Friday, December 3, 2010

Gettin' Crafty With It

Just a few photos of the Christmas gifts I'm frantically trying to complete before the big move. (Still in limbo here, if you're wondering. Hopefully that will change on Monday)

This is a paint bucket I cleaned and decoupaged with sheets of music, mostly from an ancient copy of Handel's Messsiah. I used Mod Podge to stick, and then covered the entire can with a light coat. I also painted the rim and handle pink, and inside there's a pink octopus.  It turned out pretty well, I think.

Here's another can decoupaged with color copies of a childhood book. This one turned out real cute. The paint cans didn't take too long too do, an afternoon and evening. A very satisfying craft. (Emily called me the Recycle Queen, but I would't go that far.)  I have two more cans drying in the garage. Evidently clear plastic paint cans can be purchased at craft stores, but I'm of the opinion that you should reuse whatever you can, even stuff that's usually thrown in the garbage or even into the recycling bin.

This decoupaged box is nearly finished; only a little more sanding and then I will pollute the house or garage (hmmm, poison the dogs or my children..?) and spray it with a sealer, as Mod Podge can be tacky unsealed. The top is several layers of Mod Podge, enough so that the top is entirely smooth. Some people have said it looks painted, but at any rate, it looks awesome.

I'm also refurbishing tin cans into buckets for the boys' teachers, hence the Recycle Queen moniker. Tomorrow we'll make cookie ornaments using a recipe from The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, along with egg yolk paint. Should be fun! And messy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


You may have heard of chia seeds--more than likely from those commercials on television in which you can order a terra cotta head of Elvis along with a packet of tiny chia seeds and after planting and watering, voila! Elvis with a hairy head. Fun, right?

Even more fun is eating those little gray/black seeds. According to the always infallible Wikipedia:

Chia seed may be eaten raw as a whole seed and is an excellent source of omega-3 and dietary fiber (both insoluble and soluble).[citation needed] Ground chia seed is sometimes added to pinole, a coarse flour made from toasted maize kernels. Chia seeds placed in water or fruit juice are consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia seed is used in baked goods including breads, cakes and biscuits. Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes. 

And some more info before we get to the fun part: This is the Chia Cheat Sheet by Angela Stokes of RawReform. Quite a nifty page.

Now onto the yumminess!

I've been eating a bowl of chia pudding nearly every morning for the last week. I was skeptical at first, but quickly became a fan! Even Dyno  Dad likes it (although he did say 'yuck' when he first saw it in his bowl).

Everything you need to make breakfast!
Almond milk, cinnamon, dates, pecans and chia seeds.

 Breakfast Chia Pudding:

1/3 cup pecans (or any nut) soaked overnight
2-3 pitted Medjool dates, soaked overnight
3/4 cup almond milk (or water)
2 Tbl chia seeds
cinnamon to taste

1. in the morning, pour water off pecans and dates.
2. Blend dates and pecans with almond milk, adding as much cinnamon as you like.

3.Pour over seeds and stir. Wait a few minutes, then stir again.

4. Continue to stir and wait until pudding is as thick as you like it.
5.  Eat!
This pudding is fulling, yet light. It's kind of an odd feeling in your stomach. K eats a spooonfull of chia seeds with a glass of water for a quick breakfast most mornings. As the seeds absorb water 10-12 times their size, it makes for a full tummy.
So, who's going to try chia pudding?  Chia seeds can be found in grocery or health food stores. I used Bob's Red Mill Chia seeds.