Monday, 29 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Doughnuts

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. This week we got around to making doughnuts, something I've wanted to do for a long time. We opted for the unhealthy option of frying our doughnuts, well, if it's good enough for the Great British Bake Off! Poor Martha, didn't she do well for such a young girl though? I'm thinking maybe Boo will be a young contestant if it's still going in ten years time.

Last week we were joined by Baked Potato Mummy and little potato as they showed us how to make Lemon Meringue Cupcakes.
Also joining us was The Beesley Buzz who made one of my favourites, sushi. In fact I had a trip out with ED the other day to Yo Sushi, she's a big fan of Takoyaki but octopus is not my thing!

I'd love for you to join us, so if you've been making anything at all with your kids in the kitchen please link up, old posts or new are very welcome and I'll add you to my Pinterest Board as well mentioning you on Twitter and here on Kids in the Kitchen next week.


We made two kinds, ring doughnuts and round doughnuts which we filled with chocolate.


  • 500g strong white flour
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 175 ml warm milk
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • oil for deep frying


sift flour and salt into a bowl

rub in the butter

add yeast and sugar

make a well in the centre and stir in the eggs and milk

turn out onto a floured surface and kneed for 10 minutes.

Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel, leave for a couple of hours until it has risen to double the size.

Knock the dough back and roll out.

cut out ring doughnuts and shape round doughnuts

fry in hot oil for about 1 minute each side, turning with a large slotted spoon until they are golden brown. Leave on kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.

We coated the ring doughnuts with sugar and filled the round doughnuts with a chocolate cream (made by melting 200g chocolate in 100g warmed cream)

The Little Man and Boo helped weigh and mix the ingredients and kneed the dough. Boo decided to become photographer for the day and took most of the photos in this collage.

I think maybe we did the hole in the middle of our ring doughnuts a little too big!

The Little Man enjoyed filling the round doughnuts with a syringe. The kids are not keen on jam so chocolate was the filling choice for these.

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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Friday, 26 September 2014

Word of the Week - Illness

I really didn't want to use this word this week. At this moment in time I'm feeling happy and positive, but the fact is it's Illness that has dominated my week.

It started on Sunday evening when Boo had a temperature. She didn't sleep well and said she couldn't swallow. A trip to the G.P. on Monday morning confirmed she had tonsilitis and for a couple of days she was really quite poorly. Then yesterday, Thursday she went back to school and is fine now.

On Thursday we had a call from Star's home teacher to say that she was poorly and wouldn't be able to come and teach her. Star didn't mind, she wasn't in a good mood having her sister go back to school when she didn't want her to.

Also on Thursday I had to take OH's dad to see his G.P. as he has been really ill lately too. Then on the way home I too felt ill and had to survive the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself.

Today, Friday it's off to the hospital for Star's CT Scan. It's been a long journey but today will tell us if everything has worked. We won't find out the results until Tuesday when we see her consultant, which is a shame because had her CT scan been earlier we could have seen him the same day.

We did get a bit nervous this week because Star's problems all started after a dose of tonsilitis, which is why we believe that she suffered Grizel's syndrome (torticollis brought on by throat infection) Her consultant has found this difficult to swallow (oh sorry, couldn't resist) but we have had support in our beliefs from other medical staff. In fact the last but one time she was admitted we had medical students come to her bed excited because it was so unusual, obviously someone along the line of medical staff had been talking about her.

If you want to know more about Star's medical condition I blog about it on

So, after a week of illness my hope is that today brings the end to at least one of our problems. Fingers crossed X

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Parents Evening

I've always believed Parent's Evening at school to be the opportunity to talk about how well (or not in some cases) your child has done. Then why do we have them just weeks after starting a new year, with a new teacher and new class? In fact, for the Little Man, it's his very first year at school. So there is not much to say about how well he's doing, or getting on with the other children.

However, if you look at it another way it does give you an opportunity to get to know the new teacher and tell them what they need to know about your child. So, they can't tell you much, but you can inform them.

