This recipe began as the Giant Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookie by paleOMG. Why do I like this recipe? Minus the chocolate chips, it’s a great base for any cookie. I used chunky peanut butter to make my husband some peanut butter cookies. I added the chocolate chips for me and Nugget. If you use the sunflower seed butter, you could add dried fruit and maybe coconut shavings. The possibilities are only limited by your taste. Juli’s original recipe calls for a vanilla bean. I don’t keep those around and they are expensive. So, I used 2 tsp organic vanilla extract instead of the one tsp + one scraped vanilla bean that Juli uses. I also make my cookies smaller (’cause then there are more of them…) so I adjusted the cooking time. I use the Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips instead of the chocolate chunks. Those are the changes, I hope you enjoy ‘em.
If you’ve never been to paleOMG, I highly recommend it. Great, yummy, realistic recipes for paleo people who want a stinkin’ treat once in awhile.
Paleo Cookie Base (grain free, dairy free, soy free; optional nut-free)
(originally began as Giant Vanilla Bean Chocolate Chunk Cookies, www.paleomg.com)
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter or nut butter i.e. almond or cashew butter (use peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, for plain PB cookies)
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- ½-1 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips
- Ideas for additions for nut-free cookies: dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, extra cinnamon, pumpkin pie seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out a dollop of cookie mix and drop onto baking sheet. Space cookies 2 inches apart, they will spread.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, be careful not to overcook these.
- Let cool 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.
My little Nugget just turned six last month and is currently in kindergarten at his co-op. The literacy curriculum his co-op teacher chose is Sonlight. I am not a big fan of this curriculum. Nugget (and I) found this program to be, well, boring. That and Nugget’s skill level ended up being far enough beyond the Sonlight Kindergarten level that we decided to use a different literacy program at home. This didn’t cause any difficulties at co-op since they never actually used the curriculum in class. For our literacy work (when I talk about literacy, I am referring to phonics and reading) we have chosen Explode the Code. Last year, we used the primers (Kindergarten level) for this series and Nugget thrived. They are Get Ready for the Code, Get Set for the Code and Go for the Code. I used them because the pages are quite brief and, since he was pre-K, I was really just trying to gauge his capabilities. Plus, they are much less expensive than most other curricula. I would start Nugget on a lesson and let him work until he wanted to be finished. We usually completed a letter a week. The primers only cover lowercase consonants. They do incorporate some beginning handwriting skills. This year, we have been using Explode the Code, which covers short vowel sounds and some sight words. The lessons in this book are definitely more challenging compared to the primers, but they are still easy enough to build confidence. I can easily see where Nugget struggles and repeat a lesson or tailor the next one accordingly. I purchased Book 1 as well as the Teacher’s Guide. The teacher’s guide offers several ideas for use with teaching a group, but all of the activities can be used with a single student. Each day that we do phonics at home, we do 2 or 3 of the activities from the teacher’s guide and then Nugget does about half of the student pages for that week’s lesson. Each lesson includes 9 or so student pages. These pages make up the actual Explode the Code book. As we neared the end of the book, Nugget wanted to do the student pages all on his own. He said that if he got right into them without me going over the directions, then he could finish faster. ;) The Code books are great for gauging your child’s ability, but also if you have a child with a short attention span. The pages vary from handwriting-heavy to check-the-right-box. I also think this is a terrific series for boys. The doodle-style illustrations are silly and the sentences used for reading comprehension in the student pages describe barely possible scenarios. They are definitely made to be funny.
Nugget’s photographic fantasy, Birds in My Backyard (via Snapfish), arrived yesterday amidst another snowfall. Here are some peeks inside:
A photo frame used in the editing option of Nugget’s v-tech camera helped make a nice cover for the book.
Most of the pages were full page photographs. Text was printed over the photo or on a separate page.
A two-page spread featuring cardinals.
I would love to know if you have ever tried something like this. Nugget was so excited to see his work in print and is already planning his next book. :) I may have a bonafide author in the family someday.
