This is a story of resourcefulness and tenacity.
This is a story of anti-consumerism and thrift.
This is a story of desperation and lies.
Fact 1: Up until cake pops came into existence, my kids loved the petite vanilla bean scones from Starbucks.
Fact 2: I’m certain that there is probably just as much sugar in a Starbucks petite vanilla bean scone as there is in a cake pop, but for some reason I feel better about purchasing my children a scone than a cake pop.
Fact 3: I feel even better about making my children petite vanilla bean scones.
Fact 4: There are no vanilla beans for purchase in the entire Walla Walla valley.
I won’t go into the details of how this made me feel, but I will say that I was not only bound, but also determined to provide a Starbucks copycat.
Above, I mentioned lies. Yes, lies.
Lie 1: These scones aren’t petite.
Lie 2: These scones aren’t vanilla bean.
After having an internal meltdown (Are you kidding me? No vanilla beans? What kind of a civilization is this?), I got resourceful. Sometimes desperation leads to creativity, and I’m a better person because of it.
The magic ingredient? Dates.
I mean, I used vanilla extract for the vanilla flavor, but the dates (puréed with the flour in the food processor) not only gave a sweetness to these scones (requiring less sugar), but also left the delightful little brown flecks that I was craving from the (missing) vanilla beans.
This is a story of full tummies and Amazon online shopping.
I still want some vanilla beans…
Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 TBS almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and dates in food processor. Pulse until dates are in very very small pieces.
Add butter, pulsing until sandy in texture.
Add milk and vanilla. Pulse just until dough comes together in a ball. Pat into a circle, cut into 8 wedges and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
While baking, whisk glaze ingredients together. Drizzle over warm scones.
It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve figured out my ultimate “best case scenario” running situation.
1. 90 minutes in advance: bagel with peanut butter and banana.
2. 60 minutes in advance: coffee and water
3. My lucky compression socks
4. Mostly sunny and 59 degrees
5. Imagine Dragons
6. The promise of the most epic Easter brunch ever!
I ran 7 miles this morning. By mile 5, all I could think about was Almond Lemon Poppyseed Cake and tofu Benedict.
Fresh fruit (pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, grapes and oranges)
Almond Lemon Poppyseed Cake (cause I couldn’t choose between almond or lemon)
Tofu Benedict with chipotle crema
Stripples (veggie bacon)
Coffee and OJ
The table was full (except for Aunt B…sigh…) and excitement was high!
Some of us were excited about Almond Lemon Poppyseed Cake
Some of us were excited about Easter eggs.
Obviously. Also. Please note the football Halloween costume. I need to burn that thing.
Funny story: my little bunnies know which eggs are the “good” ones. While hunting, Miss Rae came across a boiled, dyed egg. She picked it up, checked it out and put it back, in search of a candy egg. We’re going for quality not quantity. What would I expect from a child raised in a somewhat vegan household?
The sun was shining. Miss Rae was wearing her fairy wings. I had a cup of hot coffee in my hands.
Life doesn’t get much better than this…
Almond Lemon Poppyseed Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 TBS baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 TBS poppyseeds
2 cups water
3/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 TBS lemon zest
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 TBS water, 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, poppyseeds and zest in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine water, vinegar, oil, extract and lemon juice. Mix into dry ingredients. It will foam and expand (thus, the large bowl).
Bake in a greased bundt pan at 350 for 40 minutes.
While baking, whisk glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm cake.
I’m a big fan of Easter.
1. I love brunch.
2. I love spring (warm spring, not rainy spring).
3. I love peanut butter eggs. More on this later.
I’ve realized, however, that I’ve got another reason to add to the above list.
4. Getting rid of junk by putting it inside Easter eggs.
Let me clarify. J Man’s preschool was hosting an Easter egg hunt and all the parents were asked to bring pre-stuffed eggs for the hunt.
Knowing me as you do, you’ll know that instead of purchasing jelly beans or m&m’s to put inside our eggs, I bought things like bouncy balls and erasers. Yes, I’m very popular among the kiddos.
So we got home from the store and we started stuffing our eggs and J Man and Miss Rae started bringing stuff from their toy box to put in the eggs. Cheapy matchbox cars, rings from Chuck E. Cheese, etc.
Best. Idea. Ever.
You see, we have an epidemic going on at our house and it’s called TOO MUCH STUFF. It comes from everywhere: birthday parties, back-to-school nights, well meaning family members and more.
And the STUFF is starting to take over our house, our lives, and my well-being. So it was the perfect solution.
And we filled our Easter eggs with random bracelets, tiny little stuffed animals, and miniature slinkys. And we cleared out at least 25 of the 15783 little toys that are multiplying in our house.
And I considered sending some of them to school as a peace offering for the other moms who have now inherited some of our junk.
At least I didn’t give the kids candy…
Dropping, making, wearing, kissing, keeping.
Dropping: hints to J Man about being a professional golfer.
Make a ton of money playing a “safe” sport? Agreed. Note his Vikings football apparel…and his flip flops. Professional, no doubt.
Making: glazed espresso doughnuts
So delicious. Honestly, I’d make these sans glaze and call them dinner rolls.
Wearing: my Minnie Mouse shades, and wearing them proud.
While in Orlando over Christmas, my sunglasses broke at Disneyland. My sweet MIL bought me a new pair of sunglasses, but as is all merchandise at Disney, they were adorned with cartoon characters. I’m not ashamed.
Kissing: this face
I brought out two newly empty spice jars (paprika and garlic powder) to the sand table. These two empty bottles kept Miss Rae’s attention for a good 45 minutes. It’s the small things:)
Keeping: my eyes set on summer
And thanking Grandma V for planting flowers that surprise me when I least expect it (and totally need it!)
What are you currently up to?
I did four easy miles this morning.
And then I came home and ate all the things.
I’ve basically doubled my weekly mileage the past few weeks (where I was typically running less than 10 miles a week, now I’m hitting about 18 or so) and my appetite has been weird.
At first it seemed like my running was almost an appetite suppressant. I’d get home from my long run on Sunday, not a bit hungry, and wouldn’t feel like eating any food for a number of hours.
But all that has changed and I’m hungry!
Spelt oats with banana, chia seeds, almond butter and almond milk.
Coffee. Consumed so fast I couldn’t be bothered to capture the moment.
Salad beast with romaine, bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, olives, tofu, lentils, and sunflower seeds.
+a cup of really ugly, but really delicious chili. You don’t need a photo. It looked like gross.
Pretzel Crisps and…
An orange and…
Some of the kid’s fishy crackers, stolen directly from their snack bowl.
Brown rice, vital wheat gluten, green beans, bell pepper and carrots.
And now I’m drinking this…
And imagining this…
Will I ever be full?