Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vegan,Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Bars

I get emails from VegNews magazine and this was one that came a week or two ago.  I instantly knew I wanted to try it- and I did this morning.  It was SO easy to make.  i even made my own oat flour using whole oats in my blender.  I also only used 1 cup of chocolate chips in the recipe i made today.  the next time i make it, though, i will use a little less sugar and let it cook a little longer.  mine was still sorta soft in the middle.  they are like cookie bars.  YUM!

What You Need:

3 cups gluten-free oat flour (make your own by grinding rolled oats in a blender)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for pan
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free vanilla
2 cups allergen-free chocolate chips

What You Do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin with baking powder. Add oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, one half at a time, and stir to combine. Mix in chocolate chips.

3. Pour batter into pan. With damp hands, press batter to evenly fill pan. Bake 18 minutes, and cool completely before cutting into bars.

Friday, October 28, 2011

friday five

five weird things that happened in the last 24 hours

1. in the spirit of "green", i tried to ride the bus from my office to nathaniel's office yesterday afternoon but it FULL!

2. holly wore black halloween socks instead of pink tights with her blue tutu to dance.

3.  i drank a glass of milk.  real cow's milk, too.

4.  kendal woke up happy and holly woke up grumpy!

5. i joined twitter.  not because i want to "tweet", but because i wanted to win a contest and wanted 2 extra entries.

bonus:  last night, i dreamed i went to the kohls in elizabethtown, KY and spent $500 on stupid stuff.  when i got to fort knox, i turned around and took it all back because i realized #1 i didn't even like the things i bought, and #2 i'd need that money for other stuff.  it is the end of the month but i'm really not even close to being broke though. i'm really proud of myself for saving probably $50 this week by not eating out! (shout out to nathaniel for helping me by making my lunches.)

thankful thursday - mermaid and robot

today is friday, but yesterday i was thankful for the hallelujah festival at kendal and holly's preschool church!  they had SUCH a blast!  it was our first trunk or treat and it was the perfect way to start the "halloween" season!  they loved wearing their costumes & eating candy (just a little bit)!  kendal wanted to wear his robot shirt to school the next morning.  too bad it had sucker on it!

thanks also to gymboree for great costume ideas, even if one of them is PJs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Pick Three

Please help me pick 3!  Only 3.  Which are your favorites?

1. DeHart Lake

2. The Kiss

3. Mine!

4. Purple

5. Scout

6. Willie the Worm

what i want wednesday


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

top ten tuesday - things i love about my new green office


1. the views. i love the look of the building itself, but i also love the view out of downtown raleigh!

2. the green wall outside!

3. the counter in the bathroom - made with recycled glass!

4. the NC shaped tiles outside on the patio.

5. the wavy bench downstairs (of coarse, this photo is surrounded by our moving totes, but you get the idea!).

6. the dry erase board in my office ROCKS!

7. no dust.

8. the wood all over the building is recycled.

9. the atrium (almost like a cruise ship!)

10. not being in a basement anymore! (i get to climb 3 flights of stairs every day!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

manic monday

i can't believe that it's a monday and i haven't anything to complain about.  i just had a great 3 day weekend with my family, the kids were super wonderful, minimal sister-brother arguing, they ate what we fed them, no potty accidents - had a blast everywhere we went.  i mean seriously, nothing to complain about!

i'm gonna have to force this one.  hum...

this morning, i sit in a new office.  it is really bright in here.  i prefer a darker room.  maybe that'll be my manic for the day.  that's really all i can think to whine about right now.  just too dang bright in here.  it's beautiful, though. 

i love downtown raleigh!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

two words.

photos from a walk around the yard today after lunch.  me, mom, kendal, holly, and maggie.  i thought it'd be fun to have 2 words to describe each one.

afterlunch jog.

overripe crabapples.

for mamaw.

smile, mags!

yesterday's trophy.

ready-to-cut okra.

okra blooms.

turnip greens.

greenleaf lettuce.

back pockets.

country girl.

runs fast.

salted roasted pumpkin seeds

the best part of carving a pumpkin is roasting (and eating) the pumpkin seeds. 
the pulp should be mostly removed/separated from the seeds.  the seeds should be placed in a colander and washed. a standard pumpkin will have about 1/2 - 2/3 cup of seeds.

in a small sauce pan, put about 2 cups of hot water on the stove - on high.  add about 1 to 2 tbs of salt.  when it starts boiling, add the pumpkin seeds and when it comes back to a boil,  you'll have to turn the burner down to med otherwise it will boil over. after 5 minutes or so, pour the seeds and water back into the colander in the sink and let them cool to the touch.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

once they have cooled enough that you can handle them (10 minutes?), drizzle them with olive oil.  i also sprinkled mine with chili powder, cayenne powder, and a little bit of salt (because i wanted them spicy).  mix them with your fingers to coat all the seeds with the olive oil and spices.

pour the seeds on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  put them in the oven and stir them after 10 minutes, and again every 5 minutes until they are done. mine took about 20 minutes to make but i think it is oven dependent (and some of mine were a little "toasty").  you smell them when they are getting done, they smell sorta like roasted peanuts!  they are very aromatic. 

