Making cookies with toddlers

I love making cookies! My kids as well:D

Here I will share with you our advent favourites, starting from the simplest one that requires no baking so it can be completely performed by 2 toddlers to slightly complex (toddler’s complex ) apple dessert:D

  1. Home made praline

Ingredients you need: 400 g digestive biscuits (Vollkornkekse)

500 mL condensed milk (Kaffe Milch)

5 big spoons of coconut flour

4 big spoons of cacao

200 g butter

for decoration : almonds, walnuts and coconut flour

Recipe: Melt the butter in microwave. Smash the biscuits so you turn them in powder like matter. My kids put biscuits in the plastic bag for freezing and used rolling-pin to go over them few times. Than you mix it all with melted butter, cacao and coconut flour, add condensed milk and put on a big flat surface and place on balcony so it cools down. We protected our with aluminium foil so birds do not eat it all:D After it has been cooled in fridge or outside you can cut it in squares and make balls of it, roll them in almond, walnuts or coconut and serve. VERY IMPORTANT : do not let your kids make this before they ate dinner – cause they ll eat all the time along the way:D

2) Banana cookies Our home favorites, we make them every week:)

Ingredients you need: 1 ripe banana

200 g flour

100 g butter

20 g vanilla sugar

Recipe:  Just mix all ingredients, roll it , cut in fun shapes and put to bake on 200 C for 13 minutes and you have super tasty cookies that fill your house with an amazing banana smell:D I have shared last year recipe for them as well, but this year I discovered you do not need baking powder at all:D

cake13) Gingerbread cookies

Ingredients you need: 340 g flour

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 table-spoon of milled ginger

1 small spoon of NaHCO3 (soda, Natron,,)

a pinch of milled cloves

115 g of butter

5 spoons of honey

almonds and food colour for decoration

80 g powder sugar

1 egg white

2 spoons of lemon juice

Recipe: First in a separate bowl mix all the solids (after passing them through a sieve, so all the solids are in a form of fine powder). In another bowl place honey and butter and put in microwave to melt. After it is slightly cooled down mix it all well together and place in a plastic bag and put in fridge for 30 minutes. In the meantime prepare the decoration cover: Mix the egg white with powder sugar and lemon juice till you get a very dense mixture. Separate egg white in few small bowls so you can use different colours for decoration. After you take the mixture from the fridge roll it with a roller pin, let your kids cut the cookies and decorate. After they are finished decorating place it in oven at 200 C for 15 – 20 minutes and enjoy!:D

3) Simple almond cake🙂

Ingredients: 200 g milled almonds

80 g of almonds for decoration

1,5 eggs

50 g of sugar

Recipe: Mix 1 egg with al the rest of solid ingredients, and then add additional yolk. Mix it very well, pour into the cake form and bake for 20 minutes at 200 C,,,Njammmm

4) Apple, orange chestnut wonder (Apfel kastanie)

Ingredients:  2 big apples

2 big oranges

100 g of cooked meshed chestnut

3 spoons of sugar

2 spoons of rum

whipped cream

Recipe: Make a hole in apples in oranges so you can fill them with the mixture of chestnut, sugar and rum. Bake in preheated oven at 200 C for 20 minutes. Decorate with cold whipped cream and enjoy!!! Me and kids prefer apples my husband prefers oranges:)

47440598_341453803321987_646540114469584896_n

What are your favorite Advent cookies or sweet desserts? Would you like to try some of my?:D

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Preparing for Advent time

I love Advent time. Last year I wrote about importance of Christmas and the way I want to celebrate it with my children. Since I love advent time so much I have started with preparations already now:D In the last few days I did a lot of DIY deco with my kids and that is what I want to describe in this post. In next one you can expect some toddler friendly advent themed cookies to be discussed:P

I did a major shopping in TEDi, where I bought 100 pompons, big package of pipe cleaners, 100 sticky eyes, golden decoration tape and Styrofoam wreath.

Kids had most fun with pipe cleaners – we made jingle bells instruments, stars, Natalia made ballerina (sitting in a leaf bowl), angels, reindeer,,,,

Additionally, Miro and Natalia decorated lots of paper angels and made lots of pipe cleaner angels and made exhibition in their sleeping room:D

And what would be one advent without an Advent wreath – I spent in total 3 euros to make ours 🙂

cof

Did you start preparing for the Advent time?

Christmas market in Zagreb and why you should not miss it

Zagreb is a charming capital city in the heart of Europe, which during the Advent time turns into a fairyland. After visiting dozens of Christmas markets around Europe, I can say without a single doubt that the one in Zagreb has the best atmosphere and most content, spread all around the city center. Not to mention that compared to any other European capital – the prices of food and drinks are much lower and their quality is higher. E.g. on the main square you can get mulled wine for 15 kn (around 2 euros) and an amazing sausage (our recommendation is to order Slavonska for 20 kn). Do not forget that Croatians are very picky when it comes to food and drinks – if it wasnt good, no one would eat or drink on the Christmas market 😉

The whole city has a magical atmosphere and everyone can find something for themselves. There are lots of activities for kids and I guess if our daughter had to list her top ten activities she enjoyed, she would do it without a problem 😉 Here is our top ten list of this year’s Advent in Zagreb activities and or places to visit:

1.Caffe de Matoš – definitely the most romantic spot. It is located in the Zagreb historical neighbourhood of Upper town in the easter part of Strossmayerovo šetalište (Strossmayer promenade). Apart from having a nice drink with the amazing view of the charming city of Zagreb, you can dance to the live performance of the street-style musicians every day from 18-20. Even though our daughter loves dancing I am not sure would she agree with us that this was the spot number one;)

