Chocolate Orange Balls

Halloween treats ahoy with this recipe for chocolate orange balls



Little Cooks Co is on a mission to get children cooking and what better excuse than Halloween!  Keep this recipe card safe…you will want to make it again and again!

Prep: 15 minutes

Tasty Tip: These heavenly truffles are perfect for both kids and grown-ups. Perfect for trick or treaters – or save them for yourself!


1 cup of dates (100g)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

Rind of one medium orange (finely grated)

Coconut oil (or some other kind of oil) for your hands



Food processor

Cooking instructions

1. Soften the dates in boiling water for a few mins if they are a little hard.

2. Pop the dates, cacao powder and orange zest in a food processor and blitz for 1-2 mins.

3. If the mixture is too stiff add a few drops of juice from the orange and blitz again

4. Now for little cooks to have some fun! sprinkle some cacao powder on a plate, rub coconut oil into your little cook’s hands and start rolling!

5. Take about a heaped teaspoon amount and roll into a ball – then roll in the cacao powder on the plate and repeat until all of the mixture has been used up

6. Store in a fridge for up to 5 days, though we can guarantee they will not last that long!

Little Cooks Co a delicious, healthy and fun recipe kit, for kids, delivered straight to your door from £8.33 a month.



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Halloween Treats

City Kids guide to the most disgustingly tasty halloween treats


Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble….Ok, so we’re more about the treats than the tricks most Halloweens, so our top ten includes some witches brew, snot and a magic wand. And for those that don’t have a sweet tooth (who even are they?) we have a burger from Byron in our round-up of the best Halloween treats. And if you’re looking for some fun decorations and bits and bobs to get you in the mood for a spooktacular party, then follow the link at the bottom of this page which will take you to a wizardly fantastic decorations and tableware edit.



Witches Brew White Hot Chocolate




Simsante Halloween Box

From £9.95



Natalie Marshmallow Skull Lolly




Craft & Crumb Creepy Coffins Bake and Craft Kit



Want to a fun recipe to wow the kids on Halloween night, but you’re short on time. We hear you. We have a fab recipe for Mummy Sausage and Pumpkin Pies which will set the tone for a spooktacular Halloween party.


Harry Potter Chocolate Wand




Byron The Hat Trick Burger




Chococco Gold Chocolate Shimmer Pumpkin with Spiders




Thickest Human Snot




Haunted House




Mixed Set of Cake Pops




Throwing a Halloween party? Head here>>>

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Halloween Party Essentials

The City Kids guide to Halloween party essentials


It’s that time of year, autumn leaves on the ground, nights getting cooler and lots of Halloween decorations and edibles in the shops. In our autumn issue, we found some fantastic bits for the most spine tingling of parties. Below is an edit of our Halloween party essentials, kicking off with treats from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, whose website we absolutely love (automatically translated for humans) for the most imaginative items.



Toasted Bone Chunks


Pumpkin Decorations 2 pack


Halloween Plates

£6.25 for 8


£1.75 for 20

Halloween Bat Table Runner


Postbox Party Skeleton Ribcage Paper Cups

£7.20 for 8

Halloween Cookie Cutters




Jar of Bug Biscuits




Gooey Chocolate Eyeballs


Dracula teeth

£5.49 for 500g bag


Pin the Smile on the Skeleton




Personalised Halloween Goodie Bag




Need some Halloween party food? Head here>>>

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Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies Recipe

Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies



How about a really easy recipe which has a bit of a wow factor when you put it on the table. Halloween calls for Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies!

Makes 9 portions


  • 350g plain flour
  • 175g salted butter, cubed
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 350g sausage meat
  • 150g pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 18 edible eyes


  • Mixing bowl
  • Lined baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • Knife


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan).
  2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter by rubbing it together between your fingertips, until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add the water and bring together with your hands to form a pastry dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the freezer to rest while you make the filling.
  3. Wash up the mixing bowl then use it to combine the sausage meat, pumpkin purée, sage and salt. Set to one side.
  4. Take the dough out of the freezer and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large rectangle (2-3mm thickness) then portion into 12 smaller rectangles.
  5. Place 9 of the pastry rectangles onto the tray and spoon the sausage filling into the centre of each one leaving an index finger width border around every edge.
  6. Beat the egg, then use your finger to egg wash the edges of each pie.
  7. Cut the remaining 3 rectangles into 1 cm strips and lay them over the filling of each pie, using the egg washed edges to stick them. Trim if necessary.
  8. Use your finger to egg wash the strips then bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before placing two edible eyes on each one and serving. They can also be enjoyed cold.

Recipe from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website: or on social: @fab_flour on Instagram or @fabflour on Facebook and Twitter.


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Moroccan Veggie Stew by Jo Pratt

This Moroccan Veggie Stew recipe is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, kids who are back at school and more than perfect for parents who are not enjoying being back in a routine post the summer holidays. Arghhh!


A Moroccan Veggie Stew for family food


This Moroccan veggie stew is easy to prepare, oozes with flavour and goodness, and goes really well with couscous a dollop of hummus, and some veggie sticks on the side.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 500g peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g chickpeas, drained
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon

To serve:

  • Couscous
  • Hummus (why not make your own…see the easy recipe below…)
  • Raw veggie sticks

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic and all the dried spices (cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger and cayenne pepper), then cook for a further 1 minute.

Stir in the carrots and squash then add the tinned tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water and swirl it around to pick up all of the tomato juices. Add this to the pan along with the chickpeas and apricots.

Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout. Finish off by squeezing in the lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt.

Serve straight way or set to one side and reheat gently when needed.

Simple Hummus

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 100g tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt

Drain the chickpeas and keep all the water from the tin.

Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, 125ml of the chickpea water and a good pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend for a few minutes until lovely and smooth. Check the seasoning and add a pinch of salt to taste. If it looks too thick, add more of the chickpea water.

To serve, swirl the hummus onto a serving dish. Drizzle over the olive oil and garnish with the paprika.


For more food ideas and recipes head here>>>>>

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Suns out, brioche buns are out and we’re firing up the barbecue.

Is it your turn to host? Look no further, dust off the grill and whip up a spread in no time thanks to Jo Pratt’s super scrumptious selection of summer BBQ recipes. If you haven’t got a BBQ (who even are you), don’t worry as all of these summer recipes can be made stove top or in the oven. And some need no cooking at all!


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Padron peppers

Get the recipe here


Strawberries with vanilla cashew cream

Get the recipe here


Jo’s books can be found at all good booksellers including Waterstones

Click here for more recipes>>>>>


Jo Pratt’s Roast Tomato and Lentil Soup with Halloumi Croutons



Celebrating tomatoes with Jo Pratt’s Roast Tomato and Lentil Soup with Halloumi Croutons is a fine way to mark British Tomato Fortnight. It’s one of our favourites from the City Kids Family Food Planner too.

For the soup

850g ripe tomatoes, quartered and green core removed

1 red  pepper, quartered and deseeded

3 carrots, quartered

2 sticks celery, halved

1 long red chilli, halved (optional)

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp paprika

100g red split lentils

1 litre hot vegetable stock

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

basil leaves, to garnish

For the croutons

olive oil

200g halloumi, diced into small cubes


Time taken 1 hour 10 minutes / Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/400°F/gas 6.

Put the tomatoes, pepper, carrots, celery, chilli, if using, and garlic in a large roasting tray, one that is suitable to be put on the hob as well as the oven. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the veggies in the oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are all softened and beginning to char nicely around the edges.

Remove the tray from the oven and stir in the lentils and stock. Place the roasting tray on the hob and set over a high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cover with foil or a baking sheet, reduce to a low-medium heat and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.

Blend the soup with a hand blender or liquidiser until smooth. If using a liquidiser, it may need to be done in two batches, depending on the size of your machine. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

To make the croutons, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the halloumi and fry for 2–3 minutes, turning throughout, until golden on most sides. Serve hot scattered on top of the soup along with the basil leaves.


Vegan –  the soup itself won’t need any alterations to be vegan friendly, but as an alternative to the halloumi croutons, lightly fry a mixture of cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a drizzle of oil until golden. Sprinkle over a pinch of smoked paprika and salt. Toss to coat and serve scattered on top of the soup.

Dairy-free –  for dairy-free meat eaters, replace the halloumi by frying some sliced chorizo in a drizzle of oil until golden. Sprinkle over the soup with a drizzle of the rich red chorizo oil from the frying pan.


Click here for more recipes>>>>>



When it seems like 2021 has already lasted 2556 days, and you feel like you’ve prepared 907975 meals, Jo Pratt and Lizzie King have responded to our SOS by working together on a free family meal planner to save our sanity. All you have to do is sign up below to receive it!



Jo regularly provides recipes and ideas for City Kids readers and she’s drawn on her fantastic wealth of knowledge and numerous cookbooks to help create our planner. Her most recent publications are all about flexibility (The Flexible Vegetarian, The Flexible Pescatarian, The Flexible Family Cookbook), as we try to cater for different dietary needs and tastes, never more apparent than in the family home.

Lizzie is another friend of City Kids whose most recent venture, Lizzie Loves, has brought all her nutritional expertise to the fore. She’s shared recipes from her recent Wellness Week campaign and from Healthy Family Food. There’s nothing like a pandemic to focus our minds on eating well and boosting immunity.

Lizzie and Jo’s recipes work together for daily, stress-free goodness.

Our family meal plan includes all meals and snacks plus the added benefit of some of Lizzie’s Be Well and Be Sleepy remedies sprinkled amongst the goodness. We’ve made it as nutritionally balanced as possible and easy, as we know time is like gold dust at the moment. Some can be made in advance so that all you have to do is reheat ahead of lunch or dinner.

Finally, don’t stress if your food delivery missed an item and it’s not available for the recipe. You’ll see these meals can be flexible!

You can follow @cookwithjopratt and @lizzielovesremedies & @lizzieloveshealthy over on Instagram for more great family food ideas.

Pop your details below for your FREE meal planner + more greatness from the team at City Kids Magazine


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For more food ideas head to our recipe pages>>>


Top 10 Ready-Made Picnics for Families

Sun’s out, guns out, but more importantly, it’s time for the best family takeaway picnics! We’ve put together a fantastic list of ready-made picnics for families to enjoy.


Born out of Battersea, Pique’s luxury handmade picnics are vast in choice and ideal for families looking to really roll out the red picnic blanket. Birthday Breakfast hampers come complete with brunch essentials: banana and dark chocolate loaf with birthday candles, party hats, flowers and bubbles (for the big kids!). The natty named Leonardo de Veggie box is packed with veggie delights and the full monty is called The Pique-Nique. Chorizo, apricot and thyme sausage rolls, Lemony hummus and crudités, charcuterie, brie, pickles & chutney, orzo pasta salad, baguettes, brownies and more. Order with 48 hours notice and their picnic boxes will arrive to your door with disposable, compostable and plastic-free packaging.


Each comes in a Megan’s-blue picnic box, which folds out to double up as your picnic table, in blue gingham of course.
The picnics are for 2 people and include a sourdough toastie, flatbread wrap or healthy salad each from their fresh, daily-made deli bar, plus, harissa hummus with flatbread or falafel, a gluten free chocolate brownie or Nutella and sea salt cookie each and your choice of drink. Options include the Champagne picnic with plastic flutes for £65, Prosecco picnic with plastic flutes for £35, a homemade lemonade picnic for £25, or their new Mirabeau picnic comes with a magnum of rose and plastic glasses for £65.
Click & Collect or on Deliveroo.


Melrose And Morgan are always our first stop for deli delights in Primrose Hill and Hampstead Village. From the Park to the Heath, their summer picnic hampers scale up from two to six, making them the perfect for family feasts in the sun. The Meadow is ideal for a family of four and packed with divine delights – salad, veggie or meat scotch eggs, cheddar cheese, hummus and spelt crackers, truffle crisps, broad beans, olives, feta stuffed peppers, cherry tomatoes, a punnet of strawberries and sinfully gooey chocolate brownies.

We waxed lyrical about their BBQ hampers and Jimmy’s Pop Up new picnic box is equally as impressive. Serving up to four, this hamper is just the ticket if you’re looking for a really special family alfresco feast. The best of British picnic fare, artisan cheese and meats sit nestled next to giant sausage rolls, handmade pork pies, homemade chutney, pickles, smoked salmon and for pud – strawberries and cream. Grown-ups can toast all their hard work during lockdown with a bottle of red, white or rose. Get ordering as Jimmy’s picnic box is set to be a popular one!

