Category Archives: Food

EASY BONFIRE NIGHT TREATS

Many parents will know that the next Half Term holidays fall at the end of October, just before Bonfire Night so why not make a few delicious treats with them before they return. These recipes are quick and easy and even incorporate fruit in two of them so it’s all GOOOOOD.

It is becoming easier to get fruit and vegetables into children’s diet’s today, but I am really fortunate that my grandchildren love fruit and vegetables and have done since their first food.

Have a go at some of these and let me know what you think. All tried and tested!

CHEWY PEANUT & CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEERIO BARS

INGREDIENTS:

½ ILB SUGAR

4 OZ GOLDEN SYRUP (HALF A CAN OR SO)

1 SMALL JAR PEANUT BUTTER

1TSP VANILLA EXTRACT

4 OZ PEANUTS

1 SMALL PACK CHOCOLATE CHIPS

You will also need a non-stick pan, large bowl, and a deep tray

Method: In a large non-stick pan, put the sugar and golden syrup and melt together until the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture is smooth and clear, put in the peanut butter and the vanilla extract. Take off the heat. Into the bowl pour the Cheerios and peanuts and then pour the syrup mixture over and mix together with the chocolate chips. Once combined, spread the mixture into the tray and press down gently and pop in the fridge to set. Once cooled, cut into small bars and they are ready to serve. Guidance video below.

FIREWORK CHOCOLATE COVERED APPLES

INGREDIENTS:

12 SMALL APPLES (KEEP IN THE FRIDGE UNTIL LAST MINUTE TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE COLD – THIS MAKES IT EASIER FOR THE CHOCOLATE TO STICK)

12 WOODEN STICKS

1 KG PLAIN CHOCOLATE

COCONUT, CHOPPED PEANUTS AND HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS

Take the chocolate and break into a bowl and then set over a pan of boiling water to melt gently taking care not to get any of the water into the chocolate. Whilst the chocolate is melting, dry wipe all the apples and push the sticks into the centres, ensuring that it is firmly in place on each apple.

Pop 3 small plates with the decorations on, including one for the coconut, one for the chopped peanuts and the other for the hundreds and thousands. Dip each apple into the chocolate, ensuring that there is a good coverage all round and then dip into the covering of your choice. Keep repeating until you have done all the apples.  Leave them to set (which shouldn’t take long if your apples were cold).  Enjoy!

Guidance video below.

EASY FRUIT ROCKETS

These look and taste great and the fruit you choose is really subjective as there is no point putting bananas on the skewer if you know that your children don’t like them.

You will need FRUIT – I USED WATERMELON, BANANA, AND PINEAPPLE

Wooden skewers

Watermelon

Pineapple

Banana

Whatever your selection of fruit is (the image above is bananas, pineapple, and watermelon but of course, if you can get hold of strawberries, pieces of apple, grapes etc, anything will work for you. Just make sure that you have a selection in bowls in a row and start making your own rockets. Guidance video below.

EDIBLE SPARKLERS

You will need:

1 bar plain chocolate

1 bar white chocolate

Small breadsticks (plain)

Hundreds and thousands

Edible stars (widely available in supermarkets)

Melt the plain and white chocolate in separate bowls over hot water.

Pop the hundreds and thousands and stars into a bowl

Carefully take a breadstick, dip into the melted chocolate and then into the stars mix and stand up in a glass and repeat. Easy to make – great to do with smaller children (my grandson had a great time, but this is like messy play personified!)

Keep repeating until they are all covered. Guidance video below.

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BONFIRE NIGHT FOOD – VEGETARIAN STYLE

Today, food is more than just something we throw onto a plate and hope for the best; it is communal and brings people together more than anything else and coupled with pyro, you are onto a winning team.

As a lover of everything, including meat and fish, many are stuck for what to make for those who are vegetarian or indeed vegan so here I have a DELICIOUS recipe for kebabs which everyone will enjoy. The recipe is there to be expanded on and indeed if you don’t like a particular element, replace it with something else like cherry tomatoes or even sweet potatoes which would just need a few minutes of par boiling beforehand for a lovely alternative.

This recipe will make 8-10 kebabs (depending on the size of the skewers and of course the veggies!)

