Saturday, April 27, 2013
Here it is! An allergy friendly version of my cinnamon rolls! The dough is prepped in a bread machine.
*No nuts, with the exception of Almond Milk. (Almonds tend to be in their own category as far as nuts go and the only nut my son isn't allergic to)
I may try this again with coconut milk and see if that is another substitute that will work well.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Almond milk
3 tablespoons of canola oil
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal, mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water (to replace eggs)
1/2 cup of sugar
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of organic (without barley) flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
4 tablespoons of melted Earth Balance *Soy Free* Natural Buttery Spread
1/4 cup of sugar
2 - 4 tablespoons of cinnamon
*I honestly don't measure the cinnamon and sugar, I just sprinkle it until it looks good to me.
3 teaspoons of Almond milk
1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons of melted Earth Balance *Soy Free* Natural Buttery Spread
1 teaspoon of vanilla
*Adjust milk if it's too thick to fully mix well.
Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order that they are listed above and run on the dough cycle. After the dough is finished, roll it out into a large rectangle. Spread the melted butter substitute over the rolled out dough and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over it.
Roll the dough and cut into roughly 1 1/2 inch sections. I get 12 out of this. Lightly grease the pan with Palm Oil Shortening. Place cut cinnamon rolls onto the baking sheet, close together, but with enough space for them to expand. Bake at 325 for about 24 minutes (remember that ovens vary. So watch them and take them out when they begin to get a light golden brown.) Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.
**The Earth Balance *Soy Free* Natural Buttery Spread is a little bit of a pain to find locally for me, so we usually get a few containers at a time when we find it.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
In regards to the sentencing, I have read many things that have said something along the lines of, What difference would a harsher sentence/more time really make? A harsher sentence would drive home the fact that what they did is absolutely inexcusable. Not only for Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, but for everyone. Furthermore, it would give a more profound sense of justice to the victim. That justice is just another piece in the healing process. People stress the fact that they will have to register as sex offenders. Of course they will! They ARE sex offenders! They earned that title all on their own.
Lets not forget, not only did Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond digitally rape, urinate on and photograph this girl, they also joked and bragged about it on twitter, as well as shared the images of the girl after the fact. Many other witnesses discussed the event as well, all negative toward the victim. Even other teen girls. They called it rape, they KNEW it was wrong.
There is an enormous problem here. This problem goes beyond just these teens lacking basic compassion and morals. This is an issue with the football culture there in Steubenville, where the "stars" are regarded as above the law. This is an issue with lack of parental involvement where it matters. This is an issue with society. There is so much that urgently needs to be addressed and the Steubenville Rape Case has brought it to light. Things MUST change.
We're in 2013 and it astounds me that victim blaming in rape cases is still so prevalent. There is absolutely no excuse for rape. No. Excuse.
The sentencing in this case was a slap on the wrist. Just look at it all together. Go read the tweets. Go watch the video.
I watched the Steubenville special on ABC's 20/20 tonight. I am so deeply disappointed in the clear sympathy garnering for the rapists and the little compassion expressed for the victim. Comparing Ma'lik and his past to "The Blind Side"? Come on now ABC, that was in poor taste and if I were Michael Oher, I'd be furious.
The thing I am much, MUCH more disappointed about is what I saw while following the #ABC2020 hashtag discussion on twitter. I think sickened by, is probably more accurate actually. Women were calling the victim a "Ho" and other names along those lines. Both men and women were blaming the victim.
We need to teach our children better. We NEED to. This needs to be a discussion with your teens. We need to raise our younger children knowing better than this teen generation does right now. There is another similar case going on in CT right now.
The victim blaming mentality too many people have toward this type of situation is just unacceptable. The perpetrators need to be held fully responsible for their actions. No excuses.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Dear Moms who think I am an over achiever. Moms who think I am crazy. Moms who think I do things the way I do, to try to be better than you or make you feel less than.
I don't cook most things from scratch to be better than you. I don't keep my home the way I do, just to make you feel bad about yours. I don't homeschool and think you're bad if you don't. I don't do anything at all to be better than you or to "out mother" you. Nothing I do for my family is about you at all.
I'm a mother, just like you. I'm a mother to 6 children and we have 2 dogs. I'm a mother who homeschools. I'm a mother who is just doing her best, just like you. I'm the mother of a child with a long list of severe food allergies.