East London gastropub The Empress is keeping to tradition despite recent events. Their takeaway Sunday roasts are pretty special and ideal for weekend picnicking. Their classic Empress Sunday Roast comes served with Yorkshire pudding, braised red cabbage, roast carrots & parsnips, spring greens & roast potatoes. So what will it be roast beef, pork belly or a vegan beetroot and nut roast? If you can squeeze room in for pudding there’s an unctuous sticky toffee pud and apricot Bakewell tart, both served with clotted cream. Order in advance to avoid disappointment!

We’re partial to their pastries, so when Pophams announced their picnic kits we jumped for joy…and in the nick of time for National Picnic Week. The ideal day-date treat for if you’ve snatched a few hours away from the kids whilst they’re at school, Pophams hamper is overflowing with deliciousness – root vegetables pithivier, olives, build your own porchetta focaccia sarnie, herby Isle of Wight Tomato salad, PB & J bread pudding sando, Pophams Eccles cakes with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and more. A lush lunch in the sunshine if we ever did see! Nip over to to order your picnic

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty only moments away
from the River Thames and on the doorstep of Richmond Park, Petersham Nurseries are serving up one heavenly park-ready vegan picnic. Priced at £40 for two (double for a family of four) the dishes are as mouthwatering as their restaurant fare. Vivid green pea hummus, farro and pesto salad, mushroom, chard and onion filo start, a moreish focaccia and English strawberries with mint sugar and Amalfi lemon. Orders for collection from Petersham Nurseries Richmond, Thursday – Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Order by 4pm for next day collection.

If you’re bringing up your brood in South London, you’ll be familiar with The Farmer’s Mistress and their brilliant brunches. Their brand new Farmer’s Mistress Picnic box is not only environmentally friendly in a biodegradable box but is perfect for mums lunch dates on Clapham Common. With mini brioche aplenty tuck into non-Dairy cream cheese, balsamic onion, roasted pepper, wild garlic pesto, prawn, crème fraiche, avo, baby gem and chicken, smoked bacon. and sun-dried tomato. Caramelised apple & apricot sausage roll, date ketchup, scotch eggs and mustard mayo and wholewheat fusilli pesto pasta salad. Sweet endings? The salted caramel fudge brownie & millionaire shortbread bites are EPIC!

Award-winning online butcher Field & Flower have been keeping the country fed on the finest meat, poultry and fish during lockdown with their amazing array of delivery boxes. As part of their BBQ box range, their Summer Picnic BBQ box comes primed with thick-cut ham, artisan scotch eggs and British charcuterie alongside a hefty hunk of Barber’s Haystack Cheddar Cheese and pickles galore. With 32 whopping servings, this box will generously feed 3-4 people at least and comes in under £50. A top picnic pic for hungry families.

Kids picnics at home call for one thing – ice cream! Those clever chaps at Chin Chin Labs have gone all out this summer with their brand new Ice Cream in the Post! Using liquid nitrogen means their ice cream stays colder for longer so they can post freshly churned & hand-packed nitro ice cream straight from Chin Chin’s Soho kitchen to your front door! Each ice cream box includes one tub of Burnt Butter Caramel, one tub of Tonka Bean and one tub of Strawberry Milk ice cream. Please note that only grown-ups can handle the unpacking due to the dry ice in the box.

Firmdale Hotel’s Ham Yard Hotel may still be closed but they’ve kept their kitchen open to bring us one sweet treat – afternoon tea boxes. With delivery to most postcodes across London, Ham Yard Hotel have boxed up their favourite treats including delicious finger sandwiches, sumptuous savouries like tomato arancini and sausage rolls, scones with clotted cream and preserves and our mouth-watering cakes, including lemon drizzle and raspberry Bakewell tart. Place your order prior to midday on Thursday for a choice of Friday, Saturday or Sunday delivery.

Now you’ve got the best takeaway picnic, time to choose the park. Our best London Parks for Picnics guide should help!


You can find more fantastic family-friendly foodie recommendations from the Tiny Table website and over on Instagram.



Grab your eggs, flour, milk and whisks to make the perfect pancakes this week.

Whether you call it Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, we’ve got some recipe ideas at the ready. We also have more pancake recipes in our Family Meal Planner which is FREE TO DOWNLOAD HERE!

Jo Pratt’s Foolproof Pancakes

Makes: 12-14 American style pancakes, or 8-10 crepes

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Cooking Time:4 minutes

125g/4½oz/1 cup self-raising flour (either plain or self-raising can be used for crêpes)
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk (just under for American-style, just over for crêpes)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
butter or sunflower oil, for frying

Suggestions to serve

try some of these options:
• clear honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or jam
• chocolate spread or caramel sauce
• fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas
• grated lemon or orange zest and sugar
• yogurt
• ice cream … for breakfast? Some of you will!

1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a blender or food processor and mix together well. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be that of double cream for crêpes, so add a little extra milk if you need to. (Cook straight away or chill for up to 24 hours until needed – loosen with extra milk if necessary.)
2. Heat a pancake or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small piece of butter or a trickle of oil until it melts all over the base of the pan. Add a spoonful of the batter, rolling the pan to spread it over the base of the pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
3. Serve with your chosen topping and enjoy.

Recipe from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt


For vegans amongst you, BBC Food has a great recipe by Anna Glover


300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl using a balloon whisk until mixed. Slowly pour in the milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.
2. Heat a little of the oil in a over a medium-low heat, and add 2 tbsp batter into the pan at a time to make small, round pancakes. You will need to do this in batches of two-three at a time.
3. Cook for 3-4 mins until the edges are set, and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2-3 mins until golden on both sides and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
4. Serve stacked with lots of toppings of your choice, or serve with bowls of toppings for everyone to help themselves.

No cook options

There are obviously a world of lazy easy options if you’re up against it. As well as pancake mix in a bottle, Marks & Spencer have created pink Percy Pig flavoured pancakes. Yes, they have. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also make Percy Pig panapés…



Waitrose have stocked these packets of vegan joy from Squeaky Bean at £2.50 a packet.

For more recipe ideas download our FREE FAMILY MEAL PLANNER or go to our RECIPES PAGE>>>>


Fresh Baby Food Delivered to your door

Mother and daughter duo, Judy and Melissa Blake have not only created a business together, they’ve also seen it grow at one of the most difficult times. Sweet Pea Spoons delivers fresh baby food – with no nasties – nationwide, giving time-poor parents a break from the parenting treadmill. The subscription service allows you to select a variety of nutritionally balanced meals which are delivered weekly or fortnightly. We spoke to Judy and Melissa about their enterprise and what makes them tick.



Three words to describe yourselves.

Judy: Caring, cautious and I’m afraid to say a bit of a worrier sometimes!

Melissa: Driven, passionate and loyal

Tell us about how Sweet Pea Spoons came about.

The idea for Sweet Pea Spoons was born 23 years ago, when my mum had me. Being an advocate for high quality food with ‘no nasties’, she found it frustrating that there were no fresh, pre-prepared baby food options on the market for busy parents.

So, she was forced to take matters into her own hands by making all of my baby food from scratch. She soon realised how time consuming and tiring this was, and that parents would benefit from having fresh, nutritious and tasty baby meals delivered to their door. The only problem was, she just wasn’t sure how to turn her idea into a business.


Fast forward 23 years, I achieved a First-Class Honours in my Business degree and also developed a firm interest in nutrition. After finishing my degree, I started to think about life after university and what career I would choose, so I started looking at the baby food industry. Like Mum all those years ago, I began to realise that many parents want to feed their babies fresh, healthy meals, but the realities of a busy family life mean this can often be a struggle.

To my surprise, parents still only have two options when it comes to baby food; make it from scratch yourself which is time consuming or buy commercially produced jars/pouches which compromise on quality. So, using my new business knowledge and my passion for nutrition, I decided to join forces with my Mum and turn her 23-year-old dream in to a reality. Our aim? To create a fresh baby meal delivery service and ensure that busy parents no longer have to sacrifice tasty, homemade food for the ease of mass produced, shop bought pouches.

How do you divide roles in the business?

With my business knowledge, I take more of the ‘leader’ role in terms of running the day to day tasks of the business-like organising deliveries, ordering ingredients, managing social media accounts, conversing with customers etc, while Judy’s roles are more focused in the kitchen. She’s head of quality control and chief taster!

Mum is always the one who provides suggestions of potential new flavours to try after taking inspiration from magazines etc. I then go away to develop and test the recipes. Judy then gives feedback on the tests and suggests any improvements to the tests.

While I would say that I’m the driving force behind the business and bringing it to life, I certainly couldn’t do it without Judy.

What’s it like working with a relative?

Working with your Mum really is the best thing! I see her so much more often than I would have otherwise which is really lovely. I think you can be a lot more honest working with a family member and say exactly what you’re thinking without causing tension. Most of the time we always agree!

No one wants you to succeed more than your own mum, so I always know she will do everything she can to help make Sweet Pea Spoons work.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge we’ve faced is getting our products to customers whilst keeping them frozen. It’s taken nearly a year of testing to figure out how to get our products to customers all across the UK whilst maintaining frozen temperatures. When we first launched in March we were only delivering to customers in Twickenham and Richmond. But now we can deliver to almost all corners of the UK!

Last book you read?

Is it awful that I can’t remember? Life is pretty hectic balancing a business, a part time job, family life and a sort of social life.  So if I’m being totally honest, I never really have time for books. I listen to a LOT of podcasts, always business ones as I enjoy listening to other successful founders’ stories and taking onboard their advice.

Tell us something that people don’t know about you.

I once jumped out of a plane. I have no idea how I did it, but when I was travelling in New Zealand I decided it would be a good idea to do a skydive. My mum stayed up until 2am UK time to check it went all ok. When I watch videos back all I can think is how the H*** did I do that! I get butterflies watching it!

What would you take to a desert island?

A photograph of my puppy Cavapoochon Blue, he’s my pride and joy.

Signature dish (not baby food!)

Judy: My either my Tomato and Pancetta Risotto, super simple but delicious, or my Thai roast chicken for something a bit different. Both are always crowd pleasers.

Melissa: My Chocolate and Orange Panettone pudding! A seasonal take on the classic bread and butter pudding. I used to make this for my girls at uni and it really is the most indulgent delicious pudding (I’m a dessert person always). In summer it’s my Strawberry and Rhubarb crumble, don’t get me started I could go on…

Your proudest moment?

Receiving a first class in my degree and the Deans Award for the most outstanding student. This really was a special moment after working so hard for three years.

In terms of the business, it was being contacted by a certain big brand who I’ve always looked up to. When I look back at where we first started when we were planning the idea, it makes me realise how far we’ve come and I’m incredibly proud (and a bit shocked) of that.

What’s next on the list of things to do?

We’re looking at developing a finger foods option as many parents are now going down the BLW route so we want to cover both basis. We’re also hoping to start getting our products into some local farm shops and other retailors in 2021 which will be super exciting!

>>>>>For more food inspiration, check out our Recipe pages>>>>>


Christmas food gifts to show you care

We all know that a handmade card is better than a shop-bought one. So it follows that some Christmas crafting will earn plenty of brownie points and nothing says Christmas more than food and goodies. Our festive round-up has some ideas for DIY Christmas food gifts which are possible to create with the kids without too much bother!

It’s fairly easy to find pretty bags or boxes to use to present your gifts, finishing off with ribbons and pretty stickers will work wonders.

We kick off with three recipes from our very own Jo Pratt who has some fantastic Christmas food gift ideas.


Gingerbread Snowflake Biscuits by Jo Pratt



375g (13oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
2tbsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp cocoa powder
125g (4 1/2oz) butter, softened
125g (4 1/2oz) light muscovado sugar
1tbsp black treacle
1tbsp golden syrup
1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until it is slightly creamy. Add the treacle, golden syrup and egg. Beat until smooth.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and then finish off with your hands, to form a smooth dough, kneading lightly on the worktop. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a pastry cutter, cut out as many small or large biscuit shapes as you like, and place on greased baking sheets. There is no need to space them well apart as the dough won’t spread while cooking.
  3. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until they are starting to firm up. If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree, make a hole with a skewer while they are still hot. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Once cold, the biscuits can be decorated like snowflakes (or with whatever pattern you like). Use coloured writing icing tubes – mine were done with Barbie glitter ones.

