Monday, August 29, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Circles

This week, The Muffin suggested Circles as her Muffin Tin Monday theme, and I was quite pleased about that, because it required very little effort fitted in well with the foods I was planning to give her.

Top Row: Apple slices; Gold kiwifruit (looks greenish in the picture but was actually bright yellow); Chocolate coated raspberry.

Bottom Row: Dried figs; Yoghurt with round sprinkles (and some purple jimmies, which The Muffin desperately wanted on her yoghurt, and justified by saying "they are circles from some angles, Mummy", pointing out that the ends of each jimmy are circular. Which I thought was quite clever, so I went along with it); Sweet potato chips.

The After Shot:

The apple and chocolate all went, plus most of the yoghurt. The other three items were all new foods for The Muffin, and she willingly tasted - and liked - them all. Score! I was particularly impressed with her reception of the kiwifruit, as she won't touch green kiwifruit with a bargepole. I don't think the yellow variety is destined to be her favourite thing ever, but she did like it.

Not sure why she didn't eat as much as usual - she's had a bit of a cold the last few days, so I guess she just wasn't very hungry.

To see what other mummies (and possibly daddies?) did this week, go check out the Muffin Tin Mom's blog.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recipes, Bleeding, and Drawing on Cookies

So even though I really love my usual sugar cookie recipe (which is Peggy Porschen's), I thought I might try out Sweet Sugarbelle's recipe (on account of I think she is a Cookie Goddess).

I had had a hankering for cinnamon cookies for some reason, so instead of adding "flavouring", I added three teaspoons of ground cinnamon. The result was these:

And they were pretty good. The texture was very soft (almost-but-not-quite cakey?). The flavour was nice - a little sweeter than my usual recipe (quite a few of them never made it to being iced). And they worked well with the cinnamon. Another good point is that the dough does not need to be chilled before baking, so it's a good option if you're in a rush.

Honestly? I think I still prefer Peggy's recipe, flavour and texture-wise. But Sugarbelle's is good too - like most cookie reviews, this is just a personal preference. And I'd happily eat either.

Anyway, so I had a bit of a disaster when decorating these - I decided to outline my designs with black, as I really like the look of it, plus it makes life easy as you don't have to mix several different colours of piping-consistency icing. I have heard people talking about their black icing "bleeding" into their colours before, but this was the first time I have ever had it happen. It was horrendous. Seriously, these cookies were Uuuuuugly. So I pretty much gave up in disgust, and we ate them all.

But there were a few cookies that survived, because all I had done to them was iced them flat, planning to pipe designs on afterward. So the bleeding is there if you look for it, but it's not nearly so obvious. So when earlier today, my Nanna dropped in for a cuppa, and these were all I had in the house, I grabbed my Gourmet Writers and said to The Muffin, "Quick! What should I draw on the cookies?" She said "Birds, Mummy! I want little birds!"

Voila - These were scribbled on in the time it took to boil the kettle. So yes, they're a bit rough. But imagine what you could do if you actually made an effort!

This has to be the easiest way ever to decorate cookies. So you know, if you're ever feeling lazy short of time, it's an option.

Hope you're all having a good weekend - I promise there will be more sugary goodness here next week, as well as the usual Muffin Tin Monday post!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday (and Bonus Bento) - Cinderella!

This week, The Muffin's school is celebrating Book Week. Today, the kids were all invited to go to school dressed as their favourite book character - and of course, The Muffin chose Cinderella.

This is what I sent with her for lunch:

In the top layer, she had strawberries (because princesses get to eat as many strawberries as they want, right?), and dried dates on mouse and dog picks (as these animals appear in the story).
In the bottom layer, dress and sparkly glass slipper sandwiches, both with ham and cheese. Also little birds made from carrot and cheese (again, standard issue Cinderella fauna).

After kindy, it was time for Muffin Tin Monday! Again, I went with the Cinderella theme:

Top Row: Strawberries; Apple slices with hearts cut out; a macaron shell with a line from one of the songs in the Cinderella movie (written on with Gourmet Writers).

Bottom Row: Another sparkly glass slipper sandwich, this time with Vegemite (I know you can't see the edible glitter, but you're just going to have to trust me - it was sparkly); Yoghurt with a few heart sprinkles in Cinderella blue; a Mouse and a Bird carved from string cheese.

I was quite proud of my cheese animals:

The Muffin had especially requested that this tin include a mouse, so I thought cheese might be easiest. Then I decided to try carving a 3D one out of a string cheese. It was very easy, and worked out so well that I had a go at doing a bird as well (mice and birds being Cinderella's only friends at the beginning of the story).


The After Shot:

This one was a no-brainer. She already likes everything that was in it, and loved the Cinderella theme. The cheese animals went first, which I must admit to feeling quite gratified about!

To see what other mums fed their small people this week, check out The Muffin Tin Mom's blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's For Lunch Wednesday: Ballerina Bento

The Muffin loves to dance, and wants to be a ballerina when she grows up!

Earlier this week, I made her this lunch for kindy:

A Vegemite and cheese sandwich (two halves, stacked), with a cheese and ham ballerina (made with my new ballerina cookie cutter). A clementine with a flower cut out, and a piece of fruit leather (cut with the same cutter) popped into the hole. Four olives on music note picks, and a Le Snak (she doesn't get these all the time, but she loves them, and I'm secretly hoping that eating that soft spready cheese occasionally will eventually reconcile her to the idea of cream cheese, which I wish she liked).

The Muffin was very pleased with her ballerina sandwich.

I am linking this to What's For Lunch Wednesday over at - go and check it out to see some other cool lunches!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Ponies!

