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Make vanilla coconut oatmeal cookies

Today’s recipe was created by Steph from Elemental Handcrafts, full of beautiful earth-friendly handcrafted pieces. She made these cookies up for her kids to give them a healthy (but so cleverly disguised) snack. Thanks, Steph, for sharing this great new recipe.

RECIPE: Make Healthy Vanilla Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients :

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup unhullled sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 shredded raw coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (or other natural sweetener)
1/2 cup barley malt
2 tablespoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray your pan with oil.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well.
Add your wet to your dry and mix until well incorporated.
Drop by spoonful onto prepared baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly brown.

*hint* Measure oil first, then maple syrup and barley malt. The oil left in the measuring cup will keep the malt from sticking.

Makes: 24 cookies, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Here is one of Steph’s new beautiful needle-felted dolls!

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Make whole wheat flat bread

Today’s {delicious} recipe is from Beccijo, whose The Enchanted Cupboard”>shop is filled with handpainted wood toys and dolls.

Whole Wheat Flat Bread by Beccijo

This past summer my family made a plan to go without air conditioning for as long as we could. We made it until the very hot month parts of August and September but still used it sparingly when we did turn it on. The one downside to this plan was baking bread in the hot days of summer.

About 2 years ago, I started grinding my own wheat for our bread and baked goods. The benefits of fresh ground wheat are overwhelming and outweigh an extra work it makes for me. So now I was faced with over heating our house or giving up my baking. I was not prepared to do either and I researched other options.

When I first started my homestead, green living lifestyle I was in love with the idea that I could make anything. Our own ketchup, hamburger buns, salad dressing, and laundry soap to name a few of the things we make for ourselves. It was so rewarding to know that when we ran out of something it did not mean a trip to the grocery store. Instead, we could mix a few ingredients we already had in the pantry.

I started researching other ways to make bread-type items without the use of an oven. I checked out bread makers and bought an inexpensive bread maker that is working out nicely and is great for mixing up dough that I may use for rolls or pizzas! I also found some great recipes that are for making flat breads on the stove top. The kids and I experimented and made a recipe that works for us. It has a good bit of oil in it but it makes a nice dough that is easy for kids to roll out.

RECIPE

2 cups of whole wheat flour [note from Jen: organic whole wheat or whole spelt can be used here as well]
1.5 cups all purpose flour
0.5 tsp of baking powder
7 tsp of oil
1 cup very hot water

– 3 minutes of kneading
– 15 minutes to rest under wet warm towel
– then form into golf ball sized balls
– next roll out and cook on a cast iron grill or non stick pan, cooking on medium heat
– cook one side until browned and then flip

Enjoy!

Here is a sweet painted toy, a woodland accessory set, from Beccijo’s shop!

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Make a Strawberry Fruit Tart


Today’s recipe is by Cyn of FairiesNest (be sure to check out her lovely shop here). The timing for this recipe is perfect with so much local fruit just coming into season (can’t wait for our local organic strawberries in June). It would make a delightful Mother’s Day surprise too.

Recipe for a Strawberry Fruit Tart

The strawberries in our part of the world are coming in fast and furious. To make this fruit tart, you start with a pre baked tart shell, preferably a sweet shortcrust. My favorite one is from the book Festive Tarts by Sylvia Thompson. (This is a fantastic tart book that I highly recommend and although it’s out of print you can find cheap used copies).

1 2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons butter
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons cream

Combine the dry, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal, add the wet and mix lightly until a ball of dough forms. refrigerate for 15-30 mins. Roll out and place in tart form. Stick in the freezer for 30 mins and then bake in a 400 degree F oven with pie weights (or dried beans) on a piece of parchment inside. After 15 mins remove the weights and bake for 12 more mins. Cool and fill!


photo via Flickr

Cut up enough fruit to fill your tart; peaches, berries, plums, all of one kind or a mix …whatever you think is yummy. Mix together 1 cup sugar with 3 cups of orange juise and 4 tablespoon cornstarch in a saucepan. Heat this stirring constantly until it thickens. Put about 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the tart. Now place in the fruit in a pretty pattern or all mixed up, it doesn’t matter. Then carefully cover all the fruit with the rest of the OJ sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but not more than 4 or 5 because you don’t want it to get soggy…though it will still taste good! One little trick; if you’re using fruit that might brown, like peaches, toss them with the OJ first and then drain them and proceed. It also gives the OJ a great peachy taste… This works well for freezing peaches too!

