Friday, January 31, 2014

MSPI Friendly Birthday Cake

Baby Brother is about to turn one! Cue the tears. I just can't believe my baby is not quite a tiny baby anymore. I was looking through our photos to pick out a few to print for his party/baby book and man, I got all nostalgic. I mean he wasn't small for very long, but he's still my baby, you know?

Anyway, it's about time for some baking and luckily for my jeans I already practiced before Little Boy's party last summer, so here are my dairy-free, soy-free (and bonus points) egg-free cakes! They turned out perfectly this summer, so most likely I'll just be repeating. Although now that we have cut out white flour and vegetable oil from our diet I might have to rethink these.

MSPI Friendly Chocolate Cake

1 ½ cup flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp vinegar

Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients except vinegar. At the last minute, incorporate the vinegar and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

MSPI Friendly Lemon Cake

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup veg oil
3 Tbsp water + 3 Tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder (mixed together)
1 ¼ cup water
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated lemon peel

Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients in the order listed.
Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Monday, January 27, 2014

MSPI- Friendly Brownies

MSPI Friendly Brownies

After much tinkering around with the recipe, we finally perfected chewy, chocolatey brownies!

1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup flour (we use whole wheat)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix in the order listed. Note that the eggs aren't too cold otherwise they will cause the coconut oil to harden and you won't be able to mix together.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Brownies are ready when a toothpick comes out almost clean. Be careful not to over bake otherwise they will become hard.


*I taught the husband how to make brownies and these were waiting for me when I came home from our last trip. Yum!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Time to Leave?

I've been getting the hint that it's time to leave...

Our next door neighbors had time to separate, move out, sell the place, renovate it, and the new owners have moved in. Our across the street neighbor bought a house elsewhere and left. Our up the street neighbor has finished construction on a new house and they are moving next month...two of our original three guards have left. And that's just around our house.

My mommy group friends have had a mass exodus: one in August, one in October, two in November, two in December, one just left, one more is leaving in March, and the last one in April. Then it will be just me.

I just got notice that our rabbi is having a going away part next week.

Somehow leaving is a lot easier than being left. I don't like saying goodbye over and over, keeping a smile on my face, telling our friends that they'll be fine. I know they will. I'm ready to start packing, to have that burning desire to organize perfectly, finish up loose ends, sell, sell, sell. But where would I go? I don't know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


This blog is not doing so well. No time. All hours of the day are tasked with something, and by the time I crash on the couch post-bedtime it is practically my bedtime. Things are good, happy and tiring, but definitely good. I have lots of started posts, or ideas, but little energy to follow through with writing them. In short: one more semester is over, one more to go! Lots of friends moving/moved....but we're starting to get ready for our move as well. Baby Brother celebrated his first Halloween, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving. Little Boy is talking up a storm. But in the spirit of a little retrospection, my top three highlights of the past year:

1- Baby Brother: the birth, the person, the joy. By far, how could anything compare? There are just no words to describe the joy he brings our family.

2- The Trip: we took a month long backpacking trip with the kiddos. It required more planning, more effort and more stuff than we've ever taken, but it was fabulous.

3- Wearing pre-Little Boy jeans. It's so vain for this to be a highlight, but with all the nutritional changes going on this year (due to both MSPI and newfound knowledge), it was a long time coming and it makes me happy.