K is for Cookie…O Wait, That’s Not Right! (Mini PB Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe)

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On our last “sick day” at home, K and I reread all of the library books we checked out the week before. One of her new finds was Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond’s “The Best Mouse Cookie” where Mouse burns his first batch of cookies but makes a comeback by baking a mountain of chocolate chip cookies to enjoy.

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And just like “if you give a mouse of cookie,” if you give K any idea of a cookie, she wants to bake some herself! So that’s what we did.

One of my Mama friends in our co op shared this great gluten-free recipe for peanut butter cookies. Mmm! They were good. You should have seen the faces of our littles as they stuffed themselves silly 🙂

Since we don’t have white/refined sugar in the house (what the recipe called for), I thought I would do a little tweaking and come up with a version of my own. Oh! And I had to add some chocolate chips in it of course…what cookie at our house doesn’t have chocolate in it?

While I enjoyed both versions very much, my version of the cookies were a little more likely to crumble and melted in our mouths (probably because I substituted a tiny bit of honey for the cup of sugar the recipe called for)…and chocolatey!

Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as our family did!

Mini PB Chocolate Chip Cookies
Refined-sugar-, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, gluten-free

This recipe takes about 12 minutes (5 minutes prep time plus 5-7 minutes baking time) and makes about two dozen mini cookies

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
medium sized bowl
whisk
measuring cup & teaspoon
cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil

Ingredients:
1 organic range-free large egg
1 C organic creamy peanut butter
3 heaping Tbsp organic honey
1/2 tsp salt (I use pink himalayan)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life dairy-, soy- and gluten-free chips)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Crack egg into bowl and whisk
3. Stir in peanut butter and honey
4. Add salt and baking soda and stir well
5. Mix in chocolate chips
6. On your lined cookie sheet, form balls (2 1/2cm in diameter) and push flat (about 1cm thick) leaving an inch of space in between
7. Put them in your oven for about 3 minutes and then rotate cookie sheet and leave in for another 3 minutes or until golden brown
8. Let them cool thoroughly (or they will crumble apart) and then enjoy!

*I made these a few times already and discovered the more honey you add, the less crumbly and more chewy they are 🙂

How K assembled the cookies:

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Rolling the cookie dough into small balls

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Placing one an inch away from another

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 Pressing the ball down until about 1cm thick

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All ready for the oven!

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After waiting patiently for cookies to cool…K takes her first bite!

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K licking off the crumbs that were left on her chin. Yum!!!

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Fighting A Cold Naturally (plus K’s Honey Lollipops recipe)

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Ugh! Being sick is no fun at all…especially when your little one is sick with you! It’s one thing to fight a cold on your own but watching your little one suffer can be unbearable at times.

I can count the fingers on one hand how many times K has gotten sick in the two and a half years of her life, and this past week was the first time she’s had to fight it on her own. I used to be able to nurse her through those rough days and nights and help boost her immunity. But those nursing days came to an end earlier this year. So…what was I to do?

I went through my “how to fight a cold” checklist in my head: homemade bone broth, lemon, raw honey, garlic, turmeric, coconut oil, probiotics and lots and lots of sleep! Check, check, check, check, check, check, check and…well, we’ll see how the sleep goes! I felt prepared to help both K and I win this battle!

So with my crockpot filled with some ACV, water and pasture-raised knuckle beef bones on high for the first few days, K and I managed to hang in there during the day between her coughs, sneezes, sniffles and her shouting “boogs” (short for, “tissue Mama!”) every few minutes. We constantly drank hot lemon tea, bone broth infused with garlic, turmeric, coconut oil and lemon juice and ate Bubbies’ sauerkraut (her favorite). Thankfully she was chipper all day long, filling our time with imaginary play, painting and playing basketball by making slam dunks in our laundry basket.

As for nights, the first few were a huge struggle. Tossing and turning, being waken by her congested coughs and stuffed nose, and running a high temp of 103, all poor little K could do was cry and try soothe herself back to sleep. The nights were miserable for all of us. I rubbed some garlic oil onto her feet and covered them with socks and turned up the humidifier on high, hoping to help draw the toxins out of her body while opening up her lungs. And as she slept for increments of 20-30 minutes at a time, I would lie there and pray, asking God for healing and for her fever to break.

