Spring is here! And what better are activities that are budget friendly and allergy friendly?!
This spring, mom’s, dad’s, aunt’s, uncle’s, older siblings, and cousins can enjoy these simple activities with the children in our lives.
The first fun activity is making little baskets from toilet paper rolls, glue, and burlap. Be sure to save one or two toilet paper rolls for the next activity!
To make one basket you will:
Cut four toilet paper rolls in half length wise, then cut each of those halves in half length wise
Weave 3×3 squares and glue to secure. Make 3.
Use one square as the base. The other two squares will be cut in half to create the sides of the basket.
You should have 1 quarter of a toilet paper roll left. Use this to create the binding seems to glue each piece together.
Use a piece of burlap, fabric, or an additional toilet paper roll to glue or staple a handle to the basket
Once the glue is dry, it is ready to paint!
Use the basket to hold spring celebration goodies or surprises from a scavenger hunt! A shout out to Inspired Wraps for picture credit and inspiring this craft idea! Click the finished basket picture to be directed to their etsy or check them out on Instragram @inspiredwraps
The second activity is to make a paper mache flower vase using:
a lightly inflated balloon: the lightly inflated balloon to seal in the air, cut the band of the balloon tie off. Tuck the tied end into the balloon until you feel the knot on the other side of the balloon. Tie the end of the balloon where you feel the knot inside of the top of the aloof to create a donut shape
These almond flour cookies are east and delicious!
You will need:
A medium sized bowl
A cookie sheet pan
A oven preheated to 350F
2 cups of Almond Flour
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
2 Tbs honey or nectar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Optionally – 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of sea salt, unreal chocolate gems (I used Cadbury eggs in the photo because my roommate had some and they looked cute.)
While I prefer to make conscious purchases, I am not above making adjustments based on what ingredients are on hand, staying in a budget, or using a less desirable ingredient for the purposes of eliminating food waste.
Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.
Form the dough into balls and flatten when pressing them onto the pan
Bake for 12-14 minutes
Notes: for a more firm cookie, use only the egg yolk. The whole egg makes for a softer cookie.
This recipe is really simple for kids to prepare and eventually learn to do all on their own once they know basic kitchen safety.
If you or the child you are working with is autistic, (dis)abled, or has impaired motor skills, this recipe is also easy to follow and can be cooked in a toaster oven for those looking to overcome limitations of their (dis)abilities.
As I was exploring food ideas for rebEarth, I came across Living Jin’s brand of agar agar, or kanten in Japanese. I chose this brand of agar because it is single sourced from non-gmo red algae, 100% natural, vegan, gluten free, sugar free, kosher, halal certified, and ISO certified, making it the ideal project for the development of conscious foods.
Originally testing it for fruit caviar, I began playing with it in jams, and vegan zephyr. As I was posting images and recipes on my personal Instagram, @linden_erin, Living Jin came across some of my posts using their agar powder and asked if I would participate in creating an agar agar cook book with nine other chefs.
This couldn’t have been more perfect timing as I was already invested in the creation of a dish using their product for an upcoming event.
The creation of the White Chocolate Cloud Spheres became a multi-purposed investment of my creativity. Inspired by rebEarth for an event and documented as my first cook book submission.
None of this would have happened without Edward Travi, creator of rebEarth, and Vianney Lopez, videographer. I am so honored to be apart of this collaboration with Living Jin, I cannot wait for the book to be published on Amazon. I was told the book will be a series of agar agar cook books focused on vegan and vegetarian recipes all using agar. Hopefully I will be invited to join them with the other chefs for the creation of future book!
You can find more information on the White Chocolate Cloud Spheres on the recipe category of this blog, or on amazon for the Living Jin cook book.
This recipe is a very fun activity for kids, as it involves painting with chocolate and being as creative as you can imagine with colors and designs. I do however recommend adults sealing the deal on the formation of these sphere, for the process must be done quickly to avoid them melting in your hands. Just in case they do melt in your hands, you may as well enjoy licking them clean and enjoying the process! And you definitely will have leftover marshmallows to enjoy by themselves, in hot chocolate, or scorched on s’mores.
April 9th, The Conscious Table was invited to participate in the album release party for rebEarth – mindful journeys, a dedication to Planet Earth by Edward Travi.
When I was first approached by the idea of catering an album release party, my mind went wild, but I kept my composure and just said, “Okay.”
If anyone knows me, they know I am the type to go all out. So like any ‘all or nothing’ type person would do, I meditated upon the soundscapes for inspiration; letting the sounds wash over my mind like rain and soaking into me like a thirsty ground.
