When I was pregnant with my first daughter I imagined cosy afternoons in the kitchen with my child, whipping up a batch of fairy cakes and sausage rolls. I’ve always enjoyed baking and my love of the kitchen comes into its own around this time of year.
But then I experienced the reality of baking with a toddler: every square inch of kitchen surface covered in flour, smashed eggs on the floor and, ultimately, a tantrum because the cakes can’t be eaten IMMEDIATELY – they actually need to go in the oven first. (Sidenote: that CBeebies I Can Cook show has a lot to answer for, cooking with kids is NEVER that easy.)
Anyway, despite my lack of love for the activity, my four year old continues to adore helping in the kitchen. As she’s getting older the amount of mess and the tantrums are reducing, meaning I’m slowly starting to enjoy baking with her too.
Every year there are a few Christmas treats we bake together. Sausage rolls are top of the list. We make them on Christmas Eve morning and the house is filled with that delicious smell of warm pastry. With the left-over pastry from the sausage rolls we add some cheese (a strong cheddar and another type too usually), plus a liberal sprinkle of paprika. Roll it up into twists and – ta da! – you’ve got cheese straws. Yum.
Another favourite is mince pies. The (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine is a bit fussy when it comes to mince pies so we make a buttery, biscuity pastry that doesn’t need rolling. This recipe is a good place to start.
Obviously none of these treats are exactly slimming food, but at least it’s healthier to make it yourself than buy it from the shops (that’s what I’m telling myself anyway).
This year I’m planning to make a few healthier treats with Frog too, including these tasty apple and mango muffins. They use oats, which we’ll have loads of as we use oats in the reindeer food we make on Christmas Eve afternoon (oats + flour + glitter = reindeer food).
Writing this post has actually got me excited about getting in the kitchen and doing some baking with Frog this Christmas.
Have you got any good child-friendly recipes to recommend?
This post is written as part of the Organix #NoJunk challenge. For more recipe inspiration check out the website.
I’m the same – I love the IDEA of baking with G but not the reality Still, every now and then I do it, since she loves it so much! Your house looks so cosy in these snaps.
I’m hoping it’s even more cosy this year as we’ve decorated! Am I a bad mum for admitting I’m happy to let F do most of her baking with her grandma?!
We’ve been making a few batches of Claire’s spice biscuits (Clarina’s Contemplations – for some reason my internet won’t let the site load right now) and they’re a big hit around here, though not terribly healthy. Mince pies are a must for us too and I’m looking forward to making the mincemeat with Kitty – if I peel and core the apples she’s pretty good at chopping them up with a table knife and she loves weighing things out, pouring in and stirring. But I think I’ve also accepted the inevitability of flour on the floor – I just try to make sure it’s not the glass jar it lives in too!
oooh these all sound yummy…. I’m all about the cakes this year
Jess @ Along Came Cherry says
I’m so mean when I cook with Cherry and only let her do the sprinkles, or sometimes I let her stir it a few times, she is kind of used to it now though and happy to just watch! I do let her use glitter whenever she wants though so that eases my conscious x
Cute baking! I can’t wat to bake with my daughter but she’s a bit young at the mo, making mince pies tomorrow! xxx
Adele @ Circus Queen says
Those all sound yummy! You definitely have to let go to a lot of your ideals (hang ups?) when you choose to do ANYTHING with a small child. I love baking with Talitha but I do find the “I want to eat it NOW” quite challenging. Love that picture of you and F.
Lia : Tangerine Canteen says
I am not a very keen baker myself, but I do try to make Nigellas Christmas Muffins ready for Christmas morning Going to try some veggie sausage rolls this year too
i love baking, but I think i’m messier than the kids
Fritha Strickland says
Wilf and I bake fairly often and it’s something we both oddly enjoy even though its super messy (although I’m not a huge stickler for things not being messy..you should see our house!). It’s funny the things we find we naturally enjoy, I imagined loving being in the park with my child and in actual fact..I hate the park! I’m thankful that Tom does enjoy it, I’m the one sitting on the bench trying to tempt Wilf to leave with the promise of the cafe x
I’m rediscovering the joy of baking with more time on my hands, although it is rather solitary…empty nest and no grandchildren…yet! A lovely recipe that Sarah liked to make is toad in the hole but you use mini sausages/chipolatas and muffin tins. It’s sort of individual toad in the hole. Frog would find it easy to mix the batter and it goes really well with trees (broccoli florets) and onion gravy. Sorry NLM ‘graaaayvee’! I’d also try a simple gingerbread house. Check out Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry showing Paul how to put it together. Can’t you tell I’m soooo enjoying semi retirement!
F would LOVE to do a gingerbread house this year. I think I need to get my act together and properly look into making one with her. Plus the toad in the hole is a great idea – she’d love those and it would appeal to the NLM too! x
Ooh I love cooking in the kitchen but like you sometimes struggle with the chaos of it all , mainly because F is so excited that he tends to chuck everything whether it’s needed or not! I like to make little cheese tartlets. with the magic of pre rolled puff pastry and goats cheese. x
Pre rolled puff pastry is genius – I think I need to stock up on some myself for Christmas!
Can I come to yours this Christmas? Nothing like fresh homemade mincepies and it really gets you in the mood! X
I know exactly what you mean about dreaming of cosy baking days and then the reality of it – so many tantrums – although now he is four it’s finally coming together slowy – he can take direction more and understands things are hot (finally) when they come out of the oven