Cooking with kids Archives


I didn’t realize just how Australian a pavlova is (or New Zealand-ish for those who want to get really picky) until I mentioned that the dessert of the week to be cooked by Abby and myself for Mummy-daughter time was pavlova.  The amount of blank stares I got when I mentioned this … well, it was an interesting time!  

Anyway, I’ve had this recipe in my folder for a number of years now, but have never really tried it myself.  In Australia we used to be able to get a ‘Pavlova egg’, with all the dry ingredients in the plastic ‘egg-shell’ and the shell breaking into carefully measured proportions that you needed for the rest of the wet ingredients.  So simple a 4-year old can make it … and Henry did for his kindergarten class.  He was the star of the end-of-year party!  

Moving to Chile meant that we no longer had the cheats way of making pavlova … and here’s where the Internet came to the rescue.  That, and the experience of Grant’s dad when Nanna and Poppa came to visit.  Henry and Poppa made this recipe to take to a typical Chilean BBQ lunch and it turned out really well.  So I kept it in my recipe folder but never tried it.  Until this week …

2015-03-06 Pavlova

This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven, prior to decorating.  I had tried making a chocolate pavlova before, but failed miserably, so I was kind of proud of this effort.  All the pavlova contains is egg whites, sugar, vanilla, vinegar and a little corn-starch.  Pretty simple, but very easy for things to go wrong.

But here’s where the fun comes.  Decorating with whipped cream and fruit.  Now, for those of you playing along at home, you will remember that I’m thinking I might be lactose intolerant, so I’m steering away from dairy products.  So I tried the trick I’ve seen many people use for non-dairy whipped cream – coconut milk chilled in the fridge over night forms a layer of cream that can be whipped like ‘normal cream’.  I did that, added some vanilla and a little honey and it tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself.  But it didn’t make enough whipped cream to cover the whole pavlova, so I cut the pavlova into portions, covered what I thought I would eat with the coconut cream and then used Cool Whip for the rest of the family.  And then chopped up some fresh strawberries and Abby helped me to place them on top.

2015-03-06 Pavlova finished

The finished product was crunchy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside.  We probably overcooked it a little, so next time (if there is a next time), we’ll cut back the time by about 10-15 minutes.  But it was 100x better than my chocolate pavlova attempt.  The family (and I) loved it and Abby and I had a ball making it, so a win-win situation all round.

The movie this week for Family Movie Night was Garfield … Abby’s choice!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home … with kids!


Worms in the mud

A family favorite – how can you go wrong with Oreos, cream cheese and chocolate pudding, with a few gummy worms thrown in.  Well, when you’re gluten intolerant, and possibly lactose intolerant … you can still make it work!  Check out the recipe here … and see how Abby and I did this time around!

2015-02-27 Worms in the mud

Gluten-free Oreos are expensive … and don’t taste very good.  So I used my good ol’ stand-by chocolate cookie crust cookie (flourless chocolate peanut butter cookies) and didn’t even need additional butter to make it into a crust after they were baked.  The cream cheese filling, I found a dairy-free alternative by Tofutti, but then I added normal heavy whipping cream – still trying to find a dairy-free substitute for that.  We used a chocolate instant pudding mix … which in America is different to what we find in Australia.  The Australian instant pudding mixes are more of a mousse-type texture – this one was definitely a pudding.  I used almond milk, and halved the amount of milk required just so it actually formed a pudding, rather than slush!  That part actually wasn’t too bad.  And gummy worms are naturally (!) gluten-free and dairy-free so they weren’t a problem.

Overall, the taste was superb, Grant gave it his approval, so that was all that mattered!  And Abby and I had a ball making it, and testing it to make sure we got the proportions correct.  Unfortunately I did have a reaction after eating it, so I’m going to stay away from dairy products again for a bit now and test it out again a little later.

2015-02-27 Worms in the mud #2


Until next time, enjoy cooking at home … with the kids!



The start of something new

Cooking with kids

Welcome to a new focus for ‘Cook at home’.  As some of you may have read, I’ve  been struggling a little recently with the ‘pressure’ of having to cook many things for the US National Food Day Challenge – things that I don’t necessarily want to make, or eat, but have done so … and eaten way too much while doing so.  So I decided to take a break (read more here).  I decided to re-focus my attentions on cooking what I wanted to make, and spending more time with the family, rather than in the kitchen by myself for most of every weekend.  

So I decided to give the kids some ‘Mummy-Abby’ and ‘Mummy-Henry’ time each weekend.  When I asked Abby what she wanted to do during this time, she immediately said to bake with me.  So she went through my recipe folder and wrote out a list of all the things she wants to make with me.  Every Friday we have a family movie night, so most of these things will be made for that purpose.  If we have a need to bring something to a potluck, that can also come off her list.  So far (in 3 weeks) it’s proved lots of fun and I’ve enjoyed spending time with my soon-to-be teenager daughter.

And it was during one of those times this week, that I thought I could share these experiences with you.  All the recipes are tried and true, so it will be like re-visiting oldies but goodies!  Come with me and Abby in our Mummy-daughter adventure!

PS Henry is still trying to figure out what he wants to do during his time with me!


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