Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Taste of Tuesday: Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free Apple Crisp (and contemplations on food waste)

The average American wastes more than half a pound of food per day (source). 

This whole idea of food and waste has weighed on me for years. I shop with the intention of cooking up that bok choy only to find it rotting weeks later in the back of the fridge. I try to be a conscious consumer but I'm still guilty. I think I'm most especially effected when I see the food we have grown with our blood, sweat, and tears go to waste. But this year, I was trying my best to put all of our food to good use... and this is coming from someone who hasn't yet learned how to can. The basil got made into pesto which is now stored in cubes in the freezer. I picked all of the tomatoes (including the green ones) in the moonlight before the first frost. And the apples -- cortland and golden delicious -- harvested from our trees and sorted into two piles: apples for eating and apples for baking. In the past, I would have overlooked these worm laden, rotted spotted, mushy apples. Or I might have picked them all with the intention of using them, but watched as the fruit flies swarmed while they rotted in the garage or on the counter. Not this year!! I made applesauce and lots of it. But I still had apples left. And the kicker was that I was doing an intense nutritional program in which I cut out sugar, gluten, and dairy. So pies and crisps seemed out of the question. Until...

I saw this post from my friend Lisa over at Little Coffee Beans. She had concocted a crisp without sugar. Now, to go back a little, Apple Crisp... I grew up on it. Ate it for breakfast (alongside the fruity pebbles) topped with a huge blob of vanilla ice cream. I have monkeyed with the several crisp family recipes over the years and even created a gluten free version. Then a better gluten free version. It's probably the only thing that I can bake without a recipe. But I had yet to experiment with how to make this kid friendly - meaning without sugar. So Lisa inspired me to create my own crisp -- a crisp that I could enjoy even while doing this intense nutritional program and a crisp that I could share with Avi - a boy who eats his veggies and doesn't get sugar. 

So I took a bit of her concoction and tinkered with it to make it not only sugar free, but gluten free and dairy free as well! And because this isn't too sweet, it's actually great for breakfast... far greater than that sugar laden one I ate as a kid. 

Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Diary Free Apple Crisp
  • Lots of Organic Apples. Cut into chunks, skins left on. (I used cortland and golden delicious).
  • 1 Tbsp organic fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp arrow root powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp of organic coconut oil
  • 3/4 (or more) Tbsp organic cinnamon
  • 2 drizzles of organic maple syrup
  • 1 Cup gluten-free oats 
  • 1/4 Cup brown rice flour (though I may try coconut flour next)
  • Large handful of your favorite coarsely chopped nuts or seeds

Preheat oven to 375. 

In a glass baking dish (8x8 or larger if you have more apples) combine apples, lemon juice, arrow root and cinnamon together with a drizzle of maple syrup. In a separate pan melt coconut oil and stir in the oats, flour, and any nuts or seeds you are using and another drizzle of maple syrup. Once mixed together nicely (about 2 minutes), remove from heat. Spread mixture evenly over the apples. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. If browning too much, cover with foil and then cook for another 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!!!

What are the favorites from your childhood that you have remade?
What are you doing to lessen the wasting of food? 

Friday, October 26, 2012

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

 Joining Soulemama

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

A few of this weeks treasures with some random musings along the way!!
Embracing all that seems out of focus, in the background and that which is clearly right in front of me.
With Jenn working long hours lately, she is sometimes leaving before Avi is fully awake and arriving home for a story and kiss before bed. Thus weekends have been more precious lately.  I love moments when these two have some time to truly enjoy each other - slowly, fully, playfully, lovingly.
It's not often that you meet someone whose energy just shines the moment they walk into a room. I was blessed this past week to meet one of those someones :: Mara Jane King - (one half of the makers of Zuke). I wanted her to adopt me. (She said I wasn't the first person to make that request).  I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to be introduced to Mara and eat some delicious foods cooked by her amazing hands. I'm looking forward to stalking her (in that not-weird kinda way). 
Painting is becoming a beloved activity over here... I am loving these amazing hands :: mine and his :: and the art we make together.
Wearing his mama's old shirt as a smock :: "see my hands?".
Cherishing the giggles that come so freely to this boy :: I could learn a lot about laughter from him.
"I wanna wear the hay skirt" :: A bit of hula dancing in the house.
And a little hula bike riding through the neighborhood.
A cold rain outside :: A concentration in stacking inside.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taste of Tuesday :: Banana & Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Deliciousness

A super simple go to breakfast when you have had enough eggs (which can be really nice when you keep chickens).

I love cooking with quinoa because of it's versatility in the kitchen and it's considered a complete protein because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. I tend to cook up a bunch of quinoa when I have the time (20 minutes). Then this breakfast can be heated quickly when you're in a hurry to get out the door or get your day going or feed your toddler.

1 - 2 Cups cooked sprouted quinoa (less or more depending on how many you're feeding)
1 or 2 bananas mashed with a fork (less or more depending on how many you're feeding)
A splash of milk of your choice (I use rice or hemp or almond depending on what's in the fridge)
A sprinkle of cinnamon

Heat quinoa and banana and milk on medium heat in a sauce pan until warmed through. Serve into beautiful bowls, sprinkle with cinnamon. Sit in the sunshine and enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

(this moment)

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, link your 'moment' in the comments for all to find & see.

