Crispy cereal biscuits

When it was pouring with rain one afternoon last week, and we’d already been out in the morning, I decided that a spot of baking was the best choice of activity, and Andrew enthusiastically agreed – he always does when there’s food at the end of an activity! I flicked through a recipe book that I was given for Christmas for some on the spot inspiration. One that caught my eye was for biscuits with cornflakes in them – like a cross between chocolate cornflake cakes and oaty biscuits. Based on this idea I looked in the cupboards, and then adapted the recipe to include rice crispies and oatmeal, because that’s what we had in. I also reduced the relative quantity of sugar, as I often do when baking with the boys.

IMG 1473

Since living with Granny and Grandad, we’re also enjoying the use of Granny’s Kitchenaid, which Andrew loves to help me with. I find this particularly useful when working with real butter – I tend to use margarine myself because I never remember to get butter out enough in advance for it to get to room temperature and is therefore hard work to mix!

IMG 1477

I have to say, for a make it up as you go along recipe loosely based on inspiration from a book, these tasted amazing. Perfect texture for the kids to enjoy, nice and light, with a real crisp to them, whilst still being a biscuit rather than a cereal bar/cake.

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Here’s how we did it…


  • 100g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 50g oatmeal
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g rice crispies


  1. Prepare a couple of baking sheets by lining with greaseproof paper, and preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg.
  4. Add the flour, oatmeal and sesame seeds, and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the rice crispies and gently fold in without over mixing.
  6. Dollop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, with large enough gaps between them to allow for spreading during baking.
  7. Bake for around 15 minutes until lightly golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray until the biscuits firm up.
  9. Eat and enjoy 🙂
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Tasty slow cooked kedgeree – #ShortcutEggsperts

One food stuff that you’ll always find in our fridge is eggs. Most of the time they get used for baking before I get round to using them for anything else, but they do come in handy for main meals too. Scrambled egg goes down well with the boys for lunch (or even breakfast when Granny cooks it at the weekend), and we have a few tea-time meals that rely on eggs: mini toad in the hole is one favourite, and kedgeree is another. That’s the recipe I’m sharing here as I join in with the #ShortcutEggsperts Linky Challenge.

Kedgeree 1 Collage

Kedgeree is a classic fish, rice and egg dish with a distinctive curry flavour that was originally eaten for breakfast in Victorian times. I can’t say that I would love it for breakfast, but it does make a tasty family tea in our house. There’s just something very satisfying about all those flavours combined. Another thing I love about this dish is the fact that almost all the ingredients are either store cupboard/fridge staples (rice, eggs, curry paste, onions) or you can chuck in whatever you have in (vegetables – we like some combo of peas, spinach or mushrooms). The fish is probably the exception; I tend to look out for it on the supermarket reduced shelf.

I’ve seen recipes for kedgeree that poach the fish (usually smoked, such as smoked haddock) in milk, but to be honest I like faff-free cooking, with minimal steps and number of dirty pots to wash at the end. So instead I choose smoked oily fish like mackerel, which comes ready to eat and so can be chucked in as it is to the one-pot dish. I’ve experimented with various versions of my take on kedgeree – I prefer the result when I use curry paste rather than curry powder, and slow cooked beats the hob version if I need to prepare it earlier in the day.

This has got to be one of my best yet. And the verdict from my testers? Daddy came back for seconds; Joel came back for seconds and polished of Andrew’s; Mr Fusspot (aka Andrew) had this to say….

“It’s an avocado egg!….It’s got a hole in it!”

I presume this was a reference to the boiled egg – the solid yolk had escaped from the white in the bits on his plate. And to be fair, he’s probably seen more avocados than boiled eggs recently, as we tend to scramble more often than not. He then proceeded to pick about his plate and find every distraction going to deter him from eating.

