Easter Florentines

There are generally copious amounts of chocolate in our pantry. I keep on contriving new places to sneak more into the house away from the kids’ (or my husband’s) prying eyes. Usually this is a challenge, but when we approach Easter (or even Christmas for that matter), my task seems to become nigh on impossible! However, I am a stubborn woman and where there’s a will there is a way! In our house, chocolate falls into several categories; general eating chocolate, chocolate for a particular purpose (such as a cake or bake) and Kat’s chocolate. Over the years, Simon has learnt, that he is better not to waste his breath asking me to share my chocolate as it will end in an argument. The safer course is for him to wait for me to offer him some. I am very good at offering him the dark chocolate, which he doesn’t like so I get to keep, but not so accomplished at sharing the chocolate that he would actually enjoy!

Easter baking wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t involve Mini Eggs. They are totally addictive and would be welcome all year round! This year, I decided to put Mini Eggs into my mum’s favourite biscuit – the Florentine. These Florentines are not at all authentic, but that doesn’t stop them from being remarkably moreish. We melted the base chocolate and allowed it to set in the bottom of the pan before cooking so it didn’t take quite so much time to make. Please please please though, if you are baking with Mini Eggs and small children do not ignore the step to crush them or chop them up.

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 175g flaked almonds
  • 175g Mini Eggs (crushed)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g melted butter
  • 2 beaten eggs
Ready for the oven!

Method

  1. Grease and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
  2. Break up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl and place over a simmering pan of water to melt.
  3. Once melted (the bowl will be hot), adult pour it into the lined brownie tin and ask your little chef to tilt the tin so that the chocolate covers the entire base. Put in the fridge to set.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°c fan.
  5. Put the mini eggs into a ziploc bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are all crushed.
  6. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or mug and whisk.
  7. Put the dried fruit and almonds in a large bowl and mix.
  8. Add the sugar, melted butter and beaten eggs and mix until fully combined.
  9. Add the crushed mini eggs and mix again.
  10. Remove the brownie tin from the fridge and put the egg mixture on top of the chocolate and gently spread to completely cover it.
  11. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Leave to cool completely in the tin and once fully cooled cut into fingers or squares and store in the fridge. We left ours to refrigerate overnight before slicing to ensure they were completely cool and sliced with a knife heated in boiling water.
Oh yum!

Unfortunately we are not seeing my mum until just before Easter and it is highly unlikely there will be any left by then! Sorry mum! I peer at them every time I open the fridge, just to check they are still there (and inhale their gorgeous scent) and to ensure no bandits children have come to treat-nap them! I should also add, the kiddies had small squares. I did have a large slice or three after giving blood, but I considered that that was well deserved!

Unicorn Blondies

Unicorns standing to attention.

Every time it feels like I have my children pegged, they turn round an surprise me. I know they don’t do this to be contrary, but their little quirks often leave me bemused. Allow me to enlighten you all further. Ophelia, like most two year old girls, loves pink – it is her favourite colour. No one else in the house is allowed to have that colour as their favourite. I have been told that my favourite colour in no uncertain terms is purple! (This is fine by me, but have I created a little bossy monster?!) She lives for the days when she can wear as many mismatched items of pink clothing and display them to as many people as possible. She is also the little girl who refuses to be left out by her brothers and insists on joining in with their superhero games and who received a Hulk costume for Christmas so she isn’t left out.

She also loves glitter and all things that sparkle. Unicorns it seems fall into this category. She has unicorn toys, a back pack and a lunchbox. So with this bake for World Unicorn Day on the 9 April (yes this is a thing, I was unaware until a post on Instagram informed me of the fact) I thought I would be making these with just her, but the boys also eagerly insisted on joining in – an unexpected, yet welcome surprise (this proves you should never – even subconsciously – try to categorise your children…).

The success of this bake should be measured by the fact that I have had to hide them from everyone so that they don’t gobble them up without me noticing. Because I am clearly the only one who can be trusted with leftover cake in this house… My only motive is to ensure that everyone gets their fair share and so I can take a secret blondie tithe!

