Cakes, Danish, Desert

Grandmas Apple cake – Traditional Danish cake

Some of you may wonder why I haven’t posted until this afternoon, main reason was that Toddler “Blip” hasn’t been feeling too well this weekend. A “lovely” tommy bug, which I’m praying that I’m not getting. Being 37 weeks pregnant I really do not need that. The husband also wasn’t feeling too well.

Anyhow, today, Monday and Toddler “Blip” seems much much better, but I decided it probably was better to keep him home from nursery today. So, he requested to bake a cake, this definitely indicates he is better. How proud he was when we finished baking that cake!

I have been looking through, some old recipes, I got from my dad, they belonged to my grandma and are mostly written on small random pieces of paper and very few instructions. Therefore, I had to use a bit of my baking knowledge and the memories I got of apple cake. I never met my paternal grandparent as they passed away before I was born. But this type of cake is very popular back home or at least it used to be. I have baked it a few times now and made sure to perfect the recipe.


Really, it’s more of an Autumn cake I would say but you can bake it at any time, served nicely on a lovely plate a cup of tea and with whipped cream, this is so cosy or as you would say in Denmark, it is proper Hyggeligt!

The recipe card said use down fall apples, I think this was meant to be in Autumn, when you collected the apples from the trees and they were a bit bruised etc. I just used some wrinkled apples we had in the fruit bowl, I always seems to end up with some that are a bit wrinkled.

By the way, as you can see the kitchen was a proper mess, why? because, I didn’t follow any of my own guidelines for cooking with a toddler… LoL.. yes, there is a reason I normally follow them. I think that pregnancy is making my brain a bit fuzzy!

Grandmas Apple cake

Serves: 9 pieces

Ingredients:

3 apples
1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
125 g unsalted butter
250 g granulated sugar
250 g plain flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
150 ml milk

Topping:

1 apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Method:

Start by peeling and cutting 3 of the 4 apples into squares, add to a bowl, mix with the cinnamon and leave to the side. Peel and cut the remaining apple in to thin wedges, leave for the top of the cake.

Melt the butter in a pot, whilst melting combine the eggs and sugar in another bowl and mix with a hand mixer until it is a white and airy mixture.

Then mix in the flour (I don’t sieve it), baking powder, milk, and melted butter when all combined you should add the apple pieces. Make sure it is well combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) approximately.  Then add the reserved apple wedges to the top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour at 180C in fan oven or until a knife/skewer comes out clean.

This can be eaten straight away and warm, or you can serve it with whipped cream or I seem to remember it was served with Crème Fraise.  Alternatively, you could just eat it as it is.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017) – I would recommend for spices to look in your local Asian grocery stores, you can get it much cheaper.

Ingredients:

Apples 60p (6 in a packet for 89p)
Cinnamon 40p (if you buy it from an Asian Grocer it is much cheaper)
Eggs 16p
Sugar 17p
Butter 65p
Plain flour 9p
2.5 tsp baking powder 8p
Milk 7p

Total: £2.22, (per piece 25p)

 

Chicken, Freezer challange

Almost free, Chicken Stock (1.5l for 31p) – Freezer challenge

The freezer challenge

So, I have mentioned before that I save bones and skin and roasted carcasses from any chicken we eat in the freezer until I got a large portion. Then I make it into a super delicious stock, believe me, it can be used for so many things, soup, risotto, anything that requires stock. This time, I only had a small bag full of bones and skin, but it was more than enough to make 1.5l of stock!.


All it took was my slow cooker, the bones, and a few vegetables peelings and spices and stock was made. Obviously, it takes some electricity as well. But, when calculating the price of the stock, I do not calculate in the bones/skin, as that is calculated into my original dish (like the fake away I mentioned yesterday).


I think my husband thinks I’m slightly nuts making stock out of this, as I could just throw it, but I do enjoy it. I remember my grandad mentioning that under the second world war this was done and absolutely, nothing was wasted! Ohh.. how I miss my grandad and grandma at times. I wish I had asked them many more questions when they were alive, but at least I spend a lot of time with them.

Chicken Stock

Approximately 1.5l

Ingredients:

Skin/bones of chicken
3 cloves garlic
1 cm ginger, finely chopped
1 small onion, halved

The washed peel of a few potatoes and carrots (or you could just cut a carrot finely/and a potato)

Whatever, else of sad vegetable ends you got in the fridge. But nothing too overpowering, like broccoli and cauliflower (except if that’s the flavour you are going for).

