Baking · Cooking and Recipes

Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids

Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids

Source: pexels.com – Nicole Michalou

Baking is a splendid way to spend a calm but fun afternoon at home. If you have kids, these baking recipes are a terrific way to bring your little helpers into the kitchen. Allow the children to lick the spatula while mixing the batter or decorate a batch with colourful sprinkles and icing.

Although the procedure will be untidy, the result will be fantastic. Do not halt yourself in baking and try these simple and quick baking recipes that leave no room for mistakes!

Continue reading “Quick and Easy Baking Recipes to Try with the Kids”
#LoveYourself · Happiness · Health

Self Care Rituals for Stressed-Out Mums

Self Care Rituals for Stressed-Out Mums

Is it just me or has 2020 been one of the most stressful years of your whole life?! The constant worry, the changing rules, remembering masks and hand sanitiser, homeschooling the kids, working from home… The list of additional stressors seems endless. With this in mind, I’ve been trying to do some things recently to improve my self-care, and it’s definitely helping. Here are just a few of my new rituals:

Self-Care Skincare Routine

I’ve never had particularly problematic skin, aside from the odd bit of dryness and the occasional hormonal pimple, so I’ve never paid much attention to a skincare routine before. However, my Mum has AMAZING skin, especially for someone who will be 60 in a couple of years, and that’s because she’s always made sure she looks after it, and I am inspired to do the same.

I’ve started using a hot cloth cleanser with Vitamin C to wash my face, which helps to exfoliate and make my skin look a LOT brighter. I’ve also been using a peptide serum before I moisturise, which seems to make my skin feel super soft. I then use a gel moisturiser, which sits much better on my skin than something oil-based and doesn’t cause spots. I’ve got to say, my skin looks better than it ever has, just by adding a couple of new things to my daily routine

Managing moods with wearable technology

When you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed it can be really difficult to take control of your mood and focus on more positive things. I’ve found that using wearable technology like the Hapbee band helps me to take charge of how I’m feeling and reduce my stress levels. 

With the band around your neck or your head, it sends magnetic signals to influence your moods. I can choose to feel positive with moods like Focus and Alert when I need to get things done during the day. And in the evening I can unwind by selecting Calm or Relax, which helps me to get a good night’s sleep and significantly reduces my stress levels. You can follow Hapbee on Facebook for more tips on dealing with stress and controlling your moods. 

Yoga and Meditation

When I went on my mad exercise kick back in 2017, one of my favourite things to do was my weekly yoga class. Taking an hour to do something peaceful and relaxing, stretching my muscles and realigning my mind and body was amazing for me.

There would be a ten-minute meditation at the end of the class where we’d lay on the floor with our eyes closed and the teacher would coach us on proper breathing and clearing our minds, and I absolutely loved it. It was probably the closest thing to a tantric massage without being touched! Since lockdown happened, I’ve been doing yoga and meditation at home, and it’s really helped me to keep my mind and body healthy during this weirdness.

Finding a Hobby

Because of my health issues, our family has been isolating constantly since the beginning of March, which has meant that we’ve had a LOT more time on our hands. Obviously, I’m doing the usual working/cooking/cleaning/walking the dog, as well as homeschooling both kids, but that still leaves me with a few hours a day in which I actually have some time to myself.

I’ve taken up a few different hobbies to fill the time, and I actually feel quite fulfilled for the first time in years! As well as the baking and cooking that I’ve been doing a lot of, I’ve also taken up cross-stitch, which I absolutely love, and most recently I’ve started quilling! I’ll be sharing one of my latest creations here on the blog soon, and I’m quite proud of it.

Have you picked up any new hobbies lately? Have you been taking more time for self-care? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

All About ME! · Hobbies

Learning a New Hobby and Picking Up Some Old Ones

I think I can speak for a lot of parents when I say that we’ve all had a moment of feeling a little bit like we’ve lost ourselves. Our days are spent working, looking after the kids, keeping the house tidy, and maybe occasionally socialising in the little time we have left – having a hobby didn’t seem like something I had time for.

