Saturday, February 27, 2010

Almost Fat-Free Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are almost fat-free because I added mini-chocolate chips. I had a feeling that my family wouldn't eat them just the way they were without the chocolate chips. I got the recipe from Of course I altered it a little bit depending on what I had on my pantry.

I doubled everything because we are going to a friends house for dinner and we are bringing dessert.

2 tsp. ground flaxseed
4 tablespoons water
2 cup regular or quick oats
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup honey
2 banana, mashed

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed with the water and set aside until thickened

Mix the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the honey, vanilla, mashed banana, to the flaxseed mixture and combine well. Pour into the dry mixture and stir well but don't overmix.

Add chocolate chips and mix just until blended.

I used a cookie scoop that I got from Pampered Chef for my husband since he is the cookie maker in the house usually. Not this time, though.

Drop by heaping scoops onto a baking sheet. I used 1/2 scoop because I like smaller cookies.

Flatten each cookie slightly with a plastic fork./knife sprayed with PAM.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms and sides are lightly brown. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Servings: 36

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Here!

Do you remember my post about coffee mugs? Well, ask and you shall receive. I just celebrated my 30-something birthday and asked for this mug...and got it! Thanks Dad and Joan! It is a little smaller than I thought it would be from the picture, but I actually like it better. And the seller (Hopes and Dreams) included some chocolate covered biscottis. Yum! If I didn't already have a Starbucks today I would try my coffee mug out now..but I can wait!....I think!

We had a very pleasant day today. It started about 7am this morning as my daughter climbed into our bed and was fully dressed ready to start the day. She immediately told us that she wanted to go to the mall. Since I didn't have anything planned, I agreed to it and had a really nice time with my little girl. Our main goal was to get to the play area at the Towson Town Mall. After about 30-45 minutes, we left and had lunch and walked around just the two of us. No rushing...just enjoying the moment. On our way there....while getting lost....I saw this beautiful church. I think it is a church but not sure. If anyone knows, leave me a comment.

And this is what Hannah did with the box that the mug came in. Funny girl!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

American Craft Council

If you love hand-made wearable and non wearable art you have to go to the American Craft Council Event going on from February 25-28th. It is at the Baltimore Convention Center off of Pratt Street in Baltimore City.

I am on an Etsy team called BEST (Baltimore Etsy Street Team) and there are quite a few members that are showing their work at this event.

I am not sure if this would be the best place to bring my little almost 4 year old. I have never been but it looks really exciting. From the looks of the pictures there are some REALLY talented artists. If you have the time and interested, check it out. If you order online, you get $5 off. And on Friday nights after 6pm the cost is only $6. AND children under 12 are free!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Planning for Hannah's B-Day

Hannah's B-Day in April, which is still a month and a 1/2 away, but for me and my life, planning now is very helpful. I like to look for things on sale so I don't have to buy what I want at full price. I love having parties, I love celebrating my daughter's birth. And this year is even more special because she has been talking about it for about a 1/2 year or longer. She knows that she will be four, we got that established. Although for my birthday last week, I turned 5. Geeze, I don't even remember being 5.

But in planning for her birthday, I found this cute cupcake kit off of an Etsy shop called Bake It Pretty. I ordered it yesterday and I can't wait to try it out. Everything but the cake mix and icing come with it like:
This traditional kit includes the following:

•Approx. 125 standard baking cups in assorted polka dot, striped, and solid colors.
•Over 25 traditional toppers in assorted styles (clowns, flowers, ballerinas, etc.)
•4 ounces of Rainbow Jimmy Sprinkles in resealable bag.
•Everything is packaged in a paperboard suitcase in the color of your choice.

I got this kit because of the kids that I invite. Some girls and some boys. This kit has a range of toppers for girls and boys.

Once I get the kit and make the cupcakes, I will do another post about it.

And she has a blog with BE-U-Tiful pictures!

How Do You Get Your Protein??

I can't believe how many times I get asked this question as a Vegetarian.

I became one of "those" people about 6 months ago. I stopped eating meat.. All kinds of meat. Beef, chicken, eggs and fish and all of the other "gourmet" meats. I had a hard time with beef jerky and bacon and even had a dream of being at a restaurant and trying to order buffalo wings because those were one of my favorites, and saying to myself, in the dream, "I can't order those because I am vegetarian". Funny but true. I can say now, after 6 months, I don't crave beef jerky or bacon or any other kind of meat. I feel once that summer comes along and crab season is in full bloom I may get tempted. I hope not.

