Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baby Valentine Craft

Not such a great paint...
As a gift to Little Man's mother I decided to make a "Card" for his mom.  I made my own 'finger paints' with corn starch, hot water and food coloring.  It didn't turn out the way I thought it would and I'll probably never make it again unless it's just for the kids to play with and not for a gift. The recipe can be found here: Non Toxic Finger paint .  The great part about the recipe is that if the kids eat it nothing bad will happen.  It probably doesn't taste very good though!  The end result was that when it dried it became very brittle and didn't stay on the paper.

Here is where I got the idea for the 'card' Card for Mom.

It was pretty difficult to get the feet right.  I put a bit of the paint on a small paper plate while he was in the high chair.  It dripped everywhere and made a mess but it was easy to clean up.  It took a few tries but I finally got his 'feet stamps' right.  Then I just taped them to a piece of paper and cut out a heart shape.

"From the Top of my Head..."
I think it turned out ok.  I let his mom know that the paint is 'cumbly' and to hang it if she wants too but it may not be around for ever.

All in all, it was a cute project but I don't think I'll make that paint again.  Now I have a container of corn starch I have no idea what to do with.  I'm sure I'll find something!

What is your favorite Valentine craft?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blackberry Scone Style Cookies

In preparation for going to visit a friend for a play group I wanted to make a cookie that had black berries in them.  I had a box of blackberries that were about to be tossed out.  I was in bed looking up recipes before it was time for me to wake up and start the day.  I came across this: Lemon Blackberry Cookies.  The blog post itself is really quite cute and fun to read.  I'll have to add her to my list of favorite blogs.  Cause that's what I do.

So I got up earlier than usual to get the cookies baked before Little Man was dropped off at 8am.  You know you have to get up 'preeety early in da mornin'' to get stuff done with small children.

The lemon from a bottle of lemon juice is just NOT the same as the real thing.  Not sure why that is but it's true.  These came out more scone-y than I would have liked but I do like scones so when I told my tongue 'this is a scone' the tongue responded and said, 'pretty good scone!"  The seeds are little annoying but the chunks of sweet and tart blackberry were lovely.  

Not going to lie  I'll probably never make these again BUT I will keep the recipe and use it to make cute little scone type nibbles for another day.  I think these are more fit for rolling and then baking instead of scooping. 

Do you like scones? What are your favorite kind?

Apple Cookies

I was expecting a few of my mom friends to come over to play and thought to myself that we had quite a few Gala apples sitting in the bowl that needed desperately to be made into cookies.  I used this recipe: Apple Cookies with Sour Cream and Raisins  The recipe called for raisins but alas, I have no raisins so I simply left them out.  No biggie there.

The recipe said "finely chopped apples with skins".  I used my handy dandy corer cutter for my apples and threw them into the food processor.  I rarely get to use the thing and I was quite happy with how easy it was to 'finely chop' the apples.

Finely chopped apples with skin a la Food Processor
First you cream the butter and sugar and then sift together these ingredients.  I went ahead and added in a few dashes of apple pie spice because, well, what goes better with apples than apple pie spice?

Dry ingredients getting all sifty with it.
I was supposed to use sour cream.  It seemed that it was a fancy way to replace half the usual butter amount with some else.  I went with it.  Sadly the only sour cream we have is "Light" so I'm sure it was a little less creamy.  But that's how I do things around her.  Work with what I have right?

Sour cream, apples, and 'nilla.
The butter and sugar sure do look nice together don't they?

Creaming the day away...
The finished cookies were a bit on the bland side.  No apple flavor at all.  The only way you knew there was apples in there was because of the peels.  It had a 'quick bread' like banana bread texture.  Not terribly delicious but still satisfying to that sweet tooth.

Not bad, not great, but not bad.
I'm sure I won't be making these again since they didn't really stand out in my mind as anything special.  Almost like a nice way to dispose of apples that are on their way out. 

Do you like raisins in your cookies / breads?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potato!

I had a playdate recently and one of the mom's is a vegetarian.  It was pretty chilly outside so I thought Chili would be perfect!  I found this recipe online: Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potato

It was a complete HIT!  Even the toddlers had seconds!  So I totally forgot to take pictures while I was making it!  Or maybe I did take pictures and then they got lost.  I do that from time to time.  It's what happens when you use all the space on your phone for pictures of the kid!

