Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Raw Pepita-flour Choc-Chia Cookies

We go through almonds like crazy here. With my little gluten intolerant one and me being the same, nearly everything I make has almond meal in it. This is fine, I love sneaking the protein and nutrients into my pancakes through raw almonds mixed with buckwheat flour, but it gets expensive, and I'd like to sneak even more goodness into our meals and treats and create more variety too.

So I've been playing around with pepita flour and sun-flour (sunflower seed flour) and am a little bit excited by the results.  I followed this recipe from Paleo Movement blog to make Pepita-flour Pumpkin bread. I added mashed pumpkin and omitted the maple syrup for a more pumpkin-y pumpkin touch. Next time I'll be adding cinnamon and nutmeg but the pepita flour was perfect.

Yesterday I was craving chocolate by the usual 10am but with no such substance in the house I resolved to whip up one of my Thermomix chocolate ball/slices with what-ever I had available, plus the essential raw cacao powder.

I almost went a step further and added the baking soda to shape and bake cookies like these beauties but my need for instant chocolate and lack of time with school holiday activities whirling around me I ate a couple of spoonfuls and threw the rest of the flattened balls into the freezer. 

A few hours later my Raw Pepita-flour Choc-Chia Cookies emerged. Actually I used half sun-flour and half pepita flour but the name is already too long. I could squeeze 'gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, no-bake, paleo, vegan...' into the name too but hopefully you get the gist.

Here's my recipe:

-A cup of pepitas
-A cup of sunflower seeds (or any nut or seed you have handy)
-2 Tbs Chia Seeds
-1/4 cup Cacao or good quality cocoa powder (or more if you like a richer flavour)
-1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or to taste, you may need more)*
-2-3 Tbs Coconut oil
-2 Tbs water

Whizz up your seeds (and nuts if using) in your Thermomix or a high powered food processor, speed 9 for Themomixer's.
Add the remaining ingredients but leave the water until you have mixed all other ingredients together and tasted your mix. You will need to scrape down the sides and move the mixture to free up the mixture a couple of times to mix it thoroughly.
Add the water to create a more gooey mixture ready for rolling and flattening on a tray.
Pop your raw cookies into the fridge or freezer, I like to use the freezer in the hope that I'll forget about them and they'll last longer.

*You can use maple or agave syrup if you like but you'll need less as these are sweeter than rice malt syrup. I prefer the latter as it is fructose-free and helps create a 'gooey-er' texture.

You could also try pressing the mixture into a slice tray and pouring melted dark chocolate over it once it is chilled for a raw brownie treat.

Have fun playing with seed flours. I'm using them in place of almond flour where possible and hoping to replace coconut flour too as I seem to be reacting to some coconut products. The joys of the irritable bowel...


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Farm life in July

We always jump at the chance to 'farm-sit' while my parents are away. We love the break from home and fresh farm air. We love the manageable list of chores to do and we love tasting some of Mum and Dad's simple life in Mount Duneed.

We light the combustion stove each morning and let the kettle sit there for most of the day, with constant tea-temperature water. We have rare and short showers and use hot water bottles in place of electric blankets. We head out to the chicken shed in search of eggs for lunch and drink milk from the goats, milked the night before. We bundle up and walk up the hill to my sister's house and the kids are up and down all day, 5 of them, on mini-bikes or running at top speed in search of new things to do or to deliver messages.  We graze in mum's wonderful veggie garden for good things to cook. And we settle down at night in the kitchen to play Jenga over and over and read whatever Narnia book we are up to.

This past stay was a little different. It was uncomfortably cold and the wind and rain forced us inside for much of the time. We had to look a little harder for beauty and comfort. My sister has mastered the goat milking and feeding so we were less needed, and the young ones grew tired easily from the harsh weather.

But we found delight in a day or two of afternoon sun, and the peaceful wanderings to watch the milking with my nephew in tow and the others climbing trees and playing, Scout never far behind. My sister's family are easy to be with, generous and relaxed, their children blend easily with ours. 

I played All Sons and Daughters loudly while I cooked in mum's small kitchen and sat with my cups of tea, reflecting...

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings and turn routine jobs into joy.

-William Arther Ward


A Puppy Party for the littlest

Our littlest turned 6 a week or two ago. I've given up trying to slow down time. It just goes faster every year. So we threw a party, all about dogs, her favourite topic.

We did gross things like pick up 'dog poo', and slightly scary things like play balloon games with our rather large energetic dog Scout. The puppies up for adoption had crazy-big eyes but the kids each fell in love with their chosen pooch and officially named and adopted each one.

