Saturday, 23 November 2013

Orange & Choc Chip Biscuits

These were super easy to make and so perfect for the kids to help with.  Doodles loved cutting out the shapes - we used hearts this time but they could be any shape.  This is another recipe from Annabel Karmel's Feeding Your Baby & Toddler book - this was my bible when Spiderboy was learning to eat and I still use it!  

You might want to prepare the dough & chill it first if you have an impatient toddler who can't wait to get going :)

175g butter (at room temp)
75g icing sugar
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
60g plain chocolate chips

Sieve the flour & icing sugar into a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients except for the choc chips and beat together well (or throw everything into a food processor and let that do the work!)  When the dough has come together, stir in the choc chips and knead the dough thoroughly before rolling into a ball.  Wrap in cling film and put into the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out your shapes.  Place on a baking tray (using greaseproof paper if you have it) and bake at 180 degrees for around 10 minutes.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Autumn Playdough

A few weekends ago, Sunday morning saw the rain pouring down and it looked as though we would be housebound all day.  Fine by me but I knew we would need something to keep the littles amused so I made some autumn play dough.  I used the same recipe from before but added some cinnamon and nutmeg to make it smell wonderfully autumnal plus some red and yellow paint for colouring.  (It actually turned out a little more pinky than I planned but they didn't seem to notice!)

Motorbike Man man a dash into the garden between showers and collected a variety of leaves, herbs and nuts from the garden, and we were set.  We created trees of varying detail, from a few simple pasta pieces to a full display of leaves and nuts in the play dough.

We thought of autumn related things and made some of those - conkers, fireworks, pumpkins using the dough and some accessories.  

They learnt to identify the tree by its leaves - I was impressed that Spiderboy could name quite a few of them!

We passed a good hour or so having fun with all the autumn colours and the kitchen had a lovely smell afterwards!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sweet Potato & Honey Soup

I had intended to make this with pumpkin as they were plentiful 1 day before Halloween but 2 days later there were none to be found in my local shops so I substituted with sweet potato instead.  It was still pretty good in fact that I didn't want to stop and take a photo before eating it!

1kg of sweet potato, peeled & chopped
2 small onions, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
2tbsp honey
200ml double cream (or creme fraiche if you are counting calories)
1tbsp paprika

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and add the onions.  Sweat them for 5 mins until they soften.  Add the sweet potato & paprika, and cook for a further 10 mins, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn.  Add the stock to the pan (mine was cold as I made it the day before), bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 mins until the sweet potato is soft.

Stir in the honey and puree the soup with a blender (my hand held stick one was fine for this).  Stir in the cream or creme fraiche and heat through before serving with a sprinkling of paprika on the surface.

NB: This made a huge batch so I froze half.