Archive for October, 2009

October 23, 2009


Fact:  It is physically impossible for me to clean my kitchen when my girls are playing in yummy light.


Fact: These cookies are healthier than most breakfast cereals.  

Fact: We eat them for breakfast sometimes


Here's the recipe.  It's a combination of a couple recipes and adjustments I've thrown together.  They aren't pancake-y like some applesauce cookies because I adjusted the baking soda and flour amounts. Although removing the oatmeal, besides removing some of the nutritional value, does make them a bit more pancake-y, don't really recommend it.   And the applesauce adds sweetness so these need less sugar than most cookies.

Yummy Healthy Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 four
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips  

(edited to add: 3/4 cup packed brown sugar)

   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
   2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, applesauce, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.
   3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
   4. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda, then gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
   5. Finally, stir in the oats and chocolate chips.   (I sometimes refrigerate for 15-20min. before baking so they won't spread as much, keeps the middle nice and soft and the outside  crispy)
   6. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
   7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.



Fact: A cookie-less house leads to two-year-olds biting their sisters.

(No sisters were harmed in the making of this storyboard.  Okay maybe a little, but I made her some cookies very shortly after.)


October 20, 2009

Running Dialogue


In order to avoid the “How was your day?”  “Fine.” scenario around here, we play a little game.  Each night at dinner, every person says their high and low for the day.  Highs are generally things like “I got a 100 on my spelling test” or “This spaghetti is so yummy.”  Lows range from “My friend at school said something mean to me and hurt my feelings” to “I don’t like eating broccoli for dinner.” Hopefully this does a few of things.  Hopefully it teaches them to all listen, to pay attention, to ask questions and to care about others around them.  Hopefully it is giving them a time and space to talk about their feelings and have them validated.  Hopefully it is giving them some perspective and helping them understand that things are generally not all good or all bad. 

These are things that I am only just figuring out and wish I’d understood more clearly earlier in life.  Concepts I would love to help them have some comprehension of.  Mostly it’s just fun for me to hear them talk about their days and discuss whatever issues they might have, big or small. 


Life has been pretty good around here lately.  A few nights last week, there were no lows at the table.  They celebrated with fist bumps and high fives.  I explained that it was not the most important thing that we not have any lows, but more important that we were all able to sit and talk with each other about the good and bad things in our lives. 

Really I have no idea what impact any of this will have on their lives.  Kinda wish I could fast forward and sit down with their adult selves and see, but I can’t.  I do think it is keeping an oh so important running dialogue going between me and My Loves. 


October 9, 2009

Cooking (Eating)


    Not really news to peeps who know me, but earlier this year I struggled with some disordered eating issues.  I jokingly said many a time when complimented on losing weight that "divorce does wonders for the figure."  Unfortunately that's partially true.  For me it was for all the wrong reasons though. 

    Among the hundreds of things that were shaken in me over the last couple of years, self image was one of the most shaken, and understandably so I think.  The lack of control I felt over my life contributed as well; I compensated by trying to control anything that I could, that mostly played out in my eating habits.  I went from healthy changes like cutting down on snacking and eating late at night to eating nothing but a half slice of dry toast, raw spinach and tomatoes in a day. 

    Not eating gave me some sense of control and hunger felt good.  Things were not good.  My goal went from being healthy to being thin.  The thing is towards the end, I realized I wasn't in control of my eating at all.  It was in control of me.  Twice when I went to have a cookie with my kids, I found myself literally unable to swallow it.  Something in my brain told me that eating a freaking Oreo would make me fat.  I walked to the trash and spit it out.  And then I freaked out.  And then I got help.  With lots of counseling, prayer, talking, more praying, grieving and letting go – I'm kind of in love with food again. 

    Everything in moderation of course, but my goodness cooking and eating are fun.  We eat a pretty healthy, mostly vegetarian diet around here.  We go for walks and bike rides.  Some pizza and a little dessert aren't gonna kill me.  I'm only just discovering this.  Let me tell you, it's a super fantastic realization.


    So here's a recent recipe that we (almost) all loved (Gabe had his sans eggplant and mushrooms).


  • 1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 sweet red pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 pieces each
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Coat two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place eggplant and mushrooms on a prepared pan. Place the zucchini and red pepper on the second pan. Combine the oil and garlic; brush over both sides of vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer. Remove eggplant and mushrooms. Bake zucchini and red pepper 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are browned.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with four lasagna noodles (noodles will overlap slightly), half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of pasta sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of basil. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and pasta sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutritional Analysis: 1 piece equals 361 calories, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 31 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 19 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 fat.

More yummy recipes to come.  And if you have or are struggling with eating issues.  I feel your pain, there is hope.  Let's have a coffee sometime. 

October 5, 2009

My Job

You guys.  My job?  Love. 

Seriously. I somehow get paid to do what I love.  I somehow get paid to do what I love with one of my best friends.  And I get to spend tons of time with my kids.  And fulfill this very real need that I have in me to capture moments, and faces, and laughs, and ways, and tears, and hands, and glances, and toes…     Another day I will write about what photography is to me and how it found me and how I adore it.  

Tonight I am just fully aware of how blessed I am that this is what I get to do.  

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