Cocoa Granola by Jo Pratt


Time taken: 1 hour 15 minutes including cooking
Makes: 8-10 portions


  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz dates, stoned (ideally the plump sticky Medjool dates)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 250g/9oz porridge oats (gluten-free if required)
  • 100g/3 ½ oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 75g/2 ½ oz dried cherries, raisins, sultanas or cranberries
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz coconut flakes
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp linseed/flaxseed


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/120C fan/275F/gas 1. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Put the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, bananas and dates, into a food processor and blend to a smooth puree. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, making everything is coated in the banana puree mixture.
  4. Tip onto the baking tray and loosely spread into a single layer. Place into the oven and cook for 1 hour, mixing the granola around every 15 minutes, breaking up any particularly large chunks.
  5. After 1 hour the granola will still remain soft but will have a delicious toasted aroma and appear more golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. As it cools, it will become crisp and crunchy.
  6. Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks – though it’s highly unlikely you won’t have any left by then anyway!

If gifting, find some compostable ‘cellophane’ gift bags and pretty labels which you can use to divide amongst your friends and family.

Nut-Free: simply omit the pecan nuts and replace with some additional dried fruit such as banana chips, chopped figs, apricots or mango.
Extra chocolatey: stir 100g/3 ½ oz dark chocolate chips or chunks into the granola when it comes out of the oven.

Taken from The Flexible Pescatarian

Sticky Toffee Popcorn


Makes 4-8 portions
Preparation Time 5 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling
Cooking Time 5 minutes


1 tbsp sunflower oil
50g / 1 3/4oz popping corn
40g / 1 1/2oz salted butter
40g / 1 1/2oz / 1/4 cup light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup


1. Line a baking sheet with baking powder
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the corn and swirl the pan around to coat the corn in the oil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low and leave the pan for a few minutes until the popping has stopped, then remove it from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a separate pan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium and let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes. Pour over the popcorn and stir well to coat.
4. Spread the popcorn over the prepared baking sheet and leave to cool for about 15 minutes in a cool place (not the fridge).

Pop the popcorn in a bag, seal well and then put the bag inside a popcorn box for the best gift for movie fans.

Taken from Madhouse Cookbook


White Chocolate Truffles

These White Chocolate Truffles seen in Country Living were far too good to miss.


1/2 cup plus 9 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
310g plus 3 cups white chocolate chips, divided
50g cream cheese, at room temperature
32 Biscoff biscuits finely crushed. Aim for 2 1/2 cups crumbs
Holly sprinkles, for decorating.


  • Heat 1/2 cup cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around edges, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from heat. Add 310g of chocolate chips and let sit 2 minutes; whisk until smooth. Whisk in cream cheese then fold in cookie crumbs until combined. Transfer to a bowl and chill until firm, 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls; transfer to baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Microwave remaining 9 tablespoons cream and 3 cups chips in a microwave-safe bowl on high 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Dip truffles in melted chocolate, tapping off excess, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Immediately place a holly sprinkle on top; let set.


Stained Glass Window Cookies from Jamie Oliver




1 clementine
100 g unsalted butter , (cold)
180 g plain flour
50 g caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk
12 coloured fruity boiled sweets


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Finely grate the clementine zest. Cube up the butter and place in a mixing bowl with the flour, sugar, clementine zest and cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the mix till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the milk and bring together to make a soft dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes.
  4. Separate the sweets into colours and place in separate sandwich bags. Press the air out and seal the bags, then carefully crush into small pieces with a rolling pin.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll out to 1cm thick. Use a selection of large cutters to cut out shapes and place on the lined baking sheets, then use the smaller cutters to cut a ‘window’ in the centre of each biscuit.
  6. Sprinkle enough crushed sweets to fill the centre hole (don’t overfill or the sweets will melt over the biscuit), then use a cocktail stick to make a hole in the top of each biscuit, so you can thread a ribbon through them later. (You can re-roll any dough trimmings to make more biscuits, but you’ll need more sweets. You could also bake the cut-out centres and eat as a treat when decorating the tree.)
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, or till the biscuits are golden and the sweets melted. Leave to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack. Thread with ribbon and hang them on the tree or package up for gifting.

Recipe by Phillippa Spence at


Snowflake cookies and Popcorn image Gareth Morgans
Chocolate Granola image Susan Bell
White Chocolate Truffles image Brian Woodcock


Whether you’ve already embraced Veganism, or you’re flirting with the idea, this Vegan cinnamon rolls recipe may help you make your decision this World Vegan month.


Made with just seven ingredients, this tasty vegan recipe is the ideal bake for impressing your family whilst embracing the second lockdown. With only 20 minutes of proving time and 5 pieces of common kitchen equipment needed, you’ll be enjoying your very own cinnamon rolls with the rest of the nation, in no time at all!



Vegan Cinnamon Tear & Share Loaf  

Serves 6


  1. 200ml water
  2. 60g vegan spread (I used Vitalite) + extra for greasing
  3. 1 tsp dried yeast
  4. 300g strong white bread flour
  5. 90g light brown sugar
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 200g icing sugar

Baker’s Equipment

  1. Measuring jug
  2. Dessert spoon
  3. Large mixing bowl
  4. Rolling pin
  5. Loaf tin


  1. Put 30g of the vegan spread in the jug and melt in the microwave. Top up with 165ml of warm water from the tap and stir in the yeast with the spoon.
  2. Combine the flour and 30g of light brown sugar in the large mixing bowl and pour in the yeast/water/butter mixture. Bring together to form a dough with your hands.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, return to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, preheat the oven to 185°C (fan) and grease the loaf tin with vegan spread.
  4. After the dough has proved for 20 minutes, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a 30cm x 30cm square. Spread the remaining 30g of vegan spread evenly over the dough with the back of the spoon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon and remaining 60g light brown sugar. Roll the dough into a sausage shape.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces (5cm each) and place into the greased loaf tin, spirals facing up. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the tin in the oven after 10 minutes.
  6. Rinse the jug, measure 35ml cold tap water and mix in the icing sugar to make a glaze. Once the loaf has finished baking, allow it to cool slightly before removing from the tin and drizzling with the glaze. Tear apart and enjoy!

Recipe from the FAB Flour Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by nabim. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the FAB Flour website: or on social: @fab_flour on Instagram or @fabflour on Facebook and Twitter.

Find more fabulous recipes over on our Food page including Chicken Tinga Tacos from Jo Pratt, and Caribbean Curry from Joe Wicks.


Chicken and Black Bean Tinga Tacos with Watermelon Salsa

With the recent publication of The Flexible Family Cookbook, we’re celebrating by reproducing the recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos from Jo Pratt.



“This is super-easy to make and for that reason I serve it frequently at home. Tinga is a Mexican dish where chicken is cooked with onion, tomatoes and chipotle sauce and shredded when cooked. I like to do a half-halfnchicken and black bean combo, to vary things up and reduce our meat intake. This juicy watermelon salsa is well worth making. Put everything on the table to make a sharing supper for everyone to dig into.” Jo Pratt.

Time taken 50 minutes / Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste (or more for a spicier finish)
1 tsp red or white wine vinegar
400g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
400g/14 oz can black beans or kidney beans, drained
2 chicken breasts, skinless or 350g/12 oz boneless chicken thighs
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa

300g/10½ oz watermelon, diced into small pieces
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ small bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped
juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp olive oil

To serve

1 large ripe avocado, sliced or mashed
sour cream
1 small red onion, finely sliced and mixed with
juice of ½ lime
grated Cheddar cheese
coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped
soft corn or flour tortillas, warmed


  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish.
  • Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to turn golden.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before stirring in the sugar, chipotle paste, vinegar, tomatoes, 200ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup water and the black beans. Mix everything together and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the chicken to the pan, spooning over the sauce to cover. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce thickened.
  • Meanwhile, make the salsa by mixing everything together in a serving bowl and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and sit on a plate or board. Using two forks, shred into strips and then return the shredded meat back to the sauce.
  • Serve the Chicken and Black Bean Tinga with the watermelon salsa, avocado, sour cream, red onion, cheese and coriander. Pile everything into warm tortillas, wrap and prepare to get messy.


Pescatarian: a delicious alternative to using chicken is to swap it for some chunky white fish such as cod, pollock or haddock. Let the tomato and black bean sauce cook alone for 20 minutes then add 400g/14 oz fish fillets to the pan. Spoon over the sauce, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Break the fish into flakes in the pan and serve as above.

Get ahead: once made, the chicken can sit in the fridge for 3–4 days and heated through when needed. It can also easily be doubled up so you can freeze half for another time.

 The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, £20 Frances Lincoln.

Photography Malou Burger

 For more of Jo’s Recipes, head to our Recipe page.


To celebrate Afternoon Tea Week, we’ve borrowed a recipe from Carr’s Flour to help you make the best Victoria Sponge


There’s nothing quite like a Victoria Sponge and frankly, Afternoon Tea Week is just another excuse to scoff one. Not only is it named after our editor (;-), but it’s also delicious, light, easy to make and will put smiles on lots of faces.

Victoria Sponge Sandwich

Makes one cake, 30 minutes prep, 20-25 minutes bake time

Use our easy to follow recipe to create a classic sponge cake. Get creative and fill with different jams or curds and decorate with fruit and icing sugar.


225g Unsalted Butter (softened)
225g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs
225g Carr’s Self Raising Flour

For the filling

150g Raspberries
175ml Double Cream (lightly whipped)
Icing Sugar (for dusting)


      1. Lightly grease 2 loose-bottomed 20cm/8″ sandwich tins and line the bases with a double layer of non-stick baking parchment.
      2. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (Fan 160ºC, Gas Mark 4).
      3. Place the softened butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and cream until white and fluffy.
      4. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Gradually mix the eggs into the creamed mixture.
      5. Sift half the flour, gently fold into the mixture with a metal spoon and repeat until all the flour is completely incorporated.
      6. Divide the mixture evenly between the lined sandwich tins and level the surface with the back of a wet spoon or plastic spatula.
      7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and golden. The tops of the cakes should spring back when ready.
      8. Remove from the tins and allow to cool.
      9. Fill with lightly whipped cream and raspberries. Dust the top with icing sugar before enjoying!


Click here for more delicious recipes and food news


It’s hot, sticky and we all want to cool down. What better way than to have one of the best ice creams in London. Here’s our guide.

Whether you’re a Mr Whippy fan or only the best Italian gelato will do, London serves up some of the best ice cream. Vegan, goats milk, cow’s milk, milkshakes, sorbets, sandwiches and toppings, you name it….


Devonshire Road, Chiswick, W4

Head to Duci for authentic Italian ice cream, Sicilian cannoli, lemon granitas and affogatos (they make great coffee).

Bears Ice Cream
Goldhawk Road, W12 & The Pavilion, Brook Green, W6

It’s not just Italians that can make gourmet ice cream. Bears offers Icelandic soft serve topped with endless goodies. Vegan options available as well as ice cream deliveries.

Marine Ices
Chalk Farm Road, NW1

In London since 1931, Marine ices is a London landmark with over 24 ice cream flavours as well as sorbets, sundaes and cakes.

Hackney Gelato
Andrews Road, E8

Locanda Locatelli alumni, Sam and Enrico, have won 15 Great Taste stars in the last two years and provide this corner of London with gourmet Sicilian inspired gelato and wicked milkshakes.

Rupert St, W1

What started as a stall now has a permanent spot in Soho specialising in ice cream sandwiches, largely made with macarons. Yum!


Related: The Best Family Take Away Picnics

Gelateria Danieli
Brewers Lane, TW9

These guys supplied ice cream to the Queen on her 80th birthday, so if it’s good enough for her…They also make delicious chocolates.

Milk Train
Covent Garden, WC2

Customise your own Milk Train ice creams and milkshakes by swirling a creamy base with different mix-ins. Or choose sundae options. Go choo-choo and add a choo-choo candy floss cloud to your ice cream or milkshake to fully board the Milk Train!

