ooOOey Gooey Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

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There’s something about the cold weather and really good food for me.  We had company coming over.  So we whipped together this fairly easy pie, with leftover boiled sweet potato, and it was deeee-licious!  And I think it could be considered healthy… because it has sweet potatoes and pecans…. right!?  … enjoy anyway.

You’ll need: 1 package of 2 tenderflake pie crusts, 1 1/2 c of pecan halves, 1/2 c light corn syrup, 1 egg white, 2 cups of pureed cooked sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs of uncooked sweet potatoes), 1/2 c brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch each of nutmeg and ground cloves, 2 eggs, beaten

1.Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prick holes in the bottom of your pie crusts with a fork.  Bake 10 minutes or until very lightly browned and dry; remove from oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.

2. Combine pecans, corn syrup and egg white in small bowl; mix well.  Set aside.

3. Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves in large bowl; mix until well blended.  Stir in eggs.

4. Spread sweet potato mixture into baked pie crust.  Spoon pecan mixture evenly over top.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until filling is puffed and topping is golden.  Cool completely on wire rack.

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Chores?

YES!  We are definitely not perfect parents around here (surprise), but I see the time I have my kids at home as very valuable.  I am not their babysitter.  I have a brief period where I can pass on skills they will need for life.  So I am a big believer in getting kids involved in as much housework as possible.

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So we’ve started to re-focus on getting the kids doing some chores around the house.  Caleb is our snack man, which means every day at 3pm he helps me set the table, wash the fruit or veggie that is our snack (or cookie if grandma is visiting).  He serves everyone their snack, their drink, he clears the table, wipes it down, and sweeps.  He also loves vacuuming (yes, we’ll need to repaint all the baseboards soon), mopping (there is a 1 foot square spot on the floor that is sparkling clean), moving loads of laundry from the washer to the dryer (so much clothes falls on the floor in the process, we consider it mopping… double duty counts as extra points!) and washing dishes (ie. splashing water on the floor).

I keep my expectations very low, and give him wild praises if we’re even 50% getting the job done.

IMG_5067  Elise helps a little, mainly with funny faces.

IMG_4968Belle …well this is pretty much what she does.

 

The drawer of doom

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…the place where kid’s eating/drinking items go to get lost.

There are 2 main issues with this drawer.

The first is we have a little gremlin *Elise*, that sneaks into this drawer at every opportunity and likes to remove, and throw each item as far as possible.  And apparently there’s bonus points if she hides small parts under furniture.

The second is we can never find matching sippy cup components.  If I was to mail myself a letter, to arrive 3 years ago, it would say, “Pick 1 sippy cup, and buy 12 of that single sippy cup.  And if anyone generously gives you sippy cups that don’t match, give them back.”  Then I wouldn’t be endlessly searching for parts.  And I wouldn’t have snap peas flying at my head, while hearing “milk” being repeatedly yelled, while I fumble through the drawer to find just 2 sippy cups with all components. (creative license being used… my kids haven’t ever thrown anything at me…. but they’re still young.)

IMG_5219 If I had a time machine, I’d fill the abyss of my “kid’s drawer” with Lifefactory glass bottles with sippy cup attachments .  These have been dropped numerous times, and haven’t shattered.  Also, the sippy part has been through 2 kids teething, and are still in good shape.

 

 

Kids hate squash?? No more.

We have a local organic farmers around here that delivery mixed fruits and veggies each week.  This week, we got spaghetti squash.  I know it’s healthy, but we are not huge fans of squash around here.  However, I’ve found a recipe that gets the kids eating it by the bowlful!

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Preheat your oven to 350F.  Cut your squash in half.  Have the kids scoop out the seeds and squishy stuff.  Rub the insides with butter, a couple tbsps of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Place the halves, cut side up.  Cover in aluminum foil.  Bake for about 90 minutes, until soft.  Use a fork to scoop out.

You could try broiling it for a couple minutes without foil  to caramelize the top.  I also might swap brown sugar for maple syrup next time… no idea how that would turn out though.

Enjoy!

Weight loss 6 weeks post partum

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Any other mamas have a really tough time dropping the baby weight?  It probably doesn’t help that I’ve had really challenging pregnancies, and had to limit my exercise to “activities of daily living”.  Which means in doctor-speak, I can shower and walk around the house a bit.  It also probably doesn’t help too much that I’ve had my 3 kids in 3 years.

I’ve tried a few different weight loss strategies, that have worked well for other moms.  For my first baby, my strategy for losing the baby weight, was having the baby.  …. so that didn’t exactly pan out for me.  After my second baby, I realized that the baby weight won’t just magically disappear on its own because I’m exclusively nursing.  So, I tried eating a strict paleo diet, that worked spectacularly for my dear friend.  But for me, by the end of the month, I had gained 2lbs.  Really??  Really??  I realized then, that when I’m nursing, my body is a very efficient calorie saver.  Which will come in super handy if ever we are in a famine… so there’s that.

Now I’ve just had my third baby about 6 weeks ago, and for the first time, I’ve lost 20lbs (and a .5 if we’re going to be exact).

What was different this time?

This time I did not restrict myself when I was hungry.  I did however stop eating after dinner, except for when Grandma made me the kids her world famous chocolate chip cookies, and coffee cake. mmmm.  I did try to stick to 2 cookies a day, not 24.  I also bulked up most of my meals with veggies and fruit.  And tried reaching for almonds and hard boiled eggs if I was hungry instead of brownies.  Lastly, I also aimed to go for a walk a few times a week.

I have a long way to go before I’ll even come close to pulling up jeans from 5 years ago.

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But I’ll be happy if I even come close!  This body rocks… it helped bring 3 people into my life that I love with all my heart!

Monday September 29th, I’ll be starting a challenge to drop another 5 lbs over 3 weeks.  If you want to join in, comment or e mail me at thecrayoncircus@gmail.com.