Beautiful colours in the blondie.

To make the different colours, we used frozen blueberries and raspberries instead of food dyes. They don’t produce as vibrant a colour as food dyes do, but they do add a really nice fruity taste to them. They also make me think that they are slightly healthier despite all the chocolate!

Ingredients

  • 400g white chocolate (300 for inside the blondies and 100 for on top)
  • 75g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 75g frozen blueberries
  • 75g frozen raspberries

Method

Colouring the blondie, dolloping it into the tin and the pretty pattern it created.

















  1. Remove the blueberries and raspberries from the freezer and allow to defrost a little. I placed mine on defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds each.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°c fan and grease and line a brownie pan.
  3. While still in the packets, bash the chocolate with the end of a rolling pin to make small pieces.
  4. Place 100g of the chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl with the butter and put in a double boiler until all melted. Allow to cool a bit.
  5. Put the sugar and eggs in another bowl and whisk together until smooth and completely combined.
  6. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat together.
  7. Sift in the flour and the baking powder and fold together.
  8. Add another 200g of the bashed chocolate and mix so all the bits are evenly distributed.
  9. Divide the mixture between 3 small bowls as evenly as you can.
  10. Using a stick blender, zap the blueberries and raspberries (in their separate containers) until they are smooth.
  11. Put the blitzed raspberries into one of the blondie bowls and the blueberries into one of the other bowl and mix to combine.
  12. With three separate spoons, dollop alternate blobs of the three mixtures into the brownie pan creating a pretty pattern as you go.
  13. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a while.
  15. Melt the final 100g of white chocolate and drizzle all over the blondies (we used a teaspoon to do this) and decorate with copious amounts of rainbow or unicorn sprinkles or even edible unicorn wafers like we did.
Adding the finishing touches to make them worthy of the unicorns.
Photo bombing unicorn!

I hope you have a sparkly and colourful World Unicorn day filled with rainbows and other beautiful things, but most importantly these Unicorn Blondies. Today is 9 April, and I am happy to report that we have three small squares of blondie left for the kids today. That is good planning and restraint on my part!

Hot Cross Cookies

Working as a team to mix together the dough.

I love a good hot cross bun. They are wonderfully squidgy and are so yummy when toasted and lathered in chocolate spread (sorry I am not a purist as I am not a fan of butter). I don’t make a habit of buying hot cross buns until the Easter holidays as if I do, I know that I will eat them all and happily forget that the kids also enjoy them. My husband is out of sync with the rest of the family on this one – he would prefer, well not to be obliged to eat a hot cross bun I am sure!

Scooping out the dough
Rolling into balls

I have made hot cross buns in the past, but not with the kids. I remember it being a somewhat lengthy process and not necessarily compatible with my kids’ tiredness levels during term time. However, I did want us to make something related to our faith and have an opportunity to talk with them about the Easter story so I decided we would make cookies as they take less time. As an added bonus, we could make them smaller and perfect for an afterschool snack without having to share a whole hot cross bun and causing arguments over who gets which bit! I don’t know about your kids, but mine will argue over literally anything and make it look like an Olympic sport! Anything not to run the risk of an argument over what I would consider a small inconsequential occurrence, which is clearly the biggest injustice since the previous occasion!

Time to lick the bowl!

We used melted butter in these cookies to recreate the squidgy texture of a hot cross bun, and added orange zest, cinnamon and raisins to replicate the flavours of them. We used icing pens for the crosses, but my eldest had some difficulties piping these out so had help. Alternatively, you could use icing sugar and water, melted white chocolate to pipe a cross on them or cut crosses out of rolled marzipan to stick on. It seems the options are endless! Seb actually quite enjoyed directing me and rating my attempts at putting crosses on the cookies!

Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 150g melted butter
  • 160g soft light brown sugar
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g raisins
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp of orange extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° or 160°c fan and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. Mix the melted butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Crack the egg in and add the vanilla and orange extract and beat it in until fully combined.
  4. Add the flour, orange zest, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and bring together until a dough forms.
  5. Add in the raisins and squish and squash to ensure an evenish distribution of fruit in the dough.
  6. Using a tablespoon to measure, get small pieces of dough and roll them into balls and put then on the baking sheets. Remember to leave space for spreading.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Leave on the trays to cool as they are a little fragile directly out of the oven.
  8. When they have cooled slightly make the crosses using icing pens, melted white chocolate, icing or even marzipan.
Who wants a cookie?! Silly question!

These were delicious cookies. If your little ones aren’t a fan of raisins, you could substitute them for chocolate chips. Do let me know if you make these with your monkeys or without them as that is also an option!

Marshmallow Sheep

Pushing the legs in.

It is officially spring! In our front garden the daffodils are out in their splendour. They make me happy even if I am yelling at the kids to run as we have set out late for school. The temperature is getting warmer and we seem to have said goodbye to winter. Well now I have said that you can guarantee the snow will arrive next week, but I am holding onto the sunshine that we saw last week and hoping for the spring-like conditions to stay! In my head the only bad thing about spring is the fact that we lose an hour of sleep when British Summer Time begins!

On go the eyes.

I have been thinking about making these sheep since Christmas when I was thinking how the kids and I could make the nativity scene out of food items. Unfortunately, I only really got as far as the sheep and then ran out of time to think of more ideas and execute them before Christmas. It may well be on the list for this Christmas, but as usual it depends on time and if I can take precious time away from making mince pies and Christmas cake! I was then racking my brain to see when I could appropriately make them and it occurred to me that new lambs traditionally mark the beginning of spring so there we go! A start of spring activity instead then!

Atticus’s efforts.
Seb’s efforts

As this was a super quick Saturday morning baking in pyjamas activity, I decided to use the opportunity to get the boys, Atticus in particular, to practise their handwriting skills. I find he is more eager to have a go at writing something when it is fun and these sheep and more specifically the promise that he could have one for snack time really spurred him on to have a go. I must say I am super proud of his efforts. His teacher is always advocating him having a go at writing something about something that interested him or that he enjoyed so this certainly fit the bill.

Ingredients

  • Rocky Mountains Mega Marshmallows
  • Giant chocolate buttons
  • Matchmakers
  • Edible eyes
  • Melted chocolate
A pyramid of sheep drying!

Method

  1. Grown up cut each Matchmaker into four for legs.
  2. Push each leg into the bottom of the marshmallow. You will need to push it in quite far for it to work. Some of ours didn’t stand properly, but most did. It is all a matter of making them even.
  3. Put the sheep on its bottom and coat the back (with a spoon or by dipping although the latter is messier in this case!) of the chocolate button in melted chocolate and stick to the sheep’s face.
  4. Put a tiny bit of chocolate on each eye and stick to the chocolate button.
  5. Leave the sheep on their bottoms (so chocolate button facing upwards) until the melted chocolate has set so they don’t move around.
  6. Enjoy!
What you doing?!

My kids are now waiting to be allowed to eat one of these sheep. I am quite enjoying having an ovine (yes the adjective for sheep is ovine in case you didn’t know) audience as I write this up for you all. Please do send me pictures of your sheep if you do make some!

Potted Crab

Transporting the crab from the mixing bowl to our large ramekin.
Squishing the piece of lime.

You may be rather sceptical when you learn that I made potted crab with my 2 year old. I encourage you to read on despite any misgivings as this really was a fun recipe to make with her. She had fun counting out the tablespoons of yoghurt and squishing the slice of lime, twisting the salt and pepper mills, mixing, transporting and pouring – lots of activities which are present on early years schemas. It also allowed me to introduce a fish with a different texture to her and hopefully encourage her to widen her pallet when she is older. She wasn’t a huge fan, but I remain undeterred as tastes change as children get older and the boys did enjoy it.

When Ophelia went ‘shaky shaky’ with the paprika!

This recipe could be managed solo by an older child, but Ophelia did need some encouragement to stay on task and not go ‘shaky shaky’ with the paprika or try and eat the rest of the lime. I managed to prevent the latter, but was unfortunately completely incompetent at the former… More vigilance was required and in this instance I was lacking! I would also be lying if I said that I managed to remain completely calm… What this picture doesn’t show is the rest of the kitchen counter!

