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Mummy's Little Helpers

(36 ratings)
Anneliese
Meet Anneliese, our lovely baking blogger. Mum to two young boys, Anneliese is starting to show her children the basics in the kitchen. 

 

Every week Anneliese will be sharing a new recipe that she's made with her kids plus an update on how she's been getting on!

 

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All about Anneliese  |    Anneliese's recipes    |  Cooking with kids

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Wondering where Anneliese has got to?

She's been a busy bee trying to feed her family their 5-a-day, every day!

 

Click below to find out more:

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Christmas Oreo pudding pops

Thursday 4th December

 Get the recipe: Christmas Oreo pudding pops

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Christmas Cornflake wreaths

Thursday 27th November

 Get the recipe: Christmas Cornflake wreaths

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Mini Christmas tree pizzas

Thursday 20th November

 Get the recipe: Mini Christmas tree pizzas

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Skiing teddy bear biscuits

Thursday  13th November

Get the recipe: Skiing teddy bear biscuits

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Bonfire cupcakes

Thursday 6th November 2014

 

Want to make your own bonfire cupcakes with the kids?

Get the recipe: Bonfire cupcakes

 

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Spider cake pops

Thursday 30th October 2014

 

Want to make your own spider cake pops with the kids?

Get the recipe: Spider cake pops

 

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Halloween gravestone biscuits

Thursday 23rd October 2014

 

 

 

Want to make your own Halloween gravestone biscuits with the kids?

Get the recipe: Halloween gravestone biscuits

 

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Halloween marshmallow pops

Thursday 16th October 2014

 

 

Want to make your own Halloween marshmallow pops with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Halloween marshmallow pops

 

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Halloween biscuit ghosts

Thursday 9th October 2014

 

 

Want to make your own biscuit ghosts with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Biscuit ghosts

 

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Roll up sandwiches

Thursday 2nd October 2014

 

Want to make your own roll up sandwiches with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Roll up sandwiches

 

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Pastry pretzels

Thursday 18th September 2014

 

 

Want to make your own pastry pretzels with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Pastry pretzels

 

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Wondering where Anneliese has got to?

She's been a busy bee trying to feed her family of 4 for only £20 a week 

 

Click below to find out more:

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Bread pudding bites

Thursday 17th July 2014

 

 

Want to make your own bread pudding bites with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Bread pudding bites

 

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Warm broccoli and cheese dip

Thursday 10th July 2014

 

 

Want to make your own warm broccoli and cheese dip with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Warm broccoli and cheese dip

 

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Raw brownie bites

Thursday 3rd July 2014

 

 

Want to make your own raw brownie bites with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Raw brownie bites

 

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Watermelon fruit bowl

Thursday 26th June 2014

 

Want to make your own watermelon fruit bowl with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Watermelon fruit bowl

 

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Porridge bars

Thursday 19th June 2014

 

Want to make your own porridge bars with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Porridge bars

 

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Lettuce wraps

Thursday 12th June 2014

 

Want to make your own lettuce wraps with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Lettuce wraps

 

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Banana and yogurt ice pops

Thursday 5th June 2014

 

 

 

Want to make your own banana and yogurt ice pops with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Banana and yogurt ice pops

 

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Rainbow vegetable pizza

Thursday 29th May 2014

 

 

Want to make your own rainbow vegetable pizza with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Rainbow vegetable pizza

 

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Popcorn pops

Thursday 22nd May 2014

 

 

 

Want to make your own popcorn pops with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Popcorn pops

 

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Biscuit birthday cakes

Thursday 15th May 2014

 

 

Want to make your own biscuit birthday cakes with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Biscuit birthday cakes

 

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Pesto pinwheels

Thursday 8th May 2014

 

 

 

Want to make your own pesto pinwheels cookies with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Pesto pinwheels

 

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Angel Delight cookies

Thursday 1st May 2014

 

 

 

Want to make your own Angel Delight cookies with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Angel Delight cookies

 

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Wondering where Anneliese has got to?

She's been a busy bee taking part in our 30 days homemade challenge!

 

Click below to find out more:

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Homemade Penguin bars

Thursday 5th March 2014

 

 

Want to make your own homemade Penguin bars with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Homemade Penguin bars

 

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Baked bean muffins

Thursday 27th February 2014

 

 

Want to make your own baked bean muffins with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Baked bean muffins

 

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Jazzy biscuits

Thursday 19th February 2014

 

 

Want to make your own jazzy biscuits with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Jazzy biscuits

 

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Peanut butter and jam slices

Thursday 13th February 2014

 

I used to have a school friend who had peanut butter and jam sandwiches in her lunchbox every single day, without fail. She obviously couldn't get enough of them. However, I stuck religiously to my cucumber and salad cream sandwiches. My nine year old brain couldn't cope with the thought of eating such a concoction!

 

Now I look back and wish I had dared to accept a bite of my friend's sandwich; she was always quite insistent! I must admit that I am still not keen on the thought of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, but I do like the idea of trying the combination in cake form!

