July Craft Kits

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

July Craft Kits were posted out this morning!!

the messy mama july craft kit teaser

We’re going on our holibobs!

Actually, we really are going on our holidays soon. To a sandy beach! (We live next to a pebble beach) Looking forward to sand between our toes…. and in the sandwiches….

Lemon Curd Biscuits

June 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

… with lemon curd icing!

Mmmmmmm.

easy lemon curd biscuits

Ingredients:

2  1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
175g room temp butter
2tbsp lemon curd

For the icing:

8tbsp icing sugar
1tbsp lemon curd
1/4tsp milk

How-To:

Mix all the ingredients together until it looks kind of like damp sand.
Squash it together to form a ball of dough.
Put in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for about half an hour to firm up.
Turn oven on to 175C, and line a few baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Take your dough from the fridge, knead gently until pliable.
Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick.
Cut into shapes and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for about 7 minutes – until only just starting to colour. They will still be a bit soft when you take them out of the oven but will firm up as they cool down. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the lemon curd icing – mix the icing sugar, lemon curd and milk together carefully until smooth. Add more icing sugar if too runny, and a tiny splash more milk if too thick. Ice the biscuits when they’re fully cooled. Yum!

easy lemon curd biscuits

Edible playdough!!!

June 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Honestly. Why didn’t I realise this before? It’s biscuit dough!!!!

coffee and biscuits

Here’s the recipe I used to make chocolatey biscuits. Messy Boy was fast asleep – exhaustion finally caught up with him from our week away – but I LOVED playing with (and eating hahaha) this playdough.

Chocolate biscuit recipe

2 cups plain flour (about 170g)
1/2 cup caster sugar (about 85g)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
175g butter, room temp
1 tbsp lemon curd
1 tbsp nutella

Chocolate glace icing

6tbsp icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
1tbsp cocoa powder
1tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2tbsp milk
a few drops vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients, add butter, lemon curd and nutella (I was going to add just lemon curd but only had one dollop left hence the nutella) and mix with a wooden spatula (or a food processor) until it looks like sand. Squash it together, and give it a gentle knead to combine.

edible playdough biscuit sand

Wrap in clingfilm or put in a bowl and cover, and put in the fridge for a few minutes. I left mine for over an hour while we prepped our dinner. It needed scooping out of the bowl with an icecream scoop after that but it was very kneadable and with a sprinkling of flour on the table it rolled out very well.

Roll to a thickness of a little less than 1cm and cut out shapes. (It doesn’t mind lots of squishing and squashing, but bear in mind the warmer it gets, from lots of squishing, the stickier it will become. It’s very very edible in its raw state too!!)

Place biscuit shapes on greaseproof paper-lined trays and bake at 175C for 10 minutes. The biscuits will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but they will firm up as they cool.

To make the icing, sift the dry ingredients and add the milk and vanilla. Carefully mix together with a teaspoon until it forms a chocolately gloop. It should be about the right consistency – if it is too thick add a drop more milk (JUST a drop!), if it’s too runny add another tablespoon of icing sugar.

Here’s some of our creations! Boy was awake for this part as we decorated them today but he quickly tired and wanted to eat his instead!! These two are Boy’s decorated biscuits. We had white chocolate mice and jelly beans available to decorate with today, chosen by Boy this morning at the shop.

edible playdough biscuits

This is the rest of the biscuits. The small stars I sandwiched together with icing although next time I’ll probably make a buttercream filling. The round ones were balls of dough that I made an indent in before baking to create a kind of nest.

edible playdough biscuits

They’re not bad, for a first attempt (in a looong time) at making biscuits! If you have a go at making these, let me know how you get on, right?!

More chocolate mud

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

The chocolate mud has made two more appearances! Friday, when our Australian cousins came round, it took two and a half run throughs of  Happy Feet and getting the playdough out before Boy lost his shyness. He managed to be in the same room as the strangers, and eventually stopped whispering as well! Even better – EVERYBODY ended up playing with the dough. It stayed out all afternoon and evening. People were still fiddling with it when it was time for the boys and I to head off to our new lodgings (moving from parents’ to in-laws’ house).

chocolate mud playdough invitation to play

chocolate mud playdough family playtime

chocolate mud playdough bulldozing

chocolate mud playdough

chocolate mud playdough bulldozing

We’ve just got back from an afternoon an evening out, and as Baby has fallen asleep in the wrap I can’t drive back to the inlaws’ house yet so the playdough came out again while we had a cup of tea :o) Happy days!

Seaside Playdough

June 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have to be honest here, yesterday’s seaside playdough was not the greatest of successes. For many reasons. The playdough wasn’t one of them, it worked pretty well really, but everything surrounding it was just … well … fraught. Too much to do, and not enough playtime. Baby wanted more cuddles than usual, Grandparents were pretty busy, so Boy was kinda expected to play by himself. I didn’t have my usual store of props to raid either, and imagination levels were low!

Still. I’d made some seaside playdough from the no-cook dough from the other day. Added some builders’ sand to a third of it, along with yellow and red colouring to make it look a bit more appealing (we don’t have any play sand here), and I added blue colouring to a third. The rest I left white.

