Baking and Cooking with a Pre-Schooler

I remember my mum saying that I started helping her to bake, when I was so little, that I needed to stand on the kitchen ladder. Well this is what my daughter has been doing to. This a good family tradition to pass down.

I believe that starting baking and cooking with your children at home, will stand them in good stead for the future. Both my sister and I cook and bake regularly today.

Although, I’m no expert, but I sure it helps in some way to be more interested in food and a wider variety of food too.

My daughter started by helping to mix things, such a cream cheese and tinned salmon thing I make for our lunches sometimes (tinned salmon, mixed with cream cheese, lemon juice and black pepper – great to dip break sticks in, lovely on a toasted bagel or used as a pasta sauce). Then we progressed on to baking fairy cakes. She loves helping with the entire process, from putting the cake cases in the bun tray through to decorating them. She started baking at around 22 months old.

 Fairy cakes by a 22 month old 

We mainly bake fairy cakes, just changing the decoration slightly each time.

  

She helped with my last try at a loaf of bread but kneading got boring and took her interest away.

Last autumn, I purchased a child friendly knife. A good way for children to learn how to cut, without cutting themselves. 

 

It’s a Pampered Chef product but unfortunately, they have just pulled out of the U.K., after being here for many years. This from Lakeland is very similar.

She has recently started to want to help me chop up things. This is lovely. She can chop red pepper, mushrooms, and cucumber. She hasn’t perfected the technique yet, but as they say, practice makes perfect. It’s actually nice to have her helping me to make dinner too. She will also help to put things in pans etc too and stir things on the job, under my supervision. 

Like me, she now stands on our kitchen ladder to reach the work surface, wearing one of her own aprons, to be just like mummy. 

 baking. with. a 3. year old

Gingerbread men for Xmas 2015. 

Our latest foray in to cooking, has been making pizzas. I don’t have much success with yeast based doughs in my cold kitchen, so I decided to buy pizza dough from a brand called The Northern Dough Company. You get 2 balls of dough and each will make a 10/12 inch pizza base. It’s a freezer product, so you can always keep a packet in. I now have some stored, as we all though the product was excellent.

We made 1 x 12 inch, a smaller one and some dough balls. 

     
    She helped to roll out the dough. Cover them with passatta (mixed with black pepper and dried basil). 

     
    Sprinkle on grated mozzarella and each persons topping choice. 

    Delicious and a successful meal, that is all the better for helping to make it yourself. 

    However, you get your little ones into cooking and baking, do have a go. It’s fun, educational and tasty. Even, if you wish they wouldn’t help with the washing up, as we always end up with a river on our kitchen floor!

    The Lazy Days Skirt – Easy dressmaking for kids

    I am a wannabe crafty person. Most of the time, I’m not because I’m tired after work, and I don’t invest the time in it. Too much IPhone/iPad time. 

    My sister gave me her sewing machine a few years ago. It’s not a great one or a brand that you can still buy but, it still works and is fine for my odd projects. It did her well, until she purchased a Janome. 

    Yesterday, my daughter told me that she wanted to wear a twirly dress, after she had rejected my lovely choices. This made me think about the material that I had bought but not used, and Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt. Oliver + S are an American pattern company, who have put this free, easy pattern together. You can downloaded it from here

    I set to work on this project after my daughter had gone to bed, and it took me just over 2 hours to complete. 

    What makes this easy, is that there is no pattern to cut out and pin. You use the whole width of the material, and pull it in with the elastic. 

    Then you get this for your efforts……Ta Dah!!!!

     
    It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty pleased with my Saturday evening effort. 

    Happy New Year – Now Let’s Declutter 

    It’s amazing how much stuff we have. Some is just so hidden at the backs of cupboards, that I don’t know that I have actually got them. How much do I really need? How much better will I feel when it has been thrown away, sold, recycled or sent to a charity shop?

    I started decluttering earlier this week, by going through my 3 year olds toys and books. Anything that has been unread or not played with recently because she has out grown them, has been sent to a local charity shop.  

     
    The pile of toys to sort through. 

    Today, whilst checking Facebook out, I came accross this decluttering challenge article in The Daily Telegraph. It takes my decluttering momentum and keeps it going. 

