Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recipe: Corn Muffins~ Inspired by Nourishing Traditions

2 c cornmeal
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1\2 c water
1 c buttermilk or yogurt

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T maple syrup or honey
1 t sea salt
2 t baking soda
1/4 c melted butter

Mix first group of ingredients together. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit 12-24 h (longer is better).
Add other ingredients.

350 for 20 min as muffins or 30 as bread.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chalkboard Paint: Kitchen Cabinet


While we were doing the bedroom wall, we also decided to try the chalkboard paint in the kitchen.  I've seen some nice chalkboard kitchen cabinets with grocery lists, drawings, or menus on them.



I think I know who is going to make use of it...



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chalkboard Paint: Kids' Bedroom Wall


My older son has been really enjoying writing on his huge chalkboard at school and was delighted to hear that they make paint that can turn a wall into a chalkboard.  Figuring we could paint over it if it was a disaster, we taped up a space and went for it.




He actually did most of it~ I guided the corners and the spacing.  The lines are double because we also did a glow in the dark border but we never leave the light on in there long enough to charge it up.




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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Sheet Plywood Boat into Kids' Airplane

 As you recall, we made the one sheet plywood boat this summer.  We had a lot of fun with it in the swimming pool, then ran into a couple of problems.

One problem with the boat was that it was a little hard to see over the keel and be careful of fellow swimmers. Another problem with the boat was the window.  Though extremely cool (as an add-on feature), it let in water.  So we took it off and then attached and sealed it with silicon caulk (I used a disposable latex glove this time- that stuff is HARD to get off your hands!).

The boat was working great until the two issues collided to form problem number three.  There were too many swimmers one hot Indian Summer afternoon in the pool.  So we took the boat out and Little Brother started to climb on and in and around it.  Then he stepped on the window and it popped right out.

So it went back to dry dock.

And there it sat.

Until Big Brother had an Idea.  He wanted to make an airplane.  I spent my usual two days trying to get him to explain and plan his idea and he spent that time trying to get us to Home Depot and drawing a blueprint.

Then we walked past the boat in dry dock and a plan was formed.

First we added wheels.  One wheel on each corner.  One set swivels, and the other set doesn't (that's why they are dragging it backwards all the time).  If I would do this again, I would use larger wheels (these are 2" casters) and have them all swivel.

Then we used the leftover angle pieces from the bow side pieces and made them into a tail (yes, the angle is odd, but that's how we got it to attach and be stable).

Then came the wing, which is a 1x2 drilled into the boat in the middle.  The boys sanded the edges and decorated it.  They later added jets underneath using a dowel cut into four pieces, but it fell off fairly quickly.

We used the circular piece of plywood that had been taken out for the original boat window and attached it onto the boat using a bolt so it would spin as the steering wheel.  We made another for a co-pilot.

They attached a hook to the end, and clipped a rope from the tricycle onto the hook.

They drew a runway on the street with sidewalk chalk and were on their way.  Sorry~ I don't have photos for this stage.

They kept adding and modifying.  On the tail is an exhaust pipe (old juice bottle with PVC fitted in and kept in place with a steel band like you use to attach a water heater to the wall).  On the back is a sink (steel bowl which fits into another piece of plywood with a hole sized for it to sit into).  They took a little cool box (igloo like this but blue) and stocked it with cheese sticks and kept it on board.  They kept talking about pretzels.

Big Brother then changed his blueprint to match the design and got some other ideas. He wanted a top of the fuselage.

So we made a second boat, but didn't waterproof it or paint it, or add a back piece.  We also made the window larger -- to be used as a door.

Other additions have been a back window (plexiglass), and a hatch door for the window-- also of plexiglass.

The kids have made microphones out of PVC scraps.



They need someone to push from behind often, because it is a heavy load (especially with two sheets of plywood now) and the wheels are small.

Another new addition, in green below, are the parachutes.  You stand on top of the airplane, hold out the parachute, and then jump down.


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Recipe: Squash Pancakes - Paleo/ GAPS


1 cup cooked squash or sweet potato
1 cup almond butter
5 eggs
1/2 t. sea salt
1 T. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
fat for frying (butter, coconut oil, lard)

Mash ingredients together and mix until smooth.  Heat cooking fat in skillet (we use a thin cast iron) on medium-high.  I am generous with the amount of fat-- it ends up about 2T per 6 pancake load.

Drop pancake batter into fat.  I use a 2T measuring cup (half of a quarter cup).  When one side starts to bubble, flip.  Wait a little bit, then they are done.




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Friday, November 14, 2014

Kids Carpentry Idea: Picture Frame

We were at the candy store, I mean Home Depot, the other day.  We found a bit of wood in the hobby aisle, and thought to make a picture frame.  We found a piece of plexiglass 8x10 in the glazing aisle and we were on our way.


We came home and mitred the corners using a hand saw and the mitre box, then glued them together with wood glue and held the wood glue in place while it dried with painter's tape.

This is where our design could use some help.  We pre-drilled holes in the plexiglass so it wouldn't shatter, and screwed through the glass and frame to attach it.  You could do two sheets of plexiglass and slide a photo between.

On the back, we mounted picture mounting hardware and my son wrote his name.



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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kids Fall Art Idea: Acorn/ Cork Art

Our neighbor showed us the acorn hearts she and her kids made and they looked so great, the kids wanted to come right home and make the same!

So we collected acorns on the walk home, then cut some cardboard.  You see one child wanted a heart and the other wanted an acorn shape.


When we laid them out, we didn't have enough acorns to fill in the whole thing.  So we supplemented with the cork collection.

To make the art pieces, we poured glue all over the cardboard, and then spread it out.


Then the kids laid in their acorns and corks.


I love how they each chose to lay their acorns and cork, and how the pieces look.  

Fall decorations!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recipe: Kale Chips

How to make your kid ask, "Where's my Kale?"

1 bunch kale, curly red is best
1 t. sea salt
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Tear kale into bite sized pieces. Lay kale on baking sheet.  Pour in olive oil and sea salt and incorporate with hands.

Bake for 5-7 minutes on one side, then flip and bake another 5-7 minutes.  Watch closely- these burn quickly.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Xtracycle Rain Cover and Sun Shade using Hooptie and Upside Down Kitchen Cart

There is a rumor that it rains in Northern California in the winter, and we actually witnessed the rain last week.  On that day, we decided it was time to make the rain cover we have been talking about forever.

It turns out that a rolling cart I had in the garage from The Container Store was nearly the same size as the Hooptie.

I took the wheels and middle racks off, flipped over the  upper rack, zip tied it onto the hooptie, and we were in business.

I happened to have a small bit of the same fabric left that I made the cushions and side bag out of (an Amy Butler Laminated Cotton), so I laid it on top and hand stitched it on.  


The boys liked it.  Then my taller boy said it was a bit short with his helmet on, so he wedged the cart frame up, and added more zip ties.  I am thinking of buying a clear vinyl and making roll-up sides and front and back to protect them more from the weather.

Stay tuned.




+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
UPDATE: I hate it!  It slows me down and makes the kids feel squished.  BUT- it was useful one day when I had to bring a booster seat to school.  We tied it on top.



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Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween!


We are almost ready to carve them!



Three for $12. How could I resist?  

There is one in each cargo bag and one on top.

.....

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