Thursday, 27 December 2012

I'm no Martha, but.....

I do like to bake. Especially at Christmas.
Store bought cookies just don't do it for me, too many ingredients I can't pronounce.
Baking makes me feel so much better about myself. I bake for self-esteem.

The last few months have been all about avoiding wheat, as I recently discovered it doesn't like me.
Gluten I can do. But no AP flour for me. I have experimented with lots of different flours, almond, coconut, spelt, kamut, buckwheat. I have never created an "All purpose gluten free mix" cause I simply have not needed to (yet) Since I don' t need to be gluten free, spelt, and kamut are fair game and as luck would have it easy to substitute.
So this year I adapted three different recipes to accommodate the flours I had on hand

1.) Good ol' gingerbread men.
 These came from the WeightWatchers website:

I substituted kamut and light spelt flour for the AP flour, palm shortening for the "light butter", and palm sugar for the sugar.

2.) Chocolate Chip Shortbread, adapted from Thanks Kerrie.

For this one I simply substituted light spelt flour.

The next two are adapted from Clean Eating Magazine website's
I use this a a base recipe then added ingredients to create 

a.) Cinnamon Roll Almond Butter cookies
for these I added 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tsp of vanilla and omitted the dark chocolate

Props to Leanne Vogel of  Healthful Pursuit for this 
as my failure at this recipe led to these cookies. 

b.) Cocoa Candycane Cookies

for these I added 1/3 cup cocoa powder and 1 tsp peppemint extract, then sprinkled crushed candycane on top. 
I think "Elf on the Shelf " left the "kiss"

Here are the finished products ready to go to Grandma's 

All in all I was pleased with this years batch....looking forward to next year.

What are your go to holiday recipes??? 

I'm New Here

To the folks who come upon my blog,

I'm new here, really new. I am going to make mistakes and some of my posts will not be the greatest words ever written. But I do promise that they will be honest, entertaining (mildly) and written about things I am passionate about. I am passionate about a lot of things so it may seemed scattered at first. But keep coming back, I grow on you......


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Create Lasting Memories With Music

Christmas Music.

You either Love it or hate it.

I happen to love most of it. Why? because of the memories it recreates for me, childhood memories of singing in a choir, the Charlie Brown Christmas show, playing church services, orchestra gigs, and of course playing Christmas music in my home while I carry out all my Christmas activities. Baking, making ornaments with the kids, our annual gingerbread house, wrapping gifts. I do all of this while listening to may holiday favorites. 

So here are my favorite Christmas Albums of all time.

Not because they are the greatest singers or musicians of all time-while some of them are, I choose these for the memories they create, and I hope they will create wonderful memories for you too.

1.) The Carpenters Christmas Collection 
2.) Boney M Christmas Album
3.) A Charlie Brown Christmas
4.) Michael Buble, Christmas, Deluxe Version-AMAZING BACK UP BAND. 
5.) All the oldies, Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Harry Belafonte, Elvis. Pick your favorite singer-they've got a Christmas album.
6.) Gotta add the Dreidel Song and O Hannukah as my two non-traditonal tunes, but would love to have more on my collection.

I recently played a Chistmas Service and I was so amazed at the Choir director's choice of music, he chose music from across the globe and it made the program. Thank-you John Leek!

So there really is something for everyone. If Christmas isn't your tradition. What do you listen to? I'd love to add music from other traditions to my collection.

Happy Holidays to everyone and may your homes and your hearts be filled with music!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

In the Bleak Midwinter?

Ever have those days where EVERYTHING is a struggle? Even the simplest things like putting on your make up, doing the dishes.....that turns into forgetting to pack your lunch or a snack, your gym clothes, your bank card. I could go on. I have been having one of those days, well to be honest it is more like one of those months. 

So today I embark on the path out of the darkness....back to feeling good, healthy, strong.

How? Glad you asked. 

1.) Start small.Pick one thing you can commit to. Waking up at the same time every day, making your bed, drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. Make it small, make it fit your lifestyle, and do it!

I commit to drinking 2 litres of water a day 

2.) Be kind to your self. Look back at all the things you have accomplished in the last ten years, five years, year, 6 months. Start recording the things you accomplish everyday.

Today I:

folded laundry
baked cookies, muffins and squares,
kept my children fed, warm and safe
worked on my presentation
practiced, my horn
practiced yoga

While some of these things we do everyday don't seem like much, when you write them down and REALLY look at them you will be amazed at how good it can make you feel. When you feel good you get MORE good.  

3.) Do five acts of kindness everyday. Leave quarters in the grocery carts at the grocery store, Tell someone they look nice today, offer to watch a new mom's baby so she can have a nap.

Sound do-able? 

Since I started this post two days ago, things have been looking up. My strength is back! (I did two hot yoga classes yesterday and felt AMAZING after each) , I am drinking LOTS of water, lots more veggies and doing my best to be kind. (ACTUALLY someone gave me their cart at No Frills on Friday, so I made sure I filled up the others before I left )

How do you "Break the Bleak" ?