Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally cookies!

My son had been asking me for weeks to make some white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies. I really didn’t feel like baking or eating baked goods after the holidays, so I kept making up excuses. Finally, the guilt got to me, and I baked. I got creative and tried something new. I found a recipe on-line and made whole grain adjustments. My son loved them and ate almost a dozen the first night. My husband thought they were a little too sweet but seemed to eat his fair share anyway.

White Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nut Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups hard white wheat flour
½ cup spelt flour
1 cup barley flour
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 ½ cups chopped macadamia nuts

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Blend in flours, soda and salt. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A dumb blonde joke?

“Well, my main message is that beauty is really from within.” Heidi Montag on Nightline

Until this week, I had never heard of Heidi Montag. I saw her interviewed on Nightline, she was talked about on The Bonnie Hunt Show, and I saw her on the cover of various magazines at the grocery store. I believe that she is famous for being famous. At the age of 23, she had ten plastic surgery procedures during a $30,000 ten hour almost-lost-her-life operation. I liked her cute and wholesome girl-next-door looks. Now she just looks fake and plastic. There is a reason they call it plastic surgery. But she wants all the young girls that look up to her as a role model to know that beauty really comes from within. Well so does happiness, self-worth, and personal contentment. She seems to not understand any of that. How sad!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Al Gore, I’m still here!

It has been months since I have communicated to Mr. Gore, but I was thinking about him as I was shoveling my driveway this morning. We have a snow blower, but it isn’t as therapeutic as my shovel, or as environmentally friendly. To be honest, halfway through shoveling just the driveway, I wondered why I didn’t get the snow blower out, but then a picture of Al Gore came to my mind. Alright, it wasn’t Al Gore but the release of frustration towards raising teenagers that kept that shovel going. When my husband asked me why the shovel, I told him shoveling was beneficial to my emotional well being and that of my children. He wondered why I hadn’t done the whole neighborhood. So my shovel was three fold today. I did my part for the planet, I got a little exercise, and I am better prepared for the aggravation of raising teenagers. Bring it on! And I still think Al Gore would be proud.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whose seat is it any way?

My favorite quote of the year thus far:

“Well with all do respect it’s not the Kennedys' seat, it's not the Democrats' seat, it’s the people’s seat.”
Scott Brown, newly elected senator from Massachusetts.

I wish more elected officials would remember who they are representing!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What I wish my husband would read.

I don’t believe that my husband would ever sit down and read an entire novel, but he always seems interested in what I am reading. He likes to flip through whatever novel I am currently reading just to see what is keeping my attention. It seems if there is a part of the book that is questionable or when read out of context seems inappropriate that is the part he will read. There are so many lines or paragraphs in a book that could spark the kind of discussion I would enjoy and not cause me to have to defend the book. So, if I was able to pick which part of the book he would flip to this would be it:

“If she was to become a wife and mother, she must learn the harsh lessons life can teach, although the lessons of war taught to James Whitmore seemed too harsh to bear repeating. Anyone who had studied history, however, must know that mankind would make war until judgment day, for one cause or another. And soldier after kinsman would fall.”
The Wedding Dress by Virginia Ellis

“‘All I’m saying is that once we head down the wrong track, we open ourselves up to all kinds of mischief. You’re putting yourself between this child and his mother, and that’s just wrong. We have to do everything we can to keep families together, not break them up, don’t you agree?’
Well, no I didn’t. I’d heard of too many families that needed to be broken up – cruel fathers, drunken mothers, drugged boyfriends, battered wives, and so on and so on. But I’d heard Pastor Ledbetter on all those subjects form the pulpit and, according to him, prayer and a good dose of family values would cure them all. To my way of thinking, about the only thing that would cure them was a baseball bat.”
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross

“It’s no secret that teens try to wear down their parents. God made parents to be the guard rails on the twisting road of life. You need to be strong enough for kids to crash into over and over and over again. You must stay strong, so that your teens will learn to stay on track. Guard rails get dinged up. But if they work well, they preserve the young lives that run up against them.”
“While ‘I don’t know’ can be a teen’s intentional means to shut out or provoke a grown-up, it can also be the truth. Teens often don’t know what they think or feel, because on an almost daily basis, they are becoming a different person.”
“To a teen, being understood is everything.”
Boundaries with Teens by Dr. John Townsend

“Death is just a bi-line in the newspaper until it visits you personally and suffocates your empty heart.”
A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My body is screaming for something healthy!

I don’t know about any one else, but my body sure takes a beating during the holidays. My children and husband love to stay up late and sleep in. I always say I am definitely keeping my going to bed and early to rise routine this holiday season, but somehow they always seem to win, and I end up staying up late playing games and watching movies. Exercise seems to take a back seat to just about everything else during Christmas time. And then there are chocolates, homemade caramels, and treats galore sitting on my kitchen counter just begging me to eat them. By the time January 2nd arrives, my body is screaming for healthy food and a hard work-out.

One of my favorite healthy foods is homemade granola. After trying many different granola recipes, this one is my all time favorite.

1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup water
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
8 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 275 degrees.
Combine sugar and water.
Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir in salt and vanilla.
In a large bowl combine oats, nuts and sugar mixture.
Mix thoroughly.
Spread on 2 cookie sheets and bake 45-60 minutes until golden brown.
When granola has completely cooled, add dried fruit if desired and store in airtight container.