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Cooking with kids: a ‘train’ cake

10 Jun

These things never turn out the way you expect them to, but constructing the ‘train’ cake with the little one was fun nonetheless!

I say ‘train’ as opposed to just train, because with hindsight it could have been a little bit more realistic. But I liked it. And the boy thought it came to life, which was pretty cool.

I’ll not insult you by explaining the combination of swiss rolls, Cadbury’s mini rolls, baby doughnuts and buttercream required to piece this together. It’s fairly obvious. However, if you have a very sweet tooth and have a little one to keep entertained, I’d strongly recommend giving the ‘train’ cake a go.

All aboard…

Cooking for friends

14 Feb

With the boy working late tonight, my thoughts turned not to a romantic Valentine’s meal for two, but to my pending girl’s night in on Saturday with three beautiful friends from my university days. Starting to think about what I might cook, I turned to Lorraine (Pascale) for inspiration. Some things to consider: Firstly, I actually want to see them, rather than spending the whole evening concocting and creating in the kitchen. Secondly, one is pregnant and I knew there were some food rules around that….Thirdly, one is a recovering vegetarian, brining with it a whole new set of rules!

Lovely pregnant friend quickly sent over a list of menu no-goes which didn’t bring with it too many surprises, except parma ham, who knew? And then of course the wine, but that’s another blog post in itself, the poor girl.

So, Lorraine’s lamb tagine it was. Easy enough to prepare in advance.

That was, until lovely ex-vegetarian friend came back with the vegetarian criteria. Nothing cute. She’s not a vegetarian any more, but she still doesn’t eat cute things. So ducks are out but chickens are in. Baby sheep are a no go but grown up cows? Apparently fine! She is so hilarious. And I am currently adapting Lorraine’s tagine recipe.

And that wasn’t the only shocking food news I received today. Call me naive but I did not know that Lochmuir was a brand name invented by Marks and Spencer, specifically designed to sound like a Scottish village that might farm salmon. The media went mad about it today, but I actually think it’s quite clever…

I'll keep you updated on Saturday's take on tagine.

Baking with kids again

15 Jul

Baking with an enthusiatic little one is lots of fun and although my little monkey isn’t technically “mine”, I can’t resist buying little bits and pieces to get him even more excited about food. My plan is to help mould him into a little culinary genius so that in ten year’s time we have the luxury of a homemade meal on the table as soon as the boy and I step in from work. So far it seems to be working!

This little gift went down a treat. A cheeky purchase from one of my favourite websites, we’ve had loads of laughs cooking and decorating rocket ship biscuits whilst making a merry mess in our very small kitchen.

Our retro spaceman baking kit is out of this world!

When baking, I’m often reminded that his favourite appliance is the blender (or whizzer) so our recipes often need to be creatively adapted to involve blending! Last weekend we made a pretty delicious banana milkshake in the “whizzer” with fruit, milk, ice cream and cinnamon to inject a burst of energy before we got started on the rocket ship and star-shaped biscuits! Fab!

Baking with kids

24 Jan

I recently had the pleasure of trying out this super easy recipe with a very enthusiastic little person who really doesn’t like getting his hands dirty! That challenge aside I think between us we made a rather good attempt at Robot Biscuits! As mentioned in a post below, this is a great way to use up leftover chocolate and other store cupboard staples.

Robot Biscuits

Not just fun for the kids...!

Make a simple gingerbread mixture by mixing; 225g of self raising flour, 1 teaspoon of ginger powder, 100g of brown sugar and 75g of butter. Rub until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs and then add 1 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup. Knead until a dough is formed then roll thinly onto the work surface. (If you don’t have a rolling pin…improvise!)

Not too child friendly but it did the trick...

Then, cut out the shapes for the robot carefully and bake at 170C for 20 minutes. Let them cool and then for the fun part…decorate as desired!

Happy baking!