The How To series on Fish Fingers for Tea is about answering those kitchen questions that crop up on a regular basis. Sometimes we might focus on skills, sometimes it might be useful things to know or know how to do or simply things that are nice to be able to master. Today we’re looking at how to make a Victoria Sponge.
A Victoria Sponge is a classic teatime cake, not flashy and not always the most popular (though the huge interest in home baking has done a lot for its image) but one that’s loved by pretty much everyone.
Named after Queen Victoria and allegedly her favourite cake, a Victoria Sponge consists of 2 layers of light sponge cake made with equal quantities of butter, sugar and flour traditionally filled with jam. The centre of many hotly fought battles at village fetes, the Victoria Sponge is more of a work horse than a show stopper, bringing to mind summery days, quaint tea rooms and all things quintessentially British. Continue reading →
This post is brought to you in association with Junior Scholars – the educational online retailer here to help parents, teachers and schools find the best resources to ensure every child has the best start. Keep an eye on their website for details about exciting future children’s events on cooking and baking for fun.
When I was pregnant with Izzy I knew that she would only eat healthy food. That she would happily wolf down all manner of vegetables, think fruit was the best treat you could have and not even know what crisps were until she was ooh, 16! Then she was born.
We all want our children to have the best diet possible and spend their first few years encouraging a balanced diet. But we can’t keep them away from sweets, chocolate and ‘junk’ and neither should we, as that balance can only come from eating a wide variety of food including the things that aren’t necessarily that good for us. But what we can do is teach them how to make the right choices. So how can we do that?
Children like to be involved – and especially so when it comes to food. Let them help with the menu plan and shopping list for the week. Get them involved in the kitchen while you’re cooking. If they are at school give them choices of what goes in their lunchbox or what meals to pick from the menu if they have school dinners. Use these times as a starting point to chat about why some food is better for us than others.
Role model – telling your child that they can’t have a bar of chocolate when you’ve just been caught sneaking biscuits out of the tin (I may or may not be speaking from experience!) doesn’t work very well. Children copy what we do, so if your go to snack is a packet of crisps or a handful of sweets then this is what they are going to expect too. Make your own food choices wisely and they are more likely to be copied. Continue reading →
More earthy and smokey than spicy, this three bean chilli is easy to make, filling and a tasty way to cook from your store cupboard.
Technically this should be called pancetta and three bean chilli. There is pancetta in the bowl you can see but I’ll say from the start that it’s in no way essential and it won’t be making an appearance when I cook it again. At Rich’s request, which is astonishing in itself.
Bacon is my secret weapon to getting Rich and Izzy to eat things that I know they will like but they think they won’t. I’d been throwing out the idea of a bean chilli for a while but both would sidestep the suggestion and stake a claim for something else on the menu plan.
Apparently pancetta and three bean chilli is completely acceptable though.
I understand. I mean, it’s bacon.
I don’t have a stonkingly good meat chilli recipe, it’s something that I’m still working on but this is good. It’s not hot – though of course you can increase the chilli to suit your own tastes, this was small person friendly – but it’s earthy and smokey thanks to the cumin and smoked paprika.
It’s very filling and there’s no real need for rice. We prefer it with chunks of fresh bread for sauce mopping purposes. A dollop of sour cream and some fresh coriander is a good thing here and perhaps a wedge of lime. Continue reading →
Nine times out of ten I’m all for things that make my life in the kitchen that little bit easier. I love cooking, it’s how I relax. But I’ve often got one eye on the clock and have no issue with reaching into the cupboard for something that I know is going to give me good results and save me some time.
I’m already a fan of the Knorr stock pots and tend to plop one of the little jellies into Shepherd’s pie for a flavour boost, so I was interested to hear that they are stepping into the world of herbs and spices with their new Knorr Flavour Pots
Developed by Cameron Healy – one of the team of chefs at Knorr – they work on the same principle as the stock and gravy pots. Little pots that melt right into your food while you’re cooking and pack in the flavour. The new range is starting out with 5 varieties – Mixed Herbs, Garlic, Mixed Chillies, Three Peppercorn and Curry. Each box has 4 tiny tubs of herbs and spices that have been worked to a paste and mixed with oil, not that dissimilar to how we can preserve fresh herbs in oil at home.
I’ve got my eye on the three peppercorn variety to start with, Rich has been hinting, not too subtly, that it’s been a while since steak has made an appearance and I reckon that the flavour pots will be worth a whirl here. The mixed chillies are destined for a chilli con carne and I can see the mixed herbs variety making their way into numerous dishes.
The Knorr Flavour Pot Range will be available from February for £1.59 but in the meantime here’s a video for you to peek at and for more recipe inspiration you can take a look here.
Disclosure: Sponsored Post but all views and thoughts are my own.
Thick, rich and totally indulgent, this peanut butter hot chocolate is best served in small doses. But wait until you hear what happens when it’s chilled.
Phrases that you won’t hear me utter often:
“I think I’ll go for a run”
“Ooh, it’s snowing! How exciting!”
“No more chocolate, I’ve had enough”
The last one happened over the weekend. Shocking I know but this is so rich and indulgent that a chocolate overdose was a distinct possibility.
We’ve already chatted about how to make hot chocolate but I couldn’t get a peanut butter version out of my head. Ages ago I was sent some Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter. And it really is good. Based in New Zealand, Pics are now breaking into the UK market and are well worth checking out if you are on a search for your all-time favourite peanut butter.
Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, they work together beautifully and it’s my go to flavour choice for pretty much anything. Here they melt together to give us a thick chocolate peanut butter liquid that can only really be served in pretty little espresso cups. Continue reading →