Weighed Down

Ever feel like a tomato plant hit by a hail storm?  Tattered and beat down?  Still standing but feeling defeated?

And no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to mend your own broken branches.

I'm feeling weighed down today.

Thankful for good truths in this song.

Take heart, friends.


Friday Favorites

Summer Reading Bingo we started this week. The kids were super excited!

These Simple Chocolate-Coconut Squares look like a perfect and easy dessert the kids would love.

Grilled Kale?  Friends told us about this recipe and I'm anxious to try it. Have you grilled kale?

Watercolor has never been my art media of choice, but I've always wanted to learn.  Inspired by Meg, I purchased some watercolors and have been having a blast trying them out.  It's nice to learn something new.  I've found some helpful tutorial videos here and here.

Check out new items in the Everyday Summit shop.


Brownie Bite Ice Cream

Oh friends, I wish I could have you all over to sit on our back porch and eat ice cream together. If I did we would have this new recipe because it is delicious.

Remember my weird issue with chocolate?  No chocolate for me but I love a fudgy brownie.   I made this Flourless Chocolate Cake for a recent bridal shower, except I made them in a muffin pan and they were a hit and definitely fit my fudgy brownie requirement.  Thus came the brownie inspiration for these brownie bites. 

This recipe is the best of both my vanilla and fudge brownie loving worlds.  

Please note these brownie bites are not 100% Paleo, this is due to the sugar chocolate chips and butter.  However, this recipe can easily be gluten and dairy free.  

Another thing to add, I used about 3/4's of the brownie's for our ice cream, how much brownie you add is up to you.  I wouldn't recommend less than 3/4's of the pan as it seemed to make sure there was a brownie in every bite.

Brownie Bite Ice Cream

You could make these brownie bites when you make the ice cream base as the ice cream needs to chill before churning and the brownies need to cool and freeze. 

For the Ice Cream:
Follow instructions for making Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

For the Brownies:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (check for gluten and dairy: Enjoy Life or Ghiradelli Semi-sweet are both good options)
1/2 butter or margarine (we use Earth Balance brand, they have a soy/dairy free option as well)
1/2 honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 9x13" pan.

In a double broiler over simmering water, melt chocolate chips and butter/margarine. When melted remove from heat an allow to cool slightly.

While chocolate mixture cools, in a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Stir until combined.  Take care that your chocolate mixture is not too hot and you add slowly so as not to cook the eggs.

Spread into prepared 9x13" pan.

Bake for 25 minutes and check you want it to be firm on the top but you're looking for a fudge brownie so it's okay if it's a bit soft in the middle.  Continue to check every 5 minutes until finished.  Allow to cool completely in pan on baking rack.

While ice cream is churning, or before hand, cut brownies in to small bite-sized squares.  Remove from pan and place on another tray or plate, separating the pieces so they freeze individually and place in the freezer until ice cream is churned.

When ice cream is churned add in brownie bites.  Your ice cream maker may allow for this to be done while ice cream is finishing churning or you can place in a container and fold them in.

Enjoy right away or place in freezer to continue to firm up and enjoy later.

I hope you love it, friends, I wish I had more in my freezer right now I'd have a bowl.  

**I have yet to try these brownies with coconut oil instead of butter/margarine. When I do I will update the recipe.


Self Portrait Challenge

I've been continuing my self portrait challenge, although while it may be 30 days it's become apparent it's not going to be 30 days in a row. 

It's been a fun challenge, trying think outside the box as I photograph.

Day 7
 Day 8
Day 9
 Day 10
Day 11
Day 12

Day 13

Day 14


Currently {Vol. 8}

Joining in on the Currently link up this morning.

Thinking about:: Decisions, decisions, decisions.  I feel like we have a lot up in the air right now, I'm not sure that's a true picture but this morning it feels that way.  Trying to make the best decision on therapy for GH, school curriculum decisions for the Big 3, lots of thoughts on church and community, boundaries, parenting, the list goes on.  I think my Monday morning needs a deep breath and a reset.  Anyone with me?

