Monday, September 26, 2011

Good intentions

I have good intentions, I have for the better part of my life. But the problem is, I have a hard time seeing them through. Some days I feel like a complete failure because of this. I honestly feel like when I die, I will be known as the girl (okay, woman) with the best of intentions BUT... fill in the blanks.

I have to change my success to failure ratio. But from where I'm sitting (imagine a small apartment with crumbs, toys, dishes, other misc clutter and a decent supply of convenience snacks in the cabinet), it seems close to impossible. Do I get stuck because it's truly overwhelming or is it because making homemade mac and cheese instead of grabbing a box (albeit a well researched better than big brand box) half the time or keeping the sink empty and the laundry kept up is just not me? I ponder this every day. One of the few things that keeps me from losing all hope is I know I can't be alone on this.

As mothers, we strive for perfection where there really can't be any. I read a good amount of parenting blogs and food blogs that make it appear that perfection IS a possibility. Come on people, give me a break. But I guess that's why I started Medium Food Mama to begin with. And I suppose this is where I need to focus and continue to help myself and others be okay with giving the kids a Trader Joe's trail mix bar instead of a homemade one every now and then because it was cheaper and less time consuming and occasionally letting the house get to the point it looks like robbers ransacked it (this will be my excuse if someone shows up unexpectedly today by the way). But sometimes I still ask, are these things a reflection of who I really am and are my good intentions worthless? Ugh.

Well now that I've gotten that off my chest, I think I can move forward. My good intentions this week are to make a yummy meatloaf that will make me smile when the kiddos gobble it up, this fennel side dish, a couple quick breads and homemade graham crackers to hand the kids for snack in place of that convenience bar I mentioned earlier, keep the dishes under control, do some laundry and maybe get to the much needed shampooing of the rug. And a few other things of course but you get the picture. Here's to a good week. Deep breath. Fingers crossed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A better "Rice Krispies Treat"

Rice Krispies Treats, a staple of childhood. At least mine. Sugary and sweet, sticky and chewy, what's not to love? Well, some of the ingredients I suppose, specifically the packaged marshmallows. Here is a sample ingredients list from a popular brand:


The "Blue 1" is my least favorite. Making homemade marshmallows is on my to-do list which would make the traditional Rice Krispies Treats recipe better. But for now, I gave Catherine's (Weelicious) version of these childhood treats a go and was very happy with the results. And more importantly, my boys loved them. 

These were super easy and gave me an opportunity to try rice syrup for the first time. You can make variations using other nut butters or seed butters as well as adding dried fruit or chocolate chips. They don't taste like the original rice treats but they have the same consistency and texture. They also look the same with the exception of being a little darker due to the peanut butter. These will definitely be in the treat rotation at my house!

Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

I am more than excited that Fall is almost here. Although I don't hesitate to make Fall-esque recipes all year around, when Fall officially arrives, I definitely step it up! Pumpkin is my favorite. Pumpkin bread, pancakes, pie, muffins, scones and so on. There's even a Pumpkin Spice coffee that Gloria Jeans offers only this time of year. For the record, I am not a flavored coffee gal but this is the one exception.

I've been looking at the three cans of pumpkin left over from last year's stockpile for a few weeks now. I'm going to use one to make Pumpkin Pie Popsicles from Marla at Family Fresh Cooking, one for a pie and the other I used yesterday for this wonderful pumpkin bread. Pumpkin bread recipes are everywhere. So many variations. Some spicy, some not. Some with nuts, lots without. Some with butter, others with oil, etc. You get the picture. I have a go to Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread from Cooking Light that I adore but had yet to find/create a recipe for regular pumpkin bread. Until now that is. I think I've come up with a pumpkin bread that is worthy of making on a regular basis. And even worthy enough to give to friends and family. My recipe is based on a recipe I found at I reduced the sugar a bit and used a combination of brown and white sugar, replaced one cup of AP flour with white whole wheat flour, replaced half the butter with organic cinnamon applesauce and adjusted the spices a bit.

This bread came out moist and flavorful. Distinctly pumpkin spice. It was a hit with my boys, including the hubby. Now that I have a basic recipe to make, and even though it's great just the way it is, I'll certainly be experimenting with it throughout the season. Maybe a little ginger and maybe some walnuts? It will be fun to taste it evolve. I'll definitely post any adjustments that I think are worth sharing. For now though, here is a pretty darn good start to a wonderful Fall!