Original post, here.
Update: the book has arrived! See it here.
I found a great V-tech camera as my Christmas gift to Nugget this year and he uses it quite often. So, when I came across the idea of having a child create his/her own photographic fantasy, a la A Stranger in the Woods, I just had to give it a whirl. In a photographic fantasy, the author creates a story around the subject matter of real life photographs. We first read the book by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick. Like any book, we read it a few times. ;) Next, we made bird feeders out of empty toilet paper tubes, peanut butter and a variety of seeds & nuts. We placed them in a tree just outside the living room window so we could get nice photographs. The Hubs also put out a bird feeder cake of woodpecker food and he filled up the bird feeder. Well, we’ve had the cakes and feeder filled a couple of times this winter and didn’t get much response. So, I am sure it was the scent of peanut butter from our diy feeders that attracted the birds to our yard. We had so many! Woodpeckers! Blue Jays! Cardinals! And a bird we did not recognize so, we hopped on the computer to do some research and were able to identify it as a dark-eyed junco. So fun!
We took pictures each time a new bird came to feed and captured the diy feeders in various stages of use. Then, I took advantage of one of those Snapfish coupons that arrive daily to my inbox. Nugget and I used our photographs in a Snapfish 4×6 album to create his own book! We are still waiting for it to arrive, the suspense is killing us! :) When it gets here, I’ll be sure to update this post. For now, here are some other ideas to do after you read A Stranger in the Woods.
Even if you don’t have a ‘snowy day,’ you can still make snowmen!
A Stranger in the Woods (own a copy)
Bird Feeders (empty toilet paper tubes )
Painting with cups
Printables The printables here are FREE! The color-by-number snowman comes from her winter pack. There are printabes for phonics, handwriting, patterns, puzzles, flash cards, and coloring sheets. Anything featuring a snowman would work for this unit! If you’ve never visited www.3dinosaurs.com, you should. She makes tons of printables and they are FREE.
There have been a LOT of snowy days here this winter. It’s the snowiest I can remember in a long time. Lucky for us, my plans for January included activities and crafts centered around Ezra Jack Keats’ book, The Snowy Day.
Printables and craft to accompany The Snowy Day.
I enjoy starting my lesson planning with a book and then adding related items to it. This book is so simple, but so lovely. Nugget has enjoyed it since he was a toddler. Now, he is able to do schoolwork, activities and crafts that coincide with it. Bonus: every year at his annual check-up, Nugget gets to choose a book. This year, The Snowy Day was on the book shelf! He picked it! Yay, now we have our own copy! Did you know, The Snowy Day was the first children’s book to feature an african-american child as the main character?
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
Keats’ Neighborhood; an Ezra Jack Keats Treasury, Ezra Jack Keats (I’ve not read this one, but would be fun to add in for reading during this unit.)
What Comes Next (cutting practice, patterns)
Wordsearch (all words from the book, beginner level)
Craft (Q-tip painting, construction paper)
YouTube video (claymation) This video is simply made, but well-done. Nugget loves watching the part where Peter finds the stick and smacks the tree.
YouTube video (Lego) There is a Lego video out there for just about anything!
Enjoy your snowy day!
Book to go along with themes of equality and understanding: The Crayon Box that Talked, by Shane DeRolf; printable to color (with crayons?) from www.preschool-daze.com.
I am sitting at the kitchen table enjoying what I thought would be certain failure: blueberry chocolate chip pumpkin loaf from PaleOMG. PaleOMG
When you first look over the recipe, it’s hard to see how it will ever amount to a fluffy loaf of deliciousness, but it does! Some changes I made & notes: grapeseed oil instead of walnut oil (what I had on hand), I used fresh blueberries (definitely stick to her 1/4 cup measurement) and I mixed the whole recipe in my food processor rather than switching to a bowl halfway through. Perfection! And while it was baking the house smelled sooo yummy. If you are already cooking paleo then you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. So, make this ASAP!