Wednesday, 29 October 2014

P is for Pumpkin Sugar Cookies


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

These Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are Boo-tiful (sorry couldn't miss the opportunity!). If you are looking for a simple Halloween or Autumn treat that the kids can help with, then try these.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

The pumpkin flavour is subtle so even your fussiest eaters should be happy with these cookies.  I deliberately kept the spices to a minimum to suit Bear's and Bee's tastes.  You might like to use a little more cinnamon or add some nutmeg too.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

The colour of the dough will be paler after baking so you may want to add a few drops of orange food colouring to enhance the pumpkin-y-ness of the baked cookies.

For this recipe I adapted the Basic Sugar Cookie recipe from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Bear cutting out shapes.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Bear decorating cooled cookies.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 30 depending on size of cookies.
 
Ingredients
3 cups plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1 (220g) cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Icing in various colours to decorate

Directions
1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
4. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture.
6. Mix until combined.
7. Divide dough in half and flatten into disks.
8. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
9. Preheat oven to 160°C and line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
10. Remove one disk of dough from freezer and let stand for 5 minutes.
11. On a floured surface, roll out dough to approx 0.5 cm.
12. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  Make sure you dip the cutters in flour to help stop them sticking.
13. Use a spatula to transfer the shapes to a prepared tray.
14. Reroll dough scraps and cut more shapes.
15. Repeat with remaining dough.
16. Bake until edges are golden. Depending on the size of the cookies this should take 10-18 minutes.
17. Cool cookies on a wire rack before decorating with icing.

You can download a printable recipe card for this recipe from here.

Monday, 27 October 2014

H is for Halloween Cooking with Kids

Halloween Cooking with Kids

Halloween is certainly gaining momentum as an event to celebrate here in Australia.  More and more children are dressing up, going trick or treating and having halloween themed parties.

Bear and Bee have been interested in Halloween for a few years now.  Where we used to live, many of the families in the neighbourhood would walk around as a group trick or treating.  Bear and Bee loved to dress up and stand at the front door ready to hand out the treats.

This year we are in a new neighbourhood without many young children so I have been planning a simple Halloween party for the girls and their cousin.  I have another post coming up with some of the snacks we are making for the party.

Getting the kids involved in the planning and prep for any party is a great way to reduce stress and your workload.  Choose some simple decorations that the whole family can help create this week.

Check out our Halloween Pinterest board for decoration ideas.



As for the food, I have rounded up some great posts on Halloween suitable recipes that your children can help make.

Halloween Cooking with Kids

Pastry Wands by the threefootcooks

Incy Wincy Spiders here on threefootcooks

Halloween Cooking with Kids


Dirt Cup Treats over at Juggling with Kids

Bone Yard Breadsticks from Crystal's Tiny Treasures.

Halloween Cooking with Kids

Halloween Monster Cupcakes over at Kitchen Counter Chronicles.

Spooky Orange Faces with Danya Banya.

Frankenstein and Zombie Cookies with Life at the Zoo.

Halloween Cooking with Kids

Mini Pumpkin Quesadillas from Crafty Morning

Witch's Hat from No Time For Flash Cards

Halloween Bark with Family Food and Travel

Halloween Cooking with Kids

Happy Pumpkins over at Kiddie Foodies

Mummy Pizza at The Joys of Boys

Ghost Toast and Witch's Brew with Imprints from Tricia


We hope you and your children have fun making these for Halloween. BOO :o

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I is for Ice Cream Shop Play

Ice Cream Shop Play

Bear and Bee both love Pretend (Dramatic) Play.  Bee especially loves setting up all manner of shops selling everything from stationery supplies to pets.

Ice Cream Shop Play

One of Bee's more common requests is for an Ice Cream Shop.  I actually have a clear plastic shoe box filled with items that she can use to set up her shop.  I have similar ones for a Post Office, Pet Shop, Hairdressers and Doctor's surgery.

Initially I was inspired by these great posts from some fellow bloggers.

Learning for Kids

Imaginative Play Ice Cream Shop from Learning 4 Kids.

Pink and Green Mama

I also made a set of the super cute felt popsicles shown in the Ice Cream Sensory Box post on Pink and Green Mama.

