gluten-free quinoa cookies

Yesterday, Lu threw her first big temper tantrum.

For a week she snuffled along with a cold, then pneumonia. Thankfully, we caught it early, so I didn’t have to worry about her lethargy and sadness for longer than a night. (That night — when she coughed every two minutes and cried in between — seemed three weeks long, however.) As I’ve been saying to everyone, antibiotics are the bomb. Within an hour of her first dose, Lu did her loopy little bow-legged dance around the room again. By day two, she seemed her jubilant self.

However, yesterday, she wasn’t quite herself again. She didn’t sleep that well the night before. I went in to console her after bad dreams so many times that I ended up falling asleep on her bed, her big teddy bear my pillow. I woke up with the imprint of its button eyes on my cheek. Danny tenderly said to me, “Happy Mother’s Day!” Lu arose and clutched at my neck. In that moment, all was well.

Still, I couldn’t help wishing that I had been able to wake up in my own bed, give them both kisses, nudge the pillow into a new coolness, then fallen asleep until 10:30. And then be awoken by breakfast in bed: waffles with warm maple syrup, scrambled eggs, slices of bacon, and hot coffee. The three of us would sit in bed until noon, Danny and I reading the Sunday paper, Lu alternately reading her books and bouncing on the bed. All the while, warm sunshine would spill through the windows of our bedroom.

It didn’t quite work out like that.

My parents came over early, to see us, but mostly to see Lu. I only had 1/2 a cup of coffee in me when they arrived. My mother brought me a Mother’s Day present: a pair of slippers with dust mops on the bottom, so I could walk through the house and clean at the same time. Um, thanks? We talked and laughed, and they played London Bridges with Lu. Within a few moments, however, she was inconsolably sobbing. “My bat!” The whiffle bat we had bought her the day before sat alone outside, in wet grass. She wanted to play baseball. It was raining. Again.

(It has rained approximately 3276 times in Seattle this spring.)

Nothing consoled her. Nothing. She sobbed, not saying anything that could help me figure out what to do. I walked her around the house.

And then I remembered. Hungry.

We shoveled yogurt and maple syrup into her. Five minutes later, she revived to bounce on her bed.

I was exhausted.

The whole day went that way. She fought her nap because she knew we were going to a play her 8-year-old cousin was performing in. She fell asleep, a rumpled mess, half an hour before we had to leave. I woke her, regretting already, to put her in the car. Only 10 minutes into the play — with music by my brother, who is the music teacher for the elementary school, and his students — Lu sat in the darkness, tensed. Clutches of children danced onstage with colored swaths of cloth, masks to represent animals, and jangly dark music. After her beloved cousin left the stage, wearing jungle makeup and a strange costume, Lu screamed in the darkness: “MAMA! GO HOME NOW!” We fled.

Friends came over just after we returned home. She loves these boys — we jokingly refer to his parents as our future in-laws — but for half an hour, she wanted nothing to do with them. She huddled into me, whimpering whenever they came near. She begged for a banana, then squished it between her fingers. When she saw the mess on her hands, she screamed. She didn’t want the boys near her bike but she didn’t want to ride it herself. At one point, she ran toward the boys near her bike clutching her wet bat and a whiffle ball in one hand, a bowl of cut-up kiwi and the remnants of squished banana in the other hand, screaming. She climbed onto her bike, then looked at me accusingly and said, “Hold me, Mama. Hold me!”

Of course, I did. And all the while, I wondered: what did you do with my child?

I also kept thinking, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

She calmed, eventually. Later, she and the boys set to digging clods of dark dirt in the garden with her new shovel and a couple of spades. I had a bit of a chance to talk with my friend, Christi, who has just realized she needs to be gluten-free. I felt like I could help her. The sun even broke through the clouds for a few moments.

However, later in the evening, when it was time for bed, Lu shoved all her beloved books off the bed and shouted, “No books! No books!” A moment later, she burst into tears: “My books! My books! Where are my books?”

After I had kissed her, consoled her, and closed the door to her room, I collapsed on the couch. Danny was at work, battling maddening crowds for the holiday. There was no food in the house. I couldn’t put two coherent thoughts together.

