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!

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.

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