Egg and Bacon Muffins

How easy can breakfast or lunch be with these egg and bacon muffins? I had been looking for quick, healthy items that the family could grab on the go. Whether they get used as breakfast muffins or lunch box fillers these protein rich, carb gluten and dairy free wonders work well. Simply spray your tin/tray of choice, line each hole with bacon, crack and egg in each one, season with pepper and bake in a moderate oven until bacon is crisp and eggs are cooked. We have experimented with adding baby spinach, feta and oven roasted tomatoes. All these are great additions. Let your imagination go – just keep it simple.

Special Words for My Kids

A prayer for our growing children

As they mature and leave the home
provide them adequate finances, but not riches
spouses who will love them, but not worship them
Give them sorrows, but not too deep
struggles, but not too great
Make them seasoned, but not hopeless
comfortable in their own skin, but not vain
zealous, but equally wise
knowledgeable, but filled with humility
content, but continually striving
Allow them to be confident, but not cocky
humble, but not sheepish
gracious, but not fearful
Mature their body in strength
their emotions with sophistication
and their imaginations with grounding
Fill their lungs with deep laughter
and their souls with joy
But even as I pray these things,
there is one prayer that soars above the rest
Bestow upon them your grace
Lavish them with your mercy
Drench them with your love
Give them the gift of faith
Satiate all their appetites with you
Fill them with your Holy Spirit
Set them apart for your holy service
Bring them into union with Christ
Let their hearts know a peace that surpasses understanding
Grant that my children would be Your children
That would make this child exceedingly thankful
Hear my prayer, O Father of mercy and grace
A timely prayer from Growing Faith

Beard Man

So this is not my man. And I am not sure I really like this example of a beard, but it is representative of the new wave of beards that seem to be everywhere. Sportsmen, celebrities, models – everything that the marketing people want to sell you is being held, watched, driven, eaten and drunk by Beard Man. Truly, take a look around.
No longer relegated to the Grandpa or hillbilly, Beard Man can be young, fit and famous. In my case he is my man. And I like his beard, kept short enough to add colour, a bit of texture and interest. When my man and I first met he had a beard – a longer one and quite gingery aka Viking Man. He determined that any woman that could see ‘through’ the beard to the real man was a keeper. Here I am, many, many years later. And decades on fashion has brought it back. What do you think? Do you like Beard Man?

Helping Hands

I have pondered and debated and discussed kid’s chores and parenting issues here before. We have tried so many new schemes. We have five children ranging from mid teens down to kindergarten, so find age appropriate chores with matching motivation is a challenge. Our littlest people often observe their older siblings doing jobs they too would like to do, but often it is not possible for the little one to do it all. This chore chart is vintage cute and helpful too. I can see we are already doing some of these things. Our middle child cooked a complete two course meal for the family recently and the bigger kids are now doing their own laundry which is a big help. I am trying to find the really tricky things that burden daily life and develop ways for us to help each other. 7mouths2feed, we are a family of seven and there is so much to do. But there must be ways to work smart and be effective. What works for you? How do you motivate your children to contribute to family life?

Oil Pulling

This seems like another trend. 2013 was the year everyone seemed to be rejecting shampooing their hair and opting for a bi carbonate of soda and vinegar rinse! So 2014 may just be the year I try oil pulling. My man laughed at me as I took my teaspoon of coconut cold pressed oil and swished it around in my mouth for the required 20 minutes. The claims of oil pulling are interesting to say the least. What if the anti bacterial and anti fungal properties of coconut oil could heal and strengthen teeth? Well for me, if it means seeing the dentist less then it is win, win.
According to this book:
Oil pulling is an age-old method of oral cleansing originating from Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most powerful, most effective methods of detoxification and healing in natural medicine. Dr. Fife’s Oil Pulling Therapy is a revolutionary new treatment combining the wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine with modern science. The science behind oil pulling is fully documented with references to medical studies and case histories. Although incredibly powerful, Oil Pulling Therapy is completely safe and simple enough for even a child.
Like anything it is hard to adapt to a new routine. I am only 7 days into my experiment and I have found that I need to be busy cleaning/tidying while swishing as this helps the 20 minutes go by. I use a timer so I don’t crib on those last few tedious moments and I have warned my kids that I am doing some sort of ‘medicine’ thing, so I cannot talk! Perfect. Well in part, I can still make noises and gestures to communicate to the kids. And I have continued to brush my teeth, perhaps because I am addicted to that minty freshness. Anyway I will give it a go. If you want to know more you can visit Gabrielle’s detailed response to this ancient(?) traditional practice. Oil pulling, are you game?

Whole Orange and Carrot Cake with Coconut Frosting

Claudia Roden
Lovely, lovely cake. Building on my theme of baking with coconut flour, here is a special recipe that a few friends have shared via the wonderful Bianca at Whole Food Simply. I am used to making Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern Whole Orange cake, that involved boiling whole oranges for several hours, then blending the fruit with eggs, sugar, baking powder and almond meal. This recipe however, completely cuts out the need for pre-boiling. I was not sure how the cake would turn out, aware that orange rind and the orange oils can be quite bitter. But it was beautiful. I think the texture and natural sweetness of the carrots work with the whole raw orange.
If you are new to these whole food ingredients you may need to visit your supermarket or health store with intent to find some coconut flour and coconut oil/butter. Otherwise you will most likely have the other ingredients in your pantry. I would love to post the recipe here but as Bianca says, they are her stories, images and recipes. Here is the link.

Know Yourself: Part 2

This images captures some feeling about being a busy woman- identified and perhaps objectified by how she presents, what she looks like, what she is wearing. All contained into one neat box.

Just as we can be living stories -our body, our self telling others around us so much about our life without uttering a word – we can be captured by an idea of self all the same. Who amongst us still buys the same brand of jeans and has been doing so for a decade? We wear our hair in the same style and our wardrobe is of the same shades of black, grey and navy. We talk a certain way because we are influenced by the people we ‘hang out’ with, we use their words and intonations when we speak.  The places we go, the things we buy, value and cherish all form the sides of that box.

The challenge for me this year is to know myself and be wiling to acknowledge ways that I have been boxed in by my sense of self, or by the expectations of others. What kind of box do you inhabit?