I will admit to this: I had a pouty moment. A little churlish, a smidge petulant, and a lot ridiculous, I wished that Mother’s Day had been the way I had hoped.

And then I looked at my wrist and remembered to breathe.

Expectations are premature disappointments.

I thought, immediately, of Gretchen Holt Witt, the founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Her 2-year-old son, Liam, battled cancer for 4 years. He died this year. He was six.

Gretchen and Larry Witt turned their grief into energy for other kids. Did you know there are 13,000 new cases of childhood cancer every year? And that roughly 25% of the kids who do not survive those cancers do not because there is not proper funding for their treatments? These beautiful people are urging us to have bake sales to raise money for kids who are deathly ill, right this moment.

And I was feeling bad because I had battled a sobbing child all day.

I am certain, to the bone, that Gretchen would give anything to have a sobbing, temper-tantrum-throwing son to hold in her arms.

Then, as happens in constant waves these days, I remembered the loss of our friend Kim.

Danny and I attended her memorial on Wednesday. It was the most inspiring, sad, and hilarious memorial I have ever attended. I won’t even attempt to tell you about it.

However, I will share this.

Tucked into the program for her memorial was a single sheet of paper:

Read These Books

The Bunny Planet by Rosemary Wells
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

I pulled down my copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of the most important books of my life. Grateful and determined to be in that moment, I settled into the couch stained with squished banana and the memory of Kim sitting next to me. And I read.

By the time Danny came home, exhausted after a long day, I was back to myself again. It had been an imperfect Mother’s Day. We three are alive.

Danny and I sat eating rhubarb buckle he brought home from the restaurant, talking late into the night.

Today, I made another batch of quinoa cookies, for Lucy (who woke up delightful again after a long night’s sleep), for Liam who can no longer eat them, for Kim who will inspire me to the end of my days, and for you.

Thanks for being here.

Kim’s list inspired us to talk about books we love, the great consolers we want with us to the end of our days. What are yours? We’d love to see your list.

QUINOA COOKIES, adapted from Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

These are the gluten-free version of Kim Boyce’s brilliant creations. As I have written about before, I love Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours. (I’m not the only one. It just won a James Beard award!) Its inventive flavors, baked goods created with whole grains, and its introduction to gluten-free flours to pastry chefs and home cooks who don’t have to avoid gluten? Oh yeah.

These cookies are barely sweet. If you are still a fan of grocery store powdered sugar sweetness, these may not be the cookies for you. I’ve been gradually losing more and more of my sweet tooth every year. These cookies have a low hum of sweetness, along with the faint echo of the grassiness of quinoa, and a healthy taste that makes you feel good for eating them. When our friend Becky tried them, she said, “You know, these are the like the cookies I should bake, because 1 of them really satisfies me, instead of wanting to eat 50.” And then she ate three more.

I find I crave treats like this more than gloppy sweetness. Whole grains, unrefined sugar, good eggs, molasses — these satisfy and make me feel like I could live a long time.

350 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour
60 grams quinoa flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
195 grams (1 ½ cups) gluten-free rolled oats
1 ¾ cup quinoa flakes

228 grams (1 cup or 2 US sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sucanat
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mixing the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, quinoa flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and nutmeg. Whisk until the ingredients are well-combined and aerated. Set aside.

Combine the oats and 1 cup of the quinoa flakes and set aside.

Creaming the butter and sugar. Add the butter, brown sugar, and sucanat to the bowl of a stand mixer. On low speed with the paddle attachment, run the mixer until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing the mixer to run for 1 full minute between eggs. Scrape down the sides. Pour in the molasses and vanilla extract and mix for a moment.

Finishing the dough. With the stand mixer running, add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, allowing the dough to mix in between each addition. Add the oats-quinoa flake mixture and run the mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides.

The dough will be crumbly. Don’t worry. They come together when you form them into balls. Scrape the dough onto the counter and let any remaining flour or dry ingredients tumble on top. Gently, work any remaining flour into the dough.

Baking the cookies. Form cookie balls of about 50 grams each. Roll each cookie ball in the remaining quinoa flakes. Put the cookie balls onto the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between them.

(You’ll need to bake the full dough in 2 batches.)

Slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, turning the baking sheet in the oven halfway through. Pull the baking sheet out of the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and bake the remaining cookies.

Makes about 20 cookies.


70 comments on “gluten-free quinoa cookies

  1. Debbie

    That was beautiful. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful. Happy belated Mother’s Day.

  2. Beverly

    I would add another Willa Cather to that list. “Death Comes for the Archbishop” is the one book I can read over and over.

  3. AW

    Oh…I’m so sorry Lu had SUCH a hard day. My 3.5 year old has days like that too. (So do I for that matter. Ha!) BUT…I can’t ignore asking this…have you considered having her tested for food intolerances/issues? Because this is EXACTLY how my son and I feel whenever we ingest foods we must stay away from (gluten, dairy, soy). We get very emotional and irrational. It usually takes about 24/36 hours for us to get back on our feet. Had to ask. You don’t have to answer me, but just consider it…

    I too had an imperfect Mother’s Day. But considering that 5 years ago I was told by numerous doctors that my husband and I couldn’t have kids and have since had 2 lovely and adorable boys (without medical intervention), I’m okay with it. It’s just another day. There is some beautiful non-Mother’s Day morning where you and I will have cool pillows, fresh waffles, hot coffee, and books to read in bed. Hopefully we’ll be aware of the gift, even if it’s not The Day, yanno? 🙂

    1. Jenn

      I was thinking the same thing, AW. And at our house exposure to food intolerances is harder after illness. My kids have to be built up with vitamins and probiotics after a virus or they have a hard time dealing with food that wouldn’t normally bother them.

    2. shauna

      Thanks for your concern. So far, Lucy seems good. We know she can’t tolerate cow’s milk, so we’re careful on that. Having celiac, my first thought that anything going on with her is related to food! However, she really doesn’t have those kind of tantrums. That day, she had a lousy night’s sleep, a half-hour nap, and a scary play! She’s okay but we’ll keep watching her.

      1. nikki

        sounds like a perfect day for a nap. 🙂 And Mama hugs. I still call my mom up on days that I’m really hungry and frustrated, and get a hug over the phone.
        The first thought in my mind when I heard about lu was “corn!!!”- it does that to me. I need a nap and a day or two of quiet with lots of juice and warm heating pads and books afterward. I only really realized it when I was standing on the sofa, trying to get the tv remote to work, jumping up and down in a fit of rage, so I didnt throw the remote across the room. I felt like an angry gremlin… I started cryyyyying, then lauuuuuughing. And I just kept bouncing, letting myself be an angry, frustrated inner child. In about five minutes I had calmed down enough to remember- snack time.
        I am so grateful in my life that I have a chance to learn through me, so that if my child needs me to KNOW how to make dairy-free WHATEVER… I can feed them. For now, I merely struggle for control with my inner child’s demands.
        Lu is lucky to have you looking out for her, whether it be food-related or just a soppy crying kid- its hard to parent yourself once you get in that mode!

  4. Simcha

    Children are wonderful and it can be hard watching them go through the motions of being sick. My little 2 year old was in hospital last week with severe bronchitis/asthma, she is still recovering. My 2nd son had the same health problems and he was in and out of hospital as a small child. I would be there holding his hand as he fought to breathe only to turn around and see children who had been in there for weeks and some that probably wouldnt come out. Children are a blessing, life is a blessing. Btw the biscuits look great.

  5. Nina

    I think you’d love Tove Jansson: ‘The Summer Book’ (for adults) and ‘Moominvalley In November’ (sold as a children’s book but I ignore that) are probably my personal favourites – but to understand the second one you should read other Moomin books first.

    Obviously food’s your thing so I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but I have to say I’d never dose a grouchy child with maple syrup! That stuff is super-concentrated sugar. I’d have opted for something non-sugary with plenty of protein (eggs on toast?). Not that I imagine that was the cause of such a difficult day, but all my babysitting experience has taught me that Sugar Never Helps!

