Everyone needs a cookie recipe in their life that is so simple you have it memorized after making it just a couple times. The recipe I’m sharing today, is that kind of a recipe. It also fits right in with my special dietary needs. These simple peanut butter cookies are also gluten and dairy free.
These cookies are really nice too because they are an easy treat to whip up for the kids for a special snack or dessert. Kids just love to help in the kitchen, but elaborate frosted cut out sugar cookies just aren’t happening around here very often. These cookies are actually doable on a more regular basis.
I love to take a basic recipe and make tweaks to them. These peanut butter cookies are actually an adaptation to flourless peanut butter cookies. My recipe does in fact contain a small amount of coconut flour. I found that the typical recipe is very crumbly and the coconut flour holds this cookies into a nice shape.
I also thought up of a whole bunch of “experimental” add ins to add some variety to the basic cookie that I’ve included below.
How to make these simple peanut butter cookies
Yield: A cookie sheet full
Simple Peanut Butter Cookies
These simple peanut butter cookies are super easy to make, even with the kids helping. Made with minimal ingredients. They are gluten and dairy free as well.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
1 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 pinches of salt
1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly.
3. Roll about large spoonful into a ball and then flatten with palms to form the cookies.
4. Place on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 350 8-10 minutes.
Get creative! This is a simple basic recipe, that you could make variations to.
-Replace the coconut flour with cocoa powder or coconut flakes.
-Try almond butter or sunbutter instead of peanut butter.
-Add chocolate chips to the batter or sit a few on top.
-Add chopped nuts.
I hope you enjoy these delicious gluten and dairy free cookies. Let me know how they turn out for you and if you have any other creative add in ideas in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for my email list, so you don’t miss any of my recipes or other simple homemaking posts!
Hand raised. I admit it. I’m a bibliophile. I love to read and I LURVE me some books. The thing is books can get expensive. With the volume of my reading habit and now all my kids growing into book lovers, along with the fact that we are homeschoolers, we could easily spend hundreds of dollars every month in order to read everything we want. I’m going to show you how to build your home library on the cheap so you can grow your collection for less.
First of all, let me say that we make GOOD use of our local library. We have a pretty good selection at our library. I always check both the brick and mortar library, but also the digital library that we have access to.
Borrowing from the library has so many benefits, but so does acutally having a collection of your own.
Why you need a home library:
Kids are more likely to pick up a book at random when they don’t have anything better to do and having good literature available is the best way for kids to naturally do this on their own.
Kids love to read and re-read their favorites.
If you have a large family, or even just a couple kids, you know investing in good quality literature will be money well spent when each child will have a chance to read a classic over and over.
But sometimes I can’t find the book we want either at the library or for a decent price on kindle. Or maybe it’s a book I just know is worth adding to our home library. There are definitely times when paying full price is worth it to me, but most often I look for used books.
Where to look to build your home library for cheap:
1. Library books sales:
These sales are good, though they can sometimes be like walking into a mad house, especially the first couple hours the morning of the first sale. You can find some really good books and prices though. Our library has a big sale a couple times a year that lasts a couple weekend and the prices go down the closer the sale is to ending.
2. Good will/thrift stores:
If you are willing to be on the hunt and take some time, you can find some amazing deals at second hand stores like the Good Will or smaller local thrift stores. These stores can be hit and miss, but sometimes you happen upon some good finds. I went in the Good Will the other day on a whim, expecting to find nothing and walked out with a really nice stack of books on our to be read list. Most second hand stores have a book section.
3. Yard sales/church sales:
These can be the absolute cheapest books you will be able to find, if you can find them that is. Saturday mornings are prime time in my house right now during the season of life I am in and let’s just say I will NOT be hauling my six young children from sale to sale. But if you have the time and the inclination, you can find the cheapest books this way. It’s really like going on a treasure hunt. Yard sales are awesome because you can bargain and/or negotiate lump sales. (ex. Will you take $5 for this whole bag of books? Sure!)
4. Homeschool sales:
Our local homeschool support organization hosts a book/curriculum sale every spring. I always look forward to this and make it a priority. Chances are there is something like this where you live. These are great because there’s a good chance you’ll find at least one thing you’ve been thinking about, you can get a mental list ready ahead of time of what you are looking for AND it’s like a yardsale/church sale where you can negotiate.
