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Light for Life
October 31  |  By Rose McAvoy
Enjoy Halloween magic a bit longer with pumpkin muffins Halloween is here! My son has been looking forward to today all year. He first asked if we could to trick-or-treating again after dinner on Nov. 1 of last year. Right now, he is over the moon, in full Super Mario garb having a party with his pre-school buddies. Last year made a big impression on our little man. He was three, nearly four, and it was his second time out as a trick-or-treater but the first time he was fully aware of what was happening. Dressed in a homemade bat...

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October 22  |  By Rose McAvoy Special to The Herald
Squash just as pleasing as pumpkins this time of year When it comes to fall produce promotion pumpkin sure pulled the long straw. That stuff is everywhere. You can eat it, drink it, smell it. Even late-night television comedians are dedicating entire (hilarious) segments to how much we love it.

We are so pumpkin brainwashed that even small children who would otherwise avoid vegetables at all costs are embracing, nay, demanding pumpkin flavored treats. (From a botanical...

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October 8  |  By Rose McAvoy
Remembering great-grandmother's not-so-wholesome culinary life Author and real-food activist Michael Pollan isn't known for comedy. His work is generally very serious. But his frequently quoted mantra always gets the corners of my mouth twitching: "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

He intends for people to avoid processed and engineered food products, but you see, by the time I was old enough to pay attention to my great-grandmother's eating habits, she had fully retired from cooking.

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October 6  |  By Rose McAvoy
Need dinner fast? Try these meatballs and freeze the extras I love to cook but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days when the tummies start to grumble in unison and I have no idea what we are going to eat for dinner. On those days, I am grateful to have a few homemade meals stashed in the freezer.

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September 24  |  By Rose McAvoy
Learn how to roast a chicken and eat for a week Warning this post contains approximately 700 exclamation marks - I'm not sorry.

I am so stinking excited about this I might burst!

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September 17  |  By Rose McAvoy
Fish sticks don't have to come from a box Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach him how to make fish sticks and he can impress the heck out of his kids.

My Dad is an outdoorsy guy. His favorite way to relax is hiking the Northwest backcountry with his decades-old backpack and a buddy or two by his side. As a child I was fascinated by all the gear he kept, especially for overnight treks. In the days before a backpacking trip he hauled his gear out of...

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September 11  |  By Rose McAvoy
The summer of the peach I am dubbing this the summer of the peach! We have had a steady supply of peaches in our kitchen since the end of July and, with the way this weather is going, we may get to keep slurping up these juicy fruits for a few more weeks (fingers crossed!).

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September 3  |  By Rose McAvoy
Peanut butter banana tortillas a back-to-school favorite Back-to-school time puts me in the mood to collect some new family friendly food ideas. If you are also looking to jazz up your recipe box I’ve got a good one for you.

We eat this for lunch but it would also make a terrific after school snack. You could even toast a few up for a late night slumber party treat.

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August 27  |  By Rose McAvoy
Blackberry syrup takes advantage of summer sweetness Noxious, thorny, and destructive Himalayan Blackberry vines are everywhere!

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August 21  |  By Rose McAvoy
Baking pie a sweet way to procrastinate Last week Mr. introduced me to a new word: procrastibaking. I feel the word alone says it all but just in case you are wondering, the Urban Dictionary has provided a definition, "the practice of baking something in order to put off doing something else you need to do."

This Peach-Raspberry Galette is pure procrastibaking.

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August 18  |  By Rose McAvoy
Encourage your child's culinary curiosity Pop quiz!

Your child has made up their own recipe. Now it is time for a taste test. What do you do?

"Look! I put jelly on my peas! Want to try it?"

Answer: YES! Enthusiastically and emphatically! Open wide and get ready for the choo-choo, it is time for an Adventure Bite!

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August 12  |  By Rose McAvoy
Fresh peach and rhubarb sorbet Last week my friends at Farmstr slipped me a box of peaches. Each velvety peach was perfectly ripe. Nested in their shallow box they looked like an August sunset. I knew right away what to do with the first few: make a luscious, fruit-forward, subtly sweet, sunny-colored, and utterly refreshing sorbet.

