Category: Everything kids

School Holidays, Tea cups, Saucers and I’m Hungry!

I Just love school holidays and the whole notion of no ironing school uniforms, making lunches, homework and no afterschool activities, we have extra time up our sleeves and I don’t know about you but I almost hear my brain sigh from the little bit of relief.

scootering

What I love most of all when we are on school holidays are home days, days where  Zakidlets and I might stay in our PJ’s until mid-morning or later and yes we risk the fact that someone unexpected may call in, do you know what?……… you have to take us how you find us!

Home days are pretty casual around here sometimes we bake, sometimes the 2 bigger kids go exploring out along the creek in our slightly larger than normal backyard, there might be a movie in the afternoons, sometimes we do BASIC craft  (nothing that requires too much intervention on my part), on the odd occasion we have been known to get a bit fancy decorating thongs like this day here , then there are the whatever days when I have things I need to get done around the house, Zakidlets have to make their own fun and to me that’s what being a kid is all about, you can’t be entertained all the time (I do get that now as a Mum… sorry Zagrandma!).

kidlets baking

The girls particularly enjoy having a little tea party for morning or afternoon tea, their older brother has been known to join them on the odd occasion too. Previously we always used a plastic tea set, that was until a gorgeous school mum told me her idea of purchasing cheap 2nd hand teacups and saucers from the Op shop, we found a set of 4 for $4 and it has been one of the best $4 I have spent. As far as hygiene goes, how different is drinking from a 2nd hand teacup  any different to one you would use at a café, (just make sure you give them a good wash/scold before you use them).

tea set

The girls think they are little ladies at a café when we use the set and the beauty of it all is that if a cup or saucer breaks it doesn’t matter, we know where to get more and all foe a good cause. We have now upgraded from water to real tea (they get decaf). We still use a little plastic milk jug but I’m thinking a little treasure hunt may be in order these holidays to find a ceramic one.

Girls tea party

Milk pouring

food selection

If we are not having a home day generally that means I am working (as most Mum’s do these days)…. but Zakidlets are very fortunate to have both sets of grandparents close by who happily volunteer their time to help Zadada and I out with childcare, we are extremely grateful for all the support they give us!

I do try to do a couple of out and about things with Zakidlets, like going to the park, beach or both, we might have a play date at a friends house or our own and sometimes as a treat we’ll go to Maccie D’s (the golden arches restaurant) for a lunch treat. Last school holidays all 5 of us went to Brisbane Museum with some friends we had a great day out, take a peek at our adventure here. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have some fun.

20140413-204619.jpg

I will add that during school holidays especially when we are at home if the attention is not directly on Zakidlets they are either hungry or bored, I assure you I do feed and water them on a regular basis and if I walked into their bedrooms I could easily find at least 10 things they could do (when the bored complaint gets pulled out I generally suggest donating their toys to charity!). I’m pretty sure I used to say similar things to my Mum, I guess I had to have a turn on the other end of the stick sooner or later and you know what?…. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

20131215-174753.jpg

Oh, just in light of the tea set topic. Last holidays we had a lunch date with Zadada and while we were at the café I couldn’t help but notice the centrepieces they had on their tables, tea pots with herbs growing in them, I just had to make one of my own and here it is, the good news is it’s still alive a whole term later, probably because it’s mint and grows like a weed (my kind of plant!).

Tea pot herbs

What do you get up to during your school holidays? Do you have bored, hungry kids at your place too?

I hope your school holidays are off to a great start!

I’m off  to experiment with some Chorizo and Haloumi patties now……if they’re a hit you’ll be seeing them.

Until then,

Zamamabakes

 

 

I Just love school holidays and the whole notion of no ironing school uniforms, making lunches, homework and no aftersch...

