I like breakfast to be effortless, hence why I set up my coffee maker the night before so all I have to do is wait for the sound of the coffee pot chortle as my alarm call. These are so easy to make and you just stick them in the fridge before you go to bed, meaning no preparation is required when you’re still in semi-slumber mode. I usually don’t serve these up to my kids, at least not without a chorus of “I want something else,” but at least I’ve eliminated the preparation of one breakfast in the morning. These can be eaten cold or shoved in the microwave to heat them up. You can make them look pretty by making them in a mason jar, but I don’t own practical kitchen equipment like that because I’d rather spend my money on candles and dresses, apparently.
1 Cup of Oats
1 Cup of Milk (any you like)
1 tbsp Jam (strawberry or raspberry)
1 tbsp Peanut butter
Add one cup of oats to a bowl. Cover with whatever milk you like. I usually just cover them as I don’t like runny porridge, but you can add more if you want a different consistency. Top with one tbsp of peanut butter and one tbsp of jam. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top or some peanuts/cashew nuts/walnuts.
Refrigerate overnight and eat 🙂 You could also eliminate the jam and make a variation using chocolate chips with peanut butter and add cocoa powder to the milk and oats.
I took the girls to the park a few days ago. I’ve decided the best days to go to the park are ones where the sky is threatening rain, but never quite makes it there. It seems to put the majority of people off risking the downpour, which leaves the park swings dry but unattended. Fewer kids means more chance I get to sit down for a while on a bench, which is always a bonus. We took the girls’ scooters to the park and they had races and stopped to stare at the pigeons. For some reason, they seem to hold their interest longer than the ducks do. I guess there’s more interaction there.
Everywhere we go that has a river or pond seems to prompt a game of “Pooh Sticks.” It’s weird how much longer my kids can be entertained by a stick than by anything I’m saying. We had a snack picnic after they went to the playground. There’s something old-worldly about having a picnic on a particularly windy day and having to use your picnic blanket as a cape to keep out the cold. We had hot chocolate and I brought snacks for the kids. They love having snacks they can pick at and assemble themselves, like different types of cheese with crackers and fruit and seeds to mix together. (But not as much as they love anything packed with sugar, preservatives and additives.)
On our way back, we noticed that the rose garden had bloomed since we were last there. We walked around looking at the different coloured flowers and the girls loved stopping to smell them and deciding which was their favourite. I like when we go for walks and come across unexpected things like that. The girls are really interested in nature and collecting things and it holds me in the moment for a change. They were fascinated by the ride-on lawn mowers and the freshly-cut grass smelled like the final fragrance of summer.
This recipe is really cheap and a good way to use up leftover bananas. It is also a good baking activity for child involvement without compromising adult sanity 🙂 I won’t eat bananas once they have the first sign of a freckle, so I might have gone overboard with the number of bananas in the recipe. They were a hit with my kids; they kept trying to sneak their hands into the tub when I wasn’t looking (even though they’d already had three each.)
3 Bananas (I used 4 but mine taste more like banana than muffin now.)
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of flour
1 heaped tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar
A handful of white chocolate chips/chunks of white chocolate
Mash bananas in a large bowl with a potato masher. Add all wet ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon. Add dry ingredients, mix well, add chocolate and spoon into greased muffin tins/bun cases. Warning: this recipe made 26 mini muffins. That’s a lot of mini muffins, unless you’re me and always have room for snacks. You can improvise with the chocolate. I had no white chocolate so used part of an Easter egg I withheld from my kids and forgot about. They looked a bit annoyed and showed some vague signs of recognition, but they forgave me when I let them lick the bowl. Enjoy 🙂
I often make pasta pictures with my kids because it is a simple craft to set up and my kids have an obsession with gluing things. Today I was feeling more chilled out than usual about the clean-up, so I let them use other items too. (Warning: the clean-up was time consuming and not enjoyable.) You can use beans, lentils, rice, seeds, etc to make collages and pictures of objects. The girls wanted to make bunnies, spiders and a dolls’ house. This activity lasted a long time (a child’s long time, not an adult’s long time, ie, 25 minutes!)
Here are a few more ideas of things to use for collages and pictures: magazine cuttings, buttons, cut-up straws, cereal, shells, fabric scraps, cotton wool, tin foil, leaves.
The only problem with making these is when your almost three year old thinks that because food is involved, the pictures are edible. Oh, and that you can make hand prints with pva glue. Activity – 25 minutes, Clear up – 50 minutes 🙂
I’m a fan of kid-led crafts: ones that actually look like a kid made them instead of being manufactured by me and photographed from flattering angles for the purpose of improving my blog! These are so easy to make and required minimal direction from me 🙂
Herbal Tea Box (box where the lid flips open and recloses)
Poster Paints & brushes
Glitter (the shaky kind)
Get your kids to paint their boxes however they like. Leave them to dry fully and give in to their demands for TV time. When dry, let your kids use a glue stick and shake their own glitter over it. Add stickers, sequins, buttons, shells, beads. You can decorate it however you like and have a theme if you want. (Eg, summer flowers, sea life, snowy day.) Let your kids choose what to keep inside it. They like putting toys in it and getting you to guess what is inside. Enjoy the twenty minutes this activity will keep them occupied for 😀
My kids asked me to make banana bread this week. I’m convinced they only offer to help so they can lick the bowl and wreck the kitchen with my permission. I decided to sneak some chocolate into the recipe to spare my sanity during the flour explosion clear-up afterwards. My kids keep asking for a second slice of this, so I guess it must be alright.
4 bananas (this might sound excessive but they make it extra-moist)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup veg oil
1tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 Cups flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
Handful of milk chocolate chunks (or in my case, halved chocolate buttons)
Preheat oven to 160 c
Mash bananas with a potato masher.
Whisk in the oil, milk, vanilla, eggs and sugar. I find whisking by hand works best. Don’t be too thorough – leave some banana chunks if you like.
Mix in flour and baking soda. Add chocolate at the end and stir in so it is dispersed evenly. Put mixture in a greased loaf tin.
Bake for about 40 mins in the middle of the oven. Add a layer of foil halfway through cooking so the outside doesn’t become over-crisp.
I never use the term “super” but for the sake of sibilance, I’m using it today. So if you think I’ve had a personality transplant, fear not. I made this soup today and it worked out pretty well. It was one of those days where you’re down to three items in the fridge and you either have to improvise or go outside. I chose the former. I usually come up with recipes I like when that happens; maybe I should use that as an excuse to avoid the dreaded weekly food shop and accompanying trolley tantrums.
5 small sweet potatoes (fewer if using larger sized ones)
1 litre chicken stock
1/2 tsp lazy ginger/ small piece grated ginger (it gives warmth without overpowering the soup)
Pinch of salt
Small handful of Coriander
Peel and chip sweet potatoes into fine slices/cubes. Add boiled water and salt, (and ginger if using fresh) bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer to stop sweet potato froth 🙂 Crumble in a chicken stock cube. Cook for 15-20 mins. (Add ginger at this stage if using from a jar.) Add coriander. Blend using a hand blender. Taste to make sure it’s ok before giving it to people and stuff.