Ice Cream Party!

27 Jun

I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!

What kid (or adult) doesn’t love ice cream?

I was after a simple concept for my son’s 5th birthday party and after much trawling of the internet, together we decided an ice cream party was the way to go!

I had seen this cake idea on Pinterest (I can’t find the link to the original post – if you find it, I would love you to pop it in the comments so I can link it to the original creator!) and it was very easy to make and orchestrate.

Basically, the cakes are just vanilla cupcakes, iced like different flavoured cupcake and stacked on top of a waffle cone. I used silicone moulds so I could just remove and ice the whole cake including the sides. They were super easy and I think they look great! Lots of people were wondering why the cake wasn’t melting! 🙂

Ice Cream Cake

 

 

Ice cream

I also made a different batch of cupcakes and used straws and cellophane to make candles – just in case there weren’t enough!

At the party we played ‘Pin the Cherry on Top’ which we made together, and of course pass the parcel. I was able to pick up some ‘ice cream related’ prizes like erasers and hair clips from the dollar type shops.

pin the cherry on top

We also had an ice cream bar which was a great hit! We had homemade chocolate, strawberry and caramel sauces with vanilla ice cream and as many toppings as you could think of! The kids absolutely LOVED this!

All in all everyone had a great time. I highly recommend this theme. It was so much fun to plan and was enjoyable for all ages!

Bubble Bars

8 Jan

My little guy starts school this year. It’s a big step for all of us. I am excited, anxious, sad and filled with emotion all at the same time. Things are going to change. Our little routines will be no more as they give way to new ones and we will all have to adjust. I am treasuring every single minute up until that day when he will begin his new adventure (I will also treasure every single minute afterwards but you know what I mean).

Starting school means lunch boxes 5 days per week and no doubt a ravenous little boy at 3pm as well so I am trying out some new recipes that will fill the hole in my growing boy’s tummy.

These Bubble Bars are a healthier version of an LCM bar. They have no additives or preservatives and are made with love :-). Perfect for a school lunch box. I was thinking I could even cut them into heart shapes for lunch boxes ;-). We’ll see…

This is also a great recipe to make with the kids. Get them mixing and pressing. It’s great for that large muscle development!

IMG_0310

Ingredients:

100 grams unsalted butter

50 grams coconut oil (if you don’t want to use coconut oil use 150g butter instead)

70 grams honey

100 grams Rapadura sugar ( I choose to use this sugar as it is less processed than other sugars but you could use raw or caster sugar if you prefer)

1 tsp vanilla paste

150 grams puffed rice (found in the health food isle at the supermarket)

50 grams dessicated coconut (a lot of supermarket bought coconut has preservatives in it so I buy mine from the health food shop)

50 grams sunflower kernals

50 grams craisins

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Method:

Place butter, coconut oil, sugar, honey and vanilla paste in a saucepan on medium heat until. Stir until melted.

Combine other ingredients in a bowl and then pour over butter and sugar mix.

Stir through until well combined.

Press into a baking tin lined with baking paper. Drizzle over some melted chocolate if you wish.

Refrigerate until set. Cut up into desired sized pieces.

Enjoy!

Healthy Choc Coconut Balls

7 Dec

I literally just whipped these up in 5 minutes and my goodness they are yummo! I don’t think they will last long.

This would be a perfect recipe to make with kids. They can use their fine motor skills to roll the balls and then cover in coconut. My little guy was too busy playing with his new pup from Build a Bear to help me today! He certainly enjoyed eating them though (as did the grown ups!)!

choc balls

Ingredients:

60g Almonds

60g Cashews

60g Sunflower Seeds

120g Dates

60g Sultana’s

1 tsp vanilla

2 T cocoa (I used cacao)

Dessicated coconut

Method:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until all ingredients have come together (will be quite sticky). Roll into balls and then into dessicated coconut.

Would also look cute with some little toothpick flags in them for something different or a special occasion.

Gingerbread House 2011

6 Nov

This year I thought I would take on making a gingerbread house for the first time. I was quite excited by the prospect and thought Thomas and I would have lots of fun decorating it together. We did have fun – he enjoyed decorating the Christmas trees and gingerbread men but lost interest after a while. It does take a long time to decorate a gingerbread house. All in all I think I spent a whole day on the decorating – and ours didn’t really have an excessive amount of lollies on it. You could spend so much more time…

Ginger house

I used the same recipe as we used for the Gingerbread Star Trees and I purchased a kit that contained all the cutters to make the house. It was only $19.95 and I intend to use it again. A lot less fuss than cutting the guides from cardboard as a lot of recipes suggest. You can make the gingerbread in advance. You can store it in a container for up to a month or a week when made up. We made our biscuits about a week ahead and stored them flat in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups (500g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g dark brown sugar
  • 150g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 1 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, for dusting

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add honey and egg. Beat until combined. On low speed, beat in sifted dry ingredients until mixture comes together. Divide dough in 1/2. Wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.Roll out dough halves between baking paper until 4mm thick. Using a set of star cutters cut out as many sets of stars as you can from the dough. With the leftover dough, re-roll it and cut out some small stars to use in between layers. Place same sized stars together, 3cm apart, on baking paper-lined oven trays. Bake larger stars for 8 minutes; smaller stars for 5-7 minutes or until deep golden. Stand biscuits for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
To make icing:Place eggwhite in a bowl. Stir in icing sugar, 2 tbs at a time, until combined.

