies I am baking this year. Listen, I’ve been VERY busy. I’ve been schlepping around sweaty boys (similar to Santa’s duties). That keeps me busy. I’m going to get right on my cookie plans.

cookie doe

Cookie Doe.

The sweetest kind.

Have a wonderful Sunday,

Kristin

Sprinkles…On My Donuts

Donuts Sign

One of my very favorite foods is The Donut. I love love love donuts. Doughnuts, too. For writing purposes, I’m sticking with “donuts” because my spell-checker doesn’t even pick up “doughnuts”. That’s its own problem. And sort of rude. But whatevs. I have ALWAYS loved donuts. Despite “them” (whoever “them” is) saying bananas are the world’s most perfect food, I think donuts are. Baked, fried, filled, holes, iced, glazed, long, powdered, mini, raised, cake, jellied, creamed, I don’t care. I WANT!

Donuts

My husband even brought me donuts while I was in the hospital after having our first son. We made it a rule that if anyone goes into the hospital, they get donuts. I think it’s a legitimate rule. Somehow, in the hubbub of having our second son, this rule was forgotten. I got gypped. But I won’t worry too much. I’ve had more than enough (is that even a thing??) donuts since then to make up for it. My sons love them too. Every time we pass a Dunkin’ Donuts, Bigs tells me, “We should go on an adventure there!”…I’m with you, Kid.

Donutart

My husband got this sweatshirt for me for Christmas this year. He doesn’t know it yet. I almost can’t hold out and need to wear it just as soon as I won’t sweat to death. Although, donuts are worth it. Worth the sweating, worth it all.

Donutsweatshirt

“If you stop eating donuts you will live 3 years longer. It’s just 3 more years that you want a donut.
-Lewis Black

My sentiments exactly.

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Some delicious donuts I just got last week, actually. I meannnnnn…..

I got a mini-donut pan on sale a few years ago. It was wicked cheap. I’ve enjoyed making my own donuts with it since then. It is super tedious. Mostly because they are mini donuts (which I don’t mind eating, they are so small that I can eat more!) and also because the pan only holds 12 and the recipes usually make about eleventy hundred.

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Some little pink cuties that I made. I used the recipe that came with the Wilton pan.

http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Baked-Cake-Donuts

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Aren’t they cute?

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Then I tried them in yellow. Adorbs. So cheerful!

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Here’s a chocolate version! Donuts for days!

Then, I ran across a recipe for the type of waxy, chocolate-y donuts you find in packs of six or at gas stations. Sometimes, the very best kind. Yum. Of course Kristan, the writer of the recipe, makes them look way more professional. Mine came out delicious and adorable though. Here is the recipe:

http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/2012/04/mini-devils-food-donuts/

“…life is a jelly donut. You don’t really know what it’s about till you bite into it. And then, just when you decide it’s good, you drop a big glob of jelly on your best t-shirt.”
Janet Evanovich, “Ten Big Ones”

I also made a delicious Coffee & Donuts Cake. Almost nothing compliments a donut more than a cup of coffee…or a moment of peace that I can share alone with my donut. I used a Serious Eats recipe and it was TDF (to die for). It was a lot of steps, but totally worth it. The best of both worlds!

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http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/09/let-them-eat-coffee-donuts-cake-coffeecake-recipe.html

I “donut” care if you already have plans to make something else – you gotta try these! I hope you do and enjoy these recipes as much as I have.

Have a rolled in sugar, jelly-filled kind of day!

Kristin

Pizza Party Friday!

Pizza Party

Remember pizza parties in school? Do they still have those? They were so fun! I could wear this:

Let's go get pizza

Don’t the words “Pizza Party!” just conjure up the most wonderful thoughts? Something to always look forward to in school. That and show-and-tell. And, obviously, on a more mundane, but absolutely necessary, level, lunch! My mom would pack mine. She would put sweet notes (and on the notes, she’d sign “Mom” and draw a happy face and curly hair on the “o” and I loved it.) in them and sometimes, little surprises. One time, she packed me space ice cream. SPACE ICE CREAM. How cool is that? Sidetrack! So, back to pizza. I think pizza is something to always look forward to. Like those surprise lunch notes and desserts I had. Sorry you didn’t get them. You’d have liked them. But you can enjoy pizza any time you want!