No girly colors or games for this Miss 6. She was happy playing on her new penny board or having Scout used for 'pin the no, tie the party hat on the doggy'.

She and her friends decorated cupcakes with doggy faces, watched Beethoven on the projector screen and when her Dad and I were exhausted, her big sister took over and played party games with doggy crafts for prizes.

Of course there were tears of tiredness for our little introvert near the end and the usual quiet promise to ourselves to not have another party for a few years. 

Sighs of relief when the last little girl and her puppy left, from Scout too I'm sure!


Friday, June 13, 2014

'Fudgy Chocolate Balls' - with hidden green things

Our littlest won't eat anything green, especially not vegetables. I struggle to get nuts into her when she needs some sugar-free energy, and of course she won't eat seeds, ESPECIALLY not pumpkin seeds.

So when I was at Coles recently and spotted a bag of 'Trail Mix' packed with all sorts of good-for-you things and only one not-so-good thing: the dried cranberries have some sugar in them (but there were no preservatives-hallelujah!) I came up with a SUPER quick and easy way to hide all the good and green seedy bits:
I chucked the whole bag of Trail Mix into the Thermomix (a food processor would be just as good), whizzed it all together on speed 9, added 1/4 - 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and a dash of water to moisten the mixture and rolled these fudgy delights into energy balls for my ever-hungry girls. Win!

I recently made another batch with a slightly healthier trail mix from Aldi and added some dates for extra sweetening. Not AS popular with our little sweet tooth but she would eat them over plain nuts any day.

For a quick and easy gluten, egg and dairy free treat for the kids stock up on:

-Packets of trail mix or any nuts/seeds mix
-Quality pure Cocoa powder
-(dates/sultanas if your mix is fruit-free)

*Oh and coconut to roll the balls in (sulphar-free if possible)

Sadly they are not for me as they are not fructose-free. I make sure I'm stocked up on these yummy simple almond chia cookies for the perfect accompaniment to my tea.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Crochet inspiration from {little golden nook}

I'm racing to finish a blanket for our youngest whose birthday is next week and sometimes looking back through past projects helps to motivate me to keep going (I started this blanket a year ago!)

So I thought I'd share some of the finished work in my home with you. A fellow school mum stumbled across my feed on Instagram earlier this week and kindly messaged me to say how inspiring my crochet was (thankyou Deb), so here is some of it, plus a little peek at my home which is truly, honestly far from perfect looking in real life........

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

The language of Heaven

All my brokenness is a whisper that I don’t belong, and every time I don’t feel like I belong, the Scarred and Rejected God whispers, “Come here, my beloved.”
-Ann Voskamp

And suddenly its June again. Its raining. And its cold. But I can hear this magical sound, and I'm inspired again.

The past few months of illness and family and Church and work, play and sun have unravelled messily behind us, distant and blurry because of the pace we move at. Winter has settled down to stay here, down near the bottom of mainland Australia. We can light fires and drink more tea, make things with yarn and snuggle. But its still a challenge.

My beautiful friend Dee has pointed me to a place of joy lately and while I'm sure I'm probably the last one to find it, it is most definitely the right time for me to have 'a holy experience' on this crazy world of online distractions. My Maisy and I lay and listened to the beautiful music of David Nevue and both fell in love with the sound. An hour before I'd been touched by Ann's words and her little corner of joy and grace, her focus on Jesus.

{from this post}

So we bought the album, and I signed up to read when I can, it brings me back to a place where can drink in the beauty in my day and in the very place I am at, weary and clinging on, often hanging out for sleep time, and really truly it opens my heart to see some of the beauty of Jesus.

Lately my brief daily snippets of Spurgeon wisdom have nudged me, and the women who I meet in our community group have reminded me, and the Spirit is so gentle but persistent when He tells me that I must make time to be with God, to hear each day of grace that rescues a heart like mine and love that waits and stays and reaches out.

Its amazing how small life can get when we are missing that external thing that is bigger and greater than us. That thing that takes our eyes off ourselves and our family and our own pleasures or distractions. The seasons around us change gradually but yet so quickly and when the summer nights are steamy and blanket-less we can't imagine ever needing socks or electric blankets. I cannot imagine here in my warm bed in the middle of June, the feeling of a starved belly or no place to rest. I'm distracted by the list of things that need doing in my big house, the washing and the cooking, the endless cleaning and improving. Simple gratitude is crowded out by our need to do and to consume. We are small and our lives are so completely fragile in the eyes of a Creator who sees all. And when we are always looking down, the parameters of our hearts close in a little tighter and we miss joy and real beauty, and yes even as believers we miss the glory and grace of Jesus.

