Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday - Low Fat Granola - Melissa's Way

Ingredients

8 cups Gluten Free Quick Cooking Oats (you can use Old Fashioned)
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup agave nectar (or any sweetener you prefer )
1/2 cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sliced almonds/walnuts
1 cup raisins

I have been messing with a low-fat granola recipe that satisfies the craving that I have for the full-fat version I've been making for a couple years. It's been a difficult transition for me - because I really love the full-fat version. To Hannah - she prefers the ZERO-fat version. Weird. So, I think I've got it. I still include a little bit of oil and probably a little more sugar than I should have but - the agave doesn't spike your blood sugar, and the honey has antioxidants.

Here's what I did.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Take a two cup measuring cup and add the oil, honey, agave, and applesauce. You'll only dirty one measuring cup for this step :)

Dump the mixture into a large sauce pan and heat until it starts to bubble. Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix well. Remove from heat and add oats and nuts. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Spread evenly between two baking sheets with sides. I prefer to line with parchment.

Bake for about 35 minutes, stirring every ten.

Remove from the oven when granola looks crisp. Let cool. Add raisins or other dried fruit - and eat.

*You can substitute all honey if you don't have agave, add coconut if you like it, and change up the nuts or dried fruit.*

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family Friday - Does Guilt Come with Parenting?

I'm feeling so guilty.

Hannah got an invitation to a birthday party. It's for a little girl in her school that I know she plays with and interacts with a good bit. We just got the invite on Monday in the mail and the party is tomorrow. I didn't even tell her about it. Matt said he would take her to the party, but I just asked him to call and tell them we couldn't make it.

I feel awful.

First of all - the party is at Chuck E. Cheese. Despite the fact that I'm a germ-a-phobe, you have to at least agree with me that, that is one germ infested place. I know she comes in contact with this stuff every day at school, I just really don't want to risk her getting sick with all that's going around, all that she's been through physically and emotionally, and the possibility that she might be sick when the baby comes (which could happen anyway.)

Second of all - We are constantly moving. With all of the stress of this pregnancy and how she's been managing school (which is finally settling down) I just hate to add ANOTHER thing to her schedule. Last weekend was an overload of events and I just feel like we need some downtime as a family - and she needs time to relax and recoup from the week.

Lastly, HOLY COW! MONEY. It's not a big deal to buy a gift for a kid, but come on. There's always something. I'm trying to finish Christmas shopping before Emma comes, we have to get a roof leak fixed, and our car is getting inspected today...Our 10 year old car. There's always some kind of birthday party or event to buy something for. Sometimes you just have to say no!

This post should have been encouraging YOU about how guilt is a natural emotion as a parent and we just need to learn to keep it in check, but I'm just feeling guilty about not telling her about it. I know she would have had a blast going to this party.

Am I just being selfish??

Maybe we'll do something else fun tomorrow or something.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Sigh....

I know a lot of you have been wondering what's going on, and I've been pretty much MIA since my appointment today.

I was at the doctor's from 9:15am to 1pm. It's really enough to drive one insane. I'll spare you the annoying details and get to the specifics.


Emma fell below the 10th percentile and didn't gain much weight since the last ultrasound.

I'M THANKFUL THAT she is in no distress and, other than lack of weight gain, looks fine. (She's hairy like the rest of us too!)

I'm not dilated or they'd induce me now. So, I'll be seen two times a week to be checked to see if I'm dilated at all and to do a non stress test on the baby. If I start to dilate at any time, they'll induce. If Emma doesn't look good at any time, they'll induce. (They don't want to do so beforehand because of a high risk for a C Section.)

If I never dilate, I will be induced no later than Wednesday, November 24 (the day before Thanksgiving.) Who's bringing me turkey in the hospital???

Please pray that my body prepares itself so that it's ready for labor, and that Emma is completely healthy AND FAT. They believe she's just physiologically small at this point.

I'm frustrated and worried. I just want her to be healthy and I don't want to have a C Section. I just don't understand why she's so small and not growing well. I feel myself detaching from her a little bit emotionally because I can tell anxiety will take over if I don't.

I'll let you know what happens Monday. I'm hoping I'm dilated!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wellness Wednesday - Nesting

I'm 37 weeks! Full Term! CELEBRATE!

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow along with an ultrasound and a non stress test. If the baby hasn't grown enough, and falls below the 10th percentile, there's a chance they might induce this weekend. So, I'm spending today making lists and finishing up my bag packing.

I feel bad saying that part of me WANTS them to take her out tomorrow. I'm getting uncomfortable and cranky. One friend looked at me yesterday and exclaimed with much zeal that I have dropped. I told her not to tease me! I'm having a lot of pain...pretty much everywhere. Lots of contractions...and some delightful mood swings. I know it's par for the course, and ultimately I want Emma to stay in my belly as long as she can, but can you blame a girl for wanting to wear pants with a zipper??

Another important thing I'm doing today. Vacuuming the blinds and the baseboards...Weird. It's been bugging me - and I love to vacuum.

I need to fold clothes now and get some more things done.

I'll do my best to keep you posted if it's time to have the baby this weekend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tips and Hints Tuesday - Stop your cookies from burning

I have a couple of old, dark cookie sheets that I now only use for roasting vegetables. They burn my cookies and anything delicate that I put in them.

I have the lighter colored air-bake cookie sheets and I love them, but I've run into a problem.

When I make granola that needs stirred (my low-fat recipe will finally be posted on Saturday) those pans don't work, because they don't have sides. But, when I try to use my dark cookie sheets, the granola turns to BLACK in about 5 minutes.

Not ready to buy more cookie sheets, I simply used a piece of parchment paper to line the dark pan and my granola came out perfectly.

I was surprised at the expensive cost of parchment paper, but for as long as it lasts, it's worth it. Plus, it's way cheaper than buying new cookie sheets for one recipe!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Money Monday - Cars

Well, I feel like we've learned some lessons the hard way.

We've been duped by mechanics and it's getting old. Last month we paid $400 to "guarantee a fix" to our car and got completely cheated. We had the car back to the mechanic 3 times and each time, it was worse than the last.

When we took there, the engine lagged a bit when you first started the car. After they "fixed" it, it stalled every time you started it.

We got about $75 back and learned that location may be convenient, but reliability and honesty is better.

Our car is due for inspection and we're going to drive a little further for the honesty we know we'll get from someone else. I don't mind paying a little more if my car is going to be fixed! Just don't lie to me.

Matt has been putting a $3 bottle of "Gum Out" in the gas tank at every other fill up. Now, not only is the car not stalling, it's not lagging at all either...Pretty sad that our $9 fix cost us over $325 and 3 days without our car.

It's just difficult when you don't know about cars enough to argue with a mechanic. Oh well - lesson learned.

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