 

 

I enlisted the assistance of my little boy and together we came up with these peanut butter and jam bars. An easy-peasy one bowl bake and only a handful of ingredients are required. The bars are light and crumbly with a delicious peanut butter flavour; the raspberry jam adds a lovely fruity sweetness. Be warned - the bars are very moreish, so perhaps store under lock and key! The flavours work in perfect harmony in a cake - still not convinced about sandwiches though!

 

Want to make your own peanut butter and jam slices with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Peanut butter and jam slices

 

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White chocolate chip butterfly cakes

Thursday 30th January 2014

 

My love of baking started when I was around seven or eight years old. I am not sure where this early passion for cake making came from as my Mum has always shied away from mixing bowls and rolling pins. While she always served up huge helpings of delicious meals, we never had homemade puddings or cakes. I have a strong greedy streak, so I believe that my love for home baking must have been born out of pure greed. I was soon making afternoon teas for family and friends and could often be found in the kitchen baking up a storm. Basically I wanted a reliable and frequent source of baked goodies; if no one else was going to do it, then I would!

 

I was given (and continue to be given) baking books for every birthday and Christmas and I know that butterfly cakes were one of the first recipes I tried. I think most of us have memories of making butterfly cakes in our early baking days. Despite my Mum's aversion to baking, she of course helped me to make these sweet little cakes. Butterfly cakes are such a simple recipe to follow but look rather special with the signature 'wings' perched aloft a pile of buttercream.

 

 


 

 

When I came up with this butterfly cake recipe, I really wanted to change the filling. I am not a fan of buttercream. It is so sweet and messy icing sugar drives me around the bend!! Mascarpone makes a delicious and far easier alternative to butter cream. I knew I could sweeten mascarpone with a generous dollop of jam. I chose raspberry jam as I love the vibrant colour, but you could use whatever flavour you prefer. My little boy loved making and decorating his butterfly cakes. He particularly enjoyed scoffing the mascarpone and jam filling; he was devastated once he had licked the bowl clean!

 

To make the cakes even more fun and eye catching to children we HAD to add sprinkles. My boy loves sprinkles! However, if you are in a rush, I'm sure your little one won't mind one jot if you leave them off. They will taste just as delicious! We had great fun making these simple, pretty and delicious cakes. Long live the butterfly cake!

 

 

 

Want to make your own white chocolate chip butterfly cakes with mascarpone and raspberry jam filling with the kids?

Get the recipe here: White chocolate chip butterfly cakes

 

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Feta cheese scones

Thursday 23rd January 2014

 

My memory leaves a lot to be desired. I can remember names, birthdays or someone's favourite colour but it lets me down in many other areas. I can go upstairs in an attempt to collect something only to return empty handed. I will then repeat the process at least twice more before returning downstairs triumphant! Long term events fail me particularly badly; I could have been locked in a tower for the first six years of my life and be none the wiser! Thankfully I do have ONE vague, hazy memory. I can see myself sitting in a coffee shop at around four years old. I'm sitting alongside my Mum and her Mummy friends. In front of me is some sort of delicious cake and, in front of my Mum, a warm cheese scone. I know this was pretty much a weekly outing and I am sure I felt so grown up to be included! Mum always had a cheese scone and we always went to the same coffee shop.

 

I live a good few hours from my family and I was missing home this week. I thought back to this happy memory and decided to make a cheesy scone in honour of those carefree days!

 

 

As much as I enjoy cheesy scones I think they can be a bit on the rich side for a young palate. I opted for the mild but tangy flavour of Feta cheese. I wanted to try using the Feta cheese in place of butter. It worked surprisingly well! It crumbled easily into the flour and was light work for little fingers. The resulting dough was incredibly easy to work with and my little boy had no trouble handling it. We barely required any flour on the worktop when rolling out the super smooth dough.

 

I had a great time making these simple scones with my three year old. It was a quick recipe to make and held his concentration well. He happily sat on the kitchen floor watching his scones grow "really massive" through the oven door! These scones were delicious warm from the oven smothered in butter. Both my boys dug in and my husband scoffed several in quick succession.

 

If you want to start baking with your children then I think scones are a great place to start. The dough shouldn't be over worked and it's best not to roll it out too thinly. A match made in heaven when it comes to small children!

 

 

 

Want to make your own feta cheese scones with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Feta cheese scones

 

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Fruity biscuit truffles

Thursday 16th January 2014

 

I love no-bake recipes. They are perfect to make with small children as they usually take mere moments to put together and no hot ovens are involved. I liked the idea of making truffles with my little boy but I didn't want to use butter and cream; it would be too rich for him and we rarely have room in the fridge to store them! When looking through our messy kitchen shelves I noticed that we had a quite a few tins of forgotten condensed milk. After wiping the dust off of one of the tins I decided to base a no-bake recipe around this sticky, sweet milk.

