Family Recipes Mince and Doughballs

Family Recipes Mince and Doughballs

When I was growing up, family recipes mince and doughballs (otherwise know as dumplings or doughboys), were a staple of the Scottish diet.  I may not always have agreed with the vegetable choice (who does as a child) to go with, but it still remains one of my fondest meals!

Family Recipes Mince and Doughballs

Family Recipes Mince and Doughballs

Prep: 5 mins      Cook: 15mins

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons self-raising flour
  • 5 tablespoons suet
  • 1 pinch salt
  • water

Method

  1. Chop and sweat onions till transparent (use mixture of oil and butter to ensure no burning).
  2. Tip in beef mince (5%) and brown for several minutes – substitute with pork or turkey if required.
  3. Add appropriate stock cube or stock pot and get to a simmer.
  4. Add a couple of drops of Worcester Sauce – only a couple!
  5. Mix flour and suet together with a pinch of salt. Add drops of water until mixture is thick.
  6. Cover hands in flour and roll pieces of mixture into balls.
  7. Place the dough balls on top of your mince (or any dish with a simmering gravy or stock) and place the lid on your pot for 15 minutes or until puffy.

Tip

Leave these beauties alone, don’t keep checking them by taking the lid off your pot as this will make these flatten. Can be served with anything that has a stock or gravy like mince and tatties.

It’s also a great recipes to get the kids involved in, as they love the making of dumplings.  They don’t have to be neat, so it makes no difference if they are all the same size or not, get the kids involved!

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Easy Fridge Cake Recipe

Easy Fridge Cake Recipe - Baking with my boys

Can someone tell me where weekends actually go?! Whether I pack in loads or just take it easy, it always seems to fly by and before I know it, it’s Monday again.  What I really want to do is one weekend just lock all the doors, switch off the phones, stay in my pj’s with the boys and literally chill ALL weekend.

Anyway whilst I try and figure out how to pull that weekend off, I’ve literally started this evening running…

18:00 – Home from work

19:00 – Tea cooked for boys. Boys all showered. Ironing put away ( well 2 baskets worth – we each have a basket each!)

19:30 – Fridge cake made with Samuel & Fred (forgot to take during photos for Insta #sillymummy), then Samuel put to bed with drink.

20:00 – Homework done with Henry, Another drink for Samuel.

21:00 – Tea cooked for Matt & I, Henry & Freddie to bed.

21:30 – Time to get to work…

Just call me Superwoman LOL #whorunstheworld #girls

Anyhoo who fancies checking out my easy Fridge Cake recipe?

Ingredients

Easy Fridge Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 250g Digestive Biscuits
  • 300g Milk Chocolate
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 150g Golden Syrup

baking with kids

Method

  1. Line a 20cm shallow, square-shaped tin with cling film (leaving extra hanging over the sides).

  2. Put the digestives into a sealable freezer bag, then happily bash the biscuits into pieces using a rolling pin (perfect job for a little one).

  3. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately stir in the broken biscuits, and any extra ingredients you fancy adding – see below for ideas.

  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Press down with a wooden spoon to level.

  6. Once cooled, put the tin in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set.

  7. Turn out the cake by turning upside down onto board/plate.  Peel off the cling film and cut the cake into squares and enjoy!

Ingredients Ideas:  Mini Marshmallows, honeycomb, choc chips (for true chocoholics), Hazelnuts…

Easy Fridge Cake Recipe
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P.S Check out some of my previous recipes for even more ideas including Chocolate Biscotti and my personal favourite Chocolate Cornflake Cake.


Beds for Boys

Time to pick a new bed...

So Fred was really happy with the mood board I showed him, and was actually really excited by some of the bits I’d found.  He was especially excited about the Egg Chair (that’s gonna take a while to locate) and the gaming artwork/prints.  However we had a bit of a spanner thrown into the works…

So one of the biggest decisions is Fred’s new Bed! He currently has two single beds in his room.  However one of these is going to Grandma’s new flat when she moves next week.  So do we stick with the single divan he has (it was expensive and is only a few years old); or do we buy him the double bed he really wants?  Okay so if it was just me then i’d give him a double bed in a flash as it’ll last him for much longer.  But trying to persuade the OH of the need for a new bed is another thing altogether.

Beds for Boys

So I spoke to Fred and he immediately showed me a couple of ideas that he wanted.  I have to say I loved them…

However there are a couple of issues with this style of bed for Fred’s room:

  • While it is a space saver, the layout of Fred’s room would mean a double bed version would take up a large part of his room.
  • He is no way allowed his XBox in his room (that’s what the playroom is for) so there is really no need for the seating/gaming area underneath.
  • He already has a desk and storage too so it’s not needed for that either.

