5 ingredients recipes, Writing

Halloween Cup cakes;


  1. Prepared Cake mix,
  2. Eggs
  3. Water
  4. Icing
  5. Decorating pens

The pre- Halloween I planned baking was a success, the children managed five great Cupcakes, literally, In cups as I refused to pay £8 for a bundt baking tray, however our garden cups which are a great size worked wonders! After a well prepared selection of baking products, reinforcing the need for handwashing as we are all full of cold, they set to their cake mixes.

A box mix carrot cake and a chocolate mix from Aldi, all of which were simple to prepare and took very little mixing, great for toddlers to work as they required very short work process. Once they were mixed they were added to a selection of cups suitable to withstand heat of the oven.

The icing packs, decorating pens and marshmallow for making fondant! We eventually  worked through flattening the icing to cover the cupcakes however I had to place oil down to stop it fixing to our work surface. We needed a few laminated sheets to roll it between, we eventually managed to get four fully covered and decorated.

So, for around five pounds we managed to make five small cakes, this was a trial to see what we could achieve, I think they did well. A nice break in a week of nursing snotty noses… Today I will be making homemade chilli, for medicinal purposes, followed by a large piece of carrot cake!

The marshmallow fondant was a fail, we do not have a microwave so if anyone has a easier process for making an icing alternative I would appreciate the information…

Happy baking!


#Next time I will buy more so I can make my own, using my Christmas cake base!Recipe – Christmas Cake!


5 ingredients recipes, Home Craft, Storage

Seasonal Preserves



I cup of diced courgette (small chunks)

1 onion (diced into small chunks)

Three green tomatoes

Three yellow tomatoes

1 large mushroom (diced into small chunks)

Vegetable oil


Small jar sterilised

Sharp chopping knife

Chopping board/ plate

So occasionally after a few harvests you return with small amounts of vegetables which individually amount to nothing, but added together they can add nicely to a stir fry, Bolognese or chilli.

With this in mind, After collecting some small tomato sauce bottles a new cooking addition favoured by the rest of my family, tolerated by me. I decided to use the jars to preserve a few additional ingredients before they went to waste.

After chopping the additional vegetables, I begin to layer them into a jar. Once mixed i added a table spoon of oil and filled covering with boiling water. It is easier just to leave set in oil, but I cook with as little as possible as they remain textured and tasty without oil.

The bottles are left to cool adding the lid as the contents cools, this can be stored for a week and added to bolognese, chilli, stir fry, breakfast and curries. The yellow tomatoes are a real treat set to keep giving I shall save seed from our best plants, a growing first we have added them to sandwiches.

So if you only manage to collect a few bits from your allotment or garden this way you can make a meal from a small selection of fresh vegetables. My staple buys are red onions, mushrooms and peppers added to our harvest these make a great basis for any meal.

Happy Harvests



5 ingredients recipes, Family Postcards, Writing

Recipe – Sunday Dinner; 4 months plus

So today as my daughter began to watch me eat this week I had pre-empted and purchased twenty banana and apple packs from my favourite supermarket! Today at Sunday dinner I served up her first sample of my favourite dish!

You will need; 1 sterilised jar or cup


1 sausage ( Oven cooked – steamed to soften)

1 salad potato

2 carrots

1 small slice of red pepper

1 small Broccoli Floret


To Serve;

Place them into a blender with a small amount of gravy and blend until smooth, place in the fridge until the food has a moderate temperature and no hot spots. Around five minutes is enough for just warm after a few hours steaming it is surprising how long it takes for potatoes and vegetables to cool.

Dish up into small pots and freeze, or serve warm dependant on your needs.

I prefer to create from meals we eat ourselves, as these will be the foods served as they develop their food skills. This can be crushed down with a fork while warm for those able to deal with a rough consistency, for my daughters first Sunday dinner it was a glowing success as she smiled enjoying every morsel!

Obviously any steamed vegetables can be turned into wonderful dishes, along with baby pasta’s and Brown rice!

Happy Preparations!


5 ingredients recipes, Writing

Recipe – Homemade Pizza!