First impressions of both Boo and Little Man were positive by their new teacher's. Boo's teacher said that Boo was kind, considerate, friendly and also very spiritual. She gets on well with the other children in the class and looks after those that are feeling shy or lonely. I was able to tell her teacher that Boo does have a problem with listening, it's not that she is being naughty but she can phase out  from her surrounding and even though you think she can hear you, she actually can't, so it's easier if you make sure that you have her attention before thinking she is being naughty or ignorant. We've had her hearing tested and it's fine, so it's probably a neurological problem, a little bit of faulty wiring.

The Little Man's teacher said he was bright and bubbly and always on the go. I replied 'that's one way of putting it!'
I am increasingly being led to believe that the Little Man may have an attention deficit disorder. He cannot concentrate on anything for very long. It's a big difference from the girls who can play the same thing for ages. The Little Man flits from one thing to another and often forgets that he was having fun doing something else when he's moving on to something else. He cannot even watch a complete short tv animation, whereas the girls were watching movies at his age.
He is very confident and friendly and I'm sure he'll always have an entourage of buddies around him. He's kind and sharing but can get a little stressed if he doesn't get what he wants straight away.

All my children are very different from each other, it makes for a very interesting household.

I want to link up this post to Small Step Amazing Achievements, so I'm going to tell you about two little things that have made me proud of Boo and The Little Man this week.

Boo has been very poorly with tonsilitis and on Monday I took her to visit the GP. While sat in the surgery she began reading the posters on the wall. I was amazed at how well she can read now. Just over a year ago she was on an Individual Education Plan because she wasn't as good as her peers at reading. Now she can take really difficult words and break them up until she can understand them. Well done Boo!

The Little Man is just beginning his education but has the approach of Guerilla Learning. He constantly asks questions and wants everything explained in detail. He even knows how the washing machine works! We were at a 4th Birthday on Saturday and they had a bouncy castle. The Little Man was bouncing around when he decided to get off. He said to me 'there were five of us on the bouncy castle then two of us got off, so then there were three'
Clever Little Man!

Ethans Escapades

Now pop on over and see everyone else Amazing Achievements!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Cheese and Potato Pasties

Welcome to this week's Kids in the Kitchen where I share what cooking my kids have done and invite you to do the same with the linky at the end of the post. This week the Little Man helped me make Cheese Pasties and we'll show you how in a little while.

First I'd like to thank last weeks linkers The Beesley Buzz for sharing their Cheese and Onion Pasties (gone wrong) but still ended up looking tasty.
We were also joined by Autism Mumma and her Mad Minion Open Sandwiches, which are really clever. I've never made open sandwiches, maybe this is something I should do with my kids.

I'd love for you to join us, so if you've been making anything at all with your kids in the kitchen please link up, old posts or new are very welcome and I'll add you to my Pinterest Board as well mentioning you on Twitter and here on Kids in the Kitchen next week.

Cheese and Potato Pasties.

I would have liked to have made my own puff pastry and will try it with the kids one day soon, but this time we used ready made.


to make 3 pasties (The kids had them for lunch)
250g ready made puff pastry
1 egg for brushing
50g chedder cheese, grated. (Star loves grating cheese for me)
three small potatoes, peeled, chopped and par boiled for 5 mins.


The Little Man rolled out the pastry to about 3cm thick.
We used a very large circle cutter to cut out six circles from the pastry
The Little Man put a little cheese and a few cubes of potato in the middle of 3 of the circles
Then he brushed the edges with the beaten egg
Then we put the other 3 circles on the top and sealed the edges by pressing down with a fork.
The little man brushed the pasties with some more egg and pushed the fork into the middle of each one.

We baked them in the oven at 190C/gas mark 5 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
I then put the left over cubes of potatoes into the deep fat fryer and we served the pasties with saute potatoes for lunch.

cheese and potato pasty
 This made me giggle, I gave the Little Man an egg and a glass and asked him to break the egg in the glass. He took me a little too literally and the broken egg shell ended up in the glass while the egg was all over the counter!

