Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!  After a day of family, friends, and waaaaay too much chocolate, I thought I'd share these with you:

I was super lazy super clever this year - The Muffin had a farm-themed birthday party back in February, so I just made extra chicken, duck, lamb, bunny and carrot cookies then, and froze the the ones we didn't use for Easter.  Did you know you can freeze cookies decorated with royal icing?  It freaked me out the first time I tried it (knowing how royal normally disintegrates when faced with moisture), but if you're careful, it can be done!  I even did it with Hallowe'en cookies last year, so I can report success even with black and purple icing!

First, I bagged the cookies in ziplock bags (similar colours together) in a single layer, then placed all the bags inside a plastic box (at this point you can layer the bags carefully on top one of another).  Freeze until the day before they are required (or forget, swear, and get them out a couple of hours before they are required, like I did.  Luckily it was warm today here, so they still thawed in time).  Remove boxes from the freezer and sit them on the bench or sink (NOT in the fridge!!!) until they are Completely Thawed.  Resist the temptation to open the boxes.  Seriously, leave them alone until they're not cold anymore.  Then you can get your delicious cookies out and serve them!  Ours still looked and tasted just as good as they did the day they were made!

We also had cupcakes, decorated with home-made chocolate bunnies:

Oh dear.  This wasn't the most perfect bunny, but it was the one I got a photo of.  Sigh.

Sadly I have never yet successfully managed to temper chocolate, but these bunnies were still yummy - we just had to fridge them until they were ready to hop onto their cupcakey little homes.

Hope you and yours had a fantastic Easter!  Was the Easter Bunny good to you?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Game of Thrones cookies

I'm baaaaaack!

Yes, life got in the way there for a while!  But after quite a long break at my little blog, I've decided I miss it, so I hope there are still one or two of you out there who haven't forgotten me!

So, on to important business:  is everyone excited about the return of Game of Thrones?  I am!  And it got me thinking about Husband's birthday party last year, which he requested a Game of Thrones theme.  It was great fun, and a good time was had by all (even the people who'd never seen or read GoT, thankfully!)  We didn't make them dress up (although we did, of course!), but I did theme all the foods etc, and luckily people really got into it, and enjoyed the chance to - quite literally - share meat and mead with us!

Honestly?  I'm not going to go into the savouries in detail - you'll do much better just heading over to The Inn At The Crossroads for that - suffice to say that the Honeyed Chicken is delish!  I also made Saladhor Sahn's meatballs and eggplant dip, as well as a couple of salads (one from The Inn, one I just cobbled together based on the description in the book).  They were all good.  Sansa's lemon cakes also made an appearance.

But you're here to see cookies, right?  Well, here they are:

Houses Stark, Tully, Targaryen, Frey, Lannister and Martell, respectively.  Various versions of each House's sigil may be found via Google if you're interested in recreating these - pick the ones you like best!

These cookies were made using royal icing transfer method - that is, I piped the sigil designs onto baking paper, allowed them to dry completely, added any edible marker details, and finally lifted them oh-so-carefully onto dry royal-icing-covered cookies.  The watery parts of the Tully and Frey designs were done directly onto the cookies;  just the castles and fish were transferred.  I found this method of decorating to be excellent for these cookies - not only did it make the designs "pop" (as the sigils stood out slightly from the cookie's surface), but it also allowed for a lot more errors while piping these very intricate designs.  I was particularly terrified of moving the Targaryen dragon, and I did break a couple, but in fact the Stark direwolf proved to be more of a problem with its spiky fur and tiny little teeth - I lost more of those than anything else, despite them looking much more sturdy than the dragons!  Go figure.

For those of you who like to have a point of reference, here are a couple of the designs shown on a set of coasters I bought for the party:-

The coasters can be found (among other places) at ThinkGeek.

Anyway, must run for now, but I hope you like these cookies, and that they put you in the mood for this week's instalment!  (now if only George RR Martin would finish the last book....)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chickie Garden Bento

This is a lunch the Muffin had on the weekend.  We had been looking at some cute bento boxes online, and she decided she desperately wanted "something cute with chickens in it".  So this is what she had:

Top Container:  One whole boiled egg (cut in half) with the yolks scooped out, mixed with a little yoghurt, piped back in and made into chickens.  Their wings are kernels of corn, their eyes are black sesame seeds, their beaks and feet are carrot, and they are sitting on a twiggy stick log amongst the (spinach) leaves.