  6. Rebecca Tien

    Oh goodness. I was touched by your post and sorry to hear Lu had such a rough day. We had a bit of a rough day ourself with our perpetually sick and teething 10 month old (isn’t cold season over yet?!!!) who has decided this week that 5 am is the perfect wake up time (with an 11 pm and maybe 3 am wake up thrown in for good measure). Must have been the sleep deprivation but at 9 pm that night in my attempt to recreate some bean-veggie-quinoa burgers that he really liked I found myself randomly throwing in available ingredients. The mix kept getting stranger and stranger and the more I tried to salvage them the worse they got. In the end, I dumped the entire batch in the garbage after staying up until almost 11 baking them off. My husband and I just sat on the couch laughing (what else could I do?) at my disastrous black bean-blueberry-broccoli-buckwheat burgers. What was I thinking?! Blueberries and broccoli?!! Anyway, Happy Mother’s Day to all the exhausted but well-intentioned and full-of-love Mama’s out there.

  7. Jillian

    The list of books is long, but one of the few that I re-read is The Diviners by Margaret Laurence. I think it has something to teach me at every stage of life.

    Also, I have a batch of those quinoa cookies in my freezer! I just turned some of them into a cheater’s pie crust to hold some rhubarb strawberry jam 🙂

  8. Lindsay

    Such a hard day for the Lu-Lovely!! Omygoodness… I’m glad she is feeling better!

    The book list that Kim had placed in her program is a lovely idea and I see many of my favorites there (Annie Dillard for instance).

    I would also have to put 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez on that list. And also add to Cather: O Pioneers or The Professor’s House. I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse over and over and always get something new out of it; Walden by Thoreau and Dharma Bums by Kerouac.

  9. Sarah

    I was unimpressed with the start to my mother’s day this year. My husband got me an XL gray sweatshirt for a college that I didn’t go to and didn’t even bother to wrap it. I had to ask him to make some breakfast and it just wasn’t like the mornings featured in those Hallmark commercials.

    However, my 3.5 year old daughter woke up and asked me to “hold on”. I couldn’t imagine a better present than that. Later on in the day we went to a free horse show and walked around petting horses in the beautiful Pennsylvania sunshine. It was awesome!

    Later that night my parents came over to celebrate and my mom brought big sparkly earrings as a present. She saved the day present wise.

    I later realized how silly I was being. My daughter wants me to hold on to her. My husband bought me the present he likes best and the one that would keep me cozy and cuddly all winter long and both of my parents were there to help me celebrate!

    It was not a Hallmark commercial Mother’s day but it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It was even better.

    I have been there on those tough temper tantrum days too though. They are rough and it is good and healthy to say so. If you say nothing bothers you than I think you are inhuman. Simply said. Those days are rough. I understand.
    Wishing you a temper tantrum free tomorrow. 🙂

  10. Rebecca Tien

    Oops. I forgot to mention any books.
    William Saroyan’s The Human Comedy and Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer. My husband and I named our son after the second book because both of us loved it so much growing up for the same reasons. For me, it was guidepost on what it meant to live a life of integrity and honor.

  11. Kathleen

    Favourite book ever: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. It was published over 50 years ago, but is just as relevant today than it was then, if not more so. It will change how you look at world events.

    Shauna, it’s so wonderful to see that there are people out there who are surrounded by so much love and who make their living doing something they clearly enjoy. You inspire me to create a career doing something I am passionate about.

  12. Susi

    Thanks for sharing the story of your Mother’s Day! I hope Lu is feeling better; sounds like she was just tired and having a very bad day. I’m sorry that it had to be on Mother’s Day, though! I enjoyed reading how you put it all into perspective. We’re moms every day, and some days are better than others.
    At our house, age 3 involved many more tantrums than age 2. It was the age of transitioning out of naps, toilet training, becoming more independent – I recall that being a very stubborn year. My daughter is now 7, and we now look at photos of her (eating naked at the kitchen table b/c she wouldn’t put her clothes & it was easier to let it go), tell stories, and laugh. Hang in there; Lu is such a doll. You’ll have many more good days than bad ones, I am sure.

    1. AW

      At our house, age 3 involved many more tantrums than age 2. It was the age of transitioning out of naps, toilet training, becoming more independent – I recall that being a very stubborn year.

      Same here. SO grateful it’s not just US. LOL! Three was WAY harder. I keep hearing 4 is the “magical year”, so I’m holding out hope that there is such a thing. 🙂

  13. Cheryl Arkison

    When I was in university the only non-school book I could pull out was “Candide” by Voltaire. Full of incredible and incredulous, with it’s simple message at the end. It was fantastic for giving me perspective.

