Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Baby Yoda Cookies

So, for my son's birthday I decided to make Baby Yoda cookies for his class treat. I am a big fan of semi-homemade treats; I find they tend to have less margin of error and also it's easier when you a working parent juggling 10,000 things.  I used all store bought ingredients to create these super cute, lil' green guys. I'll take you through and tell you everything you need and how to make Baby Yoda cookies below!
Image from Wikipedia.
Unless you've been living under a log, you'll know that Baby Yoda has taken over as the prince of cute. I'm not a Star Wars person and I've never seen the Disney+ juggernaut, The Mandalorian, but I've seen enough Baby Yoda memes to know a hot trending topic when I see one. My husband and son, however, are Star Wars fans and equally big fans of Baby Yoda or "The Child" as he is officially known.


1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup of flour + more for surfaces
Green Frosting
Chocolate Frosting
Black Frosting

Rolling Pin
Cookie Sheets
Angel shaped cookie cutter

You'll want to squeeze/dump the roll of dough in to a mixing bowl and knead with 1/4 cup of flour. Make sure the dough is really cold as it will get warmed up as you knead.

Dust a cutting board or counter and rolling pin with flour. Take a ball of dough and roll out until 1/4"-1/2" thick. Thinner works better as the thicker cookies do not hold shape as well.

Use an angel cookie cutter to cut out your Baby Yodas. Now I've seen some people say to "cut the head off" their angels, but my angel cutter is perhaps not the fanciest and I think looks good as is.

cut out angel sugar cookies

Place your cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 8-11 minutes depending on how hot your oven is. Mine were light golden and done in 8 minutes.

Let cool on sheet 3-4 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, first frost his little green face. I used an in the bag frosting for this and smoothed out with a butter knife as my icing spatula was too big. I'd squirt green frosting on a few at a time and then go back to smooth out.

green partially frosted sugar cookies

Next I used a tub of frosting to spread on his brown robe; again a knife works well here and you do not need a lot of icing. I had two batches and went through maybe 1/5 of the tub.

green and brown iced sugar cookies

Finally I used a round tip on a tube of icing (all pre-packaged, so only cleaning up the tip) to dot on black circles for eyes. Once the eyes are a bit dry, I'd press down and flatten any that were a bit sticky-uppy. If you press when wet they won't go down and will just stretch up more.

eyes are added to frosted sugar cookie yodas

I let the frosting fully dry out over-night in a cool, dry place (I stuck back in my turned-off oven) and then transferred to a plate or ziplock.

plate of baby yoda sugar cookies

Are Baby Yoda cookies hard to make? NO. The decorating is slightly time consuming but it is worth it for all the awwwwws you'll get for the Star Wars or meme loving person in your life.

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Thursday, 26 April 2018

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Cincinnati, Ohio

We’ve been regular visitors to Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers since it opened on Red Bank last year. When you get a chance to shout about one of your family’s go-to food spots, you’ve got to, right?

Little Girl with bugers and fries

We’d never heard of Freddy’s before we saw the signs go up last year but we were intrigued, so we headed over shortly after it opened. It more than lived up to our expectations! For starters everything is so fresh, the burgers are cooked completely to order and the toppings are always crisp and delicious – no wilted lettuce here. Freddy's grill is actually heated with water and designed curved to create crisp patties. The fries are up there with the very best – super thin and always hot and crispy. And don’t get me started on how good that fry sauce is (so good I might have a bottle in my fridge).

The portions are more than generous and we’ll often manage to share one order of fries between four of us. While most burgers are served as doubles, you can also ask for a single burger if you’d prefer a smaller portion and if don't do carbs, every burger can come wrapped in lettuce, too. My kids are big fans of their chicken fingers and hot dogs, but grilled cheese and burgers are also an option.

If fries and onion rings aren't your thing (or even if they are), you can now get cheese curds as your side--YES-- cheese curds. I didn't know that fried cheese curds were something I was missing from my life, but now I've tried them there is no going back. The boy described them as mini mozzarella sticks, but the cheese is similar to Halloumi to me-- firm, squeaky and addictive!

Freddys bugers, fries and cheese curds

No matter what you choose, make sure you save room for dessert.

Blonde holding up sundae with whipped cream and cherry
The steakburgers are delicious, but the custard is divine -- so smooth and creamy, it’s super rich without being too heavy to eat after a meal. PRO-TIP: order and pay for everything at once and ask them to “hold your custard,” then once you’ve finished your burgers you can walk straight up to the counter, skip the line, and the staff will get you your dessert!

The food is definitely a step above the usual drive thrus, but it’s also quick and convenient. It’s definitely our go to for those nights where we know we need to eat, but we have 16 minutes between school, and soccer, and swimming, and bed!

There are currently 7 Freddy’s around Greater Cincinnati so hopefully there is one near you!