Time to pour the melted butter on top of the crab.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of white crabmeat, drained. Recipes for potted crab generally call for fresh crabmeat, but as this was for making with kids we opted for tinned crab and the result was delicious.
  • 2 tbsp. Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • Zest from half a lime
  • Juice from 1/8 of a lime (or just a small slice)
  • Seasoning
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted (easiest in a small jug)
  • 1/8tsp of paprika

Method

  1. Put the crabmeat into a bowl and count in the tablespoons of Greek-style natural yoghurt. Add the lime zest, juice and seasoning and mix well. We used a tub grater with the fine grater attachment to zest the lime.
  2. Spoon the mixture into a shallow dish, one large ramekin or two smaller ramekins and gently flatten.
  3. Add the paprika to the melted butter and mix.
  4. Pour the melted butter over the ramekin(s) and refrigerate until set. This will take around 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the fridge around 30 minutes before serving to make it easier to spread. Enjoy with toast, crackers or crumpets.
Remember to remove from the fridge around half an hour before you want to spread it. The boys enjoyed this in sandwiches.

Choccy Toffee Squares

I try alone mummy!

I find baking therapeutic. I even find baking with children relatively therapeutic. This is especially true when the alternative is a 20-minute argument about what board game they should play or TV show they should watch or a meltdown because one little Gilbert didn’t listen to any other little Gilbert’s ideas. The reason for this is generally because any argument can be solved by licking the bowl or by consuming copious amounts of leftover melted chocolate. Yes there are times when the melted butter pot gets knocked over or the flour manages to escape out of the packet and everyone swears they didn’t touch it, but the good in it definitely outweighs the bad and most of the time I get through the activity with my frazzled temper relatively intact! Disclosure; I would like to remind my lovely readers that the more children you try to cook with, the more stressful the undertaking for the ‘responsible’ adult. As a mum who has been cooking with little people for around 5 years, if you manage to get through the planned recipe with no mistakes or cross words I salute you! You deserve all the chocolate!

When I managed to decorate without the children!

These squares were initially mummy-daughter baking time. The boys didn’t participate as they had agreed on a game and were tearing around the garden completely immersed in their imaginations (completely lovely to see especially seeing as it was a rather rotten day). But as is so often true, two is company and three a crowd so Ophelia was at a loose end. And as it is a darn sight easier to cook with just one child rather than my whole tribe, I enjoyed this time with just her and she seemed to enjoy having me completely to herself!

This recipe makes a thin biscuit bar coated in chocolate. Don’t be tempted to place it in a smaller tin for a thicker biscuit. It will fit in a brownie pan when spread out thinly – your little chef may need a bit of help to achieve this. If you are making these bars with small children I recommend using more chocolate to coat them as it is easier to spread a thicker layer of chocolate than a thin one to ensure that the top of the bar doesn’t get damaged. I think these are yummy with desiccated coconut or chopped almonds on the top. Unsurprisingly, Ophelia prefers them with sprinkles – the pinker the better! You will see that she and I compromised and both coconut and multi-coloured stars to decorate one of the batches.

Ingredients

For the biscuit base

  • 100g margarine (or softened butter)
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g porridge oats (this recipe works best with bog standard oats rather than jumbo ones)

For the top

  • If for young children 200g milk chocolate and 50g margarine/butter
  • For older children 150g milk chocolate and 40g margarine/butter
  • Chopped nuts, desiccated coconut or sprinkles to decorate

Method

The concentration level was immense!
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan and grease a brownie pan with a silicone baking brush and line it with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the margarine, sugar and egg yolk into a bowl and mix until smooth, pale and creamy.
  3. Sift in the flour and add the oats and gently mix them in.
  4. Carefully spread in the brownie tin (adult help may be required here) and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and melt the chocolate and margarine. This can be done in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave. If you are using the microwave, melt it in short bursts on medium power, ensuring you mix it frequently.
  6. Pour the chocolate over the biscuit base (the tin will probably still be hot, so carefully) and spread with a silicone spatula. Decorate with your toppings of choice.
  7. Cut into squares while still warm and then leave in the tin until they have completely cooled.
The compromise: sprinkles and desiccated coconut!

