Whole Parenting Family

Baking for the Hungry Mama Hearts

It’s true. Moms need more calories. This is not about lactating or gestating–my adoptive mama friends have this too. We just have hearts that are stretching and swaying with our children all the day long, and boy, do we need the calories to keep up with it all! Okay, this may not be medically accurate, but I’m going to roll with it.

Here’s what I’ve been baking lately, with fairly good success. And a few tips are thrown in. Just for the heck of it. And a new watermark on my photos. Pretty, right? Thanks to my sissie.

1) Lemon Bars.

lemon bars

Farmgirl Susan? Oh yeah, we love her pizza dough recipe, and focaccia bread. Take a peek at her Lemon Bars. I kinda burned the bottom part that you’re supposed to bake for 18-20 minutes. I shoulda taken them out at 12-15 because I do know my oven runs hot. But I ALWAYS forget when trying a new recipe. The topping was delish! I would look for a recipe that doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk in the future, but I did use the good kind from the coop. Does that count as “real food” still? Hahah.

2) Caramel Rolls.

rollsI used Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday recipe here for these bad boys. Check his book out here. It calls for an overnight rise in the fridge, be warned. And that makes all the difference. The dough was so flakey. I mean SO flakey. Best rolls ever. Some of them I put brown sugar/raw sugar/cinnamon in the middle of. The other half I just did cinnamon for the sake of the babes. The other tip that my girlfriend gave me–thanks, Mary!–was to not squish them as they were rising. I did 4-5 in each 9 inch pie plate. That meant the ones in the middle weren’t soggy and the ones on the outside burnt.

3) Ciabatta Bread.

breadRemember when I made the Peasant Boule bread with the recipe list from my girlfriend on the East Coast? This was another one she shared with me from the New York Times. Check it out here. Warning: you really do need to leave it on the counter for a heckavu long time to get that rise that a Ciabatta needs. The insides were ooh-soo-airy. And I brought half to a family that just had a baby–and saved half for us. Because it was so big. I mean, because my family are breadaholics. And SuperBoy especially. As we delivered the meal, and stayed for a little rolling around on the floor with the new baby (him & her, not me, puleeze–okay, I did too–he’s such a chunky cutie!), SuperBoy asked for some of the bread. At their house. My rude child.

4) My grandmother’s Chocolate Cake.

chocolate delight

Recipe shared in this post. I made this for AA’s birthday–his surprise birthday at the office birthday. Which was a smashing success.

5) Best Yellow Cake EVER.

Recipe from the King Arthur Flour baking book my sissie gave me for my bird-day. And the frosting from there too. To die for. Get this book. Or make someone else get it for you. Then put fresh strawberries on top. Then swoon.

yellow cake

side view of yellow delights

7) Avocado Key Lime Pie.

I really wanted to make this. It all started because I got these gross organic no sugar graham crackers that no one, not even my sugar-deprived son, would eat. So I thought I could make a crust out of them. But then how to make a pie that we’d let him eat too? Avocados. Key limes. Yup. I found a recipe that worked well–I used heavy whipping cream instead of the canned stuff recommended. Delish. Covered up the whole yuckie graham cracker thing. I CANNOT FIND THE RECIPE. Sigh. Sorry. Search for it yourselves if you’re drooling.


key lime

8) Dutch Pancake with fresh whipping cream. Yes.

Shared this recipe already. Do it. Every weekend. We do. And sometimes during the week.

baking  5


  1. The Real Mom Club on April 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Holy cow I need a snack after this post!! And to think I was contemplating chicken nuggets for dinner…you’ve inspired me to do some REAL cooking & put some tasty treats on my table tonight!

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Hahah! Glad to be inspiring you to get your bake on. It is so rewarding and makes you glad you put forth the extra effort! You can do it! And awesome blog, by the way. I’m a subscriber now!

  2. Kerri on April 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Drooling. Thank you!

    • Natural Mama Nell on April 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I have been dreaming about those cinnamon rolls and need to make them again–triple batch!!