4. Used book stores:
I think these are becoming less and less common with more people turning to the internet to buy their books, but these are a fun option and can be especially good if you are looking for something rare or collectible. A lot of used books stores will buy from you too which is nice because you get get credit for books you don’t want anymore to buy the ones you want.
Ok, I saved my favorite and best for last. I buy almost all our books online and used. But where to look? There are a lot of used book online retailers but my favorites right now are amazon and thriftbooks, with thriftbooks being my top preference.
Why I love thriftbooks.com
Cheap used books (average priced at $3-$4, that’s the price of a fancy coffee).
Free shipping over $10, shipping usually only .99 if you aren’t buying $10 worth.
Free book after you spend so much (based on point system per $ spent).
Friend referral program.
They always have bonus sales and points promotions.
A few tips for buying used books for your home library:
Prepare ahead of time by having a preferably written list (or a mental running list at least).
Keeping a list helps you know what you are looking for and avoid buying a book you already have.
Keeping a list helps you be ready to snatch up the books on your to be read list when you see them.
Flip through the pages to make sure none have been torn out, or are marked up more than you prefer.
If buying used online, pay attention to the condition the book is in, based on seller’s ranking system or comments.
So, what do you think? I’d love to hear how you build your home library for cheap. Leave a comment below!
And don’t forget to sign up for my email updates if you haven’t already.
Herbal mint tea is so soothing and refreshing. It’s delicious either ice cold or hot. I love it either way to be honest. It’s so refreshing sweetened up and served over ice on a hot summer day. Served hot it offers calm and comfort. Mint is a set it and forget it herb. It’s so simple and easy to enjoy fresh herbal mint tea from your garden. Join me as I explain how to grow your own herbal mint tea.
You can certainly buy mint tea, but there’s something special about getting it fresh and organic and essentially free after initial costs year after year out in your own garden. Mint really is so easy to grow.
Here’s why you should grow your own herbal mint tea:
You plant it once and it’s pretty much set it and forget it.
You can neglect it and it still grows (of course grows bigger and better with a little minimal care).
Harsh weather will kill it back (either heat and drought or ice and snow) but it will come back on it’s own.
It spreads on it’s own and you don’t ever have to plant it again (unless you want to). In fact I keep mine in a half barrel planter to keep it contained, because they say it will take over your garden. I decided to trust that and not experiment for myself. Hmmm… maybe I’ll l plant some in the front yard haha!
What mint is good for:
Soothes a sore throat
Boost immune system
Improves mental focus
*Larger planter of some kind (I really like my half barrel planter)
What to do:
1. Fill your planter with potting soil.
2. Dig a hole large enough to cover the roots of your mint plant. Cover roots with soil.
3. Give it a good watering.
4. Water as needed.
That’s really it. It will come back every spring, so you have delicious herbal mint tea to enjoy without thinking about it again next year. Fresh leaves can be used for tea as well as dried leaves.
How to dry mint leaves for tea:
Pick as many sprigs of mint leaves as you want to dry.
Lay it out on a clean surface in the sun.
Turn it periodically so it dries evenly.
Alternately you can also tie the stems of the sprigs into a bundle with a string or rubber band and then tie them up somewhere upside down to dry.
How to brew your own herbal mint tea:
I really enjoy brewing mint with a plain black tea, but it can be brewed alone.
1.For one cup of tea put a small spoonful of dried leaves in tea strainer or just straight in the cup
2. Add boiling water
3. Let steep for 5-10 minutes
4. Strain the leaves and enjoy!
*A longer steep time obviously creates a stronger flavor, so you can experiment with steep times according to your preference.
* I like to brew my mint with a plain black tea, usually plain black decaf tea.
*I love it plain, but honey, stevia or sugar tastes good with it as well, especially for an iced version.
This tea is good for when you are having one of those days and you need a little quiet mama time. It’s a wonderful treat to share with the kids. It’s also great to make a pitcher when having company over.
I hope you are inspired to this really easy and simple gardening project. Let me know in the comments below if you plan to try starting your own herbal mint tea garden.
*Sigh* Sometimes it’s just really hard with kids. They test our patience and stretch us beyond what we are capable of in our own strength. I know, sister, I have six kids, including a few strong wills. Maybe you feel a little guilty for having clicked this link or maybe even initiating a search on what to do when your kids are driving you crazy?
As moms we feel guilty about SO MUCH. Sometimes I think it might be a little worse for Christian moms. It’s like we are supposed to pretend we never get frustrated with our kids. Well let’s face it we live in a broken, dying world and our sin and our children’s sins sometimes just gets the best of us.
