granny square update 5.

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So I thought I was in the home stretch as I approach what I THOUGHT would be the last row of the blanket. The more I look at it, and the more I think about it, I’m going to just go for it and make it bigger.  I’m planning one more row across down, and three more across.  Which means I have about 50 more squares to make and a few more skeins of yarn to buy, since Im ran out of quite a few colors.  I figure, if I’m going to do this, might as well DO this, am I right?! So I definitely have my work cut out for me, but this is such a fun project, I’m ok with it.  Hopefully a few more weeks of work cut out for me, but photo sessions are starting to pick up, and we have some travel in our future, so we shall see….

baked chocolate donut holes.

DONUTHOLES

Chocolate donuts covered in sprinkles? sign me up!

Ok, so maybe these arent traditional donuts, and maybe they arent the most sweetest things on the planet – however, they are taste like little bites of cake – and they are covered in sprinkles, so you cant go wrong in my book! I always want donuts, but rarely have them, and i ALWAYS want cake, but dont make it often, because i will eat ALOT of it. This seems to be an easy way to satisfy that cake craving – it makes 24, and they are small little bites.

I found the recipe here, and veganized it.

For the donuts:
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons almond milk
  • sprinkles, for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the donuts – preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until there are no lumps. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk, sugar, flax egg, melted earth balance, coffee and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry and mix until combined. Fill each mini muffin tin about ¾ of the way full (about a heaping tablespoon in each). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the donut holes to cool for 3 to 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack. Let the donuts cool for another 10 minutes, then proceed with the glaze.
  3. To make the glaze – Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt to a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper underneath your wire rack (so the glaze doesn’t drip on your counter). Add the sprinkles to a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, roll each donut hole in the glaze. Shake off the excess then roll in the sprinkles. Shake off the excess once again and then place on the wire rack to set.

geometric valentine poster.

VALENTINE

Milo and I didn’t make his valentines this year because he found some star wars ones he HAD to have for his classmates – but we worked on this valentine poster for the house, since he LOVES having decorations. (we are seriously slacking on the valentines decor this year as well…i blame the cold weather).

This was a fun little project that we originally found here.

We used some rogue paint chips I had laying around, and that seemed to work perfectly, and was a great way to upcycle!
Milo had fun figuring out the pattern – it was almost like a big heart puzzle.

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You will need:
Cardstock, colored paper, or paint chips
exacto knife or rotary cutter
cutting mat
Gluestick
Large sheet of white paper

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Measure the colored paper and cut into squares. Ours were 5 inch squares, because we were working with the paint chips but you can do any size really!

Cut the squares in half, into two triangles.

Layout the heart design on the large sheet of white paper. Using a glue stick, glue each triangle onto the white paper.

Previous valentines here, here and here!

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granny square update.

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A few weeks into the year and I’ve been making some progress on the granny square blanket. Here’s to keeping the momentum going!

spinach and artichoke dip.

spinachdip

I made this dip for new years eve and it was so so delicious. I think I ate half the dip myself! Its creamy and garlicky – this is definitely going to be my go-to party food! We served it warm with crusty bread, and with some pita chips. If you have a vitamix, it comes together very quickly too!

I found the recipe here, but modified it a bit to my liking.

For the spinach artichoke dip:
    • 1 can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained and roughly chopped
    • 2 c. fresh spinach, loosely packed and measured first and then thinly sliced
    • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Freshly ground black pepper and (optional) chili flakes
For the cashew mozzarella:
  • 1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked (see notes)
  • 1 c. plain, unsweetened nondairy milk ( I added about a half cup more towards the end)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tb. + 1/2 tsp. corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tspn garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritonal yeast
  • 1 cup daiya mozzerella
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Instructions

Prep the vegetables:
    1. Toss together the artichoke hearts, spinach, white onion, garlic, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using), and put into an 8×8 pan.
Make the cashew cheese:
    1. Combine all ingredients in a vitamix or food processor (if not using a vitamix, make sure to soak your cashews!) until smooth.
    2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Stir every few seconds, making sure to scrape around the bottom of the saucepan to keep from sticking. Stir until this thickens, Once it thickens, I added about a half cup more of soymilk, and a cup or so of shredded daiya. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    3. Pour this cheese over your dip that is in the pan and mix together.
Bake the spinach artichoke dip:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through and the top is slightly crusty and browned.

double chocolate peppermint cookies.

peppermintcookies

I’m going to go ahead and say it. These just might be my most favorite cookies ever. Chocolate and mint is definitely a winning combination – so when you put this in cookie form – OH MY!

My husband participated in a cookie swap at work and asked me to make something. I had made something like this before….But I couldn’t find the recipe.  Well look no further because THESE are the cookies you want to bring to your holiday parties, cookie swaps, etc.

Original recipe found here and then veganized (and doubled b/c choclate and mint!!!) below. This recipe makes about 24 cookies.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks earth balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs ( i used the powdered kind)
  • 1/2 tsp natural peppermint extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 candy canes, finely crushed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the earth balance and sugar together for about 1-2 minutes. Add egg replacer, peppermint extract and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder to a sifter and sift gradually over the wet ingredients mixing as you go. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and stir in with a mixing spoon.
  5. Form the dough into small balls (heaping 1 Tbsp) and place 1.5 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Press the tops down and then top with a few more chocolate chips if your prefer.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes – the edges should start to dry but the tops will still be slightly soft looking. Let set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes more but sprinkle crushed candy cane on immediately.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack to rest until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for up to a few days or freeze for several weeks.

terrarium ornament.

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Here is another fun ornament you can make using clear globe balls. I used the same balls I used in my glitter ornaments.

I happened to find a bag of moss at Homegoods for $2.99! (i cant wait to make other projects with it!) , and got a little evergreen branch at micheals that had tiny acorns glued to it. basically I put it all inside and made a little terrarium!

glitter ornaments.

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My friend mentioned making these glitter ball ornaments and I immediately thought that they would be annoying and messy.  After doing some noodling on the internet – I realize that maybe they are pretty simple after all. The secret ingredient here is floor wax! Who would have thought?! I figured for sure you had to figure out a way to get spray glue or something into that little hole…..But nope. Liquid floor wax.  I couldn’t wait to break into these and try it out!

You will need:
clear glass or plastic ornaments
Glitter
Floor wax  (we got ours for abou5 $6 at menards)

Take the top off of your ornament. Pour a little bit of the floor wax inside and put your finger over the top of the ornament and swirl around carefully and slowly. Don’t shake it up, just kind of swirl it and make sure your entire ornament is covered.  Pour out any excess liquid. Dump some glitter, put your in there and swirl around. Keep adding glitter until your ornament is coated.  Let dry for about 15 minutes or so and put your cap back on.  Its THAT easy.

plush racoon.

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We looked after milo’s friend and his big sister on sunday for a bit – so I wanted to get some crafting in to keep her occupied. I showed her my pinterest boards and asked her to find something that looked fun – she loved the idea of making her own plushie, and decided that this is the one we would make.

We made ours out of felt, printed and cut all the pieces and sewed away. She was  big help with cutting and trimming, while I did all the major sewing. She was so tickled with her pink raccoon and couldn’t believe we made our own stuffed animal! It took us a little less than two hours start to finish. I think hes rather cute, don’t you?!

Pattern and instructions found here.

peanut butter chocolate chip sprinkle cookies.

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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.
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