Moist and Delicious Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

cinnamon raisin quick breadA couple of weeks ago I attended Food Blog Forum in Asheville, NC. What an amazing experience. I’m still digesting all that I learned. So many amazing people too! I need to do a post just about this foodie conference, but I got sidetracked with Lisa Leake’s new cookbook, “100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love.” It’s a long title, I know, but it’s all true. Lisa is the creator of the wildly popular (although new to me!) blog, 100 Days of Real Food where she chronicles her families’ change from eating processed foods to only eating whole food, aka real food.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa at Food Blog Forum and talked to her about how she does it. Specifically, I wanted to know how to make a cake with “real food.” (You know I love my cakes.)  Her reply was simple, use whole wheat flour. Boom! We also talked about using natural food dyes, etc. I’ve tried them without success, but I’m going to give that another shot now that I’m more informed about real foods.

100 Days of Real Food cookbookSo, Lisa and her family are lovely and I started perusing her blog. There are so many great posts here, you have to check it out. But, then I received her cookbook and just got caught up in how wonderful it truly is. I’ve been reading it for over a week.

You see, the first 123 pages are what I call a book in a book. This is where you find answers to questions like:

  • What is real food?
  • Why should I care about eating real food?
  • What is whole grain?
  • What’s the problem with sugar?
  • Is organic best?
  • What are GMOss?

I could go on. Lisa shares what type of milk to buy, what oils to use, and there’s information about different types of flour. And, it’s written in a voice as if you and your friend are sitting down at the kitchen table and she’s sharing all that’s she’s learned about food. Like I might be doing in the future!

One of the books that is referenced a lot is, Michael Pollan’s, “In Defense of Food.” I know this is a book I should have read by now. I know it will be life changing. I know, I know. Now, I’m going to seek this book of food knowledge out and finally read it.

But, back to Lisa’s real food cookbook. I’ve made several of the recipes now and just love them all. So do my kids! Our favorite are her pumpkin muffins. These are my kid’s new favorite item to request, and they are becoming a snack and lunchbox staple.

Another gem from the book is the whole-wheat cinnamon raisin quick bread. I was skeptical about this, but this loaf of bread is moist, flavorful, and such a great snack or breakfast. I’ve made several of these loaves and they get devoured each time. Check out the recipe below.

100 Days of Real Food has been on my kitchen counter since the day it arrived. Every time I try to put it away, I end up pulling it out again to either read more information about real foods, labeling, how to cook with oil, etc. OR I’m taking it out to use one of the recipes from section 2.

If you are a fan of Weelicious Lunches Cookbook like I am, this book has a similar tone and easy to make recipes. The authors even appear together in a video making Lisa’s pumpkin muffins. Who knew?

This is going to make some great Christmas presents this year. Did I say Christmas in September? OK, I’ll cut out now.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread

Recipe courtesy Lisa Leake of 100daysofrealfood.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a fork, mix in the eggs, applesauce, melted butter, and syrup until well combined, taking care not to overmix. Gently fold in the raisins.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
http://www.balancingmotherhood.com/2014/09/18/moist-delicious-cinnamon-raisin-quick-bread/

Here are links to the books mentioned in this post:

Disclosure: I received a review copy of 100 Days of Real Food. Affiliate links are used in this post, so if you make a purchase from one of the links, I will get a tiny tiny commission. Thank you!

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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100 Best Companies for Working Parents Named

Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers

Working Mother magazine has just released its list of 100 best companies for working parents. I love these lists. It’s my hope that one day all companies will work with parents (and caregivers) to lend support and allow us to care for our families while still working.

And, it’s not must mothers who need assistance. Dads do too. Too often fathers miss out on soccer games, and ballet recitals — or even family dinners (which aren’t really family dinners without one of the family members!) because of work pressure.

And, let’s not forget that it’s not just those of us with children that need assistance. Sure, kids take a ton of time and require parental attention, but so do sick and aging adult family members. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in what is known as the sandwich generation: raising young children, and caring for an ailing parent.

See the full list of 100 companies for working parents. Is your company on the list? Looking for a new job? I’d read this list first!

Here’s a great link I found from women at top companies on how to disconnect when at home.

Work life balance for working parents is never easy, but it is obtainable. Thanks to these companies for paving the way for greater flexibility, better leave policies, benefits, and child care options.

Do you work for an awesome company or have a great boss that works with you when you need it?

 

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Visiting the 911 Memorial Museum With Kids

911 freedom towerFreedom Tower stands tall, near where the  Twin Towers once dominated. It’s an impressive sight, even though you can’t get too close to it yet. If you look just right, it appears to extend forever into the sky.

