Monday, 1 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Ben's Beginners

Welcome to the weeks Kids in the Kitchen. Unfortunately, we don't have a recipe to share with you because we've all been poorly. We have barely eaten so haven't felt like cooking, but we are getting well again now. So this week I'm going to tell you about a new You Tube channel from Uncle Bens called Ben's beginners. It's all about cooking with your kids and includes a section on learning skills with Lisa Faulkner, Celebrity Masterchef winner and mum.

 There will also be loads of recipes by kids and for kids, so plenty of inspiration to get your kids cooking too. It looks like it's going to be a fun channel and I've already subscribed.

The channel also features a short film which sees a number of families viewing a house without a kitchen. The point they are trying to make is that without teaching our children to cook we will be creating a future where kitchen's won't be needed. I think that's a bit far fetched, but I'm still a big advocate of teaching children cooking skills, even from an early age. My two girls already aspire to owning their own restaurant.

Kids in the kitchen will be back to normal next week cooking up a storm as usual. In the meantime why don't you get cooking with your kids and come and share your posts with us here. I love to see what everyone has been up to in the kitchen and getting inspiration for trying new things with my children. I pin all posts submitted onto my Kids in the Kitchen Pinterest Board and also tweet them as well as giving them a mention here on Kids in the Kitchen. So do come and join us with posts old or new.

Last week we were joined by Autism Mumma and her Baked Doughnuts. Thanks so much for linking up, I've said it before but I really do need to have a go at making doughnuts!

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked, then share it with us here.

I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

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Family Days Out on a Budget

The School holidays are over but there are still times we want to take our children out for the day. I know I have some catching up to do with not being able to go out much over the summer because of waiting for Star's operation. It's tough though when you are on a budget but looking for online discount vouchers or special offers on activities and excursions will help to keep the cost down.

Getting online for savings

There are many places to visit in Britain and many of these attractions offer discounted tickets for families or provide 'two for the price of one' ticket offers. One hugely popular attraction is Ripley's Believe It or Not, in London, and is filled with mirror mazes, interactive exhibits and laser rooms. Families can spend hours of fun at Ripleys and there are special offers available including 'two for one' admission as well as online discount vouchers.

How to Find Online Vouchers

If your kids are begging to visit a particular attraction then check online to see if discount vouchers are available. Companies run these offers throughout the year and you can just use a search engine to enter the name of the attraction followed by the words 'discount vouchers'. This will bring up sites where you can apply for a code that can then be entered when buying your tickets.  I do this all the time and rarely pay full price for a family day out. Sometimes there are expiry codes that need to be considered so it's a good idea to set up an alert on discount sites to be notified when new codes are available. You can also find discounts in certain forums, again it's easy to just do a search for the place you wish to visit.

Low Cost Days Out

Britain has a wealth of rural locations and excellent country parks, most of which are completely free to use. These are great for a day out in the fresh air and make for a fun afternoon having picnics in the sunshine. Many of these locations also offer facilities such as boating on the lakes and children's play areas as well as mountain bike hire and fishing facilities. You may even find a zoo nearby or in the winter months, ice skating facilities. We have a great ice rink in our city center on the run up to Christmas. 

So go and check it out, it doesn't have to be expensive to enjoy a day out with the family.

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

When Plans are Abandoned

We were looking forward to the last week so much, we had lots planned and it was Star's first week without her halo. We were not going to let a little thing like the weather get us down, and bank holiday Monday, despite the rain we ventured off to the Malvern Hills. Malvern is not really that far away from us and I can remember visiting lots when I was young, but I haven't been for many years now.

I'll be honest, we were not really planning on walking the hills, although that is a lovely thing to do, we were actually visiting friends who are lucky enough to live there. So the rain was no bother as we knew we would be inside. When we got there we were also met by a big blanket of fog which meant that I got lost on the hills! It didn't take long for our friends to rescue us and we were soon in the comfort of their lovely hillside home. We couldn't enjoy the hills but we did enjoy their hospitality and a lovely afternoon tea.

Our best view of the day, I took this while we were lost!

