Here are some recipes that I use if I know I'm expecting my daughter's friends over after school or if I have a tribe of children decend on our house in the school holidays.
Even if I'm not inspecting visitors, these recipes are really quick to make and I nearly always have some in the freezer just incase. They're great for kids parties too.
Quick Berry Milkshakes
400g frozen mixed berries or 400g fresh berries
1 litre or 4 cups milk
5 large scoops of berry or vanilla flavoured frozen yoghurt or icecream
Put the berries in a blender with the milk and frozen yoghurt or icecream. Blend until smooth. How easy is that?! You can use a stick belnder if you don't have a normal blender. If the milkshake is too thick just add a little more milk and blend it again.
Pur into glasses and serve either on it's own or top each glass with an extra scoop of frozen yoghurt or icecream if you like. You could put a strawberry on the rim of each glass for an edible decoration.
Cheesy Vegetable Fritters
These are a great tummy filler and I make them often on the weekend for a quick and healthy lunch.
1 courgette, grated
1 tsp olive oil
1 carrot, grated
1 small tin or 1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
olive oil cooking spray
Grate the courgette and squeeze out as much moisture from it as you can using your hands. No need to faff about putting it in a tea towel or anything like that. Put a little olive oil or cooking spray into a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the prepared courgette, carrot and corn to the pan and cook, whilst stirring it for 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Set aside to cool whilst you make the fritter batter.
Sift both flours into a large bowl. Tip any of the wholemeal flour husks left in the sieve into bowl as well. Make a well in the flours and pour in the buttermilk and lightly beaten egg. Whisk the mixture gently to combine the flours and wet ingredients. Add the cooled vegetable mixture and cheese. Stir again to thoroughly mix.
Spray the frying pan with cooking spray or put add a little oil to the frying pan. Put it on a medium heat and spoon about 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture per fritter in to the pan. I normally cook 4 fritters at a time for 3 to 4 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn them over and cook for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover them with foil or a tea towel to keep them warm. Repeat the process until all the mixture has been used. It normally makes around 16 fritters. I usually serve these with either a homemade or store bought mild tomato salsa or chutney.
You can freeze the cooked fritters. Just wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place in a large airtight freezer bag. Seal the bag well then label it with what's in it and the date. The fritters can be frozen for up to 3 months.
You can replace the corn kernels with 1 finely chopped pepper or some frozen peas. You can also add some finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint leaves when adding vegetables to the batter mixture for a different flavour.
Frozen Fruit Kebabs
1 drinking straw per child
A selection of fruit: grapes, strawberries, satsumas, pineapple and melon chunks, etc
Thread the fruit onto the drinking straws. Wrap each fruit kebab well in clingfilm before putting them in an air tight freezer bag. Make sure the bag is sealed well. Freeze until the fruit has frozen. Remove from the freezer, unwrap them, leave them to warm up slightly for a couple of minutes then serve.
1 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
50g butter, chilled and chopped into small cubes
1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup dried fruit (mixture of raisins, apricots and sultanas)
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 10.5cm x 22cm (base) loaf tin. Line the tin with non-stick baking paper, allowing at least a 2cm overhang at both long ends.
Put the flour, spice and pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingertips to rub the butter into flour mixture. Once it resembles fine breadcrumbs you can stir in the sugar and dried fruit.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug then pour into the bowl. Stir everything gently to combine all the ingredients. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the surface then bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the oven and leave it to stand in the loaf tin for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to continue cooling. I usually serve it sliced and buttered.