I am grateful that despite my semi-blindness I still see bits of beauty in my day, that I feel joy when a friend speaks of the smallest of gifts from above that are actually giant when seen through uplifted eyes. After a long, sick, low, frustrated day I might just want to curl up and wait for sleep time and the hope of new mercies tomorrow but tonight my family spur one another on amidst grumbles and bouts of frustrations at lost shoes and scratchy scarves to walk the dog in the dark under the fresh night sky. And the ten minutes of breathing and literally looking up together makes the day's disappointments fall away. He is in control. And I'm not meant to understand it.

So what pulls on my very being and what I seek to do often is to be quiet and still. Because my real home is waiting for me in Heaven, and my body tells me daily that I don't belong here, most especially in winter, I have to keep on learning to speak the language of Heaven.


When heaven is really your motherland, then prayer is really your mother tongue, and you can’t help but yearn to speak in the language of your Father now.
-Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A double long black and I'm back {for today}

Well hello there!

If you can see through the layers of dust covering my Little Golden Nook blog world, you could picture me lounging on my favourite summer spot (no, not our dreamy nook, its too hot for that) on our bed upstairs, my favourite cool retreat.  I’m typing(!) And I may just post whatever I find on the page once I'm done.

I haven’t blogged for over six months now. I don’t really feel like explaining why, I want to get straight to my reason for my current state of wordi-ness.

But I’ll briefly explain because its important and real afterall…

Back in May last year an amazing, seemingly wise-beyond-her-years friend in our Church small group tragically lost her darling one year old in a sudden home accident. Little Charlotte didn’t die straight away but clung to life for a few short hours in emergency before she went to be with Jesus.

As you can only imagine this accident utterly devastated my friend, her husband and their little Peter. It rocked our wonderful church family to the core and caused many other churches and families in Geelong to cry and pray and reach out towards the family.

Through all of their brokenness and questioning ‘why?’ this small family were strong and certain in their hope and faith in God and this encouraged hundreds of people whilst all they wanted was Charlotte back with them.

Their hope encouraged me too. But I think the shock and sadness of it all knocked me into an early winter depression (I struggle more with reactive depression in winter).  At the same time I was (extra) weary from being heavily involved in a new Church Plant and trying to hold on to enthusiasm for teaching RE as well as worry about our four year old who wasn’t yet thriving at kindergarten.

On top of that our computer spat it and refused to upload any of my gazillions of photos anymore so it seemed it was the end of blog-land for me.  I left it behind and got on with our busy year.

Between then and now I have had a couple of sweet encouraging comments that have tempted me to play on here again. My fabulously stylish, super-kind, teacher-of-the-decade, shoe-loving new friend Anna gave me a confidence boost with her too-high-praise, and I did hear that a friend of a friend might have been encouraged a little in her own journey with illness and creative wanderings.  Not to mention my sweet handful of bloggy friends who I’ve missed so much.

But my inspiration for today’s chat is far more superficial. Well it doesn’t stem from deep emotions coming from my ‘Kidney’(Hebrew word), but it IS related to my ‘inmost being’* (the definition of said Hebrew word) in a way…….

(Sorry, that may have been a disturbingly confusing sentence that only a couple of you may understand.)

I’ve mentioned before that I benefit from doing coffee enemas for liver cleansing and well general cleansing of the ‘inner parts’.

My daily enemas have become almost my favourite time of day. I enjoy ‘children’s bedtime hour’ just as much.

Well today I’m particularly sore and ‘hungover’ and thought I’d try two coffee enemas only an hour apart. Of course I use only the best fresh oganic coffee beans and follow these Gerson Therapy instructions closely.

  I’ve taken to inviting our new pet Twinkle to join me upstairs for the process. She keeps me company and isn’t tempted to sniff around my nether-regions like I soon found Scout our dog was when she was too small to leave alone downstairs.

So Twinkle the budgie patiently stands guard while I relax with my phone – I try to restrict myself to my bible and MARSHILL apps only during this time -  and let the freshly boiled brew do its thing.  The result of today’s first ever second enema is what you are now reading (though the effect is wearing off and I’m wishing I never started such a long and probably boring story). Too much caffeine in the blood stream plus a child-free afternoon and a tired, sore body equals an more-than-usual wired brain and a sudden urge to share!

Twinkle standing guard in our bathroom

It is truly great to be back though :)

*Psalm 139