Then the BUG struck! The Little Man caught it first and I spent Monday night nursing him through. We couldn't go out on Tuesday and cancelled our trip on Wednesday too, just in case. We were due another day out at the Adventure Farm on Thursday but couldn't make it because me and ED caught the BUG, closely followed by Boo. Friday was a blur! I'm feeling a little better today, but we are only four out of seven of struck with the BUG so far, so there could be more to come.

As Wednesday was the only day that the BUG wasn't taking over our lives we decided a quick shopping trip was in order and popped off to a local supermarket. While in there Star wasn't feeling too good (oh no!, but luckily, it wasn't the BUG) so Daddy took her outside. When we went out them they were really excited because they'd found a lovely stream behind the shop. We put the shopping in the car boot and went for a look.

Then we spotted a little bridge

So what do you do when you find a little bridge across a stream? Play Pooh Sticks of course! The Littlies dropped their sticks in on one side of the bridge and ran to the other to see who's came first.

Then the Little Man needed a rest!

So our shopping trip turned in to a fun afternoon in a place we'd not been before.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 29 August 2014

Record Breaking Scarecrows

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to the National Forest Adventure Farm to build a scarecrow for their world record attempt. Well, yesterday they finally broke the Guinness World Record with their 3312th scarecrow, a 12 foot giant creation called Big Ernie.

There is still time to join in the fun though, the scarecrow making will continue until 7th September to make a Scarecrow and then a winner will be chosen to win a Family Pass to the Adventure Farm.

Here are our scarecrows.

Some Interesting Stats:

If you lined up all the scarecrows side by side with the tips of their hands touching, they would spread for 3 miles, form the Adventure Farm to the middle of Burton-On-Trent

The world record line-up has used 5.5 miles of wooden frames

It's used 8.5 tonnes of straw

3312 sacks for heads, 3312 tops and 3312 trousers

Monday, 25 August 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Chocolate Cake

Today I'm going to share with you my recipe for chocolate cake, it's the most asked for cake that I bake and I often use the recipe for my decorated cakes. For this one I had the help of Little Man, who was so thrilled to get his hands on the mixer :)

Thank you to those that joined in last weeks linky, I truly appreciate everyone who links up and it's so nice to have my regulars *big smile*

The Brilliant Chef (he really is) linked up an old post which is fine, old posts or new are always welcome. Anyway, I'm so glad he linked up his Seasonal Summer Frittata because I tried it myself and it's yummy.

And Autism Mumma linked up with another of my favourites, Cheese Scones. Take a look, they will make your mouth water.

Do come and join us with your cooking posts this week, lets see what your kids have been up to in the kitchen.

Chocolate Cake

When I make a cake to decorate I generally make it BIG! However, not everyone wants or needs a cake to feed 16 party guests so I've reduced this recipe down to make a regular cake. Don't worry, I have made it so I know the measurements are right, just don't expect it to turn out as big as my finished cake. 


185g of unsalted butter
185g of caster sugar
170g of self- raising flour
15g of cocoa powder
3 eggs


I'm a big fan of my wooden spoon for making cakes but as the Little Man was helping me I decided to add some fun and used the mixer, he feels so grown up being in charge of switching it on and off.

We put the butter and sugar in the mixer and mixed until smooth.
Then we added the eggs one at a time mixing between each.
Then we took the bowl from the mixer and the Little Man sifted in the flour and cocoa powder and we folded them into the batter gently. 
We put the cake batter into a 7 inch cake tin. We like to use silicone for smaller cakes, but a loose bottom tin which has been smeared with a little butter and lined with baking paper is just as good.

Bake at 180C/gas mark 5 for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

If you are unfamiliar with baking cakes may I give you some tips;
Do not open the oven during at least the first half of the cooking. I would leave this cake at least 25 minutes until checking.
Ovens do vary so you may need a little longer, do first check that the cake looks 'springy' before taking it out of the oven.
If it is springy then test it with a skewer, it will come out clean if the cake is ready, but if it isn't pop it back in for a little longer.
If you don't cook the cake long enough it will sink in the middle and be soggy.
If you cook it too long it will dry out and lose it's yummy moistness.

Here is the Little Man in action.

Here is my lovely little kitchen helper modelling my new oven gloves ;)

Here is a little video (only 11 seconds) of how I decorated the cake once cooked. In case you have no idea, it's the Pokemon Fennekin.

If you would like to join then please link up your posts old or new below.
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

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