Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Mama's a Lazyass (and cupcake recipe)

Yesterday was the most relaxing, recharging day in a long while. Between family events, catching up with friends, toddler gym classes, chilly playgrounds and days out in town, we've been having a busy winter. So yesterday was marked into my (mental) diary to do absolutely nothing. No visitors, no plans, just a day of chilling out on the sofa, eating, baking, cooking, playing, breastfeeding, weeing (Baba weeing on my leg twice - didn't bother changing the second time - no need, it's a sofa day!) and watching Disney films. Nothing really happened, just the normal run of events, so apologies if this post is like watching paint dry! We started our movie marathon with Alice in Wonderland after breakfast, followed by Enchanted with my kettle corn (sweet and salty popcorn - recipe below), then Beauty and the Beast, twice, as I was too lazy to think of anything else and Charlie was happy with the repetition as all toddlers are.
My weekly Tesco shopping arrived half an hour late, but brought some great stocking fillers (75c for a 5 bar selection box - sure where would'ja be goin'!) and the ubiquitous Christmas tin of Roses (half empty already 24 hours later)

These body product sets were only 2.50 euros each from Tesco! The top one has 3 body butters, in a lovely basket which now houses my make-up on the bathroom windowsill. The lower has a scrub mitt (?!) a shower gel, shower scrub and body lotion. I was desperate to treat myself so got some lovely products in their sale. (More in my youtube December beauty haul vid to come). The scents are: shea butter & coconut (nice), mango & nectarine (edible), pomegranate and rosehip (not so nice). The shower gel certainly cleans, I think I heard my skin squeak (ingredients probably closely related to washing up liquid), the shower scrub was more gel than scrub, but fun all the same, and I haven't tried the body lotion yet. The body butters seem creamy and might be better quality, but who's griping for a fiver! Good sized products and would be lovely stocking fillers for girly girls or a teacher you don't want to impress too much.

B.C. (Before Cabbage)
I made this fantastic butternut squash, chickpea and coconut curry- thanks to my friend Cat for the recipe. It's the first recipe I've followed for a savoury dish in years, usually make them up as I go along. Instead of spinach I used cabbage, it turned out lovely. I like that there's no salt in it. I've been getting lax and adding salt to everything (I blame Nigella) and as Charlie has always eaten what we eat (post on baby-led weaning to follow soon), I need to start leaving it out again.

After cabbage. Would have been prettier had I shredded it finely but my knife's blunt. Lazyass.

In the short nap Baba took at lunchtime I baked cupcakes, see below for the made-up recipe.It's a basic recipe I got off the RTEjr programme "GrubzUp" (best theme tune ever) where kids cook and then shout about how delicious it all is in the way only 8 year old wannabes can
Before icing, but you guessed that.

Lazyass Cupcakes (or a small sponge cake, make double for 2x 9inch tins if you want a proper cake)
Heat oven to 180'C.
Put mixing bowl onto weighing scales, turn dial so it says 0 or 1kg, whatever.
Add 130g room-temperature butter, 130g sugar, 130g self-raising flour and 2 eggs.
Spoon into cupcake cases
Cook in oven for about 10 mins

Lazyass Icing
1 cup of icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon/lime/mandarin (or some fruit juice)
Mix and drizzle off the spoon onto cupcakes

Fancier Icing
1 cup of icing sugar
1 tbsp butter
Flavouring/colouring as you like
Spread on with a knife or pipe from a bag if you have the inclination

Wrangling 5 month old in left arm, "drizzling" icing with right. Results: inconclusive.

Moderately-energetic mom alternatives:
For chocolate cupcakes add 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Add chocolate chips
Mash in a banana
Grate in a pear or apple
Add zest and juice of a citrus fruit
Add spices
Add some oatmeal

Supermom alternative: Do a combination of the above ideas.

On Monday I did chopped banana and oatmeal with cocoa powder, chopping instead of mashing the banana gave lovely gooey lumps. I drizzled melted cooking chocolate over the top, as I'd no icing sugar.
Todays batch were pear with mixed spice and lime icing, a great Christmassy smell - the lime was hanging around since the mojitos at the Naming Day, so I put it out of its misery. Could not have "zested" it for the life of me, it's skin was thin and yellowing. Yum...

Chocolate cupcakes and "blood and guts" blue-topped ones for Halloween

For Halloween we did "blood and guts cupcakes", we coloured the sponge mixture with blue food colouring (I know...) and added a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the centre of each cupcake before cooking, so they were oozing with red goo. Charlie was so excited by these, and the trick or treaters (and their parents) cleaned us out, eating them walking down the garden path and shouting back over their shoulders how good they were.
We made a Halloween cake with the same blue sponge mix, (I was on a roll) and I iced it with Betty Crocker chocolate fudge frosting from a tub. A great standby.

