Yes! It exists! Here’s the true story.
Earlier today I got a babysitter for the girls so I could do some work and take a walk. In the back of my mind and quickly scooting to the front of my mind, was the event I have tonight… my girls’ school auction with an Indian/Bollywood theme. I had planned on putting on a pretty dress and boots to attend and then got word that some moms were renting saris and really going all out.
On my walk I thought, “Hmm. I could go to the thrift store and see if they have anything – but that will take time and I just don’t know if I want to spend my time searching for a needle in a haystack”. As I continued my walk I saw a garage sale sign. I then said to myself, “Deb. Don’t go. You don’t need anymore stuff… you are challenged as it is, getting your stuff organized. There is nothing you need… except… a sari. What are the chances?'” I continued walking toward the sale, now picking up the pace a little bit, wondering about the magic that might be waiting for me.
I walked up the driveway to a beautiful two-story mc-Mansion and peeked a the clothes. instead of searching, I asked the woman( and mom) there if she had anything Indian. She thought for a minute and then said, “Well, I do have a sari, upstairs”. I looked at her – about 2 inches shorter than me and about a size smaller. “Really?” I said. And she replied, “Yes, but it’s more expensive. I could go try and find it for you?”. I said, “How much do you think you want for it? I have a school event and I thought I’d try and dress for the occasion”. She said, “How’s $10?”. My eyes popped in excitement on the inside (on the outside I played it cool) “That would be alright”, I said as she went in the house to fetch it. She came back 3 minutes later with a white box. She unwrapped it and pulled out a 3 piece, beaded, electric blue pant-suit saree. I mean this thing is GORGEOUS.
I went inside to her bathroom and tried it on. A teeny bit tight n the waist- a teensy bit short in the the legs. But it all pretty much fit, and with the pants, the beaded tunic and the matching beaded scarf around my neck ~ I was completely transformed.
Wait ’til my husband sees me as a regal Indian woman! Next I will dash off to our local Indian restaurant to buy a bindi for my forehead. Later I’ll pull back my hair and study this Indian eye make-up video on youtube. How FUN! Any Dream Is Possible. DP
My family flipped for this pumpkin pie this Christmas. My step-sons raved and they don’t usually like pumpkin pie . My little 5 year old had refused to try any sort of pumpkin pie until this magical version of “The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie” (Epicurious), popped out of my oven. I made some substitutions and changed some ratios. The preparation took about 5 minutes and the baking, 50 minutes or so.
Here’s how to do it…
Arrowhead Mills premade graham cracker crust (I used the 9 inch from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup sugar (organic cane sugar)
2/3 tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
2/3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 16 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 cup boysenberry preserves
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spread preserves over prebaked crust
Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, yogurt and eggs. Pour in filling. Bake until center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Serves 8
We passed the whipped cream can around the table and everyone had seconds. It’s fantastic!
Let me know how it turns out!
Holiday baking! What a lot of thoughts and images it conjures up for me: time with my mom, fun, family, sharing, sugar!, chocolate, red and green sparkles and cookie cutters, science and cool nesting measuring spoons, nifty gadgets like sifters and beaters and things that plug in, aluminum foil, square shaped pans and cookie racks, tummy aches, angst, worry, over eating, eating secretly while no one is looking, getting fat, feeling gross. What a loaded activity holiday baking is! Or is it just me?
I’ve been meditating on this for a few weeks and I have some thoughts. I have just finished a 12-week transformational health course and have learned a great deal about the importance of what I put into my body (and what I put into my children’s bodies). It’s good that we, as women and mothers, understand the complexities and importance of today’s food situation.
4 Tips Healthy For Holiday Baking
1. Bake and Give
Yes! Bake away with your kids and let them add salt, pour in nuts and beat. Are they old enough to stir the chocolate while it melts in the pot? Go for it. Make a batch or two of your favorite treats and keep ¼ of what you made for your family. You (mom) have some! Have 3 or 4 bites. Enough to taste and get a little kick – but not too much so that you get a tummy ache. Then divide up the rest, wrap in cellophane and a ribbon and hand out to your mail deliverer, your neighbors and your favorite barista at your local coffee place. Share the love (and the calories) and don’t miss out on the fun of baking!
2. Explore with Healthy Ingredients
Start from scratch (from “nothing”) and don’t be afraid of agave, almond flour, and dark chocolate and organic oatmeal! Ok, maybe your cake just like Duncan Hines – but do you KNOW what actually goes into that stuff???
Duncan Hines Classic Cake Mix: Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Poly
glycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).