Salt and pepper.

1.5-2l water (depending on your size of slow cooker as well)

Method:

There are two ways to do this A or B (I prefer B)

A) Bang it all in the slow cooker on high, forget about it for 4-6 hours or longer. This will intensify the taste. If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

After 4-6 hours, add salt / pepper to taste then strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

B) Put all the ingredients into a pot and place on the stow (the inside of my slow cooker can go straight on the stow). on high heat, and roast the mixture, until the skin, bones starts slightly colouring and releasing the oils. Then add the water to the mixture and bring to the Boil.

When Boiling, put it into the slow cooker and leave it on high for 4-6 hours or longer, then after this time, add salt/pepper to taste. Strain the mixture and it is ready to be used.

If you don’t find the taste strong enough, leave the mixture on high without lid for a while to intensify further.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken bones and skin (free)
Garlic 9p
Ginger 5p
Onion 10p
Salt and pepper 2p
Left over vegetable peelings 5p? (estimated as it depends what you are using!)

Total 31p

Asian, cheap, Chicken, Chinese, Fakeaway, Freezer challange

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chinese Chicken Fakeaway Stir fry (89p per portion) – The Freezer Challenge

Freezer challenge 

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’m doing a bit of a freezer challenge, as we got way too much random stuff in the freezer that needs using up. I would like to get as much of it used before the baby arrives. However, I do think I have started way too late to achieve this, but never mind.

My husband was away yesterday for a business meeting, so only needed to cook for myself and Toddler “Blip”, however, I still ended up cooking for 4. At least I can freeze the portions and I got some ready meals for when the baby arrives.

Now, you may ask what is a Fakeaway? In my opinion, it is exactly the same as a takeaway, except that it is made at home and it resembles a takeaway. I always, like to cook from scratch, one, it is cheap, two, I know what goes into the food and three I know how fresh it is.

In the freezer, I had quite a bit of chicken, 2 drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs. In general, I like to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for stir-fries, it got more taste and it is much cheaper. I must have been lazy when I froze the thighs, (or just pregnant) as I froze them with skin on and bones in. But never mind, I defrosted it and removed bones from thighs and drumsticks and there was almost 450g of meat. Which is a perfect amount for 4. But you can use more/less as it fits with your family, don’t forget you can always bulk it out with more vegetables.

Now, with the skin and bones, don’t throw it away, instead debone them and remove the skin then put it in a separate freezer bag and keep in the freezer, until you got quite a large portion. Why you may ask? Because it makes a fantastic stock (almost for free). I will post the recipe for that another day.

I served the Fakeaway with rice which Toddler “Blip” loves. He tried the chicken and vegetables but wasn’t keen, but at least he tried it.

Also, because I cook it wanting my son to eat it, I don’t add the chilli, but use my special chilli oil instead.

Sweet and Sticky Chilli Chicken Stir-fry

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g chicken thighs (bones and skin removed) cut in chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
2 Cm Ginger finely cut (finely sliced)
2 Hot Dried Chillies (or 2 teaspoons hot chilli flakes or to taste)
1 Medium onion (cut into wedges)
2 Medium carrots (cut into slices)
1-1/2 bell peppers cut into bite size pieces (I used a combination of red, yellow and green, but you could choose just one colour)
3-4 Medium Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful Sugar Snap Peas
2 Spring onions (diagonally sliced)
1/2 tin pineapple pieces (reserve juice for Marinade)
Handful Salted Cashew nuts (optional)

Marinade

All the juice from the Pineapple tin
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Corn flour
Served with rice for four, approx. 240g

Method:

This dish is really best if you can let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight. I marinated it for 6 hours. However, even if you just marinated it for half an hour it would still taste amazing.

Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinate, leaving the corn flour out, this needs to be added at the last minute when cooking. Then cut the chicken into bite size pieces and combine with the marinate. Leave covered in the fridge until needed.

Because this is a quick cook, you need to prepare all your vegetables before starting to cook. You won’t have time to do it as you go along.

Slice the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl with the chilli. Then cut the onion and carrot, and bell peppers and place together with the mushrooms and place in a different bowl. Then wash the sugar snap peas and place it in a bowl with the spring onions.

Have the pineapple pieces ready and the cashews if using them.

