6 healthy sunflower seed butter recipes + a GIVEAWAY!

If you’re looking for some healthy nut-free options, be inspired by these healthy sunflower seed butter recipes – all gluten and dairy-free, Paleo-friendly and without any refined sugar!

Sunbutter products

In this day and age of increasing numbers of people with nut allergies, what do you do?  Well, you turn to nut-free alternatives, like tahini (sesame seed butter) and sunflower seed butter.  I love the no added sugar varieties from Sunbutter but always snag a few jars when whatever flavor is on special.  Because sometimes this peanut butter/almond butter/cashew butter loving gal just wants a change.  And I thought I’d do a bit of a round-up for healthy recipes that I love making with sunflower seed butter, just in case you’re asked to bring something where you know there will be people with nut allergies.

I should point out that I’m not being sponsored or paid for this post – while I love Sunbutter, I am not receiving any compensation for posting this stuff.  But keep scrolling through for the opportunity to win a jar for yourself (giveaway is now CLOSED).

Now that is out of the way, here goes:

6 Healthy sunflower seed butter recipes

(and one not-so-healthy!)

Thai beef coconut curryThis Whole30 compliant meal really satisfies.  The mix of spices is gentle enough for the whole family, but the taste will transport you to another country.  Unless you live in Thailand.  In which case you’ll just feel like home!  But seriously, using sunflower butter in here gives it a unique taste that just can’t be beat when thinking of curries!

Healthy chocolate sunbutter slice

Ahh, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter … but nut free with sunflower butter.  My kids actually love this version – I think more than the peanut butter version.  Me?  I like both.  And will eat both, given the chance!  But with no refined sugar, and good wholesome ingredients, this is a snack that will make you taste buds, and your belly smile.  I would highly recommend slicing into small pieces though … portion control and everything!

Sunbutter cookies

You know, you can’t go wrong with just a simple cookie, can you?  Well, give this one a go.  It’s vegan and Paleo, with no refined sugar in it and the sprinkled salt on top just gives them that great combination of salty/sweet flavor.  This is one of my most viewed posts on Instagram (remember you can follow me on social media by clicking on the buttons to the top right of this page), so trust the masses I guess!

Chocolate banana pie

If you have guests for dinner, who have allergies from here to kingdom come … give this dessert a go.  This recipe is free from all the top 8 allergens, totally gluten, dairy, nut and egg free.  But it looks, and tastes, pretty impressive, if I do say so myself!  It’s quite rich, though, so be prepared to only have a small piece.  And then you can go back for more when your guests leave!

Almond butter chocolate swirl ice cream

Ok, so this recipe doesn’t explicitly use sunflower seed butter in the ingredients list, but it’s more than acceptable to substitute the almond butter for sunbutter.  The taste is still amazing … dare I say even better?  No, I won’t, because I love both almond butter and sunbutter equally.  Just differently.  Kind of like my kids?  Or is that going too far??

Chocolate hazelnut blueberry granola

Again, sunflower seed butter isn’t explicitly in the list of ingredients for most of my granola, but feel free to substitute for any nut butter.  I particularly like this granola, with naturally sweetened jam as the sweetener, full of nuts, seeds and dried fruit.  And sunbutter.  Or almond butter.  Or whatever type of good fatty substitute you wish!

Chocolate sunbutter slice

Yep, sunbutter can be used in not-so-healthy stuff too.  And this slice is just the bomb (I always wanted to say that … maybe I shouldn’t in the future though!).  Full of icing/powdered/confectioners sugar and other sweet things like that, this is seriously worth making.  On occasion.  And again, cutting into small slices.  So you can have one at a time.  And share with others around.  But make sure you get at least some of it because it is SO yummy!

And here’s the giveaway part …!

(Giveaway is now CLOSED – congratulations to the winner!)

Because I want you all to love sunflower seed butter as much as me, and maybe make one (or more) of these healthy sunflower seed butter recipes, I have two jars of Natural Sunbutter to give away one lucky winner.  All you have to do is comment on this post, letting me know what you would make if you won this prize.

