When I launched this Feature earlier in the month, I confessed that I had been struggling to be inspired to develop new recipes for the blog. What I didn’t share then, but am today, is that not only was I not inspired, in some ways I was down right resentful.
Resentful of my blog… yes. There I said it. It’s an odd thing to admit to yourself and out loud, but it’s the truth. I realized it this week as I was preparing dinner for my family.
Spaghetti is my youngest son’s absolute favorite dish. He even asks for it for breakfast (which I don’t oblige, but maybe I should?) I could make it every night of the week, and I swear he would be thrilled.
On the other hand, my oldest son is a big fan of my meatloaf. It’s one of the few meals that he — my pickiest eater — sits down to with no complaints and gobbles up in its entirety.
And both are dishes that given the food sensitives we're now working through for meal-planning, are easy to serve my husband as well.
So naturally a wife and mother who is trying to avoid dinner arguments, serve up food that goes in tummies and not in the trash would make these dishes quite frequently, right?
Well not if you’re trying to develop new dishes for your blog.
And that’s where the resentment set in some time last year. I had grown so focused on creating new dinnertime options for this blog (rather than for my family), that I stopped caring about what they wanted to eat and what they would enjoy. I felt all this pressure to diversify their palates, expose them to new foods, all the while considering what I thought would make good content online (and of course, balance the challenges of foods that no longer fit for my husband, as well). So everytime I "caved" and made one of these basic dishes, I felt like I was failing my blog...
… the whole damn experience sucked, and it’s exactly what bad blogging looks like.
I realize how absurd all of this must sound — especially if you don’t have kids or you have kids who willingly try new foods. But my universal stance at this stage as a parent is that until you’ve walked a day in another parent’s shoes, judge not. Most parents I know are just doing their best to make a dent in the laundry pile, remembering to sign the field trip permission slip and keeping the toy pile from taking over every square footage of their house. They don’t need dinnertime to be an added battle based on what's trending on Pinterest... you know?
So where does this leave me as a blogger?
I’m making meatloaf once per week. I’m making spaghetti once per week. There's nothing innovative or new about either dish and they won't go viral online. But I’m feeling no pressure and guilt to ditch those dishes in favor of something super-creative.
And you know what? It’s an amazing amount of freedom I’ve given myself realizing that I don’t have to be constantly pushing the boundaries of what this family will eat. I suspect as they age there will be more room to experiment, but for now I’m just happy to have a little peace at the end of the day. We all need a little reprieve before battles over baths, showers and bedtimes begin. Amen?
So how about you? If you're a parent, do you feel "okay" with making some of the same dishes repeatedly if they're family favorites? And if you're a blogger, do you ever feel less than inspired to create something new? Or am I the only one?
Before becoming a parent and blogger, I used to make 3-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies a lot for my husband (you know, the ones where you use 1 cup peanut butter + 1 cup sugar + 1 egg?). He’s a peanut butter fan and the ease of just 3 ingredients, dump, stir and bake was even more appealing than store-bought dough. But as I continue to find ways to reduce our overall added sugar consumption as a family, I knew those cookies had to go. The first time I tried to replace the sugar exclusively with erythritol (Swerve) the texture was just a touch too crumbly. Plus, as I’ve been working with coconut flour and psyllium more, I love the added fiber they’re providing to the desserts we’re enjoying. I certainly don’t think desserts should be the basis of anyone’s fiber intake, but a little boost doesn’t hurt… especially when it gives a more desirable cookie texture (psyllium is an amazingly sturdy binder in gluten-free baking.)
So here you have them. Family-approved, more than 3-Ingredients, but extra-easy...
(Note: I used Lily’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, but they’re not super-easy to find… and they’re pricey. If you can’t find them or don’t want to pay the price, I’d recommend just using a high cacao chocolate bar -- Lindt, Ghirardelli and Aldi's Moser Roth are my faves -- chopped into small pieces. The amount of added sugar is minimal and they’ll still taste great. Thanks to my friend Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food for that savvy suggestion.)
These Sugar-Free Extra-Easy Peanut Butter Cookies are kid-approved and make a great dessert. Tweet this
No-Sugar-Added Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 15 cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter*
- ½ cup Swerve
- 6 drops liquid stevia
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole ground psyllium husks
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ¼ cup sugar-free chocolate chips (I used Lily’s)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in bowl of a stand mixer and beat just until combined.
Spoon out by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Using a fork, create criss-cross pattern in tops of cookies.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
*Most commercially-available peanut butter contains a small amount of added sugar. If you prefer no-sugar, you could try Krema or Crazy Richards, just note that I did not test with a 100% natural peanut butter and am not sure of the results.