Teddy bear biscuits

Teddy bear biscuits

We’re in full party prep mode around here as it’s my younger son’s 2nd birthday party this Sunday. The theme is ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ in honour of his favourite thing in the world – a raggedy old stuffed polar bear, affectionately (but not so creatively) known as ‘Bear’. These little teddy bear biscuits were made using a basic gingerbread recipe, some royal icing, white chocolate melts and smarties. Very simple to do and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be a hit with the kids! (If they’re received with the same enthusiasm as the Thomas the Tank biscuits we made using basically the same recipe, we’re on a winner!)

What you will need:

For the biscuits
(makes approx. 18 biscuits)

  •  125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup golden syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 4tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp bicarb soda
  • electric mixer
  • baking paper
  • rolling pin
  • circle cookie mould (4-6cm in diameter)
  • a small circle mould (1-2cm)
  • baking tray

For the icing

  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg white
  • small drop of brown food dye

For the faces

  • 2 pink or orange smarties per biscuit (approx. 36 in total)
  • 1 brown smartie per biscuit (approx. 18 in total)
  • 2 dark brown mini smarties per biscuit
  • 1 Cadbury’s white chocolate melt per biscuit

Method
1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
2. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer for 10-12 mins or until light and creamy. Add the golden syrup, flour, ginger and bicarb soda and beat until smooth dough forms.
3. Roll out the dough between sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick.
4. Use the larger circle cookie cutter to cut out the face biscuits. Then use the smaller circle cutter to cut out 2 small circles for each face to make the ears. Push the ‘ears’ onto the faces, shaping them into semi circles as you go.
5. Line your baking tray with baking paper and bake them for 8-10 mins or until golden.
6. Once the biscuits have cooled, mix up all of the icing ingredients and ice the biscuits.
7. While the icing is still wet, decorate with the smarties and white chocolate melts. To stick the nose smartie on, use a bit of the icing.

Making teddy bear biscuits

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts: Switzerland

Swiss Bircher muesli recipe

Week 8: Bircher muesli

The only things that seem to be consistent about bircher muesli recipes, as I discovered in researching our eighth Around the World breakfast, are oats soaked (in something) overnight, some type of nuts, and grated apple. Beyond that, it’s pretty much anything goes. So we took a bit of creative licence here and ran with cranberries and almonds as the key flavours. We also chose to soak the oats in apple juice for sweetness but some other recipes we found suggested soaking in water, milk or yoghurt, and sweetening with honey or maple syrup. I’m not really a fan of super heavy bircher muesli so we opted for just a small dollop of yoghurt at the end, rather than soaking the oats in it. It’s a bit of a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’, so vary it up however you like!

Switzerland ATW banner

Makes approx. 2 full cups of muesli (or 3 medium sized serves).

What you will need:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or your dried fruit of choice)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2tbsp walnuts, crushed
  • 2 apples, grated (skin optional)
  • 1/3 cup milk (we used almond milk for extra almond flavour but any milk would be fine)
  • dollop of plain or vanilla yoghurt
  • mortar and pestle or a blender

Method
1. Put oats and cinnamon into a plastic container and shake to distribute cinnamon evenly.
2. Put the oats in a bowl and add apple juice and dried fruit. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
3. Dry fry the almonds in a frypan until just browned and crunchy. Crush them into small pieces in a mortar and pestle or blender.
4. Add half of the almonds to the oat mix, along with grated apple, walnuts and milk.
5. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and the remaining crushed almonds.

Making bircher muesli

Join us on our journey!
This is the eighth of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the journey. Next stop: Ukraine!

We’ll be taking a break from our Around the World series next week, for my little one’s 2nd birthday. In the meantime, we’ll bring you some behind the scenes snaps from Mr.2’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic party…)

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts: Sri Lanka

coconut roti - Sri Lanka

Week 7: Coconut roti

I’m a sucker for anything that involves fresh coconut and our coconut roti certainly did not disappoint. They were more like dense pancakes than the layered roti we’re used to, but that didn’t take anything away from the fact that they tasted AMAZING. Our only disappointment was that we didn’t make more! Once we got past the initial hurdle of actually cracking the coconut open (a feat that involved a hammer, a screwdriver and a small axe in our case), we found the process of making this recipe really simple. The firmness of the dough also makes them a lot easier for little hands to flip than traditional pancakes. And with just four ingredients, you won’t have to turn the kitchen inside-out to make them.

