Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hayley Mills Has Joined Our Family.

I REALLY thought we were "out of the woods" with Liv. She's responsible. She adores long hair. Her scissors are given to her only with permission. She is paranoid about ME cutting too much hair off of her. But, alas, today during her quiet time, she quietly cut her hair. Then she ran to me, sobbing, because she wanted it to grow back. An hour later, she still breaks out in sobs. And she even prayed that Jesus would make it grow back. She did crack a smile and giggle, though, when Holland cheerfully said, "I saw your hair in the garbage can, Wiv!"

Then she said, "Sharon's mom said, "Don't worry. It will grow back." (If you don't recognize that, it's taken from a scene in the original Parent Trap.)

Brian came home and congratulated Liv on a very nice haircut. And really, she did do a GREAT job. She looks as cute as a button or like Sharon (Hayley Mills) in Parent Trap. Here's her haircut, unedited, as she is not keen on scissors coming anywhere near her at the moment.

PS: Things must be looking up for her. She's dancing in the living room, singing: "Let's Get Together, Yah Yah Yah!" :o)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flax Seed Discovery

So, I've known about the importance of incorporating flaxseed into our daily diet for awhile now (thanks, mom) and even seek out recipes now in order to provide a more consistent offering of it within our meals. But when I went to research ALL the benefits, I was amazed. Not only does Flaxseed add needed fiber to the diet, but is also is very high in the omega-3 fatty acids and lignans (which provide antioxidants). Flaxseed help fight heart disease, breast, prostate, and colon cancers, diabetes, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration. It even helps those suffering from dry eyes. Breast cancer patients, during one study, saw a decrease in their tumors, and diabetes patients have seen more stability in their blood sugars, thanks to flaxseed. Flaxseed also specializes in lowering cholesterol, reducing the inflammation of arthritis, as well as the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and asthma. Whew! So, if that doesn't make you want to have more flaxseed in your diet, then nothing will. When I was a flaxseed freshman, I would sprinkle it in my toast. But I am actively looking for other ways to incorporate it. It is great stirred into oatmeal and cereal. I have even tried cookies made with it. I have put it into spaghetti sauce, and have wanted to put it in meatballs or meatloaf. I particularly like it in malt-o-meal as it eases the effects of the high amount of iron. I have heard that some people take a tablespoon of flax oil a day. Or they toss the oil with some vinegar for their salad. If you have any great recipes with flaxseed, please share them!

So...finally, on to my flaxseed discovery, mentioned above: I stumbled upon a recipe submitted by Amy Shuman, a columnist for Cumberland Times-News. This recipe is incredible, as it replaces ALL the butter in a banana bread recipe, with ground flaxseed. I like to pour the batter in mini-muffin tins and bake at 325 for 15-25 minutes. I store them in the freezer and take several out in the morning for the girls to eat. They LOVE them. And really, I can't even tell that the butter has been replaced. Truly. Since then, I have tried other bread recipes, substituting the butter for flax using the 3:1 ration, Amy writes about, and it has all come out super dandy. Last week, I tried Zucchini-banana bread and it was de-lish.

Here's the recipe:

Banana nut bread uses flax instead of butter

Amy Shuman, Columnist

In thinking about the goodness of flax seeds, I came across a recipe for banana nut bread that is very delicious. It seems impossible that this much flax can substitute for all of the butter. It does.

Here's the story.

Banana Nut Bread
*1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar (part brown, part white is OK)
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. mashed ripe bananas
2 c. flour (part whole grain best)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. chopped dates or prunes (substitute raisins or snipped apricots)

*If you want to substitute flax seeds, eliminate the butter entirely and substitute 1 1/2 c. freshly ground flax seeds. That's a 3:1 ratio, which seems extreme; if this works as well for you, please incorporate flax in other recipes, with this ratio, to increase the omega-3's in your diet.

Mix ingredients in order listed, blending well after each addition. Pour into a greased and floured bread pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch top closely and place aluminum foil lightly over top if browning too quickly.

Bread is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What a Bunch of Posers!!

Pedicures are VERY Serious Things.

Fun at The Farmer's Market

We had a leisurely Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market. In addition to playing in the fountain, the girls also got to help a musician earn some moolah. It was cute. Eventually, H. had to be lifted so that her mallot handles didn't hit the instrument. She is becoming more and more independent. One minute, she wants to veg in the stroller, then next minute, she's leading the party. While at the fountain, we bumped into a little friend of ours. Isn't he cute?


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