Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Baby is 2!

Oh de dod! How time flies when you’re having fun! It’s that time of the year again - I can barely believe that my sweet baby boy is 2.

It really feels like yesterday when he made his entrance into the world - an unforgettable birth to say the least. Every single day in those 2 years has been a joy. We’ve never been apart and I dread the day when I finally have to let him go to pre school (which if I have anything to do about it will be never!)

He is the joy (boy) I was terrified of having, but the most beautiful surprise, he is funny and sweet, calm and crazy and so very loving, can you tell I’m kind of madly in love with him?!

For his birthday, we’ve decided to go away for a short break down the south coast and instead of my usual extravagance I’m going low key.

After many years of parties one thing I’ve learned is until they are around 3 they don’t really care for parties, it’s more for the other kids (and mummy & daddy) so I’m going to make a cake, family and friends are coming down for the day and he’ll be as happy as always.

So it’s pizza, jelly and birthday cake! Easy and will feed a tonne of people.

Of course on the way down to our holiday house we did our usual stop in Berry to stock up on pastries and pizza bases from the ‘Berry wood-fired Sourdough bakery’ – pizza bases sorted.

I did a massive shop before I left, so I’ve got a selection of cheeses, basil, onions, garlic, corn and bacon. So we’ll make do with what we’ve got!

I’ve made multi coloured jellies with raspberries again – (they were a huge hit) and birthday cake with my raspberry icing.

I want it to be stress free and relaxing so I can hang with my baby boy for the day and not be run off my feet, like I usually am.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone how to put toppings on pizza bases, but these are some of my kids favourites:

Cousins and friends

Frank will eat – plain tomato and cheese with salami, ham or bacon and then fresh rocket on top once out of the oven.

Mima will eat anything - some of her favourites are:
Ricotta, basil and olives
Stinky cheese (Taleggio or Fontina) with prawns and onion
Zucchini, capsicum, onion, olives, anchovies and ricotta
Plain, but she prefers buffalo mozzarella and basil – traditional

It's always crazy in my house - even on holiday!

Wilco will try anything
And they all love garlic pizza

Always put a very minimal layer of tomato sauce on the base and then I follow with cheese and the things I want cooked more up the top like meat / seafood, onions, capsicum etc…

I found this great sauce at Norton St grocers – its not organic but it’s Italian and delicious and perfect for travelling.

My jellies I made with all 4 flavours of jelly and they were a massive hit and Jemima was a big help getting each layer to set.

I have a confession, I was making lemon / yogurt cake (a request from frank) so I looked for an extra easy recipe that I could make in a holiday house – (without mixers or any other baking / cake making paraphernalia) I found one, made it and failed – it was a disaster! Hard as a rock!

I had a couple of hours to make another or there would be no cake (the only place to buy a cake, that I would let the kids eat was in Berry, but there was no time) so my assistant Jemima was with pen and paper as I risked making my own from scratch.

Note to self:
Don’t over complicate things Michelle – recipes are not for you!
And always pack kitchen things that you think you might need - even if it means holding it on your lap for the 3 hour drive - when will you learn!

My basic holiday house birthday cake:

Preheat oven to 180c

And bake cake for 40 min – check by inserting a knife, if it comes out clean it’s ready

All ovens vary so you may need a little longer

Line the bottom of your cake tin with wax paper

2 cups plain organic flour – sifted

1 tlbsp cinnamon

a decent pinch of salt

2 level tlbsp of baking powder (I use the Shiloh one)

1 cup of sugar

Whisk all dry ingredients together

Melt 200g organic unsalted butter – leave to cool a little

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

2 large eggs or 3 little ones

1 cup of cream or whole milk – you might need a little more?

Now mix the egg / cream into the dry ingredients and slowly pour your melted butter in.

When the batter comes together, either leave plain or add your filling of choice, I used 100g of dark choc drops, but raspberries or blueberries would also be delish.

Let the cake cool, then ice it.

One other thing I just noticed on Jemima’s notes – under ‘very important information’was use a small cake tin, mine was large – hence the flattish cake! (it was still moist and delicious all the same).

My icing is always the same (my kids don’t really like icing – but they like this one)

250g icing sugar

½ cup of either defrosted raspberries or blueberries (or fresh) – put through a sieve so they become liquid (and the seeds stay behind). My son needs to come to terms with the fact that his cakes will always be some shade of pink or at the best white, next time I’m going to play around with spinach and make it green – a little more masculine – not that he cares one bit!

1 -2 tblsp of fresh lemon juice

Put the icing sugar in the bowl and a tablespoon of the raspberry purée at a time until it is well mixed and like paste.

Spread on your cake and decorate with organic sweets, chocolate or fruit.

My cake was a super hit and the birthday boy had the best day ever!

It's hard being 2!

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps


  1. ooh! I have just found your blog and find your approach to food inspiring! Do you have a recipe for that natural jelly that you could share? They look too good for kiddies, i want to serve them at my Mexican dinner party tonight!!

  2. I have made natural jelly before with agar,agar but I find these ones in packets that I buy from the Organic store just as good, unless I want to make something fancy. See my post on Italian day, you can see the packets there.