In Sri Lanka, coconut roti is served both as a savoury (often as a side dish with curry) and a sweet dish (for example, served with palm syrup). We didn’t have any palm syrup on hand so we settled for maple syrup. The bananas were our own embellishment. The recipe below was drawn from a number of different sources, including this excellent video tutorial on making coconut roti that was actually filmed in Sri Lanka.

Around the world in 18 breakfasts - sri lanka

Makes 4 roti of approx. 10cm diameter.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut flesh (even though we have a mature coconut pictured above with the dish, we actually used a young drinking coconut bought from Woollies to make the roti)
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • water (approx. 2tbsp)
  • a blender
  • oil
  • heavy-based frypan
  • optional, for serving – sliced fresh banana and maple syrup

Making coconut roti

Method
1. Blend coconut flesh until well ‘minced’.
2. Add flour and salt and work through the coconut to a breadcrumb-like consistency (much like you would do with butter and flour when making scones).
3. Gradually add water and knead through to create a dough. The amount of water you need will depend on how watery your coconut is but we used about 2 tablespoons. Knead the mix until all the flour is worked through. Roll the dough into balls (about the size of golf balls).
4. Let sit for 20 minutes.
5. Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy-based frypan over medium heat. Flatten out each ball of dough to about half a centimetre in thickness and cook until golden brown.
6. Serve with banana and maple syrup or your topping of choice.

IMG_4900

Join us on our journey!
This is the seventh of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the journey. Next stop: Switzerland!

 

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts: Indonesia

nasi goreng - breakfast around the world - Indonesia

Week 6: Nasi goreng

For this week’s Around the World breakfast, we made nasi goreng, which literally means ‘fried rice’ in Indonesian. Nasi goreng isn’t just any old fried rice though, this stuff takes fried rice to a whole new level. And while I don’t think it will become a breakfast staple in our household any time soon, it has definitely made the cut as a new addition to our ‘Winner Dinner’ list! We looked up quite a few nasi goreng recipes in researching this week’s breakfast and what we’ve come up with below is our hand-picked selection of our favourite ingredients from each.

Around the world in 18 breakfasts - Indonesia - nasi goring

What you will need:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 rashers middle bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
  • 100g tinned prawns (shrimp)
  • 1 small chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ketchup manis (sweet soy sauce, available in the Asian section of the supermarket)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • dash of sambal oelek (minced chilli) – optional (this stuff is hot!)
  • 1 tsp tamarind puree
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions
  • 2.5 cups pre-cooked rice (preferably cooled in the fridge overnight)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1/4 cup fried shallots

nasi goreng recipe - ingredients

Method
1. Fry eggs into a small omelette. Cut into thin strips.

2. Fry garlic, bacon bits and celery together until the celery is slightly transparent. Add prawns and chicken and cook until chicken is lightly browned.
3. Add soy sauce, ketchup manis, coriander, cumin, tamarind and sambal and stir through. Then add the carrot, spring onions and rice. If the mixture is a bit dry, add some water until it reaches the desired consistency.
4. Serve warm, topped with crushed peanuts and fried shallots.

Join us on our journey!
This is the sixth of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the journey. Next stop: Sri Lanka!

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts: Lebanon

Lebanese breakfasts - manakish zaatar and labneh

Week 5: Manakish zaatar with homemade labneh

For our fifth Around the World breakfast, we made manakish (lebanese flatbread) topped with zaatar (a Middle Eastern herb and spice mix), served up with homemade labneh (yoghurt-based soft cheese), olives and cucumber. The labneh has to strain overnight so we made it the night before but it was super easy (and super tasty!). We also made the zaatar the night before so all we had to do on Sunday morning was make the manakish – which is essentially like a pizza base. The manakish was a bit time-consuming because you need to leave the dough to rise, but it was very easy and very hands-on for my mini chef.

Around the world in 18 breakfasts - Lebanon - mannish and labneh

This recipe makes 8 flatbreads (approx. 15cm diameter).