The truth is, I cook the way I do, because I have no choice. Of course I'm happy that my kids are eating healthy to go along with that, but I would love if I could heat them some frozen nuggets now and then or order a pizza on a night where I just really don't want to cook. But, I can't do those things without risking my son's life. I don't share new things I make just to bother you, I share them for those interested.
I keep my home organized and clean because I have trouble getting through my day successfully otherwise. It makes my day run more smoothly with the kids and homeschooling and I feel less stressed out. Keeping the floors clean sure does help when the baby has dropped his cheese stick on the floor for the 20th time and I don't have to throw it away because of dirt or dog fur. The five second rule totally applies here. Some of my kids and myself also have environmental allergies, so keeping everything dusted and vacuumed makes us all less uncomfortable. Unless my feet are getting stuck to your floor or my kids come home filthy from just sitting on your couch, I don't notice how clean your home is or isn't, so quit thinking I am going to judge you.
I homeschool because it's right for us. Between the moving and food allergies, right now, it works for my family. It's not for everyone and I don't ever think otherwise.
Cloth diapers.... breastfeeding... those are also things I choose for my family. I don't care if you choose them for yours or not. If I share a link now and then, take it or leave it. I'm only sharing for those interested, not to offend those who aren't.
I share things I do, sometimes because I'm excited that I came up with another allergy free recipe and other times because I do have friends who are genuinely interested. Never do I share pictures, recipes, details about my day or anything else like that, to offend/upset/annoy/bother/judge you.
And one last thing. Keeping a clean home does not mean I am neglecting to spend quality time with my children. My entire life is devoted to my children. A clean home is not a sign that I must be pushing them aside to achieve it.
At the end of the day, I am no different than you. I'm a mom, just like you. I'm tired, just like you. I'm doing my best, just like you. I love my children, just like you. We all do things differently and that's ok.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
First, if you're so lucky to have thought ahead and have all of the snow pants, jackets and gloves together and readily available, then this part isn't so bad. Otherwise, you must go frantically searching the house/garage/vehicle, while the kids whine to go out, looking for everything. Tell everyone to go pee! Even if they do, they will need to again once they are dressed, don't worry.
Once you get everything together, now it's time to bundle them up. Oh this part is fun. You begin to break a sweat as you struggle to get their boots on and the snow pants on properly, so that snow doesn't get up in their pants or down into their boots. "Mommy! My socks feel funny!" "My pants are twisted!"
Then the gloves and jacket are equally as fun. You also want these on properly to keep their hands and arms warm and dry. "My sleeve in bunched up! Ahhhhhhhhh!" "My fingers are in the same hole!" "Heeeeelp!"
Lets not forget the hat and hood! You need to keep those heads and necks warm and dry too! "My hair feels funny!" "You buttoned the hood too tight!" "I can't see!" "I'm hot!"
Finally! They are dressed and ready to go out into the snow!!!
"I have to pee!" Take them pee... and start over again.
Ok NOW, an hour later, they are ready to go outside!
Yay! They are having fun! They are diving through the snow and laughing and happy! Oh. Em. Gee... This was so worth all of the trouble! Woohoo!
About 2 minutes later, the youngest will begin to cry because it's too cold. The only thing to do, is to hold him, in his 50 lbs of snow gear, so you can watch the rest of the kids have fun. But then the other toddler is pissed that she can't walk through the snow because it's too deep, so you have the little toddler on one hip (but it really feels like you are toting around a grown man with all of the damn snow gear) while using your other hand to lift her tiny body with the 65 lbs of snow gear through the snow.
Within minutes, a kid is crying that their hands are cold, another gets snow up their sleeve, another falls face first into the snow... 15 blissful minutes in the snow and the little ones are saying screw this, I want to go inside.
The undressing process, while stressful, is much easier than getting them dressed. "Come on guys, you look like you're ready for a nap!"
"Did you have fun!? I bet you did! SNOW IS SO FUN!!!!!"
Well, Mom and/or Dad, you just had one hell of a workout, go eat some chocolate. Seriously, go eat some before you hurt someone.
Don't they look THRILLED?
Friday, February 1, 2013
I like to make this ahead of time and have it in the fridge ready to bake a couple of hours-ish before dinner.
- 1 box of Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles.
- 3 24oz jars of marinara sauce (or roughly 72ozs of homemade etc.)
