Tag Archives: love

A Valentine Breakfast for Your Lovey Dovies

Today my son asked me if we could watch the Super Bowl this weekend. There’s a super bowl this weekend? I had no idea.  All the hot wings, soda, and chip sales should have tipped me off. When I asked him who was playing, he told me (I can’t remember now) and looked aghast at my ignorance. So, in honor of the Super Bowl, I’m dishing up a Valentine post…read on, lover boy.

I’m keeping Valentine’s simple, just making a sweet little breakfastpuffpancakes

And since I already made it, I guess I’m already done! This was tastiness. It just so happened that the baked apple took the shape of a heart and then I knew that I had accidentally made the perfect Valentine’s breakfast. Don’t you just love when that happens?

Puff Pancakes of Love (German Pancakes)

4 Eggs, beaten well

2/3 Cup Flour or Whole Wheat White Flour

2/3 Cup Milk

A dash of salt

1 Tablespoon Butter (but don’t add it yet!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450. Oil your dutch oven well. Mix the ingredients all together EXCEPT for the butter. Pour batter into well-oiled dutch skillet. Using a knife, drop tablespoon of butter on top of the batter in little bits, evenly spaced. Bake for 15 minutes. It will puff! (like the lub dub of your heart). Turn oven temp down to 350 and bake about 5 more minutes, until top is golden brown.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Add a taste of maple syrup.

Adapted from a Susan Branch cookbook (darling), I decreased the butter from 3 tbsp, to 1 and it still tastes delicious.

For added valentine loveliness, sprinkle pomegranate seeds and a dollop of plain greek yogurt. YUM.

Baked Apples

Wash apples, cut off top. Spoon out seeds (scraping sides a little bit), making a little well. Put a teensy bit of brown sugar and cinnamon inside. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or so, depending on how crunchy or soft you like to eat baked apples. These are SO good. Don’t bake too long or EXPLOSION happens in the oven. Perfect after school snack and valentine love breakfast.

Baked Banana

Put a ripe banana in the oven (in its skin) and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (do at the same time as you baked your puffed pancakes) until the banana skin turns black. When you open it, you will have yummy, mush divine. Remember this for your next ice-cream fudge sundae.


Another way to eat puffed love: Strawberries and whipped cream. Can’t go wrong.

Another idea: Warning, we are now veering sharply into the land of sugar. However, surprising your kids with ONE of these is quite delightful. Then give the rest away to the neighbors who will love them so much, they’ll plow you out for life.DSC_0117

A Lover’s Ultimate Valentine: Chocolate-Covered Oreo Truffles. Oh man, so good.


Heart attacking the house is always fun, where everyone writes something nice about every person in the family. Some years it comes easy and some years…


Smoothies. Of course I always think these are the ultimate love potion. Beets will make anything turn red!

Here are two adorable ideas…Valentine Fortune Cookies and If I ever make another pie, this one is it! Sweethearts Pie With Hearts.

There’s always the idea I used in college. 1 bag of hershey kisses, sprinkled on dorm boy’s room floor. 1 note reading: “Now that I’ve kissed the ground you walk on, will you be my valentine?” Don’t gag. It worked!

I loved this post by Jeff Goins. It doesn’t really matter what form your valentine takes, a little note wrapped in love makes anyone’s day.

May your valentine’s be full of love and sweetness. xoxoxo.


the nine minutes that have the greatest impact

Today I learned about the nine minutes during day that can have the biggest impact on a child. This article and podcast is good stuff.

I am often struck by how life with children changes so quickly. We used to be joined by the hip, the shoulder, and every other body part. I remember wondering if I’d ever shower alone.

But now, all of my children can get up, get dressed, leave the house, come back into the house, and go to bed without a touch from their mother. They don’t need me to get them out of a crib (dare I say I miss this?) We’re done with diapers (can I get a hallelujah?) They don’t need me to dress them. I can barely carry any of them. We’d probably break a rocking chair. sniff.

How did this happen?

I am comforted by the fact that secretly, I’m still useful.

These are the nine minutes during the day that can have the most impact on a child:
* the first three minutes–right after they wake up
* the three minutes after they come home from school
* the last three minutes of the day–before they go to bed

A word to mothers who feel guilty that they can’t be home to serve an after-school snack or had a less-than stellar bedtime conversation last night: Don’t.

We just do our best with the time we are allotted.

Ironically, these are the hardest nine minutes of my day. It can be darn inconvenient to be so impacting at breakfast, after school, and a bedtime.

You know what? My brain just said, get over yourself.

I had a life pause.

So I began to play with those nine minutes.

The morning show: instead of flipping on the light in a hurry, pulling off covers, and grabbing a certain girl’s foot to get out of bed, I lingered.

I sat on her bed, pulled her up and kissed her face until she smiled, giggled, and said, “ew, mom!”

Of course, if you have multiple children this could take awhile, but our little kiss-kiss-bite session lasted about a minute. This I-want-to-be-laying-in-bed-reading-Harry-Potter-forever child was completely transformed at breakfast. I think she even smiled.

That same day I met the children at the door as I always do, but instead of getting busy with other things, I hugged each one, asked how their day was. Three minutes ain’t so hard!

I also discovered that a little more focus and presence early on, pays off. Children don’t actually need a ton of one-on-one time, but they do need a little. Children are happier and feel more secure with three minutes of undivided attention, and thus, aren’t so annoying later on 🙂 See? Win-win!

The dreaded bedtime: last night I went into my son’s room. He’s 12, very independent and can go to sleep without any tucking in. And though I always say good-night and give him a hug and a kiss, I’m tucking younger children in. I’m fast and impatient because I’m so dang tired.

But last night I crept into his room and sat on his bed in the dark. I lingered, wondering if I could sit there for three whole minutes.

“Back scratch?” he asked drowsily.

I sat and scratched his back. I didn’t look at the clock. Instead of my usual foot twitching, my feelings of impatience and relief that bedtime was finally done, I watched my son’s beautiful face. When I kissed him good-night, he smiled in the dark, his eyes closed, a child content.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” –mother theresa

This is just to say, motherhood doesn’t have to be so complicated.