Holiday cooking with kids

It’s the long holidays and it’s the holiday most parents dread. The kids are in your face every minute, eating, talking and playing non stop!

Thankfully most schools have deviced a way to take them out of your hands for a few hours, Summer School they call it. But then they come back. As a parent you have to keep thinking of creative ways to keep them engaged and channel their energies positively.

So i have included in our fun list some cooking and baking in the schedule for them (my kid, my wards and a nephew).

Fun! Yaaay.

So far we have made Sponge Cake , Plantain Loaf , Rainbow Meringue Cookies. We would be baking some pastry soon.

Sponge Cake

For the Sponge Cake we used a recipe by Terry Adido of Grated Nutmeg

  • 120 Grams Cake Flour (1 Cup)
  • 6 Large Eggs (Separated)
  • 125 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons OR 10 Tablespoons)
  • 50 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/4 Cup OR 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 85 Grams Unsalted Butter (6 Tablespoons) (Melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (Optional)

Procedure can be found HERE

Plantain Loaf

We used a recipe we found on Allrecipes.com and altered it a bit.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 over ripe plantains , mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened yogurt

Directions

  • Prep 10 m Cook 1 h Ready In 1 h 10 m Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, add the lemon juice followed by the yogurt. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  • Blend the banana mixture into the flour mixture; stirring just to combine.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

The rainbow meringue never quite made it to pictures, thanks to sticky little fingers.

And they made their own Chapman too

Yaay!

Chapman

  • 1 Fanta/Mirinda
  • 1 Sprite/7up
  • 1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca
  • 120ml of Tasty Time
  • 80ml of Grenadine
  • 5ml of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 slice of a medium sized Lemon Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, place a slice of lemon and allow it sit for at least 30mins. Serve with ice.

PaniPopo; Coconut Bread Buns

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This bread is so dear, I tell ya. Bless the south Pacific Islands for gifting the world this bread. Not even sure where the bread is original to, Samoa, Hawai  or the Rhodes Islands. I really don’t care. I love it. I discovered this bread a little over a year ago, after Phisayo Ade shared the recipe. Ever since I’ve been hooked.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•   1 cup milk

•   1/3 cup white sugar

•   1/3 cup butter

•   1 tablespoon active dry yeast

•    4 cups all-purpose flour

•   1/2 teaspoon salt

•    2 eggs

•    2 tablespoons coconut oil

•   1 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk

Procedure

–   First activate your yeast, by adding yeast and about a pinch of sugar to 1/8 cup warm water. The water should be about 110° – 115 °. Leave it to sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast would being to froth if it is active. If it doesn’t froth,  it is not active.

–   Combine the milk, sugar and melted butter and oil.

–   In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.

–   Mix in the eggs, oil and the yeast, and butter mixture.

–   Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

–   Turn dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

–   Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn once to coat.

–   Cover and let stand in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour or more .

–   Punch down dough and divide into 8 – 12 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and place them into the greased pan side by side.

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–   Let dough rise for 45 – 40 mins minutes, or until almost double.

–   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .

–   Pour Coconut milk over the risen bread buns. And sprinkle some granulated sugar over the top of the bread

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–   Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until rolls are golden brown.

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Enjoy with your favourite soup,  tea or just butter. Tastes great when it is till warm.

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Soft fluffy and very delicious.

Tres Leches Cake

About a week ago I played host to 3 of my cousins who came for a brief visit to Nigeria. They requested Banga Soup and so I was pretty sure i had the main course covered. One of them had had small chops the week before and she couldn’t stop raving about it, so after church on Sunday,  we bought Small chops and Asun from one of the food vendors. The day before I was thinking of what to make for desserts, one of the girls I learnt is an amazing baker, so I knew if I was to make a cake, it would be something she would love. I certainly didn’t want to over do it. I wanted to do something simple yet delicious and perfect for dessert.

So gbam  I went for Tres Leches.

