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This recipe makes delicious, chewy centered chocolate chip cookies that R absolutely loved. They definitely satisfy the chocolate craving but have a few healthy goodies in them to counteract the naughty stuff…

Dry ingredients

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • Up to 2 tbs raw sugar

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • (optional) 1/4 cup LSA mix (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds & almonds)
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • Extra milk as needed

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix dry ingredients together and then add wet ingredients. Add spoonfuls of dough to greased or lined cookie sheets leaving space for the cookies to spread as they rise quite a bit. Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly golden and the cookies are firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 min and then transfer to a wire rack. Avoid eating them all in one sitting and make sure they are stored out of your toddler’s reach (mine stole quite a few while I wasn’t looking). Enjoy!

I have a very clever mommy. She is such a talented artist, dress maker, crafter, stain glasser (I’m sure there is a word for that), coppersmith, beader… the list goes on. And I don’t mean she dabbles in each, she is AMAZING at them all. I’m very thankful that I picked up her interest in crafting and sewing although she has more talent in her little toe than I have in my whole body!

For some reason I’m having some trouble blending my interest in crafts into my life as a mum to my 19 month old. It never occured to me until this weekend that I could make playdough for my little girl (duh!) until I stumbled across this amazing blog The Imagination Tree. They feature, amongst a million brilliant play ideas, a recipe for no-cook playdough. I’ve googled playdough recipes and only found versions that require standing over a pot and stirring for ages. Although slightly skeptical, I decided to give it a go. Since everything still ends up in my daughter’s mouth, I decided to just use food colouring and not add a flavour which would only encourage her to eat it. The Imagination tree has all sorts of playdough recipes using glitter, flavour (chocolate, yum!) and a salt dough recipe to bake your child’s artwork into permanent keepsakes (Christmas ornaments!).

This is the basic no-cook recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1.5 cups boiling water
  • a few drops of glycering (for extra smoothness, stretch & shine)
  • food colouring

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir vigorously until all the lumps are gone and it begins to come together into a ball. Once it has cooled enough t handle, knead until it stops being sticky. I went with green food colouring which was the least appetising colour I have in my baking cupboard (in another effort to avoid playtime turning into tea time!).

Start to finish it took about 5 minutes plus another 10 to be cool enough for little hands to play. I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was, plus I don’t think it would be possible to muck it up!

Ruby was a little unsure at first because it was still warm and she has a little obsession at the moment with things being hot. If she comes across a food she doesn’t like, its hot (great excuse!). But once she saw how much fun I was having using the cookie cutters she got for christmas in a baking set to cut the dough into shapes, she dove right in. We had a good 25 minutes play and the playdough was put into a ziplock bag to keep for another time. We’ve since used it 3 times and its still as good as new.

Here are some pictures of little R having her first go at my green playdough:

See, I told you all roads lead to the mouth! I think this would make a really nice gift, easy and not expensive. If I find some cute little containers at a dollar store I will make up a batch with different colours for a friend (hopefully they don’t make their own either!)

If you haven’t already, give it a go and check in on The Imagination Tree for lots of imaginative play ideas.

So, we’re moving house and since I’ve just stopped working I’m now responsible, full-time, for Ruby’s entertainment, meals, and general well-being (amongst other things) and also trying to pack up a house. It’s proving a wee bit taxing and I found myself with an empty fridge approaching lunch time.

I took a good hard look at what I had and struck on a good idea. Mini quiches, stuffed full of grated lightly steamed veggies and a little cheese.

I grated some zucchini (courgette to you Saffa’s) and carrot then steamed them. Then I finely diced some tomato and set it aside. I then whisked up 2 eggs with about a cup of milk and a small piece of grated cheese. I had some ready rolled puff pastry sheets in the freezer which I’d thawed and cut into 9 squares to line my muffin tin. When that was done I put a little of the veggies in each ‘cup’, topped with eggy mixture and baked them for 12 min until the pastry & filling puffed up. I had 5 ‘cups’ of puff pastry extra so I mashed up a banana with a little ricotta and some choc chips and filled them just to see if it would work. They came out beautifully, puffed up & set and totally delicious!

Here is the result of my baking efforts (after we’d both enjoyed some for lunch, there were more to start with!):

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So, I’m in the kitchen, as I type, making pikelets (mini-pancakes) for Ruby.

I’m the cook so I got to taste the first one, hot off the press so-to-speak and it was YUM!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

125g (1 cup) wholemeal plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoons raw sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 ripe banana, mashed

1 tablespoon honey
170ml (2/3 cup) milk

Spray oil for greasing the pan

Method

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Mash the banana in a separate bowl, add the egg and milk & honey and whisk. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Preferably add mixture to a squeezy bottle.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray lightly with oil. Squirt tablespoons of mixture into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the pikelets over and cook for another 30 seconds.

These are really good for snacks on the go, Ruby loves them!

I was in the mood to bake something for Ruby today and found this recipe for chewy banana oatmeal cookies. I made quite a few changes: included about 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, reduced the amount of sugar because it seemed an awful lot, used half wholemeal flour. They turned out HUGE so next time I will make them smaller (more Ruby sized), they still turned out too sweet so next time I will again reduce the amount of sugar and I’ll go 100% wholemeal flour because they will be even better. They turned out yummy and chewy and full of oaty, raisiny, walnutty goodness! Here is the amended recipe:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or wholemeal)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 175°; line two baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.
In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed. 
Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain, stir in the chopped walnuts & raisins. Drop small tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.
Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container so you don’t eat them all in one sitting!