Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Immaculate Traditions

For the past 2 years between Thanksgiving and Christmas following dinner we've read bible verses relevant to the birth of Jesus, starting with the prophecies in the old testament, and mercifully moving to their realization in the new testament.

Tonight we read Matthew 1: 18-25 and I realized that for most of my adult life I did not believe in the immaculate conception.  It’s not that I doubted Christ’s divinity, it’s that I didn’t see the necessity for God to do biological intervention to make it happen.  I considered the story necessary political propaganda used by the writers of the gospel to make a point in the only way it could be made in those days (of the “divinely lead” Roman Empire) – that our messiah was/is truly the son of God.

5 years ago this past Sunday I walked into church with no expectation of this intellectual position being melted like chocolate in the summer sun.  The music leading into the sermon was a rendition of Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven” , a song I had never heard before, sung beautifully and authentically by a teenage daughter to the piano accompaniment of her father, the music director for the church.  It made Mary’s experience very palpable to me, and suddenly the virgin birth rang true, in my heart more so than my head, but more powerfully in my heart than my head.

Still reeling from how moved I was by that performance, the minister then launched into a message about the miracle birth of Jesus that I never could have been more open to than I was in that moment. 

I can’t remember why Stacy wasn’t with me that morning, but we met for lunch and she had news.  We had been trying to get pregnant for several months and I was at the point where I had to wonder if God knew better than me what I needed, and that a child wasn’t what I needed.    It was a crushing thought but I’d found myself unable to avoid thinking it in those days that lead to this day – the day she discovered she was pregnant.  

Kisses and Verses

We bribe our child’s attention each night with Hershey kisses per verse reading,  and many times we have Christmas music playing in the background.  Tonight, just before we read Matthew 1: 18-25 our Christmas playlist landed on Amy Grant’s rendition of her own song – a rendition that will never live up to version I first heard, on the day I realized we all come from God’s breath.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday is a Workday when you’re 4

At least according to Hollis it is.  His father’s Saturday will be defined by college football, especially the SEC Championship game.  Eleven years ago today his mother and I attended the SEC Championship game between Tennessee and Mississippi St. (seriously, Miss St.).  Not connected enough to figure out how to get on the Georgia Dome jumbotron, my plan to ask her to marry me would have to wait until Sunday.  

Thank God I got my work done that weekend!

IMG00004-20091205-0908

Sawdust and Snot

Hollis and his Grandfather (aka “G-Dad”) caught here getting some post Thanksgiving work done.  Hollis had a pretty bad cold, so I’m wondering  what snot + sawdust equals?

P1000390 P1000392P1000395 P1000396

Saturday, November 28, 2009

He Finally Knows

Hollis, having already disclosed that he had "figured it out" as I pointed to his mother's pregnant belly, when posed the question, "what would you prefer, a baby brother or baby sister?", answered: "whatever comes out of my mommy's belly, that's what I want"!!!

Hollis seen here showing his Maternal Great Grandfather the “World’s Greatest Tow Trucks”.  Seated to Pop’s left is his first child  in the home of her third child.

Hollis with Maternal Great Grandfather

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Welcome Back!

Wow! It's been a long time since I've been here hasn't it? Oh, well, let's not bother with the excuses and just call it water under the bridge and what not.

Speaking of water (smooth transition, no), Hollis had his first swimming lesson yesterday. He is taking classes with his friend Sadie twice a week for thirty minutes. We signed them up a while ago and ever since Hollis has been trash talking Sadie. Unfortunately for Hollis, this is not Sadie's first time at the swimming rodeo. For awhile, he took ever available opportunity to insist that he was a better and faster swimmer than Sadie and that he would be the champion; "like in the Olympics". His entire basis for this theory revolves around the fact that he is older (3 months) than her and therefore faster. It is questionable logic, but he is going with it. So far we haven't seen any Olympic caliber swimming although though they both took unexpected plunges during the class. Tomorrow is the second class and I have been told that diving will be involved. I'm not holding my breath, but hopefully Hollis is.No pre-lesson jitters here. Also, what is he doing in this picture? You can not see his ribs like that in real life.Pick me, pick me! I am ready to jump!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Picture Paternal Pride

So somebody's got to pick up the slack around here and I thought I could at least link to my post over on mobiquizoid. That post was ostensibly about the quality of my current phone's camera, but it was really about setting up this post.

