Do your kids love eggs so much too? Ava, our 2 year old, is especially a total egg addict — she could eat 5 eggs a day if I let her! My mum used to say that eating more than 3 eggs a week was bad for your health, it would be bad for your cholesterol level (and thus blamed for an increased risk of heart disease). Nowadays, thoughts about eggs are quite different — apparently they are great sources of protein and vitamins, and eating one egg a day has positive effects on health and cholesterol levels rather than negative ones. Good for Ava (and good for the Easter bunny)!
Today I am so happy to write about Terron de Azucar, a lovely spanish brand, run by Rebeca, which makes the most beautiful mini candy bars!!! All in them are so full of details, and all of that in a mini size.
Aren’t they lovely? All made by hand by her and personalized with the theme you want. It makes a wonderful present for the kids. I have tried them myself and I can say they are just wonderful.
Great job Terron de Azucar!
Take the cake pops maker, which my girls were given for Christmas. It will definitely not be used daily, but it is great to have for rainy afternoons and birthday parties. It’s actually a great alternative to cupcakes.
I know cake pops have been around a while now in the US and the UK, but they have not arrived in Paris yet, so I am looking forward to introducing them to Paris, one cake pops at a time!
Have you ever thought about making your own yoghurt? We’ve been doing it since we visited friends in France a few years ago and they served cute little jars for dessert filled with their own homemade yoghurt. And it was the best yoghurt we ever had! We purchased a ‘yoghurt maker’ (similar to these, UK/US), and have been making our own yoghurt regularly ever since. It’s so easy — just mix milk with some left-over natural yoghurt (or use a bag of yoghurt culture), pour in jars, leave in the machine for about 10 hours (the machine makes sure the temperature is even at about 27 degrees C), and presto! Your own yoghurt. You can vary by adding vanilla, a bit of compote, etc. We love to eat our yoghurt with homemade granola for breakfast!!
Molly from My Favorite Things asked me to write a guest post on her blog, suggesting I write about one of my summer essentials. I know it’s slightly cheating to call a recipe an essential… but I have literally been making a jar of this rhubarb compote each week and we eat it on everything! So yummy.
I’ve been staying on my dad’s farm this summer and his enormous rhubarb plant is in full swing. It’s so fun to pick a big handful of rhubarb before breakfast and then enjoy it on our oatmeal 20 minutes later. Oh the joys of summer! You can see my guest post (plus recipe) here.
I think it’s safe to say most kids in New Zealand grew up with a copy of the Australian Woman’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cakes recipe book. My sister and I would read it over and over deciding on what cake we would have at our next birthday party, and now my kids love reading it. My friend told me recently that her kids take it to bed to read!
Kees chose the pirate cake for his birthday. It was super easy to make although I had an icing disaster when I emptied a whole bottle of black food colouring into the mix!!! The kids ended up with black mouths and tongues which kind of added to the pirate theme I guess!
You can buy it on Amazon.
It was my son’s birthday last week so we had a little party for him on Saturday. The best thing about kid’s parties is the food! I saw these cute teddy racing cars in a recipe book a few weeks ago and had a go at making them. They were a huge hit and are so easy to make.
To make them take a milkyway bar and push a tiny teddy into the top. Use icing to stick smarties to the side for the wheels and the teddies are all ready for racing!
I recently hosted a baby shower for a great friend of mine over here in Paris, and as she is German I decided it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate a time-honoured German tradition: the Kaffee Klatsch. Literally translated this means a coffee gossip (as usual the Germans tell it like it is).
You see, growing up in Germany, there would be at least one of these events every week. The hostess would bake a cake, whip up some cream, boil up a pot of coffee and the neighbourhood ladies would perch themselves on the sofa for a slice of cake and a good gossip. Not so different from what my girlfriends and I do now! There is a lot less baking which might be better for our waistlines, but it is a shame as nothing beats a good Käsekuchen, a Streuselkuchen or a Gugelhupf.
I dusted down my old German cookbook for a good Käsekuchen recipe and it was delicious. A Käsekuchen is a cheese cake, but as it is made out of a type of fromage frais called quark, it is lighter and more tangy than the American cheese cake.
Here is the receipe — I would love to hear what you think:
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 250 gr of flour
- 60 gr sugar
- 125 gr cold butter
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 200 gr of sugar
- 1 lemon
- 500 gr of fromage frais (or quark if you can get it)
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 500 ml of single cream
First mix together the ingredients for the crust. Crumble up the flour, sugar and baking power with the butter. Then add in the egg and knead until it turns into a ball. Wrap up in cellophane and put into the fridge for 1 hour.
