Tasty Tuesday: Oatmeal Raisin Bites

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Tasty Tuesday is courtesy of Jen at THE HAUTE MOMMY HANDBOOK.  I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies.  Maybe it is because I can trick myself into believing they are healthy.  I mean oatmeal is good for you, right?  The funny thing is I can remember NEVER wanting to eat oatmeal as a child.  In fact, I didn’t even put milk on my cereal.  Who wants to eat soggy Frosted Flakes?

When I joined Weight Watchers many years ago, oatmeal was a staple on my shelf.  I used to love to make Hungry Girl’s GIGANTIC Oatmeal Bowls for breakfast filled with any combination of apples, bananas, blueberries or cinnamon.  I have even changed them up since I am gluten free and dairy free………they are still YUMMY!

I am still working on making these bites gluten free.  Despite many attempts, I can’t seem to get the almond flour right.  I feel like I should be using less.  Who is a pro at “alternate” flours, I would love some input.

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup + 6 Tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oven to 350° F.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy.
  • Beat eggs and vanilla in separate bowl, then add to large bowl. Beat all wet ingredients well.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well with wet ingredients.
  • Add oats and raisins. Mix well.
  • Drop rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fork inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets, then move to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen of bite size cookies.  They don’t spread when baking.

If anyone makes a batch and needs a taste tester, I’m available!!!

Why not make a batch and “boo” someone?  Grab one of Thirty One’s Little Carry Alls, fill it with yummy treats and leave it for a friend as a surprise. These are  the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.

Have a blessed day!

The Kindness of Intentional Blindness

Thank you  Michele Cushatt for today’s message.


We were hoping for a long, slow dinner out with good friends. Instead, what we got was a mediocre meal and a rude waitress.

From the moment we walked in the door of the tiny cafe, we felt her chill. She didn’t want us standing by the door, nor did she like it when we sat in a couple vacated chairs while we waited for a table. When our table was finally ready, she seemed annoyed by the number of our children. Then, when we asked for an additional glass of water, she let us know she’d already brought enough for everyone. We must’ve misplaced it. Finally, when we discovered we’d been given a regular pizza when we’d asked for gluten-free, she made sure we knew we must’ve ordered it wrong and it was definitely not her fault.

Now, I’d love to tell you my first instinct was one of compassion and grace. Instead, I looked at this snarky young woman—young enough to be one of my own children—and I considered how a good solid smack down might do her a bit of good. She was rude, disrespectful, unkind, and not at all the example I want my youngest three children to see. Customer service was absent, not to mention basic manners and human kindness. Her behavior was unacceptable, and every part of me wanted to tell her so.

Until later that evening, when we processed what had happened and an insight by my friend doused my fire:

“Did you hear what she said when she walked away? ‘I can’t do anything right.’ She must’ve been having a hard day.”

Just that fast, my annoyance turned to empathy. I knew what it felt like to have one of those days, when everything goes wrong and I feel like nothing but a failure. Sometimes it’s easier to erect a hard shell than crumble in a million pieces. Cold indifference feels safer than sadness.
I can’t help but wonder: What would’ve happened if I’d chosen lean in and extend kindness? What would’ve happened if I’d tempered my annoyance with both curiosity and grace? While her behavior was unacceptable, there’s a chance it might also be understandable. Perhaps she’d experienced a difficulty that day I knew nothing about, or even a loss my own heart couldn’t fathom.

Annoyance does nothing to lend comfort.

But kindness speaks calm to a storm.

“Fools show their annoyance at once,” Solomon said. By all accounts, I act like a fool more than not. I’m easily annoyed, especially with those closest to me, the ones living inside the walls of my house. Some days it doesn’t take much for my adolescent children to trigger a reaction. And, in many cases, their behavior deserves parental correction. But what if I responded to insults with kindness? What if my correction of them also included authentic connection? How might my calm demeanor melt the coolness of those around me?

After all, that is precisely what God does for us. When having a hard day, He doesn’t match my rudeness and obstinate  with His. Instead, He offers relationship, allowing His kindness to bring about the correction I so desperately need.

Have a blessed day!

 

Tasty Tuesday – Fudge Brownies

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Hungry Girl. The actual name of the brownie is “secret-ingredient” fudge brownie BUT I figured you would’t check it out if you knew there was a secret ingredient. LOL.  I’m trying to get back on track but I do love my sweets.  I never remember craving them this much but lately it has been really bad!  The best part about this recipe is I can make it gluten free with almond flour.

