Monday, February 15, 2010

Cooking Italian Bread- Eating Healthy

I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread.  It is one of those earthy, connecting with the homemaking part of me that yearns to leap out in the middle of all of my techie interests...

I think NyGirl caught my bread-baking bug, and she decided one school morning she wanted to help me bake italian bread sticks for that day's dinner.
Forming the dough into shapes

Finally on the pan (not perfectly shaped, but the best we could do!)

Oh, and the pot on the back of the stove top is lentils.  We have begun a new healthy eating regiment in our family that I think is working out okay...though, I won't say perfectly.
The way it works is very similar to the ideas found in Deceptively Delicious.

The basic philosophy behind the book and my ideas of how to incorporate veggies into my kids' diets is pretty much all about camouflage.

For example, today I used one of the recipes found in the book that helped me to get some spinach into my girls' tummies.  Here is a paraphrase of the Pita Pizzas recipes and how I got my kids to eat spinach for lunch today:

Pita Pizzas (with hidden spinach)

  • Whole wheat pita pockets
  • About ½ cup spinach puree
  • About 2 cups of tomato sauce or pizza sauce
  • About ½ bag of mozzarella cheese
  • About ½ bag of cheddar cheese

Set the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread spinach puree  on each pita (if you don’t want your kids to detect the spinach only spread it to about ½ inch from the edge).  Spread the sauce over the spinach.  Cover the sauce with cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Let the pizzas cool for about 5 minutes so the cheese doesn’t pull off and expose the spinach!

My kids love these, I like it...and I even think hubby likes it too- which makes it a hit in our house!

As for the Italian turned out really well that evening last week. We paired it with plates of spaghetti and pasta sauce (blended with a puree of steamed broccoli- another hidden green!)  Turned out well :-)

And though I haven't turned full fledge into a bread baking mama, I am enjoying skirting around the idea of it.  Meanwhile, I get a kick out of baking up cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats.  My next goal: to find fun ways to "healthify" our sweets.  I think I may try some sweet potato purees...

We shall see.

And I promise, in one of these next few posts I am going to get back to the techie stuff!  So hang tight. :-)

Sisterly Love

One of the things I enjoy most about homeschooling my kids is observing them and watching them grow close together.  The love these two sisters share is inexpressible:

Snow fun!

We woke up this morning, and boy did we get a surprise!

Snow in west Alabama?

So we celebrate!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jesus, My Valentine

I am sitting here alone in my office, relaxing to soft worship and blogging, while my wonderful husband is taking care of the kids and cooking up a yummy spaghetti dinner for us.

(You don't have to tell me twice...I know I have a great husband! And on this Valentine's Day this is probably the greatest gift from him I could have asked for).

But as I sit here, I am listening to the sounds of my family, and the most repetitive sound I hear is my toddler's ambitious squeals and stubborn "no's".

And while my husband deals with all of this tonight, I remind myself that as we both traipse the journey of life called "parenting", that it is only for a season.  And it is during this season that we must be so careful to impart wisdom, not only to our older kids, but to our little ones as well.

I am thinking of obedience, and God's calling for us to be in submission to proper authority: Himself.

How beautiful is the picture of the family whose children obey out of love, rather than fear.  I have yet to see a picture perfect one that I know of has perfected this craft.  The generation in which we live is a difficult time in which to raise truly obedient and godly children.

But I believe, with the wisdom of God's word, the fervency to stand strong and not waiver from His truth, and lot of splashes of true parental love and commitment, we can make it happen for our kids.

And yes, even for our little ones.

So when I hear my toddler getting into some of her typical trouble around the corner, I simply think about all of the many, many times my Heavenly Father has so patiently led me by the hand back to His throne.

"No, Demetria," He would say to me.  "Not right now".


"No, my Dear.  This is not good for you.  I have something else for you at a later time.  Step away from it".   And gently, yet firmly, He grabs my hand and leads me steadily away into the safety of His loving care...

And with time, guess what?

I grow up.  I mature.  And I begin to actually SEE the promises that He had in store for me all the time!  And it is in those moments that I am ever amazed at His goodness.

That my Father could tell me "no" in order to tell me "yes" baffles me beyond belief.

The fact that my Heavenly Father loves me so much He is willing to tell me "no", despite my temporary broken heart, in order that His promises of "yes and amen" should be manifest in my life when I am ready to receive the full blessing is nothing short of...

A Valentine's gift.

I am so glad that Jesus loves and cares for us more than we can imagine.

Whether you are parenting an ambitious and stubborn toddler, attempting to love a spouse through a broken relationship, or suffering through the loss of a loved one this Valentine's Day, I want to remind you that Jesus loves you dearly.

As we obey Him and submit to His love for us, we'll find that Jesus is our Valentine, not just on February 14th,  but every day of the year.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Learning to Serve

Ny is learning to serve through her Girls Club group at church.  Together, they pulled in resources to help make the day of a church widow- plus, gave her a breakfast and spent some time with her.

Gathering for a prayer breakfast

Praying for and spending time with the lady of the church
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