Inspired by Soulemama

Thursday, October 18, 2012


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

A few of this weeks treasures with some random musings along the way!!

The sweetness of a hug :: for no particular reason at all. 
 Interfacing with technology :: Avi got to take turns with Carter's camera. 

 Isn't this the face of childhood :: happy childhood!
Hay ride at the pumpkin patch with Mama and Grandma :: Avi a little nervous, holding mama tightly and closing his eyes a little. 
Their sweet friendship :: soon it will be through skype and cross country visits. :(
 Autumn leaves + rake + 2 year old :: pure contentment. 
 An evening bike ride to visit the goats :: you never know what you will find when you venture just a little further. 
Sweet smile, tired eyes, happy giggles :: and a much needed bath!
 Seeing lots of these red skies in the evening :: and hearing Avi say, "beautiful sky". 

I invite you to join me with your nine treasures!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

A few of this weeks treasures with some random musings along the way!!

 Getting my Mojo back!
 Our nanny texted this photo to Jenn and me while we were at work :: play-dough and garlic press!
 Woke up late on Monday morning with no plan :: at 9:50 a.m. we have this! I love community.
While I have been in the kitchen more (yay!) :: Avi has been doing some food experimenting of his own. His recipe:  water, lots of sea salt, 3 apples and a mason jar. 
 I had to giggle at myself a bit :: Look at what I'm making - Tomato-less Bolognese.
 But it turned out great and tasted delicious over these zucchini noodles :: now what to do with those tomatoes?
 Redeeming myself a little after this happened :: a more patient Ema following her son's lead!
This bear we found at the farmer's market (stuffed) :: but there have been sightings of a mama and two cubs in our neighborhood. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Taste of Tuesday: figs

Honey-Carmelized Figs with Yogurt

I made this delicious treat a few weeks ago and thought I would share it as I'm moving into a month of gluten, dairy and sugar free. I'm hoping someone else can enjoy this while I can't.

1 Tbsp honey (plus more for drizzling if you like)
8 oz fresh figs, halved
2 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
Pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

1. Heat honey in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook figs, cut sides down, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. 
2. Serve over yogurt with cinnamon and pistachios. Drizzle with honey if desired. 

(Caramelize a pound or more and keep them in your fridge for pairing with oatmeal or cheese)

I pulled this recipe from a magazine but forgot to write down which one. If anyone else knows the source, let me know so I can link it. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Keeping it Real: Contemplations on Being the Parent You Don't Want to Be.

Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over the quayside - children have their own agendas and timescales.  As they find out more about their world and their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them.  We need to hear their voices.  ~Cathy Nutbrown

Lately, I've have to step back and ask myself:  What is causing so much stress? Why am I clinging too tightly to my own agenda and losing patience for Avi's agenda? About a week ago, while walking to dinner,  I found myself feeling easily frustrated as Avi was stopping to touch every bike parked along Pearl Street (and if you know Boulder, that's a lot of bikes). And instead of hurrying along Avi, I just projected my 'agenda' onto Jenn (sorry Jenn).  "Please don't let him do that, those bike chains are greasy and his hands are getting dirty." and "Can't you help him along faster?"  I was tired. And hungry. And cold. But instead of just honoring their moments together - and walking ahead on my own, I had to push my agenda onto them. In hindsight, I'm not very proud of myself as a parent or partner in that moment. And other moments like them. Lately, I haven't liked the stress-case that I have become. Having difficulty dealing with transitions. Pushing my own agenda onto the world. Melting down easily when things do go as planned. Being just plain grumpy. I'm thinking that this means I need to take some time for myself and look deeper. (And I need to sleep more).

Being a parent is hard work. It is stressful and exhausting and time consuming and can bring up all that was or wasn't good about one's own upbringing. But being a parent is also magical. And amazing and rewarding and awe-inspiring and phenomenal. My heart swells bigger everyday. I love watching Avi grow and being able to help guide him along his own path. And I'm glad Avi works hard to not allow me hurry him. But I don't want him to have to work so hard. I want to respect his agenda too. I need to pause... pause to listen... hear Avi's voice. Respect Avi's voice. 

Maybe I should get a tattoo the above quote from Cathy Nutbrown's? Or paint it on a wall in my home?  

What are ways that you realign yourself with your values when things feel stressful? How do you deal with times when you are not the parent you want to be? 

Friday, October 5, 2012

(these [Nine] Moments)

Okay, so it's becoming common practice around here -- a little bit of Thursday for Friday.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

 A trip to the hot springs last weekend and we see the first snow up in the mountains this season.
 This perfect picnic spot.
 Why not?
 This kind of fun!!!
 This boy and his love of veggies ... inspiring this rant.
 Avi and Mama's spontaneous play while walking along Pearl Street.
 Avi and his cousins ... oh the fun they have together!! this gathering was because my Aunt Jan was visiting from Michigan. What a fun reunion.
These two sweeties.... enjoying a special moment together.
Waking up to this dusting of snow this morning!!