Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Men, Solstice Treats and Wooden Breadboards

We like to make gingerbread men each year.  Yesterday we decided we would have a baking day.  We started off with gingerbread men and then realized that most of the cookie cutters had not yet been unpacked.  Where to look?  Did I really want to dig through the boxes in the storage closet to find the gingerbread man cutter or should we just make stars since we had that cutter?  Thankfully W and S went searching and found my old cookie jar filled with cutters.

We rolled out the dough and then the boys and I got busy.  This year W had decided that he wanted to start a new tradition that his friend had told him about.  He wanted to cut out a gingerbread man for each person spending Christmas day with us and decorate it to look like that person.  He and E were thrilled because this meant...ICING.  W informed me that he had never used icing on cookies at home (poor fellah).  So they mixed up different colours and had some serious fun with this.

I made stars and heart to go on the tree.

Then we decided that we would make our dog some treats too.  We used to always make him biscuits but haven't since we started feeing him raw several years ago.  These ones are banana/nettle/carrot/molasses biscuits and does he ever love them.  (we decided it would be cruel to make him wait 'til Christmas to taste them)

Since we had a serious mess going we started on our Solstice bird treats.  We had some cranberries and apples and decided to thread these into little hanging ornaments.

We also couldn't wait 'til Solstice to put these out so we put them out right away and we'll make more for Solstice. ;-)
Since my favourite taffy was such a hit with the boys I thought they should probably try homemade Nanaimo bars too.  Big hit!

S was busy too.  He made his annual treat of whipped shortbread and he was also busy in the garage making some bread boards out of walnut slabs we've had on hand.  He plans on making a table one day but decided to use the smaller bits for boards for gifts.  They are beautiful - too beautiful to cut on, perhaps?

Edited to add recipe for Dog Treats

4 1/2 cups "flour" (I use a combination of mostly oats with wheat flour, barley flour or rice flour depending on what I have on hand)
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
1 cup-ish fruit or veg.( mashed banana, grated apples or carrots, cooked and mashed pumpkin or sweet potato are some to try - this time I included the nettle left over from my infusion too.  I mash whatever I am going to use with the rest of the liquid ingredients and then add it to the dry.
2 -4 tbsp oil
3 Tbsp molasses (this part our dog really loves)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I sometimes add this and you could add egg if you like)

Put dry flours and oats in bowl with baking powder.  Mix all wet ingredients together (I run this through the vitamix) and then add to dry.  Mix to make a fairly stiff dough that you can roll out and cut into shapes.  Depending on the combination of fruits and veg you use you may need to add a bit more flour to your mix.  We like to cut them into heart shapes.  Bake in 350 oven for 20-20 minutes depending on how thin you roll them.  You want them to be crunchy.  Share with your furry friends.  :-)  When E was little he took great delight in making these and then eating them as well, it tickled him to share treats with his dog friends and to be able to say he was eating dog biscuits.  Go figure. ;-)


ipsa said...

When that husband of yours goes into business selling those lil' things he makes, please let me know! That board is absolutely gorgeous (and I'm deeply envious of the recipient).

Unknown said...

Here, here Rebecca (above comment). I love wooden things - mind you, I think you would do well selling things.

Sarah said...

Do you have a recipe for those dog treats? I bet my dogs would love them.

We're making peanut/popcorn/cranberry/apple strings for our birds and squirrels for Solstice also! Hannah wants to dehydrate some orange slices and add those...

affectioknit said...

Lovely gingerbread men - bird and dog treats - and a gorgeous board...

Nikki Starcat Shields said...

Your Solstice bird treats are awesome! Very cool.

Mary-Sue said...

Wow! Look at the sun shining in on your bowl in that top photo!
Everything looks SO yummy. What fun ideas! Cutting board is definitely gorgeous!!!

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Heather,

I'm so glad you popped by my place~Elvis and Christmas DO go hand in hand, don't they ;) ?

You've been a busy baker, there! You not only have lucky children, but also dog and birds. The walnut board has such beautiful grains to it; a table would be breathtaking.



p.s. I do have "Mrs. Sharp's Traditions", and you're right, I love it! It's been life-changing for us, applying her ideas.

Heather said...

Thanks Rebecca, he always enjoys hearing when people like his creations. I believe that I am the recipient of one of those boards...thankfully I'm special enough to him to usually get the cream of the crop of anything he makes. ;-) I like to think it is because he loves me to bits but it could be because I feed him well. ;-)

Heather said...

Thanks Shell, I think he would do well selling things too but so far it is more of a hobby for him. :-)

Thanks Affectioknit and Nikki - yes, the birds and the dog are pretty happy around here just now. ;-)

Mary-Sue, I can't begin to describe just how happy the sun shining in the windows makes me, hard to believe now that we lived so long without it in the wintertime.

Marqueta, that is so fun that you already own that book, something just told me you would enjoy it.
;-) I'm looking forward to when our walnut table is finished and has a place in our next home, I also love the grain and colour of walnut wood.

Heather said...

Sarah I have a sort of recipe for the dog treats. I'll post it for you. Have fun making them. :-)