Thursday, June 28, 2012

Less is more - The secret to creamy peanut butter and parenting?

So I figured out what went wrong with my peanut butter = too many nuts. You might have to ask an engineer or scientist as to why, but I know from trial and error, too many nuts = clumpy chunky wierd butter. I guess there is not enough space to get them moving fast enough to turn into creamy nutty goodness.  Typical of my and my style, I figured if i was going to make nut butter  i.e. make a big mess in the kitchen, I might as well make a lot of peanut butter to make it worth my time.  So I just kept adding nuts, and apparently it was too nutty.  Nutty, huh? :) So if you are going to make nut butter here are the lessons I have learned.
Don't use more than 2 cups of nuts. And mix it like crazy, turn on the food processor and walk away for at least 15 ms. Let it do its thing. Come back to cream nutty goodness :)

Which brings me to life - This less is more business seems to be the lesson I am learning in life lately. Particularly,when it comes to parenting and my relationship with Hudson.  My typical style is go, go, go, fill my day with as much as possible.  I don't like sitting around very much and I don't like feeling like I wasted any time.  I like to make schedules for the day and I like to stick to them and if I see that I have an hour that isn't filled with something I like to fill it quickly; play date, walk, bake, project, lo que sea.  Hudson, on the other hand, does not (change, transitions, noise, people, and social settings in general stress him out).  I have instinctively known this all along but had not responded to it on a larger scale.  I figured he would eventually adapt and as he grew he would grow to be more like me...this hasn't really happened.
In fact, we had a some very rough days in the beginning of summer, lots of tears (mainly from me), lots of frustration (me again) and some serious head butting (that one was Hudson, he literally head butts).  So much so, that I was definitely questioning my decision to stay home more with Hudson and my decision to procreate.  Something had to change and being the adult in the relationship I decided I should probably take the lead.  I went with my instinct started doing less.  lEach day I look at my schedule and the things I want to do, I chose one or two of them, take a deep breath and let the rest go...and it is good. There is more peace, there are more smiles form both of us, there are more projects and piles of the things that aren't getting done and people who I just didn't connect with, but hopefully they will all be there tomorrow.

So when making nut butter and in life, it is looking like less is more.  AND since we are talking about nut butter here is an awesome recipe for almost Raw Pad Thai with Peanut this case less is not more.  LOAD on the peanut sauce.

 RAW Pad Thai 
Chop - carrots, snap peas, red & yellow peppers, edamame, mushrooms,
Put on top of bed of bean sprouts or if you need more sustenance skinny rice noodles.
Top with cilantro, basil, nuts, and lots of peanut sauce.

Raw Peanut Sauce

  • 1 cup nut butter - 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Braggs (or soy sauce)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste or cayenne pepper if you want it 100 raw (more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tablespoon agave 
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Fresh ginger to taste
  • Coconut milk until you reach desired consistence
  • Blend together until smooth

  • So fresh and so good.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sleeping in style.

Well, little miss Elliott Rose is growing up fast, apparently she can already hold her head up and make silly faces.
It won't be too long until we see her, only 10 more days, but a lot changes in the life of a new born in 10 days.  So to ease the pain I cherish every picture mama-meg sends and picture her and her new little life in Albuquerque and it's not so bad.  Meg was such an organized and creative preggers, she had Elliott's nursery 100% ready before her arrival (unlike here cousin Hudson who did not even have a functioning kitchen until the day before his arrival) and it might be the cutest thing I have ever seen.  It is the perfect combination of Meg's classy clean style mixed with a little garage sale hand made funk.  It's just perfect. Here are just a few pictures of Meg's cuteness!
 Handmade (with lots of love and patience) alphabet wall, all the letters are wrapped in different colors of yarn.
 Family project! DIY sign, see the tutorial here
 Oh Meg! Little miss organized. I am anxious to see how long it lasts.
Lamp and bookshelf Lala (that is what Hudson is calling my mom) garage sale finds! 
Nice work Meg and Brian it's perfect!!  I rest a little easier knowing that even though Elliott isn't falling asleep in the arms of one of her aunties, at least she is sleeping in style.
I was just organizing my photos (I know, aren't you proud Meg?).  And I came across a few of our house  a few days before Hudson's due date. I thought I'd share so we could compare and contrast :) Fortunately, Hudson was two weeks late.  I wish I could say that all the mess and craziness was cleaned up and gone before he arrived but that would be a terribly dirty lie.  In fact, I think some of it is still there.  I also wish I would have been blogging through it all because it was such a fun process but I clearly had enough on my hands...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When life gives you lumpy weird peanut butter, make no-bake cookies (sugar and gluten free, of course!)