Note that by entering this competition you agree to receive all sorts of yummy ideas and recipes for gluten and dairy-free cooking at home in your e-mail inbox!

US residents only please.  This giveaway closes September 8, 2017.  Winners will be contacted via e-mail shortly after.

For another chance to win, head on over to my Instagram account at @cookathome.info and enter the giveaway there as well!

6 Healthy sunflower seed butter recipes

So what do you think?  Have I inspired you to think of sunflower seed butter a little bit more?  I’d love to hear if you’ve made anything with this butter, or what you’d like to make with it in the future.  And any ideas that you’d like me to give a go as well.  Just let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home … with healthy sunflower seed butter recipes!

Sarah

6 healthy sunflower seed butter recipes - all gluten and dairy-free, Paleo-friendly and without any refined sugar! #sunbutter

How to stay Whole30 compliant while camping

You’ve decided to do a Whole30, and then you realize that you had plans to go camping during that 30 days.  What do you do?  Normally camping is a time where diets and healthy food choices fly out the window because eating outdoors just tastes so good!  And you excuse yourself by saying you’ve been walking around more than normal so this marshmallow, or chocolate, or packet of chips isn’t really going to hurt you.  And you know what?  You’re right!  A weekend of indulgence isn’t going to hurt you.

But, if you’ve committed to doing 30 days of Whole30 eating, and you decide to eat typical camping food … well, that usually means you would need to start your Whole30 again.  Never fear, I’m here to help!  I’ve just gone on a camping trip with the family, and I’m in the middle of my third Whole30.  And I stayed compliant for every meal, while the rest of the family had the indulgent pleasures described above.  How did I do it?  And end up looking as happy as in the photo below?

How to stay Whole30 compliant while camping

Plan ahead

While our camping trip was kind of spontaneous – Grant and I looked at each other one Sunday and said we wanted to go camping the following weekend – that still gave me plenty of time to think of what meals I could have that were compliant, and yet satisfy the family of picky eaters.  Fortunately we had gone camping previously just before my second Whole30 so I had a few meal ideas already in my head.  You can’t really go wrong with meat and veggies …

Cook ahead

Instead of getting to a campsite, often when it’s dark or late afternoon, and realizing you’ve got to set up the tent, find all the cooking utensils and the food, we’ve found it’s much easier to simply cook the meal ahead, put it in a ziplock bag and all you have to do is reheat it.  Now this works wonders with soup, tacos, satays, casseroles, you name it.  And all you need is a frying pan and a burner.  Couldn’t be easier!

Bring compliant snacks

You know the feeling – the rest of the family is roasting marshmallows, to dunk in their pudding cups (or maybe that’s just our family!), or they are snacking on crackers and dip, or chocolate, while you know very well that none of those foods are Whole30 compliant.  Well, you have a few options:

  • Sit by yourself feeling very sorry for yourself,
  • Sit next to them and lord it over them that you’re much healthier than they are (let’s see how long the family camaraderie lasts with that one!)
  • Sit with them and eat some Whole30 compliant snacks, such as fruit, nuts, meat bars (I love Epic Bars and Wild Zora Bars) etc and join in the fun

Sounds easy … right?  But what do you actually eat?  Here’s some ideas for you:

Whole30 compliant camping meal ideas

Breakfast

This shouldn’t be too difficult – eggs and sugar-free bacon would win every day for me, with a side of snack veggies or fruit.  Fills you up and keeps you full much longer than any sugar-filled cereal or toast and jam (although they are both yummy in their own right at times!)

Lunch away from camp

Now, if you’re out all day and you need something to take with you, while the rest of the family has snacks … try one of those meat bars I mentioned above with some snack veggies such as snow peas, baby carrots, celery sticks, and a piece of fruit.  And make your own trail mix to snack on if you need an added energy boost while hiking or whatever you’re doing.

