Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

The tiny tots whipped these chewy, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies in about 20 minutes. Baking with kids is a great way for them to learn about counting and numbers. To avoid big messes we have them sit at the table in their booster seats and bring all the ingredients to the table. Then they each get a turn and thus we are also working on our waiting our turn. All great skills for the tots to learn about. I got the recipe from here, I have also pasted it below. We added 3/4 cup of raisins too! Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 1/2C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2C old fashioned oats
  • 3/4C chocolate chips, plus extra for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter with granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla, followed by baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in flour, followed by old fashioned oats. Mix until just combined and no streaks remain. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop, spacing 2-3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. If desired, top off with additional chocolate chips. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the pan for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Store in an airtight container.

Unicorns!

Not sure when these fantastic, mythical creatures made such a roaring comeback, maybe they never left in the first place! We’ve been asked to do several unicorn themed birthdays and events lately and I thought would share some of the pics for inspiration.

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Spelt Cinnamon Raisin Bread

img_8466This bread will honestly melt in your mouth and oozes yumminess (the truth though, you’ve got to eat it right out of the oven with butter) otherwise it definitely tastes as healthy as it sounds. I got the recipe from Texanerin Baking and followed it pretty much exactly. If you’re following some kind of special diet (which chances are you’re trying, since it’s that time of year) you could have it with earth balance “butter” instead and feel even better about eating half of the loaf in one sitting. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and slice (or the whole loaf) and enjoy!

 

Rosette Cakes

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I have been seeing a ton of these Rosette Cakes online lately and wanted to give it a go. I was delighted with how easy they are to make, it’s all about having the right icing tip, it really is. I’ve come to learn that as long as you have the right tools baking is quite simple. I used a Wilton tip #2D or you can use #1M, either one works. I baked a 3 layer cake and used a buttercream icing to mask the cake first. For the pink rosette cake, I did the top first and then worked my way down the sides, some people may suggest starting the other way, I think whatever you’re comfortable with. IMG_6382IMG_6389For the purple rosette cake I actually only used one icing bag and one bowl for mixing. It seemed like a daunting cake to make at first with 3 different colours of icing, but using one bag and one bowl made it super easy. I started by adding a very small amount of icing gel to the buttercream icing to get a pale purple. I filled the icing bag with it and did the first layer. Then I added a couple more drop of purple icing gel to the remaining icing. I squeezed out the leftover icing from the bag and refilled it. The first couple flowers had both purples in it but it gave it more of that gradient look. I repeated the same process for the deepest purple and voila!IMG_6390

Sesame Street Cupcakes!

ImageA very special little boy we know turned 1 recently and we decided to make these cute little cupcakes for him. There were so many Sesame street characters to choose from but personally I really like these three in particular. In order to make these delicious cupcakes, first pick a recipe and make 12 cupcakes, I used chocolate as you can never go wrong with chocolate cupcakes, simple yet yummy!

ImageHere’s a list of the other supplies you’ll need:

Wilton Tips: #3 (for black icing) #17 (for yellow icing) #233 (for blue and green icing)

Icing Gels: Golden Yellow, Sky Blue, Moss Green and Black

Food Paintbrush

Water

Marshmallows (8 mini ones or 4 regular size ones)

1 batch of Royal Icing (divided into 3 bowls plus some extra leftover)

Fondant: red, brown and pink (about the size of a golf ball of each)

To make the right colours I used Wilton Icing Gels. I used Moss Green, Sky Blue and Golden Yellow. For Cookie Monster and Oscar I used the Wilton Icing Tip #233 to cover the cupcake in “hair”. For big bird it was a little bit more complicated than that (but not much, I promise).

I used two mini marshmallows to make his beak, you could also cut one big marshmallow in half. I used the royal icing like glue to affix the marshmallow to the cupcake and then with Wilton tip #17 I covered the marshmallow in yellow “stars”. Image

 I left the inside of the beak white and mixed a couple drops of water and Wilton Icing Gel “red” together. I used a paintbrush specifically for food and I painted the inside of the beak red. Once everything had set, I covered the entire cupcake in yellow “stars” to look like “hair”. Then using fondant I made a tiny pink tongue and his eyeballs, I made his eyelids out of pink and blue and simply placed them on top of the eyeballs.

ImageCookie Monster and Oscar were done with very similar techniques. Cookie monster was first covered in “hair” with Wilton Tip #233 and then I made two large circle for his eyes, I added black dots using Wilton Tip #3 and drew on a mouth. I broke some mini cookies into smaller pieces and stuck them in his mouth.

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For Oscar, I covered him in “hair” just like Cookie Monster and then made his eyes out of fondant. I used the black icing to make his eyes and mouth. I made his eyebrows out of brown fondant and his tongue out of red.

