Ridiculously Easy Parmesan Crisps & Nachos

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I made a discovery recently. Parmesan crisps. One ingredient, One minute prep and, erm, one minute eating time. Combine them with homemade nachos and a little salsa and you have an awesome starter or movie snack.

Parmesan Crisps

This is the easiest recipe EVER. I’m not sure you can even call it a recipe. All you need is 1 cup of grated parmesan.

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1. Take a large non-stick (that’s important!) frying pan and get it on the heat. Sprinkle the grated parmesan evenly across the pan and then leave it to bubble away. Make sure there are no gaps – grate a bit more cheese over any holes to cover them.

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2. Leave the cheese to melt down. Once it starts bubbling, leave it about a minute more and then remove from the heat. Leave the pan to cool for fifteen minutes.

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3.Very gently ease the parmesan pancake up from the pan. Place it onto a sheet of kitchen roll to get rid of excess oil.

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4. Take a large knife and chop the cheese up into triangles.

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Nachos

These DIY nachos are just as easy as the parmesan crisps and much healthier than the shop bought variety as they’re baked not fried.

Ingredients:
– 4 tortilla wraps
– Paprika
– 1 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Take the pile of wraps and chop them up into triangles.

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2. Take a large baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over it, then spread it around evenly. Place the triangles onto the sheet and sprinkle with paprika.

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3. Bake in the oven for about five minutes, then take them out and give them a turn, and pop them back in for another 3 minutes.

These taste delicious served together with a little salsa and some guacamole. They’re also pretty toddler friendly – My 2 year old ate most the nachos before I’d finished making the salsa. Hmph.

Tia x

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Geometric Baby Quilt

geometric baby quilt tutorial

When I was pregnant, I decided I’d make a quilt for my new Little Button. As I’d never attempted a quilt on this scale before I took to the Internet for help. I knew I wanted to do something modern and gender-neutral and this tutorial was exactly what I had in mind.

I opted for greys and yellows with a black and white polka dot backing because babies love high-contrast fabrics.

For this project you will need:

  • 1/2 metre of 6 different fabrics for the triangles
  • 1 ½ metres of backing fabric
  • 1 ½ metres of wadding
  • 1 ½ metres of bias binding

newborn quilt tutorial

1. Begin by cutting out your triangle pieces using this template. For each of your six fabrics, cut 19 triangles (allowing for a ¼ inch seam). Cut one of the triangles for each fabric in half vertically to fit on the ends of each row.

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2. Sew your triangles together using this template (scroll down to see pattern) and press all the seams out.

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3. Sew your long strips together from top to bottom and press the seams out again. You want to try to line up your triangles but if your quilt turns out anything like mine it might not quite happen that way!

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4. Cut your backing fabric and wadding slightly bigger than your front panel and sandwich your backing fabric, wadding and front panel together. Pin in place.

geometric quilt DIY5. Now it’s time to quilt. This takes a while to do and you need to be careful that the layers stay intact. Sew just slightly off from the triangle seam and quilt each triangle.

geometric newborn quilt diy geometric newborn quilt diy

6. Trim any excess backing fabric and wadding off using scissors. Add the binding. Sew onto the front, making sure you mitre the corners. I found this tutorial clear for learning how to seamlessly join up your binding. Once you’ve done that, slip stitch the binding onto the back of the quilt and you’re done.

newborn quilt tutorial newborn quilt tutorial
newborn quilt tutorial

I found making this quilt stretched my sewing skills and it isn’t a beginners pattern despite what the original tutorial says. Hopefully it will be something my new Little Button will have for a long time and he won’t care about the slight wonky homemadeness of it!
newborn quilt newborn quilt

~ Laura xx ~

Birdbox Nightlight DIY

birdbox nightlight little button diaries tutorial

I’ve been looking for a nice night light for Amelie’s room and it seems to me that there isn’t a huge range of nice lamps out there if you’re on a budget. So I thought I’d have a go at bashing my own one together…using a bird box, light bulb, and my dad – to tell me what to do. He tried to show me how to wire a plug (I really should know by now). But I wasn’t really listening because my brain was thinking how to break a birdbox in two in order to get a light bulb inside, so I still don’t know.

Heres what you need:

  • Plain bird box
  • low energy light bulb, fixture & lead*
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Strong Glue (like araldite)
  • 4 screws
  • drill

*If you don’t have my dad to hand, your local electrical shop will be able to point you in the right direction for the bits you’ll need.

