chocolate cherry popsicles.

chocolatecherrypopsicles

Summertime! Popsicle time!

1 can coconut milk (I used low fat, but i bet full fat would be creamier!)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 Tablespoons agave
1 cup pitted bing cherries

Mix all in a blender, pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

dino plushie. for babies!

dinoplushie

I made this little guy using the leftover fleece I bought for milo’s halloween costume.
And I have so much ribbon laying around from my card-making days.

After I was done I wanted to make a ton more! Its was really easy and super fun. And sewing with that microfleece is like butt-a! I have a little more left, so I’m going to figure out something else to make with it. This might just be my g0-to baby gift for the future…

I found the tutorial and pattern here.   The only thing I would do different next time is make the ribbon a little shorter. She suggests 6 inches; i made mine 5 and they were still a little long when i folded them over… But otherwise I think it turned out really cute!

fourth of july wand.

IMG_0920 IMG_0888
Fourth of july is THIS WEEK! what?!!! How did that happen?  We have plans to check our our neighborhood parade, so I whipped up this fun little wand for milo to wave around.

And added bonus – after the holiday use it as a cat toy :)
You will need:
1/4 inch dowel rods
red white and blue thin ribbon
yarn
screw hook

Cut your ribbon to size. You want them to be nice and long so when you wave the wand they twirl around.
Screw your hook into the top of the dowel rod.
Loop your ribbon through the screw hook and tie.
Wave around!

if you are looking for another fun craft for fourth of july – Dont forget about these fun windsocks!

 

watercolor painting.

-2Milo was recently gifted with a set of watercolor paints from a friend in his class. It has been really wierd, rainy weather here as of late, so i have been looking for something to do with these watercolors, especially since the last time, milo did so great with them. I came across this idea on pinterest.

Basically all you have to do is trace a round item, like a cup or a glass with the black watercolor paint. It doesn’t have to be perfect – thats the beauty of watercolor paints!
-1Let it dry and then go to town painting the circles. I encouraged milo to experiment with blending the colors. I also suggested painting the background but he said “that would be too hard for him.” so we stopped after all the circles.  Mine is the to the left and his was to the right. It was really fun! Once again, he did a great job with the painting!

peanut butter skillet cookie with bourbon salted caramel ice cream.

pbskillet

This recipe turned out to be a tag team effort! I had dinner at my friend’s house last night and her request was to bring a peanut butter cookies. I knew she was making some homeade icecream, so I made a simple peanut butter skillet cookie to top off with the ice cream. This was her first attempt at making vegan ice cream, and it was FANTASTIC. Holy moly. The combination of the cookie, ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce was the perfect way to end the weekend. I will definitely be making this next time I need to feed a crowd. YUM.

So here are the recipes. I made the skillet cookie. she made the ice cream. Both are vegan and both are out of this world delicious.

I found the skillet cookie here, and veganized it:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons earth balance, melted
6 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tspns egg replacer, mixed with 4 T warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the earth balance, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add in the egg mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix well.

Press the dough into a 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Bake the cookie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is set in the middle. If at any time the edges become too brown, tent the cookie with aluminum foil.

We served the cookie warm, topped with this ice cream. Make it. Now. you wont regret it.

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for at least 6 hours), then drained
  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp tapioca flour OR arrowroot starch for thickening
  1. Make sure your ice cream churning bowl is frozen and soak your cashews. This is all great to do the night before.
  2. Add bourbon and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-high and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and swirl DON’T stir, until a bubbly caramel forms. It happens pretty quick; less than 10 minutes so stay close. Remove from heat and immediately add 3 Tbsp almond milk, sea salt, and stir. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, taste and add more salt if needed. You could also add a splash more bourbon at this point, but don’t exceed 2 tsp or it can inhibit it from freezing.
  3. Add all ingredients except bourbon reduction and tapioca flour to blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Use the “liquify” setting if you have it. You want it to be completely creamy and blended with no chunks.
  4. Add tapioca flour and HALF of the bourbon caramel and blend again. Chill remaining half of caramel.
  5. Add mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions – about 45 minutes. It should look like soft serve.
  6. Add remaining bourbon reduction in last minute OR stir in with a spoon so there’s a more pronounced swirl.
  7. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and cover well. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours or until firm.
  8. Set out for 10-20 minutes (OR microwave for 30 seconds) before serving to soften. Will keep for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

 

banana blueberry bran muffins.

