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Cooking with children: insects!

17 Apr

Hi I’m back! I am still in an insect biscuit and cake making mood ! I bought a butterfly biscuit cutter and a dragonfly cutter as well and I am off again! I have been drinking this product by Charlie’s one is a Spirulina and Pear juice and the the other one is made with Acacia berries! I am amazed I was up cooking at 12 midnight! This is a good thing!

I have used the following recipe for over 20 years now and it is such a good recipe for baking for children and with children. It is one of those recipes that are almost indestructible! The great thing to is that you can make up to 70 biscuits (mini ones). I have sometimes got to the point where I have thrown the last bit away! I know shame on me! but it just goes on and on and on, a bit like the woman who used her last portion of oil and flour to bake bread for the prophet and a miracle happened and the oil and flour didn’t run out until the end of the famine! When I am using this recipe I think of this story, a lot!

Here it is:

3/4 cup of plain flour
3/4 cup of self raising flour
1 egg
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of castor sugar
175 degree oven. In a bowl cream butter and sugar. Add the egg. Sift both the flours and add to the mixture. Form into a dough and knead lightly. Place in clingwrap in fridge for 30minutes. Take out of fridge and roll thin.Cut out desired shapes. Place on greased trays. Cook for 10-15minutes. Done!

When I work with children I find it is easier to make a batch before hand so that they don’t have to wait the 30 minutes as they want to get going! It is a great recipe to follow for children and lots of language comes from cooking and talking about the procedure, the science of it all and also the pure joy of baking and spending time together. I am now off to create my butterflies and dragonflies and will return with photos!
Ok I am back!
I started with these cutters

Here is the end result! Yay!


I will be back with some info and the sweets I used to decorate!
The dragon fly I used green sugar coated jubes and cut them into thin slices! I then cut them in half and as they are sooo sticky they stick onto the biscuit, you could add a tiny bit of icing to be sure!


With the butterfly I just cut thin slices and added them to the wings, the sweets I used were mini m and m’s
The flower was me again forgetting about the insects and getting carried away with the decoration!
Insects need flowers around!
I used the red licorice again and rolled it out flat

I then cut out a petal shape

And then pinched the base of the petal and joined a few together

I need to go and buy some more different coloured jubes and experiment with them!

Cooking with children: mini beasts!

14 Apr

My friend who is about to go on prac from Uni was thinking about cooking you could do with children with a mini beast theme! We put our heads together and came up with these!

I thought this looked like ants running up and down an ant mound! I drizzled honey over the muffin and sprinkled chocolate 100’s and 1000’s over the top. We decided we like this one as it was a great recipe to do with children as they could be involved in the whole process, from the making of the muffin to the addition of the ants!
This one is the same idea, but I turned the muffin upside down for a flat mound effect!

The spider is one I have seen and adapted, I will try and find the one that inspired this little creature! I think the one I saw had jelly snake legs which looked fun! I tweaked the recipe by cutting strap licorice very thin and inserting the ‘legs’ into the side of the muffin! I added chocolate icing, 100’s and 1000’s, m and m’s and a little dot of black writing gel for the eyes.

I will have a search for the original spider and add the photo to this post (to give credit where credit is due!) I just found the website with the jelly legged spiders!
http://www.sunhatsandwellieboots.com/search/label/Spiders
This next one was me forgetting the mini beast theme and getting carried away! An adult could make these and add them for decoration!

I used my favourite biscuit again, Arnotts Tic Toc biscuits. I was looking at some sugar coated jubes and I decided to cut them to see if a pattern emerged! I was delighted as the petals took on a stained glass effect. They are unbelievably sticky which is great, if you can get them off your finger, as they stick straight on to the surface of the biscuit! The centre of the flower is an m and m!

The other biscuit pictured is my attempt to make an ant sitting on a log! I used a chocolate covered piece of licorice for the log, you could use a mini flake which my husband believes would look more authentic! I cut little thin legs from strap licorice, 3 m and m’s as you can see, black writing gel for the eyes and stuck the whole thing together with writing gel! So fiddly! Definitely one for an adult to make for a decoration to the plate!
The muffin with the spider web I found on a blog I was looking atand adapted it. I guess you could give children the writing gel and let them make their own spider web, why not! The spider is an m and m with 2 little dots for eyes! My adult son was a bit perturbed by the fact their didn’t seem to be a body for the spider, I guess I could have used mini m and m’s to make a more realistic spider!

Ladybird biscuits

26 Mar

Today I felt inspired to invent my own creation! I have a friend who is doing her last practicum, yes, same friend I made the survival kit for! She is planning a mini beast theme. I was thinking and thinking about how you could make an easy ladybird biscuit!
So here it is………..
The biscuits are Arnotts Tic Toc biscuits, the black licorice comes in two rolls in the pack. You can just cut the antennae and head with small sharp scissors. The red licorice comes in a little tube, you can roll the licorice out quite flat and it will stick to the biscuit. The writing gel is great as it makes such tiny dots. I did use a tiny little bit of icing to secure the head and the antennae!
I managed to make a flower for the ladybird to rest on, I just kept rolling out the licorice and shaping them into a rose!!! I still have to find a green lolly that I can roll out and cut some leaves to finish it off !!!
What do you think?

I found some sugar coated jubes and cut one in half into a leaf shape….

I thought I might add a video to show how I constructed the rose…Watch this space!

Cooking with Kindergarten children

8 Feb

pirpWhile I love cooking with children as there is so much learning going on, science, math, oral language etc etc sometimes I like to provide a selection of different toppings for children to experiment with and let their creative juices flow!!!
I thought I would include some no bake cooking ideas I have come across over the years.
Some I have made myself as a ‘thank you for having me in your school’ project and other times for children to create their own cooking masterpieces!
I will be back with the recipes and ingredients needed!
One thing I will say Arnotts Tic Toc biscuits take a lot of the work out of projects!………..
I am back.. Here are some goodies I have made and they were very well received by children everywhere!

The cups and saucers have been around for a while but here is the recipe from http://planningwithkids.com/2008/08/21/tea-cup-biscuits/
I have just noticed this picture is slightly off centre and I think it is going to annoy me, so I will get to it for all of you who like things neat!
The pirate faces are from http://justjennrecipes.com/pirate-cupcakes/2008/01/16/
I have to admit me and fondant..! So I thought I would tweak the recipe making it easier for children to recreate! The hat and the patch are made from the smooth strap licorice roll. The eyes and mouth are mini m and m’s (the mouth is half a mini m and m!). I know..really fiddly! That is why I made them for the children! I guess you could pre-cut everything and after all they do have tiny hands!
The hats are from here: http://www.peterrabbit.com.au/au/assets/pdf/peterrabbit_biscuitbonnets.pdf
They are from the official Peter Rabbit website which in itself is the most delightful website for children and yes for grown ups! I haven’t tried the second recipe. I must as it looks sweet!
Here is the recipe for you to see:
I found over the years due to some children having allergic reactions to eggs and nuts I have pre made the biscuits just to be sure and also included this recipe so that no-one misses out!

The flower biscuits by far and away have to be my favorite. Mainly because they were so easy and they look so amazing! If you look at this recipe it is for a cupcake but have a look at the method for the petal! http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/20461/orange+marshmallow+flower+cupcakes
I have found over the years the Usborne series to be invaluable. The following titles: Chocolates and Sweets and Christmas cookingby Rebecca Gilpin , Easter cooking, Christmas Fairy Cooking and Christmas Cooking activities are all available on Fishpond.com (where I buy all my books!). The Christmas Fairy Cooking book, at the time of my posting this blog, is $5 with no delivery charge!