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!

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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Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

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Today was our last Creative Treats class with ICS, its been such a wonderful term! For our last class, we wanted a project that the students could complete in one class, so we made amazing Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses. The houses are so cute and so easy! Plus without using too many red and green candies, no-one seemed to notice we were making them in March and not December! Follow these easy steps to make your own:

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Ingredients

  • 1 batch of Royal Icing 
  • 4 Graham Crackers (full size) and one split into two pieces
  • 1 zip lock bag (or a piping bag)
  • Lots of candies for decorating!
  • 9×6 piece of cardboard wrapped in tin foil
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Muffin tins are a great way to separate your candies.

Method:

Step 1

Fill your zip lock bag with icing and using your hands push it all to one corner of the bag. Cut a small hole in the same corner of the bag (and by small, we mean very, very tiny, think like a tip of a pencil).

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Step 2

Take a full size graham cracker and using your zip lock bag, squeeze icing along the base and side of the cracker. Place the cracker with the icing side down onto the tinfoil, this will secure into place. Working quickly, take the graham cracker that has been cut in half and attach it to the larger cracker.

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Step 3

Repeat step 2 until you have constructed a four sided house. To attach the roof you need to line the top sides of the house, the roof pieces actually rest on top of the walls. You can put a strip of icing down the middle to make sure it’s really secured. You should wait about 5 minutes before starting to affix candies so that your house does not collapse. If you’re not feeling the roof you could always make a bungalow, just put one graham cracker down flat as the roof!

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Step 4

Decorate 🙂 Use the royal icing to attach the candies to your house. Be creative and remember to have lots of fun.

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The students needed to transport their houses home in one piece, so we wrapped them up in cellophane and added a ribbon. They make the perfect gift!

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Cellophane and ribbon complete this delicious craft!

Lamb Lollipops!

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So, don’t be thrown off by the name of this dish, because let me assure you that it’s not lamb on a lollipop stick. It is actually a very delicious main course (also often served as an appetizer). We baked it with some root vegetables and served it with roasted potatoes! Mmmmm, yummy! Follow these steps to make this dish at your next dinner party or gathering and your guests will rave about your cooking skills!

Ingredients

  • 14 lamb lollipops
  • 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup of a cold butter
  • handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 leek, washed, halved and finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 wineglasses white wine

Method

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Pick the leaves off 4 sprigs of rosemary, whiz them with the butter, most of the sage and the thyme in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Using a small knife, take one of the lamb lollipops and cut between the meat and the bone from the base. You want to create a hole big enough to put your pinky finger in, making a sort of pocket. Do this to all the lollipops and divide the flavoured butter between them, pushing it into the pockets (see first photo).

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Tear off four arm-length pieces of tinfoil and fold each in half to give you four A3-sized pieces of foil. Divide the garlic and veg between them, making a pile in the middle of each square. Rub each of the lamb lollipops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then put two on top of each pile of veg and a sprig of rosemary and a few sage leaves on top of that.

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Carefully pull up the sides of the foil around the lollipop and pour a swig of wine into each. Gather the foil around the bone, pinching it together tightly. Any excess foil can be torn or cut off with scissors. Repeat for all 7 parcels of foil, then place the foil parcels on a baking tray with the bones facing up. Put in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours or until the meat is as tender as can be. Serve the parcels in the middle of the table so that your guests can open them up themselves.

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Butternut Squash Soup

One of the great things about Fall is all the delicious recipes out there! What we love most about this butternut squash soup recipe is that it’s so easy and only takes about 30 minutes!

 

Ingredients

1 Butternut squash (2-3 pounds) peeled and seeded

2 tbsp of unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion chopped

6 cups of chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Directions

1. Cut squash into 1-inch chunks

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2. In large pot melt butter

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3. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes

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4. Add squash and stock

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5. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes

6. Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon and place in blender and puree

7. Return to  blended squash to pot

8. Stir and seasons with salt and pepper and serve warm.

 

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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

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This week our 1 Hour/1 Dinner class made Spaghetti Squash Carbonara from scratch, as well as a delicious Roasted Tomato, Proscuitto & Asparagus Salad. If you’re interested in obtaining the recipe for either dish please contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com

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