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Xander is really getting into making things in the kitchen, so when he begged me to make some cakes with him this afternoon, I couldn’t say no, and we headed through to experiment and make up a new recipe. Here’s what we came up with…
Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate On Top
Makes 6 cupcakes
- 90g banana
- 30g reduced fat peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 40mls skimmed milk
- 100g self raising flour
- 30g sugar
- 18g chocolate buttons (3 buttons per cupcake)
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Mash the banana and mix well with the peanut butter, vanilla essence, egg and milk.
- Add the flour and sugar and mix well so that the cake batter is light and fluffy.
- Spoon into six cupcake cases and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden.
- Remove from the oven and immediately place three chocolate buttons on top of each cupcake so that the chocolate melts, then spread it over the top of the cupcakes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Calories: 154
- Carbs: 25g
- Fat: 4g
- Sat Fat: 4g
- Protein: 4g
- Sodium: 1g
These values are based on the products I used (Asda reduced fat peanut butter; Asda Smart Price eggs and flour; Asda chocolate buttons), so if you use different brands, the values may differ slightly, but as a rough guideline, this will give you an idea.
These only have a very slightly peanut buttery taste, but the banana wasn’t so overpowering as to completely cover it – it was a very tasty combination. There was just enough chocolate on top to make it feel indulgent but without it being too much. Xander certainly enjoyed his! We had a lovely time making them together too!
You know how I’m terrified of spiders? And you know how I’m determined not to pass that phobia on to Xander? Well, there was a spider in the bath last week. I told Xander that he was just having a little wander around and then Daddy would rescue him when he got home. Xander then asked, “Why don’t YOU just rescue Insy Winsy, Mummy?”
So I got a piece of card and a plastic pot, and I guided that spider on to the card, trapped him with the pot, and released him on the veranda wall so he could “go home”.
Xander seemed impressed. He told me, “That was very kind of you, Mummy. Now Insy Winsy can go home to HIS Mummy and not be lost any more!”
Granted, the spider was only the size of my thumb nail, but this is a MAJOR step for me. My heart is beating so fast as I type this that it feels like it could burst as I was so scared. But I kept that smile on my face the whole time (thank Gods I’m a good actor!).
That day I was the bravest Mummy in the world, and my little boy doesn’t even know it!
This morning I had to remove yet another (significantly larger, this time!*) Insy Winsy from our bath. I did it without hesitation and without visibly wigging out. This, however, is not the reason I feel proud. No, the reason I feel so proud is that I’ve just realised it’s become so commonplace that I forgot to even mention it to Dale today. (Mental high-five to self!)
* By “significantly larger” I mean if was one of those where the body is about the size of the tip of my thumb and THEN there are the long legs. Not quite a fill-your-palm spider, but heading that way!
I’m proud of myself.
Today I Am Awesome!
Of course, that’s not to say that if another shows up and Dale is home, I won’t make HIM deal with it – they still make me feel sick with fear inside I’m just getting better at hiding that from Xan!
Xander and I love experimenting in the kitchen together, and sometimes I like a savoury snack rather than a sweet one, so I thought we’d play around with an idea for savoury muffins and this is what we came up with. It’s a very simple recipe and it turned out delicious! Xander even enjoyed licking the batter off the spoon before it was cooked (he likes to do that with cakes, but I didn’t expect it with savoury muffins!)
Cheese, Onion and Sweetcorn Savoury Muffins
Makes 4 muffins
- 30g onion
- 30g sweetcorn
- 30g cheese
- 60mls skimmed milk
- 60g self raising flour
- 1 egg
- pinch of mixed herbs
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Dice the onion as finely as you can, and grate the cheese on the finest grate setting.
- Lightly beat the egg and milk together, then add the onion, sweetcorn, cheese, herbs and flour, and mix well.
- Spoon into four cupcake cases.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden on top.
Info for your food diary (per serving):
- Calories: 120
- Carbs: 14g
- Fat: 5g
- Sat Fat: 1g
- Protein: 6g
- Sodium: 8g
These values are based on the products I used – Asda Smart Price flour and Asda Mature Scottish Cheddar (the rest are generic) – please remember to adjust the values according to the products you use – these are only a basic indication. I think a touch of broccoli and/or carrot might work well. I also like using courgette in recipes like this, so I might try adding some of those next time. If you like extra cheesy, use an extra mature cheddar and perhaps a touch of parmesan, but remember to adjust your values!
These turned out fluffy and light and just the right size to pop in a lunch box. Xan’s not keen on sweetcorn, but he only picked out a couple of pieces that he spotted in his muffin and ate the rest no bother. I’ll definitely be making these, and variations on this recipe, again – sometimes it’s nice to have a savoury snack instead of something sweet and these just hit the spot!
I very recently got into a new crafty hobby – crochet! I know, I know, it’s another “granny craft” – my hubby and sister are always joking that with my cross stitch, and now crochet too, people would be forgiven for thinking I’m in my 80s, not my 30s, but I reassure them that needlecrafts are the rock and roll of the crafting world! Yes, it’s now COOL to crochet, cross stitch, quilt, knit and do any number of other needlecrafts.
All the big celebrities are doing it. I kid you not – big stars who like to knit include Christina Hendricks, Felicity Huffman, Katherine Heigl, Kristen Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, and even David Arquette (yes, the guys are getting in on the action too!). And those are just some of the knitters! Crocheters include Madonna, Meryl Streep, Debra Messing and Bette Midler. That’s right – her Madgesty is hooked on the hook!