I have been having a lot of strike outs in the kitchen lately!  I'm not entirely sure what is going on, the kitchen is usually the one place I am consistently successful, but lately I have been burning chicken, cooking all the water out of the beans and buckwheat, forgetting ingredients, dropping a lot of things (I guess that is not that out of the ordinary) and making a lot of messes! 

My latest failure was my homemade nut butter, this was a very messy and very expensive failure (check out the recipe here, it might work for you). I have been successful in the past with nut butters and really can't figure out what happened to this batch.  The flavor was fine but the texture was weird, it was lumpy and dry and there was nothing I could do to fix it.  Believe me I tried (I spent almost an entire nap time trying!).  I had no idea what I was going to do with cups of this stuff, then I remembered no bake cookies, but after looking at the recipe I just couldn't do (two cups of sugar!!! Seriously?) So I made my own variety and I have to say they are pretty darn good and infinitely better for you! Super quick and easy and not much clean up.

Sugar-free, Gluten-free No Bake Cookies
¾ cup agave
4 heaping tbls. Cocoa powder
1.5 cups nut butter
1 tbls. Ground flax
½ Cup almond milk

2 tbls. Truvia
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 cups oats
1 cup coconut flakes

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil, add next four ingredients,  stir and cook about 2ms longer, drop by spoon full onto wax paper, let cool and firm up. They never get super firm and are a little stickier than the original. I store them in the fridge and they make a nice cool snack. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Elliott Rose = The most beautiful girl in the world

She is here!!!!! The long awaited niece has arrived and early! Much to her Grandpa's surprise, Could an Acklin girl ever be early? Yes, dad, we can be, something crazy just happens when we all get together and getting out of the door is a lot harder with 4 girls!

Anyway, Elliott is here and she is a picture of perfection.  It is killing me to be so far away from the little  bundle of love but I know she is in good hands and I will be there soon.  To tide me over until then here are a few pictures of my little perfect sweet tart.

 Ummm, did you just have a baby? Not to mention 24 plus hours of labor? Meg, you look amazing! 
She looks just like Meg as a baby!
 Her dad's first time dressing a girl! Nicely done Brian, the aunties approve!
 Perfect right?
 Looks like Pa might be a baby hog!
Sweet dreams sweet girl! You are so loved.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer time and the living is easy...and full

Dear Family and far-away friends -
Sorry for the lack of posts and general communication lately.  Summer is in full swing here and the perfect weather, long days, and seemingly endless opportunities for fun, have resulted in absolutely no time to be on the computer or the phone.  It has been super busy but not the stressful too much to do, not enough time to do it, kind of busy, but the life is full and satisfying kind of busy.  Our days have been full of friends, fun, and sunshine. And lots of gardening! I am so excited to share pics (hopefully soon!!) Some amazing women have been helping me whip this jungle into shape and it is going to be awesome.  Let's just say Cindy, Wendy, and Adrienne are to gardening what Glenn is to dumpy, salmon pink, fixer-uppers (i.e. the transformation is going to be amazing!) Some photos of our days - 
The Osborn boys come to play!
Hudson practicing being a good older cousin - get ready Noah and Babylonglegs!! Thanks for being such a great sport K!
Hudson's BFF - Luna. 
First date - Just call him, Hudster, the ladies man.
Lots of playing by himself and growing up way to fast.  
Now, not only does he cut bed time cuddling short by pointing to his bed before I am done rocking him  :( He also likes to read by himself in his own chair (not all the exclusively, but still that he would ever dream of reading not in my lap!!!).  They really grow up so fast. THANK GOODNESS there will be another baby in the family soon...Meg is at the hospital right now! Hurry, hurry, baby longlegs, we are all waiting and praying for your safe and fast arrival.  The first niece! yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! So exciting!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Grandma B is here

What a crazy busy last few weeks we have had; sickness, meetings, events, end of the school year (more on that soon...) all the regular old life stuff and last but best of all - a visit from Grandma Betzler!!!!  We have had an absolutely awesome week with her here and are so thankful she took the time to come be with us. The week flew by and was jammed packed.
We did lots of gardening,
and reading
 and waking up early
a little bit of sledding
 (some of us had more fun than others, H was not so sure about sledding or his dad pushing luna)
 some fishing
 and LOTS and LOTS of rock throwing.  Please excuse the next serious of photos, I couldn't help myself, Huds was just too cute. Who needs toys when there are so many rocks just laying around?
  Helping dad catch a fish.
Thanks so much Cindy. We loved every single second of having you out here and are going to miss you a lot.