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A Kidlet Friendly Slice For The Holidays

I have a certain 9 year old son that doesn’t mind the opportunity to create in the kitchen when he can, in fact all 3 kidlets love the opportunity to assist with baking and at the very least they’ll spectate, eagerly waiting for any used wooden spoon or mixing bowl offerings, (I can remember doing the same with my Mum when I was little ).

junior cook in the kitchen

Back in February (hence the lack of clothing on the upper body, this child only wears a shirt if he absolutely has to)  Blake came to me and asked if we could make a particular slice he had found in an old ‘Sesame Street  Encylopedia’ of Zadada’s. Does anyone else remember these books? Generally I only need to look at a recipe to feel inspired to make it, so there was absolutely no hesitation from me to make it especially since I was being asked by one of my precious babies to share some quality time in the kitchen. We set to it….. Sesame Street book at the ready!

sesame street book

‘Cookies Pick-Nick Bricks’ is the name of the recipe. I have increased the quantities and added a few extra mix-ins to suit a slice tin 18cm x 28cm x 3cm. You can stick to the quantities and ingredients given in the book (see pictures below) if you want a smaller, plainer slice. For the one we made…..

You Will Need:

250g packet sweet biscuits (we used Granita’s for a it more texture)

60g Chopped nuts (we used pecans, if you don’t do nuts just increase sultana’s coconut to compensate)

4 Tablespoons sultana’s (we used raisins, I’m planning to use pitted dates next time)

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

125g butter cut into cubes

4 Tablespoons golden syrup

100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Optional Topping

100 dark chocolate melted.

Note: You’ll find the instructions for making the slice in 2 of the pictures below.

Ingredients

We did use a food processor rather then the rolling pin method for crushing the biscuits. If the kids need to burn some extra energy go with the more physical option, I’m sure they’ll have lots of fun too!

Crumbing the biscuits

Blake

melting down

melted wet mix

Press into tin

Info 1

info 2

Once the slice cooled a little in the fridge we decided to take things one step further and give it a dark chocolate topping. We melted down 100g chocolate (using a double pan method), drizzled it over the top and popped it back in the fridge for another good half hour before slicing.

drizzling choc

slice and serve

There you have it one fun, yummy activity for the school holidays!

I’ve got another fun activity in the blog pipeline that all 3 of our kidlets love doing when we are enjoying a nice home day! Stay tuned…….. you should have it before the weekends out!

Until then,

Zamamabakes

 

 

I have a certain 9 year old son that doesn't mind the opportunity to create in the kitchen when he can, in fact all 3 ki...

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A Quick, Tasty Sunday Dinner With A Dash of Morocco!

dinner is served

Another week down? Can’t believe we are already heading into week 6 of this school term!! The last week has seen quite a bit of action in the Zamama household. Starting all the way back with last weekend, Zadada was away in Sydney for 2 nights, it was great to have him walk back through the door on Sunday afternoon as 3 little kidlets and one Zamama  missed him lots. I will say we had some gorgeous company (Zagrandma, Kaymac, Uncle Brad, Zagorgeous Aimee and Zachick) on the Saturday night which helped take little minds off Zadada’s absence. I made a batch of Easy Beef Cheeks and they were a great hit and dessert was a mini ice cream, chocolate slice sundaes with Salted Caramel and Dark chocolate sauces. It was so lovely to spend quality time with beautiful people while enjoying a delicious home cooked meal!! On Sunday we  had a little creek side picnic in the backyard, Zapuppydog joined in too.

picnic and locky

We’ve also had swimming, scouts, pirate shows, preschool, school, state of origins and gym. I’m trying to spruce up the family room with some geometric shapes & colour. So in between working, blogging and Mothering I tried to make some headway, I’ll keep you posted with how everything shapes up in that department. Do stay tuned because in the very near future I have a Colourfulful little Geometric give away happening, bit exciting…… I have 3 gorgeous online businesses involved.

I managed to submit my entry into Mamamia’s competition , you’ve got to be in it to have a chance don’t you? The good news is I will be sharing the recipe I created to enter the competition with all of you next week! Trust me it was deeeelicous!!

Even though our week was pretty busy (I know there would be busier for some) that’s just how life is at the moment (I really wouldn’t change a thing except add a few extra hours in the day!).

Remember the smallest thing can make someone’s day, try it out if you haven’t already. My challenge to you for the week ahead, give out 3 genuine compliments to 3 different people! Giving is living lovely ones!

I hope all of you have had a good week too!