1) First, take the base off the box. You should be able to snap this off, they’re not usually that strong, but if you can’t get a little hacksaw on it. Then take your light fitting (do make sure its low energy, a standard bulb would get too hot) and align it in the centre of the base and check the top of the box fits back on, then glue the fitting in place. NB…This was the moment I realised my light was too TALL for my box. Maybe do measuring BEFORE buying. But its okay, I made provisions (read on if you make the same mistake!).

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2) Paint the box and the base

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3) Glue on some warm-toned fabric to the inside of the box, behind the hole if you want a softer light.

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4. Now you need to screw the top to the base so that the bulb is concealed but accessible so that you can change it. My images show a gap due to my error, but there shouldn’t be a gap! To cover the gap I cut some plastic (or lolly sticks) to size, glued in place and painted them.

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5. Drill a hole in the back if you want the option of hanging the box

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And you’re all done!! Fab. Much cheaper and, er, chirpier (sorry) than buying a fancy one.

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 I’m really happy with how this turns out. I originally made this light without the fabric lining – but I think it makes a real difference. Plus Amelie spent a good half an hour stuffing pom poms and hair clips into it when I put it on her shelf. Not ideal!

Tia x

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Spiced Jaffa Cakes

spiced jaffa cakes recipe 
I’m always on the lookout for new baking recipes to try that don’t take forever but give you a treat that’s not just a basic sponge cake. When I came across this recipe for homemade Jaffa Cakes on the BBC website I had to give it a go. I spiced mine up with… well, spices… and was pleasantly surprised with how tasty they turned out!
To make 12 Jaffa Cakes you will need:

For the bases:

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g plain flour

For the filling:

  • 1 x 135g packet orange jelly, chopped
  • 1 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 125ml boiling water
  • Ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 200g dark chocolate, minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, broken into pieces

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1. Begin by preheating your oven to 180 degrees.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe

2. For the cakes, bring a little water to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering. Place a heatproof bowl over the water. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and beat continuously for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is pale, fluffy and combined. Next, add the flour to the mixture and beat until a thick, smooth batter forms.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe spiced jaffa cakes recipe

3. Half fill a 12-hole muffin tray with the batter. Bake the cakes for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set the cakes aside, still in their tray, until cool.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe spiced jaffa cakes recipe

4. To make the filling, mix together the jelly, marmalade and boiling water until the jelly has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Add the cinnamon and pour the filling mixture into a shallow-sided baking tray to form a 1cm layer of jelly. Set aside until completely cooled, then chill in the fridge until set.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe spiced jaffa cakes recipe

5. When the jelly has set and the cakes have cooled, cut small discs from the layer of jelly slightly smaller than the cakes. Place on top of the cakes.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe spiced jaffa cakes recipe

6. Finally melt the chocolate and pour on top of the cakes and jelly. Use a knife to smooth the chocolate evenly over the top.

spiced jaffa cakes recipe spiced jaffa cakes recipe

spiced jaffa cakes recipe

 They may not look as polished as the shop-bought ones, but they certainly competed with them when it came to taste! I adapted my version from this BBC Good Food recipe.

~ Laura xx ~

Toddler Wooden Picture Book

Toddler wooden word book

My Little Button is really into books and her vocabulary seems to be growing by the day. To help her learn, I made her her own wooden picture book full of all her favourite things right now. I took inspiration from here in the construction of the book and found once the wood was cut to size the assembling of the book was simple.

What you’ll need:

  • Twelve 5 x 5 inch plywood squares (4mm thick)
  • Sandpaper
  • Photos printed on photo paper, to measure 5 x 5 inches
  • White duct tape
  • Permanent spray adhesive
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft knife

toddler board book DIY

1. Sand down your plywood squares so there are no rough edges. Before printing your photos, you may want to add text to the images. I used the free editing website picmonkey. Once you have your photos and board ready it’s time to assemble the book.

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2. Using duct tape, tape each page together and trim any excess tape using a craft knife.

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3. Duct tape the spine to bind all the pages together.

toddler board book DIY toddler board book DIY

toddler board book DIY

4. Using permanent spray adhesive, spray the back of each photo making sure you get into the edges. Leave the glue until it goes tacky (I left it about 30 seconds) and then place it onto your board. Wait for the glue to set before turning over to the next double page.