Kedgeree 2 Collage

Anyway, don’t let a 3 year old in a fussy phase put you off. On with the recipe…


  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 onion
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 150g smoked mackerel
  • 2 heaped tablespoons curry paste
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 750ml hot stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 1 heaped tbsp soured cream


  1. Chop the onion finely and quarter the mushrooms. (Optional: fry them in a small amount of olive oil for a few minutes to brown them – as I said above, I prefer minimal steps, and we’re happy with slightly crunchier onions and firmer mushrooms than if I fried them first.)
  2. Add the onion, mushrooms, rice, peas and turmeric to the slow cooker pot.
  3. Mix the curry paste with the stock, cover the contents of the pot, and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 2-3 hours (note: I cook rice dishes for 3 hours in my slow cooker, but we’re currently living with my parents and it only took 2 hours in theirs – lesson learned, there really can be quite a lot of variation in slow cooker efficiencies!)
  5. At any point during the cooking time, hard boil the eggs; then cool them, peel the shells off, and quarter each one.
  6. When the rice is al dente, flake the fish into the pot, and cook for a further half an hour.
  7. Just before you serve, add the soured cream and eggs, stirring gently (too vigorously will make the eggs disintegrate).
  8. Enjoy!
Or, if you don’t think enough in advance to slow cook, this can be done just as well on the hob in about 20 minutes – just fry the onion and mushrooms for a bit, chuck in the rice for a minute or two, then add the curry paste, stock and peas, bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, adding the fish and eggs near the end. Simple! I just like to prepare food ahead of the crazy half hour before we eat when the boys are testing, and slow cooking is a great way to avoid some of the chaos.

This post is an entry for the #ShortcutEggsperts Linky Challenge sponsored by British Lion Eggs. Learn more and find recipes at


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Creamy cheesy celeriac with salmon – #slowcooked

Firstly let me apologise for there being no pictures in this post – not great for a foodie post, but it was so yummy that I totally forgot to take pics before we devoured it 😉

It’s been a while since I wrote up a slow cooker recipe. It’s not that I haven’t been slow cooking, but more that I haven’t found the time to write about it as well as all the other things I’m doing, and recently I have been sticking with recipes I’ve done before rather than experimenting with new things. But this week we had a celeriac in the veg box, and I haven’t had one for quite a while, so this got me thinking about how I could slow cook it.

I remember I enjoyed a dish once (I can’t actually remember where or when!) that was a bit like a celeriac dauphinoise, with a creamy cheesy sauce around slices of the root vegetable. So this hazy memory formed the basis of my slow cooker creation. I made a simple creamy sauce out of milk, soft cheese and a small amount of flour. The celeriac formed the main bulk of the solid part of the dish, though I added a bunch of purple kale that was in the box, as well as a tin of pink salmon for more protein beyond the dairy ingredients.

It turned out very well, and generally the boys were impressed, although Andrew wasn’t too keen on the taste of the celeriac – I think it’s quite an acquired taste and I’m not sure when he last had it. We served it with rice because the boys had eaten quite a lot of pasta in the days before we ate this, but pasta would work well with it too I think.

Here’s the recipe, which is very simple but give very yummy results!


  • 1 pint milk
  • 200g tub soft cheese with herbs/onion/garlic
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 tin salmon
  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • rice or pasta to serve


  1. Cut the stalks of the kale off and chop the leaves into smaller pieces.
  2. Peel the celeriac and cut into slices about 1cm thick, and then each big slice into smaller pieces.
  3. Place the slices in layers in the slow cooker pot, sandwiching some purple kale between each layer of celeriac.
  4. Mix the milk, soft cheese and flour in a jug, then pour the mixture into the pot – it should just come up to the top layer.
  5. Cook on high for 5 hours.
  6. About an hour before the end of the cooking time, drain the tin of salmon and flake the fish, then add it on top of the celeriac in the pot.
  7. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook some rice or pasta to serve it with.

Slow cooked moussaka

I haven’t written up a food post for a while. It’s partly because our oven has been broken for a few weeks – I know, shocking, I’m not sure how I’ve coped without baking therapy; well actually I do, it’s been sewing therapy instead, making some funky wet bags for the boys’ nappies! And it’s partly because I’ve been busy writing breastfeeding posts and doing stuff for the Nappyness Cloth Nappy LIbrary. The oven is now fixed so hopefully I can do some more baking next weekend.

moussaka Collage 2

With a broken oven, I’ve been so glad that we have a slow cooker. Last week we had an aubergine in the veg box, and as I was thinking about what I could do with it, moussaka sprang to mind. I think traditionally this is done with lamb, but as I can’t stand lamb, I went for turkey instead, as that’s the meat that I often substitute when a recipe calls for minced beef or lamb (I also make a turkey shepherd’s pie for example). I had a quick google and the first hit for slow cooked moussaka was another blog with a recipe that seemed to fit the bill. So, as usual, I adapted it to what we had in and my own tastes, and this is what I came up with….

moussaka Collage 1

The verdict from my boys was very positive, so much so that Tom suggested I cook it again when the younger boys’ Godmum came round for lunch on Sunday.