See I had no idea when the day started Saturday that I would for the first time ever visit the resting place of my father's ashes with his grandson. Once there I found it very difficult to leave (not unlike visiting the other grandparents). We walked all the way around the lake (2 miles) and every time I berated Hollis not to approach the mud again or pick up another stick or rock, I could almost hear my father warning me to let him be who he wants to be. Hollis had no idea he had help dealing with my dictatorial reflex, no concept of all the things that had transpired to bring us there yesterday. One day he will, and he will also understand that it was as it had to be.

Here's a bonus picture or three taken today, and for the record Hollis is still 3 and needs no tee.(and Stacy was offering nothing but windswept lefthanded junk pitches too)

Sons eventually discover a father's pride is seamless as it spans each generation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Statement I Never Thought I Would Have To Make

"You can't eat dinner without your pants on".

I will let you decide who I had to say that too.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sanitized for your protection

It seems that we have made a full recovery from the stomach virus/flu/plague. Food is being consumed, school is being attended and most importantly, all bodily functions are working correctly again. Hollis has been washed and lysoled. Ugh, it's the worst.
Last Sunday afternoon he seemed to be on the mend so I planned to send him to school on Monday. Everything seemed good Monday morning; he ate breakfast and was running through the house, so off to school we go. I should have known something was not quite right when he didn't take off his seat belt and jump up into the front seat as we pulled into car line. I chose to ignore this red flag so I could do my grocery shopping in peace. I know, you don't have say it, I am Mother of the Year...I am sure my trophy is in the mail. Everything was fine until about 30 minutes before pick up time when I got the dreaded "Please come pick up your child" call. Unfortunately, the stomach virus revisited him before I was able to get there. I will spare you the gory details and just say it involved emergency clothes, several bags of laundry and a bath once we got home.
He seems unscathed by the experience and headed back to school on Wednesday and took John for "Donuts with Dad" on Friday. Hollis feeling better and busy driving the train.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Notes from the Germ Factory

We have been overtaken by the stomach virus and all the pleasantness that goes along with it. Hollis got sick on Thursday and thankfully seems to be on the mend today. At one point on Friday I called the Nurse Advise Line to be sure he (I) was going to survive this particular illness. After doing the meningitis test (when they ask you if your child can touch his chin to his chest - that's the meningitis test), she asked if he was confused or disoriented, I said no and we ended the call. Later that evening I was heading to the store to pick up some Tylenol and asked Hollis if there was anything he needed. While laying on the couch under his Thomas blanket and watching a movie, he managed to mention that he did need something..."just one Matchbox car, just one". Confused? Hardly. Who can say no to a sick child? So not only did he acquire his 1,668,348th Matchbox car, he also got his 275th car magazine. Things are looking up today and hopefully the snow won't keep him out of school tomorrow, three days of togetherness is enough.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mix it up Monday: Happy Birthday Edition

Today is my birthday. According to my drivers licence I am 34 today, I don't see how that could be right though since I just graduated from college last week and high school the week before that. The way I figure it, I am about 24. Although, as my loving husband pointed out while discussing the possibility of renewing my drivers licence for 10 years, having a drivers licence picture of yourself when you were 30 will only emphasis how much you have aged when you are 45. So maybe I shouldn't lie about my age. Oh, and John is for sale, by the way.
Anyway, I baked my own cake today after spending last week trying to decide what I wanted. I wanted something new, not cookies and not something I would not have to frost. I decided on this Peanut Butter Pound Cake. You may recall my previous pound cake attempt, of which most ended up in the trash. This cake however was pound cake perfection. I am not sure if I should thank Bake or Break or the handy new KitchenAid my mom got me for Christmas. Either way, it turned out just like a pound cake should, soft in the middle with a crispy crust. I did make a few additions and substitutions. The recipe calls for 5 eggs and what do you know, I only had 4. I debated the risk of only using 4 eggs and then remembered that I had a recipe for a vegan flax seed egg substitute. Super easy way to cut back on eggs in your baked goods, 1 tbls. ground flax seed and 2-3 tbls. of water heat about 1 minute in the microwave or simmer 5 minutes stove top until you have the consistency of an egg, yields the equivalent of 1 egg. So I mixed that up and subbed it in for 1 egg. Instead of buying peanut butter/chocolate swirl morsels, which I have never even seen, I used what I had, about 1/2 bag each of chocolate and peanut butter chips. After I poured the batter into the pan I decided a little Nutella would be a nice addition so I mixed in what I had in the pantry. It wasn't much since I had been snacking on it all last week, about 1/4 cup. I baked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes and served it ice cream after my birthday dinner...and I may have snuck another piece while John was walking the dog, but hey, it's my birthday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Fail Whale

