There is yet again, another sign up sheet for parents to attend volunteer activities at my daughter’s school. At our school, the requests that are presented are not your average bake sale. Our school moved to a new location so there’s lots of work to be done. Some of the projects are no joke — last year it was “Hey everybody, come help us remove 14 tons of pavement from the property!” Then it was…”Hey parents, we need help landscaping the area where you just helped us remove 14 tons of black top!” The latest seems like a cakewalk…”Parents please join us in planting a community garden.” I sound like I’m complaining due to sweat I have endured, but truthfully I didn’t participate in these specific volunteer efforts because in each case we were out-of-town or had other commitments. While I know I can’t do everything, I do carry some guilt over it. That’s the tough thing about balancing so much isn’t it? When to feel guilty and when to not?
While I may not be lifting 300 lb slabs of limestone, I do enjoy chaperoning field trips whenever I can. I know it means a lot to Bryce and frankly it means a lot to us. We’ve been to the pumpkin patch with her class and had picnics in various parks around Portland. We do the parent potlucks and participate in her school presentations. This year we took a trip to Costa Rica and made a book that she then presented to her class, showing various maps and wildlife sitings.
OK so we have a couple of sweets lovers in the house and I take it upon myself to make treats for them that don’t involve lots of sugar, but still satisfy that special craving. It’s like a personal challenge for me and I feel victorious when finding a special something that they love. Here’s one of those somethings that I got from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter.
What can I say? I really like her food sensibility and I’ve embraced this cookbook as it reads a little bit like a love letter to her family. Yes, I have read it cover to cover….I’m someone who reads cookbooks in bed at night as opposed to fiction. There it is…peeling back another layer of the onion for you.
Ben likes to take these on bike rides for the perfect little fuel snack. We even eat these for breakfast sometimes…there’s no reason not to. They’re a guilt-free option!
Lalo’s Famous Cookies
2 c barley flour
1 ½ c raw whole almonds, crushed in a food processor
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ c canola oil
½ c real Vermont maple syrup
High quality jam…I prefer raspberry in this recipe
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Form into tbsp balls and space them evenly on a cookie sheet. Using your index finger, make an indent on each cookie. Fill each indent with a small spoonful of jam. Bake until cookies are evenly browned, 17-20 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Have a fantastic day!