Saturday, August 27, 2011

Till the World Ends

It's been crazy weather around here lately. We experienced our first earthquake (we live on the East Coast, so this is a rarity), and now we're about ready to be hit by Hurricane Irene (oh, and we're under a tornado watch, too).

This morning, Hayden and I danced and sang in our p.j.s to "Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears, which seemed really fitting at the time. It's been her favorite song of the summer, as I catch her singing it all the time ... except on camera, of course.

I originally tried to set up a video of her dancing and singing with Britney's music in the background, but she wouldn't sing until she ran out of the shot (I probably couldn't upload that video anyway without having to pay some royalty fees for the music). Luckily, I just happened to grab my camera in time to capture this spontaneous performance (if you can even tell that's the song she's singing).

Anyway, the wind is whipping and the rain is falling. It's only going to get worse. I'm signing off before we lose power. Stay safe :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm a big girl now!

It's official; Hayden turned 2 years old today. Happy birthday little lady. I just wanted to share some photos that show how much she's grown (I'm such a proud mommy).

One thing we did to celebrate was to go on a special shopping trip, just like the other girls in my family (remember my birthday outing, and then the one for my sister). She's been checking out our purses, so I took her to pick out one of her own.

She tested out various patterns. She almost got one just like my blue one.

In the end, she settled on a girlie pink pattern, new for fall. Now she's more trendy than me. The sales lady helped her remove the tag.

She looks so cute with her selection.

Oops! Don't forget to pay for it.

Where to next? Off to the train, of course.

She boarded alongside her brother.

I got to take a ride, too.

Hayden was being the mature one :-)

We had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. I love how vegan- and kid-friendly it is. The kids like to color while they wait for their meal.

Jacob drew a banana man.

Hayden and I shared a chocolate banana smoothie ... hold the dairy please (they'll make it with just the banana and chocolate, and no dairy, if you just ask nicely).

As usual, Hayden ordered a salad and fruit off the kids meal. So cool that salad is an offering on their kid's menu.

But enough about lunch. We continued with our shopping and also found some time to play outside. Paw Paw came over to ride bikes (and toddler cars, too ... although Paw Paw did not ride the toddler cars, but Jacob did).

Now that's my big girl :-)

And, now for a blast from the past. Hayden posted this simple recipe last year on my blog. It's still a fave. My, she has grown!

Hayden's Peach Banilla N'ice Cream Cupcakes
*Makes one for me and another for mommy, too!
  • 1 chopped frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped peaches
  • vanilla bean, too taste
  • sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)
Have mommy add frozen banana and peaches to a food processor. Get her to scrape in some seeds from a vanilla bean to make it extra special (she won't let me have that extract with the alcohol in it yet), and maybe some of that cinnimin ... cinnamin ... cinnaminamin ... oh whatever you call that stuff.

Process the frozen fruit into a soft-serve consistency. Scoop into two reusable silicone cupcake liners, making cute cupcake-like mounds on top (mommy shapes mine to resemble frosting).

Serve immediately or allow to set in the freezer for a bit. I like it when mommy gives me my cupcake right away, which explains my fingerprints in the cupcake pic :-)

*Can be topped with a cherry for more experienced cupcake eaters. Never give a whole cherry to a baby my size, as I could choke on it. Mine was just a temporary garnish ... Update: this big girl can now have a cherry on her cupcake. Yum!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pulp Fiction Cupcake Sea Creatures

You probably wouldn't guess it by the content of this site, but I've always been a fan of the movie, "Pulp Fiction." Therefore, it's no surprise that I found a way to fit the title into the heading of this post.

Why "Pulp Fiction Cupcake Sea Creatures?"

Well, although made from almond pulp, they probably won't be very tasty (unless they were sweetened up a bit like our usual raw cupcake friends). After making a fresh batch of almond milk, we decided to play with the pulp, rather than save it for "unbaking" our more edible treats. Thus, I'll just refer to these as "fictional cupcakes."

Don't worry; these adorable sand toys haven't actually made it out to the beach. We purchased them while in Myrtle Beach, SC; however, we kept them inside. Hayden had such a blast just stacking them and pretending they were real cupcakes that we ended up designating them as indoor toys.

So, today we brought the beach inside, swapping out sand for almond pulp. Fresh from the nut milk bag, this pulp was the perfect consistency for molding and shaping with our cupcake-inspired sand toys.

Just watch as Hayden attempts to reveal an almond pulp "sand creature" (and/or check out today's video demonstration, where I show her how to mold an almond "sand" fish). Tap, tap, tap. Will it come out of the mold?

And, there you have it. Hayden made an almond pulp "sand" starfish. She looks so proud (I'm proud of her, too).