 

I very much liked the idea of a cake pop, but didn't want to use cake. Crumbled biscuits would be far more tempting and easier for my little boy. I think most toddlers would choose biscuits over cake - or try to get their hands on both!! I added in some cornflakes for a different texture and also a few handfuls of dried fruit. I used dried apricots, glacé cherries and raisins but there is no reason why you can't make changes to suit your child's preferences.

 

 

I found these fruity bites to be perfect to make with my three year old. Not many ingredients are involved and, of course, no hot ovens, saucepans or microwaves are necessary. My little boy was able to bash the biscuits into crumbs, stir and weigh. However, his most favourite part was rolling the balls of mixture through the coconut. I believe that to be the real highlight!

 

Not only were these a heap of fun to make but they are very very moreish. They have a lovely soft texture, are sweet and fruity and you can really taste the coconut. We all enjoyed them. The best thing is that they don't need to be kept in the fridge, so can be left out at room temperature for a few days. They also would make a great little gift for family and friends.

 

 

Want to make your own fruity bites with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Fruity biscuit truffles

 

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Mini savoury cheesecakes

Thursday 9th January 2014

I have always had a very sweet tooth and can happily munch my way through a packet of biscuits or a family sized bar of chocolate. I know it isn't good for me but I crave sugar. I NEED it! However, sometimes, just sometimes, I over-do it and I have to have something savoury to mop up the sugar excesses. After Christmas is one of those times!

 

I am not sure how much chocolate, sweets and trifle we think we can eat but we always buy too much. I then feel almost forced to eat it ALL so it is gone by the New Year so I can start my next diet!

 

The idea of a savoury cheesecake came about after sampling a big chunk of cheese, a spoonful of onion chutney and a cracker. The flavours worked in perfect harmony and tasted completely divine! As with all of my recipes, this one was born out of pure greed. I wanted to put all these delicious flavours together and I hoped a savoury cheesecake would fit the bill.

 

 

I quickly worked out that oatcakes worked better than crackers for the cheesecake base. The crackers were too dry, whereas the oatcakes crumbled beautifully and required far less butter. We made individual cheesecakes in a cupcake tray so that they would be easier to serve and to eat. I expected the cheesecakes to weld themselves to the tin but they came out easily, phew! In fact the whole process was so simple and quick to do.

 

My little boy was involved with each stage of this recipe. While I melted the butter he broke up the oatcakes. He added spoonfuls of delicious onion chutney to the oaty base and he also mixed the cheesecake topping. I didn't have to do much more than supervise the proceedings as he did a fantastic job on his own. He is turning into a very accomplished little chef!

 

I am happy to report that the savoury cheesecakes tasted amazing and even better than I had hoped! I don't think I should admit this, but I ate five, one after the other! The boys enjoyed these little bites of cheese and onion delights but ate a far more sensible quantity.

 

Although this recipe has been created with children in mind, these savoury cheesecakes could easily be tasty canapés at a New Years Eve party or for any other occasion. They are certainly child and adult friendly!

 

Want to make your own mini savoury cheesecakes with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Mini savoury cheesecakes

 

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Weetabix cake

Thursday 2nd January 2014

Both my boys eat Weetabix for breakfast. My one year old likes his soggy with a generous glug of milk, while my three year old eats his bone dry. Each to his own, but I do find Weetabix without milk a little disconcerting - like peas without carrots or a bath without bubbles!

 

As we often bake cakes and biscuits I worry about the state of our arteries. With this in mind I wanted to make something healthier but also appealing to my older boy. Due to Isaac's current love of Weetabix I thought it would be nice to use it in a recipe. My first thought was a crunchy biscuit. However, I then remembered a friend of mine mentioning making a Weetabix cake. It sounds a bit strange I admit, but I was soon in the kitchen trying out a few recipe ideas. My first attempt seemed too sweet. So, on my second attempt, I added a banana for extra flavour and natural sweetness. The sweetness of the banana allowed me to cut right down on sugar, which made me feel extremely virtuous! If you don't have a sweet tooth, the sugar could be cut down even further, which has to be good news.

 

 

So, once happy with this recipe, I could make it for the third time - this time with my three year old boy. This is such a quick and easy cake to make with very small children. Crumbling up the Weetabix is a wonderfully fun and easy task for even the youngest child to try. This recipe doesn't require numerous bowls and utensils. A noisy electric whisk is definitely not necessary either; just set your child up with a wooden spoon!

 

I really hope you do give this recipe a try. It is a gorgeously moreish loaf cake, packed full of flavour, which has the added bonus of being fat-free (unless you smear it in butter, of course!). It is a perfect guilt-free lunch box treat for your kids and, of course, yourself!

 

Want to make your own Weetabix cake with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Weetabix cake

 

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Decorated Christmas tree biscuit

Thursday 19th December 2013

 

I love making Christmas cakes and make at least one each year; it has become a tradition in our house, along with making mince pies on Christmas Eve. Although I absolutely adore all the baking, I dread decorating the Christmas cake. I am not an artistic person and my cake usually looks like a 2 year old has made it! In the past I have left the cake completely 'naked' but, now we have children, I really feel I need to make an effort. However, I did want a festive alternative which would make a good centrepiece if my other efforts failed!