  • 1 aubergine
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • handful of herbs (I had fresh sage in the tubs)
  • 400g turkey mince
  • olive oil
  • 1 pack feta


  1. Slice the aubergine and courgette into fairly thin rounds.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic, and heat in a frying pan with some olive oil, until they start to brown.
  3. Add the minced turkey and cook until just grey.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs, and stir well.
  5. Put about one third of the turkey mixture in the bottom of the slow cooker pot.
  6. On top of this, place a layer of sliced aubergine and courgette.
  7. Put about another third of the turkey mixture on top, then another aubergine/courgette layer, and repeat with the last third of the turkey mixture and the last of the veg.
  8. Cook on low for about 7-8 hours.
  9. In the last hour of cooking, add the feta to the top and replace the lid.
  10. Serve with rice, and freeze any that you don’t eat – it defrosts to make a yummy meal later in the week 🙂

Mackerel kedgeree – #slowcooked

I love finding bargains on the reduced shelf in the supermarket – I only really buy fresh fish when it’s there because I think it’s too expensive at full price and I think about how little a tin of tuna costs in comparison. But there is a biig difference in taste between tinned and fresh fish, which is why I grabbed the pack of mackerel fillets that were about half price last week, and stuck it in the freezer until I had chance to think what to do with them!kedgeree 1 Collage

As I was thinking, kedgeree popped into my mind – we haven’t had it for ages, and although I know it’s usually made with smoked fish, I still just fancied it and thought it would still work with unsmoked fish. So I adapted my usual basic risotto recipe to make it into kedgeree, which is basically a curried fish and egg risotto as Tom and I joked. The veg we had in the box this week included chard, and given that it’s similar to spinach and I absolutely love spinach in curries (my favourite is Chana sag – chick peas and spinach), I chucked that in too to make it an all in one dish with no need for a side veg.

kedgeree 2 Collage

The verdict amongst my three boys was very positive. Daddy was very impressed and asked for seconds, Andrew was even more impressed and asked for thirds, and Joel excitedly rocked to and fro in the high chair whilst shoving fistfuls of egg and caked on rice into his mouth! If you don’t believe them, why not give it a try yourself….

Ingredients – serves 4-5 adults

  • 250g mackerel fillets
  • 300g rice
  • 900ml hot stock
  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100g chard or spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 eggs


  1. Put the rice, chard, onion and stock into the slow cooker pot.
  2. Add the curry powder, turmeric and corn flour and stir.
  3. Place the mackerel fillets whole on top of the liquid where they will float.
  4. Cook on low for 3 hours on low.
  5. Whenever you have time during the cooking, hard boil the eggs, and when they are cooled, peel off the shells and chop into quarters.
  6. After the 3 hours, take the fish out and flake on a plate, then add the flaked fish back into the pot and stir until evenly distributed.
  7. Add the egg quarters and fold in carefully so that they stay in tact.
  8. Cook for a further half an hour on low.
  9. Serve straight away and you can freeze any left-overs.

Slow cooked colourful veggie risotto with pea pesto

I actually cooked this a couple of weeks ago now, but it was just before we went away for 10 days and I was too busy finishing my posts on cloth nappies for Real Nappy Week (and getting ready to get the four of us off on holiday – that’s no easy feat!) so I didn’t get round to blogging this rather delicious meal until now. Risottos are a great way to use up things in the fridge that have seen better days and/or a great way to chuck in things from the store cupboard if you’re running low on fresh ingredients. These are the reasons why I cobbled this together just before going away, and the result was a yummy family meal.IMG_0678

Needless to say, Andrew loved it, as always. Joel is still not eating much, just a nibble here and there, but when he’s having a go at more variety of flavours and textures, this would be a great meal for him too. I’d say it works for a baby doing baby-led weaning because you can just choose which veg they like or which veg you want them to try, and decide what size of chunks they are confident with when adding ingredients, starting with bigger pieces (maybe not kidney beans like in this recipe straight away). The pea pesto adds a lovely flavour, a sweetness that makes it appealing to kids I think, and a lovely bright colour, which is also appealing, maybe even more so to kids than adults!

