Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heart Shaped Chocolate Desert Recipe

Here's a lovely Valentine's Day treat.  Its so simple to do and makes a great themed desert.

Chocolate Hearts Valentine's Day Desert

Ingredients:
Chocolate cake recipe or brownie recipe
Chocolate glaze
White chocolate candy melts
A drop of whipping creme or milk
Heart cookie cutter

I used this chocolate cake recipe for this desert. Once the cake was baked and cold slice off the dome using a serrated knife and cut out heart shapes using a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Place the hearts on a wire rack and cover them with melted chocolate glaze. 

Chocolate Hearts Valentine's Day Desert

I used the same glaze found in the chocolate cake recipe.  After 5 minutes, when the glaze has set, melt a few white candy melts and add a drop of whipping creme to loosen it.  Dip a fork into the candy melts and drizzle over the chocolate covered hearts.

Serve with lots of love on Valentine's day & enjoy! :)


  
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chocolate Balls - No Bake Recipe

This is a delicious recipe. It requires no baking, its simple and versatile.  You could pretty much shape it in any way you like and decorate it for any party theme.

chocolate balls

Ingredients:
200g ground dark chocolate
200g ground almonds
2 bags of Vanillin sugar
2 egg whites
3tsp of rum ( I used 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead)
Chocolate vermicelli
Roasted hazelnuts (optional)

In a small bowl combine ground almonds and ground chocolate.  Mix well together.  Add the Vanillin sugar.

chocolate balls preparation

Separate the egg whites and whisk a little with a fork.  Add rum or vanilla extract to the eggs and add to the chocolate mix.  Mix well with your hand until completely combined.  Place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and roll into small balls about 1.5 cm or about 0.5inch in diameter. Roll them into the vermicelli and place in mini muffin paper cups.

chocolate ballschocolate balls

If you like you can shape the balls around the roasted hazelnuts.  After roasting remove the skin and place in the middle, then roll into the vermicelli or any other decorative sprinkles you like.  I think I actually prefer this with a nutty surprise in the middle.  Come to think of it, you could pretty much put anything you like in the middle.

Enjoy!

  
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Friday, January 27, 2012

First Foods - Pears, Prunes & Oats

Baby food and weaning has inadvertently become a feature on this blog.  Its not surprising since we're weaning Lia.  She's a real solid food lover! Here's another favorite of ours.

baby food

Ingredients:
Pear
4 Prunes
2 tbsp of instant oat flakes (Ready Brek)

Peal and chop the pear, pit the prunes and add to a saucepan with water.  Allow to boil until soft. Once done puree to a smooth consistency.  This combination produces quite a runny puree.  To tie together add two spoons of oats.

This is another lovely recipe to help with constipation in babies.  Both pears and prunes are natural laxatives and the bran in oats also helps.  If I wasn't thinking about the constipation I could have added rice instead of oats but I'm staying away from that for now.

The oats I use are Weetabix's Original Ready Brek.  I love this porridge.  It contains 100% oats, no added sugar or salt and its fortified with vitamins. You can find it in the cereal aisle.  I also use it on its own. All I do is add some breast milk and its ready to go.
 

Lia loves it as well! Its often mixed with her food.

Happy weaning everyone!

  
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gruffalo Bento

Since we've been in Gruffalo mode lately, I thought it'd be fun to make a quick Gruffalo bento for Emma.  And when I say quick, I mean quick.... between Lia's feed time and bed time.... which are really close together!

It turned out great, although I wish we had had some brown bread left ... oh well.  

gruffalo bento

He has terrible tusks 
and terrible claws 
and terrible teeth 
in his terrible jaws.

He has nobbly knees
And turned out toes
And a poisenous wart
At the end of his nose.

His eyes are orange
His tongue is black
He has purple prickles
All over his back.

Our Gruffalo is made of a cheese sandwich, his tusks are almonds, his teeth are sunflower seeds, his tongue is licorice and his eyes are orange peel.  Now that I've written the poem I realized I forgot to place a poisenous wart on his nose.... Well I forgot the nose all together!

There are also carrot sticks, banana slices and strawberry wedgies.  Emma ate the entire thing! Except the features of course :) and loved it! 

I like the idea to relate our bentos to the books we're reading... May see more of that in the future.


  
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's for Bedtime?

