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Vegan Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes

June 24, 2011

I love a good pancake, BL does not.  Really anything I bake lately, she turns her nose up at, but I had to give these a try.

I had gotten an amazing smoothie from a juice bar the day before- it was an apple, a banana, a half a cup of oats, flax oil, apple juice, and some cinnamon, all blended into a smoothie, and it blew my mind.  It tasted like it should be a baked good, and so it inspired me to mess around with a few pancake recipes, trying to emulate it.

This is what I came up with!

What you need:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 T sugar

1/2 cup apple sauce

1-1/2 cups milk (I use almond, but any non-dairy milk would work.  You’ll just need to play around with the amount, you might not need as much of a thin milk, like rice milk, but a thicker milk, like soy might need more)

~1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or more to taste

What you do:

Whisk all the dry ingredients together

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and applesauce

Add the wet to the dry, and whisk it all together

Heat your griddle- I just use my cast iron skillet

Melt a little margarine, or put a tiny bit of cooking oil in the pan, and make your pancakes!

If you have a little 2 year old who takes a lot of convincing to eat ANYTHING, I recommend this; after you put your margarine/oil in the pan, put a metal cookie cutter in, and fill with batter, like this Javelina cookie cutter:

It might leak out a little on the bottom, but it should basically keep it’s shape.  You don’t want the pan too hot, or it won’t cook all the way through before it starts to brown.  Ideally, you want the batter to start bubbling on top before you flip it.  When the time comes, flip the whole thing, cutter and all.

You will eventually end up with the cutest little pancake you ever did see.  I finished my Javelina friend off with a chocolate chip eye.

Who could resist that?!

What We’ve Been Up To

June 17, 2011

It’s been a busy summer, but now that the Farmer’s Market is officially under way, I think it should start to slow down a bit.  Our first day was slightly successful… I was out of town for the second week, and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow… But I love going to the Farmer’s Market, so I’m hoping things will get more enjoyable.  I’m having fun making things for it, at least, whether or not they sell!

BL and I spent the last two weeks at my parent’s house, along with my brother, my friend and her daughter, and my cousin and her daughters!  It was a visiting packed trip, complete with cookouts.  My brother introduced us to grilled cucumber!

Peel it if it’s not organic, and slice each cucumber into 6 spears by cutting it in half, then cut the half into thirds, like above.  Brush each side with oil, or spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side, flip, and cook for slightly less on the second side.  Then pop it in a bowl and serve with your favorite vinaigrette.  We made ours with a rice vinegar dressing my friend found here.  I think that any vinaigrette would be tasty on it, though.

One of the reasons we were all back in my hometown visiting was to help sort through my grandparents’ apartment.  They had some amazing things, including my grandmother’s adorable pitcher collection.

I think this might be my favorite picture of the visit!  They were displayed all over the house, but I decided I had to gather them up for an all together picture before they got dispersed to all the people who loved my grandparents.  We also found adorable pictures that we’d never seen before, and beautiful, thoughtful, or just fun letters to and from all kinds of family members.  It made me step up my own letter writing to my husband so that BL will have letters to find some day a long time from now.

It has definitely been a taxing summer, but I’m enjoying all of it, and I know that BL is, too.

Quick Coffee Post

June 16, 2011

One of the things I love about warm weather is the iced coffees!  They are pricey to buy from fancy places, and Dunkin Donuts (my favorite pre-vegan days iced coffee purveyor) only has cow’s milk.  They are so easy to make at home, though, and so much cheaper.Brew a pot of coffee however you usually do, but make it stronger.  I usually add 1-2 extra scoops.  As soon as it’s done brewing, take it off the heat source if you’re using a coffee pot, and if you have room and a trivet, you can pop it in your refrigerator.  Fill your glass (I recommend actual glass, not plastic, for doing this because the coffee will still be warm/hot when you pour it) about 1/2-3/4 full of ice and pour the coffee over it.  Mix with some soy, almond, or rice milk, and 1-2 teaspoons of agave nectar, and stir!  That’s it!  It tastes SO similar to Dunkin’s.

 

I have internet again (for now)

May 31, 2011

My Internet connection has been basically non-existant for the past two weeks.  I’ve also misplaced the battery charger for my camera, so my most recent pictures are stuck on the camera until I can find the charger.  We also had three tornadoes touch down in our county last week!  And that is why there has been lack of posting.

