Dairy-Free Hand Painted “Watercolor” Sugar Cookies

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After being asked to contribute to a very important bake sale, I consulted Pinterest for something that could potentially bring in a bunch of money for the very important cause. What caught my eye were meringues which I have previously made to quite the impression, and “watercolor” sugar cookies. Cookies that have a very hard icing so “paint” can easily be applied.

After consulting a few different websites, I found that most recipes used very similar ingredients. I wish I could remember those sites but if you recognize the recipe please give me a shout and I’ll give proper credit. Also, in place of butter and other dairy I used non-dairy alternatives and the cookies turned out perfectly fine.

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SUGAR COOKIES
1 cup butter or butter alternative
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk or milk alternative
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add milk. Add flour, soda, salt. Chill (I did overnight.) Heat oven to 350F. Roll out dough and bake 8-12 minutes.

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SUGAR COOKIE ICING
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp milk or milk alternative
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix everything together. Dip cookies into icing and let dry (overnight is easiest.) Ratios might need to be skewed a bit. In order to paint designs, mix gel food coloring with a clear extract or vodka and paint directly onto hardened icing. The alcohol will dry quickly. Only small bit of gel needed as a little goes a long way

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MERINGUES
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 200F. Beat egg whites on low until soft peaks. Add sugar a little at a time. Beat until stiff peaks on medium/high. Beat in vanilla. Pipe or spoon little meringues onto parchment paper. Add sprinkles if you like. Cook about 1.5 hours, rotating sheet. Time may need adjusted according to oven and size of meringues. Learn from my mistakes. The photo below is of meringues pulled too quickly. GROSS!

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RECIPE: DIY Dairy-Free Frozen Burritos (Ugly but Good)

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Finally! I tried my hand at making DIY dairy-free frozen burritos. These can easily transform into vegan frozen burritos as well. Any kind of burrito actually. Very customizable. I just happen to like lots of veggies and beans as opposed to meat. They are really flippin’ good! The whole process took about an hour for approximately 12 burritos.

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DIY Dairy-Free Frozen Burritos

  1. Brown 1lb ground beef or vegan veggie mince or any type of ground meat. Or none if you roll that way~ Add taco seasoning or whatever flavours you’d like to impart on your luscious meats. Remove to plate to cool.
  2. In same pan saute 1 large onion and 3 bell peppers cut into strips. Add garlic and ginger and chile. Cool.
  3. As veggies saute, cut up a 3 avocados to mash with a splash of lemon or lime juice, chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  4. Open can of refriend beans. Take out day-old rice from fridge or any other leftovers you wish to use up.
  5. Assembly is now required! On a burrito wrap layer refried beans, then rice, then ground mince, then veggie mixture, then spread the avocado mixture on top and voila! Roll up that baby, give it a pat, and wrap in saran wrap. Freeze in burrito bag.
  6. To reheat: blast oven to 375 F and wrap in aluminum foil. Remove foil halfway through cooking. Takes approximately 30-45 min. Haven’t tried the microwave yet…
  7. Serve on a bed of lettuce with salsa and chopped tomatoes.

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What I learned:

  • Don’t brown your ground meat too much. Unfortunately I had some meat just a couple days past its expiry date so I cooked the hell out of it. It is very dark.
  • Like spicy food? Cut up a couple jalapeƱos for the onion/bell pepper amalgamation.
  • Do not be afraid of seasoning. The more, the better for foods that will eventually be frozen and reheated.
  • Do no over cook the onion/bell pepper mix. You will miss the crunch factor.
  • One jar of refried beans is not enough if you like beans. Use 2.
  • If using rice, separate the grains in your fingers before putting into burrito. No one wants a big chunk of hardened rice.
  • Avocado freezes surprisingly well. Considering it has a similar water content to scrambled eggs I thought it would hold up. Keeps everything nice and saucy when there’s a crunchy outside from the oven.
  • Try adding Daiya cheese! Just didn’t have any on hand. Or real cheese if you want! Totally up to you!
  • Try wrapping in aluminum foil to see if it cuts down on ice formation. The two wrap method (saran then burrito bag) works quite well.