The cooking

Cook rice as per packet, or your preferred method (I use a rice cooker)

In a none stick wok, add the oil, and bring it up to high heat, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry it for around 30seconds to 1 minutes. Now, with a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the marinate and place in the wok (reserve the marinate, we need this later). Now stir-fry the chicken for around 2-3 minutes until its coloured all over. If you find that a lot of marinate came into the wok, then pour it off back into the reserved marinade.

Now add the onion and the carrot to the wok and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms cook for another minute. Then add the pineapple pieces and pour in the reserved marinade (except for 2 tbsp worth), give the mixture a good mix and cook for around another 2 minutes, until it starts slightly reducing. Then mix the corn flour into the last bit of marinade and pour it into the wok give it a good stir. At this point add the Mangetout and spring onions. Cook until it got a sticky consistency, shouldn’t take long.

Serve, with the cashews on top, with steamed rice on the side. Prawn crackers goes well with it.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Chicken thighs 99p
Vegetable oil 3p
Garlic 9p
Ginger 10p
Dried Chillies 5p (bought at Asian Grocer)
Medium onion 10p
Medium carrots 5p
Bell Peppers 46p
Mushrooms 20p
Sugar Snap Peas 35p
Spring onions 10p
Pineapple pieces 30
Cashew nuts 20p

Marinade

Ketchup 5p
Tomato puree 5p
Brown sugar 5p
Ginger 10p
Garlic 6p
Soy Sauce 10p
½ tsp salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Corn flour 3p
Rice 11p

Total price: £3.59  (per portion 90p)  

 

 

cheap, Freezer challange, Meats, Pork

Cheats “Pulled pork” (84p per person) – The freezer challenge!

The freezer challenge!

As you know I’m expecting Baby “Flipper”, hopefully soon! I’m 37 weeks and finally I seem to have some better days, less sickness and I’m able to enjoy pregnancy a bit more (finally). However, this also means I suddenly realised that there are certain things I would like to have done before the baby is here. A lot of things I have left too late though.

But one of the things I would love to get done is sorting out my freezers a bit, I got lots of lovely bits and bobs in it, and some unmarked weird things. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m planning to do my freezer challenge, which means, using up whatever is in the freezer.

Now, when I was digging around the freezer yesterday I found a big gammon steak, but only enough for 1 person really. Now, normally I love gammon steaks with pineapple, but just for me, I couldn’t really be bothered to do that, especially as it would mean I would have to make 2 different dishes for me and husband (Toddler “Blip” would just have the same as me).

On the other hand, I love pulled pork and so does the husband, so I decided to do a cheats pulled pork in the slow cooker, it turned out lovely. Also, was nice that it was just enough for the two of us, normally, I make a huge portion, but then we need to freeze it again. I definitely would do this again. I had it in a burger bun (from the freezer), but forgot to take a picture – sorry being pregnant make me impatient at times. The husband had it in a low carb bun.


Toddler “Blip” tried it, but it was a bit on the spicy side for him.

Cheats “Pulled pork”

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large Gammon Steak
1 Medium Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
Small bunch Coriander, incl. stalks
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp, Hot Chilli Sauce
1 tbsp, Tomato Ketchup
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
50 ml Water

Method:

Put the gammon steak in the slow cooker, with enough water to cover it, cook for around 1 hour on high. Then take out the gammon steak, throw out the water and replace with new water, cook for another hour, but on medium.

Now, throw out the water again, check the gammon, it should be soft so you can easily shred it with two forks.

In another pan, add the oil, together with a thinly sliced onion, finely chopped coriander stalk and the finely chopped garlic until nice and soft, now add the chilli sauce, ketchup, water, cumin and smoked paprika, and cook it down to a sticky consistency.

Add the pulled gammon to the bbq sauce, and mix it well together, and add the remaining coriander to the mixture. Give the mixture a taste and add salt and pepper if needed, I like to add this at the end as gammon is very salty in itself.

The mixture is brilliant either in a burger bun, or in a big salad leaf…

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Gammon steak £1.00
Onion 10p
Garlic cloves 6p
Coriander 20p
Vegetable oil 1p
Hot Chilli Sauce 8p
Tomato Ketchup 2p
Cumin 10p
Smoked Paprika 10p
Total price: £1.67  (per portion 84p)

 

 

 

Low carb, Savoury

Low carb – Toad in the Hole (82p per portion)

Now as I have mentioned a few times the husband is doing a low carb diet and he has lost around 10kg. I’m very proud of him, especially as it is not the first time he has tried losing weight but this time it actually seems to be working.

