Kids

BANANA SMOOTHIES

COMMENTS: My kids love to have a banana smoothie for afternoon tea or dessert. I keep frozen bananas in the fridge at the ready to add to milk & honey and then process in the blender. The kids make them and it goes well except when they don't quite get the lid on the blender!

INSTANT PANCAKE MIX

COMMENTS: This make ahead pancake mix from "Nigella Kitchen" is great to have in your pantry for the kids to whip up without too much fuss or mess! http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/home-made-instant-pancake-mix-54

Serve the pancakes with these BLUEBERRY SYRUP made by warming 125mls maple syrup with 200g blueberries in a saucepan for 15 minutes.

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

COMMENTS:
According to our dear Italian friend Luce (who still owes me a pasta recipe & her pesto recipe..stay tuned), you've got to cook a bolognese sauce for a couple of hours as the flavours intensify over time. Forget about any recipe that says it cooks in half an hour. FOR-GET ABOUT IT! Yes a couple of hours is a bit of a hassle but you don't need to do much just watch it, occasional stir. I love the smell in the house and the feeling of having it cooking away on the stove. I always cook at least 1kg of mince so I have leftovers for another dinner or the kids take it to school for lunch in their thermos' in winter. This recipe has carrots, celery & mushrooms in it to get some vegies into the kids, but they are optional. I think the diced bacon/pancetta adds a lovely flavour that appeals to kids.

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS:
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped (optional)
1 carrot, diced (optional)
150g diced bacon/pancetta (optional)
1kg beef mince
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 * 425g tinned tomatoes
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon caster sugar
50g mushrooms, chopped (optional)

spaghetti to serve

COMMENTS:
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Fry onions, carrot & celery with the garlic for several minutes until translucent. Add the bacon and fry until it starts to turn a little golden. Add the mince breaking it up as it browns with a wooden spoon. Add all other ingredients except the mushrooms, bring to the boil, then simmer for at least 1 hour up to 2 hours. 10 minutes before serving add the mushrooms and cook the spaghetti in boiling water.

GRASSHOPPER PIE

COMMENTS: The glorious green peppermint pie adapted from "Nigella Kitchen" is a winner with the kids and easily prepared up to 2 days in advance. I use "Gollywog" biscuits.

SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS:
For the Base:
300g bourbon biscuits
50g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
50g soft unsalted butter

For the Filling:
150g mini-marshmallows
125ml full-fat milk 
1 tablespoon peppermint essence or to taste
375ml double cream
few drops green food colouring

1 Peppermint Crisp for sprinkling

METHOD:
Take out and set aside one biscuit. Process the rest of the biscuits and the chocolate in a food processor until they form a crumb mixture, then add the butter and carry on processing until it all starts to clump together.
Press into a high-sided 25cm fluted tart tin with loose base, making a smooth base and sides with your hands or the back of a smooth. Put into the fridge to chill and harden.
Melt the marshmallows in a saucepan with the milk over a gentle heat and, once the milk starts to foam (not boil), take off the heat and keep stirring until the marshmallows blend into the milk to make a smooth mixture.
Pour the mixture out of the saucepan into a heatproof bowl, then whisk in the peppermint essence. Leave until cooled.
Whisk the cream until it starts to hold soft peaks then, still whisking, add the cooled marshmallow mix.  This filling should be thick but still soft, not stiff or dry, so it will eventually drop easily out of the bowl into the chilled pie crust.
When the marshmallow mixture and cream are combined, add a few drops of food colouring and whisk it in.
Spread the filling into the chilled base, swirling it about with a palette knife or a spatula to spread evenly, then put the pie back in the fridge, covered, to chill overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until firm.
Crush the remaining biscuit and the Peppermint Crisp and sprinkle over the top before serving.

S'MORES

COMMENTS: These American treats are usually made around a fire. You toast a marshmallow on a stick in the fire. Then you wedge the toasted marshmallow between two of your favourite chocolate chip & oat cookies with a piece of milk chocolate. The hot marshmallow melts the chocolate - it is HEAVEN! Wendy used this recipe from Donna Hay. 

