super mario bros. legos.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Milo and I googled images of the fire power flower and goomba from super mario bros. and created our own following what we can tell was the pattern. I sorted through the legos and pulled out the colors, he built. Therapy for me, fun for him.

grilled corn salad.

grilledcornsaladThis salad may not be the prettiest, but its great for summer (end of summer?) barbeques! Kids may be back in school, but barbeque season is still going strong while this weather is still holding out!

  • 5-6 ears corn, in husk
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
DRESSING
  • 1/2 cup packed sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in hot water 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 Tbspemon juice
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
  • lime
Instructions
  1. Heat your grill; prep corn and zucchini.
  2. Slice zucchini thinly lengthwise and brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. Also soak corn (in husk) in cold water for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, prepare your dressing by adding all ingredients (sun-dried tomatoes, hot water, lemon juice, basil, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper) to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth. If too thick, add more water to thin until pourable. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon for acidity, garlic for zing, maple syrup for sweetness, salt + pepper for flavor balance, or basil for freshness/earthiness. Set aside.
  4. Once your grill is hot, add corn (still in husk) and cover. Cook for 5-8 minutes, rotating to cook all sides, until all sides are lightly browned.
  5. When the corn is almost ready, add zucchini to the grill and grill on each side for about 2-4 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is. I added mine to a grill pan when doing this step. You want grill marks, but you don’t want the zucchini to get too soft. Set aside.
  6. Cut corn off cob and halve zucchini, then add to a serving bowl. Drizzle with fresh lime juice and desired amount of dressing, and garnish with fresh basil and/or parsley.original recipe here

peach power smoothie.

smoothie.jpgI’m always looking for ways to mix up my smoothie game in the morning and this one hit the spot! bonus: it has beets in it!

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 T unsweetened coconut flakes
1 peach
1/4 red beet
1-2 cups coconut water
hemp seeds

Blend and enjoy!

blueberry pie.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

We spent a weekend in Saugatuk, Michigan before school started, and I got to do something I’ve always wanted to do: go Blueberry picking! Fresh picked blueberries do NOT do the grocery store ones any justice. They are so sweet and delicious. I never thought I liked blueberries until I tasted freshly picked ones a few years ago. I made a pie as soon as I got home! I tried a new pie crust; it was a little hard to work with, but I liked the texture once it was baked. This crust would make awesome homeade pop tarts!

Pie crust
3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¾ cup  vegetable oil
⅓ cup almond or any non dairy milk plus  extra if needed

  1. Sift the flour, then whisk in the salt and create a little well.
  2. Pour in the oil, then milk and stir everything together. If the dough seems too dry, add 1-2 tbsp of milk. I had to add quite a bit extra to hold it together.
  3. Once the dough starts to form, finish working it by gently kneading it on a sheet of wax paper.
  4. Divide into two parts.
    Pie filling
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    1/2 to 2/3 cups granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    scant 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch.  Pour the sugar mixture over the berries, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the lemon juice.

    Bake in a preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes, then bake at 375F until the crust is golden and filling is cooked. Usually about another 30-45 minutes.

     

pipe cleaner glasses.

PIPECLEANER.jpgSo not the most complex of crafts, but my kid was pretty stoked to make and wear some pipe cleaner glasses. We even made a matching pair for his favorite stuffed piggie.

A good diagram and instructions are here

Take 1 pipe cleaner and wrap one end around in a circle.
Then wrap the other end around in a circle leaving a space in the middle between the 2 circles.
Take another pipe cleaner and cut it in half.
Wrap one piece around each of the circles. And there you have it – glasses!

buffalo tofu.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I recently jumped on the air fryer bandwagon. I kept seeing the food being made in my feed – and then saw an infomercial and knew i had to have one. I chose this one and its been working pretty well. It doesnt make french fries taste like they have been deep fried, like the infomercial promised, but it does cook things so quickly and really does make stuff crispy with using a minimal amount of oil.

I kept seeing kittee posting about her buffalo tofu and I have to say this is hands down the best thing we have made in here so far! Wowza. we turned these into buffalo tofu wraps with some avocado, home grown tomatoes and daiya ranch dressing.  Cant wait for leftovers tomorrow!

You can find Kittee’s recipe for her buffalo cauliflower here – I modified it a bit to make it work for tofu/my needs.

