Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone had a great day. Ours began at 6:45 with an excited Harper and a not-so-thrilled-to-be-up Sydney. We got to see what the Easter bunny left us, had a two minute egg hunt in the living room, and then had to get ready for church. (Sydney went back to bed until just before we had to leave.)
 
Here are the cards I gave my parents for Easter.
 
This was my dad's card. I cut out Easter related stamps and stuck them onto squares of cardstock. I debated coloring them in, but liked the black& white look too much.
Here's a SUPER big card for my mom. You can't tell by the picture, but this used an entire 12X12 piece of cardstock. The punch out letters I had were too big to make a smaller card. My mom liked how they were "hatching" out of their eggs.
 
Below are two more smoothies. I'm sure you are completely tired of smoothie posts by now. I know I'm tired of eating them. I did manage to chew hard boiled eggs without too much lasting damage. (My teeth only bled a little. What is up with that? It's been a week and a half.) Anyway, both of these smoothies have carrots for the Easter theme.
Peanut Butter, Apple, and Carrot Smoothie
1 apple, cored
2 carrots, peeled
½ banana
¾ cup milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup oatmeal
In a microwave safe bowl, cover the carrots with one inch of water. Microwave for 4 minutes. Pour off the hot water and rinse the carrots under cold water until they are cool. Add everything to a blender and blend until creamy.
This smoothie may not look so appetizing, but it has two vegetables in it and a fruit. The ginger gives it a unique twist to your regular fruit smoothie. I'm getting more creative.
 
Ginger Carrot Smoothie
¼ tsp ground ginger
¾ cup water
1 apple, cubed
2 carrots, peeled
1 cup lettuce
ice, as needed
Place the peeled carrots in a microwaveable bowl. Cover with 1 inch of water and microwave for four minutes. Rinse the carrots under cold water until they cool. Combined everything into a blender. Blend until creamy.
 
This is a box that I recycled. I'm going to use it to transfer Easter treats to my friends at school on Tuesday.
I traced this out of a Stampin Up magazine. It was too cute to resist.
 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Cards Using Ribbon

Today the weather was finally decent enough to go outside. It was so nice to be out in the sun. We went on a nature hike and then took Harper to an Easter egg hunt at a local church. It was more of an Easter egg grab because they just scattered all the eggs out on the ground, but she still had fun.
 
The card below is so easy and fun to make. All you do is cut out an egg shape from light cardboard. Then you hot glue strips of ribbon in rows onto it. Finish off by cutting the hanging ends of ribbon off and sticking the egg to a card.
 
 
Here's another card that uses ribbon, but this time it's just a divider between the two types of paper. The rabbit was a stamp that I cut out.
 

 
This recipe makes super yummy cookies and even better dough. Maybe I'll figure out an egg free cookie dough edition of it. Anyway, the cookies are worth baking the dough for. They are slightly crunchy with a gooey inside. Yummy! I used huge chunks of chocolate and three types of nuts to make them.
 

Nuts About Chocolate Chips Cookies
makes 3 dozen
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups almonds
¾ cup peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
 2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup coconut pulp from making coconut milk (or you can blend ¾ coconut flakes very finely)
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups pitted dates
3/4 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
½ cup chocolate chips

 Blend the almonds and oatmeal into flour. In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugars. Set aside. Blend or process the dates with the coconut pulp, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla, and coconut oil. Stir this in with the dry ingredients. Once it’s well mixed, add the chocolate chips. Scoop out into 2 tbsp big balls onto a baking stone. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow them to sit on the stone for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven, and then transfer them to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. They taste delicious warm, but even better cooled. They get crispier the longer they sit out.

 
 
 
I was just looking back at my past posts, and I realized that today is the one year anniversary of my blog. I cannot believe the year has passed by so quickly! It's been so much fun sharing craft ideas and recipes. I can't wait to see what the next year of posts has in store.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Good Friday!

I have great news! My teeth don't hurt anymore. It's such a great thing. Another great thing is that today is Good Friday. If you don't know the occasion for this great day, it's the day Jesus died.

That does not sound like such a happy, good thing, does it? Someone died, and we are all celebrating? Let me tell you why.

You have probably all heard the story of how baby Jesus came to Earth and was born in a manger. We celebrate this on Christmas. The real thing to celebrate, though, is his death. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins. Because we are all sinners, we could never get into the perfect heaven. By dying as a sacrifice for us, Jesus made us clean. He wiped our record, made us pure, renewed us. When he died for us, he covered all of our sins. We can now go to heaven and live with him for all eternity. Unlike the Jews had to before Jesus came, we do not have to make animal sacrifices to purify ourselves. All we have to do is trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We have to truly believe he is God's son, and the only way to heaven. You just have to pray to him and ask him to come into your life. You will never be the same again. Go to this site to learn more.

