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Tag Archives: kids

Finding My Routine

It’s the new school year, the kids have been back to school for two weeks now, and I’m trying to get a smooth routine running. I drew up a timetable for Big Kid and he appreciates it. He likes having a schedule, that kid. He likes to check the chart, stuck on the fridge, to see what he should be doing. I need a schedule too to make my life more organized and productive. The big thing now for me is the daily meal planner. Big Kid has after-school programmes every day except for Fridays. I have to plan the dishes according to how much time I have to cook e.g. Mondays – I have 30 minutes to cook and I do my prep in the afternoon, Wednesdays – dinner has to be ready by 5pm the latest and we’re out of the door a quarter to 6pm. The last two weeks have been a trial run for both of us since most of his programmes have not started.

French Fridays have taken a back seat until I find the time to make the recipes. (Blogging too for that matter!) I could have made the honey-spiced madeleines, which is this week’s recipe, this past weekend but I made Dorie Greenspan‘s Brr-ownies as York Peppermint Patties 8-pack were on sale for $1 at Wallyland. Furthermore, a family has invited us over for dinner and, I could be wrong but, I think brownies make better desserts to bring over than madeleines.

These brownies are a pretty good snack but they sure aren’t pretty to photograph! However, these fudgy brownies with bites of peppermint patties were eaten so quickly that I could only get a photo like that before they were all gone.

Since I have sour cream to use up, I also made Dorie’s Nutty, Chocolatey, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake, another not-so-pretty-to-photograph cake. (Click the link to the recipe for a second recipe from Dorie.) I used only pecans and mini chocolate chips for the swirl as Hubby doesn’t like raisins. I love the flavour combination of the swirl – cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans and chocolate – and it goes so well with the buttery, orangy cake.

I’m not surprised there was no picture for this recipe in the book but it really tastes better than it looks. :)

One new thing this year that I’m very happy about is Little Guy going to school twice a week at the school just 10 minutes from the house. As long as the weather permits, we would walk there and back. This morning I let him cycle to school on his bike that has never seen the outdoors before. It has always been an indoor toy and now that it’s almost time to give it away, I decided to let Little Guy use it on the streets before he really outgrows it!  Time to seek out a new bike for him…

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Baking, Food, Life

 

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Update and Birthday

This is the final week of the basement renovations. I really can’t wait for it to be over, I’m starting to get cabin fever from being in the house so much! The rooms are finished and the floor’s going in.

Elsewhere in the household, there was a birthday. Little Guy turned 5! We had a little celebration yesterday with cupcakes and play buddies over. Daddy’s over at Nova Scotia this week for work so we’ll wait till he’s back for a proper birthday cake and a second round of celebration.

These chocolate cupcakes, from JoyofBaking.com, are good. They’re moist and has a mild chocolate flavour from using Dutch-processed cocoa powder. I used Fry’s Cocoa Powder, which is the only Dutch-processed cocoa powder I could find in the stores. The frosting uses unsweetened chocolate. It’s quick to make and easy to pipe too. I halved the recipe and got only 5 of these cupcakes. Click here for the recipe.

Trying not to get frosting on his face…

Lunch at a Pizzeria

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Baking, Food, Life

 

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Failure and comfort

Tomorrow is Big Kid’s birthday. He saw the Perfect Party Cake in my Baking book and liked it. That boy likes fruit and jam so I know he was attracted to the red jam filling between the cake layers. I know many who baked this cake had problems with the cake not rising. I read all the tips but alas, my cake failed too. Maybe it was the dark pans, maybe it was the lower heat I used (since I was baking with dark pans), maybe I overbeat or underbeat the batter but whatever it was, my cake did not rise. They were barely an inch tall. I would not be able to recreate the tall four-layer cake from the book. It was disappointing. After some consideration, I just decided to cut my losses and abandon the project. Don’t shout at me. It’s already too late. I have placed an order for a cake from a bakery. A lemon mousse cake because my boy likes tart desserts too. I felt sad because I’ve always baked birthday cakes for my family unless there was a specific request for something else.

I didn’t have the mood to make dinner but we got to eat. I took the 4 egg yolks left over from the cake recipe and made comfort food – pasta with carbonara sauce. We had rotini carbonara with bacon, peas and garlic. Yum. I feel slightly better.

 

Boiled pasta till al dente. Meanwhile, put sliced bacon into a cold saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, under bacon is crispy. Pour oil away leaving a teaspoon and stir in minced garlic and some frozen peas. Cook till garlic is fragrant and peas are heated through. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 cup half-and-half, 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. When pasta is done, drain pasta and pour it back to the pot. Toss the egg mixture through the hot pasta then toss with the bacon mixture. Serve immediately. 

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Cooking, Food, Life

 

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Chocolate Crunchies

My friend asked me to watch her boys for a while today. While her older son and Big Kid played together, I asked her younger son and Little Guy if they wanted to make some ‘cookies’. They were surprisingly enthusiastic! I already had a recipe in mind, a non-bake recipe from a children’s cookbook.

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This Ladybird book is from my childhood – it’s probably older than me – and I had ‘salvaged’ it from a pile of old books in my mother’s home and brought it to Canada for my children.

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The ingredients are simple: butter, cocoa powder, sugar, golden syrup and cornflakes.

The butter, cocoa powder, sugar and golden syrup are melted together and poured over the cornflakes.

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Mix the melted mixture and the cornflakes together.

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“Is this done?” “Not yet.”

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And mix till well combined. Add more cornflakes if the mixture is too wet.

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Spoon a tablespoonful into paper cases.

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And that’s it. Give your friend a high-five for a job well done!

Chocolate Crunchies

25g sugar (I used 20g but still found it sweet)
25g cocoa
2 cups Rice Krispies or Cornflakes
50g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Paper cases

Put the cereal in a mixing bowl. Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small pan and heat over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have melted together. Remove from heat. Add cocoa to pan and mix well.

Pour melted mixture into mixing bowl and stir gently until cereal is coated. Place a tablespoonful into each paper case, then leave them in a cool place to set. (I put them in the refrigerator.)

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Baking, Food

 

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Field Trips

The end of the school year is pretty fun for students – they get to go on field trips! Little Guy’s class visited a farm cum education centre at the end of last month and it was a very good trip. They learned about rabbits, goats and chickens as well as making chicken feed and grooming a pony! I went along as a parent volunteer to help the teacher manage the class. It was also an opportunity to meet the other parents and know who Little Guy’s friends are. Kindergarteners are cute!

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Today I went with Big Kid’s class to the Toronto Zoo. I volunteered to go to help and also, I haven’t been to the Toronto Zoo before. Each adult had to watch over 4 kids but I teamed up with Mr. M since it was my first time there. Watching over 8 boys at the zoo is not as easy as watching a group of kindergarteners at the farm, that’s for sure! From the start till the end, Mr. M and I would be calling at one or two of the boys who likes to run ahead of the group. “Charlie! Come back here!” “Danny! We go as a team!” The boys had a good time and I think they enjoyed all the exhibits. Their only disappointment was not being able to watch the sharks and stingrays as that exhibit requires an additional admission fee and parents were told not to send money with their children that day.

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We were there for more than 4 hours and by the time we were on the bus heading back to school, my ears were ringing and I had developed a headache! But I didn’t mind. I had spend a day out with my son, saw a Komodo dragon with him, met his friends and got to know 3 other parents. Smile The only thing is I didn’t manage to make this week’s French Fridays recipe (Roasted Rhubarb)!

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Life

 

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