    You should be credited for finding the peace as you did. Better than most (myself included) when the world presents us with a challenging day.

  14. Vicky

    One of my favourite books ever is Stephen King’s The Stand. I just love the clear cut good against evil with all the shades of grey provided by the characters and situations they find themselves in. It just speaks to me of hope.

  15. Dawn

    Does anyone know what ‘sucanat’ or ‘unsulphured molasses’ are sold as here in the UK? Thank you!

    1. Nina

      Hi Dawn, I don’t actually buy these things myself because I just tend to avoid all sugar as much as possible, but… I think you can get something in health food shops called Rapadura, which is raw/unrefined cane sugar. Sounds like Shauna’s description of sucanat. Molasses is black treacle, although it is sometimes sold as ‘molasses’ here – also ‘blackstrap molasses’. Not sure about the ‘unsulphured’ part but I guess you could check the ingredients.

  16. Laura

    Thank you for being human and for sharing that humanness with all the rest of us stumbling humans!

    I love the idea of a list of books at a memorial service…. what a wonderful way to connect to a loved one who is no longer here…..

    Here is my list of books:
    Rainer Maria Rilke – Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
    The Essential Rumi
    Isabel Allende – Portrait in Sepia, The Sum of Our Days
    Ursula Hegi – Stones from the River
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Of Love and Other Demons
    Aidan Chambers – Postcards from No Man’s Land

  17. Dana

    Shauna, I think you owe yourself more than a smidge of pity. That sounds like one hard day! When you have an easy and happy kid, it can be extra difficult when they are going through a rough spot. It sounds like she is feeling better and I’m glad. Antibiotics are miracle medicine, but not everyone reacts to them the same way.
    1) The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
    2) The God of Small Things – Arundahti Roy
    3) Let the Great World Spin – Colum McCann
    4) Beloved – Toni Morrison
    5) Life of Pi – Yann Martel
    6) The House of the Spirits – Isabelle Allende

    So many more. I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as well.

  18. Barrie

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day.

    To add to the list: Manhattan, When I Was Young – Mary Cantwell

  19. Christine

    One of my favorite books of all time is Catch 22, by Heller.

    I’m glad Lu is feeling better. I get the same way when I’m overtired…you would think at 30 I would just put myself to bed when I feel the irrational anger/sadness combo rise up.

    Thank you for Kim’s list of books as well. There are some on there that I haven’t had the pleasure of reading yet. I’ll have to remedy that.

  20. Kimberly

    It is a shameless cliche, but nothing satisfies me as much as Gone With The Wind! It speaks to me a different way every time I read it.

  21. Susie

    Nothing transforms a child’s personality (or our own!) like the need for sleep… I still recall the few temper tantrums my kids had – my kids are now 9 and 7. My kids had very few, I think I can count them on my one hand between the two, and they were all due to lack of sleep and/ or illness.

    As for books, I LOVE to read… I love “A Prayer for Owen Meaney” by John Irvine (actually I enjoy all of his books!), and “The Shipping News” by E Annie Proulx was excellent but when I am feeling nostalgic or want something I know that I will enjoy, I pick up anything by Madeleine L’Engle especially “The Other Side of the Sun” and a new favourite has been Charles De Lint “The Onion Girl” and so many more!!

  22. Georgia Pellegrini

    I love your stories. And you are blessed to have a child that is so so happy most of the time. That is what I marvel about most when I think of Lu. So you’re doing everything right, I just wish for your sake, and because you are such a good mother, that she lapsed into typical kid mode when it wasn’t Mothers Day : ) xo

  23. Wendy

    The Mammy, The chillers, The Granny. A book series by Brendan O’Carrol. These books will have you laughing and crying in the first 3 sentances. I reread them every so often to pick myself up and dust myself off again.

    Poor Lu! and Poor you! It will get better, worse, funny, sad, irrational, nonsenseical..all at the same time and the best thing to say is “This too shall pass”. These changes happen in a blink of an eye and the only way to capture the moment is to be there, in the moment.

