I had a moment yesterday where I questioned what I was doing.
What if, what I do doesn’t matter?
I know it matters.
But sometimes. Sometimes. I wonder. That’s what being isolated does to you. At home all day with the kids with no loving husband present. And right now it’s just Hyrum & Salem. Asher & Mali are still away with my mom, visiting family. So it’s me, the seven year old, the eighteen month old, and, the dog.
Did I mention we’ve had a dog for the past month? Kind of on loan from my brother.
This dog ought to be renamed Trouble. Cute, I’d say adorable, perhaps a bit sweet, but trouble, nonetheless.
Here’s the rundown of our month together: he caught & killed a baby squirrel, molested a rooster, did his business on our carpet (several times). Since he’s been under my sole care for the past week while my mom’s been out of town, he’s run away a few times. He chewed up Hyrum’s baseball glove & jump rope. I’ve caught him chewing up Salem’s dirty diapers (don’t ask how he got those).
Hyrum, who has wanted a dog since he could talk, now has had his wish come true, but he says he’ll take a cat now, thanks.
Things I’ve learned from this dog:
1) Dogs are like toddlers. Cute. They have personality. They need & want love. Therefore, they require a certain amount of attention. A bit more than say, a houseplant.
2) As long as I have a babe in diapers, or a toddler, or anyone under the age of 5, I don’t want a dog.
3) Unfortunate, because Salem really loves this dog. She toddles around after him, batting his tail, saying “come, come!” She feeds him, wrestles with him, gives him kisses & snuggles into his fur. It’s rather adorable, but I have to be honest with myself, several children + a toddler + a dog is not something I think would be good for my mental state.
Oh yes, another naughty thing he did: he ate the leftover dessert from the other night.
Amaranth autumn bars.
I made them for a family get-together on Sunday.
There were a few leftover, so when I came home I brought them into the kitchen, along with a beautiful white salad bowl & set them on the counter.
I left the kitchen to take care of the bed time routine–PJ’s on, teeth brushed. I was working on Salem’s teeth, & mid brush, I hear–crash! I ran upstairs to find the guilty culprit (the infamous doggy) staring at the broken salad bowl & upturned pyrex pan. All of my autumn bars, gone.
I don’t want to flatter myself (because who does that, anyway?), but they must have been pretty darn good. For a dog to figure out how to snatch some off the cupboard & gobble them up in less than 10 seconds.
They are good, & taste like autumn.
I was inspired by this recipe, but then when I realized I didn’t have any more canned pumpkin (blame it on my current pumpkin pie smoothie addiction), add the fact I wanted to use some amaranth flour I had on hand, I decided to go the experimental route. That can be a dangerous route to go, especially since I was strapped for time, & this was going to be for a family gathering.
I decided to go for an apple theme, because, how can you go wrong with apples?
Plus, I’m living in apple country right now & we’re in the thick of apple season. Lots of apples to be had.
I made two versions of the bars.
On Sunday night I made version 1: amaranth & oat autumn bars with “cream cheese” frosting. Version 2, I made last night for another family get together with Joseph’s side of the family: amaranth & oat gingerbread bars with coconut milk glaze.
Both night’s these bars had to compete with store bought cake. Hyrum & Salem had seconds of my bars, then thirds (I know, what kind of parent am I?!).
I had approximately 5-7+ servings last night alone.
Point is, these are good stuff.
Trust me, okay?
(And be a good reader & follow the directions.
Otherwise don’t come crying to me, that your bars didn’t turn out.)
Gluten-free, vegan dessert bars perfect for autumn. A blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, oats, & amaranth. Amaranth is a nutty, earthy grain (actually a seed, similar to quinoa in that way) that lends itself quite well to fall foods & flavors.
- 1 c. oat flour (about 1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats)
- 1 c. amaranth flour (or additional oat flour)
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 TBS. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 TBS. ground flax seed
- 1/2 c. sucanat
- 1/3 c. stevia in the raw (or additional sucanat)
- 3/4 c. applesauce
- 1 medium apple, grated (about 1 c. grated apple)
- 3/4 c. full-fat canned coconut milk
- extra cinnamon for dusting
- 1/2 block firm tofu
- 2 TBS. canned coconut milk
- 3 TBS. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional topping)
- 1 1/2 c. unsifted organic powder sugar
- 2 tsp. canned coconut milk
- Your house is going to smell awesome when this is in the oven. You're going to want to make these just so you can smell the warm scents of cinnamon & nutmeg mixing together. To prepare for this awesomeness, preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Make your oat flour in a food processor by dumping oats in & turning on high (also works in a Blendtec). Process until fine flour.
- Sift oat & amaranth flours with nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, stevia, & evaporated cane juice.
- Add applesauce, grated apple, & coconut milk.
- Stir to combine. Mixture will be very thick.
- Pour mixture into non-stick or "greased" (sprayed with non-stick spray) 9 X 13 pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a baking rack.
- Combine ingredients in a food processer & process until smooth. Store cream cheese frosting in fridge until ready to use. This will help it firm up. The coconut milk glaze will be very thick. You can add additional milk if you'd like it to be less firm. I like it thick & firm because it dries more like icing which is fitting for the gingerbread theme.
- Once autumn bars have cooled, frost with frosting. Top with chopped walnuts & cut into 24 squares. Using a small strain sieve, dust tops lightly with cinnamon.
- Add 1/4 tsp. ground ginger to the dry mix. Frost with coconut milk glaze when the cake is still warm. No need to cool, a warm cake will help the glaze spread. The glaze will firm up as it cools. Top with walnuts.
Additional Nutrition Info: Per Square: With cream cheese: 3.6 g protein, 76 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber With glaze: 118 calories, 3 g fat, 21 g carbs, 2.5 g protein
Coming up: Second installment in series on homeschooling.
Also, looking for more healthy, allergy-friendly, vegan & gluten-free recipes? Check out this week’s Wellness Weekend, where this & many other recipes are shared.
Do you have a dog? Dog & kids?