Well, I hate to gripe about the weather....again....but it started snowing again last night! It's official! Spring is NOT coming to Ontario this year! Sorry! With some luck we'll hopefully get summer, but I'm not holding out hope at this point! While doing the barn chores this morning, and getting the hay out for the horses from our last bale I thought, "well, crap! I guess I'm going to need to get more hay?!?!" With the nice weather we had a few weeks ago I really thought we'd make it with the hay we had....but then the winter was like, "Psych! I'm cooooooming baaaaaack!". (insert weeping from this gal).
Don't get me wrong, I like winter. But it's officially been spring now for 2 weeks, tomorrow is April, in 2 weeks it's Easter - so I want spring!!! I am saying that like a 3 year old having a temper tantrum!
Alright....move on Amy-Lyn....no amount of whining will change the weather.....
Here at the Van Londersele house we like pizza. We like store bought, homemade, take-out (well, we rarely order take-out, but sometimes people come to visit for dinner, and they stop in town and grab a pizza or two). We'll eat sauce, cheese and pepperoni on baked potatoes, zucchini, and stuffed into chicken breasts. Because, let's be honest, tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni together are soooo yummy,
I recently have been trying to get my kids (aka-trick my kids) into eating more veggies. They are actually all pretty good about eating the veggies they like, which isn't a bad variety of veggies, but I want to be able to make less and less variations of dinner to suit us all. I'm not a make-8-different-kinds-of-dinner-to-suit-everyone kind of Mom by any means, but I do tend to make the family something to eat (it's always gluten-free), but because I eat mostly paleo, I'm the one with the adjusted meal. Yes, I am the picky child in our family scenario. Ok, I'm not picky at all, just specific. So, for instance, if we're having a pasta night, the kids will have gluten free pasta, and Adam and I will have spaghetti squash noodles, or some other veggie noodle (because I own a Inspiralizer and can make noodles out of anything!).
Caleb, my eldest child who has autism is getting really, really good at trying new foods, but there are still a few he is very wary about. Spaghetti squash is one of those foods. But recently I'd made a casserole using spaghetti squash, and he ate it (he picked the broccoli out though). The casserole had a "cheese sauce", bacon and chicken though, so it was easy to get him to eat it. I'm not sure he even noticed it was spaghetti squash with how much he enjoyed the meats and "cheese".
So, taking advantage of his enormous pre-teen appetite, and his love of meat and cheese, and the fact that he'd successfully eaten spaghetti squash without gagging, I thought this could be a good time to try something new and delicious. Pizza stuffed spaghetti squash! Yes indeed!
I will openly admit that he was reeeeeeealy skeptical, and wasn't into eating his "pizza" out of the squash shell (or the "squashes stinky coat" as he called it!), so I dumped it into a bowl, added another generous pinch of mozzarella, and a sprinkle of parmesan....and he ate it! I may have also bribed him with a treat if he finished it. I mean, sometimes, no amount of meat, cheese, or treat bribery will work to convince him to eat something new, so the fact that it did speaks to the tasty value of these pizzas! He did say when he was done, "Caleb will not like spaghetti squash" (it sounds like a question, but he was making a statement), and I said, "but you ate it all?", and he said nothing. In my Mom brain though I heard him say "drat". : )
So, I'm not going to say "everyone will love this recipe!", but if your family already likes spaghetti squash then it's a no-brainer that you'll want to try this, but if your kids are on the fence, this may be the ticket to getting them on the spaghetti squash train!
Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
For a bunch more spaghetti squash ideas, check out this post from Buzzfeed!
I blabbed too much at the beginning of this post, so all I will say now is have a great weekend! Bye!
Well, I thought spring was here...but it's not. The sun is out most days, but the temperature is still in the below zero mark! I'm talking -10 with a nasty wind! You step out thinking, "oh, what a sun-shiny terrific day!", and then the snappy wind sweeps up and bites you in the face! Waaaaa! Yes, that was crying. Like a baby. I've started just rubbing coconut oil (organic, virgin) on my face because it was getting so dry and scratchy from the wind! Waaaa! More crying. This morning we woke up to snow, so…..waaaaaa waaaaa!
Ok, crying over, I actually like the coconut oil on my face! It smells loverly, and has made my skin reeeeeal soft!
Alright. Food time. In April of last year I wrote something called "The Great Potato Debate" and talked about potatoes, and how they are the evil enemy to weight loss and a long and happy life!!! (a slightly overdramatic voice needs to be used when reading that. Possibly even putting a hand to the forehead like a damsel in distress?).
