baking, cooking with kids, create

Carrot Cake recipe with Lemon Icing

carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaos-instagramThe carrot cake is a classic, and this carrot cake recipe’s a super-simple variation on that delicious theme. Just add grated carrots to the dry ingredients, which include both plain and wholemeal flour for extra texture.

Once you’ve beaten in free range eggs and some butter, you’re away – just pop it in the oven. The tangy lemon icing on this carrot cake recipe contrasts with the sweet, cinnamon-flavoured cake to really bring the flavours to life.

fairtrade-carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaosIngredients
200 g (7oz) self raising flour
115 g (4oz) wholemeal flour
350 g (12oz) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250 ml (9fl oz) butter
3 Large carrots, peeled and grated
4 organic free range eggs
 Icing
2 unwaxed lemons, zested
225 g (8oz) Fairtrade icing sugar

 

organic-carrot-cake-lemon-icing-kidschaosMethod
Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix in carrot and gradually beat in Flora Cuisine and eggs. Pour into a greased and bottom lined 20cm (8-inch) square cake tin.
Bake in preheated oven 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4 for 45–55 minutes. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Icing – Zest the lemons. Squeeze out the juice and add to icing sugar in a bowl with the segments. Mix gently and spread over the cake. Sprinkle with the zest.

Note – make sure your icing is not too runny – we had lots of fun scraping the icing off the board as it dripped through the cooling rack!!

Ali also blogs over on Incredibusy.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, cooking, crafts, create, key stage 2, kids

Fforest gather – a new kind of family holiday

Cheese makingOh…what a summer it’s been… the best yet, and August has been marvellous, the weather fine, and family time together just so special as our boys get older – they are more independent and dare I say a little ‘feral’ this year? We’ve had the best of times and made new friends, made memories, and given us something to look forward to next summer too – why? what? how? you ask? Well, a week at Fforest gather, that’s what!

If you’ve not heard about Fforest gather – you’re clearly not following me on the instagram – or @coldatnight, which you should remedy forthwith – follow us here and here… It’s through instagram that I, and it transpires, chatting to fellow campers at Fforest gather, many others, have ‘met’ Sian and fallen in love with what she and husband James have been doing in Cardigan, Wales for the last couple of years…

A small intimate ‘festival’, not really a festival, but that explains the basis of the event – week long holiday with accommodation (optional, you can also bring your own tent/camper van) and daily workshops you won’t want to miss… a new kind of holiday in fact! Two family friendly weeks of adventures in nature, music, culture, creativity and simple pleasures.

view from our group tentWe stayed in one of the ‘group tents‘ – our family in one end, in two bedrooms, and our friends and their three small children in the facing ‘tent’. We brought our own sleeping bags and pillows, and the shared bathrooms a short walk away were positive luxury compared to some campsites we’ve stayed in! The group tents have a communal cooking, and eating area in the centre – and an amazing view across the fields. However, after trying the first catered meal in the canteen, we decided that we’d ditch the camp cooking, and eat with the majority of the other campers – the breakfast and evening meals were just amazing – and the dining area was super conducive to socialising too.

supper time

The beauty of the Fforest gather is that the workshops, talks, walks, performances and activities are all included in the ticket price. Two sessions a day, one at a very civilised 10am, and the afternoon sessions start at 2pm – Between our two families, we tried Screenprinting, Nature illustration; natural dyeing, canoeing, Tamsin with her pencil and puppet making, Bees make honey with the honey farm, making bacon, smoking fish, making cheese,  cooking with fire; axe & knife craft; yoga and wellness; drumming; beer cocktail classes; bird illustrations, silver ring making;  forest school sessions; den building; tree climbing; wild swimming and learnt about foraging with Jade and coppicing with Bruce – woah, all in one week?!

the pubThe evenings were equally entertaining, with, Music from Eyre Llew, and DJs and chatting, and Fforest Island discs, and beer drinking at the adorable little ‘Bwthyn pub‘. Candle lit, and roaring fire – this little pub is located at the heart of the Fforest camp.

A brief selection of our favourite workshops:
Natural dyeing with Hazel Stark – Indigo Shibori (a Japanese pattern technique) – we were so blessed with the weather, so a day spent outside in the Fforest vegetable gardens, patiently folding, pegging and dipping our canvas tote bags was well spent.

