Cakes, Cooking with a toddler, Desert

Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?

What is Hygge? Is it baking Orange Shortbreads with Toddler “Blip”?

It’s funny to see how the Danish expression Hygge has become so popular all over the world.

In lots of magazines, and big furniture stores or even in super markets you will see different items or articles about hygge. This includes how to experience proper Danish hygge or creative the feeling of hygge.

Strangely enough a lot of it seems to turn its focus on tea candles and creating the right atmosphere in your house.

Sometimes when I read articles like this I feel exhausted by just looking at it, as it sounds like experiencing takes quite an effort, or does it?

It is true that you can create a lovely cosy atmosphere with blankets, candles and lots of lovely things, but this in itself does not mean you will have a lovely hyggelig time.

Continue reading “Delicious Orange Shortbreads (12p a piece)- What is Hygge?”

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”