Lunch at camp and dinner 

These can be interchangeable – as you are aware, food shouldn’t really be classified as breakfast, lunch or dinner foods – just food that can be eaten.  Here’s where you can let your imagination go wild.  Give these a go with options for those non-Whole30 family members

  • Taco meat with salad (family can have corn chips to make Nacho Taco Dippos, or wraps or tortilla shells for tacos or burritos)
  • Satay chicken with salad or cauliflower rice (family can also have rice, or wraps)
  • Soup, such as this, this or this (family can add bread rolls for dipping)
  • Casserole, such as this, this or this (family additions as for the soup)
  • Or something just as simple as steak and salad

There we go – hope this has helped you.  If you would like any suggestions, or would like to make some suggestions for me to try for our next camping trip (because there will definitely be more of them!), please comment below!

So it’s still cooking at home, but eating outside.  Best of both worlds if you ask me!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home!

Sarah

Henry and his blue cake

First of all, apologies for kind of being missing in action for the past few months.  It’s been a busy time for us …

At the beginning of June my in-laws arrived for a visit in the US, we met them in Chicago and drove along Route 66 with them for 12 days.  2800-odd miles later and we were home, but with so many great memories of people, places … and the food!  But that will be the subject of another post …

Then we had another few weeks with them at our place, and I was trying to get caught up with work, and I did a LOT of experimenting in the kitchen – lots of new recipes to come when I get the chance to put them all together here.

But this post isn’t about that.  It’s about what happens when the kids see me experimenting and want to be creative as well.  Henry is a classic for this.  When he’s bored (i.e. he’s run out of his allotted screen time, he’s read all the books he’s borrowed from the library and it’s closed), he will sometimes wander into the kitchen and announce he wants to bake.  A cake.

Now Henry hasn’t followed a recipe for as long as I can remember.  He likes making things up as he goes along.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t … This time I showed him a cake recipe that wasn’t really a recipe – it went through what ingredients and how much of each to make a cake.  So he took that on board, and went to work.

Unfortunately, when he first weighed out the flour, he added way too much for the amount of milk, and so he went back into mad scientist/cook mode.  And added eggs, sugar (this time he remembered!), and then got creative and added sprinkles, strawberry lemonade flavor, bananas … and I don’t quite remember what else.

And then he wanted it to be in swirls.  So I helped him to make the swirls in the cake, and also helped with the frosting on top.  The end result:

Now, fortunately, or unfortunately, he made it with full-gluten and full-dairy, so I wasn’t able to partake of any of this delicacy.  But the rest of the family did.  And said it was … interesting.  But it was all eaten within 2 days, so it can’t have been that terrible!

My question is this – what is he going to think of next?  

Loved spending time with him and showing him a few things about baking though.  These are the memories that I’ll keep for a long time.

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

Sarah (and Henry!)

‘Toothless’ cupcakes

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about cooking with kids, but do not fear, the kids and I have been spending a reasonable amount of time in the kitchen together.  Our regular ‘kids cooking’ night has gotten a lot of good feedback – especially when we’ve invited someone around and the kids have to cook for more than just Grant and me.  We’ve had Orange Chicken (recipe coming soon), burgers, and more burgers, trifle, pudding, and so many more meals that I can’t remember.

But this one is special.  As part of the Everything Food Conference, Abby and I bought tickets to the Cupcake Battles show with Justin Willman.  You all remember how keen on cupcakes Abby was around this time last year?  With stunning cupcakes such as the ‘Patience’ lemon blueberry cupcakes, ‘Joseph’ chocolate orange cupcakes, ‘Love’ red velvet cupcakes, ‘Holy is the Lord’ cupcakes, ‘Kindness’ chocolate raspberry cupcakes, ‘Peace’ banana toffee cupcakes, ‘Joy’ almond citrus cupcakes and our all time favorite ‘let there be light’ pineapple polenta cupcakes?

Well during intermission of the show, after they’d had a 40 minute cupcake battle on stage in front of us, Abby had an idea for a new combination of flavors for one to try at home.  Her idea was to develop something that looked like her dragon, Toothless, from ‘How to train your dragon’.  Anyone who has spent any time with Abby will know of her obsession for dragons … so being the dutiful mother that I am, I said we could make them the next day.

