Kid’s “Fave” Oat Pancakes

Like me, my kids LOVE to eat!  They also like to know what’s coming.  To streamline our mornings and save me the trouble of thinking about what’s for breakfast everyday, I decided to have a set breakfast menu Monday through Friday.  They know what to expect,   it cuts down on questions, and everyone knows they will get to have one of their favorites at least once a week.  With three kids this has been super helpful.  We don’t have complaints about breakfast anymore because they know their day is coming.

On Mondays we eat oatmeal.  Tuesdays we have Grits and sausage.  Wednesdays are for pancakes.  Thursdays we eat toast and eggs.  Fridays we have muffins, and Saturdays and Sundays are Mommy and Daddy’s choice.  The menu is easy enough to follow and we add variety in different ways.  On Mondays we may change our oatmeal toppings, or have an oatmeal bar where everyone gets to choose their own toppings.  We rotate through different muffin recipes on Fridays, and there are different recipes and toppings for Pancake Wednesdays.   For my kiddos, this is their favorite wheat free pancake recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 c. oat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp. oil (coconut, canola, or melted butter all work well)
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c. milk

Combine the oats, oat flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, and milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and stir.  Add in the oil and mix until well-combined.  Heat and grease your  griddle while you let your batter rest for a minute. Cook your pancakes as you normally would.

I use a ladle to pour my batter on the griddle in about 1/2 cup amounts.  I set the temperature to slightly above medium.  If your heat is too high you will burn them on the outside, and they will not cook completely in the middle.   When the edges start to bubble, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until done.  It should take about a minute.

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I LOVE these piled high with bananas or berries or a light drizzle of cane syrup.  My middle asked me to mention that he likes them made as blueberry pancakes.  Simply add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients before you mix in the wet ingredients.

LOVE and enjoy!

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Just Out for a Walk

Yesterday was our neighborhood-wide garage sale.  We chose not to participate this year because I simply could not get it together, but the older kids asked if we could walk around and see what others were selling.  I told them we could get out before the weather turned unbearably hot.  Against my better judgment I let the younger two ride their bicycle and tricycle.  With their money in hand I set out with my little shoppers.

As we travelled down the sidewalk I quickly realized the error in my plan.  If 2 of my 3 kiddos were riding bikes, how would they carry their loot?  Not long after that, I realized that wasn’t my only issue.  We were walking a path we’ve walked many times before.  I was accustomed to helping my youngest over the bumps and cracks in the sidewalk.  Usually a little push is all she needs every now and then, but there was so much to look at with the garage sales she found it hard to keep her eyes on the sidewalk.  She kept veering off the sidewalk and getting stuck in the space between the path and the lawns we were passing. I had to repeatedly pull her trike back onto the sidewalk. Talking to her and repeatedly saying, “Keep you eyes on the sidewalk” did not help.  Eventually I found myself getting frustrated because it was happening so often.  As I was opening my mouth to say, “Please just follow the path!”, I felt the need to close my mouth.

All of a sudden I could hear the voice in my head say, “Like you?” I couldn’t say a word because all these words started flooding my mind. “How many times have you been so distracted by everything around you that you ended up off track? There is a path laid for you and yet everything else grabs your attention and you struggle to simply continue ahead on the ‘sidewalk’ I’ve given you.  I’ve helped you over bumps in the road only to see you distracted by something you thought was greener pasture.  I’ve tugged and tugged at you to help set your ‘handle bars’ straight again and again.”  Wow! I was NOT expecting that.  We were just out for a walk.

The truth is for me it’s been really hard to follow the path.  I’ve asked for God to simply give me the next step and there have been many days I parked myself on the side and refused to move.  Other times the life I think I want or should have looks as interesting to me as the box of stuffed animals that caused my little one to roll into the grass.  Apparently it’s hard for me to follow the path too.

Lord, thank you for all the ways you continue to speak and guide.  Thank you for reminding me what kind of child I am.  Thank you for all the times you wouldn’t allow me to stay stuck where I was.  Thank you for your loving patience and kindness.  If I for a minute thought I could be frustrated after a few minutes, I cannot  imagine how you have felt after years. I pray you will give me the strength and courage to follow your will and stay the course. Amen.

Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6

 

What Am I Doing?

I was raised by a single mother. She was young when I was born. For the first few years of my life she managed to work full time and attend college full time. My hat still goes off to her because I was completely overwhelmed by motherhood, but in the end she left college her senior year.  There were many times she used her life and our struggles as a cautionary tale.  She wanted more for me and believed with all her heart that I was a smart and capable.

I loved theatre, but I was told that would be a great hobby, it was too unstable for a profession.  I should find an interest that would support me and should continue my education until I had reached the highest degree in the field.  Her goal for me was to always be self sufficient. She believed education was the way to make that happen. Graduate School and Professional School were goals I had before I even really understood what they were.

My pursuit of the right path for me wasn’t exactly a straight line, but I am sure that is true for many.  I did end up with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and considered continuing on for a Doctorate. I still think about it sometimes.  For a while my mother would ask when was I going back to school, because a Master’s degree was not the highest level.

Something happened in me when I received my infertility diagnosis.  Something everyone else seemed to be able to do so easily, I could not. It really changed my perspective on a lot of things.  I wasn’t sure about me being a mom, but I believed my husband would make a great father. It was heartbreaking.  When we finally conceived my decisions about parenting and motherhood had changed to some extent and took on a whole new meaning I didn’t even understand. Fast forward many years and now I’m a stay-at-home HOMESCHOOLING mom.  How on earth did THAT happen?