Don't forget to stop for a fresh unsweetened almond milk break. Mmmm ... that's good stuff :-)

In case you didn't get it the first time, Hayden also shows you how to mold a turtle out of almond pulp.

Look how easily this one released from the mold.

Good job Hayden :-)

So you can really experience the fun we had today, check out our almond pulp "sand" video below, along with Jacob's "mysterious" Angry Birds game (my "young man of mystery" stepped out from behind the camera, but not out of the shadows, to show you what he likes to do around the house). Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tinkerbell's pineapple party dress

Wow! It's been 2 weeks since my last post. Where have I been?

Well, actually, my family and I recently got back from a vacation away from my raw kitchen and computer in Myrtle Beach, SC (at least I had access to a kitchen, where I kept most of my diet raw for the week; any cooked food I ate was still vegan). Sorry that I'm out of the loop and behind on e-mails, but I'm catching up.

Anyway, in the process of getting back into the usual routine, I'm also getting ready to celebrate Hayden's 2nd birthday (that's right; she's turning 2 years old. Where does the time go?). She wants a Tinkerbell theme, so we started off early with this Tinkerbell doll "cake."

Inspired by the doll cakes my mom made me as a child (the puffy-skirt cakes with a doll in the center; if you missed my cupcake version, here's that post). I decided to core out a pineapple to use as her "fruitcake" skirt. Then, I covered her top (I'd never display a topless doll on this site; this is a family-friendly place) with a strawberry heart-shaped bodice and added some greenery (spinach "petals" to decorate her dress and romaine fairy "wings).

For more fun, Hayden and I showed her off in today's video, where we demonstrated how to make some tasty "pixie dust." Hayden likes to dip her greens in it like Fun Dip, although this is so much better for you. Yum!

Hope you enjoyed today's video/post. I'll try to update you again soon :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pink Piggy Says, "Meow?"

That was Hayden's response in our latest video. Although she knows most of her animal sounds, she thinks it's funny to answer, "meow" when someone asks what any animal other than a cat says (kids catch on quick when it comes to getting a laugh; she thinks she's a riot).

If you caught my "A Marriage of Flavors & Raw Cupcake Chaos" video, you probably remember my son Jacob wondering if the Rawdorable Maple Fakin' Cupcake formed in a liner with "feet" was a turtle hiding his head in his shell. I guess it could appear that way to an imaginative child, which got me thinking ... maybe we should make some raw vegan animal cupcakes with those liners. Besides, that's what they were meant for making (and not just baking, in our case).

Yesterday (when we filmed the video) was so hot that we decided to make n'ice cream cupcakes rather than our usual raw cupcakes. We whipped up n'ice cream (banana/fruit-based ice cream) flavors in my trusty old school food processor to match the liners, mounded it up high in each liner, like cute rounded cupcake bodies, and placed tiny scoops where the heads would be. Then, we used various fresh/dry fruits and such to decorate them with animal features.

Luckily, I took a moment to take some photos before presenting them on video to the kids (and before they melted entirely; the elephant and the puppy really didn't do well in the heat). Hayden instantly chowed down on her pink piggy cupcake, and Jacob dove (literally; face-first without a spoon) into his already melting chocolate n'ice cream puppy, as soon as he turned off the camera (yes, he was the videographer again).

So, here's a little more detail about each one:

The kitty cat was made out of mango banana n'ice cream (frozen banana and mango blended into an ice cream consistency). The ears and stripes were created out of orange slices/rind, and the tail was a piece of freeze-dried peach. We used raisins for the eyes and mouth, and a strawberry bit for the nose.

The elephant was sculpted out of a blueberry banana n'ice cream, which gave it a purple hue. It reminded me of how my hubby got in trouble in kindergarten for coloring his elephant purple or blue, instead of a more natural gray (he was just trying to be artistic). The eyes, trunk and tail were cut from fresh plums, while the mouth was formed from a slice of dried plum. The eyes were raisins.

Jacob's puppy was made out of chocolate n'ice cream (add cocoa powder to the basic banilla base or whatever flavor you have left in the food processor). It had dried plum ears and a tail, and raisin eyes and a nose. The tongue was a tiny piece of strawberry. The spots were chocolate chips, as he really wanted to use them. These weren't raw (although you can easily make raw ones, if you have time to do so), but they were still vegan.

Lastly, Hayden's pink piggy was a strawberry n'ice cream base with strawberry ears and a snout. The eyes were raisins, and the mouth was a slice of dried plum. It was finished off with a cashew tail, since it has a slight bend in it (pigs should have curly tails).

Hope you enjoyed our parade of n'ice cream animal cupcakes. Here are some more raw cupcake animal ideas, in case you missed them the first time. Enjoy!