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Tres Leches is a Sponge Cake that is made up of 4 types of milk, though it literally translates as 3 Milk Cake. Most recipes I saw use Whole Milk but I substituted it with coconut milk.

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Recipe

For the Cake (makes an 8″ cake)

•   1 Cup  Cake flour

•   5 Eggs (Separate Yolks from Whites)  

•   1/2  Cups Granulated White Sugar

•   1/8 Cup Granulated White Sugar 

•   2 tsp baking Powder

•   1/4  tsp Salt

•   1/4 Cup Melted Butter 

•   2  tbsp coconut oil

•   2 tbsp  Milk

•   2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Milk Mix and frosting

•   1 Can  sweetened condensed milk (about 14 oz or 400 ml)

•   1 1/4 cup Coconut  milk (250 ml)

•   1/2 cup evaporated milk (125ml)

•   1 tbsp vanilla extract

•   1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

•   1/2 cup icing sugar.

Procedure

–   Grease and flour a 8 x 12 inch pan.

–   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

–   Separate 5 eggs, and beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and add 1/8 cup Sugar.  Beat till medium peaks and set aside.

–   Beat the egg yolks together with the rest sugar till pale yellow. Stir in the 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add melted butter and oil

–   Sift the flour and salt and baking powder together, and stir it into the egg yolk mixture, alternating with the milk as you stir it in.

–   Fold in the egg white into the mixture carefully. ( to do this, you use a spatula and careful stir in from bottom to the top in a folding motion.)

–   Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, or until done.

–   Poke the cake severally with a fork and  leave the cake to cool completely .

–   Blend the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Pour this mixture over the cooled cake. Leave it in the fridge over night or at least five hours.

To make Frosting

Whip the heavy cream with icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract till stiff peaks. Frost the cake top with your favorite toppings.

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Coconut Milk Biscuits

image It’s funny how I file all my baking therapies in the “Not Really A Baker” category. Well I love to cook and sometimes it involves baking and I’m game, but so that people won’t start asking me questions I have no real answer I have to make the a disclaimer. I spent 3 days dreaming up this recipe and when I was done, four happy little feet were ready to devour it almost without giving me the chance to take pictures. Very milky, coconutty  and yummy. image
Recipe

Ingredients

•    1 Cup Self Raising Flour

•    1/2 Dessicated Coconut

•    1 Cup Coconut Milk

•    1/2 Cup  Caster Sugar

•    1/4  tsp Salt   

•    2 Eggs

Procedure

–    In a bowl mix flour, dessicated coconut, salt and ser aside.

–    Break eggs and separate egg yolks from whites.

–    Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, whisk the egg white till stiff peaks and set aside.

–    At high speed,  whisk egg yolk with caster sugar till it is pale yellow and it and nearly double in size.

–    Using a spatula,  mix gently the egg yolks into the flour mix, then add coconut milk , mix well but gently and then fold in egg white.

–    Line a baking tray with parchment paper or spray non stick cooking spray on the pan or light grease the pan with oil.

–    Pick your preferred icing tip, fill a piping bag and pipe you desired shape on the pan. (I used the 6B open star nozzle )

–   Bake in an oven preheated to 250°c for about 20 mins or it till it is mellow golden brown.

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Baking with the boys (Part 2); Rainbow Cookies

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Remember how I told you the boys wanted rainbow cookies and a rainbow cake? After our successful outing with our Rainbow Cake, they were quite excited to get on with the cookies.
I was very busy the next day and got home rather late but they were not relenting. This time, the boys came with a friend .
I had saved a recipe I wanted to try out with and we did. The kids were quite enthusiastic about it and they eagerly got to work

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I forgot to buy M&M s but I found Skittles instead and used them.
This is what we were going for

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But instead, this is what we got because the skittles melted in the oven (I should have known that) and the kids scooped the cookie batter too close to each other.

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It might look like an epic fail, but taste wise, it was bloody good.

Well I wanted to make it up to the boys because of the look and used another recipe.

