Crunchy Cinnamon Crackers

cinnamon crunch crackers

I found this yummy recipe on a favourite blog of mine “Delighted Momma” . It’s a wonderful blog and the lady who writes it is very inspiring, funny and not to mention gorgeous and very clever! I love to try out her ideas, so made these crackers (or some might call them biscuits) and have adapted it slightly. I made these gluten free but you could easily substitute the GF flour for regular flour.

Crunchy Cinnamon Crackers (GF)

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar of sugar substitute such as Stevia
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used rice bran)
  • aproximately 1 tablesoon of milk (or water)
  • Cooking oil spray

Pre-heat oven to 180 centigrade and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Wisk eggs with oil and stir into the dry mix then use your hands to from into a dough. If it is too dry still, add the milk. I used my dough straight away but you can chill it for 20 mins if you like.

cinnamon dough

Place some baking parchment onto your work surface  and lightly spray with oil . Roll the dough out using a floured rolling pin. You might find it easier to place another peice of baking parchment on top of the dough and roll it out between the two sheets. It should ideally be around 2-3 mm thick.

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Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes or a pizza roller to slice it into sqaures. Re-roll the etra dough and repeat until its all used up.

DSCF1725DSCF1730Prick your shapes with a fork and sprinkle with extra cinnamon, then pop them on a pre-sprayed baking tray. Prepare your nostrils for an aroma overload!!!!

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Bake for around 15 mins. They might need a little less or longer, up to 20 mins even, it depends on the thickness of the crackers. Remove them when they start to look a nice golden brown. Mmmm your house will smell divine! Time to pop the kettle on….

cinnamon crunchy crackers

crunchy cinnamon biscuits

snack timeThis recipe is super easy and a great way to make a yummy snack that you and your littlies will love, whilst knowing exactly what has gone into them. I like to bag these up into little snack sized pouches, perfect for my son’s lunchbox, and a much nicer, healthier (and cheaper) treat alternative to supermarket pre-packed kids biscuits which are full of ingredients I can’t even pronounce!

Enjoy! x

 

Clean Mud ‘Recipe’

What do you do when your two year old throws two new rolls of toilet paper in the bath??

You make clean mud of course!

Clean mud recipe - Sensory play

ingredients for clean mud

I hate waste, and throwing things away unecessarily, so was slightly horrified when my toddler took my husbands words of “put these in the bathroom for me” a little too literally… (I could see it happening in my mind’s eye the second the words were out of his mouth as the bath had just been poured, why do men not think?!) So I fished the soggy rolls out of the bath, and set them to one side, then when my little darlings were washed and dried and fast asleep I went on Pinterest find inspiration. Of course.

And voila! Clean mud was there jumping off the sceen demading to be made the following day, and I was happily satisfied that I had triumphed in the face of disaster. Okay not disater, wet loo paper. Still its a good reslut in my book!

Clean Mud Recipe:

  • 2 toilet rolls (they do not have to be wet!)
  • 1 bar of soap
  • Warm water
  • you will also need a cheese grater and a large container to make the mud in.

Usually you would take a couple of rolls toilet paper and shred it into a large bowl, bucket or storage bin. Since my rolls were pre-dampened, (the inner cardboard tubes just slipped straight out by the way) I just had to tear at them and added enough warm water to the bowl to saturate them. Then I got busy grating in the soap. Usually I would have let S do this but he was happy playing with a friend and so I just got on with it to avoid arguments! next you just need to squish it about till its all muched up and dough like, then its time to play!

Clean mud

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clean mud - Glitter mud pies

clean mud piesWe added glitter and plates so we could make some ‘real’ mud pies. it was a great sensory play activity that they could really have fun moulding and squeezing. Perfect for a rainy day! Unfortunately S got a bit carried away and poor M got a faceful of mud pie and glitter (had it not been cruel it would have made a great photo)… So that was the end of the clean mud for that day…. But aside from that and since finding glitter in every nook and cranny of my house for the rest of eternity, I would say it was great fun all round and much better then throwing the toilet rolls away, so I have to thank little J really for his impulsive act of ‘helpfulness’! I will definately make this again, next time though, I will try it outdoors.

Still, at least their hands (and faces) were very clean afterwards!! x

Joy Is…

Oh Rocky…
Homemade rocky roadMmmm the joy of homemade Rocky Road. YUM. And Soooooo easy. My version goes like this –

Rocky Road:

Melt 250 gm bar of dark chocolate in bowl over boiling water, pour into a bowl which has a handfull of each – mini marshmallows, pistachios, dried cranberries, puffed rice cereal (maybe two of these, I used gluten free), and a pinch of flaked seasalt. (feel free to add what you like though, crushed biscuits and chopped dried apricots or dried cherries are a hit too) Stir, and pour into a 9 x 13 inch tray lined with greased baking paper. Chill. Dust with icing sugar. Cut. Eat. If any remain, save in a tin which you will then open immediately and eat more from. Life is short, just enjoy it!

