banana bread granola.

granola
More granola! What can I say? I’m on a granola kick!
This one is adapted from shutterbean’s recipe, found here.

  • 5 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, toss oats, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and brown sugar together and set aside. In a small bowl mash bananas and stir in maple syrup & olive oil until thoroughly mixed. Pour wet mixture over the oat-nut mixture and stir until oats are well saturated. Spread the oats on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, stirring mixture every 10 minutes until oats are nice & golden.  Let granola cool and transfer to an airtight container.

paper no-sew stuffed animal

IMG_3128
Another great creation that milo’s friend and I made last week when she was over. This was totally her idea. You can make a stuffed animal out of paper, who knew?!  With a little assistance from an adult, its super fun for kids and it turned out really great. She made a teddy bear!

you will need:

Paper
Scissors
Markers, crayons, paints or any other embellisments
Stapler
Stuffing

Trace your animal on two sheets of paper and cut.
Draw a face or decorate to your liking one of the shapes.
Staple the edges closed, leaving a small space to fill with stuffing.
Fill with stuffing and staple clothes.

Viola!

taquitos.

taquitos

Taquitos! These are one of my family’s favorite things that I make so I figure its about time I document it.

1 package uptons chorizo seitan or ground seitan
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T vegan cream cheese
1/2 red bell pepper
spinach (optional – i add this to sneak some greens into it; i dont add a ton, maybe a few handfuls, chopped really good)
Green onions
2 tspn chili powder
Juice of half a lime
1/3 cup salsa (I  highly recommend trader joes salsa authentica for this)
Vegan cheese (we use daiya)

Flour tortillas

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a 9×13 pan.

Saute your seitan; when it starts to get warm, add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the vegan cheese. mix well and cook for a few more minutes until the vegan cream cheese is all melted.

Warm your tortillas and line each tortilla with some vegan cheese; Place a heaping tablespoon full or so of the filling. Roll tightly and put into the pan. Continue until you run out of filling. you dont want to fill them too full because you want to be able to make sure to roll them nice and tight.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip and bake for about 5 minutes more until crispy.

Top with guacomole, vegan sour cream and more of that delicious trader joes salsa!

plush racoon.

IMG_3123
We looked after milo’s friend and his big sister on sunday for a bit – so I wanted to get some crafting in to keep her occupied. I showed her my pinterest boards and asked her to find something that looked fun – she loved the idea of making her own plushie, and decided that this is the one we would make.

We made ours out of felt, printed and cut all the pieces and sewed away. She was  big help with cutting and trimming, while I did all the major sewing. She was so tickled with her pink raccoon and couldn’t believe we made our own stuffed animal! It took us a little less than two hours start to finish. I think hes rather cute, don’t you?!

Pattern and instructions found here.

peanut butter granola.

PBGRANOLA

Oh, this recipe had me at peanut butter. And it only had a few ingredients, all of which I had on hand AND came together quickly. SOLD. This granola tastes like a deconstructed granola bar.  I added chocolate chips, unsalted peanuts and toasted coconut chips. I think banana chips would be so good too!  This makes a terrific (watch out, im addicted) snack. I can’t get enough of it!

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup creamy natural salted peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup toasted coconut chips
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts

  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine oats and sugar.
  3. Warm peanut butter, oil, and maple syrup or agave in a small skillet or saucepan until thoroughly combined and pourable.
  4. Pour over oats and quickly toss/stir to combine.
  5. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Watch closely as it tends to brown quickly near the end. IMPORTANT: Toss once around the 15-minute mark to ensure even baking.
  6. Remove from oven, toss gently to release heat and let cool completely on the pan.
  7. Transfer to mixing bowl or storage container and add chocolate chips, coconut and peanuts (banana chips too maybe?!) and stir or shake.

smores cake.

smores
Although I didn’t do alot of baking and cooking this summer, i DID manage to whip up this smores cake for a dinner with friends one night. I woke up the next morning wishing we hadn’t eaten it all. It was a fun take on the classic smores (which is one of my most favorite deserts ever).

The cake recipe comes from the smores cupcake in vegan cupcakes take over the world.
(Shutterbean recently made a smores cake and posted a recipe here – No doubt hers is delicious!)

I poured the recipe into a 8×8 pan and baked it for 20 minutes.
After it cooled I made a chocolate ganache

1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In a small sauce pan, bring the almond milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.

Ice the cake and then top with dandies marshmallows. Put back in the oven for about 3 minutes, but watch closely so your cake doesnt overcook and your marshmallows dont burn!

summer corn soup.

cornssoup

I know what you are thinking….soup?! IN THE SUMMERTIME?! But rest assured, this soup is a great summertime supper. The sweetness of corn tastes just like the joys of summer. I was able to pick up the potatoes and corn at the weekly farmers market – so it was easily a spur of the moment dinner – And it didn’t take too much time to throw together, so its great for a weeknight meal. Don’t forget to serve it with some crusty bread!

Original recipe found here.

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small red potatoes (or 1 small russet), quartered and peeled
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 ears corn,  kernels sliced off
  • 2 cups veggie broth*
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk=
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

upcycled quilt pillowcase.

pillow copy

Earlier this summer, while cleaning out our grandfather’s house – we found these quilts that our great grandmother had made. Quite a few of them actually. Alot of them were tattered and stained, but I couldn’t stand just throwing away something so old and something that so much hard work went into. So I took them and told the family that I would turn them into pillowcases, with the good parts, so that we can all have a piece of her quilts.

I created a simple pillow case with a zipper at the bottom. I plan to mail these to family across the country, so this will make it easy to throw in an envelope and they can stuff a pillow into them when they get them.

I was able to make four pillows from one quilt. I still have three more quilts to go!

peach oatmeal smoothie.

SMOOTHIE

This has been my go-to smoothie this summer. It’s the best with those big juicy peaches you find at the farmers market. I tried subbing frozen peaches, but it just wasn’t the same. You definitely want to use fresh here. Its definitely a sweet, delicious way to start your morning.

1 frozen banana
1 – 1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 fresh, ripe peach
1 T flax seed
2 -3 T dried oatmeal

Blend and ejoy!

pickles.

pickles

Whoah, summer has SLOWED down my blogging mojo. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer – not much cooking, baking or crafting has been going on in our household.

But my garden is producing vegetables faster than I can use them, and it was about time I put some of them to use. I planted “pickling” cucumbers, so I did just that. I pickled them. These are basically a small, fat cucumber, and I had three of them, on the bigger side.

I found this recipe for making pickles and threw these together in minutes. Heres my variation:

Cucumbers (see note above)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons sea salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
2 tspns dried dill
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns

Wash and slice the cucumbers. slice into rounds.

In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, water and salt to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Divide the spices between your jars. Add the sliced cucumbers and pack tightly. You don’t want to pack hard enough to bruise the cucumbers, but make sure there are quite a bit in there. Pour warm brine into each jar, leaving about 1/2-inch headspace.

Place lids on the jars and let cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

Allow to rest for 2 days before enjoying. Pickles will last up to two weeks.

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