I hope you all had a perfectly lovely Valentine's Day. I hope that unlike me, you did not completely foul up your child's first memorable Valentine's. Here's the deal, I am failing preschool...Hollis is doing great, me not so much. At Christmas Hollis told me that "all" mommies came to the Christmas party, except me. I was at pilates, I have my priorities. His teacher cleared this little piece of guilt up for me, "some" parents came early to pick up there children for the Holidays. With this in mind, I thought I would come pick him up at the Valentine's party on Friday. The problem is, I still have pilates - priorities people - which gets out at 11:30. Plenty of time to get over to school before noon, right? Wrong. When I got there and got inside I walked into the middle of a pool of barely controlled parent/child/teacher/sibling carline chaos. Somehow, in the midst of all that, his teacher saw me and brought him over...so I totally missed going to his classroom. He seemed fine with that, so we headed to the car. Once we got buckled in, he started to tell me about his day: heart bingo, stories, songs, heart shaped cookies. Then the highlight of the day, a new race car! I thought certainly this was a gift from the teachers. When we got home and dumped out the bag of valentines I was surprised to see that every (and yes, I mean literally EVERY) child gave a little "something extra" with their valentines. Candy, playdough, more candy and one child who gave hotwheels cars. Hollis's little folded paper NASCAR valentine's paled in comparison. I would have been able to let this go with the thought all the parent's appreciated me for not contributing the their child's sugar high, sadly, it's a repeat performance on my part. On Wednesday we had a big Valentine's playgroup party. I brought the heart shaped jelly sandwiches and valentine's day cups, but guess what I forget. The valentines. Fortunately, I can think fast and Hollis was preoccupied with toys that belonged to someone else. I had bought a bag of individually wrapped Princess and Cars chocolates which conveniently had To/From spaces on the back, so everyone got one of those. Had I combined the items from Wednesday and Friday, I would have had the perfect valentines for everyone. Better luck next year I guess!

**Thanks for the picture Sara, I didn't take any of those either!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mix it - Lightened Up

It is feeling a little spring like here this week, so I thought something chilled would be in order. I decided on a sorbet. I don't own an ice cream freezer, but it is easy to make sorbet without one. I let Hollis decide which flavor: mango, strawberry or lemon. He choose lemon, one more than one occasion. So lemon sorbet it is. There are a lot of sorbet recipes out there, all of which are basically the same: simple syrup, lemon zest and lemon juice. Some add an egg white or cream, but those are typically higher in calories. This is the specific one I used, although, after reading the comments, I did simmer the zest in the syrup before adding the lemon juice. The zest was pretty fine, so I didn't strain it. It made a pretty tart sorbet, but that is exactly the way Hollis likes it. The good thing about this recipe is that you could use the same basic technique with a number of different fruits. You can even make a watermelon sorbet. This will make a perfect summer treat and even though I don't have the calorie count for this specific recipe, sorbet generally has less than 100 calories per serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

This Blog Can Haz Muse

First born son is named after him too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conferences

