We are big fans of winter cooking and one of the best things about the cold weather is the change to come home to a fab home cooked meal and one of our family favorites is Beef and ale with crispy dumplings. It is something that both MadDad and I remember fondly from our childhood and thankfully the boys both love it too. How to make Beef and ale with crispy Dumplings
I am a huge fan of my slow cooker or crockpot as they are known in the US and Autumn is the perfect time for getting it out and using it. I love that I can prepare everything, put it in and then forget about it until dinner time. I love that I can pop all the ingredients in for a soup and when we return from Junior football on a cold Sunday there is a meal ready and waiting. One of the things that I do every time we have a roast chicken is to make stock with the carcass, some veg and leave it in the slow cooker overnight. more »
I am passionate about teaching my boys life skills and for me a big part of that is cooking. I aim to give them the skills in the kitchen to read recipes, prepare food and cook and bake meals from scratch. At eight and nine, they are pretty handy already and vegetable stuffed omelette is a great recipe for kids as they are do it all themselves.
Ever since MadDad put raised beds in our garden after my Mastectomy six years ago we have always grown a small amount of vegetables, salads and fruits at home. I know from experience that kids are more likely to try to eat things that they have grown and nurtured. It worked for me in my Granddads allotment and for MadDad as a farmers son.
I am blessed to have kids that eat pretty much everything I put in front of them most of the time. However, we still have times when they are under the whether or just being kids when they refuse food. I find that a great way of getting them and me out of a funk it to bring them in to the kitchen and make things together. However, when that fails this is a failsafe way to encourage picky eaters!
Those two days after Friday can feel like a huge chasm, when you have kids to entertain. It’s easy to get stuck into the same routine and lose all inspirational ideas. Here are a few new ideas to help with bonding between yourself and your children. Make the most of the time that you have!
This is my Mum’s recipe and it is a family favorite with both the boys and even better it is frugal too as it uses up the chicken carcass for making the stock. You could make it suitable for vegetarians by using vegetable stock and substituting the chicken. If you do not have much chicken then a broth pack is a great way of bulking it out and I have to say I love adding pearl barley to mine. It reminds me of dinner round the table when I was growing up and there was always a fight for the extra dumplings!
Look the handle comes off so fast I couldn’t catch it on camera! Back in July as part of the Tefal Innovators project I was invited to London to take a look at the new Tefal products that were going to be hitting our shelves. This is where I was introduced to the Tefal Optigrill (which we now use regularly) and also where I had a need, want, must have moment.
I have recently been tested for celiacs, but thankfully this came back negative, however, on doctors orders I have been reducing my intake of gluten. One of the flours that my body can deal with is spelt. As a family we love baking and the boys both adore banana bread, so here is my take on banana bread made with spelt flour.
I have an admission to make. Maxi was my PFB (Perfect First Born) when it came to food. Nothing processed or shop bought passed his lips until he went in to hospital at 6 months and even then we were soon back on to the mummy made stuff. When Mini was born it was more of the same. I used to beat myself up to produce a family meal that would feed us all. I had sleepless nights over the amount of salt in food and would get all paniccy at the thought of someone giving either of the boys something proceseed.
As you know I love food, but I especially love home cooked food and when the gorgeous and extremely talented Vanessa Kimbell put a shout out on twitter for recipe testers for her new, exciting and innovative cook book Prepped, so I put up my hand like I did back when I was in school and opted for the rice pudding. Ingredients 1 litre whole milk 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways 50g Vanilla Sugar 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg Pinch of salt 60g butter 150g Arborio rice 1 Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. 2 Put all the above ingredients into an ovenproof casserole dish, stir well and pop it more »
Each year we make Mini Christmas cakes for loved ones and special friends. I do try and make them all edible and as the boys are getting older, I have two special helpers (which can leave finger marks in the icing like above). I like to think that these cakes are baked and fashion with the love that we feel for the people we give them too. We also gave them to the teachers and teaching assistants at the school, as yes I am angry at the school receptionists, but the teachers are wonderful people, who I entrust my most precious people too. These two are for my more »
Last year we decorated gingerbread houses, but the boys do not like the taste of gingerbread so it was a waste in the long run, although it was fun. So this year we decided to make our own gingerbread men and decorate them instead, so I set about finding a not so gingery gingerbread recipe. I couldn’t find one that was just perfect, so I adapted one until it was what we needed. Ingredients 350g / 12oz plain flour 175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar 100g / 4oz butter 1 medium egg 4 tablespoons of golden syrup 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon of ground ginger ½ teaspoon more »