Recipe

•  2 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour  (alternative 2 1/2 cups plain flour + 4 tsp Baking powder)

•  1 Cup Sugar

•  100g Butter

•  1 Egg

Procedure

–   Using the rubbing in method, rub the flour, sugar and butter together to form breadcrumbs, handle the flour lightly.

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–   Add the egg so the dough can bind.

–    If you want to add colours , divide into equal parts, using gel colours, lightly add the colours into each part. What I did was, I let the dough remind in bread crumbs form and i used a skewer to work the colours.

–    Wrap individually in cling film and leave it to rest in a fridge for a few hours or over night.

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–  Divide all into equal parts. Roll out on a flour dusted board, using a rolling pin, flatten out and cut out shapes with a cookies cutter.

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You can make whatever shapes you want. Your just bake them in round shapes. For the cookies with M&M s on top I rolled the dough lightly in my palm and pressed the M&M s on top. Be gentle with your dough, overworking it would turn out hard cookies .

–   Lay them in baking tray covered in parchment paper  and bake for 30 mins in the middle layer of the oven heated to 350°C.

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Well our cookies snap like biscuits and taste like cookies. And we loved them. Try it too.

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Baking with the boys; Rainbow Cake

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Today I had loads of fun in the kitchen with two little kitchen helpers. Yesterday, on our return trip from Ilorin,  Kwara State, the boys – my 3 yrs/ 8 month old son and his 7 yrs old favourite cousin- told me what they want to cook with me in the kitchen this week.

Top on the list was Rainbow Cookies and then Rainbow Cake.
Gosh and they bugged me till I finished what i was doing and followed them to the kitchen and bake we did. Rainbow cookies would be made tomorrow. Come and bake with us.

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The little man obviously thought it was cool to strike a pose in his apron, but the older man could care less.

Recipe
We used a pound cake recipe we  adapted from Allrecipes.com

•  3 cups all-purpose flour

•  3/4 teaspoon baking powder

•   1/4 teaspoon salt

•   1 cup unsalted butter, softened

•   1/2 cup white margarine

•   2 2/3 cups granulated sugar

•   5 eggs

•   1 cup milk

•   1 teaspoon vanilla essence

•   1 tablespoon lemon juice

•   1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

•   1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

•   Food Color ( I used 7 colours, Red, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple,  Blue, Green)

Pictorial of the fun things the boys got up to.

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They sifted flour.
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They greased and lined pans with parchment paper
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I could hear a lot of ewwws and yucks as they broke the eggs. Guess who had shells in his eggs. Lol
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They had lots of fun mixing on the colours, the mess made was part of the fun.

Procedure

–  Do not preheat the oven. Grease 10 inch tube pan and line bottom with wax paper or parchment paper.

–  Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

–  In a large bowl, beat the butter, margarine, and sugar on low speed for 10 minutes.

–  Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.

–  Add the lemon zest, vanilla essence and lemon juice

–  Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, ending with flour.  Stop mixing when you add the last part of flour, so as not to over mix. Scrape whatever is hanging at the corners of your mixing bowl with with a spatula

– Separate the batter into equal parts in seven separate bowls.

–  Add a dash of colour, and mix it in till well incorporated.  I prefer to use paste colours as against the liquid colours, we used both types .

–  Pour coloured batter into the prepared pan, my boys wanted us to pour the Blue batter first and we followed with the other colours.

–  Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 1 hour.

–   Remove to a cake rack and cool for at least 3 hours.

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Behold our Rainbow Cake,  all I could hear were , oohs and aahs, oh gosh the cake is so lovely. I’m sure you agree.

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Need I tell you that all their plans flew out of the window once they saw their cake.

The rainbow would appear once again in my kitchen  tomorrow.
#ilovebeingamum #ilovebeinganaunt
#ilovebeingme
#beingmeisfun

This is also a fun and inexpensive way to say happy birthday to your child and entertain friends too.

