A very happy Valentine's day to you from Bentovention! Mr. Bentovention was away today so it has just been Big T, little t and I at home enjoying heart themed baking, puzzles, games and crafts. This morning we made vegan chocolate muffins and cherry heart shaped shortbread. Over lunch we solved a few Valentine's Day cryptograms, mazes and sudoko downloaded from Activity Village, a great free resource online for children's craft ideas. This afternoon we sat down together and got our sewing projects out. Big T continued work on her embroidered 'self portrait' that she's creating and little t continued work on his cross stitched little picture of his toy penguin. I like to encourage 'free style' sewing rather than working often from pre-packaged designs. We just pick up whatever bits and bobs we have in the sewing box, thread a needle and improvise. With a child's imagination added to the mix, we get some beautiful, unique results.
While the children worked on their ongoing projects I put together something that I'd planned to make especially for Valentine's Day. A pixellated shaped heart in red felt with an embroidered chemical compound for chili. I have a spot to hang it in the kitchen that will be just right.
While we are renovating the house in bigger ways than usual and I am engrossed in writing my PhD thesis, my bento creations are going largely undocumented. That will change as soon as my kitchen is finished and things have settled down. Best wishes to you all!
Vegan chocolate muffins: 200g of self raising flour, 100g of caster sugar, 100g of cocoa powder, 200g of dairy free spread, 1tsp of baking powder and a dash of rice milk to soften the mixture. Bake for 25 minutes at 170 degrees in the middle of the oven. For the topping blend dairy free spread, cocoa powder, icing sugar and rice milk in small quantities until you achieve the consistency you like. Add a cherry or an icing heart.
Vegan cherry shortbread: 200g of dairy free spread, 350g plain flour, 200g of caster sugar, a dash of red food colouring, strawberry flavouring and chopped glace' cherries. Blend into a loose paste and leave to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes. Roll out and cut with a cookie cutter before baking at 160 degrees for approx. 15 minutes. The biscuits will further harden as they cool so beware of over cooking them. Enjoy!
And finally, here is a picture of my sewing project for the day.