Pre-K Pages

And the idea for a menu came from this post Dramatic Play Ice Cream Shop over on Pre-K Pages.

Ice Cream Shop Play

Then I set about gathering from our real kitchen and the play kitchen, some essential tools for an Ice Cream Shop such as:
  • an ice cream scoop
  • spoons
  • plastic containers for the various flavours
  • scrunched up tissue paper for the ice cream
  • bowls
  • cupcake liners
  • plastic sundae glasses (which I found at a second hand shop)
  • empty cake sprinkles containers
  • sauce bottles for toppings
  • toy ice cream cone set
  • and our trusty cash register.  

Ice Cream Shop Play

Add in an apron, a table, the bookshelf from our quiet reading area and some willing customers and you have a very busy Ice Cream Shop.

Ice cream Shop Play
Bee making ice creams.


Twodaloo

If you want to extend the fun, Twodaloo also has a great tutorial to make an Ice Cream Play set and Color Matching game.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

G is for Gone Playing Back Soon

Gone Playing

You may have noticed that things have been very quiet here over the last few months.  I have been taking some time off to work on some projects as well as work out what I wanted to do, if anything, with this blog.

I haven't been completely out of touch though.  While taking a break I still did some guest posting.  Click on the links below to see what we did.

Chicken Pot Pies
 
Over on Childhood 101 you can read about our Chicken Pot Pies.


Macadamia Anzac Biscuits

And on Creative World with Varya we made some Macadamia Anzac Biscuits.

Hopefully you will be pleased to know that the threefootcooks blog will continue - just at a slightly more casual pace.  I found that working on this blog was taking over and I didn't have any time for the other things I enjoy doing such as sewing and diy projects.

I will still be writing and posting about new recipes and other food related projects that Bear, Bee and myself have tried but it may only be once or twice per week.  I hope you will stick around and will enjoy this more lesiurely pace.

If you have any suggestions or feedback please leave a comment.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

S is for Sick Days

S is for Sick Days

Sick days were always much easier pre children. We could spend the day in bed and recover and only myself or hubby would get sick, rarely would it be both of us.

Now with kids it's one in all in.  And with Bee and Bear going to kindy they seem to bring home more bugs too.  Bear currently has a chest cold which has been hanging on for more than two weeks and over the weekend Bee has come down with her first bout of tonsillitis.

So while we haven't been doing any cooking together I have been thinking about the best food for sick kids.  I have gathered together some of my own recipes and ideas for feeding sick kids and some from fellow bloggers as well as a couple of posts on activities to do with your children when they are sick.

S is for Sick Days

The one food I could rely on as a child when I was sick was Vegemite Toast Soldiers.  Vegemite (a savoury spread) always seemed to help settle my stomach and when I was a bit older mum would make me a cup of tea to go with it.  Bee is a fan of Vegemite and I have been able to get her to nibble on Vegemite toast and Vegemite on tortilla wraps.

S is for Sick Days
I don't add parsley to the kids' soup.

Chicken Soup is a wondrous thing when you are feeling sick.  Homemade Chicken Soup is even better and it doesn't have to be complicated to make. Click on this link to download my recipe for Easy Chicken Noodle Soup.

S is for Sick Days

Homemade Yoghurt Pops are soothing on a sore throat and if you use a yoghurt with active cultures they will be good for your child if she has been on antibiotics like Bee is at the moment.

S is for Sick Days

Ginger can be calming on upset tummies.  Try having your child nibble on some cute Gingerbread People (minus the icing and decorations) if they are feeling nauseous.

S is for Sick Days

Once your child is starting to feel better try these Falafel Burgers.  Their bodies will benefit from all the extra vitamins, minerals and other goodies.

mama miss

Or if your child is happy to eat their vegetables chunky this Seven Vegetable Minestrone from Mama Miss would give them a great boost too.

picklebums

This list of 8 Ways to Cope with Sick Kids from Kate at Picklebums is a good place to start.  The tips include how to keep fluids up and providing snacks to remind your children to eat.  I too have found the power of a heat pack for helping Bee with her aches and pains.

pint sized treasures

And to cheer your sick child up and keep them busy Alison at Pint-sized Treasures has 19 Activities for Sick Kids

If you have sick kids I hope this list helps. 


