Guilt-Free Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Recently, my daughter shipped to me coconut flour, PB2 powdered peanut butter, and a package of Bob’s Red Mill coconut flakes.  I love coconut in any form.

Searching online to use these ingredients for recipes with low-calories, low-carbs and low-fat, I found a Banana Oatmeal Cookie that looked promising.   

I changed the original recipe by using less oatmeal and raisins, adding coconut flakes, almond extract and a little more cinnamon, and used coconut milk instead of almond milk. All of these ingredients I already had on hand.

guilt-free banana oatmeal cookie

Guilt-Free Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Yield:  30 cookies (2 cookie per serving).

3 mashed ripe bananas
⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 ¾  cups old-fashioned oatmeal
¼ cup coconut flakes
¼  cup coconut milk
¼  cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1  teaspoon almond extract
½  teaspoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350°  F.
  • Into a mixing bowl, mash the (peeled) bananas. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix all together.
  • Drop mixture by tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.  Flatten with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown
  • Let cool at least 15 minutes before eating

By my calculations, each cookie has 36 calories, 7.5 g. carbohydrates, <0.5 g fat, <0.5 sat fat, 3.9 g. sugar.

For breakfast, I ate three of these cookies along with a glass of Silk Coconutmilk.

Guilt-free banana oatmeal cookie

Delicious!

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Colorful Quinoa Tabbouleh

With some quinoa and veggies that I had on hand, I found a recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh from CookingLight

I modified their recipe slightly by using chicken broth instead of water, added toasted almond slices, adding the raisins to the quinoa half-way through cooking, and used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice. Because I didn’t have green onion, I eliminated them. I also halved the recipe, but kept the extra virgin olive oil the same as the full recipe.

Look how pretty and colorful-

quinoa tabbouleh

I only took a half a cup for supper last night.  Although grains are good for me,  I am trying to keep my carbs low.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Yield: Approximately 2 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

½ cup + 6 Tablespoons chicken broth
½ cup uncooked quinoa
2 Tablespoons raisins
2 teaspoons dried mint (add more to your liking)
2 Tablespoons toasted almond slices
¼ cup coarsely chopped seeded tomato
2-3 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
3 Tablespoon chopped green pepper
2 teaspoon minced fresh onions
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  • In a fine mesh seive; rinse quinoa under cold running water.
  • Combine chicken broth and quinoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Half-way through cooking the quinoa; add raisin, cover and continue to cook.
  • In the meantime, in a small fry pan, toast (to a golden brown) almond slices over med-high heat stirring constantly so as not to burn them. Set almonds aside.
  • Remove quinoa from heat; fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool down a bit then stir in remaining ingredients along with the toasted almonds.
  • Cover; let stand 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

It was light, refreshing and delicious!

frankie-luna1

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Get It Out And Move On

I wasn’t surprised, when a recent visit to my doctor, that he would suggest that I go for some blood work.  No one likes to go to the doctors, however this time I suspected another UTI.

life is

Over 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia.  The cause-I recently found out why-could have been because of stomach surgery I had 30+ years ago.  I suffered with ulcers for many years (from the age of 19 to 27 years old) and eventually they started to bleed.  I had to have surgery to remove 1/3 of my stomach. Back then they didn’t realize that antibiotics could have cured an ulcer.

Some of us have lived a life with many illness and diseases.  I am one of them, but never, EVER wanted to dwell on them.  But, I am going to get it all out and move on.

Continue reading

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The Spot I So Love

Lately, I have been reading and have put crocheting and other hobbies aside.

Last week I read, “Beyond the Garden Gate: The Life of Celia Laighton Thaxter”  

 BeyondtheGardenGate

After reading this book, I became pensive and, again, started reflecting upon the past.

Age and an appetency to return to “what was” will do that! 

Below is a short biographical summary of Celia Laighton Thaxter.

Celia Laighton Thaxter (1835-1894) was born in Portsmouth, NH, and when she was four her father became the lighthouse keeper on White Island, Isles of Shoals, NH. Eight years later he resigned his keepers job and built a large hotel on Appledore Island, ME. This would become one of the first resort hotels to be built on the New England coast, and a gathering place for the literary and artistic greats of New England in the latter half of the 19th century.

Celia Laighton Thaxter was an author, painter, gardener, and one of the most popular New England poets of the late nineteenth century. Her nonfiction works, An Island Garden and Among the Isles of Shoals, continue to engage readers; “her prose,” Smithsonian Magazine has said, “has a timeless quality that makes delightful reading today.”

