This has become the week of new cookbooks, and it is only Tuesday. This was totally unplanned but very welcome.
Yesterday at the grocery store I made an impulse purchase of Company’s Coming Healthy in a Hurry. It is still a few months away but I am trying to prepare for cooking for my family once I go back to work. I don’t want to sacrafice our healthy meals for speed.
Also yesterday Kaitlyn brought home from school a cookbook we ordered through the Scholastic book order: Kids Cooking. I am hoping this will help give ideas for our Saturday Kid friendly meals.
Finally I was very excited to receive my copy of The Family Dinner in the mail today. I won it at a twitter party last month and am very excited to try it out!
My goal is to cook exclusively from these three books for a month starting next Monday. We have our big China party on Sunday so we won’t start until after that. Check back in June and I will post my thoughts.
Tomorrow is Kaitlyn’s last day of school before Easter so today we were making our treats to take for her class. Cupcakes are always a favourite and easy for a teacher to distribute. I am a bit proponent of healthy lunches and snacks at school, but even I agree there are special days that a sugary treat is fun. This year we decided to make Easter Basket Cupcakes. They seemed easy enough and I was able to find all the ingredients.
I found some cute easter baking cups in the grocery store to use for our cupcake liners. Putting the liners in the muffin tin is an easy task that any child can safely do – just make sure they only have one liner for each cup. The girls solved this problem all on their own as Kaitlyn began to separate the cups and Eileen put them in the tin.
The cupcake recipe in the Food Network link is very easy to make. Everything mixes together in a food processor. I you have kiddies around make sure you have a food processor that won’t work unless the lid is on and ALWAYS watch them around any kitchen appliances. After it was all mixed the girls wanted to fill their own muffin tins but after a couple they got frustrated and Mommy finished filling them.
The best part of any cupcake adventure is decorating. You need three things to decorate cupcakes like ours: a basic glaze tinted your favourite colour, green shredded coconut & chocolate eggs. You can use any glaze you like but if you need a recipe we found one just by googling Basic Cake Glaze. You will need to add considerably more milk to make it runny enough to dip your cupcakes in – just eye ball it and add a little milk at a time. The key to dying your glaze is adding the food colouring to a liquid (in this case the milk) before adding it to the dry ingredients. This recipe gave us just enough for all our cupcakes. To dye your shredded coconut put it in a ziploc bag with a few drops of liquid food colouring. We use an entire 200g bag of flaked coconut.
Shake it up really good and add more food colouring to get the desired colour. For chocolate eggs we used Whoppers Robin Eggs. We found with this we could only get two eggs to stick on top of the cupcake. I also noticed M&M Easter eggs in the grocery story and they might work better if you wanted to add 3 eggs.
Get all the ingredients ready before you start. I made sure I had everything ready before I got the girls started.
Step 1: Dip the Cupcake in the icing and let it stop dripping before turning.
Step 2: Mound green coconut on top of cupcake to look like grass:
Step 3: Use a bit of icing to secure your eggs on top of your cupcake.
Enjoy & Share!
Let me know if you have any success with these cupcakes. I am working on trying to add a link-up so check back often.
Kaitlyn has been learning about temperature in Kindergarten this month and they have been tracking the days with lions and lambs. Over March Break we had a calendar and every day she had to pick a lion or a lamb and record the temperature. In the 9 days she only had 1 lion and was a bit mad about that fact. She tried to convince us that one beautiful 15 degree celsius day was a lion day just so she could glue on a lion. After a beautiful March Break we had one last major snow storm which resulted in a snow day last week. She got her lion day.
To wrap up the month yesterday we decide to make lions and lambs of our own courtesy of a link Gramma found on Family Fun. They turned out pretty good but in comparison to other baking projects that I have done with my kids it was pretty parent intensive. They helped me add the ingredients but lost interest in kneading after about a minute. When we were assembling the lions and lambs they rolled out the legs and tails but I had to use the garlic press for the mane and wool as it took a fair bit of pressure. Their favourite part was adding the raisins for the eyes and the poppy seeds on the lamb’s legs. A fun activity to do with your kids but I don’t think it would be feasible to do with a group of very young children as they would need a fair amount of assistance.
I woke up this morning made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed a nice banana muffin, which I made with the girls last night. In an attempt to make my life easier I now do weekly meal plans for my family. On Sundays I sit down and make a plan for dinner for each night of the week. I try to have some sort of format and Saturday night are fun dinner nights. This means we make dinner together. It may not always be our healthiest meal of the day, and is usually is our messiest, but it is also the most fun.
Last night was pizza night – a very easy dinner to make with the kids. We make dough in the breadmaker but you can usually find dough in any grocery store. Yesterday was a bit of an adventure as our breadmaker stopped working but Gramma came to the rescue and made a batch for us in her breadmaker. Another easy tip is to get pizza sauce in the easy squeeze bottle – it is very kid friendly. I just keep filling it up with the cheaper canned variety. The best thing about pizza is that everyone can put on their favourite toppings.
Now back to those banana muffins. We had a bunch of bananas that were getting a bit old so we did what any person would do – we made muffins. I pulled out Kaitlyn’s Kids Do Snacks cookbook, and found a recipe for “Fanana of Banana Muffins”. This is a great cookbook for kids that gives them clearly laid out steps. My kids are still a bit young to follow the steps themselves so this is a great activity we do together.
The most important thing when baking and cooking with kids is to go with the flow. It sometimes is difficult to do but don’t worry about the messes. At one point Eileen poured half a tsp of baking powder all over herself – I just simply brushed her off and game her another tsp.
I am always looking for new hands on dinner ideas with the kids – if anyone has any suggestions please add them in the comments.