When I was a kid, I had all sorts of hobbies and some of them felt like they helped to define who I was. Just lately, I’ve been trying to do more things for myself, now that the girls are older and don’t need constant attention, and as well as picking up some old hobbies again, I’ve also been trying some new ones. Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to:

Cross Stitch

My Hobby - Baby Yoda Cross Stitch
Cross stitch is probably my favourite hobby and this one of The Child from The Mandalorian is the one I’m most proud of!

If you follow me on social media, you might have got a peek of a few of the cross stitch projects I’ve completed lately. I’ve always enjoy sewing and crafts, but I’d never tried cross stitch before. Then Husband bought a kit for Sausage and I to try and I haven’t looked back! As well as being a great way to pass the time and stretch myself creatively, it’s SO gratifying to put that final stitch in a piece and enjoy the rewards of your hard work. I’ve even been making them for people’s birthdays! I think it’s probably my favourite hobby right now.

Online Casino

In our pre-kids days, Husband and I were members of a casino and used to love a night out amongst the slots and tables. We’d have a meal, play a few games of blackjack or roulette, check out some of the latest slot singapore has to offer, enjoy some cocktails and wander around, soaking up the ambiance. Sometimes you just can’t beat going to an actual casino, especially as some casinos have some of the most beautiful venues around. It’s been a fair while since we’ve been able to do that, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying a little flutter online, especially when you can find some great deals like 25 free spins no deposit.

Gaming

When I was younger, I loved playing computer games. I had a ZX Spectrum in the late eighties, a Nintendo Gameboy which I was GLUED to in the early 90’s, an N64 (Goldeneye is still one of the best games of all time, DON’T @ ME), followed by a PS1, PS2 and so on and so forth, but my gaming time dwindled as I got older and busier. And, while 200 percent bonuses on the aforementioned online casinos are fun, we also seriously appreciate playing a good computer game. Husband has a PS4 now, and he’s managed to get me into playing Red Dead Redemption, and I also recently got SIMS 4 on my laptop. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1&2 for the PS4. Pure nostalgia for Husband and I!

 

Soap Making

Another hobby I’ve discovered is soap making. It’s surprisingly easy to do if you use pre-mixed soap base (yeah, so I’m not a purist, but the thought of trying to use chemicals like lye when I’m a clumsy calamity is scary!) and I love finding combinations of essential oils which are theraputic for the mind and body. I’ve given soaps as gifts over the last few months too, and it’s all been very well received. I love making personalised gifts like this, based on what I know about the person I’m giving it to.

Baking

Authentic German Plum Cake
Authentic German Plum Cake

I’ve loved baking for as long as I can remember. When I was in Primary School, we had dedicated kitchens for the kids to use to bake in and the heady smell of sugar and margarine being creamed together before being baked with flour and eggs still takes me back to those days. Husband recently bought me a stand mixer as part of my birthday present, because I wanted something with a dough hook to take some of the stress out of kneading bread, but I’ve actually used it to make SO many different things! I think my proudest bake so far was the German plum cake I attempted in homage to Husband’s late grandmother – he said it was just as good as hers, which is HIGH praise indeed!

Baking

Vegan Coconut and Chocolate Cake Recipe

On Saturday afternoon, I was bored. We didn’t have much to do, the housework was mostly done and the kids were just doing their own thing. We didn’t have much in the cupboards, but I decided to have a rummage around to see what I could find. Two things I did happen upon were a bag of unopened cacao powder and some dessicated coconut, both of which had been bought for other projects, but never used.

I wanted to have a go at making a cake, but we didn’t have any eggs in the house, so I decided to see if I could knock up a decent vegan cake without going to the shops for ingredients. It turned out that not only could I do it, but it tasted GOOOOOD!

Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Cake
The cake part was chewy and dense and super coconutty and the chocolate icing that I made for the outside was so rich and delicious that I’m thinking of making it my go-to icing next time I make a chocolate cake. Our vegan chocolate and coconut cake would also be great for people dealing with allergies as it contains no dairy, no eggs and no lactose. Obviously there’s wheat flour and coconut, which I know can cause people issues, but if you’re okay with coconut, maybe substitute the flour for almond flour, Buckwheat Flour or rice flour instead. Here’s how I did it:

Vegan Coconut and Chocolate Cake
Recipe Type: Baking
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
A chewy, sweet chocolate and coconut cake which is egg-free, dairy-free and lactose-free.
Ingredients
  • For the Cake
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 200g white sugar
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 160g dessicated coconut
  • 360ml Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 120ml Coconut Oil (Melted)
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • For the Icing
  • 420g Icing Sugar
  • 120g Raw Cacao Powder
  • 110g Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 60ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsps Dessicated Coconut (for decorating)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Rub two 8 inch cake pans with a little coconut oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and then add the sugar, salt and dessicated coconut. Mix together well.
  4. Then add in the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla and stir into a thick batter. Make sure it’s well mixed, you do tend to find pockets of dry ingredients if you don’t.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and spread it out to the edges of the pans with a spatula or the back of a spoon, the batter will be too thick to spread out on its own.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
  7. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
  8. Prepare your icing by adding the icing sugar, cacao powder, coconut oil and coconut milk to a mixing bowl and mixing with an electric mixer starting off slow and then gradually increasing speed until thick and smooth.
  9. If your icing is too thick, add a tiny bit more coconut milk, a drop at a time until you reach the right consistency, if it’s too thin add more icing sugar.
  10. Ice your cake and decorate it with plenty of dessicated coconut.

We’re trying really hard at the moment to reduce the amount of animal products we eat and knowing that we can still have a properly indulgent treat without using any animal-derived ingredients at all is so encouraging. I think that added drop of virtue made this cake taste even better! Let me know if you give this a go and if you make any tweaks to the recipe, I love to see variations and changes that other people try. Next time, I’m going to try to find some vegan pouring cream to go with it!

(Post contains affiliate links)

Baking

Teaching Kids to Bake WITHOUT Making Cakes!

bake with kids - cauliflower cheeseAs you’ll know if you read this blog (or The Keto Life) regularly, 2017 has been a year of lifestyle changes in our house, not just for Husband and I but for the girls, too. The summer was a bit of a lapse for us all, as we ate and drank what we wanted (which included a few too many Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) but now that school has started again we’re all trying to get back to a healthier lifestyle. The problem with this is that the girls and I absolutely love to bake together and we don’t want to give up just because we’re not eating cake, so we’ve been trying to cook together but deviate from the usual biscuit and cake offerings!

One of our favourite things to make (and eat!) is our own low carb take on cauliflower cheese, which is really easy to make, tastes incredible and is simple enough for the girls to get involved with. www.worktop-express.co.uk have asked us to share our recipe with you:

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)
Recipe Type: Keto
Cuisine: Baking
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
Ingredients
  • A head of cauliflower
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 20g grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and par-boil for 10-15 minutes, until it just starts to go soft (there is nothing worse then HARD cauliflower in cauli cheese, if you ask me!)
  2. In a separate bowl, place the double cream, cream cheese, 200g of the cheddar (keeping some back for sprinking on top before baking) and garlic powder and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted together. Stir to combine fully.
  3. Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool for a minute (this will allow more moisture to evaporate away and stop you from ending up with a watery sauce at the end)
  4. Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9″x9″ Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
  6. Bake at 180° for 25 minutes and the finish under a hot grill for a minute or two to get a really browned-off finish
Serving size: 1/5 Calories: 432 Fat: 38.2g Saturated fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 58mg Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 16.7

This cauliflower cheese contains just 5.8g of carbs and is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially if you’re trying to avoid carbs. It feels like a rich, cheesy treat which won’t derail a low-carb diet and making it with the kids is really fun, especially if you’ve got kids of different ages – one can chop cauliflower and one can mix ingredients so they both feel involved and get to do things at their own level.

Do you bake with your kids? Have you got any fab healthy baking recipes to share? I’d love to see them.