Her close friends included Sarah Orne Jewett, John Greenleaf Whittier, and James and Annie Fields, and she moved in a literary circle that included such figures as (Nathaniel) Hawthorne, (Ralph Waldo) Emerson, (Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow, (Charles Dickens) and (Oliver Wendell) Holmes. Thaxter was also the hostess of a vibrant summer salon on Appledore Island where artists Childe Hassam, William Morris Hunt and musicians Julius Eichberg, (Ole Bornemann Bull) and William Mason were among the frequent visitors.

The Isles of Shoals was also made infamous by the double, ax, *murders that happened there while Celia and one of her sons were on Appledore.  That one son, Karl, suffered with physical and mental impairments caused by complications at birth.

*Stories about the Isle of Shoals murders-

The Moonlight Murders on the Isles of Shoals
Isles of Shoals Murders | Horror on Smuttynose Island
Anatomy of an Ax Murder

Being, that I was born and raised in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Isles of Shoals are familiar to me, I felt a kinship with Celia. I understood her lifelong love for the area. In a letter penned to John Greenleaf Whittier, about her love for the Island, Celia wrote,

“I wonder if it is wise or well to love any spot on this old earth as intensely as I do this…”

I was sad when the book ended as it left me, again, without the “spot” I so love.

“The Sunrise Never Failed Us Yet”

by Celia Thaxter

UPON the sadness of the sea
The sunset broods regretfully;
From the far lonely spaces, slow
Withdraws the wistful afterglow.

So out of life the splendor dies;
So darken all the happy skies;
So gathers twilight, cold and stern;
But overhead the planets burn;

And up the east another day
Shall chase the bitter dark away;
What though our eyes with tears be wet?
The sunrise never failed us yet.

The blush of dawn may yet restore
Our light and hope and joy once more.
Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
That sunrise never failed us yet!

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Child Labor in America Lewis Hine Photography

13I came across some haunting photos the other day. They were photos of child laborers and poverty in the early 1900’s. Children were put to work to help out their family in their home (this was called homework) factories, mines, fields and other laborious jobs.  Many impoverished children worked instead of attending school.  This robbed them of an education and their childhood.

At that time, my maternal grandparent, their parents, sibling and other family members came to America (Ellis Island) from Italy. While some stayed in New York, some moved farther north to New England and other parts of the country.

I mention this only because while I was browsing those photos, I came across one that caught my eye. It was a photo of three boys with the same name as my grandfather’s surname.  I was bowled over with excitement. The names of the boys were familiar, but I can’t find any family member who can confirm how they are related to me.

The full description for the photo is here.

Title: John Pento, 14 years old, has been selling for 7 years. Daniel and Angelo, are his twin brothers. They are 7 years old and been selling one year. Sell until 8 P.M. some nights. Location: Hartford, Connecticut.-http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/nclc/item/ncl2004001466/PP/ Creator(s): Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer Date Created/Published: 1909 March

14

Meanwhile, getting back to the story-

In 1908 the National Child Labor Committee hired Lewis Hine, a teacher and professional photographer trained in sociology, who advocated photography as an educational medium, to document child labor in American industry. Over the next ten years Hine would publish thousands of photographs designed to pull at the nation’s heartstrings. Lewis Hine became an investigative photojournalist for the National Child Labor Committee in the early 1900s.

Lewis Hine was an influential photo journalist in the years leading up to the First World War. It was during those years that the American economy was doing well, and the need for labor was at an all time high. Cheap labor was necessary, and American businesses were not only looking for immigrant workers but also child labor as well. The factory-oriented jobs were very specific, and a child was a perfect candidate for the work that was necessary. Their small hands and energy was beneficial to the assembly line –Source:  National Child Labor Committee

Lewis Hine used his camera as a tool for social reform. His photographs were instrumental in changing the child labor laws in the United States. Hine’s work for the NCLC was often dangerous. As a photographer he was frequently threatened with violence or even death by factory police and foreman. At the time the immortality of child labour was meant to be hidden from the public. Photography was not only prohibited but posed a serious treat to the industry. In order to gain entry into these mills, mines and factories, Hines was forced to assume many guises. At times he was a fire inspector, post card vendor, bible salesman or even an industrial photographer making a record of factory machinery.  Source: Lewis Hines

The face of poverty in American today is not the face in the early part of the 20th Century. Certainly, there are many reason as to why this happened.  But for now, I would like you to view the gallery, that I have assembled.  The gallery consists of some of the over 5000, on various subjects, photos taken by Lewis Hines.  The photos shown in this gallery are some of the ones on child labor and poverty found on the Library of Congress‘ site.  Each photo, in this gallery, is titled by what Hine wrote on the back of each photo.

Click Lewis Hines-Child Labor in America to view the gallery.

