Homespooled

 
A vegan or even vegetarian alternative to bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  Throwing a party and want the bacon wrapped ones as well? This sauce blend can work with that too.  Just omit the cherry tomatoes, wrap water chestnuts in a slice of half-cooked bacon before skewering with a toothpick.  Pour sauce over and bake (in a separate dish than the vegan ones) for 30 - 40 minutes until bacon is fully cooked.

 
 
Make your own paper pinwheels this summer with items you have around the house.  Have the kids decorate the paper before you start!

 
 
These vegan cupcakes are moist and delicious.  They are a perfect treat for anytime of the year, and especially, Canada Day. 

If you have fresh strawberries, you can use them instead of the jam (jam is a good replacement for fresh fruit for the winter months or for when what you need is not in season).  Just add some fresh strawberries to a small pot over low/medium heat with a little sugar and stir until they melt down into a mush.  Be careful though, to strain out some excess water before adding to the recipe or it could change the consistency of the cupcakes/icing!

 
 
There are some things we made when we were kids that we forget about until we have kids of our own.   Often when I remember these projects, I think of how much fun they were and so, I have my kids make them.  Like at the end of the school year when we would make Canadian Flags...

We made two versions of these, one with paint for the little guy and a slightly more difficult version using tissue paper for the older ones.

 
 
These bite-sized pinwheels pack a lot of flavour with a surprising list of ingredients.  They are easy to bring to parties, picnics, or any upcoming Canada Day festivities!

 
 
When I was selling my last house, a stager came in to inspect the appearance of it and suggested that I put some art up on my walls.  She recommended a place in town that would rent me art pieces.  I thought it ridiculous to pay so much for something that I could easily do myself.

So I hopped on the internet and found some old photos of Paris.  I changed the hue to a more brownish/sepia tone and printed them off.  Obviously I didn't have an array of photo frames lying around, so I took some old boxes that were falling apart and worked some magic!  They turned out so well in fact, that they are now hanging in my new house :)

 
 
Top your next Caesar salad with this creamy vegan dressing and you're sure to please everyone!  Don't be shy with the garlic! 

 
 
This "meaty" vegan chili is sure to satisfy vegans and carnivores alike.  With that traditional flavour that even children enjoy, this dish is a meal on its own that is perfect for the whole family, regardless of dietary requirements or preferences.

Top it with a little Daiya or serve it with some garlic pita wedges!

 
 
Yes, I'm at it again.  I like magnets and I like play dough.  Well guess what?  So do kids.  Just like the Play Dough Beads, I used washable markers for these.  Markers are quick and easy and make less of a mess.  Sometime though, paint is just way more fun.  So whichever you choose to use, have fun with it and be creative!

 
 
Looking for something a little more interesting than a fruit salad to serve at your next gathering?  Try fruit kabobs!  They're cute, easy to make and use up fewer dishes than a salad.  Also, you can use fruits you normally wouldn't put in a salad, along with a little treat here and there.

Fruit kabobs are easy to take with you to a summer BBQ, party or even child's sporting event and offer a healthier alternative to cakes, cookies and pastries for those watching their waistlines. 

Get yourself an assortment of fruits that are affordable and hopefully, in season.  Leave already bite-sized fruits such as strawberries and grapes whole and cut the larger fruits such as watermelon, pineapple, kiwi, star fruit, bananas and cantaloupe into bite-sized chunks.  Then simply arrange them onto a wooden kabob skewer is whatever pattern you like!

For fruits that will brown after being out for a little while, like apples or bananas, soak them in a lemon and water mixture before adding them to a skewer.

Marshmallows make a great addition to the kabobs, as well as certain candies and truffles.  But be conscious of the fruits you've used and how much juice is going to run off them, and how this will affect the candies being added.

 

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