Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Back to The Cutting Board

We bake during the holidays, and we decorate too, but there is one family tradition we have not visited in 7 years, not since we discovered Max is sensitive to artificial dyes and additives. It's a tough allergy to cope with, since the stuff is everywhere. I am always looking out for options and opportunities. Last year we found candy canes with natural food dyes, and one year we even found undyed cotton candy at Disneyland... that was amazing. It's not that candies and sweets are a necessity, but when you are deprived of them they become 100 times more enticing, and there are even regular "healthy" foods that add dyes, so suck.

Ahh the Mother of Invention... where there is a need to feed, a mom finds a way. Don't gag. We actually iced our cookies with broccoli. Yup. Broccoli in a blender, with milk and confectioners sugar, and a drop of vanilla. Weird, I know, but it looked good and tasted good, and I think if we were icing Christmas tree cookies it would have been really cool looking, because of the broccoli-pine needle bits!

And best of all Max got to enjoy and eat the classic Christmas cookies seen in so many family photo albums from Christmases long ago. We made the icing thin enough to paint on the cookies, which is a really, really fun way to decorate them.

From strawberries we made pink icing, and they didn't need vanilla, because the natural strawberry flavor was so yummy.

Purple icing? Blueberries make beautiful, delicious purple icing. A few years ago I found a company that makes a few sugar sprinkles in natural purple and orange... we've rationed these expensive treats until now. Maria was a little heavy-handed in her method. Art can be so subjective!

You can hear me laughing, right? This was just busting me up.

We had so much fun. We made such a mess. We had so much fun.

Hey, I just heard from Jennifer and she did some pondering and head shaking, and when she finally came out of her shock, she decided she really could use a digital camera. Isn't that great? She doesn't have a digital camera. Jennifer this little camera is going to change your life!

And Laurie? Laurie, get ready for some fun in the kitchen! Honestly we all love the apple tool and the other goodies are all favorites too, so I think your family is going to have a great time. You know, in about 3 or 4 days you should buy a huge bag of apples, wash them and be ready to play.


Mrs. Staggs said...

I've just come visiting from Calamity Kim's place, and I'm so glad that I did. This post has brought back many happy memories of decorating cookies at my Aunt Ramona's home when I was a child. They're some of my happiest Christmas memories,and I bet your children will feel the same one day.
Best wishes to you!

Magpie Sue said...

You are absolutely brilliant! Broccoli icing would be PERFECT for Christmas tree cookies! (I know something about off-limit food items being even more enticing because they are off-limits.)

tea time and roses said...

Hi Natalie, just had to drop by and see what you and the family were up to! You and your sweet family continue to enjoy the holiday season!!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!


Julie said...

Where have I been that I missed your 1,000 post and giveaway? Life has got to slow down so I can go back to reading blogs.

Congrats on the 1,000 and for being so creative. Who would think to use broccoli and fruit to color icing?!?

She'sSewPretty said...

broccoli icing?! I dunno about that! I wonder if lime peel would work too? I love decorating cookies with kids. Some of my favorite memories were made while making cookies!

Tracy said...

Broccoli--genial! Love your natural cookie decorating! Such fun and the cookies look so good--thank you for sharing! Happy Days, Happy Eating ((HUGS))

Missy said...

How fun! so glad Max could enjoy a great family tradition.

dlyn said...

Followed your link over from PW. Looks like you guys had a great time together and the all natural stuff is very creative! Nice blog!

randi---i have to say said...

I think it is great that you gotten so creative in helping your son enjoy the fun! Who knew that broccoli made a good cookie topping?

village mama said...

I applaud your creativity! We resort to similar measures since there's no healthy dyes at any local health food stores.

FYI An American foodie friend swears by these:

Tarie said...

But candies and sweets ARE necessities. :D It's really great that you guys had so much fun together!