We planted these corn seeds last week to complete Jack ‘ Baker patch on DIY (grow grain challenge) and they have shot up already!
Mostly this week we have Been looking at rocks sparked off again by a chapter in the Earth workbook. I have a big bowl full of semi – precious stones which are prefect and we plan to try and break open various stones we have to try and decide what type of rocks they are. Magnifying glass at the ready! 🙂
At the weekend we took a trip into London to visit the park and farm in Mudchute and Tokyo toys. What to buy in there was no contest at all as they had a Kirby soft toy 😀 At the farm Jack had a go at stroking and feeding the animals and we had lunch at the cafe there, which was ok but not great. That said the homemade mint and honey tea was delicious. We walked back to the DR through Greenwich and went into ‘The First Shop in the World’ which was full of ship memorabilia. Think one of the ships bells would be great for getting everyone down for dinner lol
We have had a busy week of mostly working on DIY challenges this week and Jack has now completed his Puppeteer and Chef patches and finished the full six challenges to master the Lego skill.
Jack helped me make some gluten and dairy free pasta for vegetable lasagne which came out pretty well. The dough was very crumbly until had been through the pasta machine once and then it stayed together better for further rolling. The recipe we used was:
2 cups gluten free self raising flour – we used Doves Farm
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups water
Jack’s laptop stopped working so we had to return it and ended swapping it for another one. The only one in price range was a smaller netbook but it has turned out to be easier for him as he can sit with it on his lap much easier and doesn’t need to always use it at a table which is nice. Will be good to take on train journeys as well as it is much smaller and lighter than the full sized laptop he had. He has been back on Reading Eggs and brain Pop and of course You Tube! Brain Pop topic today has been ‘Where we come from’ and he has been happily watching videos about how babies are made and grow and telling me all about X and Y chromosomes.
Kirby is still a big favourite at the moment and his Pokemon obsession has defiantly died down some, for now. We have talked about making a Kirby themed t-shirt as another DIY challenge and will probably do that using the printer transfer paper soon. The warm weather has meant Jack can get out in the garden more, most of which has involved playing with water and having water fights.
Jack has a pet snail at the moment, called Marks after a Kirby character. He is always asking to keep various insects and creatures so I decided it couldn’t hurt to have it for a while. We used to have African Giant land snails so we have a similar set up and Marks is now living with two slugs that I noticed have appeared – with plenty of help I’m sure! lol
Busy day today making smoothies and some baking – homemade sausage rolls and shortbread and gluten and dairy free chocolate cheesecake. The smoothies were for a DIY challenge towards Jack’s chef badge and he made them himself. Then while Jack was playing and listening to his Moshi Monsters CD I wrote up a hub and a tutorial on how to create a simple cork macramé board for Jewlerylessons.com
Then onto some crafts with a Mr Maker magazine making a glove puppet and stage.
Six challenges completed and uploaded on DIY today, some that we’ve done today and two others that had been finished and waiting to go on. One more challenge to complete to earn the puppeteer, chef and toy maker patches bringing Jack’s collection up to eight patches 😀
This week has been full of lots of practical activities. The home made goo is still around, though only about half is left (where the rest is I have no idea! :s) and I think it is something we will do again in future. Jack chose to grow black sugar crystals and we have set up the experiment and will leave it until Monday before seeing how well the crystals have grown. Jack posted a photo on DIY of some of his rock collection as part of the geologist challenge and the sugar crystals will be his second. One of the challenges is to break open a rock to see the inside which would be good to try but think we need some safety goggles or similar first.
Yesterday we were going to go bowling but Jack was in such a bad mood it didn’t work out but today we have been to the Special Sports group at the Surrey Sports Park which was really good and great value at £4 per family. Jack had a go on their big trampolines and at climbing. He was nervous at first but once he started climbing did great and got all the way to the top! In the hall they had soft play stuff, various balls, hockey sets, badminton and table tennis to play. Jack especially liked the giant yoga type balls and had a go at using one like a basketball and then as a football. Everyone was really friendly and Jack spend a while building a house from the soft play blocks with another boy. We ended up getting home later than I expected so glad I had put my veggie Mexican spag bol in the slow cooker before leaving.
Tomorrow we are going to an autism friendly screening of frozen at the cinema in Guildford and maybe a walk round town after.
Jack’s gluten and dairy free cake decorated to look like a pizza.
800g cauliflower, cut into florets
280ml vegan vegetable stock
115g of vegan cheese spread (grated hard cheese can also be used)
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Freshly ground salt and black pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
120g cherry tomatoes, halved
1) Cook the cauliflower in boiling water until just cooked. This will take approximately 8-10 minutes.
2) Mix the cornflour with enough of the stock to make a paste.
3) Heat the remaining stock in a second pan. Add the cornflour paste and heat gently until the stock thickens.
4) Stir in the cheese into the stock and stir until melted. Now add the mustard and parsley. Season to taste and mix well.
5) Transfer the cauliflower into a heatproof dish. Pour over the sauce and mix gently until the cauliflower is coated.
6) Scatter the cherry tomato halves and sliced onions over the top of the cauliflower.
7) Grill for approximately 5 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
Vegan/Free From Chocolate Tart
Vegan chocolate tart made using no milk, eggs, butter, soya or grains. I have made this recipe using several different types of nuts and also other kinds of dried fruit but I like this combination best.
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Serves 6
- 300g Mixed nuts, (or nuts of your choice)
- 200g Medjool dates
- 50g Icing sugar, (Optional)
- 4 medium Avocados
- 200g Cocoa, (Use cocoa rather than drinking or hot chocolate mixes as these often contain milk or milk products)
- 300g Agave nectar, (Golden syrup is a good substitute)
- Blend the nuts in a food processor until they are ground. Alternatively or if you don’t have a food processor some types of nut can be bought already ground.
- Cut the dates in half and add to the nuts and pulse until they are chopped and the mixture sticks together. Sugar can be added to taste if required. Icing sugar works best I have found.
- Press the nut and date mixture into a cake tin, silicone mould or similar. Cover this with a lid if available or clingfilm and place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Clean off any stray base mixture from the food processor bowl. Otherwise you will end up with crunchy bits in your filling.
- To make the filling, half the avocados and remove the stones. Scoop the avocado from the skins into the food processor. Add the cocoa and agave nectar. Process until smooth and uniform in colour. Check for taste and add more agave or cocoa if required.
- Spoon the filling on top of the base and freeze for around 1 hour or until quite firm.
I have made this tart several times and have used just one type of nuts such as almonds for the base and also different dried fruits such as raisins or mixed berries. Each is nice but slightly different in it’s own way.
Golden syrup can be used instead of agave and honey could be used but if you are making this for vegans check with them first as many do not eat honey.
Tart could also be decorated with berries or other fruits. Or you could use edible flowers or shop bought cake decorations.