Monday, February 28, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Yellow

The Colours of the Rainbow continues, in our Muffin Tin Monday themes! This week we are up to Yellow! Here is The Muffin's tin (she has snack MTMs now, as Monday is also a kindy day):-

Top Row: Piece of banana (skin on to increase its yellowness); Slices of yellow apple; Yellow M&Ms.

Bottom Row: Babybel cheese (out of its wax); Corn; Chopped fresh pineapple.

The After Shot:-

The Muffin tried the corn but did not like it. Everything else was yummy. To see what other mums did this week, go to The Muffin Tin Mom's blog.
Hope everyone is having a good Muffin Tin Monday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday & Bonus Elephant Bento

It's Muffin Tin Monday! There are no regular themes anymore, but we have decided to go ahead with The Colours of The Rainbow. Last week, we did Red (for Valentine's Day), but I was disorganised, and The Muffin was starving after kindy, so I didn't manage to get a photo until she'd already eaten half of it. Which was kind of a shame, as it was quite cute. Never mind, we are back in the game this week, with Orange.

But first, I thought I would show you The Muffin's kindy lunch today:

Elephants! We went to the zoo yesterday, and elephants are her favourite zoo animal. The bigger elephant is ham with cheese ear, the smaller one is apple with apple skin ear.

But on to Muffin Tin Monday - Orange!

Top Row: Tinned apricots with tiger pick (Me: "What colour is a tiger?" Muffin, looking doubtfully at pick: "Yellow." Me: "Ye-es... but what colour is a real tiger?" Muffin: "Orange!"); fresh Nectarine; orange M&Ms.

Bottom Row: Carrot bunnies; Natural yoghurt with carrot bunny outline; fish-shaped egg.

Here is a closeup of the fish-shaped egg:

I was really pleased with how this turned out. I didn't use an egg mold; I used a rice mold that I bought to do little sushi rice shapes with, and I've been wondering if it could double as an egg mold. Hurrah - it worked really well! And in case you're wondering, it was Orange On The Inside! (The Muffin actually suggested "egg yolk" as an idea under the "Orange" theme, which I was quite impressed by, so I decided to run with it).

The After Shot:

This was quite a big snack, so she must have been hungry after kindy! I don't mind if she has a biggish snack now and then (ie every Muffin Tin Monday, more than likely), because it's mostly healthy foods. So if she eats a bit less than usual for dinner, it's no big deal.
To see what other mums did this week, go here: The Muffin Tin Mom!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

So I was shopping the other day, and Mini-Oreos were on special. Now I'm sure these have been around forever in the USA, and actually I'm not sure how long they've been available here (the first time I saw them here was about six months ago). But I just think they are So Incredibly Cute. I kind of have a thing for miniature things.

Anyway, when I first saw them, I couldn't help but think they'd be awesome as a cupcake topper, and the idea of making Oreo cupcakes has been floating about in my head ever since. Not that it's a New Idea. I'm aware of that. But I have never done it before, and I just happened to have a party to make cupcakes for, so...

Oreo Cupcakes

Cupcakes (adapted from "The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating", which incidentally is a book I really like. It has cakes in lots of different styles, as well as how-to technique pages for newbie decorators)
190g butter
195g dark chocolate
1 tsp instant coffee
140mL water
3 eggs
110g SR flour
110g Plain flour
40g Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g chocolate cookies (I guess you could actually use Oreos here, but I had leftover Choc Ripples and I was going for the flavour of the cookie part itself. If you try it with Oreos, let me know how it turns out!)
420g caster sugar
30mL oil
95mL milk

Whizz cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs.
Combine butter, chocolate, coffee and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until all melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. While mixture is still warm (but not hot), add lightly beaten eggs, stirring vigorously to combine (you don't want the eggs to cook in the chocolate, but they will thicken it a little and make it easier to handle).
Sift flours, cocoa and bicarb soda together, and stir in cookie crumbs and sugar. Add chocolate mixture, oil and milk, and stir until smooth.
Spoon/pour mixture into cupcake cases and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for around 20 minutes, or until they test clean. Cool, then top each cupcake with frosting and a Mini Oreo cookie.

100g butter
100g Copha (two reasons: for whiteness, and for that unmistakable flavour that it gives - not usually something I consider desirable in frosting, but I was trying to make this frosting taste as much like the filling in an Oreo cookie as possible, and I think this did the trick)
300g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large heaped dessertspoonful of double cream

Cream butter, Copha and icing sugar until very pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Beat in cream.