  24. mepperson77

    How about “Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. It was one of my daughter’s favorites! She is almost 24 and we still have a tantrum now and then. Just hang on!
    Mel in Mo

    1. Sarah

      I love this book and I find that as a teacher i amways have a chil who can relate to it on any given day. This is a WONDERFUL recommendation. I still love it as an adult. The other one I love is When Sophie Gets Angry.

  25. erin

    My books would be mostly children’s books – funny how those stay so strong in your memory, even if it’s been years since you’ve read them.

    I would have to include ‘The Lorax’ by Dr. Seuss, ‘The Ordinary Princess’ by MM Kaye, and ‘Eloise in Paris’ by Kay Thompson, just for the very joy in living that Eloise shows.

    (and the cookies look delicious; can’t wait to try them.)

  26. Lucy

    You’re being way too hard on yourself. It’s so normal for a mother to feel petulant and even resentful occasionally — it’s part of being a mom. But it’s good that you can draw on thoughts of others to pull you out of those doldrums. I too have a friend who lost a child to cancer. This remarkable child lived to be 11 and had cancer for 10 1/2 of those years. She once gave a speech to the other children as she was “graduating” out of the rehab unit, in which she listed her Words of Wisdom. I keep these 3 short thoughts on my refrigerator and the words of this wise young girl help keep things in perspective. 1. Don’t Ever Give Up. 2. Have A Positive Attitude. 3. Always Find Something To Be Thankful for Each Day.

    And as the mother of grown and almost grown children (23, 21 and 17) I can tell you that Mother’s Day gets better and better. Nothing means more than when your children express to you what you mean to them — and how much they appreciate you — after they are grown. Then you know you’ve done something right! And with the normally happy and delightful state of your daughter, it sounds as thought you are doing it right.

  27. heather

    i’m so glad lu is feeling better (sorry about the tantrum though).
    antibiotics, indoor plumbing, and the internet are my three favorite modern day offerings. i could do with out a whole lot, those three are keepers.
    … and i’d be lost without my tattered copy of the gita.

  28. Naomi

    My mom had an imperfect mother’s day too and I was sad that I couldn’t be there to whip my dad and brother into shape. I sent her a book instead “The Breakfast Book” by Marion Cunningham, which is filled with wonderful recipes.

    My cherished book list would definitely contain “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, “Islandia” by Austin Tappan Wright, “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster and “Invitation to a Beheading” and/or “Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabokov and of course “Little Women” which I recently re-read and found to be just as enjoyable as it was when I first read it some 15 years ago.

  29. Heather

    You brought tears to my eyes.

    Sounds like Lu is a perfectly normal two-year old. That’s just what they do when tired and hungry (and when both, watch out!). But I can’t believe your parents gave you mop slippers for Mother’s Day! (Mine didn’t give me anything, so at least you have something to laugh about!).

    Thanks for posting the list of books. I’ve been looking for some new reads. I don’t know where I think I will get the time. But I plan to find it somehow. 🙂

    Here are a few I’ve adored.

    The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand
    Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Robert Pirsig
    The Alchemist. Paulo Coehlo
    Life of Pi. Yann Martel
    The Poisonwood Bible. Barbara Kingsolver

    Would love a final list, if you get a lot more additions in the comments.

  30. Melanie

    Thank you for sharing your Mother’s Day story, Shauna. With our own little girl on the way, it’s good to be reminded that we create our own happiness – and our own happy families – out of whatever each day brings us, tantrums, rain, smooshed bananas and all.

    Some books I’d take anywhere:
    Straight Man – Richard Russo
    Moon Palace – Paul Auster
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
    To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
    The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

  31. The Healthy Apple

    So, right about now…my mouth is watering intensely and I am dying to jump on a plane for a bite of these babbies….they look amazing, Shauna.
    So beautiful. Love ’em.

  32. Eileen

    My heart goes out to you Shauna. You are such a good mom, and no mom likes to see their child so distraught. Bravo to you for having the wits to put it all into perspective though. I tell you, those moments that we can gather ourselves and see the big picture is what can save us so much heartache. I was a younger mom and didn’t have that skill in place as much as now. Bravo to you.
    I would add to that book list anything by Barbara Kingsolver, but I’m especially partial to her
    High Tide in Tucson book of essays. To Kill a Mockingbird will forever be on my top 5, and I also will always be able to reread Death Comes for the Archbishop anytime.
    Go gentle with yourselves in this time of growth and loss.

