Wholesome Fingerfood – Falafel

Like all mothers, I am constantly on the look out for new and interesting dishes to serve to my fussy toddler. I try as often as possible for him to eat our food, but as he has two warm meals a day (and we tend to have one, in the evening), I need more ideas and inspriation – somehow, he always seems to eat the same things! Add to this, that a 9 months, he only wanted fingerfood (luckily this changed when he was a little older) and Pip Squeak will no doubt go through a similar phase. Our staples became quiche (great for veg -will post a recipe ASAP) and meatballs. Both of these freeze really well, so you can always have meals stocked up in the freezer and the “effort” of making it is REALLY worth it!

Easy falafel recipe

And, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner, now I have discovered Falafel! Again, like the meatballs you can make these in the oven, cutting down on “cooker time”, as well as frying fat. I haven’t tried freezing them yet, as they disappeared in no time out our house! But will try out before Pip Squeak starts finger eating, as these will be a great addition to her diet.

Here we go:

  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tin of 420g chickpeas (drained and left to dry a little)
  • Handful or parsley or corriander
  • Tsp ground cumin
  • Tsp ground coriander
  • 2-3 Tblsp of flour (use chickpea flour if wheat intolerant)

Blend (minus flour) together. Once all mushy, add flour, to make managable consistency. Form balls and place in pre oiled tray. Dab with extra oil. Shove in oven for ~30-40 min at 200 C – turn once or twice carefully. Brush with extra oil if necessary!

Eat. Make yoghurt tip if you feel like it!

Have also seen a similar recipe with carrots – so guess you can sneak some veg in if you need to – can imagine courgette would work too, though it is quite wet and may need more flour to help keep it togther. Alternatively, add an egg…

Spinach & Courgette Pastry

Here is a super duper quick and tasty recipe to keep everyone happy.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Puff Pastry
  • Spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Courgettes
  • Pesto
  • Parmesan
  • Pine nuts
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Roll out the puff pastry
  • Add layer of pesto
  • Add layer of defrosted frozen spinach or generous portion of fresh spinach (remember spinach reduces significantly)
  • Slice and add a layer of courgette
  • Sprinkle pine nuts
  • Pepper
  • Add a bit of parmesan in the last 5min of cooking

Place in oven at around 180C for 30-40min. Check on it, when corners go brown, it is ready!

Yum!

Hope you like it!

For more from me, hop over to Red Ted Art for lots of fun craft ideas and book

Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Time to share some more baking goodies.. this time we have scrumptilious Chocolate Chip Muffins.. who doesn’t love all that chocolate?!?!

Choc Muffins –  the below are plenty for 12 muffins:

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 180g self raising flour
  • 1.5 tsps baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 100g chocolate chips (I chopped up a bar of chocolate!)

Wet ingredients:

  • 180ml milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Handy Hint

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 and fill a 12 bun muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Weigh out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a large jug or bowl.
  3. Mix both together – DO NOT OVER MIX – it will be a lumpy but runny batter. Spoon into the muffin cases.
  4. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top and then cook for 20 mins or until risen and springy.

Try using other ingredients such as blueberries, cherries, raspberries as a variation. Dust with icing sugar for a perfect finish.

Choc & Raspberry Muffins

Sorry! No photo this time. What a shame too, as the muffins did look rather scrummy, if I say so myself – even if the icing was a bit runny! No photos as they ALL got scoffed before I remembered to take one. And I tell you, that is quite an achievement, I made 12 + a cake (the original ingredients were for far too many, the recipe below is adjusted for about 12 muffins!!!). Much to the dismay of The Englishman and Red Ted, half he cake went to neighbours (saying thanks for all the fab hand me downs we get) and 10 muffins to a tea party in Ham!

Enough. Here is he recipe:

Muffins:

  • 110g Butter
  • 225g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt (unless you have used salted butter)
  • 60g coco powder
  • 120g milk
  • 1tsp vanilla

Frosting:

  • 150g Butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • handful of raspberries

Muffins:

Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs & vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients, then add alternating with the milk. Bake in 180 C approx 25min – but check. Also used these ingredients in a cake tin and it worked!!

Icing:

Now my icing went all wrong. So the above is guess work. Not v helpful, eh? But it was yummy and the yummy bit where the raspberries. So. Advice from icing queen: use lots of butter. Whisk for AGES until it is nice and soft. Add some liquidised/ blended raspberries and then icing sugar. Don’t add all the raspberries (like i did) as they are v liquidy. Once you have a nice consistency, add remaining quartered raspberries for flavour and texture.

Easy Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Elderflower Cordial fills me of memories of Summer Country Fairs and lazy Summer afternoons, sipping cooled bubbly water with a dash of Elderflower Cordial. When we made our own Elderflower Cordial, my son said “Oh Mummy, it smells like Grandpa’s garden”.. I love how smell and memories go together hand in hand. And if you are enjoying a “classic British Summer”, Eldercordial is a must. It is so incredibly easy to make and tastes so good..

Elderflower Recipe

The only thing to remember, is that you need to make the Elderflower Cordial pretty much the same day as picking your Elderflowers -as they are a delicate flower and don’t keep well. Be ready!

Elderflower Cordial Recipe:

  • 1kg of sugar
  • 1.5 liters of boiling water
  • 25-30 Elderflower heads
  • 4 lemons
  • 50g Citric Acid (I bought ours online – US Readers, you can get it here)
  • Have enough screw top bottles ready for storage – make sure they are sterilised. *

*we ended up having to improvise and added a milk bottle with clingfilm to the mix. Ha! To be honest, the cordial will be drunk in no time, so it isn’t really a problem. You just don’t want to store all your cordial like this!

To  be honest the above are approximates.. you can scour the web for other Elderflower recipes and you will come up with variations of the above. The above worked for us very well and was delicious.

Elderflower Cordial How:

Easy Elderflower Recipes

1) Gently rinse your Elderflowers and put them to one side.

2) Put the sugar into a large pan (a bowl SHOULD be ok, but you MAY need to heat it).

3) Add the boiling water. In our instance the sugar disolved immediately. But you MAY need to heat it a little to make sure it is all disolved.

4) Let cool – we let it cool until it was warm (rather than cold). And the proceeded (we are impatient to make our Elderflower Cordial!!)

5) Grate your lemons and add.

6) Slice your lemons and add.

7) Add your rinsed Elderflowers

8) Add your Citric acid.

9) Cover with a cloth and leave for 48hours (or so).

10) Strain through a CLEARN muslin to get all the little bits out and fill into sterilised bottles.

We enjoy Edlerflower cordial diluted with cold bubbly water. You can also use it for cooking and puddings.

Looking for foraging ideas? Check out:

Foraging-Ideas