While the pastry is cooling down heat the oven to 160° C and make the filling.
Beat together the eggs and the sugar for a few minutes until you have a thick cream. Add in the fromage frais, the lemon juice and the oil. Then add in the cream. Mix it together until you have a nice, thick cream.
Roll out the pastry and line a 28 cm baking tin. Fill the pastry with the cake filling and bake for about 60 minutes.
Let it cool down and serve with a good cup of coffee.
(I am also posting this photo of some lovely old ladies enjoying their Kaffee Klatsch that I found online. I simply could not resist this photo!)
Every Friday morning my doorbell rings and a box is brought in to my kitchen filled with seasonal, organic and local vegetables, bread, cheese and meat and/or fish. It’s always a great surprise to find out what’s in the box each week! I find it important to try to eat seasonally and locally — I believe it to be more healthy and sustainable in the long run, and I love the challenge of being creative with the contents. Downside in wintertime is an insane about of cabbage! Every winter I’m slightly overwhelmed by the amount and variety of cabbage in my crate: green cabbage, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, etc. etc. So my kitchen creativity has been challenged to the top and I’ve been stir frying, making soups and quiche — all contaning some sort of cabbage. One of my favourite recipes (found while desperately searching the web for cabbage recipes), is the ‘Gratin of white cabbage & lentils in a Provençal sauce‘ by Sophie Grigson from the BBC Good Food website. It’s a very unexpected mix of ingredients, but it’s really yummy, super healthy, and it can easily be made in advance and just put in the oven just before dinner time. My kids love it too!
My kids don’t need any prodding when it comes to eating fruit. They LOVE it! But when I made up these little apple cars after school yesterday, they went absolutely crazy for them. After gobbling them up, they insisted they make their own… so it ended up being a fun activity which took up a large portion of the afternoon. My kids were so impressed when they realised the cars actually go — the wheels (grapes) actually turn! Fun!
(This was another idea I spotted on Pinterest. I’m telling you — that site is soooo great!)
Baby Ava obviously wears a bib when she’s eating and she can’t say too much about that yet, but the other two kids have been feeling WAY too old for a bib for years now … which is kind of annoying, because dinner never seems to escape their clothes, no matter how hard they try. But since I brought home Deuz Napkids for them they have been requesting their bib! I didn’t introduce them as bibs of course, I said that these were ‘clever napkins’ — they are in fact packaged as napkins (very cool) so that was totally plausible. The design, size and colours of the Napkids are aimed at bigger children, so they don’t feel like babies at all when they’re wearing them. And they have seriously helped me cut on the amount of laundry so far!
Napkids by Deuz are ethically made in India from 100% certified organic cotton and printed with non toxic inks. Check here for points of sale.
In Dutch we call them ‘East Indian Cress’ — my favourite plant in our garden! I love the pretty round leaves of the nasturtiums, I love how wild and crazy (and easy!) they grow, and I love the beautiful, tissue-paper-like flowers, with their bright, happy colours. Both the leaves and the flowers of the nasturtium are edible, which only adds to their appeal. They have a delightful, peppery sweet taste (a bit like radishes), and look so beautiful in a fresh, green salad. My kids love picking them before dinner, and they love to eat them too (high in vitamin C, I’ve read)!
Shira is a mom who owns and operates a small cafe in my neighborhood. Not only does she make delicious and healthy things like quinoa chocolate chip cookies, lentil and feta salads and hearty organic ten vegetable soups…but she also has a dark side. Shira is a self proclaimed candy-addict and master chocolatier (and it’s true – I have seen her sneak a twizzler or two when her kids weren’t looking!). Recently she rolled out these solid chocolate birthday candles that I thought were fabulous. Such a simple idea to jazz up a plain frosted cake or a cupcake and she can customize the candle to whatever shape you need. We all love to lick the frosting off our birthday cakes right?…so how much does it rock that we can now eat the candle! New Yorkers should check out her website Goodie Girl for cute and easy ideas to jazz up a party.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Mamascarf, for discreet breastfeeding in public
• Win! A $100 gift voucher to Olive Juice at Tada! Shop
The other day I cut open a pomegranate for a salad I was making, and my six-year-old gasped. Apparently he’s never seen a pomegranate before and he was so intrigued! Before long there was a feeding frenzy of three children ripping apart the pomegranate trying to pick the seeds — all three kids loved them. We then pressed the seeds in a sieve and made juice… which they also loved. Who knew? Apparently pomegranates are really good for you, filled with vitamin C and loads of antioxidant properties. I think I’ll be buying more pomegranates from now on. Does anyone have a great recipe which includes them? I was thinking of making ice lollies from the juice! I’ll let you know how that goes…
I’m in Starbucks the other day with my kids and my daughter and I decide to share one of their new Sparkle Cake Pops — seriously … SO delicious. I’ve never been a huge fan of Starbuck’s food offerings but these things were heaven on a stick.