Enough of my waffle….. I believe I have a recipe with a dash of Morocco to share. This little treasure is a great one for the whole family and the beauty of it is that you can prep most of it in advance. It was a fabulous hit a couple of Sundays ago with our whole family of 5 (when the 3 year old at least attempts something new I refer to that as a hit). I give full credit to the lady who inspired me to cook this from her recipe book, that lady would be Jane Kennedy and her recipe book (The one I got for Mothers Day) is called ‘One Dish: Two Ways’   she gives you one dish with the option of making it two ways to suit little and big people. Love your work Jane!

Dinner done

Moroccan Beef Kebabs With Couscous

Must Have Ingredients:

2 Zucchini cut into 3 cm thick rounds

600g beef rump steak trimmed cut into 4cm cubes (this was delicious, chicken would be great too)

1 onion cut into wedges 1 cup couscous olive oil for brushing

8 bamboo skewers, soaked for 30 minutes (you can also use metal skewers)

Ingredients For Adults:

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons chopped mint 2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon flaked almonds (I love almonds so I used extra)

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I just used ground nutmeg)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch of ground cinnamon

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Method

1. Thread Zucchini, beef and onion alternatively onto the skewers and divide onto 2 plates.

2. In a heatproof bowl, prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions. Fluff it up with a fork and divide into 2 portions.

3. Preheat the grill of your BBQ to a medium heat.

Dish 1, For The Kids:

Lightly brush the skewers with olive oil, season with salt and grill for 3 minutes on each side (for medium), or until cooked to their liking. Keep the Couscous plain and serve with the juicy beef skewers.

Kids Dish 1

Dish 2, For The More Adventurous Taste Buds:

While the couscous is still warm, add the lemon zest, mint, parsley and almonds to one portion and stir with a fork. Cover and let stand for 1 minute or more.

In a bowl, combine the spices with the oil. Season with salt and brush the spicy mixture onto the adults’ skewers. BBQ for 3 minutes on each side (for medium) or until they are cooked to your liking. Remove the beef, onion and zucchini from the skewers and serve on the fragrant couscous.

skewed Ready to go brushing BBQing dinner is served

You so need to jump on the wagon and make this dish. We’ll definitely be making a return visit but next time as I said above I’m going to try chicken Breast instead of the beef.

We are planning to give Zapuppydog the best bath he has ever had in his doggy life this afternoon, he’s been suffering from some itchiness, I’m talking conditioner involvement!! The great people from Dr Zoo coincidently asked me to review some of their Itchy Dog range (I said yes please!!). There will be a full post to come on this little treat for Zapuppydog, hopefully we can kick that itch for him!!

Tonight’s dinner is going to be Enchilda’s, Zadada’s request!

In the meantime keep smiling and remember that compliment challenge 3 for 3 different people. I’d love to hear about it, just comment below.

Have a great weekend!!

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

Another week down? Can't believe we are already heading into week 6 of this school term!! The last week has seen quite a...

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Slow Cooker; Easy Peasy Creamy Thai Chicken

I love meals that make weeknight cooking just that little bit more effortless! The appliance in the kitchen that helps contribute to this slightly more ‘effortless’ way is my Slow Cooker. I loooooove my slow cooker!!! It’s pretty much toss whatever you want to cook in and walk away for a good few hours, TICK, TICK, TICK!!!

This particular recipe started out as a bit of an experiment. You’ll notice below one of the items you require is a packet of Masterfoods Stir Fry Creamy Thai Chicken Recipe Base. I originally made this several times according to the packet directions (it works well), then I decided to give it a whirl in the slow cooker and I haven’t gone back since!

Creamy Thai chocken, slow cooker

Ingredients Creamy Thai Chicken

 

You Will Need:

6 cups Mixed vegetables chopped (I use carrot, celery, zucchini, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower)

600g diced Chicken Thigh Fillets and 1/2 an onion chopped , (I usually brown together in pan first but not always, if you’re short of time you can just add them raw).

1 Packet Masterfoods Stir Fry Creamy Thai Chicken Recipe Base

1 teaspoon Fish Sauce

100g Green Beans or Snow Peas topped and tailed

400ml tin Light Coconut Milk

2 teaspoons Cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup water

How To:

Place Mixed Vegetables, Chicken thigh fillets & onion, Recipe Base and fish sauce into bowl of slow cooker, stir to combine.

