Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe

On Monday I was with the trio and the three year old and I did some baking. The three year old is going dairy free this week due to him having a constant cold! His mum wants to see if going dairy free helps him. So we made some dairy free banana bread (also to use up the old bananas!)

I like to set up all the ingredients and bits we need first to hand when I bake with kids – trust me it’s so much easier! See below what you need…

Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe

You need:

  • 3 bananas – the riper the better!
  • 1 cup of soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Sultanas (or you can use raisins or other dried fruit – my mum has added apple pieces before!)

Method

  1. First you need to mash the bananas in a large bowl using a fork
  2. Then you need to add the sugar to the bananas and mix well
  3. Next add the eggs and mix all together – it will be very runny! 
  4. Fold in the flour and sprinkle in the cinnamon and mix well until the batter is smooth. Add the sultanas or any other dried fruit you desire. My mum sometimes used to add bits of apple to the mix 
  5. Pour the batter into a pre greased or in our case a loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper
  6. Bake at 180c for approximately 45 minutes until golden brown
  7. Poke the middle with a fork – if it comes back clean the mixture is cooked inside!
  8. Enjoy! It always tastes best when it has just come out the oven and is nice and warm

 

The kids had some of the banana bread for pudding and it was still warm! The twins had their banana bread with a little bit of butter on top! I told them that it is how I ate it when I was a child when my mum used to make it for me 🙂

Why don’t you take a look at my previous post on Banana muffins? You could use the same recipe here for dairy free. Banana muffins are a great grab and go snack!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Mashed Potato Muffins

My six year old nanny charge LOVES mashed potato. We had some left over this week and instead of wasting it we decided to make some mashed potato muffins from the leftovers. I don’t like wasting food and the 6 year old doesn’t like wasting mashed potato!

Ingredients

We decided to add some grated cheese, an egg, some chopped up ham in with the left over mashed potato and just mixed it all together. You could add some different ingredients too if you like.

How to make the Mashed Potato Muffins

Pop all your ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  The mixture will look pretty runny! But trust me they turn out fine once cooked. Once all your ingredients are mixed together, spoon the mixture into a pre greased muffin tray.

Pop your mashed potato muffins into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes at 200c until the muffins are a golden brown colour. Take them out to cool for a couple of minutes once done. I used a fork to pop them out of the tin and let them cool down properly on a plate. They taste really good either warm or cold. They could be added to your children’s lunch box or snack pot.

The toddler and his friend had them for lunch the next day with ‘bits and pieces’. *Bits and pieces* is something from my childhood. It’s a simple lunch with a variety of snacky bits. They could be cheese cubes, breadsticks, cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks.

Enjoy!

If you have enjoyed this recipe, feel free to take a look at our other recipes! Why don’t you take a look at our dairy free banana bread or  our delicious jam tarts.

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Yummy Chocolate Brownies Recipe

The three year old and I made some yummy chocolate brownies last week. We had a LOT of left over Easter eggs that were literally taking over the larder cupboard. I mean they were toppling out as you opened the doors.

These brownies were really quick and easy to make too so perfect for little helpers. Baking with children is a great activity as it’s so good for their learning and development. Plus it’s fun too 🙂

You need:

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar preferably – we ran out of brown sugar and used a tad of white granulated sugar too!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Method to make these yummy chocolate brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and grease a baking tray or use greaseproof paper
  2. You will need to melt the chocolate and butter together in a sauce pan over a low heat – set aside to cool 
  3. Encourage your child to help weigh out the sugar then stir into the chocolate and butter mixture. Then add the eggs and stir all together
  4. Weigh out the self raising flour and use a sieve to add to the mixture. Fold the flour in. The mix should be nice and smooth!
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased baking tray (or greaseproof paper baking tray). If you want to add any chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts or any other toppings on top then go ahead!
  6. Bake for around 20 minutes at 180c. Just keep checking on them until cooked and the middle is soft. Let the brownies cool in the tin before serving! 

If you like this recipe why don’t you take a look at my other recipes? You could try cake trains or gingerbread men for example. If not these ones, don’t worry, there are more so take a look!

I hope you enjoy your brownies! Let me know if you added any toppings that go well 🙂

 

Activities · Baking · Craft Activities · Nannying

20 Ideas to do with your Children When it Rains

When it rains we all know as parents, grandparents, nannies, childminders or other childcare professionals it can be a pain when to rains. Being stuck inside all day can send you all a bit crazy! So I have put together a little list of rainy day activities for you all 🙂

Don’t threat though. There are still PLENTY of things you could do to stay entertained.

