Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Easy Peesy Granola Balls!!!

I wanted to share this great recipe for a nice simple and pretty healthy Granola Balls! I made these tonight with RAVE reviews from my family!! I made these treats because they are perfect for my child's lunch box and my kids had a ball helping me make them.

Makes about 12


2 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup creamy all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup trail mix

I used chocolate chips but I figure you can use any thing you would like as far as add-ins! I am going to make a "grown-up" batch with pecans and cranberries!!


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the oats and coconut on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

Combine the peanut butter and honey in a glass bowl or measuring cup and microwave for about one minute.

Add the toasted oats and coconut to the peanut butter mixture along with the trail mix (if you use chocolate chips wait until it cools a bit more....my chips melted which was fine by us) and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Working with dampened hands or a small ice-cream scoop, shape into 12 one-inch balls and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

These are Yummy!! I hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New York.......New York.......

Yup....my husband and I finally stepped out of our comfort zone (WAY OUT) and took a trip to New York City! I don't think he was thrilled about our destination, but because he such a good husband he went for me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I had always wanted to visit, little thoughts of "That would be pretty neat to see" or "One of these days I am going to check that out"! We decided to take the train so we could visit and take in some sights along the way. Well....we took in some sights and my stomach was upside down before we even arrived in the city! There really is nothing like emerging from the underground train station to find yourself smack dab in the middle of Madison Square Garden, although I didn't see any Garden, it was a bit overwhelming. I have to admit that the second I hit the New York air the sun stung and the noises rang in my ears, I felt like I had shrunk to about two feet tall.

My hands began to shake as I tried to get my darn GPS to tell us how the heck to get to Rockefeller Square, it all looked so very easy when we were sitting in the comfort of our living room...a few blocks this way and a couple streets over that way....right? In all my nervousness I forgot that if I had hit the "detail" button on my GPS it would have given us written direction...DUH!!! We asked a few people and each set of instructions was even more confusing than the last, "You just walk up about 15 blocks to 49th and then right to 50th and you will see Rockefeller Square right there on your right" HUH!!!! Blocks and streets all mean something very different in New York, they do not resemble anything here in my little town!! So, we walked....and walked....and walked some more than we sat in a nice little park area and then we walked some more!! We walked through Time Square and up 7th Ave and before we knew it we were there. It was then that we realized we had about 4 hours to kill before we needed to go to the studio.....we did not venture very far!!

We walked through and around the GM Building sat down and had a lemonade and some fruit and went into a few shops. WOW....when they say things are more expensive in New York - they weren't kidding!! My poor husband had worn a long sleeve dress shirt and was dying from the heat, so we thought before we went into the show we would buy him a short sleeve polo so he would be more comfortable.....hummm $79.50 for a simple button down & $59.00 for a very simple Polo! He decided he would just roll up his sleeves and we would find some air-conditioning to enjoy! We were going to make the best of the situation. We took a deep breath and relaxed, it would all work out. Besides it isn't like we come to New York City often so we wanted to enjoy our adventure.

The sights you see are amazing, some not so much in a good way, but most can take your breath away. I kept finding myself just staring up into the sky, the way the buildings met the clouds was breathtaking and the detail on some of the buildings was awe inspiring.
The way the trees danced around the view and created a lace-like appearance was something I could have starred at for hours.
The geometrical lines with the blue sky peeking out between just made me want to draw them, I am by far an artist but it just gave me that feeling. There was something about the atmosphere and attitude on those busy streets that made you feel like you could do
ANYTHING! I was sure that if I had a set of pencils and a drawing pad I could have rendered an exact replica of that sky-line! The people are very focused, not rude by any means, just focused! They have an agenda, a place to be, people to see and a million things on their mind along the way. We noticed that you couldn't help but take on that persona....rush....rush....rush! We ate faster, we walked faster and we laughed about it at the end of the day.

Over-all we enjoyed our day, for the time we were able to spend together. We had decided to go more for that time together than for the experience, but in the end we enjoyed both. So when I was in complete pain from a migraine, my husband offered his shoulder and hand on the train ride home. With the kiss he gave me on my forehead and our whispered exchange of words I realized that I have quite a great guy to call mine. The kind of love story from New York that you see on the big screen, I have it here everyday in our little Connecticut town and I wouldn't change a single thing. Who know's.... you may find us wondering the streets of New York again, it makes you appreciate all the things you may have taken for granted!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I am in LOVE with Blueberries this week!! I stumbled upon an old friend when I threw some in with my morning oatmeal. I loved the way they turned a darker blue and became a bit sweeter with the simple heat from the oatmeal in my bowl. I drizzled a bit of Swift Farm honey on top and was in heaven! Needless to say it was so darn good I threw some in with my salad for lunch and then mixed a handful into my yogurt I had for snack, again I drizzled some honey on top (I like the plain yogurt) for some sweetness...YUM! Sometimes desperation reveals the best things!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I am not going to write much for this post. I figure I will add a bunch of "summer" photos and let them speak for themselves! Hope you enjoy!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A New Look......

