Salmon and Ricotta Turnovers

The kids love puff pastry. Whenever we use it there are always comments about how it has gotten all puffy and golden in the oven. I love the way food transforms when you cook it and how children describe it and use it as  a way to improve their language and make connections with the outside world. For example, we were talking about puff pastry and Seb mentioned Puffer Fish and how they get bigger too!

The results from this recipe were not all perfect, but they were a very good effort from a five year old and all the kids ate them for dinner very happily for two nights. How often does that happen?! A child willing to eat the same thing for dinner (with different accompaniments) two nights in a row without complaint and not a single child muttered anything about not liking them. We had two nights of clear plates! Woop woop! It is a victory that I am celebrating with a happy little dance which I am very glad you can’t see! But call me crazy, I am reluctant to try these again too soon as I don’t want them to decide they don’t like them and taint my victory!

We decided to fill our turnovers with a salmon and ricotta mixture with lemon juice, rosemary (yup you guessed it, from the garden) and some light seasoning. You could put any flavour combination you like in and I think over the summer we may well try these with mascarpone, gammon, pea and mint or even with some sweet fillings and sprinkled with sugar (I am dreaming of summer fruits or rhubarb and orange, but with the boys not particularly liking cooked fruit I am guessing Nutella and peanut butter would be more likely!).


To make 12 turnovers using an 11cm diameter round cutter

  • 500g puff pastry (we used a block and Seb and I rolled it out – he needed a bit of help to get it started)
  • 1 tin of boneless and skinless salmon
  • 130g ricotta
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1tsp chopped rosemary
  • Seasoning
  • Beaten egg


  1. Mix the salmon, ricotta, lemon zest and juice, rosemary and seasoning in a bowl and put in the fridge while you roll out the pastry. Seb had some help with the zesting, but was really determined to have a go.
  2. Roll the puff pastry very thin on a floured surface (if it is already rolled then you can bypass this step or roll it a little bit to make it thinner).
  3. Take the round cutter and cut out 12 circles (or as many as your pastry will make). You may have to consolidate the pastry and reroll it to use it all.
  4. Get the salmon mixture and place 1/2tbsp of the mixture on one side of each circle. If you overfill them, they may be difficult to close and filling may leak out. We did have this issue with some of ours, but it obviously doesn’t affect the taste.
  5. Crack the egg and beat it. Brush the egg around the edge of each circle to help it stick together.
  6. Fold over the puff pastry to create semi-circles and then seal using a fork. Brush them with the remaining egg and then refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking them in an oven which has been preheated to 180°c fan for 30-35 minutes until all golden.


Blueberry Blondies

A while ago the children and I tried a brownie recipe which included chocolate Weetabix in the ingredients. Remembering how much fun the kids had smashing the Weetabix to smithereens, I decided that we would have a go with Shredded Wheat and make blondies. I love the idea of cereal in brownies or blondies. Adding cereal to baked goods makes me feel a bit less naughty when I eat them and I bet if I didn’t mention it and I offered you one, you probably wouldn’t realise that they contained Shredded Wheat.

Whenever I mention a cooking project in the vicinity of the children, Ophelia always pipes in with: ‘me too, me too.’ This made me realise that she would probably like to have a project on her own. She was the other reason for using cereal in this recipe. At 22 months, she clearly has very little concept of quantity, but she can count to three. We counted two packets of Shredded Wheat together (4 biscuits in total) and while she bashed them still in the packets (less mess) I measured out the rest of the ingredients and melted the butter and the white chocolate.

I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure she may have (well OK definitely) eaten some blueberries. She ate more blueberries in this process than chocolate. Knowing Ophelia as I do, I didn’t find this particularly unusual. What did surprise me was the colour she had around her mouth and all over her hands afterwards.  If you are using frozen blueberries, you may want to have wipes to hand to stop your little one getting blueberry juice everywhere!


