This year at preschool I am serving as Recycling Mom. Sounds pretty glamorous doesn’t it? I joke about it only I really do take the job seriously because these little minds are so ready to soak up any piece of information you give them and starting them off right is so beyond important. After the first week of recycling basics served up in an easy to digest speech for 2-5 year olds I decided to do something to translate the reuse concept into something the preschoolers could understand.
I was totally inspired by this pin and this pin on Pinterest. The preschool got parents to collect bottle caps for about a month and when we had a huge basket full I enlisted a really creative artistically gifted neighbor to sketch out a fish on a big box sitting in our recycling pile. We cut open the box on the seams to create one large flat piece of cardboard. Then she sketched the fish and my Husband cut it out with scissors and a blade.
I brought the cardboard fish into preschool and had each child choose four caps. They got to point to where they wanted their caps I applied hot glue to the back of the cap and we created a gorgeous mosaic. We were absolutely amazed at how cool the fish turned out. We are planning to do more projects like this one so keep watching as we update with more.
Isn’t this art piece amazing!
I’m in a major movie slump. Don’t laugh. The last movie I saw in an actual theater. Was House Bunny. Stop laughing. It is embarrassing enough it’s been like what four or five years since I was in a theater and even worse our bad movie selection for that last movie. That was the last movie before babies.
I’m kind of addicted to this Apple TV my Husband hooked up for us and we get all these sometimes/fabulous/sometimes/time waster documentaries through Netflix. Since I am focusing on changing our eating habits around here he downloaded Veducated for me to watch. So the other morning when my baby girl decided to get up at 5:40 a.m. I thought why not.
Veducated is one of the best documentaries I have seen in way too long. Here is why. The star, Marisa Miller Wolfson, looks like a pretty girl from just about anywhere. I wouldn’t see her and immediately say vegan. She makes vegan mainstream, she is funny and witty and asks the questions I would probably ask. Not only is she the film’s star she is also the writer, director and editor. Impressive.
Here is the synopsis from the Veducated website.
Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.
My only complaint about the movie is it got a little Food Incish at times and went into the sides of animal ag that most of us I hope have seen already. I would have liked to see more about the three featured newly Vegans and gotten more updates on how they are progressing. That aside this movie is totally worth seeing. I hope they do a follow-up.
I got so fired up after watching this movie mostly because it validated my desires to become more conscious about what I eat and my family too. It made me realize if they can do it why can’t I? Excellent question right?
When I read more about Marisa on the movie’s website it just got me even more charged up. It’s so refreshing to see a young woman I can relate to that is actually pursuing activism in a way that I can get behind.
It’s almost a new year and we are getting serious about our new lifestyle around here. I started experimenting this month with vegan baking and I am so hooked. Here is my last little December hoopla baking extravaganza. Only this one is easy. So easy my two year old did the mixing and I did the baking.
Want to know my fav part about vegan baking as a mom? I don’t have to yell at my children for eating the dough while they mix. No eggs. No e coli risk. No yelling. It’s a win all around.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found here on a blog with fabulous eggless cooking recipes.
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped Fresh Cranberries
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Flax Seed Meal
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Also add the cranberries and sugar and combine it thoroughly.
- Whisk/blend together the flax seed meal and water until white and foamy.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flax seed mixture, orange juice and applesauce.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool the loaf for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
- Finish cooling the loaf on a wire rack.
Our Labor Day plans fell apart when the neighbors called to cancel only we made our menu as planned including some easy crockpot baked beans. We served them with Chicken Apple Sausage and corn off the grill. It was an easy dinner that would have impressed our guests and instead we have lots of leftovers.
Budget tip. Baked beans freeze great so throw leftovers in preportioned Ziploc bags or Mason jars (with enough room to expand) and keep them for another night.
Dress Up Canned Baked Beans in the Crockpot
2 large onions, chopped
4 (28 ounce) cans baked beans
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar or 2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons red chili pepper flakes
Put all the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours.
My kitchen doubles as a play room most days because if I’m cooking it seems like the smaller members of our fam want to be directly under foot. So not only am I a chef each and every day for my family I am also the ringleader of keeping accidents to a minimum and the entertainment coming.
A friend of ours is a childhood specialist and suggested layering magnet paint under chalkboard paint in our kitchen somewhere to keep the children occupied. Who knew? I sure didn’t. I was excited enough last year about the discovery of chalkboard paint! So this weekend our goal is to paint a side of our cabinets that are floor accessible and can keep everyone busy while I throw whatever ingredients I can find together. Hope it works!
I love this version using a framed mirror. So elegant!
I decided to whip up some fast and easy banana bread while the children were occupied during lunch. Since I didn’t have to make dinner tonight I got on a baking kick. I know I am a glutton for punishment what can I say.
We are trying to incorporate more iron into our menu planning and molasses is a sweet and nutrient pack way to do it. I had some bananas that had seen their day mushing in the cupboard so I got busy. I followed this recipe on Allrecipes and it was worth every minute of prep time. This recipe gets rave reviews for the simple fact that it only took less than ten minutes to combine the ingredients in a bowl and throw it in the oven. Easy enough! Our toddler loved it and I did too!
.5 cup butter, softened
1 egg1 cup blackstrap molasses
2 cups mashed banana
1 cup whole wheat flour3/4 cup all-purpose flour
.5 tsp. baking soda.5 tsp. salt
.5 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter. Beat in egg, molasses and banana. Mix in whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and walnuts; stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.