Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DIY Rainsticks

We took some time to reflect on the origin of the rainstick and create our own version, courtesy of The Imagination Tree. http://theimaginationtree.com/2011/02/diy-rain-stick.html
I presented the tray of materials and the brainstorming ensued of the easiest way to puncture the flimsy cardboard tube, where to place said punctures and how to attach tape to the ends so the peas wouldn't stick.

In the end, we duct-taped the entire tube to keep the nails securely in place.
If it was a rainy day you could include pan lids outdoors for a water symphony!

Vegan Bites: Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Shrove breakfast was sweet, so for lunch we went savory. I'm always interested in trying chickpea four to amp up protein and omit gluten, so we rounded up some veg and tried Emilia Eats recipe.

Ours were massively thick and very rich. 
We sauteed a mix of veg we had available; leeks, red onion, tomato, spring onion and then scooped out the thick batter on top of a layer of veg. This gave us a non-stick base to cook the pancake. After a few flips it was thoroughly cooked and yum with fresh cilantro.
Best eaten same day, Leftovers were chalky and dry.

Vegan Bites: Pancake Blueberry Chia Jam

Runaway Pancake
An old German tale tells of a pancake that runs away before being eaten by a house of hungry children, a hare, goat and fox en route to the river and is tricked by a seemingly friendly pig who offers him a ride.
As I told the picture-less story, Ms.O drew a pancake and Ms.C drew...a penguin!


Yummy instant Chia Jam was paired with our Pancake Tuesday. You can alter the maple syrup measures, but we didn't bother! http://sandy.bobsredmill.com/recipes/how-to-make/blueberry-chia-jam/

Math Monday: Notes & Fractions Game

There's no doubt about it; you can't play music without a little math.

I introduced basic fractions with the help of the game 'Busted' and pancakes!
Whole, half, quarter and eighth notes could be visually understood by cutting/folding a circle into corresponding fractions.

We went around selecting wooden sticks and lining them up. Once a Star Stick was selected, we clapped out the notes in order and started a fresh round.

Phrase Lengths. Pass a ball to Fur Elise.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TvHE9peMdM&list=PLF2671A6EB13B8C8D&index=1

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Vegan Bites: Pumpkin Seed Falafels

Though I admit these don't photograph like anything extraordinary, they are hands down the best falafels ever!

 Cardamom! Yum!

Ms. C emptied cardomom pods by hand as we reveled in the scent!
Don't add too many extra or the flavour becomes perfume-like!
We only made some minor changes, including doubling the recipe as we went along tasting the progress (which happens to be just as yummy raw as baked!)

Pumpkin Seed Falafel
~1t salt
~1/2c pumpkin seed
~3 1/2T chia
~2 1/2T sesame seed
~1/2T cumin seed
~1t coriander
~1/2t mustard seed
~seeds of 2 cardomom pods
~1/4t red pepper flakes
~3T tahini (when doubling the batch, we did not double tahini)
~3T oil
~3T lemon juice
~1t coconut sugar
~1 clove garlic
~1c cilantro (we omitted cilantro from half of the balls)
~5-7 fresh mint leaves
~1 1/4c cooked chickpea's
Process all of the ingredients before adding chickpea's to processor.
Roll into balls and coat in processed pumpkin seed, sesame seeds and salt.
Bake 350 for 15 minutes (or until lightly golden)
Serve in lettuce leaf or pita with fruit or tomato salsa.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Vegan Bites: Mung Curry

Daily Doodle: Forest Scavenger Hunt (& Nest)

  Nature Study
Scavenger hunts come in so many shapes and sizes.
These lovely hand-sketched versions...

A sticker-marked version...
A scientific version....


I wanted to create a Scavenger Hunt based on natural items that could be found in winter, but have ours kid-created. It was a nice opportunity to study nature, take a close look at conifers and draw!!

We've been reading folklore from the book, 'A Year Full of Stories' and I fell in love with the illustrations.
We started with a story about A Golden Pinecone, before bringing out our lovely little jewelers loupe's to get a close-up of a tray of nature specimen. We included the Forced Branches of "Wussy Pillows" (as Ms.C calls them!)that have made buds and roots in our home!

