The Inadequate Mother's Blog

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One of “THOSE” days……….

Yes, it was one of “THOSE” mornings at my house.  I started behind from the moment I rolled out of bed.  I was greeted with a bad hair day and a planned outfit whose components mysteriously disappeared.  Then it grew…. kitchen accidents that required a new outfit after the first one had finally been put together; my “star” of the week at school didn’t have his special love letter or story from his parents. And GREW…..hap-hazardly written at the last moment love letter to star; kids dropped off tardy at school, rain on my flat ironed hair turning it to a frizzy, half-curly, even worse bad hair day; crazy quantities of traffic; late to morning meetings at work. ( To keep my blood-pressure down as I type I’m leaving many items off the list)  Yes, this morning I was feeling 100% “The Inadequate Mother” and swiftly on my way to “Crazy Rage-Filled Mother”.  It was one of those mornings when you put on the most mellow radio station you can find and pray for songs that will fill you with Grace and peace and love…. only to realize that still won’t put you in a better place and keep you from wanting to turn your mini-van into a primal scream therapy room.

So, in my desperation to calm down and put myself in a better place before talking to clients, I checked out Facebook.  A friend has posted a blog entry about the “Sneaky Hate Spiral”.  Oh my goodness!  I laughed so hard I cried.  It totally summed up this morning and many others.  Thankfully the “Sneaky Hate Spiral” has completely knocked me out of mine.  I share this hilarious blog with you just in case you too are having one of “THOSE” mornings.  Enjoy: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html

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Most of these items are words of wisdom I know I’ve heard from my Mom. However, as simple as they are it can be difficult to take them to heart or put them into action.  I hope reading them is a useful exercise and reminder.

Daily Health Boost

Today’s Inspiration: dumblittleman.com

 

“This article made me curious, and it points out some good ideas. I hope that some of these will open your eyes! “
~Sophie

 

8 Harsh Truths that Will Improve Your Life

 

Eye

They say life is what we make of it. By the end of this post, I hope to have helped you decide whether that statement is true or not.

There is no doubt that life has its ups and downs. However, how we deal with them can sometimes make all the difference. Today I want to share eight harsh truths that I’ve come to learn from life. There’s also a message in each that I think we can all learn from, and when applied, will improve our lives infinitely.

Some of these lessons may be old-hat for you. If so, look for ways to refine the idea to ensure your getting the…

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Need A Chocolate Fix?

These don’t get made as often as the 5 ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies but it’s not because they’re not fabulous.  Maybe it’s because I’m lazy about the egg whites…  Whatever the reason these are another fabulous flour-free Pinterest find thanks to Recipe Girl.  http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/11/24/chewy-gooey-flourless-chocolate-cookies/

What you need:

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 large egg whites, at room temperature (mine were cold and it worked fine)
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

What you need to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. You may want to give a light coating of cooking spray to the parchment.  I didn’t and it worked fine.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar with cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in the first two egg whites and vanilla extract.  Beat until the batter is moistened. You’re looking for a thick, fudgy, brownie-like consistency. If it seems too thick, add another egg white– then a 4th one if it still seems too thick. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds per cookie sheet. I like to use a spring-release cookie scoop. Bake about 14 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Best Pasta Yet!

If there is one thing going gluten-free has taught me, there is a bunch of disgusting gluten-free products on the market.  The most frustrating part of that is they’re expensive too!  Nobody wants to flush their money on disgusting garbage.  That’s why I feel like any time I find a product that my family loves I need to sing it from the rooftops to share with everyone else that is on this journey with me.

Schar is the maker of the pasta that my family is in love with.  It actually tastes like normal pasta and has a normal pasta texture.  We also love Ancient Grains Quinoa pasta, however Schar is more affordable and packages it’s products in sizes that will feed the family.  I buy it in bulk packs from Amazon.com but they’re in many Whole Foods Markets, Your Local Market in Bellevue, WA and many other specialty retailers.  Check out their website and try their stuff if you get a chance.  http://www.schar.com/us/  I haven’t had anything but their pasta yet, I’m looking forward to trying their other products.  If you’ve tried Schar products leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Flour-less Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I’m wasting time the other day on Pinterest and I trip across “5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies- no butter, no flour!”  Seriously?  Is that even possible?  So I click through and it takes me to “The Girl Who Ate Everything” site.  Can I just tell you that these little cookies are freaking amazing!?!?!?  They take like two seconds to prep and 9 minutes in the oven.  I have made them so many times since that I think I can do it in my sleep.  They’re gluten-free and Paleo friendly and perfect in a lunch box.  Who could ask for more?

What you need:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Scoop 1 inch balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (I do this by hand and prefer them to be small-but that’s just me).  Pop in the oven and bake for 9 minutes.  Let them rest for about a minute on the pan before you transfer them to a cooling rack.  That’s it!  Try it, you won’t be sorry!

Link to original post on “The Girl Who Ate Everything” http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/08/5-ingredient-peanut-butter-chocolate.html

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My new favorite super fast dinner! Garlic Cod!

I was totally lacking in dinner inspiration last night.  Then I remembered a garlic chicken idea I’d pinned on Pinterest from food.com: http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-garlic-chicken-5478.  The only problem was I didn’t have enough chicken on hand to feed the family.  😦  I did have enough cod, so I decided to give it a try.  I mean really, how bad could it be?  The answer- it was freaking fantastic!  The whole family scarfed it down.  I served with a fruit salad, cauliflower and potatoes.  The entire dinner was about 20 minutes start to finish.

