Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Cupcakes

My sister sent me a birthday party in a bag (candles, streamers, cards...) so I had to actually make some cake and have a party :)

These vanilla cupcakes were perfect - just as advertised. I whipped some cream until stiff and added powdered sugar until (more) stiff. Topped them with raspberries. Done.

The cupcakes were nice and dense like a Sprinkles-style cupcake - but not overly sweet. They had a nice tang from the vinegar and baking soda, but were sweet enough to not be confused with breakfast muffins. The light, fluffy whipped cream frosting balanced it out really well.

I love whipping cream frosting with raspberries and white cake because my Grandmother used to make that for dessert on Sundays when the berries from their backyard were in season. I'm not generally a huge fan of cake but I could never get enough of my Grandma's dessert.

And now that these have all been eaten, I'm on my way to the kitchen to make some banana muffins... (recipe here)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thankful Turkey

I'm alive!!! case you were wondering. Also, we moved to Texas. And the baby is now crawling! Sheesh. Anyway, this is the thankful turkey craft we did this morning. It was very fun. It may become a tradition.

You can go here for actual instructions if you'd like. It's just a toilet paper roll glued onto two bowls that are glued together. Then you glue toothpicks between two papers for the feathers and stick them in the back of the turkey.

You can't see the other side of the bowl but the Monkey did the front and the Boy did the back. And then I spent 5 solid minutes sweeping all the little papers off the floor. Seriously, crafts are messy.

It was fun though. We started the turkey off with like 10 feathers and I have a bunch more we can add to it every day until Thanksgiving. Or whenever I remember. It was a good handwriting practice project and they had fun with the glitter glue on the feathers. Plus the gratitude part, of course.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Simple Frozen Yogurt

In my head, I'd like to be eliminating sugar in my diet. I'm totally not there yet in practice though. And I'm giving myself until I've had a full week of sleeping thru the night from my baby before I start trying in earnest. But in the meantime, I'm experimenting a bit. And this one was a success. For me and the kids anyway, V didn't really like it. He thought it was too tangy. 

1 container Nancy's whole milk plain yogurt
1 dropper full squirt of vanilla stevia
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and smashed with juice

Mix together. Turn on ice cream maker. Pour in. Process until frozen (mine took 20 minutes). Eat immediately. 

Notes: I did put the small amount of leftovers in the freezer and they froze solid - not like ice cream you can pull out and eat from the carton. It was still delicious when I gave it time to thaw before eating, but the texture was definitely better fresh. I don't think I can fix that with an amateur ice cream machine. Plus, this was easy enough, I don't mind making it fresh when I'm having a craving.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - Wildflour Bakery Style

One of our favorite things about Boise are the "Coop Cookies". They're really cookies from the Wildflour Bakery in Boise but we buy them at the Boise Coop or at Whole Foods. They are so delicious. And it's adorable to see the Boy with a cookie the size of his face.

No, he doesn't eat the whole thing. Anyway, I attempted to make up a copy cat recipe today using my previous favorite oatmeal raisin recipe and the ingredients list on the pkg we bought today and I must say, they are close. Very close. If you're in town, you should go get the originals, but if not, these will do.

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
4 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins

Cream sugars and butter. Add eggs. Mix just until blended. Add baking soda, powder, salt and flours. Mix. Food process coconut and oats for about 10 seconds - just enough to keep a few of the oats still whole. Add to bowl and mix. Stir in raisins. Form into 18 large cookie balls (or 3oz each). Flatten balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 275' for 25 minutes, or until done. Cool on rack. If you don't have a rack, wait a few minutes after they come out and then turn upside down to cool.

Notes: To be closer to the original, they need more salt. I'd go up to 1 1/2 tsp salt and maybe take down the baking soda to 1 tsp. The originals have a bit more brown color in the cookie as well so you may try 300' for 20 minutes. Personally, I like the less salty version and the lack of color didn't bother me so I'll keep it as is. I used sweetened coconut cause I was trying to use it up but I also have unsweetened that I am interested in trying out later. It has a finer texture so I wouldn't bother food processing it.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Cottage Cheese Cream

This was one of V's go to treats on his diet. I really like it too. It's super simple to make, healthy and delicious!

32 oz cottage cheese
15 oz cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vanilla stevia

Whip cream. Fold in cottage cheese and flavorings. Serve over berries and top with pecans, if desired.

Note: the fat in the dairy makes the usual stevia aftertaste non-existent.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baby is here!

We welcomed our new baby boy last week! Recovery is going smoothly and the other kids seem to be transitioning well. I haven't been in the kitchen much for the last month or so - but V has been cooking up a storm. As I get the energy, I'll post some of his more notable successes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

hair care

Acure Shampoo and Conditioner! I could not be more excited about these. I've tried a bunch of all-natural hair care options and these are by far the best that I've found. The shampoo actually foams, the conditioner actually conditions, and they're actually non-toxic. Also, they smell good.

I even put the ingredients into the skin deep database and they passed with flying colors. The shampoo is a 1 and the conditioner is a 2! I couldn't believe it. My local Whole Foods carries them for $8 each - so that's pretty much awesome. I've already stocked up.

For styling, I have low-maintenance curly hair so I use Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel (for wavy to curly hair) and once in a while, I'll use Giovanni mousse (skin deep profile here - except that it also contains fragrance). And that's literally it for my hair.

Other natural options of note that I've tried:
Beautiful Curls  - shampoo and conditioner worked really well for the first week but then my hair started feeling dirty/greasy and wouldn't get clean. (I do still love their curl gel though.)
Terraessentials - eww. Mud in my hair. No foam. No clean feeling. It was terrible.
Dr. Mercola brand - this one was vicarious from my sister but no foam and didn't feel clean.
USANA - I got the shampoo and conditioner and they foamed and totally worked. I thought it was too good to be true and sure enough, I did a skin deep profile on them and they were like 7-8 for toxicity! They even had 'fragrance' as an ingredient. Lame, lame, lame. And I paid like $45 for that stuff.