Breakfast Cookies!

Happy Wednesday everyone! We are well into October with Halloween coming up right around the corner! Hard to believe it, right? My girls have their costumes all picked out and they are going to be super cute. I am probably going to dress up again this year, even though I got a bunch of funny look as the ONLY adult wearing a costume last year at Whole Foods:

img_1184.jpg

I was flipping through recipes and found this lovely post by Robyn at sweetish.co. I love the idea of living your best life and it really inspired me to think about what that looks like for me/us. The breakfast cookies looked amazing too and we made them a couple of days ago with some minor tweaks. They are barely sweet and delicious as a morning meal with milk or coffee. These would be great to take along on a plane for a healthy pick-me-up.

We are not eating apples right now so I swapped out the applesauce for homemade pear sauce (I put in the recipe below, in case you want to make some for yourself since pears are in season). We also left out the maple syrup (didn’t miss it), walnuts, and chocolate chips. I would highly recommend using the chocolate chips – it would take these over the top! We are just avoiding it right now.

Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup oat flour (we only needed a half cup)
  • 2 cups gluten-free (or regular) oats
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened pear sauce (recipe to follow)
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup  (optional)
  • ½ cup / 150g peanut butter or almond butter (salted or unsalted, we used salted PB)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • cup walnuts, chopped – we omitted
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chocolate chips (optional)

 

img_2342.jpg

Instructions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. Measure all of your dry ingredients (oat flour, oats, salt, soda + flax) and put them in a bowl and mix.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and peanut butter until well mixed with an electric mixer.
  4. Mix in pear sauce and vanilla.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry mixture. Mix well until moistened throughout. Add in the add-ins that you are using (we used only the dried cherries). If you find that the mixture is too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of the milk of your choice to wet it.
  6. Form balls and press down to flatten on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 12-15 min – these are best a little underdone so they retain their moistness.
  8. Dunk and enjoy! Yum!

Pear Sauce

Ingredients:

2-4 pears

1-2 tsp of ghee

water

Instructions:

  1. Dice pears finely, discarding cores. It is fine to leave the skin on.
  2. Place in a medium saucepan and add water until just covered. Cook on medium-high for a few minutes until pears are soft (this will vary based on the type of pear you are using, bosc pears are firmer and so take more like 5-7 min to cook, softer varieties will only take 3-4 min to cook through).
  3. Drain off the excess water.
  4. Blend the pears using a bullet blender or a food processor with the ghee until smooth. The ghee really enhances the flavor and I find that my kids love to eat this sauce with a spoon!
  5. Eat and enjoy or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

NYC and a couple of recipes.

Today the food focus is on Deb Perlman from smitten kitchen. She is one of our favorite bloggers and has recipes that are dependable and delicious. This week, I made her melting potatoes which turned out amazing and were actually pretty easy in terms of time spent and effort. They are highly recommended. Recipe here:

Melting Potatoes

part0

Diya was craving cake and even though she didn’t feel like baking one, she did it anyway. Sometimes the craving wins over the laziness, you know? Diya made the chocolate peanut butter cake and although it was a little lopsided, it was her first layer cake and I was proud. And it was delicious!! Recipe here:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


The end of the week we went to NYC for a big girls trip. And we learned a lot. We remembered how much fun we have together when we get to adventure without an agenda. We also learned that we all got stressed out leaving Nisa behind – and stress manifests differently for all of us: migraines, reflux and general crankiness. So we learned that we won’t plan to do that again anytime soon. And we learned that we must be grateful for all that we have in our lives – because what seems to be a big obstacle now (throwing up in the taxi) is really a very small thing in the big scheme of things.

We learned that drinking a big fishbowl drink from Dylan’s candy bar seems like a good idea but sometimes really isn’t.

img_03001.jpg

IMG_0302.jpg

I also learned that having a friend who says the exact right thing to you at the exact right time is an absolute necessity (Tati). And that my mom always has a helpful suggestion when I am stuck.

And NYC is a lot of fun. Plus, we walked 7+miles every day we were there!

Here are some of the pictures:

Let me know if you try the potatoes!

Love,

Pooja

Lemony Ricotta Sweet Pea Dip

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a restful holiday season and an inspiring start to your new year! We spent a lot of time hanging out with family/friends which was wonderful and we rang in the new year with a celebration involving good food and kids having a blast. We usually do new years’ resolutions together as a family and I am always amazed at what my kids come up with – and they both (Nisa is still too little for a resolution!) follow through on them! I got this in my inbox and I think it’s a great idea, so sharing with you:

click.jpg

Link for the calendar: Happiness Calendar

To start the year off right, I am sharing some fun/inspiring links with all of you:

  1. Inspirational food + travel: Beauty and the Feast
  2. Something that I am always working on: How to be a better listener
  3. Where to travel in 2018 (Northern NA Wine Country is on this list!). Bhutan is a dream destination for me: Places to visit in 2018
  4. Oprah’s Speech!!! Oprah
  5. Skincare products that will change your life, I’m skeptical but worth a read: Products
  6. Clean out your (kids’) closets: Where to donate used toys. I know firsthand the amazing work that Homeless Prenatal Program does in SF and so our toys/baby things are going there but this list has many great options. We have also done Project Night Night – another great program.

Lemony Ricotta Sweet Pea Dip

IMG_1409

This something that we (Diya and I) invented when we were trying to come up with a dip for crackers using the stuff that we had. The combination of flavors works really well – although a bit of mint would have made it perfect. We hope that you enjoy!

