Saturday, September 10, 2016

Sycamore Bakes: Mixed Berry Crisp

 We made something scrumptious tonight. So good, in fact, that Emery asked for this to be served on a semi-regular basis. :) Call it a cobbler. Call it a crisp. Call it Yum!
I found this recipe on pintrest. You can find the original (with pictures) HERE.

Now, fruit cobblers/fruit pies have never been my true-blue love language. With the exception of apple pies or crisps, I haven't made hardly any during the seven years we've been married.  (I can think of one blue berry pie occasion, five plus years ago.) But y'all, this was great.  I did slightly alter the recipe because of what I had on hand, you'll find my changes in bold type.
Also, this recipe calls for beet sugar. I have never used or tried beet sugar, and to be honest, I think beets taste like dirt. I'm not sure if the sugar tastes that way or not. I lean towards a combination of palm sugar and stevia - but having none of that on hand either just used raw sugar. 

Fruit Crisp
Cook time: 
Yields: 12 servings
For the topping:
  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour - I used 2/3 cup rice flour and 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated beet sugar - 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup coconut oil (solid state) - My coconut oil was sort of melted at room temp.
For the crisp:
  • 8 cups fresh or frozen fruit (not thawed) - I had a bag of frozen strawberries and a bag of frozen blueberries. That was around 3 cups.  I think more berries would be all the merrier, but it was fine with that much
  • 2 tablespoons granulated beet sugar - reg. sugar again
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. In large bowl, stir flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar and oats. Use pastry cutter or two forks to cut in coconut oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. - Just stirred it all up
  3. In separate large bowl, stir fruit, sugar and cinnamon. Spread evenly into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with crisp topping. - Mixed the fruit, cinnamon and sugar right in the baking dish. I'm all for saving dishes.
  4. Bake 90 minutes until crisp topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Cool slightly before serving.

6 weeks at home: What I've learned

If you've been a reader here for any length of time, you probably already know that I'm a full time homemaker. A domestic engineer, if you will. We stay home a lot...there have been plenty of weeks when we'd only get out to go grocery shopping and to church, but these last six weeks have been another kind of staying home. They've been quarantine.
Surprisingly, it's hasn't been that bad.

For a short recap, I had shingles and then we waited for the children to get chicken pox. The girls ran fevers, and we thought maybe they'd skip out on the serious business, but Elijah came down with a full blown case and they caught the big stuff from him. To add insult to injury, about half of us have colds too.

We're mostly on the mend.
The slow mend.
The slow paced life.

I've left the house six times in six weeks.

Emery has done the shopping for us.

And frankly, I LIKE BEING HOME.

I don't get behind on my chores (unless a child is really sick) when I'm exclusively home. I don't have to worry about making lunches on the run.
We've done plenty of playing, though not outside for the poor girls have had sores on the bottoms of their feet and couldn't wear shoes. We've done our chores and school work. And enjoyed a considerable amount of PBS Kids. 
 Life is more rested. We've never been ones to over commit ourselves and our schedules - and the play we did this Spring was almost more than I could cope with - but not running hither and yon to stores or play-dates or Anything, has been so restful. And perhaps directly related to this: Elijah sleeps better...I sleep better...AND I've been turning over a new leaf toward making breakfast for the family everyday. {Though I'll tell you right now, I cannot get myself organized and out of bed in time to cook when I've been up most of the night with a child - or children, as the case may be. In this respect, sleeping all night makes me a different person. I could get used to this habit. Lol}

What will I change moving forward?
Well, we've got to wean these children back from TV. Little addicts throw raging fits when I say No. And we do have commitments on the horizon, beside our 3x a week church service. But I am happy to just stay home. We've been working on our budget in order, and knowing our goals and what we're working with makes me all the more ready to stay home rather than go browsing the stores.

I think some may have thought that I was getting depressed when I expressed that once we could go out, I didn't want to. But I really don't think I've got the doldrums, just content with where we are right now.
Mostly, I'm thankful we're getting over this chicken pox episode and that my children aren't miserable with itchiness anymore.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fashion Foward

Y'all, I'm not trendy. I'm not into haute couture. And that's cool with me.

I do want to look put together, and I do want to be aware of the trends enough to pick ones that I might eventually get used to, and, if they're still hanging around a few seasons later, try to embrace them.

Like skinny jeans. I first started seeing these in high school - class of 07! - and yet how many years did it take me to jump on that bandwagon? FOUR. Lol. And that was largely due to having just had a baby and needing to find a pair of pants that fit...which they did for approx. two weeks.  Another Lol.

But here's the thing. I'm a homeschool mom, and I REALLY don't want to fall into the comfortable and practical rut, ahem, denim jumpers ahem. Or even permanent yoga pants. I do own a pair of yoga pants and they are comfortable, and sometimes that's all I want in the world, but for leaving the house - they don't cut it for me.

So...good old pintrest. I see what's happening (it's good to have college girls around). I like to be informed, you know.
I know that styled/heavier eye brows are popular these days. And bold lips. These are things I can pull off and feel a little more polished. It helps that Emery appreciates these efforts
However, the 90s styles that have made their way back in -- I can't deal. Overalls and high waisted jeans. No, thanks! I'll just wait these out.
People will probably be wearing stirrup pants like I did in elementary school. Yikes. It may have been twenty years ago, but I'm not ready folks. I'll let the whippersnappers that didn't live through these fashions the first time indulge.

It's ironic that I've got this on the brain after a month of quarantine, wherein I have put together exactly two outfits. Maybe that's why, though, maybe I'm getting worn out of my at-home combos. Maybe some day I'll go shopping.
But it won't be soon because a) we're working on our budget and b) my daughters have the chicken pox.

I know. We thought we were over it too. We went to church twice and everything. Or rather exposed everyone. But here they are, all spotty and itchy...and at least they're getting full blown cases while they're young.
This means, however, that our beach trip, for which we've been eagerly anticipating for months has been cancelled. That's worth sighing over. Hopefully it'll be rescheduled fairly soon. I'm overdue for some vitamin-sea!