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If I have any more thoughts, I will update! This was my first time making frozen burritos and I have lots to learn! ~Burrito Babies~

DIY: Solid Perfume Tutorial

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Lately, I have been ‘pinning’ up a storm of DIY projects and I actually attempted one of them! Other Pinterest addicts can relate, I’m sure. Anyway, my sister and I tackled a do-it-yourself solid perfume project which has been making its rounds on the internet. I have always loved solid perfume and combined with the fact that it’s not always available in stores, this was a perfect day project to complete with my sibling. Sister time, yay!

As always before starting a new DIY project, I researched on Pinterest. There were a few websites which I consulted (which will be listed below) but we eventually came up with our own recipe using beeswax, coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, and essential oils.

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You may be thinking, where the heck do I purchase such things? For people in the Vancouver GVRD area, Wicks & Wax in Burnaby is a candle-making shop with very affordable beeswax and supplies with really great customer service. My chocolate bar sized hunk of wax only cost $4! They also have online ordering and wholesale rates, and even lip-balm flavours like raspberry which cost a couple bucks. You can’t go wrong with this place!

As for the coconut oil, I bought a tub of it for $7 at Superstore. I wanted to try Jojoba oil, but it was too expensive. The Vitamin E oil I picked up at Pharmasave (little gel capsules) and I bought a bunch of essential oils at Escents Aromatherapy near my place of work in Vancouver. I thought Superstore also carried essential oils, but I couldn’t find any at the Grandview location.

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I could’ve spent all day at Escents Aromatherapy, but I decided on the Aroma Blend Trio of Tuberose, Lilac, and Narcissus because I love floral scents and it was cheaper than buying them individually. For my base note, I decided on Cedarwood as it is more palatable than musk and the fact that it reminded me of my dad growing up as he worked in the forest industry. Plus, I live in the Pacific Northwest and anyone who says they dislike the smell of cedar doesn’t belong here! To round out the scents, I grabbed Mandarin (lighter and less one-note than Orange) to cut the heaviness of the florals and Noir Love (a blend of Jasmine and Violet) because it was 50% off. Who doesn’t love a deal?

Considering I wanted to try different blends of scents (I bought ten 1 oz. containers at Wax & Wicks), instead of mixing the oils right into the melted wax as the tutorials online suggested, I blended the oils with a toothpick in each individual container before pouring in the melted wax. Just don’t leave the toothpick in the oil blend, as the wood sucks the mixture up.

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How to make DIY solid perfume:

  1. Grate or chop up beeswax. I ended up using half a chocolate bar-sized brick of beeswax.
  2. Combine a 1:2 ratio of coconut oil to beeswax in a double boiler (stovetop was on low). Stir until melted. For about four 1 oz. tins filled halfway (as we were just testing out scents) I melted 4 HEAPING tbsps of beeswax to 2 tbsps coconut oil. Then I punctured a couple Vitamin E capsules to throw into the mix. If unsure about the consistency, grab a little spoon and let the melted wax solidify. Test.
  3. Mix your essential oils with a toothpick in a tin. I used about 10 drops.
  4. Pour melted wax into the tin and quickly stir with your toothpick until it begins to solidify. Leave for about 1/2 an hour. Then enjoy! Just make sure to write down your recipe as you go, for future reference.

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Overall, I would say that DIY solid perfume is a very fun and easy project to complete with another person but there would be some things I would change next time around:

  • Instead of the 1:2 coconut oil to beeswax mixture, I might increase it to 1:1 for a more malleable solid perfume. Don’t get me wrong, the 1:2 ratio works, but it’s about individual preference.
  • Increasing the ratio of the ‘lighter’ essential oils. Lavender and Cedar are very strong, even with 1 or 2 drops.
  • Try replacing coconut oil with jojoba oil and beeswax with soy wax, as coconut oil and beeswax can go rancid.
  • Replace the 1 oz. tins with different containers, like lockets for solid perfume necklaces or even seashells, and vintage jars and glasses for a retro look.
  • Find a way to make the perfume last longer. Might have to do with increasing the amount of essential oils.

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