Place icing in a clip lock bag and cut off the corner in order to pipe icing. Assemble house by piping icing onto edges and ‘sticking’ pieces together. You will need to allow the walls to harden before putting the roof on.

ginger 1

Use icing to attach lollies to outside of house once it has set. Leave for approximately an hour before decorating.

We used m&m’s, small white marshmallows, hundreds and thousands.

I put it on a plate with our North Pole cupcakes which you can read about here.

Gingerbread House

It was great fun and the kids loved pulling it apart and eating it on Christmas day. Will definitely do again next year!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Frosting

27 May

Oh yum yum yummy yum!

Totally sinful but sometimes you’ve just got to do it.

This recipe was a complete trial and can I say that it was also a complete success!

The recipe for the chocolate cupcakes was my trusty old Woman’s Weekly Kids Party book recipe which is really simple.

Mr 4 really enjoyed watching the cake mixture lighten in colour during the cooking of these cupcakes and he certainly enjoyed licking the beater!

chocolate cupcakes with oreo buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups self raising flour

1/2 cup cocoa

125g butter (softened)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups caster sugar (I usually only use 1 cup)

2 eggs

3/4 cup water

 

Method:

Preheat oven to moderate

Grease or line cake tin

Sift flour and cocoa into bowl of electric mixer

Add the rest of the ingredients and beat on low speed until combined

Increase speed to medium and beat for approx 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and changed to a lighter colour

Spread into prepared pans

Bake in moderate oven until cooked (for these cupcakes, I cooked them for approximately 20 mins)

Stand in pan for 5 mins then turn onto wire rack until cool.

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

Oreo Buttercream Frosting

250g butter

3½ cups pure icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

1 packet finely crushed Oreo biscuits (crush in food processor)

Method:

Cream the butter for a few minutes until it is light.

Sift in the icing sugar and beat until entirely combined with the butter.

Add the vanilla extract, and milk.

Beat for 3 minutes.

Add crushed Oreo pieces and mix well to combine.

Pipe onto cupcakes and top with a mini Oreo. YUM!

(makes enough to pipe onto 24 cupcakes)

Top Ten Tips for Feeding Fussy Eaters

14 Apr

I wouldn’t say T. is extremely fussy. He does eat a wide variety of foods, loves his fruit and will try new foods (even though 99% of the time the reaction is YUCK!). But, like many parents, we do have our challenges in trying to get him to eat the right things.

These are just a few ideas that I try to live by. They are just a guide as to what works in our house.

1. The most obvious – Cook with your child. Introduce them to new ingredients as you are cooking. Children are much more likely to eat something that they have helped prepare. Not to mention the self esteem boost that comes from watching others consume the foods they have cooked.

2. Make the most of every mouthful – ultimately you have the control over what goes into your (young) child’s mouth. Where you can, add grated veges to dinners, cook fruit muffins instead of chocolate ones, make savoury muffins for lunches and afternoon snacks.

3. Place small amounts of new foods on your child’s plate along with foods they are familiar with and enjoy. Encourage them to just taste the food. Try not to pressure them to eat the whole lot – a taste is a success!

4. Children need to be offered a new food at least 10 times before their palate begins to enjoy it so don’t give up. Keep offering them the foods and encouraging just a taste.

5. Give choices – offer a choice of 2 new foods so you child has some control over what they are eating eg a piece of broccoli and a piece of tomato on the plate – ask them which they would like to try and take the other away.

6. Use a reward system / star chart for trying new foods. Choose a reward that isn’t food related like going to the park or playing a favourite game.

7. Be a good role model and make healthy food choices yourself.

8. Eat meals together as a family so your children see you eating the same food as them.

9. Try offering foods in different ways eg shapes, pictures on the plate eg Grape and Cucumber Wands

10. Take the pressure off – both yourself and your child. Don’t make mealtimes a battleground.

Good Luck!

sausage rolls

Millones Man

19 Mar

I know, I know I’ve been VERY quiet lately! I’m finding it difficult to blog now as Thomas no longer has a day sleep and by the time he goes to bed I can’t think any longer! My brain (and body) is dead and just wants to zone out.

