Plasticine Takes the Place of Playdough…yay!!

Let me begin by saying I am not a huge fan of Playdough.  The girls have been playing with it for many many years.  The problem I find is that it dries out so quickly, Little C loves to eat it and I was replacing it constantly.   The amount of waste and plastic containers would drive me crazy.  I know I could have very easily made playdough – I just never did!  I was too busy baking things to eat instead.  The exciting news is that the girls each received a plasticine kit for Christmas with many beautiful colours.  Their hands now seem strong enough to soften the clay and shape it into their desired forms.  This wasn’t possible before.  This past wet weekend was spent making some fun creations…

Big C in the process of creating...

...an owl mask

It was so neat to watch the process of creation taking place before my very eyes!  Big C wanted to please me by making an owl which is her mama’s favourite creature and Little C wanted to present me with a flower!  How sweet…

A flower for me!

close up

                                                                        

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Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Ah here we go wtih the birthday party invitations again.  It seems like between Big C and Little C  we’re always going to one birthday party or another.  Usually Big C brings her own cupcake to these celebrations because of her significant food allergies – it simply makes life that much easier.  The only problem is she is getting sick and tired of the Crazy Chocolate Cake kind – she requested Vanilla this time.  So the girls and I embarked upon some kitchen adventures this morning.  I found a great recipe online for Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes from www.Epicurious.com  – the recipe required indgrediants that were readily available in my cupboards and I have to say they came out tasting pretty yummy!!  One of my favourite online vegan websites for recipes and handy information is www.postpunkkitchen.com .

Big C was the leader of making the cupcakes today and she was responisble for measuring out all of the ingrediants.  It was a great way to teach her about the principles of measurement and the whole fraction thing – she seemed to get it!  There’s nothing like bringing math to real life experience.

Important baking lessons

Good teamwork between sisters

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tin with with either oil or cupcake papers.  Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside for a few minutes.  Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda in one bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vanilla and oil.  Add the dry ingrediants and soy milk to the sugar mix.  Blend until smooth and then transfer to muffin tins, 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top.  Makes approximately 10 medium sized cupcakes.

I make my own vanilla icing which is rather yummy and old-fashioned tasting.  I measure 1 cup of icing sugar and add 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine, 1 tablespoon or so of vanilla soy milk and mix until smooth and desirable thickness.  Delicious!

Yummy Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes!

Flour face!

Buddha’s Hand

Well I think we are finally back into our normal routine post-Christmas.  Unfortunately we all seem to have the stomach flu at the moment so things have been interesting around here.  The girls have been enjoying quiet down time navel gazing so to speak…

just navel gazing

Mexican bobble heads

The other day, big C and I went to a nice grocery store in town here and we found the most interesting piece of exotic fruit – it’s call “Buddha’s hand”.  What attracted me to this piece of fruit was it’s unusual finger-like extensions and its  citrus-like scent.  It reminded me of the smell of the beautiful orange groves in Florida that I had the priviledge of experiencing as a child.  I always remember my mom commenting on how much she loved that smell.  Here’s what the Buddha’s hand looks like…

Buddha's hand

a view from underneath

Big C was very keen to get on the computer and read all about the Buddha’s hand.  We were very curious if there was enough flesh to eat really.  So Big C learned that it is a fragrant citron whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections; it is juiceless and is very fragrant; it is predominantly used by Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms and clothing;  Big C obtained this information from Wikipedia ofcourse!  We look forward to going back to Thrifty’s to find some more exotic fruit!