Anyway, on to a lighter subject. It's almost Easter. I'm sure all of you who have little kids living with you have been to see the Easter Bunny at some point in the last couple of weeks. Today I have cards and recipes that would make any bunny happy. What a bunny has to do with Easter, I have no idea. Maybe because they come out in the spring? No bunnies have surfaced around me yet.

The first recipe is for homemade pecan milk and an accompanying pecan pie smoothie. Pecan pie is more of a Christmas/ Thanksgiving thing, but smoothies are better for warmer temperatures. I figured these factors could compromise and come together as a great spring drink.

Pecan Milk
1 cup pecans
4 cups water
Heat a nonstick pan over medium low heat. Add the pecans and toast until lightly browned and aromatic. Shake the pan every so often to prevent them from burning. Allow the pecans to cool before covering with water. Soak the pecans in the water overnight. The next morning, pour out the old water and combine the pecans with 4 cups of fresh water. Blend the water and pecans together until you can no longer see any chunks of pecan. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain all the little pieces of pecans out of your milk. Refrigerate and enjoy.
 






Pecan Pie Smoothie
1 frozen banana
¾ cup pecan milk
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tbsp maple syrup (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together until creamy. You can top with extra crushed pecans, or just drink it plain. Either way it’s delicious.


Here's a recipe for a yummy dip that would be great spread on a bagel, pita chips, or maybe even as a fruit and veggie dip. I just ate it plain because of my teeth. It was the next best thing to a real carrot. The recipe uses the leftover pecan pulp from the above recipe for pecan milk.

Pinned Image
Carrot Cake Dip
½ cup pecan pulp (from making milk) or ½ cup pecans soaked overnight
5 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup honey
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Cover the carrots with about 1 inch of water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until creamy. Refrigerate and enjoy.
 
 
Now here are some cute rabbit cards to get you in the mood for the season.
 
 
The first card was made from a die cutting machine at the scrapbooking store we went to during miniterm. I finished it off with a pink bow around its neck.
 


 
This card is made of three simple shapes put together to make a bunny. I hand drew the face and wrote the sentiment.
 

 
This last card was made from a bunch of stickers my mom gave me for Christmas this year. I used green and blue patterned paper to make an outside look of grass and a sky. Then I went crazy sticking stickers all over the place.

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Poptarts!!

I got to spend today with one of my friends from school, Braxton. I haven't seen her since before miniterm, so I wanted to bring her a surprise. Since she likes poptarts, I decided to make some homemade ones for her. They aren't too difficult (just pie crust, chocolate, and glaze), and I was able to whip them up before heading out the door. Enjoy the recipe. The pictures aren't that pretty (poptart making can be messy), but at least I finally found a way to make them big. I hope I can keep them that way.


Homemade Chocolate Poptarts
makes 4 large poptarts
Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup cold water

Filling:
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oil
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tbsp chocolate syrup

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
leftover filling
milk, as needed

Mix the flour and salt. Cut in the butter and then add the water. Mix the ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the ingredients, or your crust won't be flaky. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Combine the oil and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about a minute, or until melted. Stir in the sugar and syrup.

Roll out the crust into a 10x10 inch square on a lightly floured surface. Cut it in half and then cut each half into 4 equal rectangles. Spread 1 tsp of filling onto half of the rectangles. Top each with one of the other 4 rectangles. Use a fork to push the sides together like your traditional poptart.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to let them cool before topping with the glaze.

Mix the powdered sugar with just enough milk to make a glaze. It only takes a little. Start with about 1/2 tsp, mix, and then gradually add more until your desired texture is reached. Stir in the remaining filling once you have stuffed your poptarts. Spread the glaze onto each of the cooled poptarts. Top with sprinkles if desired.


 
Here's a poptart that I made for Harper. I topped it with sprinkles and an "H" for her name. My mouth is still too sore for poptarts, but I did manage to get down grits and eggs tonight. Here is yet another smoothie recipe. 



Pineapple Upside Down Cake Smoothie
2 cups fresh pineapple, cuber
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 cup frozen cherries
ice, as needed

Add everything to your blender, and blend until creamy. You can finish off the theme by topping your smoothie with maraschino cherries and whipped cream.


