First of all, thanks for all the kind comments on my last post. It's so nice to know I'm not alone out there in the "Why am I blogging?" world.
I am continuing on my journey to Piece Together Peace.
Last month's intention was clear and simple...or so I thought.
Become a focused and peaceful driver.
Honestly? It was really hard to remember to take my 3 deep breaths. Most of the time I would take them while backing up out of my driveway (so doesn't count!). About halfway through the month I got the great idea of writing a little watercolor card with the word breathe on it, all pretty and soothing like.
That worked well...until my 2 year old ripped it off and ate it (actually she just wiped her face with it - thanks!). At the end of the day I do not think I'll be able to do the 3 deep breaths every time I start up my car, but it has helped me become a more focused driver, and therefore a more peaceful driver simply by making it a priority.
Novembers' Peace intention came rather easily.
November is a month for giving back.
Giving back to this beautiful Earth.
Giving back to the community.
Instilling in my children what it means to do true service.
Sure, we donate to charities and give cans to food drives all year long, but this month we'll go above and beyond.
We'll do the beach clean up, we'll do the food basket preparations, we'll do the bigger, more meaningful service. We will go home with peace in our hearts and hopefully it will radiate outwards.
There I was happily blogging about my 5 little pumpkins and then BAM! It hit me.
Why do I blog?
I mean I've thought about it before and wondered about it, but just kept on typing away anyways.
I enjoy sharing my thoughts.
I enjoy documenting my family life.
I enjoy organizing my pictures and reflecting on them in this space.
I enjoy my blog friends I've met.
So it's Hallowe'en night and I'm about to sit down and type up my "5th Little Pumpkin" blog and I realize there's like 10 other things I'd rather do, not the least of which is hang out with my Mom (loved your visit Mom!). The night comes to a close (the Pumpkin Fairy was waiting for me to fall asleep) and the next day is here.
I don't feel like blogging that night either!
Don't get me wrong....the pumpkin curry I will eventually post is totally tasty and worthy of sharing, but I just didn't feel like it.
At that point I decided I would shut down the blog. I decided I was "over it".
Over the next few days life did what it always does and sent some signs.
I ran into a few people who had read something or made some recipe they saw on my blog and had truly enjoyed it.
I got a few emails from some mamas who had gleaned some sort of insight from my ramblings.
These few encounters reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. To share. To give back.
I myself have been inspired by so many wonderful blogs out there. What if we all stopped blogging...how tragic would that be?!?
I get it...it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I can post when I have the time and the inspiration. Although at this point it's mostly a time management thing. I've got about 20 posts in my head and in my camera...just no time to glue them together into a post. I'm sure all you bloggers out there know what I mean. Plus the ridiculously long handmade presents list I wrote last week is haunting me. Great Grandma Jo might not get that handmade scarf this year...hee-hee. That's why we have Etsy people!
How do you do it? How do you find the time to blog when so many other things call you away?
So I am still here and I am at peace with blogging when I have the time.
Speaking of peace...I hope to post this week about my Peaceful Intention for November..
You know I love making my own dressings. Economical, fun and yummy.
Raw pumpkin in a dressing though? Oh yes my friends.
It's spooky tasty on it's own as a dip, but when I tossed it with a fresh spinach, raisin, walnut, and roasted beet salad?!?!? What can I say? We ate it all!
Crooked Pumpkin Dressing
1 1/2 cups of chopped fresh pumpkin (peeled and seeded of course)
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs flax/vegan DHA oil (or olive oil)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 tsp curry powder
1 clove of garlic
pinch of cinnamon
Blend everything until smooth.
This tastes really good with every veggie I dipped in it (carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, jicama...) but I really liked it in this salad.
I love making raw food recipes for our snacks. Most of the time I just wing it and that's exactly what I was doing when I came up with these. Luckily for you I was taking notes, because these are good. Remember all the fresh apple juice we made for the pumpkin soup? Well, waste not, want not. We put the "juicer poop" to use here in these cookies. I was going to call them pumpkin cookies, but since they use apples, pumpkins and cranberries...I thought Autumn Cookies was more appropriate, not to mention fair to said apples and cranberries, eh?
Raw Autumn Cookies
1 cup (packed) fresh apple juice pulp
1 cup (packed) fresh raw pumpkin (peeled, seeded and grated)
1 cup oat groats (finely ground into flour)
1 cup flax seeds (finely ground)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped fine)
10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least 30 min. Then drain and chop/mash them depending on how soft they are
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
Throw it all together in a large mixing bowl and mix it with your hands. I recommend using your hands because 1) it's fun 2) you can really make sure everything is incorporated well.
Then using your hands grab about 2 tbs worth of "dough" and form them into patties like so:
and about this thick:
Lay them on the mesh dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115 over night, or for about 8-10 hours.
