Open Studio Sundays at Shutter Bugs

We had the best time with Jon at shutter bugs. The littles drew, painted, took still shots, and portraits. I was beyond impressed with Jon’s patience and dedication to letting little ones create and explore with photography and art. Jon gave the littles creative freedom while giving them encouragement, guidance, and support. I absolutely love this way of empowering kids to express themselves. Jon printed the little’s favorite shots of the day and they were stoked to frame and hang their very own photos when we got home. We are already looking forward to our next visit and invited some friends this time!

What a lot of parents don’t realize is that these young children can do so much with a camera and during these classes even the really young ones do most of the creative process on their own, with guidance from the owner, Jon. You can take a look at @shutterbugsatx on Instagram & facebook to see just how talented these kids are!

There is this notion that children can’t do photography, but with the right guidance and the opportunity to try it out, it can become something amazing!

Children don’t need a camera to take a class – The studio will provide them.

Kids aren’t just handed a camera and start taking pictures. Jon teaches them about how it’s used and how it works before advancing to things like lighting and how to use a backdrop.
The children have the freedom to create what they want to photograph – past classes have used food as the subject, electronics, abstract art, people, interiors, and exteriors.

In addition to photography, children work with other mediums such as painting and collaging.
4 hours of learning and experimenting at an open studio Sunday only costs $20.

In addition to the open studio Sundays and regular classes that Shutter Bugs offers, the studio is also hosting its first-ever summer camp. Parents can choose from 5, 10 or month-long camp sessions in the months of June, July or August.

Go to http://www.shutterbugsatx.com for more information on scheduling a class with Jon!

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VEGAN BLUEBERRY AND CHERRY SCONES

Sometimes I make elaborate dinners, we all sit together at the table and enjoy a well planned beautiful meal. Other times, like tonight I feed the littles frozen gardein porkless sweet n sour bites with rice, the husband eats cold leftover pizza – while standing – and I bake scones. It’s Friday, try not to judge me. 

I’m usually pretty​ intimidated by baking but this is a super simple recipe and the flavor combinations are basically endless. You could go savory or sweet and you probably have the ingredients already. 

I chose blueberry and cherry because I needed to use em up before we go shopping. You could do Rosemary and sea salt, lemon poppyseed, strawberry, garlic and herb, dill, raspberry and blackberry… You see where I’m going with this? 

What you need –

  • Food processor
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Silpat or parchment paper
  • Large plate
  • Cookie sheet
  • Spatula
  • Chef’s knife

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 2 tsp organic sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup solid Earth balance (could also use solid coconut oil) 
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup pitted cherries 
  • ½ lemon zest
  • 1 cup full fat coconut (shaken before measuring) 
  • Sugar in the raw TT (to taste for topping – optional) I used brown because it’s what I have but raw would be best

    What you’re gonna do – 

    Add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and earth balance to your food processor. Pulse until mixed. Pour this mixture into large bowl. With spatula fold in berries, cherries and lemon zest. Then fold in coconut milk. Gently mix until well combined. Put silpat or parchment on a large plate and Pat the dough into a disc on top. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Remove from refigerator and place on cookie sheet. Cut disc into 6 triangles. Sprinkle with sugar. These are not very sweet, so I do recommend the sugar on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm. 

    I hope you enjoy these. If you make them, tag me on Instagram @lunch_with_littles I love seeing your creations! 

    XO

    Jette

    Breakfast with littles at Hat Creek

    Pictures of crispy fries and veggie burgers were filling my Instagram feed and giving me major FOMO (fear.of.missing.out) feels. I love a good veggie burger and fried carbs are life. Amiright!? 

    After discovering these drool worthy pictures were shot at Hat Creek I needed more info. I had heard of Hat Creek years ago, I knew it started as a truck and then owners opened a shop in my old hood on Burnet Rd. I am stoked to find out how family friendly (puppers are welcome) and expansive this local joint has become. Locations are popping up everywhere and their menu is so much more than just burgers and fries AND they serve breakfast! 

    It felt like fate when Do512family invited us to come try Breakfast at the Domain Rock Rose location. The food did not disappoint. I emailed ahead of time to check what items were vegan. Good news vegan fam, there are plenty of options for us here. The bigger little and I both had breakfast bowls with perfectly seasoned potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, avocado and grilled onions. The littlest had a potato and avocado taco on a corn tort. We gobbled up every bite and hit the play ground. Obviously that was a huge hit. It was well shaded and super cute with an open airstream trailer and big slide. 

     I am seriously looking forward to bringing the Husband, littles and pupper back for beers and burgers. I know my husband will appreciate their selection and you legit can not find craft draft brews for a buck anywhere else on a Thursday. Yes, really. A buck. Every Thursday. See you there. And while we’re talking deals, don’t miss family night every Tuesday from 5 pm to close – you and your littles will get ½ priced big and little hats (burgers). 

