Space rocket craft activity

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A good way to keep space mad boys busy on a wet day.

You will need:
A clean, empty water bottle, labels and lid removed
A paper plate
Paints
Tin foil, coloured paper etc. to decorate
Glue
Double sided sticky tape
String

Instructions:
1)Cut the rim off the paper plate and wrap it around the bottom of the bottle to form the foot of the rocket. Stick it in place with the tape.

2)Use the center of the plate to form the nose cone of the rocket by cutting a slit from the side to the middle and bending it round. Fix it in place at the open end of the bottle with the tape.

3)Decorate with the paint, coloured paper and tin foil.

4)Once dry, use the string to hang.

Papier Mache Easter Egg Decorations

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Sticky, messy toddler craft fun for Easter. Be sure to wear old clothes and protect all surfaces.

You will need:
A paper plate
Some hay or rafia
Lots of PVA glue
Different coloured sheets of tissue paper
3 balloons
String

Instructions:
1)Cut the hay or rafia into 6 inch lengths.
2)Put them in a bowl and cover with glue. Stick to plate to make a nest and leave to dry.
3)Blow up the balloons until approximately the size of a hen’s egg and knot tightly.
4)Rip the tissue paper into small pieces, place in a bowl and coat with enough glue to make a thick, pasty mixture.
5)Cover each egg thickly in the paper mixture. Hang from a string and leave to dry until hard.
6)Snip knot off each balloon and arrange in nest.

Homemade Dump Truck Cake

 

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Another homemade birthday cake. Once again from my favourite cake book: ‘The Practical Encyclopedia of Cakes and Cake Decorating’ by Beverley Jollands, Angela Nilsen, Janice Murfitt and published by Lorenz books. It was my son’s birthday cake for his second birthday, and he loved it!

The entire cake was made in a 2lb loaf tin, then cut, shaped, iced and assmbled on a cake board. It was easy and it looked good too.

Quick chorizo and vegetable warmer

 

An ideal tasty and speedy winter lunch for two.

 

1 tbsp cooking oil

Half a large onion, sliced

Half a green pepper, sliced

Half a large carrot, sliced

Half a large sweet potato, boiled and diced

60g diced chorizo

Ground pepper

Garlic granules

100g grated cheese

Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

 

1) Pour the oil into a large frying pan and wipe around using kitchen roll.

2)Put the pan on a high heat, add the onion, pepper, carrot and sweet potato. Fry until starting to colour, then reduce to a medium heat. Stir frequently.

3) Add the chorizo, ground pepper, garlic granules and chili flakes, if using.

4)After a few minutes, when all the vegetables are browned, reduce to a low heat and stir through the cheese.

5)Serve hot, topped with jalapeno, if you like them!

 

Italian style winter casserole

Flavourful sauce, plenty of veg and yummy meat balls – something for everyone! Can be prepared in advance and then finished in the oven.

Serves 2 adults and 2 toddlers

Ingredients:

Olive oil

Half a large onion (finely chopped)

60g Diced chorizo

100ml red wine

1 yellow pepper (diced)

Half an aubergine (diced)

2 x 400g chopped tomatoes

Ground black pepper

12  meat balls (cooked or raw)

120g grated cheese

Method:

1)Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.

2)Add chorizo, and cook for a couple of minutes.

3)Pour in red wine and raise the temperature until the wine boils rapidly. Boil until reduced in volume by half.

4)Reduce the heat and stir in both tins of chopped tomatos, then season with a little pepper. Bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce is thick and not too liquid (approximately 30 min).

5)Meanwhile, if you bought raw meat balls fry these in a little oil over a medium heat until cooked through. If not proceed to step 6.

6)Pour the sauce into a casserole dish and dot with the meat balls. Using a spoon, push them down so the sauce covers them. Then top with the cheese.

7)Place in a pre-heated oven (190 degrees Celsius) for 30 min or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

8)Serve with pasta and salad.

Easy-Peasy (not really) Carbonara

This lovely, creamy, scrumptious Carbonara is the ultimate comfort food. If you’re making this for pregnant ladies, or the under 1s remember to cook the eggs thoroughly when you add them. Otherwise, you can leave them rich and unctuous.

Serves 2 adults

Ingredients

180g pasta

4 rashers of bacon snipped into bits

2 eggs

100g grated cheese

4 tblsps olive oil

Pepper

Method

1) Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Whilst the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon until browned and crispy, then drain on kitchen paper.

2)Lightly beat the eggs with the olive oil and a pinch of pepper. Stir in the grated cheese.

3)Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Stir in the bacon.

4)Pour the egg mixture over the pasta, and cook stirring over a low heat until rich and creamy. Serve with a crispy salad.

Chocolate bread and butter pudding

The kids loved helping to make this, it was really simple and delicious hot or cold. I think they were a bit disappointed that as there’s no batter mix like with a cake, there wasn’t a bowl to lick out at the end…

Serves 6-8

 

Ingredients

Half a stale white baguette

Butter

100g chocolate chips

50g raisins

2 tblsps cocoa powder

90g caster sugar

5 eggs

2 and a quarter pints of milk (soya is fine)

Equipment

Large, shallow lasagne dish

Roasting tin, big enough that the lasagne dish fits into it

Method

1) Slice the bread into 1 inch thick pieces and spread thickly with butter.

2)Grease the lasagne dish, then arrange the bread in overlapping rows in the dish.

3)Sprinkle with chocolate chips and raisins

4)Add the cocoa powder to a quarter of a pint of milk and stir into a smooth paste.

5)To make the custard, beat the eggs thoroughly, then whisk in the caster sugar. Stir in the cocoa mixture and the remaining 2 pints of milk.

6)Spoon the custard over the bread and allow to soak for 5 minutes.

7)Put the lasagne dish into the roasting tin, then add water so that the sides of the lasagne dish are halfway covered.

8)Put in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 50mins. Check regularly, do not allow to dry out. The pudding is ready when the custard is lightly set and the top is browned. To check insert a sharp knife into the centre. If the custard is still runny, bake for another 10 mins. Serve warm with custard, ice cream or cream.