One of the reasons it seems to be working well for him, is that we are making some more interesting things for him to eat, so he doesn’t feel left out. Also, one thing he has craved is traditional comfort food, one of the things he really craved was Toad in the Hole.

After doing a lot of research online I still didn’t find a low carb Toad in the Hole recipe I liked. There are loads off recipes out there, but all had a lot of things in them I didn’t like.

However, if you follow low carb blogs and recipes, you will see something called cloud bread. I have made this before for the husband, and it is (more or less) an eggy spongy bread thing. However, by merging this with the sausages, and some spices, it works really well as a Yorkshire pudding. Husband was very satisfied and happy with the result.

This really does have to be eaten straight away fort the best result, as it collapses quickly, a bit like soufflé.


Low carb – Toad in the Hole

Serves 4 (if using 8-12 sausages)

1 tsp of oil (for greasing)
4 eggs
50g cream cheese
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp thyme (fresh is best)

Method:

Heat the oven to 150C Fan Oven

Put the sausages in a 20×30 cm Roasting tin, with 1 tbsp of Oil, then bake for around 20-25 minutes until the sausages are nice and brown

The cloud bread batter takes around 10 minutes to prepare, and it really needs to be poured into the tray straight away when finished. When there is around 15 minutes left of cooking your sausages start making the batter. Separate the egg whites into one bowl and add the egg yolks to another.

Now, with an electric mixer whisk the egg whites together until stiff peaks (you should be able to turn the bowl opposite down and the egg whites shouldn’t fall out)

In the bowl with the egg yolks, add the cream cheese, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, thyme and mustard powder, using the same beaters (no need to wash them) mix to a smooth mixture.

Now, carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture one spoonful at the time, make sure not to knock out too much of the air of the egg white mixture.

When ready, remove the baking tray from the oven, remove the sausages, and add the cloud bread mixture to the tray, carefully placing the sausages on top and put it straight into the oven again.

Bake for around 20 minutes until its lightly golden and craggy on the top.

Serve straight away with the onion gravy (See my other recipe, toad in the hole with Onion gravy) and a nice portion of salad.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients: for Toad in the Hole
Sausages £2.50
Veg oil 3p
4 eggs 32p
50g cream cheese 13p
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar 12p
Salt 1p
Pepper 1p
Mustard powder 10p
Thyme 5p

Total price: £3.27 (per portion 82p)

 

 

 

Sausages

Toad in the hole with onion gravy – (85p per portion with gravy, 75p without)

I’m pretty sure that all English people would know this dish and most people who have moved to England would have heard about it. However, I don’t think it’s a well known dish outside the country. At least being Danish I had never heard about it.

When I moved over here my English wasn’t brilliant a bit the opposite in fact and I had many funny experiences with the English language. Luckily with the years it has improved massively, I may make another post at one time in regards to the stupid things I have said or misunderstood… I can reveal that one which was about confusing the word prosecution and prostitution whilst working on a technical helpline (and no I never worked within the prostitution profession neither on the phone or in real life!).

I do, remember the first time I saw the dish Toad in the hole on a Pub menu, I think it was at a Weatherspoon and there was no way I was going to order a TOAD… LoL you learn and live.

Anyhow, being pregnant, I haven’t really fancied sausages, but hitting 37 weeks, there is one thing I have started to crave… you guessed it sausages. Now luckily Toddler “Blip” loves sausages and so does the husband. I didn’t just fancy sausages but the comfort of “Toad in the hole” which literally is sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter (more or less).

However, the husband is still doing his Low Carb diet and actually doing very well, gone from 112kg to 101kg. So there was no way of me making him a traditional “Toad in the hole” dish. Therefore, I made the traditional one for me and Toddler “Blip” and a low carb option for the husband, which he said tasted amazing. The only critique he had of the dish was that I used too small sausages (I used what I had in the freezer) so bad luck. I will do a separate blog for the Low Carb option, to avoid doing two of everything I made one gravy that could go for both dishes and also served it with a delicious salad on the side.

Toddler “Blip” at a whole portion and cucumbers! Happy mummy!

Please note that I have written down the recipe for the full portion so for 4 people, and not half portion as I did today.


