Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast

What?  Cookies for breakfast?  You may be thinking that Bru Crew Mom has lost her marbles.  :)  Well, it all started a couple of years ago when Bru Crew Dad replaced his daily breakfast with Oatmeal To Go bars to lower his cholesterol.  (It worked beautifully, by the way.)  The kids were jealous, and wanted these yummy oatmeal treats too, but they came six to a box, and cost over $3 each box, most days.  I told them no.  Then, one time, the store was out of the bars, and I bought Bru Crew Dad Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.  Then, the Bru Crew was REALLY jealous.  Dad gets cookies for breakfast?  We never get cookies for breakfast!  I tried to explain that these were different, but in a child's mind, there is no difference.  Cookies are cookies are cookies.  So, I set out to find a recipe for breakfast cookies, because I am NOT spending that much money on breakfast for my children regularly,  especially considering that they are still hungry after they eat one!  It took a lot of hunting, and I still didn't find the perfect one, but I found one that was close here.  I have adjusted it to meet our taste preferences, and my easy cooking preferences.  I reduced the sugar because I could.  I reduced the oats because I use whole wheat flour, and it absorbs more liquid.  I also use whole eggs.  I avoid using just egg whites whenever I can because we tend to not use the yolks later, and I hate wasting food.  I also replaced the oil, water, and prune puree with just apple sauce.  (Side note:  I have also used banana puree, pumpkin, and others.)  I have one that won't eat nuts in his foods, and I don't keep apricot around, so we use dried cranberries.  Here is my recipe with adjustments:

Bru Crew Breakfast Cookies:

1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 c rolled oats
4 c whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c unsweetened apple sauce
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c dried cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.  (I used a seasoned stoneware pan, and I do neither of these.  They are non-stick already.)
3.  Mix first 7 dry ingredients in a large bowl.  (I use my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.)
4.  Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients.  Mix well again.
5.  Stir in raisins and cranberries.  Dough will be thick!
6.  Using an ice cream scoop (or Large Pampered Chef Scoop) place balls of dough 2 inches apart on the sheet.  (If you do not have a scoop, you can roll golf ball sized balls of dough.)
7.  Spray your hand with non-stick cooking spray and flatten the cookies.  Because of the lack of fat in these cookies, they will not spread on their own.  (See picture above.)
8.  Bake 8 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie, 10 minutes for a more cake-like cookie.
9.  Cool on pan for a couple of minutes, the move to cooling rack to finish cooling.
10.  This makes around 3 dozen large cookies for us.  They freeze well, but stick together, so layer with waxed paper before freezing.

*Also, I have used banana puree instead of apple sauce, and used nuts and chocolate chips instead of fruit to make "Banana Nut" cookies, and I've used canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice and cranberries for a fall version of these cookies.  Varieties are endless, but different purees cook up differently, so the texture isn't always exactly the same, but they still taste good and are healthy.  Soon, I plan to try sweet potatoes!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MFW-ECC Week 1

We all went to Disney World last Sept. 
This is the Bru Crew's last group
photo with Great-Grandma.
(Bru Crew Dad's sister and parents went too.)
This post is a little a lot delayed, sorry!  The evening before we were to start school, we received a call that Bru Crew Dad's grandmother had died.  We prayed about it, and decided to start school as scheduled anyway, since the kids had been looking forward to starting.  We also thought it would help take their minds off of the loss.  Because of the viewing, funeral, and Bru Crew Dad's parents staying a few days after, it took us two weeks to get the first week of curriculum finished.  (As I type this, we are wrapping up week two, with much greater success.)  I read several blogs last year about ECC and several posts in the forum, and was prepared for the first two weeks to be a little intense.  Also, knowing that this was our first year in MFW (and my oldest girls are doing some additional history stuff in preparation for junior high), I was expecting kinks.  As we wrapped up our first week, I was slightly concerned that I'm made a very unwise decision, even though I'd felt like the Lord was leading us to it.  Nothing went like I was expecting it too.  As I already mentioned, I'd read all these blogs, and saw all these cute pictures of kids doing the activities.  Our mandarin orange globes?  Not picture worthy...Ms. Quality Time rinsed hers and restarted at least 3 times.  I drew the continents on the others, but even copying the globe in front of me, my Atlantic Ocean was significantly larger than my Pacific Ocean.  Not only that, but NONE of them wanted to peel it carefully to try to late it out flat.  However, we did finish school each day before soccer practice, which was a tremendous blessing!  (I can't tell you how many times in the past I've had a kid take school work to the soccer fields, and sit on the bleachers doing their "homework" during a sibling's soccer practice!)

Little Man had almost equal parts blue and
red, so his tongue is purplish.
Also, while the grandparents were here, we took a field trip to the Blue Bell factory.  We got to see where they pastuerize the milk, freeze the milk, how the store the sugar, add in flavors, and put ice cream into the cartons.  The highlight of the trip was eating the ice cream at the end!  One of the ice cream options was "Krazy Kolors."  I ate Triple Caramel, Ms. Quality Time ate Red Velvet Cake, Tenderheart ate Cherry Vanilla, and the Little ones got Krazy Kolors.  It has so much food coloring in it, that it colored their teeth and tongues.  It was a fun, educational, tasty, and Kolorful experience.
Smiley had a lot of blue.  Sorry for the blur,
but that expression is priceless!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dig Into God's Word with us!

On September 3, kids all over the country (world?) will be participating in a new Bible Study with their families.  The idea behind this study, is to teach children how to read the Scriptures, analyze what they are saying, and apply the truth they find.  It is explained as an archeological study, using that terminology.  You start with "The Map" setting the stage for where you are going in your study that day.  You move on to "The Dig," where you read the Scriptures for the day.  You find "The Treasure" and then there's "The Display" where you apply what you discovered in God's Word to your children's lives.  What I love about it, is that it is straight Scriptures!  This study does not give you one verse, then a fluffy story and an application.  It gives you a passage each day, guiding questions to ask about it, and a verse or two for the week to memorize.  Each Sunday, you stop at "The Oasis" where you review what they've learned in the week, along with an activity page to complete.  What a great way for a dad to lead family devotions!  It takes out all the guess work, removes the pressure and guides Dad as he guides his kids into God's Word.  Won't you join us?  You can get your ebook here!  It is available as a PDF file, or for the Kindle or nook!  Kindle and nook versions include a link for "The Oasis" downloads, so you don't miss out on those activities.