Monday, February 27, 2012

New Recipe and a New Blog

Well, I'm doing it again.

Going without sugar for 2 weeks, that is. This time my two younger sisters are doing this with me, so it's been much more fun.

Last week I invented a new recipe for a breakfast without sugar, and I thought you might enjoy trying it, too:

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal
(Hey, you like Pumpkin Raisin cookies, right? So try it before you say "huh?")
(serves about 4)

- 2 cups quick oats
- 4 cups water (you can do less or more, depending on how thick you like your oatmeal.)
- 1 TBS kefir (or other acid substance, like lemon juice or vinegar, but if you use those decrease the amount to 1 tsp.)
Combine the above in a sauce pan with lid. Stir, cover, and let soak at room temperature overnight.
In the morning, uncover, place on burner over medium heat, and as it starts to warm, add the following:
- 1-2 capfuls of imitation vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup pumpkin
- 1/3 cup molasses (you can do a little less, but I really love molasses)
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
Now, you should add the spices to taste, but remember that because oatmeal is mostly liquid, you'll need to add a LOT of spices to carry through the taste. Be very generous. I do about 1/2 tsp. each of ginger and nutmeg, and probably at least 1 TSB cinnamon....but I never measure, so those estimates may be wrong.

Anyway, add those ingredients, and cover the pot again until it begins to "pop" bubbles. You want it to boil, but keep an eye on it, because as soon as it starts boiling, uncover the pot and begin to stir constantly. You can turn the heat down. Stir for 2 minutes. The oatmeal should turn from looking like soup to...well...oatmeal.

Once you remove it from the heat, stir in a LOT of raisins. This is where you are really sweetening your oatmeal, and they are yummy, so add as much as you like!

Serve hot. Add milk if desired.

Let me know what you think! Don't expect the sugary sweetness of your typical store-bought flavored instant oatmeal packs. This is heartier, and packs more of other flavors, but I like it. If you really can't stand the absence of sugar, you could add a tsp. to the top of each bowl, and pour milk over it, and I'm sure it would be really yummy.

My sisters? One says she likes it as long as the raisins are there to sweeten it. The other doesn't like raisins, but she does love to add peanut butter to her oatmeal. I got her started on that, but I don't like peanut and pumpkin together. Oh well. Each to her own!

Oh yes - my post title said new recipe AND a new blog, didn't it?

Don't worry - I'm not quitting The Fruit of Her Hands. But I have started a new blog! It's all about....well, I'll let the title speak for itself:

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I'm convinced I have the sweetest family in the world.

Need proof?

I'm sitting here at my computer, nibbling chocolate from my brother. Out on the kitchen table sits a vase filled with roses; from the same brother. Gifts to my sisters and myself. He gave some to Mom, too.

My parents gave me the nicest card ever today, wishing me a day filled with love, and telling me how much I am loved.

My youngest sister gave me two Hershey kisses, and a cookie dough spoon to lick - and a pink construction-paper card.

As I sat here writing, I had to get up and answer a knock on my bedroom door - my other sister stood there with a beautiful handmade card. And two more chocolate kisses. The red paper heart was filled with carefully-written words, all sweeter than the sweetest chocolate.

But it goes beyond today.

Yesterday Mom gave me an iron. An iron. Do you remember my last post? She read it, too. Little did I know she had an iron tucked away for my birthday. She impulsively, spontaneously, and generously, and lovingly, gave it to me yesterday. I used it for hours today, as I sewed, and I love it. My own iron! Incidentally, it does not spit water, and it does not have automatic shut-off; it will stay on for hours!

A couple of weeks ago, my older sister gave me a thank-you note, for a baby shower gift. But this was no routinely stated, stiffly polite, typical thank-you note. She took time, in her flowing handwriting, to list just about every single thing I've helped her with or given her during the entire time she was pregnant! She had noticed everything, and taken the time to remember it. And even write it out.

I was out with one of my brothers tonight, and we drove pass a brightly-lit store window in a plaza. I saw a dress I loved, and said I wished we could pass it again so I could see better how it was made. (Hoping to someday copy it.) Without missing a beat, that brother of mine turned around and drove pass the window again!

I'm telling you, I have the sweetest family ever. Every single one of them astounds me with their thoughtfulness and generosity. I know that's Christ in them. And I'm so glad He's in them. He makes our family work, ya know? Life would be so wrong without Him.

Today is Valentine's Day. I've heard it called "singles' awareness day." I don't really do much to celebrate Valentine's Day - maybe someday, when I have a sweetheart, I will. But I don't feel lonely or depressed today. I'm not single. I'm surrounded by a loving family unit, and they make my heart sing.

Did you see the sun today? Did you feel the breeze? Your Heavenly Father loves you, and He's showing you it every moment, if you'll only take the time to look!