See below for 20 rainy day activities

  1. You could just brave it and play out in the rain! Stick your welly boots on and your rain macs and go and explore outside! Make a mud cake, go on a bear hunt, search for creepy crawlies and splash in those puddles! However, this could not be for all of you out there. Which is fine because there are still plenty more ideas.
  2. Junk modelling! Get your recycling box out, some sellotape and your craft box and encourage your child to build something! A space rocket, a car, binoculars, a fairy wand. Anything!
  3. Painting – if you haven’t got any of your own paint in the house, you can make you own. You use half a cup of flour, half a cup of salt and half  cup of water. Divide the mixture up into pots, bowls or even sandwich bags and add a little bit of water colour or food colouring. If you don’t want to get paint everywhere or you have a child who doesn’t like getting dirty try out this Mess Free Painting Activity.
  4. Play with play dough. Make your own play dough – or use ready made play dough. You can use play dough cutters. You could even get out some candles, your pretend tea set and make some play dough food!
  5. Baking – bake some cookies or a cake. Baking is one of our favourites, it’s fun and it encourages the kids to practice weighing out ingredients and practice their numbers. Take a look at some of my previous blogs to find some various baking activities such as Banana muffinsJam TartsGingerbread men or Cake trains.
  6. Make your own homemade bird feeder – we made these last week and it was so much fun! The birds are loving them too.
  7. Cooking – Similar as above and I encourage my nanny children to help cook or bake even when it’s not raining. Encourage your child to help prepare and cook dinner. A good way to promote healthy eating and your child’s cooking skills.
  8. Build a fort. Grab some blankets, cushions and snacks!
  9. Make your own puppets. You could sew your own or you could use some old socks. We all know we have a couple of random socks with a lost mate. Once your puppets are finished you could put on your own puppet show.
  10. You could make you own candles. I have made them with my nanny children before and they loved it. It made a wonderful Mother’s Day gift too.
  11. Watch a film together – perhaps a good old Disney film?
  12. Good old fashioned colouring. My nanny children (the twins) love a good colouring in book
  13. Put on a show. I have introduced ‘shows’ with my nanny children. We dress up using the fancy dress clothes, wigs, jewellery and turn off the lights and grab some torches. They hide behind the curtains and I shine the torches on them as they come out to sing, dance or act out their favourite stories.
  14. Pretend play – my favourite would have to be pretend food. Such as playing shops, pretend cooking, playing restaurants or even having a tea party!
  15. Play a board game. My nanny children’s favourite ones are ‘guess who‘, ‘pop to the shops‘ and of course the legendary ‘hungry, hungry hippos‘! 
  16. Another easy one – gloop play. Gloop is so easy to make and you only need two ingredients. Water and cornflour. But if you want to add colour just pop some food colouring in. I suppose paint could work too for colour. Pop two cups of cornflour into a bowl and one cup of water. Mix together – get your child to help! It’s messy, but so much fun. Plus a great sensory activity.
  17. Water/sand play. Get your kitchen bits out too, jugs, measuring jugs, measuring spoons, cups and different sized containers. A great activity as meets your child’s learning needs in so many ways!
  18. Make your own sensory bottles – click the link to view how to make them.
  19. Make music. Whether you use your own musical instruments, you take out the pots and pans from your kitchen or you could always make your own – such as your own rainmaker or guitar.
  20. Make your own jewellery. You may have some old beads and some string lying around the house to use. Or you could hand dye some penne pasta or macaroni and thread that onto some string.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you want more ideas let me know!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Jam Tarts Recipe

The three year old and I made some yummy Jam Tarts! They were delicious and so easy to make. You only need four ingredients and you should find all of them in your kitchen already. So lets get baking!

You need:

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • Strawberry Jam
  • 125g Butter
  • 3-4 Tablespoons water

Method to make Jam Tarts:

  1. First preheat your oven to 180C and grease your muffin tray! We just used a little bit of butter
  2. Weigh out the flour and then sieve it into a mixing bowl. Then add the butter!

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3. Rub the flour and butter together using your fingertips until you make breadcrumbs

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4. Add the water a little bit at a time and knead together until it makes a dough

5. Sprinkle some flour out onto the table and start rolling out your dough to about 5mm thickness

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6. Cut circles out of the dough and place them into the muffin tray

7. Insert some jam into each tart

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8. Using the left over dough cut out some shapes – we cut out some stars. Then place them on top of the jam tarts. They look great already don’t they?