What you will need:

For the labneh

  • 500ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a large square of muslin or fine-weave cotton
  • a strainer
  • a deep container for straining

For the zaatar

  • 1/4 cup sumac
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dry-fried sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the manakish

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 7g packet of dry yeast
  • 3 cups unbleached plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • olives and cucumber for serving (optional)
  • baking paper

Method
1. Prepare labneh by mixing the salt and yoghurt in a bowl. Place a strainer over a deep container and line the strainer with muslin. Put yoghurt on top of the muslin and leave in the fridge overnight.
how to make labneh
2. Prepare zaatar by mixing all of the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready for use (this will keep for up to two weeks).
3. To make the manakish, combine the water, sugar, and yeast, and let stand for about 10 minutes until frothy. Then combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and work it into the flour to form a breadcrumb-like consistency. Make a well in the center, add yeast and water mix and stir into a soft dough.

how to make manakish
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 mins or until smooth. Form dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave it to rise in a warm, draught-free place for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C.
6. Knead the dough briefly and divide it into 8 balls. Place the balls on a lightly oiled piece of baking paper, cover with cling wrap, and let stand for about 15 mins.
7. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each ball of dough and roll it into a circle about 1/4cm thick. Make small indentations with your fingers for the zaatar. Sprinkle zaatar over each piece.
8. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 mins.
9. Cool on racks.
10. Serve with labneh, olives and cucumber (flag optional!).

manakish

Join us on our journey!
This is the fifth of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest
 to be part of the journey. Next stop: Indonesia!

Around the World in 18 Breakfasts: Mexico

Huevos rancheros - Fun Food For Kids

Week 4: Huevos rancheros

With so many amazing looking recipes going around for Cinco de Mayo, we were inspired to make something Mexican for this week’s Around the World breakfast. Huevos rancheros (‘ranch eggs’) are typically made using jalapeño chillies but we omitted the chillies to make it a bit more kid-friendly. However, if your mini chefs are a little more iron-tongued, feel free to add some finely diced jalapeños to taste.

Mexico ATW banner final

This recipe makes enough for 3 serves.

What you will need:

  • 3 corn tortillas (flour tortillas apparently work fine if you can’t find the corn variety)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup refried beans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • sliced avocado, to serve
  • olive oil
  • pastry brush

Method
1. Finely chop tomatoes and onion (and some jalapeños if you dare). Fry onion until softened. Add tomato (and jalapeños), cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, brush your tortillas with oil and cook in another frypan on medium heat until they are just browned and starting to bubble. Set aside.
3. Fry eggs.
4. Spread tortillas with a thin layer of refried beans and top with tomato mix, egg, cheese and coriander.

huevos rancheros cooking

Join us on our journey!
This is the fourth of our ‘Around the World’ breakfasts. Each week we’ll be making something from a different country as part of our ‘Around the World in 18 Breakfasts’ series. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook or Pinterest to be part of the journey. Next stop: Lebanon!

 

Fun food ideas for Mother’s Day

With two more grocery shopping days to go before Mother’s Day (hint, hint, Dad!), we thought we’d do a round-up of fun breakfast in bed ideas for Mum. We think all of these breakfasts look too good to choose between, so you might just have to have an ongoing ‘Festival of Mum’ and make them all!

Heart shaped egg in a nest

fun food ideas for mother's day - egg hearts

All you need for this one is a knife (or a heart-shaped cookie cutter if you have one), an egg, bread and a frypan. Too easy!
Source: Reclaiming Provincial

French toast kebabs

2011-12-30-french-toast-kabobs-586x322

Decadence with a healthy twist – guaranteed to make Mum smile.
Source: Tablespoon

Ham and egg cups with hashbrowns

ham-and-egg-breakfast-cups-with-hash-browns-R109787-ss

This is one that your little chefs can really get involved in making (and eating!).
Source: Recipe.com

Strawberry roses

strawberry roses

We love this one! While the kids will need Dad’s help with the carving, they’ll have fun with the skewering (or if they’re not quite up to that, maybe get them to make some hand-drawn wrapping paper to put around the ‘stems’).
Source: One Little Project

Mini pancake brochettes

fun food for mother's day

At the risk of looking like this post is sponsored by a bamboo skewer company (it’s not, we promise!), we couldn’t resist including these cute little mini berry pancakes. A dash of maple syrup and they’d be complete!
Source: Nugget Markets

I love U

I Love You breakfast

Say ‘I love you’ (literally) to Mum on Mother’s Day with some bacon, a heart-shaped egg and a half-bagel (or your own variation using Mum’s favourite breakfast foods).
Source: Pinterest

We hope you find some inspiration in this post on fun food ideas for Mother’s Day. Whatever you end up having on the menu, may it be a day that’s filled with love, laughter and fun!

Big Mother’s Day hugs,
Tami & Crackers
xx