i don't know about storage and keep time because mine never make it through the night.  :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

photo challenges

this photo was entered into the paper mama's photo challenge "faces" -
i love the way she's looking at me.  so trusting, so loving, so needing.  i love her so much!  and for the record, it was the only second she wasn't talking on the walk down from the top of mt. mitchell.  she's a talker for sure!  :)
The Paper Mama

This photo was entered into the i heart faces photo challenge "let them be little" -

her ballet class was actually dancing to the itsy bitsy spider and this was the part where "out came the sun"... after this song, they all wanted to hear the barney song!  i'm not sure if it is a song and dance class or a ballet/tap class!  holly sure loves it.

workable weekend - tomato and chickpea soup

my sister made this soup and raved about it - she gave me the recipe online and i didn't make it.  first of all, i'm not a fan of chick peas.  i DO like hummus, but chick peas any other way just don't appeal to me (i think they are pasty and dry).  so, though she said it was really good, i didn't trust her. (my mistake!!!)

weeks later, she brought a little bowl of it home.  it was cold, and she said "try it!"

it reminded me of a time back in the mid-2000s when one of my friends and i went to a resturant in greenville (fancy to me at the time, but that is representative of my budget at the time) and i got a bowl of tomato bisque (i think that was about all i could afford).  i remember when i was eating it, that i thought it was the best tomato soup i'd ever eaten and it was hardly plain like a can of tomato soup (which was what i expected) as it was so flavorful - and i tried to make it but i never could really master that recipe.

anyway, this soup instantly brought me back to that moment and i realized that she gave me this recipe and i COULD make it.

so, though i still haven't made it, i'm making it for work next week.  we're moving to a new office and i'm not sure if there will be a microwave available.  i was trying to think of something to take to work that didn't have to be warmed - and i HATE peanut butter sandwiches - and i thought of this!  i can't wait to make AND EAT it.  it is wonderful.

here's the recipe in case you want to try it too.  it is super easy, inexpensive, and simple.

In a blender, combine 1 can chickpeas, 2 cloves of garlic. Process until finely ground.

Add 1 can diced tomatoes (I used Italian style with spices), 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs olive oil, 1/2 cup milk (she used lactose free, i'll use regular milk), salt and cayenne to taste. Blend until smooth.

Heat on stove until warm (or not).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

friday five

this is the best friday five ever!  this afternoon (yes, it's still thursday) i got to take holly to her 2nd dance class.  mom took her to the first one and will take her to the rest of them, but she had a dentist appoitment today so i "had to" take her (yay!)

anyway, i took my camera (of coarse!) and they were find with me poking my head in the door every few minutes to snap a few shots.  these were all without a flash and they are sorta grainy.  the lighting was horrible BUT i think they still turned out OK.  WHEN I GET MY NEW CAMERA this won't be a problem!  :)

so, for my friday five, here are five photos i took yesterday of holly in her dance class!  :)  (ok, so i may end up putting on more than five, but here are at least five!)

on last thought - here are five photos that clearly show holly's face!  the others are either blurry or of some other part of her body! so now technically i did make a friday five.  except, it IS thursday... eh.

thankful thursday

i know this is random and i never thought i'd say this (and i hope it doesn't jinx me or her) but, i'm thankful for ear tubes.  we've been 3 (or 4) months now with no ear infections.  that's an eternity after going 9 months with one every 3 weeks - or, one that never healed that kept coming back over and over and over.  we're lucky she talks and can hear. 

anyway, i hope we don't ever have complications with them (like, when they fall out - which they are supposed to - and if we have to get another set) but for now, i'm thankful for these last 3 months without any antibiotics or pain relievers.  whew.  poor baby girl finally has a healthy stomach!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

what i want wednesday

well, it's wednesday.  for a week now, i've been wanting something so much that i can't even think straight.  the time is coming, and i need to decide! not that i'm gonna be getting it tomorrow, but i will soon enough.  like, soon as i sell my current camera and accessories (interested?)  anyway, i can't decide if i should upgrade to a...


i want a full frame camera, AND both make a "semi-pro" full frame camera and that's the one i'm shopping for.

Canon 5D Mark II

Nikon D700

the cons to upgrading:  my old lenses (all nikon) are all DX, meaning they are made for the 1.6x sensor of my Nikon D5000.  so, basically, my old lenses will need to be sold with my old camera.

pros to upgrading:  well, obviously, a full frame sensor (just like the old 35mm film sensor size). plus both have a high ISO (take better low-light photos). 

facts about the cameras that make the decision about which to get really hard:
nikonfx 12.1 mp, canonfx 21mp (= massive file ...what if that large file size kills my computer?  extra cost)
nikonfx is 6.3 oz heavier(and also larger) than the canonfx.
nikonfx is better in low light but the canonfx has better resolution. not that i print posters or anything!
nikonfx has a built in flash, canonfx does not.
nikonfx costs more than the canonfx (we're talking like $500 to $600 for the body).  nikon lenses and accessories (flashes, etc.) are also more expensive for some reason!  guess you pay for the name.
i am already familiar with nikon's settings, though the D700 is a little different. i am not familiar with canon's settings but supposedly it is really easy - way easier than a nikon in general.

so, what will it be?  any advice?
this is worse than picking out furniture.  frankly, it costs more too!


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