Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don't Ever Take Yourself Seriously // Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF, Oil Free) // Tamale Pie Casserole

I think Essie is my best friend. Girl friend that is. She is so fun. Intelligent. Nice to talk to. Sane. She doesn't crawl all over shopping carts at Whole Foods Market. She laughs long and hard, like me. She is pretty.

We do homework together. Love to read together. Talk girl stuff. I can see us shoe shopping together in the very near future. This girl's got style.

I don't even want to write about my day. Gosh. What a hard day. Will I depress you? Probably. But then I have a funny joke to tell. At least, it made ME laugh!

Do I even need to tell you how hard it is to go to a grocery store in the afternoon with three children? During peak hours?! It was foolish. I know better. But I love being home. So I wait. I wait until Essie is done with school. No. I was late to pick her up from school. By 20 minutes. Can you believe how irresponsible?

All because I wait until the last minute to get myself and the kids into the van. Only to discover that Megan is dirty. Stripped all her clothes off. Samuel has no shoes. They are hungry again and want a snack. We're driving a different car because Paul needed the van today, so everything is in the wrong spots. Late.

And at the park. Samuel the jumping bean.

At a children's park there is a homeless man, inebriated, sleeping in a blue sleeping bag.

Blue sleeping bag + Samuel the jumping bean. Fill in the blanks. Boy did Samuel get a surprise when the sleeping bag sat up!

Still cracks me up.

Driving home after losing my sanity somewhere in the middle of Whole Foods Market. Probably the pasta aisle. But there was no gas in the car. Warning light bing, bing, binging me. Almost as bad as, "Samuel, get in your car seat. Samuel, if I have to ask you to get buckled in one more time, I am going to pull over. Samuel. Are you buckled?"

Maybe if I turn the radio on, I can calm myself down.

Memories flood my mind. Clark playing the guitar. My singing. Clark singing. We blend. We sound good. We've been such good friends since the day he was born. We both feel things, love music. Love singing. Guitars. "Ashlee, did you know you have the most beautiful singing voice?" Thank you, Clark! Love you, bro.

I won't give up.

Look at blogs on internet when I get home. What pretty blogs. Perfect pictures. Expensive props. Must take them forever to stage these photos. I can't compete. Won't.

Desperately searched for a chocolate recipe.

So I could eat my feelings.

And found it.

I don't want to tell you how many times I ate my feelings.

It was They were yummy.

I eat my feelings. My kids eat...

Raw pumpkin?

They are just a little excited that it's autumn.

Went outside to take pictures of myself, and ended up laughing my guts out. Busting at the seams.

In my head?

Look! I'm perfect!

Look at me, me, me! I have a perfect life!

Tears streaming down my face as I realize that it is a VERY good thing I live in the mountains, or my should-be neighbors would be wondering what insane, crazy lady was outside laughing uncontrollably.

And I was reminded.

No matter how hard my day is. No matter how wound up I get.

Don't EVER take yourself seriously, Ashlee.

Better get in a full body shot of this perfect me in my perfect life.

Well, that's about as close to full body as we get around here.

LOVE my kids. Wrestle with them. Read them books. Prayers. Tuck them in bed.

Accidentally fell asleep too early. Left the kitchen a mess. Woke up at 12:45 a.m. and cleaned it in 15 minutes. What an easy time to clean the kitchen. I felt so rested, and not a single interruption.

No wonder my Mom used to clean her kitchen in the middle of the night when I was growing up. I would always hear pots and pans, dishes, banging and clanging together at odd times of the night.

Listened to this song at 1:33 a.m.

Reminds me of my cousin Preston. He would love this kind of music. I miss Preston.

According to Mamma Pea, I am out of date.

I wonder if what I see on this computer screen is EVER reality?

At least, these cookies were a reality.

And this Tamale Pie.

A big day begs for an easy dinner.

Post which recipe? How about both. In the same post?

Sure. Why not.

If you ever need to eat your feelings. And feel good about it.

Whenever you have a hard day.

Make sure you get a bunch of healthy cookies, an easy dinner, and lots of really good music.

Always the music.


LOTS of hugs today.



Flourless Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Modified from CCK



Made (Oil-free!) by me. Great texture. You won't miss the oil.

I doubled the recipe. I had a lot of feelings.


3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar (don’t sub with white!)
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp white sugar or evaporated cane juice (I omit when making for myself, but most of my friends like the cookies much better when this is not omittted.)
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1 tbsp oil or pre-melted margarine, or 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
1-2 tbsp milk of choice (start with 1)


Blend first 5 ingredients together in a food processor or blender. (I use a Magic Bullet.) Mix with other ingredients, form into cookie shapes, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cook 6 (8-9 if oil free) minutes at 375 F. Also, if oil free they need to be allowed about 5-7 minutes to cool on the baking sheet to set up.