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5. Once the inside pages are dry, attach the front and back covers as above.

toddler board book DIY

6. Using a sharp craft knife, trim any excess paper off each of the boards. I then very gently used sandpaper on each of the edges to remove any excess glue.

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7. Paint the edges of the book (not the spine) using acrylic paint.

toddler board book DIY

I found this book very satisfying to make – and hopefully it will act as a great reminder of what my Little Button liked at this age. Best of all, she actually squealed when she saw herself on the front cover!
~ Laura xx ~

A little girl’s rucksack

toddler rucksack tutorial little button diaries

My little girl LOVES bags. And lip balm. And anything on the planet that is pink. How has this happened? I didn’t do it! We made some adorable strawberry bags in the spring and she loves hers, but she needs more space to stuff her “treasure” in, so I decided to make her a little rucksack that she can carry around.

I used 2 fat quarters of contrasting fabric and some thick fusible interfacing to make the bag. I wasn’t following a pattern so this is definitely not the “official” way to make a rucksack but I have outlined the process I took below. I guessed my way along but it did the job!

~ How its Made ~

1. I began by cutting 4 domes of fabric, 2 from lining and two from outer. I attached interfacing to the outer piece and then adhered the two together with bondaweb.

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2. To make a pocket, I sewed two rectangles of the contrasting fabrics together, pressed and sewed a fancy stitch along the top. This was sewn onto one of the dome pieces.

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3.  I sewed a zip onto two strips of fabric, pressed and top stitched.

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4.  I sewed on strips of outer fabric (Strengthened with interfacing) onto each end of the zip piece to create one long strip that was equal to the circumference of the bag. I flipped this round and sewed equal sized lining strips on the other side of the zip to neaten the interior.

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5. This strip was then pinned all along the edge of the pocketed side of the bag, right sides together. I sewed the two ends of the strip together.

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 6. For the straps, I made two strips from lining fabric, strengthened with fusible fleece, and attached some canvas strap to each end. I pinned these onto the reverse of the bag.

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7. Tucking and pinning the straps out of the way in the middle, I then sewed the back of the bag on in the same way as the front (NB – it is important to open the zip before starting this in order to turn the bag the right way out!)

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Then I turned the right way out voila – it actually looks like a rucksack!!

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We went straight to the park with the new bag and it promptly got filled (I mean, totally FILLED) with twigs and acorns and leaves and the odd lollipop stick. I sat and had a cup of tea whilst all this took place so already the bag is a big win!

Tia xx

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Chocolate Banoffee Flapjack Bites

banoffee flapjack bites recipe

We’ve had an influx of visitors to our house since Grayson was born. I’m pretty sure it was sleep-deprivation that made me think it would be a good idea to bake something simple to offer to guests. And I’m pretty sure it was the sleep-deprivation that made me chuck a load of ingredients together with some oats to make these chocolatey banoffee flapjack bites. They actually tasted rather delicious, so I thought I’d share the recipe.

To make 12 bites you will need:

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 2 small bananas
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 handful fudge chunks

banana flapjack recipe

1. Begin by preheating the oven to 200 degrees (180 for a fan assisted oven). Next, melt the butter over a medium heat. Once it has melted, add the sugar and dissolve. Take the mixture off the heat.

banana flapjack recipe

2. Mash the bananas into a bowl and stir into the mixture. Add the cocoa powder, fudge chunks and porridge oats and combine.

banana flapjack recipe

3. Grease and line a square baking tin and tip the mixture in. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down firmly until the top is even.

4. Pop the mixture in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the flapjacks are a medium brown colour.

banana flapjack recipe banana flapjack recipe

5. Once cooled, chop into bite-sized chunks. These flapjacks work really well with a glass of milk (I have milk on the brain) or with a cuppa.

Right, I’m off to catch up on some much-needed sleep!

~ Laura xx ~

 

Welcome To Our Newest Little Button

little button diaries

Our newest Little Button has arrived. Grayson kept us waiting for a week but it was more than worth it. We’d slightly forgotten that babies like to party all night, but no amount of sleep deprivation could burst this newborn bubble.

Harper has taken to big sister duties brilliantly and has only nearly sat on him a few times. It’s been wonderful documenting Harper’s first couple of years on this blog, and we can’t wait to share Grayson’s journey with you too.

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~ Laura xx ~