Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, I had a big flop on an easy recipe this evening.  I was trying to make No-Bake Cookies, but with no dairy so I substituted the butter with butter flavored Crisco shortening and used the vanilla coconut milk I had on hand and they are GARBAGO!  Maybe I boiled the mixture too long, it turned out dry and crumbly, I couldn't even make them into drop cookies, I ended up squishing it all down into a square pan to see if they will hold together and make bars.  But then I tried to eat some of the crumbles and it just wasn't good.
I am just on a roll I suppose!!!  This past week we were traveling to visit family cross country, and this is how my husband's phone broke.
After running around non-stop with visiting everyone (flying in, visiting family, road trip to a nearby state to visit more relative and then road trip back to original relatives...) I jumped on the chance to lie down for a rest while my hubby watched the kids in our hotel room.  We had a suite so the bedroom was closed off from the rest of the room.  I didn't have my eyes closed for more then 2 minutes when I heard J get hurt, we still don't know what happened, but somehow she split her lip and was crying that baby B did it to her because SHE wanted to be the line leader...whatever that means.  Hearing the screaming and crying I couldn't just keep laying there, although it was tempting to pretend I couldn't hear and hide out!  I walked into the bathroom where Tyler was trying to clean the blood (small amount) off her face and lip and then I see B standing in front of the toilet splashing in it.  That's not the worst part.  The toilet in that room had NO pressure, it couldn't even flush down a piece of toilet paper so about 15 minutes earlier, J had gone number 2 in the potty but there was no pressure to flush it down.  I run over and grab B as I see him splashing in the poopy toilet and Tyler's phone is in there as well.

Here is a picture from our trip.  If you are ever in New Haven, CT and want a good pizza, go to Modern Apizza!  It's the best (although I didn't get to have any this time because of the gluten and cheese!!! boo!)  Doesn't it look good though?  Well, maybe not so appetizing after my gross story...sorry!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Woodpecker Illustration

Here is a sample I made for my 7-12 year old students for an art lesson at the studio I used to work at. It's colored with a combo of Prisma Markers and colored pencil.  I just came across this today during my spring cleaning and thought  I would share :)  It makes me want to do some "arting" which is a term J came up with today at dinner.  I was in the kitchen and she was supposed to be eating her pizza (crust made with gluten free bisquik) when I heard her exclaim "Mom, I'm arting!!!" at first I thought she know...farting.  But when I looked around the corner she was happily drawing a picture and then repeated "I'm arting mom, look!"

For a great method to help your kids learn to draw and create beautiful works of art, check out Drawing with Kids, by Mona Brooks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chocolate Ganache with Coconut Milk - Dairy Free

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake with Dairy Free Ganache

I recently had a birthday, but my 3 year old had the flu so we didn't end up making the cake, so today was the 10 year anniversary of my first date with my hubby so we finally made the cake.  We used the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix we found at Walmart and then made a dairy free Ganache frosting.  I LOVE chocolate Ganache so I was hoping I would be able to make a dairy free version.  It was SUPER good!  None of us felt like we were missing out on anything, the ganache with coconut milk was equally as good as the traditional ganache but probably a lot healthier considering coconut milk is very low calorie and you normally make it with whipping cream! The cake mix was great too, I used a Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks to substitute a stick of butter called for on the mix directions. You would never know this cake was gluten free or dairy free, texture and taste was like the real thing!  

Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache with Coconut Milk (Low Fat Ganache)

1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips they are dairy free)

Use a double boiler, or makeshift one by filling a medium size pot with water and bringing to a boil.  Place a medium size glass or metal bowl over the water and add coconut milk and chocolate chips and stir with a spatula as the chocolate chips melt.  Once the chocolate is mostly melted, stir smooth with a wire wisk.  Remove bowl from boiling water and let cool and begin to set a little so it is not TOO runny.  Once the ganache starts to cool and thicken, pour over your cake.

Now, I think I need to go sneak another slice!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prince Cape

Prince Cape

The girls seem to have all the fun when it comes to dress up, but I found a quick and easy tutorial for a prince cape so the boys can get in on the dress up fairy tale fun as well!  I used the Cape Tutorial from the Pleated Poppy HERE.

This one is for a friend (love the fabric she picked out).  We tried making it together during a playdate...but I forgot one thing...I rarely get anything accomplished when the kids are awake so that didn't really work out! lol.  We'll have to have a mom's only sewing/craft get together another time! :)

Once the kids were in bed, this was SUPER fast to finish.  I didn't have iron on fusible stuff for the logo on the back, but just pinned it in place as securely as possible and stitched it on and we did velcro on the neck tie to make it safer and easier to get on and off.
Prince and Princess

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chocolate Sprinkle Pretzels - Gluten Free Snack for Kids

Chocolate Covered Gluten Free Pretzels

J loves doing anything in the kitchen with me, especially if involves something sweet...hmmm....she may be taking after my sweet tooth!  We have this whole foods grocery market we like to shop at with a big bulk foods section and she used to always like getting the yogurt covered pretzels but hasn't had them in a while now since she has been gluten free.  She started asking me about them and wanting me to pack them in her lunch, so I told her she could make her own covered pretzels and that she could make them any color she wanted!  That got her pretty excited, and of course she picked BLUE.  This was such a fun easy activity she could help with.  I used Wilton's White Candy Melts, melted them, added some blue Wilton food coloring and let her stir it up and watch the white melted chocolate turn blue.  Then all we did was put gluten free pretzels in the bowl of melted chocolate, flipping them over with a fork to cover both sides and then place on parchment paper.  After we were done, J picked out some sprinkles and had fun shaking the sprinkles all over the pretzels.  Now look how happy she is!!!

All you need is

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mommy Daughter Aprons

 I had so much fun making that half apron for my friend a few weeks back that I had to pick up some more fabric and make a couple more. (see original post with link to apron tutorial HERE) This time I made 3 aprons, one for my sister and the same for myself and with some of the left over fabric, made a matching one for my 3 year.  We love baking in the kitchen together and so having matching mommy daughter aprons was just what we had been missing.  When she doesn't want to take a nap, I have her put on her apron and help do chores like dusting and vacumming (with her play vacccuum) and put laundry away because I always tell her that kids need to take naps and mom has to work, so if she is going to be up, she has to help me.  :)  (although I don't ALWAYS work during naptime...I've been known to catch up on Parenthood episodes, craft or just be on the computer...shhh, don't tell! ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Coffee Filter Flowers

Here is our most recent arts and crafts project, we made coffee filter flowers.  We went for a walk last weekend and saw some tulip buds shooting up and one tulip that had opened and we started talking about spring and how everything becomes new again.  After that nature walk observing the beginnings of spring and talking about flowers, we had a rainy day and talked about how God sends the rain to make things grow and we decided to make some flowers to enjoy in the mean time.

How to Make Coffee Filter Flowers

1. To make coffee filter flowers, have you child color on coffee filters with washable markers.

2. Fill up a spray bottle and set it on mist.  Let them spray the coffee filters and watch the marker colorings take on a watercolor effect as they bleed together.

3. Let the coffee filters dry completely.

4. You can make flowers as big or small as you want...making a flower with a single coffee filter or layering 2 or 3 together.  Pinch the center of the coffee filter and push the rest up. 

5. Wrap a pipe cleaner tightly around the pinched center part of the coffee filter.  Fluff up the flowers however you like and put them in a vase.