The hardest part is waiting six whole stinkin' minutes until you get to eat these!


Ashlee's Mexican Tamale Casserole
Modified to be large family friendly and oil free, from CCK

(makes one 13X9 pan)

2 cans (15oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with green chiles)
2 zucchini, cut into tiny pieces
1 can (15oz) corn, drained (or 1 3/4 cup fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin, heaping
2 tsp each: onion and garlic powder
1 tsp salt, heaping

Directions for base:

Combine beans, vegetables, and spices in a 13X9 glass baking pan. Set aside.

For the Topping (oil free!)

[UPDATE: 10/4/2012] FASTER VERSION for topping:


1 Tube pre-made polenta, opened and shredded with cheese grater
1 cup Simple Cheese Sauce
1/8 tsp. salt


In a bowl, toss to combine all ingredients. Spread evenly over pinto bean and vegetable filling. Bake, uncovered, in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

OR use (you could also bake this in a pan separately and have it as a side dish):

Lite and Tender Cornbread:

Modified from Neva Brackett's "Seven Secrets Cookbook."

3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp spelt flour (use GF all purpose flour for GF version, I haven't tried this, but I am pretty sure it would work)
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup coconut milk (from a can, use mostly the separated cream, the fatty stuff)
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons water or as needed

Directions for cornbread topping:

1.) Mix together in a mixing bowl all of the dry ingredients.

2.) Stir together the coconut milk, applesauce, and honey in measuring cup. Add water as needed to make 1 full cup of mixture.

3.) Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring briskly until smooth.

Directions for the Casserole:

Spoon and evenly distribute cornbread mixture over the top of your bean mixture base. Bake, uncovered, in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Test for done-ness (no gooey stuff in the middle).

Optional: For kids, top half the casserole with Daiya cheese the last 5 minutes of baking.

Serving option: drizzle with honey. Very much technically NOT a vegan food.

If you prefer, you can even make this in a crockpot!)


Yesterday I ate:

Fruit salad.

Oatmeal. Sweetened with a drop of maple syrup and stevia. For brekky.

Snackimals crackers. I blame my kids for making me buy them at Whole Foods.

A banana.

Leftover Salad and Thai Chickpea Almond Curry from yesterday.

A LOT of feelings (i.e. cookies). Please don't make me mention numbers here. With cold Almond milk.

Tamale Pie. There should have been a salad here. I gave it to Paul.


  1. Ash, you're such a goof ball LOL :-). You know you need to be around people, lots of people, and you need a lot of interaction and stimulation, that is your personality (although I know you are spiritual and need calm too-). It probably drives you a lil crazy being isolated in the mountains but I'm going to bet if you did move back to the city the issues of city life would drive you crazy too LOL. There is alwasy pro's and con's to every situation. Holy Molley that fruit salad looks so good! You should post that recipe as part of your vegan fast food series! I love your "what I ate yesterday" posts, it helps me so much, even just to see that you eat leftovers etc and do certain things like eat 'pure bars' to make it work! Guess what? I tried a pure bar this morning! It was the brownie flavor and it was SO GOOD! I think I will buy more of those for on-the-go.

    1. I started a "Yesterday I Ate..." tab. It's fun to fill out, and the posts were getting too long when I included it. So now I will be putting it in a separate spot. Hope this still helps.

      I LOVE Pure bars. Man, they are so good. Insta-brownie.

      Fruit salad was just kind of throwing a bunch of stuff together, do you still think people would want me to post actual recipe?

    2. I'm not sure about other people. But I would like the fruit salad recipe. I guess I need really really easy recipes that I can print out and take to the grocery store with me or use as a reminder. I think I literally need "fruit salad" in a printed recipe so I can make sure to actually buy the ingredients! I have found I need to eat simple and I am so busy that simple recipes are heaven-sent! :)

    3. Okey, dokey, Aims! I will post recipe! And I will try to think of other simple things that I make...I've got some ideas. Post'em for ya.

  2. Did you seriously post this at 2:58 am? LOL. Wow. I forget how intese a mommies life can be.

    1. Yes, I seriously posted this at 2:58 a.m.

  3. This post made me smile. I am trying a recipe of yours tomorrow night for dinner - I will let you know how it goes!

  4. The experience made me laugh hysterically. But then I have always been known to laugh easily. S'just me.

    I would love to hear which one it is and how it goes! Feedback, pos or neg is helpful.