Saturday, October 30, 2010

I am absolutely in love....

I don't want to steal her photo, so you're just going to have to go HERE to see.

Are you not in love, too?

PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Get well soon, Twins...

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I am pleased to list this post at 5 Minutes For Mom.

PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Got discounted Walmart gift cards?

I do, 20% off a $25 Walmart gift card, to be exact, in selected cities! So basically, when you go to Walmart, and you know you will, you'll get $25 worth of stuff for $20. So it's like I'm giving you $5 for free, because I love you so much. 'Cause you know you're going to Walmart anyways.

So, if you live near any of the regions below, just click on your city to order your card! (There are no catches, no surveys, no sharing with everyone on facebook, nothing like that, I promise.)

Albuquerque, NM
Atlanta, GA
Dallas, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Houston, TX
Denver, CO
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Orlando, FL
Reno, NV
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL

Have fun!


PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

The Definition of Red Velvet Cake

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-Red velvet cake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"A Red velvet cake is a cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is usually prepared as a layer cake somewhere between chocolate and vanilla in flavor, topped with a creamy white icing. Common ingredients are buttermilk, butter, flour, cocoa, and red food coloring or beetroot; although beetroot is traditionally used, many prefer food coloring since it is seen as more appealing. The amount of cocoa used varies in different recipes. A typical frosting is a butter roux (also known as a cooked flour frosting). Cream cheese or buttercream frostings are also used.[1]"

I've always wanted to make a red velvet cake. So once I looked up a recipe and was shocked to find out how much red food coloring was called for. I shun even using a few drops in my recipes, but most red velvet cakes call for almost an entire half bottle of the chemical!!!

Here's something else I read on Wikipedia...

"Though past research showed no correlation between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and food dyes,[6][7] new studies now point to synthetic preservatives and artificial coloring agents as aggravating ADD and ADHD symptoms, both in those affected by these disorders and in the general population.[8][9] Older studies were inconclusive, quite possibly due to inadequate clinical methods of measuring offending behavior. Parental reports were more accurate indicators of the presence of additives than clinical tests.[10] Several major studies show academic performance increased and disciplinary problems decreased in large non-ADD student populations when artificial ingredients, including artificial colors, were eliminated from school food programs.[11][12]"

I've heard of these studies for quite some years now, so have tried to avoid using food dyes where possible. That doesn't mean we don't use them ever, but I try to be aware of how many artificial dyes my kids consume.

Now, back to the red velvet cake. My husband, an avid and successful gardener, harvested our beets this weekend. As he processed them, I observed their beautiful deep red color and thought to myself that perhaps this is the dye I have been looking for to use in my red velvet cake. I had never before heard that beetroot was sometimes used in this cake, and when I mentioned my plan to the 15-year-old girl, she said, "Mom! That's going to be so gross! Don't use beets in a cake. It's going to taste lame and it's not going to work!"

So, you can imagine my glee when, upon researching how many beets I might use in my cake, I stumbled upon the fact that beets were indeed originally used in the making of red velvet cake! I cried to the 15-year-old girl, "See 15-year-old girl! Beetroots! I intuitively knew that beetroots would work in red velvet cake!"

She laughed at me, but couldn't deny that I was right, as usual.

So, I made the batter, and it was indeed quite red...

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...but when it was finished baking, sadly, it was only the color of spice cake. However, as per the definition of red velvet cake, it being a cake somewhere between a deep red and reddish brown color, I'm still calling it red velvet.

And you know what, it tastes like velvet and it is so delicious, that I don't care if it's not quite red. Here's the recipe and thanks for listening!

P.S. You might not want to look at the nutrition data on this one. 

Natural Red Velvet Cake

<p>A brownish-red velvet cake using beetroot instead of red food coloring&#8230;</p>

See Natural Red Velvet Cake on Key Ingredient.


