Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fun Mom Breakfast

Occasionally you need one of these, "Oh, go ahead and enjoy!" kind of breakfasts.
(excuse my scratched up bowl)

And the secret is, this is a Healthy and Fun breakfast.

Breakfast Banana Splits 
Greek Yogurt
(I mix my Greek yogurt with Yoplait strawberry yogurt at about 3:1 ratio. This makes the yogurt ever so slightly sweet and gives it a pink tinge, both of which make it MUCH more appealing to my kiddos. While the hubby and I were watching carbs, we mixed our Greek yogurt with blended strawberries and a touch of honey. Either way would be great with this breakfast!)
And the best part...

Split your banana, plop some yogurt on top, and then sprinkle a little joy over the whole thing.
You could also add whipped cream, chocolate chips, craisins, cherries...
the skies the limit!

Ode to School This Fall

I love home schooling.
I don't say it enough
because it's tiring and busy
and crazy sometimes,
but I really do love it.
The number 1 reason is 
that home schooling encouragement to 
school through life.
So, though we do school with books and notebooks,
paper and pencil,
we also school here

and here
"Come touch and discover the natural things found around the woods and fields."
I have a friend who is officially "unschooling" this year. To quote an online encyclopedia, "Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including playhousehold responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction." 
 Her model has definitely encouraged me to not be quite so tied to our table and our schedule as we school this year. And boy has that been fun!
Hay maze? Definitely school!

Look, bees! Remember that they see in ultraviolet light
(like this)
School again.

Trains are school.

And model train museums of our city are school.

And interactive tow trucks--
cool school!

(Old tow trucks are school too.)

Riding a railway car down an historical steep track that is a mile long is school; 

see the pulley system that kept us from crashing?!

Putting on our most colorful clothes and paper Native American head dresses and spinning crazily while yelling and giggling is school.

Large bubbles?
Yep, you guessed it! 
Indian Fry Bread,

Large face sculptures, 

Hedge Apples, 

And imitation fall leaves are ALL school.

Hey, how did that get in there? 
We do a lot more of this than we do of the above, but I just love that home schooling encourages us to turn that History of the World cd on in the van, go to that author's talk on dinosaurs, visit the library often and a million other fun and exciting learning experiences.
So there you have it, 
if you know me, you may hear me complain occasionally,
but I really do love home schooling.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chocolate Magic Cookies

Double Chocolate Coconut Flour Cookies
(Chocolate Magic)
Original Recipe (and picture above) from Ditch the Wheat

My husband and I did a little low-carb diet for a few weeks in the summer (6, I believe, though my hubby would tell you that those 6 weeks lasted about 20.)
During that time I ordered a large bag of coconut flour thinking that once we did start back on carbs, we would want to choose healthier ones. And we do, mostly. We eat a few pasta dishes here and there and a tortilla or two a week. And (gasp) we even have had chicken and dumplings. But I found a few keeper recipes from the healthy time AND I have all that coconut flour to use. And let me tell you, coconut flour recipes don't take much coconut flour.
Enter the Chocolate Magic.
I was not overly thrilled with the consistency of anything made with coconut flour, but then I stumbled upon the genius behind Ditch the Wheat who discovered that if you FREEZE YOUR COCONUT FLOUR COOKIES, the consistency is soft, chewy and heavenly. Magic.

Here's the recipe with my customary tweaks:

Chocolate Magic Cookies
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup brown sugar/sugar/coconut palm sugar
(I like my chocolate flavor dark, if you don't, add more sugar.)
6 large eggs
3 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a mixer, mix together coconut oil and coconut palm sugar. *You can cream it together and it will result in a lighter more cake like texture.
  3. Slowly add one egg at a time to the mixture. 
  4. Add vanilla, coconut flour cocoa powder and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add baking soda and salt and mix until incorporated.
  6. Lastly stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Place dough in refrigerator for about an hour.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into small balls and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack to cool.
  11. ***Here is the trick to keep the cookie crispy because coconut flour based cookies tend to soften to the likeness of a pancake fast. Place the cooled cookies in the freezer. When you are ready to eat them pull one out and enjoy immediately. The frozen cookie will be chewy and wonderful.