Dandelion fingerprints



Camp Dote

{One week ❤ Activity central}

Push Cakes

Bank Holiday Weekend baking with Lil D is always a good idea.

Having watched yet another YouTube video, Lil D had her heart set on pushcakes.

First up the sponge.

We’ve been obsessed with the funfetti craze we’ve been seeing everywhere at the minute so we opted to try lemon “skin” and sprinkles for our sponge. Baked flat on a baking sheet and sliced right down the middle when cool, ready to cut out circles.  Experience shows regular sprinkles do not show up when baked so no spectacular funfetti this time. The circle cutting was hugely satisfying though, and the scraps are on standby for some Danish Romkuglar (Rum Balls).

Next you need frosting to create layers between your sponge circles.  Lil D decided on purple but something brighter could have been more effective.  She assembled her pushcake all by herself, piping and squishing sponge down with glee.

In the meantime I was moved to play with the mini cake shapes.  They screamed mini victoria sponges – an idea we really need to keep in mind for future baking moments.

Mini food is fantastic and we all enjoyed today’s activities so well done YouTube, you win again (^-^)





Clay charms

Christmas brought our dotes lots of things to make and do {⇒ Santa does love to craft ♥}

Clay charms were right up Lil D’s craftavenue – tiny, detailed work were comparisons between hers and ours can be easily judged.  Although the clay started out quite chalky and hard to handle it soon became more malleable so decisions had to be made.  Which cute charm should we make?

The accompanying book had great instructions on how to make everything from a pineapple to a panda.  We settled on doughnuts… and then a watermelon, and then a strawberry and then a pineapple! We were all pretty pleased with our efforts (^-^)

After 20 minutes in a low oven, we glazed them, et voilà ⇑ Cute Clay Charms, just like the box promised.

This kit also comes with a charm bracelet and all the findings needed to create your own bespoke jewellery. We say well done Santa (^-^)



Gingerbread is our nemesis.

Last year we handmade everything.  Panels, icing, the lot.  We were so sure we’d be awesome gingerbread housers. Oh the frustration.  Why doesn’t it stick together right? Why won’t the walls stay up? There’s no way a roof can stay on without walls up properly.

If it wasn’t for the fact that we completely enjoyed our haunted dilapidated cathedral complete with jelly baby ravers we would have written the exercise off as a failure. And that’s always hard to do.



This year we thought we’d found the answer.

How could you go wrong with a gingerbread house kit?

Look how happy those gingerbread kids are.



So at 9:30am Lil D and I cleared the kitchen table and got stuck in.

Sure some of the sweeties looked like plastic but all the walls were there and the gingerbread kids were definitely smiling at us.

Erm why are the foundations that were so handily provided bigger than our walls? Why is the icing so tough to pipe? Memories of last year come flooding back.  Bah humbug gingy.  Why can’t we master you?

We battled through, both telling onlookers that they shouldn’t expect much, that it wasn’t going well.  We packed the foundations with icing and held on tight as we lowered the roof and hoped. 15 minutes later we came back to decorate, unsure it would even still be standing.

Surprisingly it was.  And oh how the decorating made up for the construction woes.

Lil D wanted to follow the box so I piped and she embellished.  Not quite as satisfying as making mini elf doughnuts but pretty good.  Plus Short Circuit was on in the background and the way it drew Lil D in was amusing all by itself.

When we stood back to view our creation we had to admit it was pretty awesome.

Still I felt compelled to promise Lil D that I’d spend the year practicing gingerbread to get it right for this time next year.

Then again, these ninjabread men seem much more fun.

Glitter shapes

Glitter shapeWe saw this make in a Rainbow Fairies magazine and immediately wanted to try it. What wonderful Christmas decorations we could make this year, we mused.

PVA glue, cookie cutters and sparkles.  How much easier (or fabulous) could it get?

Set your cookie cutter on some baking paper, pour in some pva glue and top with glitter and beads.  Let it dry overnight and voila – a pretty glitter shape.

Except, one week later and our pva has still not set, our shape cannot be extracted from its cutter.  Disaster.  Was it our glue? Will there be a second attempt? Too sad right now to tell (>.<)


Short but sweet (and chocolatey)

Berry Brownies

Sunday morning brownies: what could be sweeter?

Today’s involve a large handful of dried cranberries, but I’ve made them before with pistachios, peanut butter, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, anything that I can find in the larder (within reason).  The basic recipe comes from the Hummingbird Bakery (again) and no matter how I mess around with it, we always get yummy, gooey brownies.

I doubt any of these will be left for the dotes, but I could be convinced to make more with them!