Every time these are made I am surprised when they survive the night as I am always worried I may decide to sneak down stairs and devour the whole batch before the children wake! Do get in contact if you make these and let me know what you think.

Almond Shortbread

Bringing the shortbread together. “I do it alone mummy”

Apologies for my lack of posts in the last week. I am undergoing a period of adjustment and for a creature of habit, it is hard to accept change. I find myself I torn between delight and the feeling that it is the beginning of the end. The reason for my current inability to decipher my own emotions is because my youngest, my baby, has started nursery. While it is true that for the time being she will only be going one morning a week, it seems to herald the true beginning of the end of my period as a full-time stay-at-home-mum. I am not quite yet rushing back into work, but I need to get my thinking cap on vis-à-vis paid employment and what I plan to do with my time. I wish that I possessed the ability to be truly decisive, but I am not ready for this new independent stage which I can no longer deny is occurring in my not so little littilest. So instead of researching what my next step should be, I thought I would tell you about the almond shortbread that Ophelia and I made together as the memory of making this with her makes me smile.

Gently press the almond in.

I don’t know about you, but I really love the depth of flavour and the texture that ground almonds bring to baking. We made this shortbread in a circular tin and adorned it with flaked almonds. It was a yummy, nutty shortbread which the kids absolutely loved. Yes, it is more crumbly that traditional shortbread, but I think the almonds make it special and truly yummy.

The aroma of this shortbread filled the kitchen for quite a while. It was such a temptation to eat it warm, but do let it cool fully in the tin as it has a very crumbly texture.

Ingredients

  • 125g butter or margarine (we used Flora Buttery) plus extra for greasing
  • 60g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 25g flaked almonds to decorate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c fan.
  2. Paint the baking tin (we used a 20cm circular one, you could use a square one or even a loaf tin).
  3. Mix the sugar and the flour.
  4. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips
  5. Next add the ground almonds and bring together with your hands. The texture will be a bit grainy due to the ground almonds.
  6. Place in a tin and pat it down until flat and score out your pieces.
  7. Gently press the flaked almonds on the top of the shortbread.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm to the touch and golden brown.
  9. Gently complete the slices while warm and leave to cool fully in the tin before removing it.
Ready to enjoy!

This shortbread was the perfect accompaniment to a calm afternoon cup of coffee. The kids also enjoyed munching on this on our walk home from school. I was rather sad when it was no more, but as it is really very simple to make it really isn’t a problem or a hardship to make another batch! I hope you enjoy this recipe and do let me know if you make it.

Chocolate Orange Strudel

What to do with the leftovers from a filo pastry packet!

Do you ever buy a packet of Filo pastry and use only a small amount of it only to be left what you are going to do with the rest of the packet?! Maybe it is just me. I made a Slimming World friendly pie for Simon and my mum and it only called for one sheet of Filo pastry. So I decided the kids and I would use the rest in a sweet recipe. As they are often reluctant to try crumble and recipes with stewed fruit (please read here, wouldn’t touch stewed fruit with a barge pole) I decided to try and alter the texture of the cooked fruit with masses of crushed bourbon biscuits, and a couple of tablespoons of Sweet Freedom Spiced Orange Choc Shot. The kitchen smelt amazing while we had this on the stove! I would have happily eaten the oranges, crushed biscuits and Choc Shot mixture straight from the pan. I was instead on my best behaviour as Seb was in charge of the pan and I didn’t want to be admonished by a six year old!

Orange slicing in full swing.

This recipe was so much fun to make; the kids had fun crushing biscuits and painting the filo pastry with melted butter. It’s true that the filo pasty sheets are fragile and they did need help moving single sheets before painting them, but we didn’t have any major mishaps! Also we put the melted butter in a wider based bowl than the last time we worked with filo pastry so I didn’t have any melted butter to clear up!

Dollop it on!
Roll it up!

Ingredients

  • 100g melted butter
  • 3 oranges, peeled
  • 4-5tbsp of light muscovado sugar
  • 100g bourbon biscuits (or any other chocolatey biscuits)
  • 100g walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. Sweet Freedom Spiced Orange Choc Shot
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c and put a silicone baking sheet on a baking tray.
  2. Slice the oranges into bite-sized pieces, bash the walnuts and crush the chocolate biscuits.
  3. Put a couple of tbsp. of melted butter into a saucepan and add the oranges over a low heat.
  4. Add the walnuts, crushed biscuits and the Choc Shot and mix all well. You should have a sticky chocolatey mess. It should be thick and not runny.
  5. Lay a single sheet of filo pastry on the silicone baking mat and paint with melted butter and add a sprinkling of the muscovado sugar.
  6. Add another sheet of filo pastry and repeat step five. Continue until you have used all the sheets of filo pastry.
  7. Place the filling down one long side of the pastry and roll it up to make a long sausage, tucking the ends in as you role (I did this bit).
  8. Ensure the strudel is seam-side down and brush with melted butter and the remaining muscovado sugar.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and crisp and the pastry is cooked through. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before sprinkling with icing sugar and serving with ice cream and/or more Choc Shot.
Oh yum!

Two out of the three kids loved this recipe so I am counting it as a win. I thought it was yummy and would have happily scoffed the whole strudel all by myself. The only thing that stopped me is that I had had quite a cake-heavy day and I really thought I should lay off more sweet treats or I would have had a sugar rush all night!

Salmon and Soy Sauce Bake

Slicing hard boiled eggs and taking about fractions.

I am sure I have already said so before, but if there is a request to help in the kitchen, it is always granted no matter how inconvenient it may be at the time. This does mean that some evenings dinner is ready a lot later than originally planned or even the latter – too early as they didn’t want to help! It has to be said though, sometimes asking them for help can lead to them not wanting to. I have learnt that if I start making the food using their colourful knives and doing things they like such as chopping vegetables, cracking eggs, whisking and mixing they become eager to help and argue over whose turn it is next!

Measuring out the soy sauce. There was an intense look of concentration on his face as he completed this task!

We didn’t have any such scenario for this time around. This is because Seb has recently been invested into our local Beaver colony. He will tell anyone who will listen (including complete strangers) that he is a Beaver with a necker and woggle. This statement is sometimes met with looks of confusion, but most people who have had some contact with the Scouting or Guiding movement will show what he deems to be an appropriate response. I quickly realised that there is a cooks badge and I asked him if he wanted to make some items towards it. He was even more eager than I could have anticipated!

This meal was eaten by the whole family and was entirely put together by Seb. There is a small amount of adult preparation. You could use tinned potatoes if you want to reduce the amount of adult preparation. We used tinned salmon, but you could cook some pieces of salmon instead. We also were able to use this activity to reinforce Seb’s understanding of whole, half and quarter as he quartered the boiled eggs. I completely love it when cooking can help with multiple areas of the curriculum!

Time to mix it all around!

Ingredients

  • 500g new potatoes (or other small potatoes)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 tins of skinless and boneless salmon (170g each) or 4 salmon fillets
  • 150g sugar snap peas
  • 150g sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)
  • 2 salad tomatoes
  • 8tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Seasoning

Adult preparation

  1. Boil the new potatoes for 15-20 minutes, drain and leave cool.
  2. Gentle lower the eggs into boiling water and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Run under cold water and remove shells.
  3. Grate the ginger

Older children could do all of the above, but as Seb was making this after school I did the three above steps for him.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c and spray a large oven proof (we used Pyrex) dish with Frylight.
  2. Cut the potatoes, sugar snap peas and tomatoes into small pieces and add the large oven proof dish.
  3. Cut the eggs into quarters and add to the dish.
  4. Add the sweetcorn.
  5. Remove the salmon from the tins and gently squish with a fork to separate and add to the dish.
  6. In a small bowl, measure out the 8tbsp of soy sauce.
  7. Add the grated ginger.
  8. Gently bash the garlic cloves with a rolling pin and remove the skin and then crush with a garlic press. Add to the soy sauce.
  9. Mix the ginger and garlic into the soy sauce and pour over the dish with the rest of the ingredients and gently mix.
  10. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Simon and I really enjoyed this dish. Seb wasn’t keen on the tomatoes, but in fairness he never is. Our little potato-hater managed to eat at least one new potato, but was adamant that he would not eat any more. As usual Ophelia managed to eat pretty much her whole portion. It was a nice family meal and one I am eager to repeat. Do get in contact if you make this as we would love to hear from you!

Rugby Wraps

My family has never had a particular tradition or connection to one particular sport. When growing up, my dad would always, I mean without fail, watch the Grand Prix. But it was never a family activity. I believe it was a source of mild frustration for my dad that neither of his daughters showed any interest in watching the motor racing with him. As a teenager, I remember looking forward to Grand Prix weekends as it meant I could have a Sunday afternoon to myself as long as dad wasn’t disturbed!

I always knew that my husband was a rugby fan; when I first met him he was wearing a Leicester Tigers rugby shirt. Although, if truth be told, I would have been hard pushed to tell you that! Before we were married, it was very easy for me to avoid watching the rugby with him and make other plans. However, when we married, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to avoid the game my entire life. So I set about trying to understand the rules. I asked many, many questions. It may have actually been the same question over and over again and after over 10 years of marriage I am somewhat ashamed to admit my understanding of the rules hasn’t progressed!

Ready to fill the wraps.
Seb with his wrap shortly before it was demolished!

My interest in understanding rugby was dwindling and then Simon told me that the 2011 Rugby World Cup was taking place in New Zealand. He asked me if I would like to watch the matches with him. I was rather reluctant as they would all be taking place rather early and although I am an early bird, I like my time to myself in the mornings. He promised me he would make me breakfast and a deal was struck. This was when what were initially called Rugby Sandwiches were created. In their original form, we used partially baked baguettes filled with a combination of scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage and mushrooms. I had mine with vegetarian sausages. Fast forward to the present day (and the airing of the Six Nations 2019) and we are still making these. We have exchanged the partially baked baguettes for wraps as the kids eat them better and they work well if you are following Slimming World! Isn’t it funny how life changes?!

and cooking mushrooms.
Seb scrambling eggs

I was really impressed with my six year old during this process as he scrambled the eggs himself and kept an eye on the mushrooms and mixing them around while I sorted the bacon. He was so very proud of his efforts, and proudly told his dad how he cooked the eggs and the mushrooms! The kids demolished a couple of mini wraps each and the grown ups had these with potato wedges. Everyone was rather happy!

Ingredients

  • Wraps (in our house the grown ups used normal-sized wraps and the children had a couple of mini wraps each)
  • Eggs (we used one for each person)
  • Mushrooms (we used about 50-60g as not everyone likes them in this house)
  • Bacon (we allowed 2 pieces per adult and 1 piece per child) or vegetarian sausages
  • Butter Frylight or margarine

Method

  1. Chop the mushrooms and put to one side.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk (Seb called it this the ‘whizz mix’ which made me chuckle! Seb shows you how it is done in the video below.)
  3. Put the bacon onto grill.
  4. Spray a small saucepan with Butter Frylight and add the mushrooms to fry. Mix every so often to stop them sticking.
  5. Spray another small saucepan or frying pan with Butter Frylight and pour the beaten eggs into it. As the egg starts to set, mix it all around until the egg is fully cooked.
  6. Put the cooked mushrooms and scrambled eggs into individual little bowls with spoons to serve.
  7. Cut up the grilled bacon and place in another bowl.
  8. Give everyone a wrap on a plate and allow them to spoon in the fillings they want and roll up. If you are not eating them immediately, putting a cocktail stick in the keeps them wrapped.
  9. Enjoy in front of the rugby!