Lip-Smacking Lockdown Lemonade

So, during these worrying of times, we’re back with a lip-smacking bang to keep the kids thirst kept at bay. This really is a treat in our house, not for the every day but a recipe the children love to make on sunny days.

Inspired by Allegra McEvedy who has written a cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton, why not give the kids a lesson on the art of making Lemonade? It really is so simple and I can promise the results are totally worth it! My kids delight in reading out and copying down the ingredients and method, the measuring and weighing and the jolly good shaking!!! Most of all, they love the outcome and it certainly quenched our thirst during these warm days in the Uk. Let’s get going!

Ingredients;

3 lemons

2 limes

100g caster sugar

Method;

Start off by quartering the fruits and then let the kids squeeze out the juices into a jug. You should end up with about 150-200ml of juice. Place the skins to one side.

Next up, place the juice into a jar, add the sugar and 250ml water. Place the lid on top and get the kids to give it all a good old shake until the sugar dissolves.

Add 1 litre of cold water and the squeezed out lemon and lime skins. Give it all a jolly good stir!! Add ice and Enjoy!!!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Cupcake

We absolutely loved making these cute little reindeer, so much so that I barely did anything – my little Miss did pretty much ALL the work!

When I posted the pics, so many of you asked for the recipe…so, here it is. They are super-simple to make, and they taste absolutely delicious. You can also switch the nose or antlers for other things, depending on how fussy your eaters are.

The cupcake recipe is an old favourite from my trusty Cupcake Magic book by Kate Shirazi, which has been my go-to for cupcakes since I bought it in 2008, and it’s helped me emerge from a baking disaster-zone, to a much improved baker who is now able to teach my little Miss how to bake up a storm (she’s fabulous).

Ingredients (Makes 12)

Cupcakes
110g Self Raising Flour (sifted)
110g Caster Sugar
110g Unsalted Butter or Margarine (Marg will stop your cakes rising into a little peak)
1tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Free Range Eggs

Chocolate Butter Cream
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
Splash of hot water
225g Icing Sugar
100g Softened Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Decorations
One pack edible Googly-eyes (or you can use icing)
Glace Cherries (or you could use red Smarties)
One pack of Matchmakers (we used Salted Caramel, yum) or you can also use Pretzels for the antlers.

Method
Pre-heat your oven to 160 and line a 12 hole baking tin with cupcake cases (you can use festive cases, or grab whatever you have in the cupboard – guess which one we chose!).

Pop all the ingredients in a mixer (or if you don’t have one, pop them in a large bowl and put in some serious elbow-grease) and mix until all the ingredients are combined, and your mix is smooth and shiny (hint: don’t over mix here as your cupcakes will be more rubbery than light and fluffy!).

Grab a teaspoon and plop spoonfuls of your lovely fluffy cake mix into the cases, being careful not to slop any over the sides of your cake cases. Bake them in your oven for about 20 mins (keep an eye on them, my oven is fierce and usually cooks them in about 15). When they are ready they’ll be golden, firm and springy.

Pop them out of the cake tin, and leave them to cool completely before you attempt to ice them!

Beat your icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract together (it’s a bit messy!) and if it’s still a bit heavy, you can pop a tsp of hot water in to help. Then, mix your cocoa powder with the hot water until you have a thick, gloopy paste (we like to mix ours in a large mug) and pour into your buttercream mixture and mix well until smooth and glossy.

Using a teaspoon, spread your buttercream onto the cupcakes and tidy the edges with the back of a table knife. Pop your googly eyes and cherry noses on (we like to start with the nose in the centre) and then break your matchsticks in half and then break the remaining halves again, so there is a long piece, and one shorter piece to make your antlers.

Enjoy! These little beauties lasted for approximately two minutes in our house. If you can manage to display them before they’re all scoffed, pop them on a festive plate and smile at those cute little reindeer faces peering back at you.