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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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Festival Time

Every year we go to the local festival but this year it was a little different, mainly because it's not our local festival anymore because we moved house! It was lovely to go back though and we saw lots of old friends.
Last year the festival was a big washout, which was a big contrast to the year before which had been a lovely day.

This year we had nice weather which always helps, and there were loads of people there enjoying the day.

There are always the obligatory fair rides, I'm thinking it won't be long before my three will grow out of these (and my purse won't feel so empty)

 The kids loved these Jeeps, you can hire them for kids parties too which sounds fun!

 There is always a fire engine there and the kids love to take turns sitting in the driver seat

I love this photo of the Little Man through the fire engine window
A future career perhaps?

There is always a centre ring at the festival where they have all sorts of activities like a majorettes display, karate, zumba, belly dancing and singers. Here the kids are taking part in a dance routine with a rather cuddly looking Buzz Lightyear.

This year there was an animal tent where they let you hold all sorts of wonderful creatures like snakes and geckos. Star was particularly enamoured with this gecko and didn't want to put him down. A future pet idea maybe?

There were also lots of the usual stalls and the kids had fun on the tombola and hook a duck. My final photo is of the Little Man playing with a water pistol that he won. Note the very serious face as he aimed at me.

We will be looking forward to next years festival, lets hope it's sunny again.

Go and see what everyone else has been up to this week over on Country Kids at Coombe Mill Blog Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 19 September 2014

Time - Word of the Week

This weeks word of the week is time. I could have chosen busy, but I don't actually feel as though I've been busy, being busy means you get things done. I haven't achieved that much so I'm going with time, and how I need more of it.

Monday was the weekly shop, which is normally done on Sunday, but I didn't have time because we went out instead.
Tuesday I had to take ED to an appointment and took Star with me. Star didn't want to go straight home so we spent lots of time browsing around the shops.
Wednesday we went out shopping for a desktop PC for Star but the one she finally chose was not in stock so we had to go back on Thursday.
Thursday was spent shopping for a desk for said PC and of course we picked up the PC and I set it up while OH fixed up the flat pack desk.
Now, it's Friday and in about 15 minutes I have to go and pick up OH's dad and take him to a doctors appointment, then I'm picking up ED from work as she finishes lunch time, then I'm taking No1 Son out shopping this afternoon.

When do I get some TIME for myself?
Well, I have had some time in the evenings once the kids are in bed, but I've been trying hard to get on with my blog work which is taking up all my time. However, OH has other ideas because all he's wanted to do is discuss the politics of Scotland.

Next week could I please have a couple of extra hours in the day?

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 18 September 2014

In the Print! - Competition

How would you like to win a fabulous 16" by 12" canvas from Printed.Com?
How about having one made from your back to school photos, or a favourite photo from your holidays? I love canvas prints, they always look good. offer plenty of other services too, like printing business cards, leaflets, posters, postcards, brochures and stickers. You can also get all your wedding stationary printed, save the date cards, invitations, thank you cards, place cards, menus to name just a few.

You can even have your Instagram photos turned into polariod style prints or stickers. I love these and I'm so happy to be able to offer two lots of prints to two runners up in this competition.

The is easy to navigate and find what you need, but be warned, they have so much to offer you are bound to find more. If you own a business you will find so many useful things including Display Boards and signs.

It works like this; you pick your product, choose a design from the site or upload your own, edit to get it just right then submit for your product to be printed. Your order can be tracked every step of the way.

If you would like the chance to win a canvas of a photo of your choice, or maybe one of the runner up prizes of Instagram prints, then please fill in the following rafflecopter widget.

Good Luck everyone x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
  • This giveaway is open to UK residents only.
  • Three winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter and announced on this page
  • The winners will be contacted by e-mail within 3 days of the competition ending, they will have 10 days to respond.
  • Your details will be passed on to for the purpose of sending out a prize only
  • No collected details will be passed on to any third party by RaisieBay
  • The prizes will be sent directly from and delivery is not in the hands of Raisie Bay
  • The company reserves the right to substitute the prize fo one of a similar type/value
  • Competitions starts on 18/9/2014 and ends 18/10/2014 at midnight

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Changing Rooms - Finding a Bargain

I'm currently embarking on redecorating my entire home and have even set up a new blog to record my journey. Yesterday we had our first year house inspection which went really well and pretty soon it will be all systems go.

