A banana pancake twist

So hubby works outside – in the Florida heat- for sometimes extremely long hours.

While we try and avoid things like gatorade, we DO try and keep his electrolytes at their peak.

 

Electrolytes are minerals in your body, including potassium,

One of the best ways to keep potassium levels at optimum is with (you probably know this) bananas! We go through them like crazy. This past week we received a very kind donation of a 1/2 case of bananas.

SO hubby gets a banana smoothie with greens every morning.

He takes bananas because they are easy to eat on the run and I found a new use that I was quite happy about…..

flourless pancakes.

the recipe I added a bit of chocolate pizzazz, the original recipe I found at From Away, it couldn’t be easier…….

 

2 large bananas

4 large eggs

1/4 tsp baking powder (optional but helps make them a bit fluffy)

3 Tbsp of coco powder

Blend all the ingredients up in  a food processor or with an immersion blender and you are ready to cook them up!

Scooping out the mixture into your skillet with 1/4 measuring cup makes the perfect size pancakes and they taste fabulous!

I forgot to take a picture of the banana pancakes.


Peach_moringa_flax_pancakes I’ve been making Peach,  Moringa and flax pancakes for a week or so  –

here’s that recipe.

I got this basic recipe online and then added the items I mentioned, it’s easy to premix the dry ingredients before hand.

We eat a decent amount of pancakes so this is typically doubled – they last a few days that way.  :)

 

1 cup   flour                    2 TBS  sugar                   2 tsp baking powder                    1/2 tsp salt

1 cup  milk                      2 TBS oil                          1 large egg                                       1 tsp oil (set aside)

2 TBS dried moringa#                                             2 TBS ground flax seed              1/4 cup chopped frozen peaches

 

Mix all the dry ingredients ….   mix the wet ingredients in (except 1 tsp oil). Mix until combined (it’s okay for it to be a little lumpy).

Heat a small non-stick skillet on med heat adding the final 1 tsp oil.

When the oil easily runs in the pan use a 1/4 measuring cup to ladle the mixture into the pan.

Cook until edges form and you have some bubbles popping on the top of the pancakes & flip.

Hubby like butter spread across them after they come out of the pan.   Enjoy!

Moringa        # Not sure about Moringa?

Moringa is wonderful tree that can easily be grown (and harvested yourself) in the semi tropics of Florida.

It doesn’t look like much but this little clump of leaves on the top of my tree is often referred to as the miracle tree, and with good reason!

We use it for it’s energy boosting properties, to reduce inflammation, as an antioxidant and a valuable source of a wide assortment of nutrients.

We have several trees (they grow very quickly) allowing me to cut the leaves and dehydrate. I like to dry on my counter rather than use the dehydrator!  Then I use my mortar and pestle to grind it up to powder form. It is so much better than buying powder from an unknown source!

 

Do your own research to find out about the amazing benefits of this low maintenance powerhouse.

Here are some places to start……   Pssst.   The seeds can even purify water!!   How cool is that.

Discovery Channel documentary:      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqwk9KFLTI0

ECHO:      http://echonet.org/moringa/

Livestrong:       http://www.livestrong.com/article/431418-the-health-benefits-of-moringa-oleifera-plants/

 

 

May you know the S.P.i.C.E. in life!

~AS

Batty Take 2

Today was another Batty day at the Pet Alliance!  (formerly the SPCA)

Link to additional resources here

cropped-cropped-spicey_bat1.jpg

It was such a satisfying morning. Something about the location makes us so relaxed.  Perhaps it has something to do with all the trees. The location feels more secluded and removed from the hub-bub (even though it’s along a main road).

We had a smaller class of 9 curious 3rd-5th graders today. It was perfect!

One of the benefits to a smaller group is being able to spend more time asking the kids questions about our topic. We were excited to find they were quite a knowledgeable crew.  Over half the group already had an interest in bats, which made our presentation much more fun. When asked, echolocation was nicely summed up by camper, Alex.

My favorite part about the Prezi was seeing the amazed expressions around the room when they learned;

if we were bats at our current size – our fingers would be as long as our legs!