Merry Christmas, lovely people.
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Chicken Lollipop Dippers

If you are looking for something a little bit different for the kids, look no further than this Jamie Oliver recipe. My children love these lollipops and the little dip that went with it. What’s more, it was super easy, quick and hassle free.

Ingredients;

2 skinless chicken fillets

Olive oil

Seasoning

4 tbsp natural yogurt

2 tsps tomatoes paste

4 Lollipop sticks, soaked in water

Method;

Start off by cutting the chicken fillets into chunks and use a sharp knife to make a deep slit into the bottom of each piece of chicken.

Rub oil into each chunk and season well. Insert a lollipop stick into each slit and gently warm up a frying pan on a low – medium heat.

Place the chicken lollipops into the frying pan for 7 minutes on each side, until golden.

Whilst the chicken is cooking, mix the yogurt and tomato paste together in a bowl, seasoning to taste.

When everything is ready, plate up with your sides of choice and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Easy Packed Lunches – Food That The Kids Can Help Out With

The theme this week is packed lunches. What do you put in your kids lunch box? We’ve always stuck to sandwiches, day in and day out for oh, about 7 years now. I’ve decided to change all of that and be a bit more experimental.

These gorgeous little pizzas/patties/pastries with toppings (not quite sure what to call them, if I’m honest) have gone done a storm at lunch time.

They are so easy to make – the kids got stuck in with their favourite toppings – and they cost pennies.

This time around I totally cheated and bought some ready made pastry (it was on offer for 90p – bargain!). We heated and thickened up a tin of chopped tomatoes, adding in some mixed herbs. Once the sauce had thickened, I took it off the heat and placed to one side to cool down.

The kids used scone cutters to cut out the bases, then we set about choosing the toppings. They went for green peppers, left over green pesto sauce (https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/basil-pesto-sauce/),sliced baby bells and Chiritzo.

Once all of the ingredients had been chopped and sliced, we set about spooning a blob of the tomato sauce on top of the pastry bases. We then sprinkled over the ingredients, made them look pretty and popped them into a preheated oven at 180•C for about 12 minutes.

As you can see, they look dreamy. Leave to cool down on a wire rack and enjoy! Bon appetite.

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking for tips and hints. Please do share any favourite Packed lunch ideas with us. Thank you x

The Scuffin Way – Healthy Packed Lunch Boxes

The summer holidays have come to an end and it’s back to making packed lunches for the little ones. It can often be challenging to think of different healthy foods to pack in their lunch boxes, this is therefore a great choice and it certainly ticks the boxes in terms of taste.

I hadn’t heard of Scuffins before, until I picked up a recipe book from a trendy young lady called Izy Hossack. They are the shape of a scone but with the texture of a muffin. They also taste pretty damn good and got a massive thumbs up from my kids, which is always a bonus.

I used Izy’s recipe as a guide, but made quite a few adaptations based on the quantity I needed and the fruit I had to hand. Let’s go!

Ingredients (makes 6);

30g Red Lentils

1 Egg

3tbsp Milk

40ml Olive Oil

1/2tsp Nutmeg

80g Plain Flour

30g Oats

1tsp Baking powder

150g Pears (Cooked) & Strawberries – cubed

30g Demerara Sugar

Method;

Kick off by preheating the oven to 180•C fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or use fairy cake cases.

Next up, put the lentils into a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and place back into the saucepan.

Stir in the egg, oil, milk, nutmeg and sugar and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients combine everything together.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out about 2tbsp worth onto either baking paper or into the cases (I tried both) until the mixture has been shared out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes, until spring and golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Stuffed Pancakes

If you’re not sick of Pancakes by now, I recommend giving this recipe a go if you fancy trying something a bit different!


Now with this one, you can have the filling of your choice. I opted for mince and spinach as this is what I had to hand. I browned off the mince (no oil) and added some chopped up cherry tomatoes and garlic. Next I added a big blob of tomato purée, a generous dash of water and a good twist of pepper. I left to simmer for 15 minutes. At the end of cooking I added a large layer of spinach on top and put a lid on it.

