Festive butter cookies

Its that time of the year where we use our oven frequently and our home smells lovely! My big girl was super excited to make some festive cookies for family and friends. We have been bringing lots of baked goodies from brownies to biscuits for the children’s Christmas parties and she was so proud telling everyone she made them.

I wanted to share our go to recipe for cut out cookies! Its buttery, holds it shape and its made with ease. Another fool proof recipe for the children to mess about with. Thank you Nigella! An indispensable cookie recipe. We used cutters of my child’s choice. Hence, possibly every cutter we own. God bless the brother who had to wash and store them for us.

175g soft butter

200g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Mix the butter and sugar together, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Honestly, we used a normal whisk. It works. Rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF when you are ready to make the biscuits.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place your dough on it. Then roll it out to a thickness of about ½ cm. Cut into shapes.

Bake for 8–12 minutes, by which time they will be lightly golden around the edges. Cool on a rack and continue with the rest of the dough.Allow to cool completely before letting the child run wild with their creative juices. You can use icing sugar to ice your cookies or you can opt for chocolate like us 🙂

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Bless, just look at her face! Well worth the baking mess. They emerged from the oven beautifully, have a peek..

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We then melted some chocolate and left the decorating to the child. Topping overload 🙂 More like an explosion of glittery sugar and hundreds of thousands.

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Coincidentally, it was also the husbands birthday. He gets festive cookies and a very excited rendition of Happy Birthday by our 4 year old … Candles blown out by said child haha. She also led the 3 cheers with much gusto. HIP HIP …. HOORAY! Ps. like our innovative candle holders?

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Do try the recipe and hope you enjoy lots of festive bakes and mince pies over Christmas. xxx

Christmas Chocolates

On Cyber Monday, our very versatile Christmas Combo mould is on offer at 99 pence. Ps. we have free UK delivery on all orders over £25 and flat rate UK delivery at £2.99. We post worldwide and delivery is based on weight. Delivery to Europe is £3.85 for 250g which is usually 2 moulds and to USA and surrounding countries £4.85 for 250g, Australia £5.15. Do message us if you have any queries, I am always happy to help. You can visit our Facebook page or email us at hello@bakedbyme.net . Have a fantastic week ahead.

Baked By Mummy Iris

Yes yes, it is very early but we HAVE to start early as it just gets exceptionally manic closer to Christmas and my baby is due in November. We will just have to be extra organised this year to avoid dissapointing you 😉 We have released our new Xmas Combo mould and have posted loads out to you already.

Introducing our new Xmas Combo mould available on HERE. This is a fab buy for £3.99 just because there’s so many designs on a mould. Santa, snowman, stocking, Xmas tree, candy cane and gift or parcel.

Xmas Combo Mould

They are really easy to use. Here’s proof 🙂 We carefully spooned melted choc in the cavities. This can get really messy. Imagine choc all over the mould. Not to fret, I used a little teaspoon and my fingers to clean up the sides haha! Some people prefer piping the chocolate in. Remember to…

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The Making of an Autumn Wreath

Fall may be one of my favourite seasons at the moment. I have never really paid much attention to it till the child came along. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated the beauty. Love the various shades of autumn leaf colours, falling leaves and the crisp refreshing air but I have never truly experienced autumn till I shared the season with my daughter. An eye opening experience! Such innocence and joy when they discover autumn and they genuinely take it all in with great enthusiasm from having races with her friends through the leaves, rolling around in them, squirrel spotting and her absolute favourite ‘treasure hunting’. We have hundreds of conkers in little boxes and a handful of acorns and pine cones. All part of her autumn treasure collection. Oh how I burst into laughter when she came home from pre-school and told me ‘Mummy, look in my school bag. I have a surprise for you’. Her bag was filled to the brim with autumn leaves. She refused to chuck them and kept them in a box too. We also had lots of pumpkin fun leading up to Halloween. We treated her to a few tiny pumpkin, squash and gourds and she was so proud of them.