  1. 500g plain flour
  2. 7g sachet of yeast
  3. pinch of salt
  4. tin of chopped tomatoes
  5. A bag of grated cheese


  1. Variety of trays.
  2. A large Bowl.
  3. A jug.
  4. Cutlery; A spoon and butter knife.
  5. A few rolling pins.

The Method;

Step 1 – Using the kettle pour out 350ml of boiled water and add the yeast, leaving for several minutes stirring occasionally until cool.

Step 2 – Ensure hands are washed and Aprons are on.

Step 3 – Measure out the flour into the bowl and add a pinch of salt.

Step 4 – Once the water is cooled mix together using a fork until almost a dough, then need until a firm consistency.

Step 5 – Share out the dough between the trays according to size, for example larger trays will take a quarter. Smaller trays will require half of the dough required for the largest so I tend to chop the dough in half dividing one side into two. The other half I chop into quarters this ensure that all my children will have a suitable amount to make their own pizza’s.

Step 6 – Roll out the dough to fit the tray, this tends to take a little time so as they work on their pizza base, I tend to make a few small bowls for additional toppings. These ingredients I have not added as the pizza tastes amazing without any additions.

Step 7 – Once the dough is rolled to fit their chosen tray, it is laid into the base and the edges are cut away for a tidy fit.

Step 8 – A large spoon full of chopped tomatoes is added to the base and spread evenly.

Step 9 – Toppings can then be added as required, they do not all enjoy the same so this ensures they will eat what they make. Chopped pineapples, peppers, mozzarella, pepperoni or ham can also be added as toppings so I tend to prepare them in advance.

Step 10 – Cover the toppings with enough grated cheese to cover, the large trays require around four handfuls whereas the smaller require a small handful of cheese, Spread thoroughly to cover.

Step 11 – Place in the oven for 20 minutes at around 180 degrees. Check regularly and remove when the cheese is just beginning to brown.

This recipe is a really good children’s make, as soon as the water has cooled they can complete the process until the oven. I find it cost around £5 to make obviously with the addition of a tray of chips or wedges and some baked beans to ensure an adequate meal for a large family.

It is a great substitute for Saturday takeaway, something the whole family can enjoy from beginning to end! Also saving on the cost of the takeaway equivalent which can cost twenty pounds or more and further more it is delicious!

Happy Cooking!




5 ingredients recipes, Writing

Recipe – Savoury Mince;


  1. Frozen Minced Beef.
  2. Frozen mixed vegetables. (or fresh equivalent)
  3. Sausages.
  4. Potatoes.
  5. Broccoli


You will need;

  1. A two tier steamer.
  2. An Oven Dish.
  3. Ladle
  4. A jug
  5. A sharp Knife.

To Cook:

Step 1 –  Remove the Packaging and Paper from the Frozen minced beef, place directly in the oven dish and set in the oven at 180. Place the Frozen Sausages into an oven tray and place in the oven.

Step  2 – Add the potatoes to the base pan of the steamer, Chop the Broccoli head and add to the potatoes and add water until covered.

Step 3 – Add the frozen vegetables or freshly chopped vegetable equivalent, into the steamer tray and cover with the lid. This recipe has been minimised for my children’s requirements. I usually add sliced onions and pepper to the mince before adding the veg as this adds flavour, obviously adapt as required.

Step 4 – Set the steamer on maximum until on the boil and reduce as necessary.

Step 5 – After 10 minutes check on the minced beef, I slice and cut it into chunks as my children do not like the texture of mince. Return to the oven and check until the meat is thoroughly cooked through.

Step 6 – Now add the chopped vegetables into the oven dish and cover in a layer of gravy, placing the sausages into the tray to soften.

Step 7 – Dish out the potatoes and Broccoli onto the plates.

Step 8 – Remove the oven dish and place on the side, taking two sausages each serve and chop when serving onto the plates.

Step 9 – Add a ladle of Savoury mince, vegetables and gravy to the centre of each plate and allow to cool for one minute.

Step 10 – Let them eat!

The Method;

Obviously this a method which allows you to cook while focussing elsewhere, I have often found myself unable to stand over a frying pan for a long period of time. This takes approximately 45 minutes, five minutes of which is preparation.