I have decided to change the look of my blog.....just a bit! I felt like this was a nice summer look, besides it makes me feel happy when I see the colors. I will be back tomorrow to add a new post. It seems like forever since I have had the time to sit and write....I miss it! I promise I will have lots of pictures and maybe even more than one new post this week!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


You know all the anticipation and plans you envision for the summer; warm days spent by the pool, care-free afternoons at the beach, long weekends at the beach house and all those barbeque's! Then when summer "officially" arrives you find yourself standing in the kitchen dripping with sweat and all the kids standing around you, some crying as the are pulling at your shorts, all needing something different from you!! Ahhh......Summer........yes this is what summer really is and should be in a house with 7 children! My three girls, two boys and my two nieces - yup.... SEVEN!! We have nick-named our place "The Mad-House" - only because it always resembles a tea party with the Mad-Hatter here!! There are moments when the kids are all playing together and times when they are scattered in all different directions! Some times they are fighting and other times they are so sweetly sitting on the couch all together. I wouldn't change either situation. The times of chaos are the times when I see the true personality and strong sense of conviction that each of my kids has. I see the fierce demand for recognition and understanding that they require as a simple fact of life, they will be heard and they will make sure of it! Granted the lack of fighting and chaos is so much easier, I enjoy watching the kids interact and work together. That is when I see how loyal and committed to each other they are. The sheer skill of understanding and love that you can see through their laughter and cooperation melts my heart and makes me smile. Summer time gives me the opportunity to see all these things in my children in a different light because I have the uninterrupted time with them to recognize it all. We spend days together during the summer not just hours, they are all mine and i don't have to share them with school for a few fleeting months! Our days are more relaxed and carefree, I don't feel the need for quite so much structure. These are the days when we kick off our shoes and really spend some time together! Ahhhh......Summer.......the way it should be!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Earth Hour.......

Just a quick hello and a few words about a great event! On March 27Th from 8:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. join in for Earth Hour. Check out what Connecticut is doing to get involved.

To get involved, register to join Earth Hour and download the Blueprint for Individuals.

Meanwhile, here are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your impact on the environment:

•Replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.
•Recycle paper and plastic, instead of using the trash.
•Read news online, instead of buying paper copies.
•Grow vegetables during the summer.
•Bicycle or walk to work or to run errands instead of driving.
•Take the bus or train, instead of driving long distances.
•Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
•Lower the thermostat to cut back on heating during the winter.
•Insulate and eliminate drafts to get the most out of your heating and cooling.
•Plant a tree to help filter your air and to provide shade.

My family will be playing some board games by candle-light by the fireplace that night! Join and to make a difference and have some fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Clean Food....

I recently purchased a book called "Clean Food" by Terri Walters. Who just so happens to be a local, Connecticut, author. I bought it searching for more insight into eating better food that was better for me. I love this book!!! It is full of great recipes, but they are not just recipes, they are a seasonal gathering of good meals. They tell you what to find during all four seasons that are the most nutritionally packed foods and how to pair them up with other good for you ingredients. Amazing.....I really took a step back and looked at the way I was eating and the things I was cooking. Thankfully my children are exceptional eaters, not much they won't eat or at least try. We were missing out on so many wonderful different grains, legumes and veggies. I really have added a lot of variety to our pantry over the last year or two and now that I have a great reference guide, I will continue to add more. Like my new favorite secret seasoning....kombu! Yes, code for sea vegetable!! I throw it into my cooking rice, soup or grain and the family is none the wiser, just healthier. You see "Clean Food" has taught me to stick it in there for all the wonderful minerals that my family will benefit from, but I don't have to freak them out by telling them they are eating seaweed!!! So very "Mom"smart!!! The book not only has the recipes, but a ton of really quick go to's on how to cook things, like a basic ratio & cooking method for rice....you know how much, how long to cook it and how much kombu to throw in. This is not just a simple cookbook, it is an all around great reference guide. You will often find me carrying it around the house, just in case I happen to get that quick minute to read a few pages again. I highly recommend grabbing a copy for yourself, it is a wonderful addition to every ones library.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Yummy Valentines.....