These turned out pretty much exactly as I'd hoped - a yummy chocolate cake (with something vaguely cookie-ish lurking in the background of the flavour), topped with a sweet vanilla frosting and a little Oreo to bring it all together. Not an original idea, granted. But still good.
Now here's the question: Sprinkles? Or No Sprinkles? I thought No Sprinkles, although I thought the ones With Sprinkles photographed better. Husband & The Muffin both liked them better With Sprinkles. Opinion was somewhat divided at the party... What do you think?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spotty Party!

So I'm finally getting around to posting some pics of The Muffin's birthday party (a few weeks after the event, but hey, who's counting?)

For my little girl's birthday this year, she did not want Princesses. Or Fairies. Or Mermaids. No. It was "Mummy, I would like a Spotty theme for my party". I have no idea where that came from, but there we are. It actually suited me just fine, as
a) "spotty" is fairly easy as themes go; b) I like spots too; c) I think the princess thing will work better once she's of school age and the majority of the guests are under the age of fifteen; and d) she was willing to hand over complete creative control of her cake, provided it included spots and purple. Score!

So this is what I made:-

Overall I was pretty happy with it in the end. It was actually kind of a nightmare to make, as the weather was not only hot, but really humid as well. And we all know how much sugarpaste looooves humidity... In the end I had to take the whole thing to a friend's house to decorate it (thank you thank you - it's so nice to have awesome neighbours!), as refrigerated airconditioning was the only way I could think of to dry it out (like seriously, it was Wet). That's the other good thing about spots - they can be strategically placed to cover the worst blemishes!

I decided on the caterpillar and ladybug as a way of adding a cute factor, and also to add another personalised element... For Christmas I got Miniscule on DVD (after some fairly obvious hints in that direction), and it never really occurred to me that The Muffin would like it too. But of course it's so cute, and funny as well, that she has fallen in love right along with me. So I picked out two of the spottier characters for her cake - the ever-hungry and oh-so-cute caterpillar...

... and the ultra-cheeky, naughty ladybug...

The Muffin and I also made spotty cake pops:-

And spotty party-themed cookies:-
I did the Present and Party Hat cookies, and The Muffin did the Spot cookies.
(and no, these are not really my best work. I actually forgot to take a pic of the whole platter - these were the leftovers! So annoying, I do that All The Time...)

The kids played Musical Bobs, fished for spotty foam fish in The Muffin's paddling pool (each fish had a specific prize associated with it), and had a Popcorn Race. The race was actually really good. We split the kids into two teams (evening out the ages/ability levels as much as possible) and gave each team a big container of air-popped popcorn and a large spoon. The kids took turns scooping up a spoonful of popcorn and carrying it to the other side of the yard, where each team had another (equal-sized) container. The first team to fill this second container with popcorn won. Not a new idea, I know, but it worked really well with the popcorn, especially as it was fairly windy that day! :o)

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and The Muffin took one look at her cake and said "Miniscule bugs! Can I eat the caterpillar?!!" And you can't ask for more than that...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kindy Bento for The Muffin

My little girl is growing up...!

She started kindergarten last week, and is loving it. Anyway, today was her first full day (they break them in gently first with a few half days, which is great for kids like The Muffin, who has never been to daycare or anything like that). As it was her first lunch at Kindy, I thought it should be a cute one.

For lunch The Muffin had a salami & cheese sandwich with a penguin cutout (feet & eyes made of bread, beak made of cheese). She apparently ate everything else - grapes, carrot circles and TrueFruit - at morning tea time. (The TrueFruit is a kind of fruit leather. This brand is made of fruit and nothing else - no added sugar or other additives of any kind - so it's my favourite)

She ate it all. And apparently her sandwich was much admired by the child sitting next to her. :o)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - no theme

It's Muffin Tin Monday! The theme for this week is Let's-Grab-Whatever's-Easy-So-We-Are-Not-Late-For-Kindy. :o)

Here is The Muffin's lunch:-

Top Row: String cheese; Petit Miam (teeny pot of fromage frais); Small cupcake
Bottom Row: Salami sandwich; Grapes; Salami sandwich.

The After Shot:
The Petit Miam was a resounding success - this is the first time we have bought these, and they're really yummy. Tastes like a cross between yoghurt and icecream. It does have added sugar in it, and I don't generally buy sweetened things for The Muffin's snacks. The trouble is, I have found it completely impossible to find any kind of yoghurt that isn't sweetened, to send as a snack for her to Kindy. What is it that makes these companies think our preschoolers need sugar in their yoghurt???? I don't get it. The yoghurt we normally buy (which is not sweetened, and it's delicious) does not come in a small tub, and I'm not sure how watertight her lunchbox is, so I think prepackaged is safest. Anyway, the good thing is that this isn't exactly just yoghurt, so we can still preserve that difference in her mind. And I guess once in a while as a treat it's not going to kill her.

To check out what other mummies did this week, go here: The Muffin Tin Mom!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...