Saturday, 30 January 2016

Warm Orange Nutty cake

For this weeks bake I am using my fab new cooking book! 

I've been eating healthy for over a year so thought it about time to treat myself to a new read. The recipe was a bit too healthy for me so we made a few substitutes!

1 large orange
125g dried apricots 
70g walnuts
70g almonds
70g Brazil nuts
4 eggs
200g caster sugar
125ml olive oil
85g wholemeal self raising flour
****preheat oven to 160degs

First up, cover the orange in water and boil for half an hour, then add in the apricots and boil for another 15 minutes.

We don't have a food processor, so had to make do with my smoothie maker! The Zebra loved putting all the nuts in the container one by one, and had even more fun pressing the button to whiz them up. 

Tip the nuts and flour into a big bowl and mix together. Pop the bowl to one side.

The Zebra greased up the cake tin with a little oil, she loves anything that resembles painting.

Once the orange and apricots are boiled, cut the orange open and take out any pips. The whole lot then goes in the processor/blender until smooth.

Add the fruit purée in with the oil, eggs and sugar. Mix together really well.

Finally, tip in the nuts and flour from earlier. If you have a processor you can blend it all together, but we did it by hand!

Spoon the mixture into the pre-greased tin and decorate the top with nuts. Remember to lick the spoon clean!

Pop in the oven for an hour to get the perfect, tasty, healthy cake!

It's not chocolate but the Zebra sure does love it!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Melted Snowman

Things have been rather quiet here at the Zoo as the the Zebra has been poorly and not felt like doing any crafts. She's luckily getting better so we did a quick make this afternoon!

For the melted snowman you obviously need white paint! This is best painted onto dark card or paper - we went for dark green grass. We used some pink ribbon and paper to make a hat and scarf, then some mini Pom-poms for buttons, orange triangle for nose, and of course, googley eyes! Oh, and don't forget the glitter...

 Really easy to paint this one - I let the zebra use a sponge brush to swish the white all over the card.

After that we used silver and blue glitter, because it's not a toddler craft without some glitter!

To help develop the fine motor skills, I got the Zebra to dip the snowman parts in glue and stick onto the card. It doesn't matter where they go as the snowman is now a puddle!

And here it is - a sparkly, glittery, melted snowman 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Arctic Fox

Brrrr!! It's some cold out there still!! We haven't been lucky enough to have snow down here in Cornwall, but that didn't stop us making a snowy fox...

Cotton wool and paper plates are the main materials, but, as always, we like to throw in some glitter and googley eyes! 

As this is a relatively clean craft, the Zebra was more than happy to wear her apron(!) She loves to 'dip-dip' and was content covering a whole plate in cotton wool.

The Zebra got a by confused with the glitter glue today and tried splatting her hand on to make handprints - however she just scraped the glue off and ended up with very silver glittery hands!!

Once dry, you need to cut the plates into the fox. The cotton wool needs to be cut into half to make the body, and then a quarter for the head.
From the glitter, cut 4 rectangles for legs, 2 triangles for ears, and a sausage shape for the tail.

Glue the parts together and add the eyes and nose and there you have it! One super sweet and sparkly Arctic Fox.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Hats off to Mummy

Today is national hat day - So obviously we had to make a hat!

I just pulled out some random bags from the cupboard today, including some party hats left over from the Zebras first birthday.

For some unknown reason, the Zebra made it very clear she did not want any feathers near her hat!

We soon got over the tantrum and got stuck into the glue! No matter how much pva we glooped, most the pom-poms fell off, so we used foam and glitter shapes instead

And the best bit of hat making? Trying it on! 

For our princess crown, we used some glitter glue tubes - it was going great onto the Zebra sat on it and wipe all the glitter into her bum... Time to tidy up!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cold as Ice

Brrrr!!! It certainly has turned cold today, so our craft is reflecting how we feel - Frozen.

Frozen themes only need two colours - blue, and white to give different shades of blue.

With one piece of blue paper I used masking tape to make snowflake shapes. For the other piece I cut a toilet roll to make a snowflake printer.

Despite having lots of different brushes, the Zebra insisted on painting her hands and feet. She would then stamp and pat the paper to cover it white...

Once it dried, I peeled off the masking tape to give lovely blue snowflakes against a snowy white sky 

Next, the Zebra had blue paint mixed into the bowl and was given the toilet roll stamper. Things started well and she made some snow prints, but it wasn't long before the toes got in on the action and the piece became a big blue smear! 
We did have a bit of artist temper half way through as the Zebra was clearly not happy with the direction her work was going, and demanded a clean sheet of paper...

The way things are feeling here, we may have some real snow in the next couple days! 

Monday, 11 January 2016

David Bowie 1947-2015

There's a starman, waiting in the sky...

Bowie, you well and truely did blow our minds. 

I couldn't post today without giving tribute to another star in the sky. When I think of my childhood, I can't count how many hours I've spent listening to his music, and The Labaryth is up there as one of my most watched films. Even now I often find myself jumping around with the Zebra singing "Dance magic dance". He is a genuine legend.

Today we decided to have a Star theme, and wanted to make something bright and happy. We tried a craft similar to this at Halloween, but with paint, and it was an epic fail, so this time we tried it with glitter.

Holding a paper star against the card, I covered everything in pva glue. When the star was lifted, it left a perfect, clean shape in the centre. 

Time to get the shake-shake out and let the Zebra loose with the glitter!

Once she got bored, I made sure the whole paper was covered in different coloured glitter. 

Shake off the excess, and you are left with a shining star! 

The zebra also enjoyed some time playing with the glue and glitter to make some sparkly footprints and played with the sticky star I used as a stencil.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Cinnamon Swirls

Yay for baking Saturday's! And what better way to use up the festive flavours than with some swirls. Or pin wheels. Or rolls. Or what ever you call them! 


350g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
2tbsp caster sugar
2tsp cinnamon powder
100g melted butter
2 egg yolks
200ml milk 

1tao cinnamon powder
55g brown sugar
2tbsp caster sugar
1tbsp melted butter

Icing sugar and cinnamon powder for glacé - can be made to suit tastes.

Pop all the ingredients for the filling into a bowl and give a good mix. We used melted butter, however, if I was to do this again I would use soft butter to make more of a paste. Pop bowl to one side. 

For the rolls, add the dry ingredients together in a big bowl and mix well. Then add in the rest of the wet ingredients and stir up it. Be careful of little fingers when adding the melted butter if it's still warm. 

Once you have a firm dough, it's ready to taste!

I tried rolling on baking paper, however it kept sticking, so we ended up using flour on the table. 

Sprinkle on the filling, and then roll up the dough! 

It was then mummy's job to slice the roll and pop into a greased oven dish. Then into the oven for 30 minutes at 180deg.

Once it's out the oven and cooked, it's time to ice the swirls! I started with making some thin icing sugar and pouring over the top so it found its way into all the gaps and inside the swirls. I then made some thicker icing and added cinnamon powder - this was used to glacé over the top.

Perfect! Now I just have to resist eating until tomorrow...