First, she mentioned on instagram to marinate your tofu in tamari, nutritional yeast, garlic, liquid smoke and rice vinegar.  I just kind of eyeballed it all. Mix together and let marinade a few hours to overnight.

as to the recipe i posted above i used only
1/2 cup chickpea flour instead of the three flour blends she suggested, and i think i will only use a 1/2 T of curry next time.

I already have another batch of this marinating today! I cant wait to eat it again! Its not too spicy, super crispy and  heated up nicely the next day in the air fryer – crispy as can be!

zucchini noodle lasagna.

ZUCHINNI.jpgI took a stab at making a lasagna with zuchinni instead of noodles. I just kind of threw this recipe together, and happy to say…it was a hit! I came home late from work one day and my family was gladly eating this. Milo didnt even realize the noodles were zucchini.

zucchini – sliced thin with a mandolin slicer
1 package extra firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup-3/4 cup water
3-4 garlic cloves
salt
pepper
nutritional yeast
fresh basil
1 bag fresh spinach
vegan parm (recipe below)
Tomato sauce

Prep your zucchini.  Slice thin with a mandolin slicer and lay flat on paper towels, sprinkled with salt. Let sit for about 10-20 minutes and dab with paper towels as zucchini starts to sweat out the water.

Make the cashew cream: Blend together the drained raw cashews, fresh water, garlic, lemon juice, and generous pinches of salt and pepper.Add a little fresh basil if youd like as well.  Add a little vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Make the spinach: I make spinach by filling a tea kettle with water and boiling it, then putting bag of spinach in a colander and pour boiling water on top of spinach.  Run some cold water on it and squeeze out all excess water.  Chop roughly.

Make the tofu ricotta: Take crumbled tofu, cashew cream and spinach and mix to combine. Add fresh chopped basil.

Assemble the lasagna:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour some pasta sauce in an 8×8 pan. Layer the zucchini noodles, then layer with tofu ricotta and sauce. Continue until you end on a layer of noodles on top. Top with remaining sauce and vegan parmesan.  Bake covered with foil for 25 min.  Uncover and bake for about 30 min more.

blueberry peach scones.

SCONES.jpg

This that time of year in the midwest: blueberry season. peach season. Nothing beats fresh picked blueberries or fresh picked peaches. Im on my way to the farmers market after this post to get more peaches because we ate the last batch so fast! These scones were awesome. Ill be making more this afternoon!

I found the original recipe here.

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 T coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) earth balance, cold and cut into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh peach, in ½” pieces (about half a medium peach)
  • ⅓ cup blueberries (cut in half if they’re large)
  • 1 egg replacer, prepped (or 1 egg if not vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
For the topping
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

    1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until combined. Add the earth balance and using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut it in until the mixture is crumbly. Some chunks of earth balance should remain. Add in the peaches and blueberries.
    2.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg/egg replacer, vanilla, and applesauce. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
    3. Prep your baking pan
    4. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Pat the dough into a 5″ to 5½” circle about ¾” thick.
    5. To make the topping, stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush the dough with milk, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
    6. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice the circle into 6 wedges.
    7. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them, about 1 inch between them at the edges. Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
    8. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.

spaghetti with kale and garlic.

spaghettsi

We grew some kale in the garden and it did really well. So now i have lots of kale to work with. I whipped up some quick spaghetti one night and it was delicious. The leftovers were even better b/c it was so garlicky!

Dry spaghetti (about half the package)
2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs lacinato kale – very finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon wedge
fresh basil
lemon garlic seasoning
2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.

When the pasta is almost done, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the kale, red pepper flakes to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 3 or 4 minutes, until the kale starts to get a bit crisp. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add drained pasta, lemon juice, and vegan parm, and stir to combine.

lava lamp.

LavalampHere’s a simple science experiement you can do at home with your kiddos to make your very own lava lamp. It’s kind of a short-term project, it doesnt go on and on like a lamp, but its fun to see how oil and water work together – making something reminiscent of old school lava lamps!

You will need:
empty bottle or jar
Food coloring
water
vegetable oil
alka seltzer tablet

IMG_6442

Fill the jar almost all the way to the top with vegetable oil. Leave about 2 inches.
IMG_6446 Now add water almost to the top; be careful not to overfill it. Add three drops of food coloring.
IMG_6448.JPG
Drop an alka seltzer tablet in there and put the lid on. Watch it fizz away….SCIENCE!