As a keen baker I’ve been reading about cake pops for a while, starting on one of my favourite blogs, Bakerella. But tended to find it a bit of an American phenomenon with tricky to find ingredients over on this side of the pond (most recipes call for ‘candy melts’ to cover the balls which are something I’d never heard of before). However we seem to be catching up — I have recently seen quite a few recipe books for Cake Pops, like this one by the Bakerella queen herself or this one which I recently had a flick through. As for ingredients, candy melts are in fact easily available online, even Amazon sells them or good old Cakes, Cookies & Crafts, who also sell the white lollipop sticks for them.
I have given up cake for lent (boo!) so I will be trying my hand at actually making some after Easter and in the meantime I will try and avoid their tempting stare when I go into Starbucks!
As my eldest goes to a German kindergarten, he and his friends will be celebrating Karnival today — going to kindergarten dressed up in their favourite fancy-dress (I think we can expect a fair few pirates, policeman and princesses!).
I love how our family combines the traditions from both our cultures — I think it is providing us with a very rich life and so I cannot let the day slip without what Shrove Tuesday always meant for me growing up …. pancakes!
Quite a few of my German friends, who will join us for pancakes, had never heard of our tradition before so I thought I better check out why it is we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? Although our traditions seem quite different they stem from the same idea. During Lent you would abstain from parties and celebrations and certain foods. From what I can work out, in continental Europe the week before lent starts is all about extravagant celebration (hence the dressing up) knowing that there will be no more celebrations for 40 days. Whilst here in the UK we focus on eating up all the foods in the house that will not be allowed during lent, typically fats, dairy and eggs — hence pancakes were made as they used up these ingredients. (more…)
Oh how I love macaroons, especially chocolate ones! They’re one of my many favourite things about visiting Paris. So imagine my delight when I learned about La Dinette — a cake delivery company in London set up by a French pastry artist. La Dinette delivers fresh cakes, macaroons, tarts, and cupcakes straight to your door — perfect for birthday parties, brunch with friends, or just to satisfy your sweet tooth. I have personally tested the macaroons and cupcakes… and they’re delicious! Visit La Dinette for products and prices.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• AngelSounds: listen to your unborn baby in a heartbeat
• Rustic fairy wands
I’m loving this rosebud tea I got for my birthday… It’s never too late to learn in life, and in fact rosebud tea was completely new to me (I first thought I was given a little bag of potpourri), but now I’m completely hooked. It’s very subtle, and lovely to drink in the evening. And it smells so delicious; I just love the smell of roses… And apparently the taste too!
If you’d like to try, you can get it either through Fauchon or Dammann Frères (or next time when you’re in Paris)…
Confession. One of my daughters is completely addicted to chocolate milk. What started so innocently as a special treat is now pleaded for (multiple million times) daily by the four-year-old junkie who lives in my house. I usually cave to keep the peace. Thankfully, a while back I learned about this miracle powder made by Amazing Grass Kidz that offers a healthy, quick-mix version of chocolate milk! The powder is organic, gluten-free and packed with 31 hidden fruits and veggies and I must tell you the taste comes pretty darn close to the real thing. I weave it in a few times a week as an alternative to the “real thing” and she loves it (and trust me, she is a very tough customer). You can find the brand at health food stores, Whole Foods or on-line. It also comes in Berry flavor.
No matter the weather, every Friday after school my children and I head down to Igloo Zoo for a fix of creamy frozen yogurt. YUM-OH! We patiently wait behind the hoards of teenage schoolkids who are equally excited. It is pure decadence and relatively sinless (I figure) given that it is made with real yogurt (live cultures) is 99.5% fat-free, high in antioxidants and low in sugar. There are 4 flavors on offer — original, green tea, cocoa and pomegranate. As an incentive (not that we need one) they offer an array of amazing accoutrements like organic kaffir, lime biscotti, white chocolate, pomegranate seeds, passion fruit puree, halva (a middle eastern treat made from sesame seed), choc-covered goji berries, lychee and a host of other treats. Admittedly, I usually eschew the more exotic toppings in favor of good old triple choc crunch, passion fruit puree and coconut…beyond divine!
If you are visiting Melbourne, the Gold Coast or Sydney check out locations here ! If you live elsewhere in the world and you are hankering for your own sampling of Igloo Zoo — I apologize profusely for the tease!