Monday, October 24, 2011

Hiding Veggies

So if you have a kid or kids that don't like to eat veggies.. I have decided to start doing a series like I did with the backyard edibles.. but recipes to hide veggies in yummy ways. So this is my first one. I made up a homemade marinara sauce that can be used in any pasta dish, or lasagna, or even as a pizza sauce replacement in pizza, pizza bagels...etc. It is 99% veggies. I took 2 jars of garden veggies marinara to start with. Now if you would like to start entirely from scratch that is good too. just start with a basic marinara recipe. Put both jars in a big big pot (needs to be really big). Now add two jars of water for each of the jars of sauce. This allows for the veggies to really cook down. Now add one whole large eggplant (or three smaller ones) peeled and chopped up. Add one lg zucchini and one whole red or Vadahlia onion, a few cloves of garlic, 2 whole green peppers (or 4 sorranno peppers if you would like a bit of spice), 4 or five whole carrots, and then optional meat either ground turkey, beef or pork. Now this is just what I added to mine.. feel free to go wild.. through in squash...or olives, or mushrooms...etc. Now just let it slowly simmer down over the day until it is cooked down, thick and the veggies are mostly cooked into the sauce.
My son is 2 and he looooooooves this sauce. He recently has started getting picky but a pizza bagel made with this sauce, low fat cheese and a whole wheat bagel is a healthy meal all around. ENJOY!

Chemtoberfest, Green Chemistry, and Polar Fleece

 So yesterday the Chem department of my college put on a celebration for the children of the town called Chemtoberfest. It was in honor of this being the International Year of Chemistry.
 It was amazingly well done for a small town University Chem Dept. They had demonstrations on how ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, smores, candy apples, gak, cheese, and a few other things are made. They had a Haunted Room full of everyday products that glow under blacklight. Some of which may surprise you, such as Zest soap and Tonic water.
 We also learned that polar fleece which is what a lot of people wear as pajamas, jackets, used in cloth diapers, sweat pants...etc. is made from recycled grocery bags. So every time you collect a bunch of used grocery bags and bring them to the store to be recycled you are helping to make a new pair of fleece jammies that may very well end up on your little one.

Another thing we learned about was the influx of Green Chemistry being used not just in labs and industry but taught in college and even high school Chemistry classes. Where once chemicals were just dumped willy nilly into the garbage or down the sink, now they are being broken down in to less toxic chemicals or even recycled to be reused in experimentation. All in all we had a fun and informative day.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nothing Says Fall Like Apple Butter!

So somehow I have managed to make it 28 yrs as a DIY guru (well at least the last 15 yrs or so) and had yet to make homemade apple butter. How I have no idea. Nothing says Fall in NY like apples and with that goes applesauce, apple cider, and of course apple butter. So I decided I was going to make some and so my cousin and I were each given my Aunt's recipe. Her recipe was pretty basic apples, cider, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg.... a few other things I can't remember now. So I set out to make my own but realized I was out of cider. Now normally this would not be an issue since it is fall and every grocery store in NY carries locally pressed cider in abundance. However today Bug was sick and it was a damp bleary cool day so I decided to keep him inside and not walk to the grocery store with him. So I searched the kitchen for a replacement. I decided that usually white grape juice might just work. I figured what could it hurt.. worst case scenario we end up with interesting applesauce.
So I peeled and chopped the apples. I started with a mixture of some baking apples (I don't remember the name) and some Granny Smith.
I added 3 cups of white grape juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar and a dollop of cinnamon and nutmeg. Then I let it simmer and simmer and simmer.
Then when it was a soupy applesauce I blended it in the blender and returneed it to the pot. I simmered it down until it was APPLE BUTTER.
 It was without a doubt the best tasting apple butter I have ever had!!!

The Littlest Dragon

So as you know I recently endeavored to create a dragon costume cheaply using an old horse costume we were given a few years ago. We didn't use it last year because we wanted to do Star Trek last year and the horse costume was a tad large on him anyway. So this year despite it being a tad small it still fit and so after we decided to have him be a dragon I decided I could turn the horse costume into a dragon. 
So I started with this. It is hard to tell from this picture but it has a horse head over the head hole and a mane and tail.

So I started by buying green fabric paint and putting it in a spray bottle with water in a 50/50 ratio. Then I spray painted the entire thing green. 

Then I removed the mane and tail and sewed intheir place a felt dragon tail and spinal spikes that I made for his costume. Then I sewed felt horns and wings and sewed those to the costume. I also added white felt teeth to the face part to further change the horse face to a dragon one.  

With the simple addition of green and brown striped feety pajamas you have one cute dragon. 

Total Pageviews