Homemade Christmas Party Food Ideas

Posted In: Food, Recipes

Euuurgh, OK, apparently last time I updated my blog was back in Easter. Oops! I was dreading logging in and having to deal with hundreds of updates and all of the glitches and plug-in conflicts that would come with it. But it’s done now! Hurrah.

Anyway, the kids had a Christmas party to go to recently so we looked through Pinterest together to pick out some ideas for party food. So none of these ideas are particularly original (and the original versions can be found on my pinboard here), but I thought I’d share mine anyway as some didn’t come with recipes.


christmas gift bags

christmas gift bags


I love making little bags like these to give small gifts in, especially edible ones! They’re just zip-lock bags with a name tag folded and stapled over the top that I designed in Photoshop and printed off.

making rice bar christmas trees

making rice bar christmas trees


Here are the boys making cute Christmas trees out of LCM Bars cut into the shape of Christmas trees. They’re using royal icing to decorate them, with Smarties. I inserted a wooden skewer into the bars (with the sharp point cut off) for a handle.

christmas mini pizzas

These mini pizzas were made with english muffins cut into the shape of Christmas trees, with mozarella cheese, pizza sauce, red and green capsicum, tomato and basil on top. Super easy and really yummy too!

reindeer cupcakes

The reindeer cupcakes crack me up. The kids helped decorate them and because we didn’t have all of the necessary bits (like ears, or a proper nose) they come out looking hella derpy. But that’s OK. Here’s the recipe for the cupcakes (makes 12)…

2 cups self raising flour, sifted

3/4 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup milk

125g butter, melted and cooled

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence



Preheat oven to 200c and line muffin pan with cupcake cases.
Combine flour and caster sugar and make a well in the center.


Gradually add the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine well.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans, filling about 2/3 of the pans.
Bake for around 15 mins, until a skewer comes out clean. Stand on a wire rack to cool.
Ice using pure icing sugar mixture with cocoa and decorate with Smarties and pretzels for antlers.


magic wand cookies

These are really cute. If you want flat lines when you ice them (instead of raised) do wet-on-wet icing, with two piping bags on the go at once. I didn’t bother; raised lines’ll do, haha.

Here’s the recipe for the sugar cookies…

makes a dozen
1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons softened butter

1/3 cup white sugar

1 cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in all dry ingredients to form a dough, then refrigerate for at least one hour. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper, to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into star shapes and insert a wooden skewer (cut the pointy end off for safety) for the “wand”. Bake until browned (about 10 minutes, keep an eye on them) then leave to cool completely.

Royal Icing Recipe
1 egg white

1.5 cups pure icing sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk the egg white and lemon juice, then gradually add icing sugar and continue whisking until smooth.
Divide into separate bowls to colour with food colouring.


candy cane sleighs

candy cane sleighs


I loved this idea! It’s so cute. Here’s how we did ours (although it’s very self-explanatory)…

Mini candy canes

Mini candy bars (eg. Mars bars)

Tiny Teddies

Pure icing sugar mixture, chocolate flavoured

Use the icing to stick two candy canes together side by side. 

Use more icing to stick a Tiny Teddy between the two halves of the candy bar, and more icing to secure the candy bar “car” to the candy cane “sleigh”.

Aaand done! Happy baking. And sorry about the really poor blog upkeep…:P

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Homemade Sweet Treat Ideas for Easter Gifts!

Posted In: Food, Recipes

Blake and I love to cook up a storm (read: make a bomb-site out of our kitchen) on a regular basis. This year after getting inspired by some finds on Pinterest I thought it would be fun to ask him to help make some Easter gifts for his Pre-K friends – and maybe a couple special treats for himself and his wee brother.

He loves to help gather ingredients, empty them into the appropriate bowls – sometimes inappropriate bowls, or the floor – and help out with the mixing.

bunnycookies

carrotcookies

I wasn’t at all offended when Blake looked at the un-iced carrots and said “Wow mummy! We’ve made fish!”

Anyway, so we made these iced sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookie Recipe
makes a dozen

1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons softened butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in all dry ingredients to form a dough, then refrigerate for at least one hour. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper, to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes – it’s ideal if you use a cookie cutter, but I didn’t have a suitable bunny or carrot shape, so I made a free-hand drawing on a piece of paper, cut it out with scissors and used it as a template on the dough, cutting around it with a knife. It’s more time-consuming, but hey, it works. Bake until browned (about 10 minutes, keep an eye on them) then leave to cool completely.

I iced the cookies with royal icing, made as follows:

1 egg white
1.5 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk the egg white and lemon juice, then gradually add icing sugar and continue whisking until smooth. Divide into separate bowls to colour with food colouring.

I used a piping bag (and a knife to “edit”) to ice the cookies. You can use a wet-on-wet technique if you like, to create seamless designs like I did on the carrot cookies. If you wait for your base colour to dry, whatever icing you put on top of it will be raised, like our bunny cookies.

cookienamebags

I made little packages for Blake’s friends as well as my own boys (a boy’s gotta taste some of his own hard work!); I just used zip-lock bags, measured the width and printed out name-tags that I designed in Photoshop to fold and staple over the top of the bags.

cookienamebags2

cookies23

We also made cupcakes for the mummies.

cupcakes

cupcakeboxes2

Basic Cupcake Recipe
125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint essence (or vanilla for plain, or whatever flavour you like!)
1.5 cups SR flour
1/2 cup milk
A little green food colour (or whichever colour you find suitable)

Preheat oven to 180C or moderate. Cream the butter, essence and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Stir in half the sifted flour and half the milk, then stir in remaining flour and milk. Pour mixture into 12 patty pans (in a 12-hole muffin tray), bake for about 15 minutes.

cupcakes2

I then piped some chocolate butter icing (recipe here) on top of the cupcakes once cool, in a spiral shape like a nest, then topped with some Easter eggs. Ideally they’d be topped with hard-shelled pastel-coloured eggs but I couldn’t find any at the shops!