Here’s how it looked…

seaside playdough

We made flags by colouring in printer labels, and while Boy was squidging and squashing and making sandcastles using eggcups (and flour to stop it sticking!) I cut them up and stuck them to cocktail sticks.

seaside playdough

He had a lot of fun just squashing circles into the dough.

seaside playdough

seaside playdough

seaside playdough

Eventually we got round to making some sandcastles and Boy stuck the flags in before carrying on making circles!!

seaside playdough

When he’d had enough, and Baby wasn’t grouching any more, I started to clean up.

But not before having a play of my own 🙂

seaside playdough

I’ve bagged the dough up and will be taking it home to play with there, with my store of shells and pebbles and cotton wool!

In the meantime, here’s some good ideas for ocean and sandy playdough play!

Natural no-cook playdough

June 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today’s Invitation to Play looked a little like this……
natural no-cook playdough invitation to play
All this week (well, as much as we can!) we’re taking part in the Playdough Pledge, along with Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, The Nurture Store, and The Imagination Tree. They have had some STONKING ideas for  playdough play – playdough will never be the same after this week! I’ve already had Messy Boy singing “we love playdough, we love playdough” as he trundled his tractor through Monday’s chocolate mudfest dough!
Boy brought the chocolate mud playdough into the kitchen almost as soon as we got back from our grocery shopping this morning, along with his tractor and tree. I’d not yet had chance to make our next batch of dough and he wanted to play already!
chocolate mud playdough
Grandad couldn’t resist joining in and there were squeals and shrieks of delight and laughter as they played.
chocolate mud playdough
chocolate mud playdough
I made a batch of natural no-cook playdough while he was playing.
Natural no-cook playdough recipe:
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons oil
1.5 – 2 cups boiling water
Mix the flour and salt, and add the lemon juice, oil, and water. Mix until it clumps together then (carefully, it’s hot!) knead into a smooth dough. It crusts over very quickly so once it’s cooled down a bit knead it again and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use. Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has some great suggestions for natural colourings and aromas to try adding to the dough!
natural no-cook playdough
Feels very much like salt dough, I wonder if it would harden well… Even Grandma couldn’t resist this dough, having helped me make it by holding Baby, and squished a face into the warm dough! It was warm and lemony-delicious scented, very theraputic to squish! Boy joined me on a trawl of the garden to see what we could find to put on our play tray with the new dough. We looked at flowers, seed heads, leaves; watched the bees, tried to spot spiders darting away into the shadows. After selecting a few pieces he went inside and degated the task of collecting to me!!
After lunch I set up the new playdough station for him.
natural no-cook playdough concentrating
He could hardly wait. Again he didn’t do what I expected, and hardly touched the leaves and flowers, instead slicing pieces of dough off with a wooden knife, and asking me to shape them into balls.
natural no-cook playdough play developing 2
We made a lot of tiny loaves of bread, or scones, depending at what point you asked, for his shop. He made lollipops by sticking bits of twig into little balls of dough.
This is how the playdough station looked moments before he announced he was done!
natural no-cook playdough play developing
Another brilliant playdough date – and EVERYBODY joined in, even Messy Baby who I had to remove from play as even with the massive ratio of salt to flour he still thought it may be edible….
When Messy Boy finished and was off playing with his cars, I picked most of the bits out, split the dough into three and added builders sand and orange food colouring to one third, blue food colouring to another, and left the rest white. Tomorrow we’re bringing the beach to grandma and grandad’s house!

Chocolate mint playdough – Cupcakes and Earth Moving!

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I got all the sprinkles and icing and cake toppers ready for when Messy Boy finished at preschool today. I was so pleased. It looked great. I even succumbed and did a cake myself… I couldn’t resist…

Chocolate mint playdough all set up

Went to collect Boy from school, in the pouring rain.

Of course he didn’t want to go home, he wanted to go puddle-jumping! So my eagerness to get back to my chocolatey-minty-smelling kitchen had to wait while he stomped and splashed all the way to the railway bridge, where he “washed” my trousers with puddle-soaked gloves while we waited for a train to come by. I should have put wellies on….!

We made it home and peeled ourselves out of our soaking wet clothes (Baby was dry, and so was I where Baby had been pressed up against me in the wrap…) and as I headed up to find dry clothes I could hear Boy telling me about everything on the table, calling up to ask if he could have this or that!

Sooooo we started off making cupcakes.

Chocolate mint playdough cupcakes

Actually he seemed to really enjoy doing that.

Chocolate mint playdough cupcakes

It was a good constructive start to our playdough play.

Chocolate mint playdough cupcakes

Chocolate mint playdough cupcakes

Then…. this happened. Squish!

Chocolate mint playdough squidge

It really was gorgeous squidgy playdough. I wanted to squidge it!! And then I remembered the other playdough picture I’d seen earlier – and quickly ran to grab some of Boy’s farm animals and his tractor.

Chocolate mint playdough tractor tracks

Chocolate mint playdough farm

Winner!!!

Chocolate mint playdough farm earth moving

Chocolate mint playdough farm earth moving

Chocolate mint playdough farm earth moving

Chocolate mint playdough farm earth moving

Chocolate mint playdough farm earth moving

Totally THE best playdough fun we’ve had.

EVER!

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