I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out PERFECT.  I didn't think I was going to be a fan of sweet potato in my chili but it called for cinnamon and cocoa and I can respect a chili with those two ingredients. Next time I might add some sirloin cubed and a bit of espresso and a stout beer to really fill out the flavor to my tastes.  But it really was just the thing for a cold day.  Very healthy to boot!
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes
I totally stole this from the website but hey, it looked just like it!

What's your favorite cold weather food?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Instant" Cookies (Part 2)

This is my second installment of "Instant" cookies.  I love doing these types of recipes because I feel like it's a dual purpose.  I'm cleaning stuff out of my overfilled pantry AND making friends and family happy!

These cookies are made with instant apple cider.   I love apple cider...good steamed high quality apple cider.  NOT the instant stuff.  Yet I buy a box every season thinking I'm going to make it and it will be yummy! After the first cup I realize that it's just plain NOT good.  So it sits in my pantry until February when I clean out the cabinets and the pantry.

This time I figured I could use it for something delicious!  Voila!  Snickerdoodles with Instant Apple Cider!  Holy moly they are fantastic.  Pretty sweet but certainly tasty, especially with a homemade caramel glaze.

Here is the recipe: Caramel Apple Cider Snickerdoodle

The recipe makes them with caramel in the center but I didn't have any caramels so I figured what the heck.  When I make them again I will certainly make sure I have some caramels on hand!  I think the caramel center might cut the sweetness a bit.

Little happy balls of deliciousness!

And now with a caramel glaze!

I decided to make the caramel glaze since I didn't have any caramel to put into the center.  The glaze was so fun to make!  I felt like a real cook!  Muwahaha! I'm going to take over the cooking world!  Next thing you know I'll be hosting my own cooking show...  doubtful, I have a face for radio!  

So here is the recipe for the homemade caramel: Caramel Sauce.  Keep in mind that the recipe might have a type.  I think it was supposed to be 1 TEASPOON of vanilla and not 1 TABLESPOON of vanilla.  I read the reviews that informed of this possible typo after I had already made the stuff.  However, I was at the end of my bottle of vanilla so it ended up being close to a half a tablespoon.  I still have a jar of it left in my fridge that I put in my coffee in the morning.  

I liked the caramel recipe so much I might make homemade caramel sauce for family and friends for Christmas gifts in little baby food jars.  We shall see right?  

On another note this recipe calls for "Cream of Tartar" which has always stumped me.  Turns out that according to Wikipedia "Potassium bitartrate, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate, with formula KC4H5O6, is a byproduct of winemaking."  So technically these cookies are a relative of wine.  

Speaking of wine, you really must visit my sister in law's blog called, "Confessions of a Wineaux"  .  Very well written and really helps you understand the wines that she's drinking at the time.  It's helped me wander away from the "4 buck Chuck."

What recipes have you used that had a weird ingredient?


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Drawer Clean Up!

Junk drawers are the worst.  I have or rather HAD two of them in my kitchen.  We moved in with a 4 month old and things kind of just got tossed into places.  Then more stuff got tossed onto the other stuff and now it's just a giant mess.

A quick visit to the dollar store helped me out quite a bit!  The ice cube trays were perfect for the little screws and nuts and bolts and whatever little bits that were laying around the drawer.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and now when I need something I know exactly where it is!!

"Honey have you seen my work glove?"

"It's where it belongs, in the garage, and NOT in the drawer!"

What part of your home do you wish would just get cleaned out already?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kitchen Help

I've been on a mission to organize the spaces in my home where I spend the most time.  Starting with the kitchen.  I nanny for an 8 month old little boy and I have my own 12 month old Evelyn.  Needless to say, they eat...All. The. Time.

Now that they are digging in more often than they are having a liquid lunch I have plenty of dirty bibs, cloths and towels.  They would end up on a pile next to the laundry room door and I would scoop them up at the end of the day and throw them into the larger laundry basket in the laundry room.  Bad Idea.  This just meant that I had a larger basket of laundry hiding behind a closed door.

Easy solution!  I visited the local Dollar Tree and purchased a small laundry basket to store under the high chair.  I can toss bibs, towels and wash cloths in there and at the end of the day I only have a small load to wash.  No yucky wet towels at the bottom of the basket from a few days ago.
Not to big, not to small!  Just right!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happy First Birthday! (invitations...)