Toad in the hole

Serves 4

Ingredients

Toad in the hole
8 Large Good Quality Sausages (or 12 Smaller sausages such as Chipolatas)
1-2 tbsp veg oil
140g Plain Flour
2 eggs
175ml milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon thyme (fresh is best)

Onion Gravy

1 onion medium
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of thyme or one teaspoon dried
250 ml of chicken stock (I used a stock cube)
50 ml of double cream

Method

Heat the oven to 220C if traditional, 200C if Fan Oven

Put the sausages in a 20×30 cm Roasting tin, with 1 tbsp of Oil, then bake for around 15 minutes until the sausages are nice and brown.

Whilst your sausages are cooking, you should make the batter. Add all the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir it will then make a well in the middle and crack in the two eggs. Now mix it together, either with an electric whisk or with a normal standard mix. When the mixture has come together, slowly add the Milk a bit at a time. Keep whisking until the batter is nice and smooth. Now, leave the batter until your sausages are nice and brown.

Now, I like to remove the sausages from the roasting tin, put the tin on top of the stove and turn on the heat so the fat gets nice and hot, it has to be almost sizzling if very little fat in the roasting tin add the extra veg oil. Then slowly pour in the batter mixture, and place the sausages on top of the batter and transfer the roasting tin into the top shelf of the warm oven. It will now take around 25-30 minutes to cook.

If you want to make the onion gravy you can do this whilst the batter and sausages finish off in the oven.

Firstly, finely slice the onion and crush the garlic, then put in a medium frying pan with a tablespoon of oil. Fry them until they are nice and soft. Then add some fresh thyme to the mixture and sauté for another 30 seconds, before adding the chicken stock. Now, reduce the stock to about half then add the cream and let it nicely reduce to a consistency you like. Serve with the toad in the hole.

It’s best served straight away. As you can see from my picture, I had to serve it a bit later as I had to collect Toddler “Blip” from nursery. Unfortunately, this meant it slightly collapsed.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017)

Ingredients:

Toad in the Hole:
Sausages £2.50
Veg oil   3p
Plain Flour 5p
Eggs 16p
Milk 8p
Salt 1p
Mustard powder 10p
Thyme 5p

Total price: for Toad in the Hole = £2.98, per portion 75p  with onion gravy 85p)

Onion Gravy
Onion 10p
Garlic 6p
Thyme 5p
Chicken stock 5p
Double cream 14p

Total price: 40p, 10p per portion

 

 

cheap, Cooking with a toddler

Cooking With Toddler “Blip” – Pancakes (3p per pancake)

Toddler “Blip” and I have been cooking together since he was very small, initially I did all the cooking, he would just sit in his Ikea High chair and look at me. Then it progressed to him sitting in his highchair and playing with some vegetables whilst I cooked. Now, he happily will stand next to me or the husband on a small kids stool.. In fact, neither I or the husband can be in the kitchen without him saying, “I want to help mummy/daddy”.

His favourite thing to help with though is cakes and especially pancakes and by now he has finally managed to crack an egg without squashing it or putting eggshell in the mixture.


Now, my advice for baking and cooking with a toddler is to prepare everything. Before, we start I find the flour, egg, milk and sugar. I also put ready the frying pan, bowl to make the mixture in, the spoons and the wooden spoons. That way, I don’t get distracted and we have fun.

On top of this, pancakes are one of the cheapest easiest things to make with a toddler. It is fun and takes no time. Don’t buy the pancake mixtures you find in supermarkets, they are so expensive compared to making it yourself.

Toddler “Blip” loves the flipping of the pancakes, as he is too small to do it at the warm stow he got a small frying pan and he pretends to flip pancakes in his Ikea kitchen 😊

Serving suggestions, well if it is for breakfast, I would say syrup, Nutella and bananas, or brown sugar with lemon. If for desert or later in the day, I would say ice-cream. But lots of different options.

I have added the same recipe, underneath, but without toddler instructions

Pancakes

Makes 6

Ingredients

50g plain flour
1 egg
150 ml milk
1 tsp sugar (you could leave this out)
Butter or veg oil for frying the pancakes in.

Method:

Explain to your toddler that he/she is going to break the egg into the bowl you have provided (if it is the first time, you may want to have a spare egg!). Hold your toddlers hand with the egg and gently tap the side of the bowl, when broken, sepearte the egg and put it in the bowl. The adult should check for egg shells at this point!

Now use a scale and a measuring cup and get the toddler to put 50g of plain flour in the cup. The adult again, stops the toddler, a bit more/less is ok. Get the toddler to pour the flour into the bowl with the egg.

Now in the same measuring cup you used for the flour, get the toddler to measure out 150ml of milk (you can use skimmed, full fat or semi skimmed). Again, get the toddler to pour it into the bowl with the egg and flour. Add the teaspoon of sugar if using.

