20 March, 2012

Winter's end

For my mum, who wanted to see what Ella made:

 Lucy's quilt.  I have lots of scraps that I've sewn together, and I cut out the squares for Ella and she braved my big scary sewing machine (she's seen my finger after I some how put a sewing machine needle through it) to sew the squares, then the rows together.  I did the back, and the quilting for her.  [The bed I made years ago from cut out pieces of styrofoam with papier mache over the top.] The quilt is actually to take up to VT where Lucy has wooden bunk beds.
 I also made Ella this little runner in the same manner a few days ago.
Today was the last day of winter.  Officially.  It was gloriously sunny and warm.  Seriously. This is what we were wearing:

And we're lamenting the loss of all our beautiful reeds.  Our landlord cut them down yesterday (yes, on a Sunday) in preparation for the wall to be repaired there.  But at the rate the wall repair is going, it will be September before they get up that far.  Then he had the cheek to tell me how much better it looked.  He used to cut them down every year until the neighbours complained because it's against the law.  Now he has a permit because of the wall work.  SIGH.  Looking forward to spending all of our summer in VT.

Oh, and one more thing I have to share.  I've been making these little lunch time treats for the kids lately as I'm trying to limit the amount of sugar they are having, and to get them to eat more nuts and seeds.  These aren't low calorie exactly, but they have one teaspoon sized ball for school, so it's not that bad, and  they are filled with goodness.

I call them nutty balls, and they are my take on a recipe I saw somewhere.
I grind in my coffee grinder about 2 or 3 cups of nuts (walnuts, peacans, almonds...I haven't tried hazelnuts, but I think they would be good too).  I then add about 1/4 cup of sesame seeds and about 2 cups of dried, unsweetened coconut flakes.  I also add some dried cherries, because we like the taste of those (unfortunately they are sweetened with sugar, but I don't put too many in.  They are a bit tart which is a nice contrast.  The recipe had chocolate drops, but I think these are a bit better).  I also add about 1/4 cup of agave syrup which is a low glycemic index sweetener, but you could add honey to taste.  Then you mix in enough nut "butter" to get a gooey kind of dough-like mix.  I use almond butter, unsweetened peanut butter and sunflower butter in various amounts (ie: I don't measure it, I just gloop it out).  You mix it all up with your hands and put it in the fridge for a while before rolling it into balls.  I made the mix a bit too gooey this time, so I rolled the balls in some coconut as well. 
The kids love them.  And I have to admit, they are really tasty.  Kind of like having a lindt chocolate ball tasty.  And easy to make a batch up at the beginning of the week (no baking required) and just keep them in the fridge.


  1. Sewing machine fever is sweeping the Mars family. Steve has requested lessons!!!
    The reeds look ratshit but Ella and her creation are glorious, though I think Lucy may be a little warm.

  2. Well done Ella Bella! You're following in mum's footsteps. Lucy looks so snug in there.

    Oh dear, the pond looks so bare. I hope someone was able to turn the reeds into lovely baskets, but I guess they were just dumped. So glad your weather is warming up. I can't wait to make the yummy choco balls. Very healthy!! mum/Nanny

  3. yum yum yum.. I have a few versions of this kind of thing. I used to use agave all the time in NY but its so expensive here. I aheva yummy carob version. Little quilts look great ,well done Ella xx


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