Here’s what she wanted:

  • A maple cinnamon cupcake with white chocolate chips throughout
  • Apple cider vinegar frosting (?)
  • Marshmallows dipped in chocolate with green icing for the eyes
  • Piped chocolate wings and tails

I thought it was a little ambitious, but I’ve learned to go with the flow.  And here’s the result:

Ok, so the cupcake looks a little bit sad, but I can kind of see the resemblance to the real thing, can’t you?  The good thing is that it tasted really different.  I wasn’t too sure about putting apple cider vinegar in the frosting, but we balanced it out with a LOT of powdered sugar, so it just gave your mouth a little tingle.  The original cupcake recipe that we based this off of was a Paleo-friendly maple crumb cupcake … but with all the sugar and other stuff we added, these are definitely not Paleo-approved.  I had a little bite, just to see how it tasted, but not more than that due to my special stomach needs and dairy issues.  And I was impressed.  So impressed, that we made a whole tribe of Toothless cupcakes:

What was probably the highlight of the day, though, was when Abby and I were putting all of these together, Abby said that it didn’t matter if they didn’t work because at least she got to spend time with her mother.  My heart just melted … (and all of you should go ‘Awwwww’!).  We had a lot of laughs and fun doing this – thanks for reading!

What is the most fun thing that you’ve made recently?

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

Sarah

The Great British Baking Show

One thing we’ve become accustomed to while living in the US is binge-watching TV shows.   Grant and I have gone through all the episodes of shows such as House, Hawaii Five-O (in anticipation of our upcoming trip to Hawaii – yay!), NCIS and other drama series.  I also love watching shows such as Alton Brown’s Good Eats and other food shows (obviously!).  But the one show that we just hang out for new episodes to come onto Netflix is The Great British Baking Show.

This is a reality TV show where amateur cooks compete against each other, all with different technical challenges, signature bakes and show-stoppers.  I’ve learned so much about baking while watching this show – and I’m trying to improve my decorating as well!  We love this show because (a) it’s British and not American, so a totally different culture compared to where we currently live and (b) some of it reminds us of sweets and pastries we had growing up in Australia.  

Over the past few weeks, Abby and I have both tried to make recipes that we saw on the show.  Abby, as is her way, wanted to make choux buns religieuse.  Not just for the family, but for when we had guests for dinner as well.  For those of you (like me) who had no idea what these are, let me break it down for you:

  • Choux pastry – kind of like the eclair-type pastry
  • Creme patissiere – a fancy way of saying custard
  • Chocolate ganache – hopefully that’s self-explanatory
  • Whipped cream – ditto

Basically, make the pastry, inject it with the custard, dip in the ganache and assemble with the whipped cream.  They look like little ‘nuns’, or as we called them ‘penguins’.  Anyway, see what you think for the comparison – the actual recipe photo on the left, Abby’s on the right

I was impressed – and as they were full gluten and full dairy, I didn’t get to try any of them, but from the feedback from our guests, they were a winner!

For my effort, I tried to make an ice cream roll.  On the show they were tasked to make a dairy-free ice cream (which I had no problem with), a sponge cake and some jam and roll it all together.  There wasn’t just one recipe for this challenge as they could all make their own variety, so I did too.  I made a paleo sponge roll, made my own strawberry jam, some almond butter ice cream with blueberries inside and a chocolate frosting on top.  It definitely wasn’t as glamorous as those on the show were, but we definitely enjoyed it!

And then, because I wasn’t satisfied with just one recipe, I thought I’d try to make macaroons.  Not quite sure what the difference is between macaroons, with 2 ‘o’, and macaron, with 1 ‘o’ – maybe someone can enlighten me?  Anyway, the British cooks seem to use these on a regular basis, and they are naturally gluten-free, so I thought I’d give them a go.  With egg whites, sugar, powdered sugar and almond flour, I thought I’d have no problems.  Well, the texture and taste on mine were great – I made them into a mint macaroon with a chocolate filling – but they were a little bit flatter than I’d like.  Maybe next time I’ll pipe them into smaller rounds so they’ll rise more?  Any advice from experienced macaroon bakers would be greatly appreciated.  Again, the left photo is from the show, the right photo is from me.