    Now I usually don’t buy in to January challenges. Most you can’t keep up with, so start to feel bad very quickly. This has the potential to be completed, but if I only do 7 days of the challenge, then I will still have decluttered 28 things. Now that in itself would be positive. 

    The challenge works by decluttering 1 item on day 1, 2 on day 2 etc. By day 31, 496 should have left your home for good and hopefully, gone to someone else’s home, where it will get loved, rather than forgotten about. 

    For my day 1 decluttering, I threw away, an almost used bottle of  Shaving Spritz, that has sat in my shower shelf for too long. 

     Only fit for the bin. 

    I will be posting on Twitter using the hashtag #30daygetchucked. 

    Let’s see if I am up for the challenge, I may rope in hubby towards the end, as I need larger numbers of stuff to remove. 

    Who wants to join me in this challenge?

    Nivea In Shower Moisturiser Review

      
    This is my personal review, no one asked me to write this, nor have I been sponsored. 

    I heard about Nivea In Shower Moisturiser from Sali Hughes and I knew that at some point, I need to try this. Her recommendations are pretty bullet proof. 

    Then about a month or so ago, I spotted it in Sainsbury’s on offer (not that it is an expensive product in the first place), so I decided to try it. 

    For some reason, I had thought that it was a clever moisturising shower gel, but when I read the instructions, I twigged that it is a moisturiser that you use in the shower after showering. 

    After showering as normal, you rub it in to your skin and then wash it off. It is so easy and quick to do. 

    You may be thinking, but I already use a body moisturiser. If that works for you, that’s fine. I find that this is great, if you don’t have much time in the morning and don’t have time to wait for a moisturiser to sink in and not grease your clothes. 

    On top of speed, it is a good moisturiser. I have a leaning towards dry skin and especially at this time of year, I find that my legs feel dry and itchy. Well, Nivea In Shower Mousturiser has done its job very well. It may not quite be like your favourite body moisturiser but I am really impressed with the job it does. It seems such an unassuming product too. It must be good, I’m already on my second bottle. 

    Pig and Pastry Cookbook

     Pig and Pastry Cookbook 
    Now I love a cookbook. I don’t think I’ve ever written about this fact about me. I can’t help buying and then sometimes, when I realise that I will never cook from it, I say good bye. 

    Recently, I bought another one. Well I went to the launch of a new cook book by Steve Holding, owner and chef at the Pig and Pastry cafe in York, with photography done by the very talented Karen Turner (she photographed our wedding in 2005). It was also their annual brunch day (they don’t open on Sunday’s as a rule) to raise money for the Candelighters. This book has been written party because Steve wanted to write one and partly to raise money for The Candelighters charity, who helped Steve and his wife, when their daughter got sick. 

    Often books to raise money for charities can look a bit cheap but, this looks better than some of my other cookbooks on my book shelf, so much so, it makes me want to cook from it. Even non cooks, will enjoy looking at the fabulous photos in it. 

    Now, I just need to decide what to make from it and go for it!

    Should you want to buy a copy for yourself, or maybe someone for Xmas, you can get one here. It’s £20 and, all profits are going to The Candelighters. 

    P.S. I’d never been to the Pig and Pastry before, but I have to say the coffee, tea, cakes and toast that we had were delicious and, on their annual brunch day, the atmosphere was great too. If you are in that area of York ever, it’s well worth a visit. 

    Nespresso Aeroccino is not just for Adults

    My recently turned 3 year old is now in to drinking Babychinos. Whether it’s because I have bought her them on and off in cafes or she has seen me making and having drinks from my Nespresso, she is now asking for one at most meal times. 

    It’s great really as it’s the beginnings of her loving hot drinks and hopefully coffee. It also means that the Aeroccino gets good use and isn’t an expensive unused kitchen gadget.  

     

    Toddlers and Allotments

    You can’t take her there said my husband. She’ll get bored. 

     
    Well you can and its great for her. What’s not to like about putting on your wellie boots, playing with mud and water that’s collected in a wheelbarrow?

    She’s watched ladybirds, helped to plant seeds, picked carrots, potatoes and lettuce and watered plants. Not to forget being able to run around. 

    It’s great that she is learning about where food comes from. 

    I’m not advocating everybody gets an allotment. It’s a huge time commitment but even just a few plants in your back garden can give little ones enjoyment and teach them where food comes from.