Happy First Birthday!

Our little girl is turning One this month and I went and splurged on etsy invitations.  I tried like heck to recreate these beautiful inviations but it just was not possible.  They are just too cute!  I'd like to thank Rachelle's Printables for having such a quick turnaround (12 hours!) and super friendly email conversations.  I felt like mine were the only thing they were working on. I had them printed by Snapfish for a local Walgreens pick up.  All in all for 35 invitations it only cost me about $20 (not including the stamps).  

So cute I want to eat them!  

"Is it me or is this the cutest thing ever?"

What is your favorite etsy store? 

"Instant" Cookies (Part 1)

When I was trying to nurse Evelyn I tried all kinds of different supplements.  One of them that actually seemed to work made me smell like I'd bathed in maple syrup.  All day.  For 4 months.  There are worse things a person can smell like but after a while it was annoying.  And to this day, 8 months later, I can't stand the taste of maple syrup unless it's mixed in with something like oh, waffles.  Yum.

I bought a box of Quaker High Fiber instant oatmeal hoping to help with the baby weight and to have a filling breakfast.  They only had one flavor.  Maple and Brown Sugar.  After the first packet I couldn't do it.  I had flashbacks to that horrible bitter tasting liquid supplement.  Yuck. But of course I couldn't throw away perfectly good food so there it sat on the top shelf of the pantry until a few weekends ago I was thinking it would be nice to have some oatmeal cookies, and what an easy way to get rid of those oatmeal packets!

So I looked online for "instant oatmeal cookies" and I came across this recipe.  Instant Oatmeal Packet Cookies

Holy oatmeal batman!  They were a little flatish but so chewy and yummy.  I could tolerate the maple flavor because it was mixed with cookie goodness.  They were of course handed out to friends and family and we ate quite a few ourselves!  Hubster liked them and was sad when I told him I probably won't make them again since I don't intend to buy that type of oatmeal.  I'm sure the other box of oatmeal that I bought will end up in a cookie though.  I just don't have the desire to eat oatmeal for breakfast.  I'm a protein in the morning kind of gal!

A little flat but really yummy!

What is your favorite kind of oatmeal cookie?  Traditional?  With nuts or raisins?

Monday, February 3, 2014

"You're Turning Violet, Violet!"

It all started with a playgroup and a sale...

I recently joined a new playgroup in my area and I offered to host a rather large group of ladies and babies (why didn't we name our group that?!)...    I've been trying to bake more often so when Evelyn grows up we can do it together.  The grocery store had giant boxes of blueberries on sale and I had fed so many of them to Evelyn that she was sure to turn blue at some point.  So I decided to make a blueberry cakey cookie with them.  I literally looked up 'cakey cookie recipe' in the Google box.  And this is the recipe that  I found: Chocolate Chip Cookie: The Cakey Version . I know I know, *GASP* why didn't I make them with chocolate chips?  Well you see, I only had about 1/8 cup of chocolate chips and I had about 2 lbs of that's why.  

The cookies were Ah-Mah-Zing!  But my husband made a comment that they needed a little bit of something.  Then he suggested a lemon icing.  He is a genius.  So I make a simple lemon icing with a bit of powdered sugar, lemon juice straight from the bottle shaped like a lemon and half and half.

Just one lonely little needs something....
Many happy cookies with a lemon icing!
My playgroup ate them up.  There were only about 4 left after everyone had gone home so it was left to me to eat them all up!

What is your favorite cookie?  Cakey? Chewey? Crunchy?

"Shelley's Stitches" Gift

My sister in law Shelley, owner of "Shelley's Stitches" created this cutie patootie little onesie for Evelyn!  I love the sparkly birdy and the color scheme is really great!  It's all high quality thread and the onesie is super soft.  She does custom work from her home and you'll love what she can make for you!  

The cute kid can be distracting, I know!
Feel free to visit her Facebook store and see what what she's done recently! Tell her the Fabrycated mom sent you!

What is YOUR favorite independent creative mom store?

...And we're back!

It's been a while since I've posted!  Wow does time fly?!  Evelyn is almost a year old and I think I've made it though relatively unscathed.  I'm finding so much to do around the house that I think other mom's and even non-mom's would be interested in.  Keep an eye out for some fun baking ideas and great organizing projects in the future here at Fabrycated Mom!

Brought to you by the letter F and also the number 11!