Now CHEESE...ugh! This one has really been tough. It took me a while to stop eating it. After about 3 months of just giving up meat I stopped eating cheese and I actually got used to not eating it. Then little by little I added it back to my diet and I started gaining weight. Like 2-3 pounds, which isn't huge but I noticed as I added cheese I was less aware of the things that I put into my mouth. I think we, Americans, use it too much. Sorry, but I do. Yes, it has protein and yes, it tastes good but do you know where it comes from? It's kind of gross if you think of it.

I am going on a rabbit trail. This isn't where I wanted to go. But I have decided to limit my cheese eating and possibly stop eating it along with other dairy products.

My point of this is to tell people where in the world do I get my protein from. It's funny, but it is one of the first things that people ask me. Click on the picture to find out. Veggies have protein in it. You don't normally think of a plant as having protein but it does. And beans do too. And they are not as gassy as you would think. Just ask my husband. hee hee.

Here is another article that talks about cheese. Eating Vegan : The Cheese Problem

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fun Sterling Discs on a Wire

These are one of my new creations. I have had a sterling silver sheet for quite a while now and I didn't want to waste it without knowing what I really wanted to design. Silver is not cheap these days so I practiced a bit on my copper and brass sheet before I touched the silver sheet. First I hand cut circles and filed them down. Then I added holes and dents of various sizes. I soldered long strips of sterling wire to make the ear wires. I think the long ear wires give it a modern look. Then to finish it off, I oxidized and hand buffed them. And there you have it! Dome-shaped Discs.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Lady Bug Girl...You Are Fun to Watch

Did you know that you could spend a good chunk of time watching a lady bug? Well, at least with this little girl you can. We captured it up in the 2nd floor bathroom and brought it down stairs to look at it and to take pictures. The lady bugs name is "Lady Bug Girl" because it is a girl. Duh! Although it could be a boy but it is a called a lady bug so how could it be a boy? And how do they mate if there are only girl lady bugs. (Deep thoughts of a mom whose daughter doesn't take naps). Here are the pictures...we had fun!

And there is goes never to be seen again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Perfect Pottery Mug

I have been on the search for the perfect handmade pottery mug for my delicious coffee in the morning. Here are my three runner-ups. My friend, Dana, got me on the kick for a coffee mug that fit my style. Although, she probably didn't realize how obsessed I would get. I asked for a coffee mug from two different people for my birthday AND I took a picture at Starbucks of the mug that I wanted and didn't get, now I must fend for myself. I am not sure exactly why it is so important to have a great coffee mug...would it change the taste of the coffee?....probably not...would it make the caffeine stronger?...probably not. But I am sure there are other coffee drinkers that would understand this obsession.

This first one is super cool because if I am drinking my coffee and haven't finished it and need to leave, I can just pop the traveling top on and go. Plus the crackled color is very pretty. And I don't like the feel of ordinary metal coffee containers. Yes, I am picky.

The next one is cool also because then everyone would know not to touch my coffee mug because it would have my name on it..and you don't want to mess with my coffee, especially in the morning.

This third one is pretty and has soothing colors and a great handle.

If you have an opinion on these coffee mugs, I would love to hear it!!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Photography Class 2nd Session

Pictures from our second class from friend, Amy's Blog. We concentrated on light. I still have a lot to learn.
Focal Length: 44mm
Shutter Speed: 1/60
Aperture: f/5.3
ISO: 200

Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100

Focal Length: 38mm
Shutter Speed: 1/15
Aperture: f/5
ISO: 400

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cabin Fever

A full vegetarian chili meal. Love you honey for making the chili.

We are passed out..enough said.

I couldn't resist taking this picture because both of them were looking outside at the same time.

Beautiful icicles from our roof.

Molly is not thrilled with being stuck in the house.

Come on mom, play with me.

I'm taking pictures of everything that I can while being in the house. Yes, I have cabin fever. I know exactly what that means. Between being home for a full week before the snow storms because Hannah was sick and now forced to be home because of the snow storms I and my family are going batty. Look at the expression in our dog's eyes...does she look chipper? I don't want to complain too much. It is nice to just stop...really stop and not be on the road driving everywhere and be with my family and test out my camera and shoveling...I get my workout and I am productive at the same time. Woo hoo! Hopefully tomorrow we will be going to the bowling alley with Hannah's school. That will be fun and I hope to have pictures of that.

Making and Decorating Sugar Cookies

Eating, I mean, making and baking cookies with Hannah. She actually did it all with the help of my measurements for the ingredients.