    HC makes their own – good for your gut – probiotic rich saurkraut, pickles and veggies, YUM! (you can find these in their shops and at whole foods too). They also offer the locally made Hot Dang grain burger patties.  I love supporting local business that supports local business! We’re all in this together right? 

    We are so happy when we find a spot that we can all enjoy together as a family. Hat Creek has something for everyone whether you eat a carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or gluten free diet. Their Buda location can’t open fast enough! I want to go again tomorrow. Seriously. 

    Did you know you can skip the line by ordering online? Visit hatcreekburgers.com and for the month of June you’ll get 10% off your online order using my code: lunchwithlittles I mean… Kind of a no-brainer. Enjoy your visit, maybe we’ll see each other there! 

    Cheers friends! 

    Grocery Shopping

    Grocery shopping can be daunting if you don’t enjoy it. In the past I loathed going grocery shopping. Lately, I actually look forward to it. I want to share some strategies I’ve started using that shifted the way I shop and enhanced my enjoyment of the chore. 

    • Clean out your fridge and pantry. I take some time to get my fridge and pantry clean and ready to be filled when I get home. This also ensures you’re not buying something you don’t need.
    • Go alone. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but do it if you can. You’ll feel less rushed and more focused. If you need to bring your kids teach them about reading labels and what produce codes mean. If they’re old enough to read they can be your little helper. My son enjoys picking produce, he feels empowered and included. My daughter holds our list and any coupons we pick up. Kids love to help and will enjoy having a task. Including them can lessen annoying requests and break downs/tantrums. 
    • Learn your store. I can close my eyes and know where everything is at my local HEB. I know when they re-stock and when they’ll be depleted. I know their busy and slow times. If you don’t shop all that often and have a harder time tracking this on your own, call and ask. The manager on duty should have no problem answering a few questions. 
    • Shop when your store isn’t busy or depleted. This will change store to store. It’s a safe bet my store will be well stocked and very slow on Saturday and Sunday around 7-8 am it starts getting much busier by 9 and 10 am. I prefer quiet times so I feel free to really examine produce and read labels. This is important to me, it might not be for everyone. 
    • Make a menu. This can feel daunting, but it gets easier and more fun as you practice. Every Friday night I ask the family what meals they’d like for the upcoming week. I look at pinterest and instagram if I’m wanting some inspiration or feeling bored with our ideas. I write how many meals I’ll be making and what they’ll be. This helps avoid multiple trips because I forgot something or we run out of food. I keep this menu on the fridge in case mid-week mom brain kicks in and I forget all the wonderful ideas I had. 
    • Write a detailed list. I envision my store as I write my list. I write my list as if I am walking around the store in that moment. This helps avoid back tracking or missing items. I start with toiletries and work my way around the store. I like saving produce and the frozen aisle for the end of the trip. The produce won’t get squished by cans of beans and frozen stuff won’t thaw. I am very careful to avoid aisles that aren’t on my list. I.e.: I never go down the juice, candy, cracker, or cookie aisles. Grocery stores are brilliant at tricking you into buying things you don’t need. If you stick to your well planned list you will stay on budget and avoid junk foods that you wouldn’t normally think of buying. 
    • Smile. This may be common sense but the RBF (resting bitch face) is so real for me. I’ve noticed my whole mood lightening and consequently my interaction with others being infinitely more positive when I actively smile at other shoppers and employees. Just do it, I promise you won’t regret it. 
    • Read labels. Real food shouldn’t have things you can’t pronounce. As a vegan I read labels on everything. Even if it was vegan last week I read it again, just in case. I keep my inner aisle shopping super limited. Processed foods, while convenient, are hard on our bodies and in general not as nourishing as whole foods. I do buy canned beans, rice, pasta, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, pretzels, and chips regularly. 
    • Bulk section. Some people are grossed out by the bulk section.(I get why) but personally I love it. I buy all of my spices, nuts and oats here. It is significantly cheaper and you can decide exactly how much you need. 
    • Know your codes. Produce starting with a 9 is organic, with a 4 is conventional, with an 8 is GMO and with a 3 is electronically pasturized (uhhh whut?).
    • Choose whole fruits and vegetables. They are cheaper and will last much longer than buying pre-cut produce. 
    • Be flexible. I buy 95% organic when I shop. I have to make exceptions occasionally and buy conventional if the store doesn’t offer organic or if the organic produce isn’t fresh. I like to buy local when available. I do not buy GMOs, ever. I check all of our products to ensure this. I believe strongly in voting with our dollar and supporting companies that hold similar values to my own. 
    • Frozen section. I don’t buy a ton of frozen foods but a few staples are corn, peas, Ezekiel sprouted grains bread and whatever gardein meatless convenience foods my littles choose. Frozen vegetables and fruits will retain more nutritional value than canned. If you can’t get something fresh I’d buy frozen rather than canned. 
    • Check out. This is probably ridiculous, but I arrange my haul on the conveyor belt so that all the canned items, almond milk carton, or boxed items get bagged and go into my cart first. Then I send the hard heartier produce, then the more delicate produce and finally bread. Just in case the bagger isn’t as concerned about bruising your carefully picked avocados as you are. 
    • Food storage. When I get home I take everything out of bags and put it on the table. Any produce that is wet gets wrapped in paper towels and stored in a new dry bag. I recyle salad boxes and save produce bags to store food in. This lengthens the life of your produce significantly. I have a large cup that I store celery in. I cut it myself and put the stalks with a small amount of clean water in the cup and cover the tops with cling wrap. It won’t wilt this way. I don’t wash anything until I’m ready to use it. Keeping leafy produce dry will ensure it won’t get wasted because it spoiled. 