We received our meal for free, but all opinions are our own.
Honestly my kids are obsessed with Freddy's and we eat there out of our own pocket on the regular and you should, too!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

85 Calorie Double Chocolate Muffins

Delicious and low calorie chocolate muffins
Ok, yes I'm yelling and yes I've disappeared for a wee bit. A lot has happened and gone on since I've last posted, including me eating healthier. Today I adapted Chelsea's Messy Apron's recipe and made these amazing double chocolate muffins and they are TOO amazing not to share. They are only 85 calories each AND gluten free!
Double Chocolate Mini Muffins
  • 1/2 cup, Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp, baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp, baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon, Salt
  • 2 tbsp(s), Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp(s), Splenda

  • 1/2 cup, Jif- Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup, Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2cup, Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tsp, Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp, Honey
  • 2 large, Eggs
  • 4 tbsp(s), Home ground Oat Flour 
  • 7 tbsp, Semi Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips (reserve 2 tbsp)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 24 count mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Do not use muffin liners! The muffins won't come out well.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the  dry ingredients: cocoa powder, oat flour (blend GF oats until they are a flour consistency. Make sure to measure the oats AFTER being blended), baking soda, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and splenda.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, applesauce, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and honey. Beat until completely combined.
  4. Slowly add in the dry to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Add the egg and combine until incorporated.
  6. Stir in 5 Tbsp of chocolate chips and distribute the batter evenly across the muffin tin.
  7. Top the muffins with the remaining 2 Tbsp of chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes (my oven took 20) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool 3-4 minutes, or until cool to touch and remove from pan to finish cooling.
  10. Try not to eat them all while they are still ooey-gooey melty and warm.

Honestly these were so good AND my kids loved them. They taste super indulgent (like lava cake Blondie Boy said) and are only 85 calories each! I really don't think you can get much better with a  low calorie dessert! Full nutritional information below!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Frisch’s Big Boy Presents The Nutcracker

1980s Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker
6 year old Ballet Blondie
When I was 6 years old I was a page in the Cincinnati Ballet company's production of Cincinnati Christmas classic The Nutcracker.  Now **cough cough** years later, Blondie Boy is 6 years old and I took him to his first performance of The Nutcracker.

From the very first performance of The Nutcracker in 1974, Frisch’s Restaurants has been the Ballet’s primary sponsor. It is one of the longest-lasting examples of corporate sponsorship in American arts history and a Cincinnati tradition that I grew up with. I hadn't been personally since 2003 before I left Cincinnati and moved to the UK and I couldn't wait to share it with BB for his first Christmas in Cincinnati.

Frischs Chicken Fried Steak Family Dinner
He likes it!
First though we headed to Frisch's to try their family dinners and famous Hot Fudge Cake. For $7.99 you can choose from carved turkey, country fried chicken, country fried steak, roast beef or meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. BB can be a picky eater. I knew he'd love the country friend chicken but I was surprise that he also loved the country fried steak! But let's keep it real, we both were after one thing: dessert.

As part of that partnership, Frisch’s worked with members of the Cincinnati Ballet to launch Frisch’s first-ever holiday edition of its best-selling dessert, Hot Fudge Cake. Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake is available for a limited time (until Feb.7) and this is the first time since the original dessert debuted in in 1970 that it has been offered in another flavor!

Nutcracker Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake

We were brought one to share, but BB loved it so much I had to get my own. We both loved this holiday twist on a classic and dare I say that I even liked this more than the original? Both the original and limited edition peppermint desserts are available at restaurants for $3.29.

Nutcracker Frisch's Peppermint Hot Fudge CakeFrisch's Peppermint Hot Fudge Cake

After practicing his best Nutcracker moves, we headed over to the Arnoff Center, where the Nutcracker is this year while Music Hall undergoes renovations. The performance brought back so many forgotten memories for me.

little boy cincinnati nutcrackerFrisch's Cincinnati Nutcracker

Even if you've seen the Nutcracker multiple times this year's show is an update: some hip-hop moves even make their way in to the performance. Classic characters are updated in ways you couldn't have imagined. Blondie Boy's favorite parts were when (spoiler alert) the Rat King died and the "very awkward dancing poodle."

Tickets for the Nutcracker are on sale through December 18th.

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Frisch's invited us for dinner and to watch the Nutcracker. We were compensated for this review, but all opinions are our own. 
I couldn't get a 6 year old to lie if I tried!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Blythswood Square Glasgow Little Darlings Afternoon Tea

Imagine a six year old at end of the school February break. Throw in some snow, rain and the obligatory icy Glasgow temperatures. Then ask yourself what you could do together that would entertain the child and let you enjoy a touch of luxury. The answer I have found is the Blythswood Square Little Darlings afternoon tea in Glasgow.

We visited Blythswood Square, a five star hotel in Glasgow city centre, several times previously but always in the company of adults and to be truthful I wondered how the quiet ambience would suit a six year old. There was no need to worry. From the moment we arrived the staff were pleasant and helpful and made him feel like a very welcome and special guest.

