Category Archives: Food

Baking With Children

Sometimes when I don’t feel like I have enough stress in my day I will have my boys help me bake something. Today it was scones. I have long since learned that having both of them help at the same time leads to fighting over whose turn it is to break the eggs, pour in the sugar, or stir the batter, and inevitably something gets spilled.

Perhaps I should have them take turns, you might be thinking. Oh reader, I do. I do. But my kids have this uncanny ability to both forget who poured in the last ingredient, literally 30 seconds ago, and both be 100% sure that it is their turn and that we are trying to sabotage them by insisting that it’s not.

So our rule is that only one boy at a time gets to be assistant baker. Today the younger insisted that he needed to stand right next to the counter and watch even though it wasn’t his turn to help. 

So see, this was easier because I had one boy scooping flour and sugar, and the other boy standing to the side talking and asking questions constantly. Questions like, What are you doing? Why are you doing that? What kind of milk is that? Why do you keep the frozen blueberries in the freezer?

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So between trying to stay one step ahead of the boy reading the recipe and doing the things, and correcting his mistakes, I was trying to answer the other boy kindly when I really wanted him to just leave the kitchen, my goodness why do you need to be in here?

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Then after rolling out the dough and cutting it, the helper is rolling around on the kitchen floor on his hands and knees like a naughty puppy. Normally I’m okay with this, because it cleans the floor as it dirties the child, but I’d rather not have floor filth in my scones, so we pause the recipe to wash hands.

Now, when you and I wash our hands, we understand that there is a sequence of events that must take place every time in order for our hands to truly be considered washed. You turn on warm water, you scrub with soap, rinse, and then for goodness sakes, dry them.

My children, however, reserve such fanciness only for important events, like presidential visits, or Christmas.

So out of the bathroom he comes, dripping water everywhere, and when I tell him to dry his hands he rubs them down his shirt. Did you use soap? I ask, and receive a blank look in return.

Back to the bathroom he goes, with instructions to use soap and dry thoroughly.

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Blueberry scones are completed, my kitchen is a mess, the younger boy is still chattering away to nobody in particular. I hope you didn’t come here for 10 Tips for Baking With Children, this ain’t that kind of blog. You should actually head over to my friend Brit at Little Mountain Momma. She’s awesome at doing stuff with her littles, whereas I tend to say stuff like, Can you not? and You gotta get outta here, you’re making me crazy.

I guess I should end this by saying something like, It’s worth it, bake with your kids! And it is. You get to eat scones at the end, so there’s that.

 

Adventures In Paleo

A couple months ago I was standing in the kitchen waiting on the toaster. Little Guy walked up and stood staring at me silently, you know, as kids creepily do. My toast popped up and I started buttering it. Little Guy, still staring. Now I was dripping honey on it, and he spoke up, “Mom, what are you doing?”

“Umm, making toast.” (Obviously.)

“Mom, is that toast gluten free?”

“Nope.”

“Then why are you eating it?”

Ugh. “Because I’m consciously making a bad choice because I really really miss toast with butter and honey!” Now go away!

Little Guy: Still staring at me, as I eat every bite.

Even my kids are catching on to my new way of living, and they are holding me accountable. Whether I like it or not. I have mentioned before that I’ve recently been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in my thyroid. This is not a life-threatening disease, by any means. But this is a disease that if left alone, can lead to other, more serious, health problems. I’m not a doctor, obviously, so I won’t bother explaining all that, because you have Google at your fingertips if you’re reading this, and you can find out for yourself all about hypothyroidism and inflammation. Fun stuff.

The first thing my doctor told me after my diagnosis was: eat paleo. The paleo diet is the best treatment of auto-immune diseases. Treatment, of course, is not the same as a cure.

Paleo? Isn’t that the diet where you eat like a caveman? Well, sort of. It means avoiding almost all processed foods, sugar, dairy, and grains. What in the world is left to eat? Good question. That leaves antibiotic-free meat (grassfed or free range, if possible), fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils. This is what our bodies were made to eat and to thrive on.

This isn’t nearly as restrictive as it sounds, coconut sugar and coconut and almond flour do wonders for baking, and when you cook meat and vegetables with lots of spice and flavor you don’t miss the starchy sides.

Here’s a FAQ about the Paleo Diet that I have found very helpful.

It was hard to make this transition at first, and I missed fresh bread and butter so much in the beginning that I wanted to cry everytime I walked through the bakery in the grocery store. But the way I feel when I eat this way makes up for that. I feel really good on this diet. I feel clean. I don’t have bloating, which I didn’t realize was a constant in my life until it was gone. I’m sleeping better than I have in 6 years. My stomach has flattened, I am down to my pre-kids weight, and I have so. much. energy!

Seriously, you guys. This diet is awesome. I don’t do it perfectly, this summer I ate a LOT of ice cream, but I know it makes a big difference in how I feel and how my body functions. I’m so thankful to finally feel like myself after so many years of feeling half-full.

If you’ve been feeling lousy for a long time, find a good doctor. Find a doctor that will get to the root of it, instead of just giving you medication. Find a doctor who will recognize the role that nutrition plays in our health, because it matters a whole lot.

Have you tried eating paleo? Tell me about it. Any questions? Ask!

To health!

To health!

The Middlemen

Over the last three days I have prepared 3 hot dogs for the trash can. I cooked them and then threw them right into the trash. Okay, actually they spent a little bit of time on my children’s plates first, but then into the trash, untouched.

The boys will eat hot dogs if they have fried cornbread wrapped around them (c’mon, who wouldn’t?) but just plain hot dogs? Nope. The only reason I’m trying to force this delicacy down their picky gullets is because Big Brother asked me to buy them. He told me he really likes them. He liked them last month, but now he won’t eat them.

All the parenting books say that kids may need to try new foods 8-12 times before they will eat them. Up to 12 times! Does anyone else get frustrated by all the waste there is in the meantime before your kid decides to like it?

I have a package of hotdogs that I need to use up, so I will continue cooking them for the trash can, with a short stop on the middlemen’s plate. Maybe by the last one they will actually start eating them.