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August 5  |  By Rose McAvoy
Homemade meringues pack flavor but not calories If you have ever looked for a "diet" cookie, you know the options, though varied, are often disappointing. I have found that if you are yearning for an ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie you should just go ahead and have one. ONE. Make a date to visit a bakery, select a drool-worthy confection from the case, serve your indulgence on a plate, pair it with a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy each and every bite.

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July 24  |  By Rose McAvoy
3 great day hikes for kids (and their parents) Hopefully that last post inspired you to pack a snack and hit the trail! In case you are wondering where to go for your first hikes, here are my reviews of the trails we have explored this month.

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July 23  |  By Rose McAvoy
Why hiking with kids is good for the whole family This month our family has gone on several day hikes. I've got to say it feels really good to get out and breathe fresh mountain air. The scent of fir needles baking on a sun drenched forest floor is invigorating. These little excursions have been therapeutic for my body and my mind. I am particularly fond of hiking at a higher elevation than where we live (it doesn't take much since we live so close to the water). Some of the finest dining I have experienced has been while perched...

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July 18  |  By Rose McAvoy
Recovering from sleep deprivation takes time, patience One of my goals here on Light for Life is to talk about how I strive for balance and wellness as it relates to my previous weight loss and continuing weight maintenance. Unfortunately for a great deal of the past year my life has been far from balanced. In the spirit of bringing you, readers and friends, along on my journey I feel it is time to be open and honest about my situation. It's a bit of a long story.

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July 10  |  By Rose McAvoy
U-pick berries are a romantic, cost-efficient choice We are so blessed in the Pacific Northwest to have a climate well suited to growing all sorts of berries. We are also blessed that it is not particularly difficult to get out of the developed areas and visit berry farms or woods were the uncultivated native varieties grow.

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July 1  |  By Rose McAvoy
Fill up on fiber with sorghum and lentil salad Last summer I planted a little bit of mint right by our porch. I hoped the smell of mint would drift through our windows at the end of hot summer days. Mint's balmy perfume reminds me of a trip I took as a teen to Central Oregon. The days were super hot but at night the air cooled quickly. By the time we set aside our sweaty paperbacks and crept out onto the porch, the air would be thick with the scent of mint rolling into town from the nearby fields. It was nothing I had ever...

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June 26  |  By Rose McAvoy
Roasted strawberry cookies symbolize the season These cookies are midsummer. When I open the container to sneak one more cookie I smell sneakers brushing against swollen late afternoon strawberries desperate to be harvested from their sagging vines. I imagine the first drops from sprinklers on my herb garden after a day of baking under the aggressive rays of mid summer sun. The roasted berries mimic the deep rusty colors that paint the sky in a desperate attempt to flee the sun as it melts into the horizon.

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June 25  |  By Rose McAvoy
Smokin' hot shrimp tacos for summer What do you call the food version of an earworm? I'm talking beyond craving. This is a pesky nagging feeling that tickles my tongue and bops around in my mind refusing to be silenced. I get these all the time and they heavily influence my cooking. But what do I call these super cravings? Leave a comment please! I want to know what you call this gastro-earworm.

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June 19  |  By Rose McAvoy
Farmstr helps farmers and consumers find each other directly About a month ago our family had an exchange that went something like this:

Mr.: What are you up to today?

Me: Scoop and I are going to go pick up five Farmstr chickens.

Little Helping: Are we going to kill them?

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June 11  |  By Rose McAvoy
Rhubarb coffee cake perfect for summer brunch menu One spring when I was about seven or eight years old my mom took my sister and I on a little trip to visit her great uncle and second cousins in the small town of Snoqualamie. The trip lasted only a few hours but I came home from the visit with two things that would impact the rest of my life.

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June 5  |  By Rose McAvoy
Creamy chicken pasta in less than 30 minutes The word around the food blogger water cooler is, most folks are looking for simple family-friendly meals they can throw together in under 30 minutes. Great! Me too.

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June 3  |  By Rose McAvoy
Change your mindset about cleaning and boost your fitness Every day I come across reminders of the powerful connection between the mind and the body. There is a reason phrases like "keep your head in the game" are used so often. If you have been struggling to overcome a stumbling block in your health journey I highly suggest you make sure your mind and your body are working together. A simple shift in thinking can be just the thing to set you back on track.

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