Emma just loves books! And Lia is following in her footsteps. Even though she's only 6 months its the "toy" she'll play with the longest.  Just like Emma did at her age :)


Our English book this week is The Gruffalo's Child again by Julia Donaldson, following The Gruffalo craze.  Reading of The Gruffalo's Child only ensues after Emma has read to us The Gruffalo.  She knows it word for word, and knows exactly when to turn the page!  The Gruffalo's Child is fun, its told from the point of view of the little gruffalo who is warned by her father of the big bad mouse.  Its  a lovely sequal to The Gruffalo, although that's just what it is....a sequal.




Emma and daddy are reading Tell me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar translated into Greek - Πες μου κάτι όμορφο πριν κοιμηθώ. I like this book. Baby rabbit can't sleep and asks her brother on the top bunk for help.  Its really nothing very special, but what I love about it is that the older brother really goes out of his way to make his little sister feel safe and happy.  I guess this is what I'd like for Emma to be with Lia.




In Serbian, Little Prince still makes an appearance, despite the advanced language. We are reading a little bit at a time, but in addition to that we also are also reading one of Aesop's Fables, The Fox and the Stork or in Serbian Лија и Рода.  This is one of my favorites! I love Aesop's fables because they are full of educational morals, but what I especially love about this edition is the fact that it rhymes.  I like it so much that if Emma happens to fall asleep half way through, I still continue reading it!



Barnes & Noble has coupons available for bedtime books. 


To see other books we've read in the past click here.  Enjoy reading!





  
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine's Day Heart Picture Frame Craft

Valentine's day is almost here, and Emma has actually been talking about it.... strangely enough, since we don't really pay too much attention to it.

So this year, we decided to actually do something about it and create some fun Valentine's day crafts, starting with a picture frame.

valentines day picture frame

What you'll need:
Thick red paper
Different types of sprinkles
Glitter
Glue
Glitter glue
Scissors
Photograph

Cut two equal hearts out of red paper.  Cut out a smaller heart shape out of the center of one of the hearts.  An easy way to do an even heart is to create half a heart and cut it out.  Use it to trace along your paper first one side and then the other.

valentines day picture frame

Glue one heart to the other.  Place glue only to the top and the bottom of the heart, make sure you leave the sides unglued so that a photo can easily be slipped in.

Next apply glue to the entire top heart (the one with a hole in it) and then haphazardly glue different types of larger sprinkles on top and then sprinkle some glitter on the rest of the glue covered area.

Trace the photo heart opening with some dark colored glitter glue to give it definition. Slip in the photo and enjoy!  You can hang it on your wall at work or home or keep it on your desk.

Emma loved applying glue and most of all dropping sprinkles & glitter :)

  
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowman Shaped Red Velvet Cake Pops

 Christmas is behind us but I don't think that should stop us from sharing fun Christmas related recipes! Although these pops could easily be served at a winter party, or a winter time birthday party.

snowman shaped red velvet cake pops



  
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Foods - Prunes

Prunes or dried plums are a great first food because they are a natural laxative.   So for those babies struggling in this department prunes are a great addition to the diet.  Besides its laxative qualities it is also a great source of beta-carotene.

prunes

 If your baby is constipated, in addition to giving prunes it would be a good idea to stay away from BRAT.

B- bananas
R- rice
A- appples
T- toast

Ingredients:
20 Prunes
Baby's usual milk

Pit prunes and place into a saucepan and add water to cover.  Boil for 15-20 minutes or until soft.  Take out the prunes and reserve the water.  Add prunes to your food processor and puree until you get a smooth consistency.  If too thick add some of the cooking water.  You may freeze in a silicone ice cube tray to serve later.  

To serve take out 3-4 of the ice cubes, defrost and add some of the baby's usual milk.  Prunes are great to mix with all fruits but if your baby is struggling with constipation try mixing them with boiled pears.

For another great recipe including prunes see the Pears, Prunes and Oats recipe.

Happy weaning!

  
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We're Going Black in Protest Against SOPA & PIPA

Emma's Lunch is going black today in protest against SOPA and PIPA because these bills will censor the internet.  Join us!



Check out some other sites doing the same:

To do something about it you can go to the Google page and sign a petition or go to the Wikipedia page and enter your zip code to find your representative to complain.

Lets not let this go ahead unnoticed.  Internet as we know it depends on it.

Also this is the last post published on the old domain, please update your links to www.emmaslunch.com. Thank you!