  • 110g melted butter or margarine
  • 100g melted white chocolate
  • 110g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 2 Shredded Wheat packets (4 biscuits in total)
  • 100g chocolate chips (we used some Milky Bar buttons which we had leftover)
  • 50g blueberries (we used frozen)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc fan.
  2. Grease a 16cm square tin and line with greaseproof paper.
  3. If you have young children let them crunch the Shredded Wheat in the packet while you melt the chocolate and butter. If they are older they may well enjoy measuring out the butter and breaking the chocolate and helping with the melting process.
  4. Once the chocolate and butter have melted mix them together until completely combined.
  5. Crack the egg and mix it with the sugar and vanilla extract. Once it has been completely mixed add this to the chocolate and butter mixture and combine.
  6. Add the flour and Shredded Wheatand mix and add the chocolate chips and mix again.
  7. Put the batter into the tin and push the blueberries into the top. If you mix frozen blueberries in they will bleed and you will have purple blondies which you may not mind, but I decided that we would avoid that this time.
  8. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes and leave to cool completely in the tin before removing them and cutting into 9 Blondies.

Ophelia was definitely proud to share her creation particularly with her brothers as she is desperate to be one of the big kids. I had expected that they would be a popular pudding choice. However, I was amazed that we managed to save some for Daddy and even my sister and her husband when they visited a couple of days later.

Special Soliders

When my eldest was weaning, I remember being somewhat bemused by conversations parents had about older kids had regarding how to get their children to try foods which they didn’t like. Seb was happy when the weaning process started to try everything put in front of him. Little did I know that this phase wasn’t to last, that he would suddenly just stop wanting to try everything we put in front of him and have very clear and (in my head) unreasonable ideas about certain vegetables (namely tomatoes and courgettes) which have unfortunately persisted. When you combine this with Atticus’s aversion to potatoes (as well as the dreaded tomatoes and courgettes – how can they be my kids they are like my two favourite vegetables?!), it can make meal planning a bit of a minefield!

So as it turns out, I have become that mum who starts conversations about encouraging children to eat vegetables and how best to do it. I even read literature and find myself asking my mum how she got us to eat vegetables we didn’t like as children. I never thought it would happen, but oh well…

We did go through a stage of hiding vegetables, and for certain things like pasta sauce I will still blend them down a bit. I have now, however, started a you must try it ethos. I will, on occasion, dress it up though and try and make it as inviting as possible. It is this which led Seb to trying and quite enjoying asparagus in this recipe, which is great as it is asparagus season and it is truly a yummy vegetable.


  • 8 asparagus tips
  • 2 slices of streaky bacon
  • 125g puff pastry
  • Beaten egg to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc fan and place a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry so that it is nearly the length of 2 pieces of asparagus and width of four. Cut it in half and then each piece into four thin strips. You should have eight strips of puff pastry. Atticus enjoyed counting the strips to check the amount matched the asparagus tips.
  3. Cut each slice of streaky bacon in half across the middle and then lengthways two so you have eight small strips of bacon.
  4. Take a piece of asparagus and roll the bacon around it to create a spiral. We found that the easiest way to do this was for me to hold the asparagus tip and Atticus to wrap it around and then together we checked there was enough space for the puff pastry. If the bacon or the pastry is too wide, just fold it in half lengthways so it is narrower.
  5. From the other end wrap a piece of puff pastry around the asparagus so that all the asparagus is covered.
  6. Place on the baking sheet and brush with the egg glaze. The transformer you see in this picture is optional, but Atticus assured me that he was essential to the process. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and all puffy.

We served these with dippy doppy eggs. Seb really enjoyed them and would eat them again. Atticus had a nibble and gave up and Ophelia ate the top of each bit, but they both did eat the bacon and the pastry. At least they tried and maybe next time we will have more success as I am not giving up on them eventually liking asparagus!


Meringue Lollipops

In my head any excuse to cook and practise my philosophy of altruistic baking and sharing the calories around is good. It means I get to have fun in the whole cake or treat-making process, but also that I don’t have to battle the temptation to eat the whole cake or batch I made in one sitting and making myself poorly as a result. It also lets me spend quality time with the children and sometimes even one-on-one which I value.

This week I decided that I would test my patience and see if I could make Meringue Lollipops and actually manage to leave the oven door closed until the oven if fully cooled so that they don’t collapse. It was touch and go to see if my patience would hold out and I am happy to report that on this occasion I rose to the challenge.

This is our second attempt at this recipe. For the first attempt, we made them way too big and I also used half caster sugar and half icing sugar. They were beautifully squishy inside and had a very marshmallowy, lollypop-like sugary taste. In essence, they were yummy, but they didn’t have great structural integrity and only about 5 of a double batch worked out. This time round I  learnt from my previous experience: smaller lollipops and only caster sugar!


