baking


Cooking with Children – Halloween Cakes and Biscuits 2

I love cooking and baking with the boys and for me the secret is letting go and dealing with the mess afterwards, plus good planning, making sure all the ingredients are out and the equipment etc.  I think that by empowering the boys to cook and bake it will stand them in good stead as they get older, plus they can start cooking dinner and feed me!      Also it might not look perfect, but I can assure you it tastes mighty fine.  So I bring you Maxi’s chocolate cakes and biscuits. Basic Biscuit Recipe I use one without egg and it is fine if over handled, so perfect for […]


A Wonderful Bank Holiday Monday spent in the Kitchen and Garden

I think the sun forgot our little park of the North East today. So we have spent the day baking. Maxi did all the weighing and measuring Mini did most of the stirring and tasting We have had a lot of fun and made lots of cakes Oat and raisin cooks and mince pies (mini’s favorites) Many Muffins, sweet mincemeat and St Stephens Day Muffins, in addition to some fairy cakes. Whilst I was busy in the kitchen, MadDad tended the garden, including planting out the courgettes and cucumbers. Everything is looking great and really coming along. He also washed and cleaned the cars, ready for the trip we are taking today […]


The Best Ever Oat and Raisin Cookies in the world

I dont say it lightly, but these cookies are amazing and never last in our house.  They truly are the best.  This is an American Recipe (it came on the back of some sunmaid raisins from the US), but that said is super easy for the boys, as I have some plastic cup measures that they use. So here goes Ingredients 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine 1 cup soft brown sugar 1/2 cup caster sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup plain flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats 1 cup Raisins   […]


Easter Bakes, Making New Traditions

We have been busy in the kitchen this weekend, making and baking and bring in new traditions to TheMadHouse. Hot Cross Buns “Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns.” “If you have no daughters,  give them to your sons, One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns.” These have gone down well with mini and MadDad, so much so that I had to make extra! White Bread buns, which I make the dough in the bread-maker and then divide and leave to prove.  The temptation is to eat them hot, but my they really do give you indigestion. Magic Mummy mentioned that […]


Menu Plan Monday and shortbread recipe

It is half term for me and the minimads this week, so I have lunches to make for all and then MadDad will be on on Friday, so we are going for a day out Monday Lunch – Sandwiches Dinner – Curry and rice Tuesday Lunch – Pancakes Dinner -Spag bol Wednesday Lunch – leftovers Thursday – Jambalaya Friday Picnic and pot luck Saturday Home made chicken burgers and wedges Home made pizza Sunday – I am not sure what meat we will be going with this week, I will see what is on offer at the butchers I also wanted to give you the recipe for the almond shortbread biscuits, […]


Spiritual Sunday – St Valentines Day

What are we celebrating today?, Who was valentine? Well wikipedia says He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner — until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor — whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn’t finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. MadDad and I have told the boys it is a day for recognising the people you love and for standing up for the […]


The Best Carrot Cake in the Whole Wide World 2

  Receipe 140ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing 2 Eggs 200g light brown sugar 300g grated Carrots, (grated weight) 100g raisins 75g pecans or Walnuts, chopped (optional) 180g self-raising flour 1 pinch Salt 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg 1/2 tsp Mixed spice Orange cream cheese icing – this rarely gets put on in this house, as everyone eats the cake before I get chance!! 50g cream cheese, chilled 50g Butter, at room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 275g icing sugar, sifted 1 Orange, zest only Method 1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Oil and line a loaf tin with greaseproof […]


Menu Planning and Frugal Food Part Two

The Basics and MummyMads Rules I have a few golden rules that I always abide by and also make sure I have a larder with basic ingredients in. I don’t scrimp on chicken I always buy a good one or a happy one as I call them (free range), as they make better stock and just taste nicer with more meat in my humble opinion.  The same with eggs (our butcher sell local free range ones cheaper than the supermarkets).  I pop in to the local butchers and see what is on offer meat wise too. In the store cupboard and fridge I always have flour, eggs, caster sugar, lentils, beans, […]