Here are two card ideas using Easter eggs. I'm so glad that the pictures are showing up full sized. You can finally see my hard work! The top picture's border is made with a cool punch that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. I think it makes such an elegant pattern, but I had never thought about using it on the side of a card before. I think it turned out super cute. The card below was the product of me free handing an Easter basket. The wavy grass was made from another border cutter.




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Veggie Juice and Easter Cards

I made some homemade juice the other day. My mom won a juicer a year or two ago, but we never use it. It's a pain to clean and makes a mess, but I still had fun playing around with it. One of my concoctions was a carrot and celery juice. My dad had celery juice on his honeymoon, and was raving about it. I decided to try some for myself, but found an unsubstantial amount of celery in the fridge. I Bulked it up with some carrots to make more juice. Then I made a smoothie because that's basically all I can eat right now. Hopefully tomorrow my mouth will be better. I look like the Hulk. My entire face is green and bruised. One good thing, though, is that I'm feeling better. My mom took me out for frozen yogurt at this new place called SweetFrog. The "Frog" part stands for Fully Rely On God. It was a cute place with soft serve yogurt and toppings. It was nice to get out of the house for the first time all of spring break.

Pinned Image


Carrot- Celery Juice
4 medium carrots
2 stalks celery

Wash the veggies. Put them into a juicer and run it until juice stops coming out. It makes about one cup.



Pinned Image

Banana Celery- Carrot Smoothie
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 large frozen banana
½ cup carrot-celery juice

Blend the ingredients together. Enjoy!


Pinned Image


Here are two more Easter cards. The first one was made by cutting out white ovals for the eggs and stamping them to create the fading flower look. The second card's chicks were made out of 4 cut out yellow circles and one white one. Super simple and super cute.

Pinned Image




Click to see the cards.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just call me Chandler Chipmunk...

This wisdom tooth thing is getting a bit ridiculous. I still can barely open my mouth, and my cheeks are like balloons. I just want a bowl of popcorn. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently it is, so here are two recipes for things I can have.


Pinned Image
Ruby Red Smoothie
serves 2
2 stalks celery
1 red apple
½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen raspberries
1/3 cup water
1 frozen banana

 Wash and cut up the celery and apple. Combine all the ingredients into the blender. Blend until everything is creamy.


Pinned Image
Creamy Cauliflower and Carrot Soup
1 cup cubed and peeled carrots
2 cups cut up cauliflower
2 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup walnuts, soaked overnight and drained

Saute the garlic and onion in a pot. Add the other ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil on medium high heat and then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 40 minutes. Pour the soup into a blender and blend until creamy.

Pinned Image
Here are two Easter cards I used making the same two stamps. They came in a set with mini stamps for every season, and they are the only Easter stamps I have.

Pinned Image
It was a little challenging to come up with designs for such small stamps. I found that putting them inside shapes worked best. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Life out of a blender: Day 3

Can I just give a shout out of thanks to my amazing blender? I would have starved to death these past couple of days without it, and the way my jaw is feeling, I'll need it for a couple of more days. I have found that you can toss just about anything into a Ninja blender to make a meal. Trust me- I've tried some pretty crazy combinations. My poor family has had to deal with the noisy thing constantly running. They have been so good to me these past few days. My mom bought me Martha Stewart, Sudoku, and a couple of other magazines to read, went to the library for me, and got a ton of smoothie stuff at the store. She has even dealt with all my dishes. Most impressively, she willingly stuck her hands into my mouth that first day to pull out my bloody gauze. The woman is amazing.

Anyway, here are a few more smooth and creamy recipes. I'm getting a little sick of all the fruit and could go for some chips, but other than that have no complaints. My mom has hooked me up with some yummy ingredients.


Pinned Image
Choco-Rasp-Cream
1/2 cup oat pulp (from making oatmilk), or 1/2 cup oatmeal soaked in water overnight
½ cup frozen raspberries
2 tbsp cocoa powder

Blend the ingredients together until creamy. Enjoy your chocolaty treat!


Pinned Image
Cilantro Pesto Broccoli Soup
serves 2
1 package frozen broccoli
1 cup chicken broth
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, washed

Cook the broccoli according to the directions on the package. Blend all the ingredients together until creamy. Pour the soup into a pot. Bring it to a low boil over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and serve with additional cheese.



Pinned Image
Snickerdoodle Pudding
2 cups oatmilk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
5 tbsp cornstarch

 Whisk all the ingredients together in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for two minute intervals, whisking every two minutes to prevent clumps. Repeat this process four times, or until the mixture is thick. (Watch it to make sure it doesn’t explode while microwaving.) Pour into individual pudding cups and refrigerate until cold.