Indigo Dye
Indigo Dye

Bird drawing with Matt Sewell, such a delight; as was the glasses onto inanimate objects with Finn Thomson making faces and giving objects sight – such a fun workshop! Seeing objects – using wire, paper, glue, and a LOT of imagination, in the project barn.

Screenprinting was a really big hit with Lex from Feather studios and her patient partner @morganhenryjames.

 

Cheese making was a revelation (and made for the best photos! #instagramthat) Curds and whey with cheese chief Max – who it transpires, can also tell a tale, and sing a song….

Beer O ClockBeer was high on the agenda, with Evil Gordon doing a turn talking beer cocktails, Beerbods, and sourdough bread making in the wood fired oven.

Jade Wild Pickings

And then there was foraging! @wildpickings 🍃🌿 Jade took us on a walk; foraging for edible hedgerow wonders – we’ve learnt such a LOT this week 🍃🌿

Oh and Sam! The Newquay Honey Farm Man – brilliant and enchanted!

Seriously, this is an event/holiday/week long party I would recommend – such a lovely way to spend time with your family.
We went with good friends, and came away with even more…

 

beer-cocktails-backstage-fforest-gather
The Farmhouse
bandcamp-beer-fforest-gather
Music from Eyre Llew
beer-cocktails-fforest-gather
Beer cocktails in the Farmhouse
coppice-college-sign-fforest-gather
Coppice College

 

coppice-college-tols-fforest-gather
In the tool shed
walk into Cardigan to visit the PizziTipi
walk into Cardigan to visit the PizziTipi
Sunset over the Tipi
Sunset over the Tipi
Forage baskets
Forage baskets
making Sour dough
making sour dough
Coppice College Woodburner
Coppice College Woodburner

 

Time to plan for 2017… 14-27 August www.fforestgather.co.uk
A new kind of holiday.
Two family friendly weeks of adventures in nature, music, culture, creativity, making, growing & simple pleasures.
500 acres of bliss. Only 300 tickets available each week.
Week 1 – Monday 14th – Sunday 20th of August
Week 2 – Monday 21st – Sunday 27th of August
2017 EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE!
TO FIND OUR MORE ABOUT FFOREST CLICK HERE
Accommodation released on 29th of September 2016.

Ali also writes over on aGreenerLifeforus.com

baking, key stage 2, kids

September means birthday cakes in our house, and every year the boys put in their requests for party fun and cake style and flavour… from a Star Wars themed Yoda, to a Dragon (same food colouring, so that was OK!) through to your standard Lemon Drizzle Cake… This year however, the party request was for trampolining, ‘free jumping’ and his OWN chocolate cake recipe! So 10yo-soon-to-be-11yo spent the evening before his birthday MAKING and BAKING his own cake, and a quick dash for some Maltesers in the morning, decorated it himself before we bundled five of his friends off to Acton for some bouncing action over at Oxygen FreeJumping.
RB-cakeWell, we couldn’t be more impressed – all of us (five boys, and two mums) LOVED it – we started off with a game of dodge-ball – this was a great introduction, as we weren’t quite sure where to try first – the Oxygen FreeJumping staff were lovely and organised a game, explaining the rules, so we got stuck straight in! And guess what? I won!Acton-oxygen-dodgeballthis-place-is-jumpingThe design of the venue is stunning, the bold bright blues and yellows are really striking – loved the strong graphics – this place really IS jumping.

The boys’ absolute favourite activity was the Gladiator style jousting area over a large pool of blue foam… they spent AGES battling and giggling, and tumbling into a pit of spongy foam blocks.

I personally loved bouncing on the trampolines around the basketball hoops, probably because a simple bounce helped you score with EVERY throw!

Every participant wears a pair of ‘jumping socks’ which caused some amusement, and then delight that they got to keep them – and it was great to see the kids having such a brilliant time on the expanse of trampolines – we so want to go again!

socks-at-oxygen

jump-at-oxygen

Acton-oxygen
A big thank you to the team at Oxygen FreeJumping, for their fabulous facilities, great family fun, and to the cafe staff who also made us so welcome with great coffee too.

