nacho cheese.

nachocheese

This wekeend was the superbowl. Not that Im one to watch sports or even care really , I am one to jump on the nacho bandwagon. I recently discovered this recipe for stretchy, gooey nacho cheese, and now my nacho game is strong!

  • ¼ Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch (also known as Tapioca Flour)
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1½ teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1½ teaspoon White Miso Paste (or other light miso such as chickpea miso)
  • 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup or Agave
  1. Soak the cashews for four hours or overnight if you are not using a vitamix.
  2. Add the cashews the hot water, and all the remaining ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. It will be very watery.
  3. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat over medium high heat, while stirring.
  4. As you stir it will start forming clumps, and then all of a sudden it will become a cheesy gooey mass of yumminess. This takes about 5 minutes. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 2 minutes to make sure it has firmed up completely.

minecraft valentines.

MINECRAFTVALENTINE

Valentines Day is next weekend already! Milo and I are a little ahead of the game and made these valentines this year for his class! I designed the valentine in illustrator and milo and built the swords and hearts with perler beads.
Theres a full tutorial, with printout here.

If you make your own invites, you can find the minecraft font for free here.

See our past valentines here and here.

drum.

DRUM

Milo found this tutorial to make a drum in one of his books he was reading for school. We finished a can of oatmeal this weekend, so the timing was right! It came together in no time and he felt accomplished after we created it together. Best of all, we had everything we needed on hand in the house.

Oatmeal container
2 balloons
2 rubber bands
construction paper
scissors
tape
crayons, markers, paint, glue
2 pencils

First, take the lid off your oatmeal and cut the bottom out of the other side.  So now your oatmeal can has an open top and bottom.

Fit the piece of construction paper around the drum, and tape into place. Decorate as you wish gluing other construction paper to it, or using crayons or markers.

Cut the long part of the ballon off and stretch over the top and bottom of the oatmeal can as tightly as you can. Use the rubber bands to secure into place.

Use the eraser part of the pencil to hit the drum.

 

vegan quiche.

quiche copy

I whipped these quiche up for lunch when I was having some ladies over for a clothing swap. I figured if there was any leftover I could eat it for lunch for the week.  Wishful thinking- these got almost all eaten up! they were a huge hit and there was only one vegan there! I will be making these regularly and need to remember this recipe for any upcoming potlucks.  You can customize the veggies any way you prefer. I made one with brocolli and cheddar daiya and another with tomato, cilantro and cheddar daiya.

I found the recipe over on kittee’s blog.

14 oz extra firm or firm tofu, crumbled (if you use firm, squeeze out any excess water)
1/2 rounded cup un-roasted cashews
Several dashes hot sauce
2-4 tablespoons vegan milk,
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon white or mild miso
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch, arrowroot, or tapioca starch

2-3 cups of chopped or shredded add-ins such as: steamed broccoli, artichoke hearts, onion, tomato, julienned greens, scallions or vegan cheese (I usually add ’bout 2 cups of chopped steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup shredded Follow Your Heart cheese)

A single pie crust (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Put the tofu, cashews, and hot sauce in a blender and process until smooth. This will take a bit of time, so go slowly. If your blender is having a hard time, add a few tablespoons of the non dairy milk to help get things going.

Add in the nutritional yeast, miso, granulated onion, garlic, paprika, salt, baking powder and starch. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a bowl and stir in your chosen chopped vegetables and/or cheese shreds.

Scrape the tofu mixture into your pie crust and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula. Cover the pie edges with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes until the crust is golden.

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

PIE CRUST
This is the pie crust I used.  Somehow I got two pie crusts out of it too!

  •  1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup)unbleached all purpose flour
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or strained lemon juice

    1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flours and salt and mix together. If using a bowl, make a well in the center, add the olive oil and mix in with a fork. If using a mixer or food processor, turn on and add the olive oil. When it is evenly distributed through the flour combine the water and vinegar or lemon juice and add it to the flour mixture with the machine running. The dough should come together in a ball.
    2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, flour your hands and work the dough just until smooth and easy to shape into a ball. Do not overwork it or you will develop the gluten in the flour and the dough will be tough. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball and press into a 1/2-inch thick circle. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 1 hour.
    3. Roll out the dough as needed for savory tarts, dusting your work surface and the top of the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking. Pre-bake and bake as directed in recipes calling for the crust.

      ( I did not prebake my crust)

pipe cleaner ninjas.

ninjas

I found this post on pinterest and knew that as soon as milo saw it he was going to be ALL about making these. The fun thing was, after we figured out how to do the first one, he was able to make the second one almost all by himself. So they are really easy for kids to complete. He needed two, so that they can have a battle.  He wants to make one in every color!

Heres what you need:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Colored drinking straws
  • Plastic pony beads
  • Wooden beads for the heads
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies or markers

here are the steps, but i definitely reccomend checking out the original post for photos of how to do it!

1.  Twist 3 pipe cleaners together in the middle so they are kind of like a star shape. Make sure that you do at least a couple of complete twists, or the pipe cleaners won’t stay together.

2. Slide 3 pony beads over both of the legs together.

3. Cut a drinking straw into 8 1″ segments.  Slide two segments onto each arm.  Slide two segments onto each leg with a pony bead in the middle of the leg segments.

