Posts tagged ‘recycling’

Building a Climber from “Junk”: Are we nuts?

“My Dad built me a really big climber!” This is the topic of conversation from our little one as of late. Of course, in true fashion, my husband cannot build anything small. This project started because someone put a perfectly good yellow slide alongside their garbage and my husband happened upon it; along with the yellow wheel and the handles. The ladder is an old step ladder that came with the house, and the monkey bars are from the original platform that came with the slide. The cedar posts that are holding up the climber came from a neighbour; a quick sanding and they were ready to go, as were the 1×2 railing boards which came from a junk pile at a lumber shop my dad found for us to be used as firewood. I guess we repurposed those boards! Even though this project sidetracked us from finishing the bathroom, I like it because we were able to reuse so many things! I’m sure some people just think we are a little bit nuts!

I don’t think we are nuts per se, but we have really been enjoying these coconut-almond goodies fashioned after an Almond Joy, but without all the sugar. I didn’t follow any particular recipe for these. I had purchased a coconut, it got lost (under the couch for two weeks – anything can happen with a little one in the house) and found again (hurray), and then made into these (yum) when I had to have coconut and chocolate one evening.


I used fresh coconut that I shredded in my food processor for this recipe, but you could use the packaged kind as well. Just be sure to look for the unsweetened variety, unless you like things super sweet – but then you may as well just go out and buy yourself an Almond Joy bar… do they still sell these? This recipe is surprisingly easy so spare yourself the processed sugar and enjoy these instead, or you may like Chocolate Raspberry Boats, or I Love You Mom Chocolates.

  • 1 generous cup of shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 12 whole almonds, shelled
  • 16 ounces good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium-sized bowl combine all of the ingredients except the almond and the chocolate. Form the mixture into 12 tiny logs about 2 inches long. Press an almond into each coconut log, and place each long on the baking sheet. Place the coconut logs in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler (I use a bowl over a pot of simmering water – just make sure the water doesn’t creep up the sides of the bowl or it will spoil your chocolate). Using two forks, toss each coconut-almond log in the chocolate and place back on the baking pan. These will set up in a couple of hours at room temperature, but if you don’t have air conditioning and it is especially warm outside you may want to store them in the refrigerator.


June 7, 2010 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

I Heart Mason Jars!

Mason jars are good for so many things. They keep my herbs, spices and grains organized; store my broths, teas and canned goods; mix and store my salad dressings; allow me to bring soup, yogurt and smoothies to work leak free; and I even use them as a vase for the odd occasion that someone buys or picks me flowers. What do you use mason jars for?

May 11, 2010 at 7:24 am Leave a comment


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