Our children are 100% blessings from the Lord, we love them more than life and sacrifice daily for our family, but sometimes amidst the chaos and constant demands we can lose our focus and perspective.
Add to all that the laundry, preparing three meals a day, day after day, dishes and sweeping. Don’t forget the whining and complaining, bickering and kids just being kids. Sometimes it just gets to be a lot! So what do you do when your kids are driving you crazy?
What to do when your kids are driving your crazy: 10 practical things to stop the crazy and bring back the perspective
1.Put yourself in time out.
Take a few minutes to regroup. Find a place where you can get alone for a few minutes. Close the bathroom door or step outside, wherever you can and take a few deep breaths. Read a bit from the Bible if your head is clear enough. Meditate on the scripture I’ve included below. Take a few minutes to pray and ask the Lord to help you. Journaling your thoughts can be helpful too.
2. Problem Solve.
Plan a longer break later and problem solve. What are some problems that are causing you stress and where do you need to make adjustments? Do you need to tighten up your discipline efforts? Does one child need extra attention? Do chores or routines need to be moved to make things run more smoothly? Pray, setting your mind on things above, asking the Lord for wisdom and I’ll guarantee you the Lord will show you where to focus.
3. Remember that the battle is not actually with the kids.
The battle is not with flesh and blood. Motherhood is a high and holy calling, one Satan is not pleased with, he works hard to undermine your relationship with your children. What you are doing mothering your children is God’s work, try to remember it’s not the kids, it’s the sin (yours and theirs) that’s really the problem.
4. Laugh with the kids.
When everyone is getting on everyone’s nerves and you are all getting grumpy and on edge, sometimes you need a little comedic therapy. Say something silly, do a silly little dance. Something to break the tension and help everyone lighten up. Don’t take everything so seriously.
4. Go outside, even if the weather isn’t ideal.
Fresh air and sunshine always helps. There’s room to diffuse the energy and the noise. There is something very soothing about being outside in God’s creation. Even fussy babies calm just about instantly when we simply walk outside. Studies show that being out in nature is calming and stress relieving. We need that and so do the kids.
5. Stop and do something fun together.
Ignore the piles of laundry and cheerios on the floor and do something that you all enjoy together. Maybe you color together, or read a few pictures books or a chapter of your current read aloud. Maybe you make a simple snack and a pot of tea to have together. It’s about your relationship with one another and showing them love.
6. Make sure you are taking care of yourself.
As moms we are so prone to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. Yes, we are called to be sacrificial, however there is nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself. In fact, I’d argue it’s crucial to mothering well. I think we all need that reminder, we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to serve our families well.
7. Get out of the house by yourself
I love being in my home, but I think when we are in our own four walls all day long seeing only the unending tasks and problems of our lives, that those tasks and problems become much bigger giants than they need to be. Getting out for a cup of coffee or browsing the bookstore can make things seem much less overwhelming when we return home.
8. Put on some soothing music.
Worship and classical are favorites in our house. We love Seeds family worship because it puts scripture to music. This is double duty here. We are hearing God’s word, his truths and promises which sets our minds on things above, but something about music is just a mood booster and a distraction.
9. Makes sure the kids are staying busy.
Sometimes they just need something to do. This doesn’t mean you have to revolve your life around entertaining them. Give them plenty of chores and responsibilities around the house. But also plan some fun things to do together.
10. Do something to be grateful for your blessings.
Think of a child with a terminal illness and be thankful for healthy children who have lots of energy to be loud and energetic. Be reminded that so many women would give anything for a child and you have been blessed. Ask the Lord to help you see your children as the blessings they are and to love them the way that he loves them.
Lord, I just pray for myself and all these mamas, who are feeling a little or maybe a lot weary in this high and worthy task you’ve called us to called motherhood. Our precious children are blessings and gifts from you help us to remember that and to love them the way you love us. You promise you will lead us gently and you carry our cares and burdens. I pray for wisdom and guidance and patience and forbearance.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Verses to mediate on:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. -Psalm 127:3
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. -Colossians 3:2
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. -Psalm 121:2
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12
Now if you’ll excuse me i need to go put my own advice into practice! I really wrote this for myself, for the times when I get carried away by the chaos and lose my perspective. Tell me, do you have any other ideas on what to do when your kids are driving YOU crazy?