Again, not too bad, all things considered!

Anyway, thanks for reading all my ramblings – just know that I’m not going to stop baking any time soon.  There’s so many more recipes I want to try!  And any suggestions you may have for me would be welcomed as well!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home!

Sarah

An auspicious occasion and a request

Today marks a very special occasion for me.  As of today, I have now updated all the photos on this website with (hopefully) more artistic and better (!) photos of all the yummy food that I’ve been making.  Can everyone do a happy dance with me to celebrate, please?!

For those who have been along for the ride, you will remember how about 6 months ago, I really started getting into the social media scene.  This was to challenge myself to make my food look better, and to find out lots of new ideas from bloggers around the world.  I started to realize pretty quickly that my photos were just not up to par when I looked at what everyone else was posting.  So I asked for help, and researched a few topics, reached out to a number of Facebook groups for food photography and food blogging in general.  And I think I’ve improved.  

Below are just some of the photos that I’m really proud of:

      

       

      

What do you think?  I know I’ll never win any food photography awards, but I’d like to think these are ok for social media purposes?

And now the request …

You’ve been through my journey with first gluten-free baking and cooking, then adding the dairy-free issues, then the vegan sugar-free trial period, and then the issues with corn etc, leading to the Whole30 adventures.  My question to you is – what type of recipes do you want me to look at developing next?  I’ve had lots of fun re-doing all the recipes on this website, and have been developing a few others along the way, but I want to know what you want me to do.  What challenges do you want to give me?  I’m up for anything!  Just tell me!

I look forward to reading lots of ideas  in the comments below!  

As always, feel free to let other people know about this little ol’ website if you like what you see.  Sign up for updates on new recipes and general experimenting in the kitchen, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Facebook.  I just ask that you all enjoy life and cooking at home!

Until next time,

Sarah

 

 

My second Whole30

I have just completed my second Whole30 – and have learnt a lot more about myself and my relationship with food than I ever thought possible.  

For those of you who don’t know what the Whole30 is, check out their website.  Basically, it’s a 30 day reset, where you eat whole, nutritious foods and eliminate those foods that have the potential to cause issues in your system – digestive and psychological.  You eat lots of meats and veggies, eggs, fish, fruit and nuts and remove gluten, dairy, alcohol, legumes and grains.  And sugar.  And then follow a structured reintroduction protocol to positively identify the impact those various foods have on your system so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to eat them … whether it’s worth the reaction, if there is one.

I did my first Whole30 in October (see posts here, here, here and here) and established some good habits (like not standing next to a bowl of cookie dough and putting the spoon in my mouth so many times I only make half the amount of finished product).  And I felt a lot better, less bloated, more clearer mind.  But then November and December happened … and I started moving towards more and more eating cookie dough and cake batter, having less Whole30-ish meal days, my digestive system started to react again and I knew I needed to nip this in the bud, so I committed to a second Whole30 in January.

This time around I wanted to make recipes from other people and test them out on the family – getting more creative in the kitchen.  And people have asked me what I eat … so here’s a round-up of all the meals I made … and all of them were awesome!

From the Whole30 cookbook (thanks to my awesome husband for my lovely Christmas present!):

  • Twice baked Mexican potatoes
  • Italian slow cooker roast beef
  • Green pork and cauliflower curry
  • Ketchup
  • Garlic and prosciutto smashed potatoes
  • Grilled bacon wrapped turkey

From other bloggers:

And I couldn’t forget all the Whole30 compliant recipes I have on this website, which I made during the 30 days:

Try any or all of these recipes, feel better about eating good, wholesome food, and let me know what to think!

Until next time, enjoy cooking these (and other) recipes at home!

