Sunday, December 29, 2013

Homemade Raisin Bran

My dad's go-to breakfast is Raisin Bran and Diet Coke. (In his opinion it is the breakfast of champions.) I tried some once, but I am more of a Cheerio kind of girl. My mom sent me a big box of bran in the mail (not your typical college care package), and the first thing I thought was Raisin Bran. I made both raisin bran muffins and cereal. Healthy and delicious!
apple and raisin bran muffins (2) 

Apple & Raisin Bran Muffins
makes 12 muffins
1 ½ cups milk
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup oil
½ cup applesauce
1 egg
2 cups wheat bran
½ cup flour
¼ cup oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup raisins
1 apple, peeled and diced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a 12 holed muffin pan. Mix together the milk and lemon juice. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the raisins. Add in the oil, milk, egg, and applesauce. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes. Finally, stir in the raisins and apple. Divide the batter between the muffin pan’s holes. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the muffins are done in the center. Allow the muffins to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

raisin bran (3)

 The cereal turned out way better than any boxed cereal. It was crispy, and the bites of raisins add a sweet hint. It was great with milk or plain.

raisin bran (2)
Raisin Bran Cereal
serves 1
¼ cup wheat bran
¼ cup flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
dash of salt
½ cup milk
2 tbsp raisins
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and stir in the milk. Once everything is well mixed, pour it out onto the center of a large nonstick baking stone. Put a big piece of plastic wrap over the mixture, and roll it out super thin. (The thinner, the better.) Bake for 10 minutes, checking on it half way through. Allow it to cool, and then break the cereal up into small pieces. Turn the heat on the oven down to 250 degrees, and bake the cereal for another 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool, mix in the raisins, and enjoy with some milk.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Leftovers

One of the best parts of the day after a big holiday feast is the leftovers. I ADORE leftover dressing. (I gross my family out by eating it cold.) You wouldn't want all that turkey to go to waste, so here are a few recipes to use it up.

First up is a twist off the traditional chicken pot pie. This one can be made just for one in a little ramekin. I thought mine was super cute.

single serving turkey pot pie (7)
Single Serving Turkey Pot Pie
For the crust:
½ cup flour
¼ tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

For the filling:
¼ cup chicken or turkey broth
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup shredded cooked turkey
2 tbsp cooked corn
2 tbsp cooked peas
2 tbsp diced onion
2 tbsp diced carrots
2 tbsp diced celery
dash of salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. To make the crust, mix together the salt, baking powder, and flour. Add in 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, stirring until everything is combined. Roll the dough into a ball, and split it into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out each half into large disks. Press the larger disk into the bottom and up the sides of an oiled ramekin. Set the other aside to use as the top after the pie is filled.

To make the filling, heat a small pan to medium heat with a little oil in it. Cook the onions, celery, and carrots for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir the broth and yogurt together. Add the salt, vegetables, and turkey. Pour this all into the ramekin with the crust.

 Top with the remaining crust, pushing down the sides. Prick the top with a fork, and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the broiler on to high, and broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!
single serving turkey pot pie (2)
This soup is a great way to use up any leftover vegetables and the turkey broth. It's easily thrown together in the microwave, making it even more convenient after all that cooking you had to do over the past month.
turkey noodle soup (2)
Microwaved Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
serves 2-3
3 cups turkey broth, reserved from your roasted turkey
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 tbsp diced onion
½ cup leftover turkey, shredded
2 ounces dry thin spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces
Skim the excess fat off the top of the broth. Add the broth into a microwave safe bowl along with the carrots, celery, and onions. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add in the pasta and turkey. Microwave another 5-6 minutes until the pasta is done. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I know that my family had a great day. Before going into the details of our Christmas, I wanted to share the story that started Christmas in the first place. My family and I like to celebrate Christmas with presents, spending time together, and good food, but we always remember the true meaning of the season.