Makes 10 lollipops

  • 2 egg whites
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1/2tsp cornflour
  • 1/2tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles
  • Wooden/paper lollypop sticks


  1. Measure 2 pieces of greaseproof paper to go on your 2 baking sheets. Draw around a 6cm diameter circular object 10 times on greaseproof paper, 5 on each leaving enough space for the lollypop sticks.
  2. Grease the baking sheets (we used frylight) put the greaseproof paper on them with the pen circles facing down so they don’t come off on your meringues. Spray the top with frylight.
  3. Separate the eggs and put in a large glass bowl. (I separated the eggs as we don’t have an egg separator and it is vital that no yolk ends up in the egg whites.)
  4. Whisk with an electric whisk in a clean and dry glass bowl until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add the sugar a tbsp at a time until all added and whisk between each addition.
  6. Add the cornflour, white wine vinegar and the vanilla and whisk again.
  7. Using 2 spoons, place dollops of the meringue mixture into the circles on the greaseproof paper and then shape with the back of the spoon.
  8. Carefully slide the lollypop sticks into the meringues and make sure it is in securely. I put a tiny bit extra of meringue on top of where the stick went in to keep them secure.
  9. Add sprinkes.
  10. Place in the oven at 110ºc for one hour and then reduce the temperature to 90ºc for a further hour- 90 minutes. Leave in the oven overnight to cool completely if you can resist the temptation to have a little look! You need to at least leave the oven door closed until it has fully cooled. I cooked ours for a further 90 minutes after the initial hour to ensure they wouldn’t fall off the lollipop sticks. This gave them a less marshmallowy texture, but they did stay on the sticks, not collapse and the kids still demolished them without hesitation.

Waldorf-style Sandwich Filler

I don’t know about you, but I find it ever so easy to get stuck in a rut with the children’s lunches; sticking to what I know they will eat to prevent tantrums and just to make my life that little bit easier. Then I remember that this makes life boring so I try and change it up a bit. We made salmon paste last week, which we hadn’t done for an age, and it was very well received. This week I decided we would try something completely new with Atticus and Ophelia to mark British Sandwich Week 2018. I have been looking at summer salad recipes and I kept on coming back to the Waldorf salad. The kids love apples and grapes and walnuts so I thought we could create something there.

Atticus and Ophelia loved making this and both got completely involved, probably due to all the mixing fun. It worked well as a sandwich filler although mine preferred to eat it out of the small tubs with spoons rather than eat the bread too. I think in future I may well let them have it with crackers and breadsticks for a fun create your own lunch.


  • 2 small apples
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 10 grapes
  • 1 spring onion
  • a couple of child-sized handfuls of raisins
  • a couple of child-sized handfuls of walnuts
  • 2tsbp Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 2tbsp cream cheese
  • 2tbsp ricotta
  • Seasoning
  • 1tsp rosemary
  • 1/8tsp mustard powder
  • 1/8tsp cumin


  1. Grate the apple and put it in a bowl. Add the lemon juice to prevent it from going brown.
  2. Slice the grapes into quarters using a table knife and add to the bowl and mix.
  3. Cut the spring onion either using scissors or a table knife and add to the bowl and mix.
  4. Add the raisins and walnuts (chop into pieces if not already chopped) and mix.
  5. Add the yoghurt, cream cheese, ricotta, rosemary, mustard powder, cumin and seasoning and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Rosemary and Lemon Baked Doughnuts

I will use literally any excuse to try a new recipe. I find that cooking with the kids allows me to spend quality time with them creating those all important memories that will keep me smiling long after the kids are in bed or when they are driving me insane. In addition to the aforementioned, the reasons for this recipe are two-fold; we have a surplus of rosemary in our garden and I wanted some new and interesting ways to use it and secondly 12-19 May 2018 in the UK is National Doughnut Week in aid of The Children’s Trust. So we made a donation and doughnuts!

Now I need to underline, I am not a professional baker and these were our first attempt at baked yeast doughnuts so they are not perfect. I am sure every home baker would say that they taste better than they look at some point. This is generally exacerbated when children are involved in the process as mine were in this one. That said, I was happy that the rosemary could be tasted in the doughnuts and think the lemon glaze was a good contrast.

