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Cupcakes #4

11 May

I remember when the 4 Ingredients ‘fad’ began for me. My Aunty gave me a very uninspiring green covered cook book two Christmases ago and told me this book was a Number 1 seller. Always keen to try new recipes, I picked out some ‘kid friendly’ ones and began my journey of cooking using 4 (sometimes 5) ingredients. Some of these recipes have become part of the weekly dinner rotation in my house and I rarely pick up the book these days.

Last week I saw “4 Ingredients for Kids” so I immediately purchased the book, rushed home & began baking. I made peanut butter cookies,  mars bar slice & clever cupcakes all in an hour and all very successfully. I would love to show you pictures of all three, but unfortunately they were eaten too quickly by my ‘taste testers’!

Here is the recipe for the Clever Cupcakes, which, according to many who ate them, are the ‘heaven of cupcake’.

Clever Cupcakes:

3/4 cup self-raising flour

250 ml condensed milk

1 egg

1/3 cup softened butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Sift flour into a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Beat for 2 mins until pale, light and fluffy. Line a cupcake pan with patty papers. Evenly scoop mixture across and bake until light and golden brown (20 mins)

The book also has a section on Handy Home Hints for Kids and Party Games. Wanting to find out more about the 4 ingredients series I went onto their website and discovered they have a 4 ingredients iApp. For $2.99 you can have access to many recipes and only pay an extra $2.99 for a 4 Ingredients recipe book (instead of $15 in store). I love this app and since downloading it have turned to it whenever I have a ‘what’s for dinner’ crisis.

Mother’s Day is on this Sunday 13th May and there are plenty of great offers out there, not just for Mum, but for the whole family. Here are three that I have found:

If you visit Luna Park, Melbourne, on Sunday between 11am-6pm, Mum’s will receive a free Unlimited Ride Pass with any child’s ticket purchase. On top of this the first 100 Mum’s to take up this offer will receive a free Ferrero Rocher gift box. For all the details go here.

7 Eleven are giving away free Kit Kat chocolate bars. All you have to do is go here and ‘like’ their page. They will instantly email you a voucher or MMS one to your phone.

If the weather is not so great on Sunday and you need an activity for the whole family go here and buy tickets for AMF Ten Pin bowling at $7.95 per game.

A fantastic one-stop online shop for all things party is Complete Party Boxes. As the name suggests they sell themed children’s party packages at very reasonable prices. They also sell all party accessories: candles, invitations, meal boxes, decorations etc. by some very refined party makers such as Paper Eskimo, Alannah Rose and The Cupcake Wrapper. If you are looking for something different, I highly suggest you check out their meal boxes. A great idea for serving food without the fuss. Here are some examples: the Pirate meal box and the Princess Carriage meal box.


GIVEAWAY!!

I am very excited about this latest giveaway…I have a copy of the recipe book “4 Ingredients for Kids” to give to one lucky person. All you need to do is tell me what 4 ingredients you could not live without. ‘The panel of judges’ will choose their favourite entry as the winner (note: panel of judges may be my two children). As they say you have to be ‘in it to win it’ so leave your favourite four ingredients in the comment section below. Competition ends Thursday 24th May, winner announced 25th May.

So that’s it for this Cupcake. I would like to remind you that all products mentioned here were because I like them and not because they offer me freebies or pay me (although one or both of these would be nice!)

Jo

Cupcakes #3

29 Apr

Hi again!

This week I found myself doing the grocery shopping child free and so I was able to roam the aisles without trying to break a land speed record! Always looking for inspiration, I was in the dessert aisle and saw that Aeroplane Jelly was on sale for 89 cents a packet. Jelly is a childhood favourite and one I often forget about. Like most people, I probably had a packet or two in the pantry but as it needs to be prepared hours in advance, I find it too late.

So I purchased a few different flavours: Bubblegum; Blue Heaven; Create-a-Jelly, and; the new Wobble.

I first used five packets to create my Bubblegum Jelly Castle.

Admittedly I had to make this twice. The first time, I broke the rules of releasing jelly from the mould, and forgot to soak the mould in warm water to release the sides. Much to my children’s delight, I tried again, and not only was it a success, but we had dessert covered for the whole week.

I then tried the new ‘Wobble’ jelly. It is prepared with hot water and milk. The taste was delicious and reminded me of the ‘Snack pacs’ I used to eat as a child in the ’80’s. I found a beautiful rose mould for $5.95 in Wheel & Barrow and made this Strawberry Jelly Rose.

I then used some cupcake packets I had sitting in the pantry to make these Jelly Cupcakes.

I used Blue Heaven flavour and the new Create-a-Jelly where you can add ANY drink you like to the Jelly – the possibilities are endless!

Browsing the Aeroplane Jelly website on a quest to find more flavours I discovered this great Party Checklist as well as many recipes to make for kids parties using jelly.

If your 8-year-old child is anything like mine then the latest craze for party themes is the Angry Birds. With the latest release of Angry Birds Space, the momentum continues.

I found this great step-by-step guide to making Angry Birds cupcakes on this blog Life Without Pink. They really look amazing and I will be trying them myself shortly.

I also discovered my friend’s Mum, Jane, made this spectacular Angry Birds cake for her 4 year old. Everything on this cake was edible (except the base!).

As an Angry Birds Follower on Twitter I came across this amazing picture of a pizza:

Looking for pyjama’s at Peter Alexander, I ended up walking away with a super cute love heart frypan for one ($4.95). My daughter had a friend here for a sleepover so I made them loveheart pikelets with strawberry jam for afternoon tea. You can find the recipe on my Food Page here.

 

As always, I would like to point out I am not paid by any company to endorse products and only ever review or recommend products I have used myself.

