Family Centered Kitchen

Sparkle Days




Sunlight shines on crystals white,

Sparkling shards twinkle and wink

Shadows softly rest on pristine blanket

Sighs of wonder from child’s lips ~NRG


Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days

Gingerbread Pancakes

  • 4 c. flour (GF AP flour mix will work perfectly)
  • 2T baking powder
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. light cream, sour cream, or plain yoghurt
  • 4 T (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.  Add to the dry and mix well.  Fry on a hot oiled or buttered skillet until bubbles appear and break on the surface, flip and fry on the other side until golden brown.  Spread with softened butter and keep warm.  Makes about 24 pancakes.

For lighter, fluffier pancakes, separate the eggs.  Add the yolks only to the wet ingredients.  Whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form and fold into the batter.

You can also use a sourdough pancake recipe and add the spices.  Fantastic!

Serve with whipped cream, real maple syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


White Hot Chocolate

  • 4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 gal. whole milk
  • 4 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Over medium heat, combine cream and milk.  When the milk mixture is hot, add chocolate chips and stir constantly until melted.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and bean paste.  Garnish with a peppermint stick, cinnamon, or cocoa powder.  Serves 8 in large mugs, 16 in smaller cups, or our family once around. 🙂

For a lighter version, substitute light cream or half-and-half for the heavy cream.  For a grown-up-only version, add a splash of peppermint or cinnamon schnapps, or coffee or chocolate liqueur.


Celebrating Every Day | Sparkle Days


The first real snowfall of winter still holds something magical for me.  And seeing it through the eyes of my children makes my heart overflow.


Festal Kitchen

Advent brings several Saints’ days that cry out (to me) for celebration.  The ritual of observing these little feasts draws us along the weeks of the season toward Christmas.  This week, we have Ss. Nicholas and Ambrose.

And the Gadbois clan likes to celebrate with food.  St. Nick’s Day always reminds me of chocolate and oranges.  So that’s our menu for tomorrow.  What could be more special than chocolate for breakfast on St. Nicholas Day?

Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • 4 c of sourdough sponge (prepared the night before from 2c of starter, 2c of flour, and 2c warm water)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2T  sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1T warm water
  • 1T fresh orange rind
  • miniature chocolate chips
Combine ingredients and cook on a hot, oiled griddle.  Serve with whipped cream and chocolate-orange syrup. Makes about 40 pancakes.
*If you haven’t got a sourdough starter, you can make your favourite standard pancake recipe.  But trust me, once you have served sourdough pancakes, nothing else will ever compare.
Chocolate-Orange Syrup
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 c boiling water
  • 2 T. orange marmalade
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until it comes to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Makes about 2 cups.


St. Ambrose Day means something with honey, since he is the patron of beekeepers.  I found a scrumptious recipe, posted by Kelly at The Nourishing Home .  The combination of lemon and almond is what we call “Primrose” in our house.  More on why another day.

These pretty little cookies are gluten-free, dairy free, and egg free.  They are also raw!  Super duper!  Easy for the kids to help make, and a fun treat to take along to homeschool gatherings or potluck.  {Just be sure to label them in case anyone is allergic to nuts!}  I will be making a double batch.



Despite the difficulties of 2012, we have much to be thankful for.  Our (not so) little family first.  Our new church community, new friends, old friends, extended family.  We are thankful for health enough to work, employment to keep us running, a little house to shelter us, and a new home (nearly finished) for us to move into.  Grateful for a farm, healthy animals, and acres of soil to steward, and for the woodland and stream that support wild creatures and make our new home so beautiful.

This year’s Thanksgiving meal was especially blessed since each child helped with a dish.  Here is James helping with the pumpkin pie:


{Celebrating Every Day} | Thanksgiving


{Celebrating Every Day} | Thanksgiving


A very traditional New England Thanksgiving Dinner was enjoyed by all:


{Celebrating Every Day} | Thanksgiving


{Celebrating Every Day} | Thanksgiving


And we snuggled up by the fire with dessert and cherished family time.

{Celebrating Every Day} | Thanksgiving


Rejoice always  Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.~ 1 Thes 5:16-18

Although it is not yet even Advent, I know that many of you have begun shopping for Christmastide.  And today is Small Business Saturday.  We have sets of Chrism-Scented Christmas candles, hand-poured by us, available for pre-order in our online shop.  They smell positively divine!  $25 the set.



Chrism Scented Christmas Candles | Family Centered Living™ Catalogue


Please order before 8 December.

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Cranberry Sauce

We eat a lot of homemade cranberry sauce here from late October when the first fresh cranberries begin to arrive, right through to January or February when they disappear again.  Our favourite is smooth sauce, and this one is sublime – and simple.

{Family Centered Kitchen} | Cranberry Sauce


Nissa’s Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 3 lb fresh cranberries, picked over
  • 4 c. sugar (I love using organic sugar)
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 T. whole cloves


{Family Centered Kitchen} | Cranberry Sauce

Place everything in a great big soup pot.  Bring to the boil.  You’ll hear those berries POP! and that when you know that they’re doing their thing. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until all of the berries have popped and the liquid begins to look thick and glossy.  Give them a stir every few minutes.


{Family Centered Kitchen} | Cranberry Sauce

There is natural pectin in the berries, no need to add a thing.  You’ve just got to cook them long enough to get the full benefit.

When the berries are done, remove the pot from the heat and press the pulp through a sieve or a food mill {I’m longing for one of those to make my job easier!}. The wider and shallower the bowl/dish, the faster the sauce will set up.  That’s important when you simply can’t wait until tomorrow to dive in.

It’s not difficult to make this most glorious ruby sauce.  I promise you will never eat the stuff in the tin again.

*Tip: Serve butternut squash or pumpkin bisque with a dollop of this sauce right in the middle.  Also quite nice spread on crackers or toast {for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving}, or plopped into a bowl of hot cereal, or made into a PBJ.  Or, just grab yourself a spoonful straight from the bowl.  Yummy!

{Fit in 40} If you like Piña Coladas…

You’re going to love this smoothie:

{Fit in 40™} | Greeña Colada Smoothie

All it needs now is a little paper umbrella.

Greeña Colada:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled
  • 1″ piece ginger
  • 2 avocados, pitted and scooped
  • 12 oz. coconut milk
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Run the ginger and pineapple through the juicer.  Place everything in the blender and liquify.  Why not garnish with a fruit skewer or a cocktail umbrella?  Gorgeous, gorgeous!  Makes two generous servings.

TIP: keep the pulp cleared from the spout since the fibrous fruit can really bog the filter.


And this one:

{Fit in 40™} | Peachy Green Smoothie

Doesn't look like much, but I promise, it's delicious.

Everything is Peachy Green Smoothie

  • 4 peaches, pitted
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 1” piece ginger
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2-3 avocados pitted and scooped

Run the peaches, spinach , and ginger through the juicer.  Add that combination, the lime juice, and the avocados to the blender and whiz.  Serve with a pineapple skewer… or a little cocktail umbrella!

And THIS one:

{Fit in 40™} | Banana Melba Smoothie



Banana Melba Smoothie

  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 3 peaches, pitted
  • 1” piece ginger
  • 1.5 c. raspberries
  • 2 bananas

Run the apples, peaches, and ginger through the juicer.  Pour the juice, along with the bananas and raspberries into the blender and whiz away.  You may have to do this in two batches.


*All of these make two generous servings, except Banana Melba, which makes 3! *

%d bloggers like this: