Healthy Cookies

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A Facebook friend posted a recipe for healthy cookies.

“They’re amazing!” she gushed. “Dairy-free, egg-free, fat-free and best of all–my little boy loooves them!”

How could I resist a recipe that’s not only good for you, but kid approved? I hit the kitchen, ready to enjoy some delicious homemade goodness.

What’s left when you take away the dairy, egg and fat from cookies you ask. Not much I discovered!

These had mashed bananas, apple sauce, almond milk and oatmeal.

I didn’t have almond milk so I used skim (so much for dairy-free.) No regular apple sauce, either so I substituted one of those apple/strawberry fruit cups.

My usual breakfast is unsweetened oatmeal cooked with skim milk and topped with fruit. I happily eat it most mornings. These cookies, almost exactly the same as my go to breakfast, should have been fine.

So why were they such a disappointment? Perhaps because the flavour bar is set so much higher for homemade cookies than for oatmeal.

Will I make these again? Perhaps, but with a few changes.

I’ll add chocolate chips and toasted coconut. Chunky peanut butter, too and maybe a bag of mini M&M’s if I remember to pick them up. Oh, and a couple of eggs for a lighter texture and butter to make them melt in your mouth.

Sigh–maybe I’m just not ready to hop on the healthy eating bandwagon.

The Pioneer Woman

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I’m watching too much TV these days.

Because I cut our cable package in a misguided effort to be frugal, I mostly surf between Home and Garden TV and the Food Network.

I discovered Ree Drummond AKA The Pioneer Woman, a larger than life blogger turned cookbook author turned Food Network star. I’m fascinated by her story. She’s an “accidental country girl” who gave up a mysterious career in the big city for the Marlborough Man, her rancher husband.

She started blogging years ago and quickly became an internet hit. From her blog, other opportunities followed and now she’s a famous TV star. Easy peasy, right?

However, all is not rosy out on the range. People either love her (millions of adoring fans have got her where she is) or hate her. A quick internet search reveals several anti-Pioneer Woman blogs that are surprisingly amusing, if nasty.

I’m not sure where I fall on the Pioneer Woman love scale. I wouldn’t eat her cooking (melted bacon fat used as salad dressing and prime rib poached in butter, anyone?) But I admire her blogging talent and marketing skills.

I also like her folksy style and her happy, apple-cheeked children, but picking up any recipes or cooking tips from her? No siree! The Pioneer Woman may have her own cooking show, but she can’t teach me anything with that alarming penchant for butter and animal fat.

Until she baked cookies for the gang baling hay out on the range. She used a mini ice-cream scoop to make perfect round cookies!

I struggle to form my cookies with two tablespoons and end up with misshapen lumps that look like something the Chihuahua coughed up. Today, I dug out my mini ice-cream scoop and shaved minutes off the baking experience. Best of all–my cookies cooked evenly (no more burned bits hanging off the edges).

Thank you, Pioneer Woman! Maybe your critics are wrong and you do deserve your own cooking show after all.

A Woman’s Work is Never Done

013001Almost a week back into the daily grind and I’m shattered. I’m not sure if I’m burned out or just lonely for my sailor, but the transition has been particularly tough this year.

I have a wonderful, amazing job that allows me to make a real difference in the lives of children and their families. I should be the happiest, most fulfilled worker bee around. Maybe I’m just too busy to appreciate it.

Tonight after putting in a full day at work:

I rode my exercise bike because I didn’t have the energy to go for a jog.

I made a healthy, wholesome dinner then cleaned up the kitchen.

I baked cookies for lunch boxes and snacks. Even though I know butter, eggs and sugar aren’t the healthiest things going, these real ingredients have got to be better for us than all the artificial stuff in commercial baked goods. Best of all–my fussy eater loves my homemade cookies.

While the cookies were baking, I did a load of laundry. Am I the only one who notices that if you don’t keep on top of your laundry it goes crazy?

Then I worked on my novel and my blog. (I was ready for bed at this point, but didn’t have the heart to cut out the only part of the my day that’s just for me.)

Next week, Tae Kwon Do starts so we’ll be rushing out of the house three nights a week. Oh–and the homework wars will likely begin. I hate homework!

How do people with busier jobs or more children than me manage? Less than a week into work, and I’m counting the days until my next holiday.