Friday, June 24, 2011

Homemade Teething Rusks

As promised, here is the recipe for my homemade teething rusks.  It's loosely based on the Muesli Teething Biscuits recipe from Alison & Simon Holst's baby food & beyond book (and might I add, when two of the little models in the book were 5 years old, I was their teacher, gush gush!!) but I have adapted it for my kidlets. 

Step aside Martha Stewart, it's my kitchen now!

To make the rusks you will need:
1 cup plain or high grade flour
1 cup Farex or Watties ground baby rice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter (softened)
about 1/2 cup milk - I used expressed breastmilk, but cow's milk or formula could also be used

Also a food processor, measuring cups & spoons (I have my matryoshka doll ones from Fred... looooove them!!!), chopping board, baking tray and sharp serrated knife.  I also use Weleda Teething Powder (aka "baby crack" in our house) - more on that later.

Before you start, preheat the oven to 150deg Celsius.

1. Place all dry ingredients in the food processor, and add the butter.
Pulse or mix until all is combined and the butter is thoroughly mixed in, looking like breadcrumbs.  (If you don't have a food processor or can't be arsed getting it out, mix the butter through with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs - just like when you make scones.)
 3. While mixing, add the milk in a thin stream until it starts to form a ball in the processor.
 (Here's the ball spinning around... and around...)
 4. Roll the ball of dough on the chopping board into a long sausage shape.
 5. Slice the dough into 12-20 slices depending on how big you want them.  Using a serrated knife is best, and dip it into cold water between each slice if you want a cleaner cut.
 6. Roll each slice into a sausage shape and place on a baking tray.
 At this point I also sprinkle on some Weleda teething powder and gently press it into the dough.  I have no idea if baking kills all the good stuff in it, but in my head it's an added bonus (so don't go telling me it won't work, I'll stick my fingers in my ears and sing LA LA LA LA!!! so loud I won't hear).
7. Bake at 150C for around 30 minutes.  When they are golden brown, switch off the oven, let some hot air out, and leave them to cool in the oven to get them really firm.

There you go!  Any questions?

Notes From My Kitchen:
- the original recipe uses Farex Ground Muesli instead of baby rice.  I've never bought that muesli so never tried it!
- the original recipe also uses white sugar.  I prefer brown as it tastes and looks less processed-y.
- my oven seems to be a real 'individual'.  Cooking times in recipes never seem to match my oven's efforts.  I usually leave them in the oven for 10 minutes longer and switch to fan bake, to get a nice crispy outside.  I take them out when they reach 'golden brown' or before they became the colour of Griffin's Gingernuts before they closed the NZ factory and started making (and burning) them in Australia.
- if you are using cow's milk or formula instead of EBM the cooking time will be a few minutes less.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PHB Day 185

9 June - did I mention he's teething at the moment?  Makes for one grumpy baby.  The amber teething beads I bought from The Flower Garden website (in cognac, so we can tell his apart from his brother's dark cherry) haven't made much of a difference with the pain, but they have eliminated the nasty teething rash that was appearing so I'm keeping them on.
Anyways, Project Handmade Baby items today: cream merino footless leggings (made by me), handmade bibs (this one bought from Trade Me), and a knitted short-sleeve vest purchased from The Spot in Johnsonville - a lovely craft cooperative shop with all sorts of knitted, crocheted, sewn, handcrafted goodies for sale.  (They even have darling little doll clothes!).

He's also eating a homemade teething rusk - at a friend's request I'll do a post on how to make your own.  They're dead easy, cheaper than bought, and not quite as evil on the teeth if your toddler decides he wants one as well.

PHB Day 184

8 June - an imba bib in the 'little dribbler' size covered in funky little ladybirds, and a pair of wide-legged, cuffed-bottomed, elastic-waisted pants from the hand-me-down box.  And in the bottom of the shot is our Conan, possibly the most annoying cat in the world.  He's Tonkinese, loud, persistent, annoying, and has a penchant for eating my knitwear. 

PHB Day 183

7 June - nom nom nom, the teething peg is a real favourite at the moment - 6 months old and we're cutting our first two teeth.  Argh!  The new kid is wearing a hoodie, all wool, lined hood, made for his older brother.  My clever friend Catherine is quite the whiz with littlies' clothes! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

PHB Day 182 - 6 June

My jolly jumping boy in his Jolly Jumper, wearing one of a dozen bibs he went through that day.  Dribbling could be his competitive sport I tell ya!

PHB Day 181 - 5 June

I love TradeMe.  This hoodie (which will feature more in future I'm sure!) is super soft, cleverly knitted and cost me $7 on TradeMe.  Plus postage. 