Box Park Shoreditch & Market Hall Victoria (temporarily closed)

Instagram worthy ice creams with a variety of toppings, choosing an image for this round-up was hard!

Greedy Goat
Borough Market

Less allergenic than cow’s milk, these guys pride themselves on producing only goats milk ice cream. They also package their ice creams in glass jars making them kind to the planet too.

Clapham Common, SW4

Traditional ice-cream cones, cakes, glasses, semifreddi but also crepes (thin pancakes), confectionary and a variety of typical Italian products, all authentically made.


If your taste buds are awake, head to our food pages for more mouth watering ideas.



Wean in 15 by Joe Wicks contains 100 recipes to take your child from milk to solids and beyond, including this recipe for Caribbean Spiced Chicken and Squash Curry.


When we spoke to Joe Wicks about Wean in 15 he told us his favourite recipe was Caribbean Spiced Chicken and Squash Curry. So here’s the recipe for you!

This is the tastiest curry in the whole book. Remember your baby’s appetite can vary day-to-day, so don’t be upset if they don’t eat all the food you offer them.

Makes 1 adult and 2 child portions


1 ½ tbsp Caribbean curry powder or normal curry powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
½ tsp allspice powder
4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
400g frozen cubed butternut squash
Juice ½ lime
6 spring onions, roughly chopped
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped


Sprinkle half the curry powder over the chicken, mix well and put to one side.

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion, thyme and bay leaf and fry for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and ginger and continue cooking for a further minute.

Sprinkle in the remaining curry powder and the allspice and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to seal. Add in the tomatoes and continue cooking until they start to break down.

Add the coconut milk and squash to the pan and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Stir in the lime juice, spring onions and coriander. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before serving. Serve with Rice.

Keeps for up to two days covered in the fridge.





We’re all feeling the pain of making three meals a day, preparing snacks, washing up, wiping down, thinking about the next meal etc. But thankfully, Jo Pratt has three great stir fry sauces to help make cooking in lockdown a little easier.


I’m sure all of our kitchens have never been busier with the whole family at home 24/7 requiring 3 meals a day. Oh and of course not to forget the numerous amounts of snacks demanded for by the never-ending appetites kids seem to have.

Now, more than ever we need easy to prepare, economical and nutritious recipes that require straight forward everyday basics. Forget the latest trendy ingredients or specialist products – it’s a case of enjoying the simple things in life again.


Yep – you may feel like you’re getting stir crazy being stuck at home so much, but here I’m referring a selection of easy to prepare sauces that you can add to any selection of meat, fish, tofu and veggies. Go crazy and have fun.

All of the sauces can be made ahead and stored in a jar or sealed container and used as and when you like, (they’ll keep in the fridge for a week or so). So, whether it is a meal for one or more, simply add the sauce to the stir-fry at the last minute to heat through.

Each sauce serves: 4
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: up to 8 minutes





• 200ml pineapple juice
• 1 tbsp cornflour
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp tomato puree

Mix a little of the pineapple juice into the cornflour to make a paste then simply put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for a minute or so and use straight away or store in a screw topped jar in the fridge.


• drizzle sunflower oil
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 200ml coconut milk
• 2 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
• 1 tsp soy
• pinch dry chilli flakes
• squeeze lime (concentrated long life is fine)

Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the garlic until softened but not coloured. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and use straight away or store in a screw topped jar in the fridge.


• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated (from a jar is fine)
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed (from a jar is fine)
• 4 spring onions, chopped
• 4 tbsp oyster sauce
• 6 tbsp orange juice
• 1 tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the ginger, garlic and spring onion. Cook gently for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and use straight away or store in a screw topped jar in the fridge.


For more of Jo’s recipes head to our RECIPES page.


With Shrove Tuesday upon us it’s time to get your eggs, flour, milk and whisk at the ready to make the best pancakes for your kids. We’ve rounded up some of the best recipes and ideas to help you make yours delicious. 


There’s no better place to start than with our very own Jo Pratt. Here’s her recipe for American style pancakes

Foolproof Pancakes

Makes: 12-14 American style pancakes, or 8-10 crepes

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Cooking Time:4 minutes

125g/4½oz/1 cup self-raising flour (either plain or self-raising can be used for crêpes)
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk (just under for American-style, just over for crêpes)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
butter or sunflower oil, for frying

Suggestions to serve

try some of these options:
• clear honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or jam
• chocolate spread or caramel sauce
• fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas
• grated lemon or orange zest and sugar
• yogurt
• ice cream … for breakfast? Some of you will!

1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a blender or food processor and mix together well. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be that of double cream for crêpes, so add a little extra milk if you need to. (Cook straight away or chill for up to 24 hours until needed – loosen with extra milk if necessary.)
2. Heat a pancake or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small piece of butter or a trickle of oil until it melts all over the base of the pan. Add a spoonful of the batter, rolling the pan to spread it over the base of the pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
3. Serve with your chosen topping and enjoy.

Recipe from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt


For vegans amongst you, BBC Food has a great recipe by Anna Glover


300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl using a balloon whisk until mixed. Slowly pour in the milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.
2. Heat a little of the oil in a over a medium-low heat, and add 2 tbsp batter into the pan at a time to make small, round pancakes. You will need to do this in batches of two-three at a time.
3. Cook for 3-4 mins until the edges are set, and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2-3 mins until golden on both sides and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
4. Serve stacked with lots of toppings of your choice, or serve with bowls of toppings for everyone to help themselves.

No cook options

There are obviously a world of lazy easy options if you’re up against it.

Waitrose have stocked these packets of vegan joy from Squeaky Bean at £2.50 a packet.

And if you want to go all out, head to your nearest M&S Cafe for a Percy Pig extravaganza. For £2 you can overload on pancakes served with Percy Pig dessert sauce and the sweets.

Five great toppings to make your pancakes super yummy

Buckwud 100% Pure Canadian Maple Syrup, £4.50

Anchor UHT Real Dairy Cream, £1.70

Marshmallow Fluff, £1.60

Nutella Hazelnut Spread, £2.90

Joe & Seph’s Sticky Toffee Sauce, £3.43



Ask anyone their number one New Year’s resolution and it will almost definitely be to improve their diet. After all the cocktails, canapés and puddings we enjoyed over the festive season, most of us are now desperate to eat more healthily by cooking from scratch with more wholesome ingredients.

But it’s not just us grow-ups who need to press reset on our eating habits in January. From chocolate Santas to mince pies, our children have also not been consuming the healthiest selection of food for the past month. Anyone else noticed their kiddos are expecting a couple of Quality Street with breakfast?!

Children can be pretty reluctant to make the switch to healthier options, however. While adults know a plate of kale will do them good, youngsters are less keen to ditch all the sugar that they enjoyed over the Christmas holidays. But this process can be made much more enjoyable if we encourage them to participate in the preparation of delicious nutritious meals. By getting kids to chop the vegetables, measure out the ingredients and add herbs to the pot, parents can teach the valuable lesson that cooking fresh food from scratch is both important and also fun.

So, here are five of our favourite kids’ cookbooks to spark their interest in all things culinary.

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes, £8.88

If your kids are fans of Julia Donaldson’s classic tales, then they will love the opportunity to make actual ‘Gruffalo crumble’. This clever cookbook is dedicated to replicating all the flora and fauna found in the deep dark wood.

From ‘mouse toast’ to a show-stopping chocolate cake depicting the Gruffalo’s warty, toothy face, this is a collection of recipes that are inventive and ideal for younger children.

The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook: Plant, Cook, Eat, £9.35

This beautiful kitchen-garden cookbook, produced in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, contains step-by-step guides to show children how easy it is to grow the likes of peas, beans, potatoes, carrots in the garden, in patio containers or in window boxes. Then transform the home-grown goodies into delicious meals by following easy, step-by-step recipes.

So much more than just a cookbook, this inspiring manual teaches kids how plants grow, from seeds to seedlings, watering and weeding, to harvesting and composting. It is also packed with information on minibeasts and garden creatures. The perfect way to encourage a love of wholesome cooking and an appreciation of how food gets to the table.

Good Housekeeping Kids Cook! : 100+ Super-Easy, Delicious Recipes, £16.99

Good Housekeeping has created the perfect cookbook for kids of all ages who are eager to step into the kitchen. It features more than 100 delicious, fail-safe recipes, accompanied by colourful photographs and basic kitchen and cooking how-tos that kids will find easy to follow.

This book isn’t trying to follow any faddy diet trends, but instead is packed with classic wholesome grub that kids actually enjoy. From lasagne to salads and smoothies, together you can make their favourites from scratch.

Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story: Fifteen stories and recipes for children, £10.38

When you do want to give them a treat, this is the book to turn to. The former Great British Bake Off’s winner Nadiya Hussain has created it using all her baking know-how and combining that with storytelling and lovely illustration.

It features 15 original stories that are paired with brand-new recipes from yummy butter-bean patties and the tale of Jack and the Bean-Patty Stalk, to Ruby-Red and the Three Bears and her Very-Berry muffins. Nadiya manages to understand exactly what will hold a child’s interest as well as the food they love to eat.

The World In My Kitchen’ by Sally Brown and Kate Morris, £12.99

Try out recipes from around the world with this collection from across the globe. It is divided into continent sections Not only will this book teach children about food in different regions, it is also full of  information about geography, history and other cultures too, such as culinary habits and favourite dishes. From curries and stir fries to snacks and drinks, it’s a feast for the senses that kids will love bringing to life.






We’ve been lucky to work with Jo Pratt since the very early days of City Kids Magazine. Here we have an exclusive, yet to be published recipe, straight from the test kitchen.



I’m a huge fan of making family friendly recipes from simple to source ingredients, often using ones that are already sitting in my fridge or cupboard. These crunchy baked filo pastry parcels are a perfect example. Strips of pastry are filled with a mildly spiced vegetable and cheese filling. I have used paneer, a classic Indian cheese, but cottage cheese, feta or even halloumi would work equally as well.

It’s not just the cheese you can be flexible with, as you can increase the spice by swapping the korma paste for a hotter spice such as tikka masala or rogan josh. Once cooked, the samosas can be served hot or cold, as a snack, starter, lunch with mango chutney and raita, or as an accompaniment to a curry feast.

Makes 16

sunflower or rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp korma paste
1 tsp tomato puree
200g paneer cheese, finely diced
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
175g frozen peas, defrosted
4 sheets filo pastry
sea salt
1-2 tsp nigella seeds and or sesame seeds




Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 10 minutes until the onion is beautifully soft.

Stir in the korma paste, tomato puree, paneer, coconut, peas, 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until the filling has all cooked together nicely. Check for seasoning and add more salt if you feel it needs it.

Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Cut each piece of the filo pastry into 4 strips. Working on 4 strips at a time, brush each one lightly with oil. To prevent the remaining pastry from drying out, keep covered with a damp towel.

Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom corner of each lightly oiled pastry strip. Fold over diagonally to create a triangle over the filling. Continue to fold/roll the pastry around the filling, keeping the triangle shape, securing in the filling.

For more of Jo’s brilliant recipes, or to buy The Flexible Vegetarian  head to




Our Editor, Victoria Evans, took her two kids to experience Asian food at Yuu Kitchen followed by the deep freeze at Icebar in Mayfair


You Kitchen at Icebar is the brainchild of two of the founders of Icebar with the canny employment of head chef Jon de Villa from Nobu Mayfair. The combination makes for supremely tasty food in dramatic surroundings adorned by the artwork of Lunatic.

If you’re a fan of bao buns you won’t be disappointed. And for kids this was heaven.

7up braised pork belly got the thumbs up; wagyu, soy and buttermilk crispy chicken baos were also good. Going Asian means the standard order of edamame, but we also chose the baby back ribs, chicken wings and spicy tuna tostada. Two kids (13 and 10) made the most of what was on offer and the kitchen was happy to remove all sauces from orders for the fussy, trying-to-be-adventurous 10 year-old.

Topping off a savoury selection with a sweet bao bun filled with ice cream is always going to be a winner with kids; mid-life waistlines not so much.

The decor is achingly cool thanks to the stripped back benches, bar area and exposed brick, as well as that artwork by Lunatic. Manga lovers will be delighted but if you’re the wrong side of forty you might find the lighting a touch too moody.

A visit to Yuu isn’t complete without a trip to the Icebar, and guess what?