My husband and I never planned on living on one income.  We had always been a two income pursuing your passions kind of couple.  I wonder how much stress am I causing him?  He’s finally in a job he loves after many stressful years in a job he hated, but it’s come with many sacrifices.

Our entire family of five is completely dependent on him and it seems like something is always going wrong.  This is so far from our original plan and what my mother taught me.  I know lots of my friends look at me differently.  I don’t hear, “So when are you going back to work?” anymore, but there are jokes at times that don’t really feel like jokes, or reactions or comments. They won’t come out and say they think I’m crazy, but sometimes I feel it. Or maybe that’s just my paranoia.

The sad part is there are so many days I’m also looking at myself wondering too; How much money and time did I waste?  What the world God? Am I making the right decisions?  How do I know I really heard you? Are you sure it was me you were talking to?  You know I could have misinterpreted what you said.  Maybe I am just crazy?  How do you know it’s time to give up the charade?  I often feel like a fish out of water everywhere I turn. Who else feels like this?  What AM I doing???

 

Conviction

A few nights ago, my heart was convicted during evening devotions with my older kids.  The devotion was taken from Exodus 16. The reading was about the Israelites in the wilderness. They were complaining against Moses and Aaron for leading them to the desert to starve.  The Lord heard their complaints and decided to send manna and quail.

As I was talking with my children, I asked if it reminded them of anything or anyone.  My oldest immediately admitted it reminded her of herself and how much she has complained about our move to Georgia.  I had to confess she was not alone.  I felt God speaking to me about my own complaints.  I have often thought of our move to Georgia as my desert place, and in that moment I felt the burden of my groaning.

In verse 8 Moses tells the Israelites, “Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.” OUCH!  I’ve spent the last couple of years complaining against my husband for bringing us here and the losses I felt we’ve endured.  God is really the one who brought us here, so my complaints have actually been against him. Wow! Did that make me pause.

Just like he provided for the Israelites needs, he has done the same for us.  He has provided and continues to provide new friends.  He has allowed us to continue homeschooling, and provided medications and special foods for my children.  Many things we never needed before he has provided and more.  We have not lacked in one need, yet I have complained incessantly about our new life here.  I have complained about HIS path and HIS plan for our lives instead of being content and thankful for his grace.  Worst of all, I have led my children down the path of discontentment instead of demonstrating gratefulness.

Even as God provided for the Israelites again and again, they failed to follow his instructions. Boy, that sounds familiar! He told them only to gather enough for their daily needs.  Some gathered more and found the next day that it had spoiled.  Seeing this the Lord responded, “How  long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?” (Exodus 16:28)

How long will I refuse to change my attitude?  How long will I refuse to submit myself to the Lord’s instructions and my husband’s leadership?  How long will I refuse to forgive?  How long will I refuse to respect?  How long will I refuse to trust?

God has made it clear many times that I must change.  “The Israelites ate manna…until they came to a habitable land;…until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”(Exodus 16:35)  They struggled a long time.  Lord, I’m tired of fighting your way.  I want to be at the border of my Canaan.  I know you have a Promised Land for me, if I will follow you and your commands.

Thank you for these words.  Here I am again asking for forgiveness.  Your ways are not my ways.  Your ways are so much better.  You have shown me that so many times.  Help me to release all the fears that have kept me from following your instructions.  I’m convicted. Now, I need to do something about it.

Turkey Burgers

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My son didn’t want me to give away his Turkey Burger recipe.  He said it should just be saved for him.  That is a picture of his plate with his loaded burger.  Notice the Avengers cup in the background.  This is my nod to him and his sweet possessive spirit.

My husband’s a beef guy, but sometimes I can get Ground Turkey on sale at a really good price.  Sometimes we make meatballs or spaghetti, but who doesn’t love a burger?  Combined with Sweet Potato Fries it made a fun Saturday night dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire  sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1-2 eggs, use 2 if you have the leaner turkey

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and form into patties large enough to fit your buns.  Cook over medium-high heat on a greased griddle.  Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until you see the meet brown.DSCN2059

Enjoy with your favorite burger toppings.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Broccoli

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This side is too simple not to make!  Roasting the broccoli gives it this sweeter mellower taste.  It’s tender, yet retains a little of the crunch.  Two of my children will often just eat the florets, but when I roast broccoli they gobble up the stems and all.

Ingredients:

  • 1.75-2lbs. fresh broccoli
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the broccoli into manageable pieces. Grease a foil lined baking sheet or line with parchment.  Spread the broccoli on the sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss to coat the broccoli completely.  Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

 

 

Roasted Purple Potatoes

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For a while my son couldn’t have rice or wheat, and potatoes started sneaking more and more onto our menus. It’s a good thing they are pretty versatile.  I am a huge fan of the simplicity of roasted potatoes.

We usually roast red potatoes, and fingerlings are always good too, but my littlest is currently obsessed with the color purple.  This past week at the grocery store she spotted these beautifully hued baby potatoes and asked very nicely if we could buy them.

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Boy, am I glad she did!  The kids were enamored with the deep color and we were all smitten with the taste.  The texture after roasting was almost velvety.   These were such a nice side for our salmon the other night.  I will definitely be splurging on these delicious spuds again.

Ingredients:

  • 1, 24oz. (1.5 lbs.) bag of Baby Purple Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 Tbsp. each of Kosher Salt and Course Ground Pepper)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or grease.  To save on clean up, I actually lined my cookie sheet with foil and covered in olive oil spray.  Wash the potatoes and slice in half.  Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then toss.  Once they are completely covered, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley and toss again.  Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Try not to eat them too quickly!

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