On Monday we had parent/teacher conferences at Hollis's preschool. I find this hilarious in and of itself, but there I was for 15 minutes with Ms. Nancy. What I learned is that Hollis is practically perfect in every way...okay 97% perfect. Apparently there are issues with the jacket being put on upside down, preferring to play instead of completing his work (I don't know where he would have gotten that) and not coloring. The coloring perplexes me the most since I was an avid colorer as a child and feel this may be evidence of a maternity ward mix up. But, I've had him this long, so I'll probably keep him. I was also surprised to learn that sometimes "doesn't participate" in the singing. I find this odd considering the amount of singing he does at home, in car, at Target...everywhere except school apparently. He is certainly bringing home the songs from school though. Here is one of his current favorites. As you listen, remember that he attends preschool at a local church and you maybe as surprised as me to hear it.


video

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mix it up Monday: Peanut Butter

I am sure you have heard that we are not supposed to be eating peanut butter products. We are big peanut butter fans around here and I, for one, have found it hard to know what is safe and what isn't, or might not be. One way to get around the problem is to make your own peanut butter products. Everyone agrees that the Jif and Peter Pan in your pantry are safe, so get them out and mix up some salmonella free snacks. Of course, you could throw caution to the wind and add in your own salmonella, but I wouldn't recommend it. I picked this recipe, from Dinner and Dessert, because it is similar to a peanut butter cookie, but has a little something extra with the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. Also, if you go back to the Peabody post, you will see that she used salted peanuts in place of the unsalted ones called for. I think next time I will do that too, for two reasons: 1) I like salt and especially salt and chocolate 2) John complains when he sees unsalted nuts in the pantry. These are quick and almost as easy as picking up tainted store bought cookies, the hardest part will be waiting an hour for them to cool. You probably already have most of the ingredients, so make these...they'll make your kids happy; unless your kids are allergic to peanuts, in which case, stay far, far, away.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Bars
Slightly Adapted Recipe

2 cups unsalted peanuts
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups tightly packed brown sugar(light)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toast the peanuts on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the nuts to room temperature before chopping by hand.
Use a stiff whisk to blend together the peanut butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the peanuts and the chopped semisweet chocolate, mix well. Transfer mixture to a 9X13X2 inch pan. Use your fingertips to press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and into the corner and sides, creating an even layer. Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes until set in the center. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting.

Source: Dinner and Dessert from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, who adapted them from Death by Chocolate Cookies by Marcel Desaulniers

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vacationing

John has been on vacation since Sunday afternoon. He would tell you that he is "traveling for work". Pssshh...let's look at the evidence and you decide:

1. 4 hour plane ride during which, I assume, he was able to listen to, read or watch whatever he desired. Likely the only interruption was by someone asking him if he wanted a snack or drink.

2. He is in a part of the country were yesterday the average temperature was 85 degrees. It was 25 degrees here yesterday. He would argue that he wasn't able to enjoy this warm weather because he was in a conference room all day. I would argue that it doesn't matter because I was inside all day with a three year old and a dog with anxiety issues - and it was cold.

3. He is sleeping in a fancy hotel room, which I imagine has room service - more people to bring him snacks and drinks. I also imagine the hotel doesn't ask him to clean up the kitchen, take out the trash and the dog and bath a small child.

Sounds like a vacation to me.

In the interest of full disclosure I do have to admit that he did miss out on some fun things:

1. Another trip to aquarium where Hollis saw his first 3D movie.

2. Free inauguration donuts at Krispy Kreme.

3. Hugs, kisses, I love yous and construction work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mix it up Monday: Lesson learned

Here is what I have learned: if I want to bake and blog about it on the same day, I need to start the process before 10:30pm. Who knew? I finished the Date Nut Bread at about 11:45pm last night, and frankly didn't have it in me to write a post. I also haven't tasted it yet, so maybe take my words with a grain of salt, or sugar as the case may be. Although, I did have to stay up late to finish it, the bread itself, like most quick breads, was easy to put together. I have never baked with dates, so that was interesting. I bought them whole and had to chop them which was more difficult than I expected. I have one of those hand choppers, where the blade chops and turns. They were too sticky to do that way, so I just chopped them with a knife. After chopping the dates the recipe calls for you to soften them by add a cup of boiling water and butter. It does have 1/2 cup of walnuts, but you could also use pecans or leave the nuts out all together. The recipe call for baking for 55 minutes, but I baked it for more like an hour and five minutes. This is the second recipe that I have had to extend the baking time, so I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with my oven...God forbid. It looks like a nice moist bread that would be great for breakfast with a little cream cheese. I will let you know how it tastes tomorrow, but I do have to admit one thing, I threw out last week's Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, they just weren't doing it for me. Oh, well...win some, lose some.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Censorship