 

My husband, Neil, happens to be very artistic and he can take complete credit for the idea of this Christmas tree. We were sitting eating dinner when he suddenly piped up "How about a biscuit Christmas tree with little biscuit decorations for the children to stick on?". As I'm not very creative it took a while to picture his idea in my head; I hadn't seen anything like it before! However, after some more explanation, I started to get really excited about the idea - it would be a fun activity for children AND would no doubt look fantastic and make up for my amateurish Christmas cake!

 

 

 

 

I love gingerbread biscuits at Christmas time so I knew that the tree and decorations would have to be made with this mildly spiced biscuit. I bought some sweets and writing icing for the decorations, but the fun of this recipe is that you and your child can pick out whatever you want to decorate your tree. Are you excited yet?!

 

The biscuit dough is very simple and no chilling is required. The biscuits hold their shape beautifully. The dough makes a big tree - as big as your largest baking tray, and lots of decorations. You could always freeze half the dough or go crazy with your festive cutters and perhaps make some Christmas biscuits for your family and friends. I'm sure they would go down very well! The resulting biscuits are lovely and soft and so perfect for children.

 

When it came to decorating the tree I took a step back and handed over to Neil and our little boy. Neil took great pride in his biscuit decorating while Isaac was more keen in tasting his work.
This biscuit Christmas tree was an absolute hit and I think it has now been added to our list of traditions!

 

 

Want to make your own decorated Christmas tree biscuit with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Decorated Christmas tree biscuit

 

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Piñata Christmas pudding muffins

Thursday 12th December 2013

 

Christmas is such a special time of year. I love the anticipation and build up to the big day. I still can't sleep the night before as it is all far too exciting! However, things are a little different now I have children. I no longer lie in bed wondering what presents I will be unwrapping in the morning; instead I am imagining my boys' excited faces as they open the presents in their stockings and rip the paper from the gifts tucked under the tree. Even sitting here writing this brings a tear to my eye!!

 

Now my elder boy is three he can play a much bigger part in our Christmas preparations. He can help decorate the tree and I have already enlisted him to make the paper chains. However, I was, of course, more interested in the food! We all know that Christmas is the season for overeating!!! I wanted to make some really fun festive treats with Isaac as I knew it would be something we would both really enjoy.


Piñata cakes seem to be everywhere at the moment so that got my little brain ticking. As with most of my recipes I like to make things in miniature form. Children seem to find food in miniature more appealing to eat and also far easier for their little hands to hold. So, instead of one big piñata cake, I thought it would be nice to make cupcakes instead. I love the look of Christmas puddings, so I decided upon chocolate flavoured cakes filled with sweeties and a simple dollop of white chocolate on top with cherries and writing icing for decoration.

 

 

This chocolate muffin recipe is so easy for really young children to make. I have used sunflower oil in place of butter to make it really easy for little ones to mix. Also, as it is a muffin recipe, the less mixing the better; we salute the lumps! I opted out of using messy icing sugar for the decoration as white chocolate is so much easier and much tastier. I used cherries and green writing icing for the berries and holly, but feel free to use sweets or fondant instead.

 

 

Want to make your own piñata Christmas pudding muffins with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Piñata Christmas pudding muffins

 

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Stuffed baguette sandwich

Thursday 5th December 2013

 

During the day my brain is a useless lump of grey matter. I drift around in a haze. I feed, water and entertain the boys; they occupy me completely, any few remaining brain cells are occupied with thoughts of chocolate and a longing for my bed!

 

Unfortunately, my mind comes alive at night! My body may be weary but my head suddenly starts to buzz with ideas; all of them food related of course! This filled baguette was born during one of these wakeful nights. I thought that stuffing a baguette with a sandwich filling would make lunchtime more interesting and I also hoped for something that could be easily transportable for lunchboxes or picnics. Once I had written the idea down I was able to go to sleep!

 

 

Not only is this recipe a simple idea, it is also an absolutely perfect recipe to make with your children. They play a large part in making their very own lunch and my little boy loved every minute. It only takes a few minutes to make but you must allow for chilling time. This is essential as the few hours in the fridge gives the filling time to firm up so that you will be able to cut it into neat slices later on.

 

My little boy is extremely stubborn (no idea where he gets it from) and has decided that he doesn't like bread. However, I know this is not true. He will happily eat bread when visiting his grandparents and while at preschool. Even though Isaac enjoyed making this bready lunch and was keen for the chilling time to hurry up, I didn't believe he would actually eat it. To my absolute delight I was proved wrong. He forgot himself and tucked in to three slices. Whoo-hoo! Mummy 1, Isaac 0. Not that I'm keeping score of course!

