Saturday, November 8, 2014

Archaeology Scout Merit Badge Ideas

My son and I had a lot of fun working on this merit badge together. With the time frame we were working with we needed to do requirement 8c which was to create a mock dig. I use the link below to learn how to make it as realistic as possible. I basically buried items that someone 100 years from now might find from our time period which might include:

*Cell Phone (I put an old phone in a ziploc bag)
*Pop can or other food item wrapper
*A toy that is popular today
*A tool commonly used today

I was trying to find anything that particularly dates us. I buried these things at different levels and we used the record form from the website below to keep track of what we discovered. The funny thing was that we also found other items that I had not buried in our backyard soil from when our house was built. If you have multiple scouts or children working on this project try to give them their own space. They thoroughly enjoyed this project. I would also bury a lot of items. They could have done this all day!

Ideas for requirement 9b might be to:

*Make a pair of moccasins (you can buy a kit)
*Make a spear with an arrowhead
*Start a fire with flint and steel
*Start a fire with a bow drill

Have fun and let me know if you have any ideas that were fun for you too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Shake

I love chocolate shakes but I don’t love sugar and dairy. This reminds me of the Shakes you get at a fast food restaurant but guilt free.

1 cup cashews
3 cups ice
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
2 dates, pits removed and chopped finely or try you luck in the blender
¼ cup water
¼ cup agave or pure maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt

Add ingredients to a strong blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Freezes great for a snack tomorrow.

Gogi Berry Balls (superfood cookies)

2/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 soaked goji berried
1/2 cup cacao nibs (I use chocolate chips)
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup raisins
10 pitted dates
5 dried black mission figs
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa or carob powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut

Add all ingredients, except coconut, in a food processor and process until it is as creamy as you can get it. You can add a little water if necessary but don't add too much or it won't roll into balls. Next roll in coconut and chill in fridge or freezer for 30 min before serving.

Pecan Nut Crust

My sister has children who cannot have gluten. We wanted everyone in the family to be able to eat all of our Thanksgiving pies. Here is the crust we used. We actually liked it better than the usual pastry crust.

2 1/2 cups ground pecans
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Rapadura sugar (replacing white sugar)
4 Tbs Earth Balance butter substitute or unsalted butter (I used butter because they are allergic to soy also)

1. Stir together the ground nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix in butter
2. Place pie crust in the refrigerator for about 30-45 min.
3. Place pie crust on a cookie sheet, and position on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. This crust will burn easily so watch it carefully. Cool completely before filling.

*For pumpkin pie I didn't bake first. I covered the pie in the oven with tin foil. The upper edge of the crust was darker than I wanted but it didn't effect the flavor much.

Vegan Homemade Noodles

I have worked on tweaking this recipe to truly taste and feel like the homemade noodle I grew up with. This recipe has no eggs and uses Spelt or whole-wheat flour. I add it in a "Non-chicken" noodle soup base which I will post someday soon.

2 cups spelt or wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs gluten (for binding)
2 Tbs Flax soaked in 2 Tbs water (egg substitute)
1/3 cup water
1 tsp olive oil

Mix the flour, salt and gluten in a bowl. Add the flax, water and olive oil. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let sit for 20 min. Now either roll out onto a floured surface and cut in thin noodle strips or use a pasta machine on 1/16 th inch thinness. Add these noodles to your soup and let them bowl for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. I have also air dried these on the side of a bowl and used them later. They never last long in our house.

Savory Quinoa Soup

Serves 6
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (diced into small pieces)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 very large red potatoes (about 14 oz.) (diced into small squares)
2/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
3 vine ripened tomatoes (diced)
2 carrots (diced into small squares)
1 yellow squash (diced into small pieces)
9 cups unsalted vegetable broth (I used Rapunzel, Vegan)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. stevia powder
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
4 fresh basil leaves (sliced)

1.) Add olive oil to a large stock pot and add minced garlic & onion. Season by
sprinkling some salt and pepper while cooking.

2.) Add quinoa, diced potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, dry seasonings, stevia, salt & pepper.
Continue to cook, stirring frequently, Cook for about 5 minutes.

3.) Add vegetable broth and yellow squash. Bring to a boil and then turn to low and
simmer for 20 minutes.

4.) Add nutritional yeast and stir well. Turn burner off and add in chopped parsley
and basil leaves.

5.) Serve with crusty bread and a green leafy salad. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Yerra Moolee (Yellow Coconut Rice)

My family loves Indian food which was introduced to us by a friend from India. Here is a family favorite.

2 cups finely chopped onions
7 Tbs oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbs ground or crushed fresh ginger root
2 green chilies (anaheim or jalepeno, if you're brave)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 Tbs ground coriander
3 cups coconut milk (2 cans will do)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbs minced fresh coriander leaves or 1 Tbs dry(optional but wow what a flavor!)
2 cups potatoes
1 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup peas

Serve over:
4 cups cooked rice (Basmati is the best)

This can be a fast recipe if you do the following:
Cut up cauliflower & potatoes and have them steaming or boiling?(not my favorite method) while you are working on the sauce.
Also, start cooking the rice.

Now, heat oil and saute the onions until soft, reduce heat and add garlic, ginger & the chilies for another 2 minutes. Add turmeric and coriander, stir rapidly for another 15 seconds and add coconut milk and salt. Turn off the heat and let the ingredients sit to allow time for flavors to blend. Do not cook the coconut milk or it will turn sticky and slimy (not good). Add the steamed veggies and the peas (you can add them frozen and they will turn that pretty green and be the perfect texture).

Your rice should now be done. You are ready to serve!