With a big wooden spoon, get the toddler to mix it all together, make sure it is not lumpy. Then either transfer the mixture to a jug or use the bowl to pour the mixture from.

Now, depending on the age of your toddler, this may be better done by the adult, I definitely know that my son is not quite ready to use the stow yet.

Heat up a none stick frying pan, with a knob of butter, and pour out any excess butter, add a portion of the batter and swirl it around the pan (it needs to be a thin layer) then flip the pancakes make them bake on the other side. Transfer to a big plate.

Repeat until you have baked all 6

Basic recipe  

Makes 6

Ingredients

50g plain flour
1 egg
150 ml milk
1 tsp sugar (you could leave this out)
Butter or veg oil for frying the pancakes in. 

Method

In a bowl combine all the ingredients, give it a proper stir, make sure there is not too many lumps.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat it up and add some butter then add a knob of butter, and pour off the excess butter.

Add the batter and swirl it around in the pan to nice and thin, when cooked on one side, then flip over the pancake.

 

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017).

Milk 6p
Flour 2p
Egg 8p
Sugar 1p

Total price: 17p for 6 pancakes – 3p  per pancake

 

 

 

Cooking with a toddler

Cooking with a toddler – Guide lines to make it easy for yourself.. 

Now as you know I already got a lovely toddler “Blip”, he is 3 years old and am amazing little boy. Occasionally though he drives me nuts. He is quite a fuzzy eater, but so was I as a child. However, nowadays I eat almost anything, as long as it’s dead! I couldn’t eat live octopi like in Korea that would be against my believes. 

As a kid, I remember that I rarely was allowed in the kitchen. My mum did the cooking and every week it was the same dull food. Only at Christmas time did we have something more interesting and I was allowed to help making cookies! 

Me as a Toddler!!!

When I moved to the UK at 21 I barely cook cook, even pasta. Luckily, I discovered I Loved food and therefore started to cook. I don’t think I’ll ever become a professional chef or anything like that (I’m bloody slow) but a good home cook. 

Therefore as a mum to my 3 year old one of the things I really enjoy is to have him help me in the kitchen and he so enjoys it. Almost from when he was old enough to sit on a chair did I give him vegetables and one of his baby cutleries and got him to help (well, most ended on the floor etc). 
But what I want for him is to be allowed in the kitchen and learn how to do simple food. I believe it’s one of the things we have forgotten in society, the importance of cooking from scratch. I believe that by teaching our kids (even if it is to make pancakes) how to cook,  we can help them fight against obesity and falling in the trap of expensive convenience food and takeaways. Yes, as a family of course we occasionally do have takeaways etc. 


Guidelines and what I have learned!

  • Do it when you got time! 

Don’t attempt to bake or cooked with your toddler when you are stressed or if you have to finish it in a rush! Neither you or your toddler will enjoy it! 

Choose a time where you can relax and if it takes an hour instead of 20 minutes it’s fine! 

  • Choose something simple (especially to begin with) 

I found that choosing something nice and simple to start up with is best. For me this is things like pancakes or my Banana cake. It’s recipes I can make in my sleep. Also, if he lost the interest in it I can quickly finish it of.. Then with time you can expand and do more complex cooking with them. I still don’t like to try and make dishes or cakes i haven’t tried before or which I really need up concentrate on. 

The times where I have tried to do something complicated and new with Toddler “Blip” I seems to either end up loosing my patience/getting stressed or/and end up with a horrible end result.

This doesn’t mean he can’t still help, if something like carrots, cucumber needs to be cut he can still help. 

  • Be organised

Have all your ingredients ready, pots and pans before you start. 
This helps you concentrate on the cooking process and on your child. It also means that you don’t have to locate something and turn your back to your child whilst he/she manage to put 1kg extra flour or the whole salt mixture into the cake. Believe me, I have been there, the dish turned out awful, but at least he didn’t hurt himself! 

  • Be prepared for it to be messy 

Don’t get annoyed or stressed when the flour ends on the floor or there is dough everywhere. It’s a part of the learning process a bit like when they start learning to eat by themselves. 

In the end of the day, mess can be cleaned, don’t let them cook in their best clothes.. 

  • Be safe!

Being in the kitchen can be very dangerous even as an adult. But with a young toddler by your side, it’s even worse. Make sure that sharp knifes are out of the way. 

