Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Colored with yellow beet juice, turmeric/paprika, red beet juice, raspberry juice, blueberry juice

I had a fun little project a week or so ago. A sugar-rushy project.

Before I had Ada, I ate little to no cane sugar. I baked with honey and only ate sugary desserts at a restaurant. I feel it pretty strongly when my blood sugar whoooooshes. Payman can count on me to get annoyed easily when I’ve had too much sugar.

More than that though, I had read an article a few years ago (before kids) about how when the body breaks down cane sugar into glucose and fructose it creates free radicals, which are bad. So I tried to eat more natural sugars. I still do— the sugar in this experiment was all evaporated cane juice. Still sugar but less processed.

But what’s funny is that now that I don’t eat gluten, or eggs, or dairy, or soy…. eh, I don’t mind some sugar slipping in for fun occassions. Or maybe it’s that I have to get my baked goods to stay together with no protein from wheat gluten, no protein from the eggs, no binding from the eggs, no protein from the dairy, no leavening from the eggs… and they do, and they are fabulous, but maybe I’ll get around to trying to get them to be made with honey instead of cane sugar after birthday seasons is over!

Now, I do need to do green… but I worked with what I had, because it was an impromptu experiment.

The coloring agents… paprika and turmeric to make orange. Tasted a bit spicey, but on the cake the kids didn’t mind. I heard that if you leave the spices out in the open air for a day it takes away some of the flavor.

Blueberry juice. I didn’t boil the blueberries down or anything. I actually took frozen ones and put them in a mesh strainer with a bowl underneath and mashed them until the strainer only had the skins left, and the bowl underneath was blue dye.

I did the same thing with raspberry juice, and I had yellow beat juice and red beet juice in the freezer. We don’t get beets alot, but everytime we do, I make sure to pour the water from boiling them into a freezer-safe container (otherwise known as old jam jars, with enough room for expansion).

I was happy with the brightness of the red and pinks I was able to make. The darker red is the beat juice and the lighter red was the raspberry juice. Just a tablespoon or two. They might come out less bright if I made a whole batch though— it wasn’t a stiff icing because I didn’t make too much.

Of course, now that Azita knows I can make all these colors… she wants a rainbow cake for her birthday.


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How to make a mermaid tail

Azita is very into mermaids these says.  She’s never seen Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” but knows who Ariel is from the Disney mass marketing machine.  She’s got an Ariel doll and puzzle.  I’m not really sure when it started.  I was quite in love with mermaids as a little girl too. I remember always wanting a Mermaid fin to go with my bathing suit.

She kept asking for an Ariel costume, and frankly, I find the ones at the stores to be Chinese-made, unoriginal,cheaply made, yet expensive to buy, products.

So we went to the crafts store and this is what we came up with:

I chose polar fleece so that I didn’t have to get out the sewing machine or hem anything.  Polar fleece is techincally made from plastics, so yes, there may be greener choices, but this is still a whole lot greener than buying it pre-made, I believe.  I could have gotten organic fabric or made sure it was produced closer to home than China (which I believe it was).  I did get a remnant, so I got it even cheaper than buying a fabric we had them cut.

I hand sewed the velcro tabs on.

Our pattern:

There were also remnants of swimsuit material on sale, so I made her one out of that too that she wore in the bath a few times.  I actually thought she’d wear her mermaid costumes more, but that’s okay. 

Atleast I spent $5 and not $20.  And hopefully she will remember us home-making things together.  That’s part of what made me want to make it for her myself.  My mother made many, many of our costumes from scratch, with what we picked out and that is a great memory of mine.  What other kid got to be a dark brown guinea pig for Halloween with a white stripe? 

Azita saw an Ariel costume pattern at the fabric store and fell in love with it, but I’m not quite ready for that much of an undertaking with the kids yet.  I’m far from that good at sewing, like my mom was.  I’ll just see if I can’t get her to wear this one!

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