Adding to slow cooker

Turn slow cooker setting onto high, pop the lid on and walk away for 3 1/2 hours, (if you are home during cooking time I give the mixture an extra stir at the 2 hour mark, if not don’t worry).

Once the 3 1/2 hours has passed add the beans/snow peas and stir through, replace lid, keep cooking a further 10 minutes.

Add 1/2 the tin of Coconut milk and taste, you may wish to leave as is or if you want it a little milder (for Zakidlets) add the remaining Coconut milk gradually taste testing as you go.

I like to thicken the mixture a little so this is where I add the cornflour mixture, and stir.

And it’s done.

Creamy thai chicken curry

Serve with steamed rice (I usually use the brown microwave Sun Rice, sooooo quick and easy). This time I only had the white rice in the pantry so that got used.

Whenever I use the slow cooker I always feel that little bit more organised. Another added bonus is that most things you cook in it will freeze and due to the size of the bowl you can easily double all your ingredients so you can freeze half for a meal on one of those nights when you have absolutely noooooooo time to cook!

You’ll find another one of my go to Slow cooker recipes here.

The good news is there’s more to come lovely ones!!

Until then…….

Zamamabakes

I love meals that make weeknight cooking just that little bit more effortless! The appliance in the kitchen that helps c...

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Lunch Box Filler Part 2: Cacao Coconut Rough Muffins

Where oh where have the school holidays gone?

I could quite easily enjoy another week of no strict school routine, no ironing of uniforms, no homework, no after school running around and no preparing of school lunch boxes. But the reality is we are back this week in NSW so I thought I better get myself sorted for a lunch box filler.

I made these muffins a couple of months ago as a little experiment for Zakidlets and have made them again since as they were such a great hit. I have finally got my butt into gear to share the recipe with all of my lovely readers. I’m planning to make another batch sometime between now and Tuesday.

These little treasures are quick and easy to make, no electric mixer needed, a good old wooden spoon will have you on your way.

Cacao Muffin

You will need:

1  3/4 cups wholemeal Self Raising Flour, sifted.

1/2 cup Cacao Powder, sifted.

1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate soda, sifted.

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup dark choc chips

3 eggs lightly beaten

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup Greek yoghurt

1/3 cup milk

1.Preheat oven to 170 C (160 C Fan forced). Line a 12 hole standard muffin tin with liners. You may need an extra 1 or 2 as I ended up with 13.

2. Combine all sifted dry ingredients in large bowl, also adding coconut, sugar and choc chips, stir to combine.

dry Ingredients

3. In a large jug combine eggs, oil, yoghurt and milk ( I lightly whisk everything with a fork to combine).

wet ingredients

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Combined ingredients

5. Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin tin, you want them to be about 2/3 full.

6. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until firm to touch.

7. Stand 5 minutes, then pop them onto a wire rack to cool.

Cacao Muffin

Once cooled I wrap the muffins with cling wrap, place them into an airtight container then into the freezer they go, ready for me to grab when preparing the lunch boxes. Zadada loves them as an on the go morning tea snack for work.

I have to say I am loving experimenting with Cacao powder and coconut flour at the moment, especially for Zakidlets, just a bit more wholesome and healthy than standard cocoa and plain flour. Don’t get me wrong if I only have cocoa or plain flour in the house I would happily use them, any form of home baking is a sure thing in my eyes. In addition to that, I do not always have time to make lunch box fillers, some weeks store bought is my only option (a little thing called time deprivation steps in).

What lunch box fillers are you using this week? I would love to hear your idea’s.

Depending on which state you live in I hope everyone has or is having a great start to term 2.

Until then……..

Zamamabakes

 

Where oh where have the school holidays gone? I could quite easily enjoy another week of no strict school routine, no ir...

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A Great Lunch Box Filler: Wholemeal Banana Bread

I’m always on the lookout for lunch box fillers and by that I mean something in addition to the staple 2 pieces of fruit included in Zakidlets lunch boxes. The standard arrangement  for the big kids is 1 sandwich, 2 pieces of fruit, something sweet and something savoury. Alani gets much the same plus a yoghurt and maybe a few other little snacks.

