Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall-time Home Freshener Craft

This is a great fall-time craft to do with your kids!  These 'cookies' are decorative ornaments.  They make great gifts.

They are naturally preserved with cinnamon and are additionally scented with essential oils, making them the perfect all-natural air fresheners.  The only other ingredient is applesauce!

We arranged a playdate and brought the camera along to document the fun.  Here is the recipe...hope you enjoy it!

  • Grind up apples (without cores, but we left the skins on which leave a nice textured and varied appearance in the final cookie).  We used about 8-10 apples.  The applesauce we used is home-ground and raw.  If you use store-bought applesauce, prepare to bake the cookies longer and add more cinnamon as it has a higher water content.

  •  Add cinnamon and stir very well until the texture is like a play-dough.  Not crumbly at all, but not too soft.  It should be somewhat firm when squeezed into a ball.  We used over 2 cups approximately of cinnamon.  You can also use other spices like nutmeg, allspice, clove, ginger, etc.

The formed balls:

  • Roll between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper.  Roll about 1/4" thick.  Make sure it's not too thin!  The thinner the cookie, the more fragile the cookie.

  •  Select shapes and press cookies.

We let each of the kids make 3 cookies.

  •  Bake around 200 degrees for 2 hours or until the cookies are fully dehydrated.  They are cooked low and for so long because you don't want to burn them, only to evaporate the liquid in the applesauce.  This will give you a nicely preserved cookie which will not go bad.  These smell so good while baking!
  • Use a straw and poke a hole in each cookie where you'd like to hang the string.  You have to suck a little to get the plug out, but make sure you don't inhale it!

  • Attach a piece of string to each.

  •  Drop a few drops of clove, cinnamon or any spicy scented oil that you would like to freshen your home with onto the cookie.  Here we are spraying the cookie with essential oils (this is thieves oil).  

Then hang your cookies around your home.  They look awesome in windows!  The cookies will last a very long time.  This is an old folk craft and is so practical.  We had a lot of fun getting together and the kids loved it too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eric Carle Love

Etienne loves Eric Carle books.  The first book he ever took interest in was Mr. Seahorse.

Naomi wasn't really into Eric Carle books so we never spent too much time with them.  Since Etienne's infatuation, I have grown to share in his adoration of these books.

And we also learned that Etienne calms right down for his naps despite the stimulating colors and pictures of Brown Bear, Brown Bear...

So we take it everywhere we go!