Here‘s a sweet spring flower pixie from Cyn’s shop!

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Make (delicious) artichokes


Today’s how-to recipe is from Donni of the Etsy shop Fairyfolk, full of delightful + magical felted acorns, toys, terrariums and more.

Make (delicious) artichokes

photo via Flickr

Oh how I love an artichoke… it’s the combination of their earthy flavor, the peeling of their green petals and the yummyness of the dipping sauce. I feel simple and sophisticated, all at once.
Lucky me… I had an artichoke for lunch today!
This is how I cook them…
I rinse them in water to wash them and get any little lingering bugs out of them.

Cut off the stalks with a knife.

The little spikes on the ends of the petals can be a nuisance. I cut them off before cooking by using a knife to cut off the tips of the petals.

And then I use scissors to trim the spikes off the remaining petals.
Place the trimmed artichokes in a steamer, stem up.

Steam for about 30 minutes or until stalk bases are tender.
My favorite dipping sauce is balsamic vinaigrette. I mix equal parts balsamic vinegar with olive oil and a little salt to taste (yes, I love balsamic!) Whisk together until it emulsifies and… Voila!
Melted butter is another great artichoke sauce, as is lemon butter or mayonnaise.
Peel a petal, dip it into the sauce and eat the soft flesh at the base of the petal. It’s delicious!!
When you come to the heart, use a spoon to gently scrape the hairs away, leaving the tender heart. What’s left is pure delicacy.
I cooked 4 today. As no one else in my family eats artichokes, guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow, the next day and the day after? Lucky me!

What’s in Fairyfolk’s shop? These spring golden yellow acorns are so lovely!

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make a chocolate nut cake

Today’s recipe is by Sue of PolarBearCreations, her shop of Waldorf-inspired dolls, and much more.

Chocolate Nut Cake


250 g sugar

200 g soft unsalted butter (just over 7 oz, or a little less than a cup)

250 g flour (just over 1 cup)

2 tsp baking powder

125 g finely grated (or melted) milk chocolate (baking chocolate) (this is about 1/2 cup)

125 g finely grated hazelnuts (or almonds)(about 1/2 cup)

1 small can of condensed milk (note: Sue has not tried it, but it might just work with yogurt, milk, or even buttermilk)

A bit of icing sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 370°F

Mix butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.

Stir in eggs, one at the time.

Combine baking powder and flour. Sift into mixture. Mix well, then add chocolate and nuts, a bit at the time. Pour in the milk.

Cake batter should not be too moist.

Grease bundt pan (a tube pan works too)

Fill with chocolate mixture.

Bake at 350°F to 400°F for 40 to 55 minutes.

Let cool and remove from the pan.

Dust with icing sugar & enjoy!

What’s in PolarBearCreations’ shop? Beautiful Waldorf dolls and much more, including this mini baby, stuffed with wool.

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Lemon Currant Scones Recipe

Vegan Agave Sweetened Lemon and Currant Scones
by Steph from Elemental Handcrafts


image via Ms.Tea

Ingredients: (use organic where possible)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegan butter like Earth Balance or coconut oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/4 to 1/2 cup currants
1/4 flax seed meal (optional)
Zest from one lemon

image via Satoru Kikuchi

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheight. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease pan.

2) In large bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Cut in the vegan butter or coconut oil. It is best to have the coconut oil cool enough that it is solid.

3) Add rice milk, juice, vanilla, agave, currants and lemon zest. Stir very gently until just mixed. Over mixing bad for scones!

4) Drop by the spoonful on to prepared sheet and pop in oven. They will grow so if you definitely don’t want them to stick together, don’t be lazy like me- use two cookie sheets. Bake until just barely starting to golden on the tops, about 15 to 20 minutes

Let cool and serve with tea. Mmmm!

image via Mads Boedker

Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe.

Makes: 12 scones, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes

What’s in Elemental Handcraft’s shop? This personalized wooden baby ball toy!

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buttermilk chocolate cake recipe {+ cookbook giveaway!!}

by Jen of SewnNatural

Our new Thursday recipe/tutorial feature is off to a huge start with today’s chocolate cake recipe… and cookbook giveaway from Cynthia Lair, author of “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents.”

