special snowflake syndrome 

one of the best sermons I’ve heard… and this has nothing to do with the fact that I only get to listen to about ten a year…  was last Sunday…

I even took notes…  although I was wondering if fellow church goers were thinking

‘oh… she’s finally here and she’s texting the whole time’…

kinda like when my Dad used to close his eyes to pray during a sermon…  we had our doubts…

the Pastor was addressing the fact that the new generation is full of narcissists…  we like to think we should find happiness, every job should be fulfilling, every thing is about us…

wikipedia describes narcissism  as ‘the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes’…

and the Pastor termed our generation with having the ‘special snowflake syndrome’…  we all like to think we are a special snowflake and life should center around us…

I connected with these thoughts both as a parent of ‘special snowflakes’ and also feeling a bit like I am a ‘special snowflake’ myself…

when I met the farmer seventeen years ago in college, he was of course first blown away by my staggering beauty… but a close second to the earth shattering beauty was an air of confidence…  he could not believe how confidently I approached every situation…  no matter my lack of talent or intelligence or athletic ability…  I was confident completely with no relation to how well I did at things or my credentials…

what he didn’t know is that I grew up feeling ‘special’…

my childhood was all about being special… I was special because God created me for a purpose and reason and my life revolved around serving and worshipping this Divine power…  who made every human being special…

I was put here to create, serve, work, love, contribute and give…

I was also told over and over again that I was special (I wish they had known to call me a special snowflake)…

I was special, not for what I did but for who I was…  I was a child of God, created by God, with work to do for God…

I was never under any assumption that life was supposed to be about me…

this message gave me freedom to succeed or fail and not worry that I was loved any differently based on the result… because no one cared… not really… not deeply…  there were bigger concerns in the world than if I won my intramural football game…

out of my three children, the daughter is definitely the one who believes she is a special snowflake…  and this sermon made me think I need to let her in on the secret that she is special because every human being is special… but she’s not a special snowflake…  big difference…


and man, it really frees you up as a parent to not need to give them everything that they think they need…  and to even ignore them so that they get bored and have to remember how to play… by themselves… in the yard…  with a cat or a dog… or imaginary friend…

the boys were playing basketball out in the yard and wanted me to watch them…  just as I was heading over to do so, I stopped myself and yelled out the window…

‘not interested… you’re not a special snowflake… go ahead and shoot your hoops and do your jams on your own and I’ll just keep ignoring you’

(full disclosure… I watched them because it’s too comical not to watch but I didn’t want them to know that I had taken time to do so…  again… they need to know they are special… not special snowflakes)

when you go surfing, one of the rules they tell you is ‘your board goes where your eyes go’ …  I remember this very well because as I was colliding with the farmer on my board I was yelling at him ‘I’m not looking at you… I’m not looking at you’…

the Pastor said this is what we are to do with our lives… in order to get away from being special snowflakes…  and back to being just special…

‘where you look is where you’ll go’ … if we look at ourselves, our accomplishments, our failures, our results… we’ll never get outside of ourselves and we’ll never see a bigger vision or world…

if we focus on something other than ourselves we’ll see a bigger picture… we’ll see ideas and opportunities… we’d cheer for our peers instead of constantly competing…  we’d eagerly help those in need… we’d share our time and experiences… because we’d realize we are all in this together…

the hymn we sang during the service brought back many nights when I would wake up scared and my mom would come to my room and sing to me…  (which arguably was more frightening than the nightmare itself)

‘turn your eyes upon Jesus… look full in His wonderful face… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim… in the light of His glory and grace’

sometimes we need the things of this world to grow strangely dim…  and we do need to focus on something other than ourselves…  we need to see the Divine…

not because it makes us feel less… but because it can make you feel so much more…

you are special… very very special… just not a special snowflake… unless you are a Kardashian… then you are a special snowflake…



chia seed applesauce cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and room temp
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • combine oats, br sugar, flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  • stir in applesauce and coconut oil until dough is evenly mixed
  • fold in cranberries, chocolate chips and coconut
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, spoon out dough and flatten with a fork
  • bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie
  • they will be soft and need to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before being transferred to a drying rack
  • these cookies will harden and freeze really well

a tale of two cookies

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

and it’s all in the eye of the beholder…  in my attempts to produce healthy options for my kids lunches I have completely altered what they will grow up knowing as a ‘cookie’…

case in point… Miss Sienna was making cookies with me the other day… part of the process is I make her guess as to what the ingredients are and then we discuss their health benefits…

we cannot use peanut butter or nuts as our school is ‘nut-free’ so hemp hearts and Wow Butter are substitutes…

and when it comes time for the best part for every kid making cookies – that is licking the beater – Sienna kindly takes a pass…

this is when it hit me that I need to show them and the farmer that I remember how to make cookies that have more than 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of oil in them…