Wow! It’s almost September, can you believe it!? Life has been very full and busy. And my oldest baby turned 9 today! Anyways, I’ve rounded up some links and loves for August. Some links I enjoyed and want to share, some books we loved and some pictures of some interesting things from our life in August.
I have to say though I’m glad August is winding down. I’m not a fan of the heat and mosquitos that accompany the summer around here. I’m looking forward to some cooler weather, time out in the garden and sitting near a crackling fire.
I love fall. I wait, rather impatiently for the blistering heat and humidity of summer to end, and thick swath of mosquitios to clear so we can enjoy being out side again. It’s about now that I start daydreaming fall family fun ideas like sitting by a fire, hot chocolate and knitting.
Where we live, fall is a wonderful time to get back outside and enjoy some beautiful weather, even if it does require a little bundling up some days. While I’ve been daydreaming and waiting I came up with the best simple fall family fun bucket list of things to look forward to this fall.
Here’s the list:
picnic by the pond
trip to the park
make a bonfire
go to the pumpkin patch
pick apples at an apple orchard
make an apple crisp
drink apple cider
go on a free hayride
visit the farmers market
help a neighbor rake leaves
host a fall gathering
bake pumpkin cookies
buy and decorate pumpkins
make homemade pizzas
movie night with popcorn
plan a game night
make cinnamon play dough
go on a nature hike and look for leaves
make caramel apples
make a thankful tree
start a knitting project
bob for apples
write someone a thank you card
do a chili cook off
make hot cocoa
go on a picnic
make a scarecrow
take fall family pictures
make paper turkeys
build a fort outside
make pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin spice tea
go to a fall festival
make a list of things you are thankful for
make apple butter
read pictures books about fall
bundle up and go to the beach/park for a picnic
make a fleece scarf
make a bird house
make a pot of soup together and eat it outside
go for family walk/bike ride
make a leaf craft
watch the sunset
plant flower bulbs for spring
plant garlic for the spring
have friends over for soup and bread
What could be added to the fall family fun bucket list? What can’t you wait to do? Let me know in the comments below.
These simple and comforting rice heat packs are just the best. There’s something about heat that is so comforting when you are experiencing aches and pains. Even if you just aren’t feeling well, they are nice to warm up in the microwave and tuck in next to you when you are feeling chilly.
Rice packs are a really easy project, since they are so easy you can make one for everyone in house. They make wonderful, simple, easy and inexpensive gifts. They are great to have several around the house if you have a larger family like mine. Little ones like to hold them as just the warmth is comforting. My two year old carried one around slung over her shoulder calling it her “baby” haha!
You can use a heating pad and sometimes that’s the better option, but these are so nice because you don’t have to monitor them for sleep (especially those little ones) and there’s no cord to wrestle. You just microwave them to the desire temperature and enjoy. Use common sense here you don’t want to burn yourself, the rice pack or your loved one!
Rice heat packs are so comforting when you are experiencing pain of some kind. As someone who deals with chronic pain I can tell you there’s really something soothing about heat. As a former massage therapist, I used heat therapy for clients as well. Heat increases blood flow to the area and loosens tight muscles.
I found a pretty good explanation on how to use heat and why it’s beneficial here.
What to use rice heat packs for:
Muscle aches (ice is better for acute muscle pain)
tense neck, back and shoulder muscles
lower back ache
pain from chronic illess
any sore, achy part of your body will benefit!
to warm up when you are feeling chlilled
Even with only very basic sewing skills you can make your own simple and comforting rice pack, let me show you how!
How to make a simple and comforting rice pack
Learn how to make simple and comforting rice heat packs. Rice heat packs are so soothing. They are a simple, easy and inexpensive gift. Here's how to make them.
1. Cut your fabric in the size and shape that you want. (It will be slightly due to your seam allowances.) The one in this picture I made is 12 x 7. 5".
2. Place your two pieces of fabric inward so that the right sides are facing each other.
3. Sew three sides up, leaving the fourth side open to fill up the pack with rice.
4. Fill the sack you've created about half way with dry white rice.
5. Fold the fabric inward so that you will create a nice edge, sew this side up too.
*Optional- Put in dried lavender or few drops of your favorite essential oil with the rice.
Coleslaw is such a great summer side. It whips up quickly and is made out of cheap veggies that stay good in the fridge for awhile. Shred up the cabbage and carrots, throw in some mayo, a bit of seasoning and dash of vinegar, and you have a classic and simple side dish for your summer meal. Here’s how to make simple and delicious coleslaw.