Finally, I filled an A4-sized page in Photoshop with a polka-dot design, printed it onto several A4 sheets of card, then made some boxes simply using scissors and glue. I’ve deconstructed one of the boxes so you can see how I did it.

How to make a gift box out of A4 paper:

Measure up a grid on your paper using a pencil and a ruler, marking every 7cm horizontally and vertically.

How to make a box out of A4 paper

cupcakeboxes

Oh, and we also made some Easter-themed pastries to take to Pre-K for lunch. These were super simple. We just used a template to cut bunny shapes out of thawed pre-made frozen puff pastry, then spread them with Vegemite and covered with shredded cheese and topped with a lid of pastry, pinching the edges closed with a fork. We used pastry scraps to make the face. These were REALLY yummy!

rabbitpastries

rabbitpastries2

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Hi everyone!

We’ve been busy bees over the past couple of days decorating and crafting in preparation for Easter, so I thought I’d share with you what we’ve done so far.

Easter mantle decoration

IMG_0530

Having kids makes every single holiday so fun and exciting; I was never big on decorating for the seasons until I had kids (especially since Easter isn’t even in Spring here, it’s Autumn, so the bright and pastel colours never seemed quite right here…and with Halloween being in the middle of Australia’s Spring, well the oranges and dark colours never made sense there either)….but now I get so excited for this kind of stuff. The kids just make it so fun and since my boys are always so full of energy, the craft activities keep them occupied for at least a while.

Paint swatch Easter egg wreath

Blake’s favourite activity so far has been making our paint swatch Easter egg wreath. He was so proud of it when he had finished and couldn’t wait to show Daddy when he got home! He really enjoys cutting and pasting activities, it’s probably his favourite artsy thing to do.

Paint swatch Easter egg wreath

Easter egg paint swatch wreath

Origami inflatable bunny garland

Byron had a real blast making our origami bunny garland. He sat there with his little fingers flying across the square of paper…no I’m kidding, I did that one all by myself. Well, the kids glued on the pompom tails. My fingers hurt by the time I was finished but man, origami is actually really fun! I modified the tutorial I used (links at the end of this post) and used a hot glue gun to put a dot of glue on each side of the string so that the bunnies didn’t all slide into one big unrecognizable clump in the middle of the garland. Trust me, that happened, and it looked ridiculous.

We recycled some toilet rolls to make bunnies. The kids painted them and helped to glue some ears inside, then I painted their faces. The kids probably would have done a better job at that…

toilet roll easter bunnies

Easter egg tree decoration

shaving cream easter egg dye


We used the shaving cream method to dye our eggs (hanging on a branch-tree that the kids painted white). I used a skewer to put a hole in the top and bottom of the eggs, blew the whites and yolk out, then painted them white. Then we filled a bowl with shaving cream, put a few drops of red/blue/pink food colouring in, and let the kids swirl it a little with a skewer. Then the kids rolled the eggs through the shaving cream creating a pretty marbled effect on them. You’re supposed to patiently allow them to dry overnight but patience doesn’t come easily to neither me nor my kids, so I stuck them in the oven real quick. It worked, but I’m not sure how safe the whole thing was, so…probably best to just wait it out.

Easter window decals

We got the window stickers from Spotlight for like, $10 a sheet. They’re just static cling “stickers”.

Lots of fun! I’ve been Pinteresting it up every night lately and have some special Easter food ideas I’m planning to make over the next couple of weeks. Seriously, having kids changes your life. 16 year old me would be mortified to think that I’m actually into this kind of shit now. But it’s all so exciting and fun! Teen-me is face-palming right now.

Sources

Inflatable origami bunny tutorial:
How-to video here

Toilet roll bunnies: Pinterest (Craft Ideas for Kids

Paint swatch Easter egg wreath: Pinterest (Amy Roberts)

Origami bunny garland: via Hellobee {modified}

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A Beginner’s How-to Guide to Making Macarons (with photos!)

23 February 2013 Food

Hi everyone! If you follow me on Instagram (or Twitter, I crosspost there) you’ll have noticed that I’ve been practicing making macarons at home over the past couple of weeks. My husband is a big fan of any meringue-based dessert and absolutely loves macarons – and they’re so very pretty – so I’ve been eager […]

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Christmas Ornament/Decoration Storage!

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Christmas 2012!

1 January 2013 General Life

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FOUR super simple recipes!

1 January 2013 Food

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My First Experience With A Menstrual Cup (Diva Cup)

27 December 2012 General Life

This blog entry is regarding personal feminine issues (talk of vaginas – specifically my vagina – and menstruation). Feel free to pass on this one if that’s not your cup of tea. OK, so I know some of my Twitter and Formspring followers wanted to hear about my experience trying out the Diva Cup. For […]

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Christmas Clear-Out – The Toy Room (Before/After, image heavy)

21 December 2012 Home

So, before Christmas I am always sure to do a clean-out, ridding the whole house of any unused or broken items. I also do a general deep clean, knowing that Christmas is sure to bring a whole ton of mess, so it’s best to have the house as clean as possible beforehand to lessen the […]

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