One day, she came running home from school with a ‘note’. There is a parent child Autumn Wreath Competition much to her delight. She is a child who loves homework of any sort. Odd child alert. She immediately mentioned she was going to make one filled with conkers from her collection. Hoorah! What a fabulous idea little one. All I need was a glue gun.. Amazon to the rescue!

Surely every mum needs a glue gun. At long last, I am a proud owner of one now. . No more faffing about with the silly glue stick. This wreath project kept her busy for a few days. We did it in stages. We cut out a cardboard box as the base of our wreath. I also assigned her the task of cleaning all her conkers. She loved scrubbing them with soap and an old toothbrush haha. We had to chuck out her leaves as they were all gross and mouldy. We found a brilliant pack of fake autumn leaves at The Works for a quid. She arranged her treasure on the wreath base and I stuck it on. Voila! The end result surprised me. It looked fabulous even if I were to say so myself. Enjoy the pictures.

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Pumpkin Picking with Our New Addition

For the last 3 years, we have taken our eldest child to Cattow’s Farm for our annual pumpkin picking day and every year they have made it bigger and better. This year, they have really outdone themselves. Superb family day out. It was busy, jam-packed with humans yet it did not feel too hectic. Thank goodness they had a bigger carpark and lots of activities to keep the children very excited and happy like bouncy castles, face painting, pedal powered tractors and more.

Flashback time, oh I love looking back at old pictures and blog posts. Time really does fly by and I feel like I am starting to forget so many precious memories (already!) especially since we were blessed with another child. People will ask, so when did your eldest crawl or walk and I have to really crack my head to recall. Blimey and this is with 2 children. Documenting our memories is definitely worthwhile, so come on Iris. Write more 😉

2016 – Peek at our delightful 2 year old’s first experience at the pumpkin patch HERE.

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2017 – 3 year old bubba and soon to be big sister! Aaaah, bump pics.

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… and today, October 2018 as a family of 4. Surreal to be honest. Do you know what was really handy? Our baby wrap was a fantastic move as we didn’t really want to deal with a super muddy stroller. The wrap we have is from Joy and Joe and its brilliant for less than £20. Initially, the soon to be 4 year old was wary and not too keen to be honest about all the ‘mud’ on the pumpkins. She soon warmed up as she sprinted up and down the farm trying to pick the best ones for her to bring home. Little ones for her collection and a huge one to carve with her daddy. A real adventure for her and also a great lesson that our food does not only come from the shops but they actually grow in soil on a farm.

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Till next year, Cattows Farm. We had an ace time creating precious childhood memories with our children.

Dairy Free Banana Bread

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Slightly crunchy crust and soft and moist on the inside. One of my all time favourite bakes, but this time around we found the most delicious dairy free recipe! Winner, winner chicken dinner! Too good not to share, I will not be using any other recipes for the rest of my life I don’t think. That’s how good it was. The best banana bread we have baked and its pretty much toddler-proof too. Baking with kids can be a different art form altogether, they eat ingredients and oh batter. So much batter, like the butter sugar mixture ( oh her favourite )! A little too much goes into her little mouth but I can’t help but chuckle as the approving Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm is hilarious and truly honest.

Before I share the recipe, check out our masterpiece 🙂

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1/2 cup butter (115g)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

4 bananas ( over ripe ones, finely crushed)

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Cream butter and sugar. We used dairy free Stork. With a toddler, everything is simplified. I used a fork and she had lots of messy fun with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add eggs and crushed bananas
  3. Mix well
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt. I should have sifted them before adding them but it turned out well even without the sifting. Add in the vanilla.
  5. Mix until just combined. Impossible not to over mix with an over-enthusiastic toddler.
  6. Poured into a greased and lined loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 175°C (350F) for 55 minutes.

