Do you know what’s harder than packing lunches every.single.day? Sending your “baby” to “school” for the first time.
That’s right, Baby G began a 3-day-a-week childcare program last week. It’s been a very difficult decision for me… but I know it’s the right one. This past year, I moved my office into our home (by spending a few thousand dollars on air conditioning and finishing a 300sq ft room above the garage), hired numerous sitters and re-arranged all of our family’s schedule and activities to stay on track with the baby’s needs.
You know who I forgot to take care of? ME. This past year has been really difficult to manage on very little sleep and drinking a lot more caffeine than I should.
While many of you have been encouraging and super helpful… unfortunately some people very close to our family have been less than. “Why don’t you just quit? Why not just put all of MOMable’s lunch menus on the internet and let people find the information for themselves?”
Seriously, it has been that negative and worse. My response is always the same. I am not quitting because I love my community and what I do, I love helping thousands who struggle to pack lunches for their family day after day and I see a bright future for the entire MOMables team. Thankfully, my husband reminds me to “not listen to those people” and move on.
Last Monday was Baby G’s first day of organized daycare. I think I’ve spent more time watching him on the cameras than working… but it’s an adjustment for me too. He is now clingy, has started to cry a lot when I put him down for naps and is waking up 2-3times at night. He sure knows how to make mom feel guilty!
It’s been a very difficult decision for me… but I know that it’s the right one for us (even 3 days a week). I couldn’t continue working from 9pm-1 am or later… night after night. Now, I can hopefully get some rest and begin to feel human again.
Ok, back to the reason for these “newtons”. The facility provides two snacks and lunch every day for the kids; I, however, waived the food program for Gabriel completely–Yes, I am that mom. I don’t feed my kids corn dogs, canned vegetables, fake cheese, boxed foods… the list goes on. Like school lunches across the nation, parents think that because the food is made in a kitchen that it’s with fresh ingredients. Sadly, no.
Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Newtons
- 1 1/3 cups California Raisins
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened*
- 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar or sucanat (do not use honey, it will make dough too sticky)
- 1 large egg*
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white flour*
- 1/2 cup whole wheat (or all white but NOT all whole wheat)*
- In a bowl, place raisins and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Let the raisins soak up the moisture for 10-15 minutes until they are plump.
- Drain raisins and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the honey and cinnamon to the raisins and pulse a few times to combine. Puree the cinnamon raisin mixture until it is a smooth paste.
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (could also use a big mixing bowl and use either a hand mixer or a whisk), cream sugar and butter until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla, mix for another 2 minutes until you have a sweet paste.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the flour mix (1/2 cup at a time) with your mixer turned on, until a dough forms.
- Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper into 12×4 inch strips. Remove top piece or paper.
- Spread half of the cinnamon raisin paste along the center third of each rectangle nearly all the way to the top and bottom edges.
- Using the bottom piece of parchment paper to assist you, lift one third of the dough rectangle and put it on top of half of the raisin paste.
- Repeat process with the other side and gently press the dough along the center line and top and bottom edges.
- Cut each rectangular “log” into 8-10 pieces or bake whole and cut with a pizza cutter later. Transfer pieces to a silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake 18 minutes (add a couple of minutes if baking whole), or until golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool off before serving.
Vegan option: substitute butter for coconut oil, egg for 1 Tablespoon ground flax 3 Tablespoons warm water. Mix and wait until a paste forms. You could also use egg-replacer. Gluten Free: substitute flour for all purpose flour mix + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.