It's Muffin Tin Monday! For this week's snack, we did a pony theme...

Top Row: Pikelet horseshoes; My Little Pony Fruit Tail; Apples.

Bottom Row: Apples; Pony Vegemite sandwich with sprinkle tail & mane; Carrot.

The apples and carrots are Ponies' Favourite Snacks, hence their inclusion. The carrot is actually out of our garden - I thought it would be cute to pull an immature one out and include it in this tin as a Pony Snack.

The Fruit Tail is quite cute:

Despite being included in the muesli bar/"healthy" snacks section at the supermarket (!), these are essentially lollies. Sure, they're made with a bit of fruit juice. But let's not kid ourselves here - they're lollies. Basically they are like a lolly snake, with a molded shape at one end - there are different licensed characters available, one of which is My Little Pony. They smell yummy, but I can not comment on the flavour, as I was not offered a taste.

The After Shot:

The only thing The Muffin was unenthusiastic about was the carrot. She requested (and got) some tomato sauce to dip it in, but still wasn't keen. I had a little bite, and can kind of see what she meant. The carrot was a bit too immature to be nice to eat raw. So not a bad effort on her part, really.

To see what other mums did this week, check out The Muffin Tin Mom's blog.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Lately The Muffin has been loving The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, by Eric Carle. So today I decided to do a Very Hungry Caterpillar Muffin Tin Meal.

In the book, the little caterpillar eats:

One apple:

Two pears:
Three plums, Four strawberries:

Five Oranges:

And on the sixth day, he eats a feast, and has a tummyache...

On the seventh day, he eats a nice green leaf, and is no longer a little tiny caterpillar, but a great big one:

Our whole tin:

Top Row: One (slice of) apple; Two (pieces of) pears; Three "plums" (actually three pieces of date, as I thought I had prunes, but didn't) and Four strawberries (actually four strawberry halves, so two in total).

Bottom Row: Five (segments of) oranges; One slice of salami, one piece of (not-so-Swiss) cheese, a lollipop from The Muffin's loot bag stash; One nice green (spinach) leaf and a rice cracker & Vegemite caterpillar.

The After Shot:

No big shock here. She likes all these foods anyway, and she very much enjoyed munching through the tin in the same order as the caterpillar does in the book. I read the book to her as she went, stopping to give her time to keep up with the caterpillar!

To see what other muffin tin mums are doing this week, check out the original Muffin Tin Mom's blog.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cupcakes for a Little Star!

Remember those red velvet cupcakes I put in the freezer the other day? They are no more.

My cousin's daughter celebrated her 8th birthday the other night, so I took the rest of the cupcakes along. I decided they needed something a bit bright and sparkly (because the birthday girl is bright and sparkly!), so I sprinkled the frosting with pink nonpareils, red sanding sugar and pink edible glitter.

From there, I did two different "types" of cupcake: the ones in the white papers were popped into a gorgeous shimmery red "Little Star" cupcake wrapper (I bought these on sale some time ago for just such an occasion as this), and topped with a red coloured white chocolate star.

The ones in the red papers were topped with chocolate lollipops. These were really easy to make, and the kids went mad for them. All I did was melt some dark chocolate, put blobs of it onto some baking paper using a teaspoon, and add a lollipop stick. Then I sprinkled them with some pink nonpareils and edible glitter, and popped them in the fridge to set. Once they were set hard, I added some red chocolate stars to match the cupcakes, but you could put anything on them. Or even just leave them all sprinkly and sparkly.

And the verdict on the frozen cupcakes? They were just fine - I would say this is a viable cupcake to freeze. (Although obviously there's Nothing Like a cupcake that's just come out of the oven, I do like to have Ready-To-Go cupcakes in my freezer for when I'm feeling lazy unexpected guests.)

Hope you are all finding something yummy to eat this week! Later this week: Cookies!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday On A Stick

So I had grand plans for this week's Muffin Tin - it was going to be a super-cute Very Hungry Caterpillar tin. But I didn't have pears. Or grapes. Or plums. And the orange that looked so nice on top while it sat in my fruit bowl was mouldy underneath. Grr.

So instead I took inspiration from the Muffin Tin Mom herself, and did this Muffin Tin On A Stick!

Top Row: Banana and strawberry kebab; Yoghurt with vanilla and toasted coconut; Sherbet straw from The Muffin's loot bag stash.

Bottom Row: Banana and strawberry kebab; Green sauce; Three-cheese and salami kebab.

The green sauce is really just a kind of pureed cucumber raita - yoghurt, cucumber, salt, lemon juice - oh, and a few spinach leaves ('cause I sneak them into Everything whenever I can). All zoomed up with my trusty stick blender.

The three cheeses in the three-cheese and salami kebab were "normal cheese" (tasty cheddar), "mouse cheese" (Jarlsberg - because of the holes), and "bocconcini" (bocconcini). I know, right? She makes up names for the easy ones, but manages the big words with nary a stumble. Cracks me up.

The After Shot:

She ate the lot, with the exception of the green sauce, which went untouched. She said she forgot about it while eating her savoury skewer, which I believe, because she was very interested in all the cheeses. She did not like the Jarlsberg ("Mummy, the mouse cheese tastes funny. It tastes weird. I don't like it"), but amazingly, she said she liked the bocconcini. She has tried this several times before, and never ever liked it before. What can I say? Therein lies the power of Muffin Tin Monday, I guess.

Pinpointing her favourite bit - the yoghurt with vanilla and toasted coconut.

To see what other lucky kids had this week, go to The Muffin Tin Mom's blog. And to see more cupcakes, come back here later this week!

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