Raspberry Lemonade Bars

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This recipe is the third and final one from Raddish KidsBackyard BBQ kit. What better summer flavor to feature in the dessert than lemonade? Travis loves anything and everything lemon, so these were bound to be a hit.

First, we prepared the crust. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup (softened) Earth Balance butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup flour.

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Beat with a stand mixer until the mixture clumps together.

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Pour into an 8×8-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray and press firmly with your fingers to form a crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Next up was the lemon curd. Raddish helpfully offered a vegan variation for this recipe, since the original relied on eggs. Cover 1 cup raw cashews with boiling water and let stand for 1 hour to soften. Drain and transfer the cashews to a blender.

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Zest three lemons until you have 1 tablespoon zest; add to the blender.

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Cut the lemons in half and use the citrus juicer (this month’s keepsake from Raddish!) to obtain 1/2 cup juice. Add to the blender, along with 1 cup coconut cream, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar. Process until very smooth and chill until ready to use.

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Meanwhile, microwave 2/3 cup raspberry preserves for about 30 seconds. Pour the jam over the warm crust, spreading evenly with a spatula. Slowly pour the vegan lemon curd over the top.

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Bake for an additional 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar before serving.

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Make a Sensations Rug

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This project is great tactile way for your eight-month-old to explore different textures with his or her hands or with the full body, if crawling. I made the project with quite a few hacks, since I’m no seamstress. If you’re skilled with a needle and thread, you’ll want to sew various fabrics onto a larger piece of fabric and present that more elegant version to your baby.

But this mama wields a hot glue gun! I used a pliable piece of craft foam as the backing and firmly hot-glued down: reflective paper, burlap, fluffy fabric, smooth cotton, two corks, an old sock, and a second piece of bumpy craft foam.

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Veronika couldn’t wait to get her hands all over this! She dug little fingers into the soft and fluffy fabric, and ran fingers over the scratchy burlap.

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She pulled insistently at the bumpy corks…

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…and otherwise just had a ball.

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The reflective material definitely caught her attention.

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I then put the “rug” down on the floor alongside another tactile blanket that we own, featuring tassels and a nubby fabric. My hope was that this expanded surface might encourage her to crawl across both (note: she’s thisclose to crawling), but she preferred to lie on her tummy and let her fingers get busy.

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There was flicking, rubbing, and pure enjoyment of all the different elements.

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In sum, this is a cute riff on board books that feature textured pages, and has a charming homemade quality that you and your baby will love.

“U Pick” U

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After some easy tracing of letter U, I gave Travis a little spin on making our three-D versions today: “u pick” the material from our craft bin!

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This led to some excitement, since he feels important whenever he’s allowed to dig through the materials in here. First he fashioned a very straightforward U from yarn.

U Pick (1)Next he decided he wanted to try dowels! I knew these would be too rigid, but wanted him to figure it out for himself. So the package of dowels was opened and fiddled with, but then discarded.

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Aha! He discovered that pipe cleaners were a bit bendier. In no time at all, we had lower case u as well.

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