With two almost sleepless nights, I felt like I was losing this battle. My health wasn’t getting any better (mainly due to the lack of sleep) and K’s didn’t seem to be progressing either. But thankfully, things turned around on the morning of day 3.

K woke up with a temp of 98.7 and while she looked a lot better, her raspy voice and congested cough said it all. She had a sore throat and was miserable. At that point, I took out my jar of organic raw honey and after giving K half a teaspoon that morning, I quickly realized that it did make her throat feel better…almost instantly! But…and here’s the BUT…it also made her HYPER!!! She rarely has any sort of sugar to begin with, but a full on gulp of it made her CRAZY!!! She ran around and her slam dunks in the laundry basket became SUPER slam dunks with loud shouts and squeals that I’m sure my neighbors loved to hear at 7am. “Honey, honey, more honey Mama!” was all I heard for the next hour or two.

At that point, I had to think of a more practical way to help soothe K’s throat opposed to feeding what was turning into a honey monster with spoonfuls of more honey by the hour. Ah ha! What about a honey lollipop? I googled “homemade honey lollipops” and came across a ton of great recipes. At this point, all I wanted was a quick and easy recipe I could whip up in 5 minutes. So I simplified all the recipes out there, gave this one a try and LOVED it!

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K’s Honey Lollipops
Paleo, refined-sugar-, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free, gluten-free

This recipe takes about 15 minutes (5 minutes cooking plus 10 minutes cooling time) and makes about a dozen pops

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
small pot
metal spoon
parchment paper or silpat
lollipop sticks
candy thermometer

Ingredients:
1/2 C honey

Directions:
1. Place honey into the pot and put it on a medium-low flame
2. Stir and wait until your thermometer reads 300 degrees F and remove from heat
3. Allow to cool until honey is somewhat gloppy and formable when poured
4. Using your metal spoon, pour small 1″ diameter round dollops onto paper/silpat and place lollipop stick on top, rolling it to make sure the top is covered in honey
5. Wait until pops are cooled before removing and then begin licking! Wrap extra pops in parchment paper, seal them in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for later enjoyment!

After a few more days of more bone broth, lemon tea, ACV water, honey lollipops and R&R for the two of us, I am proud to say that K and I finally beat the cold!!! Today was our first full day out and about and both K and I were able to enjoy every minute of it ~ tissue free!

So…what to make of all this? Well, I’m thankful I haven’t yet had to give any meds to K with all the natural home remedies available and God’s healing hand. But when that day comes, at least I can say we fought the battle with all we had…and at least enjoyed K’s honey lollipops through it all 🙂

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Wake Up With the Waves

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Saturday mornings are usually pancake mornings where K helps me count then crack the eggs, mix ingredients in a bowl and flip our favorite homemade pancakes on our griddle before we start the day. Today, there was no time to spare as we headed over to the Santa Monica Pier for Saturday Morning’s Wake Up With the Waves. Every Saturday from 10am – noon, until May 24th, Michael Cladis is hosting a free interactive concert series for kids ages 1-8 on the pier! The event begins with children’s music and activity and then ends with a group of rotating musicians including Rhythm Child (K’s favorite ~ she fell in love with them at the Pablove event in February) that perform for the families.

This morning, K had the chance to meet Pacific Pier’s mascot Inky the purple Octopus…

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Play with the giant colorful parachute that all the children enjoyed shaking, dancing under and sitting on top of…

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Rock out with instruments as Michael Cladis played his guitar and sang songs like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, We Will Rock You and The Wheels On The Bus

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And enjoyed the featured songwriter David Tobocman before running off to the Pacific Park’s carnival of rides and games. We ended our morning at the carousel where K enjoyed watching and pointing out the different horses, goat and rabbit dancing around in circles to the music!

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We can’t wait to wake up with the waves later this month and hope to see you there!