Seb really enjoyed making up the dough with me and talking about yeast makes dough rise. We talked about kneading the dough to make the yeast ‘friendly’ (or activate it in grown up talk). He had so much fun with the doughnut cutters and the fact that he could pop the centre of them out and then re-roll the dough had him chuckling during the process.

Atticus was my glazing and decorating helper. He did keep on trying to eat the glaze as we made it. He enjoyed giving the doughnuts a dunk, but definitely preferred sprinkling the stars over them.

I would say, these are softer and more doughnut-like when they aren’t overbaked. So cooked in a preheated oven at 180°c fan and cooked for 7-8 minutes as for the large ones and 4-5 minutes with the smaller ones. They may look a little pale, but they will have the lovely soft texture inside. If you do decide you want a firmer doughnut, you can always return it to the oven for another couple of minutes. It unfortunately doesn’t work both ways so keep an eye on them! We did overbake some of ours and they lost some of their doughnutiness, but they still tasted nice.

I did make another half batch without the kids and managed not to overbake any of them and they we soooooooooo good that I wished I had made a full batch as I just wanted to stay up and eat them! Although it is probably best that I decided in my wisdom to reduce the quantities otherwise I think the kids would have to push me out of the door!


For the doughnuts

  • 1 sachet of fast action yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar (depending how sweet you want them to be)
  • 3tbsp softened margarine
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups of flour (you may need the extra half cup if your dough is very, very sticky and won’t come together)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups of icing sugar
  • Juice 1.5 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles of choice (we used gold stars and some chocolate strands)


  1. Wash and dry the rosemary and place in a food processor with the lemon zest and pulse. Add 1 cup of the flour and pulse again. Transfer this to a Tupperware tub and leave for an hour if you have the time. This will allow the rosemary and lemon to infuse into the flour.
  2. Put the warm water into a large bowl or that of a food mixer. Stir in the yeast until it has dissolved. Add the warm milk, the sugar, margarine, salt and the rosemary and lemon infused flour. Mix well with the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the eggs and the rest of the flour and combine until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead for 6-8 minutes by hand or 3-4 in the mixer.
  5. Place in a greased bowl to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. We use the oven to prove by setting its timer for two minutes and switching it onto 150°c fan. We then boil the kettle fill up a bowl and once the timer pings, switch the oven and its light off and put the bowl of boiling water into the oven along with the item which needs to prove and close the door.
  6. After an hour, turn it out onto a floured surface and stamp out doughnuts with a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter and then cut the centre out with the reverse side of a piping nozzle. Once you have used all the dough, leave to prove again for another 40-minutes to an hour or doubled in size. (Once again I used my oven, but I did end up reheating it and putting fresh boiling water in it.)
  7. Place in a preheated oven at 180°c for 7-8 minutes for large doughnuts and 4-5 for small ones. ( I left the doughnuts in the top oven while the bottom oven heated up)
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before glazing.

To make the glaze

  1. Sift the icing sugar into a medium-sized bowl and add the lemon zest and juice. Mix and add the milk. You may need more milk. We went for a thin glaze, but if you want a thicker glaze use less liquid.
  2. To coat the doughnuts, dip them in the icing bowl and place on a cooling rack so the excess drips off (if you are wise, you will cover underneath the rack with a tea towel or newspaper to reduce clean up time. I didn’t do this and wished I had).
  3. Add sprinkles before the glaze sets and enjoy!

Mini Toad in the Hole

Most children in my acquaintance could probably eat a whole plate of just sausages for dinner if they were given half the chance. My children are no exception and they love it when sausages are on the menu. As none of my children particularly enjoy (please read absolutely hate and wouldn’t touch with a barge pole) mashed potato, they are not on the menu too often. This seems to change in the summer months when the BBQ emerges from its winter hibernation to perform its summer duties.

We had leftover sausages from a BBQ over last bank holiday weekend and to use them up I decided the kids and I would make Mini Toad in the Holes. Pancakes always go down well, so why not add sausage to the mix to make them extra special? Unsurprisingly as soon as I mentioned cooking with sausages I had a couple of children following me eager to get started!


