Monthly Archives: August 2015

Roasted Tomato Cacao Pasta

We don’t eat pasta as much as we used to, but there are a couple recipes that everyone agrees on. This recipe is from Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s book Plantpower Way (which BTW if you don’t have it I highly recommend it). We purchased this book mostly because of the abundant insightful information they both advocate. We definitely were curious about the recipes and anxious to try them as well.  Both Rich and Julie are huge wellness advocates and elevate the plant based lifestyle to a level, their passion and compassion radiate throughout the book. They also bring something to the table that some of us tend to forget… making cooking fun, enjoyable and a family affair.

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Anytime Cookies

The evenings have been cooling down enough for me to use the oven without feeling like I am in one. I have a few recipes on my list to try but I was also in the mood to gently experiment. I am still working on that development part of the recipes and feel I have quite a ways to go before I am there so tweaking and improvising some recipes are where I am comfortable at the moment. These “cookies” are full of yumminess (see notes at bottom of recipe) for breakfast, lunch or snack. I have been avoiding oil when cooking or baking and sometimes replacements work great and other times, not so much. I wanted these to be oil-free and I was successful in achieving something that was edible and approved by the family. I used applesauce and almond butter instead of oil. Working on how much to add was a bit tricky but I got it to a consistency and taste that worked. These are great for school lunches or after school snack too!

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Summer Break Ends as School Begins

It has been a busy summer and school starts tomorrow. This summer has been loads of fun and definitely used a lot of my energy and patience, but in a good way that allowed me to learn some new ways in dealing with tweens, sisters/siblings and friends. As with life, we don’t know everything, nothing is perfect, and we do our best at trying to continue the progress of a happy environment. Having two girls of my own and sometimes 2-4 extra girls each day of the week was, let’s just say… how do parents do it with more than two kids?!  ;) major kudos to y’all!

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The Power of “Thank You”

Those TWO simple words when spoken can put a smile on someone’s face immediately and show your appreciation.

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Chocolate Zucchini Cream Bars

We have been hit with another heat wave so the oven is not something I want to use at the moment. Which is a bummer because I have some muffin and granola recipes I wanted to test to get ready for back to school, those will have to be put on hold for a cool evening. I have been busy with extra kids during the week at our house and haven’t had much time in the kitchen so it was nice to have a little break to put some recipes to the test. I had picked up some zucchini at the local farmers market for some dinners as well as the muffins but  those were put on hold. I began looking for something else to use them in. We all wanted a treat, but a cool treat. Thanks to Brandi of The Vegan 8, we found something that would hit the spot.

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Staying Physically Active During Summer

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Keeping the kids physically active can bring challenges during the summer. Most of the camps or classes for the age my kids are quite expensive and I have two. Getting outside hasn’t been that easy due to the heat, so some yoga and fitness challenges have been happening in our house. The mornings and evenings are hit and miss, but definitely a time that is more enjoyable to be outside. I am all for keeping them physically active and busy, it is a benefit to them as well as our household :) Now we definitely had days of noncooperation and days we just had other activities going on.  Hiking and swimming have been good activities. We have a water park that we can go to, which is nice on those hotter days. We spend a few hours there when we go, I cap out around 4 hours. That is a long time in the sun, heat and with lots of people. They offer a summer pass and it is the best deal as we can go four times and it is paid for, plus I don’t feel like we have to be there ALL day if we had paid for the day pass. We have felt the absence of our summer backpacking trips as well, those kept us on our toes. This is the first summer we didn’t make it :( but for the most part, I tried to keep their lungs burning ;)

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Blueberry Oat Muffins

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The girls have been asking for muffins and I just haven’t had it in me lately to use the oven when it is 98 degrees outside.  Because of the heat, it leaves me with baking at 6 AM or 9 PM when it cools down and I have put other things ahead of baking the muffins. So this morning I was up quite early and did my morning routine of Headspace, posture stretches and a cardio workout as today was a day off from running. I threw in some laundry and headed to the kitchen. I had gathered a couple recipes that I was contemplating on making and I had some ingredients for one, but not all and the same for the other recipes. I decided to compile them and use what I had and came up with a recipe I felt would work. Best part is there is not oil or refined sugar! Away I went mixing and baking. I managed to only do one batch of 12 because it was starting to warm up and I didn’t want the oven on much longer.  The rest will be made tonight or early tomorrow so they can be fresh and ready to eat for breakfast or for a snack.

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Rides, Carnies and Music

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Yep, you guessed it.. Fair Time!! Every summer the Mid State Fair takes place in our home town.  Now, I or Jon are not ‘going to the fair type’ so we typically plan the kids vacation to the grandmas during the fair. To some of you that may seem quite selfish and a disservice to our kids, but when it is nearly triple digits and expensive to walk around in that kind of heat, it just isn’t how we want to spend our time together. Not to mention, the lack of food options and I wouldn’t expect anything different as it is the fair. Well this year, the kids are here during the time of the fair… yay!  However, one of the benefits of the fair are the concerts. There have been bands like Aerosmith, Toby Keith, John Mayer, Tim McGraw, Def Leppard, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Kid Rock, Chicago and SO many more to name that perform and we can hear the concerts in the comfort of our home! :)  I have been to a couple concerts and they are fun, but there is something about sitting in my backyard or laying in bed and listening to the live music that is just so pleasant.

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