And of course using the slow cooker meant I could prep earlier in the day (it took about 10 minutes) and the risotto was ready for dinner at 6.30pm. Easy PEAsy…. have a go yourself if you like!


  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 200g long grain rice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 800ml hot stock (I use low salt)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 50g Parmesan cheese
  • Glug of olive oil


  1. Chop the carrots into chunks.
  2. Put the carrots, kidney beans, rice and cornflour into the slow cooker pot.
  3. Add the stock and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  5. After you’ve put the slow cooker on, make the pesto. Start by cooking the peas for 2 minutes in the microwave or in a pan of boiling water.
  6. Put the cooked peas, cheese and a glug of olive oil in a blender and whizz until a smooth paste – add a bit more oil if it’s too thick until you have the right consistency to stir through the risotto.
  7. When the slow cooker is finished, stir the pesto through the risotto until evenly distributed.
  8. Serve immediately; any leftovers can be frozen for a quick tasty meal another time.

Slow cooked Savoy cabbage and Parmesan risotto

Last Sunday we went for lunch at Andrew and Joel’s Godmum’s house. She cooked us a very yummy risotto with leek and Parmesan. Andrew was very keen on it, and gave it the sign of approval ‘ “Yummy yummy!” This inspired me to do a risotto for my slow cooking this week. We didn’t get leeks in the veg box this week, but we did get a Savoy cabbage, so I used that instead, but still paired it with Parmesan because I thought it would go just as well. And the amount of Parmesan I used made a really cheesy dish – I believe that if you’re going to have cheese in something, you need to be able to taste it and taste it well!risotto

Although I like the texture of risotto rice, I don’t normally buy it (unless it’s a special occasion) because it’s so expensive compared to the basics/value stuff; instead I use ordinary long grain rice and add some cornflour to give it a bit of creaminess like risotto rice gives. Recently I haven’t put wine in risottos because I haven’t been drinking it myself for ages (pregnancy, breastfeeding and generally not being up in the evenings!). But the risotto that we had cooked for us last Sunday reminded me that it really does add something to the taste – not in a very strong alcoholic way, but in a subtle way. So I decided to open the one bottle of wine we had in the flat and add some of it to this meal.

Here’s the recipe (again a very easy one)….

Ingredients – serves 3-4

  • 250g rice (either risotto or long grain – add 2 tbsp cornflour for long grain)
  • 1 litre hot stock (I use low salt)
  • 150ml white wine
  • half a medium savoy cabbage
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 80g grated parmesan


  1. Shred the cabbage finely, chop the mushrooms into quarters, and crush the garlic cloves.
  2. Put all the ingredients except the cheese into the slow cooker pot and stir.
  3. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  4. Add the cheese and stir well.
  5. Cook for a further half hour on low.
  6. Serve immediately with a good grind of black pepper; leave any leftovers to cool and freeze for future meals.


Slow cooked pearl barley veggie risotto

Although I knew you could put pearly barley in soups and stews to give a thicker texture, I’d never thought of making a meal in which pearl barley was the main ingredient, used like rice to make a risotto, until I saw it used like this in a recipe in my slow cooker cookbook from which I’ve taken inspiration for various recipes that I’ve come up with. The barley gives it a slightly different taste and texture compared to ordinary risotto with rice, and I like having this for a change. Plus barley is supposed to be good for breast milk production.

The recipe for pearl barley risotto in my book isn’t really my cup of tea because it contains blue cheese, which I don’t like. So I’ve changed all the ingredients except the pearl barley and created a risotto that’s more to my taste. I included a tin of chopped tomatoes because, for risottos in general, I’m into using chopped tomatoes as part of the liquid for cooking the rice – it gives it a good flavour without having to use as much stock, which is great in terms of salt reduction for little ones, and Andrew isn’t too keen on raw tomatoes but will happily eat cooked ones from a tin in sauces on pasta and rice like this. The vegetables in this risotto were those which came in our veg box this week – all our meals these days are planned around what veg we get, and I like this because it makes me think of new things rather than always buying the same kinds of veg week in week out. I also chucked in a tin of canellini beans as the protein in our meal. The final touch was a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar to give an extra boost of flavour.