These were nummy. Just sweet enough to be a cookie, but also highly nutritious and hearty. I happily let the girls have "cookies" for breakfast. Here they are dipping them in their tea at roughly 7am. The smell when they woke up was too tempting and they had to have them right away.
**We interrupt this regularly scheduled pumpkin program to bring you breaking news**
and out it came.
The one on top she's had missing for a year. She fell when she was two and the tooth died and had to be pulled. But this was her first natural tooth loss. It was wiggly for almost a month. Finally I told her to just gently push it with her tongue and there you go. Of course you'd think since I had so much notice I would have found time to make the tooth fairy bag I wanted to make for her, but no, I wasn't ready. So we whipped this felt one up instead.
ready for the pillow on top
The tooth fairy brought a gorgeous crystal (we're sure it's from fey land since we've never seen one like it here) and I gifted her with a knit kerchief I had already for the occasion.
She is such a big girl, my little F. The changing of the teeth...means so much.
Today I'm sharing a totally tasty, totally easy raw food recipe. My daughter F's favorite cookbook right now is Raw: The Uncook Book. We've been to his restaurant in Santa Monica, but really, she just loves the gorgeous photos. While pouring through it, she asked if we could make the butternut squash soup, I said sure...but asked if we could make it a pumpkin soup since we had plenty of them on hand. Being the sweet little girl she is, she agreed. I ended up changing the recipe almost entirely, but still...it was my inspiration.
Raw Pumpkin Soup
4 cups apple juice (fresh)
3 cups raw pumpkin (peeled, seeded and chopped...of course)
1/4 cup coconut oil
10 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 tsp curry
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
few cracks of fresh pepper
Blend everything together.
Top it with raw pumpkin seeds and chopped bananas.
That simple folks! I mean make it even easier on yourself and prepare the pumpkin and the fresh juice while the kids are napping or happily playing...then when the crunch of mealtime meltdowns start, you just whirl your blender and dinner is served. It takes about 1-2 min for a smooth consistency in my vita mix which is perfect since it warms it just a tad so as not to kill the enzymes, but it isn't "cold". Making 4 cups of fresh apple juice takes a whole lotta apples.
But it makes such a difference in taste. If you don't have tons of apples, try to get fresh juice at a farmers market, or health food store. If you're not going for the 100% raw thing, then just use the good, cloudy, juice from the store, not the see through stuff.
I made Carmella's Rosemary Crackers a few days ago, so we used them for soup dippers.
Love how E dives right in with her cracker.
Um, yes! She served up her own bowl, why do you ask?!?
In honor of one of our circle time songs I thought it might be fun to celebrate the coming of All Hallows' Eve by posting 5 little pumpkin recipes we've created.
I bought quite a few organic pumpkins last week and we've been up to our elbows in pumpkin goodness.
I had to whip up a tasty, wholesome snack for E's playgroup last week. I came up with a sort of pumpkin-biscuit-cookie thing that won rave reviews with the mamas. Not too sweet, but not too "healthy" tasting either. It's a good choice for playdates/playgroups/parties since it's soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free (if you use GF oats).
Vegan Pumpkin Haystacks
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed so it's no longer solid)
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup ground raw almonds (like an almond flour)
1/2 cup finely ground unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
In a small bowl mix together the bananas, pumpkin, vanilla and coconut oil. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients (except the cranberries). Now pour the wet mix into the dry and incorporate. Add the cranberries. Drop about 2 Tbs sized balls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 min in a preheated oven at 350.
This makes a nice sized batch, so pop some in the fridge in a covered container and they'll keep for a few days...if they last that long!
In other pumpkin related news...I made the Pumpkin Lasagna from Kirsten's Kitchen and it rocked! I know...pumpkin?...lasagna?...huh? But really it was so good I had to hide a piece for Papa because the girls demolished it. Making double next time. I changed the tofu ricotta to a sort of impromptu cashew ricotta and I sprinkled the top with a mix of roasted pumpkin seeds (ground course), nutritional yeast and hemp seeds. Go visit her site for a better picture, mine is kinda lame.
First of all, I am loving all the great ideas for the cute little fairy bottles. If you haven't already, go enter in the give-away. We choose the 2 winners tomorrow morning.
Secondly...I am so glad I am not the only one who didn't know they were the same song. Phew!
Now, here's another post full of super cute crafts from a Bits of Goodness swap.
This was the Water Swap. For my items I knit these wool fish. I found the pattern here.
Felt-A-Fish bath toys. You can use them in the bath as wash mitts and the warm water and soap naturally felt them down. Fun! Just make sure to hang them out in the sun to dry so they don't get all funky. Or pop them in the dryer for faster felting.
I've ferreted away most of this for little E since she is quite the water lover and her birthday is coming up soon.
That funky camera my friend lent me was perfect for the watery themed photos huh? Go visit these fellow crafters and see what else they're up to.