Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soccer with Seb....

 Last week Seb had his first ever go at Soccer (or football if you're from where I'm from). It was kind of a spur of the moment decision to register him after we watched him having a kick around with some older boys in the park and loving it! He's super dramatic and takes things very seriously and I was worried that for that reason he might not enjoy something like soccer. To my surprise he seems to really love it! As predicted he did take it very seriously and I loved the look of determination and focus on his face while he was playing. There was one moment when he got kicked in the leg and fell to the ground in anguish almost exactly like a premier league player, all over the top and dramatic! He was fine, no damage done. As well as the drama and all the seriousness I had expected there were clearly a few moments of pure joy! We had a great time watching him and Neil got quite into the whole shouting from the sidelines, soccer Dad thing :) Sorry for the many photos, I actually took about 200 so be grateful I didn't post them all!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wheat Free Banana Bread with Cashew Cream

I've been looking for ideas for things I can bake to go in Seb's Lunch box. I want to make sure he gets a nice filling, sweet treat every now and again but don't always want to send him off with conventional baked goods full of processed sugar and flour. Here's a recipe I came up with last week for a modified Banana bread that I can officially call a resounding success! I used brown rice flour and spelt flour instead of processed white flour. Coconut Oil instead of butter and coconut palm sugar instead of processed white sugar. I baked it last Thursday and it stayed moist and yummy in a sealed container for almost a week with a slice a day going off to school with Seb.  Result! 
I would have added walnuts or pecans but at the time I wasn't sure if there were any nut allergies in Seb's class so I left them out. I've since found out there are no allergies to worry about so I will definitely add them in next time. 
I made some cashew cream to top it off and enjoyed the odd slice myself with a bit of chopped banana and a wee sprinkle off bee pollen. Lovely with a cup of tea in the afternoon!

Banana Bread Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup dates (chopped)
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups bananas (mashed, very ripe, about 4)
  • 3/4 cup Coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour 1 cup boiling water over dates in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. 2. Lightly beat eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Whisk in bananas and next 3 ingredients until blended.
  3. 3. Stir together brown rice flour and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Gently stir flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring just until blended. Gently stir in melted coconut oil, walnuts, and dates. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  4. 4. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Cashew Cream Ingredients

1 cup of raw cashews 

1/2 – 3/4 cup of filtered water (add more water according to consistency desired)

2-4 Tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Soak the cashews in filtered water for 3 hrs or more then strain.

2.   Add the cashews and fresh filtered water to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

3.   Add remaining ingredients then blend until smooth.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Life lately....

I feel like life is a bit of a whirlwind at the moment, there's just so much going on at once I can't quite keep up! We've got a couple of major things in the works and most of it is so far out of our control it's a bit overwhelming. Happily I have two little faces to greet me every morning and constantly remind me to just take a deep breath and focus on whats right in front of me. The rest will sort itself out in time and worrying certainly won't help it along. 

Last week Seb started school, proper-all-day-long-school, and in my current state I added that to my list of things to stress about. How would he cope without me? Would he have any familiar faces in his class? Would his teacher be a dragon? How would I pack enough lunch and snacks for the whole day? We haven't practised his would he cope with it all day? Who would stop him from running away during recess? I was stressing all week before his first day and on that morning I was a nervous wreck. I really hope this doesn't happen every year! I don't think I can cope! Anyway as soon as we arrived at school everything felt good. We met familiar faces walking up to the gates and giggled about our nerves and disorientation as we searched the lists posted on the wall to find out our classes. As it turned out Seb is in a class with at least five kids from his old kindergarten class and the moment we walked into the room they were all giggling and catching up. To top it off his teacher seems lovely! She even greeted each child with a hug and a kiss on the head! I left feeling relived and with Seb looking happy. Phew! 
The day after tomorrow Bel starts preschool but I get to stay with her for the first few sessions so at this point I'm more excited than anything. 

By the way, I take absolutely no responsibility for the sock and sandal combo! That was all Seb and when he has his mind set on something like that there's nothing anyone can do to change it. Socks and sandals it was. 

It's been almost a week now since he started and things are going well. There have been a couple of mornings where he's looked pretty sad to see me go but once he's in the door he seems to be fine. It's a long day for him and he's a bit of a grouch after school but I'm trying to be extra patient and just let him take his time and adjust.

In other photo worthy news, we came across two dear munching on our front yard the other day. They were right outside the front door and gave us quite a surprise as we walked down the path! It turned into a dramatic event...I ran to get my camera and both kids ran down the driveway to get a better look, Seb had no shoes on and tripped over a rock stubbing his toe pretty badly. In typical Seb style he screamed at the top of his lungs and fell to floor with dramatic flourish! This made the littler of the two dear FREAK OUT and high tail it out of our front bushes with big springy leaps! The other dear barely flinched and just kept munching. I took a few more photos but had to stop and check on Seb before his wailing and flailing disrupted the whole neighbourhood.

Friday was Neil's birthday which we are not supposed to make a fuss about hence it's not allowed it's own blog post. He hates birthdays (weirdo!) and tells me every year not to buy him a card or a present or even mention the dreaded "B word". Of course I do buy a card, a present, sing Happy Birthday, bake a cake, make some jelly and put up a big old banner complete with his age in giant colourful lettering...oh and then I post a photo of that banner on this blog for all to see :)  Happy 34th Birthday Neil! Love you!

Bel and I handled the cake baking while the boys were busy at school/work. She was so desperate to apply the sprinkles and held them in her hand from the moment we picked them up at Safeway until the cake was all baked and cooled (about two hours later)! She may have dropped them momentarily to lick every spoon or bowl she could get her hands on. And when I say dropped I mean dropped. Sprinkles everywhere. Of course this just gave her another reason to lick stuff. 

The cake turned out beautifully even if I do say so myself (smug face). I do love a good carrot cake. this one was a Jaimie Oliver recipe and was a bit more spiced than your average carrot cake. The absolute best thing about it was the was made with mascarpone and fresh lime and oh it was divine! It was the perfect mix of sweet, zingy, tart and creamy-deliciousness! SOOO good!

We ate the cake as soon as Neil got in the door from work. It was as low key as he was going to get.

After slaving in the kitchen all morning Isobel scrubbed up pretty well in her party dress (thanks again Grandma!) She does love an excuse to dress up girly and do a few twirls, I think she must get that from Grandma too because Mummy certainly isn't very glam. 

We even moved out to the back deck to achieve maximum twirl potential! 

On the subject of the back deck...the little Basil I grew from seed is still doing well and he's been joined by some tomatoes, cabbages and a few wee greens that seem to be going strong! Hooray for slow progress! I could become a farmer yet!

Errrr what else......well we had our friends the Headley's down from Edmonton for a few days visit. It was really nice apart from a few minor injuries. Apparently I wasn't very good at taking photos that week and have nothing to show for our trip to the Cave and Basin in Banff, the boat trip on Lake Minnewanka or our picnic at Two Jack. Just one measly photo of the three kiddo's in the bath and even in that you can only see Seb's face :) We were obviously having too good of a time! If you want to see what we did you'll have to check their blog. :)

That's all folks!