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Voila! Not only were they yummy but they’re also fun to make and even more fun to give away!Image

Ice Cream Birthday Party!

This past Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting a fabulous birthday party for a very special little girl! The theme was an “Ice Cream Shoppe” and we had so much fun coming up with creative ideas. The guests got to make Ice Cream Cone Necklaces out of Scupley and Beads.  Then in the kitchen we made mini cupcakes which we iced and then put into cones. Here’s a great recipe for mini cupcakes. Once they’ve cooled down we used royal icing and sprinkles to decorate them and then just simply placed the cupcakes into the cones.

The party ended with a grand feast of Ice Cream Cake (no real ice cream was used in the making of the cake)!

The cake was made from “traditional birthday cake” recipe and then iced with buttercream icing. We used two separate pans for the cake and once baked we cut each cake into two and filled them with buttercream icing. So really, the cake was made up for 4 layers altogether. We used fondant in various colours  to make the circles that are around the cake.

We added the cones at the very last minute as we didn’t want them to get soggy from being refrigerated. For the cones, we simply used a serrated knife and very gently cut them in half and then pushed them into the cake. They were the perfect height so the outside rim sat almost right on the cake. Using the buttercream icing we did the swirls and added a cinnamon heart on the top for the cherry! It was such a fun birthday party and we were so pleased to host it!

Tiny Tots Program at Seasons!

In September 2013 Seasons will be introducing a new program for 1-3 year olds! We will be running our Tiny Tots program 5 days a week! There are a maximum of 5 spots available per block of sessions. We will be running 3 blocks of session per calendar year. We will provide morning and afternoon snacks, a packed nut-free lunch will need to be provided by you.

Term 1: September 2nd – December 20th
Term 2: January 6th – March 14th
Term 3: March 17th – June 27th

Monday through Friday: 8:30-12:30pm
On Tuesdays and Thursday there will be a full day option 8:30-5:30pm

Daily Schedule:
8:30 – Opening Circle (emphasis on gross motor skills)
9:00am Snack
9:30-10:30am Quiet Time
10:30am Sensory Activities/School Readiness Development
11:00am Gross Motor Play Outdoors
11:30am Creative Play (emphasis on Fine Motor Skills)
12:00- LUNCH

Afternoon Schedule
1:00pm Quiet Time
2:00 Gross Motor Play
2:30 Snack
3:00 Gross Motor Play Outdoors
3:30 School Readiness Development
4:00 Quiet Time
530 Pick Up

If you would like more information about the program please contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com
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Ice Cream Cake Pops!

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How can a dessert get any better than this? Ice cream and cake in one dessert, well actually there isn’t any real ice cream in the dessert, but there’s a cone so that counts for something! This is an easy dessert to make, in fact we made it in our creative treats class with 4 year old kids. Follow these easy steps to make your very own delicious cake pops:

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Cake (we made ours from scratch but you can also just buy the ones that come in a box and save yourself a lot of time). If you’re looking for a good Vanilla Cake recipe try this one.
  • Buttercream Frosting (we made ours from scratch, here’s a recipe for it. You can also just buy the frosting in a jar though, makes life so much easier, those nifty little premade goods).
  • White Chocolate Melts (amount varies depending on how many cake pops you’re making) for one whole cake you’ll need approximately 1 lb of chocolate melts.
  • Package of Mini Ice Cream Cones
  • Red Icing Gel (just a couple drops) to turn your white ice cream pink (if you so desire)
  • Styrofoam block wrapped in tin foil (we covered these ones in felt just to make them look extra fancy)
  • Cellophane/Ribbon

Method:

  • Crumble the cake into crumbs (kids love this step)!
  • Add about 3/4 of the jar of frosting or if you’re using homemade buttercream about 1 cup. You’re going to roll the cake into balls and want them to stick together with the frosting.
  • Placed rolled cake balls on parchment paper and then put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until they are hard.

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  • In the mean time, melt the chocolate (we don’t have a microwave at Seasons so we used a double boiler) if you’re using a microwave, do 20 second intervals as you really don’t want the chocolate to burn.
  • When the chocolate is melted you can pour it into a glass bowl (here’s a little trick to keep the chocolate from hardening: fill a larger bowl with boiled water and then place the smaller bowl with the chocolate inside it. This will keep the chocolate from hardening).
  • If you would like to colour your chocolate, you can do so at this point, just add a couple drops of the red icing gel (or a different colour if you choose).
  • Using a soup spoon, dunk one of the cake balls into the chocolate and cover it completely.  You can then plop it on top of the mini cones and don’t worry if it drips down the side of the cone, just adds a more realistic flair to your creation!
  • We added lots of sprinkles to make it look even more realistic!  You can also add a cherry (a cinnamon heart) for the full effect.
  • For presentation, you can use a styrofoam block that has been wrapped in tin foil. Simply use a knife to cut holes in then push the cones into the block. You can wrap the final product in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. This is the perfect gift for someone’s birthday or just for your own tummy!

