Tag Archives: Valentine’s

{Heart-Shaped} Wholewheat Cheese Crackers

Wholewheat Cheese CrackersToday Gracen and I whipped up a batch of what is easily her most loved treat in the entire world – our homemade version of the classic ‘fishy crackers’.  Though I’ve shared this recipe before, I thought I’d share it again as we did things a teeny bit differently this time around…  Plus, this heart-shaped version would make a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

IMG 5032First off, our ingredients…  We used the usuals, but tried using a coarse stone ground wholewheat flour, replaced the cheddar with Colby and fresh parmesan, and added some basil into our spice mix.

IMG 5033Then my little helper dumped everything together.

IMG 5036Instead of mixing everything in our mixer like we have in the past, this time we did it in the food processor I got for my birthday. It definitely allowed the dough to come together more easily, and as guessed, adding a touch of water wasn’t necessary in the food processor.

DoughWith all of the ingredients well mixed, we dumped everything out onto our workspace and used our hands to form it into a large mass.

RoolThen we patted it down by hand, covered it with parchment, and rolled it out nice and thin.

IMG 5047It must be all the talk about Valentine’s Day festivities, because Grae chose a heart-shaped cookie cutter this time around.  

IMG 5048We cut out endless hearts, carefully lifted them with the flat edge of a butter knife, and transferred them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

IMG 5053We popped them in the oven, and in no time, we had crispy, tender crackers that are full of flavour and free of preservatives.

IMG 5059

See our original recipe here.

Wholewheat Cheese Crakers

  • 2 cups of Colby cheese
  • 1 cup of fresh parmesan
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne paper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of warm water (if mixing by hand or using an electric mixer – not necessary in a food processor)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients and gently form dough into a ball.

Sandwich dough between two layers of parchment and roll it out to 1/8 of an inch thick. Form shapes with a cookie cutter, dipping it in flour from time to time if needed. Gently transfer crackers to a parchment-lined baking sheet using the flat edge of a butter knife if needed.

Bake the crackers for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are just barely browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Sparkly Heart-Shaped {Valentine’s Day} Wands

Sparkly Heart Shaped WandsIn addition to our annual Valentine’s Day tea, Gracen and I have a couple of other Valentine’s parties and classes to attend this year.  And since we don’t do the whole candy thing just yet, it means getting a little bit more creative with the ‘treats’ she hands out.  When I asked her what she’d like to give her friends, she responded with Valentine’s slime (thanks I’m sure to our Halloween version for her ballet class friends) and heart wands (thanks to a Kiwi Crate package we received from our most recent PBK story time).  And because both take a little bit of prep work, we started early…  More time left over to figure out what we’ll bring for the 30+ kiddos in her Strong Start class, right?

These little wands are beautiful and easy to make, and although some may think they’re a little ‘girly’, we believe that hearts and magic are for everyone. ☺

Heart Wand MaterialsHere are the materials we used for the project…  Wooden dowels, adhesive glitter foam sheets, acrylic paint, a paint brush, and some ribbon.  The best part is that we picked up all of these things at our local dollar store, so not only were they inexpensive, but we only had to make one stop – always nice with a toddler in tow.

IMG 4891First off, we started the project by painting our wooden dowels.  Miss G does not always enjoy having her hands covered in paint, so we attached clothespins to the ends of the dowels so she could rotate them as she painted without painting her fingers.  When she declared a dowel done, I went over the stick with a couple of quick strokes in order to smooth out the globs.

IMG 4896Then, because the tips were not painted where the clothespins were, I was able to stick the dowels into chunks of {gingerbread} play dough to dry upright.

IMG 4995A couple of days later, when our paint was good and dry (it actually only takes about an hour), we came back to our project.  We started by drawing a heart shape onto a piece of cardboard and cutting it out to use as a tracer.   

IMG 4996Next, using our newly-made tracer, we traced hearts onto the backs of our foam sheets.  Gracen was happy to do the first few, and let me do the others when it came to this job.

IMG 5000With some strategic placement, we were able to fit 4 hearts onto each of our foam sheets, but of course it depends on the size of your tracer and the size of your foam sheets.

IMG 5004Next, we cut out the hearts.

IMG 5005Now to actually assemble a wand, you need two foam hearts, a wooden dowel, and a cute little helper.

IMG 5007This right here was Grae’s favourite part of the whole project… Peeling the backings off of the hearts!

IMG 5009With one heart shaped peeled, we placed the sticky side up on our work surface and placed the unfinished end of our dowel in the centre of the heart, up maybe an inch or inch and a half from the bottom.

IMG 5012Then Grae peeled the backing off of another heart, and we carefully placed it on top of the dowel, making sure to line up the hearts as closely as we could.

IMG 5013With the heart in a good position, Grae pressed everything together firmly.

IMG 5017Next up – the ribbon!  We chose 3 colours, looped them in half, and cut them slightly shorter than the length of our exposed dowel .

IMG 5018Then we stacked them up and tied them onto the dowel at the base of the heart, giving them a little tug to coax them into falling downwards nicely.

IMG 5026Then, with a different, slightly narrower ribbon, we tied a bow right above the previous ribbon knot…

IMG 5024And finished off all of the ribbon ends with v snips.

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And there you have it.  Sparkly heart wands for Miss G’s little friends.  

♥ 

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Valentine’s Creative Table

One of the things I’ve been doing to encourage independent play {and creativity} in recent months is keeping a fun, inviting, and well-stocked ‘creative table’ for Gracen.  All it is is her little table (or sometimes a tray or even the floor) with an assortment of materials available for her free use.  Sometimes it’s paper and glue and embellishments (like in our Christmas tree creative table), sometimes it’s play dough and cookie cutters and decorations, and sometimes it’s a tray of baking soda with droppers and dishes of different coloured vinegars.   Naturally, some creative table set-ups are more open-ended and some lend themselves more to a finished product, but either way, the purpose is for Gracen to explore materials, experiment, and create freely while enjoying the process.  

Valentine s Creative TableToday, Miss G and I did a little bit of shopping for this year’s Valentine’s Day projects (yes, we’re thinking about it already), and though I intended on holding off on a Valentine’s themed creative table for a while yet, my little lady popped up from her afternoon nap and her first words were, “I want to craft now.  Grae Grae gets her new craft things!”  And that was that.  A Valentine’s creative table it was.

IMG 4670IMG 4669IMG 4672Together we gathered up all sorts of pink and red craft supplies…  Smelly markers, sparkly foam shapes, bingo dabbers, stamps and a stamp pad, doilies, construction paper hearts, and some glue.

IMG 4683As she does with most creative projects, Grae dove right in.

IMG 4687The immediate favourite?  The foam stickers.  She plower through the initial stash and asked for more right away.

IMG 4681Throughout the afternoon and evening, she came and went as she pleased, adding to her pieces as she wished.

Here are a few of the pieces she declared ‘finished’…

IMG 4688IMG 4694IMG 4689While it won’t be around until the big day (I try to change up our creative table supplies every 4 to 7 days or so), there’s no doubt it will be enjoyed, added to, and revisited for several days to come.

♥ 

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