flaxseed and cherry cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • in a large bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • wisk to combine
  • in a mixing bowl, combine bananas, coconut oil, egg and vanilla
  • mix until frothy and well combined
  • add to the oats mixture in the large bowl and stir
  • add dried cherries and chocolate chips and mix
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper
  • bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes

and show them I did…

now, in the winter months I consume a lot of tea…  mostly black or herbal as green tea makes me feel like throwing up…  which could maybe be considered to be some sort of detox I suppose.. similar to the juice cleanses some go on in January… except you throw up a lot…

on this particular wintery day, I was drinking Glitter & Gold from David’s Tea…  just lovely…

and in the afternoon, over a cup of tea, I was craving a sugar cookie… dilemma… do I make a cookie that requires 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of oil…  or do I munch away on flaxseed and oats like a horse? I concluded that it was high time for me to bring a little sugary goodness back into our home…

in moderation of course… something I am really, really good at… moderating myself…  really have had a lot of success at this trait in my life so far…  might as well add 60 sugar cookies to the list of things that tempt me…

and part of the goal was to make a dough batter that a seven year old girl would actually want to lick… I feel like I can’t fail as a mother creating this memory for her…

I did use coconut oil instead of canola oil… telling myself it is so much better… and I had to use hemp hearts instead of nuts… but I actually enjoy them in a cookie… other than those healthy changes, these are old school, unhealthy but ever so tasty cookies…

 

turns out at 3 pm when I am having a cup of tea that I do just fine with the sugar rush that comes from a lovely little sugar cookie…  these ones aren’t as delicate as a regular sugar cookie… thus me calling them ‘crunchy’… but the quick boost to your mood will be the same…

my boys received Fit Bits for Christmas… and I told them that I made cookies that require them to get over 20,000 steps in a day to consume…

so far they’ve had three days this week they are rewarded with the sugary goodness…

my synopsis after considering the cookie options… make both… you will find times where it is appropriate to eat the sugar ones and then other times where you should dive into the flaxseed ones.. keep hitting your system with a rotation of sugar and then flax and keep it guessing… this might even boost your metabolism… it just might…

crunchy sugar cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 cups flour

Directions:

  • mix in order given
  • mix baking soda and cream of tartar with flour before adding to mixture
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  • flatten with a large fork
  • bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

chickpea chocolate chip cookies

 there was a time where I attempted to hide vegetable puree in every item of food I made…  it was a phase of my life brought on by the two cookbooks Jessica Seinfeld  had published where she hid spinach in brownies and cauliflower puree in just about everything…

it was quite the process with the steaming of the vegetables, pureeing them, measuring and bagging them and then remembering to use them in the recipes…

and then I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment… maybe I should be making my snotty little kids actually eat vegetables instead of doing this sneaky ‘song-and-dance’ routine with them… hiding what is good for them and what they need to learn how to eat for the rest of their lives…

that being said…  this recipe has stuck with me and is the only way I make chocolate chip cookies now…  because when it comes to cookies, if you are able to shove some protein in them without the little spoiled brats knowing, you feel like you are winning…  as a mom… as a parent… over them…

and you are able to take them with you on hockey road trips without all the other parents judging you… another win…

and teacher’s will appreciate your kid not just having a hit of sugar but also of fibre and protein…  the teachers haven’t told me this yet but I imagine they have talked about it at school… probably in the teacher’s lounge…  about my healthy cookies…

really, making these cookies will make you feel like super-mom or super-dad…  and anything that your child does wrong now cannot be blamed on the nutritional value of the food you are supplying said child…

I would blame it on the teachers…  it takes a village and I can only do so much… cookies is it…  teachers need to fill in the gaps…


  
  

chickpea chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Nutriblend ‘Tastes Like White’ flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 14 oz (398 mL) can chickpeas (I use Eden Organic ones)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Directions:

  • mix the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in a blender until well combined
  • mix in a separate bowl the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt
  • rinse the chickpeas, then place in a large ziplock bag and seal without the air in in
  • with a rolling pin, smash the chickpeas until they are a paste
  • add the dry ingredients to the blender and combine
  • add the chickpeas and combine
  • fold in chocolate chips and coconut
  • with a medium sized ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet
  • press down with a fork that has been dipped in water to prevent sticking
  • bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes
  • let cool on a rack
  • freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap for lunches

zucchini coconut cherry cookies

cookies have come a long way… they used to be some variation of flour, sugar, egg and butter… now you wouldn’t dream of not adding a vegetable or chickpea to the cookies… makes you wonder why obesity is on the rise…   my guess is it has nothing to do with the cookies and more to do with Netflix… 


zucchini coconut cherry cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
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Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped up

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • in a mixing bowl, mix oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla
  • in another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
  • add to the sugar mixture and then add zucchini and oats
  • fold in the coconut, chocolate chips and cherries
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop out cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  • flatten with a large fork and bake for 12 minutes
  • allow to cool on a wire rack