What is one best way to spend time with the family? During merienda!
Afternoon snacks besides night chats is one part of the day I enjoy spending with my kids. My kids don’t have high levels of appetite (especially my elder daughter) but they have all the thrills and giggles whenever I serve something for them. We call it “Takaw-Tingin” here in the Philippines. It is summer and kids are out for vacation and as we all know, kids nowadays are unstoppable. They make it necessary for us parents to prepare something new for them, be it food, games, toys or unlimited number of activities so as to keep their nerves and minds busy! That somehow makes parenting one best way to explore and continue to learn. Hey! I have to somehow dig the internet for creative ideas from snacks to kiddie activities. Here’s one I imitated from a Pinterest pin – a unique way to serve ice cream!
Maybe I can say that our country is one of the many places where you can go on food exploration and pig out! Since kids this summer is most of the time at home, we bond by eating together. Check out these afternoon merienda I served them one time. You will definitely crave too!
We are beating the summer heat!
Either we go out swimming or just chill and spend time at home, we make sure to keep our cool! One way of doing so is enjoying cold drinks and desserts – ice cream on top of the list! We have tried the new flavors of Selecta ice cream, Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo Rocky Road. And to tell you honestly, these tubs were empty in less than 48 hours. It was not quite fast since I get to enjoy these new flavors with just 2 kids. We all love the new flavors, hmmm… I personally have enjoyed the Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie than the other flavor. These flavors are (I think) limited and some grocery stores don’t have them yet so when you guys got the chance to find one, grab the tub!
Since this post is not a review, let us keep my ratings a secret! Haha!
You have been given a hint!
My tabletop electric oven was a gift. I have been eyeing a beautiful oven from the appliance center for a long time but saving to get it will take a lot longer. So, with a friend’s suggestion, and since I am not really planning on using it for business purposes (using it now just for my kids), I told Ronald (yes, he’s the financier for this oven) that I would go for this one.
I have been Pinterest inspired! As soon as I have read the manual for this tabletop oven, I started baking! I have had my share of baking failures but have a lot of successful ones too.
Most of my baked goodies were Chocolate and Banana flavored and Carrot too. I make them during weekends so it will be ready as school snack for my elder daughter, K. I would always let her bring more than she could eat so she can share some to her friends too. Or sometimes, I remind her to eat (if there are leftovers) as afternoon snack while she is travelling home bound.
Last Christmas season, I got the chance to frequently use my tabletop oven – served its purpose very well for some goodies which we made and gave as gifts. I am sure that this oven will last for quite long, besides it being durable (a testimonial of my baker friend, Iris of Project Happiness ), I have been extra careful using it. =)
If I have had a baking sad story, I can tell you more successful ones at least. That disappointment I felt with the cupcake disaster that happened the first time I tried to make buttercream frosting did not stop me from baking. As most positive individuals do, I took it as a challenge to be better.
Since most people here says no to super sweets, I decided to do bold cupcakes instead – muffins! The photo above shows a carrot / yogurt muffin and in the next photo are chewy Lemon cookies. Pardon the photo quality as these photos were taken using my netbook’s camera.
Besides cookies, cupcakes and muffins, I tried making carrot loaf. Now, this is something I am definitely proud to have made. I used the same recipe I found for my cupcakes and voila! It came out of the oven like an eye candy! Just right! It even tasted so good that my elder daughter brought few slices than she could eat to school. Well, she sure gave some to her classmates and came home with compliments that made me wish to learn more about baking. It did not stop there though… I dreamed of having my own bake shop / cafe which was set up beside my own gift shop. Both businesses were set up in the front of my own house. Okay, wake me up now!
Ahhh! I wish to win the Lotto! Ha ha!
The excitement in me after buying the new tabletop electric oven was like a flu virus. L0L! It was really all over me! With that feeling, I went to Chocolate Lover in Cubao and bought some stuff I needed to start making cupcakes. I also had to scan through some of my “memory boxes” and found my very first dessert cookbook. Besides that, since my purpose is to really bake for my kids, I logged into my Pinterest account and visited the sites of those cakes and cookies pinned images I have in one of my boards. As soon as I thought I was ready, I tried baking cupcakes! The first one we (my kids and I) tried were Sharon’s butter cupcake but since I wanted something from the scratch, I baked some Chocolate Banana and Carrot cupcakes. My kids loved them! And I think they liked it not because of the taste but because of the thought that I made them. =D
When my elder daughter kept asking me to try buttercream, I had to ask some tips from a friend, Vangie. She was the one who made Roey’s 1st birthday cake. Again, when I thought I am all ready, I tried my very first buttercream. But, as I was preparing the ingredients, I remembered that my hand mixer is nowhere to be found so I have to do it manually.
It was a disaster! Check out how it looked like in the photo above – not even close to those pretty cupcakes topped with buttercream frosting I have repinned in my Pinterest board! There was too much butter if I am not mistaken and the consistency of manual mixing is really different from mixing it with an electric mixer – or maybe, the consistency is possible to achieve, it was just that I am a newbie.
I was already disappointed with how it looked like in that first photo. But, can you imagine how bad I felt with how the buttercream melted after few minutes? It was heart breaking! I just have to uplift my spirit with the fact that all the great bakers nowadays are once a beginner and they too had their share of baking disasters.
The consolation of that imperfect buttercream frosting is at least it was delicious!
With my electric oven, I can’t deny that I’ve been inspired to create and bake goodies for my kids. Aside from being able to make cookies and cupcakes for my elder daughter’s school snack, I also tried making muffins for my toddler. Healthy muffins that is. Something that excites her everytime and wouldn’t mind eating.
Last Christmas, my cousins invited us to join their annual Christmas party and exchange gift. Who would say no? Not me! My kids were totally excited! We all love family gatherings and fun parties like this one. Since there were several families attending the event, a potluck was suggested. I was asked to bring something for dessert. And this was the best way to again, to have fun and experiment and also use my oven! I told them I’d bring cupcakes but I wanted to surprise them so I also baked a cake. It was a 6″ round layered chocolate cake with choco ganache.
From this cake on top to this one below which also shows the cupcakes that came with it. The new cupcake holder of my cousin’s wife was perfect to display the colorful sweets. My nieces and cousins volunteered to decorate the cake and cupcakes and it somehow made me feel glad they had fun with an instant creative activity.
It was a memorable Christmas party we had and I still can see the smile on my face whenever I recall that at least, that chocolate cake I brought at the party was not a disaster. As I look at its photos, I want to be able to bake more successful cakes. Successful not just in terms of look but taste too!