Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mommy is afraid of cats, and baby loves cats!!




My Ailurophobia -persistent and irrational fear of cats- has been there for as far as I can remember! I cannot stand being around cats, hear the sound of cats and even their sight on tv or even in pictures is unpleasant!!
And no it's not all animals, only cats! I admit I dont have a passion for animals but we've had a dog around the house and i lived with it. But when we visit friends that have cats in their houses , it's either me or the cat in the house! 

Last month, I was saying good bye to my neighbor who's leaving Angola to her  home country to go deliver her second child, as I opened the door of their door to go out of the house I was surprised by the sight of a cat standing on the door, automatically I tried to shut the door to avoid any me-cat confrontation, oblivious to the fact that my son has already passed through the front door and started screaming at the sight of the cat. Thank god my husband was there to the rescue! And this became my husband's go to joke for the week about how I tried to close the door with my son outside of it just because I saw a cat!

All of this changed for me last week when we visited a friend here in Luanda and were sitting in their backyard and me proudly sitting on the chair (feet up of course) and two little kittens running around and playing with my son and his friend. Yes! I was able to sit in their presence for almost two hours just because I saw how much fun my son was having playing around with the cats, chasing them and feeding them. I guess this is how one changes for their kids, you overcome yourself and try to adapt in order to accommodate what your child loves and is passionate about even if it means jumping and down on your plastic chair every few minutes :))) You can notice how the picture below is blurry, haha I was scared but at the same time very proud of my two year old for playing with the cats.



I guess same thing can also apply to when you are convincing your child to eat something u know that yourself cannot stand eating or even putting in your mouth, a certain type of vegetable or healthy stew. 

Have you ever faced such experiences where you had to face your biggest fears just to try show your child that there's nothing to be afraid of in the world?



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mars bar cheesecake... or cheesecake heaven!



Since my mom came to Angola and stayed for about three weeks, her visit was centered around two things, Karim, my son, and food! As if we were starving before she came :)) And since she's a pro in all things sweets, chocolaty and packed with fat, am sharing with you the recipe of this cheesecake we made together before she left. I will not babble a lot about how yummy, decadent and scrumptious it is, I will let you look at the pictures and save the recipe and try it out! If you do not have Mars bars on hand, try it out with twix bars or even snickers bars, you can even mix all three bars together, Heaven on a dish!

Recipe from http://aww.ninemsn.com/food/8376077/mars-bars-cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

310g chocolate chip biscuits (I used digestive biscuits)
75g butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
20g butter, extra
11/2 cups (375ml) cream
11/2 teaspoons gelatine
1/4 cup (60ml) water
500g cream cheese, chopped, softened
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
2 x 53g Mars Bars, chopped finely
100g milk chocolate, chopped finely
1/4 cup (60ml) cream, extra
METHOD

1. Process biscuits until fine. Transfer biscuits to a medium bowl, stir in butter. Press mixture evenly over base and side of 20cm springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
2. Combine brown sugar, extra butter and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat, until sugar dissolves; simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle gelatine over the water in a small heatproof jug; stand jug in a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until dissolved.
4. Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir slightly warm gelatine mixture into cream cheese mixture with the Mars Bars; fold in the whipped cream.
5. Pour 2 /3 of the cream cheese mixture onto the biscuit base in pan. Drizzle over 2 /3 of the butterscotch sauce. Swirl the mixture to distribute the butterscotch sauce. Repeat the process with remaining cream cheese mixture, butterscotch sauce.
6. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
7. Meanwhile, combine chocolate and extra cream in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. Serve the cheesecake drizzled with milk chocolate sauce.








 







 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Personalized DIY toddler puzzle!







A perfect way to learn face distinction and parts of the body, this puzzle only involved the parts of the face because the pictures I had were two portraits of me and my hubby. It was so much fun to watch my son try to put mommy's eyes and nose and mouth together to form the picture. The thing that was even funnier was how much he got mad when we were playing with the puzzle and I tried to put my eyes on daddy's nose :) "No that's daddy nose!".








Try it out with old pictures you have, (I had two copies of these portraits) or if you don't want to cut your pictures go through your magazines and cut faces from there. Then take pieces of magnetic and place one of each piece of picture puzzle! Just give them a cookie sheet or even let them stand on the fridge and put the pieces of your face back together.













Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sneak peak of jungle birthday party

Here's a few shots of my baby's 2nd birthday party this last week! Will be coming back for a full post of the recipes and decoration tips just as soon as i get five minutes to sit down :D











Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not only a roll, but a cinnamon CAKE!


You know when you crave cinnamon rolls, but not the hours that it takes to
make?! well someone came up with a solution, not only super easy to make, but super yummy as well!
I did not do the baking, and will not for the coming month since mommy is visiting in Luanda! She made this cake from the recipe over at  Chef in Training.



 
You will need:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • - TOPPING -
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • - GLAZE -
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (we only used 1 cup and it was more than enough!)
  • 5 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
    3. For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
    4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
    5. FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
     
     







     
    Follow the steps and I am sure next time you crave a roll, you will get your cake pan and have your house smelling cinnamony in no time!

    For a breakfast treat, heat a piece of the cake in the microwave for 30 seconds and enjoy with your coffee.


    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    He's Two :D

     
     
     
     
     



     
    March is here and it's packed with celebrations!
    My baby turned two last sunday! Mother's day and my mom is coming for a visit to Luanda!! Woohoo!
    So since my mom will be here later this month we decided to postpone his birthday party a couple of weeks, and I did a cake to celebrate on the day of his birthday. I made a number 2 cake, with a giraffe print, since he's all into animals and since he recently experienced a safari trip.

    We started off his day with a stack of yummy pancakes with sprinkles!

    For the number two cake, it's really simple, this is how I cut it out. I made two cakes, a round one and a loaf cake. I will post the recipe of the chocolate cake, because this is by far the best chocolate cake recipe you can have your hands on, the hersheys perfectly chocolate chocolate cake!

    So for the chocolate cake you will need
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2  eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water
     
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. 


    So after baking both cakes take the round cake and cut a whole in the middle. Then cut a piece from it in the shape of a triangle.


                                    
     
    This triangle will serve as the link between the round cake and loaf pan cake that will form the shape of the number 2












     
    You can trim the endings of the loaf pan, for it to level with the head of the number 2.
    Then frost it with the design you like. Here I used orange buttercream , then for the patches of the giraffe I used chocolate ganache.
     

     
    Happy Birthday Baby!!


     

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Luanda Magic Parc of Miramar

     

    I think it's Luanda's only outdoor play area for kids of all ages and it is definitely worth a weekly visit from you no matter where you live in Luanda.
    The parc located in the Miramar area has an entrance fee of only 5 dollars and is suitable for kids of all ages.

     
     
    It is equipped with outdoor play area for young children- the plastic houses, slides,.. - and for older kids you can find several jumping castles and an arena for renting electric cars.

     



    Other options for rent for 5 $ for half an hour are small bicycles and cars.


    If you are in Luanda and have kids please do visit this park and I am sure you will be visiting it again and again.

    All the toys and the park all in all are very well maintained. A large seating area for parents with a café that serves refreshments and sandwiches is also available inside the park.




    And if you find any other entertainment for kids in Luanda, please share and let us know :)