A lot of bread

Eight mini-loaves of bread: four chocolate-zucchini and four banana. The zucchini came from my husband's co-worker, so he took some of the bread back to work to share. 


Flowers by Tiger Lily

Red Chief and Tiger Lily have been looking for ways to earn money for Legos. Tiger Lily made me an offer I couldn't pass up: bouquets of flowers, twenty-five cents apiece. I took three.

Then she made four for Red Chief, for free, because he didn't have any money.


The cat

With Red Chief as our Official Photographer, it's only a matter of time until you see one of his hundreds of pictures of the cat. There may be more photographs of the cat than of Baby on our hard drive.


Lemon poppyseed cake (WFPB)

Since switching to a whole-foods, plant-based diet, I haven't been baking as many treats. I miss it—the treats, of course—but I miss the baking even more. I've decided I need more good recipes for treats that I can have on this new diet.

First I had to figure out my parameters. If you're simply vegan, of course, it's easy: white flour, refined sugar (some types), and oils are all okay. However, we WFPB crazies like to do it the hard way: whole grains, no oils. The sugar camp is split. Some use sugar; some use alternatives like agave or coconut sugar; some use only fruit for sweetening. (Here is some more info on a plant based diet.)

I know that oil is bad for me and aggravates my arthritis, so that's out. Whole grains are easy: I've been using them for years. I've decided that I will allow limited amounts of sugar for now. Most plant-based doctors say that a little sugar is okay. Of course, this cake has a bit more . . .

In any case, I'm super happy to be baking again and I'm looking forward to coming up with new recipes.

I adapted this cake from another recipe we like: Tortuga Rum Cake from the cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore. The recipe is a bit problematic for us since we don't do rum, so I make the recipe without and call it molasses cake.

The molasses cake is good, but I like my lemon poppyseed rendition even better. This is the first WFPB cake I've made that tastes really good to me and doesn't seem dry.


Lemon poppyseed cake

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Wet ingredients
1 cup plant milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Glaze ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix. Pour into prepared pan (bundt or other). Bake about 30–35 minutes, until pick comes out clean.

Turn cake from pan after about 15 minutes, if you like. When mostly cool, poke cake with fork. Mix up glaze and pour over cake.

Serves 8–12

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling


Imperfect gardening

Every year I am floored by the fact that my garden—planted in the spring then forgotten, overgrown with weeds, baked in the heat, and not watered enough—can still produce food. Even if I don't do everything (or anything!) perfectly in my garden, I am still blessed for my efforts.

And when I make efforts to improve myself, God blesses me too, even if I don't do it perfectly, and even if I still have a long way to go.

Thank you.


Red Chief makes movies


The big kids have suddenly become interested in Legos this summer. All their money goes toward buying them, and much of their free time is spent playing with them.

Red Chief has taken it one step further: he's using them for stop-motion animation. He has created several movies: this is one of my favorites.


Digging out

When I was first married, I was organized. We had a file for important papers and I kept it at least somewhat up to date.

Fast-forward eleven years. I haven't mucked out the filing cabinet in years. Kids have been into them and rearranged things. I keep current important papers in piles on the kitchen counter (the piles are in baskets and sorters, but they're still piles). What a mess! The only thing that has improved since then is that we get most of our bills and documents electronically now.

Whenever I need an important paper, I have to look through piles to find it. I do know its approximate whereabouts, but it's kind of demoralizing to have to sort through a hundred papers just to find an immunization record.

I knew the file sorters on the kitchen counters were the first step to change. There were three trays for different categories of papers, but really it was just a mess. I decided to go vertical with a file box instead. I shredded and sorted mountains of papers dating back to the beginning of last school year.

I feel so much better now! I still need to work on our filing cabinet, but for now, I'm happy to have a fresh start and a place to put important papers as the new school year rolls in.


Another outing

We went to a city park that held some surprises. It was better than the zoo, from Baby's perspective.





The sun is no surprise this time of year.


Baby at the pool

Baby waited semi-patiently through the big kids' two weeks of swimming lessons. I only let them sign up for one session this summer because I feared his patience would run out.


Another kitchen day

I like to work in the kitchen, and it's more fun in the early afternoon without an impending deadline for dinner. I got lots done this afternoon that will make the coming few days easier.
  • Lemon poppyseed cake
  • Lots of brown rice for the freezer
  • Chopped veggies to use in meals for the week
  • Two melons cubed up and ready to go
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy