every morning this summer while i’ve prepared breakfast j has watched miss spider’s sunny patch friends. it’s his current fave and maybe it’s pms, but it has made me cry two times this week. first there was the episode where dragon, a dragonfly adopted by miss spider, goes off with other dragonflies only to return to his family that raised him. miss spider is heartbroken when he leaves but knows that she needs to let him discover his true self on his own. then, there is the family tree episode where miss spider’s adopted kids explore the complications of creating their own family trees. see now why i love this show? : )
this is miss spider’s description:
Miss Spider is the quintessential mom: warm-hearted, open, and extremely generous. Instead of eating other insects like most Spiders, she chooses to carefully prepare vegetarian meals for her family. For Miss Spider, motherhood is serious business. She diligently tries to administer the right balance of discipline and care to her kids. Knowing firsthand how powerful and transforming the gift of kindness can be, she shares this gift with both her natural and adopted children as well as all those around her.
so…my new mothering mentor is a cartoon character…. : )
who celebrate their dogs’ birthdays. weird.
we have 4 dogs, all rescued, but bruno, our baby, is the only one whose birthday that we know. august 22. that coupled with the fact that his brother from the same litter, sumo, lives with j’s cousins called for some sort of celebration so my cousin, mistee, pulled together a “cake” (dog biscuits, peanut butter, and cheese) for the little pups to enjoy. oh my lord. all i can say is never say never. i once said i would never do something like this and now look at me. even blogging about it? eek. i think i kind of threw up in my mouth. ha ha.
this is one of those recipes that i kind of made up on the fly inspired by a bunch of other recipes. it never comes out the same because i don’t use exact measurements, but is always, always good. trust yourself and just add in whatever sounds good, in whatever quantity seems right. experiment, experiment! we’ve been eating this a lot since we’ve had bushels of tomatoes.
1 prepared pie crust
1 medium onion, sliced
tomatoes (i use enough to fill up the tart or pie plate), chopped
goat cheese (about 4 oz., but we love goat cheese so usually i add more)
salt, pepper, fresh herbs (using basil lately since it’s prolific)
1. place the pie crust in your tart or pie pan. blind bake it. i put a piece of parchment paper or foil in the center of the pie crust and weigh it down with dried beans. bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
2. saute onions with salt and pepper. when translucent add garlic.
3. add onions to baked pie crust. add tomatoes, mozzarella, and goat cheese. top with herbs and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
we stayed here last weekend with the grandparents and oh what fun. the boys played in the pirate’s cove pool all day long and mistee and i even stole away after bedtime to go to disneyland and california adventure to get on the “big kid” rides.
this is the time where all our home gardens are offering up a plethora of zucchini right? and you’re thinking to yourself, now what can i do with this zucchini this time? we’ve already had zucchini tart, zucchini bread and muffins, zucchini pancakes…
i saw this chocolate and zucchini cupcake recipe on 101 cookbooks and knew i had to try it. unlike the recipe recommends, however, i didn’t use coconut oil (a small bottle cost a small fortune at the store), but i did follow all other directions. i liked the recipe, but others weren’t fans of the allspice and cinnamon taste with the chocolate so i adapted it a bit by omitting those spices. i also added flax seed and increased the liquid to make up for the dryness of the flax. this coupled with the zucchini makes it the moistest cupcake i’ve ever made. i’m going to go out on a limb here and say that i think this is pretty much the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. and i’ve also offered up my cream cheese frosting to top these babies.
and if you’re a mom there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’re giving your kid veggies and flax in a cupcake, no? i tend to cackle a bit when i see kids gobbling them up. my own kid, however, isn’t such a huge fan of chocolate. i know, i know, i’m shaking my head too.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
1 ½ cups brown sugar
¼ cup melted butter
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups unbleached flour
½ cup crushed flax seed
1 cup cocoa, sifted
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffins pans with muffin cups.
- In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, butter, and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini, and chocolate chips.
- In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin pans. Bake in the center of the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 block cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
½-1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
p.s. had to borrow the image from 101 cookbooks. my cupcakes eluded the camera while jumping in my mouth…
i love summer, for we’re eating the freshest food every single day. our lunches have consisted of salads, quick quesadillas, grilled pizzas, and paninis, much of the time made with just-picked tomatoes, squash, basil, and corn. yum…
oh, and have i mentioned how much i love flax seed? it has tons of health benefits. i’ve been using it for awhile in our morning smoothies, but have taken to adding it to lots of other things now (pancakes, breads, yogurt, hamburgers, even grilled cheese). my friend, cara, recommended the book disease proof your child and i love this book. j suffers from asthma and there are many recommendations regarding how to alter a child’s nutrition to help with this. there’s also tips for changing nutrition for kids with adhd. hello? can i please have a copy for each of the parents of my students who truly have adhd?? : )
01. lentil, bean, feta salad
02. harvest grains salad (couscous, orzo, quinoa)
03. cotija cheese quesadilla and salsa
04. grilled pizza with pesto, heirloom tomatoes, and goat cheese
Filed under eat, mommyhood
we’ve been kicking back A LOT this summer and it’s been nice. two little trips into the desert and just hanging out at home, with an occasional jaunt to disneyland, the aquarium, and the beach. most days j and i hang out in our pajamas until the sun comes out in the afternoon and then pitter around the backyard, working in the garden and playing, deciding if maybe we’ll make it to the beach. life is good. the biggest news of the summer is that j is swimming on his own now. the mr. takes him to the pool regularly and it’s paid off. such a joy to see the pride on this boy’s face.