Mini Piccolini! a family lifestyle blog

Gingersnap Sandwiches with White Chocolate Filling

Little A’s birthday is coming up. Since he has a December birthday – the day before Lucia is celebrated here in Sweden – we always have a glögg (Swedish mulled wine) party for close family and his godparents on the big day. It’s traditional to serve gingersnaps and saffron buns with glögg, but since it’s a birthday I try to find ways to make it a little more unique and special. Last year I made gorgeous golden saffron truffles and they were a huge hit.

This year I’ve discovered the most delicious (organic!) gingersnaps in the world. Louis and Alec think it’s so exciting that they’re the most delicious in the entire world. They’re really spicy and I thought they might be great with white chocolate. So I filled them with white chocolate ganache and dusted icing sugar over them and they are heavenly. I can’t wait to serve them on Alec’s big day!

Click past the break for the easy recipe.

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Posted in Alec, Christmas, Food, Holidays, Mini Veg | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Bake Bread in One Hour

On the way home from school on Wednesday, Alec slowed his scootering in, pulled up alongside me, and said “Mama, I think we’re soon out of bread. I want to bake bread today. And I’m going to make space bread.”

So when we got home, I threw together some dough for Alec. I made a little loaf out of half of it, and Alec floured his hands and got to work on his space bread. We got out the big space book that we had borrowed at the library and found a page with all of our planets in it. And then Alec made one planet at a time, asking me about each one as he worked. I think his little planet breads turned out so great!

I love to bake with the children. I think sensory activities are the best kinds of activities and children always love playing with things that are “real”. They love the feel of bread dough in their hands – how it’s warm and sort of has its own life. And I love this bread recipe because it actually comes out of the oven no more than an hour after you start baking (unless your kid makes planet bread because that takes some time). And it makes really nice bread – it doesn’t have the character of breads that rise forever, but it’s a good bread: perfect for sandwiches and excellent as french toast, since it’s a little dense. I love to make our own bread so I know exactly what’s in it and I can make sure it’s all organic etc. and this recipe makes that possible.

Click past the break for the recipe!

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Posted in Alec, Food, Kiddos, Recipes, Sensory Play, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

Mini Piccolini - Black bean sweet potato burritos

It’s summertime now and the last thing we want is to spend hours in a hot kitchen making dinner (that our kids might not even eat anyway). These easy everyday burritos are a go-to dinner for us year-round, but they’re especially great for fresh light summer dinners. The kids love them and they are super fast and easy to put together.

Mini Piccolini - Black bean sweet potato burritos

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can black beans
  • lime
  • tortillas
  • guacamole (mash up avocados with a little fresh garlic, lots of lime, black pepper, a pinch of salt, and tons of chopped cilantro), tomato sallad (halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, mix with a splash of olive oil, and a dash of salt) and salsa to serve
  1. Peel and cut the sweet potato into cubes and cook it until tender but not overcooked.
  2. Chop up onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté in olive oil.
  3. Rinse and drain the black beans and add them and the sweet potato to the onion and bell pepper mix and cook for couple of minutes until everything is warm through. Add a splash of lime juice and chopped cilantro (if your kids will allow it).
  4. Serve in tortillas with plenty of guacamole and tomato salad.*

*I serve the kids their burritos already stuffed and rolled (and I wrap the bottom in aluminum foil so they don’t unravel and spill). For Louis I mash everything into the tortilla so there are no real pieces left. For Alec it all has to be in recognizable pieces including avocado cubes instead of guacamole. Léonie has hers “deconstructed”. No tomatoes for any of the kids (but we like them and salsa too).

Also: the best easy everyday veggie burgers.

Top photo of Louis having his first burrito over a year ago – one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

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French Bridal Shower Breakfast

French Bridal Shower Breakfast by Mini Piccolini

I just came across this post that made me so nostalgic.

Three years ago I hosted a breakfast for my friend Caroline who was about to marry her Frenchman Aurelien. The long lovely brunch might have been my favourite part of Caroline’s whole send-off into wifehood. It was so great to just cash up properly with some friends that I don’t get to see often enough. Now I want to plan a bridal shower without a bride!

A French Bridal Shower Breakfast by Mini Piccolini

More photos and all of the details here.

Also, an easy spring brunch.

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Louis’ Sandbox Ice Cream Shop

It finally feels like spring has come to Stockholm. Today was sunny and lovely and warm (no mittens!) and Louis and Léonie and I decided to stop by the playground to play for a bit after pre-school. It felt amazing to be without the big warm hats and clumsy mittens. I even worried that Louis was getting too much sun!

There were so many kids out – some pre-school friends, but mostly children we didn’t know – and poor little Louis had to fight pretty hard to keep a shovel in his hand!

Although many Stockholm playgrounds are staffed and well-supplied with sand toys, our favourite little park between pre-school and home doesn’t have any, so we have to bring our own. Today Louis played with this ice cream sand toy set with little cones and dishes and an ice cream scoop. It’s super cute and I love that all the pieces fit in the little bucket so it’s easy to bring along.

Louis made us raspberry ice cream cones and Léonie and I enjoyed the sun and chatted with a new pre-school mom. And then we went home and made dinner.

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Dip Dyed Wooden Easter Ornaments

Mini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Eastern ornaments

Here in Sweden Easter is when we first get a real feeling of spring in the air. One of the traditions I love the most at this time of year is to bring branches into the home and let them bloom. A couple of weeks ago, my parents brought us some apple branches from the country and they are now blooming and lovely! Alec says he “can’t wait until the apples start to grow in our living room”.

For Easter we Swedes decorate our branches colored feathers and little Easter ornaments and it makes me happy every time I pass our spring branch bouquet!

Mini Piccolini - Dip Dyed Wooden Easter OrnamentsMini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornaments

Mini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornaments

This year, I found some lovely little wooden eggs in the craft store and Alec, Louis and I had a great time painting them. Since I love the look of the natural wood showing through, I decided to keep it simple and give my eggs a dip-dyed effect. I’ll save you the tutorial, because of course it couldn’t be easier: I just used craft paint and a little brush to paint the bottom half of my eggs. I think they turned out fabulous!Mini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornaments

Of course, the coolest little egg hanging on our branches is the much less minimalistic one Alec painted. He was at it for ages and it turned out so great! What a little artist!

Mini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornaments

We’re putting some of our painted egg ornaments in egg carton gift boxes as Easter gifts (together with these Easter chick cake pops).

Mini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornamentsMini Piccolini - Dip dyed wooden Easter ornaments

Today, all of us bloggers in The Creative Collective Sweden are sharing something egg-themed to make for Easter. Join us by posting what you make for Easter using the hashtag #tccseaster. We can’t wait to see what you’re up to!

The Creative Collective is made up of: WillowdayMormorsglamour, Craft and CreativityHemma med HelenaPysselbolagetLina by the bayPastillMini PiccoliniHildas HemMade by Mary. Hurry to our blogs to see what we’ve made for today!

Also, more about how we celebrate Easter in Sweden, and an easy spring brunch.

Posted in Alec, Arts & Crafts, DIY, Easter, Holidays, Home, Kiddos, The Creative Collective Sweden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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