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9. Bake for about 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven or until the tarts are a nice golden brown colour. Remember the oven should be preheated to 180c!

10. Let them cool before eating!

 

If you liked this recipe why don’t you take a look at my others? Such as dairy free banana breadcake trains or gingerbread men?

Also remember to subscribe and share!

Baking · Nannying

Banana Muffins Recipe

I love baking. Especially with children. I think it’s important to teach children to cook/bake from scratch. Plus it’s fun! Banana muffins are so yummy. I used to make banana bread but I find banana muffins easier and better in my opinion. They make great snacks and can be added to lunch boxes too.

I use this recipe and it works every time. The muffins come out light, fluffy and delicious!

Serves 12:
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas (mashed) the riper the better!
  • 15og caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75g butter, melted

Method for banana muffins:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c / gas 4. Place 12 paper baking cases in a muffin tin. I suppose you could use silicon muffin cases but I’ve never tried.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt then set aside.
  3. Combine the mashed bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a large bowl. Then fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon evenly into the muffin cases in the muffin tin.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the muffins bring back when lightly tapped.

Your muffins should look like this…

 

 

They are very easy to make so perfect to make with little ones!

Yum!

If you need a dairy free recipe for banana muffins or banana bread take a look at my dairy free banana bread recipe!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Fruit Smoothies

Who knew by doing something so quick and simple are sometimes the best activities? I arrived at work today to my mum boss showing me their new kitchen food processor with a blender attached. She told me that the 5 year old was eager to test it out. So my younger nanny child and I popped to the supermarket while the 5 year old was at school. We picked some fruit for later to make some fruit smoothies. We decided to pick up some bananas and strawberries!

During school pick up my nanny child couldn’t wait to share his news with me and explain he has a surprise at home! So I replied “I have one too!”

He was ecstatic that I had gone out that day to buy some fruit and even more overjoyed about showing me the new gadget.

Anyway, the five year old took charge and chopped up the strawberries and bananas and even set up the food processor. He made smoothies all by himself. I wasn’t even needed! Professional cook in the making?

Safe to say, I definately recommend it!

If you liked this post why don’t you take a look at some of my other posts? Such as jam tartsbitesize pizzas or dairy free banana bread.

Don’t forget to subscribe and share!

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Gingerbread Men Recipe

Yesterday I made some Gingerbread Men with my nanny boys. We used the cookie cutters we bought from John Lewis a few days ago, the snowman and the christmas tree one. But we also used the usual gingerbread man cutter, a star and of course a train cutter (train lovers my nanny children).

I have never made gingerbread before, I never thought it could be so easy.

This is a great educational christmas activity, so I highly recommend.

You need:
  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 125g butter
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 free range egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • writing icing to decorate
  • decorations to decorate (we just used chocolate balls)
Method for Gingerbread Men:

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

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Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

(We didn’t use a food processor. We started off with a whisk, then decided to switch to kneading with our hands instead! Still did the job fine)

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them. For decorations, use a skewer to make a small hole in the top of each biscuit.

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Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations.

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If you like this post why don’t you take a look at some of my others? Such as cake trainsfruit smoothiesbanana muffins or mashed potato muffins.

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Cake Trains Recipe

Yesterday I baked some cake trains with the 5 year old! It was only a cake mix as the scales are currently broken and in need of a replacement. But we still had fun anyhow. I picked up the ‘Jane Asher’ cake mixture from Poundland with some chocolate frosting that only equalled to £2 so fairly cheap and very tasty.

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First of all the 5 year old greased his silicone train moulds and set them to one side. I made sure that we had all the ingredients handy to one side already to make life a lot simpler. He then poured the chocolate sponge mix into a large mixing bowl and cracked in two eggs. Next he poured in some milk in a measuring jug (practising his maths – bonus!) and poured it in with the sponge mix and eggs, then whisked together until smooth – easy!

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Once he had mixed everything up we added a tablespoon of oil and stirred. I then poured the mixture into a measuring jug for him to pour into his silicone cake mould shaped as trains! We popped them in the oven and baked in 25 minutes.

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Once the cakes cooled, we then spread on some chocolate frosting and decorated them with smarties and marshmallows!

If you have enjoyed this recipe why don’t you take a look at some of my other posts? Such as Jam Tartsbitesize pizzas or gingerbread men recipe.