Using left over pancake mix, I made up 4 large pancakes. Once cooked, I placed one onto a baking tray and put the mince filling in the middle (just like how you’d make a wrap). I repeated this for all of the pancakes.

Next, I added a couple of tablespoons of Sour Cream onto each wrapped pancake, grating mature Cheddar on afterwards.

They then went into a preheated oven (180•C) for 20 minutes.

I simply plated up onto a large lettuce leaf, with a big dose of extra hot chilli sauce on the side!!

Give it a go 👍🏻

Pancake Day

So, it’s Shrove Tuesday. Up until about an hour ago, I hadn’t made the connection. Despite the fact I’m heading off to watch Pancake Races in about half an hour! Doh…!

I’ve quickly knocked up a batch of mini pancakes which I can reheat when the kids get home. I know it’s not much fun, but it’s one of those of days where I’ve been sat watching my eldest & her team compete all morning. Quick stop home, more racing and then parents evening later!! No, I don’t fancy seeing little expectant faces watching me flip and deliver the perfect pancakes within a 20 minute time slot before we need to head out again. The pressure! I will however, make a couple more for the fun factor when they get home. But for now, the pressure is off.

These mini ones are so cute and very easy to make. Here is the recipe I used:

125g (4oz) Plain flour, 1 Egg, 300ml Milk, sunflower oil for frying, Handful of blueberries (optional).

I added the egg to the Flour and slowly added the milk. I beat the egg and milk until it was all mixed. I then heated a mini frying pan and once hot, added a tiny drop of oil. I then placed another larger frying pan onto heat, and again added a couple of drops of oil.

I then put a small amount of batter into the small frying pan and popped a few blueberries in, I cooked until small holes appeared on top. Then I loosened the edges and flipped it into the larger pan.

I repeated this until I had a stack of 12 mini Pancakes 👍🏻

Later, I will warm them up individually in the large frying pan & I should imagine they’ll take about 30 seconds each side. The kids can then smother them is the sauces of their choice!!! Nom nom….here’s the one I made for me…..

Butter Bean Soup

After a bit of a long day and the kids going to bed later than normal, quite frankly dinner needed to be quick tonight!

I found this really easy recipe for a White Bean soup that is ready in under 30 minutes. Sold! Whilst I didn’t have all of the elements to hand, I was able to produce a similar version, with great results!

I finely chopped up 1 large Desiree potato (with skin still on) and chucked them into a Saucepan. Next, I added 4 chopped up Cauliflower florets, 2 chopped up carrots, a diced celery stick and 2 finely diced cloves of garlic. I added enough water to cover the ingredients.

I then threw in a chicken stock cube, some frozen parsley and a good handful of thyme!

Next, I added a good smattering of Paprika (going off Piste here, I’m a bit of a rebel like that..!) and half of a hot red chilli. I also added a dollop of Tomato purée. Oops!



After the soup had been cooking away for 20 minutes, I then added the Butter Beans (shop bought, tinned). At 30 minutes I turned off the hob.

What a lovely, easy, fragrant and fresh dish. This really fulfilled the tummy and was ever so simple & healthy.

Loads left for tomorrow’s lunch as well. Bonus! Give it a try and let me know your thoughts 😋

Mini Burgers

Keeping with the holiday theme of fun, fun, fun…it’s now time for little ones to help their Mum!

We rounded off the day with making these cute & tasty mini burgers. Really easy for little hands to make, with plenty of mince left over for us adults to add more seasoning & spice a bit later!

Ingredients:

500g 5% Fat Mince

1 Egg

1 Small onion (finely diced & gently fried – leave to completely cool)

Shop bought Mini burger buns

Method:

Preheat oven to 180•c

Put the Mince, Egg & Onions into a bowl and use clean hands to squelch.

Next, form into little patty shapes and place onto a baking tray (I like to also use baking paper, as I oven cooked these).

Put the burgers into a preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (until cooked through). Plate up and enjoy!

Another seriously simple, interactive family meal time 🙂