  33. Christy

    What a day you’ve had, but I am sure the sight of your lovely (and healthy) cookies should keep the stress away 😀

  34. Molly

    Hi Shauna,

    Happy belated mothers day! I’m looking forward to trying these cookies! You have really inspired me to play around with all-purpose GF flour and even trying to make non-GF recipes.

    I’m currently trying to make Heidi Swanson’s Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies out of her book Super Natural Cooking. However the recipe calls for 2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Would I still use 140g of your GF AP flour mix for every 1 cup of gluten flour in the recipe?

    Thank you sooooo much for your help.

  35. Anchen Texter

    Oh, Shauna, what a wonderful, heartfelt, honest blog you have here. I love it, read it, share it, cook from it. I love to see you learning and sharing so much. Which is why, when you raved about antibiotics, I wanted to say yes, they do wonderful things, and to be sure to supplement afterwards with probiotics – ask your health food store for a good brand, and eat live cultures like yogurt and sauerkraut – these little babies are what keep us healthy and functioning, able to intake nutrients and easily digest our favorite foods.

  36. Kiki

    Here is a FANTASTIC book for ALL ages!
    Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
    By Mem Fox

    Years ago when my boys were 2 and less than a year, I was given this book for my children by a group of people from the United Way. It touched me deeply. It helped me change my perspective about life.

  37. Jennifer

    I am thrilled that you mentioned cookies for kids cancer! I have hosted numerous bake sales for this charity and always leave changed. It really helps me to stay calm when my children are unruly and chaos reigns. I think of all the moms that would love to have a toddler wiping muddy hands on the white sofa and suddenly I’m not so angry. Thank you for spreading the word about cookies for kids cancer 🙂

  38. Justine


    I found your blog recently, on one of many nights of studying for college courses where I desperately needed to read something Not Textbook. You are a compelling writer, and have the gift of making the reader feel as though you are speaking to them as individuals. As posts progress I find myself joyed, empathetic and teary in turns. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with your readers!

    There are books that are constant reminders of the most important things in life, and that give perspective to the reader. For me these are The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, and Tuesdays With Morrie, along with the rest of Mitch Albom’s books.

    Food is an integral part of my life, and I look forward to being able to serve delicious meals to my friends indiscriminately. Thanks!

  39. Rebelgirl

    Shauna, your writing is is proof that truth is much more powerful than fiction. Your entry spoke so clearly to me of my own less-than-perfect mothers day. I felt somehow alone and selfish until I read your blog. I am reminded of what a huge priviledge it is to be a parent. The days we have with our children are all precious, despite temper tantrums, beheaded beloved Buddha statues, lack of sleep, and our own overwhelming feelings of love and frustration. I was trying to wish my own mother a happy mothers day when my two year old daughter beheaded my favorite Buddha statue in the garden. Buddha had sat with palm open during a lot of difficult years of loss and infertility. Of course it was accidental. Or was it?
    We have to find our lessons during the ebbs and the tides. Just as Lu is discovering the world, so are we. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

  40. Caneel

    Shauna, this is such a great post and puts into words the exact kind of Mother’s Day I’m sure so many of us had (I know I did)! Going back and forth between feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves that our Mother’s Day wasn’t going exactly how we pictured it, to dealing with major tantrums and/or talking back from our children, to accepting hugs and kisses from the very same sweet children five minutes later as they tell you how much they love you, to cuddling with the family, to coming full circle again …

    I’m so glad for you all that Lu is feeling better. It’s so hard for us when they are sick, and hard for us when they throw tantrums (which happens a lot, it seems, with my headstrong girls!).

    I love that the Bunny Planet is at the top of that list. That’s one of our favorite books here, as are so many Rosemary Wells books. Such great books on that list!

    For me, I’d say out of children’s books some must-reads for rainy-day weather are Robert McCloskey books such as Time of Wonder, One Morning in Maine, Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal (although I know that last one has been controversial among parents recently, I can’t really understand why if you don’t take it literally about a child following a bear and a bear following a mother). Bear Snores On. You Can Do It, Sam! Guess How Much I Love You? I could go on and on.