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
2 Large carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Mix together the cabbage, shredded carrots, mayo and vinegar.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve as a simple side to any grilled meat or summer sandwich.
Here’s a printable recipe card for you!
Yield: 8 servings
Coleslaw is such a great summer side. It whips up quickly and is made out of cheap veggies that stay good in the fridge for awhile. Shred up the cabbage and carrots, throw in some mayo, a bit of seasoning and dash of vinegar, and you have a classic and simple side dish for your summer meal. Here's how to make simple and delicious coleslaw:
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup mayo
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together shredded cabbage, carrots, mayo and vinegar.
Lettuce is something we all love to eat. It’s so versatile. Great for salads, sandwiches and wraps. My kids even love to munch on it plain like little rabbits. Let me tell you though fresh garden grown lettuce that you pick right before you eat it is seriously like gourmet food. It’s so delicious and really hard to describe until you’ve had it. Light and fluffy and sweet. And it’s so easy. Let me tell you how!
There are actually two ways to go about it. You can grow it in a prepared garden bed and that’s just as easy. But if you are just starting out the easiest way is to grow it in containers. Anyone can do this. Even if you live in an apartment with a small patio, or a duplex with only a postage stamp sized yard you can do this! Even those with a huge backyard can feel like they don’t have the time or resources to get started. This is super easy I promise.
The simple key to growing lettuce:
The key to growing lettuce is when you plant and grow it. Take a look at the back of the lettuce packet and a lot of them will have a chart to tell you when you can plant. Otherwise there are other directions that will say something in reference to a “frost date”. This planting zone calculator is really helpful. The packets with the charts make it easiest for beginners though. This is truly the hardest part so don’t be intimidated!
Lettuce is a cool weather plant, meaning it prefers the cooler weather of spring and fall/winter depending on what zone you live in. It can successfully be grow in shade with the right varieties during summer as well. Once you find out when is the perfect planting time based on your location you’ve done the hardest part. The planting and growing is super easy and simple.
A container of some kind. You can go to the hardware store and buy a pretty half barrel planter. I actually really love these felt grow bags from amazon. They are light, collapsible and cheap. Or you could re-purpose something you already have hanging out in the shed.
Package of Lettuce seeds
1.Fill your container with the potting mix.
2. Sprinkle seeds in the container on top.
3. Sprinkle some potting soil on top of the seeds.
4. Water thoroughly.
That’s it people. Seriously. See I told you. So easy. Now all you need to do is keep it watered. Water it a little every day especially at first unless it has rained.
The fun thing about lettuce too is that it grows quickly so you can be eating it in about 30 days give or take. AND! It grows back, so when you cut it, cut it like you are giving it a hair cut (so leave the roots and a little of the leaf . This is called cut and come again method. It will just keep growing back and you can just keep eating it!
Fresh garden lettuce is so good, we love to just eat the leaves in a huge bowl lightly dressed with some fancier flavored olive oils and vinegars.
Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments!
These super simple honey mustard chicken thighs are so good. You can cook them on the grill, in a cast iron skillet or in the crockpot. They have a mild taste and flavor so are pretty versatile.
Grilled chicken breasts are always a great go to, but sometimes you need a little chicken variety. Enter the chicken thighs. Now I’m not a huge fan of regular chicken thighs. It’s harder to pick the meat off the bone for little ones and they are harder to cook. And then you have to deal with the “goobalie” parts.
But boneless skinless chicken thighs are another thing! They do cost a little more but to me it’s worth it to be able to grab these out the package, throw them in a bowl with a few spices to marinate for the grill or in a crockpot to simmer the day away. Same appeal that boneless, skinless chicken breasts have for the masses I’d say.
Ingredients for honey mustard chicken:
8 Chicken thighs
4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (regular mustard works too)
4 Tablespoons of Honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon of dehydrated onions or tsp onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves minced
Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl, or even easier a large zip top baggie.
Throw in all the ingredients.
Mix everything around so that the thighs are covered with all the tastiness.
Cover or zip up the bag and let sit in the fridge for a little while, while you prep your sides. Anywhere from a few minutes to overnight.
Now you are ready to cook them up. These are so delicious grilled. Nice sides for these are rice, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, veggies grilled along side in a grill basket, fresh salad or fresh bread. Delicious simple meal! Let me know in the comments if you plan to try these simple honey mustard chicken thighs out and if you like them.