tissue paper chicks.

IMG_6363
Easter is right around the corner and I had to rush to get our craft on! This is an easy craft that you can put together with your little one in no time. Milo liked doing this project because he got to do just about all of the work, even the cutting.

heres what you need:
IMG_6360Paper
glue
tape
googly eyes
orange pipe cleaner
yellow tissue paper or streamers
feathers

Cut a circle shape to your desired size out of white or yellow paper. Cut your tissue paper into all kinds of shapes and sizes. this is a great step for your child if you have child-scissors because tissue paper is really easy to cut and there is no exact science here. Put some glue all over the circle and have your child place the tissue paper on it until its totally covered. Glue the eyes and nose in place. Glue (and tape for extra support) the feathers to the back of the piece, as wings. Cut your pipe cleaner to four pieces (two longer, two short). bend the short piece around the long piece to make the feet, and affix with glue (and tape!) to the back of the chick.

Display proudly!

Here’s another fun easter craft we worked on last year.

peanut butter muffins.

peanutbuttermuffins

Peanut butter, chocolate and bananas are like the ultimate baking trifecta.

Here they are in muffin form. I found the original recipe here, and modified it a bit to my liking. You can probably use any oil, but I especially love the sweet coconut-y flavor that coconut oil brings to the mix.

These muffins are so good served right out of the oven with a smear of peanut butter in the middle.

dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup rolled oats

wet ingredients:
1/4 cup almond milk + 1 1/2 tspn flax meal
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

warmed:
2-3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
4-5 Tbsp peanut butter

fold in: 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash the banana. set aside. Combine the flax seeds and almond milk and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients.
4. Warm the oil and peanut butter in the microwave until soft and liquid in texture. Pour into your batter and fold well. The batter should be about room temperature at this point – you don’t want it too warm or it will melt the chips.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into muffin cups.
7. Bake for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

crocheted whale.

IMG_5799 IMG_5802

I was itching to crochet something, and I found a pattern to crochet this little whale.  He turned out super cute, and was really easy! The only changes I made to the directions are I used a 4.0 hook, instead of a 3.75 hook, and a 3.5 hook instead of a 3.0 hook.

you can find the pattern here.

*healthy* peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

COOKIES

These cookies take no time to make, and are free of processed sugars and junk! They DO have chocolate chips in them, but they needed something fun in them!

i found the recipe here.

Below is my adaptation.

  • 1 cup pitted dates pitted
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond meal (ground from raw almonds)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • scant 1/4 cup dairy free semisweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add dates to a food processor or vitamix and pulse until small bits remain.
  3. Add banana and peanut butter and mix again until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. In a seperate bowl, combine the oats and the almond meal. Add the peanut butter/date/banana mixture to the almond meal and oats.
  5. Add in chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop out 1 Tbsp amounts of your cookie dough and form into loose discs, then arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and somewhat firm to the touch.
  8. Remove and let set for a few minutes on the pan, then carefully transfer to a plate or cooling rack to cool. Serve immediately.
  9. Store leftovers in an airtight container for several days. Move to the fridge or freezer for longer term storage.

vegan rueben.

rueben
Sorry for the delay in posts! We spent spring break in istanbul!

While out grocery shopping before we left, sauerkraut caught my eye. I grabbed a can so we can make ruebens for dinner. We loooove a good sandwich, and this did the trick. And while turkish food was good, it felt great to eat something closer to home.

A good sandwich bread. We use trader joes sourdough bread, but typically ruebens are made on rye or pumpernickle
Earth balance
sauerkraut
Daiya cheese
Tofu (or seitan or tempeh would work too)

Marinade:
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T fennel
1 T onion powder
1 T paprikia
Few cranks of black pepper

Dressing:
1/3 cup vegan mayo
2 T ketchup
juice of half a lemon
1 T minced onion
2 T sweet relish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a 9×13 pan. Slice your tofu pretty thin, about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick. Place in the marinade and give it a good coating, front and back.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake another 10 minutes or so.

In the meantime, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. set aside.

When the tofu is ready, slather some earth balance on slices of bread. Layer sauerkraut, cheese, dressing and tofu on the sandwich and fry up in a pan until the sandwich is krispy and the cheese is melty and gooey.

