Orange chocolate pudding faces

Orange Chocolate Pudding faces

Makes 8 servings

¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
9 oranges, washed and dried
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup cornstarch
4 cups whole milk, divided
½ cup semisweet-chocolate chips
4 pretzel sticks, broken into halves

1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and salt. Zest 1 orange directly into the pan; reserve the orange for another use. Add the cocoa powder and cornstarch and whisk until combined. Still whisking, slowly add 1 cup milk. Whisk until it is smooth.

2. Microwave the remaining 3 cups milk until warm, about 2 minutes. Whisk into the cocoa mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let boil for 2 minutes, still stirring. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

3. Meanwhile, cut ½ inch off the tops of the remaining eight oranges. Reserve the tops. Place 1 orange on a cutting board. Run a small knife around the edge of the orange, angling the tip of the blade toward the centre while rotating the fruit, to release the flesh from the rind without cutting through the bottom. Scoop out the flesh and save for another use. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

4. With a black permanent marker, draw faces onto the oranges. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut out the stem centres from the tops. Insert a pretzel-stick half into each top.

5. Uncover the pudding and whisk until smooth. Divide among the orange cups. Place the tops back on the oranges.

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6 foods to introduce into your diet for healthy eye sight

These six foods will promote healthy eyes and vision.

1. Carrots

Promote eye health and protect the vision. Beta-carotene helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly.

2. Kale and Spinach

Packed with Lutein and Zeaxhantin you only need 1 cup of these leafy greens to keep your eyes healthy.

3. Eggs

Eggs are full of Lutein which reduces the risk of age-related degeneration.

4. Fish

Fish contain fatty acids which helps with retinal function and visual development.

5. Oranges

Vitamin C isn’t just good for your body but also for your eyes. This vitamin also reduces the risk of macular degeneration.

6. Nuts

Seeds and nuts are full of Vitamin E which slows the progression of cataracts in your eyes.

Try to add these foods to your diet and take care of your eyes.

5 kitchen treats for valentines day

For mammas the best way for us to show our love is through food.

So I’ve rounded up 5 fun kitchen treats that you can suprise your loved ones with on Valentine’s day.

1. Egg bread

Use a cookie cutter in the shape of a heart to cut out the centre of a piece of bread or toast. Fry an egg. Place the bread over the egg so that the yolk is in the centre of the heart.

Garnish with little heart tomatoes or peppers.

2. Funky fruit

This is perfect for the lunch boxes. Dress up a piece of fruit with a corny love note.

3. Lunch box love

Now there is no excuse not to remind the kids how much they are loved. Make a sandwich and cut it into a heart shape. Tie a little twine around it.

Next cut cucumber slices and cheese into hearts.

4. Say it with hearts

Decorate heart shaped biscuits with bright red and pink icing. Don’t forget to add a love note.

5. Cute cupcakes

Use marzipan to decorate some cupcakes. Add small Valentine’s symbols on the top.

Which ever way you chose to spoil your loved ones we know they will enjoy their sweet treats. ❤

Banana bread

This banana bread recipe is the best.

For variation you can add in a cup of chopped nuts, grated carrots, raisins, or chocolate chips.

The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe. The yellow peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside squishy and browning.

INGREDIENTS

2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, and butter a 4×8-inch loaf pan.

2 In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.

3 Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.

4 Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

5 Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving.

National Irish Coffee Day

January the 25th is celebrated as National Irish Coffee Day.

So I thought I’d treat papa to a homemade Irish Coffee when he got home.

As a whiskey drinker, he likes the odd Irish Coffee and how hard can it be to make ?

Right?!

Well , it turns out I first needed to pop across the road to get cream. I stood in front of the dairy shelves wondering which cream was best. Thankfully it doesn’t matter as long as you have cream.

I also grabbed a flake as you can’t serve anything with out chocolate 😉

Of course I did taste a bit (ok half) of the chocolate.

Whipping the cream was the hardest part of this recipe.

You simply make a strong cup of coffee, add in some whiskey and top with cream.

This got me wondering as to the origin of Irish Coffee.

According to www.theblacklable.com the original version was invented by Joe Cheriday, a head chef in County Limerick. He added whiskey to hot coffee to warm up a group of American travelers on a cold winter evening in the 1940s, and when asked if he was serving them Brazilian coffee, he told them that it was, in fact, “Irish coffee.”

Why you should use an insulated lunch bag

The standard lunch box has evolved over the years. From early days when school children took their lunches to school in metal tins to the more modern versions of insulated lunch bags.

Today insulated lunch bags are incredibly popular with adults and children alike.

Why you should use an insulated lunch box.

1. They gentle on the environment.

A reusable alternative to paper bags, disposible plastic, foil and plastic lunch bags.

2. They safer and healthier

Your food has less chance of becoming contaminated in an insulated lunch bag.

Because paper bags and plastic containers have no real way to maintain the temperature of food stored inside, the food becomes subseptable to contamination, which can cause food poisoning.

3. They allow a larger variation in lunch choices

They allow you a wider choice in lunches that you pack as they keep food longer so items like yogurt won’t spoil so quickly.

How does an insulated bag work?

Insulated lunch bags typically have three barriers against temperature change.

They have an outer layer made of a medium to heavy weight fabric, like nylon or neoprene. The second layer is made from a type of insulating material, usually foam. The third, inner layer is generally made of foil or plastic. Together, these three layers form an excellent barrier between the contents and the outside of the bag, maintaining their temperature much longer than a paper or plastic bag.

Why I only use insulated lunch bags

It’s always been important for me that my children open a fresh , healthy lunch when they at school.

I wouldn’t serve them something I wouldn’t eat myself and images of soggy tomatoes and squished peanut butter sandwiches come to mind when I think of my own school lunches.

Due to this one of the first things we buy at the begininf of a school year is a new lunch bag.

It was great to send bears formula bottles in when he was at day care. As he grew we added one for his lunches and snacks.

As a teacher , I must admit a lunch bag is so much neater and more organised. Teachers can easily store them neater than a bunch of odd containers and children learn responsibility if keeping all their lunch together and packing it back in when done.

As a mom it is so much easier to just open the bag after school, dump out the containers , wash and line the lunch bags up on the counter and prep them for the next day when each child just grabs their own before heading off to school.

Tip

We take bears lunch bag with us , even when we just go to the shops I add a prefrozen ice block in and then store his juice, milk, snack and dummy in the bag. So much easier than fumbling about in a nappy bag if he needs something .

The HAPPY SNACK! & MY SPORTS-BAG! lunchboxes and sport bags from OOPS.

                  
Oops, global leaders in developmental and recreational toys, now offer parents the perfect bags and boxes to send the little ones off to their first day of nursery school with.

Sticking with the two much-loved themes of My City and My Forest, the gorgeous friends from the Oops range will take your child confidently into the classroom and onto the sports field.

Happy Snack! is the Oops soft 3D lunchbox, perfect for snack time at school or even when out and about.  The bag is suitable for food contact and its thermal lining makes snacks stay fresh and delicious for hours to come.

My SportBag! is one of few specifically designed sports bags for young children and perfect for your baby’s first sports activities or trips. Very spacious and practical, the bag has a zipper opening that makes change-overs as smooth as possible. The double handle and shoulder strap also mean it is easy for both children and adults to carry.  Being water resistant, it is perfect for the swimming pool!

What a way to start the new year and the beginning of school days!

Oops is available now at Hamleys Baby Divisions and selected Kids Emporium stores, Me Mom and Dad (Greenstone) & www.takealot.com, www.loot.co.zawww.thebabyzone.co.za