Friday, March 27, 2009

dessert for breakfast - strawberry napoleons!

I woke up one morning last week to a sign hanging in the entry to the kitchen that read:

Dear Mom,
Can you help me make strawberry napoleons when I wake up?

It was so sweet; I can't believe I didn't get a picture of it before it got repurposed.

Well, as you might know, strawberry napoleons are a rather sweet dessert, NOT a breakfast item.

But, yes, I am usually up for the challenge of turning dessert into breakfast, so here is what we did:

1. Bake puff pastry sheets.
2. Split baked puff pastry sheets (top from bottom) and cut into appropriately sized individual pieces.
3. Whip some cream (we use our vitamix blender for a quick whip) - leave it unsweetened.
4. Add some Dr. Oetker's organic vanilla pudding and mix with the whipped cream.
5. Slice strawberries into a bowl.
6. Set up your assembly line (assembly line cooking is always a perfect way to involve the little ones in any project - sushi, sandwiches, desserts like this!):

7. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

anjali's handprint cookies

When I first learned I was pregnant, I ordered this cookie cutter kit from Chinaberry.

When Anjali was 4 weeks old, I was finally able to get her to spread her fingers long enough to get an outline of her hand so we could get her cookie cutter made. One the side, it is engraved with her full name and birthdate. So sweet.

We used a standard sugar cookie recipe (good Ol' Better Crocker), but substituted buckwheat flour (because that is what we had). Zeal thought that was a good attempt at her skin color, "except she doesn't have little specks on her skin." We also decorated some with frosting and sprinkles and shared them at a potluck. They didn't last very long, so we didn't manage to get a good picture of the batch. That will probably be what we do for her first birthday.

Anyway, here's her little fist (still not wanting to spread her fingers out for very long) next to her cookie (eaten via mama's milk):

It's a blurry little picture, a good metaphor for this time- she's growing so fast and here we are just trying to keep our senses and create a few keepsakes so we can remember her so small and sweet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

a great day for a tea party!

The weather has been weird and typically pre-spring. Off and on rain. And nothing says tea party around here like a good sudden thunderstorm.

It's been a long while since we have had such a party, the kind that call for some stuffed friends and a dig in the costume box, er, I mean "costume closet" as the costumes seemed to have piled up way too far these days. It seems we need a thinning. Anyway, you get the picture... costumes are required at his kind of tea party.

Here's a few scenes from the kitchen as we got to work on our orange scones that were to be the main course at the party:

We used this recipe from Martha (one that came highly recommended) but veganized it by souring some hemp milk (a cup of the milk and 1 T. vinegar) instead of buttermilk and using earth balance instead of butter.
I might add here that scones are a great project for kids because they lend themselves so well to the cutting and shaping only little hands can provide.

They came out just beautifully...

And here we are getting the tea ready, selecting the herbs and flowers to make it just the perfect blend:

And finally, the table is set, the tea is served, and the scones are... devoured!

Just in time for the sun to come out again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

pizza pockets

We're slowly making our way back into our schedule of cooking and eating. On this day last week we got together with friends and made pizza pockets.

Our recipe for the dough was the same one listed here, Party Pizza Dough.

And we used the same little pie molds we used for these.

For the filling, we used a spinach, onion, garlic, feta cheese combination based on Amy's Spinach Pizza Snacks, one of Zeal's favorite lunch munchies. We added some pizza sauce and gobble, gobble, gobble... They were a smashing success!
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