I love pizza

While I ADORE pizza from pizza restaurants (Pizza Hut is my favorite because the crust is so crunchy and almost caramelized from the butter…how could I not like that?! I also ate almost a whole Pizza Hut pizza by myself as I labored at home with my second son and I like to think it put me into labor. I also like pizza buffets because…yards and yards of pizza.), it’s fun to make pizza at home, too. I have a go-to recipe for a whole-wheat dough. It’s very easy and a delicious way to get my kids to enjoy whole wheat. I’ve also used it to make calzones and pizza pockets. I used to use the whole wheat and white fresh dough from our grocery store. That always came out tasty, but since finding this recipe for the WW dough, it’s so easy to make my own…even easier than driving to the store to buy prepared fresh dough.

Cheeseburger PizzaCheeseburger Pizza

Oven Pizza

Cheese Pizza

Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza – the left one has figs, garlic and honey & the right is fresh bell pepper, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and red sauce.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

Ham & Cheese Pizza

Here is the recipe I use for my WW pizza:

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianpizzarecipes/r/wheatcrust.htm

The only thing I do differently is use coconut oil in place of vegetable oil. I also use my locally harvested honey instead of sugar.

And when I think of Pizza Fridays (I make a pizza most Friday nights for my family), I also think of something sweet to end the week. Because also I’m always thinking of something sweet. And chocolate chip cookies come to mind. They sort of go with pizza. So does cake, like the food of kid birthday parties past. But then, cake goes with anything. Focus, Kris. Focus.

Let’s get ready to cruuuuumblllllle!

I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and am always looking for new and exciting recipes of such to try! I have two kinds of bars that are sort of chocolate chip cookie-ish in flavor, but different.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The first is what Averie, from http://www.averiecooks.com/, calls Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sticks. The only change I made to her recipe was the shape of chocolate (chips vs. chunks) and the way I cut them (bars vs. sticks). They were SOOOOO good. Here is the recipe:

http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/06/chocolate-chunk-cookie-sticks.html

I could eat those until I pop. I’m pretty sure I did pop, the last time I ate them. And I didn’t mind.

The second recipe that I think would go deliciously after pizza is a Halfway Cookie. It’s more like a bar. And a cookie. And cake. It’s all those wonderful things wrapped into one. Have you heard of these? My neighbor, who is a Grandmother and a dear friend, shared her Mom’s recipe with me ages ago for these. And I’ve also found them on the web. I have found them to be very similar to Mud Hen Bars, with the exception of marshmallows. These do not have marshmallows. And let me tell youuu, they are DELICIOUS.

Halfway Bars

They have a layer of cookie as the crust (sort of like chocolate chip cookies without the chips), followed by a boat load of chocolate chips and topped with a baked meringue. Amazing. Please try them. It’s a very old recipe. And old is good. In most cases.

http://www.cookiemadness.net/2010/08/halfway-cookies/

Let me know if you make a pizza with that dough recipe! It’s so quick and fail-proof and delicious. And if you don’t, I’ll give you a pizza my mind! Just kidding. I won’t. But do try it. And enjoy! And please make some of these chocolate chip variations!

Have a wonderful Friday,

Kristin

“But I don’t WANNA go to China!”

food i ate

Ni hao. I love food. Did you already know that about me? Just in case you didn’t, I love food. And since it’s so hard to travel and eat my around the world with a 3 and 1 year old in tow, I did the next best thing. I went to an around-the-world-themed Food & Wine Festival with my family. It was a lovely day. I’d never done this before…it’s my (fig) jam now. I love it. I could have eaten something at all the represented countries there, but I AM on a budget. And I need to keep my girlish figure. BAH! Anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather eat than worry about ‘dat waist.

