Are you looking for a healthy yummy snack or a way to spice up that simple summer salad? Try some air fryer chickpeas! This has been a staple in our kitchen this summer when we crave a little salty crunch. Inexpensive, healthy and delicious…what could be better?
The Usual Cast Of Characters
15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Extra virgin olive oil spray
1 teaspoon dried spices of your choice, such as Cajun seasoning, garlic salt, blackened seasoning, montreal steak seasoning, zatar, etc. I am using everything bagel spice mix today!
The Steps to Glory Start with dry chickpeas: Make sure the canned chickpeas are air dried on paper towels before you cook them for best results. Chickpeas that are wet or damp won’t crisp up, and if they do, they won’t stay that way into the next day. Spread the chickpeas out on dry paper towels. Place another towel on top of them, and move the towel across the chickpeas or do as I do and dry them in a salad spinner!
Transfer the dry chickpeas to the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry 380F about 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes until crunchy on the inside, not moist and golden brown on the outside.
Transfer the chickpeas to a medium bowl while still hot, spritz all over with olive oil and immediately toss with the spices. Eat at room temperature as a snack or over your favorite salad.
Enjoying our last summer movie matinee! How can it already be back to school time?
Nothing beats a little getaway weekend with the family. A few hours away is the beautiful Western part of Maryland where it touches Virginia and West Virginia. The scenery was gorgeous and the vibe, very chill. A little antique shopping, a few Civil sites, great ice cream…we were all happy. It was a good trip but I’m always glad to return to my cozy house in Annapolis. A few more weeks until school starts. You can almost feel the change in the air, or maybe just the cooler temperatures after 90 degrees + we have had lately. Either way , I’m relaxing on the porch!
It is time to put away the bright, patriotic decor of early summer and embrace the muted colors of August. I love faded hydrangeas and summer roses against a white background. I love the sight and sound of the birds outside my window and I love the fresh produce so readily available. Simple and beautiful is the world in August…and a little humid. It was a great day to spend inside adding some touches to my home while the temperatures were blazing outside. How is your summer going? Are you loving it or looking forward to the crisp fall temperatures?
July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month
Sometime, in the early stages of our adoption journey, my husband and I had to make the difficult decision as to what special need child files we would be open to review. With the average wait of 6 years and climbing for “healthy” girls from China, the special needs program offered a shorter wait and often included very minor or correctable needs.
After much prayer we listed the needs we felt we could manage and waited for God to put his plan into action. Flash forward about 6 months and we received that highly anticipated phone call and email file! As I gazed at that beautiful face I noticed her big brown eyes and smooth skin, her adorable ears and her gentle hands…I did not even notice her unrepaired unilateral complete cleft…it just did not matter, she was our baby.
Our Princess was 20 months old and living in the remote mountains of Northern China.
There are many risk factors that can increase the likelihood of birth defects. While some causes are still unknown, genetics and family history, pre-existing medical conditions, poor nutrition and exposure to harmful environmental substances can affect the healthy development of a baby. As a result, these factors could also be the cause of a baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. We will never know why it happened, but we will never know where her outstanding fine motor skills and dimples came from either…and that’s OK.
But what is a cleft palate/lip? A cleft is a gap in the mouth that didn’t close during the early stages of pregnancy, and this kind of birth defect happens more often than you may realize. It is estimated that, worldwide, a child is born every 3 minutes with a cleft — about one in 500-750 births. Sometimes a cleft condition can be easy to see because it’s an opening in the lip. Sometimes it’s harder to tell if someone has a cleft because it’s an opening in the roof of their mouth (called the palate.)
Our Princess after we met her in China, already charming her Mama and Baba
Cleft lip and cleft palate can be repaired through a series of surgeries and orthondontics. While it can be corrected, it really is not an “easy fix”…despite what you may see in Operation Smile advertising. Our brave girl has had 3 major surgeries and some pretty extensive speech therapy with quite a few more surgeries in her future and orthodontic procedures continuing into her young adulthood.
Her first surgery at Johns Hopkins
Our Princess is spunky and sweet. She is tremendously brave and the joy of our home. We can’t imagine life without her.
Peanut butter cookies are a definite comfort food for me. We needed a little comfort this week…maybe a lot of comfort. Anyway, peanut butter cookies for my people were the first order of business today. The Princess and I even tested out a cookie press I found in my drawer for the first HUGE cookies. They smell divine and are already half gone!
The Usual Cast of Characters
1 1/3 cup (188g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (105g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 18 by 13-inch cookie sheets with silicone baking liners or parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined.
Mix in peanut butter then blend in egg and vanilla. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Scoop dough out and shape into balls (30 grams each or nearly 2 Tbsp) then place on baking sheets spacing them 2-inches apart.
Using a long pronged fork flatten cookies slightly then turn fork going opposite direction and flatten just slightly again (it should create that criss cross pattern) or use a cookie press!
Bake cookies in preheated oven, one sheet at a time, for about 9 minutes (cookies will appear pale and slightly under-baked, they’ll continue to cook slightly as they cool).
Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies and an airtight container
Isn’t summer grand? Even if you spend a day doing absolutely nothing, you still feel like you completed the perfect day. Summer is good for your soul. Sometimes you find a poem that expresses how you feel perfectly, like Summer Time by William Wilson.
Sun shines on your skin and mine Until it sets way after nine. Memories made with a cold drink in hand.
Moments to cherish with feet in the sand. Everyone laughing, smiles on every face. Remember the moments, those were the days.
Turn up the music, sing it out loud. Indigo skies, no sign of a cloud.
Mutter the words that no one will know. Everlasting memories; where does time go?
And the summer fun continues from Virginia! We are enjoying a lovely week at the beach. The weather is beautiful and definitely filled with summer delights. The corn is growing, the pool is open and lazy mornings are the norm. I will be back next week with even more summer in Annapolis!