Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Crackers!

Snack time in this house requires a crafty mommy. Maybe not so much if I was comfortable giving Lauryn the "snacks" you find on the grocery store shelves. But since Im not, I have to get creative when 2:30pm rolls around. Lots of kids snacks revolve around crackers. So I have been scouring the internet looking for a healthy, yet easy to make cracker. And I have finally stumbled upon a gem!

1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
Seasonings to taste - I used Herbes De Provence

 Pulse all ingredients, except water, in your food processor until crumbly.  *Be sure to add any seasonings now!

Turn your machine on and let it run as you add the 1/4cup of water. Continue to run your processor until your dough starts to ball up.

On a lightly floured surface, or on parchment paper as shown, roll the dough out to 1/4'' thickness. This dough rolls extremely easily. It freezes really well too.

Since Lauryn is going to be the only one really eating these crackers, I decided to use our handy 1'' flower fondant cutters. You could just use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into small squares if youre not into the shapes. I think it adds a cutesy little flair. :)

If you have little hands helping you with this process, dont fret if they decide to eat a "precooked" flower! The dough is perfectly safe raw. No raw ingredients means no chance for crummies in tummies. 

Place crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a preheated 400 oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they start to lightly brown. 

*Again! Make sure you add your seasonings to the dough before you add the water. I completely forgot and had to dump some seasonings on the crackers last minute. The seasonings didnt stay on the cracker well after baking. 

As you can see, some of the seasonings survived baking, but most fell off when I removed the crackers from the parchment paper. Sigh. Theyre delicious though! And how easy are they?! About 30 minutes in the kitchen and I made 80 bite sized healthy crackers for my little girl.

Of course she had some crackers with cheese for snack today! Nutritious and delicious. Mommy and baby approved!

Be sure to check back soon! I have two recipes coming up that I am super excited about! Homemade goldfish crackers and homemade graham crackers! YUM!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recipe Time: Banana Ice Cream

Moving not just to a new house but a new state put a pretty large amount of strain on all of us. Our first week in our new home, we decided to take a walk down to the locally owned ice cream shop. It was a short walk from our house and we all were in need of a little cheer. Since then, we have gone there for ice cream every Wednesday. Granted its only been 2 months, but its a new tradition that we all love! 

I however, started to feel a little guilty giving Lauryn ice cream every week. I know, it really isnt a big deal, but ice cream should be a treat. So I started looking for alternatives. She would never know the difference anyway. And that is how I stumbled upon this delicious and nutritious recipe! Oh and did I mention its just ONE ingredient?!

Thats it. Bananas. Yes, Im serious. 

Just slice them up and stick them in the freezer for 2 hours. Then stick them in the blender and let them go until smooth. I did add a tiny splash of milk, but it was totally unnecessary. 

 I sprinkled Lauryns with some fresh blackberries and strawberries! I mixed a spoonful of peanut butter and a little cocoa powder into hubby and I's. 

And as you can see, she didnt even care that it wasnt "real" ice cream. She gobbled it up. And I had absolutely zero feelings of mommy guilt over this Wednesday Ice Cream Day!

I kid you not, it tastes just like ice cream. Its creamy and rich. Absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

If you havent noticed already, I hate buying things premade. Its never as healthy or as tasty, or cheap, as something you whip up fresh that day! My family is worth the minimal extra effort. My husband and I are pretty picky when it comes to pasta sauce. But this is a recipe that we both LOVE.

1 28oz can of organic crushed tomatoes
1 small can of organic tomato paste
1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh or dried basil to taste

 1. Heat your olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Occasionally Ill add minced onion or garlic to this step and let that simmer for a little while.

2. Add the crushed tomatoes and 1/4cup of the tomato paste (its about half the can). Mix until the tomato paste is incorporated well. We tend to add fresh green peppers and mushrooms at this step also. Makes for a yummy sauce!

3. Add basil and stir. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Sorry for the lack of photos of the finished product. I completely forgot! Oops! Ill try to remember to update this once we have spaghetti again! Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fives!

Another round of 5 helpful tips and tricks!

1. Dirty microwave? Fill a microwave safe bowl with water, add 1/2 a fresh lemon, nuke it for 5 minutes. Be careful removing the bowl, it will be HOT. Use a sponge/rag to wipe out the yuckies and be amazed how easy it comes clean!

2. Traveling with your littles? Take a large ziploc bag and put one entire outift, hairbows, socks, the whole shebang inside the bag. One bag for each day. Once you arrive at your hotel, put the bags in a dresser drawer and your child can easily pick out an outfit. Huge time saver! No more searching for a certain colored pair of socks or hair bow!

3. Do you dread hanging curtains as much as I do? Its always such a pain getting them perfect. Most of the time I end up drilling several holes, it still not being even and just saying "its good enough". Heres a tip, one I cannot wait to use! Take a piece of cardstock and cut out one corner, so the paper will slide right up to your window frame. Drill your hole right through the cardstock. Move to the other side of the window, flip your cardstock and line it up against the window frame. Drill your new hole where the hole from the other side of the window is. BAM! perfectly hung curtains.

4. If youre doing a load of laundry and have certain items that cant go in the dryer, use a dry erase marker and leave yourself a small list of those items right on your washer. It will wipe off easily once youre done. And that leaves for zero chance of mistakenly drying your "hang to dry" only items.

5. Short on space? Hang a plastic shoe rack on the back of your laundry room door and use it to store your cleaning supplies!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint has become quite popular. Unfortunately, its found on the expensive side. In my Chalkboard Basket Tutorial, I paid a little over $8 for a spray paint can size of chalkboard paint. I eventually used it all up, and have been needing some more for quite a while, but I just havent felt like spending so much on it! So, I went searching for a recipe. I knew I had to be able to make it, somehow, and chances were it would be a lot cheaper!

So here it is! Its fast, cheap, easy and works like a charm!!

All you need is some unsanded grout and some paint of any color!

Most recipes use a powder grout, but all I had on hand was the premixed stuff, which worked fine! I paid $4 at Michaels for this container of grout, and I'll be able to make a ton of chalkboard paint out of it!

The paint I already had on hand so no "fee" there. :)

Simply mix 1 Tablespoon of grout with 1/2 cup of paint. Make sure you mix it really well to get all the lumps and bumps out.

The next step is to paint obviously. Im going to be starting an herb garden soon so I figured what better way to mark the herbs than with a chalkboard painted terra cotta planter. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step. My whole pot, plus 2 layers of paint was dry in less than 20 minutes.

Prep your fresh chalkboard surface by rubbing some chalk onto it then wiping it off.

Tada! Chalkboard paint for cheap! I cant wait to get more potters and get my herbs started!