You know, I have to say Valentines hasn't always been a big holiday in our house! We exchange sweet little homemade cards and sometimes a box of chocolates, but never much fuss! I do remember one year when my oldest daughter, Molly, was in her first year of preschool and dance. I spent hours making little and I mean little candy boxes and lolly-pop flowers for each and every one of her classmates and dance mates! I believe it was about 36 of them!! My fingers were numb by the time I was finished cutting, folding and creasing all those boxes and flowers!! They were so cute!! I filled each little box with homemade chocolate and white chocolate hearts. That was before I had a handful of children and I had a lot more time. This year I have decided that we are going to make all the valentines for all the kids classmates and teachers....I think it should be fun. I am also going to make some yummy and easy candy-ish kind of treats for them! I found the following recipe on the Rachel Ray website and they are very, very yummy!!

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 20 ounce bag Chocolate Chips

1 cup Creamy Peanut butter

1 cup finely chopped Peanuts

In a medium saucepan melt the butter, add chocolate chips and peanut butter - stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a 8inch baking dish, place in fridge until firm, about 45 minutes.

Place the finely chopped peanuts in a shallow dish and drop teaspoon full (I use my small ice cream scoop)of the chocolate/peanut butter mixture. Roll in peanuts until covered and roll briefly between your hands to form a ball. Place in the fridge to firm again about 15 minutes or until ready to serve. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container!

These are so very yummy!! I will try to post some of our favorite sweets this week and please feel free to share your favorite recipes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Okay, so it hasn't been the best few weeks and now I feel like it is just time to get back to normal! Funny thing, Normal!!! Thank goodness normal is so different to each and every person and my normal seems just fine and dandy to me. I figure I can't do much about a lot of the crappy things that have been going on so why bother wasting my time fretting over them.....move'in on!
I think the best way to get going is to post a pretty funny story that could ONLY involve my precious little boy!! He is quite amazing.....he has made it "snow" in our kids room and just recently he made it "snow" again in our living room. I have come to know that when he is quite it REALLY is not a good thing and I must run to see what is keeping him so very occupied! The first time we experienced snow in our house was about a month ago; I was cleaning the kitchen, making some bread and loving the fact that he was actually keeping himself busy. Well let me tell you it was a pretty big shock when he showed me what was keeping him so nice and busy!! He had so nicely sprinkled an entire package of oatmeal all over the kids room! Yes it was everywhere!!!! The couch, the table and all over the floor! I looked at him and asked "What did you do?" his reply "Snow, Mommy, Snow!" Hmmm....what do you say to that? I had to laugh and when he stood there with his arms out walking around the scattered oatmeal saying "What'd you do?" I did the best thing I could, I grabbed the camera.

I obviously didn't learn that with my son silence is not a blessing! Again, I was quite into changing the kids room around and cleaning under everything, he had been playing nicely with his blocks right there by the steps. I know he just waited for me to turn my back and he made his move, ever so quietly. The phone rang and there he appeared phone in hand looking mighty dusty! My first response "What did you do?"....... again his answer "Snow, Mommy, Snow!" He took my hand and showed me the white covered living room. You can just guess what he had used, I'll give you a hint - it smelled like a baby in there!! Yup, powder.....EVERYWHERE!!!!! Both couches, the chair, the table, the saddle, the bench, the side tables.....the bathroom. Wow did he cover some ground in only a few minutes of unsupervised bliss! I had to laugh just to stop myself from crying, you see I had just finished cleaning this room. How can you really get mad at such a cute little kid, he probably knew he shouldn't be doing what he was doing but he didn't know why!! Right??? Sure we will just believe that. He is cute and he sure is funny. Gotta love him for bringing the snow inside with out making it freezing cold in there.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Things We See.......