Next week I am hoping to share with you some easy gluten-free recipes and some places to find unique party products. Until then, please check out the other pages of my website if you haven’t already and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions – maybe even a recipe you’ve found and would like me to try!

Jo

“My Birthday Party: Awesome Children’s Birthday Parties” eBook Available Now!

27 Nov

I am so pleased to bring you 13 comprehensive party themes in my new eBook:

“My Birthday Party: Awesome Children’s Birthday Parties”.

I have compiled this guide to make it easier for you to put on a memorable birthday party for your child. You can order the book for just $5.95 and have a digital copy emailed to you as well as the option of printing it out.

If you would like a preview then click here: My Birthday Party eBook Preview

Or if you would like to order then you can do so by clicking on the link on the side bar.

I have written a brief description of all birthday parties in the ‘Awesome Birthday Parties’ section above.

Happy Birthday!

Jo

Top 5 Presents for Tweens!

26 Nov

I recently read a list of top seven presents to buy Tweens*. The list was from the U.S. and while I agreed with some things, I thought being the Mother of two Tweens, I was slightly more qualified to make up a list of my own.

They are a hard breed to buy for.

No longer interested in toys, what does one buy a tween? Here is my list:

Top 5 Presents for Tweens 

1.  Electronics. iPods, iPads, MP3 players, CD player, Portable DVD & even a mobile phone are all popular among the Tweens. Super tech-savvy they are often showing Gen-Xers ‘how-to’ use these devices. I recently gave my 10 year old daughter my old iPhone much to the debate of many of my friends. I felt that now she was walking to and from school, she was safer carrying a phone in case something goes wrong. It is on a pre-paid plan, has parental restrictions on it and she is very responsible when using it. 

2. Gift Vouchers. My daughter recently confessed to me that for Christmas she would love a whole lot of store vouchers to go on a shopping spree. While I lament the fact she is no longer interested in toys, I though it was a fair request. My son would love a voucher to buy ALL the toys in ‘Toys ‘R Us’! Store vouchers are readily available to buy from supermarkets, petrol stations, post offices and the store itself. However, I recently discovered the VISA Pre -Paid card. This is a card which costs $5.95 to activate and then has a price limit of $50 or $100. You can top the card up at post offices, which I think is ideal for giving out pocket-money.

3. Magazine Subscription. Total Girl & K-Zone are a must in our house every month. Often, I find they are sold out in the supermarket, particularly when there is a special giveaway attached. A magazine subscription takes the hassle out of finding & buying the magazine. It also makes the child receiving it feel special as it comes in the mail addressed to them.  

4. Perfume & Jewellery. Diva has to be THE most popular store amongst the Tweens. The best thing about Diva is the prices, and more often than not, they are having a clearance sale. Diva also sell great little gift boxes found at the counter for small items of jewellery to ensure they don’t get lost and look special. Perfume is also a hit, with brands like Hannah Montana, Disney, Britney, Harajuku all aimed at the Tween market and all reasonably priced between $20-$30.

5. Books. With many Tweens being prolific reader’s of books, why not buy them something from a popular series they like reading? My Tween experts tell me Monster High, Billy B. Brown, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Alice Miranda are all considered cool series.  Otherwise, you could buy a junior recipe book or craft book.

* (Note: a Tween is generally referred to as a child between the ages of 7-12).

Mum’s Shortbread

21 Nov

Mum says this recipe is fail proof!

Ingredients:

225g butter

85g caster sugar

225g plain flour

55g cornflour

Directions:

Cream together butter with castor sugar. Add  plain flour & cornflour (sieved together).

Mix together & chill in fridge for 10mins.
Roll out fairly thickly and cut into fingers (or use shape cutters). Bake 160 degrees for 30-35 mins. Dust with castor sugar.

My Birthday Party

16 Nov

My birthday party.

I will have a birthday party.
Children will come to my party. They will say “Happy Birthday” to me.
They will bring presents that I can open after we eat cake.
We will play games at my party. I will take turns and let my friends play too.

Some of the children will get prizes if they win a game. I may get a prize. If I do not get a prize, that will be ok.
My friends will have fun. I feel happy watching them have fun at my party.

When my mother tells me, I will sit at the table. Everyone will sit down.

All the children will sing Happy Birthday to me. I will blow out the candles on my cake. Everyone will clap. We will all eat cake and ice cream.
After we have eaten. I will open my presents.

I will tell each child “thank you” after I open their gift.

The presents are mine, but some of the children may want to look at them or play with them. I will let them look at my presents.
When it is time for everyone to go home, I will open the door for them and thank them for coming and for their presents.

I will feel happy because we had such a good time.


Happy Birthday!

14 Nov

Welcome and Happy Birthday!

I have started this  blog on the advice of many because apparently I am famous for my parties. Today is my daughter’s 10th Birthday & yesterday was my 30 (something) birthday and we have just finished a weekend of celebrating.

I plan on making this blog a place where time-poor, idea-poor or just cash-poor people can come to get some ideas on how to celebrate their loved ones’ birthday’s. Oh, and for the record I am a little in each of those categories! I want to share all of my tried and tested party ideas with you and hopefully some that are in the making. I also plan on publishing links to good party supplies stores in Melbourne and Australia. By good I mean, not pricey and very reliable.

So, here we go. Tomorrow I will begin with the most recent party – my daughter’s pool/pamper/pizza party. Degree of difficulty – 3 cupcakes! I am going to rate the parties on a scale of 1-5 cupcakes, 1 being simple simon and 5 being not for the faint hearted.

In the meantime, here is a picture of a cupcake eaten by me for morning tea…yummmmmm.

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