PHB Day 180 - 4 June - The Kimono

This is the day a certain creative/homekeeping maven whose name sounds not dissimilar to 'Arthur Knewit'... became '' in my house.  I downloaded a fantastic Baby Kimono pattern from her website, and cut out some pieces using material I'd purchased at a Fabric-a-brac sale locally - a whole bundle of circus print and matching browns for $2!  Score!!
Finally got around to sewing it up and wow, did I drop the f-bomb a number of times.  The instructions on how to make it up were rubbish.  "Match up the dots" and there were no dots.  I could go on.  Fortunately with a bit of experience in making baby kimono tops and some sewing nouse (and good ol' Kiwi DIY I reckon!!) I managed to make up trial run #1, as pictured.  I must say though, the pattern itself is fantastic, it's a 6-12 month size which fits perfectly, and I was able to add an interest-panel to the front with minimal fuss, although I used a stitch-and-turn jobbie the next time I used the pattern - also this is the long version, and the cropped version was a better and more practical fit for a 6-12 month baby.

Don't get me wrong, I love Martha and all her creativeness and all she shares with the world but the poor instructions were a big disappointment.

(PS homemade teething rusk in hand, made with expressed milk... can you say Earth Mother?!)

PHB Day 179 - 3 June

Nom nom nom, did you know pounamu make fabulous teething aids?  My sister gave me this beautiful circle of waipounamu when my then-boyfriend (now-husband) and I were planning to teach English in Japan, before that fell through due to his rowing plans.

Anyways that aside, to add to all the beautiful natural brown, cream and greeny goodness of today's outfit (thanks Pure Patch, Lamington and Nature Baby... and the booties I knitted that didn't stay on long!) we have the favourite beanie of the moment, adapted from this pattern on Lion Brand Yarn's website knitted up with some 12-ply felted lambswool and dark brown everything-wool (it's a blend of mohair, angora, virgin wool (????) and something else) and it seriously is the EASIEST beanie pattern EVER!!  Apart from the patterns I've printed, given to my aunty and said "pretty please?!" which is the easiest way ever... but of course blatantly cheating.

PHB Day 178 - What a Shot!

2 June - It's not often I get such an amazing photograph due to a lack of training, steady hands and time.  So I was over the moon to get this pearler of my beautiful baby in his tangerine Mokopuna wrap suit, with a homemade pocket nappy and of course the favourite duck-feet booties I knitted.  My beautiful blue-eyed boy, you are just delicious!

About Project Handmade Baby (PHB) - Click Here

PHB Day 177 - 1 June

Nauticalicious!  It was a sunny and frosty day, so I got the new kid all rugged up and put his bouncinette on the deck while I hung out washing and the wee guy kicked a ball around.  Check out the speedy handmade toy: what to do with a CanTeen bandana and leftover Roses chocolates wrappers to make an easy, washable, noisy toy to keep baby entertained...  tie them all up in a bundle and knot a dozen times - perfect!
The beanie was crocheted by a great friend of ours that was a coxswain for my husband's rowing team - she hasn't long been crocheting so it was an extra-special baby shower gift!  She is quite the fashionista so she made it nautical themed so that boy or girl, this baby would be styley.

Project Handmade Baby Days 175-6 (the rest of May)

29 May: My beautiful little man asleep in the car on the way home from his Christening.  At our local Catholic Church when babies are christened, we are able to purchase handmade stoles for symbolising clothing the baby in white.  Both my boys have had stoles which have handpainted 'I have called you by name' on them. 
The new kid wore the same christening gown that his brother wore, which is also what my older siblings and I had worn when we were welcomed into the Catholic church - a beautiful gift from my great-grandmother.  And because he had outgrown the UH-MAZING handmade booties (hand-stitched intricate lace and all, they are truly beautiful!) that my mother brought back from a little island in Europe, I put the duck-feet booties on him.  Couldn't help myself.

30 May: A day of handmade nappies.

About Project Handmade Baby - Click Here

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PHB Days 168-174 (22-28 May)

 22 May - The orange beanie again!!  It's a cold week so it's being worn rather a lot.  Yay! (fist pump) Also this competitive dribbling calls for a lot of bibs, they're barely out of the washing basket and on the kid before they're soaked and back in there.  He dribbles so much I'm surprised he doesn't poop sand.
 23 May - Photo fail.  I didn't realise until, well, NOW that I didn't get his FEET in the shot so the duck booties could be seen.  (facepalm)
 24 May - my clever mother-in-law knitted this cable-knit cardy and it has a matching beanie.  It's gorgeous!  Even if the new kid does look a little startled!
 25 May - this little face seems to read "for goodness sake stop taking pics and let's GO" ... almost every single item of clothing was handmade today, bar the singlet which you can't see!  Handmade nappy, handsewn pants in cream merino, handknitted cardy (mostly by me) in bamboo yarn, handknitted orange beanie (again) and some little slippers I knitted to match the leaf on the beanie.  Gush!
 26 May - another photo fail.  Gah!!  I promise there's a handmade nappy and at least one bootie out of shot.  (facepalm again)
 27 May - more bibs, more duck booties..  and that night I got out my new materials and started cutting out some more bibs 'cause even I was getting tired of the same bibs featuring in the pictures.  Ahhh creative time.  Love it.
28 May - the famous stripy beanie and the bark merino sideways knitted jersey which is getting a weeny bit on the small side.  Thank God it's winter and I can get plenty more wear out of it 'cause anything bigger than a beanie or booties takes me freakin HOURS to knit.

