Dinovember Shenanigans

Dinovember

Watching Harry Potter, complete with popcorn

DINOvember has been in full swing in our house since we discovered it a few weeks ago. It must be getting tough for the Dinosaurs to keep coming up with new ideas, but our 7 year old’s reaction has been more than worth it. Only a few more days to go! Here are some of our favourites so far… Continue reading

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The joy of jelly

joyofjelly2

Sometimes it’s nice to just stop and remember the simple pleasures in life. Like eating wobbly jelly with a spoon: something which gives you huge pleasure when you’re 7, but which I haven’t done in years! I was making this spectacularly retro-pudding and hand some jelly left over which my little boy wolfed down amid much concentrating and giggling.

Ah, the joy of jelly. Not to be underestimated.

The joy of jelly

Toffee Apple Fail

Toffee Apple Fail

I never stopped to consider how hard it would be to eat a toffee apple when your front teeth haven’t come through yet. This wasn’t even a toffee apple, it was a chocolate-dipped apple which has to be easier. As you can see my 7-year-old gave it a valiant try but truly struggled to get into the darn thing. Thank goodness I didn’t bother making a batch of toffee apples at home! Maybe next year…

The Shocking Facts about Fast Food advertising to Children

Some shocking facts about fast-food TV advertising aimed at Children. I guess it’s not too surprising really, but when it’s put into an easy-to-read infographic like this it makes for pretty cross-making reading.

I took my son to McDonald’s yesterday, he was desperate to go (which kind of surprised me). I discovered through that  it wasn’t particularly because of the food he wanted to go there, it’s because they have iPads to play on at our local McDs (of course we have iPads at home, but somehow iPads at McDonald’s are more exciting).

The first thing he did (after sitting and watching the big animation screens while we ordered) was to check out his Happy Meal toy. All these things certainly make eating at McDonald’s a stress-fee experience as a parent, the kids are happy and entertained, so I was pretty happy too. Having read this information though I’m less surprised by how much he wanted to go to McDonald’s in the first place. I’m guessing it’s because he watches Cartoon Network and Nicktoons. Hmmmm. Not sure what to think about that…

The Shocking Facts about Fast Food advertising to Children

Original source

A 7 Year Old’s Challenge: World Food Month

I’m not sure quite what I’ve let myself in for.  I’ve long been encouraging my 7-year-old to be more adventurous with his food and all of a sudden he seems to be embracing the idea. Which is fabulous.

Kind of.

He’s asked me whether he can try foods from different countries – which is great – I’m all for expanding his horizons. He was amazed to find that a lot of the food we eat actually originates from different countries “Really mummy? Pasta isn’t from England?”. He’s taken this one step further that I was planning on though. Yesterday when he got home from school he spent half an hour quietly writing me a tick-sheet to stick on the fridge with all the different countries he could think of.

Food list

The countries seem to be a mixture of places we’ve been on holiday and the Formula 1 calendar. Again, no complaints. Until I realised I was going to have to make food from countries I know very little about. National dish of Abu Dhabi anyone?

We’ve ticked off the easiest countries so far: Italy (pasta), England (roast chicken on Sunday), Greece (a great slow-cooker Kleftico recipe which I must get round to posting) and Hungary (spelled Hungry: Goulash).

I’ve been tasked with cooking French tonight (Chicken Chasseur – bless you slow-cooker) but goodness only knows what I’ll cook for some of the other nights. Monaco for goodness sake? *sigh*

Suggestions for ANY of the countries off this list would be very welcome. I’ve been tasked with Germany tomorrow and I’m not sure he’d like Sauerkraut…

5 Failsafe Recipes to Cook with Kids

Of course I’m fibbing a little here, no recipe is *truly* failsafe when it comes to cooking with kids. However as long as you accept the inevitable mess (flour over every surface, crunchy sugar on the floor and sticky fingerprints which you’ll be finding for months) these recipes are darn good for cooking with your little darlings.

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Recipe 1. Gingerbread Men

Never underestimate the allure of a big box of different shaped cookie cutters. The biscuit mix takes less than 5 minutes to whip up in a mixer and any bits you don’t use can then be popped into a plastic bag and frozen until you next want to make some.

  • 350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g/4½oz butter
  • 175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  1. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2. Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm;in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations.

Decorate with icing and raisins, sprinkles or sweets. Source

Recipe 2. Cupcakes

If you don’t fancy the enormous mess which results after combining children with cake mixture you can make the cakes ahead of time and just let the kids go crazy with the decorating, they’ll be just as happy! I use the Hummingbird Cafe recipe for vanilla cupcakes:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • Half a tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • Quarter of a tsp vanilla extract

You will need a 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases. 

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