It’s cold. Very cold. Not surprising that you are put (quite literally) into a cloak before heading into the deep freeze. Fantastic sculptures and a shot of something warming (or non-alcoholic if you prefer) are the order of the day. The kids enjoyed it, but even they were feeling the cold after about 15 minutes. We did stay long enough for a photo though!




For reservations:

31-33 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BN


To celebrate the launch of a new vegan menu for kids, wagamama unveils the top 30 vegan foods to try before you’re 12

To mark the launch of its brand-new vegan children’s menu, wagamama is inspiring little noodlers nationwide by revealing the top 30 plant-based foods to try before they’re 12. The carefully curated list aims to encourage kids to be more playful with their palettes with a selection of fun flavours, crisp and crunchy textures.

Working with Specialist Paediatric Dietitian Bahee Van de Bor, wagamama has devised a colourful combination of exciting foods and flavours to encourage children to go outside their cuisine comfort zone. The vegan list was carefully selected based on natural, unprocessed foods, with a focus on ingredients that are nutritionally beneficial for children on a plant-based diet.

The new children’s menu also includes the tofu challenge, where kids are encouraged to try a piece of tofu in vegetable broth for free at all restaurants across the UK. 

wagamama top 30 things to try before you’re 12


1.       Tofu – For protection against heart disease and also help reduce bone loss

2.       Edamame – Useful snack for kids as an additional way to sneak in protein into children’s diets

3.       Sesame seeds – Contribute iron and zinc but also a range of vitamins and minerals

4.       Peanuts – Rich in antioxidants and a good source of zinc

5.       Guava – High in Vitamin C which is an immune booster and protects from infection, such as the regular coughs and colds

6.       Banana – The prebiotic fibre in bananas help the growth of friendly “good” bacteria in the gut to help maintain a healthy digestive system

7.       Broccoli – At least 50% of calcium present in broccoli is absorbed by the body. A nutritious vegetable with multiple vitamins

8.       Spinach – High in iron, which is important for transporting oxygen around the body

9.       Sweet potato – Rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin important for immunity and vision

10.   Red split lentils – Rich in iron and a great source of fibre

11.   All beans: chickpeas, butter beans, haricot, adzuki – Excellent source of plant protein and carbohydrate with soluble fibre – supporting a healthy central nervous system and children’s learning capacity

12.   Soba Noodles – High in fibre and also higher in protein compared to standard wheat based noodles

13.   Beets – Nitrates in beets are thought to help promote cognitive function

14.   Carrots – Rich in vitamin A, fat-soluble vitamin that children require for vision, immunity as well as normal growth and development

15.   Amaranth – High protein grain that is complete with all essential amino acids and antioxidants

16.   Oats – Contains beta-glucan fibre which helps prevent constipation

17.   Blueberries – Overall beneficial for heart health, brain function, low in calories and anti-inflammatory properties

18.   Mango – High vitamin A content making it a great food source for immunity, healthy hair and skin

19.   Walnuts – Perfect ratio of the essential omega-3 fats to help the body make DHA that has an important role in brain development

20.   Almonds – One of the best sources of vitamin E foods (23.9mg/100g) but is also rich in iron

21.   Apple – Most of the fibre and antioxidants are on the skin, so encourage kids to eat with the skin left on

22.   Passion fruit – Vitamin A is important for immunity, vision and healthy skin

23.   Mushrooms – An affordable source of selenium with a “meaty” texture

24.   Bell peppers – The vitamin C in bell peppers also helps the absorption of iron from plant foods

25.   Artichoke – An excellent source of fibre that help feed the healthy bacteria in the gut

26.   Kale – The calcium in kale is highly bioavailable with at least 50-60% is absorbed

27.   Butternut squash – A nutritious food for kids that is high in both vitamin A and is a source of vitamin E and potassium

28.   Aubergine – especially rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that’s responsible for their vibrant colour

29.   Rapeseed oil – Rich in poly and mono fats, it is also a source of parent omega-3 fats which the body can convert to a small extent to DHA (DHA has a role in the normal development of the brain and eyes)

30.   Calcium fortified plant drink – Children following a plant-based diet require a reliable source of calcium such as soy or oat-based calcium enriched drink

Images of children by Lauren Jayne Hall

Delicious, Healthy Pancake Recipes

It’s Shrove Tuesday – the day when it’s officially acceptable to eat pancakes for at least one meal! So if you’re looking for some super healthy, but totally delicious pancake recipes to make with your little ones then here are three from our favourite foodie gurus.

Deliciously Ella’s



2 tablespoons chia seeds, 4 tablespoons water

1/2 cup buckwheat flour (100g)

1 banana

1/2 cup brown rice milk (or any other plant-based milk) (150ml)

5 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon coconut oil (for frying)


1 teaspoon coconut oil

3 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup

zest of 1/2 lemon



Combine 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water and leave to sit in the fridge for about of 30 minutes.

Firmly press down on each cardamom pod with the flat side of a sturdy knife. Open the pod and pick out the seeds, discarding the outer shell. Either carefully roughly chop the seeds with a knife or grind them using a mortar and pestle.

Zest an entire lemon and set aside half for the drizzle.

Mash the banana in a bowl and then add all the pancake ingredients to your blender. Blitz well until everything is combined. The consistency should be nice and thick!

Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat in a non-stick pan. Once the oil has melted, use about a ¼ cup of the mix and pour into the pan. Heat until bubbles form about three quarters of the way cooked through and then flip to cook for another minute or two. Repeat with the rest of the mixture adding more coconut oil when the pan dries out. The mix should make 5-6 small pancakes.

Then simply combine all of the ingredients for the drizzle together and stir well.

Stack your pancakes and pour the zesty honey drizzle on top!


Madeleine Shaw’s



In a large bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt and coconut sugar. Add the eggs, oil and milk and mix well.

Heat a frying pan to a medium-high temperature and melt the coconut oil.  Fry off a few tbsp. of the pancake mix, cook for a minute or two on one side until the pancakes start to bubble then flip over and cook on the other side.

Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup and nuts.

If you are vegan you can swap the eggs for chia eggs.


160g of rice flour or buckwheat flour

75g of ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoon coconut sugar

2 eggs

3 tbsp of melted coconut oil plus extra for cooking

1 cup milk (almond, rice, coconut…whatever you want)

to serve – maple syrup, fresh fruit and almond flakes.


Hemsley and Hemsley’s



Wash the blueberries and allow them to dry.

Melt the coconut oil or butter, on a low heat, in a PTFE-free non-stick pan (we use Greenpan or Colourworks ceramic frying pan) and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Sift in the coconut flour and bicarbonate of soda and blend with the melted coconut oil to make a batter.

Add water a tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency.

Use a spatula to redistribute any leftover coconut oil in the frying pan and on a medium heat add 2 tablespoons of the batter. Push 5 blueberries into the centre of the pancake and the blueberries will spread slowly as it cooks.

After a couple of minutes check if you can loosen the pancake easily and carefully turn it over – it may need a little longer.

After another minute or so the pancake is cooked and ready to serve.

For the cashew mango cream, add the mango and the water it has been soaking in to a blender with the rinsed and drained cashews then blend until smooth. Add more water if desired.


2 eggs (room temperature)

2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil or butter, melted

2-4 tablespoons of warm water

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tiny sprinkle of salt

¼ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon or more of vanilla extract

Cashew mango cream

1/2 cup of whole cashews (soaked for 6-7 hours in filtered warm water with sea salt, rinsed and drained)

30g dried mango soaked in ½ cup of filtered water


DISCLAIMER: We aim to always credit the correct original source material. If we have got anything wrong, please contact us at



Jo Pratt’s latest book, The Flexible Pescatarian, offers a variety of dishes with or without fish. Try these fishfingers with four dips, sure to suit the many tastes of most households.

When time is short (that’s most of the time then!) and I want a home cooked, nutritious meal for all the family, this is often my go-to recipe. It uses accessible ingredients, is really quick to prep and involves minimal washing up. Furthermore, you can cook them immediately or leave them in your fridge to cook later which means you can cook them to suit the various comings and goings in your house.
I’ve given you the Moroccan inspired recipe here but there are numerous flavour combinations to suit your family’s tastes or ingredient availability (see PS at the end of the recipe). Now my children are a bit bigger, I’ll make four parcels from this recipe, but you might find you can get six parcels if you have smaller tummies to fill. Cook them all and put any leftovers in the freezer for heating up another day.
The parcels work very well as a complete meal in one – so there’s no need to make extra side dishes. That said, some couscous, pasta, rice or crusty bread are always a welcome addition.

TIME TAKEN 30 minutes

  • 450g / 1 lb white fish, skinned
  • 50g / 1¾ oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g / 4½ oz dried white breadcrumbs, ideally panko
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • olive oil, for frying
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cut the fish into finger-sized pieces.

Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into separate, shallow bowls. Mix the paprika, salt and a twist of pepper into the flour.

Lightly coat the fish in the flour, then egg, and finish with a coating of breadcrumbs.

To fry the fish fingers, pour in enough oil to cover the base of a frying pan and, when it’s hot, add the fish fingers.

Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crunchy. You may need to do this in a couple of batches as it’s best not to overcrowd the pan.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with your chosen dips.

Alternatively, you can bake the fish fingers by putting them on an oiled baking tray and drizzling or spraying with oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for 6 minutes on each side.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 100ml / 3½ fl oz mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together and transfer to a serving dish.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 150g / 5½ oz frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the peas in a food processor and briefly blitz before adding the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and transfer to a serving bowl.


TIME TAKEN 10 minutes

  • 175ml / 6 fl oz olive oil
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • flaked sea salt

Warm the olive oil and lemon zest in a small pan until just tepid.

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and water in a medium heatproof bowl. Stand the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens just enough to form ribbons when the whisk is lifted.

Remove the bowl from the pan and slowly pour the warm oil into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to give you a dipping sauce consistency.
Season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Keep covered until needed.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 125ml / 4 fl oz mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp wasabi
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Mix the wasabi and lime into the mayonnaise and transfer to a serving bowl.


TIME TAKEN 10 minutes

  • 150ml / 5½ fl oz mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped gherkins
  • ½ shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together and transfer to a serving bowl.

For more of Jo Pratt’s recipes head to our recipes page.

The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt
The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt
White Lion Publishing £20
Available on Amazon, Waterstones, The Book Depositor , and Books Etc.


by Jo Pratt

When time is short (that’s most of the time then!) and I want a home cooked, nutritious meal for all the family, this is often my go-to recipe. It uses accessible ingredients, is really quick to prep and involves minimal washing up. Furthermore, you can cook them immediately or leave them in your fridge to cook later which means you can cook them to suit the various comings and goings in your house.
I’ve given you the Moroccan inspired recipe here but there are numerous flavour combinations to suit your family’s tastes or ingredient availability (see PS at the end of the recipe). Now my children are a bit bigger, I’ll make four parcels from this recipe, but you might find you can get six parcels if you have smaller tummies to fill. Cook them all and put any leftovers in the freezer for heating up another day.
The parcels work very well as a complete meal in one – so there’s no need to make extra side dishes. That said, some couscous, pasta, rice or crusty bread are always a welcome addition.

COOKING TIME 30 minutes

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin drained tinned chickpeas or cannellini beans
  • 100g dried raisins, sultanas or chopped apricots
  • 200g green beans, halved
  • 1-2 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful pitted black or green olives (optional)
  • small handful of shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped (optional)
  • few sprigs of fresh coriander (optional)

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and put a large baking tray in the oven to heat.

Take four large pieces of grease proof paper or kitchen foil and fold each one in half to make it double thickness. Tightly fold together two of the edges to seal, creating a pouch, making sure there are no gaps for the food to escape when cooking. Secure the folds using a stapler if using greaseproof paper. Alternatively, buy baking/roasting bags from supermarkets that are ready to use and a real time saver.

Slice each chicken breast into 3-4 pieces and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the pistachios and coriander. Season with a little salt and pepper. Divide between the four parcels and put a sliced chicken breast into each one, pushing down into the sauce to cover. Seal the parcels by folding over the open top, or using an oven-proof tie or string, leaving some air in them for steam to circulate when cooking. The parcels are now ready to cook straight away or store in the fridge until required.