Luke 2
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Christmas morning at my house starts with us all having to wait at the top of the stairs until my parents get the cameras ready. It always seemed like forever when I was a kid. Harper was buzzing with anticipation to see what Santa had brought her.
After we see all of Santa's presents, we have a big breakfast. This year I made some Christmas shaped sour cream scones.

My big present was a new Ninja blender for college. It also has attachments for a food processor and chopper. I am super excited to use it!

Using my new blender I made some festive oatmeal.
After breakfast was family present opening time. This is the hat Harp and I knitted Carson.
Here is Harp with Marie and her new doll Sage wearing the matching outfits I made them.
We ended a wonderful day with our traditional alfredo steak tacos. (Homemade alfredo sauce and steak in a taco shell!)  They were especially delicious. I hope your Christmas was as great as ours!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Appetizers

I have been in the kitchen all day cooking up Christmas presents for my family. Unfortunately, Sydney follows me on Pinterest, so I cannot share the recipes on my blog today. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

Harper helped me make these rice krispie treats for my dad. There is no fear of him seeing them on Pinterest. It's more likely that Harp will blab, but hopefully she can keep her mouth shut for two more days. (Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?) My dad loves rice krispie treats, and I am sure he will love them with Harper's special touch all the more.

On Saturday I posted a bunch of Christmas desserts. (See the post here.) A week or so ago I shared a yummy turkey recipe. Back in November I shared a ton of Thanksgiving recipes that work for Christmas too. All that you need now are some appetizers. Good thing that I have a few to share with you.

First up is a really good recipe for a cream cheese hummus dip and homemade pretzel bites to dip in it. The dip has a bit of a kick, and is also good with pita chips (recipe follows), tortilla chips, crackers, veggies, or pretty much anything else you could think to dip in it.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip (3)
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp honey
2/3 tsp yeast
½ tsp salt
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tbsp oil
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water
sea salt, for topping (optional)

Mix the water, oil, honey, and yeast together. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes before adding the salt and flour. Stir it all together and then knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the dough into four balls. Roll them out into long snakes on a floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the snakes into bite sized pieces. Brush them with the egg mixture and sprinkle the sea salt overtop, if using. Bake on an oiled baking pan for 18- 20 minutes.
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels Bites with Hummus Cream Cheese Dip (1)

Or you could opt to make the pretzel bites into big pretzels. They are great either way.
½ cup spicy three pepper hummus
¼ cup cream cheese

Heat the cream cheese for 15 seconds in the microwave. Mix the hummus and cream cheese together until fully incorporated. Serve with your pretzel bites.

baked pita chips (1)
Baked Pita Chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Split the pitas in half so that it becomes two disks. Cut it into triangles. Spread the triangles out on a baking sheet, spray with oil, and bake for 7 minutes. Flip the chips over, and bake another 7 minutes. Allow them to cool and then enjoy.

These no bake peanut date cookie balls are the perfect combination of sweet and salty all wrapped up in a healthy, energizing ball of deliciousness. These very well may be the best dish on your Christmas snacking plate, in taste and nutrition.
Peanut Date Cookie Dough Ball
Peanut Date Cookie Dough Ball
makes 24
1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
1 cups pitted dates
1 cup peanut butter
Put the dates in a microwavable bowl and cover them with water. Microwave for 1 minute and then drain off the water. Blend ¾ cup of peanuts until they form a flour. Add the dates, peanut butter, and the rest of the peanuts and blend until well mixed. Form into balls and freeze for ½ an hour.
Two days until the big day! Happy cooking.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

American Girl Doll Christmas Dress

I know that it seems like I only have presents for Harper this year, but that is not true. It is true that she is the easiest to find presents for, and the only one I can really make presents for. (Syd has requested nothing homemade.) Anyway, I sewed this little American Girl Doll dress for Harper's doll following this pattern.
I made Harper another dress last year with the same fabric. Now both of her dolls will be able to match for Christmas.