Cassi even told us a story about seeing a bat closeup that had fallen on the ground and appeared to be hurt. They called to have the little guy checked out & make sure it was okay, which it was. By the next morning it was gone, but had left a lasting impression.

As always papercraft is a fun time – most everyone had experience with it, so we dove straight in and finished up the harder part of the bat body quite easily.

Batty_wings1_Sanford071014

SPiCEY son starting our kirigami bat wings.

Kirigami (切り紙) a variation of origami to include cutting paper (from Japanese “kiru” = to cut, “kami” = paper)

All of the resources used have been salvaged & kept from the landfill. Like our paper, the perfect size for making paper creations – which we affixed to a re-purposed popsicle stick or a reclaimed rubber band. Thankfully, this round I didn’t get burned from our hot glue experience (purchased ages ago for a long since completed project).

We finished up a really enjoyable presentation with a group shot of all our lovely bats and participants.

 

Batty_group_sanford071014

Thank you to the Pet Alliance Sanford, for always making us feel welcome and right at home!

We have 2 butterfly pollination presentations to round out our summer series – we can’t wait to share our experiences.

May you know the SPiCE in life!

AS

 

 

 

 

 

Logo art

Here are a few S.P.i.C.E. logo’s I’ve been playing with for several events.

I really like the Batty logo. cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-spicey_bat1.jpg

 

This one has yet to be put on a t-shirt successfully (it has to be a really nice all white shirt) but it’s fun none the less. It was designed after our first bamboo class. We are talking about doing another class late August so perhaps we will be sporting them soon.  :)

FINAL_SM_image_Blow_some_SP

Prep for butterflies

Next week we do another Batty for Boomerangs class in Sanford.

Batty_stuff_upclose_062714It’s a smaller venue, with around 15 kids so our recycled clothespin batties will likely finish right on time.

It has been a really busy week for our family, so I’m super exited that that we are ready to go…..


 

Our late July classes for the SPCA summer series are about butterflies.     I have 2 options to choose from which are very different.

* One is a memory game, Butterfly Wit,  where we provide a range of 10 butterfly facts. Each fact  has 2 pictures associated with it. The kids match up the corresponding pictures Butterfly_wit_website_pic copyto stimulate different parts of their brain by using their hands, the visuals and the words.

 

* The 2nd presentation, Pollination Relation , is to get the kids thinking about the importance of relationships. Like humans, plants and animals need good relationships that benefit both parties. In this presentation, we highlight  a few mutualistic relationships for a butterfly & a moth in Florida. Then we play a game demonstrating pollination – which  provides insight into how difficult that can be while their natural habitats are being lost.

The butterflies programs we are presenting are to middle schooler’s. I am leaning towards the mutualistic relationships, as it’s a more specific topic that we can really delve into, plus it gets them up and moving during the game……

SPiCEY son is a bit nervous presenting to kids that are potentially older than him, but the truth is he naturally teaches people where ever we go.

Earthday2001oval copyFor example; More than 3 years ago he was informally teaching the students at UCF about the plants he could point out in the Arboretum garden – they kept coming up and telling me how impressed they were.  He may be concerned, but I’m certainly not!

 

My camera needs an overhaul – so stay tuned for more pictures and details.

May you know the SPiCE in life!

AS

 

We did it – Batty style

Hi everyone,

Man I have been jazzed up all day!  Today is all about putting up more Bat content.

I'm a cute Fruit bat - you won't see me in Florida.

I’m a cute Fruit bat – you won’t see me in Florida.

 

It started with yesterday’s 9am presentation for the SPCA Orlando location. SPiCEY son had a sleepy shower and did lots of eyerubbing (little known fact – homeschooler’s SLEEP IN).   ;D

While he was doing that, I had the pleasure of seeing a handful of Seminole bats swooping at the edge of our house having their morning fill. Seminole Bat (Lasiurus seminolus)Lasi_semi_locationmap

 

 

Lasiurus seminolus location map Continue reading

Bats and boomerangs

We are just a day away from our 2nd group of pollinator presentations this season.