Pinned Image



This bunny is made from a recycled toilet paper roll. You can do so many things with them, but most people just toss them once they run out of toilet paper. I don't get it. Toilet paper free toilet paper rolls have so much potential. I plan to stuff this bunny with Easter candy for Harper. I made a little handle for it and everything. Click to see a better picture of my toilet paper roll bunny.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Mushy Food

After a disastrous result of trying to chew on something this morning, I have decided to just stick with blended mush. I have found, though, that even if the texture has to be boring, I can still enjoy the taste. Here are two recipes that help to soothe your teeth and nourish your body without sending your tongue into a bland depression.

Pinned Image

Cauliflower and Lentil Soup
makes 4 cups
5 cups frozen cauliflower
1/4 cup dry lentils
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1/4 of an onion, sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
dash of cayenne pepper powder
oil, as needed

Saute the onions, garlic, and lentils with a little oil in the bottom of a pot over medium heat. Once the onions are lightly browned, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Cover and bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the soup to simmer with the lid on for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a blender. Blend until creamy and then serve.



The following smoothie is thick and filling. It's the perfect meal for when you can't chew anything. I pulled out the juicer to make fresh apple juice, but you could use store bought juice or just a blended apple.


Pinned Image
Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, and Fresh Apple Juice Smoothie
makes 1 large or 2 medium servings
½ tsp cinnamon
2 apples
2 tbsp peanut butter
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup water
½ cup almond milk

 Combine the oatmeal, water, and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 ½ minutes. Stir, and pour into a glass dish. Freeze for one hour. Meanwhile, core the two apples. Push them through a juicer to get apple juice. Refrigerate until needed. Scoop the leftover pulp from the inside of the juicer. Put it in a bowl and freeze for an hour along with the oatmeal. Once your ingredients are properly frozen, put everything into a blender. Blend until it’s all well mixed up and enjoy.

Pinned Image

Happy Palm Sunday! Easter is only a week away. Harper got to sing at church this morning, but I had to stay home. I guess chipmunks aren't allowed at church. I might get confused with one because of my huge swollen cheeks.

Here's a bunny card. I traced the picture out of my Stampin' Up magazine, but never really thought about how weird it was. The picture is of a rabbit hatching out of an egg. That's not normal. And what do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter??

On a random note, my mom and I just finished watching a movie called Stuck. It's about international adoption. It's a really great movie for a really great cause. You can buy it online here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Word of Wisdom

Now that I've lost my wisdom teeth, I suppose I do not have any wisdom left to share with you. I guess I'll have to muster up all my remaining wisdom to give you this word of advice. Keep your wisdom teeth in your mouth. It's not worth getting them cut out. It hurts, you can't talk, and you look like a chipmunk. One positive thing that has come from it is that I have tried a few new recipes that I wouldn't have otherwise. I also learned how to use the juicer. (Or more like explode juice everywhere. Using a juicer while on major drugs isn't a good idea.) I also have had some time to relax and catch up on some Sudoku. I guess it takes surgery to get me to slow down and take a break.

Anyway, I had broccoli tahini soup last night a few hours after my surgery. Do you know how hard it is to eat without opening your mouth more than 1/2 an inch? Sydney got to enjoy Winter Jam with her friends last night. I got to enjoy major drugs. I never thought I would appreciate pain killers so much.

Pinned Image

Broccoli Tahini Soup
serves 3-4
1 package frozen broccoli
4 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp tahini
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp onion powder
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

 Cook the broccoli according to the instructions on the package. Put all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. (At this point, I just ate mine because I couldn’t have anything hot on my stitches. It was good cold, but you can heat yours if desired.) Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium high heat in a pot. Remove and serve.


Even though my mom was with me at the oral surgeon's yesterday and could not help with Harper's class's Easter party, she still got roped in to coming up with the activities. That means that I ended up making them for her since she is a bit craft- challenged. The kids made these cute baskets with eggs. They are similar to a card I made awhile back. I cut out about 80 paper eggs and 25 baskets. My mom cut strips of paper 1 inch thick to weave through the baskets. Using an X-Acto knife, I cut slits to push the strips of paper through. The kids then decorated the baskets with rick rack and glued them to a piece of paper. To finish off, they drew on the basket's handles.




Pinned Image



This was Harper's basket. She said that she had fin making it, but her teacher had to weave all the strips of paper for the kids. I guess paper weaving is too advanced for kindergarteners. Click to see the baskets up close.