Instant, 2 ingredient, homemade ‘ice cream’!

My 3-year-old and I have been experimenting for a while with making ‘ice cream’ based on yoghurt and fruit. Mashing fruit into yoghurt is ideal cooking for under-5s, after all. And it’s certainly been ice cream weather!

We don’t have an ice cream maker though, and so far any mix that has survived the extensive ‘tasting’ that goes on, and got as far as the freezer, has come out rock solid and full of ice crystals… even if I take it out and stir it during freezing.

Also, how many under-5s do you know who happily agree to waiting a few hours for – well, anything.

So this is the answer! For the ice cream, anyway – I can’t help with the rest of the delayed gratification difficulties, but you could try making ice cream while you wait… Continue reading “Instant, 2 ingredient, homemade ‘ice cream’!”


Lemon ricotta pancakes

Lemon ricotta pancake with maple syrup and ricotta

Yet another pancake recipe, I know! But… pancakes are still the best way to get my 1-year-old to eat breakfast or elevenses – and are fun to mix, all in one bowl, for my toddler cook.

Also, ricotta is high in protein for a soft cheese, so this recipe is a way to sneak in some extra nutrients. I try to use a variety of flours too, including wholemeal.

But most importantly, these are delicious!

And did I mention that you can easily keep pancakes in the fridge for a picnic snack, or even freeze them? Same as fritters – see my post on those. Or try cinnamon blueberry pancakes if you prefer. Continue reading “Lemon ricotta pancakes”

Christmassy cooking with small elves

Gingerbread stars

I wish I could record the spicy scent of baking gingerbread and post it – a picture doesn’t really do it justice.

As it’s got colder, damper and darker and generally more Dickensian out there, I’ve been looking for more ways to bake with the kids. And ways to eat more sweet, spicy warming things.

My boys are really a bit young to be doing any very involved cooking but here are a couple of Christmassy (how do you spell that?) recipes that they could join in with and enjoy. Continue reading “Christmassy cooking with small elves”

Fritters are the answer…

…to all of the following questions, and probably many more (warning, both baby and toddler have bad nighttime coughs, and if my extra-sleep-deprived state continues I’m likely to come up with lists even more ridiculous than this in future… watch this space, if the obsessive list-making has not already driven you away).

  • What is the easiest way to get veg and protein into a finger-food loving baby?
  • What can I make by sticking everything into a food processor without measuring it, and just adding eggs or flour until it sort of looks right?
  • What healthy finger food can I batch cook, freeze, defrost one at a time when I need it and reheat in the toaster?
  • What makes a family meal with salad and dips, but can also be spread with plain yoghurt and given to a 9-month-old for breakfast?

You get the idea. Fritters are a super-convenient food for babies, especially if you’re going the baby-led weaning route, or your mite is into finger foods. They are also great for toddlers. And adults.

I am a terrible recipe writer because I don’t measure anything (and do most of my cooking with a 2.5 year old eating the ingredients or sticking a spatula in my eye) so this is more an ideas post for you, in case you have not yet become a fritter convert.

Sweetcorn fritters with spring onions

Continue reading “Fritters are the answer…”

Sugar-free ‘Owl Ice Cream’

2016-02-02 15.40.16

My toddler is convinced this is proper ice cream (and yes, he has had the real thing!). He likes it so much he’s named it in tribute to The Gruffalo…

It’s super simple to make, basically a frozen smoothie made with a pre-frozen banana or some ice cubes so that you don’t have to wait around while it freezes. Continue reading “Sugar-free ‘Owl Ice Cream’”

‘Can I do making?’

We made these!

My granny was a proper granny. She had the finest collection of hats known to humanity and a startling number of shoes accrued over seven decades or so.

By night, she wore plastic curlers in her hair and slept with a stick under her bed, ready to fight off assailants. By day, she sat in her rocking chair, knitting and watching black and white war films – that’s if she wasn’t gardening, decorating, cooking, baking, sewing, pressing flowers, making cards or entertaining her grandchildren with infinite patience.

I spent many happy Sunday afternoons perched on a stool by her side in the kitchen baking. We made butterfly cakes, coconut madeleines, melting moments, oat crunchies, eve puddings, apple tarts, jam tarts, toffee, jellies, doughnuts… I could go on, but my mouth’s watering already. My granny used heart-stopping quantities of golden syrup, treacle, sugar and Stork margarine, assuring me they were all good ingredients.

With such sunny memories, you’d have thought I’d have been delighted when my toddler started pulling up a stool of her own, standing alongside me in the kitchen and demanding to ‘do making’. But I’m ashamed to admit the opposite was true. Continue reading “‘Can I do making?’”