Here are the beauties ready to be decorated. We washed and used Hannah's playdough cutters, which were perfect sizes for her to decorate them.

Tinker Bell Decorating her cookies

Jonathan really focused and decorating and his cookies.

Decorated and full of sugar to add to the cabin fever..hmmmm, maybe that is why she was completely loony yesterday?

This was a project that we did yesterday. Of course it's Valentines Day and that was on my mind. The recipe for the sugar cookies is a Vegan recipe, which was perfect for me because I had all of the ingredients and it wasn't a really sugary sweet cookie. Sorry, the only ingredient that I didn't have was the Red Mill Baking Powder. Now that I read why this is a good one, I will be getting that instead of the regular Baking Powder. Red below to see why. If you have a lot a lot of cookies to make then go by the recipe or just cut in half and there will still be plenty. We didn't get to decorate all of them because there was still so much. The icing recipe was the best icing that I have used for decorating cookies. It went on easily and hardened quick enough to be able to store the cookies in a closed container for cookies later.

Side Notes:
Baking Powder
Baking soda from the health food store is better for your body... it is aluminum-free to save those brain cells. Studies have shown that high aluminum levels are found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases... aluminum is also linked to bone degeneration and kidney dysfunction. So begin using the aluminum free baking soda now to save those valuable brain cells....lovely, huh?

Cookie Cutting
After the dough was kneaded and ready I refrigerated it for 20 minutes and then set it out for 10 minutes. My dough, for some reason, was too dry. So, I just added more soy milk to it to get it to the texture that made it easy to roll out.

Extra Dough
You can refrigerate it for future use and take out the amount that you need or even freeze it as long as it is tightly sealed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God Even Takes Care of the Birds

Our cars are buried deep in snow. Gusts of winds make it hard to even see across the street.

Visibility is probably 100 or so feet at times.

Do you see the Holly Tree on the left side in our yard. There are berries on it and Robins coming over to to it to get a berry and the fly over to the side of our house away from the wind gusts.

You can actually see them in the tree. AND flying to the tree.

These birds were the most beautiful site to me. They sat on branches eating a berry and then the would poof their feathers and just hang out. Occasionally grabbing some snow from the branch for water. I was watching them as they has one eye on me too.

This is the snow on our window sill outside. Brrrrr!!

The amount of birds were beautiful.

In the midst of the of this gigantic blizzard, these precious little birds were fed and had water to survive a day like this. Although I was supposed to be taking pictures of my jewelry to add to Etsy, I am glad that I took the time to enjoy God's creation and creatures. As my Dad said it, "God brought all of this snow, He will take it away." Amen!

Things to Do Inside with Kids on a Snowy Day

So, I am running out of creative things to do with Hannah inside. She has no interest to go outside and play in the snow and make a snow fort or a snow man. I am not feeling good and my creativity juices are not flowing so I am looking on the internet to find some creative things.

Homemade Playdough
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
food coloring
(Mix salt and water then add flour and then food color to the desire color that you want.)

Dried Apple Snacks
Small Apples
Apple Corer
(Preheat over to 150. Core the apple. Slice apples so that there is a hole in the middle. Spray Pam on a cookie sheet and lay the apples down. When they are dry, remove, let them cool and EAT!)

Maraca March
Plastic Bottles with lids
Rice, Beans Bird Seed or Macaroni
Masking Tape
(Fill bottles, partially, with filler and then tape the caps or lids. March around to music or make up your own.

Who's Hiding?
Pictures of Animals or other favorite things
Glue and scissors
Felt Markers
(Cut out pictures and glue on the card board. On separate cards write the names of the object, eg, dog, apple, house, etc. The object is to teach your child to match words with objects. Place object cards face down and ask your child, "Who is Hiding Under Here?". Your child tries to guess by placing the matching wotd card where they think it belongs.)

Make Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day and Decorate them.
I used this recipe and cut it by half. I took out a lot of Hannah's play dough basket and washed them and made fun shapes including heart shapes. Ice them with this recipe and then decorate with sprinkles.

More to follow.....I need to tend to my child. :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow up to our eye balls!

Haven't posted much since my daughter has been sick with a fever and possible bronchitis for over a week. I am trying to stay a float. And big big news is...we got 2.5 feet of snow!!! And when we shoveled, the piles were taller than me. Although I am 5ft still counts for something.

This will be a snow to remember!

This is during the blizzard..and that is a main street with no cars and a lot of snow!

Home-made snow chairs

Molly girl has her eye on the fun!


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