Monday, October 4, 2010

Crafty messiness

Busy day!

We had a playdate with some friends this morning, which required baking, as all self-respecting social functions do. With Caleb (and supposedly me - oops) being gluten-free, this always makes things difficult. Call me a food snob, but I just don't LIKE the majority of gluten-free fare. It tastes bland (at best) and leaves grit in my mouth. Give me the elastic, gut-irritating glory of wheat, any day...

Anyway, I digress. I recently heard talk about pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins on a forum I frequent (The Nappy Network - you need to investigate this place if you are remotely interested in cloth nappies and crafts) and decided to attempt to make a gluten free version. It worked! The recipe is below:

Pumpkin and Choc Chip Muffins


* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil

* 2 eggs
* 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin (chuck 1/2 a pumpkin in the crockpot and leave it for 3 hours and it's easy to chop / mash / peel
Very Happy)
* 1/4 cup water

* 1 1/2 cups GF baking mix (I used the Destitute Gourmet mix, which is similar in make-up to the Simple Bread Mix)

* 1t guar gum or xantham gum

* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the guar gum, flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Soph, as usual, gave me a hand, and astounded me when she deftly broke the two eggs into the mixer without batting an eyelid or getting a hint of shell in the mix. I guess she's seen me do it enough times!

Of course licking the spoon is the best part...

This afternoon, building on my children's love of the fairy tale 'The Gingerbread Man', I organised a craft activity decorating paper versions. Sophie would have sat there for hours, it is exactly the sort of thing that rings her bells - glue, glitter, buttons, markers, mess - definitely her mother's daughter!

It sparked some great learning opportunities too - obvious numeracy links with counting buttons, eyes and body parts, which led to counting in twos - a concept I haven't really touched on with them before, but one that Sophie was intrigued with. We started by mouthing the odd number and saying the even number out loud while counting. I can see this being the way counting is 'done' now - what have I done?!

Sophie problem-solved her way through the whole process - how could we make a straight pipe cleaner look like a smile? A sad face? A cross face?

Next time, I'll cut out some different shapes to use for buttons, I think. Actually, I think I have some wee foam shapes somewhere that will save me the hassle - I love being a hoarder sometimes!


  1. Good work, mother of the year award is heading your way I believe.

    PS love the dress sophie is wearing ;)

  2. Go Middy! it sounds like the 'country life' agrees with you! I do have to laugh at the fact the teacher never goes away and activities turn into learning experiences.

    x Kath and Alex.

  3. I think I need to stop reading your blog cos I'm starting to have feelings of inadequacy ;)

  4. Baha! You didn't just hear me bellowing at Caleb to get off the sprinkler and Soph to find her own blimmin' hat then? Phew...