PHB Days 161-167 (15 - 21 May)

 15 May - My new fave item is a darling little orange beanie (more pictures to come!) with a brown stalk and a green leaf which I managed to knit without entirely munting the beanie.  It's 100% wool in a pumpkin orange, and the green leaf is this beautiful but scratchy peruvian wool.
 16 May - matching the grey stripes on the JK snowbaby suit perfectly are these darling chunky wool slippers passed on from a friend.  Her grandmother rings her and asks for requests for her kids because she has "got her knit on" - I love it!!  We haven't had that much wear out of them unfortunately because a certain wee guy threw one of the slippers in the air and it's gone in 'that' space behind the couch where I can't bloody find it for the life of me.  Grr.
 17 May - Yeap, the duck booties.  I figure they go with, well, EVERYthing!
 18 May - and again.  The duck booties.  This picture did the rounds as I was lucky enough to catch the new kid Baby Planking, so it went on my facebook page, then my sister-in-law's, hirarious!!  Oh and of course the daily handmade nappies and bibs, and dolly makes another appearance on the left.
 19 May - a slightly better shot of the orange beanie, with a little vintage look care of an app on my iPhone (Happy Birthday iPhone, thanks in-laws!!).  

20 May - and again.  We stayed with my lovely Mum up north for a couple of nights and enjoyed rural life.  Mum was fab with washing the pocket nappies so I didn't have to use a whole bunch of disposables and they were dried in front of the fireplace at night, I just love the earth mother way of life sometimes!  (might I add my wonderful Mum made me a cuppa when I was doing a 3:45am feed, and lamb shanks and decent steak also featured in our diet that week... I think she suspects I'm not eating well enough?!)

21 May - a little morning tea at Maranui cafe to celebrate a friend's 30th!  The lineny bib came in handy while the new kid started his quest to turn dribbling into a competitive sport... argh!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

PHB Days 154 - 160 (8-14 May)

 8 May - the Noo cow suit (again!) with a camo handmade bib.
 9 May - Aww just check out those CHEEKS!!  The stripy beanie is getting a lot of wear with the chilly weather, and it fits his big head too.  Win!  It's almost the same colour as his little JK Snowbaby merino top which I am totally in love with, but JK sizes are on the smaller size so I WISH I'd bought instore instead of online as he'll be out of it sooner than we know it.
 10 May - Yeap the beanie again!  With his Nature Baby brown kimono onesie, and handmade nappies (but we don't need to see them every post do we?!)
 11 May - see!?  Lots of wear!  We popped in to see our grandparents up the road and wore the kimono green cardy my aunty knitted as well.  I can't get enough of those beautiful eyes and cheeks!!
 12 May - for a change... here's the Wigglebums nappy made by some lovely ladies in the Hutt (but they haven't had their website back up for over a year, boohoo!!). 
 13 May - a little sneaky peeky of a homemade nappy.
14 May - While I'm trialling a new design for comfy pants, the new kid gets to guinea-pig them for me!  These are a light single knit merino material with elastic waistband and I couldn't be bothered cuffing the bottom before he wore them (lazy huh!!).  They will have to go through a few changes before I add them to the goshorty line.  Oh and spot dolly in the bottom corner, she's quite the fave!

PHB Days 147 - 153 (1-7 May) ... the week I dropped the ball.

 1 May - looking a little bewildered!  The new kid is wearing a lovely wool hoodie handed down from his big brother.  It was a gift for the wee guy's christening and it was well worn but is still in amazing condition.  And it's handmade, thank you Catherine!  It goes nicely with his stripy organic baby pants.
 2 May - nom nom nom, panda bib.
 3 May - here's a picture of that beanie I mentioned in this post - it matches the wee booties!  Thanks again Catherine!  She is a clever girl.  It matches perfectly with his Cotton On Kids all-in-one suit!
 4 May ... this was the day I dropped the ball.  Booo!! 
I was struck down with a nasty illness for the second time in 2 weeks, and I was so weak I couldn't even lift the boys.  And didn't think to nag my husband while he was on Daddy Daycare Duties to dress him in something handmade, d'oh!  Oh well.  Here's a picture of the new kid with his dolly, which is handmade, and he likes to give her a good snog every now and then.
 5 May - peek-a-boo!  Handmade nappies day!  Better do up his little YMY all-in-one suit before I get told off for flashing..
 6 May - more of the same, lots of homemade nappies and bibs.  And a toasty warm Nurtured By Nature top that his brother wore when until he was nearly one ... the new kid is 5 months old and almost out of it!
7 May - the new kid in his Noo cow suit, wearing a matching handmade cow print bib which I bought as part of a lot of 7 for about $12..  I looove cow print!