Make sure that if you have to use appliances such as hand mixers or even the cooker you feel comfortable to do it with your toddler. If not explain to them that mummy or daddy has to do this, as it’s dangerous. 

Don’t leave a toddler unattended, even if you are just going to…. one moment alone with a plugged in hand mixer, a warm stove or sharp knife can mean disaster..

If you have to leave, turn everything off and remove toddler. 

  • Inform and show them what to do!

One thing I learned quickly whilst cooking with my son was to tell them what to do instead of what not to do!! 

For instance, to crack an egg.. initially what I said to toddler “Blip” was… “Don’t squeeze the egg!” And every time that’s what he would do. I changed tactics and instead I started saying what he should do. “So remember we need to carefully crack the egg on the bowl, and separate the shells”, within two tries he got it and understood what to do.  

Also talk to them about what you are doing, why you are doing and what you are cooking. Things like, oh we need 1 tbsp sugar for it to taste nice, or this is a carrot, do you like them. Involve them, make them feel a part of it. 

  • Have fun with them 

It’s important that the cooking is fun, they need to feel they are helping you. If they or you mess up or something doesn’t go to plan don’t get upset. Let them decorate the cake, they are doing the best. 

  • Let them be proud of what they have produced!

Let them try the food, let them give it to mum/dad etc. 

The first thing I cooked with toddler “Blip” was pancakes! So nice and easy. Then we did banana cake and cupcakes. 

I’ll make another post, under the category cooking with a toddler, for pancakes and any other things I cook with my lovely toddler “Blip”

Condiments, Salad, Side dishes, vegetarien

Minty Cucumber and Leftover Fridge Veg Pickle (25p per person)

Being Danish I absolutely adore pickles… we always have something pickled with our food! However, most of these pickles takes forever to make.. and many people back home simply buy it ready made. When it becomes autumn and if Baby “Flipper” and Toddler “Blip” allows me, I’m going to post some traditional Danish pickled recipes here. 

However, I thought I would still post my quick Minty Cucumber Pickle recipe which I mentioned yesterday. It goes so well with Asian flavours, and it’s a brilliant way of using up those sad looking vegetables from the fridge.. 

We had it with the Firecracker prawn, tofu and Chinese leaves stir-fry I made yesterday. Now, this is a very quick and more or less instant pickle, so it will only last a few days in the fridge. Also, you can use more or less what vegetables you got in the fridge or even just with cucumber and mint. Depending on what I’m serving it with, I sometimes, add some chilli flakes, but as my dish from yesterday was rather spicy in itself it wasn’t needed. 

I had some radishes and daikon that also needed using up, you could make it and it will be ready after 30 minutes. I would recommend to put the mint in at the last minute, however, if you put it in at the beginning it still tastes yummy!.

Minty cucumber pickle

Serving size – approximately 6 people

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 cucumber finely sliced
1/4 Daikon finely sliced
Handful Radishes, finely sliced
Small bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds (optional)
1/2 Tbsp. Chilli Flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add the rice vine vinegar, sesame oil, salt and pepper together and give it a good stir. 
  2. Then finely slice the cucumber, daikon and radishes and put them in the bowl with the marinate and make sure it is proper mixed together. 
    You can use a knife if your knife skills are good enough, I used my mandolin, but be careful with your fingers!
  3. If you got the time, leave the marinate/mixture up to 30 minutes to get a nice pickle taste to it. – you can leave out this step. 
  4. Now add the chopped mint and the sesame seeds (and Chilli if using) to the pickle and mix well and it is ready to be eating. 

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017).

Rice Vinegar 20p
Toasted Sesame Oil 20p
Sea Salt 10p
Black Pepper 3p
Cucumber 13p
Daikon 18p
Radishes 10p
Mint leaves 18p 
Sesame Seeds 10p
Chilli Flakes 5p

Total cost £1.47 – This serves around 6 people so 25p per person. 

 

Asian, Fakeaway, Prawns, Tofu

Firecracker Prawn, Tofu and Chinese Leaves Stir Fry with Rice (£3.17 per person)

I’m now 37 weeks pregnant with Baby “Flipper” and I can’t wait for him to be here, seriously, being pregnant is the hardest I have ever done in life. Yesterday I was sick quite a bit and the husband mainly cooked for me. This morning as well, he made me breakfast as I was not feeling well. I just about managed to have some bread with butter this lunch time, but was feeling so sick. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is awful, I wish no other woman should ever suffer from it.

