30 June 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

One recent morning as I was preparing to bake up something yummy for breakfast I heard a request for something with peanut butter...and something chocolate...and then oooh something with both! 

I will admit that this is not the healthiest of breakfasts and it wasn't something that I could put in a school lunch (not a fan of the nut ban at school), but it sounded like fun and I knew I would be able to produce something that would make everyone happy and it is so rare to actually get to do that. 

Peanut butter + chocolate + breakfast = peanut butter, chocolate chip scones. 

The only problem with these is now my kids want them all the time and giving in to that would just push me from good mom to bad mom status and that is not what I want. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Whisk the above ingredients together in a medium bowl. With a pastry cutter (or your fingers if your hands aren't overly warm) cut in 1/2 cup butter. 

In a separate bowl gently whisk:

1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter ( I use an organic, natural peanut butter - you may have to adjust the amounts if you use a regular commercial brand)
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix until combined. (You may need to add an extra Tbsp of cream if it won't come together). 

As the dough is coming together add 1 1/2 to 2 cups chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want the scones).  

With hands form dough into a ball. It should not be wet or sticky but fairly dry yet able to stick together. Line a baking tray with a silpat liner or parchment paper and place dough ball on a flat surface and flatten with palm of hand to create a round of approximately 1 inch thickness. With a pastry brush, brush tops with cream (you'll only need about a Tbsp). For added sparkle and texture sprinkle tops with vanilla sugar (or other decorative sugar).  Cut dough into twelve equal sections and place evenly spaced on lined tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes on middle rack in oven. (You want them starting to turn golden around the edges). 

Like all scones these are best eaten warm. Enjoy!

If you are one of those rare individuals who does not like chocolate or if you are just in the mood for something extra peanutty these are also good leaving out the chocolate chips and adding 1 cup of chopped peanuts. I've only made them that way once and they were good but my family is full of chocoholics. 

12 February 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Today I attempted to start a massive project.

Aside from what I needed to print for school, I have not printed a single photo in seven years. 

I also have not organized my photos. I do have them backed up on an external hard drive...but I really don't know where anything is. And so, today I decided that now is the time to organize, sort, delete...all of that fun stuff. 

First I had to find everything. 

As I opened up the computer and looked at the many thousands of photos I have accumulated many memories were brought to mind. I smiled, laughed and maybe even shed a few tears. 

What really stood out to me is how fast time has gone by. I mean seriously fast. I quickly scrolled through holidays, birthdays, and numerous road trips. My kids lives flashed before my eyes and I realized how soon they will be grown and gone. 

This was my first "photo shoot" with all four of my kids. I remember thinking how getting four kids to look at the camera at the same time was an impossible task and wondering how long it would take me to get a really good shot of all four of them (still waiting!). 

The baby can't wait to turn eight this year and the oldest has started making plans for university... 

I have put off organizing until tomorrow and am heading out to start the after school run and spend the afternoon hanging out with four of the coolest people I know.

09 February 2015


Yesterday I read about Canada's new law allowing for doctor assisted suicide. I don't want to talk too much about this but I do feel a little nervous about allowing the government to make decisions on value of life - which lives are worth living and which are not. I do sympathize with people in these situations and I really hope I never have to experience that kind of suffering but I think allowing doctors to decide a life is no longer worth living can be dangerous. I also think that this could be a slippery slope - how far away are we from governments and doctors alone deciding that a person's life is not worth living or not worth taking up a hospital bed. I am interested to see what guidelines the government comes up with over the next year.

Last night I was watching a seminar by Joel Salatin. He was participating in a class of Michael Pollan's at Berkley. I have been reading and listening to Joel Salatin for years. This past year or so I haven't spent much time researching farming and food (other than researching food photography, which is totally different). Lately, I have started looking back into it and seeing what I have missed. I really enjoyed this seminar. If you are interested you can watch here.

This morning as I was waking up I started thinking about both topics and put the two together. I became very frustrated.

 I am having a hard time understanding a world where I can choose (along with my doctor and my government) to die because I don't feel that I have quality of life.

I can also walk into a liquor store and buy enough alcohol to give myself alcohol poisoning. I can chain smoke all day long, every single day if I want to - and do it in front of my children filling our home with second hand smoke.

But, I can't buy raw milk or give it to my children.

In BC raw milk is considered a health hazard. I can't buy a cow or two and sell the milk to my neighbours and friends. According to rawmilkconsumer.ca selling raw milk here carries a fine of up to three million dollars and a maximum of three years in jail. Seriously. Even giving raw milk to someone is considered knowingly causing a health hazard and is subject to the same penalties.

This just doesn't make sense to me.

I must agree with Joel Salatin who asked (and I paraphrase) what is so wrong about having an opt out clause... why can't consenting adults agree to sell and purchase a food product that they feel is safe to consume?

Why can I blow smoke in my kids faces everyday (I don't - just to clarify!) but I can't give them raw milk? I grew up drinking raw milk...a lot of people did...I think the dairy industry has been very successful in creating fear in the general public. Everything we do can be dangerous if we aren't careful. Do they really think milk is more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco? I have not been convinced that it is.

Our world is a very odd place.

I think I have a new project to research...
What can I do to create change?

I have been reading and thinking about raw milk, local farms and food regulations for years. I have often been discouraged, thinking that there is nothing I can do. But this new ruling has given me a tiny sliver of hope. If I live in a country where I can legally choose to kill myself surely someday I should legally be able to give my neighbour a fresh glass of milk...

20 November 2014

Working Hard and Playing Hooky...

I've decided to take more time to work on my photography. Even though I spent a a year in photography school I didn't have as much time to practice as I would've liked. And then post move I've been so busy that I haven't taken much time to work on my photography.

I don't know why, but I tend to feel guilty taking time to do things I enjoy. I always feel like I should be finding extra work to do. I could always be doing laundry (why does laundry never end?), organizing something or washing the floors. I know practicing photography is useful (especially after spending the money to learn how to do it), but I like it so much that I feel like I should be doing something else. My husband's at work, the kids are at school. I shouldn't be enjoying myself...

My husband has been trying to convince me not to feel guilty and to take advantage of the time I have. This morning I decided to go out and take pictures of the beautiful mountains that surround us. When I stepped outside I realized that the sky was very overcast but I did see a bit of sun poking through the clouds so I went out anyway.

I really love the mountains. I missed them so much when we lived in the east. I was able to get a few shots that I was satisfied with considering the weather. I was planning on going alone. But, I brought along some company and enjoyed my time so much.

My seven and a half year old has been having a hard time going to school over the past few weeks. Every morning he dawdles and begs to stay home. Every morning I manage to get him off to school. The past two days he has been trying really hard to get ready and be on time without me having to drag/threaten/beg him. This morning he looked so cute. He came and told me he was ready. I told him how proud I was of him and that he was doing so much better. He just looked up at me and said (as he has every day this week). Mom, I only want some just me and you time. That's what he has been calling our one on one time for the past few years. He loves just me and you time. But, as one of four he doesn't get enough of it.

So today, I told him that I wanted just me and you time too. Watching his face light up and feeling his little arms around me and hearing his thank-you mommy's made me feel so happy. I know he shouldn't really miss school. But he's seven and a half already. Time passes so quickly. My kids are getting so big so fast. We had such a fun day together just hanging out. He even helped me with my "work"...

Normally, he doesn't like modelling for me. He made an exception for just me and you day. I love this toothless smile and I am so happy that I took the time to spend a day with him. Years from now I don't think the occasional day of missed school will be worth remembering... but a day of just me and you will hopefully never be forgotten.