Thursday, July 29, 2010
Perfect day for baking
It was wet and miserable here today and the kids (ok so Cooper) were pretty upset to discover that it was still raining when they woke because we had planned a day in the park. We've discovered this lovely park and only about 10mins from our house which is a bonus and I had planned on taking them there this morning. Every Monday morning Cooper's latest thing is that he requires an itinery for the rest of the week. He has recently learnt the days of the week and now every morning when he wakes up he wants to know what day it is and what the plans are for the rest of the day. So this week I told him that on Thursday we're going to go to the park on a leaf hunt. I want to do some leaf painting and leaf collages with the boys. But of course the weather this morning was miserable so no park for us.
How was I going to make it up to him ?
So I planned a full day of craft, painting, drawing and of course some baking. My boys absolutely love 'helping' me in the kitchen and they love taking it in turns to stir, sift, measure or crack eggs. Something which their anal retentive clean freak of a Mum isn't so good with but I just have to let it go because they just love it. And hey kids have to be left to be kids. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.
So today on the menu was date loaf and savoury vegetable muffins.
Now the recipe for my date loaf is far too extensive to go in too and quite frankly it's my secret recipe that i'm not prepared to share.
Ahem. So yes I know it's a packet mix and yes I know about the extra preservatives in them. But this particular one is quite harmless. In fact it was actually given to me by my mother. Shock horror. For anyone that knows my mother would know how shocked I was when she suggested I use a packet mix of any sort. My mother is a brilliant baker and cook and let's just say that she's definitely NOT a packet mix kind of person. Anyway it's gluten free and my Mum is completely gluten free now and she has experimented with some of these gluten free packets and recommended I give it a go. Plus for $2.50 on special it's a bargain way to bake. Amd it was a super easy thing to do with the boys and for a packet mix it actually turned out quite well. In fact it was delicious. Although next time I think we'll try a gluten free date loaf from scratch.
Now rest assured my famous Savoury Muffins are something I make from scratch. I say famous because i've made these a few times now and they've been a hit with everyone. I love recipes like this that number one are super easy and number two are healthy. I hide lots of yummy vegetables in them and never hear a complaint from the kids.
2 cups self raising flour (we use Gluten Free)
1/2 cup finely chopped ham (I use either chicken or if I want a vegetarian version I use corn kernels instead)
1/2 cup grated cheese (I use 1/4 cup of tasty and 1/4 cup of parmesan)
1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 small red capsicum finely chopped (I use green and yellow as well depending on what i've got in the fridge)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (I use basil or baby spinach)
125g melted butter
1 cup Milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
As you can see I probably use more vegetables than what the recipe says too but it's all about trial and error.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease muffin trays
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Stir in butter, milk, egg until just combined - don't over mix
4. Bake in oven for 15 mins or until golden brown on top
Now there are a few things I also add that make it even yummier. Sometimes i'll add different vegetables depending on what i've got in the fridge. I've also added caramelised red onion before which was delicious as well as grated zuccinni and i've also added slices of cherry tomatoes. I add a teaspoon of curry powder to the dry mix as well as a good sprinkling of mixed herbs. I also top my muffins with a sprinkling of parmesan and mixed herbs.
The kids will love them and so will you. I also make mini ones which I can send along in their lunchboxes to kindy.
This is the gluten free flour that I use. It's actually a brand that is often on special in Aldi so i'll always stock up when they have it come in.
And of course I have to share some photos of my little helpers