The SPCA summer camp is an interesting venue, the kids range from 3rd – 8th grade depending on the week and they are there to learn about animals.   What a perfect place to talk about pollinators and unsung heros ~ like bats!

Click images to view larger   

bat_pollinating copyWhile not a local bat, this picture of the Southern long-nose is a great visual for seeing how well this species is capable of pollinating deep vase like flowers of tropical plants.   Our 13 species of Florida bats are actually carnivorous (they eat insects, lizards, amphibians, small birds and sometimes other bats.

Eastern_red_bat copyLike this cute little male Eastern red bat. They are happiest in the trees and can be found in Florida. You would have to be mighty observant to notice them, as they often appear to look like a dead leaf.

 

 

SPiCEY son and I worked together as usual. I do the extensive base research; sifting through way too much information and whittling it down to something more manageable to choose from. Next son gives his input on the content, the details are honed and son helps getting it just so. Finally, he makes magic happen with his twisty, spinny fun in Prezi that makes it interesting.

I know I’ve mentioned our origami tradition, each year we teach the SPCA kids how to do an animal themed activity. We’ve done seed pets out of clay and homemade paper, origami cats and dogs, inflatable rabbits and we will continue the tradition.

This year’s theme clicks and chirps for a kirigami bat.  Like this one……

kirigami_bat In case you were wondering; this is kirigami for 2 reasons.

1] The cut at the bottom, which allow his feet to be turned out   2} This is actually several pieces of paper that are affixed together (ya know movie magic).

Our batty guy, is featured in our papercraft pop-up, showing a bats flower preferences (below).

Bat_info_coin copy

 

 

 

Boomerangs probably seem completely unrelated to bats – right?

Well, while brainstorming months ago; my niece suggested them as a visual for how echolocation is sent out and returned. I loved the idea so much that Batty for Boomerangs was born.

Thanks Ari! I’ll be sure to mention you in my acceptance speech.     ;}

After Thursday I’ll be putting up the prezi for to watch, along with additional resources for places to find bat viewings, activities, bat house construction plans and more.

For now; here are a couple more sneak peeks.

Batty_clothespin_card  Batty cardholder

SPiCE_battyforboomerangs_sneakpeak copy

May you know the SPiCE in life!

AS

 

 

Cauliflower Curry- Frugal Friday

SPiCEY hubby was just saying to me that I should create a page for recipes that we love to share SO, this seemed appropriate to be first on the list.

To me cauliflower is totally an unsung hero.

-It’s mild enough to go with any sort of raw veg platter. For the saucy-fanatics pair it with a dip from cheese, or sour cream based right on through to a greens &  cilantro concoction. Really whatever’s in your fridge….

– The old stand by, you can add it in stirfry.

– Roast it with garlic, spices and for the carnivorous, meat (like sausages or turkey) and then sprinkle with shredded cheese for some filling oohy-ahhy goodness.

– You can even make an amazingly wonderful pizza crust (which SPiCEY son and I experience courtesy of my awesome niece). This was surprisingly filling and tasty.

Not to mention cauliflower puree…..

Without further ado, here’s a reposting of a simple and tasty recipe by CityHippyGirl.

If you have never visited her blog -she is well worth frequenting….

Happy eats and may you know the SPiCE in life!

AS

Cauliflower Curry- Frugal Friday.

 

Nope – Not a hiatus

I know, you’re right,  these pages have been electronically silent. No dings or strumming guitars telling you there is a new post within SPiCE’s hot slice of cyber space.

The fact is I’ve been in full on creative mode.  Well mostly – life has had it’s share of getting in the way – but even then my brain was a flutter with different ideas that can be worked on.

Okay so let’s get into the latest…….

The last few months have been gathering, planning & writing curriculum. We are focusing on pollination & a seed library.

SPiCEY son and I made our first presentation on Pollination Relations last night.   It got off to a rocky start, since most folks didn’t realize we were presenting after the very engaging Edna Kane from Lukas Nursery. BUT once that got squared away it went fairly well with the time we had.  SPiCEY son did an impressive job of taking us through his prezi, which helped visualize what our hands on creations were all about.