My boys approved, and Andrew even asked for seconds of ‘zotto’, so it must have gone down well. This recipe was enough for 2 meals for us, so that’s 2 evenings of not having to cook just at the time when we’re all tired and irritable. Result!


  • 230g pearl barley
  • half a large savoy cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 900ml vegetable stock (I use low-salt for toddler)
  • 400g tin canellini beans, drained
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 50g mature cheddar, grated


  1. Put all the ingredients except the cheddar into the slow cooker pot and stir to mix them together.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Stir well before serving with a sprinkling of grated cheese on top.


Butternut squash risotto with pea and rosemary pesto: non-smelly cooking!

If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a few weeks, you probably know that since I was about 6 weeks pregnant, I haven’t been able to smell food cooking without feeling nauseous. Until about week 15, it wasn’t just nausea – I would be physically sick whenever I smelled it. I didn’t actually realise that it was the food cooking smell that was such a major trigger to my sickness until we went on holiday for a week when I was 10 weeks pregnant: one evening we went out for a meal, and although I didn’t stay long or eat anything except some bread at the pub, when I went back to the house where we were staying I felt better than I had been all week at that time in the evening – it dawned on me that nobody had cooked anything there that evening. Since we got back from that holiday, we’ve not cooked anything in the flat. Don’t feel too sorry for my boys though, because Tom gets a free cooked lunch at work (Cambridge colleges seem to look after their staff), and Andrew has one meal a day heated up from the freezer that were very helpfully cooked by Granny at her house 80 miles away 🙂

Yummy! And my tasters thought so too - Andrew even asked for more!

Until recently we’ve mainly been eating salad, bread, cooked meats, cheese etc. I realised a while ago that boiling things like pasta, potatoes, rice was OK, because it didn’t smell that bad – the main trigger seems to be anything frying in oil/fat, particularly meat but also veg, or anything roasting in oil/fat, again particularly meat but also veg. So we’ve been able to make simple pasta and potato salads and eat them cold. I also found out relatively recently that putting a pizza in the oven for just 5-10 mins (all it needs in our efficient oven) is bearable, I guess because all it’s doing is melting cheese and heating up rather than actually cooking it. The past few weeks I’ve been able to stand the smell of baking (cakes, biscuits, bread etc.) much more than before.

Pea and rosemary pesto ready to go in the risotto when the rice is done. I love the bright green colour from the peas.

In the past week or so I’ve been feeling more adventurous in terms of thinking of things that I could ‘cook’ that don’t smell – basically this means avoiding frying or roasting. So instead of eating just cold things, we’ve actually had some ‘cooked’ meals. One of the dishes I came up with was a risotto, and it went down very well with both my tasters (aka Tom and Andrew) so I thought I’d blog it, because it’s so quick and easy to do, and really does taste as good as something that requires more ingredients and proper cooking. I don’t add salt to any of our food, both for Andrew’s sake and because I’m not a big fan of even slightly salty food – but this risotto could be made with a stock cube if you’d prefer, by just adding it to the boiling water as the rice and squash boil. I prefer to get all the flavour from the peas, cheese and rosemary in the homemade pesto. The first time I made it I left it veggie, but the second time I added a tin of tuna, because since being pregnant I’ve been more concerned that I get enough protein. It would also work with pulses as protein – I often stick beans in veggie risottos to give them a source of protein.

Anyway, here’s the recipe….

Ingredients – serves 2 adults and a toddler

  • 1 medium butternut squash, skin off and cut into small-ish cubes
  • 1 large mug of rice (I just use long grain for risottos to save on the cost of risotto rice)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 50g cheese (I used cheddar because I’m not sure I can have parmesan at the moment as all the packs in the supermarket said unpasteurised – I’d probably try parmesan when I’m not pregnant)
  • olive oil – a few glugs
  • handful of fresh rosemary (we’re lucky that we have some growing in pots on our balcony – it’s amazing what you can grown even if you live in a flat – we have tomatoes, herbs and lettuce)


  1. Place the squash cubes and rice in a large pan and add boiling water. Leave to boil for about 10 minutes, adding more boiling water if necessary once it starts to get absorbed into the rice.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the frozen peas in the microwave (or in a pan of boiling water). Once cooked, drain any excess water and place in a food processor. (I have one of those small whizzers, so I do half at a time).
  3. Chop the cheese into chunks and place in the food processor, along with the rosemary – remove the leaves from the stalky bits.
  4. Drizzle a glug or two of olive oil into the food processor.
  5. Whizz all the ingredients together until you have a smooth paste, adding more oil if necessary.
  6. Once the rice and squash are cooked, add the pesto to them and stir well to spread it around evenly. (If there is excess water in the pan, drain before adding the pesto, but it’s best to add a bit of water at a time to the rice and squash when they’re cooking, so you don’t end up with an excess in the first place.)
  7. Serve straight away. It also freezes well for another day – just make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted and heated through again.