Ingredients: 

2 cups peas (frozen)

Zest and juice of one lemon

1.5 cups whole milk ricotta

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

handful of chopped mint (optional)

Methods: 

  1. Blanch the peas (boil some water, cook them in the boiling water until they are bright green – just a few seconds – then drain and rinse with ice cold water to stop the cooking)
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly until the dip is creamy
  3. Serve sprinkled with chopped mint. Enjoy!

IMG_1397-1

Monday Inspirations

Happy Monday everyone!

I don’t have a recipe to share today, but I do have something better! Inspiration! I saw some cool stuff over the weekend and wanted to share.

  1. National Geographic’s Travel Photo of the Year Contest. SO incredible: http://mymodernmet.com/national-geographic-travel-photographer-of-the-year-2017/
  2. These Church Photographs by Mark Brunetti are stunning: http://www.bjp-online.com/2016/04/markus-brunettis-monumental-church-facades/
  3. An awesome and entertaining TED talk about unconscious bias, “What Does my Headscarf Mean to You? “: https://www.ted.com/talks/yassmin_abdel_magied_what_does_my_headscarf_mean_to_you
  4. This awesome list of a girl power reading list for middle schoolers: https://girlsleadership.org/blog/mediamondaytip-a-girl-power-reading-list-for-middle-schoolers/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=5%20min%20read&utm_campaign=0817-icymi-hq-tr
  5. Maybe I just really needed to hear this right now! : https://mmlafleur.com/mdash/tiffany-dufu-drop-the-ball

Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Pooja

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Hello Friends! We are talking again so soon! I think that I inspired a new obsession in my daughter – she is baking again already! She decided to make these cookies – really driven by her craving for something sweet AND her love of PB&J.

Diya is officially a tween, and one of the things that I love about this age is the intensity of  things. She LOVES her music and listens to it loud. And when she craves something sweet, she will even make it herself so she can eat it! This is a complicated time in life and we try to use moments that we are together, here and there, to talk about life and ideas. The quote that I saw and loved today is one that Esha’s favorite teacher posted (thank you Jess!):

Image may contain: text

This one is super valuable for all of us, I think.

The cookies are supposed to be for breakfast because they have lots of good-for-you ingredients: coconut oil, almond flour, oats. They are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. We made some adjustments as the original recipe calls for a banana. She was not a big fan of having these be banana-y so we swapped out the banana for a splash of milk and a tablespoon of olive oil.  We also used homemade chia jam for the centers.

We are posting the original recipe below. Feel free to use our tips/tricks above for swaps.

PB&J Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup  sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large banana, mashed

¾ cup creamy peanut butter, melted

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2/3 to 3/4 cup jam

Methods:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silpat baking mat).
  2. Put the peanut butter and coconut oil in a bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds until it’s nice and melted. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix oats, almond flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Add the coconut oil/peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. We used our hands to form the dough into a round shape, press down a thumbhole into the middle to make a space for the jam. Spoon a half-teaspoon of jam into the center of the cookie.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

 

They are delicious – she is planning to eat them for lunch with yogurt on the side. A complete meal for a tween!

 

IMG_1913-1

NYC!

Dear Readers,

I had the opportunity to go to New York City with Diya and Esha this past weekend. We had the BEST time. Here is our itinerary in case you want to plan a trip:

We started off at Alice’s Tea Cup, Chapter II, yummy, but pricey!

image1-3

We then went straight to the Metropolitan Museum which was incredible! And the exhibits made me feel better about pulling the girls out of school for the day: Diya got to see the Byzantine art that she has been studying and Esha got to learn about how the Ancient Egyptians lived and worked. Here are some of the pics:

We met with Zameer Kassam, jeweler extraordinaire, to pick up a ring my husband had given me. Zameer sat down to  talk through what my amazing husband had told him about “our story” and our lives together to allow him to design it especially for me. Zameer reviewed all of his drawings and notes with us. The things that Vivek had said about me made my heart melt. I am indeed the luckiest girl. And Zameer, a true romantic, is incredible! Check him out: http://www.zameerkassam.com

12549002_10156357162545577_3127567748601001860_n

We ended our day at this yummy place called Jams:

IMG_1290-1

We were super tired but had such a lovely first day.

Day 2, we started off at the Rockefeller Center:img_3708.jpg

We met my friend Moira there and had a delicious pastry-filled breakfast at Bouchon. o

We then went to have brunch with Vivek’s cousin, her husband and their beautiful little girl:

image3

The next stop was Dylan’s Candy Bar – which is a total paradise for candy-lovers. And even though it’s a little bit cheesy, it’s a super fun stop. We got a couple of souvenirs from here and the girls each got to pick out a small bag of candy for their afternoon fuel:

We then did a bit of window shopping around Fifth Ave. We saw some really cool window displays:

IMG_1052And we also got to see the Apple Cube. This was especially cool for us since a guest speaker at the girls’ school had designed it:

IMG_1055

At the end of these two superbusy days, we went back to our hotel to get some rest and save up energy for the MWP conference.

On Sunday, we went to the MWP conference all day and it was incredibly inspiring!

 

The keynote speaker was Rokhaya Diallo, a French-Senegalese journalist, writer, award-winning filmmaker and activist, for racial, gender and religious equality. She talked about confronting racism in a way that is inclusive and positive. Her TED talk is here in case you are interested:

 

We even got a picture!

image4-1

It was such an incredible trip – mostly because we got to spend some time together. I got to hold their hands, talk to them about life and we got the chance slow down and just “be” together. I was so grateful to have this special time with them.

Here they are on the way home (with a selfie of course!):

IMG_1063

We got home very late on sunday night and we were very happy to see these other two – we had missed them tons: pooja_2017-138.jpg

And the girls were very happy to be together again: image2-2

Thank you for coming along on our adventure!

Love,

Pooja