Prezi here    —>      http://prezi.com/8s5wmtcp_cuk/untitled-prezi/

I was pretty happy with how the circle pop up boards turned out.  The basic structures are easy to put together & will be great in the small class setting they are intended for.

                                                                   click images for larger view

Atala_&_butterfly_popups   butterfly_popup Moth_popup Yucca_moth_popup

SPiCEY son and I completed a fair amount in about a week of actual design time:

1.   Our prezi

2. The sewn “butterfly” pollinator

3. 5 pop-ups (4 of them are above)

 Atala front        Atala_plush_back Atala back

The butterfly plush was sewn using this quilting template.  Unfortunately I can’t find my link to the website I got it from……      butterflyquiltpattern

The great thing is we had next to no alterations of the gameplan. Which is a HUGE PLUS, as tweaking for time constraints is a total creativity buzzkill!  ;-P

Chicken_roosting_in_rosemary Today I’m feeling like a mother hen who finally hatched her brood.

These ideas have been floating around in my head since January – so the 5 months it took for our first wave is pretty satisfying. It’s been a bit draining and oddly like a part of me is empty. Maybe that’s just my creativity store depleted. LOL      Ah ha!! I just had a great idea, which happily fills up that creative toolbox……..   And that leads me to my next topic [project].

We have gotten confirmation that the Girl Scout events are a G-O!  This is huge!!!    Possibly 1,000 girls at the first event, huge…… and then 11 subsequent events/classes.

Lots of fun and inspiration coming.  :)

We are SO excited and I’m already brimming with ideas <the inspiration I just had>.

Next week, we start our 4th year of SPCA presentations. Our topic is …….   yep – pollination.  Specifically bats and butterflies/moths.

SPiCEY_bat

SPiCEY son is finishing  the bat prezi for early next week and the 1st pop-up is ready to go. All in all – it’s feeling like we are in pretty good shape.

The words above don’t really put much weight to the amount of time spent – So for giggles; here’s an estimate on the Pollination Relation project.

Research topic = 25 hrs   /  Research visual design = 15 hrs  /  pop-up (x5) = 60 hrs  /  butterfly plush = 10 hrs  /  prezi = 5 hrs       Have you tallied?

That 115 hrs.     Anyone who says art & education aren’t hard work is selling something.  ;P

 


 

                                                                             More information and resources:

The closest local resources for butterfly items and information is Lukas Nursery’s Butterfly encounter. You can visit the butterflies and quail, as well as pick up host & nectar plants. 

http://www.lukasnursery.com/images/files/file/Butterfly%20Garden%20Guide.pdf

Pollinator Partnership  (http://pollinator.org/} has many interesting articles and resources for you to peruse .   Including the regional planting guide below.  

http://pollinator.org/PDFs/Guides/OuterCoastalrx7FINAL.pdf

This chart was very helpful in providing the generic info for the pop-ups.  

http://www.pollinator.org/Resources/Pollinator_Syndromes.pdf
pollinator chart

*******************************

Our Pollinator Relation game is adapted from the Science and Health education partnership website.  (http://seplessons.ucsf.edu/)

Here’s their pollinator lesson plan.   http://seplessons.ucsf.edu/node/799

Here’s the circle pop tutorial I found. Huge paper awesomeness here!!   I adapted and will be writing a tutorial for class in the future.

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/circleflipupbook/

 

 


 

As we were driving home last night I again asked myself;

Why exactly do you do this? Is it worth all the effort? I keep coming back to one idea.  

If not me, then who? If not now, then when?    

To me, teaching kids real world information in an atypical method is worth doing.

Nothing worth doing comes instantly.

Our kids, every of ’em, deserve to get the best possible education we can provide.

If I can spark passion in 1 child – about nature and the gentle role humans can play in it , then mission accomplished!

FL-butterfly-endangered-lis

🙂

May you know the SPiCE in life.

Peace and love.

AS