NUTRITION FACTS:  1/9th of pan (1 brownie): 107 calories, 2g total fat (1g sat fat), 190mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 5.5g protein

FreestyleSmartPoints® value 2*  MAKES: 9 servings

Prep: 10 minutes     Cook: 30 minutes    Cool: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • One 15-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup (about 2 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Truvia spoonable no-calorie sweetener (or another natural brand that’s about twice as sweet as sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8” X 8” baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth and uniform.
  3. Fold in 1 tbsp. chocolate chips. Spread mixture into the baking pan, and smooth out the top.
  4. Evenly top with remaining 2 tbsp. chocolate chips, and lightly press into the batter.
  5. Bake until a toothpick (or knife) inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Want to take these yummy treats on the road?  What better way than with a Thirty One thermal.  First up is the Cool Zip Snacker a perfect size to keep one of these yummy brownies from melting in the summer heat.  The best part is they are in the Summer Sale-a-bration and are only $8 (while they last).  Kids love snacks, and the Cool Zip Snacker makes it fun for them to enjoy their favorites! Available in two-themed characters, our snacker is food safe and reusable. The water-resistant thermal lining and polyester shell are hand-washable and easy to care for.

Looking for something a little bigger?  Why not try the Thermal Tote?  This is one of our most popular items, the Thermal Tote is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

Share a recipe with us and if I post it, you will get some AWESOME happy mail from me.  Let’s us know what you think about this recipe.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Salad

I have struggled with staying at goal for the last few months.  Just when I wanted to get back on track eating zero point foods, it has been recommended in addition to dairy free and gluten free – I go vegetarian.  BUT before I made the change, I tried this YUMMY recipe.

Give this AWESOME 1 Smartpoint. per 1/2 cup service recipe a chance.  This will make 12 servings!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup purple grapes, halved
  • 2 TBS chives, scallions or green onions, minced
  • 5 ribs celery, washed and chopped
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain, non fat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken breasts until done. You can pan fry with non stick cooking spray or bake in the oven.
  2. Shred the chicken or chop using a knife. Place in medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Wash and cut the grapes in half. Place in bowl.
  4. Wash and mince chives. Place in bowl.
  5. Wash and chop celery. Place in bowl.
  6. Add garlic powder to bowl.
  7. Add light mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to bowl.
  8. Add a dash or two of this seasoning if you’d like some more flavor.
  9. Mix well and chill for an hour before serving.

Since this makes 12 servings, why not take some for lunch using your Thirty One Around the Clock Thermal..  It is one of the most versatile totes.  Great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, pool, beach, golf course, boating or sporting events. The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes cleanup easier. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including crossbody for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids, teachers and everyone else on the go!

If you try this yummy recipe, let us know what you think.  Have a recipe you want to share?  Send me an email – if I use it, I will send you some happy mail.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Life is Full of Change

unnamed-2.jpgWhat a minute and life will change… is how I feel lately.  I no sooner get comfortable where things are and SMACK, things happen.  Trouble processing thoughts.  Unable to concentrate when more than one person is talking.  Finding motivation to do what I used to love in my business.

There are those days when I wonder where life with Multiple Sclerosis may lead for me.  Many would say, I have lived the last year or more in basic denial.  I refused to believe my life was changing when deep down, I knew it was.  Don’t get me wrong, I said the words “I have MS”; I occasionally used my handicap parking sticker when walking was difficult (or hubby pushes me) and when the memories wouldn’t come, I would simply admit MS was the cause.  My life with MS looks different than those who live in chronic pain.  Mine is an internal pain of being robbed of memories.

So what was the real result of living in denial?  I refused to believe my life was changing or would keep changing and I needed to make adjustments.  I booked events like there was nothing wrong.  I pushed in my business till my brain shut down from trying to process too much information.  I have days when I can’t put thoughts together.  I have days when I am an emotional mess because life is too much to handle.

If you have a chronic disease, I know how hard it is to accept your body/mind is fighting against you.  I know how much I would rather have pain (yup, I have a high tolerance of it) then to lose my memories.  I know how those with dementia and Alzheimer’s feel.  I know the frustration of not remembering people or important events (like the birth of my daughter or my wedding).  I know the reality of having to believe someone else’s memory of something because you can’t even remember it happened.

I know how much you want to simply fight back.  I really do. But denying MS (or any disease) is a part of your life will only hurt you later on. Refusing to accept what is happening to us is setting ourself up for defeat.

The best way to look at things is from a perspective of…”Yes, I may have MS (or any chronic disease) BUT as long as I am able to function, I will live each day to its fullest. Tomorrow may change and if should happen, I’m prepared for it.  Not really, BUT  don’t they say “fake it till you make it”!. Maybe not emotionally, but we are making preparations for the possibility of a life with limitations due to MS.

Many would say, preparing for tomorrow is living with a negative attitude. The truth is for me –  It’s living in the reality.  It’s not negative to prepare for tomorrow. It’s not negative to talk about my MS struggles or your pain or any other chronic disease. It’s not negative to think of ways to adapt your home or your life before those changes are needed. We are even finding ways to link pictures with music in the hopes it will trigger my memories.

Enjoy today, live in the now, savor the sweet memories you are creating with those you love, but don’t ignore the possibilities of tomorrow…good or bad. Change happens whether we like it or not.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!