Find out more here:
www.oxygenfreejumping.co.uk


Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and FunCraftsKids.com and is a lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, cooking with kids, food, gardening

It’s been a lovely colourful summer, people have been grumbling about the on-off weather, rainy, then sunny, then rainy again, but it’s meant we have a lot of green in the fields (and our back garden), picnics in the park (sometimes under umbrellas!) and the multi-coloured fruit in the hedgerows have been in abundance!

The joy of finding all of this free fruit has been a delight, it’s brought smiles to our faces and with the winter months approaching, and summer picnics a distant memory, we’re so glad our Ocean Spray cranberry cartons do much the same, adding colour through the refreshing taste and by delighting us throughout the year (the boys just love them in their school packed lunches now the Autumn term has started).
Meanwhile, we’ve really enjoyed foraging for the fresh (FREE) fruit and made copious crumbles, and cakes and we’ve frozen blackberries for morning smoothies in the winter (TOP TIPs: freeze loose on trays so that you can bag them as single loose frozen fruits, rather than a big frozen clump! We also add dried fruit to our smoothies, and have a jar FULL of Ocean Spray’s dried cranberries, they add a real tangy zing)BlackBerry Crumble KidsChaos

aller farm glampingWe’ve spent a lovely staycation weekend down in Devon too – we seem to have given up camping this year (although the tent WAS out earlier in the summer for a night under canvas with 10yo) As a family, we tried out a bit of glamping, and are totally converted – it’s the way forward, the kids loved picking the red apples in their orchard, chasing after the free range chickens, and feeding the black and white Friesian calves, and we loved waking up to such a fabulous view of the green fields, and the wispy white clouds and blue skies…aaahhhh.

So as we head towards the end of the summer holidays, we are still going for our evening stroll around our own neighbourhood and continue to be overwhelmed by the natural colours which will forevever amaze us – Planet Earth at her best….(can’t beat a good British Sunset can you?!)Sunset-KidsChaos

I’m working with BritMums and Ocean Spray highlighting the everyday moments of colour that give each of us a little lift, just like Ocean Spray adds colour to our day and delights us all year round. I have been compensated for my time. All editorial and opinions are my own.

baking, cooking with kids, crafts

Melted Hama Beads and Perler Bead Craft

A quick one to share with you today – we made some cute Melted Hama Beads (or Perler Bead) Fish! I’ll let you guess which one I did… which one was Maggy redtedart’s and which one my 11yo son created!Hama Bead Perler Bead Craft

You can use cookie cutters with your salt dough for this fun craft, however salt dough is so malleable that you could also simply shape the dough by hand.

Push your hama beads gently into the dough in your desired pattern, place the dough shape onto some grease proof paper, and onto a baking tray and pop into the oven on a very low temperature, and just keep an eye on it! As the perler beads start to melt, bring the tray out of the oven and allow to cool. fun eh?!

For salt dough recipes, check out http://www.redtedart.com/2013/12/02/easy-salt-dough-recipe-stars/

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

 

baking, cooking with kids, crafts

Every month we run a craft challenge on a theme – November is #Snowman #Crafts.

snowman craftsOur first contribution is our snowman sandwich – a quick post-school pick-me-up!
Using two circular cookie cutters, (one for the head, one for the body) we cut a snowman shape out of one slice of bread… Buttering the other slice with peanut butter (or jam, if you have a peanut allergy!)
Sprinkle over some icing sugar, and place the second slice of bread over the top, adding silver baubles for buttons, and raisins for the eyes – you’re away!

Share your Snowman Crafts photos on Instagram, or over on Twitter, using the hashtag #GetYourCraftOn, add your link to the linky below, and we’ll pick the best ones to feature here on the host blog the following month. (and on our Pinterest board too)

The photos you share do not have to be of the finished article – let’s see your work in progress as well as your completed masterpieces! Anything related to the #SnowMan crafts or #Olaf (! if you’re Frozen fans) topic. Just tag them with #GetYourCraftOn and follow and tag us too so we know you’re taking part) Our team’s four Instagram accounts are: @incredibusy (that’s me!), @redtedart @bluebearwood &@missielizzie.

 Loading InLinkz ...

So what’s #GetYourCraftOn?

It’s a monthly craft challenge organised by four bloggers – zingzingtree, Red Ted ArtMe And My ShadowKids Chaos (me!)