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The banana flavour comes through very well in this banana bread. Still very impressed with this beaut of a cake, ps. we polished this off  in 2 days. Time to bake another but perhaps we will add in some chopped nuts this time!

Have fun baking.

 

 

 

Pick us to be your Mark Warner family, please?

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I always do this, stumble upon something when it is 6 hours to the deadline! Oh seriously. ‘Why do I do this to myself? but but this is too great of an opportunity to not give it a shot?’ Come on Iris, write.. write for your life! I have just finished gawking at Capture by Lucy’s beautiful travel pictures and am taking up her call to apply to be one of Mark Warner’s family ambassadors. As she would put it, I would regret it if I don’t. Absolutely, so here goes and wish us luck.

Travel, extraordinary travel. It truly is the best. We have been very lucky as a family to be able to escape the pressures of daily life and see so much of the world together with our 2 year old. We have formed precious lasting memories by flying the little one all the way to Malaysia to start, exploring the hot springs in YangMingshan Taiwan, taking in all the sights in downtown Taipei all in a day and recently if you follow our Instagram, we have just been to Madrid, Barcelona and Greece!

Lots and lots of exploring the world with a tot in tow. Instagram must be my favourite social media platform, it was like our travelogue with lots of holiday snaps and videos especially of the little one prancing around everywhere. I have managed to snap about a thousand pictures (no joke) and I cannot wait to get them organised for my little blog.

To be in the running for Mark Warner’s fabulous holiday i.e for us to be brand ambassadors, I am suppose to collate our Top 10 travel must haves! I have written a similar blog post ‘Surviving Long Haul Flights with our Toddler‘ last year and this still stands. Always better to be prepared BUT after our recent travels, I have an alternative Top 10 MUST HAVES.

  1. To be Bold and Adventurous – experience new things!

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We risked it with the toddler and took a cruise boat out when we were in Athens to experience 3 absolutely beautiful islands namely Hydra, Aegina and Poros. It was a very long day from 7am till 7pm and we had about 9 hours to spent hopping on and off the cruise ship. It started off very wobbly as she was exceptionally quiet which is very unlike her and then she was sick! Thankfully, it was just the one off. She must have been seasick, bless! It paid off tremendously as she had a ball dancing around. When she is older, we must show her this postcard worthy picture of Hydra where she was in awe of all the donkeys on this ‘no vehicles’ island.

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2. Relax the rules – try not to be too uptight (speaking for my husband *jokes*)

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When you are on holiday, anything goes. Oh well, within limits of course. When we arrived in Greece the little one was exceptionally taken by all the gorgeous stray cats roaming everywhere! They were absolutely gorgeous although one will never know if they have fleas or carry illnesses. I definitely relaxed the rules and allowed her to touch them as long as she could wash her hands properly. Definitely makes for a more relaxed holiday!

3. Indulge – in good food, fun shopping, relaxing spa sessions, whatever tickles your fancy.

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There is no denying that I love my food especially desserts! When on holiday, INDULGE. Try it all, eat it all. Don’t follow me for diet advice although if you have or had a 2 year old. You will know that they run. These little humans can really run and chasing a toddler around takes its toll. I definitely burnt more than enough calories keeping her safe.

4. Enjoy an ‘adult’ holiday

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As long as you not taking them to a night club, all should be fine. I was initially stressed before we embarked on our trip to Athens as understandably we want to climb up the Acropolis but having read some feedback from Trip Advisor forums, some won’t recommend it as you have to leave your stroller. You know what, just do it! She had lots of exercise and plenty of fun, who cares if I could not feel my arms properly afterwards. She napped when we were still up there and we had to carry her back down. Daddy did most of the heavy lifting. Well worth it! There’s always a way for them to entertain themselves or maybe we are one of the lucky few.

