Thursday, February 27, 2014

Whole Grain Scones

This recipe is the one I use for my every day scones. I keep them handy for the children because they are low in sugar and high in protein, fiber and nutrients. One of Johnathan's first sentences was, "Cone. Peas." (Scone, please.) Maisy has weekly tea parties with a child's tea cup of milk and a favorite "goan". As for me, I'm most likely to eat one after a workout or with an evening cup of soothing tea.


2 cups white whole wheat flour (up to 1/4-1/2 cup of this can be wheat germ replacing flour)
2-3 Tablespoons flax seed
Scant 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Cinnamon or other spices if desired.

Cut in: 

1/2 cup butter (or Smart Balance, whatever butter choice you choose for your family)


1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla, orange or other extract  (optional)

Stir gently into flour/butter mixture.

If mixture is too dry to stick together, adding fruit juice or water can be helpful. Applesauce, pumpkin or banana (up to 1/2 cup) can also add moisture and flavor. (Whole wheat flour takes longer to absorb moisture than white flour so recipe can vary some.)

Adding nuts, chopped apples, cup of raisins, blueberries, or cranberries support nutrition.

Press dough into 1 inch high circle.

Cut into 8 scones. 

 I usually cut them smaller to make 16 or more scones.

Bake 15 minutes or just until brown in a 375 degree oven.

They will have a different texture than a white flour product, but the nutritional value makes up for it.

I'm not educated in the science of cooking, but judging from the regularity that the children ask for scones, I can't be too far off the mark!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Work at Hand

Michael looked up at me with widening blue eyes as I continued to tumble wooden blocks from the crate to the floor. To a three year old, it must have seemed like an endless supply.

"Oh, wow!" he breathed, tossing his red curls as he shook his head. With a soft groan of confusion, even dismay, he sat down beside the blocks, took a big breath and slowly released it, simply sitting there looking at the mountain of blocks.

As he acquainted himself with the various shapes and sizes, he began to sort piles of blue squares, red rectangles and yellow triangles. Every few minutes he would bring me tall cylinders, dowel rods and half circles.

He began to build with sure fingers and focused brow. This boy had a definite plan in mind and was working diligently to bring his vision to reality. When his project would crash, Michael would focus on the problem and rebuild.

Sometimes life can look like a mountain with it's seemingly endless supply of challenges and hard knocks.

I'm glad for my paycheck, but I don't know if I can keep working at this pace. I'm grateful for my children, but I don't know how to get through the clutter in my kitchen. The wow moments are often groan moments.

"Michael," I said, drawing away his focus. "What do you want me to do with the blocks you brought to me?"

He grinned. "You can have them. I don't know what to do with those. They're too big."

Michael evaluated what he had, considered what he knew how to do. The blocks he wasn't ready for or didn't know how to use were placed out of sight, out of mind. Through failures and successes, he intentionally continued to build and rebuild, to learn from the problems and make changes.

What do you want to create in your life? A healthier body? A happier work place? An uncluttered home?

We need a definite plan, a vision for building our best life. We need to focus and work diligently until our project is done. The overwhelm and chaos leave our minds when we focus on the work at hand.

Michael stood up, placed his hands on his hips and viewed the finished project. My smile drew him to me and he sat silently, peacefully in my lap. I rocked the chair back and forth as we viewed his completed project.

"Well," Michael said, "I did it. I created the best castle ever in this whole city."

"Well done, my good and faithful servant, you have been approved to receive the keys to the city," I told him. "Diligent work shall be rewarded. I decree cookies and milk with the king. What say you?"