Add more dressing to your liking. Enjoy! You can also top with avocado, and or pickles.

ryan bakerink photography.

RBlogoBlackH

I loved working with my very talented friend, Ryan Bakerink, to create a new logo for his website/brand. He had an idea in his mind what he wanted, and I was excited to bring it to life. I’ve known him for years now, and I think this logo really works. Check out his work – his portrait, music documentary and travel photography makes me swoon!

marbeled banana bread.

marbeledbananabread
I had some bananas that needed to be used up, so I did a search and found this recipe for a marbeled banana bread. Yum!
It was so delicious I made it for my friend’s mom’s birthday and her whole family loved it. They couldn’t believe it was vegan.

1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about three bananas)
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water, divided

Prepare boiling water, no need to measure yet. Also, preheat oven to 350 F.

Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth. Beat in the sugar, canola oil, milk and vanilla.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt and gently mix just to incorporate. It’s okay if there is some flour still visible, just be careful not to overmix at this point.

Scoop one cup of the batter up and transfer it to a separate mixing bowl. Now, in a small tea cup mix the cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water and stir vigorously with a fork until the chocolate is dissolved. Add this chocolate mixture to the one cup of banana and mix until the chocolate is thoroughly smooth and incorporated.

Now back to the original plain banana batter; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and mix the batter just until relatively smooth.

Lightly grease an 8×4 loaf pan. Scoop alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the loaf pan. Nothing has to be precise here, in fact, the more random, the better. Once all of the batter is in, take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter in circular directions for about 10 seconds.

Bake for 55 minutes. Use a butter knife to test for doneness. Let cool and enjoy!

bottlecap magnet.

magnetMilo loves easter, and who isn’t ready for spring… so we kicked off this spring season with a simple little craft using bottle caps and some construction paper.

I did the measuring, he did the gluing and cutting. It was great team work. when it was all done, we hot glued a magnet to the back and viola! Bring on the bunnies and the sunshine!

sunshine muffins.

sunshine

I had almost a whole can of crushed pineapple and I needed something to do with it. After a quick search on pinterest, I found this recipe and modified it and made these delicious muffins. They tasted like sunshine! Now if only some of that spring sunshine would make an appearance!

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 flax egg (1 T flax, mixed with 3 T water)
1/2 cup almond milk, mixed with 1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups grated carrots
1 tablespoon minced orange zest
An 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare your muffin pan and set aside.
2) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
3) In a medium bowl combine oil, flax and water, almond milk, vanilla, carrots, orange zest and pineapple. Stir to combine.
4) Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and combine briefly with wire whisk. Stir in chopped nuts. Fill muffin cups to top. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for about 20 minutes longer, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Turn the muffins out onto a wire rack. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

black bean brownies.

BlackBeanBrowniesI really didn’t know what to think of these brownies when I saw them. I’ve successfully baked with beets before, but I wasn’t sure how black beans would work…  Plus, I have a hard time with vegan brownies in general. they either turn out way too cake like or they have TONS of oil in them.

Well, what do you know? Black bean brownies turned out pretty good! I will say these are pretty rich and have a deep chocolatey flavor. They don’t have a ton of sweetener to them, so you really taste the richness of the cocoa powder. If you like dark chocolate these are definitely for you. The peanut butter really helps balance that, so don’t skimp on that!  and extra bonus, they are gluten free! i don’t have very many gluten free recipes on hand, especially when it comes to baking – so it’ll be good to keep this one in mind when the time arises. Plus, it’ll be super fun to tell people they just ate brownies…with beans in them!

original recipe found here.

  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 T water)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or creamy)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  3. Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor or blender. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients through baking soda and puree –  scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. Add almost all of the chocolate chips and stir.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the 8×8 pan.
  7. Measure out peanut butter in a mixing cup and add in powdered sugar – mix to combine.
  8. To the brownie pan, add dots of the peanut butter powdered sugar mixture and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Sprinkle top with a few more chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for 20-26 minutes if using muffin tins, or 35-45 minutes if using an 8×8 dish. You want the top dry and the edges to start to pull away from the sides. It shouldn’t be jiggly when shaken.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before serving. They will be tender, so remove gently with a spatula or fork. If they’re too tender, let set in the freezer to stiffen so they’re easier to lift out. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.
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