In our “travels”, we ate  Morello Cherry Pistachio Mousse and  Frozen S’mores from the Desserts & Champagne booth (started with dessert…it’s been my personal philosophy since I was a wee one), a Potato & Leek Waffle with Braised Beef in Belgium, Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and Black Currant Reduction in New Zealand, a Harissa Chicken Roll in Morocco, Almond-crusted Blue Cheese Soufflé with Fig Jam at the Cheese booth, and in China, a Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun and Coconut Silk Ice Cream Ribbon. When my older son Bigs asked where we were going next, I told him (with gusto, I might add), “China!”. He replied with, “But I don’t wanna go to China!!”. He quickly changed his mind when he saw that we got ice cream there. 😀 Kid after my own heart.

me eating

Here I am eating my Chinese Beef and Silk Ice Cream on top of my kids’ stroller. That’s how I roll. Well, I guess that’s how they roll…with me and my food on top.

Food has been a huge part of the journey in finding myself. And on that journey, I’ve discovered just how much I love Asian desserts. Like, obsessed. It’s weird. I have always loved Chinese, Japanese and Thai food. But their desserts… I can’t even. So good. And my all time favorite of such desserts is the SESAME BALL. Tell me you’ve had them. It’s okay if you haven’t. More for me. They are balls glutinous rice and are rolled in sesame seeds and fried. And filled with sweetened bean paste. They are in my top 3 favorite foods. SO good. I get sesame balls on my birthday each year.

AsianSesame

These are some of the sesame balls I’ve gotten over the years.

Each year, around my birthday, we make what I call my Asian grocery pilgrimage. I pick up all kinds of yummy Asian treats – sesame balls, shrimp puffs, BBQ pork-filled steamed buns, purple yams, lychees, mochi, pineapple buns, coconut buns, egg tarts, taro buns. Oh, I could go on. I love it. My sweet husband knows what I want to do on my birthday and just let’s me go nuts.

AsianMochi

Mochi that I’ve gotten over the years.

AsianOther

Other Asian treats I’ve gotten.

My Mom once had to travel to Malaysia and Japan for work and brought me all kinds of goodies. It’s sort of a strange attraction I have to the Asian sweets. They are so cute and always so well put together, not to mention delicious.

What are some of your “odd” food obsessions?

Oh. And I made a lunch for Bigs. And it is freaky. Not on purpose. I think it’s the eyes. I mean, sometimes things don’t turn out how they are supposed to. I gotta keep it real. Sorry Bigs! Mommy still loves you. <3

BearScare

It’s a bear shaped PB&J that I sprayed gold(ish), using food safe spray. I used my Food Writers for the weird nose and mouth and candies for the [freaky] eyes. He also has corn and carrots, a few pretzels, some bear shaped cookies and a squeezy fruit.

Zàijiàn (Goodbye in Chinese…I THINK, try not to quote me on that one),

Kristin

Don’t you carrot all??

What’s up, doc? Don’t you want another carrot recipe? You do? Oh good. Because I still have four pounds of carrots left.

carrotsinear

If only I had a girl…

(PS – I have a song that’s similar to one of Biggie Smalls’ – “Mo Carrots, Mo Problems”.)

I made another carrot dish. Because of all my carrots. Duh. I actually changed up a Martha Stewart recipe. Why, you ask? Do I think I’m better than Martha? Nope. Do I like order and everything in its place and themed parties like her? YES. And that is a good thing. Get it? A good thing? If you don’t know, then don’t even. It’s a Martha Thing.

Let’s proceed, shall we?

CarrotSpoonBread

I used Martha’s Carrot Spoon Bread recipe, altered. It was SO good! It came out like a bread pudding. So…yum.

Carrot Spoon Bread (Pudding):

Adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/331776/carrot-spoon-bread

3 C cooked, mashed (in food processor) carrots

1/2 C flour

2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t coarse salt

4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 C packed light-brown sugar

1/3 C real maple syrup

1 t vanilla

1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and butter until combined. Fold in carrots and pour into a greased dish. Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Or eat right away and burn your tongue. Like me.

I served it with meatloaf and green peas.

SpoonBreadDinner

You know what the best part of meatloaf is? Cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day. I love mine with mayonnaise and a thick slice of tomato.

Imma have that for dinner tonight.

With more of that spoon bread. Because it made a ton. Honestly. I love carrots.

Thankfully.

Hope one of you out there tries one of these carrot recipes and enjoys them like me and my family!