 
  
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No Sew Finger Puppets Craft

As a follow up to last weeks finger puppet theater we decided to make some finger puppets.  We came up with the cutest, funnest finger puppets... totally by accident! I was ready with my felt, thread and needle, I had already started drawing outlines, when Emma took one of the pipe cleaners, curled it all around her finger, and gave me the best idea ever!  We made a piglet, a duck, and a funny looking cow :)

finger puppets

What you'll need
Pink, yellow, black & white pipe cleaners
Pink, yellow & white medium pompoms
4 pink tiny mini pompoms
Googly eyes
Pink, orange, white & black pieces of felt
Hot glue

Curl the pipe cleaners around your child's finger. For the cow, place the black and white pipe cleaners together and curl them at the same time. Cut out a closed U shape out of white felt and glue it to the white pompom, draw two dots for the nose and glue the googly eyes.  Next cut two small triangles out of the black felt and glue to the top of the head and right next to them glue two pink mini pompoms.  Then glue the head to the body.

For the pig, take the pink pompom glue mini pink pompoms as ears.  Cut a small circle out of the pink felt, draw two dots for the snout and glue to the head.  Next glue googly eyes or as we did, cut small circles from white felt and draw a dot to each and glue to the head.  Once its done glue it to the pink body.

For the duck cut a semi circle shape out of orange felt and glue it to the yellow pompom, then glue the googly eyes to the head.  Once the head is done glue it to the yellow body.

finger puppets

Let the fun begin! Emma loved them and played with them for hours!

  
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Make a Rainbow at Home - Science Experiment

Emma loves rainbows, she still remembers the time I rushed her out of the house in the rain because the sun was out and I was sure a rainbow was around. And I was right! There was a huge rainbow above the park in our neighborhood.

Every time it rains she tells me we'll find a rainbow if the sun comes out.  Well now she's old enough to know why!  So this is the next one in our series of science experiments.

rainbow at home

What you'll need
A glass with water
A sheet of paper
A sunny day

Take a glass with water and hold it up near a sunny window.  Let the sunlight pass through the glass, effectively using the glass as a prism to make a small rainbow on your piece of paper.  You should see red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, the colors of a rainbow. 

rainbow at home

I told Emma, we get rainbows when light passes through water, and when it rains sunlight passes to thousands of drops of rain and that makes the beautiful rainbows in the sky.  I didn't go into prisms with her... maybe when she's older.

We were actually lucky that it was a cloudy day. We saw the rainbow appear and disappear as the sun moved behind the clouds!

Happy learning!

  
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jello & Chocolate Wedgies

This is a really fun desert to serve on any occasion. We served it for Christmas, it went really well with the red theme. I found the idea for it on Pinterest!



jello chocolate wedges

Ingredients:
Wilton's Chocolate Candy Melts
Strawberry jello
A silicone form with half circles
Alcohol (if you want to make it into an adult version)


Melt the candy melts, I used 15 chips for each little bowl.  Melt enough to do one bowl at a time so that the chocolate doesn't harden before you are ready.  Using a spoon shape the chocolate in the mold.  Keep molding with the spoon until the chocolate sets.  Carefully take out of the mold and place in the fridge.  Repeat as many times as you need bowls.  Keep in mind, one bowl should make 2 wedgies.


Next make strawberry jello, let it cool to room temperature and then add to the chocolate bowls.   I used the silicone mold to hold the chocolate bowls steady.


jello chocolate wedges


Place in the fridge and wait for the jello to harden.  To make wedges, use a large knife and apply even, steady, strong pressure on the bowl to create two wedges.  It is tricky.  And you may get a few odd looking pieces, so take that into account when making your bowls.

Target has great kitchen supplies. Try this coupon and save.

  
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Friday, January 13, 2012

First Foods - Three Root Vegetables with Millet

Lia has started solids, so I'm in the process of making delicious, albeit blended foods.  We started weaning with veggies.  We went through two days of carrots only, two days of zucchini, two days of potatoes and now we're combining veggies.

baby food recipe

Ingredients:
1 medium sized sweet potato
2 carrots
1 parsnip
3 table spoons of millet seeds
1 tsp olive oil

Intended for babies 6 months and over.

Makes about 6 portions and can be frozen.  I recommend freezing in silicone ice cube trays so that you can take out as many cubes as you like to serve and you don't need to use a microwave to defrost.

Peel and chop the vegetables, steam or boil for about 20 minutes or until soft.  At the same time place millet seeds into a small pot with some water and boil until tender.  Drain the vegetables and millet, join together in one bowl and blend to a puree.  You may add some of the cooking liquid from either veggies or millet or use some of the baby's usual milk to soften it to a desired consistency.

first

Add a tea spoon of olive oil to each serving.

Enjoy!

  
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