What you need:

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 tbsp minced garlic

3 tsp olive oil (I didn’t actually measure this part- I used a couple of glugs 🙂 )

1 lb Cod

What you need to do:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Place a little olive oil in a baking dish and set your fresh or defrosted fish in the pan.  In a sauce pan place olive oil, garlic and brown sugar in pan on medium heat.  Mix together ingredients and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.  Sugar will bubble up and get kind of syrup-like.  Once it’s taken on a syrup consistency spoon over fish and place pan in oven.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until fish is done.  My pan was starting to burn the syrup on the edges a bit so I transferred my fish to a broiling pan for the last 5 minutes or so.  Enjoy!

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S’more Cups- a gluten free makeover!

Recently I found this fabulous recipe on Pinterest from Texas Cottage: http://texascottage.blogspot.com/2011/08/smore-cups.html.  My husband was memorized and we decided it was a must try.  Last night I finally got around to trying it with a couple of changes to make it gluten-free and accommodate the ingredients I had on hand.  You could use half a box of the graham style crackers but make sure you cut back half the amount powdered sugar and butter if you do.  This recipe should yield 24 mini s’more cups.

Ingredients:

1 box Kinnikinnick S’moreables Graham Style Crackers (www.kinnikinnick.com)

6 tbsp butter melted

1/4 cup powdered sugar

small bag mini marshmallows

6-8 Chocolate Bars or chocolate chips

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place graham style crackers in a food processor and process into crumbs.  Add melted butter and powdered sugar and process until fully combined.  Spoon crumb mixture into mini muffin tins until about 3/4 full.    Use a mini-tart shaper to compress crumbs into shallow cups. (http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=184&categoryCode=BK) This step could be done with your fingers if you don’t happen to have one of these handy tools lying around.  No matter how you do it, the crumbs are going to compress to form a high sided graham crust.   Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 4-5 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and place 1 1/2 squares of chocolate bar (Hershey’s as my measurement) or enough chocolate chips to fill the center of the crust.  After placing chocolate follow with 5-6 mini marshmallows over the top of the chocolate.  The marshmallows will cover the tart.  Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes until marshmallows start to turn a light toasty brown.  The marshmallows will puff up while toasting and then shrink down when they’re cooling- it’s ok :-).  Once you have the desired shade of toasty brown remove the pans from the oven and allow to fully cool- at least 15 minutes.  If you try to remove these little lovelies before they’ve cooled they will fall apart into a delicious mess.  Once they’ve cooled, you should be able to easily free them in a cup shape with the help of a butter knife.

Enjoy!  I’d love to hear how yours turned out.  I literally had a child sobbing this morning because ours were all gone.

 

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8 Dangers of Diet Soda

8 Dangers of Diet Soda.  A great post.  Something I know and yet have to keep reminding myself of… Diet Coke is just so darn wonderful in a crack like sorta way.

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Moms, We Can All Relate!

Moms, We Can All Relate!.  I read this today and LOVED it.  Had to share!

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Gluten Free Soft Pretzels!!!!

My success with bagels had me thinking about trying pretzels.  Today I decided to give it a try.  Once again I prepared the dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle.  I didn’t use the entire cycle, I just used this to mix the ingredients.  Why you might ask?  Well I don’t have a stand mixer and I recently set my hand mixer on fire trying to make gluten-free whoopie pies.  I’ve already set two Cuisinarts on fire in the past and don’t want to strain the food processor I currently have.  S0, thanks to my Mom’s brilliant suggestion, I’m using my bread machine like a mixer.

This recipe will yield 10-15 pretzels depending on how large you make yours.  I kept these pretzels simple and just sprinkled with salt but you could do lots of different toppings, cinnamon & sugar, garlic, poppy seeds and sesame seeds are just a few ideas to start with.

Ingredients:

2 cups Manini’s Multi-Purpose flour mix (a must in my opinion www.maninis.com)

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp yeast

1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 egg white whipped with 1 tsp water

2 tbsp baking soda for boiling water bath

Kosher salt

What to do:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  When it reaches temperature turn it off.

Place flour, yeast, brown sugar and sea salt in bread machine and turn on dough cycle to begin mixing.

Slowly stream in water and use a spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients.  You should get a nice dough ball to form.  Once the ball has formed turn your bread machine off.

Pour 2 tsp vegetable oil into a mixing bowl.  Remove your dough ball from the bread machine and roll it in the oil, coating all sides.  Cover with waxed paper and place in warm oven to rise for about an hour.  Dough will almost double in size.

Remove dough from the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Pull off pieces of dough about 2″ in size and roll into ropes 10-12″ long.  Fold ends of rope over to form a pretzel shape.  Pinch to seal pretzel where it crosses over so it doesn’t fall apart during the water bath.

Next, take a large pan and add about 4″  of water and 2 tbsp baking soda.  Place on stove and bring to a boil.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, place the pretzels in the water, about 4 at a time.

Leave in the water for about 60 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon.  (Turn after about 30 seconds if both sides of the pretzel are not submersed)  Place pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment and sprinkled with corn meal.  Brush pretzels with egg white and sprinkle on Kosher salt.  Place in center of oven and bake 10 minutes or until golden.  Enjoy!

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