Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Batch!

Our newest batch of chicks!
Call us gluttons, but we have added 6 new little fluff balls to our flock! And they are soooo cute! These are the youngest that we've ever had, so admittedly I'm a little nervous, but they seem to be doing well. The chicks from a few weeks ago are still in a cage in the cellar and we have the galvanized tub with the babies on top of the cage. It's like a little chicken nursery condo setup!

So far our 1st week of summer vacation has gone well. The kiddos haven't given me much trouble about chores or workbooks, and we've even made it to the rec this week. My original schedule for this week got thrown a bit because Teddy Bear is doing a golf camp in the morning, so we haven't had as much time as I'd like to spend on workbooks, reading and life skills training, but as it's all gone smoothly, I won't complain!

With the rain and cooler temp today, I'm baking. We have a grill out with the boys baseball team tomorrow night and I'm bringing desserts, so I've got a chocolate and a vanilla cake for that. Then there's brownies, breakfast cookies, double chocolate cookies and perhaps muffins to make.

The breakfast cookies are a big hit at our house, and they're pretty healthy too, after I tweaked the recipe. I do wish that the kids liked dried cranberries or raisins and nuts so that I could add those to the mix for added nutrition, but they don't! I make these in a pan as bar cookies, so in the morning I just put the pan with the cut bars on the table and the kids can help themselves (and even sometimes each other!) to get their own breakfast. The recipe is actually an oatmeal cookie recipe that I adapted, and they really are yummy! Mama's been known to grab one when time is tight in the a.m.

Boynton Breakfast Cookie Bars

1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour*
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 C. softened butter
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 C. oatmeal
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips**

cream butter and applesauce together with mixer. Add sugars and cream again until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and cinnamon, mix well again. Mix in flour, soda and salt. Then stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Spread in a well greased or sprayed 13 x 9 pan and bake for 25-35 minutes in a 35o degree oven. Bars are done when a knife or toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

* You can use white flour, but I like to use whole wheat for better nutrition.
** You can add nuts, raisins or other dried fruit if your family likes them.

I usually make these in my aluminum pan that has a lid, so I don't have to use plastic wrap or tinfoil, and the kids can maneuver the lid themselves.

When I bake, I try to lower the fat, add more nutrition, and lower the sugar. I admit to using cake mixes, but I replace the oil with unsweetened applesauce. When making quick breads, I use only about one quarter of the oil called for, and use the applesauce for the rest. I use whole wheat flour, oatmeal flour and toasted wheat germ in place of some of the all-purpose flour. I've tried to cut the sugar in the breakfast cookie bars, but they seemed tasteless. I have success with cutting the sugar by 1/4 cup in my banana bread recipe with out any problems. You can also cut the sugar by using mini chocolate chips. You don't need as many, and you don't notice in the finished product.

Well, my baking is all done now, and I've got laundry to sort for my kiddos so they can put it away. Have a great day!
Many Blessings,

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