Blocks, Part Two!

I said I’d polish the blocks, and polish them, I did!

I used a beeswax wood polish (also from my sister’s blog), which I already had mixed up, from when I made a katana, yea these many moons ago.

See how much deeper the colors are? Just lovely!
See how much deeper the colors are? Just lovely!

 

The basic method of this is pretty straightforward:

  1. Get some of the beeswax-and-oil goop from whatever container it’s in.
  2. Smear said goop all over the surfaces of whatever you want polished and protected, until every bit is covered. It shouldn’t be thick on there, just enough to make it very shiny; maybe a bit slippery.
  3. Let all goop-covered items sit for at least 15-20 minutes. (I let mine sit for a couple of hours, because I got distracted, and it made zero difference.)
  4. Wipe off any excess polish with a soft cotton cloth.
  5. Enjoy your pretty bit of wood!

I also used this polish on my black walnut buttons. 🙂 Just goes to show, a good method is the gift that keeps on giving.

Baby-Safe Colored Blocks

So, I don’t know if it’s shown much yet, but I have a profound love of woodworking. Something about the smell of sawdust, the feel of well-sanded wood, the look of the grain– it all has a special place in my heart.

So, when I think of what toys I want my daughter to play with, what else? I want her to have wooden toys. (And, being me, I just have to make them.)

I started off my adventure with a pack of plain wooden blocks. Unfinished, sanded smooth, and about 1 cubic inch apiece.

Next, I pulled up this lovely tutorial from my sister’s site.

So I got four little containers out, covered the bottoms with a teeny bit of water, and put some food coloring in, about 1 part food coloring to every 5 or 6 of water. I painted the coloring on 4 blocks this way.

She also suggested putting drops of food coloring directly onto the wood, for stubborn spots.

Me, being me, (who else?) I had to try a couple different ways.

The four on the left are dyed with drops of coloring painted directly on the wood. The four on the left were diluted.
The four on the left are dyed with drops of coloring painted directly on the wood. The four on the right were diluted.

See the difference? Pretty striking. 🙂

Of course, I couldn’t stop there! Next, I just sat a couple of blocks in the dye containers.

green, yellow, blue, and red!
green, yellow, blue, and red!

…and let it soak up into the block, about halfway…

See?
See?

And then pulled it out, tapped the drips off into the container, and set it bare-wood-side-down in another of the colors. (Sorry I don’t have a picture of this!)

I let the dye soak up the other side until the colors sorta…meshed.

These really came out nice.

Yaay! They look so festive.
Yaay! They look so festive.

I’ll polish them in the morning. ^_^

 

 

Veggie Pizza

Yep. VEGGIE PIZZA.

I’m not talkin’ kale on your pizza. I’m not suggesting the “cover your pizza with veggies so it can count as healthy, but wishing you could let yourself pick all that gross stuff off” method. Oh, no. This is pizza made of veggies. And It’s pretty delicious.

I first heard of such a thing from pinterest. (Where else?)

First, we tried out the cauliflower pizza crust from The Lucky Penny. It was good! But it was a little too labor-intensive for my taste, and it took ingredients that we don’t always have on hand. (Like, a whole head of fresh cauliflower? Seriously, people. Not normally on my grocery list.) We’re spontaneous pizza-makers, and I wanted a crust we didn’t have to plan very far ahead. Plus, it stuck to the pan horribly. We never have parchment paper, (and I do mean never. I wince at the price, every time I look at it in the store.) so, we used foil, and it just didn’t fit the bill.

Second, we tried the spinach crust from Jo and Sue. It was even better! The first crust still tasted a bit cauliflower-y, and the spinach crust had no such inclinations. We used frozen chopped spinach, so we didn’t even have to break out the blender, just thaw the spinach in the microwave. But I knew I could make it even better for us, since it called for a CUP of cheese.

Third, we tried spinach crust with flour instead of cheese. Just a straight substitution. It was brilliant! It had beautiful flexibility, crispy edges, and no need for parchment paper, blenders, or wringing-out of vegetables.

So, without further ado:

OH. MY. PIZZA.
OH. MY. PIZZA.

Spontaneous Spinach Pizza

2 Cups frozen chopped spinach (from a bag, not a block!)

1 large egg

1 cup flour (we use whole-wheat)

  • Preheat oven to 425*.
  • Thaw spinach in the microwave so that it’s mostly defrosted.
  • Mix all ingredients together with a spoon.

It should look like this:

Mmm, spinach paste.
Mmm, spinach paste.

 

 

  •  Spread out the paste onto a greased 12″ pizza pan, trying not to leave holes. This is messy, folks, but the results are oh so tasty. Promise. 🙂
  • Put your crust into the 425* oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust looks dry and vaguely biscuit-like.
  • Spread sauce, cheese, and toppings… I’m not gonna tell you how to make your pizza. You know how you like it. (We used alfredo sauce, cheddar, and sliced onions. Pure decadence.)
  • Put your pizza back in the oven until the cheese is melted and it looks like how you like it!

Enjoy! We sure did. 😀

All that remains.
All that remains.