Is that an oxymoron? Well, maybe it is.
Now don’t get me wrong. But just because sloppy joes are . . . sloppy, that’s not a reason to hate them. Once, when I was a teenager, and staying with my sister who lived in Provo, Utah, the youth group at church went on a rafting trip, and I got to go along, too.
After a long day of rafting on the Green River, we were all sunburned, with chapped lips and sore muscles. The youth leaders had made a huge pot of sloppy joe mix, and let me tell you, I remember thinking that sandwich was the best thing I had eaten in my entire life.
Hopefully, this recipe will taste good whether you’re exhausted with heat stroke or not.
Three congregations (we call them “wards”) meet in our church building on Sunday, and each year our wards are assigned a different time. Some years church has been at 9:00, or worse—8:30 am. As a single mom (and even as a wife of an airline pilot), getting three kids clean and dressed—which all my kids mysteriously forget how to do on Sunday—before 9:00 is insane.
Luckily for us, this year our ward meets at 1:00. You’d think with so much more time we’d always be on time, but sadly, no. It could be due to the fact that since I think we have a lot of time, we dawdle a bit. Well, more than a bit. Usually my kids get out every stuffed animal in the house to play school, then they get out every chair and blanket to make a tent village. Then they yell at each other. Then I try not to yell at them to stop yelling (I usually fail).
This morning, my five-year-old was screaming in a panic as we were in the car on the way to drop the older kids at school.
“I don’t want to get pinched by a leprechaun! I’m not wearing any green!”
It sounds cute in writing. But it wasn’t very cute at the time. I felt a lot like Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character at the beginning of Nanny McPhee Returns.
These were the cookies I made for my kids for their after school snack today, which they then frosted by themselves. They’re an extremely simple shortbread, with an even simpler buttercream frosting.
My son and I can’t tell you the name of this sandwich, because it’s adapted from a book we’ll talk about in a day or two. We will give you our version of the recipe today, though . . . then we’ll tell you about the book.
But first I just want to send my love to any of my readers who live in Japan, have loved ones there, or are connected with the devastation there in any way. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
This morning I learned of a blog that is hosting an online bake sale at the end of March. I will keep you filled in as I learn more about it.
Until then, let me tell you how we made the sandwich . . .
Apparently chia seeds are for eating, not just growing in pottery shaped like porcupines. I’ve been doing a bit of reading about chia seeds lately, and was thrilled to see them in the bulk section of my grocery store.
They are our new favorite ingredient. My daughter loves them—which is saying something. She loves to mix them into yogurt and smoothies, or just eat the runaway seeds from off the counter. My favorite way to use them is to grind them up in a spice grinder and add the flour to different recipes.
You might wonder, though, what is so great about chia seeds, the latest trend in the health food scene.
I first tried a kouign-amann at a cafe in Salt Lake City. Caramelized sugar makes them crispy all around the edges, which cradle a center of buttery, flaky layers. They are pure heaven.
I did some Wikipedia searches to find out the kouign-amann is a cake originating in Brittany, the northwest corner of France. After experimenting with a recipe I pieced together from a few different sources, I have sadly discovered mine does not taste exactly like the ones in Salt Lake (And trust me. I know this without a doubt after eating five or six of them today).
Okay, so technically it isn’t Friday anymore, but I had a long day. Besides, it’s still Friday in California.
This is just a quick post—I’m sure most of you know how to cook a salmon fillet, but this is my favorite way to eat it, and I thought maybe you’d like to know.
But first I’ll plug the salmon. Salmon—wild caught is best—is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, B vitamins, and vitamin D, among other nutrients. It’s widely available across the country, and the best part: every kid in my family loves it. Even my daughter.
My son came up with his own joke when he was two, and it goes like this:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because he had the day off!
He still tells the joke at least twice a week.
Today, after preschool, he came to me crying because no one had asked him to play. He said to me, with tears in his eyes, “I want to be like the chicken who crossed the road!”
Apparently, he wanted the day off from getting a ride home. What ensued was a quiet tantrum of sorts, with me driving slowly alongside him, while he refused to get in the car.
That’s right—monkey bread, individually sized, with caramel sauce. These tasted better than I expected. And honestly, as much as I believe caramel sauce makes everything in the world taste better, this monkey bread was so good, you could actually skip the sauce, and still be filled with perfect joy.
This was a recipe we tried out on Friday. My kids were home sick (I can’t actually remember what was wrong with them), and my daughter had asked me to make bread. Rather than make just one loaf, I doubled the recipe, and went to town making up different kinds.
My daughter was still insisting on plain white bread, so I made that. Then my five-year-old insisted I make a cinnamon swirl bread, so I made one of those, and then I remembered how I was dying to make monkey bread, so I made that, too.
I’m curled up with my laptop watching The Prince of Persia. Somehow, seeing Jake Gyllenhaal on my TV screen makes me feel a little less lonely on a Friday night. When I first saw him in October Sky, I remember thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know they made them like that.”
Anyway, enough of that. I was going to talk about power foods, and granola.
This granola is not that different from the lemon scented cherry granola I posted a couple of years ago. I took out the fruit and lemon this time, and added in almond flour and flax meal.
As far as nutrients go, the almonds add protein, vitamin E, and calcium, while the flax meal holds a wealth of B vitamins and fiber. The oats, which are probably my favorite grain, have both insoluble and soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and balance out the blood sugar.