Ingredients
For the cake:
1 cup shredded beetroot
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
3 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
5 cups flour

For the frosting:
8 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 3/4 cup milk

Directions

1. Combine and milk and vinegar in a glass and leave for 10 minutes, until milk is slightly curdled.

2. In a blender, blend milk and beets until smooth.

2. Whisk together all dry ingredients.

3. Beat sugar and butter together, until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk mixture.

4. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

5. Pour batter into 4 9” greased and floured cake pans or 3 cake pans and 12 cupcake papers.

6. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

7. When finished baking, leave in cakes pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool.

8. For the frosting, beat together powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Slowly add milk until frosting is desired consistency. Frost cake when it is completely cooled.


PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Homemaker Monday

Baby's crying, so I'll get my post up soon, but in case you've got yours, here's Linky Tools. Thank you!



PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rock Star Day

In a school that requires uniforms, Homecoming Week, when the kids get to dress up as something different every day, is a huge deal! Look....

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After seeing my boy in skinny jeans, I think I'll stick to school uniforms!

PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happiness and Sadness

Happiness...

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Sadness...

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It's hard growing up.


Today on some of my other blogs...
-365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time: Plasma Car Time with Friends!
-life in mexico {and other places} a picture a day: {drumsticks}

PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quinoa Bean Pumpkin Pancakes and a Letter to the 14-year-old boy's football coach...

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Dear 14-year-old boy's football coach,

Now Coach, let me preface this letter by saying that I have the utmost respect for you, as does the 14-year-old boy. You volunteer untold hours of your time to support these young people and enable them to develop important values such as teamwork, perseverance, sacrifice and responsibility. You take them on 6-hour road trips (each way) and somehow are able to control dozens of energetic, testosterone-driven young men every football weekend. I thank you for that.

Now, on to the nitty-gritty. As all coaches do, you want to encourage the players to be aggressive, which is an important skill in football. When a boy is about to make a tackle in practice, you may even sometimes say things to them that would encourage aggressive behavior, something inflammatory, like "Hey 14-year-old boy, you gonna have tofu for dinner tonight?" Perhaps comments like these do indeed initiate a more aggressive hit, which I'm all for, believe me. I want the team to win just as much as the next mom. These comments don't bother the 14-year-old boy, but he does come home and tell me what you say as humorous anecdotes.

Now, Coach, let's evaluate the health benefits of some of the vegetarian foods the 14-year-old boy eats for dinner, just to make sure he is ingesting enough protein to be an excellent football player for your team.

Did you know that teenage boys only need about 52 grams of protein per day? (HERE'S one of my references.) And adult men only 56? There's only one group of people that need more than that, and that's me, a lactating and/or pregnant mother.

Also, Coach, did you know that recent studies have shown that vegetable protein is easier to digest than animal protein? (One reference HERE.) That means that my 14-year-old boy will process that hummus or bean soup or wheat sprout protein faster than you'll process that 16-ounce porterhouse your beautiful wife puts on the grill for you on Saturday night. (I don't really know that you get a porterhouse every Saturday night, but I know you'd like to, and I also know that your wife is beautiful.) However, the 14-year-old boy will be skipping the saturated fat, but adding untold vitamins and minerals to his diet, vitamins and minerals that are largely deplete in steak. So, in essence, Coach, my 14-year-old boy, after eating his bean soup, will be stronger quicker than you will be after eating your steak.

So, Coach, just so you don't worry about the 14-year-old boy and his tofu, let me share with you an example of where he gets his daily protein requirements...

He starts off the morning with his favorite meal of all time, two PB and J sandwiches and a huge glass of milk. This meal alone contains 38 grams of protein! Yes, he could use more fruit and we're working on that.

Next, he comes home for lunch and may eat something like a bowl of 15-bean soup with some corn chips and a salad. This meal contains about 31 grams of protein, and depending on whether it fills him up or not, he'll make more PB and J sandwiches, which adds even MORE protein to the meal.