MARY’S BUTTERMILK CHOCOLATE CAKE

I found this recipe in a wonderful cookbook I highly recommend. Cynthia Lair’s “Feeding the Whole Family – Recipes for Babies, Young Children and Their Parents”. As a mom of a toddler, I’m always on the look-out for quick, delicious and nutritious recipes I can whip up to spice up our meal routine.

The cookbook is packed with simple recipes that excite the tastebuds, employ whole, organic foods and can be easily adapted for everyone around the supper table. You need not be a parent of little kids to enjoy this book – it would be a wonderful treat for anyone.

Check out Cynthia’s new humorous {+ fabulous} online cooking show CookusInterruptus, about how to cook fresh local whole foods despite life’s interruptions. You can also read her “baby food is not rocket science” article here about how it’s best to feed babies “family food”.

Note: For a dairy free version, substitute 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice added for the buttermilk and use melted coconut oil in place of buttter.


image by elana’s pantry

Prep time: 45 minutes
Makes 2, 8-inch layers

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup of maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly oil two 8-inch cake pans. Mix flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir into flour mixture (do not overstir). Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or a little less, depending on your oven.

I poured Cynthia Lair’s strawberry sauce on for added fruit, presentation and contrast. With strawberries being out of season right now (unless you’ve stored some away in your freezer from the last harvest), I’d recommend using pears, apples, whatever is freshest & has travelled the least distance to get to your plate.

image by anashruti

STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 pint organic strawberries
1 tsp lemon or orange juice
1 tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

Wash and trim strawberries. Place them, the juice, and sweetener in a blender and blend until smooth. Use at once or refrigerate the rest. Will keep a few days in the fridge.

|”Reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair”.

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY

Cynthia has generously offered one reader a copy of her book!

That’s Cynthia 2nd from left!

To enter today’s giveaway, simply visit CookusInterruptus and leave a comment about something you enjoyed or learned (one entry per person, please!). This giveaway will end at 9am EST on Sunday, and the winner will be announced soon after.

image by Bruce Tuten

COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED.

The winner (drawn at random) is… comment #12 Katherine Robb! CONGRATS (now you don’t have to go out and buy one!!)

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How to get crafty at snack time

A TUTORIAL ON HOW TO REALLY PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD !
It is Thursday and time for a tutorial, and I am Joshua the Dad of Dad’s Wooden Toys. I could talk about woodworking and tools that you are unlikely to have in your home. But instead I would like to teach you something simple that has brought me a lot of joy since I was a little boy. This craft has now become a favorite activity of my own kids. With this craft you stand a good chance of having everything you need already in your kitchen.
Some of the fondest memories can be surprisingly easy to make. I still remember how excited I would get over 20 years ago when my mom would announce that we were going to have ants on a log. Perhaps many of you are familiar with the traditional recipe which is just celery, peanut butter, and raisins. My mom who always had more than her fair share of creativity didn’t just make “ants on a log” we had “ants on a car” ,or “ants on a dragster”. Now that I am a dad I have added “ants on a plane”.
Here is what we will need:
  • Celery
  • Raisins (for passengers)
  • Peanut butter (to hold the passengers in place and for protein)
  • Carrots (preferably full size)
  • wooden tooth picks. (or uncooked spaghetti)
  • knife
  • Scissors

For the simplest of vehicles all we need is to add 4 wheels to the celery “frame”. Wheels of course are made by cutting cross sections of your carrot. Take a tooth pick and run it through the first carrot then through the celery and out the other side where the second wheel is put on. Then using the scissors cut off any part of the toothpick that sticks out beyond the wheel. repeat this for the back wheels. I like to put an extra small wheel on the top as a steering wheel. Viola, you have an edible car! It recently occurred to me that if you wanted the creation to be total edible you could use raw spaghetti instead of the tooth picks however since the spaghetti is more fragile you may still want a tooth pick around to make the initial hole in the hard carrot and celery, you could then hopefully get the spaghetti into the carrot without it breaking.