DSC00142

2. Advent in the tunnel – unique spot in the city center, with live music performances and nice artistic scenography. Through this tunnel you can walk through a nice fairyland from entrance on Mesnička street to Radićeva. A spot you should not miss;)

DSC00114

3. Strossmayerovo šetalište – western part – either arriving there by funicular (the shortest one in Europe) or by foot from Upper town or Mesnička the amazing  Advent atmosphere begins. Apart from great drinks and food, enjoying the view of the city, daily life music performances, your kids can join one of the numerous art workshops which are organized during weekends from 11-13 h and 17-19h:)

DSC00139

4. Croatian Railway museum– children’s favorite spot which is free to visit. It is decorated in the Christmas spirit and you can visit the exhibition of railway vehicles, take a tour where you ll learn more about Orient Express system and locomotives. For your kids this could be one of the top spots as on the weekends they  can enjoy the ride on a railway model with smaller versions of locomotives. Just take care if you decide to take a ride with your kids to sit inside and not on the outer part of the wagon;)) If you are spending more time in Zagreb than you should definitely visit this place twice with your kids once on a weekend for a ride, and once either on Wednesday or Friday for the fun educational creative workshop organized for the youngest ones;)

DSC00093

5. Klovićevi dvori – one of the most idyllic spots in the city, with the beautiful surroundings of the upper town. If you are looking for an amazing photo session spot along with drinking delicious mulled wine this is the place to be;) On the weekends it is especially lively due to the live performances. And you just take the stairs down and you find yourself at Cafe de Matoš;)

DSC00135

6. Ice park in King Tomislav square – if you arrive to Zagreb with train this will be the first fairyland attraction you ll experience and with your train return ticket you can get the discount for the ice-skating sessions. Don’t forget to ask about the family group tickets and also if you want to save money go there during the morning session, when for a 4 member family with kids above six years old you ll pay 45 kn in total;) There are live music performances daily and you are just few steps away from the Fooling around spot.

7. Fooling around spot – located on the Strossmayer square. There you can enjoy best local food specialties, various artistic performances from clowns to fire-eaters and enjoy fooling around;)

8. Zrinjevac – experience the advent in one of the most beautiful parks of Zagreb. It is especially magical with the snow which we unfortunately did not experience this year. Here you can try some traditional Zagreb food (like Krpice sa zeljem (pasta with cabbage) and in the old music pavilion you can enjoy classical music and waltz.

9. European square – located just few meters from the main square (where you can daily enjoy listening to live performance of Croatian Christmas carols) you find yourself in this lively square where you can find some nice souvenirs, dance to the amazing live performances or take a look at some exhibition. As on the other spots you can get any kind of food from sweet delicious pancakes to traditional Christmas market sausages.

10. Marićev prolaz (passage) – decorated with white lamps you can take this passage to take you from the winterland in the city center (Bogovićeva street) to the Christmas experience of Zrinjevac. You ll find the entrance just next to the Hotel Dubrovnik.

DSC00147

I am quite sure that Natalia’s top list would look slightly different but I have no doubts if you decide to visit Zagreb during Advent you ll have a blast! Enjoy!!!

Advent time – engage your kids in the preparation for Christmas

Advent is my favorite part of the year, one could say I love the smell of it in the air. Unfortunately during the last decades it turned into the biggest consumption period of the year, distracting people from its true meaning. It is important to ask ourselves which message do we want to send to our children. Do we want them to think that everything can be bought? To find joy only in material things (presents)? Of course not:) Here are some of the preparations for Christmas we did in our family;)

Every week we visit library and its children corner to borrow some books that Natalia chooses and finds there. Last week I wanted to borrow some Christmas themed books, and found it very challenging. Most books involved Santa and waiting for Christmas to open presents, therefore not really the best choice. I was really happy to encounter the book by Shomei Yoh which was translated to German as “Mein Weihnachtstraum”. Very simple, beautifully illustrated book, perfect for small kids. Apart from Christmas it also gives you opportunity to talk about dreams, stars, sky etc.

knjiga.jpg

Making the Advent wreath together with your kids can be lots of fun. They can help with gluing various decorations on it, deciding where the candles should be, place some spices (e.g. cinnamon) on it etc. It  helps your children become aware of the time, that the Christmas is coming closer, as every week one more candle is lighted. Another great preparation for Christmas is to make the Advent calendar for your kids, where you can put some Christmas poems for each day,  some recipes and ingredients of cookies that he or she can make that day, some materials for making decorations etc. You can practice numbers and so many practical skills along the way.

adventkalendar.jpg

Make Christmas decorations with your kids. I really like the list of toddler friendly ornaments that was recently posted on the following blog. So far we (mostly Natalia, Miro participated in painting and putting his hand prints;) have made a lot of decorations based on salt-dough (1 glass of flour, 1 glass of water, 3/4 glass of salt). As well we made presents for grandparents from it 😉

rukicezananu.jpg

Bake cakes and cookies!:) Great thing about cookies is that you can include even the smallest ones (10 month old ones;) in the preparation. There are so many easy recipes (e.g. banana cookies (best recipe I found includes: 1 banana, 100 g of butter, 230 g of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder)).

Depending on the age of your kids you can decide to save some money during Advent and instead of spending on presents prepare some package for orphanage, donate money for research of rare diseases, help some family in need in your town etc.

Sing, dance and enjoy the time with your family!:)