 


Want to make your own stuffed baguette sandwich with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Stuffed baguette sandwich

 

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Crispy Neapolitan slice

Thursday 28th November 2013

Over the past few days I've really noticed the drop in temperature. I can no longer go without socks indoors and my ugly winter jumpers have been dusted off. It won't be long before I start the hunt for a matching pair of gloves!

 

Due to the increasingly cold weather, ice cream has been cruelly dropped from our shopping list. This saddens me greatly as I am a keen ice cream eater. However, I just can't put up with the goosebumps anymore! In an attempt to provide thoughts of warmer days I decided to turn my favourite childhood ice cream into a less chilly treat.


 
I wanted the recipe to be toddler friendly, so different shades of cake mixture and buttercream seemed far too taxing. Rice Krispies in a no bake recipe would be far easier and only a few ingredients would be required. I discarded the usual marshmallow recipe in favour of chocolate - white chocolate and milk chocolate to be precise! For the strawberry layer I added a little milkshake powder for flavour and a teeny tiny amount of food colouring to provide the pretty pink colour.



My little boy was keen to get stuck in with this recipe and he loved helping to weigh out the ingredients. I am pretty sure that I started off with more chocolate than I was left with, while the cat enjoyed munching her way through the numerous Rice Krispies that had found their way to the floor!! The only part Isaac couldn't do was melt the chocolate. However, he certainly enjoyed mixing everything together and putting the different layers into the tin.



I am so pleased with how this Neapolitan slice turned out; the layers are so pretty and it all holds together well. Isaac is absolutely over the moon and keeps asking to make another one!

 

 

Want to make your own crispy Neapolitan slice with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Crispy Neapolitan slice

 

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Potato clouds

Thursday 21st November 2013

 

My 3 year old is officially a member of the Fussy Eater Club. I am particularly frustrated as he used to eat everything with gusto, while vegetables were his food of choice. Now all he wants to eat are cheesy Wotsits and his little brother's baby biscuits! A sandwich for lunch will be thoroughly dissected before the bread is cast aside; a slice of carrot will be given a suspicious glance before being pushed to the side of his plate.

 

Another food on Isaac's ‘I don't like it' list is mashed potato. Perhaps I was setting myself up for a fall but I wanted to see if I could get Isaac to eat it if it were presented in another form. As I find lunch the most challenging meal of the day, I decided to use mashed potato as an alternative to a sandwich. As there would be no chance of Isaac touching a pile of potato, I knew I would have to make things a little more interesting!

 

 

After draining off a few boiled potatoes, Isaac could get involved with the recipe and help to mash them up. This went down very well and it was great to see Isaac get stuck in; who knew mashing could be so much fun! Once Isaac had exhausted his little arms we mixed in cheese and eggs and that was it. Such an easy peasy recipe! We just needed to plonk the mixture into a muffin tin and place into the oven. Isaac could barely wait for the potato clouds to cook; he was dying to try one.

 

After 20 mins it was the moment of truth. The mashed potato was puffed up and an appealing golden brown. When you give one to your child you should definitely call them 'potato clouds' as this pleased Isaac immensely and he happily took his first bite, then another and another. I truly couldn't believe it when he ate TWO without my having to beg or cajole him!

 

After such success, I decided to make them again a few days later. This time we jazzed them up by adding more flavour in the way of ham and spring onions. Delicious! I love the versatility of this recipe as you can try lots of different additions. There is also the added bonus that this recipe is completely gluten free, so perfect for little ones who are intolerant.

 

 

Want to make your own potato clouds with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Potato clouds

 

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Custard thumbprint biscuits

Thursday 14th November 2013

 

I must confess that I made these biscuits purely for selfish reasons. I adore custard and have been wanting to add the flavour to biscuits for some time. The obvious choice would of course be to make custard creams. Alas, my husband has a great aversion to this delicious biscuit. After scoffing an entire packet in his youth he was left traumatised after spending the night cradling a bucket! He blames this sickly state of affairs entirely on the biscuits when in fact he'd had a bad case of winter vomiting virus. He's never touched a custard cream since!

 

I love the idea of custard and jam together, so this led to the idea of a custard thumbprint biscuit - a delicious crumbly flavoursome biscuit with a chewy raspberry jam centre. They would be so good to munch and lots of fun to make with young children.

 

My little boy loved mixing the dough together and we both commented on how nice custard smells! The deliciously tempting scent meant I had to keep a beady eye on Isaac. He has very little self control when it comes to uncooked biscuit dough!

 

 


 

 

Rolling the dough into balls kept Isaac entertained and he didn't want my help. If I dared to try to assist there were loud protests of indignation! Unsurprisingly, he also took great enjoyment from pressing his dear little thumbs into the dough to make the indentations for the jam. As his thumbs are small I admit to going along behind to make the dips a little deeper!

 

I did insist on helping Isaac add the jam to the biscuits. Only a tiny amount of fruity sweetness is required; too much and it would spill over the sides whilst cooking and the jam would no doubt weld the biscuit to the baking tray!