- 1 2lb container of Ricotta Cheese.
- 6 cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.
- 1 1/2 cups of Grated Parmesan Cheese.
- 3 cups of fresh Spinach.
- 2 medium size Zucchini.
- 2 medium size Summer Squash.
- Olive Oil
- Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano (dry or fresh, finely chopped) and Basil (dry or fresh, finely chopped).
- Large Deep Lasagna Pan
Thinly slice the zucchini and summer squash. Half or quarter the slices depending on the girth of the vegetables (heehee). Saute with roughly a tablespoon of Olive Oil until soft.
Tip: After draining the lasagna noodles, rinse and lay them out flat so they don't stick together and tear while assembling the lasagna!
Combine the container of Ricotta, 4 cups of Mozzarella, 1 cup of Grated Parmesan and the chopped spinach in a large bowl. Season to taste (we all like things a little different!) with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Mix together thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 350.
Use the large deep lasagna pan.
Pour a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan before laying out your first layer of noodles.
After the first layer of noodles is down, using half of the cheese mixture, spread it over the entire bottom layer of noodles. Liberally poor marinara on top of the cheese (more or less depending on your preference), Lightly sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top of the cheese and sauce.
Lay out another layer of lasagna noodles, this time laying them in the opposite direction of the first layer (You'll need to cut the noodles for the short direction of the pan). Take all of the cooked zucchini and squash and spread it over the entire second layer of noodles. Pour sauce over the zucchini sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
For the third layer, repeat the first, exactly. Top it off with a final layer of noodles. On top of that final layer, pour a good amount of marinara and then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan. Just remember to alternate the direction of the noodles with each layer you put down. It makes the lasagna more stable.
Cover with foil and bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
I've started and abandoned this post many times. Here goes.
I am opening up about a subject that has been very sensitive for me. The more children I have had, the harder it is for me to talk about the miscarriages. Because of the number of children I have, some people are very insensitive about the subject at this point. "Maybe God is telling you that you have enough.", "You've probably hurt your body having so many already." (The fact is, I'm healthy and there is no reason I can't have more.), "You have so many already. You probably should just stop anyway.", "At least you have a bunch of kids already." on and on and on... Then of course there are the people who disagree with you having a large family to begin with, that like to twist the knife.
The reality is, it's hard for us too. It's hard, even when you already have children. It's hard, even when you have several children. When you really want another child and you lose a pregnancy, it hurts. Period.
I've been SO fortunate to have the children that I do. I love them more than anything and they are my entire world. I know how lucky I am. I know there are women who ache for even one child and I hurt for them.
My husband and I want more children. I'm not saying we want 20 of them, but I know we want at least 1 or 2 more. Over the years we have had a few miscarriages. They were all early, so I have been very fortunate to not experience late term miscarriages. I imagine they are harder to deal with for many reasons. They still take a toll emotionally, though. It's still so sad to see those positive tests, to be excited and starts thinking about names and all of the exciting things that come with a new baby... and then lose that baby. It's so sad
My last miscarriage was almost a year ago. A year ago today, I got the first set of positive pregnancy tests. I got positives for a few more days after and then I started bleeding. We have been wanting another baby and despite it being early, it was still sad. I didn't tell anyone at all, at first. Then I told a few family members and friends after a while. My husband never told anyone. While I was experiencing the miscarriage, 2 women who I had thought were "friends", were publicly harassing me over my desire to have more children. They are nasty people and I'll never forget how much worse they made me feel.
I was sad. I'm still sad. I think it's harder to "get over" when you keep it to yourself like it's a dirty secret. 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, so why does is still have such a stigma? Why does it have an even bigger stigma when you already have a few children? I think opening up about it is the only way for it to get better. It's hard going through it with no support. It feels lonely.
It's hard for us too. Even those of us with 6 children.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Cinderella Lego aka Annabella: "Come on Daddy, lets go play!"
Daddy Bear aka Daddy: "Aw I can't."
Cinderella Lego aka Annabella: "Come on Daddy!"
Daddy Bear aka Daddy: "I have to go to work, Baby Girl. *Squeeeeeze* (She made the Daddy Bear pick up her little princess lego and squeeze [hug] it) I love you!"
Cinderella Lego aka Annabella: "Ok, I love you Daddy. Miss you!"
Thursday, January 17, 2013