Tag Archives: toddler

Homemade Dump Truck Cake



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.


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



Half a stale white baguette


100g chocolate chips

50g raisins

2 tblsps cocoa powder

90g caster sugar

5 eggs

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


Large, shallow lasagne dish

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


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.

Baked rainbow trout, fresh garlic bread and ratatouille

This sounds fancy, but it’s not- it’s quick and yummy. You could make it from scratch and it would be even tastier, but would take much longer. As  usual, here is the busy Mummy’s version, which shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes.

Serves 2 adults and 2 toddlers


Sea salt

2 whole rainbow trout

Ready-made, fresh, wholemeal pizza dough or ‘just add water’ pizza base mix, prepared as per packet instructions

3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices

1 large sprig rosemary

200g grated cheese

Olive oil

1 tin ratatouille (400g ish)


1) Cut the heads off the rainbow trout and discard. Then place in a roasting tin and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30min, or until the fish is soft and flakey.

2)Lightly oil a large baking tray. Then sprinkle with plain flour. Press out the pizza dough until it is about 1.5 cm thick.

3)Dot the dough with the slices of garlic. Pick leaves off the sprig of rosemary, and dot in between the garlic, pressing gently into the dough. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Then drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the pizza and top with the grated cheese.

4)Bake in the oven with the fish for around 15min, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust risen and lightly browned.

5)Heat up the tin of ratatouille as per the instructions on the tin.

6)De-bone and flake the fish. Serve with the ratatouille and wedges of the fresh garlic bread.

Super fast one pan gnocchi

There are two great things about this meal: it tastes amazing, and it takes only 10 mins to prepare! Brilliant for getting everyone fed when you’re short of time.


Makes enough for 2 adults and 2 toddlers



1tblsp olive oil

200g bacon, snipped into bits

500g ready-made fresh gnocchi

350g tomato based pasta sauce

30g grated cheddar (any sort)



1)Heat the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan, then add the bacon and fry for 2 minutes

2)Add the gnocchi and fry at a fairly high heat until golden (about 3-4min)

3) Reduce to a low heat. Stir in the pasta sauce and grated cheese and heat until the cheese is melting.

4) Serve with plenty of salad and cherry tomatos

Mini Orange and Chocolate Rock Buns

These turn out about bite size, and are so tasty that they’re never around for long in our house. My son loves helping to make these and particularly likes hitting the chocolate with the rolling pin.

Makes around 20



225g self raising flour

125g margarine or butter

75g caster sugar

50g good quality dark chocolate

Grated zest of 3 satsumas (or 1 orange)

1 beaten egg

2 tblsps orange juice

1 tsp vanilla essence



1)Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Put the flour and margarine in a bowl and rub together until a breadcrumb like consistency is achieved. Stir in the sugar.

2)Place the chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag or wrap in cling film. Put this on a heavy wooden chopping board and smash with a rolling pin until you have created lots of little chocolate chunks.

3)Stir in the zest and chocolate chunks.

4)Add the beaten egg, orange juice and vanilla essence and stir. This will create a thick, sticky dough.

5)Grease two baking trays, and using two forks drop rough blobs of the mixture onto the tray. Leave a reasonable distance between them as they will spread a little as they bake.

6)Place in the oven for 10-12 mins or until golden brown all over. Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm.

Beef and Mushroom Pie (a great alternative to a Sunday roast)

In the current economic climate meat for a good roast can be a bit pricey. Here is a cheaper, but still very tasty alternative.

Makes enough for 5-6


5 rashers smoked streaky bacon, snipped into bits with scissors

1 onion, chopped

500g beef stewing steak, diced

400g sliced mushrooms

3 carrots, diced

1 tblsp plain flour

2 stock cubes

2 bay leaves

4 juniper berries

Cornflour or gravy granules

Salt and pepper

1 packet ready rolled short crust pastry

1 tblsp milk


1) Heat up a large pan or pressure cooker pan on the hob. When hot, add the bacon and fry over a medium heat until the fat starts to melt. Now add the onions and beef and fry until the beef is browned.

2) Stir in the plain flour, coating all ingredients in the pan evenly. Now add the carrots and mushrooms and fry briefly.

3)Cover with water and bring to the boil. Add the stock cubes, bay leaves and juniper berries. Simmer on the hob for around two and a half to three hours with the lid on. If necessary add more water to ensure pan does not dry out. Alternatively close the pressure cooker as per manufacturer’s instructions and cook on the highest pressure setting for 25-30min.

4)When the meat is tender, but not yet falling apart, remove the bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then thicken using either the gravy granules or cornflour, again following the instructions on the packet. The sauce should be very thick.

5)Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Flour a surface and lay out the unwrapped pastry. Put a 2 and a half litre oven proof dish on top of the pastry and  cut around it leaving a 1 inch margin to account for shrinkage. This is the pastry lid for your pie.

6)Pour the filling into the oven proof dish and lay the pastry on top. Cut a vent into the pastry lid and decorate with left overs, sticking the decorations in place with a little milk.

7)Bake the pie in the oven for around 20-30min, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven, put straight on the table and serve with boiled potatos and mixed vegetables.

Quick fried chicken and wedges

This is a really great recipe for a fast and tasty mid-week tea that even the grown-ups will love.


1/2 skinless, boneless chicken thigh per toddler

1 medium potato per toddler

2-3 tblsps frozen peas per toddler

1 egg, beaten


Plain flour

Cooking oil

Ketchup (if required!)


1) For the potato wedges: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Scrub the potatos and cut into quarters. Place on a baking tray and pour over 1-2 table spoons of cooking oil, making sure they are evenly covered. Place in the oven for 40min, turning once half way through cooking time.

2) Meanwhile, cut the chicken thighs in half and beat the egg in a small bowl. Take two side plates and pour breadcrumbs into one and flour into another. Use enough to cover each plate, you can always top up later.

3)Put a large frying pan onto the hob  and heat up a little oil in the pan. Take each piece of chicken in turn, coat in the egg, then the flour, then the breadcrumbs. Fry over a medium heat for around 20-25 min, taking care not to burn the crumb coating. Check that meat is cooked throoughly before serving.

4) Microwave frozen peas as per packet instructions. Serve potato wedges, chicken and peas with as much ketchup as required!