m&m costume.

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This year milo decided he wanted to be an M&M for halloween. A few weeks ago joanne’s was having a sale – all fleece 50% percent off, so I was able to make him this costume in no time, and for under $15!

Materials needed:

about 1.5 yards of fleece
1/4-1/2 yard white felt
satin ribbon
stuffing
sewing machine and thread

Making this costume was pretty easy. I didnt follow a pattern, and just kind of made it up as I went along. I used drum head as my guide – and traced four circles (two for the front and two for the back). I made the “M”‘s out of white felt and sewed them on to the center of two of the circles. I used satin ribbon for the shoulder straps. And I stuffed the circles with some filling from old pillows (we JUST bought new ones, so we had old pillows to spare!) I attached some satin ribbon to the sides as well, to help keep it from moving around too much. Then with some leftover fleece, i sewed a quick hat, basically tracing an existing hat and sewing the two sides together.

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paint chip halloween decorations.

IMG_1484We’ve had a crazy month, but we’re doing all we can to make time for Halloween! This project is perfect, since it coincides with some home rennovation projects. Those projects have led us to multiple trips to home depot, menards, etc. So access to paint chips a plenty!

This was a great project for milo and I to work on together. I cut out all the pieces and he was able to glue them on, transforming paint chips into halloween decorations!

pumpkin molasses sandwich cookies.

pumpkinPumpkin. Molasses. Cream cheese frosting.
I have died and went to autumn heaven.

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (i used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
8 tablespoons earth balance, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup molasses
2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 liquid egg replacer
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

For the Filling

1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
1/4 cup earth balance
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cookies

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

2. Working with a stand mixer, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the earth balance on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar, molasses, and pumpkin puree and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg replacer and beat for 1 minute more.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. If flour remains in the bottom of the bowl, mix the last of the dry ingredients by hand to avoid over beating. You will have a very soft dough.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Put the sugar in a small bowl. Working with one packet of dough at a time, divide it into 24 pieces (or use a small cookie scoop), and roll each piece into a ball. Roll the balls in the sugar, then place dough balls on prepared cookie sheets and use a the bottom of a glass to ever-so-gently press down on the cookies. Do not over crowd.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 7-9 minutes, or until the top feels set to the touch. Remove baking sheets from the oven. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on the sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack.

8. Repeat with second batch of dough.

For the Filling

1. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, combine tofutti and earth balance and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and mix for about one minute. Add in vanilla and continue mixing on low speed until vanilla in fully incorporated.

2. To assemble the cookies, pipe or spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie and press together gently to create a sandwich cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.

trail mix cookies.

trailmixCookies

Cookies! and they are full of nutritious yumminess. No refined sugar and no white flour!! Make sure your oats are gluten free, and you’ve got yourself a gluten free cookie as well….Customize them to your liking with whatever you have in your pantry. Most of all, enjoy!

I found the original recipe here.

Here’s what I used in mine…

Dry Ingredients

1 cup oats blended into oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut ( I actually used these – have you had it?! were addicted!!)
5 tablespoons chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Wet Ingredients
1 T ground flax + 2 T water, mixed together
1/4 cup drippy nut butter (i used peanut butter – just  make sure its natural!)
1/4 cup coconut oil1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tspn vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the ground flax and water in a small mug and set aside so it can gel up.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  4. In another medium sized bowl, stir together the wet ingredients, including the flax egg until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the wet mixture on top of the dry mixture and stir well until combined. This will take quite a bit of stirring until all of the dry patches of flour are gone.
  6. Portion small balls of dough (just smaller than golf balls) onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, until light golden brown on the bottom. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cool. The cookies will break apart easily until cooled, so be careful.
  8. Wrap up and store leftovers on the counter or in the freezer, if desired.

fig & olive oil cake.

Fig&OliveOilCake
I’ve definitely been into fresh figs lately. I considered getting a fig tree earlier in the season when they had them at my farmers market, but chickened out for the fear of killing it. Anyone have one? Have any luck with them?

Anyway, I had a few figs left so I veganized shutterbean’s fig and olive oil cake to take to book club. It smelled pretty amazing while it was baking – its a citrus-y cake with ground almonds in the batter, making it a little coarse – then topped with honey drizzled figs (use agave if honey isn’t your thing!)

The baking time was a little funky, so definitely keep your eye on this while baking. You want the top to get all gooey and caramelized, but you don’t want to burn the bottom.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs (I used the energ-ee replacer for three eggs)
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup almond milk
5 figs, quartered
3 tablespoons honey or agave.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Place the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder in a bowl and mix together.

In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and egg replacer until fluffy. Add the citrus zest and juice, then stir in the olive oil and milk. Gently fold in the flour mixture then pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Push the figs into the top of the loaf. Drizzle with honey and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the top is caramelized and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Definitely keep your eye on the cake here; i set it for 10 minute incraments and kept checking it. Cool, then remove from the pan.