Friday, September 30, 2011

Baking Birthday Party Highlights

To celebrate turning 6 this year, my daughter decided she would like a baking party theme.

Preparation for the party was more time consuming than I anticipated with all the baking and sewing.

We made some great matching chef hat and apron sets for all the party guests and pre-baked mini chocolate cakes and cookies for decorating.

To make it easy for the guests to bring their fabulous cake and cookie creations home, we put the cakes in small boxes and the cookies in clear plastic treat bags.  All bags and boxes were pre-labeled with names so there would be no cake and cookie mix ups.

Do you think the party guests had more fun decorating or eating their creations?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunbonnets - Little House on the Prairie Style

For bedtime stories in our house, we have been reading the Little House on the Prairie book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We are currently in the middle of the book On The Banks of Plum Creek.  The girls have been playing "Laura and Mary" and act out stories from the books and tv series.  And we have borrowed some of the series on DVD from our local library to watch at home.   Little House on the Prairie was one of my favorite book series and television show as a young girl.  I even dressed up as Laura one year for Halloween.  Thanks to my mom who stitched up my costume - dress, bonnet and shawl.

So Halloween is next month, and the girls have decided they would like to dress up as Laura and Mary this year.  So now it is my turn to locate and make some costumes.   I found a great sunbonnet tutorial here from Given Moments and additional suggestions from FabriCate & Mira here.   I ordered a children's nightgown pattern from Butterick to use as a prairie dress.   The girls picked out some lovely Calico prints from our local fabric store and once the dresses are made, I think, they will look like authentic little prairie girls.   I have already completed the sunbonnets and the girls love them!   

Mary and Laura

Updated pictures below:  The girls wearing their sunbonnets and dresses on Halloween night.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Tea - Neapolitan Cookies

It is Tuesday and it is time for tea!

How about some yummy Neapolitan cookies?  They are easy to make, they require no icing and look so nice.

I used Wilton's roll out cookie recipe for the dough.

To get the 3 different coloured layers,  I separate the dough into thirds and colour accordingly.
I added cocoa powder for the chocolate layer and pink gel food colouring for the pink strawberry layer.

I roll each coloured ball of dough into a rectangular shape and stack them on top of each other.
I slice them and bake according to the recipe directions.

And voila!  A nice tea time treat.  Enjoy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blackberries & Blackberry Muffins

In our backyard, I have neglected weeding and pruning the brambles near the fence.  So last month, I decided to clean it up and to my surprise we had a nice little blackberry patch.

After eating the berries straight off the bush, we saved a handful to make some muffins.

In my recipe binder, I have a blueberry muffin recipe written out on an old piece of paper.  I have no idea where this recipe originated but it has become a tried and true favorite.  I have adapted this recipe to accommodate the ingredients we had on hand to make blackberry muffins.

Blackberry Muffin Recipe

2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup yogurt (we just happened to have blackberry yogurt in the fridge)
1 cup blackberries
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and sugar together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, vanilla and yogurt.   Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.   Stir until mixed.  Fold in blackberries.   Spoon evenly into greased or paper lined muffin tins.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chef Hats and Aprons

am on a mission to finish sewing a dozen aprons and chef hats for my daughter's birthday baking party. I found a great chef hat tutorial and apron tutorial  that I used as guidelines.  I purchased the the fabric at Ikea.  I have completed two already and I think they look pretty great on my models, don't you?  The kids like to say they are wearing muffin hats.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainbow Tea Party

My youngest turned four a week ago and to celebrate we had a rainbow tea party with her friends from preschool.   Tea was served with rainbow birthday cake and cookies.  Tea always seems to taste so much nicer in china tea cups.

And homemade rainbow paper banners decorated the room.  

For activities, decorating paper tea party hats and making beaded bracelets were in order. The paper hats were made out of recycled brown paper shopping bags. 

The birthday party was a success.   Now I am planning the next one... a baking party for the oldest who turns 6 in a couple of weeks.