Thursday 30 January 2014

Playdate Muffins

Lyra and I had a playdate this week with a mum and her little dude who I met through my antenatal classes waaaaaay back in May.  We've been meeting up pretty much every week for the past few months. This week Lyra and I went over to their flat for a couple hours of rolling and crawling.  

I was really glad to go over to their flat.  While I love meeting at cafes and chatting over coffee the little monkeys are getting bigger and more active and more vocal and they really need space to explore...not to be stuck sitting in a high chair.  And mat leave money has run out so I'm trying to stop frivolously throwing my money away on decaf lattes and scones.  So a playdate was the perfect way to hang out and save a little money.  

I offered to bring something healthy(ish) to snack on and ended up whipping up a batch of muffins Tuesday afternoon while Lyra watched on.  Muffins are my go-to bake these days.  They are easy and fast...perfect for baking with an unpredictable 6 month old looking on.  A big plus is that they freeze really well too...not that this batch was for freezing.  

I adapted this banana muffin recipe substituting some oats for flour, adding some cinnamon and a good handful of frozen blueberries.  The banana muffin recipe alone is great, I've used it loads and am going to hold back half of the sugar next time and make some minis for Lyra.  The addition of the oats and blueberries in this batch made us adults feel less guilty about shovelling them in our faces while trying to stop the babes from head butting/scratching/crawling over/squashing each other.  Now that they are on the move I don't feel guilty about eating 2 muffins in 1 sitting.  

my little (carrot) muffin

Sunday 19 January 2014

Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes...a (post) pregnancy craving

It is weird.  I didn't really have any cravings while I was pregnant, but over the past 6 months I have found myself craving things I never really HAD TO HAVE before.  I'm mostly talking about chocolate and other sweet things.  Sure, sure I have a bit of a reputation for loving all things cake...and YES most (all) of my new friends in Edinburgh are foodies and cake lovers but I really didn't crave sweet before I was pregnant.  I do now...that's for sure. 

Last night while shushhhing The Babe to sleep I had a sudden urge for chocolate cupcakes...chocolate cupcakes with Mocha buttercream.  Why I NEEDED that combination? I have no idea.  

I haven't made cupcakes in yonks and while I knew I had butter in the house, I knew I didn't have enough for cupcakes AND buttercream.  Dilemma, dilemma.  

Fear not! A quick google search took me straight to this recipe on the Add a Pinch Blog.  Decadent chocolate cupcakes made with vegetable oil.  Perfect! These cupcakes took about 15 minutes to whip up (in fact I had to go and calm The Babe at one point) and bake AND COOL very quickly.  In her recipe Robyn says that you can totally make these after everyone has gone to bed or first thing in the morning. They really are that simple.  Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in the other...bish bash bosh SIMPLES. 

Last year at some point BTB (Before The Babe) I made some to.die.for buttercream icing where I creamed about 150grams of unsalted butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon and just gradually beat in sifted icing sugar and a drop of milk at a time until it was...perfect.  Since then I have never looked at recipes for icing....I go with 150grams of butter for a single layer or 12 cupcakes and just double it for a layer cake.  

I've been obsessed with the Beanies Flavoured Coffees I bought over Christmas so I mixed up a little bit of instant Irish Cream Coffee (extra strong for a deep flavour) and added that instead of milk into the buttercream.  Total indulgence. 

Cravings satisfied...until next time. 

Friday 17 January 2014

Banana Scones...Mombie be GONE!

The Babe will be 6 months next week...I can't believe how quickly these past months have gone...all the days seem to have morphed into one and I'm amazed at how much I can actually get done on little to no sleep.  Let's just say I am ROCKING this MOMBIE look.  

Over the last week or so we have been gearing up to starting The Babe on solid foods and I've definitely caught myself daydreaming about all the wonderful foods I'm going to make her and how she is going to be such a good eater.  I have probably jinxed myself.  

Anyway, last night I was reading a weaning book and stumbled upon a recipe for banana scones.  The recipe was very close to my go-to scone recipe, except it used marg instead of butter and less sugar (still a bit of sugar though).  The Babe is no where near ready to have HER FIRST SCONE, but I thought I try my hand at making some banana scones anyway.  

I decided to adapt my own recipe instead of following the one in the weaning book.  I replaced the milk with mashed banana loosened with a splash of milk, and used a tiny amount of vanilla sugar (although the banana is sweet enough I could do with removing the sugar completely) and did away with the salt and egg.  They taste pretty darn good to me, so I've filed the idea away in the back of my babybrain head and can only hope that somewhere down the road, when The Babe is ready for more substantial foods I have an ah-ha moment and remember. 

Can you tell I am really proud of myself? 

Just to add to my smugness I'll boast about how I whipped these up at 7:30 this morning while The Babe was STILL SLEEPING! 

How's that for a Mombie?!!