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.

peanut butter chocolate chip sprinkle cookies.

IMG_1348

oh these cookies. they are the death of me. they have peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. LOTS OF SPRINKLES. Oh, and they are ooey-gooey and chewy. I couldn’t get enough of them. Original recipe found here.

  • ½ cup Earth Balance
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (plus extra) sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the earth balance, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and using your electric mixer, mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.
  3. Push the earth balance mixture to one side and in the other side of the bowl combine the ground flax seeds, corn starch, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to combine. Now, using the mixer, slowly incorporate the flax seed mixture in with the earth balance mixture. Continue mixing until light and fluffy again.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine. Pour the flour mixture over the earth balance mixture and use your mixer to combine. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix some more until the sprinkles are incorporated throughout the dough.
  5. Drop cookie dough roughly 1½ inches apart on your cookie sheet. Pour some additional sprinkles on a plate and grabbing one ball of cookie dough at a time, dab the top of the cookie dough ball into the plate of sprinkles to give the top a coating of sprinkles. Place it back on the cookie pan and gently smash the top of the cookie to ensure that the new sprinkles are embedded in the cookie dough ball. Repeat with each cookie.
  6. Place the prepared pan of cookie dough balls in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. These cookies are best when they’re slightly undercooked so be careful not to over bake.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

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!

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