Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vegan Ginger Snaps

Vegan Ginger Snaps

(recipe adapted from here)

2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
1 T flax seed, ground
3 T water
4 T molasses
2 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
1/3 cup coarsely granulated sugar, for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix ground flax seeds with water, and set aside.
3. Combine 1 cup of sugar, oil, and molasses, then add the flax mixture and stir until combined.
4. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
5. Add the flour to the wet mixture, about a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
6. Dip tops of rounded spoonfuls of dough in sugar and set on baking sheet, about two inches apart. Use the back of a fork to flatten slightly.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and let cookies cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Makes about 24 cookies.

I find that 8-9 minutes makes a chewier cookie, while 9-10 minutes makes a crispier cookie. I prefer mine crispy, but Brad and Ariana like them chewy.

If you're not vegan, you can find the original recipe here: Olive Oil Cookies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Small Kids, Big Color

I wasn't going to post about this here, because I just posted about the other contest, and this is hardly a home design blog--although that probably counts as homemaking too, right? And this blog is kind of about homemaking. Once in a while. But still, I wasn't going to post about the contest--except then Maxine's room made it into the finals! And I am too excited to not post about that.

Small Kids, Big Color is the annual color contest on Ohdeedoh--the kids' version of Apartment Therapy's Room for Color contest. This year, they put up 62 entries and the top nine made it into the finals. This really exciting for me, because I remember looking at, and voting on, contest entries three years ago (and every year since) and thinking how fabulous they were and wishing I had a fabulous room like that in my house. And I guess now I do. I should probably also mention that Ohdeedoh has been a huge inspiration for me. They feature so many great, and accessible, kids' rooms that there isn't enough time in the day to look at them all (at least, not for me). Even if I don't win, I feel so honored that my room got to be a part of it all, and doubly so that my room made it to the finals.

You can check out my original entry here: Maxine's Vintage Sunshine.  You may get a laugh, as I did, from all the comments saying how warm and sunny the room looks. And it is sunny, yes. But it is also an unheated sleeping porch, with three windowed walls. In Michigan. So it is definitely not warm--until June. Even so, I wouldn't exactly call it "warm" then, so much as "unbearably hot." But isn't it lovely?  We do enjoy spending lots of time in there during the winter, because of all the light.

If you'd like to vote, or just check out all of the other finalists, here is the link: Ohdeedoh Small Kids, Big Color Finalists. They're all beautiful rooms, and full of inspiration, but I've put pictures of a few of my favorites below.

Felix's Tintin Inspired Nursery
Grandmother Inspired Room
Chloe's Soiree Suite

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beeswax: A Retrospective

I know I have been very lax in school related posting lately, but rest assured, we have been doing school related activities! I think I have mentioned before that a big part of what drew me to the Waldorf teaching style is the art. One thing the girls look forward to very much is our Monday circle time when we do a little beeswax sculpture to go along with the story for that week.

I didn't plan it so each item we've made so far used a different color, but it worked out that way. Maybe because that's just how things happen sometimes, or maybe because that's just how things happen when it's always 9:45 Monday morning and you are standing in the craft room frantically trying to think of a simple clay sculpture to go with that week's story before the girls start fighting over who sits where and you lose the whole peaceful circle time vibe, and you are faced with a box of neat rectangles of clay or a plastic bag full of prior weeks' projects. At any rate, we've cycled through all the colors now, and I thought it would be fun to do a post about the things we've made before I reshape them all so they can be reused.

First were the balls moons, of course. These went along with the story "Harvest Moon Magic" by Suzanne Down.

Then, the week of the autumn equinox, we made pomegranates to go with the story of Demeter and Persephone.  

Then we read "Michaelmas Story of the Star Children" by Corinne Batzell. I printed it out from somewhere, but I can't seem to find it again. It's a great story though, and if you aren't as lazy as me, you could probably spend ten seconds Googling it. We made sprouts to go with the story. They're kind of springish, but the tube shape was a nice change from what we'd been doing.  

Next, we made leaves to go with the story "The Elder Brother" from here.  

I guess we lost a stem from one of our leaves.  I can't find the other picture I took before I threw these in a plastic bag and jumbled them around the craft bin though, so this one will have to do.
For Martinmas, we made flames. They look a lot like the sprouts, actually, except yellow. This was the Monday I forgot to get out the wax, and after the girls sat down, Max kept saying "day, day, day, no day" with a sullen look on her face. I had no idea what she was talking about until Lissie said "Oh, I know, you forgot the clay!" I find it interesting how quickly Maxine adapted to the weekly rhythm.  

Our story that week was "Saint Martin's Light" by Reg Down, who has kindly made a number of his stories available for download on his site. It's a wonderful resource and a great way to sample his work if your local library doesn't carry his books (as ours doesn't) and you are on a budget (like we are). This was actually my first introduction to his stories, but I loved everything I read, so I "liked" Tiptoes Lightly on Facebook and then won a copy of The Cricket and The Shepherd Boy in a giveaway that he did. How cool is that? Reg Down seems like a really nice guy too, which makes me want to buy all of the rest of his books immediately, but alas, that budget! We are building our collection slowly though.  

And for our last project, I thought we'd branch (hah!) out a bit from the tube shape. Lissie and I made trees (Maxine made a tree stump), which went along nicely with the story "Autumn Bear" by Suzanne Down.  

In Feingold related news, I recently learned about a product called Gloves in a Bottle which prevents things from being absorbed into the skin. I can't wait to try it out with Lissie. I am hoping it will allow her to use markers, beeswax crayons and paint again (although she has been doing well with her Artemis watercolors). I haven't decided yet if we'll try the Stockmar modeling beeswax, or stick with Artemis if the "gloves" work. Maybe we'll use a combination of both.  I do like the muted colors and variations in the kind we've been using, but I have a feeling the girls would enjoy the brighter Stockmar colors too.