SELF SERVICE PAVLOVA BAR

COMMENTS:
These meringues from "Ottolenghi, the Cookbook" are crunchy on the outside & chewy inside. You need to weigh your egg whites.

MAKES 12 LARGE MERINGUES

INGREDIENTS:
Meringues
600g caster sugar
300g free-range egg whites (about 10)
To serve
2 caps whipped cream
2 punnets strawberries
4 bananas, sliced
4 kiwi fruit, sliced
seeds & juice of  6 passion fruit

METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 200*C. Spread sugar evenly over a large oven tray lined with baking parchment. Place the tray in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the sugar is hot (over 100*C). You should be able to see it beginning to dissolve at the edges.
2. While the sugar is in the oven, place the eggwhites in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar is almost ready, start the machine on high speed and let it work for a minute or so, until the whites just begin to froth up.
3. Carefully pour the sugar slowly on to the whisking egg whites. Once it has all been added, continue whisking on high speed for 10 minutes or until the meringue is cold. At this point it should keep its shape when you lift a bit from the bowl and look homogenously silky.
4. Turn down the oven temperature to 110*C. Line a baking tray or 2 with baking parchment, sticking it firmly to the tray with a bit of meringue.
5. Have 2 large kitchen spoons ready. Use one of them to scoop up a big dollop of meringue, the size of a medium apple, then use the other spoon to scrape it off on to the lined baking tray. Repeat spacing the meringues well apart as they will almost double in size.
6. Place in preheated oven for about 2 hours. Check if they are done by lifting them from the tray and gently prodding to make sure the outside is completely firm, whilst the inside in still a little soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. The meringues will keep in a dry place, at room temperature, for quite a few days.

FRIED RICE

COMMENTS: My kids love this simple fried rice which is better when reheated. In winter they take it for lunch in their thermos. It is really important to cook the rice and let it cool first.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups long grain rice
300g chopped bacon bits
3 shallots
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons soy sauce

METHOD:
Cook rice according to your preferred method and set aside to cool.
Add beaten eggs to a small fry pan and cook until set and golden then remove to a chopping board and dice.
Cook the peas according to packet instructions, strain and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a wok pan and add the bacon bits and fry until starting to brown. Cut shallots into pan using scissors and cook for 2 minutes. Add cooked rice and stir until heated through. Add peas and egg and soy sauce. Stir to combine and heat through.



BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

COMMENTS:
My kids love pasta and home-made pizza made with this simple tomato sauce. This recipe is not precise as I just make it once every couple of weeks or so using whatever tomatoes I have to hand. It keeps for about 5 days in the fridge. I love using those Melodies of Tomatoes you can get now at your green grocer.

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 160*C and put some baking paper in a baking dish. 
Cut tomatoes in half or quarter depending on size and add 3-4 garlic cloves still in the skins and a red onion cut into wedges. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over & toss to coat. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon thyme. 
Roast for 30 minutes until soft and caramelised. 
Put tomatoes and inner leaves of the onions in a blender and squeeze in the inside of the garlic cloves. Puree adding a splash of stock to help process into a sauce.


A lot of the recipes on this site are popular with my kids and my friends' kids including in particular:

Spring Chicken

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Jerk Chicken

Ham in Gingerale

Soy & Mirin-Simmered Beef on Rice

Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint & Pomegranate

Garlic Prawns on Pasta

Mirin-Glazed Salmon

Salmon & Crab Cakes

Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Dill & Capers

Carrot & Mint Salad

Fish Burgers

most of the desserts

all of the baking & biscuits..

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Latest comments

17.05 | 21:12

very nice

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18.02 | 07:27

i would like a small turkey breast and turkey neck recipe - not dietic

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30.07 | 18:59

Excellent salad recipes and not time consuming to prepare ,Ursula

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14.01 | 23:22

Hi Sam, I would love to receive updates for your fabulous blog. Keep up the great work!

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