We recently had 2 very ripe Bananas sitting in our fruit bowl and they soon got turned into the ‘something sweet’ for the lunch boxes. Wholemeal Banana Bread it was and it went down an absolute treat with all 3 kidlets, big, big TICK from them and me!!! I have adapted this recipe from taste.com, tweaking a few ingredients, I wanted something that was just a little bit more wholesome and healthy.

Banana Bread

I don’t think there is a cake/bread much simpler to make than this one. You do not require electric beaters, just a good old wooden spoon, perfect for when you have a sleeping baby!

You Will Need:

1 ¾ cups wholemeal Self-raising flour

1/4 cup Coconut flour (I get this from my local health food shop) you can just substitute plain flour.

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup, firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup milk

2 eggs lightly whisked

50g melted butter

2 ripe bananas, mashed (Blake’s favourite job).

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 180 C (I do 170 C fan forced). Grease and line a loaf tin approx 11x21cm (or close to that), you can pretty much use any tin you like, you will just need to adjust temp and cooking time accordingly.

Sift the combined flours, cinnamon & salt into a large bowl, tip the remaining unsifted husks into the bowl too. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.

Dry ingredients

Place milk, eggs, melted butter and banana in a Jug/medium bowl, stir to combine.

(I have also tried the throw it all in the one bowl together technique and it still turned out for me).wet ingredients

Add banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

cake mixture

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Mixture in pan

Bake in oven for 35-40minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside in pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut into slices to serve. if you’re feeling like an extra treat pop a bit of butter on a warm slice (that’s a Zagrandma trick!).

Banana Bread

NOTE: this mixture will also bake up into 18 standard 1/3 cup size muffins. Line muffin tin with patty pans, spoon mixture evenly amongst the 18 pans and bake for about 20 minutes.

I package half slices/muffins in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container to freeze, they thaw perfectly in the kids lunch boxes.

That my lovelies is one my ‘Great Lunch Box Filler’ choices!

This little treasure is proving to be very popular with Zakidlets, satisfaction guaranteed for all Banana lovers!

Get yourself in the kitchen and have some fun.

Do you have a favourite  lunch box filler recipe? I’d love to hear from you.

Until then,

Zamamabakes

I’m always on the lookout for lunch box fillers and by that I mean something in addition to the staple 2 pieces of fruit...

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Disney’s Frozen Easy Slab Birthday Cake

Hello gorgeous people and Happy Easter to you all!

I’ve just finished off my second slab Birthday Cake for the month, (April’s a busy, fun time in this house, our youngest and eldest have birthdays 2 weeks apart). Easter and 2 birthday’s in one month, Zakidlets are loving it!

I have always made Zakidlets Birthday cakes, just like my Mum always made mine (with the exception of one very memorable year when my Dad made me a netball girl cake from scratch), I loved their efforts and it’s left very warm memories in my heart, I hope I can do the same for my kidlets. There is just something extra special about creating a birthday cake for the little people in your life, a great sense of accomplishment especially when you see that little set of eyes light up as the cake is placed in sight.

As promised here is my ‘how to post’ on the ‘Frozen’ Birthday cake!  Just use this as a guide, you can adapt your cake theme to whatever suits the occasion and person you are making it for.

This is a great cake to start or continue your birthday cake baking adventures. I make no claims for being a pastry chef, cake decorator or gourmet chef, I’m just a Mummy on a journey, sharing some experiments and experiences for anyone who wants to see and maybe try for themselves.

Finished Frozen Cake

I made this cake for a certain little member of the family who turned 3 on April 6th. She’s a little ‘Frozen’ fan so it wasn’t too hard to work out which direction I should head in.  Usually we rely on the good old Australian Women’s Weekly children’s birthday cake cookbooks to provide us with our Birthday Cake options, but sometimes it’s fun to create outside the square and have an adventure.

I set about some searches on the fantastic Pinterest to see what inspiration/help I could find. I knew I didn’t want anything complicated.

On completing my groundwork I decided I would use 2 rectangular  butter cake slabs, join them with butter cream in the centre, then ice with butter cream all over, use some piped butter cream to fancy the edges up and purchase a few little extras for the finishing touches (a cake topper, sprinkles, Frozen figurines and some homemade bunting).