I just have to get this off my chest, actually more like get it out of my chest....it is sitting heavy on my heart! I say that because it is causing such a ache that I just need to say it to really feel it and then move on. It may be all over the place and I promise I will do my best to bring it all into focus in the end! I was at the bank today, sitting at the drive through window with the kids all busy with each other. I watched a young man walk into the bank, I know him or you could say I know of him. I had known him from his job at our local Mobil gas station, he was the most polite 17 year old I had ever met, just the nicest kid. He always answered and asked a question with "Mam" and always finished one with "Thank You" and he was always sincere. My husband knew him a little better than I did and he had talked to him about all his dreams and aspirations. He had plans to go to collage and maybe even the military. He just seemed so responsible with such a bright future. He still has a bright future ahead for him, just not the one he planned I am sure. I remember going to the accident, my husband had forgotten his coat and called to ask me to bring it up to him. I had asked him on the phone how bad it was, he really didn't say much. I know him.... if this is his reaction than this is one that he is deeply bothered by. I was pregnant with my youngest daughter at the time so I didn't get too close to the scene, but I could tell from the fury around the car it wasn't good! Life-star was landing as they were working to get him out of the mangled mess of car that was wrapped around the tree. It was the young man from the Mobil station. That young vibrant kid with the hazel eyes that just always struck me for some reason. You know, those people that come into your life for some reason or another and they just "stick".....they just "stick"! He made it through the car accident but he had suffered massive head injuries, non the less he had made it. He always smiles and loves to visit, it seems like he just likes to be around people. Well, it was him at the counter I could see him through the big window, a perpetual smile on his face and just happy to be chatting with someone. I could tell the bank teller was becoming annoyed with him as he sheepishly pulled rolled coins from his pocket and then finished up with a handful of loose coins. She counted them, then turned to the manager and showed him the coins, I assume she was asking permission to take them in trade for bills. All the while he stood waiting with a smile trying to make small talk. I am always asked how I would like my bills when I go to the bank, he was not offered that option, so when he asked for smaller bills I could see the tellers patience was being tested. She put the money on the counter and promptly turned away, leaving him standing there "Thanking" her back. I did get tears in my eyes and I so wanted to tell her his story as she apologized for the wait. I knew I would not be able to get through without becoming a sobbing mess, so I left it alone. It has bothered me all day that we have become such a complaisant society, that we don't care to know each others story. That we are so very busy with our own lives that we can just dismiss one another without a second thought. His pure innocence and desire to please the very people who become annoyed with the simplest requests are so very disheartening to me. It makes me see how far from simple human kindness we have come. Are we really so self-consumed and busy that we have pushed the good aside to make room for everything else? I am sad that "goodness" is such an endangered moral in this day and age. I see a lack of it even in my children and I don't know how to teach them different. They see so much of it every day of their lives....from T.V. shows, to other children at school and even in the games they play. I will do my best to instill in my children empathy and that simple kindness makes a better world. I am thankful to be surrounded by all the wonderful people in my life, new & old friends. They help remind me every day that there are people who still believe in the importance of knowing each others story. Sometimes all you need is a hand.....to hold or just resting on your shoulder.....sometimes all it takes is a smile ....... a minute, just sixty seconds worth of listening.....just to be looked in the eye and heard......simple and easy! Thank you to everyone who still makes an effort to make a difference in someones life, just because it is the right thing to do!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Looking Ahead......

I had been feeling a little lost, now that I have had some time off from my baking! I have been filling my notebook full of new recipes I want to try. I have been chatting with so many wonderful and generous people. I had the best brunch with my girls and the little guy on Saturday at Zest. I had a meeting with Carrie the owner there about possibly using her kitchen for my baking. She was so very nice, like a girlfriend I had know for years. I felt so welcome at her beautiful restaurant, I will surely return for another amazing crepe. I have also been in touch with another wonderful women in Pomfret, a little town about 25 minutes from my home, about opening a shop in her building. This isn't just another building of shops, it is a beautiful old federal home surrounded by beautiful gardens that has been a quaint little shop for years called "Martha's Herbery". Her shop is filled with an eclectic assortment of trinkets. Beautiful jewelry, clothes and those one-of-a-kind gifts that every one would love to receive. So, I have this opportunity to be a part of this little destination and I am so very excited about it, but I am still so hesitant! I guess I am worried that the children are still so young to be away from them six days a week. I am worried about their school vacations and where they will go. I know the older ones can come to the shop and help me out when they are not in school, but what about my little ones? Hmmm......so many conflicting feelings! so here is my question to all of you; the rent is an amazing amount, the location is beautiful and my little area is perfect - I have five children, my children are still young and I will be a half-hour away from home? I am looking for your advice on this one.......
So with all this positive energy, I am feeling very optimistic lately. I may be able to pull off more than I thought I was capable of. I have some wonderful people in my corner and they are willing to help me out with open arms. I have a great family who will support me in any venture I choose and five beautiful children who make the world go round! Looking ahead, no matter what happens, life is Good!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sincere Gratitude.........

