Paper mâché Easter eggs – an alternative to dyeing hard boiled eggs.

So since becoming vegan holidays have been a challenge. I’m not talking in the traditional food sense but just traditions in themselves. Buying pounds of butter for Christmas baking and buying dozens of eggs to dye for Easter…I was a vegetarian for 14 years prior to making the switch so I could always cut corners because “it’s not meat.”

Now….Easter is around the corner (for us it’s today because the little ones will be at their dad’s) and I needed a project that agreed with my new outlook (I’ll be honest I shudder to think of what I’ve consumed in the past).

Sorry, no soapboxes I swear.

I found this craft and it’s a really fun (and messy!) DIY paper mâché Easter “egg.”

For the most part it’s very easy and kids of all ages can participate (the “glue” is mostly flour and water).
Now, I need you to take “messy” and really make your peace with it. Seriously. If you have the kiddos in their “good clothes” and you’re one of those spic and span moms you’re going to want a tarp and gloves. I also doubled the recipe below because we had about 9-10 “eggs” to make

I am not a spic and span mom.

Let the festive mess begin!

You will need:
1 cup flour
2 cups water
1 pinch table salt
1 large mixing bowl
Balloons (I used 3″ balloons)
Tissue paper, cut into small strips (teacher supply stores sell the big craft packs for a couple of dollars in a bunch of different colors)
Mason jars or cups with small openings.

You can also grab some glitter, sequins, yarn etc for decorating. We used glitter. The herpes of the craft world. Don’t worry I do not divulge this nickname to the children.

Mix the flour, water, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Separate into several other bowls to cut down on the inevitable “my turn!”

Blow up a balloon until it is egg-shaped and the desired size.
Using your fingers (be prepared, it really does get messy), spread some flour mixture on the balloon. Dip strips of tissue paper one at a time into the mixture and lay flat across the balloon. Continue until you have covered the balloon completely. Repeat with 6 to 8 layers of tissue paper. You can smooth as you go.

On the final layer you ca use your patterned tissue paper, glitter, yarn, sequins, and string make to get fancy.

When you’re done put your “egg” on top of a cup. Let harden for 8 to 12 hours.
Pop the balloon using a pin and remove the deflated balloon.
Boom! A new “egg” tradition!

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Vegan Portobello Fajitas

What you need to feed 5 (and have a few servings left over for lunches, I can personally attest to the fajita veggies being amazing on a salad)

For the Portobello Fajitas:
4 bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 yellow or white onions (I’ve even used a red one before), cut into thin rounds
4-5 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean and thinly sliced (you can use chopped regular mushrooms but the portobello are my favorite! I actually think the chopped little shrooms are what’s pictured. Oops.)
2 tsp minced garlic
Dashes of salt
6 or more tortillas (we usually use the smaller organic ones but you can use any size or brand you wish).

Fajita type toppings:
Pico de gallo
Guacamole
Or our personal favorite: “Tapatio creme” you’ll need hot sauce and Veganaise for that one (instructions below)

How to Fajitas:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (if I’m making enough for all 5 of us plus some leftovers for lunches I’ll bust out the big pot). Once hot, add a dash of olive oil or if you’re trying to limit your family’s oil you can use veggie broth (but be prepared to add it in small doses frequently). Toss in the onion.

Honestly I start chopping the peppers as the onion is cooking, when one is done I toss it in and stir.
Chop, chop, chop, toss, stir, stir stir. Continuing till peppers are all chopped and added.

Then I start on the mushrooms. Honestly I don’t have a set “time” for the cooking bit. I just keep stirring and let the flavors bounce off each other. Cut the mushrooms, add to the pan/pot. Cut another, add to the pan/pot.
When all of your mushrooms are done your kitchen will be smelling awesome. Your peppers slightly soft and your onion caramelized.
Turn down your burner to a medium temp, add the garlic and salt, stir occasionally.

Now you’re going to take a small flat pan and place it over a medium-low flame to warm the tortillas, 10-15 seconds on each side is plenty. I’ve also been known to put a heat safe dish over top of the fajita pan (or pot) so the tortillas stay warm as the fajita flavors mingle.

Once you’ve done that you’re done! Add whatever you wish (Co always makes his “Cohan guacamole”) and Brayden likes fresh cilantro and Kap likes cheese (regular, not vegan. To each his own) 🙂

George and I like “Tapatio creme”
It’s completely made up and you can replace the Tapitio with any hot sauce (Sriracha etc) and make it as spicy or mild as you wish.

How to: in a small bowl scoop in 4 tablespoons (or more depending on the size of your group) of Veganaise (I didn’t say THIS part was healthy!).
Now shake the Tapatio over top and stir it all up. Add more hot sauce if you want it spicier, less if you’re a wuss like me. Add in dollop size portions to your tortilla before you put your fillings in. Oh my gosh. So good!

This fajita recipe is rad because it’s not rocket science. You can add more or less of anything and if you want more spice just add different peppers.

Enjoy!

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40 days of gratitude day 30

Don’t worry I didn’t disappear on you guys OR forget to be grateful while I had non existent reception this weekend. However my •30 of ‪40 days of gratitude is being reception free.
It was so wonderful to just “be”. To wander and get a little turned around and be surrounded by some awesome people in a beautiful backdrop. Distraction free and comfortable silences. ‪‬

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40 days of gratitude day 29

this morning I watched my oldest (the young man on the left) receive an award for making principals honor roll. I would have loved to post pictures from the ceremony but I wasn’t sitting in the best spot and quite frankly I love this picture of him.

Brayden is incredible.

My philosophy on parenting is “raise the kind of kid you would want to hang out and be friends with.” He continually validates that philosophy. He has a miraculous capacity for love, a freakishly brilliant mind and the ability to not just whistle but laugh through a graveyard (most of the time). To say I’m proud to call him my son is an understatement. To say that I’m merely grateful for his presence in my life would be an offense of the highest form.
I’m more than grateful. I’m thankful, appreciative and forever indebted that I was blessed with this soul to care for. ‪

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