911 memorialMy family and I visited the 911 Memorial Museum earlier this summer. Every trip I make to New York City, I take time to visit where the towers once stood. Over the last 13 years, I’ve been amazed at the changes that continue since that fateful day. Now, two beautiful waterfalls are in the spots where the towers once were. The names of those who lost their lives cover the metal rims of both waterfalls.

911 memorialWe made the decision to go down to the 911 Memorial Museum and took the kids with us. At one point, I didn’t want to go because I thought it would be too intense for two young children. My son, 8, got very upset with us when he thought we had changed our minds about going. So, we talked to the museum officials about it, and were told that there were parts of the museum that were graphic, but these areas are clearly labeled and you’re able to forgo them. So, we made the decision to go and we’re glad we did. It was a teachable moment which prompted great questions from both our children. We were able to use facts, images, and the scene itself to explain what happened on 911, before they were even born.

Note: the 911 Memorial Museum website has this to say in response to the question, “Is the museum appropriate for children? The historical exhibition may not be appropriate for visitors younger than 10. Adults accompanying younger visitors should exercise discretion before entering.”

The museum is easy to walk through with a lot of open space. You can spend as much or as little time as you want in each area. This made it easy for us to pass certain sections that we felt were too intense for our kids.

The museum if separated into three main exhibitions. The first is the Historical Exhibition that takes you through the events of the day, hour by hour. It also includes information about “before 911,” and also includes what happened since 911.

The next section is the Memorial Exhibition. This section’s focus are the people. The lives that were lost on 911. There is an entire section with just photographs of those who perished. From ceiling to floor,  one photo after the other, cover this section. There is also a touch screen monitor where visitors can look up information about each individual.

911 structureThe final section is the Foundation Exhibition. This is where structures and other artifacts are displayed. The photo above is the last structure , the “last column,” standing at ground zero. It’s showcased in the museum alongside the, “‘slurry wall,’ a surviving retaining wall of the original World Trade Center that withstood the devastation of 9/11.”

911 ladder 3 firetruckYou can get up close to Ladder 3’s truck and see the destruction that took place that day. It’s hard to imagine the firefighters that drove this vehicle.

911 ladder 3 firetruckIt’s completely mangled in the back. To me, this is one of the most memorable artifacts of the museum.

There is so much inside the museum to see. We didn’t spend as much time as we would have if had just been adults, but we still spent about 90 minutes there. That might have been because my daughter lost a tooth inside the museum! Quite the distraction for us.

Get more information about the 911 Memorial Museum here.

The 911 Memorial website has information about how to talk to children about 911 which you might find helpful on a day like today.

September 11th is day that we will never forget. I worked in a newsroom 13 years ago and processed photos for 3 days straight. I remember. My children weren’t born. Now, everyone has an opportunity to see, remember, and learn more about the events of the day.

911 ladder 0 firemenAs we left the 911 Museum Memorial we walked past the “Ten  House,” fire station. This bronze plaque greets passersby, reminding us of the bravery of those rescue workers.

For us, the 911 Memorial Museum is an opportunity to pay our respects and always remember.

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Welcome to the New Balancing Motherhood

If you’ve been here before you’ll notice something a little different. If you’re new: welcome!

We have a new logo, completely new look, a beautiful jewel color scheme and new content on its way.

With redesigns there are always kinks to work out, so bear with us as we continue to tweak the pages to make the best experience for you.

As always, I appreciate you for coming. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where I give live updates in addition to what you find here!

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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Refreshing and Simple Vodka Cocktails

simple vodka cocktails w/ recipe on BalancingMotherhood.comThere are three drinks in this photo. I will neither confirm nor deny drinking all three of these simple and refreshing vodka cocktails.

Did I say there were delicious? Well, they are.

So easy to make, that even a non-mix-master can make these and still look like a rock star bartender.

Here are the links to the recipes. Each drink only takes 2-3 ingredients.

The Porch Sipper

Crandazzle

Strawbasil Splash

Disclosure: I received product samples for review. I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own, and these taste delicious!

About Alicia: Alicia worked in corporate America for 20 years, and found success in online industries as an award-winning journalist, a pioneer in network television, and an executive leading online initiatives for a leading media and entertainment university. She’s been around the block when it comes to the internet, having started her career coding on Prodigy and AOL. Today, she’s the founder and editor of BalancingMotherhood.com where she writes about work-life balance issues facing modern parents. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and raising a young family at home.
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