So I think it’s time to choose a double bed.  But what style?

Now normally I’d go for wood every time, it’s timeless.  Especially in this black tone I think it has a clean, modern look.  But I really do like the style of this metal bed. It’s perfect for a young lads bedroom.  So I’m torn, what do you think guys?

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Fred's Bedroom Mood Board

Fred's Room - Mood Board

So when Fred gave me his brief (brief as it was… see what I did there #hilarious) I must admit I wasn’t surprised in the slightest and am pretty happy with the design ideas based around gaming etc.  However I was slightly disappointed with the colour choice.  It’s still basically the same colours as he has now and I kinda really want to change for him, make a real impact.  So I have a plan in my head that I really don’t think he will go for unless I present it to him in the right way.  So I think a ‘Fred’s Bedroom Mood Board’ is required, to give him a real feel for the room.

Mood Board

Fred's Bedroom Mood Board

I still have to break the news that I have completely ignored his colour choices.  I’m hoping he is so wowed by the mood board that he doesn’t care.

Fred wanted a gaming chair but actually I think the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair is a fab alternative.  Cool enough for the kids, but a timeless classic that will last!  Just need to find a slightly cheaper version…  And the colour changing light from B&Q is a bit of fun, that I know he will love.

Now when I decorated Samuel’s room I had wanted a blackboard wall but I was overruled by the OH.  He said it would be a nightmare to change.  However this time I am going to put my foot down as I really want his walls to be dark grey, I’ve just not decided if they should all be painted or not.

xbox

I’ve just discovered a fab shop on Etsy called ControlFreakGameArt.  I cannot wait to order a set of prints for his room, all hand painted and in the colours of my choosing.

I’ll be making some art work of my own (of course) along with some cushions.  But the rest will all be either from small independents or high street finds.  Can’t wait to get started, wish me luck in breaking the news to him…

Please check out my Pinterest board to check out my latest finds and ideas before I get started.  And feel free to tag any shops you think i’ll love.

Fay x


The reality of being a mum

A cough, Tena Lady and a lesson in pelvic floor exercises...

Good Morning Britain

So this was our first week back at work/school and I have to say it has been a rude awakening! When the alarm went off at 7am on Monday morning I have to say my heart sank.  Having to drag myself and then the boys out of bed was like absolute torture, pitch black outside and freezing cold.  Not something I relished I have to say!

It has got slightly (not much) easier as the days have gone on, but we’ve also ended up ill.  Fred & Hen had Wednesday off school complaining of headaches and stomach pains, luckily a day in bed seemed to sort.  I started with a cough literally from the get go on Monday and it has only got worse.

The reality of being a mum

Seriously…

Now I’m not normally one to complain and actually in terms of it I haven’t really been that bad.  Well except for Tuesday night when I felt dreadful, but again one good nights sleep seemed to get rid of the headache.  But the cough just won’t shift.  It’s one of those really dry coughs, that once you start you just can’t stop.  Unfortunately after 3 kids that means a plentiful supply of Tena Lady to hand; going to the loo at every opportunity just to be safe and wishing to god I’d listened to the experts and done my pelvic floor exercises….

Such fun!

Just picture me walking round Aldi and having to cover my mouth constantly whilst coughing but also cross my legs; to try and delay the inevitable. Ah well time to buy an extra bottle of Cava to dull the embarrassment LOL.

So whilst I consider buying shares in Tena Lady.  I would also be utterly grateful for any hints or tips to sort the old pelvic floor out (or am I past saving?  LOL) to help future ‘episodes’.

weak bladder joke

Anyway enough of that talk, it’s Friday and I have s**t to do…

Okay I have two loads of washing, a house to tidy, a tax return to complete, Judge Rinder to watch oh and yeah best nip to the loo, it’s been at least 10 mins since the last time I went.

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P.S Fancy seeing what my middle son Freddie is thinking for his room this year? It’s his turn for a redesign and he has some fairly strong ideas, click here…


Boys Bedroom Ideas

Come in No.2 your time is up!

Fred’s Room

So this year it’s all about Freddie and his room.  He has patiently waited whilst both Samuel and Henry had their rooms redesigned, and now finally it is his turn! Actually out of all the boys, Fred is the tidiest.  He’s a complete soap dodger, but keeps a tidy room (well apart from an inability to make a bed?!) LOL.