Menu Planning and Frugal Food Part One

One thing that has come out of our lack of cash is my ability to feed us all well on less and less cash.  The two things that has enabled this to happen has been our menu planning and our garden. I thought I would give you an example of a weeks menu plan and how I feed us all. I do a main shop on a Thursday and base my weeks menu plan round our Sunday Dinner (chicken, Mince, Beef, or Ham).  This week it will be chicken. Friday Fish, oven chips and mussy peas.  I make sure I buy frozen cod or haddock fillets when they are on offer, […]


No Cards, Just Cookies 12

  I know that I am not alone in this as The Dotterel at Bringing Up Charlie blogged about it too.  I HATE CHRISTMAS CARDS.   Yep, I shouted.  It possibly stems from the fact I am a Christmas baby and I would rather have my measly few birthday cards up instead of Christmas cards. This issue with cards has grown year on year, especially as I have to write most of them.     It was fine when I worked, I would send out an e-mail saying Merry Christmas and that we wouldn’t be sending out cards, but donating to the NSPCC instead.  MadDad still does this with his work […]


Jelly Baby Jesus Cakes 12

  Ingredients Shredded wheat Golden Syrup Milk Chocolate Jelly Babys Royal Icing Cake Cases   Break up the chocolate in a bowl and microwave till melted, whilst scrunching up the shredded wheat. Add about a tablespoon of golden syrup to the melted chocolate (it keeps it melted longer, which is easier for the children) and then add the shredded wheat. Have a good lick at your spatula when you have finnshed mixing! Scoop out and place in to the cake cases, this is the chocolate straw. Add you Jelly Baby Jesus, very gently as not to wake him on to his bed of straw. Then cover him in a royal icing […]


Master Mad the Bakers Boy 5

I love baking and cooking with the MiniMads, well I love doing anything with them to tell the truth.  Normally we would bake and made from scratch, but as I am recovering from my latest surgery, I thought me and MiniMad would cheat a bit and use a packet mix to make some cakes. I had picked up a packet of Green’s cake mix for this purpose last time we were in Aldi and it had been reduced to 49p even better. MiniMad had great fun doing all the work himself, whilst MaxiMad was at Swimming Lesson.  He put his cases in the tin. He added the egg and water himself […]


Child Safe Sparklers 11

Obviously I dont give  the mini’s real sparklers, but they do see other children with them, so we came up with this as a solution. This is a really simple and fun recipe that you can do really easily with the children. Ingredients Bread sticks chocolate – milk or white hundreds and thousands or sparkles Method Melt the chocolate in the microwave Dip the bread stick in the chocolate, covering approx a third or alternatively use a brush like MiniMad Cover the chocolate area in sprinkles Eat all the sprinkles and melted chocolate you can whilst mum has her hands full and takes pictures. Enjoy! If you have a bit of time, […]


Feeding my soul 6

I have spent the afternoon with that permanent butterflies in tummy feeling you get when things are out of hand.  The bank can not help, with the financial market in the UK at the moment and the drop in house prices we do not qualify for a mortgage break or a further advance. So I have been baking, making treats to cheer the soul.  I love cooking and baking,  I love providing for my family.  I love the whole process, from gathering the ingredients, measuring it, mixing, watching it cook, smelling the wonderful aromas, seeing the end results, I even dont mind cleaning the kitchen and washing the pots afterwards.  There […]


Shortbread star wands

We have had great fun making these this afternoon, we picked up the idea from the summer issue of the Tesco Magazine and it was really easy. Ingredients 275g plain flour 200g cold butter 100g icing sugar 2 egg yolks lolly sticks To Decorate egg white sprinkles basically, you add the butter and flour and mix to a breadcrumb consistency Stir in the egg yolks and icing cugar until it forms a dough roll out on a floured board Cut in to shapes – we used stars, my tip would be to make the shortbread pretty thick. The eldest MiniMad pushed in the lolly sticks and then you cook at 200 […]