Kitchen Sink Cookies

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This recipe is exactly what the title says it is: a way to use up everything in your pantry except the kitchen sink! Never before have I found a recipe that so perfectly uses up all the bits and bobs of baking ingredients I have lying about. You can prepare the dough now, freeze it in four separate batches, and enjoy cookies for ages to come. The stir-ins below are just a template: add up to 2 cups of whatever you have on hand: shredded coconut, chopped nuts, baking chips, raisins. Anything, in sum, except the real kitchen sink.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Ener-G egg powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups rolled oats

For the stir-ins:

  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup mini non-dairy chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
  1. Line a 13×9-in baking dish with parchment paper and coat the parchment with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and canola oil.
  4. Separately, whisk the Ener-G egg powder with 5 tablespoons warm water until well combined. Add to the butter mixture, along with the vanilla.
  5. Add the oats, along with the stir-ins of your choice. Press the batter evenly into the prepared pan, and cut into quarters with a knife, cutting all the way down to the parchment. Lightly score each quarter into 12 squares, cutting only halfway into the dough. Freeze for 1 hour.
  6. Transfer each quarter of the dough to a zip-top plastic bag, and store in the freezer until ready to use.
  7. To bake the cookies, remove from the freezer and separate along the 12 squares. Bake at 350 degrees F for 16 minutes. The cookies will be soft coming out of the oven but will harden as they cool. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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How Much Water Is in Snow?

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Here’s a super-simple experiment for the next time it snows. It combines a whole host of scientific ideas, from talking about liquid vs. frozen states of matter to making a hypothesis.

First, we needed to fill a clear glass jar with snow. For the best results, make sure to tamp the snow down so your jar is truly filled all the way.

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We took the jar inside and measured the snow (15 cm) and made guesses as to how much water would be left once it melted, keeping in mind past lessons on how ice takes up more space than water.

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Travis guessed really low, at 2 cm! I chose 5 cm to keep things interesting. I tried marking our guesses directly on the jar, but since it was still a little wet, we found that masking tape worked better.

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Next we needed to be scientific and record our results. We took measurements at one hour intervals over the next three hours with the following results:

3.27 pm – 15 cm

4.27 pm – 12 cm

5.27 pm – 7 cm

6.27 pm – 4 cm – all water!

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It was neat to see that it took a full 3 hours, as well. Next time, we’d make hypotheses about the timing as well, and record that at the start.

Snowy Road

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You’ll be the coolest mom or dad on the block if you give this simple twist to outdoor snow play: give your kids permission to bring their toy cars outside to join the fun! Travis was hesitant to venture into the cold, so I headed out first with a shovel and made a road in the snow. Once he saw what I was up to, he couldn’t resist.

He was very into the process of making the road itself, and started to shovel his own route next to the one I had created before he even turned his attention to the cars. Let your civil engineers take over the road building, too, if they prefer!

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We found that this game works best with bigger toy cars; little ones get bogged down in the snow.

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The best vehicle was our big dump truck, which of course had the added benefit that we could load it with snow…

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…zoom it to the dump, and then unload.

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What’s your favorite novel way to play in the snow? Let us know in the comments!

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