    When we were eating animal products and I wasn’t making a menu our weekly haul had gotten up to $400. That was crazy. After going vegan and implementating these strategies our weekly haul hasn’t exceeded $170. That is awesome!!!! I hope this helps you enjoy your trip and you find a shopping groove that you love. 

    Happy shopping friends. 

    Party food!

    I just turned 30 and naturally I wanted to celebrate with friends, play games, enjoy adult beverages, and of course EAT! The spread was fresh, beautiful, delicious, and easy. I love dishes I can make ahead and have less to do on the day of the party. You can easily make these dishes gluten free, dairy free, or vegan to accommodate all your guests.

    Here’s what I made :

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    Cheesecake dip with fresh berries, served with shortbread cookies and mini vanilla wafers.
    (This could be made vegan by using my raw vegan cheesecake recipe a few posts back) I made the dip the night before and wrapped with saran wrap then cut and decorated with berries an hour before guests arrived.

    Ingredients –
    1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese softened
    ½ (7.5 oz) jar of marshmallow fluff
    1 (8 oz) container of cool whip
    Berries and fruit for decorating
    Your favorite cookies or graham crackers for serving

    Cream together cream cheese and half the jar of marshmallow fluff then add the cool whip. Don’t over mix. Spoon into a pie dish. Cover and refrigerate or top with fruit if you’re about to serve it. This was one of the favorites at our party.

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    Caprese bites –
    Cherry tomatoes
    Basil
    mini mozzarella balls
    Balsamic glaze
    Salt and pepper

    Wash and dry tomatoes, use decorative toothpicks to skewer tomato the roll up a basil leaf and skewer, then add a mozzarella ball. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then drizzle with balsamic.

    Greek pasta salad –
    Your favorite pasta cooked per package instructions
    Kalamata olives
    Pepperoncini peppers diced
    Sun dried tomatoes diced
    Marinated artichokes diced
    Celery diced
    Red onion diced
    Red bell pepper diced
    Feta cheese
    Pine nuts
    Salt and pepper
    Caesar vinaigrette

    Toss all ingredients together and chill. I like this best when made the day before, all the ingredients get to merry. Use as much or as little of the additions as you like.

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    Vegetable tray –
    Vegetables
    Creamy dill dip
    Hummus

    Cut up your favorite veggies and mix together for a fun presentation. I used bell peppers as serving bowls. Use whatever veggies you like.
    I used – carrots, celery, radishes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas.

    Savory cheese plate –
    Smoked Gouda
    Applewood smoke white Cheddar
    Mustard seed cheddar
    Peppered Salami
    Pepperoni
    Sopressa
    Jalapeño olives

    Arrange cheeses with rolled up meats and olives. Serve with crostini and your favorite crackers.

    Sweet cheese board –
    Brie
    Apricot or cranberry Stilton
    Candied pecans
    Marcona almonds
    Crofter’s organic fruit spread
    Local honey
    Fresh or dried figs
    Sliced apple
    Sliced pear
    Red and green grapes
    Castel vertano olives

    Arrange cheeses, nuts, and fruits on the board and serve olives and fruit spread in bowls with your favorite crackers.

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    Remember you can really make this your own. Swap out any components you prefer, these are just ideas. I hope your party is amazing!

    Find me on instagram @lunch_with_littles

    Happy eating!

    Donuts. Donuts. Donuts.

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    We LOVE donuts over here. Duh. Who doesn’t? I saw a donut pan on a random target run and convinced myself I had to have it. We have all been so pleased with this impulse purchase, and at only $14 it was SO worth it. I’ve made dozens of donuts over the past few months, some healthy, some less than healthy, all delicious. Don’t be afraid to try something new, mix it up with flavor combos and toppings.

