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

Homemade PlayDough!

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Here at Seasons, we use a LOT of Playdough and it can be pretty pricey to be continually buying it. So we learned how to make Playdough in our kitchen and want to share this easy recipe with you!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • food colouring

Combine all the ingredients in a pan over low heat and stir constantly until ball forms.

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Let the dough cool down before adding the food colouring. Once it has cooled, you can push your thumb into the dough and simply put a few drops of food colouring into the hole.

ImageKneed the dough until you obtain your desired colour and presto, perfectly made Playdough! Plus, no harm to the tummies of those little ones who occasionally sneak bites of Playdough!

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Hamburger Cupcakes!

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Our creative treats class made delicious hamburger cupcakes and cookie french fries today and I just couldn’t resist putting them on our blog! It’s a great baking activity to do with your kids, or on your own! You could serve these at a party and have your guests build their own hamburger cupcakes. Follow these steps to make your own.

Materials:

  • 12 vanilla cupcakes
  • 6-12 chocolate cupcakes
  • 1 recipe of sugar dough
  • 3 small brown paper bags
  • 1 bag of coconut
  • Green food colouring
  • Red fondant
  • Orange fondant
  • Sesame seeds
  • Zip lock bag
  • 1 Tsp of Corn Syrup

Step 1: Bake Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes. Make Sugar Dough

We made ours from scratch but you could definitely buy a box of the pre-made mix if you want to save some time. You can find some great cupcake recipes online, here’s a good one for Vanilla Cupcakes and one for Chocolate Cupcakes. One recipe of each will give you 12 hamburgers, with plenty of leftover hamburger patties. Tip: you can bake the cupcakes without the liners to avoid having lines on your cupcakes (we didn’t do this because we have so many kids in the class and it would have resulted in a lot of cleaning)!

ImageAfter the sugar dough had been in the fridge for an hour, we took it out and shaped the dough into french fries. We baked the fries in the oven and kept an eye on them, because you want them to brown perfectly.

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Step 2

We used butter knives, in order for the kids to be able to cut their own cupcakes. You could use a sharp bread knife to get perfect cuts and to avoid crumbly cupcakes. You’re going to cut the vanilla cupcakes into halves and the chocolate into thirds. On some vanilla cupcakes you may need to cut a little off the bottom to get the right size bun.

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Now comes the fun part (as if you weren’t already having fun)! First we’re going to make the “lettuce”. You’ll need your coconut, green food colouring and a zip lock bag.

ImagePut the coconut in the zip lock bag and add some drops of green food colouring, seal the bag up and shake away. Continue to add food colouring until you obtain your desired “lettuce” colour.

Step 4

Next you’re going to add your “tomato” and “cheese”. You can buy pre-coloured fondant or colour the fondant yourself with icing gels. Simply mold the fondant into the shapes you desire. We flattened the cheese and used the sides of the knife to get a square shape. We then made a disc for the tomato. You want to make sure that both shapes are big enough to hang off the hamburger, so you can see it from all sides.

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 Step 5

Now you can assemble your hamburger! We used a bit of corn syrup and water to act as glue for the lettuce, so it didn’t fall off the hamburger. We took the extra red fondant that was left and wrapped it up in tin foil to have it look like a dipping container for ketchup. You could also use strawberry sauce or raspberry (without the seeds). Or if you have a salty/sweet tooth just go for the real thing! Finally, put a toothpick through the hamburger to hold everything together and presto, you’ve got delicious hamburger cupcakes!

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Roots Village Project

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On Friday we hosted our first workshop with the youth and mentors from the Roots Village Project. We had a great time! We did a cooking workshop and demonstrated how to use 5 simple ingredients to make 3 different dishes: bruschetta, pasta and salad (see below for recipes). Next week we will be hosting the youth and mentors again however, we will be working on art for our big, upcoming art show on Thursday June 7th with Roots. Stay tuned for more details!

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Crostini

Ingredients

8 diagonal slices of baguette

1 clove of garlic, halved

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat the broiler.

2. Brush the bread with Olive Oil.

3. Grill the bread slices until lightly toasted.

4. Rub the warm slices of bread with the cut side of the garlic.

Bruschetta

Ingredients

3 very red medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon of sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

Handful of grated parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper.

Directions

1. Combine the tomatoes, basil and olive oil in a bowl and then add the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

2. Using a spoon spread the mixture over the crostini.

Pasta with Arugula, Lemon, Olive Oil and Herbs

Ingredients

1 package of pasta (preferably whole wheat, rigatoni, penne or fusilli)

Fresh Lemon Juice from Half a Lemon

3 big handfuls of Arugula

1 cup of parmesan cheese

1 handful fresh basil

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of toasted Pine Nuts (or pumpkin seeds) optional

Directions

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan and add pasta to boiling water, to prevent pasta from sticking add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pasta and stir. Boil until desired firmness of pasta is reached.

2. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Returned rinsed pasta to saucepan.

3. Add Arugula and mix in until arugula begins to wilt.

4. Add basil, lemon juice, cheese and pine nuts (if desired), stir until combined.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

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Homemade Holiday Baskets

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Looking for the perfect gift? Well there’s nothing like a homemade gift basket. We’ve been making these at Seasons and they’re always well received. The basket contains homemade cookies, jam and mulling sachets plus two wrapped sparkly candles. We wrapped each delicious treat in cellophane and tied it with a ribbon. For the mulling sachets we printed the recipe on kraft paper and then glued it to card stock. You can wrap the finished basket in cellophane and tie it with ribbons!
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Hazelnut mushroom stuffed turkey breast

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Last night in our 1 hour/1 dinner class we made stuffed turkey breast, in honour of our American friends! This recipe is relatively simple and takes a lot less time than roasting an entire turkey. This recipe would adequately feed 4 people, so if you made two turkey breasts you could feed up to 8 people!

Hazelnut Mushroom Turkey Breast

Ingredients

1 single, boneless turkey breast

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp of salt and of pepper

1 cup chicken stock

Stuffing:

1 pkg dried mushrooms (we used oyster mushrooms in our recipe but you could use shiitake, porcini or lobster)

1/3 cup of hazelnuts

1 ½ cups of fresh bread crumbs

1 tbsp of olive oil

¼ cup of butter

1 cup of finely chopped white parts of leeks or onions

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ tsp each of dried thyme, salt and pepper

1 tbsp of chicken stock

2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1. Stuffing: Soak mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and discard stems, coarsely chop mushrooms.

2. On baking sheet, toast hazelnuts in 350 oven until skins crack (approximately 8 minutes). Transfer to tea towel; rub briskly to remove as much of the skins as possible, coarsely chop.

3. In skillet, toast bread crumbs over medium-high heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Add oil, fry until crispy, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl.

4. In skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, fry leeks, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes.

5. Stir in chicken stock; cook, stirring until no liquid remains. Add the bread crumbs along with hazelnuts and parsley; toss to combine.

6. With a sharp knife held horizontally at thick long side of turkey, cut in half to 1 inch of opposite side, open like a book. Cover with waxed paper pound to ½ inch in thickness. Spread with stuffing, leaving 1 inch border on all sides. Starting at skinless side, roll up. Tie securely with string at 2 inch intervals.

7. Combine oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl; using a pastry brush, brush over turkey. Place on rack in roasting pan; pour in 1 cup of water.

8. Roast in 375•F oven, basting occasionally and adding ½ cup water halfway through, until no longer pink inside and meat thermometer inserted in centre registers 185•F

9. Transfer turkey to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.