A-ba-dee aba-dee a-ba-dee, that’s all folks (on the carrots…for now),

Kristin

In the Cold November Rain

HelloNovember

Hello, November. I really am excited to see you. I love this time of year. You offer so many lovely things. I know it’s already the 5th and that I’ve already posted in this month. It’s just that I am excited that it’s November and I’m celebrating that. I do what I want.

I do what I want

I do what I want 2

Anyways. Autumn.

Autumn2

Even though this past summer was the most fun of my entire life, I am so excited to have this time of year upon us. I love most everything about it.

Autumn1

I love crispy fall weather and crispy fall leaves. I love wearing boots and jackets. And I REALLY love dressing my boys up in cozy, warm clothes. Kids’ winter clothes are so adorable.

Autumn3

‘Tis a most wonderful time of the year, indeed! And it’s a whole new set of kid lunches. They could be filled with Pilgrims, Indians and cornucopias…none of which I’ll do or you’ll see since I’m not that talented.

Sunflowers

Today, in Bigs’ class, they are learning about sunflowers and corn. It IS the month of harvest, after all. I made a PB&J and used circles to make a flower design (I couldn’t quite freehand the sunflower shape and to be honest, this isn’t even a sunflower shape, but he won’t notice!) and filled the circles with brown and yellow sprinkles. It IS my blog’s namesake. I put the circles of bread below. He also has corn, natch. And I put some pretzel sticks, mini Nilla wafers and three candy corn in the bottom compartment. Too bad they aren’t learning about CARROTS in his class. I have lots. 😉 He’s got those yummy homemade fruit snacks and a box of raisins for snack time.

Today, I am thankful for the gentle rain this early morning that gave me a few reflective moments of peace. Despite the song lyric as a title, it wasn’t cold. But it was peaceful.

And also, I’m thankful for Pinterest.

Hello, November. Please be good to us!

Kristin

Sunday Bunny Sundaaay

It has been a very productive Sunday, considering it is supposed to be the day of rest. We had a great sermon at church! My pastor even referred to one of my go-to Bible verses (Proverbs 3:5-6) that I used in my post yesterday. God is working…in me and through others to get to my heart. He is good! We went to Costco (I always want to spell it CostCo, but Husband “informed” me today that I was incorrect.) after church for a few (hundred) things and taste tests. I feel so terrible for the Taste Test Administrators. Is that what they’re called? I’d be so stressed. It’s like a bum rush of people and in the snap of a finger, all your hard work is gone! And then there’s more people! Anywho. In case you are wondering…and even if you are not, my favorite taste test of the day was Philippine Brand Dried Young Coconut Snacks. It’s like my new favorite taste test of life. It was SO good. You sort of have to try them if you like coconut. Mmm. I feel as though I could eat them by the truck load. Anywho again. So remember how I told you I can’t seem to leave there without a pallet of even one item? Well. I am now the proud(ish) owner of a 5 pound bag of organic baby carrots. Yikes. I’m going to use every single carrot in that (giant) bag. Tonight, I made a delicious side dish of carrots that would beautifully accompany a Thanksgiving meal. And my whole family enjoyed it. My older son, Bigs, enjoyed it the most. He gets a kick out of eating bunny food. I found the recipe on Pinterest, but changed it around a bit (ooooh, two recipe re-writes in one week!).

CarrotCasserole

Carrot Casserole:

Adapted from :

http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/carrots-a-casserole-and-a-skinny-secret

Ingredients
2.5 C carrots
1/2 C sugar
2 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/4 T flour
1/4 t baking powder
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs
cinnamon
I boiled the carrots until soft. I mashed them in my food processor. I mixed the remaining ingredients with the carrots and poured into a buttered glass pie pan. I cooked it in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 50ish minutes. SO easy!
CarrotCasseroleSpoon
I served it with a whole chicken that I roasted and corn off the cob.
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More carrots. I regret nothing.  😀
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed that casserole. I even think I could eat it cold. Standing in front of the fridge. While my children play in the living room. Yum.
I also made fruit snacks! This is a recipe I use often. I doubled the recipe today. I send them with Bigs to school for a snack. They can stay at room temperature for a while. Smalls is only just starting to have a taste for gummy things. What little kid doesn’t like gummies? So weird. It was rough for a while because I’d have to melt his daily gummy vitamin in his breakfast oatmeal for him to take it. But now he likes(ish) gummies. So he can enjoy these now too.
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This recipe is great because you can take your own liberties with it (what fruits, etc.).
Homemade Fruit Snacks:
http://thankyourbody.com/homemade-healthy-fruit-snacks/
Ingredients:
2/3 C frozen or fresh fruit
2/3 C orange juice or a mix of orange and lemon juices
1-2 T honey
5 packets of unflavored gelatin (I’ve used 4 and it works but they come out less ‘hard’ and I’ve used 6…I do what I want.)

