Mar 15, 2013

Sweet Hearts

Some days ago, I had to cook some cookies but I was very  late to bake them. I had no time: I spent my afternoon playing with my children and then I realize there wasn’t enough time to bake cookies.
Well, I found out that frozen puff pastry and some jam would be good enough to bake cookies.
Sure, they would have been different from classic cookies but easy and quick to bake.
This is a very very easy recipe to bake quickly lots of delicious cookies. I made it with gluten free puff pastry, but it’s good with any puff pastry.

I suggest quantities and jam flavor, but changing quantities you’ll have less or more cookies and jam flavor has to be the one you like. You can also make different cookies with different jam flavors.


  • 250g frozen gluten free puff pastry (or any puff pastry if you don’t need gluten free one)
  • Strawberry jam

Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Defrost the frozen puff pastry. Microwave oven would be perfect.
Then flatten the puff pastry with the rolling pin on a board. Don’t forget to put some gluten free flour on and under the puff pastry (on the board) and some on the rolling pin or your puff pastry will stick on the board and on the rolling pin.


Cut out heart shaped cookies from the puff pastry with shapes that should be normally used to cut out cookies. I used a heart shape but any shape is good for this recipe, it can use any kind of shape: stars, animals, and so on…  or cut out different shapes, in order to have different cookies.


Cover a pan with waxed paper and lay all the cookies on it.
Put a teaspoon of strawberry jam on each cookie, spread all the jam on the cookies and leave just a little edge.



When finished bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy your cookies!! 


Mar 8, 2013

Homemade Play Dough

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to homemade play dough to keep me busy while she made cakes. I loved play dough and I loved pretending to cook a cake like my granny.
I have such wonderful memories about those days, thinking about my granny and I making a cake or cooking homemade pasta, make me feel so peaceful.
My daughters also love playing with play dough and any time they ask I make it for them and let them play as much as they like.

Homemade play dough has lots of qualities that anyone should think about before giving any play dough to children.
First of all it isn’t dangerous for children, it’s made by flour, salt, water and a drop of food color (if you would like to add it) so also little children, who have the bad habit to put everything in mouths, can play safely with it.
You can chose the ingredients, so if your child has any kind of problem with ingredients (intolerance, allergy, and so on..)   you can use the best for him/her.  
Your children can use the same shapes you use to cut cookies because the ingredients are the same of the cookies.
It’s not made by plastic so when it’s dry and children will not able to play with it anymore, you just throw in the compost bin.

  • 2 cups of plain flour (or gluten free for intolerant children)
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Food coloring (optional)

In a big bowl mix flour and salt well, then add water gradually.
Mix with your hands and add water until the dough is smooth. Probably you need less water, depending of the flour. 
But if you add too much water don’t despair! Just add some more flour until the dough is smooth.
On the other hand if it’s too hard add a little bit of water.
When the dough is smooth and soft enough (remember that children are not strong as parents) add a drop or two of food coloring and mix well with your hands.
For a brighter color add more food coloring.
Remember that different colors of food coloring could be mixed together, so you need to buy just red, blue and yellow to have all the colors your children want.

Ask your children to help you mixing and coloring the dough. They will learn to mix ingredients to have a dough to play with and they will also learn how to mix colors to obtain a new one.

You can also make 3 different dough in different colors: 1 red, 1 blue and 1 yellow and let your children free to mix two or all of them to make different colors.
Show them that adding different colors in different amounts they will obtain new colors.
Make it together and they will learn a lot.
Then let them free to play with their play dough, stay with them helping for hard things such as making a difficult shapes or colors.
Play dough is a such creative game for all ages, I also enjoy myself playing with it.

Children learn a lot: little ones learn to use their hands, that are difficult and powerful tools to learn to use, they learn colors, they use their creativity to make things with their own hands.
Big children have the opportunity to let their mind free from everyday routine and use their creativity to create something new while relaxing a bit.
And parents… spend a great creative time with children making different shapes, colors or creations together.


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