Heart-to-Heart with Diane

Hello and Welcome! Isn't raising a family the greatest!? I know I've got the best job in the world, just being Mom! I love sharing things I've discovered that make being "Mom" better, easier or more fulfilling, and that is what this blog is all about. Welcome!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Oh Yum!"

Feeding my guys when they come home from a Sunday meeting

Making nice meals for my family is really rewarding to me! Dinner time is a gathering time—Daddy comes home from work, teenagers come home from their activities, those at home have been busy helping me cook, and as each chair is pulled up to the table, the room is noisy, happy and full of connection and togetherness. "Oh, yum!" . . . "this is my favorite, Mom!" . . . "thank you so much" . . . It is very satisfying to have a delicious hot meal ready for my family, especially when it is cold outside. It seems to be a way of administering to their relief, to comfort my family members and help fulfill their needs. And we have such a good time eating together.

I like healthy food. Nutrition (and keeping my children in glowing health) is one of my interests, so I am always trying to finagle a way to swap out sugar, white flour, white rice, and other vitamin-empty foods for whole grains, and honey or another natural sweetener. Sometimes I go way too far, like the time my chocolate chip cookies came out like biscuits. Nobody liked. But often, the results are satisfying and tasty, and I feel like I have had a victory, of sorts!

The other day, I made a batch of whole wheat bread dough. I baked 4 loaves, and then made scones for Navajo Tacos for dinner. But I still had dough left. What to do? I pulled it out thin onto an oiled cookie sheet and without a recipe—like an artist painting a picture—I topped it with crushed tomatoes, sprinkled on dried basil, Italian seasoning herbs, garlic powder, and then added sliced onions and sliced mushrooms. I baked it and took it out early because I thought I'd finish cooking it the next day so it would be hot for lunch. To my surprise, it was absolutely the best! The shorter cooking time made a soft tender crust that was delicious. I can't imagine a tastier pizza had it been white dough for the crust. This was whole wheat at its yummiest. It tasted so good that we decided to eat it for breakfast the next morning, which we happily did!

Administering to our families in a loving way. Food. It goes together. Being a comforter. It is a good job, and I like it.


  • At January 31, 2009 at 9:03 AM , Blogger princessmama said...

    Sounds yummy:) I like cooking healthy too. We have even more of a challenge now that we have to eat gluten-free, egg- and dairy-free etc.

    I was so happy to find a recipe for gluten free pizza crust that we like, it was actually the first gf bread we found that was edible lol. Now though I have plenty of good recipes and feel more confident to experiment.

    I found when we were eating whole wheat that I quickly developed a distaste for white flour, and vice-versa too! You CAN train your taste buds to like healthy food:) I love it.

  • At January 31, 2009 at 5:44 PM , Blogger Emily said...

    I LOVE LOVE the book A Lantern in her Hand, I LOVE the book Laddie, I am interested in trying some of your other fav. books on your list. I dream of having seven kids someday...although right now at three, its daunting to not be half way done with pregnancies and recovery. I am treasuring my life, but get post partem depression to some degree, that is tough. I am going to check your site now and then (thank you for sharing your blog with Homeschool-ING,) because I believe in mentors, and need to learn from more than just those exactly at the same point in the trech as me. (Plenty to learn from my peers, but still, I am seeking mentor type guidance.) I have read many of your old newsletters that my mom had. I loved the article about all the skills to teach your daughter before she leaves the home, (reminds me of Laddie) and your article about raising and homeschooling busy boys, it was written when your Ammon was young. It was read right as I was scared to death to have a boy. He is now three and the delight of my life.
    Thanks again, Emily Balling

  • At February 13, 2009 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Denice said...

    would you share with us what fun friday is?

  • At February 13, 2009 at 6:15 PM , Blogger Diane Hopkins said...

    Sure! "Friday Fun" is actually "Friday Fun Classes". We have a local support group and on Fridays we all meet together in a dance studio that we rent, and we have the kids divided up into age groups so that we have 3 classes (Littles, Middles, Bigs) plus a nursery/moms visit room. Each mom takes her turn teaching just one class and the kids enjoy learning new things, and especially enjoy making homeschooling friends. In fact, our support group is named Homeschooling Friends. I've been running it for years and years and years--and it has been a very integral part of our homeschooling experience. It gives us moms a lot of support to have a group of homeschooling moms to talk with each Friday and share ideas with!

    Our sessions are 6 weeks long, and this session we had these classes:

    Native Americans--the kids even made their own moccasins!

    Everyday Heroes--learning about policeman, fireman, etc. complete with trips to the fire station, police station, making ID kits, etc.

    Irish Dancing--fun and lots of exercise for the girls, ages 8-13 yrs.

    Singing Along with the Guitar--learning folk songs, fun songs, and more.

    Playground Games--all the old games our parents used to play on the school playground.

    Human Body--The kids' bodies were traced on butcher paper and then they learned about each organ and colored a paper organ and pasted it on their paper body.

    Plus more classes.

    The moms just choose something that they are excited to teach, and they have the enthusiasm to teach a fun class! It really works great.

  • At February 18, 2009 at 5:01 PM , Blogger QM said...

    We made your bread recipe a week or so ago and made the best, most delicious cinnamon rolls out of the last of the dough. After rolling the dough flat, I simply brushed it with some melted butter then sprinkled cinnamon and brown sugar over it. Next we added raisins and then, since some of my kids don't like nuts but I enjoy the crunch, I added a couple handfulls of sesame and golden flax seeds. Then we rolled them up, sliced them into rolls, and baked at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. YUM!

  • At February 18, 2009 at 5:03 PM , Blogger QM said...

    We made your bread recipe a week or so ago and made the best, most delicious cinnamon rolls with the leftover dough. YUMMY!

  • At February 18, 2009 at 5:44 PM , Blogger Diane Hopkins said...

    Wow, so glad it worked for you! Isn't homemade bread the best?! It seems to nourish people more than other things.

    Glad you found a creative way to use that last bit of dough! Yum! I want some!

    I am working on making very speedy biscuits with a food processor. Recipe is coming soon!

  • At February 28, 2009 at 9:57 AM , Blogger Toni said...

    we - or at least me- are big into helathy eating as well. I am always looking for ways to keep it as whole and fresh as I can. we actually just started our spring seeds this week, I should have lettuce sprouting on the windo soon, I love those first leaves.

    Where is the bread recipe everyone is talking about I am beginning to learn to make my own, I am beginning slowly, so as not to scare my hubby to much. lol. A bowlof homemade chilli and homemade corn bread is a favorite.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home