We’ve been busy, though!  My husband was able to find out what his address was, so BL and I were hard at work getting his first care package together.  We baked five “Cakes in a Jar” to send along.  It’s pretty hard to find vegan baked goods in his Dining Facility, so he’s pretty excited to get them!

I made two Banana Breads in a Jar, and three Chocolate Cakes in a Jar.  The banana bread is pictured above, doesn’t it look tasty?!  I’m not going to bother posting the banana bread recipe because I’ve learned that people are pretty die-hard about their own banana bread recipes, so I know I won’t be converting anyone if I post mine.  The cake I made was from the Moosewood Cookbook(Just click Vegan Chocolate Cake from the list at the top of the page).  The good thing about Cake in a Jar is that it works with any recipe!  It’s all in the method.

You mix up whatever batter you’ll be using, grease your jars generously, and fill your washed mason jars halfway full.  Put the jars on a cookie sheet, and pop them into a preheated oven.

The instructions I found on the Loving a Soldier Blog say to bake at 400, but my recipe called for 350, so I compromised with 375 for both the banana bread and the chocolate cake, and it worked great.  I baked them for about 25-30 minutes, but keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.

While the jars are baking, boil the lids.  I boiled mine for 10 minutes because that’s how long I was supposed to boil BL’s first sippy cups to sanitize them, but I’m not sure that was necessary.  Once your jars have finished baking, take them out of the oven, and put the lids on right away, then put the ring on and tighten it, but you don’t have to super tighten it, you can do that once it cools.  You’ll need to wear oven mitts on both hands when you put the lids on.  The heat from the cakes and jars will seal the jars for you!  After about 5 or 10 minutes, you’ll start to hear them popping!

Here’s what your sealed jar will look like!  I let mine cool overnight before I packed them up because I figured the glass would take quite a while to cool.

I made an extra mini-loaf of banana bread for quality control.  BL loved it, mainly because I used her mini cookie cutters to make it into hearts and teddy bears.

Bias Tape!

May 17, 2011

My Mom was kind enough to donate the majority of her craft bins to me, and one of my treasures was vast amounts of bias tape!  I’ve made my own bias tape, and while it was adorable, it was a huge pain to make (in my opinion, but I probably just need practice).  Bias tape is strips of fabric that are cut on the bias (on a diagonal from the way the tread is woven) and then the edges are ironed over.  That’s a terrible description, so I will refer you here, to the description on MADE.

Anyway, bias tape is an adorable way to finish edges, especially on little girl clothes!  With the Farmer’s Market only a couple of weeks away, I’ve been sewing up a storm, and using plenty of crazy cute bias tape.  I’ve got a little skirt awaiting some elastic on my sewing table, and last night I whipped up a little summer top for my friend’s tiny new baby!

I’ve been ironing seams for days, since I’m making new curtains for my dining room, so I decided to use bias tape for the edges on this top!  It’s really simple, you just pin it around your raw edge, and sew it on!

The fun thing about it is you can continue the bias tape past the edge of the fabric to make cute ties, like on the baby’s little top above!  It’s also made to go around curves, which is how I edged the little key-hole cut out in the side of the top.

The shirring around the top is also easier than it looks.  It’s going to have to wait to be explained another, day, though!  Here is a good description from Pretty Ditty.

Once I perfect this little baby top for my farmer’s market booth, I’ll do a full tutorial.  It really wasn’t hard, I did it in an evening while messing around, so now that I know the end result I want, I don’t think it would take more than 45 minutes to make!

end of a busy weekend

May 15, 2011

BL and I were lucky enough to have my parents (BL’s “Meme” and “Gr”) visit this weekend!  They came down to participate in a 5K run/1 mile family walk with us at the National Guard base near our house.  The run/walk was benefitting our local USO, a cause very close to my heart.  The USO has made it possible for my husband to call home, mail a DVD of Daddy reading a book, and for military personnel have somewhere to rest while they’re traveling, and could really use a friendly face.  When BL and I were making our way to visit Daddy one last time, the Denver USO was full of helpful people and desperately needed toys, and other military babies for BL to play with.  It’s an amazing program.

My goal for the 5K was 30 minutes, and I’m very proud to say that I made it in 29 on the dot!  My husband was able to do a Desert fun run at his base this week, as well, and got 23 and a half minutes!  He’s amazing!