You will need:

A baking dish 24x36x6cm

4 quantities of butter cake mix. See here for the recipe.

5 quantities of Vienna (butter) cream icing. See here for the recipe.

Family Size Packet of M&m’s

Blue and white sprinkles (I found mine at Woolworths)

Disposable piping bag and nozzle (I purchased a disposable kit at Coles)

Blue food colouring

A Frozen Cake topper (I purchased here online)

Some frozen figurines (I purchased here online) the paint work on the figurines was a little dodgy (Ana had a little moustache, but for the price I paid I wasn’t disappointed).

2 skewers, string, letter stickers, card and ribbon to create the overhead bunting.

Blue and white sprinkles.

How to:

Preheat oven to 150 C

Grease and line the baking tin.

lining baking tin

Mix the 4 quantities of cake mix up. Depending on the size of your bowl/mix master you may need to mix them up individually or as 2 double quantities. you will be halving the complete mixture any way to give you your 2 slabs. I had only one baking tin this size so I had to bake the cakes individually.

mixing the batter

Spread 2 quantities of mixture into prepared tin. Bake in oven approx. 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, remove from oven let stand 5 mins then invert onto to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining 2 quantities of cake batter.

spread cake mixture in tin

I always like to make my cakes early and freeze ahead of time. Makes for less crumb during the icing process and less time consuming on the day of icing and decorating.

To freeze I wrap the cake in foil then wrap again with cling wrap as pictured.

freezing prep

I defrosted the cakes at room temperature the night before icing and decorating.

Decorating Process

Prepare the 5 Quantities of butter cream icing . Set aside 1/2 as plain white icing and tint the remaining 1/2 blue. It may be easier to prepare the mixtures seperatley if your mixing bowl is only small.

Prepare the cake board or plate you are presenting the cake on. I like to place a border of baking paper  like a drop sheet around the edges of the board/plate, helps to keep the visible area around the cake clean and presentable.

prep cake plate

Place the first cake in position and spread a layer of white butter cream approx 3mm thick on cake, evenly sprinkle M&m’s over the icing then spread another thin layer of icing over the M&m’s so you can place the 2nd cake slab on top.

Filling

Spread a thin layer of white icing all over your assembled double slab filling in any gaps at the sides (a bit like puttying up holes in walls).

You should end up with abut 2/3 cup of white butter cream icing remaining, set this aside for piping later. (I sat mine in the fridge as it was a hot day).

undercoated cake

Next take your bowl of blue tinted butter cream and spread all over the cake.

blue icing

To create a little bit of an icy edge I ran the back of a spoon in an upward motion over the icing on the sides. Apologies for the surface of my spoon, I should have polished it up for the pic. Carefully remove the border of baking paper.

spooning the edge

Spoon the remaining white butter cream icing into your piping bag I used the star shaped nozzle. You’ll find some handy tips here for piping. Pipe a border around the top and bottom edges of your cake.

Piping

The style of cake topper I chose to use is sensitive to moisture the manufacturer recommends applying it just a few hours prior to serving. I like to have the cake sorted and pretty much complete the day prior to the big day so I created a makeshift template from baking paper matching the size of the cake topper. This allowed me to do all the other bits of decorating around the area of where the cake topper would be positioned.

Template

Once all the icing was complete I put the cake in the fridge for 45 mins to set, once it was firm I covered it with a cotton tea towel to protect it from having its flavour tainted by other items in the fridge. I left it in the covered fridge overnight. The next morning I added all the bits and pieces required to finish off the cake.

Finished Frozen Cake

When the cake was cut there was the added surprise of the M&m’s in the middle which proved to be a great hit with both young and old.

Surprise M&m's

The result was one very happy little Birthday girl, what more could a Mummy ask for?

Birthday girl

For the record the cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

May this post find you well and happy on this Easter long weekend. Be sure to make every moment count with friends and loved ones, hug them, look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to you, you can never love and care for someone too much!

Speaking of making moments count Blake is 9 today! He has requested that we go fishing, so we are off on a family picnic with Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and fishing lines as well as a freshly made Slab Motorbike Birthday cake! I’ll  be sure to share some pictures soon.

