Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Ways to Follow Emma's Lunch

As you all know, as of tomorrow, GFC getting discontinued for non blogger blogs.  And since I'd really like to still remain in touch with you, please subscribe in another way.

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Now that this is out of the way I'd like to also give you a quick update on what's still to come at Emma's Lunch.   

I'm very happy to announce the introduction of two new exciting features Video Tutorials and Giveaways!  This is in addition to our existing features First Foods Mondays, Crafty Tuesdays, What's for Bedtime? Wednesdays, Bento Thursdays, Party Fridays, Recipe Saturdays and Learning Sundays.

Stay tuned for these new features, I'm excited by these developments and am looking forward to sharing more along the way!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

Boys love dinosaurs and especially dinosaur birthday parties.  This dinosaur birthday cake makes a perfect centerpiece for any dinosaur party!  I got the opportunity to create a cake like this for a special little four year old on his birthday.

dinosaur birthday cake

Two 10inch sponge cakes (I used this Chocolate Cake Recipe)
Butter frosting
Green food coloring
Assorted chocolates

I got the idea for this cake from the Betty Crocker website.  They have a bunch dinosaur cake ideas but this is the one I liked the best.

dinosaur birthday cake

It is really simple to make.  Take one cooled 10inch round cake and cut off about 1/5 of the cake. Next cut out a semi circle.  That part will make the body of the dinosaur.   Cut out the tail and the head from the second 10 inch round cake.  I did this freehand but the Betty Crocker website has a template you could use.

Mix your butter frosting with some green food coloring to get a color you like. Next apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This will be the base coat used to seal in all the crumbs.  Once that's done, place the cake in the fridge and allow to chill for about 30 minutes. 

Then take out the cake and apply the final coat of frosting and decorate by adding assorted chocolates for dinosaur spots, spikes, toes and eyes.  Use white frosting to pipe on the mouth and teeth.

Its such a simple cake to create.  It looks like its a lot of work when there's really nothing to it. 

Related articles:
Spiderman Shaped Birthday Cake
Superhero Birthday Party Ideas
Chocolate Cake Recipe

Come back soon for Dinosaur Birthday Party Ideas!


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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mardi Gras Masks Craft for Kids

We've had a lot of fun crafting for Carnival. This Mardi Gras Mask craft is simple and fun and easily doable for any child.

Mardi Grad masks for kids

What you'll need?
Hard paper
Glittery Stickers
Glitter glue
Elastic thread

To make these masks even, draw one side of mask freehand, cut it out until able to softly fold over and trace the other side.

Mardi Grad masks for kids

Once you've cut out the mask, using a pencil indicate where the the eyes should be.  You can measure the exact location for the eyes by placing the mask against the face and marking that way.

Then, let your child get to work.  Allow her to decorate as she pleases.  Sticking the glittery flowers to the masks and further decorating using the glitter glue.

Mardi Grad masks for kids

Once she's done, cut out the holes for the eyes using scissors.

Mardi Grad masks for kids

Make a small hole at each side of the masks, thread through the elastic thread and tie into a knot.  Stick a sticker on top of the knot for safety and enjoy!

Related Articles:
Hand Print Carnival Masks Craft

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Handprint Carnival Masks Craft

Carnival is around the corner so we've been making masks! I love how these came out.

carnival masks

What you'll need?
Card paper
Glitter Glue
Glittery stickers
Elastic Thread or Stick/straw

Trace one of your child's hands, only the four fingers without the thumb.  Get an idea of the size by measuring against your child's face. And then trace the second hand on the opposite side.

carnival masks

Join two hands together by either drawing straight lines or making a slight V on top.  Cut out the mask and draw where eyes should be by placing in front of your child's face & measuring.  Cut out the eyes and create a small hole right next to each of the eye spots.  Get the elastic thread and thread though the holes. Tie a knot on each side.  

Stick a glittery sticker on top of each of the knots to ensure it keeps in place.  Using the glitter glue create various shapes to decorate your mask.

carnival masks

If not using the thread, you may glue a straw or a small stick to the back of the mask to be used as a holder.

carnival masks

You may decorate as you please, the red mask was first entirely covered in glue.  Emma then sprinkled glitter all over it and we continued by using the glitter glue to decorate.

The masks came out great! We both loved the outcome.  How will you dress up for Carnival?

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Number Two Shaped Birthday Cake

Last week was my friend's birthday. Luckily for me, she's still in her twenties and I got to create a number two shape cake again. Right along with the number seven shape cake.  Last time I had to do a number two shaped cake was for Emma's second birthday, but that was way before this blog existed!

Number two shaped cake

Since this blog has a lot to do with children, I will show you how to make the number two.... I don't think any children of 27 will passing by here.... Unless they are mommies that is! 