Here we are after my run!  Notice BL is sporting her new camo skirt, and some camo on her face as well!
It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon, and after our tres busy weekend, all BL and I had energy for was snuggling up and eating pumpkin cookies.  I threw together a batch of cookies while she was napping, so they were still warm when she woke up.

I made a modified version of the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from “The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes” by Kris Holechek.  (She has a fun Blog, too).  As usual, I’m giving the recipe for what I did, but it’s slightly different than what’s in the book.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1t baking soda

1t baking powder

1t pumpkin pie spice (Or just cinnamon, as the original recipe calls for)

1/8t salt

1/2 cup non-dairy margarine

1/2 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup sugar (organic sugar, or sugar in the raw work well for this, and they are less refined)

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

1 cup canned pumpkin

1t vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350, line your baking sheets (I like to use a silicone baking sheet, like sil-pat, but you can use parchment paper)

Combine flours, powder, soda, salt, and spice in a small mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine, applesauce, and sugars.  You need to mix it for at least 2 or 3 minutes if you are using evaporated cane juice, because it takes a while to dissolve.  It should go from this:

To this:

Add the pumpkin and vanilla, and mix well.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop generous spoonfuls of dough onto your baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 10-14 minutes.  It took my cookies 13 minutes.

Let the cookies cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet, and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.

I decided to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies in honor of BL’s Daddy!  We got word today that he got to his base safe and sound, and so I made one his very favorite cookies to celebrate!  As soon as he gets a mailing address I will send him a batch! (Sans chocolate chips, of course, they don’t hold up well in the desert).

A new skirt!

May 13, 2011

There are a few crafty blogs that I check every day, and today I made one of the projects from MADE.  It’s a simple skirt, and it really couldn’t be simpler.  I made one for BL out of one of Daddy’s old uniform tops!

Her instructions for making one of these adorable skirts are really helpful and well written, so if you are starting from a yard of fabric, I’m going to refer you to her site.  I will explain how I made this one from a uniform top (and really you could do this with the bottom of any shirt, a tee-shirt would be totally comfy, I think I might do that next!

I started by slicing off the bottom ten inches of the shirt.  Since BL is only 2, the skirt is pretty short, so if you’re making this for an older girl, you’ll need to measure her to see how long you’d like the skirt, and add an inch and a quarter for the waist band.  Since the bottom is already hemmed, you don’t need to worry about adding extra length there, or hemming it yourself.

Since there is a zipper down the middle of this shirt, I had to cut that out, but if you are using a tee shirt, you won’t need to worry about this, and your skirt will already be a tube.  After I cut the zipper out along the seams, I had one long piece of fabric.


I pinned the cut edges together, and sewed them, leaving a half an inch, and then ziz-zag stitched along the edge, since I don’t have a serger (yet!)

Now the skirt is in the giant tube stage.  I ironed the seam of the skirt flat, and then ironed down the elastic casing for the waist band of the skirt.  Since I don’t have a serger, I had to fold the waist band down a quarter of an inch, iron it, and then fold it down a full inch and pin and iron it, so there would be no raw edges, like so:

The yellow pins mark where I won’t sew when I’m sewing the casing, so that I have a spot to put the elastic in.  I sewed one seam along the bottom edge of the casing, and one around the top, for cuteness factor.  Next I fed the elastic through the casing.  I cut my elastic to 19″, which is BL’s waist measurement, plus an inch for sewing the elastic together once it’s in.  I used half inch elastic.  To feed it through the casing, just safety pin one end of the elastic, and feed it into the opening, making sure to pin the other end to the skirt, so it doesn’t get lost in the casing.  Once the elastic is all the way through, overlap the ends and sew a zig-zag stitch on each raw end to make sure it stays together really well.

Next, sew the casing all the way shut, and you’re done!

Here is BL modeling in front of the mountain of boxes we’ve been collecting for mailing care packages to Daddy!

I’ve also finished my first blanket to send along to Craft Hope!

It’s based on a neat blanket someone had made for my nephew, but I made it only one layer of flannel thick, rather than the two layer look his has going, since it’ll be swaddling a baby down south.

Party Side:

Business Side:

It’ll get even more ruffle-y after I wash it, but I’m waiting until I finish all my blankets, then I’ll wash them all together and mail them off!  I’d love to know if anyone else is making blankets, and if we’re near each other, I’d be happy to include your blankets in my package, so you don’t need to worry about shipping!

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