Sarah

 

Pizza and monster cookies

What do pizza and monster cookies have to do with each other?  Well, that’s the combination that Abby and Henry came up with this week for their turn at cooking dinner for us.

Abby asked me at the beginning of the week what Italian food I could have, being on the Whole30 and such, and I couldn’t really come up with anything.  Even my cauliflower crust pizza is kind of frowned upon by the Whole30 rules – they describe that making technically Whole30 compliant ingredients into things like pancakes, pizza, muffins etc will make your brain think it’s actually getting those sorts of foods.  And hence the habits that you are trying to kick, such as overeating on pizza, fries, cookies etc, are not going to change because your brain thinks – I want pizza (for example) and it gets a type of pizza.  But it’s not as good a pizza as the ‘real’ thing, so at some stage, you are likely to just go full bore and hoe into a gluten/dairy/fatty pizza and all the work you’ve done for the Whole30 will be for naught.

Then she started thinking about what else she could make.  And wanted to make pork buns – well, reheat them from the pre-packaged ones that we found at Costco a few months ago.  Like a dutiful mother, I went to Costco to buy some … and they weren’t there.  Went to a number of other grocery stores and couldn’t find any.  I was going to make some lamb burgers the following day, trialing another recipe and thought I could help Abby make them instead.  So that was the plan … until I took longer at work than expected that day so we didn’t have time to get properly organized.

And then I thought … if I bake a sweet potato, and put the toppings from Abby’s pizza on top, it won’t be anything like a pizza and I can still remain Whole30 compliant.  So that’s what we did.  Abby made her favorite Aussie egg and bacon pizza (basically scrambled eggs with bacon and onions) and put it on some Greek pita bread with cheese and some awesome pasta sauce that I found on special … and that’s what the rest of the family had.  I had the egg/onion/bacon mix on my sweet potato with some salad and it was a great compromise!  Grant put some hickory smoked BBQ sauce on his as well … and he said that it was just awesome!

Now Henry was determined to make cookies.  You see, earlier in the week I had made some white chocolate sugar cookies (recipe here) intending them to be for our weekly Bible Study group.  I made them on Monday for a Tuesday night get-together.  The family had some (I didn’t – yay me!), and then I put them in a container.  Came home from work the following day to find 5 of them missing … out of about 12 that were there at the beginning of the day.  And Henry was home all day with them.  I’m sure you can do the math!

So he wanted to make monster cookies to make up for the ones he’d eaten.  I cautioned him that my recipe made a lot of cookies and maybe we could only do a third of the recipe.  But he was determined to make a full batch.  So I helped him .. and yes, there was a lot of cookies made, in weird shapes and sizes (see the photo), and there was dough eaten by Abby and Henry (not me – yay me again!).  And apparently they were very yummy!

So that’s what the kids cooked for us this week.  Hope you enjoyed reading about their adventures – I had fun helping them out and look forward to the next time they ask me to do so!

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

Sarah

Winter camping food

Call us crazy, call us whatever, but for the past two years the family has gone camping at Christmas time.  For all you Southern Hemisphere people, that probably doesn’t sound like a very big deal.  For all us Northern Hemisphere people, just one word.  Snow.  And lots of it.  And did I mention, we camp in tents?

Last year we camped at Zion National Park, where the days were bright and sunny, there was a little snow on the ground, and it was quite cold at night.  Well, below freezing actually.  We ended up buying a few more blankets and other winter gear while we were camping out.  So this year, we wanted to try another National Park, and chose Bryce Canyon.  Now, Bryce is at 8000 ft elevation, so is definitely higher than Zion.  Strike one.

The weather forecast when we were planning on going showed the first two days with snow, clearing to the blue sky and sunny skies for the next two days of our trip (but considerably colder – maximum temperatures not even reaching freezing).  When we set off, it was snowing.  The roads had snow.  Lots of snow.  But we were holding onto the belief that the snow would clear after the first day.  We set up our tents in the snow.  We made a camp fire in the snow.  Henry made a path in the snow from our campsite to the amenities block … you get the picture.

