Tuesday, 31 March 2015

C is for Chocolate Crackle Nests

Chocolate Crackle Nests

Chocolate Crackle Nests are a simple to make chocolatey treat for the upcoming Easter break.  Not that we need more chocolate but these are fun to do and easy enough for older children to make on their own.  There is no copha to melt which means no need to supervise kids using the stove.

Bee requested we make Chocolate Crackles this weekend.  We usually spend some time talking to both girls about what they would like to do each weekend.  Sometimes they have enough ideas to make a list.  Other times we go with the flow.

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Bear and Bee making chocolate crackles with Dad when camping last year.

Bee remembers making Chocolate Crackles as part of the kids' activities at the holiday park we stayed at last year.  She also remembers missing out on the Chocolate Pizza which is on our holiday to do list.

This version of Vegan Healthy Chocolate Crackles from Veggieful is even healthier than the traditional recipe too.  Coconut oil is used instead of copha (a form of vegetable fat shortening) to make everything stick together.  And maple syrup replaces the icing sugar as the sweetener.  I haven't tried them but rice malt syrup and agave nectar would probably work well too.  I prefer these crackles made with maple syrup as I don't find them as sickly sweet as the version made with icing sugar.

You could add in 1 cup of desiccated coconut just like traditional chocolate crackles or some chopped macadamia nuts if allergies aren't a problem.
Chocolate Crackle Nests

Chocolate Crackles Nests
Recipe from Veggieful
Makes approximately 12 muffin sized crackles

Ingredients
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups rice bubbles (puffed rice cereal)
24 mini chocolate eggs

Directions

Chocolate Crackle Nests
We used a patty cake tray and made slightly smaller crackle nests.

1. Line a regular muffin tray with paper cases.

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Adding the maple syrup to the oil.

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Bear whisking the oil, syrup and cocoa together.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder.

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Double mixing gets it done faster!
3. Stir in the rice bubbles.

Chocolate Crackle Nests

4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.

Chocolate Crackle Nests

5. Top each nest with the mini eggs.

Chocolate Crackle Nests

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Ready for the fridge.

6. Refrigerate until set - about 2 hours.

Chocolate Crackle Nests
Mini chocolate crackles.
Since we used a patty cake tray which is smaller than a muffin tray we had enough mixture left to make some mini chocolate crackles.

Chocolate Crackle Nests

Chocolate Crackle Nests


If you are looking for more Easter inspired cooking ideas check out our Easter Pinterest board.


Sunday, 29 March 2015

B is for Busy Days

B is for Busy Days

Things have been very quiet here on the blog since the start of the year.  Mind you it's the only place things have been quiet around here.

Bear and Bee have started Prep this year which is the first year of formal schooling here in Queensland.  I went back to work for the first time since the girls were born.  I am very fortunate to have gained a job in the library at the same school as the girls.  It sure makes drop off and pick up a whole lot easier.

It is a brand new school so I have been spending a lot of my own time there getting things organized.  Now that we have a good routine and many of the resources in the library have been processed I plan to spend more time back here on the blog and interacting with you on social media.  I have heaps of ideas for blog posts and lots more on my to do list.

But for now I have a big announcement to make.  I think I have put it off for long enough - not that I meant to put it off! 

If you are a follower of Christie Burnett and the amazing Childhood 101 blog you may have noticed that the three foot cooks have been making regular appearances.  I was so excited when Christie approached me about becoming a regular contributor on Childhood 101.  How cool is that blog?  And such a wealth of information too.  So every 2 months now Bear, Bee and myself will be contributing a guest post to Childhood 101.

So far we have made -

http://childhood101.com/2015/02/vanilla-cupcakes-recipe/

Healthier Vanilla Cupcakes.

http://childhood101.com/2015/02/homemade-tortillas-recipe/
Homemade Tortillas for Taco Tuesdays.

http://childhood101.com/2015/03/easter-hot-cross-scones-recipe/
Hot Cross Scones.

I will be posting a short extract from each of these guest posts here on the blog.  But make sure you click on the links to take you to the full posts over on Childhood 101.

While you are there check out the other guest contributors.  It is such a fabulous group to be part of.

And keep an eye on our facebook page.  I will let you know when our next guest post is done as well as all our new blog posts. 

I am going to get my act together with the newsletter too so if you subscribe it's an easy way to keep up to date with our cooking adventures.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

A is for Australia Day Busy Bag

Australia Day Busy Bag

With Australia Day coming up next Monday, the 26th January, I have teamed up with some awesome Aussie bloggers to bring you lots of fun Australian themed ideas for kids.