 

These little biscuits are just what I hoped they would be and the best bit of all is that Neil tried one without objection and went back for more!

 

 

Want to make your own custard thumbprint biscuits with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Custard thumbprint biscuits

 

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Cucumber boats

Thursday 7th November 2013

 

I am known by my mum as the Queen of Cucumber. A little odd perhaps but, from a very early age, I would request cucumber sandwiches for every lunch at home and also for all my packed lunches. I am surprised I haven't turned green over the years!

 

Isaac, my three year old, enjoys cucumber. However it is Oliver, my eleven month old, who has truly inherited my addiction. It is always the first thing he goes for, even when there are much more interesting and flavoursome options on offer. I am very proud!

 

 

 

 

I really wanted to make a couscous salad as other mums have suggested that I try it with my boys. Unfortunately, couscous on its own, on a plate, would look fairly boring to a fussy three year old. I therefore needed to jazz it up a bit. Soon my little brain was conjuring up an idea! How about slicing a cucumber in half lengthways, scooping out the seedy bit, filling the hole with some couscous salad and then adding a cheese sail as a finishing touch! It really worked well and even better than I had expected. To my surprise and absolute delight it went down a real treat with Mr Fussypants. Amazing what a bit of food art can do!

 

The best part of these cucumber boats was that Isaac was able to get involved in the whole process. The only thing I didn't want him to touch was the couscous when soaking in super hot water but everything else was free game. He did a brilliant job of putting it all together. He was very proud of the result and rightly so.

 

 

Want to make your own cucumber boats with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Cucumber boats

 

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Fruity flowerpots

Thursday 31st October 2013

 

A few weeks ago my husband threw away a box of unopened flat bottomed ice cream cones. They had been sitting on the kitchen shelf for nearly two years and were by now well and truly out of date. Oh the shame!! However, after the cones had been thrown, I came up with this recipe so I had to go out and buy some more!

 

 

 

 

 

Over the summer I had seen a few recipes for cakes baked in ice cream cones and with swirls of butter cream piped on top. They looked fantastic and just like an ice cream I'd buy when visiting the seaside. Unfortunately I am not a great lover of butter cream and I fancied trying something completely different. It struck me that the cones looked rather like plant pots which led on to flowers made out of fruit and Oreo biscuits for the soil!

 

On the day of making these fruity flowerpots my little boy was in a very active mood and I just didn't think he would be able to concentrate long enough to make a cake mixture. I happened to have a large quantity of Rice Krispies and mini marshmallows to hand, so I went for the quicker and easier option of filling the cones with Rice Krispie treats and it worked absolutely beautifully.

 

You could of course use a food processor to turn the Oreo biscuits into crumbs, but I think it is quite fun for the kiddies to beat the living daylights out of them with a rolling pin! Toddlers seem to have a lot of pent up energy and frustrations so it might even do them good! The fruit is admittedly a little tricky to shape with little cookie cutters, so I had to take over this job. In some cases I just cut the fruit into slices and they looked just as cute.

 

You should have seen my little boy's face once the fruity flowerpots were all finished. He was elated as they really do look so realistic. This is such a fun activity to do with little children and they are also great for birthday parties. If you are worried about the fruit not lasting you could use sweets for the flowers.

 

 

Want to make your own fruity flowerpots with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Fruity flowerpots

 

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Cheesy number crunchers

Thursday 24th October 2013

 

My 3 year old boy loves cheese and is always by my side when I'm grating it for dinner or slicing it up for sandwiches. Of course I can't resist breaking the odd piece off on the condition that he sits at the table to eat it and I get a minute of peace! I have to watch Isaac like a hawk as he has been known to swipe handfuls of grated cheese that had been ready and waiting to be added to a recipe. The trail of cheese across the floor and the guilty expression are a bit of a giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Isaac had been asking to make some biscuits for a few days. However, I wanted to avoid sweet biscuits as we had recently celebrated his daddy's birthday and had consumed a disgusting quantity of sugar! Due to Isaac's cheese addiction it was easy to persuade him to make some cheesy biscuits instead. I even went the whole hog and bought some cheap plastic number cutters so that we could make the biscuits a bit more interesting!

 

These cheesy biscuits are really easy to make and have a delicious melt in the mouth texture which it is impossible to resist. Isaac was pretty much able to make his number biscuits all by himself; the only bit I really helped with was the weighing. Using number cutters meant that we could also make this into a fun learning activity; Isaac really enjoyed picking out certain numbers when asked! You could also make letter biscuits, so they can make their own name. They could also use animal or car cutters, etc. if they have a favoured interest.

 

 

Want to make your own cheesy number crunchers with the kids?

Get the recipe here: Cheesy number crunchers

 

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White chocolate rocky road

Thursday 17th October 2013

 

Chocolate is my friend. I turn to it for comfort in times of upset and also when there is cause for celebration. The long and short of it is that chocolate is ALWAYS there for me and usually on a daily basis!