Put the parcels directly on top of the baking tray you’ve been heating in the oven, slightly spaced apart, and cook for 30 minutes. By now the chicken will be tender and juicy and the sauce thickened. When cooked, split open the parcels onto bowls/plates and serve scattered with pistachios and coriander

Be creative and switch the flavours around:

GREEK CHICKEN PARCELS swap the harissa for 2 tsp olive tapenade and switch the ground coriander for dried oregano. Serve scattered with some feta cheese and serve with bulgur wheat.

INDIAN CHICKEN PARCELS swap the harissa for 1 tbsp curry paste and omit the olives and pistachios. Scatter the top with flaked almonds and serve with some mango chutney and naan bread or rice.

ITALIAN CHICKEN PARCELS Omit the ginger, harissa, raisins, coriander and cinnamon and use 2 tbsp pesto, 2 chopped anchovies (optional), 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar instead. Serve with parmesan cheese and garlic bread or pasta.




We are delighted to announce that we have extended the deadline for our City Kids School Food Awards #CityKidsSFA19. The response from schools and parents has been so overwhelmingly positive that we want to include as many entrants as possible.

The School Food Awards are a unique opportunity to win an award that recognises the great work of schools and their kitchen teams. All schools are operating on budgets, and some are very tight budgets, yet many catering teams manage to provide nutritious, hot lunches for the kids. We think this should be celebrated!  But we also need to continue the discussion surrounding around free school meals and healthy eating.

With these awards we aim to recognise those schools who are providing catering excellence and thinking beyond meat and potatoes. The awards will become a well-regarded accolade amongst parents and educators alike. Winners will be handpicked by the City Kids editorial team and a host of well-known and passionate foodies, to be announced shortly.

The award categories are as follows:

State Sector
  • School Dinner Hero (Primary/Secondary)
  • Best School Menu (Primary/Secondary)
  • Best Vegetarian Menu (Primary/Secondary)
Independent Sector
  • School Dinner Hero (Prep/Secondary)
  • Best School Menu (Prep/Secondary)
  • Best Vegetarian Menu (Prep/Secondary)
Why Enter?

What’s the one question that kids ask when they visit a school? “What’s the food like?”
And what do parents ask on a daily basis when they collect their kids from school? “What did you have for lunch?”
School food is top of the agenda for kids and parents and what better way to show your school’s catering brilliance than with these awards.

Apart from the obvious positive PR, there are plenty of benefits to nominating your school for a City Kids School Food Award. All shortlisted schools will be mentioned in print and online and will be featured in our Spring Education issue. Winners will feature in our Summer issue. You will also receive a digital logo for use across your marketing assets to include: Vote for Us!, Shortlisted, Winner, Runner-up. This will contribute to the multi-media brand exposure across our platforms and yours.

How to enter

For more information about the entry process, categories and judging please click on the link below. Make your application by completing the online form on this page or by email. If you have any questions please email Good luck!

CityKidsSFA2019 rules and entry form

Entries close on Friday 31st January 2019. 



Jo Pratt gives us a quick, easy and healthy recipe for After School Bars which can be made in advance, and also taken to school as they’re nut-free.

“I’m hungry, have you got anything to eat?”… that’s what I hear pretty much every day at school pick up – and not just from my own children.  I’m sure we’ve all been there and resorted to giving them something you’ve quickly grabbed from the ‘treat drawer’ on your way out of the house or from the local shop.

The problem is by the time you get home they are hungry again. As a result you then hear yourself say (again) that you must look for a healthier snack to give to them that will satisfy their hunger for longer.
So with that in mind, when City Kids asked me for this issues recipe I thought; it’s a new school year, lets start as we mean to go on. I had a play around with one of my Flapjack recipes and a healthy granola recipe to create these fruity, oaty bars that are packed with slow release energy from the oats and dried fruits. They are much lower in fat than traditional flapjacks, refined sugar-free, don’t contain nuts and better still get the thumbs up from my two children who can be very fussy at times.



Makes: 8 bars

Takes: 40 minutes

  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 225g pitted dates
  • 75g honey or agave syrup
  • 100g tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • finely grated zest ½ orange
  • 40g pumpkin or sunflower seeds (or a mixture of the two)
  • 75g dried fruit (i.e cranberries, cherries, raisins, sultanas, chopped apricot)

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4. Line a 20cm x 20 cm square cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Mix together the oats and cinnamon. Spread onto a baking tray and toast the oats in the oven for 10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through so they evenly toast. Remove from the oven and tip the oats into a bowl.

Put the dates in a food processor and blend until they form a sticky paste. Transfer to the bowl with the oats.  Add the seeds and dried fruit.

Heat the honey or agave syrup, tahini and orange zest in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour into the bowl and mix everything together.

Transfer to the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely. Cut into 8 rectangle bars and store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


by Jo Pratt

Crispy Squid is a very popular dish on the menu at The Gorgeous Kitchen and we’ve recently added a smaller version to our children’s menu, which is going down a treat. Of course you don’t have to plan a flight from Heathrow to taste it, as here’s the recipe for you to make it yourself at home. It’s really quick to prepare and cook, and you can easily buy ready cleaned squid (fresh or frozen) from fishmongers or larger supermarkets. Both larger squid tubes or the baby squid can be used, and you could even throw a few prawns in there too. At the restaurant we serve with a Lime and Chilli dip on the main menu (and a choice of dips for kids). For convenience you can serve yours at home with a bought sweet chilli dipping sauce, however you might also like to give the below dip recipes a try too. Enjoy!



• 400g squid, cleaned
• 100g cornflour
• 100g plain flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 200ml milk
• sunflower or groundnut oil for frying
• lime wedges
• choice of dipping sauce (Lime Mayonnaise, Sweet Chilli, Satay… see recipes)

  • Wash and pat dry the squid. Slice the tubes horizontally into rings or slice in half lengthways and lightly score the inside in a crisscross pattern before cutting into smaller bite size pieces. If using baby squid, you may also have the tentacles, which can be left whole.
  • Put the squid into a bowl and pour over the milk.
  • Put the cornflour, flour and salt in a shallow bowl and mix to combine.
  • Pour some oil into a large pan until the pan is no more than a third full. Place over a medium heat and let the oil warm up.
  • Totest that the oil is ready, place a small piece of bread in the pan – it should sizzle when it touches the oil. It needs to reach about 180°C.
  • Remove a handful of squid from the milk, and toss around in the flour mixture, to coat. Shake off excess flour and gently drop individual pieces of squid into the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes until the coating is crisp and lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining squid.
  • Serve straight away with dipping sauces of your choices and wedges of lime to squeeze over.

• ½ tsp cornflour
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• 85ml white wine vinegar
• 175g caster sugar
• 2 tsp fish sauce
• ½ garlic clove
• 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

Mix the cornflour into 25ml water to dissolve. Set aside. Put all of the remaining ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in the cornflour solution and boil for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

• 150g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp grated ginger
• pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
• ½ tbsp sunflower oil
• 150ml coconut milk
• squeeze lime juice

Blend together all of the ingredients until smooth and spoon into dipping bowls.

• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
• squeeze of fresh lime
• lime zest

Simply mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt and lime juice. Spoon into dipping bowls and scatter with lime zest.


by Jo Pratt

Whether you’re planning an activity to get the kids off their devices, or you just want to escape to the kitchen for some peace and quiet on your own, then you really have to reach for this recipe. It’s easy enough for kids of all ages to help with, doesn’t require any weird and wonderful sized cake tins or a super creative eye to decorate the end result. This tray bake is guaranteed to be a huge hit whatever it looks like and to whoever you serve it to.
This is my twist on a household favourite, Sticky Toffee Pudding. I’ve transformed the tasty dessert into a handy tray bake that can be eaten as a treat throughout the week, taken to school or charity cake sales, coffee mornings, work ‘cake’ days, or even offered as a dinner party dessert when served with some poached pears and a cheeky glass of dessert wine.

Happy baking!


TAKES 30 minutes to bake
SERVES approx. 20 pieces

• 250g ready-to-eat dates
• 250ml black tea
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1 tsp ground mixed spice or ground ginger
• 100g butter, softened
• 150g light brown sugar
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 200g self-raising flour

• 75g caramel or dulce de leche (tinned Carnation caramel is ideal for this recipe and easily available in supermarkets), plus 2 tbsp extra to serve
• 225g icing sugar
• 65g butter, softened

• chocolate chips/flakes
• pecan or walnuts halves
• dried banana chips
• flaked toasted coconut

• Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/gas 4. Lightly grease and line a cake tin (approx. 20cm x 25cm).
• Cut the dates into small pieces, removing any stones. Put in a small saucepan with the tea and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for the dates to soften. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice or ginger. The mixture will froth slightly – this is normal, so don’t panic!
Leave to cool for around 10 minutes.
• Cream together the butter and sugar either by hand or with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and flour, beating in thoroughly before mixing in the date mixture.
• Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until the top is just firm to touch. Insert a skewer into the middle. It should come out clean. If not, continue cooking for a little longer.
• Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
• To make the frosting, simply beat together the caramel, sugar and butter either by hand or with an electric mixer until light, thick and creamy. Spread over the top of the cooled tray bake with a palate knife.
• Stir the remaining caramel until you have a loose consistency, then drizzle over the top. Add any further toppings if you wish.
• Cut into squares and store for up to one week in an airtight container.


by Jo Pratt

These tacos are proper feel-good food. Put the toasted tortillas in the middle of the table and everyone can start to pile on the smoky, spiced potato and beans, chunky avocado salsa, fresh coriander, a squeeze of lime and big dollop of sour cream. Eating them with grace is impossible, but no one will care as they’ll be too busy getting stuck into their own.


TAKES 40 minutes

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 1 medium–large sweet potato, peeled and diced into approx. 1cm / ½ inch pieces
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp chipotle paste
• 2 tbsp tomato purée
• 1 x 400g/14 oz tin kidney or black eye beans, not drained flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 corn tortillas
• sour cream, to serve

• 1 red onion, chopped
• 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
• 2 ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced
• 2 limes, cut into wedges
• handful chopped coriander
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large frying or sauté pan. Sauté the onion until softened before adding the sweet potato, garlic, cumin and cinnamon.
Cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the chipotle paste, tomato purée and tinned beans, along with their liquid and around 75ml/2½ fl oz water (if you’ve already drained them, then add around 175ml/6 fl oz). Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for about 15–20 minutes, until the potato is cooked and the sauce thickened. Add a splash more water if it seems necessary.
Next, make the salsa. Lightly mix together the avocado, spring onions, diced tomato, juice of half a lime, chopped coriander and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat the tortillas one at a time, either in a hot dry frying pan for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side, or by holding over the gas flame until lightly charred on each side. Spoon some of the sweet potato and chipotle bean mixture over each tortilla, add some avocado mixture and a dollop of sour cream. Squeeze over extra lime and tuck in.


Swap the tinned beans for around 250g/9 oz diced chicken breast, pork fillet, beef or lamb steak, adding to the pan with the sweet potato.


By Jo Pratt

Whether you’re a full time vegetarian, or simply cutting down on the meat you and your family eat, you might find it a challenge to find recipes the whole family will enjoy eating. Well, worry not as this burger recipe will more than please meat-eaters and veggies alike. Quite often, a veggie burger is thought of as a boring, flavourless, wholesome substitute to an indulgent meaty beef burger. I’m pleased to say that this recipe is far from flavourless, and certainly shouldn’t be considered a boring substitute to a meat version. The burger has a fabulous meaty texture and holds up really well when adding numerous toppings before being sandwiched into a soft burger bun. I’ve chosen to do melting smoked cheese, sticky sweet onions, spiced mayo, gherkins and lettuce. However, just a good squirt of tomato ketchup can be just as satisfying for some. For the ultimate experience, serve your delicious veggie burgers with some homemade sweet potato fries and a crunchy coleslaw. You could also create your own American style diner and have a selection of milkshakes on the go as well.