I think this cake would be the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. It is healthy enough to pass as a breakfast, but delicious enough to be served on Christmas. It would help to balance out all those sweets that are sure to be served at any Christmas gathering you go to.
banana cream cheese breakfast cake (11)
An added bonus is that your kids (or sisters in my case) will love getting cake for breakfast. Don't you just love Christmas?
Banana Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake
serves 12
4 ounces cream cheese
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
½ cup applesauce
½ cup milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour (or 1 cup wheat and 1 cup all purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon

Spray a 12” cake pan generously with oil, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mash together the bananas and cream cheese until they are creamy and well mixed. Whisk in the milk, applesauce, apple cider vinegar, oil, and eggs. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar together. Mix the dry and wet ingredients, stirring until everything is well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Desserts!

In all honesty, the highlight to any gathering is always the dessert, especially around Christmas time. Tonight I am going to share with you some amazing seasonal recipes that you will definitely want to have on your Christmas table. And your dolls may want to partake in some of them too.

First off are another gift from me to Harper for her dolls. She had requested some doll sized cookies, and I was more than happy to whip some up. Polymer clay cookies are so much fun to make. I used little Playdough tools to cut out the shapes, and "frosted" them with paint.
Here is an actual recipe for chocolate caramel danishes. They use packaged puff pastry and can be served hot or cold, making them a great party dish. You can even make them smaller to serve a crowd.

chocolate caramel danish

Chocolate Caramel Danishes
makes 6
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons caramel sauce

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Roll out the puff pastry sheets into two fat rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 3 equal squares. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the pastries, and spread it in the center of them. Leave about 3/4"-1" space around the edges. Place a some chocolate chips in the center of the cream cheese. Push in the edges of the pastries to resemble a danish. Spread them out on a large baking stone and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before drizzling ½ a tablespoon over each danish.
Aren't these thumbprint cookies so cute? I was in a peanut butter and jelly mood, but a sandwich just wasn't going to cut my craving. Luckily these cookies hit the spot.

PB&J Thumbprints
makes 13
1 cup quick oats
1 cup peanut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. milk
1/4 cup strawberry jelly
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the oats, peanut flour, salt, and sugar. Mix the peanut butter, milk, egg, and syrup together in a separate bowl. Add the wet and dry ingredients. Once everything is combined, scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto a nonstick baking pan. Make an indent with your thumb into each one, and spoon about a teaspoon of jelly in the hole. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Last of all, this is probably the easiest dessert ever. We threw it together right before company walked in the door this afternoon. It only uses three dishes including the spoon you use to stir. Everyone gave it rave reviews, and even Harper who was a little leery about the pumpkin being in it loved them.

Pumpkin Brownies
1- 10 ounce package brownie mix
1- 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the ingredients together until smooth. Spray a 9"X9" pan with oil, and spread the batter evenly into it. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Slice into squares and serve.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gag Gifts

I have had a little trouble figuring out what to get people this year. My family is so blessed that we really don't need anything. I decided to have a little fun making gag gifts.

I made these slippers for my mom out of two large pads wrapped around two smaller ones used as the soles. A tampon made the snowman decoration. I definitely would not advise giving these to any guy or someone you do not know extremely well. I thought they would be funny for my mom, though, especially since she asked for slippers. (Carson got her real slippers.)

I made this simple toilet paper snowman for Carson. She really does need it. I can't wait until that kid is potty trained. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I had to change 6 poopy diapers the last two days.
This next recipe will make you pull out the Bing Crosby CD and turn up the fire. I had always wanted to try roasted chestnuts, and I finally got the opportunity to tonight. I had heard that they were not all that good, but I wanted to see for myself. My family and I decided that they taste like a cross between boiled peanuts and corn. They are super sweet, soft, and kind of weird. We all crossed chestnuts off our bucket lists.
Roasted Chestnuts
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Using a sharp knife, make slits in the chestnuts to allow steam to escape as they cook. Bake for 20 minutes on a baking pan. Allow the chestnuts to cool before peeling them.