I don’t think I need to explain why you might not want to put this stuff into your body. And I don’t know what some of those things are! Just reme
mber this lovely phrase I heard on NRP recently:
“If it’s made by a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, DON’T eat it.” — Anonymous
Everyday we teach our children. Pretend they’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie and the first one they try is called a “Healthalicious Holiday Cookies” (recipe coming). It has dark chocolate (improves cholesterol and sugar levels), dried cherries (which reduce muscle soreness, help with sleep and are loaded with antioxidants) almond flour (gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and a high source of protein) and grass fed cow butter (It’s got more carotene because it comes from cows that eat fresh vegetation rich in the stuff. It comes from pasture to ruminant to digestive tract to butterfat to butter to you). I think their head might explode in delight! Let’s reform our baking traditions by stirring up health!
3. No Excuses
I see articles called something like, “How to Not Gain 10 Pounds over the Holidays”. Ok – so here is my latest thinking. It’s a cop out. I know this might sound harsh, but the holidays become an excuse for people to binge and pig out. It’s the holidays – so what! Light the menorah, bring clothes to the homeless, play music, and write cards to friends. That’s “the holidays” too and those things don’t make us put on weight and turn away from our SEVLES and our HEALTH. Let’s focus on this: Here we are! We are lucky to be here now, to have another Christmas, to be healthy and to be around our families, TO BE ALIVE! Let’s celebrate with light and health – not saturated, genetically modified corn oil.
You may be thinking, how can I avoid it? There are treats everywhere I go! To that I say: How do you get thru Valentine’s Day? Easter? Halloween? Thanksgiving? 4th of July? Taking the kids for ice cream? There are doughnuts to be had on every other street corner and caramelized, frothy, whip creamed, double cappuccinos on EVERY corner (with artificial flavoring that some people think keeps you thin! HA! – more on that later).Just have ONE bite, or walk away and drink some water… take a breathe and wish yourself love for giving yourself the greatest gift – health and a body that feels great!
And that leads me to my last tip for holiday baking and not binging…
4. How to Eat Holiday Treats in a Healthy Way
Ok. We are human. I have a weakness for fudge and sometimes it has been hard for me
to stop at one piece. I admit it. I find that a substitution plan works nicely for me. I think of any white grains (white rice, wheat pasta, white bread, bagels) and even potatoes as straight sugar. I don’t eat the white stuff anymore. Even the brown rice grain turns to sugar eventually. So let’s say I have a piece of fudge. I tell myself… “yum that was delicious! And tonight, even though I might be making pasta for my family, I will have chicken and veggies – no grains. That will help balance out my carb/sugar intake and will also give me a sense of control around my body and my health. Good plan Deb. Now go drink a glass of water.”
I hope you have a wonderful time baking and creating sweet treats with your little sugarplums. Oh, and when they are not looking, sneak in some pureed beats or spinach – it’s fun to see them devour brownies that you know are loaded with veggies!!! Ha Ha – my children WILL eat well!!!
Now go preheat your oven!
I am a busy mom (2 girls, 6 and 8), an artist and a teacher. My never-ending goal is to live life in a rich, thoughtful, loving and creative way. I overflow with love for my girls … and I need to make art (sing, write, play music, create smart videos…). My hope for my new two-fold site is to provide you with ideas to help you be a happier, more content mom (and woman) and also share thoughts that might inspire you in the parenting arena. And to provide fun, smart music for kids and families
I work at balance everyday… to balance the energy I give to my husband, family, friends, and to MYSELF…not to mention the house, the cooking, the bills, the pets and our school. I want to share what I learn, as I learn, about being happy and feeing that I am doing my dharma: living my life inline with that which I am actually destined to be doing.
I am only child and realize that the connection between the child and the mother is magical, powerful, intense, scary, gigantic and mind-bending. My girls pick up on my moods and feelings – they are little psychic sponges. I felt my mom’s feelings DIRECTLY and still do. I believe that to be conscious of these connections as we are mothering will help us be better parents and help us to raise children who can individuate and thrive. The beauty of this philosophy is that, the better we take care of OURSELVES, the more connected and aware mothers we become to our CHILDREN. Just like on the airplane, fasten your grown-up oxygen masks first, so that you can more effectively help your child.
I know I can live the rich, full life I have always dreamt of…. being an artist, a mother and a teacher. I know you can do it too! Really being who I want to be will support my kids in a positive way. By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire you and your kids. Living in tune with ourselves sets an example by showing, by doing. Actively honoring dreams, the inner world, the delicate balance of love, art and family AND sharing it here is the plan. Oh yeah! Mother yourself up baby!!