 

If I am honest, I'm rather suspicious of non chocolate lovers. Why don't they crave its smooth, deliciousness?! When my very own husband told me he wasn't 'fussed' in the early days of our relationship I was more than a little concerned!! However, I breathed a sigh of relief when he admitted he was rather partial to a square or two of white chocolate - that was at least better than nothing at all!

 

Isaac our three year old little boy loves chocolate in any variety. However, like his father, white chocolate is his very favourite. From time to time he receives a little packet of white chocolate buttons in the post from his grandparents; these are greeted with shrieks of undiluted excitement!

 

 

To keep both my husband and my little boy happy I decided to take a break from my usual milk chocolate and branch off into the white side. I think everyone loves a rocky road; I thought it would make a nice change to use white chocolate and surely buttery shortbread would work well alongside it. There was only one way to find out!

 

To the white chocolate and crumbled shortbread I added dried apricots (another favourite of my little boy's) and also dried cranberries for a bit of sharpness. Lastly I added some mini marshmallows just because I can't have a rocky road without them!

 

I am so happy with this white chocolate rocky road. It got top marks from the boys and also from me. It is so easy peasy to make with small children. It really is just a case of adding everything to the bowl and giving it a good mix! You could try other dried fruit and nuts such as pistachio as it would not only taste good but look great too!

 

 

 

Want to make your own white chocolate rocky road with the kids?

Get the recipe here: white chocolate rocky road

 

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Cheese and ham corn muffins

Thursday 9th October 2013

 

It is a never ending challenge to try to introduce exciting lunch options to my boys. So often I fall into the trap of making a quick slice of toast with cream cheese or jam and hoping for the best!! It can be so dispiriting to spend ages making something especially for lunch only for it to be rejected. Bread seems to bore most toddlers, so I was keen to try cornbread after recommendations from other mums. Cornbread is quick to make as it contains no yeast, which means there is no lengthy proving time.

 

I am a firm believer that little ones find food more appealing in miniature so I thought I'd try cornbread in muffin form. Isaac dragged a chair over to the kitchen worktop and was soon standing by my side ready to start. Maybe the promise of ham was the reason for his prompt appearance; I am pretty sure there was soon less ham than I had started with!

 

 

Muffins are a great thing to make with young children as they are so simple. There is one bowl for your wet ingredients and another for the dry. When it comes to mixing it is best not to overmix, so it really is perfect for little people with limited hand eye coordination!

 

The finished article is slightly grainy in texture and mild in flavour. I was worried that Isaac might be put off by the grainy texture. However, he ate two in one sitting, so I am thrilled! He insisted on calling them cheese scones, but I don't care what he calls them so long as he eats them!!

 

 

 

Want to make your own cheese and ham corn muffins with the kids?

Get the recipe here: cheese and ham corn muffins

 

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Pizza biscuits

Thursday 3rd October 2013

 

Please do not be alarmed. I am not for one moment suggesting you add a slice of pepperoni to a biscuit; that would be crazy talk! My biscuits are of course a sweet, playful version of your usual thin and crispy, cheese loaded pizza.

 

When I first came up with this recipe I admit I was more excited by the look of these fun biscuits than I was by the flavours. However, the combination of the crumbly biscuit, the strawberry jam, cherry and marzipan complement each other perfectly and I must say it tastes just like a Bakewell tart - absolutely delicious!

 

 

In a vague attempt to be an organised mummy I try to always have some of this biscuit dough in the freezer so that I can make up a batch of these yummy biscuits with Isaac when pushed for time or when the weather takes a unexpected turn for the worse (which is fairly frequent in this country).

 

However, we often make them from scratch as it gives Isaac the opportunity to help weigh the ingredients and mix up a simple dough. We just have to remember to allow plenty of time as the dough does need to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Isaac has so much fun making these pizza biscuits and really enjoys decorating them. This might have something to do with the glacé cherries; like his mother he is rather partial to them!

 

 

Want to make your own pizza biscuits with the kids?

Get the recipe here: pizza biscuits

 

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Quiche toasties

Thursday 25th September 2013

 

I must admit that I dread lunchtime. Before I had children I enjoyed taking my time to devour a lovingly prepared sandwich; each mouthful would be savoured, there was no need to rush. To my constant dismay those days are now a distant memory!

 

Lunchtime has become a daily battle with my stubborn three year old. Isaac will survey the sandwich laid before him with a look of pure disgust. A thorough dissection will then take place. Usually Isaac will eat a little of the sandwich filling but dismiss the bread.

 

To begin with I try to coax him with a gentle approach, "Come on Isaac, at least try the bread, it's so tasty. Look, I'm eating mine." "Mmmmm, bread!" Soon I turn to begging and shameful bribery "Isaac, how about you eat just half of the bread, then you can have a few crisps." Eventually things take a downward spiral, I feel my jaw tighten and my blood pressure rise. "Isaac will you sit back at the table and eat your lunch NOW!"