Treasure huntersChilly winter walk with friends on the beach to look for burried ‘treasure’ (I sneakily hid some sweets/lollies) Any little pirate loves this activity.

marble run towerMarble run tower. How could you not love this! Great rainy day fun, and only $10 on sale too so a total bargain that has provided hours of entertainment.

Beautiful child portraitMy baby boy. Ahhh I just Love him. Look at those eyes! x

Pansy printingPansy printing that we did at our local playcentre – Literally the best thing ever!!!! I will do a proper blog post on the soon. Involves real pansies and a hammer, but even then I got much more into it then my son, oops.. for a change…  resluts are so pretty as you can see. Joy! x

Easiest Ever Way To Poach Eggs

This is one of those ‘life hacks’ I keep reading about them – basically a way to simplify life and make any task easier! And well, if there is a shortcut, I will take it!

Poached eggs rock, but mine always tended to turn into a frothy mess of stringy eggs in a kind of vinegar infused broth. Not so good. Not any more. This is a super easy way to making the best poached eggs ever. You will never look back, I promise!

You will need: (aside from eggs and a pan of water..yeah ok)

  • Plastic wrap. (Also known as cling film, saran wrap or glad wrap depending on where you are!)
  • A small remekin or cup or similar

easy poached eggs

Thats it! So far, so S-i-m-p-l-e! Place a piece of plastic wrap over a ramekin  with enough to cove the edges like shown.

super easy poached eggs Break in the egg…poached eggsBring the edges of the plastic wrap together and twizzle it around (yes, twizzle) as shown. Bring your pot of water to a light simmer and lower in your egg/s! plastic wrapped eggs poachingYour eggs will take 2-5 min to cook depending on their size, freshness and whether they came out of the fridge or not. The good thing is you can easily lift the egg out at any time and give it a gentle squeeze to see if it feels firm enough for your liking. When done, simply untwizzle the plastic wrap (taking care as the plastic will get hot and even melt a little if it touches the side of the pan) and slide your egg onto you toast. You can toss the used wrap in the bin and empty out your pan and the only bit of washing up you will have to do is your plate, knife and fork! Whoo hoooo!!!! (If we are going to get all techincal and fancy, I have read that the method is called to Sous Vide, but, whatever.)Plastic wrap poaced eggs - mess free!In my humble opinion, nothing beats a beautiful free range egg on a slice of hot buttered toast, with a generous grind of black pepper and sea salt. Mmmm mmmm! And combined with this easy peasy, mess free method, poached egg time is now any time! x

Slime!

slime recipe

My son was so excited by this activity. You only have to say the words “lets make slime” to any 4 year old boy to watch their face light up with joy! The fact that is was green, (his all time favourite colour) just made it all the more wow-tastic.

Now we have made gloop many times before, which is just cornflour and water mixed together. If you haven’t made it you must, its a wonderful sensory activity for any toddler or child. This time however I wanted to make something a bit more, well, slimey, for my boys to really get their teeth (or rather hands) into.

slime dough

slime

The mixture is one of those that you can tweak a bit to make it more runny or more firm and ‘dough’ like depending on how much water you add. The best way to go is on the ‘less is more’ principle and just keep adding a little more water at a time until it is the right kind of sliminess for your liking!

Slime Recipe:

  •  2 and 1/4 cups cornflour
  • 1/2 cup shampoo
  • 5-7 tablespoons of water. (start with 5, mix and see if you need more. Once you have gone too runny its hard to get it doughy again)

optional:

  • a few drops of food colouring

Put your cornflour in a bowl and mix in the shampoo, I just bought some cheap shampoo at the $2 shop as it was bright green and smelled nice! Add a few drops of food colouring if you wish, if your shampoo is not brightly coloured enough. Now add the water a tablespoon at a time and mix well before adding each extra tablespoon. As you can see from the first photo, ours went a bit runny, however as we played with it it lost some of the moisture and became more dough like. It is more fun when doughy as it seems to have a stretchy, shinny, gooeyness which the boys loved. We could do handprints and roll it into balls, then watch as the balls ‘melted’ off our hands. DSCF1353 DSCF1352

J liked it best when it was in a bowl, with more water added so he could stir it around and around. There are not many photos of the firmer dough as I was so busy playing with it (with the boys ahem..) that it was hard to keep my hands clean enough to take photos! I stored the firmer dough in an airtight tub so we could play with it again. I would say it lats for a few days but not that long.  You may just need to add a touch more water to rejuvinate it! Oh and by the way, it looks crazy-scary-messy I know, like “aghhhh why would you ever make this in your house you mad person???”… but trust me, it’s actually not that messy and is sooo easy to clean up with just the wipe of a wet cloth. Promise ;-P x

NB here are a few extra photos of a firmer version of the slime made on a separate occasion. homemade slimeslimehomemade slimeslime ball

It’s been a while…

Ah its been a bit quiet on the creative front lately (understatement) due to several factors… the main one being our whole household getting infected wirth strep throat!