 "Wussy Pillows"

Ms. O was intent with her observational sketches, but decided to label them so viewers could be certain of her subject matter.
Birch, fern, pussy willow...

...pine needles, cedar...

...nest, pinecone.

Ms.C was focused on Spring and drew a cracking egg surrounded by nest.
I love when they draw nests as it's by far my favourite nature speciman!

"I'm going all around it with nice comfy feathers.
I will protect you, Nest."

Dissection. When observation and sketching is complete, you could offer a period for dissection of the specimen. http://speaklgently.tumblr.com/post/133708203005/danielodowd-jakfruit

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Word Wednesday: ASL I Love You

Ms.O and I had some time to create together, so we brought out pastels for simple scratch art.
She coloured line upon line before adding her Valentine message in sign language:)
I wanted to keep it, but she covered her entire piece in black before etching a message to her best friend, which appropriately read, "I love you", ASL hidden beneath.

We've been playing this video and Macklemore's accompanying song for weeks.
Public art at it's best.

Morning Mocktails

Move over, Shirley Temple's!
Kid-friendly kombucha mocktails are in town!

Math Monday: Uni-gami

Unicorn Hair
M:"What's important to you?"
C: "When my mom loves me."

 Fold in half
Happy Heart Day!
We started our day with a little Paper Magic; witnessing the transformation of a piece of rectangular paper into a heart shape (later to be adorned as a Unicorn bookmark!)
Ms. O whipped up a few in no time at all!

 Pull ends down into "house" shape

Before glamouring up our hearts, we read, 'Uni the Unicorn' by one of my favourite authors, Amy Rosenthal.

Vegan Bites: Crunchy Bean Burgers

It may be clear after several burger posts, that I'm on a quest for the best veggie burg.
Restaurant and store-bought tend to be soy-based.
TVP (textured veg protein) is an amazing product for burgers, but my goal is to omit the soy product and hopefully the gluten in binders like breadcrumbs or wheat flours.

Todays attempt is loosely based on this recipe http://pureella.com/gluten-free-vegan-black-bean-burgers/#comment-136990, so loosely however, that the only similar ingredients are garlic, beans and flax!

I am learning that the crunchy seed coating, originally from Fava Quinoa Cakes http://mamadrool.blogspot.ca/2016/08/vegan-bites-fava-quinoa-cakes.html, is what really blow any burgers out of the ballpark.

Crunchy Bean Burgers
~2t salt
~1/4c chickpea flour
~1T golden flax
~1t chili powder, cumin
~1/2t paprika
~1/8t cayenne
Blend well.
~2c beans (adzuki, black)
~2c cooked rice/quinoa
~2 stalks celery
~1 clove garlic
Process all of the above.
Form patties and coat with seed mix
Bake at 350, 25-30 mins.

A few versions! http://mamadrool.blogspot.ca/search?q=burger

Vegan Bites: Moon Macaroons

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Vegan Bites: Carob Coconut Granola

Sticking to our 'Seed' theme, we made the greatest granola a hippie could ever lay eyes on!
I based it on the recipe by Sarah Britton, but tweaked it to our taste (and omitted sugar completely).
The brilliant seeds being buckwheat and chia.

Carob Coconut Granola
~3c oats
~1c buckwheat/kasha
~1 1/2c coconut
~1c cashews
~1/2c carob
~1/4c chia
~1t salt
~1t ginger
Mix dry.
~1/3c maple syrup
~1/3c coconut oil
Melt over low heat.
Mix into dry.
Bake at 350 15-20mins.

Word Wednesday: The Little Pine

  Painting Little Pines

Before we delve into our conifer lessons as an extension of seed study, we took a turn painting Little Pine's.
We painted indoors to fake forest  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsYa4eZfqIU, but would jump at the chance to bring our watercolours into the sunshine.

Afterwards, I prepped several shapes and forms to represent events in the story, "The Little Pine"
Instead of jumping into storytelling, I asked if anyone could make sense of the symbols.

The Little Pine is pining (haha!) to look like a deciduous tree, longing for leaves in place of needles.
However, every time the Angel of Trees grants his wish for golden or glass or green leaves, he discovers having needles is not so bad afterall.

Ms.C took a turn at making forms with lovely long lashes!

Seed Snowman

Sweet & simple snowman...

...just add seed.