The second day it was still snowing, but there was about an hour or so of sunshine and blue skies.  And then the snow came back.  With fog.  We did go for a hike – we were told that the fog was not as dense lower in the canyon – see for yourself!

Yes, that is Grant and me, standing where the fog was the least!  We ended up sticking it out for another night, when a huge winter snowstorm came through and almost buried our tents.  We ended up having to crawl through our tents that collapsed under the weight of the snow.  Packing up was probably the quickest we have ever done it, and it was very good to get back home.  So we missed out on two days worth of camping … but the forecast showed more snow and more fog for the rest of the time.  And it really wasn’t that much fun hiking in the snow to not see anything.  The kids were troopers, though, I was so proud of them!

What has this got to do with a cooking website, I hear you ask?  Well, let me share with you what we ate while camping.  I managed to stay relatively on the Whole30 plan (i.e. no sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, gluten) with just a few exceptions along the way.  Here’s what our main meals were:

From the top left clockwise: taco soup, ham and potato soup, beef stew and satay chicken (obviously these aren’t the actual photos of what we took camping, but you get the idea!).  Our breakfasts consisted of eggs and either bacon or sausages – I also brought some sweet potato toast and avocado so I could have my all time favorite breakfast (recipe here).  And our lunches were basically sausages, or pulled pork or burgers (recipe here) with salad for me (bread-type stuff for the rest of the family).

So we ate pretty well – I cooked up all of the main meals before we went so it was just a matter of reheating … which was very convenient considering it was snowing every time!

Anyway, thanks for reading this far – feel free to let me know in the comments on whether you think we are seriously crazy, or whether we should continue camping in the winter!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home (or while camping … in or out of the snow!)

Sarah

Our weekly routine

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about cooking with kids.  Maybe you think I’ve forgotten about them?  Well, I haven’t.  And they’ve been cooking up a storm!

You see, we’ve started a new routine in our house.  Once a week, the kids cook us a meal.  One week Abby cooks the main course and Henry cooks the dessert, and the next week they swap.  They get to choose what they want to make (with a little guidance from Grant and me), but the planning and time management usually is left to them.  We’ve had some really good meals.  And I think there was only one that ended up in the trash – which is pretty good considering we’ve been doing this for well over three months now!

But this week, I was asked to help out more than normal, so I thought I’d take photos of what my awesome kids came up with.  This was probably the best meal combined that we’ve had with them cooking and I’m so proud of them.  Note, I only guided them – I didn’t really do anything with them.  Usually Grant and I will hide away from the kitchen while they’re cooking so they get to deal with problems by themselves.  This time, I was in the kitchen with both of them, answering questions.  And generally enjoying spending time with them again.

Henry wanted to make ‘bangers and mash’.  For those who do not have an English background, this is basically sausages, onions, mashed potatoes with gravy over everything.  Henry has made this before on the kids cooking night, but just cooked sausages and mashed potatoes with gravy.  Without the onions.  Or vegetables.  And made the plate look like a smiley face.  Actually, it was classic when he went to start cooking and opened the fridge looking for the mashed potatoes – the look on his face when I told him he’d have to peel, chop and cook the potatoes before mashing them was priceless!  This time around he knew what he was in for, and did the potato preparation, and the onions.  And did really well with the gravy.  He still didn’t cook any veggies for the rest of the family, I just had a serving of roast vegetables in the freezer for just an opportunity for me (recipe here).  So he had fun plating up the food – here’s mine:

The other plates ranged from being a grumpy face, with a uni-brow (with the gravy), smiley-faces etc.  I didn’t get any gravy because it had gluten in it …

And then we came to Abby’s dessert.  Most of the time she’s been making cakes, or cupcakes and decorating them at will.  This time, because I wanted to update the photo of my chocolate chip bread pudding (recipe here), I asked her if she wanted to try it out.  And she did a really great job!  Probably better than I could have done.  

I am so proud of my kids and their skills in the kitchen.  Watch this space for more of their creations – this time I can’t wait until they get to cook for us again!

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

Sarah

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