Peppa Pig Party

Was there ever going to be any other theme?

I decided that a Peppa Pig-shaped cake was going to be too much effort, and after being sent this buzzfeed (thanks Nic!), I decided it wasnt’ worth the risk! But, on pinterest, I saw a Women’s Weekly cake that had been adjusted, so I thought I’d do my own version of that. A purple jelly muddle puddle, green coconut grass, a little Peppa and some Happy Birthday bunting. I did my usual sugar-free banana cake, since the icing had so much in it!

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We had chocolate crackle muddy puddles with wriggly worms, fairy bread, spring rolls, lots of fruit, cheese, crackers and a stellar bbq. Plus warming mulled wine for the mummas and daddas to try and counteract the chilly weather.

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I made a (somewhat operatic) Peppa Pig ball throw.
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With, of course, some bubbles for blowing.IMG_4732

And a big muddy puddle for jumping!

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Joy!!

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A lovely local lady has made a fabulous facebook group for the selling and recycling of party products. Such a fab idea! My ball throw has already moved on to delight another three-year-old!

Last year we did a Transportation Birthday Party.

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A dinosaur birthday party

A brainstorming session with my toddler meant that my bubba got a dinosaur party. Not because he loves dinosaurs, but because Peppa Pig’s little brother had a dinosaur party. That pig has a lot to answer for.

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I made a dinosaur-spiked tee from here. It was SO easy and SO quick. Such a great tutorial.

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I watched this video and used this template for the cake. I used my ol’ sugar-free banana cake recipe (see below) with buttercream icing.

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I found a dinosaur sandwich-cutter at Officeworks.

IMG_4267And something little for the adults! (Half white, half bubbles and fruit).

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And, finally, some “lolly bags”.

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(I was quite proud of my dino pasta thankyou cards).

We had some craft activities to do to, but we just didn’t need them! Cubby houses, scooters, bikes and food are all too exciting.

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Sugar-free Banana Cake Recipe

  • 125g butter
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups SR flour (I used part white, part wholemeal)
  • 1/2 cup milk (any milk works fine if you need to go dairy-free)

Cream butter and bananas together. Add eggs and beat well. Gently add flour and milk. Bake for about 25 mins at 180 until a cake tester comes out clean.

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Toddler planner

My little one is a bit OCD. Like her Mum. Already. Eek!

She always wants to know what’s happening each day, what day it is, and gets quite irate if we change plans.

I was getting a bit sick of the repetitive conversation, so I decided to make her a planner, so we could easily talk about what was happening each day/week.

I searched pinterest and fell in love with this one from Mama.Papa.Bubba. So I used this as a guide to make my own.

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The velcro sticky tags make it flexible and we can just print out more pictures if we need more activities. It’s a great way to initiate conversation and discussion, and will hopefully last a long time since we laminated it all!

What organisational activities have you done with your kiddies?

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Cape-tastic

A million years ago, I saw a waitress wearing a lovely drapey shrug thing. I should’ve asked her where she bought it, but I didn’t. So I jut kept thinking about it.

Then I found some lovely flowy fabric in Lincraft. And was still thinking about the cape.

I found this picture on pinterest and thought, yes, I can do this! (Unfortunately, the link is broken on pinterest, so can only give you this pic).

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It is literally a rectangle, with 1/3 of each side sewn to create a sleeve. I just draped the fabric over my shoulders to decide how wide to make it.

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I put some pretty lace along the edges.

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And voila! Not the best picture but I think you get the idea.

 

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Delightful doorstops

Hmm… the second post in a row with an alliterated title…

Aren’t these cute???

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We have DESPERATELY needed decent doorstops in our house (ooo! more ‘D’s!). The kiddies’ door just wouldn’t stay open and we have used a toddle shoe for the past year. I was using a phone book for the front door, but the bubba started munching on that. And the back door doorstop seemed fascinating to him too, and now I just can’t find it.

These cuties were so easy and I whipped all three of them up in half an hour or so. I used scraps of fabric and a 2kg bag of cheap rice did the three of them. You can find the fantastic tutorial here at ‘So Sue’. I made the larger ones using 9×9″ squares, with about 4 cups of rice.

Highly recommended if you are in a desperate doorstop situation as I was!

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Tigereye Tomato Tart

Now this was a lovely gardening surprise! These little beauties grew from some great little seedlings that I bought from Bunnings. It’s a trailing tomato plant, and I unfortunately planted my tomato plants too close together, so I have to pretty much climb into the plants to pick them! When I plant these again next Spring, I think they’d do really well along the edge of my garden beds.

They are so super-dooper pretty. And delicious. And juicy.

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After picking them I put them in this little pie dish, just because it was the right size, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about tarts.

I wanted to keep the tomatoes as ‘the hero of the dish’ as they’d say on Masterchef. So, I whipped up a Stephanie Alexander pastry (see below), briefly baked it, threw on the tomatoes, some fresh basil, dollops of ricotta and S&P.

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When it popped out of the oven, I gave it a quick drizzle with fancy olive oil.

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So good. So I made it again. Then next night!


Taken from Stephanie Alexander, The Cook’s Companion, pg 965

Polenta crust:

  • 3/4 cup fine polenta
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 75g butter
  • 1/2 cup cream

Mix the polenta, flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Add butter and process until the butter pieces are pea-sized. Add cream until dough comes together. Refridgerate until needed (at least 30 mins).

This made enough for two tarts. The recipe is designed for a ‘closed’ pie, so it didn’t need blind-baking. However, because of my tart-style, I pricked the base with a fork and blind-baked it for about 10 mins, then added the filling and baked it for another 15-20 minutes or so.

Also, because of the juiciness of my tomatoes, I cut them and left them to drain on some muslin cloth for a while before constructing the tart.


I have plenty more tomatoes. If you have any recommended recipes, let me know!

 

 

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Low FODMAP desserts

One of my besties is on the low-FODMAP diet to help with some health problemos. I cook for her regularly, and at first I freaked out quite a lot when I looked at the no-go list. And then add to that dairy and egg allergies from other family members!! Desserts become quite difficult…

But I’m getting it sorted now, and I’m particularly proud of two desserts that I pulled out for Christmas, and then her birthday.

And here is Christmas in a Glass (low-FODMAP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free):

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The bottom is a layer of coconut tapioca pudding. I boil 3/4 cup of tapioca pearls in water, drain them, stir in a tin of coconut milk and let it set in the fridge.

On top is cinnamon-salted popcorn, a candycane, fresh blueberries, coconut chips (these are McKenzies brand and are beautiful) and gingerbread. I altered a Donna Hay recipe (from Issue 78, pg 150) for the gingerbread.

Gingerbread dough (more FODMAP friendly):

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup treacle
  • 2 1/2 cups GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp bi card soda
  • 3-4 tsp ground ginger (depending on your palate!)
  • 1-2 tsp mixed spice (depending on your palate!)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the other ingredients and beat until it comes together in a smooth dough. Press into a tin and back for about 30 mins at 160 degrees.


 

Then, as a birthday cake, I made a layered pudding! The tapioca is the same again on the bottom. The next layer is frozen banana (freeze bananas, then whiz them in the food processor until they look like icecream) and topped with ganache. I made the ganache using 2/3 cup of coconut milk and 90g of dairy-free dark chocolate. And again, sprinkled with coconut chips.

Looking back, I realised that this is actually a pretty health dessert – the only sugar is in the dark chocolate!

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