Afternoon tea is served in the colonnaded salon overlooking the square itself, a beautiful room with elegant furnishings.

The waiter explained the menu to us and asked if there were any particular dietary requirements. Of course Blondie Boy was quick to mention his egg allergy but this didn't present a problem.

It was his first experience of afternoon tea and he loved being presented with his own three tier cake stand. As well as sandwiches which he had chosen from the Little Darlings menu, there were scones with cream and jam, cake and a candy floss cone filled with raspberry mousse which he loved. There were also fresh strawberries and he wolfed those down before even attempting cake. 

Blythswood Square Glasgow Little Darlings Afternoon Tea

Children's afternoon tea glasgow

The staff were attentive without being intrusive and we enjoyed the unhurried atmosphere. It was such a special end to the school holiday for us both and one we will definitely repeat. I'm sure some people might be doubtful about a five star hotel as a venue for a children's outing, but it was truly an exciting and memorable occasion and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Afternoon tea is such a British institution so I'm so glad it was an experience we got to have together.

The cost of the Blythswood Square Little Darlings afternoon tea is £12.95 which is more than reasonable for the surroundings and spread! 

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Make your own Lego Movie with Lego Brickflicks at St Enochs

Take a deep breath... Our names are... and we're Legoholics... And exhale. It feels good to have gotten that off of our chests. 

My son and I share an addiction, fortunately he's too young for drink and drugs and wild women but I'm definitely living proof that you're never too old for Lego. We've built the toys, watched the movie and the TV shows, visited the theme parks and also visited exhibitions using standard Lego bricks to create anything from modern art to scale models of famous landmarks but we haven't been to anything like the Lego Brick Flicks Exhibition at the St Enoch's Centre yet. Running from now until the 17th of April, the exhibition features famous movie scenes recreated in brick form by Lego artist Warren Elsmore, from the Wizard of Oz to the Godfather and it's FREE to attend. As part of the celebrations, St. Enoch are also running a series of Bricks for Kidz events throughout the Easter holidays which will allow kids to get creative using Lego bricks. The workshops run from 4th to 15th of April and will offer a series of activities to encourage children's creativity through building with Lego. These sessions are free and run on a drop in basis from 11am to 3pm each day.

To celebrate the exhibition St Enoch's challenged us to recreate a famous movie scene using Lego and the Lego Movie Maker app, which is available on iTunes and the Google app store. Never one to turn down a challenge (particularly one involving Lego!) we jumped at the opportunity. We discussed a wide variety of options but I was never going to win an argument with a six year old, so we settled on a scene from Capture the Flag, which he saw recently and loved. In it two kids stow away on a space shuttle heading for the moon. We picked the scene where the kids sneak on to the shuttle and get a shock when it launches.

Here is our effort:

We're pretty far away from directing a new Lego Movie but the app was easy to use and we had a great time doing it.  I'm sure our next attempt will be better after we head to the exhibition for some inspiration!
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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Vileda Windomatic

Image result for Vileda WindomaticI don't know anyone who likes cleaning windows and as for mirrored wardrobes - aargh! Those of us who do have to tackle this chore realise that the hard part is polishing the glass to smear-free perfection. Then there is that sinking feeling when, having spent ages doing the windows, the sun shines and all the streaks are suddenly visible. No wonder everyone hates this task! Finally I have found a product that not only saves time and effort but also ensures that the windows are sparkling and streak-free in no time at all.The Vileda Windomatic is a cordless, handheld vacuum, easy to use and compact. It's lightweight with a flexible head and once charged the you can use the device for 20 minutes. 
After charging the product for an initial six hours, I tried it out on a glass door, sticky with children's fingerprints and the dog's nose! I favour the water spray and micro cloth method of cleaning. Instead of reaching for a dry cloth and spending ages polishing the glass, I switched on the Vileda Windomatic, pulled the rubber blade over the glass and, hey presto, the job was done, unbelievably quickly. The Windomatic literally sucked up the residue of water.
I tried it out too on our mirrored wardrobe doors similarly marked with the sticky fingerprints and the result was the same - sparkling mirrors. Condensation, particularly on the bedroom windows, was also no problem for the Windomatic. The water tank, capacity 100ml, was easy to empty and since the product is compact I had no trouble finding storage space for it in the kitchen. To be honest, I was initially concerned that the twenty minutes before the Windomatic would need recharged would be too short but that wasn't the case.

Image result for Vileda Windomatic
The main plus points for me are the time saved - I'm too busy to spend hours cleaning glass - and the superb result,  perfectly gleaming windows. If there is a downside to the Vileda Windomatic it's simply that you have to remember to charge it in advance. Not much of a drawback to what is overall a great product.

The Vileda Windomatic retails for approximately £40/45 and is available in most DIY Stores, as well as supermarkets and online. 
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