    Ramona Quimby books still give me a laugh. Nearly anything by Jane Austen can help any mood I’m in. Anne of Green Gables and the other “Anne” books. Chaim Potok’s works such as The Chosen and Davita’s Harp when I feel I need a deeper understanding of humanity. Jan Karon’s Mitford series for warming of my heart. Again, I could go and on.

    Those are just a few of my “must-reads.” Thanks for letting me share.

  41. Jenn

    Any fiction books by Kris Radish brighten my day! Christopher Moore for humor especially his book: A Dirty Job. I’ve found the best thing I can do for tantrums is to take a time out myself so I can handle the situation better.

  42. alexis

    i made these cookies last night and just had to tell you how incredibly yummy they were. oh. my. goodness. i haven’t had a great earthy oatmealy goodness filled cookie like that in a long time. 🙂

  43. practical cat

    thank you for this, and for all you do to remind us to be thankful for what we have rather than lamenting what we don’t. I read this last night, and I’ve been holding it close all day. I’m looking forward to sharing these cookies very soon.

    All my most soothing books have already been mentioned – except for Where the Wild Things Are.

  44. allison

    Some of my favorite books:
    Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, War and Peace, Siddhartha
    Death Comes for the Archbishop By Willa Cather
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry
    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
    Essays of E.B. White
    these are just a few… I could read all day, every day!

  45. Campbell

    With my two babies now 19 and almost 17 sleepness nights are a past memory (except when the 19 year old stays out late) but this book has crossed my path this last week and while it’s not a ‘children’s book’ as such I think it got me complete with all the times I wanted to scream way back when, in those moments when I just wanted to be able to go to do whatever I wanted to do next. This is the link to the New Yorker site and in advance I’ll advise that the book is an expletive filled joy. (at least for me)

  46. Megan

    Just reading this for the first time tonight, and it may be my favorite of your posts–at least it moved me the most, and I’m not even a mom!

    As far as books that soothe the soul, I’ll add “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Possession” by A.S. Byatt, and the novella, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote (which if fellow commentors/blog-readers haven’t read, they should–SO much better/different than the film).

    I’m looking forward to trying the cookies!

  47. Nisha

    Have you tried adding any fruit to these? I’m thinking blueberries and dried cherries to make for a quick breakfast on the go with a banana. YUM! My family would love these!! Can’t wait to try them.

  48. June

    I just stumbled across this!

    Fave books:

    My Antonia – Willa Cather
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
    The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
    To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    Joan of Arc – Mark Twain
    The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgon Burnett
    Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

    Love your blog. Just read your book. Fabulous – and love your love story.

  49. Carolyn Knott

    How beautiful! I love they way you have used the quinoa in these cookies. I think they will make for an excellent cookie during my upcoming holiday parties! Thank you for this recipe and I love your photos!
    -Carolyn Knott

  50. Mamamiep

    Thanks for the lovely, eloquent article. It reminded me to get out of the way of life. The tantrums and petit explosions you described can be part of our daily life with our child, who has neurological disorders. Like you, I have moments of feeling sorry and then remember that I have this beautiful child. That my friends who lost their son after 2 days would be happy for my daily life, that there’s always worse for other people. I am so incredibly lucky and fortunate for every day, regardless of what others go through but even moreso in juxtaposition. Thanks for writing it so well, I feel less alone now. (and the books I can’t do without are Burnett’s The Secret Garden, Eliot’s poems, and Elie Wiesel’s Night. But I’m going to read the ones on Kim’s list that I haven’t yet read)

  51. Maddie

    I realize this post is from last year, but I am just now discovering it. Thought I would add another thank you for sharing this story of your day. I laughed out loud twice and it certainly inspired me and brightened my morning up.

  52. April

    Imagine my surprise as I was wiping away tears before getting to the end of this post – before, even, reaching the recipe that I came here to read! Thank you for the recipe and the beautiful perspective.

  53. Betsy

    What a lovely post – you are a great storyteller. Any idea on the number of grams of protein in each cookie/serving? Thank you!

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