I also make Chilli and spaghetti Bolognese using this method, obviously substituting the potatoes, rice and pasta in the base pan and diversifying the vegetables. Every week I buy a large selection of vegetables including peppers, red onions, broccoli, carrots and courgettes. All of which last over a week and allow me to use fresh produce whenever I cook our meals.

However I feel a bag of frozen mixed vegetables are a suitable addition to this meal, also you can add a layer of mashed potato and cheese to make shepherds pie. It really can be as simple or as complicated as time allows, but for a quick family meal it is great!


Happy Cooking!


5 ingredients recipes, Writing

Recipe – Flapjack Firsts!


  1. 350g of porridge oats.
  2. 250g of Dried sultanas or mixed fruit.
  3. 4-6 Table spoons of honey.
  4. 250g of brown sugar.
  5. 250g of butter.



Step 1 – Aprons and  Hand wash.

Step 2 – Weigh out Butter and sugar and place into a large pan, add the honey and bring to the boil.

Step 3 – Weigh out the oats and fruit and add to the melted contents of the pan.

Step 4 – Mix together until the oats and fruit are moist and bond together.

Step 5 – Grease a roasting tray or suitable oven tray and pour the ingredients into the tray and smooth until level.

Step 6– Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for twenty-five minutes or until gently browned.

Step 7 – Cut the flapjacks into squares and place to cool on a plate or baking tray.


In the near past at our house Saturday was cooking day, in the morning we would bake from a variety of favourite recipes and in the afternoon the children would make homemade Pizza. This was a well-loved routine until my previous cooker lost its element and had after ten years finally become un-repairable. Its replacement required additional trays to divide and was mainly grill heated, something I am not used to using so it has taken a while to adjust to when cooking and baking.

So Saturday morning I pulled out the recipes I had added to our summer programme and with the help of my youngest daughters chose to make Flapjacks for the first time. I prefer recipes which the children can complete from weighing out to serving, anything that requires additional heat I tend to avoid as I do not want the youngest over a hot pan.

After supervising the weighing out of the ingredients I set the pan on low to Caramelise the butter, sugar and honey, this recipe did say 4 spoons of honey but, as it was mixed together it clearly needed around 6 heaped spoons to ensure a thorough consistency which turned out to be the contents of the small jar I had purchased.

I did enjoy this as a quick project, they were extremely Moorish and did not last long, once they were cool enough to serve. I would like to add a thin layer of melted dark chocolate or chocolate chips and do a succession of batches to store. However, our first attempt was a triumph and I will definitely add it to our little recipe book, as the children could still measure the ingredients and serve.

Happy Baking!


5 ingredients recipes, Writing

Recipe – Vanilla Biscuits!


  1. 300g Butter 
  2. 150g of Caster Sugar
  3. 300g of Flour
  4. Split the yolk and egg white
  5. Vanilla essence


Step 1 – After a thorough hand wash and tying of aprons they are ready to prepare their dough. Weigh out the first ingredients and Mix together the Butter and sugar until a creamy consistency.

Step 2 – then add the flour and egg yolks and mix the ingredients until you have a smooth dough.

Step 3 – Once the dough is ready I divide it between the amount of bakers and add flour to the table as required. I then allow them to choose two cutters allowing them to recognise their own and encouraging them to share when they are ready to eat.

Step 4 – Once they are rolled out and cut they are added to the baking tray, I add vanilla to the egg whites and using a brush glaze the top of the biscuits. I used to ensure they were cut thinly, however if left around 5mm thick they have a wonderful shortbread consistency. This allows you to have the same recipe for two very different styles of biscuits dependant on your preference.

Step 5 – After around ten minutes at around 180 degrees centigrade they should be lightly brown, it will require around twenty minutes for thicker biscuits. Place on a rack or plate to cool before storing or serving, that is if they last further than the cooling plate which is often not the case as they are so delicious!

This recipe is really fantastic as it takes very little time to prepare and enables you to allow them to weigh the ingredients and work on their own biscuits a great incentive for those unwilling participants.

Happy Baking!