Play School. I am still am unsure about how much Sylvia should watch it. She watched it yesterday when she was feeling poorly but earlier in the week she seemed happier to go for a walk with Zinc. (Yes our cat loves to come for a walk with us to the end of the street!)
After all there are many more things in life than tv. Comforting Dolly after Sylvia's toy cat pulls her hair. Blowing bubbles for Zinc to chase outside. Playing in the bathroom sink for hours - even more fun now that she can turn on and off the taps. Opening and closing the blinds. Doing up buttons on her favourite stripey dress. She loves to chat to us. Her favourite word is "actually" and her favourite question is "what's wrong mum?" One of my favourite comments from Sylvia lately was "Dadda is just parking the train", when we were waiting for E to get home from work on the train.
Yum Yum Song. I much prefer the music I loved as a kid. Danny Kaye and Rolf Harris. It delights me that she loves hearing Danny Kaye sing Ups a Daisy as much as I did when young. Only difference is that we used to have to be careful when dancing to it lest we bump and scratch the record.
E has bought her a few DVDs from 1960s and 1970s BBC. The Herbs is a particular favourite right now. Each character is named after a herb and has a signature song. It is very entertaining, even if Lord Basil and Lady Rosemary can be a little bossy with Bayleaf the Gardener at times. Apparently there is only one episode with the witch Belladonna because the BBC was worried it would frighten small children. It is Sylvia's favourite episode. We see it over and over. For anyone who fears Sylvia lives in the past, you may be interested to know we have ordered a DVD set of Peppa Pig.
mee goreng noodles again recently. No bits! I was bemused when she ate a promite and dried apricot sandwich. I can't help but think that she would eat more if only she wasn't distracted by so many things.
Halva Flapjacks that I had planned to make when our oven broke down. I wanted to make them as soon as I saw them on Chocolate Log Blog because they were full of condensed milk. They were slightly crumbly but I am yet to find a flapjack that isn't. Sylvia is always asking for cake for Dolly's party. Before our friends arrived, we got out a couple of candles to sing happy birthday to Dolly and blow out the candles.
some of my condensed milk recipes and a great way to use up leftovers. Healthier rather than healthy! I found it quite sweet. Choclette added white chocolate but I would like to add some cocoa to reduce the sweetness. After all, I am rather fond of chocolate halva!
Chef Amber Shea's Almost Vegan Blog where she calls it Sunny Cashew-Apricot Energy Cookies. I read the comments and found that they were a bit crumbly for a lot of people. Including me. I added some chia seeds but I went a bit overboard on the extra water. Mine was quite sticky but fine if I kept it in the fridge. A little less water next time. I also chopped it up much smaller than Amber. Hence it is merely a bite rather than a cookie.
Apricot Delight. A bit more complex. Sylvia loved them. Like the apricot delight, I think they would be great in a cake pop, but are they too soft? I think her lions also love them. These lions are Dolly's presents. Did I tell you another of Sylvia's favourite quetsions is "what colour is that?"
CatesCates for a small boy with a lot of allergies. Catherine has kindly given me permission to reproduce this recipe here. I hear that her version of the cake is spectacular so I hope she will blog about it at some stage. Catherine always has a great section on 'variations' at the end of each recipe so I have added a section here, partly as a nod to her style, and partly because it was a great way to add in Paula's other suggestions and my thoughts.
Tinned Tomatoes for her Bookmarked Recipes event, that was originally founded by Ruth. I am sending the Apricot Energy Bites to Ricki of Diet Dessert and Dogs who has decided to keep on with her Wellness Weekends event that was initially for her Northern Hemisphere Summer.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Collingwood Cupcakes
This time two years ago: Green Home, Green Houses
This time three years ago: Pudla – for when your team lets you down!
From Dan Lepard
100g unsalted butter
75g brown sugar (I used about 1 dessertspoon)
200g sweetened condensed milk
100g chopped dried dates or figs
100g chopped walnuts
25g sesame seeds
175g-225g rolled oats
Heat the butter, brown sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan or microwave (I did the latter) until hot and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat or the microwave. Stir in the tahini and honey, and then the dried fruit, nuts and sesame seeds. Now stir in enough rolled oats until the mixture holds its shape – add more oats if you want a firmer flapjack (I would add more rather then less as it was quite a soft flapjack).
Grease and line a 22cm square cake tin. Spoon the flapjack mixture into the tin and press down with the back of a spoon. Heat the oven to 180C (350 F) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the flapjack is golden brown (I would even leave it a little longer than 20 minutes next time). Remove from the oven and cool in tin. Cut into squares. Keep in an airtight container (ours lasted about a week).
Carob Carrot Cake
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cups carob powder
500g carrots, grated
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3/4 cups raw sugar
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups carob chips, chopped
Preheat oven to 180 C and grease and line cake tin(s) (I used a 20cm round cake tin, a 15cm square cake tin and about 12 mini muffin cups. I think you could do 2 x 20cm round cake tin and I think Catherine does a 25cm round cake tin).
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. (Grating the carrot was the most time consuming part of this.) Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix together and gently stir in the carob chips.
Pour batter into prepared cake tin(s) and bake for about 1 hour (or less if you are making smaller cakes or mini muffins). It is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out cleanly. Rest in the tin for 10 -15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Variations: You can substitute potato for the carrot. Paula has also used some swede instead of the carrot. In her latest incarnation she used double the carob, half carrot, half swede and substituted carob molasses for brown sugar. I think it would be lovely with lots of spices. Paula mixed yoghurt, butter and icing sugar for her cake. I used this cream cheese frosting.
Apricot energy bites
Adapted from Amber Shea
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds and 4 tbsp water (probably needs less water)
shake of ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Soak chia seeds in 2 tbsp water for about 5 minutes. Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground and the whole lot comes together into a ball. It should be quite sticky so that you can press it into the a tin. Add another tablespoon or 2 of water if you need it but I found mine a bit too sticky when I added that much.
Press the mixture into a lined 22cm square cake tin and refridgerate overnight or until firm. (Or freeze for at least one hour if you have room in there - I didn't.) When firm, cut into 64 squares. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
On the Stereo:
Danny Kaye for Children