Category Archives: Baking

Book Advent Calendar & Crushed Candy Cane Cupcakes {Festive!}

It’s been a bit of a madhouse around here and I haven’t been a very good blogger have I? It seems the crazy season has well and truly descended and as well as all the social stuff, I’ve been snowed under with Christmas bunting orders. On top of that it’s taken me nearly 2 weeks to recover from one measly cold. So I’ve been exhausted and busy; bad combo!

However, we have been well and truly getting into the swing of the festive season and I think I’ve finally found my love for Christmas again. Yay! It’s probably the Teacher and Teacher Librarian in me, but I decided to forgo a lolly Advent calendar and instead decided on a book advent for Addison. I’ve done it before in my classroom and the kids loved it! Sure enough, Addison also adores it and goes back and forth to the little book ‘tree’ numerous times a day, hoping I’ll let her unwrap a sneaky extra book. No dice. (Mean Mama.) We open them at bedtime and now Spouse and I are fighting over who gets to ‘help’ her pick one.

For the record, I didn’t purchase 24 books about Christmas! There are a few Christmasy books in there but plenty of non festive stories too. I scoured book sales for decent literature that didn’t cost the earth in the weeks prior to December and managed to score some awesome bargains. The back breaking wrapping of 24 books was totally worth it.

image[1]tfimage[3]trimage[2]tr

I’ve also been baking and last week I channelled my Candy Crush Saga obsession into cupcakes. (Yes, I have completed all 500 levels.) I used a basic cupcake recipe, with buttercream icing and topped them with crushed candy canes! The canes I’d bought last week were all broken when I opened them anyway, so I thought why not use them as toppers? They were delicious and the crunchy topping perfectly complimented the fluffy and creamy buttercream icing. I simply used a hammer to really crush them down to very small bits, not grind your bones to make my bread crushed and dipped the iced cupcake into the crushed canes. You could sprinkle them on top too.

They were really good and would be an easy Christmas party baked item. (One little tip, crush them in their plastic packaging. Much easier to keep the sticky crumbs contained!)

image[7]ccimage[10]ccimage[9]cc

Hope you’re having a non-stressy approach to Christmas so far!

EA4B1DC6672F801C5DCA2CFFA8EB2FE63

Zucchini Slice Muffins & Toddler Meal Planning Printables.

A bit of a double whammy post today; as I have morphed into full blow crazy lady organising mode. I got a taste for it last week and I have now gone headlong into the zone. My meal planners were crazily well received last week so I thought I’d tie in some planning for the small people in your life. (Big Brother wrapping up for the year is possibly partly responsible for this. Suddenly my evenings are free as we are no longer glued to our TV set watching the antics of a bunch of 20 something crazies. What can I say? It sucks you in. Without it, I have way more time to potter around and get stuff done. Funny that.)

Also, more time to worry; especially about Smushy. She has become super picky with foods again and will only consume brown bread with honey or Vegemite, and grapes dunked in yoghurt. I’ve been giving into this as I’ve really been disorganised of an evening especially and now I feel I’m responsible for her getting all uber fussy. I decided to create some meal plans for her dinner times too. Mostly they encompass what we eat, but there are a bunch of kid type recipes that I make especially for her too, so it’s good to have it all written down in front of me. I have a monthly or weekly printable for your use. And because I’m super nice, there’s one worded for kids also. 

Meal Plan Toddler

 Toddler Meal Plan Printable

Toddler Weekly Meal Plan

Toddler Meal Plan Weekly Printable

Kids' Meal Planner

Kids’ Meal Planner

 The one thing Smush will happily eat besides brown bread at the moment is my Mum’s zucchini slice which I have adapted into muffins. They are so incredibly delish and we have been eating this in slice form for as long as I can remember. It’s such a common recipe and so easy, but it’s yummy and filling to boot. The muffins are easy for little hands to grasp and the hidden veggies are a bonus. The cooking time is less than for a slice, so watch them.

 My Mum’s best ever zucchini slice muffins.

*2 medium zucchinis, grated.

*1 large onion, finely chopped.

*3 rashers of bacon, finely chopped.

*1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese.

*1 cup self raising flour, sifted.

*1/4 cup vegetable oil. (Or Olive if you prefer.)

*5 eggs, lightly beaten.

*Salt/Pepper

zs1

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grate zucchini coarsely; finely chop onions and bacon.
zs2

Combine zucchini, onion, bacon and sifted flour.zs3

Add lightly beaten eggs.

zs4Add cheese; season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

zs5

Spoon into a well greased muffin tin. (I used canola spray and they slid out perfectly.) I had enough for 12 muffin cups. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 20-25 minutes or when a skewer comes out clean.zs6

 Eat and enjoy! I froze a whole bunch for later. An easy meal for toddlers and kids; and you too!

EA4B1DC6672F801C5DCA2CFFA8EB2FE623

Strawberry & Banana Made Up Muffins {Noms}

I went to the supermarket the other day and was greeted by the glorious sight of huge punnets of strawberries for $1.50. Was I back in California? Was this the bizarro world? Shocked, I managed to shovel as many punnets as I could into the pram and headed to the checkout before someone told me this was a mean joke. I then went home and rang everyone I’ve ever met to tell them about the magically cheap and delicious strawberries.

However, the next day I realised I had a kitchen full of rapidly aging strawberries and a child who was not prepared to eat any more. (This was apparent when I offered her one and she threw it back at my head.)

What to do?

Make Muffins.

photo 1

I tweaked a basic recipe from taste.com.au and added my own twists.

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 90g butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • Half a punnet of strawberries, chopped.

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 12-hole non-stick muffin pan. (I had enough mixture left over for a small loaf too!)

Step 2
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Combine milk, egg and butter in a separate dish. Add mashed banana and strawberries with the milk mixture. Pour milk mixture into the well. Stir until just combined.

Step 3
Spoon mixture into muffin holes until three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool and devour.

Healthy Hacks?

*Use light milk.

*Use canola spread instead of butter. Or use yoghurt instead of butter and egg.

*Use wholemeal flour.

*Skip the brown sugar and try stevia.

I only have one photo as two people ate them all and left me one, to eat on a suction plate. It was delicious.

EA4B1DC6672F801C5DCA2CFFA8EB2FE629