You can read the full details on my other blog but the house hasn't shrunk or moved much which is great because there won't be much work for the builders to complete before we can get on with decorating. I'm really looking forward to it because I'm truly fed up of the magnolia now and can't wait to get some colour into my life. Of course I'll be looking for new furniture and accessories for some rooms too, it's going to be an incredible task. I'm not scared of the work and planning is good fun, the biggest problem is the cost.

So now I'm on the lookout for bargains. I have a huge job on my hands and need all the help I can get as I don't yet own a money tree in my garden. That's why I was thrilled to find a site like Voucher Bin. You can find discount codes for almost everything there. You can search for store vouchers alphabetically, or by categories depending on what you are looking for.

I don't do any shopping online without first checking there is a voucher or discount available. I've just found some great blinds for my extra large kitchen window which are a bargain at just over £40, and at Voucher Bin I found a code for an extra 10% off.

It's always good to find a bargain, even better when you can get yourself a little extra money off the total cost, even if you don't have a big expensive project on the go like me. Just think of how you can save on your Christmas pressies!

This is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I Hate Driving

Just seven weeks ago I picked up my new car. When I say new, it was really new and shiny and the most loveliest car I've ever had. I was so excited.

I'd not had a car of my own for more than two years. The last time I had taken out a loan to purchase a second hand car and I'd been totally ripped off. The car was purchased from a private seller and after two month I took it for an MOT test and the car had to be scrapped because it was dangerous. The experience was awful, I was left with no car and no money and the worry that I'd been driving around with my children in a dangerous car for two months. It did put me off.

Then the opportunity arose for me to have a new car and I have to admit it has been really difficult with all the hospital visits and appointments having to rely on public transport, taxis and lifts from friends and family. So a new car was just what we needed.

At first it was great, the car is a dream to drive. I have driven some awful cars in the past so it was so refreshing to have one so nice. We couldn't wait to go out every day.

I don't know exactly when things changed but I actually dread going out in the car now. I feel frightened and that makes me nervous and I'm worried that  my nerves will lead to me making a dangerous mistake. With a few weeks of having the car I ventured on the motorway and it was fine. I did get a little mixed up on the journey home but managed to rectify it and we arrived home just half hour later than expected. We did see a nasty accident on the motorway, it had happened sometime before and they were clearing up, but it was still disturbing. Maybe that spooked me?

Now I find every time  I venture out I see someone do something stupid, particularly at traffic islands. Do people know how to use islands? I think they should spend more time in lessons getting people to drive around islands, maybe even include it in the test, it's more important than doing a three point turn. I see so many near misses, witness so many people in a hurry that they pay no regards to anyone else on the road, see stupidity everywhere. Is it me? Have I lost my nerve being on the road?

I've been a driver for more than fifteen years and in that time I've had one minor accident and a couple of bumps while parking...(stupid concrete posts in car parks!) Nothing serious and no-one has ever been hurt.
I do consider myself a safe driver, although I still have a little trouble parking.

My partner has suddenly become the worst passenger ever. He was fine when I was driving him around before, but since then he's had a few driving lessons himself. Now he thinks he's a better driver than me and I'm dangerous. He says it's because he was involved in an accident before, but not while I was driving. He makes me feel even more nervous and nerves are not good while driving. I find myself concentrating really hard every second I'm in the car. I've stopped listening to the radio and ignore the kids. The road is all I think about. And driving has stopped being fun.

I'm determined not to let this beat me though. In the last week or two I've been tempted to give the car back, really, it's been that bad. However, I know we need it, and the kids would be devestated. Will get my confidence back?

So, am I a total nutcase? Have you ever felt like this? How can I help myself feel better? Do offer any advice you can, I think I need it.

Thanks xx

The day I got my car

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Really Pink Cupcakes

Welcome to this week's kids in the kitchen where we invite you to share what you have been cooking with help from your kids. This week Boo decided she wanted to make Really Pink Cupcakes.