Well, there are many pros and cons regarding potatoes, but sometimes, they are choice # 1 in my house. Why? Because they are really freakin' affordable, that's why! They are filling, they really do have many nutritious benefits, and they are a humble, blank slate to so many meal ideas! And THEN they are inexpensive on top of all that? Well, hot-dog, sign me up! All you need to do is load ‘em up with toppings (see the above link for a delicious recipe that I included at the end of the post!) after they come out of the oven, add a side of veggies, and your meal is complete!
When we do baked potatoes as a meal, I’ll switch up what we top them with. If the budget is particularly tight, we’ll just add butter, salt, and a tiny sprinkle of cheese. Other times we’ve made curry, chili, pulled pork, to top them with (separately, of course!) and then there's the ever “classic” baked potato toppings of sour cream, bacon bits, green onion and cheese.
Now, to take a humble baked potato to a new level, someone at some point (who loved mashed potatoes!), thought, “I wish the inside of my baked potato was filled with mashed potatoes! (this account is almost certainly 100% historically accurate!).
Enter the twice baked potato!
Granted, these take a little more work, but you can do the first baking, as well as mash and fill the potatoes ahead of time and then put the lovely stuffed gems into the oven when you need them! You can even fully prepare these up until the final baking, and store them in the freezer! After we had Keziah, a woman from church brought us the most amazing meal, all made ahead and frozen, and one of the super tasty items was twice baked potatoes. They were so delicious! This past weekend I devoured some mini twice baked potatoes that a friend had made for a St. Paddy's day party. She made them all earlier in the week, then froze them until party time!
The twice baked potatoes on the menu for today are of the bacon & spinach variety.
I know the pictures are all golden, cheesy-topped potatoes, and you dairy avoiders are all "I bet these don't taste as good without the cheese!", well, let me assure you they are still absolutely delicious!
Ok, I'm signing off! Time to shovel the driveway! Just kidding! I don't need to shovel....because the snow has turned to freezing rain!.....now I'm not kidding. Waaaaaa waaaaa!
March break is over!!!
While on a walk yesterday, one of our neighbours said to the kids, "I bet your Mom is ready for you guys to go back to school!". Well, last Sunday, before March Break started I may have thought, "Let's get this week over with!", but as the week went on, I found myself enjoying the ebb and flow I have with my kids. They are getting older, and we are all understanding each other better. Caleb, although dealing with autism, and being a pre-teen, is managing to get through his days (mostly) in one piece, and the girls have stopped their endless (ENDLESS!!!!!!!) arguing. Don't get too excited about that last one, we had to take away ALL of my youngest daughters stuffies (stuffed animals) on her bed because not only was she arguing, she was hitting, kicking, and generally expressing her anger in violence. So, everyday she gets through without blowing her top, she gets to pick one stuffy to have back. So, that's definitely helping with the arguing piece in our lives! Anywho, that was just a random parenting "aside".
Well, still, loving my kids and having an enjoyable March Break doesn't stop me from laughing at these memes I've picked out for today!
Can I say that my "motivational Mondays" should actually just be called "Meme Mondays"?. I find memes cheer me up because there are so many, and they can be so funny (because they are so true!).
So, here they are! My "Motivational Monday (aka-Meme Monday!) memes to help you laugh and start your week off right!
Which one made you laugh out loud?!? Let me know!
I was doing some stress baking last week. It felt like a long, hard week, and Friday was a sad and stressful day. So, there are 2 types of stress/sad reactions I have: 1-I can't seem to find any pleasure in cooking or baking, or 2-I want to bake and cook all day!
I made 2 types of muffins, quick and simple rolls, and then I wanted to make cookies...but I'd used all my eggs, and I don't have a vehicle at all right now during the day, and walking into town is out of the question as it would take me probably an hour and a half to get there. Seriously. I guess that's not that bad....I could have hopped on my sons bike and gotten there in maybe half an hour? Anyway, too late for that now!
Instead I started looking up egg-free chocolate chip cookie recipes. I wanted chocolate chip cookies! All the recipes I found were vegan, which wasn't exactly my point, I just had no eggs! Also....this'll sound judgemental, but the pictures of the cookies I saw were also of these sad, overly cooked, flat things which I was not interested in making. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are some amazing recipes out there, and some beautiful photos to go with, but I wasn't in a patient mood to find such a thing!
So, I decided I would just experiment a little. I would take my own chocolate chip cookie recipe....and try not adding eggs? It's sounds cra-cra, but that's the kind of mood I was in!
