Sunday, April 24, 2011

Big 6

Happy 6 months little guy. The time has flown by and it seems like just a few weeks ago we were bringing home our tightly wrapped small precious (screaming) bundle. Although we can look back now and it all seems a quick blur the road to getting here was sometimes pretty rough. It took a few weeks to figure out that Theo had some major food intolerances and then it took some serious diet modifications to get him feeling better. I had to give up dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, and since I was already a vegetarian that left not a whole lot left to eat. Even taking vitamins or eating foods with any spices would upset his little belly - it was a boring few food months. Now he has outgrown all the sensitivities and I am back to eating my fair share of cookies, milkshakes and other non so good for you foods. Mommy & baby are happy, in fact the whole house is now full of laughter, love and all kinds of kiddo shenanigans. One little person, the whole universe.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bug Bites

Made up a batch of Easter sugar cookies in bug shapes. Tess thinks it is hysterical to chomp the heads and wings off of the bugs and say gross as she reaches for more to eat. This was the first time I tried the royal icing with meringue power. Usually we use pasteurized eggs so that the frosting is safe to eat without the risk of salmonella but I always find that the eggs because of the heat treatment won't whip up. I have tried using cream of tarter as a stabilizer but it still leaves the icing runny and with set up issues. I have mixed feelings on the meringue powder I found that the icing was a bit to frothy and sticky and lacked some of the gloss of my usual recipe. Definitely not as tasty but it was very easy to work with and spread. I can tell I need a few more rounds to get the perfect "safe" icing. With the way Tess & Matt are hitting these tasty little bugs I am sure I will have plenty of opportunities to perfect this recipe.

For the cookie recipe - see earlier post on Valentines Day cookies
For the icing recipe... stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Dress

I have been wanting to try to sew one of those pillowcase style dresses for some time but just haven't gotten around to doing it. I've was actually worried that once I made one of these dresses I would get pillowcase dress crazy and then every photo of Tess from now until she went to college would be of her in one these. But with Easter right around the corner I thought it would be the perfect quick sew dress project. After searching for a tutorial I found one that looked pretty simple at Prudent Baby and thought I would give it a go. The dress is linen and cotton and even though it's not the most festive of dresses I am still referring to it as the Easter Dress. Last years Easter dress was black with small white dots so by my standards this ended up being practically a carnival of color. The whole dress from cutting fabric to completion look less than 2 hours and just as I feared I can't wait to make another one. They make the perfect summer dress and when the weather starts to turn you can layer t-shirts under them and wear them as tunics.

Bias Tape
Twill Tape for the tie

Friday, April 8, 2011

Health Nut Cookie

Chocolate cookies are a particular weakness of mine and my all time favorite recipe is from Tate's bake shop in the Hamptons. Goop posted the recipe awhile back and since then it is my go to recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookies. Here is that link if you are in the mood for the best cc cookie I am always on the lookout for healthy alternatives to the foods I crave so when I saw the recipe for lentil cookies on the Cooking Channel's Spice Goddess I was intrigued and thought I would give them a try. I love the idea of a cookie that includes high protein,healthy fats and whole wheat. I modified the recipe a bit so that I could make them more of a breakfast cookie or healthy snack cookie. I'm calling my version a Health Nut Cookie. Here is the original recipe from the cooking channel For my modification I only used 1/4 cup of almonds and added 3/4 cup of walnuts (I'm a walnut fan). I also cut the sugar by 1/4. The final cookie was light and nutty - next time I might add a pinch of cardamon to give them a little more spice. You can't argue with a healthy cookie that actually tastes good.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Salt Painting

My new mission is to try to get more creative time in with T, she is like a sponge and wants to be trying her hand at new experiences everyday. Developmentally she seems to be transitioning from abstract doodles to more representational drawing so when I saw this cool craft over at Family Fun magazine I thought it would be a perfect fit. I was amazing at how she was grasping the concept of following the lines and enjoying a bit of structure, actually waiting and having fun at each step in the process. To do this project at home you need only a few things that you probably already have on hand. First step is to take some stiff card stock or you can reuse cut down cardboard boxes, we used watercolor paper that I cut in half. Next squeeze or draw out with regular Elmers/craft glue a design on the paper. Tess made her first ones pretty simple but once she saw that she only painted on glue she made the next ones more elaborate. After the design is done place the paper in a shallow pan and sprinkle with course salt until the paper is covered then shake off any excess. While the glue is still wet start dabbing wet watercolor paint onto the salted design trying not to drag the brush through the glue. Like magic the wet color spreads as the salt absorbs the paint. We tried regular Mortons table salt and course kosher salt and got better results the with latter. We also found that the more wet the paint the better the leaching of the color on to the design. Make sure to document the artwork because once it dries it tends to flake off and could make for messy storage.

Watercolor paper or Card Stock
Craft Glue
Course Salt
Shallow Pan

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bath Towel

Long time no post. Sorry we have just been busy around here and finding time to craft is a luxury that mommy is going without these days. So here is a quick one I was able to pull off before the kiddos even woke up on Sunday am. T was in need of a new towel and when I looked online at the prices I was amazed at what companies charge for toddler towels - highway robbery if you ask me. After looking at some of her old baby towels it didn't seem like it would be all that difficult to sew one up, basically the towel construction is only three long seams plus a little extra work to add on some fun details. I purchased a 100% cotton standard bath towel for $3.99 and a hand towel for $1.99 from Target on sale. Sorry I didn't have time to completely document the process for a tutorial but here is a link to the basic sew online I promise this is a super easy project well worth the time and small investment. Since I've made another one in orange that was a little chicken as a gift for my nephew Zade and plan to make one for baby Theo. This just might be my go to gift project for all of T's friends.