The only way to create a number two shaped cake is either by cutting it freehand or following a template. And luckily, I created a Number Two Template just for this purpose! The actual number fits a 12x9 inch (30x22cm) baking pan, although to print it that size you need to print on an A3/Legal size paper since the number is just a little bigger than an A4/Letter size.

What you'll need:
Any cake recipe (I used this chocolate cake recipe)
Serrated Knife

To decorate as in photo:
Soft icing
Yellow fondant
White fondant
Heart shaped cutters
Chocolate vermicelli
Rolling pin
Offset spatula/or a butter knife

Note: for the cake above I made the 27 smaller, in order to fit one baking pan.

Bake the cake as per instructions.  Once baked leave it to completely cool on a wire rack.  Print the number two template on an A3/Legal size paper cut out and place on top of the cooled cake.  Using a small serrated knife carefully cut out the shape.   To reduce the number of crumbs you could first chill the cake.

Number two shaped cake

Just an FYI, I created number seven freehand.

Once cut, if you want to use fondant, you first need to do a crumb coat.  Meaning you need to completely cover the cake with a thin layer of soft frosting to seal in any crumbs and allow the fondant to stick to it.  You will need to do a crumb coat even of you choose to use soft icing all over the cake.  Before applying a second layer of soft icing you should chill the crumb coated cake.

Number two shaped cake

Next roll out the yellow fondant.  Knead it until soft and pliable and roll out a thin layer.  Carefully transfer to the cake and softly stick to all sides. 

You can roll out some white fondant and using cookie cutters cut out heart shapes.  Stick the hearts to the cake using a tiny bit of water.

And that's it! You're done! Place in the fridge until serving.

Looking for a Number 3 Shaped cake? We've done that too :)

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Healthy Butterfly Lunchbox

Emma and I have been preparing for preschool.  How you may ask? Working on letters?  Numbers? No..... Lunchboxes!

Once they move away from the cushy kindergarten that provides all meals and snacks for the kids, it can be quite daunting thinking about having to pack a lunch on a daily basis.  You may also want to make it somewhat fun and interesting, to mix it up a little instead of just packing the old sandwich.

School healthy butterfly Lunchbox

Here we've got a cheese sandwich, I cut off the crusts and then I used a butterfly cutter to cut a butterfly shape within the sandwich.  I placed another slice of cheese in the shape of a butterfly on top.  I packed two silicone muffin cups, one with lentils and one with yoghurt.  And that's it! You're done! When sending this to school you could place a piece of foil paper on top of lentils and yoghurt to prevent spillage.  Once they can read a loving note makes a nice touch.

Emma loved it and although the lentils weren't the same as they make them at school she had a few bites.  I will have to keep reintroducing it to her. 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's for Bedtime?

Things have been coming up on Wednesdays lately. But I'm happy to share a few more books this week.

What is Valentine's Day by Harriet Ziefert
Our English book this week has been What is Valentine's Day? by Harriet Ziefert. I didn't actually know we even had it, until one day Emma unearthed it.  Apparently we got it last March in Dubai and forgot about it.  I think Emma was attracted by the hearts on the cover.

This is a lift the flap story which explains to kids all about Valentine's Day.  It belongs to a series of books which attempt to teach about all kinds of holidays. Some of the other books in the series are What is Christmas?  What is Hanukkah? What is a Birthday?  What is Mother's Day? etc.

Emma quite liked this book.  We've read it maybe 5 times and she's already reciting it!  Its simple, to the point, Emma now knows what is Valentine's Day.  Its a pretty simple book I'd recomend it for younger kids, which pretty much makes sence since we bought it almost a year ago.

When I grow up I want to a ballerina 

In Greek, Emma and Daddy are reading "When I grow up I'll be a ballerina" 'Oταν μεγαλώσω θα γίνω μπαλαρίνα.  I can't actually find the english version of this to share.  Anyway, Emma is in love! The illustrations are lovely, its a book about friendship and perseverence.  It teaches that we should remain focused and continue working hard even when its tough.  It teaches that hard work is rewarded. Emma wants this book almost every night.  At least every night when its daddy's turn to read.

macak u cizmama

And finally in Serbian, we've been working through Puss in Boots by Stella Gurney or Macak u Cizmama.  This book is actually translated into Croatian, it is full of fun fun fun.  There are wheels, pop ups, flaps, excellent illustration and an option to tell the short story instead of having to read the entire text, which is quite long. Its a great upgrade to the regular tale.  There are so many things to do while reading that your child will never get bored!

Happy reading everyone! 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hand Print Valentine's Day Card

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I like the idea of having a day to do something different for our loved ones.  Yes, we should show our love on a daily basis but lets face it, we don't give cards and little gifts to the people we love everyday.  And while Valentine's day may be a Greeting Card Company holiday, you're not really falling into that trap if you make your own cards!