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, cooking with kids, crafts, easter

Paper plate crafts – cookie box

Paper Plate craft - cookie boxHow about this paper plate box? Paper plate crafts don’t have to be just ‘making faces’ or using them for wheels…

They also have very practical uses, and this paper plate box works on so many levels! We have used the paper plate to create a little cookie box, which is the perfect size for holding our Bunny Biscuits, and will make a great Easter Gift for Granny and Grandma.

I had planned to make these paper plate boxes for our next School cake bake sale, as we have a little tradition at our school – the kids get sent home with a paper plate, which has a sticker reading  “Fill me up with treats & cakes, bought or baked, whatever it takes”.

And my lovely friend Nellie (smallbumbigadventure.wordpress.com) sent me a ‘how to’ that she had found on Pinterest, so we tried it out, and photographed a ‘how to’ of our own to pop on the school facebook group page so that the kids can have a go at making them too! It has inspired 9yo and he’s been experimenting with all sorts of different ways to fold the paper plate, so that the front section is lower than the back, and it has to be said, when you ARE deciding which is going to be the front of the box, be sure to have the side flap folding towards the back for neatness…!

paper plate craft biscuit box

For full instructions on how to make the Bunny Cookies, click here, includes a fuss-free recipe for Royal Icing too…

Ali also blogs over on aGreenerLifeforus.com and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello!

baking, competitions, cooking, cooking with kids

Alphabites on InstagramOur lovely friends Bear Nibbles sent us some Alphabites to try.

It was 4pm, so we couldn’t wait for their breakfast the next morning, as the post-school-tummy-rumbles forced us to open the box – what a GOOD plan that was, we all tucked in, and meanwhile 11yo had the great idea to grab some chalk! Our game of Noughts and Crosses made for a photogenic Instagram opportunity, (I can’t help myself…) and the boys had great fun spelling out words on the slate table mat!

There are two recipes to choose from, Multigrain and Cocoa Multigrain, we’re saving the Cocoa for the weekend as we have some good friends coming to stay at the weekend, and the boys wanted to share them with them (awwww!)

bearnibbles alphabitesWhat are Alphabites?

Crunchy cereal letters made from tasty wholegrains, with no added nonsense. They are tasty, and naturally sweetened, Alphabites do have natural coconut blossom nectar sugar in them – in fact, the lowest sugar levels of any cereal made for kids.  A bowl of Alphabites with milk has 11g of sugar and more than half of those sugars come from the milk. Milk is an important healthy ingredient for growing bones and the fact they don’t add salt to their cereal helps to that end too.

So many cereals contain salt, which, did you know, causes calcium to be lost from the bones at an age. Also, coconut blossom nectar itself contains calcium, which you do not find in refined sugar.

bearnibbles alphabitesIf your kids fancy a change from porridge (my boys’ all time favourite, and it’s a win-win as we’ve sprinkled some of the Alphabites on top of our porridge this morning!) or you’d like to try an alternative to the salty/sugary cereals currently aimed at kids, we have two packs of Bear Nibbles Alphabites to give away…

So what are you waiting for? Why not enter and see how if you’re the lucky winner!

WIN A box of each of Bear Nibbles Alphabites cereals

THIS PRIZE DRAW HAS NOW CLOSED – AND THE WINNER IS EMMA FROM STOKE ON TRENT!!

Entry into the giveaway is really easy:

Follow and tweet the following message: I would love to win #AlphabitesCereals with @Follow_the_Bear via @morekidschaos http://www.KidsChaos.com

For extra entries:

And then leave a comment letting us know you have done it. The winner will be chosen by random and contacted by email. Full Terms and Conditions are below.

Giveaway End Date: Friday 21st March 2014 11.59pm

UK Entries Only

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions:

  • The prize is a two packets of Alphabites cereal. There is no cash alternative.
  • Entrants must tweet the message and then leave a comment on the blog.
  • Entrants must follow @MoreKidsChaos on Twitter, follow @Follow_The_Bear on Twitter and follow MoreKidsChaos on Facebook.
  • All steps listed above must be followed to ensure the proper qualification into the competition
  • UK Entrants only
  • Competition closes on Friday 21st March 11.59pm
  • The winner will be chosen at random by the Kids Chaos team and contacted by email.
  • Winners must respond to the email within 7 days or forfeit the prize. Another winner will then be chosen.
  • The prize will be sent from Bear Nibbles. 
  • Kids Chaos’ decision is final