However, this afternoon, I was feeling better again. In the fridge, we had Chinese Leaf that needed to be used. To be honest, I wasn’t inspired, but then I remembered that Wagamama does a gorgeous firecracker prawn dish, so I sat out to try and make that, price in restaurant is around £12.00 and you get 5 prawns each.


Looking around again in store cupboards, fridge freezer I found quite a few items that would go well together. At 15:00 I managed to do all my preparation for the dinner, I even put the rice in the rice cooker so when Toddler “Blip” came home from nursery all I needed to do was cook the food. And what a good idea, especially, as on my way to the nursery I started to get lots and lots of contractions. They have settled down now though, but made cooking much easier as all I had to do was put the food in the wok, in the right order and taste it… Amazingly, I also managed to keep the food down.

Now, I have had a warm bath and the contractions seems to have settled so Baby “Flipper” probably won’t appear today. But soon I got a feeling. Toddler “Blip” tried the prawns and rice, but he was quite tired so it didn’t really hit the spot for him. Luckily, that meant he was happy to go to bed around 19:30.


The Husband loved the dish, he didn’t have the rice though, as still doing low carb.

Firecracker Prawn, Tofu and Chinese Leaf Stir Fry with Rice

Serves 2

Ingredients

Rice, enough for 2 people (around 1 cup full)
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Ginger, grated
3 Spring onions, finely chopped
½ Small Red Onion, finely sliced
2 Tbsp Coriander, chopped
1 Green or Red Chilli (optional)
½ Chinese leaf, cut into 1 cm slices
15g dried black fungus (optional)
150 g Firm Tofu (optional – you could just use a bit more prawns)
150 g Tiger Prawns
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Chilli Bean Paste (alternative Siracha sauce will work)
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds

Method:

  1. Start by cooking the rice as per your preferred method. I use a rice cooker and it works for me.
  2. Then whilst the rice is cooking prepare all the vegetables.
  3. Peel the garlic and finely chop it, grate the ginger, finely chop the white part of the spring onions and quarter the chilli if using. Place it in a separate bowl.
  4. Finely chop the green part of the spring onions and coriander and add it to a separate bowl (this is going to be the garnish).
  5. If using the black fungus, make sure to add it to a bowl and soak it in boiling water (normal mushrooms could be used instead or you could just leave it out). – drain the black fungus and place in a bowl.
  6. Finely, slice the red onion and put it together with the black fungus.
  7. Cut the Chinese leaves into 1 cm slices. Keep it separately
  8. Cut the Tofu into pieces, try and use a firm but NOT silken tofu, as this will hold its shape much better.
  9. Clean the prawns, making sure the poo string has been removed (nothing worse than eating that part).
  10. Then make the chilli sauce by adding 1 tbsp sesame oil, Chilli Bean Paste, Tomato Puree, Rice Vinegar and Soy Sauce together in a bowl and mix well.
  11. Now if your rice is almost finished you are ready to cook the dish (it takes around 10 minutes to cook)
  12. Firstly, heat the sesame oil in a large wok on a high heat (non-stick is best if not non-stick you may need more oil). Once it’s hot add the bowl of garlic, ginger, spring onion and green chilli to the wok. Cook for around 30 seconds, then add the red onions and Black fungus if using and cook for another minute.
  13. Now add the prawns and tofu to the mixture, as soon as they start to turn pink you should add the marinate you have made. Stir everything together and cook for another minute or so.
  14. Toss in the Chinese leaves and cook for another minute and make sure everything is coated in the sauce.
  15. Now serve the stir-fry with your cooked rice and sprinkle over the coriander, green part of the spring onions and sesame seeds.

This dish is lovely served with a fresh minty cucumber pickle on the side, I’ll post the recipe for that another day.

Bon appetite – as my granddad would have said

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per July 2017). For this dish, I have also had to refer to the prices for some ingredients from other stores.. mentioned in the description

Rice, (basic Tesco) 5p
Garlic Cloves, 9p
Ginger 10p
Spring onions 15p
Red Onion 10p
Coriander 10p
Green Chilli 20p
Chinese leaf 63p
Dried black fungus 41p  – Chinese supermarket
Firm Tofu 76p
Tiger Prawns £3.00
Sesame Oil 20p
Chilli Bean Paste 15p
Tomato Puree 5p
Rice Vinegar 20p
Soy Sauce 5p
Sesame Seeds 10p 

Total price: £6.34  – which is £3.17 per person.