Last week we were joined by the kids from The Beesley Buzz and they made a Blue Cake. Maybe we could go for a rainbow of cakes?
If you've been cooking and having your kids help along the way, even it's just to help make a mess, then please do come and link up. We love to share at Kids in the Kitchen. We also have a Pinterest Board where I share all posts.

Really Pink Cupcakes:

Boo wanted to make cupcakes, but she wanted them really pink so we bought some pink cupcake cases, colouring and princess pink sprinkles in our weekly shop.


125g soft unsalted butter (or Stork)
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
1 tbs strawberry Crusha
pink food colouring.

for the icing:

85g soft unsalted butter (or Stork)
170g sifted icing sugar
pink food colouring
1 tsp strawberry Crusha

pink sprinkles

I was unable to buy strawberry flavouring so I used the Crusha as a substitute and was pleased to find that it did add flavour and a little more pinkness.


First we measured and creamed the butter and caster sugar together.
We added the eggs one at a time beating between each
We mixed in the Crusha
Then we folded in the sifted flour
We put a large teaspoon into each of 12 cupcake cases
We baked at 190C/gas mark 5 for about 12 minutes, until springy to touch

After allowing to cool we mixed up all the ingredients for the icing together and used and icing gun to decorate the cupcakes.

Finally, we used a selection of pink sprinkles to finish off the decoration.

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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Monday, 15 September 2014

Spuds and Stuff!

I do try to encourage my children to enjoy gardening. At our last home we had a little patch of garden where we used to grow things, mostly flowers. They had much fun, digging and planting and especially watering.

This year we managed to get some sunflowers planted, unfortunately they haven't flowered yet. I'm not sure if our garden soil is good enough, the land was been through a lot considering it was a building site just a year ago, maybe we need to give it a little time. I do hope we can grow things though, I'd really like a herb garden.

We don't really have the space to grow our own fruit and veg so I am planning to take the children to the National Forest Adventure Farm to explore their new Kitchen Garden and to dig up some potatoes. Every weekend throughout Septemeber, the Farm is letting children dig their own potatoes for free at their Spudfest event. I'm sure my children are going to have lots of fun. We will have to think up a fun potato recipe for Kids in the Kitchen!

In October the farm will be opening their pumpkin fields up to children. How exciting being able to pick your own Pumpkin from a field.

We are really looking forward to going back to the farm, we had such fun when we visited to take part in the Scarecrow Record Breaker event. There was so much we didn't have time to do though so we will have plenty of new things to show you after our visit. In particular the children are looking forward to the inside play area which we didn't spend too much time at last time, mainly because Star was still in her halo and couldn't join in the fun.

Here are scarecrows from our last visit.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Dear Me Circa '83

Dear Me,

This letter finds you just embarking on your teenage years after leaving school.
The next few years you will spend partying hard, which is fine, go ahead, once the kids arrive the party times become a distance memory. Of course, you'll have lots of different types of fun with the kids, so don't let that put you off.

There is just one thing though, I know you are afraid of flying and afraid of visiting strange places where you wouldn't understand people, their language or their culture. I know the opportunities will arise to go abroad and that you will decide against it. You'll be thinking that there will be plenty of time for that in future.

I'm sorry but if you don't take the chance right now you may not find it easy again. It will be so much simpler to just pack and go now while you are young and have no dependants. Put your fears on hold and take the plunge. Go visit some wonderful countries while you can, while it's easy.

You see, the way things pan out means that you will not find it so easy again. You'll either be tied up with young children who are not good travellers, a single parent, broke or with a family so large you'd need to remortgage a palace just to buy your passports! (ok, that bit is an exaggeration)

Just go girl, have some sun and fun. Go fly and take on the world. Don't be nearly fifty and regret never being abroad.

Love From Me x

So there it is, my greatest regret, never having travelled abroad. The opportunities did arise but I put them off, so if I could go back I'd make sure I went. Of course, I still believe there is time, I'm not that past it yet (My Mother-in-law and my auntie both took their first holidays abroad when they were in their 60s) so I still hold out hope and have my bucket list of places I'd go.