VEGGIEBURGERS with onion marmalade and harissa

TAKES 1 hour + 1 hour chilling
TO SERVE 4 brioche buns, split in half
100g/3 1⁄2 oz sliced smoked cheddar cheese 6 tbsp mayonnaise
1-2 tsp harissa paste
baby gem lettuce leaves
sliced gherkins


olive oil
250–300g/9–10 1⁄2 oz flat or portabella mushrooms, cut into approx. 1cm/1⁄2 inch pieces
1 large (approx. 400g/14 oz) aubergine (eggplant), cut into approx. 1cm /1⁄2 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tbsp brown sauce (such as HP or Daddies) 175g/6 oz fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 1⁄2 tsp mixed dried herbs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


25g/10 oz butter
3 red onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 60ml/2 oz balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar

To make the marmalade, melt the butter in a large saucepan.
Add the sliced onions and garlic, and season well. Gently cook over a low–medium heat until the onions are deep golden and caramelised, around 20 minutes. Increase the heat and add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes, then season again. Cool to room temperature.

To make the burgers, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a high heat until coloured and any moisture has cooked away. Tip into a bowl to cool. Return the pan to the heat. Heat a further 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the aubergine until golden and tender, tossing around in the pan, to prevent it from burning. Remove from the heat and also leave to cool.

Put the cooled mushrooms and aubergine into a food processor along with the garlic, brown sauce, breadcrumbs, egg and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and blend until the mixture is thoroughly mixed. Using wet hands, firmly shape into four thick burgers and put on a parchment-lined tray or plate. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the burgers over a medium–high heat for around 4 minutes each side until cooked.

Heat the grill to medium–high. Halve the brioche buns and lightly toast the cut sides. At the same time, top the burgers with slices of cheese and sit under the grill until melted. Mix the mayonnaise and harissa together. Spread some onto the bottom halves of the buns, then lay on some lettuce and a spoon of onion marmalade. Sit the burger on top, add sliced gherkins and nally a dollop of harissa mayonnaise. Lightly press down with the bun lid.

Flexible For a more traditional meat burger, sauté 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic in 25g/1oz butter. Leave to cool then mix with 600g/1lb 5oz good-quality minced steak, 6 rashers of finely diced smoked streaky bacon, 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and plenty of salt and pepper. Shape into four burgers and chill for 30 minutes. Fry in a trickle of olive oil for 3–4 minutes each side (medium) before finishing with the cheese on top under the grill.


TAKES 15 minutes

1 red-skinned apple, such as Braeburn or Pink Lady
1 tbsp lemon juice
1⁄2 fennel
1⁄4 red cabbage
125g/4 1⁄2 oz crème fraiche
50g/ 2 oz natural (plain) yoghurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp celery salt
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


TAKES 40-45 minutes

4 medium–large sweet potatoes
1 1⁄2 tbsp fine polenta 1⁄2 tsp paprika
olive oil
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the core from the apple and cut the apple into matchstick size pieces. Put into a large bowl and toss in the lemon juice. Very finely slice or shred the fennel, cabbage, radishes and shallots either using a very sharp knife and steady hand, a mandolin or a slicer blade on a food processor. Add to the apple and toss everything together.

Mix together the crème fraiche, yoghurt, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar and celery salt. Season with a good twist of pepper and mix thoroughly into the vegetables. Season to taste. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour for the dressing to absorb into the vegetables a little, and for all of the flavours to combine.

Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Peel the potatoes and cut into long 1cm / 1⁄2 inch chip shapes. Wash well in cold water and pat dry. Tip onto a baking tray. Scatter over the polenta, paprika, pinch of salt, pepper and a decent drizzle of olive oil (enough to lightly coat the potatoes). Toss together and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, turning a few times throughout, until golden and crispy.

The Flexible Vegetarian

by Jo Pratt,
£20 (Frances Lincoln)


by Jo Pratt

Photos: Georgia Glynn Smith

There is nothing better than firing up the barbecue during the summer months – it’s such a sociable form of cooking. Whether it’s with friends or family, everyone gathers around and enjoys the aromas and flavours the barbecue creates.

Whichever type of barbecue you have, charcoal or gas, big or small, it’s amazing just how versatile they can be when it comes to what can be cooked. However, more often than not, we turn to the old-time favourites … quick-cooking bangers, steak, burgers and corn-on-the-cob etc. So, how about you try cooking something that can be left to cook low ’n slow while you enjoy the company of your friends/family, a couple of drinks and the wonderful outdoors.
This pulled pork is a real crowd pleaser. Its juicy, sweetly spiced and mildly smoked meat is delicious served with salads, roasted veggies, baked potatoes or simply sandwiched into a brioche burger bun. After cooking for five hours, the pork effortlessly pulls apart. It will require a little advance planning as you’ll need to cure the meat overnight in salt and sugar. This isn’t a last minute kind of dish, but the end result is worth the wait.
As for something sweet to finish with, since you have the barbecue all set and fired up, simply add a few more coals to increase the heat a little, then cook these fantastically sweet, fruity, nutty stuffed apple parcels.

Have fun, happy barbecuing and enjoy the summer!



TAKES 5 hours cooking plus overnight salting
TO SERVE Brioche buns , Sliced gherkins, Coleslaw

• 2kg piece boned pork shoulder, rind/skin removed
• 75g sea salt
• 75g dark brown sugar
• 2 tbsp English mustard powder
• 75g wholegrain mustard
• 75g maple syrup
• 150ml orange juice

1/ The day before you plan to cook the pork, put it in a non-metallic dish or a large food bag. Mix together the sea salt and brown sugar and rub all over the pork. Leave in the fridge overnight to draw out excess water, tenderise and evenly season the meat.

2/ The following day, wipe the sugary salt off the pork and sit it in a roasting tray. Mix together the English mustard powder and cayenne pepper, scatter all over the pork and bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

3/ In the meantime, light your barbecue for low ’n slow indirect cooking. Keep at a fairly consistent low heat, around 140°C.

4/ Mix together the wholegrain mustard and maple syrup. Spread over the pork, making sure it covers the meat. Pour the orange juice and 200ml water into the bottom of the tin and put into the barbeque. Cover with the lid and cook for five hours, regulating the air vents and adding more coal throughout if need be. Baste the pork with any juices a couple of times. If it starts to colour too much towards the end, cover loosely with foil. If the base of the pan starts to become too dry, add a splash of water.

5/ Remove from the barbeque and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

6/ Transfer the pork to a serving plate or board. Shred the meat into strips with two forks. Skim any fat from the juices in the pan and serve to pour over the pork.

Serve in brioche buns with gherkins and coleslaw.


if you don’t want to cook for the full five hours on the barbecue, you can cook for half of the time in an oven set at 140°C/gas 1, then cook on the barbecue for the remaining two and a half hours.



TO SERVE Ice cream, clotted cream or Greek yoghurt

• 4 large cox or royal gala apples
• 50g sultanas, raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries
• 50ml dark rum or apple juice
• 75g soft brown sugar
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• Finely grated zest of ½ orange
• 50g pecan nuts or walnuts, chopped
• 25g butter

1/ Prepare the barbecue so it is burning at about 170°C.

2/ Remove the core from the apples using a corer or small knife, to create a cavity through the middle of each apple. Sit each apple on a sheet of foil large enough to wrap the apples well.

3/ Mix together the dried fruit, rum or apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and nuts. Stuff generously into the apples, letting any excess spill over. Top the apples with a dot of butter and wrap each one tightly so they are well sealed.

4/ Place the apples in the barbecue, sitting on the grill. Cover with the lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, until soft to touch. Rotate a couple of times for even cooking.

5/ Leave to cool for 5 minutes before unwrapping and topping with ice cream, clotted cream or Greek yoghurt.


Photos: Georgia Glynn Smith

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with ‘hangry’ kids at the school gate or the moment they walk through the front door. We’ve all been there (numerous times) when our bad tempered little darlings are demanding something to eat NOW and an apple or satsuma simply won’t do!


Whilst we plan our lunches and dinners for the family, creating a substantial healthy after school snack can be an afterthought, which will often result in reaching for confectionery, biscuits and cakes. However making something healthy needn’t be time consuming, it just requires a bit of pre-planning. Next time you’ve got the oven on, why not cook up a batch of these delicious savoury muffins. Once cooled, they can be stored in the freezer so you can defrost one at a time, as and when you need them.

And for something nutritious to drink, within minutes you can have a homemade milkshake to treat the kids to, in fact while you’re at it, you may as well make one for yourself as they are delicious, and may well prevent you from becoming ‘hangry’ later on.



MAKES about 12
COOKING TIME 20 minutes

• butter, for greasing (optional)
• 40g / 1½ oz pine nuts
• 225g / 8 oz self-raising flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 100g / 3½ oz polenta or semolina
• 150g / 5½ oz grated mature Cheddar cheese
• 150g / 5½ oz courgettes, grated
• 2 eggs
• 200ml / 7fl oz natural yogurt
• 80ml / 2½ fl oz olive or rapeseed oil
• 75g / 2½ oz ham, salami or chorizo, finely chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/ Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Alternatively, lightly grease the holes of the muffin tin, then press a 13cm/5in square of baking paper into each hole, shaping the squares to fit by folding the sides.

2/ Put the pine nuts in a dry, non-stick pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, shaking and tossing the pan continuously until they start to turn golden. (Don’t leave them in the pan or they will quickly burn.)

3/ Tip them out onto a plate to cool.

4/ Mix together the flour, baking powder and polenta in a mixing bowl.

5/ In a separate bowl, lightly mix together two-thirds of the cheese and all the remaining ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix quickly and lightly to form a lumpy batter. (Over- mixing will make the cooked muffins turn out heavy.) Spoon into the prepared muffin cases and scatter the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

6/ Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Serve warm or cold.

Leftovers are lovely toasted muffins

The muffins are lovely as a picnic lunch served with some tomato chutney, or for a weekday packed lunch. After a day or so, they will become a little dry, but are delicious split in half and lightly toasted under the grill, spread with butter or cream cheese and topped with chutney or tomato salsa.


EACH ONE MAKES 2 large or 4 small shakes



• 400ml / 14fl oz milk
• 200g / 7oz strawberries or raspberries, stalks removed
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 4–6 ice cubes
• clear honey or maple syrup, to taste (optional)

1/ Pour the milk into a blender. Add the fruit, vanilla extract and ice cubes and whizz for 30–45 seconds until smooth. Add honey or maple syrup to taste, if you like.

2/ Strain into glasses to remove any pips or chunks of ice and serve.


• 400ml / 14fl oz milk
• 2 ripe bananas, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp peanut butter
• 4–6 ice cubes
• clear honey, to taste

1/ Pour the milk into a blender. Add the bananas, peanut butter and ice cubes and whizz for 30 seconds until smooth. Add a little honey to taste.

2/ Strain into glasses to remove chunks of ice and serve.


• 400ml / 14fl oz milk
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 4–6 ice cubes

1/ Pour the milk into a blender. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and ice cubes and whizz for about 15 seconds until smooth.

2/ Strain into glasses to remove chunks of ice and serve.



Handing out some homemade edible gifts for the teachers, friends or family this Christmas is guaranteed to earn you and the kids plenty of gold stars (or a good school report next term).

These festive treats are really fun to make and easy enough to get the kids involved, too. You’ll probably have all the clearing up to do, but I’m afraid that’s all part of being a parent! My advice is to save some of the goodies for yourself (especially the Chocolate Cherry Liqueur) and it’ll all be worth it!



MAKES about 12

• 125g butter, softened
• 75g caster sugar
• finely grated zest of 1 orange
• 1 egg yolk
• 150g plain flour
• 100g white chocolate drops
• 50g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/gas 4.

1/ Beat together the butter and sugar until it is pale and creamy, either in an electric mixer or if you are feeling energetic, then by hand. Beat in the orange zest and egg yolk. Add the flour, half of the white chocolate drops and cranberries. Mix until you have a smooth dough, with the only lumps being the chocolate and cranberries.

2/ Using your hands, roll the dough into golf-sized balls and lightly press each one flat on to a greased baking sheet, making sure they are spread slightly apart.

3/ Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool a couple of minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.

4/ Melt the remaining white chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, or very gently in the microwave. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. Leave to set and the cookies are ready to pack/wrap or simply eat.

PS…The white chocolate can be replaced for milk or plain chocolate if preferred. Other dried fruits can be used instead of cranberries, such as cherries or sultanas. You can also add 50g chopped macadamia or pecan nuts to the cookie dough.


