Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homemade Animal Crackers and Goldfish Crackers

In the last couple of years I've been trying to cut packaged and processed foods from our diet. But I don't want Bug to miss out on yummy and cute things like animal crackers and goldfish crackers. I had been buying those super-overpriced organic bunny snack crackers, but Bug was pretty lukewarm about them. So one day I tried them- they taste sort of like cardboard! Bleck.

One day it occured to me- why not make our own? Somebody has to have done it. And sure enough, there are lots of recipes out there. I tried a few, and have now come up with a couple that work really well for us.

I also spent far too much time searching for a goldfish cracker cookie cutter. The only one out there that looks like the pepperidge farm one is seriously overpriced for a tiny cookie cutter, and I haven't yet gotten around to enacting the DIY goldfish cookie cutter directions that are out on the web. Clever, but I don't have any soda cans lying around, and haven't been inspired enough to dig one out of someone else's recycling bin.

In the meantime I fell for the super-cuteness of all the other mini-cookie cutters out there- how cute are those little frogs, turtles, dolphins, and dragonflies! I've decided that I don't need my cheese crackers to look like Pepperidge Farm goldfish afterall. Bug doesn't seem to mind either.

So here is my Animal Cracker recipe. It makes me feel good that it is full of good stuff like ground flax (high omega 3s!) and oatmeal flour. There is a lot of butter in it... but I don't think that milk-fat is a bad thing for kids, especially as a treat. This is an adaptation of the King Arthur flour recipe:

Omega-3 Animal Cracker Recipe 
3/4 cup (12 tbsps) butter
1/8 cup organic cane sugar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup of oat flour (I grind up rolled oats in an old coffee grinder)
1/2 cup ground flax (I grind up flax seeds in the coffee grinder too!)
2 tbsp water

I make it in a food processor. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the honey and vanilla. Mix the salt, baking powder, ww flour, oat flour, and flax. Add to the food processor, and pulse until it resembles coarse, wet sand. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time and pulse. Empty the food processor bowl into a ziplock or onto a piece of plastic wrap, and press together into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll out to 3/8 inch thick on a floured surface, and cut with floured cookie cutters. Bake at 350 until the edges get a touch of gold on them.

Omega-3 Goldfish Recipe 
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
In the food processor, grate the cheese into the bowl of the food processor using your grater attachment. Switch to the usual blade, add the butter, and blend until the large chunks are gone. Add the flour, flax, oat flour, and salt, pulse until it resembles coarse, wet sand. Add the water one tbsp at a time, and pulse until just combined. Empty the food processor bowl into a ziplock or onto a piece of plastic wrap, and press together into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll out to 3/8 inch thick on a floured surface, and cut with floured cookie cutters. Bake at 350 until the edges get a touch of gold on them. 

They are totally fun to make too! Of course I get lots of help, some of which includes poking holes into my nicely rolled dough and tossing handfuls of flour on the floor. The cookie cutters themselves fascinate her, she loves picking out the cutter and handing it to me, and washing them up in the sink afterwards.

They are soooo yummy. And they make good play too.



It is pretty satisfying to start the week with full jars of yummy snack food to put into lunches!

Friday, September 13, 2013

20 month vocabulary

Bug's words at 20 months:
(things she says all the time)
Shoe (two syllables "shoe-ah")
Stuck and "I stuck"
Mommy (mumma, mama, mommy)
Dala (all dogs, cats, and sometimes other animals)
It is a bike/ball.

(heard them once or twice)
That is a bike.
Spudder (spider)

Maybe she said that?
Dropped it.
I'm fine.

Her own words:
mi-i, mi-i (pronounced with a long "i" as in "my", with the second i sound rising in question)- when she wants things-- food, milk, a toy

From our 20-month studio pictures.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"It is a bike."

Today when I picked her up at daycare little bug pointed at a tricycle and informed me "It is a bike." she then pointed to a ball and said, "It is a ball." The instances when we think we hear her say something are also multiplying. Yesterday she was throwing a fit in her car seat and I said to her that I didn't know what she wanted. I had just given her a peppermint a few minutes ago. She thought about this then said something that sounded very, very much like "I dropped it." Twice in a row. Also yesterday she suddenly burst into tears in the living room and David asked: "are you ok?" and she seemed to say, "I'm fine" which David thought might be like her yes nod, which usually means no.

This weekend when I was away in Tallahassee David texted me that she had just pointed at a spider and said, "spudder."

Ready to face the day with her babydoll, a purple stuffed animal that Julian made, and her sparkly blue canvas sneakers (her choice!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fall Wardrobe... A Work In Progress

Just last week it was looking so grim that I actually ordered some clothes. A girl just has to have a few new things for a new school year! For example, I gave been ridiculously envious of all of the cute stripey dresses out there this year... And after noticing bulgy-ness showing with some of my jersey tops, I was really wanting a sleek ponte knit top that might be a little more forgiving.

I received my order the Friday before labor day. What a disaster! On three out of four, the fabric was just so plastic-y that it made my skin prickle just thinking about it. Worse than those horrible poly knits of the 70s. The forth (a ponte knit top) had a nice hand, but the fit was terrible... Perfect on the hips, but the chest looked like it was made for a DD, and I'm nowhere near that well endowed.

That was the catalyst... I cranked out 2 tops and a dress this weekend! Added to the few items I managed to make so far, and things are looking rather respectable:

Black denim stretch blazer (finished this summer!)
Marcy tilton raglan 3/4 sleeve top
Princess seamed polka dot knit top
Princess seamed black ponte top with silk chiffon trim
Striped sheath dress

Summer Sewing Projects

Summer went by in record time! Add to that a totally unrealistic list of projects, sewing and otherwise, and I feel like I hardly got anything done. These are the sewing projects I got done (this will start out as a list, and I'll add details as I find a free minute here and there)

Bridesmaid dress with Chris Palau technique frayed chiffon.
Lilly's princess dress (also for the wedding)
Polka dot linen dress (so this was finished in the spring, but I made it to wear in the summer!)
Drapey linen top
Sorbetto top in linen
Black button down cotton top
Stretch linen pants with zip fly (started over a year ago!)
Turquoise linen button down dress with embellished neckline.
Silk jersey skirt with comfy yoga waistband (remake of a failed dress)
Hot pink Milly silk jersey drape neck dress
Chevron stripe skirt with yoga waistband
Replaced the tattered acetate lining of my fall wool coat with blue waves silk charmeuse

Listed all together, it doesn't look too bad!