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Archive for 'Recipes'

Soaked Almonds

Years ago, I learned from a nutritionist that the raw dried almonds I was proudly snacking on every day contain phytic acid in their skin, which makes digestion difficult and can rob the body of nutrients. Ouch!

I learned soaking decreases the amount of phytic acid and makes them way easier to digest, so your body can enjoy the benefits of protein, fiber, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc …   all those good things we look for in a nutritional snack. 

Although I started soaking both almonds and walnuts in water to minimize the acid, intending to dehydrate them again, they tasted so good, I preferred to eat just the way it was without dehydrating, and never looked back.  Children, especially, love chewing the softer nut, which resembles its original form before they were dehydrated.

- Start with raw almonds- unroasted and unsalted.
Place them in a glass vessel twice the size of the amount of almonds- they will expand as they soak.

- Add about 1/4 teaspoon af salt for each cup of almonds and cover with water. Leave to soak in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

- Drain off any remaining water. You can now eat the almonds as they are, or dry them in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest setting for a crunchier snack or later use.

Soaked nuts remind me of when I was growing up.  We ate almonds and walnuts fresh before they were ever dried!  It is a delicacy that still to this day people sell at the street corners in Tehran and other cities in the Middle East, when they are in season.

Posted by Living Crafts on Apr 17, 2012 11:39 AM | 5 Comments

Easter Herb Quiche — by Pardis

I make this simple quiche often, but specially for the Spring Equinox as well as for Easter events I’m invited to.  Last year I took it to a friend’s house with an herb garden.  Read the story and tutorial post on my Easter Herb Garden on!  Here’s a partial photo of the herb garden for peeking but when you visit you’ll see the full and bigger photos with detail and many Fairy Easter Garden ideas:

Oh, and did I mention you can also start your herb seeds in the egg shells you save from making the quiche.  Here’s a photo from Natural Home & Garden.  Click here or on the photo for the TUTORIAL!

for TUTORIAL click on this photo by Natural Home & Garden

Now let’s get  to the recipe:


- 4 Eggs

- Green Scallions – 1 bunch [can be replaced with leek or fresh garlic greens]

- Parsley – 1/2 bunch

- Kale – 4 leaves

- Optional herbs to add are a few leaves of basil, dill weed, cilantro, mint, and any other herbs of your choice.

- 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

- Salt and Pepper to taste


- 10″ Iron Skillet

- Stainless steel turner [the thinner the better]

- Mixing Bowl and Whisk

- Food Processor [optional]


1) Wash herbs and pat them dry with towel to take out water as much as possible.  Using a salad crisper is best.

2) Take out the “woody” part of the stem from the kale leaves, so the dark green part is left.

3) Cut the root ends of scallions off.

4) On a cutting board, cut all greens coarsly so all pieces are smaller than 2″.

5) Place in food processor and use the Pulse button twice, each time about 15-20 seconds.

This is the texture you want to achieve … as small as possible but not mooshy.

6) Place the herbs in a bowl and add the 4 eggs.  Then add 2 Tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper or any other spices your heart desires.

You can cut the top off carefully if you want to keep the shells for planting seeds.  For the tutorial on how to plant seeds with egg shells click here to go to Natural Home & Garden website.

7) Mix well using a whisk.

8) Place the iron skillet on stove on Low to Medium heat (3 on a scale of 1-10)and add 1 Tablespoon of oil.  Pour the egg/herb mixture onto the skillet and put a lid on it to trap moisure.

9) After 10-15 minutes (until the mixture has solidified enough to divide into pieces).  Take off the lid and using the edge of your turner, draw 3 lines to divide into 6 pieces.  Then turn each piece individually, and add 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.  This is where a nice thin turner comes handy, to be sure you can scrape off each piece from the pan and turn it quickly.  At this point you will not need the lid anymore.


10) Let the other side brown (about 10-15 minutes) and it’s ready!

Serve with your favorite salsa or yogurt and bread of your choice.  You can also make this dish in the oven, but you’ll need 2 more Tablespoons of olive oil [oven temperature 375 degrees for 40 minutes]




Posted by Living Crafts on Apr 5, 2012 11:56 AM | 1 Comment

Stained Glass Cookies

Coco after giving up trying to reach the cookies - i wish i photographed her while standing on her hind legs ready to steal

My friend Cindy Johnson used to be a kindergarten teacher. Every year on Valentine’s Day, she made an eatable stained glass Valentine’s card for all the children in her class! For each child she made two 5”x7” decorated cookies and tied them together with ribbons. The children loved this special treat.

it is a lot of fun to design

I asked Cindy to give me the recipe, which was printed in an old publication from the forties or fifties. The following recipe, inspired by the original from Miss Cindy, is a variation altered for Living Crafts, as I always like the flour to be measured by weight for consistency. This recipe has less sugar than most butter cookies, but more butter, and the cookies are actually not just pretty, but very tasty and eatable. I will have to also provide you all with a Royal Icing recipe, next time we have these cookies on our blog.

this is for those who miss their sweethearts

If you are going to let your child eat hard candy with food coloring in it, well, this is the one time in the year to do so. If not, you can test different brands of organic hard candy [that’s what I was going to do but with a staff of one some things are just not possible] and see how they melt in the oven. If you have success with any of them please let me know so I can post here!

I am holding on to this recipe for Christmas and plan to make a whole village of houses with stained glass windows – and even a church.

Here we go, thanks to Miss Cindy Johnson:

Valentine Cookies

Makes about 12 cookies in various sizes shown here:

various sizes


  • 8 oz. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick butter [1/3 cup]
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Jolly Rancher brand hard candy in assorted colors
  • Royal Frosting [or ready-made frosting tubes for writing!]



1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
2. Beat butter and sugar in bowl until light and fluffy, then add egg and vanilla
3. Gradually stir in flour mixture until dough is firm
4. Keep dough in closed container overnight or at least 10 hours
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ¼ thick.
6. Place foil on a cookie sheet.
7. Cut out shapes with cutters in various sizes and place on the foil covered cookie sheet.
8. Crush candy in colors of your choice, so they are in crystals [not powdered]
9. Place as much candy as possible in the cut-out parts

house cookie

10. Bake about 8 minutes, or a bit more for larger pieces. Children love watching the candy bubble through the oven window. The ones that are heart shaped look like pumping hearts!
11. Once the cookies are cooled off, you can start decorating with Royal Icing of your choice, or just buy ready-made in a tube if you are in a hurry, although those have way too much bad stuff in them [sorry Betty I like Martha best].

Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 13, 2011 03:57 PM | 16 Comments


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