We made this fun card using both Emma's and Lia's handprint.

valentine's day hand print card

What you'll need:
Red card paper
Black card paper
A tube of glitter glue
Two little hands

Cut a long strip of black paper and fold it into an accordion.  Using the glitter glue write "THIS MUCH" on the accordion flaps and leave to dry.  Trace two hands, cut them out. Write "WE LOVE YOU" on one hand and "DADDY" on the other hand.  Replace Daddy we anything else you may like, Grandma, Mommy, etc. Then glue one to each end of the accordion.

valentine's day hand print cardvalentine's day hand print card

And there you go!  Incredibly simple, loving, keepsake Valentine's Day card :)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday - Valentine's Day

Well its one day before Valentine's Day so today we really need to have an appropriate muffin tin!

muffin tin valentines day

We had Special K in a heart shaped cup, mini bites of bread and cheese, yoghurt in a heart shaped cup.  Then two heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and heart shaped cheese bites.

muffin tin valentines day

Emma loved it!  I created the mini bites using Fun Bites cutters.  Emma really liked seeing the mini food.  I'm planning on using them a great deal in the future :)

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Spiderman Shaped Cake

Spiderman cake is the perfect cake for a boy's party, no matter how old! Today is my husband's birthday and for his birthday Emma requested a super boyish Spiderman Cake.  So how could I say no??

Spiderman Shaped Cake

What you'll need:
An oval baking dish
Any cake recipe (I used the no bake Doukissa recipe)
Red fondant
White fondant
Black icing
If using a sponge cake recipe you will also need soft icing, chocolate or butter will do.

Prepare the cake, if using the Doukissa recipe leave it to chill for at least two hours before decorating.  If you are short for time you could even place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. If using a sponge cake recipe, like this delicious chocolate cake leave it to cool and then cover entirely with a thin layer of soft icing.  This will allow the fondant to stick easily and it will hide any imperfections on the cake.

Once the cake is ready, take out the red fondant, kneed it until easily pliable, scatter some icing sugar on your working surface and roll out.  Once you receive a thickness of about 2 millimeters lift carefully so it doesn't break and cover the entire cake. Using your hands press the icing into the cake so that it covers everywhere equally.

Next roll out some white icing and cut out eye shapes out of it.  I did one eye freehand and for the second one I traced the first eye ensuring I got the same shape.  Place on the cake and using a toothpick mark Spiderman's lines.

Spiderman Shaped Cake

Once that is completed use black icing to pipe around the eyes and create the distictive lines on his face.  Start by drawing the vertical lines once that's completed continue with the horisontal

Spiderman Shaped CakeSpiderman Shaped Cake

Put back in the fridge and serve cold.  Our cake came out great, the kids loved it and especially the birthday dad! :) 

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Felt Flower Valentine's Heart Craft

Valentine's Day is almost here. This gorgeous felt flower heart is perfect for adding a Valentines touch to your home.

valentine's day heart, felt flower decoration

What you'll need:
Red felt
Hot glue
Felt glue or white glue
Black paper
Box Cutter
One CD

Draw a heart on your cardboard.  There are a couple of things you can do to make it even.  You can print out a heart shape and trace it on the cardboard.  Or, do as I did, draw one half of the heart freehand on a piece of paper.  Cut it out and trace it on the cardboard, flip over and trace the other side.  Using your box cutter cut out the heart.

valentine's day heart, felt flower decorationvalentine's day heart, felt flower decoration

Use your cardboard to draw a heart on black paper.  Cut about 1cm or 1/2inch wider than the heart shape you traced.  Next cut into the black paper heart about a centimeter/half inch to make little flaps.  Glue to the back of the cardboard heart, flip over and glue the flaps to the front in order to dress the back of the cardboard.

To create the flowers, take the felt and use the CD to draw circles. Cut them out and then cut out a spiral about 1cm thickness.  Make sure that the marked circle is cut off otherwise it will create a black shadow in the center of your flower.  When cutting the spiral, you do not have to be precise.  That is what gives texture to the flower and that whimsical look to the heart.

valentine's day heart, felt flower decorationvalentine's day heart, felt flower decoration

Start rolling the spiral tightly from the outer edge working your way in to create a rosette. Periodically add felt glue as you roll the flower.  Make sure to keep the bottom of the flower straight so that the top part creates the uneven flower feel.

I cut about 50 circles.  I started with creating rosettes using the entire spiral and arranging them on the flower board. You will see holes that will create where you will need smaller flowers. Create smaller flowers by starting a rosette using your spiral.  Cut off the rest of the felt when you reached the desired size of flower. 

Use hot glue to glue flowers to the board.  Have your child help you arrange them.  Ideally you would have to have all the above steps done before involving your child (depending on their age of course).

Leave a comment and let me know if you've enjoyed this.  I will be posting a video tutorial soon on how to do different types of felt flowers. Watch this space and Happy Valentine's Day!

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