Last of all, here is another cookie recipe. These are chocolate cream cheese, and are just plain delicious.

cream cheese chocolate oatmeal cookies
Cream Cheese Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
makes 12
4 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups oatmeal
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder

Beat the egg and cream cheese together. Add in all the other ingredients and stir well. Scoop out on a stone and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

I have been making all sorts of cinnamon rolls lately. Harper said she wanted some little play cinnamon rolls for her American Girl Doll, so I made a set for her out of polymer clay. I was in the mood for cinnamon rolls today, so I made some extra special ones for the season. I hope you enjoy the recipe and ideas!
Making doll cinnamon rolls is a lot similar to making real ones. I made a bread color ball of polymer clay and a cinnamon colored one. I rolled them both out into rectangles, placed the cinnamon over the dough, and rolled it all up. Then I cut the roll up into doll sized pieces. These took 15 minutes to bake a 275.

Once cooled, the rolls were ready to be frosted with some white paint. They look good enough to eat.

After being tempted with the clay cinnamon rolls, I knew I had to make some for myself. Keeping the Christmas mood from yesterday, I made a tree of delicious apple pecan cinnamon rolls.
Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
makes 12
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 egg
2 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. hot water
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
Heat the yogurt until it is 110 degrees. Mix in the yeast and honey. Set aside. Use an electric mixer to mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add in the water, yeast and yogurt mixture, and the egg. Stir until everything is well mixed and a soft dough has formed. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the chopped apple, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Roll out the dough into a 12" by 8" rectangle. Brush with butter, and spread the filling evenly out over it. Roll up the stuffed dough lengthwise like a jelly roll. Seal the seam and cut it into 12- 1" pieces. Place the rolls on a nonstick baking pan in whatever shape you want. Cover and let the rolls rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with the remaining butter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Can I just say delish? I loved them!
I was too lazy to make frosting, so I settled on spreading some Greek yogurt over top. The creaminess complemented the nutty rolls perfectly, especially after they had cooled.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Week!!

Christmas is only a week away, and our house is buzzing with excitement and anticipation. It is so much fun to have little ones around, especially this time of year. It seems like our elf, Kringle, is a little too anxious to see what his presents are. He took a nose dive right into one of the gifts.

I have been busy today crafting and cooking in preparation for the big day. I am getting a bit obsessed with everything Christmas. I might have gone a little overboard with all the Christmas themed recipes, but this season only comes once a year. I like to have a little fun with it.


Here is a lovely breakfast recipe for French toast with Greek yogurt and bananas. Topped off with cinnamon, syrup, and butter, it would make the perfect Christmas morning feast. You'll want these cute little toasts year round. I cut them into Christmas shapes with cookie cutters.
I had angels,


gingerbread men,


candy canes,


and stars.

Christmas Banana French Toast
serves 2-4
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
dash of ground ginger
dash of ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
10 ounces day old bread, sliced into 1/2" slices
1/4 cup butter
butter, maple syrup, banana slices, and cinnamon to top

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Whisk the bananas, yogurt, sugar, salt, spices, and eggs together. Cut your bread into Christmas shapes using cookie cutters. Soak the bread in the egg mixture for 30 seconds. After the bread has soaked, put it on a cooling rack over a pan so that any excess egg mixture will drain off. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook half of the French toast pieces for a couple of minutes until the bottoms brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden. Put the cooked pieces of French toast on a baking stone. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan, and cook the remaining pieces of soaked bread. Bake the French toast for 8 minutes on the baking stone. Remove from the oven, top with butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and banana slices. Serve immediately.

My dinner recipe is just as festive as the French toast. Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, some homemade pie crust, and delicious fillings, I made holiday themed hand pies. They were a big hit!