Top up your toddler with vitamins and iron – the green way

Yummy scrummy in my tummy 🙂

When I came across this recipe for Green Risotto, I thought what a great way it is to get toddlers eating the vitamins and iron that are found in spinach and peas, which are not always the most popular of foods amongst our littluns, though I’m glad to say that so far (I’m aware this can change) ours has shown no signs of being fussy, and it surprises me sometimes just how much of all kids of different foods he’ll try and polish off. At the moment for him it’s more a case of he can’t (in great quantities) rather than he won’t eat spinach, because he only has two teeth (I think he’s put all his developmental effort in mastering walking recently), so I have to cut it up very small for him otherwise he can’t seem to ‘gum’ it very easily like he can other foods. But at least he’s not against the flavour. Peas are definitely one of his favourites – not sure whether it’s the fun of picking them up one by one and perfecting his pincer movement, or the flavour, but all I care about is that he eats them.

The veggies are whizzed up in this risotto, so even the most suspecting toddler won’t be able to see actual pieces of veg, just a lovely thick bright green sauce. And let’s face it, bright colours are so appealing when you’re a little person – that’s why all their toys/books/clothes etc. are brightly coloured. I thought it would be a good idea to share this recipe on the blog, for anyone who’s wondering how they can get those all important vitamins and iron into their littluns who might not be too keen on eating visible plant life.

Do you think I can eat it with this spoon Mummy?!

The recipe is based on one from Paddington’s Cookery Book, which Andrew got for his birthday from Uncle Matt and Aunty Helen, along with a gorgeous little kids’ apron for when he’s old enough to help me cook. The book is a fantastic mix of snacks, mains, breakfasts and puddings, all beautifully illustrated with Paddington Bear doing bits of cooking. I’d definitely recommend it if you’d like some child-friendly recipe ideas, for getting them involved in both cooking and eating. This recipe was about half the quantities that it said for 4-6 people, and it served two adults and a hungry toddler just right. It would also freeze well, but I didn’t buy enough spinach this time to make double and freeze half; I’m already planning on doing that next time. I used cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan, because I forgot to buy the special cheese and we always have the ordinary stuff in the fridge – it worked fine. I also replaced the butter with olive oil, because we were running a bit low and I needed it for the other recipe I was making that night (post to follow…) So that’s enough of an intro…. on with the green stuff!

Look at my grogeous Cath Kitson apron


  • 500g spinach
  • some dried or fresh mint leaves (how much is up to you – depends how minty you want it)
  • 125g frozen peas
  • 500ml vegetable stock (I used reduced salt stock)
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 1 onion
  • olive oil
  • 150g rice (I don’t usually buy risotto rice on the grounds that ordinary long grain rice tastes nice too and is considerably cheaper when you’re on a budget like us)
  • basil leaves (optional)


  1. Wash the spinach and cut off any tough stalks.
  2. Put it in a saucepan of boiling water for just a minute, to blanch. Drain, keeping the water.
  3. In the same water, cook the peas and drain. Liquidise the spinach, mint and peas, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary (whoops I burnt out the motor in my aging liquidiser doing this! Time for a new one I think).
  4. Heat the stock and grate the cheese.
  5. Chop the onion finely. Heat some olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, and cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two. You should hear the rice crackling when it’s ready for the next stage.
  6. Add 2 ladlefuls of stock and watch, stirring often, until it is absorbed into the rice. Carry on, a ladleful at a time, until the rice is almost completely soft but the risotto is still creamy. This should take about 20 minutes.
  7. Now stir in the spinach, mint and pea puree, and half the cheese. Add the basil leaves if you have them.
  8. Serve with the rest of the grated cheese.

I polished off my lovely green risotto
Green monster! (He had a bath straight after this... and turned the bath water green!)