Joy definetly isn’t Streptococcus . Strep is not something I was that familiar with. Oh but I am now believe me!

There wasn’t much that helped sooth my throat except a remedy I made from a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey.

Sore throat cure

Sore and strep throat remedy:

  • 1 tablespoon of melted or runny Honey – (organic Manuka honey would be the best to use, but I used whatever was to hand)
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (again, organic would be best I’m sure)
  • half a cup of water

Basically mix ingredients in a glass and gargle then spit out first, then gargle and then swallow the second time. Do this every hour. I kept my mixture in a jar in the fridge until I needed it.

It really helped to sooth it ansd I’m sure worked more effectivly then the antibiotics!

Here are some photos of us at our worst…

IMG_5402Poor little J probably had it bad. Very high fever, vomiting, and very swollen pussy tonsils, and an ear infection. I have never seen him so poorly 😦

IMG_4334Next to go down was me, I also got a lovely eye infection to complement the other symptoms nicely…

IMG_5434Mmmm attractive close up, it was so itchy and sore!

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And then it was poor S who was hit, and my husband too but luckily he got onto antibotics very quickly and evaded most of the symptoms other then a sore throat. Phew! S got strep and the eye infection as well… 4 days of not eating and finally he had an ice lollie (ice block to NZers!) IMG_5511

Finally everyone was on the mend and I breathed a sigh of relief that things could go back to normal… But I relaxed too soon, as one week later I was driving home and my car was ht by a drunk driver! Luckily I was alone without the kids and was hit on the passenger side. I have to say it was one of the scariest moment of my life when I was hit and both airbags went off. Plus, the naughty scoundrel drove off, but the hapless fool didn’t reckon on the fact that he had left part of his car beind with the number plate on it, so the police were quickly on his tail and caught him, ha! He is being charged on 3 counts, reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and fleeing the scene of an accident. Unfortunately I had to spend 3 hours horizontal in a neck brace in A&E which was scary, but 8 x-rays later I was given the all clear and could go home and hug my family. It’s definately times like these that make me question why we live in New Zealand so far away from family…

car crash

Still, I am counting my blessings as even though the car is a written off, we had insurance and I walked away pretty much unharmed.

Life is precious, don’t sweat the small stuff people! x

Ginger Biscuits – Gluten & Dairy Free

Ginger cookies, gluten free

I saw this idea on pinterest, where a pattern has been pressed into each biscuit, and couldn’t resist giving it a go!

I was craving ginger biscuits and S was keen to do some baking so I adapted a recipe to suit him being gluten free and was pretty happy with the results. My husband didn’t even complain about them being gluten free (usually he can tell the difference) So they must’ve been good!

Ginger biscuit/cookie recipe*:

  • 150g dairy free magarine
  • 220g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 360g gluten free flour (I used Healtheries baking mix its by far the best I’ve found)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

*you can use regular butter and flour, if you don’t need to make them GF or dairy free!

Preheat oven to 170 centigrade (375 f) and grease 2 baking trays with non stick paper (ignore the fact that I used tin foil, I was out of baking paper when I made these and the foil was not my greatest idea) If you like you can halve the mixture once it is a dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for a few days before baking a second batch.

Cream magarine, and sugar until pale and creamy then beat in egg. You can use a mixer but I used elbow grease! Add flour,  baking powder, ginger and vanilla essence then a pinch of salt and beat with a wooden spoon until a dough has formed.

ginger cookie dough

DSCF1121 My little helper x

Next, roll walnut sized amounts in to balls and place an even distance apart on a baking tray like so:DSCF1132

To make the pretty patterns on the cookies I used a small bowl I had which had a cut glass pattern in the bottom. You can find similar patterns on the bottom of some brady type glasses, have a scour of your local charity/op shops for inspiring biscuit stampers! I sprayed the bowl lightly with cooking oil first.

baking patterns

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Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes – check at the 12 min mark and remove as soon as they are a golden brown colour.

ginger biscuits

Store in an airtight container or serve with a good old cuppa tea! x