These cupcakes can be whipped up in 5 mins, cooked in 10 and eaten in one bite, so if you're quick and have the house to yourself for a half-hour you can have the binge in total secrecy. Great for impressing your friends,
Friend "Wow, you baked cupcakes?"
You smile, sigh, roll your eyes "I know" (add a shrug and a head shake for extra humility)

They freeze well, but the paper cases get a bit bashed. Make them the night before and ice the next day with over-eager toddler, and you're earning great "mommy" points.
You: "No, you can NOT jump on the sofa"
Toddler: But...
You: "Remember the cupcakes we, ahem, baked? We can't do that again if you're acting like this"
Toddler instantly repents.

Charlie is 3.5 and is still content with cracking the odd egg, mixing once, then running off to lick the spoon in peace, so mess is still kept to a minimum. Or sometimes he'll oblige by putting the paper cases in the tins, while I do all the measuring and mixing. The control freak in me wants to make them all myself, every time, but I know we're supposed to let them help in order to become a better person or something. So I let him crack the egg into a cup, fish out the shell, THEN add it to the batter. Bingo, no shell in the cupcakes. He also gets to ice the first one, then runs off to lick the icing off, leaving me happily drizzling in peace. Unless the Baba's awake and bounding over my left shoulder every two seconds. Unfortunately these can be eaten in one bite, so I find you need to eat twice as many. No harm, the last three nights I've been seriously sleep deprived by non-stop (so it seemed) suckers, sucking at me left and right (not a nightmare, I'm tandem feeding and they both had a growth spurt), so I've literally dropped a pound or two. My lower abdomen actually ached this morning, the muscles and ligaments had been given such a workout and my stomach looked flatter. And I got into a pair of pre-Baba jeans, score! So bring on the cupcakes, but a nap too please.

Kettle Corn Recipe (If you eat your M&Ms with your popcorn in the cinema you'll love this!)
Pour oil and popcorn to cover bottom of saucepan, add twice as much butter as you think you should. Turn on heat and put lid on. Shake the odd time. When the first kernel pops lift lid off and throw in some sugar from a distance* (about 1 tablespoon). Re-lid fast, those mothers hurt. Shake the odd time. (Not too much or the sugar clumps and burns) When popcorn is nearing top of saucepan set lid at an angle to let steam escape (a real "pro" trick, thank you American popcorn aficionados). Remove from heat. Remove lid when popping stops. Let cool for a minute or two. Turn into bowls and salt to taste. THE BEST POPCORN! It's covered in an invisible light sugary crust.
*Keep your baby away from the oven, this bit scares them. I found out the hard way.
We made this with blue food colouring for Halloween (was trying to use up the damn stuff) and was disappointed how it turned out. The colouring barely registered, or maybe I should have used more. Anyway, it's water content doesn't lend itself to the recipe. Oil and water...

Also yesterday I did some online shopping, bought Disney's Bambi and Fantasia on DVD. I've never seen Bambi, and the trailer comes up on loads of the DVDs we have, so it's been on my mind. I made the mistake of telling Charlie about Bambi's mother getting shot, and he says he won''t watch it now. I'll have to sneak it up on him, and fast-forward that part.
We played Batman and the Evil Baby, with me as the Joker as usual (the Evil Baby and I are evil from the sofa, while Batman runs and jumps around on all the furniture) The Evil Baby hiccuped and breastfed, Batman took a break to poo in a corner and I heard myself say "Bring me a poisoned cupcake, one with lots of icing, it'll make me sick", so Batman did. Didn't have to move a muscle. Sorted.
I rearranged our DVDs, Charlie can use the DVD player, one of the best things I've taught him, so I can stay on the sofa and just give orders, perfect for a lazyass like me.
We wore: Charlie; nothing, 'til he donned the cape - he's a naturist by nature. Baba: Vest and t-shirt, for quick removal to the potty / toilet. Me: leggings, vest, band t-shirt and long cardigan. No make-up, just about remembered to brush teeth and moisturise with vitamin E oil. I only got to shower at 10.30pm, when they were asleep.
Elimination communication is going great, I'll do a full post on it next I think. The problem is it seems SO left of centre, I'm afraid I'll come across as a total hippy. Too late sez you. Yesterday I caught nearly every wee and one big poo (preceded by Baba of 5 months doing the "poo" baby sign I last did with him about 4 weeks ago, I'd given up on it thinking he'd never put the two together, but then out it came!)
On that poo note I'll sign off. Please sign up as a follower if you're enjoying the blog, or find The Mama's Hip on Facebook and "Like" me! I know I've a good few readers, but I'd love to hear from you!
Niamh x
Lemon cake from above recipe for my lovely Granny's 90th last week. Sandwiched with raspberry jam, topped with lemon buttercream icing, "rustic" lettering is melted cooking chocolate dripped off a spoon onto baking sheet then laid in place. I never even got a slice!

1 comment:

  1. A common line we often hear "Don't judge a book by its cover" Same thing with this simple cupcake. Simple yet I am pretty sure its so delicious.


A lovely comment makes my day, please share your thoughts! xx