Muffin Monday began some time ago. Knowing how much my grandkids enjoy muffins, and realising the busyness of families, I started making muffins for my family. I bought a new muffin book. It was a $5 recipe book from Kmart- Simple & Delicious Muffins.
True to its title, the recipes really are, simple and delicious.
The first recipe I tried was the 'Mini Muffins with Sticky Toffee Sauce.' Yum! They're just like an individual serve of sticky date pudding.
I presented them warm as individual servings in cups, and left them for my grandkids' breakfast. (Yes-not really a breakfast item but it was a special event.) And yes, they loved them.
Kids enjoy variety
Since then, I've tried to cook a batch for them every Monday. Sometimes, it's Apple & Cinnamon muffins, Strawberry Explosion, Blueberry or Raspberry Crumble. Occasionally, it'll be Rocky Road Chocolate or Marshmallow muffins.
I'm fortunate enough to live close to my family and grandkids. If you don't, you could cook up a number of batches and freeze them. They reheat well.
Presentation is everything
It makes a big difference how I present them, too. This is the packaging I used when I made a batch of Cherry & Coconut Muffins. I've included the recipe below, if you'd like to try it.
It doesn't take much time to print off some cherry labels and stick them to the front of a paper bag. Pop in a muffin and the simple fare becomes a gourmet delight for kids.
If you make muffins in smaller cupcake sizes, then you could print off and construct the basic cherry box. I've included the pattern for both designs below.
Premium quality muffins
Print off Grandma's premium quality muffin labels (included in the cherry label download) and add to the cherry boxes or paper bags and you're done.
Cherry & Coconut Muffins
Here's the recipe..... it makes 12
1.Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2.Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
3.Add flour, salt, sugar, desiccated coconut and chopped cherries to a large bowl and stir well.
4.Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and add the coconut milk, butter and vanilla essence.
5.Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquids.
6.Stir gently until just mixed. Do not over beat.
7.Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with a whole fresh cherry.
8.Bake in the prepared oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
9. Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes and then serve warm.
You'll find the files for the cherry box and the paper bag sticker label below.
...hope you enjoy them!
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." -- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Christmas, for most families, is a time of family traditions.
What Christmas traditions does your family hold to and treasure?
When my children were young, our Christmas traditions involved bright Christmas carols playing while decorating the tree, setting up the nativity scene, the advent calendar activities and daily Bible readings, the train trip to the city to view the department stores' animated displays, Christmas in Story & Song at our church and more.
Now, as a grandparent, the traditions of Christmas are just a bit quieter. But there is no reason why your time with your grandkids can't be every bit as memorable and meaningful as when life was bursting at the seams with Christmas excitement and activity.
Amongst all the frenetic activity of Christmas, how can you, as a grandparent, create a family tradition that will emphasise the real message of Christmas?
I was asking myself the same question when I happened to watch the latest clip from the SkitGuys...see here.
The idea is simple: hide the Baby Jesus from your nativity scene and create a set of clues to help your grandchildren find the Saviour. Tailor your clues to the age of your grandchildren. If they're quite small, draw pictures with hints of where to look. Add some simple directional signs- large cards with printed arrows or footprints. Provide more cryptic clues for older kids or use Scripture verses for added levels of difficulty.
But, don't stop there...
Once your grandkids have found the Saviour, read one of the many wonderful storybooks of the Christmas story. Here's a couple of suggestions with links to where you can find them.
* Read Aloud Bible Stories Vol 3. Award-winning publication for young children filled with simple stories with big illustrations.
*The Jesus Storybook Bible.... where every story whispers His name.
*Jed And Roy McCoy.. One of the Lost Sheep series. A Bible storybook that the whole family will enjoy.
* If you're Missing Baby Jesus.. A true story that will unwrap the warmth of the real meaning of Christmas.
Begin a new tradition this year with your grandkids that is not only fun, but places the focus on the real meaning of the festive season.
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.