BranMuffins

try saying that ten times fast!

Since I start my day with a smoothie, around 10 am I’m ready for a little something- usually sweet. I like to make healthy muffins because they satisfy a sweet craving, and usually keep me sustained until lunch. I tend to look for muffins that are low in sugar, and try to substitute healthy flours and fruits to make them worth my while. They are a great breakfast treat for milo too.

I found the recipe for some bran muffins here.  Then I customized them to make them vegan. You can add any kind of fruit, or even use spelt flour if you wanted to stay away from white flour. Spelt flour is my favorite to add to muffins!

1 1/3 cups almond milk, mixed with 1 tspn apple cider vinegar
1 T ground flax, mixed with 3 T water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I did a mixture of half veg oil, half unsweetened applesauce)
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or sub brown sugar if you dont have this)
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour (or sub spelt flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoonsgranulated sugar, divided
1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup blueberries

Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk almond milk, flax, oil (or oil and apple sauce), and mashed banana and coconut palm sugar in a bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 3-4 blue berries to each muffin and sprinkle each with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar (1 tspn divided over the 12 muffins). Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.

Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes.

asymetrical shell stitch crocheted throw.

crochetthrow

Remember last year when I whipped up this baby blanket? Shortly aftewards I started working on an adult sized one. I actually finished this months ago, but have yet to get around to getting it up on the blog. I still have to do some edging to it, but its done and has been sitting on our couch and getting some use.

For this throw, I used bernat waverly yarn, and about 10 skeins of it.

 

tooth fairy pillow.

toothfairy

My little guy just turned five. I know were probably still a ways off, but I whipped him up a little tooth fairy pillow following this tutorial.

Instead of a fat quarter, I used an old sweater. So its kinda lumpy and a little messy – but I asked milo if i should redo it and he said “no! I love it!” soooo, messy and lumpy toothfairy pillow it is!

This is a really easy project that can come together fairly quickly. However, trying to explain the concept of how the tooth fairy works to a five year old proved to be a little tricky. He just wasn’t really understanding HOW the tooth fairy will know that his tooth is in that pillow. And where should he leave the pillow?! And how much money does the tooth fairy leave? Does she leave presents? I think i have some time to do my tooth fairy training, but in the meantime, we have the pillow situation covered.

 

banana pancakes.

bananapancakes
Here is a simple banana pancake recipe that turned out really great and you can whip up in no time! Its adapted from this recipe here.

    • 1 ripe banana
    • 2/3 cup almond milk
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamonOptional: Chocolate chips or blueberries.

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the banana with the almond milk.
  2. In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the banana/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries or chocolate chips if going this route.
  3. Grease your skillet over medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the pancake batter into the pan. Flip when bubbles form in the batter (about 1 minute). Let the second side cook for about 30-60 seconds and remove from heat.
  4. Serve pancakes with maple syrup and enjoy

vegan cheez-its.

cheezits

Cheez-its were probably my most favorite snack back in the day. I almost always had a box of them at my desk to snack on. I recently saw that Earth Balance was coming out with a vegan version. I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to get my hands on these.  So far no luck. it does just so happen though, that I came across this blog post last week and knew that I HAD to make some myself!

Now, these crackers didnt necessarily taste like the good-ol fashioned cheez its I remember, BUT they were a fantastic, cheezy-savory cracker that came together in no time! Milo could not get enough of these, and frankly, neither could I!

  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Yellow corn meal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a food processor or blender and process to thoroughly combine.
  3. Then add olive oil and  pulse again until crumbly.
  4. Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time until it forms a loose dough. You don’t want too much water, so just add a little bit at a time. It shouldn’t need more than 3 Tbsp.
  5. Remove from processor and form into a loose ball with your hands. It’s actually good for this dough to be worked and warmed by the heat of your hands, so don’t worry about touching it too much. However, you are not kneading it, just forming it into a disc.
  6. Lay on a lightly floured surface, dust the top with flour, and roll to 1/8th inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into square crackers. Dot the centers with a fork prong wooden skewer tip to resemble a Cheez-It.
  7. Bake at 350 for 12-17 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

 

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