For our Australia Day activity, rather than doing an Aussie inspired recipe with Bear and Bee I came up with a new printable Busy Bag idea.  Both girls loved the Healthy Lunchboxes Busy Bag and Grow My Garden Busy Bag I did last year as part of a Busy Bag Virtual Exchange so I was pretty certain (can never be too sure with 5 year olds) that they would like this idea too.

If you are catching up with family and friends on Australia Day this Busy Bag would be a great quiet activity for the kids to do after lunch. 

So without any further ado here is our No Mess Pavlova Busy Bag.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxPGzHrEAAGbZWVpTW9pdEVxb00/view?usp=sharing

Click on this link to download a free printable that includes instructions for putting together the No Mess Pavlova Busy Bag.

Australia Day Busy Bag

Australia Day Busy Bag

Australia Day Busy Bag

Australia Day Busy Bag

I was initially inspired by the Pavlova Playdough Mat over on My Little Bookcase. I have included a sheet of fruit pieces to cut out and decorate the Pavlova page.

If you are pressed for time you could skip cutting out the fruit pieces and just print out the Pavlova base.  Add in some tubs of playdough and shape cutters to make the fruit or use beads and buttons. To be safe use beads and buttons for older children only.


For more Aussie inspiration, check out these great Aussie blogs.

Danya Banya

Danya Banya for two cute crafts of Sydney's icons - the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

http://www.thecrafttrain.com/1/post/2015/01/cardboard-tube-frilled-neck-lizard.html

The Craft Train for gorgeous Frilled Neck Lizards.

http://laughingkidslearn.com/2015/01/how-to-make-damper-bread.html/

Laughing Kids Learn for making Damper Bread.





Monday, 8 December 2014

E is for Eight Maids-a-milking

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag
Updated 27/12/2014.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me - 8 Maids-a-milking.

We have joined with 11 other bloggers to celebrate the festive season by creating crafts and activities based on the 12 Days of Christmas. This blog hop full of Christmassy goodness is hosted by Silly Sparkles. Make sure you head over to the other blogs and have a look at the other 'Days of Christmas' too. Links are at the end of this post.

We chose 8 Maids-a-milking and I couldn't decide on whether to make Christmas milkshakes or Christmas ice cream.

With the really hot weather we are experiencing at the moment (hot even for Queensland in December) ice cream was the winner.

To make it a real hands on sensory experience for Bear and Bee I knew we had to try making Ice Cream in a bag.  If you haven't made ice cream this way before you definitely need to give it a go.  It's a great activity that is lots of fun to do and as a bonus uses up a little of the excess energy kids seem to have around holiday time.

Here's how we made our Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag
Ingredients
300ml cream
2 tablespoons caster (or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 or 4 candy canes
2 trays of ice cubes
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 large ziploc bag
3 small ziploc bags

Directions

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag

1. Place the candy canes inside one of the small ziploc bags and then hit with a rolling pin until the canes are crushed into small pieces.
2. Pour the cream into one of the remaining small ziploc bags.  Place the bag into a coffee mug or small bowl to help it stand up and not spill over.
3. Add the sugar and vanilla to the cream and seal the bag well.
4. Place the bag of cream mixture inside another small ziploc bag to protect it well from the salt.
5. Put the ice and salt in the large ziploc bag and add the bag of cream mixture. Make sure the bag is sealed really well.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag


6. Now for the fun part.  Wrap a tea towel around the whole lot and start shaking and massaging the bags.
Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag

7.  Gloves are handy to protect little ones hands from the cold or you could put the whole lot (minus the tea towel) inside a large coffee can or baby formula tin and start rolling it around.
8.  Keep shaking or rolling for 5-10 minutes or until the cream mixture has thickened.  It will be like soft serve ice cream.  Ours took 10 minutes.
9. Remove the small bag of ice cream from the other bags.  Wipe carefully with a clean cloth to remove any traces of salt.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag
10. Use scissors to snip off the corner of the bag and squeeze the ice cream into cones or bowls.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag
11. Sprinkle with the crushed candy canes and enjoy.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag
A very happy Bee with her Ice Cream

If your kids like candy canes, add the crushed canes to the cream mixture in step 3.  Bear doesn't like candy canes and Bee does so I just added them at the end.

Christmas Ice Cream in a Bag


http://sillysparklessensory.wordpress.com/12-days-of-christmas-blog-hop-2/


Click on the images below to follow each of the 12 Days of Christmas craft ideas!