Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Christmas Adventures

We've been very festive this year. I think having kids make you enjoy the holidays that much more. I'm fairly certain that Brett and I are more excited for Christmas morning than C is. Although, she does keep asking for her presents - anytime she seems something even remotely present looking she gets extremely excited and says "PRESENT!"

Last weekend, we went to the Christmas Parade that is put on by Myer on Queen Street in the city. We were quite disappointed though. It was really short and the amount of people that were there was insane. I looked later and think that we may have missed a huge part of it though...

We went to a farm supply store, with Kahlee (Brett's sister - they are a client of hers) that was putting on a Christmas event for kids. They had a small petting zoo, free sausage sizzle, Santa and lots of other great things for kids. C had a great time with the animals and talking to Santa, of course.

She loved holding the chickens

Wasn't too sure about the calf

or Santa...

at first. Great ice breaker - "Grass."

She eventually had a long conversation with Santa, ending with what she wanted for Christmas- "Baby D-time" a bedtime book (It's actually called Baby Bedtime)

I was really worried that she would squish that baby duckling because she was really excited

I have also been doing more Christmas crafts. I am re-teaching myself how to crochet. I taught myself how to crochet a little in college but haven't done it in years. I really like to crochet around Christmas (even though it's extremely hot here.) So I've made myself some slippers, which won't be used for months but they were incredibly easy and they'll be great to have in the winter on our cold tile floors. 

I've also just finished making a string of Christmas lights. I found the pattern here. And they were also extremely easy, just very time consuming. I really like how they turned out. 

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Vegan Sugar Cookies

One of the main reasons I love Christmas so much is the excessive Christmas baking that goes on. I remember my Mom and Aunt Kim baking a crazy amount during the holidays. I remember chocolate dipped cookies, green Christmas tree cookies, and apple pies made by Mom and bon bons, church windows, pumpkin pies and sugar cookies made by my Aunt.

My brother loved my Aunt's sugar cookies so much that one year when she didn't have time she decided not to make them. When we went to my Aunt's for Christmas, my brother excitedly went to the kitchen to grab some of his favorite cookie and was devastated when he learned that my aunt hadn't made them that year. So, for my brother's birthday in January my Aunt made a huge batch of her sugar cookies as a gift. My brother loved that and I know he won't soon forget the effort my Aunt made for his birthday. A much better gift than most, I say.

I really want to bake all the lovely things for my girls that my Mom and Aunt did while we were growing up but we usually don't eat much sugar or any at all. I searched for a sugar free recipes of many of my favorites but then decided that Christmas is a special time of year and that a bit of sugar won't hurt them. It will be even more special if they only get it very occasionally during special times.

So, I found a Vegan Sugar Cookie recipe online and decided that I would make them with C and her friend D and D's mother Suz.
Dough ready to be put in the fridge

C rolling out the dough (really just playing with it)

C and D playing with the dough

ready to be put in the oven

Suz and D decorating the cookies

not what I expected when decorating but equally as messy

icing the cookies

the only cookie she was allowed. It was so covered with icing that it was disintegrating.


So pretty. 

The mess. 

It was extremely messy but great fun. And the girls had a wonderful time. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sugar-Free Vegan Bran Muffins

I've recently made some delicious bran muffins that are sugar-free and vegan and I wanted to share the recipe. It's adapted from this recipe.

Vegan Sugar-free Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg replacer
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup walnuts or other nut of choice

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin papers

Mix together wheat bran and soymilk; let stand for at least 10 minutes

Beat together oil, egg replacer, banana and vanilla then add soymilk/bran mixture. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, until just blended. Fold in raisins or nuts and spoon batter into prepared muffin tins.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 

Enjoy :)