A snicklesnack?

This crispy treat is, as 1 has been telling me, the greatest snickle-snack to have at school. Snickle-snack? Well, it is the little bit of food one eats in their lunch, it is kind of a snack, but not, because it is a snickle-snack, the snack before the snack?  It is my daughter’s favorite part of her lunch. Does anyone else remember kids in their classes having food allergies? I don’t. I remember wanting everyone else’s lunches, because they looked exotically processed, but allergies? Maybe of bees,  but not of kiwis or nuts. Many schools forbid nuts to enter the doors of their schools, understandably so. This is what makes these treats ideal.  I love making these nifty little crispy treats for the kids, plus they love helping me.  I tell them we add double chocolate chips and they think it’s the coolest, perhaps even most rebellious thing I do. I understand the nut allergy thing, but it can be a pain trying to find substitutes.  I far more love sunflower seed butter than peanut butter, anyways, and my kids do too, so I hope this helps someone who is in need of a new idea for a nut-free snickle-snack.

Crispy Treats with Chocolate Chips

Inspired by The Kind Diet

5 cups Special K rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
fine sea salt
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1 cup of chocolate chips or carob chips

How To Play:
Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch or two of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquefies, add the sunflower seed butter and stir until well combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Once thoroughly mixed and cooled to room temperature, stir in the chocolate chips. If the mixture isn’t cooled, the chips will melt, which I guess isn’t tragic, but your call.
Turn the mixture out into an 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Wet your spoon lightly and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let cool for 1 hour before cutting into squares.


Mama in a half shell…

Ok, so many know that my first attempt to sew, were my Toms that were trashed. Well, second attempt, a Ninja Turtle costume.  I am not a fan of Halloween, for more than one reason, but as I ventured out in the torrential rain fall with two kinder, come on, really? No costume’s at the most significant costume places in the world? Granted it is 2 days before the haunting event, but we are in the land of abundance! I decided on the way home that it might be better to make something. After picking 1 up from home and listening to her rationalize it is better to spend money on a costume than food or a toy, I decided after spin class, we are going to make it a family tradition to make costumes instead of buy.  Our costumes…Raphael, the ninja turtle and Elizabeth, the Paper Bag Princess. Now that I am done with my handy work, it is time to eat my dinner, popcorn!! I can’t wait, it was the only thing I could think of when spinning!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Homemade Bread

This was the soup my friend Renata had made for us when we were in Tacoma. It was so yum, that I knew it was going to be a perfect soup for a lunch gathering, such as the one this afternoon. This recipe is taken from 101 cookbooks. As I perused this fascinating blog, it became very clear to me, it is full of brilliant dishes. This recipe is makes enough for about 4-6 people. We had 9, so I had added more than what was called for. I added shredded havarti and about 2-3 tablespoons of whipping cream. It was nonetheless a tasty treat on a beautiful fall afternoon.  I didn’t make the croutons, for we had homemade bread to go with it, but here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it, as we sure did.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

From 101 Cookbooks


5-6 ounce chunk of artisan whole wheat bread, torn into little pieces (less than 1-inch), roughly 3 cups total
1/4 cup butter or olive oil (I like 1/2 and 1/2)
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups light, good-tasting vegetable broth
1 large head of broccoli (12 ounces or 3/4 lb.), cut into small florets
2/3 cup freshly grated aged Cheddar, plus more for topping
1 – 3 teaspoons whole grain mustard, to taste
smoked paprika, more olive oil, creme fraiche (optional)

How To Play:
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees and place the torn bread in a large bowl. In a small saucepan heat the butter until it has melted. Whisk the mustard and salt into the butter and pour the mixture over the bread. Toss well, then turn the bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the croutons are golden and crunchy. Toss them once or twice with a metal spatula along the way.
While the croutons are toasting, melt the butter (or olive oil) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallots, onion, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for a couple minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover, and cook for about four minutes, just long enough for them to soften up a bit. Uncover, stir in the garlic, then the broth. Bring to a boil, taste to make sure the potatoes are tender, and if they are stir in the broccoli. Simmer just long enough for the broccoli to get tender throughout, 2 – 4 minutes.
Immediately remove the soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add half the cheddar cheese and the mustard (a little bit a a time). If you are going to add any creme fraiche, this would be the time to do it. Now add more water or broth if you feel the need to thin out the soup at all. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Serve sprinkled with croutons, the remaining cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a tiny pinch of smoked paprika.

Serves 4 – 6.

Carrot Coconut Cake

Hello October 27, what happened to the last 25 days since I last visited my own blog? Can time really go this fast? Obviously, because here I am. After a great time in Tacoma visiting sweet dear old friends from TWU, to experiencing a dramatic life changing conference in Victoria, here I am, to tackle the cyber world of our generation.
Tomorrow we are having church guests over to get to know the pastors, it is going to be fun. I have been preparing all day for the event. Thanks to the inspiration from Renata, my TWU life friend, we are having Broccoli cheddar soup, homemade bread, sun-dried tomatoes, a variety of cheese, salami, and green olives- sorry Joelle, I just can’t do pickles! My sister and pickles, seriously that is a blog within itself. For dessert, well Lizzie, I may sneak a piece over for you, we are having Rebar’s Carrot Coconut Cake. This is Sean’s absolute favorite.  It is what I am to bake for every one of his birthdays.  When we are in our 80’s, I will be baking this with my eyes closed.

Carrot Coconut Cake with cream cheese-white chocolate icing

Inspired by Rebar

1 1/2- 2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or grapeseed oil)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 free range eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
1 tsp baking soda, aluminum free
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

9 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz white chocolate
3 cups icing sugar

This recipe adapts well to making cupcakes or a 9×13″ slab cake-which I did tonight for our church group tomorrow, but on normal occasions, I use the two 8″ round pans.

How To Play:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8″ round cake pans and set aside. Combine grated carrot, pineapple, coconut, dates, and walnuts in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugars with the eggs. Stir in the vanilla and whip on high until the volume has tripled. On low, pour the oil in slowly to blend well.
Combine the remaining dry ingredients and gently stir into the egg mix. Fold in the carrot mixture. Divide the batter among the cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting. Beat cream cheese on high until smooth and fluffy. Lightly blend in vanilla and butter. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Add hot melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. Slowly add icing sugar, stopping to scrape down the sides now and then. Beat on high until all the sugar is well incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Spread bottom layer with one third of the frosting, smoothing it evenly to the edges. Chill 10 minutes. Place the top cake layer on and frost the top and sides as you like. Garnish with toasted coconut, walnuts, and or a decorative piped border. Store refrigerated where it will keep well for up to 4 days.


Man’s Job…

Oh ok, don’t freak on me for saying this, yes it is rather a gender stereotype, but most who know me, know that I am a stereotype, we kind of all are, whether we care to admit it or not…Anyhow, I am a mom of three and to have to dilly-dally with car tires, is not my forte, but Sean-man is involved with a Pastor’s conference all week and this really needed to be done sooner than later. My mom was astonished at our  back tires and told me we could be fined, eeks! I have to say, though, I was proud to get the job, the man job (in my opinion), done. I really appreciate the men at Kal Tire who wonderfully helped with all of this. It is a relief to know that my low tire pressure sign should not come on again, for awhile, right? Plus, the badly bald tires won’t skid about in a rain storm, which I am sure will be coming soon.