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You don’t need spend money on a cake or know how to frost a cake, the colours of the rainbow would shine right through.

Vanilla Cup Cakes

I spent my Easter holiday in Kwara State, Le hubs state of origin and it was quite refreshing. His Second niece turned 10 and we had a small party for her. Her mum baked her 2 very beautiful huge cakes and had basically every aspect of the party covered. Wanting to add a little of my touch also to the party I made cupcakes for her. I used my trusted recipe and it turned out great. She picked the colours she wanted for the frosting and she liked what she got.
But i slept after frosting about 70 of the cupcakes, my back was sore, I woke up to the sound of music from the Dj’s  speakers, signalling the start of the party.

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Recipe adapted from  Joy of Baking  with very minimal alterations

Vanilla Cupcakes:

•  1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature.

•  2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar

•  3 large eggs

•  2  teaspoon  vanilla essence

•  Zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)

•  1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

•  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

•  1 teaspoon baking soda

•  1/4 teaspoon salt

•  1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

•   1/8 tsp Vinegar

Buttercream Frosting:

•  2 cups (230 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

•  1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

•  3 teaspoon vanilla essence

•  2 tablespoons milk

•  Assorted food colors

Procedure

● Vanilla Cupcakes: 

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

–  In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

–  In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

–  Mix milk with vinegar

–  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

–  Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 – 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. If you want flat topped cupcakes then slice off the dome of each cupcake, with a sharp knife, before frosting.

Cupcakes are best eaten the same day they are made, but they can be covered and stored for a few days.

Buttercream Frosting:

–   In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended.

–  Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).

–  Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the frosting with desired food color (like joy of baking i used the paste food coloring that is available at cake decorating stores).

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This make about 12 cupcakes so you can use the as a guide for whatever quantity you want to make

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I used the same recipe last year August for my son's birthday

Mango Cake

Mango is in season and I think I’m a little obsessed with mangoes. Mango is my favourite fruit and I play with my mango a lot. I make jam with it, juice, smoothies, ice cream, salads, popsicle, cake, frozen mango cubes….

Well this is my Mango Cake. Please note, I lay no claims to being a baker, but in my experimenting with food, baking comes in too.

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Recipe

•  3 Cups flour

•  150g Melted Butter

•  1 1/8 Cup Caster Sugar

•  5 Eggs

•  1 1/2 Cups Mango

•  1/4 tsp Salt

•  1 tsp Baking powder

•  1 tsp Baking soda

•  1 tsp Cinnamon

•  1 tsp Nutmeg

•  1/2 tsp Green Cardamom

•   1 tsp Vanilla essence 

•  1/4 tsp Vinegar

•  1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk

Procedure

*I didn’t follow any rules or recipe.  This is just what I did.

–  Pre heat oven to 350°C

–  Break eggs, and separate egg whites from egg yolks,

–  In a bowl combine Mango Juice, nutmeg, cinnamon,  cardamon, vanilla essence.

–  In another bowl, combine, flour, baking powder and baking soda.

– In a cup,  add vinegar to the milk, this is my substitute for buttermilk.

–  In a stand mixer, using your whisk attachment, whisk egg white till medium peaks, then add 1/8 cup Caster Sugar, whisk till stiff peaks. Set aside in clean bowl.

–  In you mixer bowl, add egg yolks, 1 cup of Sugar and mix till it is pale yellow. Mix at medium speed and add melted butter and mix till it is well incorporated. Now gradually add your juice mixture, use a spatula to ensure that it is well incorporated.

–  Reduce the speed and add the flour in 3 parts. Stop mixing after you have added the the third part. Use a spatula to gently mix in what ever hasn’t mixed.

– Now add egg white in 3 parts, folding it in gently till well incorporated.

– Pour in a greased pan and bake in oven till a tooth pick comes out clean.

– When Cake is ready, turn it out of the pan and place in a wire rack to cool.

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Enjoy.

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Served with a cold glass of mango juice! Mangoes are the best