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Crochet Shawlette or Scarf?

When I buy yarn, that I am not familiar with, I like to touch it and see how it looks. I have never purchased yarn online that wasn’t familiar to me. However, for the longest time, I have been wanting to crochet with a cotton/acrylic blend. I found some (online) that wasn’t too expensive and had a good amount of yardage and purchase a few skeins. It wasn’t what I expected, but I did like the feel of it and knew that it would drap beautifully. The brand was ‘Premier® Cotton Fair® Solids and Multis Yarn

I envisioned a scarf of shawl. I found a cute pattern for a shawlette/scarf online and decide to crochet one.

shawlette/scarf
I didn’t use the border that was suggested in the pattern, I wanted to make mine a little different.

The two photos below are before I added the floral embellishments.

Crochet shawlette

shawlette

I do like this pattern. It was a simply easy pattern, which turned out beautifully.

Shawlette Crochet

You can find the pattern over at Zooty Owl’s Crafty Blog-Road Trip Scarves. Thank you Zooty Owl, for a wonderful pattern.

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Crocheted Brooches and Autumn Banner

A few weeks ago, I was inspired to crochet a couple of brooches.

brooch

I used #10 crochet thread, an old button that I had, some ribbon and some bobbles and beads.

As you can see, I was trying out ‘color schemes’.  I think the five colors go together quite well.

rose brooch

For the rose brooch, I used #3 crochet thread and some pearl beads.

I sewed felt and a hinged pin to the back of each brooch.

I think brooches look so pretty and feminine.

I have a few more designs swirling around in my head.  I am just too lazy to make these ideas a reality.

Autumn is nearly upon us, and I am looking forward to the cooler weather. Here, where I live, we won’t be feeling any cool, crisp air for a couple of months or more.  However, I still like to put little things around the house in celebration of autumn.

Last year I made a little “Happy Autumn” banner/streamer and posted the template.

autumn bannerIf you would like to make one or just to see the post click here or click on the photo.  The banner/streamer is made with light-weight card stock, ribbon and laminate.

Thank you for visiting!

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A Mélange of Frivolity

Because I haven’t felt well for the past few days, I haven’t been doing any crocheting. I am experiencing fatigue. My body and brain is so drained. I have been laying about and sleeping without feeling refreshed.

I did manage to make some homemade croutons for the tossed salad we had for dinner. I made a half recipe today with some leftover Italian bread that I had frozen. I only had a little extra virgin olive oil on hand.  You certainly can use regular olive oil, but extra virgin is sooooooooooooo good. But, it is very expensive and I don’t buy it often. It has become a luxury around here.

croutons

Cheesy Garlic Croutons

  • 2 cups of day old bread cut into 1-inch cubes (use a hearty bread such as an Italian bread, french Bread, European Peasant Bread, etc).
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (more or less according to how much garlic flavor you want)
  • Good grinding of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesano-reggiano cheese.

Place bread cubes into a large food type plastic bag or bowl. Drizzle olive oil all over cubes, toss the cubes and the oil, sprinkle garlic powder, pepper and cheese on top of mixture and toss/mix well. Place mixture onto a cookie sheet and toast in a 175°F oven until lightly toasted on all side for about 15-20 minutes.

I kept the oven temperature low so that the cubes would slowly toast.

And this morning, I made a batch of-what I call-tropical bran muffins. I add cubed dried mango, papaya, pineapple, dates, coconut, etc. to the bran muffins. I like cold, bran muffins right out of the refrigerator. I don’t like them warm.

Weird? I know!  

It’s only bran muffins that I like cold.  All other muffins I like warm and buttery.

In the mornings when I don’t feel like eating, but my stomach won’t stop growling, these muffins are just the thing to stop the gnawing.

Last week I bought a couple of books.  In between my sleep-fest, I have been reading. These books weren’t too expensive, and I know that times are tough and when the books came, I felt so guilty for spending the money.

enchanted april

A while back, I read, “Elizabeth and Her German Garden” by the same author as “The Enchanted April“.  On the one hand, I associated with Elizabeth’s need for solitude.  So far, on the other hand, I can associate with these women’s needs and wants in “The Enchanted April“.   

The author of those two books also wrote “Mr. Skeffington“.  Warner Brothers made it into a movie in 1944 starring Bette Davis and Claude Reins. I just watched it recently on my Amazon Fire TV.

“A woman is beautiful when she’s loved, and only then.   –Mr. Skeffington

Bette Davis was one of my favorite actresses when I was a kid.

The other book, I remorsefully purchased,  and wanted to read for the longest time is-

tabacco road

purpleflwr-siggy

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