Now that we all know we could make an easy car that is sure to be a hit with the kids, we can begin to add some pizzaz. Give your creativity a chance to really shine. With a few extra raisins your car turns into a bus. Cut a carrot length wise into a board and and with a toothpick in each corner to suspend it you now have a roof for your car. There are so many possibilities. The plane is made much the same way. We start with the celery stick and cut a couple of carrots into slices length wise. Find two that can be trimmed to the same size and then round the ends . These are our wings. We will need a few more flat carrot boards for the tail wings, and some skinny long slices for the propeller. Remember that the wing slices must be thick enough to receive the toothpick. You will be sticking the tooth pick into the flat end of the carrot wing deep enough to stay put, then trim the toothpick short enough that it won’t stick out the far side of the celery which is the body of the plane, and stick it in, repeat for the other wing. I put my propellers onto another carrot coin and one toothpick stabbed through them all sticks the propellers to the front of the plane. The wheels for the plane are not difficult but they are probably the most challenging part of this simple creation. After sticking a wheel on each end of an appropriately sized toothpick to create what looks like a dumbbell, stick two more toothpicks into the wheels each pointing up and inward almost completing a triangle. Those two upper points then push into the bottom of the plane and you have attached the wheels . There you have it an edible aircraft. Add peanut butter and raisins to suit.I guarantee the kids will enjoy it. I do suggest that you take a picture or two of your creation especially if you decide to get elaborate since in the end all the evidence will be eaten!! If your kids are older than mine, perhaps they would enjoy it if you just cut the materials for them and then let them build their own custom machines. I should give fair warning to those of you who enjoy crafts not be surprised if you get a little carried away. There is so much that can be done with other veggies and fruit like radishes, and apples to increase your possibilities. Radishes make great wheels or a small slice of the side of a round radish makes a neat red hubcap for a carrot wheel. Go have fun playing with your food! If you get inspired and do this with your kids or on your own, we would love to see a link to the happy kids and creative vehicles in the comments section.

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Entries for the Great Breadman Bake Off

Well, the good news is we had some. Who has time for baking when you have a family to take care of, run an etsy shop, blog, and attend team meetings?
I counted 5 entries in all. Please let me know if I forgot someone! I have been going slightly crazy with my doll orders lately…So let me know if I forgot you!
1)Mike from the Netherlands. She has a lovely etsy shop called starrysheep. http://www.starrysheep.etsy.com/. I don’t think she is a member of our group yet – but looks like she should be here! I love her blog! =)
2) Our famed leader FaerieRebecca! I am so glad she found the time to participate! I would have loved to try her family’s version of breadman with fresh lemons. How cool is that!
3) www.birchleafdesigns.etsy.com sent some very cute pictures too! I really loved the different ghosts and shapes the kids came up with.
4) www.PupaPupa.etsy.com sent a cute entry too! If she wins will have to make a trip to the Post Office to ship the price to our lovely neighbor in Canada! Which is true for Mike too! I love the diversity here!
5)Cat from www.MaDaucreations.etsy.com sent a link to a whole bunch of sweet pictures. The kids were working so hard! You can see that in the pictures! Also looks like they tried a new variation with green pistacchios.
I really really wish I could send a price to all the kids who helped bake! But I just cannot afford it. But I promise we will have more bake off competitions with other fun recipes. I have a lot of good ones! =)
Like last time the drawing will be in the afternoon. I think my son will do the honor this time. The winner will be announced later today! Drawing for what?
A custommade Wee Pocketdoll. The winner can choose from these colors:

See you later…
Ulla
www.germandolls.etsy.com

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BreadMan BakeOFF!!!

It was a tough weekend for me. The hubby went to the moutains with some buddies. I had to cart the kiddos to so many activities. Between getting the yard ready for winter, basketball games, Nutcracker practices, church, preparing every single meal, and trying to sew some dollies – I pretty much felt like going insane…

How do single parents do it? Seriously! I was exhausted after three days…

One of the activities that helped me entertain the children and keep my sanity was baking the breadmen! I had never ever tried to make these from scratch. In Germany they were handed out to me as a kid. The local bakery makes them and hands them out for free!
So we made breadmen according to the recipe I posted here last week (SEE my post from last Wednesday!). Here are some pictures of how they turned out. The children loved making them. Enjoy!

Now you must try it! So much fun! We substituted the raisins with chocolate M&Ms in places. The color ran and made for some gruesome color on the mouths of our breadpeople. The kids also complained how the raisins popped up and burned to a crisp in the oven.
How in the world do German bakers do it? I really should have become an apprentice to a baker after finishing highschool in Germany. It would have been so much more useful here in America.
I miss German baked goodies so much!

So please join in the big BREADMAN BAKEOFF this week! Send me pictures and a little report about how your attempt to make them went, and I will enter you in a drawing for one of my Wee Pocketdolls!
Please send by next Tuesday – so I can post them here and enter your name in the drawing!
Happy Baking!
Ulla