And with pioneering peeps such as Mr. Cross Stitch rocking the world of cross stitch, being into needlecrafts has never been so cool!
Anyway, back to my own early attempts at crochet. I did a few practice squares of a few stitches last year, but it was only a couple of months ago that I decided to seriously give it a try and I’ve now completed two afghans (the first of which I can’t show yet, because it’s a gift for someone and they don’t have it yet!), and have started work on a third!
Here’s the colourful blanket I very recently completed for my lovely son, Xander. Look at his little face! He was so excited to see it finished and on his bed (which is completely covers, by the way!) that he actually squealed! He doesn’t often agree to pose for photographs, but he was more than happy to sit with Mr. Wuffles and let me snap this picture of him sitting on his newly covered bed. He snuggles down under it watching the television as well as in bed at night. He loves it!
I also made a cushion to match his blanket. He was a bit unsure at first because he liked the old red faux leather cushion covers we had before, but since then he’s decided he rather likes it after all (phew!) and has it on his bed to lean against when he’s looking at his books. They’re both just a simple granny square design, so the project grew very quickly.
Then I decided to make a cover for my Cyclone tablet computer. I didn’t follow a pattern at all – It’s just single crochet till the pieces were large enough to cover the tablet, then crocheted together in single crochet. I made two little crochet buttons to fasten it.
The front is in lime green, the back is tangerine, and the flap and buttons are lemon yellow, so it’s a very fruity-coloured case!
Now I’ve begun work on an afghan for my own bed. It will be in very muted tones of white, light grey and dark grey, and will feature a circle-in-a-square motif. I’ve actually designed my own pattern for this quilt, which is a big step for me! Watch this space for progress pictures as it grows!
My gorgeous son, Xander (who will be four years old in September – where has the time gone?!) has the ability to melt me with the simplest sweet nothing, or stop me in my tracks with some profound pondering.
Here are a few of his latest that have made me laugh, smile or shake my head in disbelief:
Do small kids know something we don’t?
After my in-laws’ dog, Ellie, passed away, Xan started asking questions, but stunned me with his own idea of what happens when we die…
Xan: Ellie died, didn’t she?
Me: Yes, she did.
Xan: Why did she die?
Me: She’s been alive for a very long time and was very unwell and her body wasn’t working properly any more. She was in a lot of pain, so she just stopped living and now she doesn’t hurt any more.
Xan: Oh. That’s a good thing then, isn’t it?
Me: Yes, I suppose it is.
Xan: She’s buried in the garden, isn’t she?
Me: Yes, she is.
Xan: But that’s just her body – Ellie isn’t really in there any more.
Me: Is that right?
Later that day…
Xan: Mummy, if I died, you and Daddy would cry forever, wouldn’t you?
Me: Yes, I think we would because we would miss you so much.
Xan: But it’s OK, because I would just go to be a baby again. I just wouldn’t be YOUR baby any more!
Me: Is that right?
Xan: So, has Ellie gone to be a puppy again?
Me: If that’s what happens, then I think she must have done.
Xan: That’s good. Because Ellie was a nice dog.
More on life after death…
While walking home from nursery, Xander suddenly came out with this…
Xan: Mummy, I used to be a grown up, you know.
Me: Is that so?
Xan: Yes, I was a Daddy. But I wasn’t married – she had to go to be a baby again.
Me: You were a Daddy? Did you have boys or girls?
Xan: I had ten boys and one girl, and YOU were my little girl, Mummy! But now I’m a little boy again and it’s YOUR turn to be MY Mummy!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Our morning routine seldom varies, and it was time for me to get myself ready to face the world…
Me: I’m off to do my face.
Me: To make myself look all beautiful.
Xan: Mummy, you don’t need to paint your face.
Me: Oh, I do, darling. I need to make myself all pretty.
Xan: You DON’T need to paint our face to make yourself pretty, Mummy, because you’re already beautiful!
I’ve always been terrified of spiders – even the tiniest ones – but I’m determined not to pass that phobia on to my son, so I’ve been very brave and am now able to get quite close to small ones, but they still wig me out on the inside. Today there was a spider the size of my thumb nail in the bath tub. I was so brave and my son will never know it!
Xan: Mummy, look! Incy Wincy spider is in our bath! I think he can’t get out!
Me: That’s alright, darling, he’s just having a little wander around and Daddy will rescue him later when he gets home from work.
Xan: Why don’t YOU rescue him, Mummy?
(Big gulp and minor panic on the inside whilst still smiling on the outside!)
Me: Alright, I’ll just get something to help. (I get some card and a plastic container) Come on, Incy Wincy, you can walk onto the card and I’ll take your outside.
Xan: Why do you need the card and pot for him, Mummy?
Me: That’s so we don’t scare Incy Wincy. We’re a lot bigger than he is and we don’t want to scare him, do we? (Xan shakes his head) So we let him walk onto the card, then we pop the pot over him – see? It’s clear so he can still see where we’re going and not get scared, but he won’t fall off either. See? He’s not scared at all because he knows we’re helping him and being careful!
I deposit said spider on the veranda
Xan: That was very kind of you, Mummy – now Incy Wincy can go home to HIS Mummy!