To make 12 mini toad in the holes:

  • 8 cooked and cooled sausages
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g ground oats (you can grind in a food processor) or smooth porridge
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300ml whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºc and put a silicone muffin case into each of the muffin holes. Spray them with frylight or paint them with oil using a pastry brush.
  2. Slice the sausages using a table knife.
  3. Place the flour and ground oats into a bowl or large jug and mix. Season the mixture and whisk in the eggs.
  4. Gradually add the milk and whisk to form a batter.
  5. Spoon or pour equally into the muffin cases and then divide the sliced sausages among them.
  6. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. They are done when they are golden and the mixture no longer looks wet or tacky at the bottom and they easily lift out of the muffin cases.

The children eagerly gobbled these for two nights without a single complaint. Maybe they should be on the menu more often in the future!

Baked Mozzarella Arancini

The children had risotto for dinner on Friday night. As usual, I managed to make too much, I mean enough for another portion really. This actually made me quite happy as it meant we could have a go at making mozzarella-stuffed risotto balls or Arancini. Simon and I used to love making these and then frying them before the kids came along. Now I wasn’t going to even suggest you deep fry them with children, instead I decided to use the oven and bake them.

You can use any kind of leftover risotto to make these, ours was prawn and vegetable. I think a tomato-based risotto would be really yummy as then they would sort of resemble a pizza. This recipe can also be made gluten-free provided you use gluten-free stock to make the risotto and ensure that the flour and breadcrumbs (you could use cornmeal instead) are gluten-free. As I had put a lot of herbs in our risotto, I didn’t add any further seasoning to these Arancini. You could add garlic to the egg and some herbs or spices to the breadcrumbs if you desire. If you would like them to have a more golden appearance like their fried counterparts you could toast the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet in the oven until they are golden before using them – you will have to watch them carefully to ensure they don’t burn. We didn’t do this as I didn’t get round to it before we started.

They can be a bit fiddly for kids as it is quite a sticky process but all three of mine did enjoy it immensely. The 5 year old managed to follow all the steps well, the 4 year old needed some help in the construction stages and the 22 month old managed to help with certain steps, namely chopping the mozzarella with her brothers and rolling the balls in the breadcrumbs. I also have video of her doing this and telling us what she is doing – very cute!

This time round she was also in charge of the egg. Well it fact I left too close to her and she had cracked it before I had noticed (she has watched her brothers do it many times), but she managed it perfectly so I removed it from her grasp before she clenched her fist and destroyed the shell and placed it in a bowl. She sat there whisking it with an very proud expression on her face and her brothers were rather surprised! I never said cooking with children was mess or even stress free! Patience is required and it unfortunately (much to my disappointment), it can’t be purchased in any store…


  • Leftover risotto (cooled in fridge) – we had around an adult’s portion left I think, but I didn’t measure it.
  • Mozzarella (we used around half a ball, but the kids managed to eat the other half!)
  • 1 egg
  • Plain flour (a handful or two)
  • Breadcrumbs (a handful or two)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc fan and put a silicone baking mat on an baking tray.
  2. Cut the mozzarella into small pieces using a table knife.
  3. Crack the egg and put in a shallow bowl (we used a children’s plastic one) to whisk.
  4. Put some plain flour on a small plate and the breadcrumbs on another small plate. Put the plate with the flour on it on the far left, the egg bowl in the middle and the breadcrumbs on the right.
  5. Take a small child-sized handful of risotto and pick up a couple of pieces of mozzarella and put them in the middle of the risotto. Take another small child-sized handful of risotto and squish it on top of it. Press and roll together so that it forms one large ball.
  6. Roll the ball in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally roll in the breadcrumbs before placing on the baking sheet.
  7. When you have used up all the risotto, place the baking tray in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Ensure that the Arancini are warm the whole way through before serving.

These didn’t last very long as the kids loved them. They also had a great time making them so it was a good morning activity to pass away the time while daddy was at work.

Carrot Cake Flapjacks

Following the success of my Sticky Toffee Pudding Biscuits, I decided that the kids and I would attempt to reimagine another classic pudding. This time, the pudding in the spotlight is the carrot cake.

All the kids love carrots in pretty much any form. I ate a lot of raw carrots during my pregnancy with Seb, and as a result a raw carrot is a go-to snack for the kids when we are out and about. It also takes a lot longer to eat a large carrot than a biscuit, it is healthier and less sticky and messy for small paws during a buggy ride or walk. It is a win-win in my book. Although I do look a bit strange carrying around whole carrots in my handbag and distributing them to the kids to delighted shrieks and it must look especially strange when I also decide to partake of the healthy snack! It also leads me to start listing my favourite fictional bunnies in my head (if you are interested the list includes Tweak Bunny, Peter Rabbit and Thumper).