Gingerbread snowflakes

MAKES 26 x 8 cm biscuits (or more or less, depending on the size of your pastry cutter)

• 125g light muscovado sugar
• 1 tbsp black treacle
• 1 tbsp golden syrup
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• coloured writing icing tubes
• 375g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 tbsp ground ginger
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 125g butter, softened

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan ovens/gas 4.

1/ Sift together the flour, ginger, cocoa, cinnamon and baking powder.

2/ In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until it is slightly creamy. Add the treacle, golden syrup and egg. Beat until smooth.

3/ Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture, a little at a time so the flour doesn’t go everywhere, and then finish off with your hands to form a smooth dough, kneading lightly on the worktop.

4/ Roll the gingerbread dough out on a flour dusted worktop, to around the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a pastry cutter, cut out as many small or large biscuit shapes as you can, and place on greased baking sheets. There is no need to space them well apart as the dough won’t spread while cooking.

5/ Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until they are starting to firm up. If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree, make a hole with a skewer, near the edge while they are still hot.

6/ Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

7/ Once cold the gingerbread biscuits can be decorated like snowflakes (or, of course whatever pattern you or the kids like).

PS… Once made these will keep, un-decorated, for 3 weeks in an airtight container and decorate when required. If they are decorated too soon, they will become soft.

A special treat for the grown-ups:


Chocolate cherry liqueur

MAKES about 800ml

• 200g good quality milk chocolate, broken into pieces
• 300ml single cream
• 400ml Cherry Brandy
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan ovens/gas 4.

Melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or gently in the microwave. Stir well until the mixture is smooth, cover with cling film and leave to cool to room temperature. Once it’s cool, stir in the Cherry Brandy.

Pour the Chocolate Cherry Liqueur into 1 or 2 sterilized glass bottles and store at room temperature. Before drinking or pouring over ice-cream, shake the bottle lightly before using. The liqueur will last for a good few weeks (if it isn’t all drunk before then).

PS… You can make this into a chocolate Orange Liqueur by swapping the Cherry Brandy for an orange flavoured liqueur. Alternatively, use whatever flavour liqueur takes your fancy, such as hazelnut, almond, coffee, coconut or mint.


FISH FINGER TORTILLASAfter the summer holidays, getting back into the swing of nursery or school runs, work and general day to day jobs can be a bit of a shock. Here are two time-busting recipes to ease the pain and make light work in the kitchen. My Fish Finger Tortillas is what I call a flexi-recipe – either a family meal, or one where the kids eat earlier and the adults enjoy the meal (perhaps with a glass of wine) when the kids are in bed. Prepare and freeze the fish fingers ahead of time, then just cook when you need them.

And what better than a fast restaurant-style pudding that will beat having plain fruit or yogurt for dessert any day of the week. Of course, if you have a kitchen blowtorch, using that will be quicker than putting it under the grill, and adds drama to the recipe. The best bit of all is cracking the top of the brûlées with the spoon – the kids love it (and so do I!).>



MAKES 2 adult or 4 kid-sized portions
COOKING TIME 6 minutes

• 250g / 9oz thick fish fillet, such as salmon, cod, haddock, pollock or other white fish
• 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 75g/2.oz / 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 2–3 tbsp olive oil
• a pinch of sea salt (optional)

1/ Cut the fish into 12 finger shapes and season lightly with salt, if you like.

2/ Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs into three separate medium sized sandwich bags or shallow bowls. First, coat the fish fingers, a few at a time, in flour, then egg and finally turn gently in the crumbs so they are evenly coated. (The fish fingers can be prepared to this stage and kept in the refrigerator for a day or frozen for up to 3 months.)

3/ To cook, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. If you plan on cooking just a few, use less oil. Once hot, add the fish fingers and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Alternatively, if you have the oven on, lightly toss the fish fingers in the oil, put on a hot baking sheet and cook for about 6 minutes until golden, turning halfway. (If cooking from frozen, add a couple of minutes on each side, and fry or bake until completely cooked through.)

4/ Once the fish fingers are cooked, either warm your tortillas in the microwave or lightly toast under the grill/broiler, then tailor-make your tortillas to everyone’s liking. Serve hot.

Tortilla bread or wraps
Choose any accompaniment, including:
• shredded lettuce or rocket
• tomato salsa, hot pepper sauce, ketchup
• mayonnaise (flavoured with garlic, lime or lemon juice), sour cream
• sliced tomatoes
• sliced avocado
• Home-made or shop-bought guacamole


Fruit Yogurt Brulees

MAKES 2 adult or 4 kid-sized portions
COOKING TIME 2 minutes

• 100-150g / 3-5oz fresh soft fruit, such as plums, berries, banana or mango a few drops of vanilla extract, rosewater or orange flower water
• 300ml / 10fl oz / scant 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
• 50g / 1oz / scant 1 3/4 cup caster sugar

1/ If the fruit is large, cut it into smaller pieces and spoon into the base of individual ramekin dishes. Mix the vanilla extract into the yogurt and spoon on top of the fruit. Smooth over the surface, cover and keep in the refrigerator if not eating straight away.

2/ Preheat the grill to its hottest setting. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the yogurt in a thick, even layer. Put the ramekins onto a baking sheet and grill for 1–2 minutes until the sugar melts and is golden and bubbling. Remove from the grill and the sugar will set almost straight away. Serve immediately.


In the Mood for Quick Family FoodWith summer upon us and temperatures rising (well…let’s hope so), our appetite changes somewhat and we tend to crave lighter foods such as fresh fruits, salads and healthier dishes. This is the ideal time to get creative, spend less time cooking and more time assembling simple dishes with fresh ingredients. Preparing a sharing plate like this this fig salad is such a simple and delicious way to celebrate wonderfully ripe figs, salty cured ham, full flavoured curd cheese and fragrant honey. This is the perfect recipe to serve any time of the day, whether it be for brunch, lunch or starter. And if you’re planning a trip out to pick your own strawberries or, like me, you automatically add them to your shopping list as soon as the British season starts, then why not serve them with this amazing cashew cream. It’s lower in saturated fat than dairy cream, high in calcium and zinc, which are great for your immune system and skin. This healthier twist to the classic British dessert of strawberries and cream will go down a treat with all the family. Enjoy and have a great summer!



Fig, serrano and curd cheese salad with honey dressing


• 12-16 figs, depending on their size
• 12-16 slices Serrano ham
• 200g sheep’s curd cheese, or ricotta if unavailable
• 2 sprigs fresh oregano
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• juice of ½ lemon
• 1 tbsp honey
(try a flavoured one such as thyme, lavender or orange blossom)
• salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/ Cut the figs in quarters and sit onto plates. Lay slices of ham in between the figs. Spoon the curd cheese into the middle.

2/ To make the dressing, strip the leaves off the oregano stalks and roughly chop. Place half in a bowl and mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and season with salt and pepper.

3/ Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, scatter over the remaining oregano and serve.


Padron peppers


These are traditionally Spanish, though widely available everywhere now, particularly during the summer months. The thing I love about these little green peppers is that, every so often, you come across a fiery one, making it like a game of Russian Roulette when you eat them. Cook as a tasty pre-dinner nibble or part of a tapas selection.

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 bag of Padron peppers
• sea salt

1/ Heat a frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the oil.

2/ Add the peppers and fry over a medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, tossing and shaking the pan every once in a while, until you see the skin of the peppers blister and they appear to be shrinking.

3/ Sprinkle fairly generously with sea salt and serve hot. Grab them by the stalk, take a bite and see if you’ve a feisty one or not. Either way, they are simply delicious.



Strawberries with vanilla cashew cream

PREPARATION TIME 5 minutes + 2 hours soaking

• 400g / 14oz ripe strawberries
• freshly ground black pepper
• a few basil leaves, finely shredded (optional)
• juice of ½ lime
• ice cubes, to serve (optional)

For the vanilla cashew cream
• 150g / 5.oz / ¼ cups cashew nuts
• seeds from 1 vanilla pod/bean
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
1/ To make the cashew cream, put the cashews in a bowl and cover with water.Leave to soak for about 2 hours to soften.

2/ Drain the softened cashews and put them in a food processor with 125ml / 4fl oz/ ½ cup cold water. Blend until completely smooth, adding up to 125ml / 4fl oz / ½ cup more water, as necessary, until it is smooth and creamy, and you have a cream as thick or loose as you like. Add the vanilla seeds and maple syrup and briefly blitz to combine.

3/ Prepare the strawberries as you like, whether you want to serve them whole or cut up. Add a twist of pepper and scatter over the basil, if using. Serve with the vanilla cashew cream.



We should all start the morning with a well-balanced, fabulous-tasting breakfast. You’ll feel full of vitality and ready to tackle whatever the rest of day throws your way. However, in reality – it’s usually the weekends (or holidays) when we have slightly more time on our side first thing. So make sure you plan ahead for the weekend and have plenty of healthy ingredients to hand when you know you’ll have time to enjoy eating them.
Start off with an energy-giving, super-hydrating juice drink that’s great for your digestion. Packed with fresh fruit, powerful ginger and coconut water, all you do is blend and go. Kids should love it too, and you can freeze any leftover for an ice-pop another day.
For a real treat you have to have a go at pan-frying some avocado. It has a smoky flavour similar to mild smoked bacon, and is perfect served on toasted crusty bread with nutritious poached eggs and protein rich tahini.



Preparation time: 10 minutes
½ ripe pineapple, about 300g/10½oz flesh, peeled and cut into chunks
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups coconut water, chilled
1 tsp grated root ginger
juice of ½ lime
ice cubes, to serve (optional)

• Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz for about 1 minute until completely smooth.
• Pour into glasses and serve over ice, if using, or straight.

Not only is coconut water a great ingredient to use in juices and smoothies, but you can also use it to cook rice. It gives it a subtle flavour that works brilliantly with a number of cuisines from around the world, such as Asian, Indian, Caribbean or South American, to name a few. If you have some left over after making this recipe, why not give it a try?




poached egg & av


SERVES 4 (or 2 very hungry people)
preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 5 minutes

2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 eggs
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1cm/½in thick slices
4 thick slices of fresh bread (such as sourdough or rye bread)
3 tbsp tahini, plus extra to serve
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

• Bring a medium to large pan of water to the boil over a medium-high heat and add the white wine vinegar. Break in the eggs one at a time and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the whites are set.
• Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the avocado slices and fry for about 1–2 minutes on each side until slightly golden. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
• Toast the bread until golden. Spread each slice with tahini, then top with the avocado slices. Remove the poached eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon. Dry any excess water with paper towels and then put the eggs on top of the toasts. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter with the sumac and sesame seeds, then serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little more tahini.

Aaron Craze’s Cauliflower Crème Brûlée Recipe

Aaron Craze’s


COOKING TIME 60 minutes

12 egg yolks
220g caster sugar
200g cauliflower florets (finely sliced)
1 litre Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp vanilla extract 50g brown sugar


1. Boil the Greek yoghurt, vanilla and cauliflower in a pan. Bring to boil then simmer till the cauliflower is tender.

2. Blend in a food processor, and then pass through a sieve.

3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Add the yoghurt to the egg mix and pour into ramekins.

4. Sit the ramekins in a water bath in the oven at 110°c for 60 mins or until set. 5. Once cooled, sprinkle with brown sugar and caramelise with a torch or grill.

Chia Seed Flapjacks by Jo Pratt


by Jo Pratt

COOKING TIME 30 minutes

6 tbsp coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
175g / 6oz / 1¾ cups rolled oats
100g / 3½ oz / scant 1 cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped
50g / 1¾ oz / 2/3 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
50g / 1¾ oz / 1/3 cup chia seeds
40g / 1½ oz / 1 cup coconut flakes
75g / 2½ oz / ½ cup dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries
100g / 3½ oz / 2/3 cup chopped dried figs or dates
½ tsp vanilla extract
115g / 4 oz / generous 1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp soft brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Oil and line a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in cake pan with baking parchment.

2. Put the oats, pecans and seeds in a baking pan and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Tip into a bowl and mix with the chia seeds, coconut flakes, dried fruit and vanilla extract.

3. In a small pan, heat together the coconut oil, honey and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then pour over the oat mixture. Mix well, then tip into the prepared pan. Press into the edges with the back of a spoon and bake for 25–30 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

4. Remove and leave until completely cool before turning out and cutting into squares.

5. The flapjacks will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.