Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wonderful Wednesdays

Another Wonderful Wednesday at the Park.  Today we stayed close to home, and checked out Berry Field in downtown Douglas.  Although this is a small park, the fast slide can provide hours of entertainment.

Important Anoucement

Wonderful Wednesdays has been preempted by the following anoucement:

Eli has learned to ride a two wheeler!

Stay tuned for your regularly scheduled blog post...




Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gluten-free Dairy-free Thin Mint Cookies

It's Girl Scout Cookie time again.  Every where you look you see boxes of glutenated goodness just calling out to you.  Eat me, eat me...  Well, I am sure it isn't that bad for most people, but I sure do love frozen thin mint cookies, and would always look forward to stashing a few boxes away in the freezer to enjoy.

Your world just isn't complete if you have never tried these tasty, unhealthy snacks.  So, although this recipe is not a perfect substitute for chocolate peppermint bliss, it does come pretty close.  Especially if frozen to give it an added crunch.

Ingredients:
1 cup butter ( I use Earth Balance buttery sticks)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (g/f)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 egg white
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mixture (the mix I use can be found here)
1 lb semi sweet chocolate (g/f)
1 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter for at least 2 min until light and fluffy, add powdered sugar and cream again for 2 min or light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla, cocoa powder, egg white, salt, and mix well.  Slowly add in the flour and mix until combined.  Do not over mix.

Place the batter on a floured work surface and form into a ball.  Place in a plastic bag and squish until 1 inch thick.  Place in freezer for 20 min to chill.

Remove the dough and roll it out approximately 1/16 thick (not to thin or it will crumble).  I rolled the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.  Using a small circle cookie cutter (approx 1 1/2 inches) or other circular object (small cup, small vase, etc...) cut out the cookies and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 min then completely cool on a wire rack.

Slowly melt the chocolate and whisk in the peppermint extract.  Add only a few drops at a time and taste as you go to achieve the right mixture.  Lower the cookies one at a time int the chocolate and turn with a fork.  Gently place on parchment covered cookie sheet and place cookies in freezer to set.

Every Monday Matters

 
How can we show God’s amazing love in simple ways?  How can we teach our children about serving others?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter and find a way to show God’s love in our community. 

Today we headed off to Oval beach for a clean-up project.  We discussed the creation story and how God created the world out of chaos and created something beautiful.  However, we need to take care of God's beautiful creations and not let them return to a state of chaos.  We talked about showing God's love today by picking up trash along the beach.  We had our best turn out yet!  Thank you everyone for all your hard work.  

 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gluten-free Dairy-free Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

Every once in awhile I get a craving for Chinese food.  So many of the restaurants use gluten in the breading or sauce, that it make sit very difficult to run out and pick up something tasty.  So, the other day, I searched the internet for a recipe that would work.

I can not say that I found one that met all the food criteria, but I can say that I was inspired to create a dish that the entire family approved of:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • To Cover Chicken:
    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sauce:
    • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce
    • A dash of salt (I use the low sodium tamari, but get complaints from the non GF individuals that it requires more flavor)
    • 1 tablespoon water
  • Vegetables:
    • 1 pound broccoli (steamed)
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
  • Thickener:
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • Other:
    • Garlic powder-season to taste
    • Oil for frying chicken
Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts so they are approximately 1/2 inch thick then cut into cubes.  Cover the chicken with the egg, tapioca starch and salt mixture and set aside in refrigerator for 30 min.  

Steam Broccoli

Fry chicken in a thin coating of oil until outside is white.  Discard most of the oil (leave a little to prevent sticking) and add broccoli and sugar.  Add tamari, dash of salt and 1 TB water.  Stir until combined.  Add garlic and season to taste.  Add cornstarch/ water mixture and stir on low until mixture begins to thicken. Serve over your favorite rice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonderful Wednesdays

Today was a beautiful day. We decided to explore Kollen Park near Lake Macatawa in Holland. Although it was a little cool with the breezes off the lake, everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Every Monday Matters

 

How can we show God’s amazing love in simple ways?
How can we teach our children about serving others?
With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter and find a way to show God’s love in our community.
 

Today our group met at church.  Pastor Rob told us a story about a time when Jesus served others by washing their feet.  We talked about how this wasn't a fun job or an easy job, but it was a way to show God's love to others.  