These were easy to make. If you have very young children (between 18 and 36 months) I would suggest you do the bit over the stove for them. My children, in particular Atticus, have always been really fascinated by the stove and any cooking either Simon or I do on it, so I have become accustomed to allowing them to sit on a stool and gently mix the pans while the dinner cooks. It is for that reason I tend to allow my children to help at the stove.


For the flapjack base

  • 150g butter or margarine
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 140g golden syrup
  • 250g oats
  • 40g sesame seeds

For the carrot cake topping

  • 225g lighter condensed milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2tbsp orange juice
  • 1tbsp plain flour
  • 100g grated carrot (I let the kids help me with this)
  • 25g ground walnuts (we put these into the food processor)
  • 40g raisins
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • 1/4-1/2tsp cinnamon (amount dependent on how cinnamony you like things)

Orange drizzle (optional)

  • For me this was an afterthought. They are yummy without any icing, but they do look a bit plain so if you would like to drizzle some on top mix 25g icing sugar and a couple tbsp of orange juice. If you want it thicker add more icing sugar and more orange juice if you want a thinner icing. I like to use quite thick icing so it can be seen.

Although I have not tried it, I believe this recipe could be easily adapted to make it gluten free by substituting the oats and flour for the gluten free equivalent.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºc and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
  2. Put the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and melt to combine on the stove. When it has fully melted, add the oats and sesame seeds and mix well.
  3. Place the flapjack mixture into the tin and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. While the flapjack is cooking make the carrot cake topping. Put the condensed milk, orange juice, plain flour and egg into a bowl and mix well. Add the grated carrot, raisins, ground walnuts, desiccated coconut and cinnamon and mix again.
  5. Once the flapjack has cooked for 10 minutes remove from the oven and pour the carrot cake topping over it. Return to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is set.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and add the orange drizzle if you want it. Cut into squares.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. I could eat a whole tray if given half the chance, but luckily with the kids around I don’t get that chance!

Pork, Stilton and Apricot Burgers

What do you do when it is a Bank Holiday Weekend and the sunshine is out?  If I am honest, my immediate thought is I must go and replenish our sun cream stock and what did I do with the kids’ hats? But, I think most Brits would respond that it means that the BBQ comes out. Our kids love a BBQ. I think it is because they are all self-confessed carnivores and would definitely prefer that I didn’t bother making the salad or the vegetarian options. My sister-in-law dropped in for a impromptu visit on Sunday afternoon and she even brought all the stuff for the BBQ including the ingredients for the Pork, Stilton and Apricot burgers I had swirling around my head. All I had to do is actually make the burger recipe with Seb and a salad. Simon manned the BBQ and cooked all the food. An easy afternoon for me!

Now Seb took some convincing to join in, but as soon as I mentioned using his new left-handed kitchen scissors and cracking an egg he was ready to go. This recipe is really simple and the hands-on time is small. They do, however, require chilling before putting on the BBQ or in the oven.


  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 10 dried apricots
  • 150g stilton
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbsp breadcrumbs (or gluten-free equivalent or even cornmeal)
  • 1tsp dried sage (or fresh sage if you prefer)
  • Seasoning


  • Using kitchen scissors chop the dried apricots into small pieces and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Chop or crumble the stilton and add to the bowl. This cheese is easy to chop with a table knife, but we also found that it could easily be crumbled.
  • Open the pork and add to the bowl and mix with your hands.
  • Crack the egg in a cup and whisk gently. Add it to the meat mixture and mix again.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper and add the sage.
  • Take a small adult handful or a big child’s handful and shape into burgers. We made 8 medium-sized burgers. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper or a silicone baking mat and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • When ready to cook place on the BBQ until fully cooked or in a preheated oven (170ºc).  The cooking time will depend on their size. They are cooked when there is no pink meat, the juices run clear, they are steaming hot or 75ºc on a meat probe.

When Seb got round to trying some (the sausages are always his favourite and always get eaten first) he did enjoy it, but not as much as his dad who ate the lion’s share of the burgers over the rest of the weekend!