Legal and General are holding a competition asking what advice you would give to your younger self and you could win a £1000 worth of holiday vouchers just for telling them on their Facebook page. So why not take a look and enter? Good luck!

I have been asked to inform people about this competition. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Birmingham Canal

Did you know that there are more miles of canal in Birmingham than there are in Venice? We currently live right next to a canal, just get past the huge fence and the hill of trees and there it is. Of course there are steps to get down there too and we often go for walks alongside the water.

I've been promising the littlies all summer that I would take them on a barge on the canal, but we hadn't managed to get around to it. Then last weekend we had to pop to Birmingham Symphony Hall to buy some tickets and of course the canals are right behind there, so we jumped on a barge and took a little tour. First we had a look around. It really is a lovely area with caf├Ęs and bars and often live music playing. The whole place is really pretty but also really busy.

I took lots of photos while on the barge, but also managed to put my camera down and enjoy the views.

There are some amazing buildings to view, both old and new. In this collage you can see the new library (bottom left, I love it but OH hates it and says it looks like a nuclear power plant), the Mailbox (bottom right, a rather nice shopping complex), the Hotel Indigo (top left, it looks like a cube) and some old building which is about to be restored (top right, sorry the guy on the tour did explain more but it was too noisy to hear what he said, it was a lovely building though)

It was a lovely sunny day and we really enjoyed our trip. Hopefully we'll do it again soon, maybe even take the Santa Barge which I remember doing with my older children many years ago.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Kids in the Kitchen - Pies and Tarts

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. We are all fit and well again now and we've been cooking up a storm. Today Boo made home made pizzas and Chocolate Brownies with her big sister and they are also planning some very very pink cupcakes. My recipes this week, though, are inspired by the Great British Bake Off Pies and Tarts Week. I just love making my own pastry and was taught how to make it at a very young age by my Gran. So now I'm passing it on to my own children and the little man learnt how to make shortcrust pastry and I made a steak pie and an apple and blackberry tart.

Before we begin, first may I say thank you to those who linked up last week. We had some lovely Gingerbread Biscuits from The Adventures of Jack Jack and The Beesley Buzz tell us all about their fantastic day of Making Lunch Exciting with Actimal Kids. Thank you both for joining in and sharing your cooking experiences.

It's so easy to join in, just tell us about some cooking that you have done with your children, link up posts old or new. I store all posts on my Pinterest Board and also tweet any posts linked up as well as mention them here on Kids in the Kitchen. So do please come and join us.

Steak Pie and Apple and Blackberry Tart.

I have two recipes for you this week, but first I will tell you how I make my shortcrust pastry.


A basic way of remembering shortcrust is 'half fat to flour' which is the method my gran always used.
however, you can change this a little and choose which fat to use.

To make a large pie:

250g plain flour
70g cold unsalted butter
50g cold vegetable fat (lard)
100ml ice cold water


The Little Man had much fun measuring all the ingredients.
We put the flour in a large bowl
We chopped up the butter and lard into small cubes
We added the fat to the flour
The Little Man mixed together the dough with a knife until it resembled breadcrumbs
We added the water and quickly brought the mixture together trying not to work it too much or let it get too warm
We wrapped the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge.

kids cooking


Steak Pie

700g cubed braising steak
1tbs cooking oil
570ml water
2 beef stock cubes
1 tbs cornflour
egg wash

You may also add carrots, mushrooms or onions depending on your taste, we prefer just steak.

In a large pan fry and seal the steak in the oil.
Add the water and stock cubes and bring to the boil
Cover and Simmer for around two hours or until the steak is really tender.
Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a paste then add to the pan.
Stir until thickened.
If you still have a lot of liquid you can boil it a little longer. You want a thick gravy that covers all the steak.

Making the Pie:

Roll out half of the pastry and line an 8inch pie tin.
Fill with the steak mixture
Roll second half of pastry and place on top of the filling.
trim the edges and seal them by pinching or pressing in a fork
Brush the pie with an egg wash
Stick a fork into the lid a couple of times.
You may also wish to decorate the top of the pie using some of the leftover pastry.

