The post with no good title

I am sort of feeling a little pathetic right now, because I'm blogging about food. Do I have nothing else going on in my mundane life that I must write about food? I guess it doesn't take much to fill my "proud moment" cup these days, because I was excited enough to take a picture of a half-empty refrigerator.

We're getting to that place of cleaning out the cupboards to make dinner.  When my refrigerator looks like this, we're usually getting pretty creative at mealtimes.  (And being totally inspired to locate the stuff in the back of the fridge that is no longer identifiable, but could possibly win something at the science fair).  Thus, my next picture of bean and cheese quessadillas.  Everyone got five sections, a smoothie and about three french fries for dinner tonight, and now those ingredients are gone as well.  This was a last minute thing because the kids devoured my prior dinner plans of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Now we're out of bread too.  (Just for the record...Tim wasn't home for dinner...I don't make a habit of trying to pass off  PB&J as dinner when he is home!)

See how nice and golden brown they are??  One tablespoon of oil for all five quessadillas.  Why?  Because I have a brand spanking new double-burner griddle.  Gotta love those lifetime warranties and great customer service from the Pampered Chef.  Because my pan wasn't holding up as it should, they replaced it for me!!  Yay!  It still worked well in poor condition, but now...now it is amazing.

I digress.  It is unusual in our house not to find freshly baked something.  It is unusual for me to not be in the kitchen making something, baked or cooked.  No one ever hesitates to offer to eat any or all of it.  My culinary creations have been limited strictly to meals lately.  While we have eaten well--healthy and whole, and no one has turned their nose up too high, it was enjoyable to see everyone eager to jump in and help make a big Sunday brunch after church.  I absolutely love it when my kitchen is full of helpers!

It is important for me to remember that enjoying food is totally ok.  I can't change who I am, just how I behave, so finding pleasure in cooking and in eating is not off limits.  Indulgance just needs to be an occasion, not an everyday occurance, and even in indulgence, portions are controlled instead of out-of-control. 

Remember these biscuits?  They are good enough for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and all snacks in between.  Think I'm joking?  Try them

J.P.'s Big Daddy's Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
       1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, in pieces
1 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.



So...between the baking of bicuits and cooking play dough (not as satisfying as cookie dough) and still making meals, I think I'm surviving.  The kids and I experimented with some different combinations of ingredients to try to replicate LARABARS.  If you haven't tried these, you should.  They will be perfect for a Daniel Fast should we decide to do that again during Lent.  I picked up a coconut creme one in the health food market of the grocery store and after the first bite, I flipped the wrapper over to check the ingredients. 

That's right...dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and coconut oil.  REALLY??  The nutritional values of the bars aren't such that one would want to eat a lot of them if one is trying to lose weight, but if one is trying to snack on something sweet AND healthy, this is just the thing!!  No refined sugar, no ingredients that you can't pronounce--just fruit and nuts!  It also totally satisfied my baking void! 
There are lots of different flavors of these bars, so with the help of the ingredient list from the backs of the wrappers and a few Pinterest searches for someone who has already experimented with quantities and ratios, we discovered that a 1-to-1 ratio of fruit and nuts seemed to work well.  We only used pitted dates as our fruit for now and added 1/2 cup of them plus 1/2 cup of nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, pecans or a combination of multiple) and then depending on the flavor, some vanilla paste, unsweetened coconut, unsweetened cocoa powder, etc.  Everything goes in the food processor until it's chopped finely together.  We rolled them into balls, making about 8-10 per recipe.  YUM!!  Not chocolate chip cookies, but the kids were happy for something sweet.  (WARNING to your digestive system...these are fruits and nuts--sometimes all natural reminds me of a feedlot later)  :) 

The scale is in my favor this week:  I saw 166 for two days...tomorrow will be day three I hope!!

And speaking of Pinterest...I avoided Pinterest like the plague because I was scared of it.  Scared that it would suck my time and then make me obsessive about all the neat things I would want to make, leading to child neglect and bankruptcy in my home!  No, not really that extreme, but I was worried it would suck my time.  I was pursuaded to investigate and in a mere moment I was sold.  There are some pretty smart people out there...all the while I'm at home hoarding magazine pages and copying and pasting images from online inspiration sources to print and save in another stack somewhere in my home, I could have been "pinning" those marvelous ideas, and even letting someone else do the finding of them for me.  SMART.  So in the midst of my pinning I found some great organization ideas that I jumped on.  Here is one of them:

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee now!!  Who knew my spice cabinet didnt have to be a huge mess??  The other "find" is on its way and I can't wait to implement it!!  Just wait, I've already got a nasty before picture taken waiting for the glorious "after" one!!  I love organizing.  It makes me feel like I have control of something--provides a little more order to my chaos I guess. 

And just because it's too cute not to include:
She washed all the dish.  Yes...DISH--singular!  But she had a great time doing it!

Comments

Julia Corn said…
The picture of everyone in the kitchen reminds me of when I lived with you guys, and we would make a huge mexican fiesta with my homemade salsa after church on sunday. We did that so many sundays! Fun memories. :)
Staci said…
Funny coincidence about the home made LARA BARS - my MIL just gave me a copy of HyVee's in-store magazine for this month, and at the end of it is a whole article on making your own bars like that. It gives a huge list of ingredients with sort of a "choose one from each category and combine" method of instructions. I haven't tried them yet, but if you're at HyVee anytime soon, look around for the issue. It might have some ideas for you.
Michelle said…
We totally had biscuits and gravy last Sunday also (using that fabulous recipe I got from you)!

LOVE Pinterest and all your pins!! :)

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