Archive for September, 2017


From one parent to another…

If you hear about an autistic child wandering away from their parent, home or school on the news PLEASE DON’T CRITICIZE THEM!!!

My son is eight and this is a constant worry that I have from the moment he wakes up to the time when he closes his eyes and sleeps. It’s why when I came across a blog post about this topic I felt the importance to share it.

 

The original blog can be found here :
When a Parent Gets Criticized If Their Child With Autism Wanders Away

It’s written by

Every year I feel like I hear more stories of children with autism who have wandered away from their families. It’s often one of the scariest feelings in the world when that situation occurs. Instantly the trigger kicks in, and it becomes a time when families start alerting law agencies, neighborhood watches and their friends and family members to help in the search for their child.

The issue I constantly see is when a parent receives criticism for not doing a better job of protecting and watching their children. Often times, the interrogation begins and these parents are asked why they didn’t do this and why they didn’t do that, while others say they would never let their child get into that situation to begin with.

Whenever I hear someone make a comment like that, my bottom line is simple: Never criticize anyone until you know all the facts.

Being a parent to a child with autism can often be a 24/7 job. You support them and you become their champion for supports. Until you’ve walked in their shoes and understand that child as well as that parent does, you don’t do anything by criticizing them during a time like this. The important thing to do is find the child.

When children go missing, it becomes imperative to find them as soon as possible. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children, and they do their best to assist families and law enforcement agencies to help find missing children. New technologies are also being developed that focus on safety for families, from smart homes to wearable tracking devices, so you know where your child is at all times.

While I never went missing in my life, I was prone to bolting during my first few years of adolescence growing up on the spectrum. Each individual is different, but today this cause is near and dear to my heart. Every life is precious. And according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, 49 percent of “survey respondents reported their child with an ASD had attempted to elope at least once after age 4 years.” 

There is still so much more we can learn out there about how to protect our loved ones. When the time comes, though, please don’t criticize. Instead, help explore ways with them of getting things back on track.

Be safe and show love during both the good and bad times we all have. I pray for the safety for our families often and always.

If you are looking to learn more about this subject you can find free resources at The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s website here.

 

Even though Kerry’s blog was written about children on the autism spectrum (an the main reason I am sharing it since I’m a mom to a wonderfully amazing autistic little one) this mentality of quick to criticize needs to end when any child goes missing. The line  “When the time comes, though, please don’t criticize. Instead, help explore ways with them of getting things back on track.” needs to be remembered and I hope by sharing the original blog post it will help the message get back out there.

 

 

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What you will need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/4 stick
1/2  yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 medium Granny Smith apple
2 1/2 cups  vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
3. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper.
6. Roast until knife tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice.
8. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or  over medium heat.

9. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 7 minutes).

10. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

11. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

12. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

13. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld (about 15 minutes).

14. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
15. Let everything cool just a bit

16. Using an immersion blender, purée the chilled soup in batches until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

 

.:Side Notes:.
You can easily garnish this with extra cream, roasted pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts, extra crispy bacon bits, rosemary, honey…etc, feel free to top with any of them for whatever your craving that day.

If you don’t have an immersion blender feel free to use a normal blender. Just let the soup cool a little then purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off) then reheat in a pot.

This is a great make a head meal just cool the finished soup to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or stick in the freezer up to 1 month.

 

Pumpkin Spice Granola

pumpkin-spice-granola

 

What you will need:
2/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, canned is my easy to go so don’t be afraid to use it too
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup whole brown flax seeds
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped


Steps to yummy goodness:
1.
Preheat oven to 300 F and line a 9 x 13 inch metal cake pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together and bring to a slight boil the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Remove from heat.

3. Whisk in the pumpkin, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
4. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and chopped cranberries together.

5. Pour the liquid honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together.
6. Pour the mixture into the parchment paper-lined metal pan and press down until you have an even thickness.

7. Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes, stir the granola around half way though the baking process, you can leave it quite chunky or break it up depending on how you like it.

8. Remove from oven, let it cool completely on the counter, and then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour or overnight before breaking into small pieces and storing in air tight container (see some other ideas on what to use this granola for below).

 

.:Side Notes:.

I love using this granola as a cereal just use a fork or spoon to break up the granola mixture into small bite-sized pieces. Store in a refrigerated jar and enjoy over you choice of milk or milk substitute (almond, coconut, soy..etc).

This goes great over vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Feel free to mix up the berry choices dehydrated berries work amazing. You can also add chopped up nuts like almonds, walnuts…etc

If you want to turn this into pumpkin spice granola balls or bars on the go here is how
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Balls:
Grease your hands with coconut oil. Using the cooled and set granola, roll ~1 tablespoon of the mixture in your hands to form a ball. Dip the balls in 1/2 cup melted milk or dark chocolate chips. Place on parchment paper and then the refrigerator to firm and store

Bars:
After Step #8 just cut into the bar or square shape you like and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Multipurpose BBQ Rub

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What you will need:
1/3 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons seasoned salt (my go to brand is Lawry’s)
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons cayenne pepper

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Give it a good stir and keep in an air tight sealed glass jar.

To use: Use one to two tablespoons of dry rub for each pound of meat. Rub onto beef, poultry, lamb, pork or season vegetables and either cook immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.

.:Side Notes:.
This recipe yields approximately 1 cup of rub

Store any remaining rub in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. The flavor will fade over time, so it should be used within 3-4 months for best results

If you’re not a fan of spicy food feel free to leave out the cayenne pepper.