Bake at gas mark 5/190C for around 40 minutes or until golden brown.

steak pie

Apple and Blackberry Pie


Sweet pastry

250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g cold butter
1 large egg
optional: a little milk
egg wash


Put the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl
cube the butter and put it in with flour and sugar
rub the ingredients together until they resemble fine breadcrumbs
add the egg and bind the mixture together, if it's too dry and crumbly you may add a little milk
cover with cling film and put in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour

Roll pastry and line a flan tin leaving some of the pastry hanging a little over the edges.
cover the pasty with foil and fill with baking beans or rice
bake in the oven, gas mark 3/170C for 15 minutes
take out of oven and remove foil and filling.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake for a further 10 minutes until light golden brown.

The pastry case is now ready for the filling.


4 large dessert apples, peeled and sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice.
a punnet of blackberries
1 tin of condensed milk
3 medium eggs


place the apples in the pastry case layering them neatly
add the blackberries
whisk together the condensed milk and the eggs
pour the liquid carefully over the apples and blackberries
bake in oven gas mark 3/170C for 25 minutes or until the filling is set.

apple and blackberry tart

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)

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Monday, 8 September 2014

To My Little Man

Dear Little Man,

Today is your first day at school, and you will be there all day. It's not the first time we've been separated, you've been to part-time nursery and pre-school for the last two years. It is a huge milestone though, as you embark on your future education. 

Can I tell you a little secret?
I'm going to miss you so much.

I know you are noisy and demanding, constantly attention seeking, always asking, never stop talking and often make my head spin, but what will I do without you?

You will be fine, playing and learning alongside your friends. Getting your attention from your lovely new teacher. Growing up into a fine young man.
I will be sad for a while, taking my time getting used to not having you around.

You are my baby, I know if I said that to you right now you would retort
"No, I'm not a baby, I'm a big boy!"
However, you will always be my baby, you will always be the youngest, the last little one to go to school, the last one to grow up.

I hope your school years are happy. I'm sure they will be, you are always asking questions, always wanting to learn something new. I just hope you can learn to sit still for five minutes too, and listen to what you are being taught.

 I have no doubts that you will make lots of friends. You only have to see another child on the street or in the shop and you are instantly speaking to them as if you've known them forever. 

I will miss you being home, but it will be even more special when I come to pick you up and we can spend time together talking about your day at school and all the new things you've learnt.

I will always, always look forward to your lovely hugs, my big cuddly boy.
Love you always,
Mummy xxx

It is a difficult time for me saying goodbye to my youngest child as he leaves for school for the first time. After five children you would think it would get easier, but now I find it's even harder because I know it's the last time. There will be no more babies at home for me, they are all school children now. I will miss him so much, but it's not all doom and gloom, I know he will be fine and I'll soon be filling my days with things I'm not normally able to do (who said 'pub lunch!' tsk tsk)

Those young years are over so very quickly. I know it doesn't seem like it at first, babies are such hard work and you are tired all the time, but before you know it you are waving goodbye at the school playground. Where does the time go? I know with the Little Man things were a little slow to begin with, he was late sitting, never crawled, refused to walk and wouldn't speak. In a way, I had my baby time with him for a lot longer than most. I was a little worried, you can't help it, particularly when all your other children have reached their milestones on time. Then suddenly, just before he was two years old, everything came at once, he was walking and talking and fast catching up to his peers. Maybe I was just lucky having my baby as a baby for a little longer. Now, you wouldn't be able to tell he was so slow, in fact, even though he's only just turned four years old I'm pretty sure he will be able to do just as well as his classmates who are bound to be older than him.

Fairy is encouraging parents to make the most of those early baby cuddly years because it's the softest they'll ever be. They've produced this lovely video to show how quickly it all passes.

I'm certainly going to miss the baby years, but I'm sure I'll have many years of soft cuddles to come.

This post is in collaboration with Fairy, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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