Bring the fruit and juice to a simmer over medium heat, just enough to make the fruit soft. Place in a food processor. Pour back into pot and whisk in honey. Let sit off of heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk in the gelatin packets. Pour into an 8×8 pan and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut into cubes!

I hope you all had as lovely a Sunday as me. Today, I am thankful for carrots, for without them, this four-eyed Mama would surely be needing Coke bottles for glasses. 😉 And I’m truly thankful for renewal in my heart. And for the cooler weather we’ve been experiencing. That makes me feel festively happy.

Peace and Blessins’ (Look it up. You’re welcome.),

Kristin

Campaign for Thankfulness & Marshmallows

ThanksgivingBooks

We are in full-fledged Thanksgiving mode here in my home! I was so wired on Halloween night (not from candy-eating, but from major anxiety, natch) that after getting the boys into bed, I took down all the Halloween decorations and put up the Thanksgiving ones. Bigs was so excited to see a new and different set of holiday decor out the next morning! Earlier in the week, we checked out a bunch of Thanksgiving books at the library, so we’ve been reading those too.  At almost three and a half, Bigs is starting to “get” the meaning of Thanksgiving – that we should give thanks always and be grateful to God for all He’s blessed us with, which is so much more than we deserve. During the month of November (and it really should be every day of every month), I want to participate in that ubiquitous campaign to say aloud what we are thankful for.

On Friday night, I made a Thanksgiving-y casserole (and wrote my own recipe! – Don’t get used to it.). It was fairly healthy and really quite good. It looks a little busted because of the ridiculous marshmallows on top, but I also think they were fun for Bigs, of course. And me. Who doesn’t want a twirly, swirly, pink confection on the top of absolutely everything?

SweetPotatoBefore

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Casserole:

Serves: A Lot (enough for leftovers!)

Ingredients:

3 large sweet potatoes (peeled, cut up and boiled until soft)

1/2 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1T honey

1/3 C milk

1/4 C pumpkin pie coffee creamer (optional)

1 beaten egg

Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice (optional – I did not use these)

I used a hand mixer to incorporate all the ingredients together. I poured it into a greased dish. I put those fancy marshmallows on top (I’d have used regular ones if I’d had them. It was between these and fruit flavored ones…I think I made the right choice) and baked at a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about a half hour. It was very good!

SweetPotatoAfter

So. This next part is not as fun as casserole or marshmallows.

I have anxiety. And it’s mostly pretty bad. It’s an everyday struggle, even though some days are better than others. Some days, it isn’t bad at all, for which I am thankful.  I constantly have to work at getting “over it”. You get used to it (I’ve been a classic worry wort since birth), but not really. That doesn’t even make sense. But it doesn’t matter. It’s real. Some people don’t understand anxiety or why I have it or why I can’t just easily be over it. And that’s okay. I’m not looking for sympathy or for you to be sad for me. I don’t want to be a victim to this. I just want to productively coexist with it, if I’m to have it.

i-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-have-anxiety-15

anxiety

In my inconsistent struggle to pinpoint exactly who I am (sometimes I know exactly who I am, and then all of a sudden, I feel lost…and then freaked out, and then it’s okay again), I am grateful when I discover something about myself and accept it easily and also when God gives me answers. I look to God and the Bible for guidance and comfort. And besides prayer, lots of things help my anxiety: shopping at Goodwill, baking, donuts, putting things in their correct order, ROYGBIV (it’s strangely soothing!), schedules, hand sanitizer, spontaneous hugs from my babies, plucking out my random gray hairs, smiles from strangers (but not creepy ones), a sermon at church that speaks to me, my husband coming home for lunch…the list goes on (and I might argue that the list of what makes me anxious is just as long lol). I’m not unhappy, just anxious. I know I’m not alone, in both my life or in my struggles against general anxiety.