5. ‘Dancing shoes’

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Those of you who follow our family’s journey will know of my tot’s tendency to break into a dance anywhere and anytime! Only 2 but she lives to this mantra ‘Why walk when you can dance?’ Plenty of dancing videos, check out one of my favourites filmed in Madrid on my Instagram HERE. Her lack of inhibitions is fantastic, she had a ball every time she heard music. Boogie boogie throughout your holiday, you will not regret it.

6. Take silly pictures and videos

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These two never fails to crack me up! They think of the most random things to do whilst waiting. Like daddy, like daughter?

7. CAMERA. Video camera. Phone camera. – even better an Insta-husband

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Bless my patient husband for dealing with my .. ‘another picture baby’. Another one here and here and here and here! Whoops. In all honesty though, my pictures of him and our daughter are way better than his. Grrrr.

8. A very LARGE inflatable – in our case, Horsey

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I kid you not, this horsey has been with us to Taiwan, Malaysia, Wales, London, you name it! Proof –>

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9. Lots of soya milk and SNACKS!

Bubba has a dairy allergy so we tend to be very prepared in this department. Lots of soya milk just in case. NEVER ever travel without snacks. I mean it. It makes them happy when they are upset. Pictures above were taken in Madrid, she was getting very grumpy and all it took was a small box of raisins to turn her frown into a smile. She even fed daddy some.

10. Little activities to keep them busy. Stickers and lots of them!

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Thank you for taking time to read and fingers crossed we will be able to embark on another fantastic getaway. Sunny one perhaps?

Pick us pick us! Little one would be thrilled if I am a #MarkWarnerMum and then she can do THIS all over again and our family will be able to form lasting memories in the sun with Mark Warner. Can we just be full time ‘wanderlusters’?

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Remember remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November… Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night. Whatever you call it, it sure is a fun albeit freezing night out for all the family celebrating the failure of Guy Fawkes’ infamous Bonfire Plot. Bonfires will be lit and fireworks will be illuminating the night’s sky with ‘BOOM BOOM BOOM’ as my toddler would put it.

We have been talking loads about fireworks as Diwali just passed and she had quite a few  fireworks themed activities for the past week. Her playgroup organised a lovely firework painting station for them, which she thoroughly enjoyed. We wrapped up warm and went to the annual Rainbows festival of fireworks at Leicester Racecourse. We were not sure whether to go for this or the biggest display at Abbey Park. I think we definitely made the right decision as we knew the toddler might be very tired and it might not go our way when the fireworks went off. Who knows, we might have to make a run for it  and Abbey Park was a much larger venue. Parking was a huge factor in this too. We were there from half 5 right up to the end of the children’s display which started at 7. We were frozen by then. A little someone who was never a fan of gloves kept asking us to ‘fix it’. Its very telling that she was cold 🙂

When we arrived, little one was excited to look around the funfair and we asked her whether she wanted to go on a centipede roller coaster. She profusely said no. However, we took her on a tamer train ride. She had her game face and was oh so serious when her daddy took her in the little train carriage but when she came out .. she was squealing with excitement and told me that she sat on a Choo Choo Train and rang the bell. Little joys in life, it was lovely to see her expressions.

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She especially loved the live music on stage, where she danced for at least half an hour whilst waiting for the children display. I forgot how expensive it can be for things like that. Our entrance was £7.50 each  (£5 for advance tickets), rides usually cost about £2.50 (double that as she is still wee to go unaccompanied), coffee / tea £2 and oh my word, the warm sugary donuts were 4 for £5! Oh well, all in all .. an experience to be had.

She was still excited when they were counting down to the kiddies display but all went a bit wrong when it started. She was not as excited as the last time she saw fireworks and started saying no and she was scared after a few minutes. My husband and I ran helter skelter working our way through the crowds whilst catching bits of it. She would look in amazement for a while and say lets go. We missed the lighting of the bonfire as well as the adults display (no surprises there)

As we were leaving and was in the vicinity of the carpark, she started wailing again as she wanted more fireworks. Oh the looks on our faces.

Till next year kiddo.

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