At dinner time, we might have quesadillas and refried beans and another salad, which adds another 25 to 30 grams of protein. Or maybe, on a special night, we might make breakfast for dinner, such as the following Quinoa Bean Pumpkin Pancakes, which pack 11 grams of protein per serving, and that's not counting the extra 10 or so grams he'll get from the milk he'll use to wash 'em down.

So, Coach, if you do the math, that's between 80 to 100 grams of protein on an average day, much more than he actually needs.

Yes, Coach, the 14-year-old boy may very well have tofu for dinner, but you can count on him to be strong enough to get some sacks in, thanks to your excellent coaching and his mother's inspired meal preparations. Love ya!

Oh, and P.S., if you want to ask your beautiful wife to make some high-protein vegetarian pancakes for you and your youngsters, have her try this recipe!

Qunioa Bean Pumpkin Pancakes

<p>There are 11 grams of protein in each serving of these delicious, moist pancakes.</p>

See Qunioa Bean Pumpkin Pancakes on Key Ingredient.


Ingredients
4 tsp cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup pinto bean flour
2 1/4 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree

Directions

Step 1. Combine vinegar and milk and let sit for ten minutes, until milk is curdled.

Step 2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Step 3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a large bowl, including the milk mixture.

Step 4. Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Step 5. Butter a skillet and pour on 1/4 cup portions. Cook until browned on each side. Pancakes will be moist in the center.

For Complete nutrition data go HERE.


PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Complete Recipe Collection for 10/14/10 Raw Foods Class

Welcome to the 108th weekly edition of...


Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

MINE: Here's to all you lovely ladies who attended my plant foods class last week. I had a lot of fun and thanks so much for asking me to do it!

And P.S., make sure to check out the links to each recipe's complete nutrition data! (However,some ingredient substitutions were made, as nutritiondata.com does not have every ingredient in these recipes.)

P.P.S. If keyingredient.com is down, please click HERE for a printable sheet of the complete menu and recipes.

Mayan Chocolate Almond Milk

<p>A delicious milk substitute!</p>

See Mayan Chocolate Almond Milk on Key Ingredient.


The nutrition data for Mayan Chocolate Almond Milk is unavailable.

Raw Tortilla Chips

<p>Make these guilt-free raw corn chips for your next Mexican dinner!</p>

See Raw Tortilla Chips on Key Ingredient.


For Raw Tortilla Chip's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

Vegan Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

<p>This is the best &#8220;cheese&#8221; sauce I&#8217;ve ever had, vegan or non-vegan!</p>

See Vegan Nacho "Cheese" Sauce on Key Ingredient.


For Vegan Nacho "Cheese" Sauce's nutrition data, go HERE.


For Wheat Sprout Ceviche's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

15-Bean Soup

<p>A simple, nutritious, delicious bean soup. </p>

See 15-Bean Soup on Key Ingredient.


For 15-Bean Soup's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

Raw Vegan Lime "Cheese" Cake

<p>A super-rich &#8220;cheese&#8221; cake with no animal products. Delicious!</p>

See Raw Vegan Lime "Cheese" Cake on Key Ingredient.


For Lime "Cheese" Cake's complete nutrition data, go HERE

Raw Choclate Hazelnut Tart

<p>If your friends have any doubts about the likability of a raw foods diet, serve them this. They will be converted!</p>

See Raw Choclate Hazelnut Tart on Key Ingredient.


For Chocolate Hazelnut Tart filling's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

Raw Chocolate Cookie Crumbs

<p>Use this recipe as a base for raw chocolate pie crust.</p>

See Raw Chocolate Cookie Crumbs on Key Ingredient.


For Chocolate Cookie Crumb crust's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

Manna Bread

<p>This bread is made of only sprouts, raisins and salt! </p>

See Manna Bread on Key Ingredient.


For Manna Bread's complete nutrition data, go HERE.

OURS: Can't wait to see what awesome homemaking tips you each have for us today!





PSSST! To find great deals on fun stuff to do in your area, go HERE!

Saturday, October 16, 2010