Saturday, July 28, 2012

Let The Games Begin!

Over the last couple of weeks, The Muffin has been incredibly excited about the approach of the Olympic Games.  She noticed all the products packaged in green and gold at the supermarket a few weeks ago, and wanted to know what all that was about.  So I explained to her what the Olympics were, and mentioned they were coming up soon, and expected that to be the end of it.

But I had not reckoned on Pre-Primary.  Over the past week, her class has been learning about the Olympics, and I swear she's now teaching me stuff.  It's fantastic;  they've made Olympic torches, gold medals, pictures of the Olympic rings, and more!  So now she is SUPER excited, has announced that next Monday we will be having an Olympic-themed muffin tin, and couldn't wait to see the Opening Ceremony.

So I thought I'd whip up a simple little treat for us to eat while we watched.  Now I know this isn't an original idea, but it is very simple, and lots of fun - The Muffin loved it.  She claimed the Silver.

How to make Oreo Olympic Medals

1.  Grab a packet of Gold Oreo cookies (in Australia I have only found these at Coles;  Woolworths didn't have them)

2.  Brush each cookie with lustre dust in either gold, silver, or bronze.

3.  Cut some fruit leather straps into thin strips and arrange on a plate.

That's it!

This picture shows the shine a little better:

So what did you think of London's Opening Ceremony?  (my personal favourite bits were Rowan Atkinson playing the piano during "Chariots of Fire" - hilarious - and also the very different lighting of the flame). 
And are your kids excited about the Olympics?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hazelnut Macawrongs, And What To Do With Them

I was excited to see that this month's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop's theme (hosted by Dining With A Stud) is "Nuts About Sweets".

I have been in a bit of a Macaron Madness Mood lately, have been playing with a few different recipes, and I think I've found my perfect-match recipe.  It's by Annie Rigg, and I must thank my Nanna for giving me this book for my birthday, because this is the first mac recipe I have had consistently good results with, every time.

Except this time.

It's okay, Annie Rigg.  It's not you, it's me.  I did the unthinkable - I Overmixed The Batter.

While I was piping them out I could already see it wasn't going to work.  I wasn't going to get pretty macarons this time.  But that's okay, because I totally thought of something else to do with them (and also that container of black coffee/liqueur mixture leftover from making tiramisu on the weekend).  And it's Really Good.  I guess you could do it with proper macarons, too.  If you didn't overmix your batter.

I hereby present to you:

Hazelnut Coffee Icecream with Hazelnut Macawrongs

Firstly, you're going to need to make some macarons, but don't use almond meal;  use hazelnut meal instead.  If you want to use the same recipe I did, it's basically this one (she has changed all the quantities a bit, but it's essentially the same recipe as in the book).  Or you could go ahead and buy the book.  You won't be sorry.  Just don't overmix your batter.  I also sprinkled my macarons with some cocoa nibs before baking them, but that's totally optional.

1/4 cup coffee flavoured liqueur (optional)
1 cup strong good-quality black coffee
150mL milk
3 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
450mL cream
1/3 cup Nutella (or to taste)

Modus Operandi
Mix the coffee and liqueur together in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid to 75mL.  Add the milk, and bring the liquid back up to the boil.  Remove from heat and set aside while you whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they are pale and thick.  Carefully pour the coffee mixture into the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking all the while.  Add the cream, and churn the mixture in an icecream maker.

When icecream is churned, add teaspoonfuls of Nutella to the icecream and gently stir them in (you don't want Nutella-flavoured icecream, you want icecream with a Nutella ribbon).  Next, grab around a dozen of your hazelnut macawrongs (or possibly beautifully-made hazelnut macarons), break them up into little pieces, and fold them through the icecream too.  Then pop the whole lot into the freezer and let it freeze properly before serving (otherwise it will be all melty, like in my photos).

And that's it!  Husband pronounced this icecream "Really Good", and didn't have any constructive criticism to add, so it must be pretty good!   :o)

And now it's time for you to go check out the rest of the deliciousness at the Nuts About Sweets edition of The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (but make some icecream first.  Then you'll have something to eat while you read).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - Iiin Spaaaaace!

It's Muffin Tin Monday again, and The Muffin and I decided on an Outer Space theme this week:-

Top Row:  Vegemite & cheese sandwich Star and Moon;  Banana slice Planets (you can just see Saturn on the right there with its ring.  Jupiter is at the bottom of the cup - I carved it out of two lengthways-slices of banana so it would be noticeably bigger than the other planets, with the result that it wasn't able to stand up); 
Milky Way Magic Stars  (okay, I confess, these are totally The Entire Reason we are having an outer space theme at all.  I saw them at the supermarket and cast around desperately for an excuse to buy them.  Muffin Tin Monday seemed as good an excuse as any.  They're so cute with their teeny little faces - squee!  Oh yeah, and they're yummy also).

Bottom Row:  Potato shark "Sun"  (oh yes, I know this is a long shot.  But she really wanted these in her lunch, and we couldn't think of what to call them, and then she noticed we hadn't made a sun, so...);  Yoghurt with stars;  Mars (It's a strawberry.  The red planet, get it, get it??)

I do have a rocket-shaped cookie cutter which I wanted to use on her sandwich, but The Muffin vetoed that idea immediately (she is SUCH a girl!), so a star and a moon it was.

She left some of the yoghurt, but ate everything else.

To see what other kids ate today, go check out The Muffin Tin Mom's blog.

But if you come back here later this week, I promise you some sugar!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - Alice

It's Muffin Tin Monday!  (And I'm actually posting our tin this week!!)

The Muffin wanted a themed tin this week, so we decided on an easy Alice In Wonderland tin...

Top Row:  Sultanas with a White Rabbit pick and a Talking Flower pick;  Banana Cheshire Grin;  Red heart-shaped macaron shell (representing the Queen of Hearts).

Bottom Row:  Pasta with fauxfredo sauce (recipe found here, but I use real parmesan and real garlic, and I add some basil and spinach leaves);  Bread-and-Butterfly;  More pasta (with an "Eat Me" pick).

She also had a "Drink Me" sign on her cup (as you can see in The After Shot):

This pasta sauce is the only way The Muffin will even touch cauliflower (I've never tried to hide what I'm putting in, but I've never particularly told her what's in it, either.  When she says "What's fauxfredo sauce?"  I say terribly helpful things like "It's like a creamy pasta sauce but without the cream."  This works for The Muffin, as she doesn't like cream).

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

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mini-Beast Cookies

This term at pre-primary, The Muffin's class has been studying "mini-beasts" (ie. all the little insects, spiders, snails, worms, etc that live in the garden).  To celebrate the end of term, they had a little party.  Each child dressed as their favourite mini-beast, and brought a plate of food to share.  The Muffin and I decided to make mini-beast cookies!

The Muffin actually helped a lot with these;  she did most of the caterpillars herself, plus the purple bits on the snails, and the pink bits on the butterflies (she suggested "let's use the wet-on-wet technique for these spots, Mummy!"  Hilarious.  She's five.)

We had lots of fun doing these together, and I hear the class had lots of fun eating them!

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