Have a beautiful day!

Until then my lovelies,

Zamamabakes

Hello gorgeous people and Happy Easter to you all! I've just finished off my second slab Birthday Cake for the month, (A...

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A home made fabric baby rattle

If you own a sewing machine but rarely ever use it like me, this little sewing project may well be for you. I am going to apologise in advance for not using the correct sewing jargon, but as I said in my previous post here the extent of my sewing education is year 9 & 10 textiles and design at high school. I finished year 12 in 1996 so that gives you an idea of how long ago my sewing education took place. I had a very talented teacher her name was Mrs Forsyth she was fantastic! I on the other hand take lots of pride in the way I thread a needle and feed a bobin, the rest is a bit hit and miss. I love trying to attempt little sewing projects when I have the time.
This little sewing project ‘The baby horse Rattle’ is something I have now made 4 of (don’t go overboard there Zamama!!), it’s all about pacing yourself and I’m sure you know what I mean. The first rattle I made was for our 3rd little one, Alani and since then I have made 3 as gifts which have been received with much appreciation (there’s something extra special about giving a gift you have made yourself).

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The little rattle above I made just last week to include in a baby shower gift for my lovely friend Sally expecting her first little girl. I made the rattle up in an evening, taking me about 2 hours in total. For an experienced seamstress it would probably only take 1/2 an hour!!! (hehehe) it’s all about having a go.

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You will need:
2 x pieces of cotton fabric 30cm in length and 15cm in width (to be safe)
7 x 11cm lengths of ribbon
2 little craft bells (approx 1.8cm diameter)
pillow filling (I just used a very basic filling I found loose in my sewing bag)
Of course your sewing machine, some pins, baking paper, needle, thread, scissors, a pen and some patience will also come in handy!

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As you can see I traced a very basic outline of a horse onto a piece of baking paper 21cm length x 8.5cm at the widest point. You can pretty much use any shape and size you like and just follow the general instructions as a guide.

Once you have your rattle shape traced and cut now becoming your pattern, pin it to your 2 pieces of fabric right sides touching each other as pictured.
Before you cut your fabric remember to leave an extra 1.5cm for your seam allowance (meaning cut the fabric 1.5cm wider then the pattern as pictured above.

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Separate the 2 pieces of cut fabric and place them right side up, you should end up looking at a mirror image of the shape.
Select one piece of cut fabric (it doesn’t matter which one) and pin your 7 ribbons folded over in thickness, aiming 6 of the ribbons inward down towards the centre of the horse’s head and 1 ribbon inward and down towards his front foot as pictured, also making sure the open ends are facing the outside of the cut shape, (sorry if this sounds confusing ,hopefully the picture above brings it together).

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NOTE: I only used a basic straight stitch for the entire project.

You now need to sew the ribbons in place. You need to sew close to the edge about 3mm in as it is just to hold the ribbons in place for when you sew your 2 pieces together (saves the complications of them moving all around and getting caught up).

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This is what you should end up looking at up the head end.

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Again lay your 2 pieces of fabric right side up as shown.

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Now pin the right sides together again. Trace a rough sewing seam line to guide you where to stitch, I marked mine about 1cm in with a pen lightly.

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Stitch the seam starting on the inside of one leg and finishing on the inside of the other leg, remembering you need to leave an opening big enough for turning the fabric through the right way and also being able to fill the rattle with the pillow filling and bells.

There are quite a few curves with this shape. I found using the needle as a pivot useful for manoeuvring (a little bit of stopping and starting but worth it).

Once the machine stitching is complete you need to trim all your edges, so they are not too bulky when you turn them through.

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Your next challenge is to turn your little horse in the right way. You just have to work with delicate hands. This part does take a little patience and shuffling, you will get there, I found the blunt end of a pencil helped to push the limbs and head right out.

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Carefully press your horse out with an iron (only use a cool setting as you don’t want to scold the ribbons like I did with my first attempts).

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Fill the horse with the pillow stuffing incorporating a bell centrally into the head and 1 centrally into the main body, but make sure the stuffing surrounds them well.

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Again the pencil comes in handy for packing in the filling snugly.