4.  Twist the extra pipe cleaner into hands and feet.  For the hands, I made one loop for the “hand” and a smaller loop for a thumb.  Then I wrapped the excess around the wrist to help keep the straws from sliding off.  For the feet, I just made one loop and then wrapped the excess around the ankle.

Step 5:  Draw a face on a wooden bead and slide it over the top two pipe cleaners. Twist the two pipe cleaners a few times, cutting it off, and putting a little Tacky Glue on the pipe cleaner ends to keep them from untwisting.

thai “chicken” pizza with whole wheat pizza dough.

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset

My coworker made this a few weeks ago and I didn’t try any because it was made with real chicken – but everyone else went crazy for it. I figured I would give it a try, but making it vegan. Im not a huge fan of daiya cheese, so i need to find a way to make it a little creamy b/c the daiya just isnt cutting it. But otherwise this was really really good, and I want to keep working to add to it and get it just right. The “chicken” is pretty salty, but I like my pizza salty, so this was alright to me!

1 pizza crust (*whole wheat pizza dough recipe below)
1 package uptons chickn seitan
1/2 cup green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
spinach
4 T rice vinegar
4 T soy sauce
1/4 tspn black pepper
1 T corn starch
Daiya cheese
2T slivered almonds (optional)

Mix 1/2 onion, garlic, vinegar, and pepper. Add seitan and stir. Marinate a few hours or overnight. Reserve marinade. Saute seitan in a pan; Add cornstarch to marinade and cook until bubbly. Spread mixture onto pizza crust and sprinkle daiya cheese, spinach and green onions on top. Cook in preheated oven 500 degrees (or according to your crust instructions) for about 12-15 min. Sprinkle with almonds if using.
Whole wheat pizza dough

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one 1/4 oz packet) Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon agave
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit until the yeast starts to foam and bubble, about 5-10 minutes.

2. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on low and slowly add half of the flour, olive oil, honey, and salt. When flour is combined, add the remaining flour. Once dough starts to form, increase speed to medium. Mix for 3-5 minutes, until dough is well combined.

3. Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a floured counter. Knead a few times to form a ball. Dough should be smooth and shiny. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover loosely with a towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll dough into a 14 inch round. Place on a pizza pan or pizza stone. Spread with desired sauce and toppings. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove pizza from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

original recipe found here.

tomato and fennel soup.

tomfennelsoup.jpgA few years ago I had a potluck and my friend brought this soup. Fast forward to now and I’m still dreaming of it. Fennel and tomato pair nicely for an Italian-style tomato soup. Its perfect with crusty bread on a cold day!  This recipe comes together in no time.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, diced (4 cups)
  • 2 vegan Italian sausages, cut up (I used tofurkey, but field roast would be good as well)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • small pasta noodles (optional)

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add fennel, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in sausages and fennel seeds, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until fennel seeds are slightly softened and bits of sausage are stuck to bottom of pan. Add broth, and tomatoes , and bring to a boil. Add noodles, if adding, and let simmer until the pasta is ready. Add spinach and simmer until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

original recipe found here

 

ginger cardamom cookies.

  • gignercookies.jpg2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4-5 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Turbinado sugar (for rolling)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Stir in oil, molasses, milk and vanilla until just blended. My batter was thick, I started with 3 T almond milk, but had to add about 2 more tablespoons to get it to nicely stick together. You dont want it to be too dry, but not too wet either.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  3. Fill a small dish with sugar. Roll dough into thirty-six 1&1/4-inch balls and roll in the sugar to coat. Place onto prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with palm or the bottom of a glass.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 11 to 14 minutes or until just barely set at the center. Let cool on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.Original Recipe found here.

harry potter wall hanging.

IMG_9511

Milo is going to have a harry potter birthday this year – and while searching for party ideas, I came across this fun wall hanging. I’m not a huge harry potter fan myself, but my family sure is – and I loved the message this has. My husband is a middle school English teacher and I thought something like this would be perfect for his classroom. I really wanted to make him one for christmas – but I didn’t have a vinyl cutter.

I sent Landeelu an email asking if she knew how one could get the stencil made without a vinyl cutter and she offered to make me one and list it in her etsy shop for me. So I went that route. I would like to try to make a screen printed or letterpress poster of this because I was hoping to make one more of these at least, but the vinyl stencil really only worked for one canvas.

heres what you need:

  • canvas material (whatever size you’d like your sign to be, taking into account the pockets at each end that you will sew for the wood dowels) I purchased some duck canvas cloth from joannes.
  • wood dowels
  • craft paint
  • Stencil (Fonts used are Bebas Neue and Veneer Extras for the lightening bolt if you want to recreate it exactly.)
  • twine, for hanging

Prepare your fabric. Sew one inch pockets over the top and 1/4 seam on the side (the sides are probably optional – i dont think that canvas will fray. I did it to be safe). Iron the hell out of this to make it nice and wrinkle free.

Apply transfer tape over stencil, remove backing from vinyl and then apply it to canvas material.  Burnish it down and then carefully remove transfer tape from vinyl making sure vinyl remains stuck to canvas. Be careful! The stencil is pretty delicate.

Using a sponge brush, gently dab paint over stencil.

IMG_9506

IMG_9507

Allow paint to dry completely and then remove stencil. I used a blowdryer to speed up the process.

Paint wood dowels desired color & cut to desired length.

Insert wood dowel into the pockets you sewn.  Hang with twine!

Thanks Landeelu for the great idea and for making the stencil for me!

 

 

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