It’s so cold today, I can’t really believe it’s the middle of May. This morning we went to the annual May Fair at the toddlers new Nursery (he starts in September and I can’t wait!). When we got back he really wanted to have a picnic lunch in the garden but the chilly weather meant we enjoyed lunch looking at the garden rather than sitting in it. To cheer ourselves up we thought we’d take part in the latest Centre Parcs challenge.
We wanted to make something special for our picnic which meant making sure we had unpacked all our baking equipment. We turned to Pinterest for inspiration and decided to make Ant cupcakes. The toddler has been showing an increasing interest in the garden. In the last week he has learnt the difference between ants, spiders, flies and snails. He doesn’t like them, unlike his younger sister who has no qualms picking up creepy crawlies and taking a closer look, but at least he can identify them.
Anyway, we followed a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and after the cakes had cooled, cut the tops off to make them even. They were then covered in a thin layer of marzipan dyed red with food colouring, and ‘ants’ made with maltesers with black icing legs. The children loved them. What do you think?
We also enjoyed gingerbread men, mini sausage rolls and sandwiches, and shared a bag of the new Walkers Hoops and Crosses which are made with wholegrains. They reminded me slightly of Roast Beef Monster Munch and were yummy.
This is also my entry for the May PinAddicts Challenge.
I can’t believe we’ve spent two weeks in our new house. It’s flown by and the place totally feels like home, despite having a room full of boxes waiting to be unpacked. The only slight dampener on our spirits has been the weather turning from glorious sunshine to stormy in the space of a couple of days.
What better way to cheer ourselves up that with a spot of baking. The toddler was sent a cute little Miffy apron to review. Did you know that June 21st marks Miffy’s 58th birthday? We think she looks great for her age!
We thought we’d pick something from The Great British Farmhouse cookbook from Yeo Valley, you may remember we went on one of the Yeo Valley farm tours last year and had an amazing time. We chose the Ginger cake but left off the fudgy frosting. We adapted the recipe slightly and instead of baking one large cake baked 12 individual portions in cardboard cases. It tastes delicious on its own but I’ll be serving it warm with custard for desert later this evening.
The apron really kept the toddler clean and he was happy to wear it (phew!). It would also be great for arts and crafts, as well as messy play. The Miffy apron is PVC-coated, with cotton ties at the back so easy to put on and wipe clean. It costs £5.99 and is available here.
It finally felt like spring this weekend as we enjoyed pretty much uninterrupted sunshine. We made the most of it by spending lots of time in the garden, cleaning the toys and pots we want to take with us when we move.
Bizarrely this was the weekend that the toddler finally decided to wear his wellies. For the last couple of years he has refused to wear them. We’ve read Peppa books, talked about jumping in muddy puddles and pointedly walked around puddles in the park. Do you want to know what changed his mind?
It was pretty simple. I put his younger sister in an old pair of his wellies and let her play with the water hose in the garden. That instantly made him want his wellies on. Why didn’t I think of this before!?
Aside from enjoying being outside I found time to finish Honour by Elif Shafak which was the first book in the BritMums Book Club. I love to read but haven’t made much time for it since becoming a parent so I was delighted to receive a copy of the book. It’s set in Turkey and London and moves back and forth between the main characters in the 1970s. It’s not the kind of book I would usually choose to read but I found it easy to read and totally engrossing. I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone but I found the end kind of rushed and disappointing with a few loose ends, but otherwise a great read.
I also made time to make some yummy cheese biscuits using the new Anchor Mature and Anchor Extra Mature cheese. We opted for chunky biscuits which we stamped with our ‘home made’ stamp for an extra rustic feel. They were delicious and enjoyed by all. If you want to try the cheeses for yourself they will be available from larger Tesco stores from the 22nd April and my recipe can be found here.