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Once you have a well filled out horse, you need to stitch/bind up the opening with a needle and thread. Just leave a pinch of loose fabric in the crutch area (remove a little filling if need be) so you have a good enough edge to stitch through. This bit is a little tricky, you need to turn the raw edges in on themselves so from the outside they look closed. I doubled back over my first lot of stitching just to be sure the closure is secure and durable.

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The finished product front side and back.
If any of you find or know an easier way to do any of this little craft project please let us all know, I appreciate any constructive critism.

On that note it’s off to shower Zakidlets and get dinner organised.
I am looking forward to sharing a fantastic easy Cheese Ball recipe with you all on Sunday, it’s delicious!!

Until then,
Zamamabakes.

If you own a sewing machine but rarely ever use it like me, this little sewing project may well be for you. I am going t...

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It’s time to sleep Book and DVD

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This DVD and book ‘It’s time to sleep’ by Maree Viotto was an essential item that helped ZaDada and I keep our marbles when it came to comforting and aiding Zakidlets to sleep when they were babies.
When we had our first baby Blake 8 years ago, like most 1st time parents we were flying blind he wasn’t a terribly unsettled baby but around 4 months his sleep patterns became a little more challenging. We had lots of people happy to give us advice, we took on board everything suggested to us but sometimes advice coming from all different directions can get a little overwhelming.
I found this DVD and Book online one day when Blake was about 6 months old. This system does use a controlled comforting technique for 6-12 month olds and I understand it’s not for everyone. For those who are interested in getting there babies and toddlers to sleep independently through the night then this DVD and book may be of some interest to you.
ZaDada and I wish we had of known about this DVD from the very beginning, regardless we have certainly made good use of it with all 3 of our children.
It’s time to sleep –
* will show you how to settle babies newborn – 6 months
* will show you controlled comforting techniques 6 – 12 months
* will show you how to get the older toddler to stay in their bed 1- 3 years
I love that the DVD shows you hands on how to put everything into play, you’re not just reading a book, you also get to see the instructions and advice accurately demonstrated.
I can say honestly that this made a positive difference to all 3 of our babies sleep routines.
If you have hit a bit of a wall with sleep routines then I hope this little package may bring you and your partner some comfort and perhaps a little extra sleep.
Sweet dreams.

This DVD and book 'It's time to sleep' by Maree Viotto was an essential item that helped ZaDada and I keep our marbles w...

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The BIG girl’s bed has arrived!!!

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The big girl’s bed is here!!!! As you can see ZalittleAlani’s bedroom was looking quite a sight!!! In fact the position the cot is in is exactly where Alani slept last night. I think the only one who was bothered by this was me – she happily slept all night. You see Zadada decided to put the bed together last night but I was late home from work and appointments so I didn’t get to pretty it up until today. Anyway on with the show.
Alani is sleeping as I type, in her big bed of course as it is all set up and ready for sleeping in. Sadly the cot is all packed up ready to hand on to a new owner. This is quite the milestone for Zadada and I as our baby days are now officially over. Zadada and I feel very blessed with our 3 healthy children and I think sometimes it’s best to quit while your ahead, that said I know 3 children is my magic number. I always said I would love 2 or 3 children and when we only had the 2 I knew I wasn’t done, I’m quite sure Zadada would agree!!! When we had our beautiful,magic, baby number 3, Alani I felt completely fulfilled and satisfied but that doesn’t stop us from feeling a little sad that we no longer have a little baby. To all those new mums and dads out there, enjoy every single one of those koala snuggles from your newborns and little one’s the time just goes way too quick!!
Thank goodness for photo’s like this one.

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I will try not to get too sentimental but it is a milestone to savour. I know we have loads more milestones ahead and I think that’s what keeps us all moving forward and enjoying every moment.
Some pictures from my mornings work!!

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Pretty!!!
Trust me, this is the only room looking this tidy in the house and by 4pm it will match the rest of the house!!!

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Then we have the happy new bed owner Alani ready for nap time.

And……

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Success!!! Yay!!!

The big girl's bed is here!!!! As you can see ZalittleAlani's bedroom was looking quite a sight!!! In fact the position...

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