 

 

I have tried various lunch alternatives with varying degrees of success. The problem seems to lie with the bread. Isaac will happily eat freshly baked bread but I seriously do not have the time or inclination to meet such a demand! Instead, I decided that I would try an alternative to a sandwich. I still wanted to use bread but to present it in a different form to see what Isaac's reaction would be! Also, I got Isaac involved in the preparation; I believe that if a child helps in the kitchen then they are much more likely to eat the finished result.

 

With this in mind I wanted to come up with a nice and simple recipe which was easy to 'throw' together. I also think that anything in mini version goes down well with toddlers, so out came the fairy cake tin to make these easy peasy quiche toasties. We made 12 and I was worried I had made too many. However, between the 4 of us, they were all gone in approximately 10 minutes and Isaac ate 3 of them. Result!

 

 

Want to make your own quiche toasties with the kids?

Get the recipe here: quiche toasties

 

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Milkshake mice cupcakes

Thursday 19th September 2013

 

A tub of strawberry milkshake powder has sat unopened on my kitchen shelves for many months. In fact a thick layer of dust had decided to decorate the once shiny and unblemished lid. When pregnant with my younger boy all I desired in my ungainly state was a glass of strawberry milkshake. Unfortunately, once the milkshake powder had been purchased the thought of drinking the sweet milky drink was enough to turn my stomach, so the package has remained unopened.

 

 


 

After checking the expiry date on the milkshake powder I decided to experiment and put it to good use. Even though I still couldn't face a strawberry drink, I did very much fancy a milkshake cake! I knew that I wanted both the cake and icing to have the strawberry flavour and I hoped that the icing would come out pink! As I am outnumbered by a family of boys there was no point in piping pretty swirls onto cupcakes, so I decided on making cute little mice instead. However, I insisted that they should be pink!

 

My three year old, Isaac, was very excited about making these milkshake mice cupcakes as was I. It was so much fun to decorate these cakes and see the delight on Isaac's face! I have kept the recipe as simple as possible, so it is easy to make them with your children. There isn't an electric whisk in sight and the icing does not include dreaded icing sugar, so is far less messy! One word of advice is that you might want to make double the icing as it is utterly delicious. I had a little left over and spread it over a digestive biscuit, divine! You have to try it!

 

 

Want to make your own milkshake mice cupcakes with the kids?

Get the recipe here: milkshake mice cupcakes

 

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All about Anneliese

 

Hi everyone, my name is Anneliese Giggins and this is my blog dedicated to my 2 adorable children and me having fun in the kitchen.

 

The dynamic duo

 

First off there's Isaac who is 3 years old and then there's Oliver who is 10 months old. I don't bake with Oliver as yet but I started baking with Isaac when he was just over a year old. Cooking with my children is really important to me. I remember helping my mum in the kitchen from a very young age. I loved being 'mummy's little helper'. It was our time together and I gained a great sense of satisfaction and achievement from seeing a bowl of cake mixture transform into beautiful butterfly cakes.

 

I used to ask my parents to invite family around for birthdays and Christmas so I could bake for them! I loved to see them enjoying the food I had lovingly prepared.

 

I now love to bake with Isaac and see the same look of excitement on his face when his creations come out of the oven. When I'm cooking he will drag a dinning room chair across the room and climb up so he can help me! Isaac has also learned all about weighing and the name of ingredients from helping me in the kitchen. It is lovely to spend such quality time with Isaac and I look forward to when Oliver is a little bit older so he can join in too!

 

Berry heaven

 

I started Rising To The Berry (my previous blog) when Isaac was 7 months old. I don't drive and we live in a village so I felt isolated with a young baby. I was also suffering with a case of baby blues and felt I needed to do something for myself and regain a sense of identity. I hadn't baked anything for over a year and had a bookcase of untouched baking books. One evening I was flicking through Mary Berry's Baking Bible and decided to set myself the challenge of baking all the 250 recipes! I wanted to document the adventure so the very next day I set up a blog then started on my very first recipe. I baked 3 recipes per week and finally completed the challenge in about 18 months. The icing on the cake was when the Daily Mail printed a double page spread all about my baking adventure; it gave me a real confidence boost and now I have something to show the boys when they are older!

 

Cooking with children is a real passion of mine and that is why I set up a Facebook page called Cook, Eat & Play. I have ideas for cooking with your children, lunches for fussy eaters, edible play activities and even some craft ideas too.

 

The bottom line is that I just love all things food and kids... can you tell?

 

Anneliese x

 

 



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Kerry

Hi Anneliese I am writing theory papers on Montessori and typed in Mummy's little helper and your website came up. You should look up Montessori as it looks like you are doing it. Have you heard of her? Kerry :)

Guest

So please you're back! I love to read what you are getting up to with lovely Isaac and Oliver. Good luck with your new feature, I'm sure it'll be a HUGE hit :-)

Suzy Harris

Wonderful to see Anneliese here, have been following her for ages with Rising to the Berry..a talented and lovely young lady,with fab ideas..Good Luck!

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