Boys Bedroom Ideas

The Story

Anyway I digress, back to Freddie and his room.  Now when we last decorated it was the time of great sporting success for Britain, we had just had the Olympics, then Andy Murray topped that and won Wimbledon, so Fred was completely swept up in this (he has always been massively sporty and was only 6) so everything was Union Jack.  Fred loved this and his bedroom became a homage to all things Great Britain and the Union Jack.  Now he’s (nearly) 11 and it’s all looking a little tired, with the others spare bedding and not v cool at all.  So what does he want…

boys bedroom desk

The Brief

Colour: Black, Red & Dark Blue

Style: Gaming

Requests: Double Bed (2 singles put together, tick), Desk (tick), Gaming Chair (no chance), TV (maybe)

Okay so it’s not the most inspiring brief I’ve ever been given, nor is it comprehensive, but… it does me a lot of scope, which is always a good thing in my eyes!

Pantone-Fashion-Color-Trend-Report-London-Spring-2018-Swatch-Cherry-Tomato
Pantone-dark-blue

The Plan

So it’s off to pinterest I go.  I’d love some recommendations of shops to look at on the web/insta for awesome items for his room!

Here’s a few ideas that have grabbed my attention so far…

I love these cushions! Definitely going to make a couple of my own for Fred’s room.  I use spoonflower to print all my fabric designs, fat quarters are the perfect size for a 18″ x 18″ cushion cover (x2).

I already had had a similar idea with the storage boxes that currently sit on Fred’s desk, by attaching to the wall and putting a flatscreen above.

If I could have a pound for all the times the boys have said this to me, along with ‘can i just finish my video’ or ‘just 5 more mins…’

Buy this print along with others on Etsy.

Already getting a plan in my mind, may have to work on his colour choices though…

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chocolate biscotti

Chocolate Biscotti

As soon as Henry saw this recipe for Chocolate Biscotti, he decided we needed to bake for Christmas; and I have to say they were delicious!  So why not give everyone a taste of Italy with these delicious biscuits – perfect for baking with the kids, then dunking in hot chocolate!

Prep: 20 mins               Cook: 40 mins              Level: Easy

Ingredients

225g Plain Flour (extra for dusting)

1tsp Baking Powder

175g Caster Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

150g whole Hazelnuts

75g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa at least) , chopped into small chunks

Chocolate Biscotti

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

henry baking

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and stir briefly, then use your hands to bring together the mixture, kneading till smooth.

3. Add the hazelnuts and dark chocolate and knead again.

biscotti ready to bake

4. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and roll each half into a sausage shape, then flatten slightly.  Place both dough sausages on the lined baking sheet, leaving plenty space between the two.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden, then cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.

6. Turn down the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1. Using a bread knife carefully cut the dough rolls diagonally into 1cm thick slices.  Lay flat on the same baking sheet.  Bake for another 15 mins, until dry and slightly golden.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack, they will harden as they cool.

 

Serve with the drink of your choice (hot chocolate or coffee are recommended!)

So easy and so very very tasty, these Chocolate Biscotti are a perfect introduction to baking for your kids.  Apart from a little extra kneading and transfer of ‘dough sausages’ to cool before cutting, Henry did the rest himself and he did a great job.

For more simple and fun recipes to cook with your kids, then check out my other recipes.

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P.S Henry’s fab grey kitten onesie is from the amazing @KiguCrew all the boys got one this year in their Christmas eve boxes.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, then get over there, they are awesome!


coding for kids

Coding for Kids

My boys have always been into computers and games, minecraft was a given along with school favourites such as Scratch.  So when I was approached by KidloLand to check out their new Coding for Kids app, I jumped at the chance.

Coding for Kids

Samuel has just turned 6 so was the perfect age to try this app.  I must admit it took a little persuasion, I had to use his big brothers to encourage him as I think he felt it was some kind of homework (purely my bad for how I introduced to him).  Once he saw the home screen, the bright colours and fun animation then he was only too happy to give the app a go!

kidloland

Initial Impressions

The home screen was really inviting for a small kid and Samuel really was spoilt for choice.  Initially he wasn’t quite sure what he had to do, but after a quick helping hand from his brothers, then he was on his way.

He choose ‘Smoothie Maker’ and it took him a few attempts to get to grips with how the game worked, but once he figured it out he was quick to move on.

Usage

This app is aimed at kids under 5 and I definitely think that pre-school kids could have some great fun, however there is still an element of reading and instruction that parents will need to go through with their children before they can play ‘solo’.

That said I feel that the app is really appealing to all ages from pre-school upwards.  Samuel enjoyed massively once we had gone through with him, and my older kids who ‘forced’ themselves to play (10 and 12 respectfully) really enjoyed too and were happy to move though the initial levels quickly to get to a level that tested them.

So…

All in all we have loved the app and Samuel is really enjoying.  It’s great fun but educational too, so I don’t have to feel like he is wasting time away watching inane videos on You Tube etc. (although he does love watching tractors so I can’t really complain!)

This is definitely one for keeping and I can’t wait to watch him progress.

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coding for kids