Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Fresh Memories

Showing versus Telling Wins Again

One of the most beautiful things about having a little person in your life is the fact that EVERYTHING is new to them. Late Sunday afternoon, my preschooler noticed a spatula that I’d placed on the counter after pulling it from the dishwasher and asked, “What’s that for?”

Nevermind the fact that he’s seen it before, or even plays with one of his own in his kid’s kitchen. His natural curiosity and desire for an explaination warmed my “tell me about everything under the sun” heart. I took the time to lean down, give him a hug (becuase how could I resist?), and explained what the instrument is typically used for. He listened to me politely when I explained, but honestly, what’s the fun in that? It dawned on me that this moment could be so much more.

The Best Pancakes EVER

So, I pulled out the gridle – my old-fashined one that your grandma probably has – gathered a few ingredients, and whipped out a couple of mixing bowls. In just a few minutes, he and I were contentedly making 100% whole-wheat buttermilk chocolate chip pancakes!

The entire experience was precious, and we had so much fun. The end result was actually INCREDIBLY delicious, and I promise you, even the most skeptical person would enjoy the taste of these whole-wheat pancakes. Let me know if you’d like the recipie. I’m posting a picture here – and although it’s far from fancy food-blog-worthy, it’s a photo capturing a moment in time where my only child and I made a beutiful memory.

No wonder the pancakes tasted so good.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series and a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, writing. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Southern Girls Don’t Juice (Cleanse)

Southerners Are Serious About Food

Oh my gosh, y’all – my Southern roots are showing. I’ve mentioned time and again that I really do love leading a very grounded, holistic lifestyle. At the same time though, like any full-blooded Southern girl, I will slap your best friend for a delicious plate of hot, fresh homemade biscuits, grits, and sausage. Because Southerners know what’s up.

I don’t know of any Southerner who does not love food. Of course, we’re also sadly notorious for deep-frying anything, eating practically anything that moves, and for some extreme folks, consider obesity to be a conspiracy theory created by the FDA. Thankfully, I’m actually a bit of an anomaly in the sense that I don’t really eat fried food, and I adore fresh fruits, veggies, and clean eating, but that’s another post for another time. And let me say that I write with a bit of hyperbole here; clearly, many Southerners are healthy, fit, and could show the world a thing or two in the realm of fitness and nutrition. Despite this fact, we Southerners love our foods, and we are all experts on the art of eating. A Southerner’s relationship with food is a serious life-long romance. We shall remain forever faithful.

So one night at some ungodly hour after midnight, because I couldn’t sleep, I started cruising down Groupon Drive. For whatever reason, I decided that I needed to do a 3-day juice cleanse from Jùs by Julie.

Jùs by Julie

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to fill your body with more fruits and veggies than your tummy could hold if you ate them whole. Besides, I’d never tried it before, and that’s exactly why Groupon is a phenomenal marketing tool. It’s kind of like where insomniac e-shoppers go to finally understand why drunken people turn around to their friends and say, “Hold my beer” before they do something stupid. You end up making weird choices that you look back at the next morning and think “What the…?”

Adventures in Juicing

Anyway, a few days later, I came home to see a huge box of juice waiting for me at my front door. I was already skeptical, lying to assuring myself that 18 bottles of fancy juice and natural fiber was going to satisfy my foodie soul over the course of 72 hours. For those of you who are as phenomenal in math as I am, that meant that I would survive on nothing but 6 bottles of juice for 24 hours, 3 days in a row.

I didn’t even last 5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I drank the 6 bottles of juice with exotic ingredients ranging from coconut oil and hemp seeds to lemonade and agave with Cheyenne pepper (delicious); but I also ate nice small meals that I thoroughly enjoyed, guilt-free, by the way. Sorry, but although I have a tendency to under-eat, I also have a happy and healthy relationship with food, and no bottles of juice are going to get between us.

I can say that each juice combination was quite decent, and I was able to drink 11 bottles of juice successfully over the course of two days. There was 1 casualty, because I had left it unrefrigerated too long. The remaining 6 are in my freezer, and I’ll get to them later. (No, really. I will.)

Have I learned my lesson? Will I stay away from the evil temptations of Groupon at the hella-crazy hours after midnight? Probably not. Will I order more juices from Jùs by Julie? Probably will. It wasn’t really a bad experience at all. Just don’t expect me to turn down all of my meals while I’m doing it.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun!

Eggplant, the Talentless Diva of Vegetables 

So, I'm watching one of my favorite mellow cooking shows, which is America's Test Kitchen. It's perfect to watch with my hubby while our little one takes a nap. While we're watching, the hosts whip out a 1.5 pound eggplant and talk about what to do to make eggplant actually useful in a dish. Because I love to cook, I started thinking about how many dishes that incorporate eggplant, and how every single one of them is insanely time-intensive. 

Every. Single. One. 

(For whatever reason, the eggplant is on my list today, so just bear with me as I get my rant about this out of my system.) Eggplant is nothing without the aid of delicious condiments. You don't just add a "dash" of something – you need a whole army of things to sacrifice everything to bring flavor to this greedy, spongy vegetable. It just takes and takes. 

To make matters worse, it has to be be pampered and maintained. Don't let it bruise… the skin might be too tough for the dish, so you may have to peel it… make sure to salt slices to draw water from them… be careful not to let it oxidize… Don't do this, or it won't do that… wow. 

At the end of it all, thanks to patience, luck, tears, and small miracles, you usually end up with a dish where the talentless Diva is polished and perfect… and becomes the star of the meal. Go figure. 😏