My little man is 4 now. He is still as busy as ever and so curious about everything! You know, things the average 4 year old wants to know like how does the water come out of the tap, where does it come from, how does the rain fall from the sky, how did he get out of my tummy, what does that sign say, what does that word mean… The list goes on and on – and so do the questions!

Did you know the average 4 year old asks between 430 – 450 questions each day??? I think Thomas asks that before breakfast! 🙂

Anyway, we have still been cooking although, until recently not as much. I don’t think the mixing and measuring was quite challenging enough for him!

Last week he decided he wanted to help me cook a real meal. So together we cooked broccoli and chicken pasta. Just as we were about to serve it, Thomas decided he wanted to set the dining room up as Millones – his favourite restaurant! He made a sign up and set up some tea light candles (battery operated) and set the table. It was very cute and took our cooking to a whole new level. It also made him a lot more interested in sitting at the table!

He has since decided that he is going to have his own restaurant when he grows up that serves garlic bread and lemonade!

What have you been cooking lately with your kids?

millones

Christmas Dessert Table

2 Jan

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. Mainly because my little man no longer has a daytime sleep and my days are much busier as a result.

I thought I would share a few photos of the Christmas Dessert table that I did this Christmas. The photos are fairly self explanatory but if you want any instructions or how too’s, please feel free to ask!

dessert table

Our dessert table consisted of:

* Gingerbread house

* Hot chocolate Santa leg cupcakes ( you can find the recipe here). They were delicious! I made the santa legs from fondant.

* Marshmallows dipped in white chocolate and crushed candy canes

* Rudolph Oreo Pops

* Gingerbread cupcakes with eggnog and baileys buttercream frosting. Adults only and DELICIOUS! (recipe here) Thanks to my sister in law for the recipe!

* Red and white jelly beans :-).

The kids loved it and it was worth all the hard work!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and I wish you health, happiness and love in 2013 xx.

Grape and Cucumber Wands

14 Oct

Thomas has always loved his fruit. I’ve never had any trouble getting him to eat it. Vegetables on the other hand have become quite an issue. He has started to become hungry and asking for food at around 5pm (we eat at 6). I was happy for him to have some fruit at this time until I realised that he was having about 4 servings of fruit a day – not that there’s anything wrong with this but I decided if he was really hungry at this time then I would offer him some vegetables to eat. This wouldn’t interfere with his dinner (as he was eating vegies anyway) and also was a way of introducing some new foods.

We did have some success with cucumber a while ago and teamed with a favourite fruit, this was a real success. When trying to get children to try new foods, I always find it helpful to offer something they are familiar with on the plate as well, that way it’s not quite as daunting.

What you need:

Grapes (red or green – red is good for contrast)

Cucumber cut into slices about 1cm thick

Toothpicks

Stickers (optional)

Small star cutter

Natural yoghurt

To make these grape and cucumber wands, I cut some star shapes out of cucumber slices and cut each grape in half. To the toothpicks I added some ‘Thomas’ stickers. I stacked about 3 slices of the leftover cucumber in the middle of the plate and filled the star cut out in the cucumber slices with some natural yoghurt (this didn’t get eaten but it was there as an option).

It is a little bit of trouble to go to but if it gets some extra vegetables into your kids then I’m happy to spend the extra couple of minutes!

Chocolate Cereal Bars

28 Aug

I have been looking for a yummy muesli bar type recipe for a while now. I came across this one on taste.com.au and it is delicious. It’s not super healthy but it’s not all bad. Full of yummy seeds, dried and fresh fruit and a little bit of chocolate it’s a winner! It’s also nut and egg free so great for lunch boxes. These are quite easy to make with kids although an adult needs to prepare the honey mixture on the stove, but other than that there’s lots of measuring, pouring and mixing.

Thomas enjoyed tasting each of the types of seeds and talked about the different colours while we were cooking. He thought the dried fruit mix tasted like lollies! Maybe next time he asks for lollies I will give him some dried fruit ;-). Worth a try!

They went down a treat for morning tea and Daddy took some in his lunch box today as well. Although it is difficult to stop at one! Consider yourself warned! 🙂 It is quite sweet so I don’t think leaving out the choc chips or reducing the measurement would be a problem if you wanted them a little less sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried fruit medley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 60g reduced-fat margarine spread
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 medium red apple, peeled, coarsely grated

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Lightly grease a 3cm-deep, 17.5cm x 27cm (base) slice pan. Line with baking paper, allowing 2cm overhang at long ends.
  2. Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  3. Place spread and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until melted. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Add spread mixture and apple to seed mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon into prepared pan. Using the back of a spoon, press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan completely. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into bars. Serve.