Maddie’s Mad Hatter Tea Party

Yesterday, Madelyn had some friends over for a Mad Hatter Tea Party.  One of her favorite movies is the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland.  She thought it would be fun to have a tea party to celebrate turning 12, her birthday is tomorrow- April 7th.  I thought it was a lovely idea.  She helped decorate in the morning and the girls came at 10am.  It was such a sweet time.  Here are a few pictures:

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DSC02766Kalen wanted to add to the decorations and sketched this Alice picture.

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We staged a photo booth session:

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Banana Pecan Pancakes

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*recipe from one of Sarah Kramer’s vegan cookbooks(the pecan part is totally optional)

Ingredients:

1 cup All-purpose Flour/Unbleached White Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 cups Soy Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Bananas

1 1/2 cups of chopped Pecans (optional)

*I normally make 5 times this recipe for my family of 6.

How to:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  In a blender, blend the milk, bananas, and vanilla until smooth.  Pour into flour mixture and add pecans.  Stir together gently until just mixed.  Portion batter onto non-stick pan/skillet.  Let sit on medium heat until the center starts to bubble and become sturdy.  Flip pancakes over and cook the other side until golden brown.  Repeat process until until batter is gone.

Easy Brussels Sprouts Cooking How-To

We have been enjoying Brussels Sprouts lately, so I thought I would share this simple recipe for a quick powerhouse veggie side dish.

Ingredients:

2 bags or 1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and halved and yellow leaves removed

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Pepper

Oregano

Seasoned Salt

How to:  Preheat oven to 375 or 400 degrees.  Wash Brussels Sprouts, trim ends off and cut them in half.  Then, place them in a bowl and pour olive oil over them.  Toss them to try to cover them all with the olive oil.  Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, seasoned salt and oregano on the Brussels Sprouts, again toss.  Pour the vegetables on a prepared (oiled) baking dish.  I use my french fry pan.  You can sprinkle with a tad more sea salt if you want.  Put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  After minute 7, you can move them around a bit.  They should be a little crispy, but not burnt.  Enjoy as a side or on their own!

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Making Spring Rolls

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I have recently been inspired to use more raw veggies when feeding our crew.  Last week, I headed out to Harris Teeter and Trader Joe’s to find ingredients for making spring rolls.  Now, I am talking about regular raw spring rolls, not the yummy fried ones.  I was surprised to find out that I could have found all the ingredients I needed at Harris Teeter.

I found a clip on You Tube (I have shared it below) to show me how to make these little treats.  The kids were all excited when they saw me putting them together and quickly learned how to make them themselves.  We had a lot of leftover ingredients and supplies, so we are making them again today.  Everyone here likes them!  The You Tube clip also shows how to make the really tasty dipping sauce.

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“Cookies for sale.. 50 cents a cookie”

That is what you could hear coming from our side of the street today.  Kalen, Madelyn and Brayden started early (9am) with this very detailed plan of selling cookies out on the sidewalk.  They planned and developed a stand, got all the ingredients together, mixed and baked the cookies, allowed the cookies to cool, made posters, poured complimentary cups of water, filled the cooler with cookies, stood on the corner advertising, watched and waited (red-faced and determined).  Many neighbors and passing folks stopped and bought their cookies.  They started at 9 and finished around 4.  I am so impressed with their patience.  I think it helps that we live in a pretty busy neighborhood, in a busy city.  Plus, they are really cute.  🙂

I treasure these days that our kids dream up a plan/project and go for it.  Firstly, it is beautiful that they can agree on something they want to do and be determined enough to do it together.  Also, it teaches them so much through the process.  I did not do anything except preheat the oven.  I have been inside carrying on with the day and my list of to-dos.  I have to add that I find so much joy in their independence.  Every once and awhile I peer out the window to find a neighbor smiling widely as they receive their cookie on a napkin handed over by one of our kids or I see and hear Brady shouting as loud as he can, “Cookies, come and get your cookies… Cookies for sale… 50 cents a cookie”.  I also love that whenever they make profit, one of them darts inside to report the latest earnings.   This ‘littleness’ that I still get to watch and be a part of with our kids, I don’t want to go away.  I will miss it terribly when it is gone.

Just in case you are wondering.  Julian opted out of this one.  He decided to spend his Labor Day, not working, out of the sun reading.

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It is 3:47pm and Brayden is still outside with the four remaining cookies, not giving up.  Actually, three neighbors just walked up.  And… we’re done.  They made $ 30.50.