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Upcoming Schedule:

May 10 – Randy Kaplan

May 17 – Rhythm Child

May 24 – Gwendolyn & the Good Time Gang

Sending Our Aloha From the Craft Room: DIY Lei Making

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Today, Baby K and I celebrated Lei Day by picking out some flowers and stringing K’s first lei. Leis are a symbol of aloha, love, and they are significant to me personally because they remind me of my visits to Hawai’i staying at my grandparent’s place in Waikiki. Both K and I also have the middle name Leilani, meaning heavenly flower. In case you’ve not heard about Lei Day, it is an official holiday in Hawai’i where everyone gets together and celebrates the culture by participating in food, music, dance, lei making and other festivities that are held at Kapi’olani Park on Oahu and at other locations on the major islands.

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I thought I’d share how we made K’s first lei in case you’d like to try making your own:

1. We picked out a bunch of flowers from the local market (she really liked the white Mums). Mums worked out great because they were full of petals and didn’t fall apart when strung.

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2. We gathered all the materials needed: white cotton thread, optional silk ribbon to tie on each side (if you’d rather tie on the lei) a quilting/lei-making needle, a sturdy pair of scissors and the bouquet of flowers.

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3. K took the bunch of flowers apart and then we snipped them off, leaving about a cm left of stem.

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4. We strung each flower from the stem up (I helped poke the needle through and K pulled down each flower to the bottom of the lei.

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5. I helped push the flowers closer together so that the stems pushed into the flower petals and then tied the two ends together. K tried the lei on and then gave it to me to wear, even giving me a hug as we would do in Hawai’i when giving a lei as a gift of love and aloha!

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Seedlings & Eggshells

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IMG_1873We go through two to three dozen eggs a week making breakfast scrambles, omelets, pancakes, and occasional baked goods like muffins, cakes and cookies. Once in a while, I’m able to crack the egg just right so that only the top has an opening. Inspired by those “grow your garden kits” that I’ve seen, I’ve always wanted to start my own eggshell seed starter project! Now that it’s spring and I’ve collected about a dozen nicely cracked shells, I thought K and I could spend some gardening time in the craft room!

About a month ago, Mama Christine invited a few families over for a gardening day at her place. It was a beautiful warm, sunny day filled with food, water play and some messy gardening fun! Baby K enjoyed her first gardening experience learning how to place rocks in the bottom of the pots to allow the water to drain…

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filling a pot with soil, covering the roots with soil once the seedling was in and watering it…

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She also helped replant some lavender and couldn’t get enough of the flowers’ and leaves’ sweet scent.

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From the way she now checks on her bean plant and waters it every day, I can say that she has a teeny tiny green thumb! This experience (and watching an avocado seed root and become a little 1′ tree in our window sill over the past few months) was a perfect way to “front load” this eggshell project!

Seedling & Eggshell Project in a Nutshell Eggshell

Materials: cracked open & washed eggshells, organic soil, spoon, water, eye dropper, germinated organic seeds (organic seeds placed in a wet paper towel then put into a plastic bag, left for a few weeks until roots begin to grow), windowsill

After letting K explore all of the project materials (and watching K experience how much power her little hand has when squeezing and then cracking an eggshell), she began by filling the shells with organic soil (3/4 full) and then picking out the seedlings that have rooted…

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K placed a seed in the middle of each eggshell and then covered it with more soil…

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She squeezed a few eye droppers full of water into each eggshell and then placed them into the carton…

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I placed them by the windowsill in our kitchen and K watered (a few drops daily to keep the soil moist), watched and waited (VERY patiently) every day…

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7 days later…

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And tonight!

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(Pink Lady Apple, Meyer Lemon, Kumquat)

K has been LOVING this project and even had the chance to share a few of her seedlings with her friends so that they could enjoy caring for a seedling and watching it grow! Over the next few weeks, we will be germinating an array of seeds to help a friend add to her beautiful vegetable, fruit and herb garden. Our seeds include organic Mesclun lettuce, Radicchio, Bush Bean, Bitter Melon and a variety of Japanese vegetables including Shishito Red Peppers, Mizuna, Shiso and Japanese Cucumber. We are very excited to get started and watch this garden grow!!!

What will you be planting in your eggshells?