I’m not sure what it is but there’s a certain fuzzy delight in being in the kitchen with my kids, trying out simple recipes and creating delicious treats together. It’s the perfect escape from a mundane afternoon and as a tasty bonus, promises a goodie at the end. Lucky for us, my two sous chefs are always ready to climb onto our kitchen counter to scoop, pour, beat and whisk as guided.
For those after school days, for when the holidays roll around or purely when the mood strikes, here are a few easy recipes and ideas that will keep your toddlers engaged while working together as a team.
There’s no easier brownie recipe than this three-ingredient special. Get your little assistants to crack the eggs, then whisk them in a bowl, measure and sieve the flour, then tip in the contents of the Nutella jar. Show them how and give them a hand with mixing everything together evenly.
This is a perfect quick fix for that brownie craving and is just the thing to whip up when you’re short on time or ingredients. Purists may scoff but honestly, your kids won’t.
|1 and 1/4 cup||Nutella – the whole 375gm jar|
|1/2 cup||All purpose flour|
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9×9 inch non-stick baking pan.
- Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine gently until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top with your spatula.
- Bake for about 13-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. DO NOT overbake else the brownie will dry out.
- Cool on a wire rack, cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Ice cream in a Bag
Hurray for a science lesson and ice cream indulgence all-in-one! Impress your children and score huge mummy points with this cool project that transforms good ol’ milk into ice cream without the use of any fancy equipment. Have the eager beavers gently pour in the ingredients under your watchful eye and help them seal the bags as instructed.
Here’s what you’ll need:
|1||Large ziplock bag|
|1||Smaller ziplock bag|
Ingredients for the ice cream :
|1 cup||Whole milk|
|1 teaspoon||Pure vanilla extract|
- Pour the milk, vanilla extract and sugar into the smaller ziplock bag. Seal securely after squeezing as much air out as possible.
- Put the small bag into the larger one and cover with the ice and salt. Now, seal this bag carefully.
- Shake, toss and turn the bags for about 10 minutes. If the bag gets too cold, wrap a towel around it to avoid everyone’s fingers from freezing!
Note* Don’t open the bag to check the doneness as the zipper may not seal well after and you’ll be left with salty ice cream which in all likelihood, won’t go down well.
- Once the ice cream looks ready (you’ll notice the texture), open the two bags carefully. Make sure the salt water doesn’t spill into the smaller bag.
- With a clean spoon, scoop the velvety ice cream into bowls and throw on some sprinkles or chocolate chips. Dig in!
Rainbow fruit salad
This is a fun, colourful salad and is a hit with both adults and kids. It’s easy, vivid and full of flavour. Best of all, it’s a whole lot of fruit!
Miniature hands can help with pulling out ingredients, measuring and peeling under supervision. Smaller tots can have fun naming the fruits and colours too.
|1/2 teaspoon||Grated lemon zest|
|1/2 teaspoon||Grated orange zest|
|2/3 cup||Fresh orange juice|
|1/3 cup||Fresh lemon juice|
|1/4 cup||Brown sugar|
|1 teaspoon||Vanilla extract|
|2 cups||Cubed pineapple|
|3||Bananas ; sliced|
|2||Oranges ; peeled and cut into smaller pieces|
|1 cup||Seedless grapes|
- Get your children to help pick out the fruit you’ll be using, then peel, grate and measure the necessary quantities. The recipe is pretty versatile so you can always mix and match the fruit to suit you – most fruit work well.
- Help them with this part – bring the orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until lightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool.
- Let your kids layer the fruit in this order in a clear glass bowl: pineapple, strawberries, bananas, oranges, grapes and blueberries.
- Pour the cooled sauce over all the fruit and let it sit in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving. Enjoy!
Before having children, I fancied being that mum who would bake beautiful birthday cakes and luscious desserts for my sprogs. I am light-years away from being a fabulous baker but I’ve realised that what’s precious isn’t really creating the perfect confection. It’s spending time picking out ingredients, dribbling vanilla essence and pouring over a recipe whilst strategising our game plan. The treats that we create together are the cherry on top, and no one’s complaining.
By Annabelle Josef
Annabelle Josef is a girl from KL who married the best guy she knows and lives with him and their two little folk in the neighbouring red dot of Singapore. Between school runs, swim classes and building Lego, she’s posting on Instagram, weaving dreams and working on her next travel adventures.