Rainbow picnic

Fresh fruit, cheese and ham presented simply was a big hit. Best of all our made a healthy snack for mummy too.

Miss Bee was pretty excited to see her rainbow picnic.

She made a “rockmelon train”. 

CUPCAKE Bonanza! Basic,  Dairy free, Banana, GF cupcakes

This photo is the banana cupcake. 

This recipe is my “go to” cupcake recipe:

Cupcake Recipe 

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

1/2 cup milk 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

For extra fun add a teaspoon or so of coloured sprinkles at the last moment and barely mix through by hand (or the colours will bleed out).  

Dairy Free version

125g nuttlex spread

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

1 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

270ml coconut milk 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

I reduced the egg as one guest is only just starting to eat egg. 

They must have been nice as I didn’t even get to ice them before they were all eaten! 

Banana cupcakes 

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

1/2 cup milk 

Throw 2 soft bananas into the mix. 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

GF cupcakes 

I have made the standard recipe using GF SR flour with successful results. I prefer white wings GF flour.
Not sure if you could make the dairy free version GF also. I suspect it would work.  Although adding banana… Might push it too far. 

Toddler play dates: Pitfalls and tips

I’m fairly generous in that I often offer up my house for my group of mum friends to gather together on a playdate. 

Today that backfired. I invited two Mums with thier toddlers over.  One little friend kept physically snatching and squabbling with Miss Bee. She cried and whinged all morning. It was very trying.  I was regretting having anyone around after she was injured twice. Especially since she’d been happily playing by herself prior to her friends arriving.

Those are her war wounds. No wonder she was crying and upset.  Not nice to be attacked in your own home.

Top photo was from her friend smashing her on the cheek with a metal toy car. 

Bottom photo was from being scratched. 

The funny thing was that after the friend left and her just her other friend stayed the noise level dropped dramatically, she didn’t cry anymore and the squabbling vanished. She and her other friend sat quietly drawing,  played cars then ate lunch.  

Catering

Pitfalls:

You’re providing coffee,  tea cups and possibly children’s drinks.  These can end up spilt on your floor,  lounge and toys. Food can be tricky as there may be allergies and personal (and often fussy) preferences.

Children will free roam with food if you let them.  They will drop it, tread on it, spit it out and generally make a mess. 

Tips:

Ask families to bring their own lunch boxes for their child.  Those

If you do decide to provide food it’s much easier to provide a simple platter of whole foods such as fruit and cheese cubes with some plain crackers.  Don’t mix it up like a fruit salad as I can guarantee you part will not be liked or perhaps it’s an allergy.  Best to put it into a segmented tray where families select what they know their child will eat.  

Best to encourage children to sit down to eat. Either a washable picnic rug or a small children’s table.  Otherwise it to be strew around and mashed into everything. 

Guests won’t go home 

Pitfalls:

You’re at home.  You can’t leave.  You’re getting a headache  You’re child has become upset and maybe you’re having to deal with the result of possibly unruly friends kids. You can’t exactly ask a guest to leave…  

Tips:

Plan a mythical appointment and tell them all a few days before that you’ve got an “appointment” that day.  Don’t say what time.  If it’s going to pieces and you’ve had enough you say “oh my goodness hasn’t the time flown!  I guess we’ll have to start winding up so I can make it to my appointment on time”.  If you decide its going well and you want to keep going. .. “oh isn’t it lucky that  I rescheduled the appointment”.

Squabbling 

Pitfalls:

Your toddler loves their toys.  Your toddler may not want to share.  Ther other child may love your toddler’s toys, and may not want to share.  This can unfortunately result in squabbles. 

Tips:

Only put out toys that have multiples such as sets of figurines, duplo (although duplo can be noisy-put it on a thick blanket),  you cars or dolls, you kitchen Tea Party type play.  Any favourite toys,  breakable toys or “one off” toys should be put away.  

Ask families to bring a ride on toy if you’re planning on being outside.  Remind parents to bring ourside weather clothing such as sunhats or winter coat. Consider providing sunscreen if going outside. 

Crowds

Pitfalls:

Gatherings can be be fun. One child elk gets along with your child is great.  Two extra is starting to push it.  Three extra is going to busy. For extra,  I wouldn’t recommend it.  It’s hard to chase them around and some parents will sit back relaxing while their toddler wrecks your house. 

If it’s getting too dire put on a favourite TV shows so they all sit still briefly. 

Tips:

Choose your mix wisely. You may adore the mum but if her kid clashes with yours then don’t invite another tricky kid or you’ll be living with regret. 

Packing up

Pitfalls 

Generally speaking people won’t help.  They’ll wait until their child is overtired then make a run for it with a quick apology.

Tips 

Don’t put out too many toys.  Don’t expect help cleaning up.  Toys will be mixed up, just plan to tidy up at the end.  If you can just pack up a few bits that aren’t being used as you go.