Left-Hand Side:  A garden!  Pear leaves, carrot and apple flowers, and cheese and nori bees.

Right Hand Side:  Two bread and butter chicks with cheese wings and nori eyes.

I am linking this up with What's For Lunch Wednesday - go check out the other fun lunches!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Muffin Tin Monday - Weather Again

Yesterday was Muffin Tin Monday, and this week's set theme is Summer.  The Muffin wasn't convinced by the idea of an "I miss Summer" tin, and requested a Weather-themed tin instead.  We've done this theme before - a couple of times, actually - but it must be a favourite, as she wanted it again.  So here we are:

Top Row:  Sunny fairy bread;  Cheese lightning;  Carrot clouds (at sunset, obviously)

Bottom Row:  Yoghurt snow;  Macaroni cheese (for Hot);  Pear umbrella (for Rainy)

The Muffin enjoyed this tin (actually she helped choose everything that went into this one, so it wasn't really a challenge for her) - she ate everything.

Check out the other Muffin Tin Meals this week over at Another Lunch (the new home of Muffin Tin Monday!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Panda Bento

Last week, Husband brought home a packet of those Hello Panda chocolatey-filled cookies.  The Muffin was so thrilled with them that I promised her a bento to match:

In addition to two Hello Panda cookie thingies, The Muffin had a panda face sandwich (with Vegemite for the black fur, and cheese eyes);  A pear with a panda face (this time the black fur was bits of prune);  string cheese & spinach leaf sticks of bamboo for the pandas to eat;  plus extra pear and prunes.

I am linking this up to What's For Lunch Wednesday.  Go check out all the other great lunches!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Muffin Tin Monday - The Ocean

Under The Sea is one of our favourite Muffin Tin Monday themes - we've done several variations in the past, but we never get tired of them!  So we were very pleased to find that this week's set theme is The Ocean!

Top Row:  Custard apple with a dolphin pick;  Pear fish;  Pikelet starfish with butter and jam.

Bottom Row:  Tortellini coral with rocket (ie arugula) "seaweed" and carrot crab;  Tortilla octopus;  Torellini coral with rocket "seaweed" and carrot crab.

The Muffin was very pleased with this dinner, and ate everything except the custard apple.  She ate three very small spoonfuls of that, and then said she'd decided she didn't like it.  Can't argue with that, I guess - she did give it a good try!  She also asked for (and got) more tortellini.

To see what other lucky kids ate this week, head over to Another Lunch (the new home of Muffin Tin Monday)!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My 200th Post!

Well, it's finally here - my 200th blog post!  Due to my incredibly erratic posting habits, it has only taken me four years to get here (!), but it has definitely been fun.

To celebrate, I decided to celebrate with a lovely little Raspberry Red Velvet cupcake, topped with Grand Marnier-laced Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Yum!  The cupcake recipe is from a book called Sparkle Cupcakes (which, if you so choose, you can purchase by following the link).  I've now baked just two of the cupcake recipes from this book, and honestly I find them not quite so light and fluffy as my usual go-to recipe (which is Billy Reece's Vanilla Vanilla recipe).  However, there are some wonderfully interesting flavour combinations in this book, and I will make more of them.  This RRV cupcake, for example, is delicious - I love red velvet for its beautiful texture and dramatic good looks, but the only criticism I sometimes have is that it doesn't really know what it is, flavour-wise.  Is it vanilla?  Is it chocolate?  What's going on?  Well these cupcakes don't dither at all - the beautiful raspberry twang comes through loud and clear, with a subtle chocolatey thing going on in the background... mm-mm!

Unfortunately I can't share the recipe with you, as it's from a cookbook and I don't like violating people's copyright, but to be honest it would probably be completely possible to replicate this just by adding some raspberry puree (or leftover raspberry coulis) to your regular red velvet recipe...  If you try it, let me know how it turns out!  Highly recommended as a flavour combination!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...