    This is the original recipe –
    (About 6 donuts)
    1 c ap flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp baking soda
    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
    1 egg
    ⅓ c brown sugar
    ¼ c milk
    ¼ c Greek yogurt
    2 tbsp melted butter
    1½ tsp vanilla

    Chocolate glaze –
    ½ c enjoy life allergy friendly mini chocolate chips
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp corn syrup
    2 tbsp water
    Sprinkles!

    (I never made this exact glaze,  I omitted the corn syrup. It will have a thicker consistency if you don’t omit)

    1. Preheat oven to 350°
    Spray donut pan with non-stick spray, I used coconut oil spray.

    2. Whisk together all dry ingredients (excluding sugar) in medium mixing bowl.

    3. Whisk egg, sugar, milk, yogurt, vanilla and melted butter together until combined.

    4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Do not over mix. Batter will be thick.

    5. I highly recommend using a piping bag with the tip cut off to pipe into donut pan. You could also use a ziploc with the tip cut off. Spooning batter will be messy and frustrating.

    6. Bake donuts for 9 – 10 minutes at 350°

    7. Melt all chocolate glaze ingredients together and mix until combined.

    8. After donuts are cool enough to handle dip tops in glaze and then dip into bowl with sprinkles.

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    Each time I made donuts I adapted the original recipe based on the ingredients I had.

    For vegan/gf donuts –
    1 c Bob’s redmill ap gluten free flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp baking soda
    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
    1 egg replacer (I used 2 tbsp chia pudding)
    ⅓ c coconut sugar
    ¼ c almond milk
    ¼ c coconut yogurt
    2 tbsp melted earth balance “butter”
    1½ tsp vanilla

    Follow same baking instructions

    Ideas for flavors/toppings –
    Lemon poppyseed
    Blueberry
    Cherry

    Chocolate glaze with coconut “bacon”
    Powdered sugar
    Cinnamon sugar
    Fill center with fruit compote

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    Have fun, get creative, explore flavors and combinations!

    Please comment below with any questions or just let me know what you made.

    You can find me on instagram @lunch_with_littles

    Xo
    Jette

    Luscious Body Butter

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    After dreaming of making my own whipped body butter for months, Santa’s massage table delivery confirmed it was time to whip it and whip it good.

    This nourishing, silky, and luxurious butter is too easy not to give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.

    What you need –
    • Bain Marie/double boiler or small pot (I do not suggest using a microwave)
    • Kitchen Aid stand mixer or hand mixer
    • 4 oz jars for storing butter
    • labels for jars

    Ingredients –
    Base one (has a very pungent chocolate scent)
    • ¼ c raw organic cacao butter
    • ¼ c unrefined organic coconut oil
    • ¼ c sweet almond oil
    • ¼ c jojoba oil
    • 10 – 20 drops essential oils (or omit for pure chocolate scent)

    Base two
    • ½ c coconut oil (do NOT melt)
    • 1 tsp jojoba oil
    • 10 – 20 drops essential oils

    For base one –

    1. In double boiler combine everything but essential oils.

    2. Gently melt on low heat until mixture is liquid.

    3. Remove liquid from heat and let cool to harden a little, you can speed up this process in the freezer.

    4. Once mixture is set up, measure ¼ c into mixing bowl with essential oils of your choice.

    5. Whip for 7 minutes until mixture is fluffy and stiff peaks have formed.

    6. Spoon into jars and label.

    7. Enjoy!

    For base two –

    1. Measure ¼ c coconut oil (do not heat) into mixing bowl with ½ tsp jojoba oil and choice of essential oils.

    2. Whip for 7 minutes until mixture is fluffy and stiff peaks have formed.

    3. Spoon into jar and label.

    4. Repeat with remaining oil for different flavor.

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    Oh my achin’ back
    • ¼ c base two
    • 10 drops panaway
    • 4 drops valor
    • 6 drops copaiba

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    Sleepy time
    • ¼ c base one
    • 12 drops lavender
    • 8 drops stress away

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    Sexy time
    • ¼ c base one
    • 4 drops joy
    • 4 drops tangerine
    • 4 drops black pepper
    • 2 drops peppermint
    • 4 drops frankincense

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    I’m so happy
    • ¼ c base one
    • 5 drops lemon
    • 6 drops joy
    • 6 drops valor
    • 5 drops tangerine

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    Face time
    • ¼ c base two
    • 12 drops tea tree
    • 8 drops copaiba

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    Please contact me if you need therapeutic grade young living essential oils! I’ll be happy to help.

    Happy whipping! I know your skin will thank you.

    Xo
    Jette