I obviously knew I'd need some other wet ingredient to make up for the egg, but I wasn't too concerned about a binding agent because I make these out of this world whipped shortbread (or try these earl grey whipped shortbread!) that hold their own, without eggs, so I was feeling pretty good that I could make this work! And if they turned into some flat mess? Uh, the ingredients would still be amazing, so I could just eat them anyway!
I set out to get away with making chocolate chip cookies with no eggs, and I ended up making one of the easiest cookie recipes ever! I made these 3 times - yes, 3 TIMES from Thursday to Saturday to make sure I had this right because I knew I wanted to share the recipe a.s.a.p! Usually I'll make something, write a draft, save it for months, get to it eventually....but not these! No, I just need to share them right away!
Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approx.24 cookies
It is too easy to have these beauties baked up and ready to devour! I shared my 3 batches with the cast from The Belleville Theatre Guild's spring show, Little Shop of Horrors, shared some with close neighbours, some with other "neighbours" who really live a 10 minute drive away, but they're in the sticks like us, so it feels like we're all neighbours, and I shared some with a special friend from church. And I ate my fair share too, don't worry! : ) Oh, and can I remind you that because this is egg-free you can nibble (or gobble) some of the dough? Chocolate chip cookie dough is so darn delicious, and without any eggs, the "eating raw egg" danger involved in eating regular dough is eliminated! Hazaaa!
Don't forget to peek over at my Health & Fitness page today for the latest post about foods to improve your mood! So strange, a post about amazing, and completely unhealthy, chocolate chip cookies, and a Health & Fitness post! Well my friends, that's my life! Good food, exercise, and some amazing treats on treat day!!! It's all randomness, but all this randomness is me! So, thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment if you have something to say!
Today is a hard day for me. It's the day that marks the birth of my 5th child, a daughter, who I miscarried and who we named Ezra Faith.
I felt unsure where to start writing on this anniversary. I'd been starting and stopping, but not really being able to wrangle in any thoughts.
So, I decided to go to Kate Motaung's website to see what the theme was for this weeks "Five Minute Friday" and let myself write for a few minutes without any pressure or expectations.
The prompt for this week was "purpose", and so I set my timer for 5 minutes, and wrote:
Purpose takes on so many forms….and changes so often, it’s hard to know if you are living with your full purpose.
Today I stop to think about my baby Ezra, who I miscarried and delivered in hospital at 20 weeks gestation. Back then, 4 years ago, I thought I was on a path to become the Mom to a young baby again, but things changed. And suddenly, so did my purpose.
I had to wade through grief and sorrow, while still managing to care for my family. My purpose felt hazy and uncertain, and I wasn’t sure if I really ever knew what my purpose was.
But, I’ve had time on my side now. Four years have passed since this very day when I was in the hospital, holding my tiny, beautiful baby girl. Kissing her and telling her I loved her.
And this time has shown me that purpose comes from passion, passion is the fruit of soul searching, and soul searching comes through adversity.
I hardly wrote anything. When the timer went off I felt like the 5 minutes had been sucked into a vacuum. I sat back and re-read what I'd written, and my last paragraph jumped out at me like I hadn't just written it minutes earlier.
"Purpose comes from passion, passion is the fruit of soul searching, and soul searching comes through adversity"
She was my second miscarriage, the first miscarriage occurring just 8 months earlier. I was half way through this pregnancy at 20 weeks, and so I felt "safe". I was sure we would soon be welcoming a new baby into our family. When I close my eyes and remember the deep, dark sadness in my heart while my husband and I sat together in my hospital bed, holding our tiny baby girl, I cry. Ezra Faith was perfect.
My adversity brought me to look deep into my life and heart, and that soul searching gave me a passion, and that passion brought me to purpose. I feel my purpose in my family, as a wife and Mom. I can love, and teach, and guide, and be real and open and learn and grow with my husband and 3 beautiful, crazy and wonderful children. That fills me up everyday!
I can't say for sure who I'd be today if I hadn't lost Ezra. And that's not my story anyway. My story has her knit into my womb, and gone before I ever got to know her. But the mark she's left changed me forever, and for the better. Part of my life and purpose is her, and who I became because of her.
To read more about my experiences with the miscarriage of Ezra, you can read the stories at "Ezra Faith", "Ezra Faith: Two Years Gone", and Ezra Faith: Three Years Gone
You can also read about the son we lost, at "Abraham", and also at "Remembering & Forgetting: Abraham". and Moving Forward: Abraham
There is also a story about coping at "Feeling Blue"
Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
Read more about me by clicking here!
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