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Food Fit For a King!

ImageThere were so many things I said I would never do as a parent and then I became one. I swore my baby would be on a schedule, I would not give him a soother, I would never have him in our bed, the list goes on and on. However, there was one thing I said I would do and have so far stuck to it and that’s making my own baby food. This way I know what’s going into his little tummy and since he’s well into solids now it’s actually pretty fun concocting new recipes and experimenting with all the purees! My biggest issue (and I’m sure many others) is that there’s never enough time in a day. Being a working mom and having others watch your baby means you don’t always get a say about what goes in their tummies. Plus, since I enjoy food so much I’m not really into basing our meals around his simplistic tastes. So, I was only really left with one option: a 3 hour cook fest that results in enough food for Ollie’s little tummy for 2 weeks! Here’s how to make food fit for a King!

You can buy all vegetables and meat/fish from your local market, it’s worth the extra expense to buy everything organic (especially some fruits and veggies) and to make sure your meat/fish are antibiotic/hormone free. I use coconut oil instead of olive oil as it’s a healthier alternative when you’re heating the oil up to high temperatures.

You will need to have small containers to store all your food. You can use ice cube trays however, I find that the little cubes tend to get freezer burn. There are so many great little containers out there for making your own baby food, they’re worth the purchase as they keep the food air tight.

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Ingredients:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Basil (a handful)
  • Oregano (a handful)
  • Green Onions (1 bunch)
  • Mushrooms (1 pint)

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  • Steak
  • Salmon
  • Chicken

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  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Butter 2 tbsp
  • Coconut Oil
  • Boiled water approximately 1 L (you can just boil the kettle and use that water, it’s easy to pour it that way).

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Step 1: Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake all the squash first as it usually takes the longest. Use a baking pan and put about an inch of water in it. Cut the squashes in half and take out all the seeds. Depending on your oven the length of time will vary, expect about an hour. You can tell when your squash is done by pushing a fork into it, it should slide in very easily. Peel off the skin of the sweet potato with a peeler and place in blender of your choice. For the butternut and spaghetti squash you can use a fork to get the squash out and then use a blender of your choice. Once each squash has been blended you can dole them out into your little containers.

Step 2: Mushroom Pesto

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The trick here is to make a lot of this as it’s absolutely delicious and you can mix it with some rice pasta and presto you’ve made dinner for yourself at the same time! Chop up all your ingredients. Heat 2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan, add your chopped veggies and cook until mushrooms are browned. Place in your blender and add some boiled water, puree until it reaches your desired consistency.

Step 3: Pear, Apple

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the fruit in half and place in a baking pan with about an inch of water. Bake until fruit is very soft to touch. Peel off skin and remove cores, place fruit in blender, you may need to add just a bit of boiled water to get your desired consistency.

Step 4: Salmon, Chicken and Steak

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Use the coconut oil to cook all 3. Simply melt some coconut oil and pour about a tbsp over the chicken, fish and steak. Bake in the oven at 350 for approximately 30 minutes (depending on your oven and the size of fish/meat). Once the meat/fish have been cooked you can put the salmon and chicken separately, in the blender using some boiled water to reach your desired consistency. For the steak, you can chop it up into very fine pieces and once it’s mixed with other purees you reduce the choking hazard.

Step 5: Broccoli

Steam the broccoli, steaming is one of the better choices to cook any food as it helps to keep a lot of the nutrients in.

Step 6: Creating your meals!

ImageThis is the fun part (as if you weren’t already having fun)! You can make as many different combinations as your heart desires. Here are some suggestions (which seem to work well with the O-man but every baby is different).

  1. Chicken, mushroom pesto, tiny bit of applesauce, sweet potato
  2. Salmon, broccoli, pear, spaghetti squash
  3. Steak, sweet potato, mushroom puree
  4. Chicken, apple, sweet potato, broccoli
  5. Sweet Potato, broccoli, pear, spaghetti and butternut squash

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The sky is really the limit! Just make sure you know your child’s allergies and make sure they’ve tried all the foods you use before combining them as otherwise you’ll have no idea what caused the tummy upset. If you’re interested feel free to join us for our exciting Baby Nutrition Workshop next weekend!

Mini Cake Workshop!

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Looking for a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Join us for our fun Mini Cake Workshop! Learn how to mask a mini cake with buttercream icing and decorate your cake with Fondant.

When: Sunday, April 21st

Time: 2-4pm

Cost: $30 per registrant

(children under the age of 5 need to be accompanied by an adult).

$10 per child under the age of 5 years.

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