Before I had Hollis I was a firm believer in self censorship. I felt that parents were solely responsible for the television shows, movies and books their children were exposed to. I have come to realize the flaw in this mindset: TV commercials. Seriously, are there no standards? Now, I understanding advertising revenue and demographic and whatever, but sometimes my three year old watches football with his father. Or we might want to watch the news while dinner is cooking. Or maybe just have something on that is not animated. Hollis has learned more for 30 second spots than he has in 6 months of preschool. Maybe you remember the foot in the toilet incident, well I am pretty sure he got that from a Two and a Half Men commercial. During this spot, which came on as I was looking for the remote to turn the TV off, had the two main characters one of which was standing in a toilet. The volume was turned down, in an attempt to keeping him from hearing anything he shouldn't, but apparently the picture was all he needed. A few days later he asked me about the ad and why, "that daddy was standing in the potty". I tried to explain that it wasn't real, but I don't think it took. "Well, what do you expect, having network TV on", you may say, but what about Noggin on demand? While going through the two page on demand menu in order to get to a Noggin show, they ran a commercial for the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie, Baby Mama. Having learned my lesson, I again had the volume turned down - too late - he had already seen the scene with Amy Poehler's character using the sink instead of the toilet. Again, lots of conversation about make believe as well as why we don't potty in the sink. So my stance on censorship has softened somewhat over the last year or so...now I think all commercials should be heavily censored with preschoolers in mind. I think this is a public policy we can all get behind.

And now, the obligatory Hollis picture.
Hollis and John taking their "mini nap".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mix it up Monday

I did actually bake these yesterday, but it was nearly midnight when I finally took them out of the oven. You may remember the Great Hazelnut Debacle of 08, since then Kroger has decided to occasionally stock chopped hazelnuts. Oh, Kroger, how I love thee and your haphazard inventory (don't get me started on the Danimals - the one dairy product my child will drink). So I have had a bag of chopped hazelnuts just waiting to be used. I had planned to use them at Christmas, but good grief, the food, it was overwhelming. So I searched out what I thought would be a different use of hazelnuts, but lo and behold, they have already been made here and here and over here. I guess I don't get any points for originality. My problems do seem original though. To start with, I had 3 oz of semi sweet chocolate and 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate. After some google research, I decided that the thing to do would be to add some extra sugar. Now, I really thing that was unnecessary. They aren't overly sweet, but I think the sugar in the semi sweet would have sweetened the unsweetened chocolate enough. Mine also did this funky "rising" thing. I don't know how to describe it and am not sure you can see in the picture, but the center sort of...well, rose. You know how bread rises in the center and then splits, like that but without the split. Why would it do this? I have no idea. The recipe calls for a baking time of 40-45mins, after 45 mins mine was no where near done in the center so I baked it for closer to an hour. I was happy to see that Aimee from UtHC also complained about the forty bajillion bowls, spoons, measuring cups and spatulas this recipe used. I hate that. They also aren't what I would call a traditional "brownie", they are thicker and more dense, more like cake. But, they are good and would certainly fit the bill for a Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or a Monday when you have hazelnuts to use.

Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
  4. Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.
  5. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Least you think I sold Hollis to the gypsies, here he is enjoying a Pumpkin Swirl Brownie. He declared that he "loves it", to be fair though, he loves a lot of things right now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mix it up Monday isn't quite ready, but I wanted to share a couple of things since I have such a slacker recently.
I didn't pick Hollis up from school today until 1:00pm. Don't worry, I didn't forget about him, again. Today was his first day of lunch bunch. Basically he eats lunch at school and plays for an extra hour. Whee an extra hour! What will I do with myself. Let me give you some reasons why this didn't pan out has planned
First of all, an hour is not that long and his school is 20 minutes from my house. If you figure an hour at the gym, an hour for grocery shopping and driving back and forth, I basically had time to throw the milk in the fridge before I had to head back out. Yeah free time.
Secondly, I have to send lunch with him. This is a problem because there is not much I hate more than packing lunch. I don't know why...but it is quite anxiety provoking for me. I talked about packing lunch all day Sunday just so I won't forget. Guess what? I forgot. In my defense, I told everyone in my house to remind and no one did. I remembered on the way to bed. I also have issues about what to pack for lunch. Maybe I just have issues. Anyway, no peanuts. Hollis eats peanut butter and jelly EVERYDAY. I offer him other things, but he always says, "peanut butter and jelly, of course". I don't know where he gets it from.
Maybe next week will be better.

Lastly, and completely unrelated, scroll down to the bottom of the page. See that new banner down there? That link will take you to Hopeline.com. Through the Kristen Brooks Hope Center, the Hopeline operates as a national crisis hotline number for people who are depressed or suicidal. The hotline connects callers 24 hours a day with a certified crisis center in their area within 20-30 seconds of the call being received. They also host conferences, community programs and education and a college music tour in order to increase awareness and decrease the stigma of mental illness. It is a worthy cause that I hope you will consider when making your charitable gifts this year.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mix it up Monday

Last week I resolved to post some healthier dessert options this year and here is the first. A lighter dessert would not have been my first pick this week, but a promise is a promise and it turned out pretty good. This is an old Weight Watchers recipe, my printout is date Aug 2003, but is a good "lighter" version of blondies. I made a few changes by using the 50/50 whole wheat and white flour and flaxseed. Instead of 2 cups of flour, I used 1 3/4 cups and 1/4 cup of flaxseed. It has more of a whole grain texture than a regular blondie would. John tried one tonight and said it was definitely whole wheat. You could either use all purpose flour, or the blend without the flaxseed for a less grainy texture, but truly, they are not bad this way. One of the keys to keeping these low calorie is to cut them according to the directions, two-inch squares. I don't know about you, but I usually cut my brownies into larger than 2 inch squares...hmm, maybe that is part of the problem. You should get 24 two-inch servings. Each serving has 135 calories, 3.7 g fat and .6 g of fiber when made as directed. Adding the whole wheat blend and flaxseed will greatly increase your fiber. They would also be good with nuts added. But, while heart healthy, a 1/4 cup of walnuts has 164 calories and 16 g of fat, so that would probably take you out of the "light" category. Made they way they are written, these are any easy treat to make that you won't regret in the morning.


Weight Watchers Chocolate-chip Blondies
2 cups all-purpose flour (or a combination of whole wheat/white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 1/2 cups unpacked brown sugar
6 Tbsp. light butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
6 oz (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt
-In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy
-Add egg whites and vanilla
-Gradually beat in flour mixture alternating with water
-Stir in chips
-Spread into a foil lined 9x13 pan
-Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes
-Cool on a wire rack
-Remove foil and cut into 24 two-inch squares

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008: A Year in Pictures

One day I will once again dazzle you with my witty content, maybe. For now, more pictures.


January - It snowed! You'll just have to trust me that that is snow, some people would call them flurries - we stocked the pantry.

February: Puddle jumping

March: Meeting the Mouse

April: The Easter Bunny brought his first bike!

May: The Braves game


June: We take a bite out of the Big Apple. On the ferry to the Statue of Liberty


July: Fourth of July parade


August: Hollis turns three - and starts school and goes to the beach (it was a busy month).


September: Trying on the firefighter pants

October: Halloween and his own firefighter outfit.

November: One little Indian Boy

December: Merry Christmas!

Four Christmases Salmon & Milk Style

You may be familiar with the movie. Here's how it played out for us:
Christmas #1: Hanging upside down and (nerf) firearms.

Christmas #2: Stories, snacks and Army shirts

Christmas #3: Ice cream and Krispy Kreme donuts, Mimi and G-dad and Santa brings trucks - what else?
Christmas #4: One more present for everyone, another truck (!) and wrestling with the big boys.

I hope yours was equally exciting!