A New Year......so many resolutions, a new outlook, and endless possibilities. Why is it that I am sitting at my desk with such a heavy heart, so very full of sadness. We are not even one week into this new year and I feel surrounded by upheaval. This little bakery that I hold so dear to my heart may be in jeopardy! Issues with local departments that do not make any sense to me considering they were the very first people I contacted when I set out on this journey! I have a State License, doesn't that "trump" the town? Hmmm.....I am so full of questions but do not really know where to get the answers. I guess the easiest way to sum it all up is that I am in desperate need of a new kitchen, which is not an easy thing to find! I had looked and have been looking in the past year for a new location. I love the kitchen I have but it was lent to me as a favor, a gesture of kindness and now the demands that are being placed on the owners of this kitchen leave me with my mouth agape. I do not bake everyday, just once a week. Granted I bake from sun-up till sun-down on that one day and of course the holidays make for a bit crazier schedule. The nice thing about this lovely kitchen of mine is I was able to use it when ever I wanted, no questions asked no explanations needed. I fit it into my schedule, I did not have to work my schedule around specific times or days! I just cannot in good faith put my kitchen owners through this craziness that is being asked of them. This battery of requirements and tests for permits that were never disclosed at the beginning. I had figured that when I asked the question "What else do I need to do, step by step?" I would have been told at that moment not two years later! I have customers, I have loyal patrons who look for ME at the market and at the stores I sell to! It is a stabbing feeling to even imagine loosing those people, but even more terrifying is the thought of not being able to be part of the most amazing group of people at the Coventry Farmers Market. They took me under their wing and gave me the courage to take that first step, that leap of faith. I have always known that no matter what they have always had their hand on my shoulder, supporting and cheering for me.
I feel like there has to be a positive through all of this. I am a firm believer that people come into our lives for a reason, whether it is good or bad there is always a reason. I am finding that through the farmers market I have found some of the best people. I have received more support from these people over the past few days and I am still in awe. It is a connection, a bond that is created with people that see the same things as you, they understand and you feel like you fit. I have found that in the people I have known and worked beside over the past two years and all of the amazing CRFM followers. I received an email from a wonderful amazing women whom I had the pleasure of working with, and this is what she wrote "I still have faith that 2010 will bring good things. I really believe everything happens for a reason, only to bring us some opportunity in our future that we maybe weren't expecting." I will be repeating that over and over in my mind because the complex simplicity of her words will lead me in the correct direction to the next path that will continue this journey.
I will keep you all my friends posted and I appreciate you all more than you will ever know. I will still be baking because it is what I love, my passion; unfortunately I just cannot bake in my little approved commercial kitchen which is a stated requirement to attend the market. You will just have to stop in for a cup of coffee and a scone as a guest and not a customer. I am not giving up my search for another kitchen so keep your eye out for me, I may surprise you sometime soon. I will still be here and I will try and be more regular with my posts. Maybe I will try and do a recipe once a week??

Sincere Gratitude.........

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodbye & Hello..........

This is the time when we all say goodbye to a year gone bye and hello to the new year just beginning. We set expectations and goals we want or need to reach in this new year. Some are simple but most will require some strong will to accomplish. We refelct on all the things, good and bad, that we have endured for the past twelve months and assess the accomplishments of our set expectations from the previous new year. How did we do as far as reaching those goals and which ones will we continue or carry over into this new adventure?
I look back at the time and I have a hard time believing that there is any way that it all happened in just one single year! I find that the changes I see in my children are the most astonishing....... When did they get so big? When did they learn how to do that? I realize that there are huge chunks of time that escape my mind or are they just tucked away for later reflection. When my children have families of their own and we are not so busy, will these lost treasures surface to fill my days with smiles and laughter? When the house is quiet and calm and there is no one to chase after, will these memories fill the house with quiet chaos?
I am going to believe that is what will happen and with that in mind I am making a few resolutions that will help fill that treasure chest to the top, brimming with happiness to spare. I am going to center myself and accomplish the things that have eluded me for many years. I will continue to eat and feed my family the best organic and local foods I can find. I will make our home healthy, happy and continue to build a bond between us that will never fail. I want to make all the memories I can this year and for all the years to come. I want to slow down and really see my children grow and change. I want to play more with them and spend quality time with them. I will spend one-on-one time with each of them, something I have tried to do but find it has been difficult to do with five children. They need that special time and I intend to insure that happens. I want my children to know they can always count on me to be there for them, now and when they are adults. Without a strong sturdy foundation a family can fall apart very easily and I love my family too much to live on a crumbling foundation. My husband will not be taken for granted, a very easy trap to fall into. He works hard to give us all the things we need and all the things we have. He loves his children with such strong conviction that you can sometimes see his knuckles turning white as he holds onto the precious time he gets to spend with them. He is a good man, loyal to the core and I am lucky God has placed him in my life to share all of this with.
So, my resolutions for this new year and new decade are to enjoy time with my family and to not take one single second for granted. I want to love them with all my heart and fill every space within my soul with pieces of them I can keep forever. The rest will all fall into place without requiring too much of my time or effort. My family........My Resolution.

Stay happy, healthy and centered - Happy New Year!