We then talked about serving others.  Preschoolers have a self centered view of the world.  So, we capitalized on that today.  They see candy as a special treat. Something they get every once in a while and something of value.  So, we decided to give this away.  Today we went downtown and gave away blow pops.  
Before we left we talked about different things we could say to people when we offer the blow pops, and how to react if someone says yes or no.  

We learned that at first it was scary to talk to strangers, but as we went along we even enjoyed telling people to have a good day if they did not want a blow pop.  This was our simple way of showing God's love. 




Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wonderful Wednesdays

What to do, what to do on a bight sunny 80 degree day....Go to the park of course!




Or have a water gun fight with Uncle Keegan!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Every Monday Matters


How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter

Hurray for the red, white, and blue...Today, our Sunday school group meet at our house to make cards for church members currently serving in the military to thank them for their time and dedication to our country.  They are prayed for daily and loved eternally.

Today was our biggest turn out yet.  Thank you everyone for a wonderful afternoon of service and fellowship. 


Friday, April 9, 2010

We're Going to the Zoo Zoo Zoo!

It's been awhile since we have been to the zoo, but to celebrate the last day of spring break we headed out to Grand Rapids to the John Ball Zoo.  Although this zoo is small, the kids found lots of interesting animals.  They were able to touch a star fish and pet a snake, and had awesome views of chimpanzees and lions.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Guess who came for a visit...

Actually quite a few people have been by recently for a visit...Laura and Kelsey, Gramps, and Lynn, Grandma Jodie, and even Uncle Kevin.   We have gone shopping in the cute shops downtown, eatten some wonderful chocolate candy, discussed yard work, attended an Easter parade, gone on an Easter egg hunt...and much much more...

Grandma Jodie was the only one through to get a photo...

Thank you everyone for coming to visit!

Wonderful Wednesdays

Wonderful Wednesdays  Wet and Wacky Wednesdays at the Bowling alley...

Well, it has been raining here for a couple days and the boys are in desperate need of some type of spring break fun.  The park is obviously out for today, so we went bowling with friends instead.  A Wonderfully wacky Wednesday for sure!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Every Monday Matters



How can our family make a difference in our community?  How can we teach our children about doing things for others?  What are some simple ways to show God's love?  With young children, especially preschoolers, this can be challenging.  So every Monday, we have decided to rise to the challenge and Make Monday Matter.

Today we went to the Grace of Douglas, a local nursing home.   With the spring-like weather, we wanted to bring something bright and cheery to give away.  So, we made some bright spring flowers using coffee filters, pipe cleaners, markers, and a squirt bottle.  A fun and easy task for young children.  Directions can be found here.  We added a leaf to the flower that contained the name of our church as well as the phrase "This is our simple way of showing God's love."  The boys enjoyed greeting the residents and sharing their flowers.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen

Easter fun




 


Quote of the Day

Eli: Do you think the Easter Bunny stole this toy from Liam to give it to me?
Mommy:  I don't think the Easter bunny steals things.
Eli: It depends on the kind of Easter bunny he is.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Yard Clean Up





May Last until Fall...
But the boys are trying hard to conquer the huge amount of leaves!

Easy Gluten-free Dairy-free Strawberry Shortcake

As the warm weather is here, so is our craving for sweet summer treats.  Living in Michigan, this is only a taste of summer and we probably have another snow storm on the way, so we have to capitalize on the warm weather while we can. 

At the grocery store the other day there was a special on strawberries.  A box for 1 dollar.  Totally awesome for some little munchkins in my house that think strawberries are their own food group.  So I piled them up.  We froze some, ate a ton, and then I had a craving for strawberry shortcake.  But at the same time I was incredibly lazy and didn't want to put in a lot of effort to cook something.  So this is what we did:



Preheat over to 375 and grease 12 muffin tins



Ingredients:
1/2/ cup butter (We use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 cup powdered Sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp gluten free vanilla
1 cup corn starch
1 1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla one at a time and beat till fluffy (I added all the eggs at once and just beat it for awhile it never got fluffy).   Slowly add corn starch and baking powder and mix until combined. Fill tins 1/2 full and bake 15 min.  Remove from pan immediately to cool.  Serve with your favorite toppings.

Best remark: Daddy-"This doesn't even taste gluten-free"

Now that has to be good!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another day...Another Beach

We are loving Michigan!  Today we went to check out Oval beach.  A very short walk from the parking lot to the lake.  Sunny, warm and 74 degrees!