Reading:: Slow Church by Smith and Pattison.  I just started reading this today.  Thank you to the blogger who suggested it - I can't remember who you are.  The subtitle intrigued me as I've been thinking a lot about community lately. "Cultivating community in the patient way of Jesus."  It seems I rarely get a book finished these days before it needs to go back to the library but I'm going to make a valiant effort to finish this one.

Listening to:: "The Broken Beautiful" Ellie Holcomb.  A good listen friends.

Thankful for:: Seeing smiles and hearing unabashed laughter.  I relished in seeing both of our youngest boys laughing hysterically over things this weekend. I sat and soaked it in.  One laughing over a marvelous time on a homemade slip and slide.  The other amazed at brand new sippy cups on the counter, over and over repeating, "Look. Wow. Milk!"  I'm thankful for opportunities to see things through our children's eyes.

What are you currently up to?


Friday Favorites

It's the second Friday in July already. Can you believe it?! Sharing some favorites with you today.

Sometimes a blogger writes a post that puts words to my thoughts better I ever could.  This is one of them: Why My Son Doesn't Make Me A "Special Kind of Person"

I'm loving this DIY Hand Towel Holder.

Mini Water Blobs: these look so fun and relatively easy.

Amazing Engineering Projects for kids.

We made these Peaches & Cream Ice Pops last week. They were delicious and easy!  Grandparents sent out this awesome popsicle mold so we had to try it out

Linking up with Meg and Aimee for Find Beauty Friday.  Mr. G is learning to ride without training wheels, much easier now that we have a park near by to practice. We went out last night and it was an absolutely gorgeous evening with the sun setting behind the mountains.


Paleo Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Can I tell you something?

I don't like chocolate.

That's right, I like my chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips, it's always vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and obviously it's vanilla ice cream over chocolate every time.  (Brownies are my odd exception to my dislike of chocolate - strange I know.)

Anyway, I have a vivid memory of visiting my aunt and uncle one time and having vanilla bean ice cream for the first time.  It was smooth, speckled with tiny little vanilla beans and packed an amazing vanilla.  From then on, no other standard vanilla ice cream would every compare to dreamy vanilla bean.

Needless to say, I've been wanting to try making ice cream using vanilla beans in lieu of extract, for a long time now but let's face it vanilla beans aren't cheap.

However, for our little 4th of July celebration we decided to go for it.  I was thrilled with the results. Simple and delicious.  We splurged on root beer and made floats, I know totally contradictory to this being a Paleo treat but it was a fun way to celebrate.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Dairy free, sugar free, gluten free

2 cans coconut milk, NOT reduced fat (I prefer Thai kitchen)
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup honey
Pinch of salt

1-In a bowl whisk 4 egg yolks and honey together until very well combined.  Set this bowl aside.

2-Pour both cans of coconut milk into a medium saucepan.  Split and scrape your vanilla bean, put all the tiny vanilla good-ness into the milk and put in the vanilla pod for flavor (How to scrape a vanilla bean).   Place saucepan on stove over medium heat and "scald" (bring to just before boiling...do not burn!).

  3-When milk is ready, whisk ladle fulls of milk into eggs until half of the milk is incorporated into the eggs.  This process is called tempering and allows the egg and milk to combine without cooking the eggs.  Pour egg/milk mix into pot with milk and put back on stove on medium heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in salt.

4-This mixture will begin to thicken. When it coats the back of the spoon and you can draw a finger through it with the line remaining it's ready.

5-Pour into bowl, cover and refrigerate.  If you can refrigerate it over night that would be great, if not at least until it's fully chilled (a few hours) this will give it the best creamy consistency.  If you're ice cream maker has a bowl that needs frozen don't forget to put that in the freezer too. 

6-When fully chilled, pour mixture through a mesh strainer and into the ice cream maker container. This helps the ice cream have a smooth consistency to the ice cream.  Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker to churn. 

7-When ice cream is churned enjoy right away or put in freezer to harden some more and then enjoy.

I apologize for no finished product pictures.  It was eaten up pretty fast.

So tell me...chocolate or vanilla? 
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