7 Quick Takes (#9)

1) I loved this recent article by Simcha Fischer: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/funding-the-couch-bum.  It is rare to find an analogy executed with such perfection!!

2) We had the pleasure of inviting Father Charlie over to bless our house this week.  (It has only taken us 2 years to get around to it!!)
(And no, beer is NOT an essential ingredient to making holy water...But I'm hoping it fogged Father's eyes enough that he didn't see my lazy method of cleaning when he opened each of the closets to bless them...)

Father Charlie had a very willing and excited helper.  Leo immediately reached into our cupboard and pulled out the cross with a holy water font.  He knew exactly what to do!  He gave Father a complete tour of the house and each time Father passed him, he threw holy water on him and blessed him :)  Leo hasn't stopped talking about it since.  One of Leo's games is to reach into the font and do the sign of the cross on the furniture, walls, dishwasher, fridge, toys, etc.  Future priestly vocation???  A mother can dream :)

3) Speaking of beer.  I haven't had much time or motivation to cook what with pregnancy and life taking over.  But, we have been busy the last couple weeks getting back to some normalcy.  I hosted a dinner party here the other night with Father and a couple friends and since I can't drink the beer, I had to get a little creative.

(That's the bone poking out the center)

It's just a big slab of local grass-fed beef, 4 local organic onions, 5 cloves of fresh garlic, and 2 bottles of beer!!

It goes smashingly with Beer Bread!

At the end of the evening, to sober us up from our Exploded Potatoes and the Carnival of Beer, I served up Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch with Ice Cream.  I strongly recommend this if you get rhubarb from your CSA booty!!

(Notice the Beer-Braised Beef and Rhubarb pictures were taking before they were cooked and not after.  That's the sign of a good dinner party!!)

4) Has anyone else been feeling super guilty about allowing TV in the house since the newest article came out that fast-paced cartoons may be lowering your child's attention span?  The last few months have been crazy for us and I have been a super lazy parent. So naturally, I was feeling guilty for a few hours.  But around 7 pm, I was about to lose it.  So I put on VeggieTales.  In a fit of providentialism at its best, I assumed God would protect my children from harm since it was a religious show...right????

 And, when my kids broke out into spontaneous dancing at the intro, I immediately felt justified for turning on the tube ;)

There is no way something this cute can be bad for them!!! 

5) After ignoring my kitchen duties for many weeks, I have been busy making provisions for the upcoming weeks.  It is hard to get my kids to eat healthy unless I plan ahead.  So I ordered some fresh raw cultured buttermilk from our dairy farmer and got busy!!

  • Buttermilk Pancakes 

  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups soft white winter wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon real sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, honey, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

I used the rest of the fresh buttermilk to soak the oats and whole wheat flour for Giant Breakfast Oatmeal Cookies

Funny story about these cookies:  My sister made them for her kids to grab and go in the mornings on their way to school.  She told me they didn't last longer than one evening.  Each kid ate 3!  (She has six kids.)  I laughed and told her not to worry.  They won't make that same mistake twice.  She asked why, and I told her they'll be sitting on the potty at school all day from 3 of these bad boys!  Not surprisingly, one of her kids had already called home complaining of a stomach ache!!!

And I made a huge batch of homemade granola.  1 bag is for us and the other has been promised to my nephew who is starving 24/7.  He's 6 foot 2 or 3 and growing daily.  The kid needs sustenance and even threw in some $$ for his share!!!

  • Homemade Granola (for your Dehydrator)

    8 cups oats
  • 1-2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • Assorted Dried Fruits 

  • Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir together coconut oil, honey, syrup and vanilla. 
  2. Stir together all the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Cut out parchment paper to fit on the trays in your dehydrator.  Spread the wet granola mixture on each tray and dehydrate at 105-110 degrees for 5 hours.  Then remove the parchment paper and set the granola directly onto the screens for 10-12 hours until crunchy.

I'm going to add raisins, dried apples and dried mango chunks to the granola.  

NOTE: We make our granola pretty sweet around here.  You could adjust the sweeteners down a bit and still get a great tasting granola!

6) This is disturbing.  Leila explored the slippery slope that started a long time ago and we are a few court cases away from the possible legalization of ped.oph.ilia.  It is sickening that groups exist to promote this perversion.

7) I am almost half-way through with the pregnancy and I have only gained 3 lbs.  If you hear no more about weight gain, it is because I gained an unnatural amount of weight as a direct result of the baking pictured above ;)

Have a great weekend!!

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