OCD                                grocerylist

handsanitizer                                    Unexpected call

I have to say that it took a lot of gumption for me to write this. Anxiety isn’t the socially taboo topic it once was, but it isn’t a fun thing to write about. Especially when it makes “one” feel and/or look like a total head case. This has been scary to put myself “out there” and definitely makes me feel vulnerable too. But it is strangely cathartic and freeing.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite Bible verses, ones I constantly refer to…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Be still, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

…and a few song lyrics I hear on our local Christian station that remind me who is in charge and why I should not have any fear in this life…

“If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it. If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment…” (Sidewalk Prophets – “Help Me Find it”)

“We pour out our miseries. God just hears a melody…” (Amy Grant – “Better Than a Hallelujah”)

Today, I am thankful for a God that is Comforter, Healer and Friend. He does not judge me, but loves me.

Have a very blessed, very thankful, anxiety-free night,

Kristin

Chocolates, malts and caramels, oh my!

HappyHalloween

Happy Halloween!

It'sthegreatpumpkin

So, here it is…the last day of Halloween lunches. I am excited to move on to the next holiday, because that means new and exciting times with my family.  The only thing that makes me sad is that this will be the last (as will always be the case, I suppose!) Halloween where my two special boys will be this small, and their level of discovery about this holiday so new.  🙁 It just serves as a reminder to relish every single second with them. Today, I made a Halloween lunch for Bigs. He is SO excited about this holiday. It’s the first time he “gets it”. I hope these lunches I do for him help keep him excited…just about life in general! He sure makes my life exciting! And wonderful. And full. And fulfilled.

HappyHalloweenLunch

Today’s lunch is a “scaredy” cat shaped PB&J, with crusts underneath (waste not, want not!!), pretzel sticks, a gummy worm for dessert, mandarin oranges (I gently washed off the juice they were packaged in), grapes and the little yellow container has alphabet noodles with corn in it.

peanutsparty

Wouldn’t it be fun to go to a party like this?

WelcomeGreatPumpkin

 

Hoping you all have a not-so-spooky (unless that’s what you like, we don’t “do” too much spooky), fun-filled, sweet Halloween!

I’m hoping to find that Great Pumpkin.

Enjoy your kids’ candy (I will be),

Kristin

Hallo, au revoir to Brussels

I have a problem. I can’t seem to go into a CostCo and not come out with an asinine amount of something I may or most likely may not need. Last time I went in, I came out with a two pound bag of brussel sprouts. I love brussel sprouts. That’s right. I love them. I could eat them every day. There are so many wonderful things about them and wonderful way to prepare them. Smalls, my one year old, likes them too, but eats like a bird. And Bigs likes the roasted leafy part, but not the whole thing. So, really it is only me eating them. I have no idea how to eat two pounds of them. Anyways.

This post was originally going to be a delicious recipe for said brussel sprouts. But this post is not about that anymore. It’s more of a P.S.A. now.

I will back track. A few months ago, I prepared brussel sprouts for dinner (roasted). On that same day, a HUGE (like…size of a thumbnail) fly appeared in my house, buzzing around, scaring my kids and dog (Why would they be scared of a fly? You ask them. They won’t tell me.). The great thing (is this even a “great” thing?) about these flies is that they are so oaf-like and bumbling, that they are easy to catch. You can catch them with your hands. Anywho, I killed it. Then another appeared. I killed that one too. It happened 11 times. That was the last of them. That night. I made brussel sprouts last week and then again tonight. The SAME thing happened. I sort of pieced together my memory about each day they appeared and discovered that it was on days I made brussels. My husband told me that brussel sprouts smell so awful to him that it is no wonder these flies are attracted to the smell. I did a little research online and discovered that other people had the same problem! So. Next time you make brussel sprouts, BOLO for those flies. Blarg.

The brussels were good. Now the thought of them makes me feel not so good. I roasted them in a 400 degree oven, after tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, cumin and a leeetle brown sugar, added some raisins in, blah blah blah. No one cares about this recipe. You should really care about The Flies.

Have any of you experienced this?

Have a fly-free night,

Kristin