Category Archives: recipes

I Finally Made Play Dough that Isn’t Sticky

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I am terrible at making play dough.  For years I have experimented with all kinds of recipes, cold, cooked and microwaved but all of them turn out in a sticky mess within 24 hours.  That is until a pre school teacher shared this simple formula with me.  Mix 2 cups of corn starch/ corn flour with 1 cup of hair conditioner. Finally a recipe that works!

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Feel your skin, it’s really nice and smooth.

 

The texture is slightly less firm and more crumbly than standard play dough but it has a lovely silky texture and led to some interesting creations.

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I made a face

 

 

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Me too
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The first time I made a snowman, it was really good and then I noticed that it kept going down all the time. It’s like a melting snowman.

 

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I added some silly putty to it to make this design
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How to Make Hot Cross Buns

I love Hot Cross Buns.  Years ago there was a bakery near my flat that baked the very best Hot Cross Buns, huge, glazed and sticky. I am yet to find anywhere here that sells them, so we decided to try making our own.  It is quite a long process but definitely worth it and a nice introduction to bread making for the children.

You will Need

Makes 24    nb. 1 cup = 1/2 pint or 1/2 lb  or  230 g (approx.)

3 sachets of yeast

3/4 cup of warm water

1 1/8 cup of warm milk

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

6 cups of flour (2 of bread flour and 4 of plain/all purpose flour)

1 1/2 cups oats

1 1/2 cups raisins

1 1/2 beaten eggs

Glaze

1 cup icing (powdered) sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp. milk

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and sprinkle in a little sugar
  2. Melt butter

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3. Combine milk, butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon

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4. Stir in 1 cup of flour, oats, raisins, egg and dissolved yeast.

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5. Keep adding flour until it makes a soft dough. Knead, place in a greased bowl and cover for 1 hour.

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6. Press it down then let it rest.

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7. Form into balls and add a dough cross. Let them rise uncovered for 45 minutes

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8. Glaze with egg white and bake at 400 degrees F/ Gas mark 6  for 10-12 mins

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9. When cooled combine the ingredients for the glaze and brush on the top. Leave for 5 minutes.

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They were very popular; I may never get away with a shop bought bun again.

Huckleberries and How to Make Huckleberry Muffins

picking wild huckleberriesThis time last year we were playing in the local park. A group of children were picking small red berries from the bushes and eating them. I was a little alarmed, I’d always told the kids not to eat red berries  because they were ‘bird berries’, that would make children sick.

The children’s grandmother told us that they were huckleberries .  I’d heard of Huckleberry Finn and Huckleberry Hound but had no idea a huckleberry was a fruit.  ‘They are quite sharp’ she told us ‘but they are really good in muffins’. We tasted them, they are a little like a sharp blackberry, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but I liked them in small quantities.

We headed back a few days later to collect huckleberries to make muffins.

As you can see from the picture the berries are quite small so it takes quite a long time to pick any substantial quantity. The berries have a strong flavour however, so you don’t need many to make muffins.

We followed this recipe and they were absolutely delicious. If you can’t get huckleberries then you can substitute blueberries, I would use a little less sugar if using blueberries.

The muffins were such a success that as soon as we spotted the bushes beginning to ripen this year, we collected as many as we could. Huckleberries can be frozen but you need to be quite dedicated to collect large quantities.

We took them home to bake into muffins. A delicious seasonal treat.