The sounds painted pictures in my mind, swirling with colors and flavors until they formed into could be hors d’oeuvres.
After testing the ideas of my imagination, some of the visions didn’t quite turn out as expected, so back to day dreaming on the sounds I went! I meditated upon the sounscapes several more times to finalize the menu for the event, deciding on: two sweets and two types of miniature vegetable towers. The inspiration didn’t come about in a linear fashion from which the sounds are presented on the album. After intensely listening to the sounds, I recorded the emotions that sprung forth in the form of feelings, colors, flavors, images, and places. Amazing enough, during this process I was contacted by a company about submitting a recipe for an agar cook book! I will make a separate post about that experience.
The first hors d’oeuvre served is actually the one submitted for the cook book by Living Jin Agar! The White Chocolate Cloud Spheres were inspired by the soundscapes Agartha, Challenger Deep, Tesla’s Dream, and Al-ke-mē. The dish consists of a lemon-almond white chocolate sphere containing vegan zephyr or a blueberry. I wanted to incorporate an unexpected sensation in each bite by offering different fillings for the Spheres, as well as bring in the various elements of nature I felt drawn to from the sounds. The white chocolate and almond represent a sweet Earth space to be rooted to and nurtured by. The sphere shape itself is specifically inspired by Agartha and Challenger Deep. The hint of lemon brings in some brightness to the element of earth symbolizing the brightening that occurs from the coming of spring as winter comes to an end. The vegan zephyr filling was chosen as a symbol of the wind, inspired by the sounds in Tesla’s Dream and Al-ke-mē. The god from Greek mythos, Zephyros, of the west wind that harbors in the spring, gentle and sweet, came to mind as I was incorporating these flavors. The combination of the flavored white chocolate and lemon vanilla zephyr represents the sweet nurturing nature of the earth and the gentle push of a wind to take flight (towards your goals and dreams). The blueberry was chosen for some of the spheres for their color and name, but also for representing the element of water. Biting into a sphere containing a blueberry provided a tart burst of moisture providing balance to the earthy sweet flavor of the sphere.
The second sweet offered was a Hana Mizu Shingen Mochi. Inspired by the soundscapes Wild Leute, Chrysalism Bleu, and Viaggio, this spring inspired sweet was made with mineral water and agar in a pool of colloidal mineral infused agave nectar, topped with flowers from local gardens, and dusted with matcha. Certainly not as sweet as the first dessert, leaving more of the refreshing taste of spring with the lingering sweetness of nectar. As I listened to the sounds of Wild Luete, a meadow kissed by the sun, glistening with moisture from a shower in the night filled my mind. A spring time meadow in bloom. Water dripping off of the rocks and plants, coating small pebbles as it flowed into a stream. Chrysalism Bleu brought these images to mind, inspiring the chosen style of mochi. Mizu meaning ‘water’, and Shingen meaning ‘epicenter’, a point on Earth’s surface above the focus of an earthquake. Clear and calm, yet able to move with the flow of subtle vibrations sitting in a pool of nectar that gently reflects the light captured in a room. Feelings I got from Viaggio for this calm and clear Japanese style sweet brings forth subtleties of peace and playfulness of the closing of one season and the birth of another. With an assortment of locally sourced blossoms scattered atop the surface of the mochi, it says, “Spring is here, and in bloom.”
The next two hors d’oeuvres each contain three elements, rolled in a spiral nature inspired by Tesla of the soundscape titled Tesla’s dream in honor of his infatuation of everything occurring in 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s. Inspired by a culmination of feelings from Challenger Deep, Wild Leute, Chrysalism Bleu, and Viaggio. Much more simple than the first two hors d’oeuvres presented, these cucumber avocado rolls topped with sprouts or nasturtium excludes the flavor of sweetness in favor of the elements water (expressed in the cucumber), earth (expressed in the avocado and nasturtium leaves), and rebirth (expressed in the sprouts and nasturtium flowers). This fresh, light, and nourishing dish represents the life that comes forth from the joining of earth and water. To me it says, “Wake up sleepy one, we are here.”
The fourth and final hors d’oeuvre presented was solely inspired by Viaggio, the final track on the album, as something that comes forth from the happening of a season. Coming to a close that is really only another beginning. This summer squash roll is filled with a pea and almond purée and asparagus. An understanding of the planting efforts for these vegetables, coming into fruition during the spring when warm loving crops are in abundance (in Texas anyway!)
For those of you who attended the event and got to experience this visual display and sensation of flavors with the music, I hope this provides a new layer to the listening experience when you recall the event and listen to the sounds at home.