Monday, 4 August 2014

B is for Breakfast on a Dream Morning

B is for Breakfast

**This is a sponsored post.  While I was sent free samples of the products to try I received no other compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.**

It's funny how the threefootcooks, hubby and myself all have different ways we like to wake up in the mornings.

Bear's and hubby's dream mornings are pretty similar. They like to get up early, watch some television while waking up, have breakfast and then get ready for day ahead.

Bee on the other hand is fully awake as soon as she gets out of bed.  She will get changed into her clothes for the day, eat breakfast and want to start playing or go to kindy straight away.

My ideal morning would involve a late wake up, a cup of tea while watching breaky television in bed, a leisurely breakfast made by someone else and then I might be ready to start the day.

B is for Breakfast

We might very occasionally get our dream mornings on a free weekend but our regular weekday mornings are always more of a rush to get ready for kindy and work.

To make our mornings a little less hurried, I find the right breakfast options are essential.  They need to be quick and easy to make and filling to see us through until lunch (or morning tea in the girls' case).

B is for Breakfast

With the cooler weather lately I am loving Uncle Tobys Oats Quick Sachets.  The sachets are a convenient and tasty oats option, perfect for busy parents and their kids.  The Quick Sachets are easy to prepare in the microwave and mess-free which fits with my essential criteria above. 

The Uncle Tobys Oats Quick Sachets are made from wholegrain oats which I find keeps me fuller for longer making me less tempted to eat snacks mid morning.

And there is such a great variety of flavours in the Quick Sachets range.  All made with no artificial colours of flavours.  The Fruit Variety pack with Apple and Cinnamon, Apple and Raspberry and Apple and Honey, is deliciousness in a bowl.  I can't wait to get started on the Berry Variety pack next with the Strawberry, Blueberry and Triple Berry flavours. 

I really like how the Oats Quick Sachets have actual pieces of fruit in them.  Certainly simpler than having to add fruit to a bowl of plain rolled oats on a busy morning.

Click on the following link for more information on Uncle Tobys Oats Quick Sachets.

While I might not get my ideal morning everyday, using Uncle Tobys Oats Quick Sachets will certainly get me closer to a more relaxed and calm breakfast routine.

Friday, 25 July 2014

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits

Tiny things always seem to be a hit with children.  Tiny pet toys, tiny lego pieces, tiny fairies and tiny dolls are popular in our household.

Bee and Bear also love the small packets of even smaller biscuits for a snack.

T is for Tiny Biscuits

And while they are cute and convenient, the biscuits do work out to be quite expensive when packaged like this. Besides, with only a few biscuits in each packet they don't last very long.

I knew I needed to find a homemade version that I could package up myself to include in the girls' kindy lunchboxes.

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits

Amanda from One Crafty Mum has this recipe for Homemade Tiny Teddy Biscuits on her blog and that is what we used for our tiny biscuits. We don't have a thermomix which is what Amanda used to make this recipe.  She does suggest that the recipe would work with a mixer or a bowl and spoon so we used our stand mixer.
T is for Tiny Biscuits

We added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in with the flour to make tiny chocolate biscuits.  And because I am impatient I didn't bother putting the dough in the fridge for an hour.  The weather was reasonably cool the day we made these and the biscuits turned out fine.  But if I was to make them in summer I would definitely rest the dough in the fridge for a while.

To make the dough for the Tiny Biscuits, I creamed the butter and sugar.  Then I mixed in the egg,  vanilla, flour and baking powder.

T is for Tiny Biscuits

Once it was all mixed well, we turned the dough out onto the lightly floured bench, rolled it out and starting cutting out our shapes.  We don't have a tiny teddy shaped biscuit cutter so I searched through the girls playdough cutter collection and came up with small bear, small elephant, small duck and small dog shapes.  After a good wash in hot, soapy water the cutters were ready to use.  If you want to buy a tiny teddy cutter Amanda has links in her post.

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits

T is for Tiny Biscuits