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.

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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.

Oreo Pops

27 Aug


We were at Thomas’ cousin’s birthday party today. I made these Oreo Pops to take along. I saw them online a while ago and have been wanting to make them for a while. I think they were a bigger hit with the adults than the kids but the overall impression was a resounding thumbs up. We will definitely be making these again!

They are a bit fiddly but once you know the trick to them they really are quite easy to make. Don’t worry, I’m happy to share my secrets with you :-).

You will need some lollipop sticks. I bought mine from ebay but you can pick them up from cake decorating shops as well.

Ingredients:

Oreo biscuits (I used 2 packets to get 18 pops – I had a few breakages)

400g white chocolate chips

Edible confetti or sprinkles

Method:

First you need to separate the Oreo’s. I did this by sliding a butter knife carefully between one side of the biscuits and the icing. I did break some of the biscuits but I worked out that if they aren’t too badly broken you can put them back together with the next step.

Ok, this is the secret… Melt about 100g of the chocolate and put a dollop on one half of each of the biscuits (see picture). Put a lollipop stick on top of the chocolate and sandwich with the top biscuit. Allow these to set completely.

Next, melt the rest of the chocolate, allow it to cool slightly then dip each of the pops into the chocolate. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper to set.

Sprinkle with your choice of decorations. I refrigerated these for a couple of minutes so they set a little quicker and the chocolate didn’t run off them completely.

You will be sure to please with these! 🙂 My boys are enjoying the leftovers right now.

Choc Dipped Rainbow Marshmallows

26 Aug

It’s my niece’s birthday party this weekend. I always like to take something along for the kids, plus it’s nice to make little girly treats…

I saw a version of these marshmallows online a while ago. They are really simple (a little bit fiddly) and look great.

My niece is a Littlest Pet Shop fan so I found some  little pictures online and printed them to attach to a toothpick to make the little sticks. It’s amazing what a toothpick with a picture on it can do to food for kids. Just makes it all that little bit more enticing. Her face when she saw them was priceless :-).

Ingredients to make 20 marshmallows:

20 x Marshmallows

150g White chocolate chips

100’s & 1000’s

Method:

Over a saucepan of boiling water (take off heat first), melt chocolate stirring constantly with a spoon.

Let chocolate cool and harden slightly until it is workable (you want it to not be too runny so it stays on the marshmallow).

Dip marshmallow to half way in melted chocolate and then dip in 100’s & 1000’s.

Stick toothpicks in and allow to set.

You could do these to fit with any colour scheme for your party and also use milk chocolate. They were a hit with the kids!

Apple Pear and Celery Juice

22 Aug

We were lucky to be given a juicer recently. We had one years ago but threw it out because we didn’t use it. They aren’t cheap. Thomas likes to have a juice of a morning and I’m happy for him to have one – even happier if it’s freshly squeezed – especially with some vegies added!

Juicing fruit and vegetables isn’t an ideal way of consuming your 2 fruit and 5 vegetable serves per day because the juicing process  removes the fibre but it certainly helps to contribute essential vitamins to the diet, and if it helps you get some extra vegies into your kids diets, why not!

There are numerous combinations of juice that you can have. You are only limited by your imagination really.

It’s also a great way for getting children to try new flavours and vegetables. They seem to be a little less concerned by the word ‘juice’ compared with ‘vegetable’.

I saw a great idea recently online where you juice a whole lot of different fruits and vegetables and allow children to mix their own. This would be a wonderful opportunity for kids to see which flavours they like and give them some independence in the kitchen.

Thomas’ favourite is apple and pear. It’s a beautiful green colour which is also his favourite colour. Shhhh… don’t tell him it’s also got celery in it!

You could make up some great names for your juices too. We just call this apple and pear. 🙂 super creative!

Into a juicer place

1 apple

1 pear

1 stick of celery

Makes approximately 2 serves. Best consumed fresh.

Do you have any favourite juice combinations? I would love to hear them!

Mini Olympics

1 Aug

We are in full Olympic swing in our house. My little guy loves his sports so the Olympics is right up his alley. I am so excited as well because this is Thomas’ first summer Olympics. There’s something pretty special about that. We are loving watching the swimming, diving and basketball especially.

It seemed fitting that we should do our own little mini Olympics with our neighbours complete with medal presentations, podium and some yummy Olympic themed treats. It was a great day.  

Our Olympic themed treats consisted of

Olympic Flag Cupcakes

(these were just a butter cake iced with butter cream icing and M&M’s for the Olympic rings)

and

 

Honey Caramel Popcorn Olympic Torches (popcorn recipe from Taste.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popping corn
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 12 flat bottomed small ice cream cones

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of corn. Oil is hot enough when corn turns slowly in a circle. Add remaining corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Shake saucepan gently when corn starts popping. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl. Discard any unpopped corn.Note: I have issues cooking popcorn in oil. I always burn it. So, I had seen online that you can make your own microwave popcorn using a paper bag. Put half the popping corn in a paper bag and put in microwave for approx 1 min – 1 min 30 secs and voila. Repeat with the rest of the popping corn. This is also a great way of making popcorn for kids. They can measure it out and put it in the bag – also it has no salt or butter added so it’s much healthier!
  2. Place honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 6 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 6 minutes or until light golden. Working quickly, pour caramel mixture over popcorn. Stir to combine. Spoon into ice cream cones and shape to look ‘flame like’. Set aside to cool completely.I don’t recommend doing this step with kids as the caramel gets very hot. I ended up with burnt fingers myself from touching it. 

     

Here is a list of our games and items you might need if you are going to do your own mini Olympics.

Games:

 Soccer: (cones for goals, soccer balls)

Shot put: Scrunched up foil ball for throwing, tape measure

Basket ball: basketball hoop and balls (you could also use a washing basket or box and balls)

Running Race: streamer for end of race

Balloon tennis: Balloon and 2 bats (made from paper plates and a stick)

Discus: Frisbee throwing, tape measure

Other Items needed:

Whistles

Medals (already bought)

Podium (3 steps numbered 1-2-3)

Chalkboard for recording “scores”

Tape measure

 Happy Olympics everyone!!!