You will need:

8-10 KEBABS SKEWERS (SOAK IN WATER FOR AN HOUR BEFOREHAND)
2 PACKS HALOUMI CHEESE CUT INTO 16 CUBES (IF VEGAN, CHANGE TO TOFU)
2 RED ONIONS
2 LARGE COURGETTES
2 LARGE PEPPERS
16 MUSHROOMS (AS CLOSE TO THE SAME SIZE AS POSSIBLE)
PREPARE THE VEG BY CUTTING THE ONIONS, PEPPERS AND COURGETTES INTO 16 EQUAL PIECES

For the marinade:

4 FINELY CHOPPED SPRING ONION
6 CLOVES OF GARLIC
4 TSP GROUND ALLSPICE
1 TSP SMOKY PAPRIKA
½ TSP CAYENNE PEPPER
1 TSP BLACK PEPPER
1 TSP GROUND CINAMMON
½ TSP NUTMEG
4 TSP DARK BROWN SUGAR
2 TSP SALT
4 TBS OLIVE OIL

To make the marinade, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend together if possible but it can be done straight into the bowl if you don’t have one to hand.

Put all the veggies, cheese and marinade into a large bowl and pour the marinade over ensuring all the items have some of the marinade over them and cling film and put into the fridge for up to 3 hours (1 hr min).

Once marinated, take the bowl and gently thread one of each item onto the skewer until it is full and continue until you have used all the cheese and veggies (cheese, onion, pepper, courgette, mushroom … repeat!) you are ready to cook them.

Brush each kebab skewer with oil and place onto the grill, taking care to turn regularly to avoid burning. They should be ready in around 5-7 minutes (depending on how much you have packed onto your skewers of course).

Serve with warmed pitta bread and some spicy mayo (you can buy dairy and egg free mayo from most leading supermarkets for vegans). The mayo I use is a simple mixture of mayo and hot sauce and drizzled over the kebabs is simply yummy.

For dessert, I would highly recommend chocky pops which are made with popcorn, chocolate and of course marshmallow but no dairy required (Green and Blacks organic chocolate is dairy free) and are fun, tasty and great for the whole family.

marinating kebabs

SPICY LENTIL SOUP

You will need:

4 TBS VEGETABLE OIL (YELLOW BEAN IS THE BEST)
8 CLOVES OF GARLIC
2-3 CM PIECE OF FRESHLY PEELED GINGER
2-3 RED CHILLIES (DEPENDING ON HOW SPICY YOU LIKE THINGS)
4 LARGE TOMATOES CHOPPED FINELY
4 LARGE ONIONS FINELY CHOPPED
2 STICKS OF CELERY FINELY CHOPPED
400 GMS OR 1LB OF GREEN OR PUY LENTILS (THEY KEEP THEIR SHAPE WHEN COOKING)
1 TSP PAPRIKA
1 TSP GROUND TURMERIC
1 TSP GARAM MASALA
½ TSP FENUGREEK
½ PINT VEGETABLE STOCK
1 TSP SALT
½ TSP BLACK PEPPER

METHOD

Using a food processor, blend the garlic, chilli and ginger into a paste.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions, salt and pepper and cook gently until the onions are see through and then add the garlic, chilli and ginger paste and the spices and cook for a few minutes until you are left with a spicy onion paste add the chopped tomatoes, celery and the lentils (which should be rinsed and drained thoroughly beforehand) and then add the stock. Cover and leave cooking until the lentils are tender. Serve piping hot with a little chopped coriander.

This is a delicious, vegan dish which will be a delightful warming soup for your guests and one of my family’s favourites.

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CRUNCHY FLAPJACK SQUARES

The traditional ‘sweets’ for Bonfire Night are of course Bonfire Toffee, Toffee Apples and Parkin and of course, no self-respecting Bonfire Night would be complete in some areas without delicious pie and peas.

But if you are struggling to keep the sugar content of your children’s snacks down, this is a great alternative with a healthy twist, that they will absolutely love – and, they can help in the making too!

Home made flapjack

This recipe makes 24 bars:

You will need:
8 TABLESPOONS OF COCONUT OIL (VEGETABLE OIL/RAPESEED OIL CAN BE SUBSTITUTED)
180 ML HONEY
2 OUNCES LIGHT MUSCOVADO SUGAR
12 OUNCES OATS (12 OZ)
2 OUNCES SESAME SEEDS or CHOPPED WALNUTS/HAZELNUTS
2 OUNCES DESICATED COCONUT
4 0UNCES DRIED CHOPPED APRICOT PIECES (CHOPPED FINE)
2 OUNCES CHOPPED DATES
4 OUNCES SULTANAS
2 OUNCES GLACE CHERRIES (CHOPPED)

1 large heavy bottomed pan
2 greased oven trays (min ½ inch deep)

Melt the coconut oil, sugar, and honey in the saucepan – heat until melted then add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Press into the two greased trays and bake for 20-25 minutes at Gas Mark 4 (180° C fanned or 350° F) until golden brown. Once removed from the oven, score where the squares are going to be and allow to cool enough to touch (not completely cool or you will not get them out!) Remove from tray once able to handle and leave on a wire tray to cool.

They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

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