Bacon Cheddar Hand Pies
makes 12
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the salt and flour. Cut in the butter and stir with a pastry fork until the dough looks like crumbs. Add the water and knead until everything is just combined. (Do not over knead, or the pie crust won't be flaky.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Roll the pie dough out on a floured surface about 1 cm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into 24 pieces. Mix the bacon and cheese together. Place some of the mixture in the center of 12 of the pie crust pieces. Top each with another piece of pie crust, and push down the edges to seal.

Spread the pies out on a baking stone. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Little Hot Cocoa Mixes

 These cute hot cocoa mix containers are the perfect little gift for a neighbor, coworker, or random person that you want to share the Christmas spirit with. They are easy, cheap, and adorable. To make the minty cocoa mix you will need the following:
  • 6 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips,
  • 1 tablespoon mini marshmallows
  • 3 peppermint candies, chopped up into a fine powder
Throw everything together in a small jar, decorate, and spread some cheer. Be sure to tell your recipient that they need to mix 3 cups of hot milk with the mix to make the "perfect cup of hot chocolate".
I also made a plain version that leaves out the peppermints and chocolate chips. It only requires 2 1/2 cups of milk.
Only a week until Christmas Eve. I cannot believe it! Santa would definitely benefit from these cookies as they are made from healthy quinoa that will give him a protein boost for his long night. I know for sure that Santa at my house could use some healthier cookies. I made heavenly bits last night, and they are vanishing quickly.
cinnamon quinoa cookies (1)
Cinnamon Quinoa Cookies
makes 1 dozen
¾ cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup instant oats
½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup butter
1 egg white
2 tbsp applesauce
Stir together the quinoa, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and oats. Add in the applesauce, butter, and egg white, stirring until everything is well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate 1 ½ hours. Roll out the cookies into 12 balls. Flatten them out on an oiled baking sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 18 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Some Christmas Knitting

There is just something magical about baking cookies that sets in around Christmas time. I don't care if you are young or old; everyone enjoys whipping up a fresh batch of holiday goodies especially when taste testing is involved. Here is a great recipe for some dark chocolate almond cookies that I adore.
dark chocolate almond cookies
Dark Chocolate Almond Cookies
makes 2 dozen
1 cup oat flour
64 grams of whole almonds, finely chopped
1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
40 grams of pitted dates
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 banana
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Soak the dates in very hot water for 10 minutes. Drain off the excess water. Blend the banana, vanilla, dates, and oil together. In a bowl, mix the salt, sugar, oat flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until everything is all mixed up. Mix in the chopped chocolate and almonds. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the dough at a time onto a baking stone or oiled cookie sheet. Press the cookies flat. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to sit for 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.


I have been busy the past couple of days knitting some little clothes for Harper's dolls as a Christmas gift. Inspired by the little sweater I knitted for her on my knitting loom last year, I decided to go for a matching sweater and vest combo. Now both her dolls will be able to match and bundle up against the frigid weather we have been having. I hope she enjoys them!


To make the sweater, just follow these instructions. The sleeves turned out a bit long this time, so I just rolled them up. I think they are cute this way.


I used a similar method to make the vest as I did the sweater, just leaving off the sleeves.

1. Make the back: Cast on 17 "e" loops onto a small loom. Purl back along the row. Knit 33 more rows of "e" loops, and end in a purled row. Finish off by threading yarn through the loops and tying a knot on the end.

2. Make the front: Cast on 9 "e" loops onto a small loom. Purl back along the row. Knit 33 more rows of "e" loops, and end in a purled row. (This is the same method you used for the back.) Finish off by threading yarn through the loops and tying a knot on the end. Do this two times so you have 2 front panels.

3. Sew the tops of the front panels on to the top of back panel with yarn. Make sure you leave space for the neck. (I put it on the doll as I worked to make sure the head had enough room.

4. Sew up the sides of the vest, stopping about 3/4 the way up to allow for arm holes. There you have it, your vest is complete.