Monday, 19 January 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Strawberry Cheesecake

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. This week I picked up some strawberries which were on offer at the supermarket so Boo helped me make some yummy treats.

First let me say a thank you to the lovely children and Twm Tedi from Mummy To Mum blog for sharing their lovely Banana muffin recipe along with some great photos. I do hope you will join us again here at Kids in the Kitchen, we love sharing.

We have just over one week left of this months linky, that's still plenty of time to come and share what you have been up to with your kids in the kitchen. I share all posts on Twitter and Pinterest and give you a mention here on my weekly recipe post. It's all about the sharing.

Strawberry Cheesecake

I decided to use our strawberries to decorate a yummy cheesecake. This is just a classic cheesecake recipe which is pretty easy to make, but sometimes it takes a while to set.

I used a loose bottom 7" tin for our cheesecake

Ingredients:

100g digestive biscuits
50g caster sugar
50g butter, melted
500g full fat soft cheese (like Philadelphia)
100g icing sugar
200 ml double cream

punnet strawberries

Method:

Boo really enjoyed the first stage which was to bash up the digestive biscuits to fine crumbs






























We then added the biscuits and the sugar to the melted butter and mixed them well
We put the mixture into the bottom of the tin and pressed it down firmly with a metal spoon.
We put the tin in the fridge to set.

Then we made the filling by mixing the cheese with the icing sugar until really smooth.
We whisked the double cream up into peaks and then folded it into the cheese mixture.
We carefully poured this mixture over the biscuit base and put it back in the fridge to set.
This can take a couple of hours.

Once set we made the strawberry topping.

Boo carefully sliced the strawberries in half






























We picked out the nicest looking ones for the decoration and popped a handful into the blender to make a strawberry sauce (what was left over Boo put in her tummy)

When the cheesecake was set I carefully removed it from the tin and we decorated it with the strawberries and strawberry sauce.


So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
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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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Monday Musings - You're So Strong!

This month I have been a Special Needs mum for twenty seven years. "You're so strong" are words I've heard so often throughout the years, but the truth is, I'm not. I'm just a mum doing what I have to do, there is nothing strong, or brave or amazing about it. It's just parenting. Maybe it's a little different to regular parenting but in all honesty, how would I know?

When my first child was born I was just twenty one, which seems so young now. I was married and we both had jobs and a place of our own. A child was the next step, even though we were moving so fast. It was a difficult birth and he was a difficult baby but he was mine and I adored him. We had a daughter just seventeen months later and then moved to a bigger house. The kids went to school and I went back to work and everything went along just fine.

The teachers complained about my son, they said he was un co-operative, disruptive in class and refused to listen to them. They gave me the number of a child psychologist, I put it on the bookshelf and ignored it. There was nothing wrong with my son.

He moved up to Secondary school and things got worse, much worse.

I took him to the psychologist and he was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

By this time my husband was no longer on the scene, and for a while I did find things really tough. I did have to be strong to get through it all. I had lots of other stuff going on as well, they say it never rains but pours.

Fast forward a few years and I'm a single mum, no longer working and have two young teenage children out of regular education. Maybe if I'd been stronger things would have been better?

Then I met my current partner and we had children and our first child is also diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. This time I didn't bury my head in the sand, as soon as the signs were showing we had her diagnosed and the proper help put in place at school. Things have been difficult but we've muddled through. Things have been tough. Have I been strong? Sometimes maybe, sometimes not so.

When someone tells me they think I must be so strong I feel a little embarrassed, I feel a fake, I don't feel as though I'm strong. There are so many things I would have done differently if I'd had the strength, so many more battles I would have won had I been strong. There have been so, so many times when I haven't felt strong at all, I've felt like a quivering wimp and there have been many tears.

I can be strong though. I can fight in their corner and make sure they get treated right. I can stand up for them, look out for them and at the same time teach them their independence.

A child with special needs can mean more hard work for the parent and for longer, but they also bring their own rewards and one of those is teaching their parents how to be strong.



Monday, 12 January 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Happy 1st Birthday

It's been a whole year now since I started Kids in the Kitchen and every week I have cooked something with my kids helping out. We've had loads of fun, made loads of mess and learned a lot along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has joined in over the past year, especially those that have come back time and time again, Like  The Beesley Buzz, The Brilliant Chef, AutismMumma and In the Playroom Blog. I love it when people take the time to link up, so an extra slice of birthday cake to you.

Last week we were joined by EatsAmazing with some fantastic recipes for Pea and Broccili Soup  and Frozen Fruity Yoghurt bites. I'm a big fan of the EatsAmazing Blog, it's a great resource for recipes for the kids lunchboxes.

The linky is now open for a month and you are free to come back and link up as often as you wish. I will give every link a mention on Twitter and post it on my Pinterest Board which is also a fabulous resource if you are looking for something to cook with your child.

Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

To celebrate our 1st birthday we made Macaroons and Chocolate Cake. We've made the chocolate cake before for Kids in the Kitchen so you can find the recipe here.

Macaroons


Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • drop of food colouring

  • Filling: whipped double cream


Method:

Put the egg whites and caster sugar into a mixer and whisk until thick and foamy and stands in soft peaks.
whisk in the food colouring
mix the ground almonds and sifted icing sugar together
Add half of almonds and icing sugar to egg mixture and continue whisking
Add the rest of the almond mixture and continue whisking until stiff.
Put the mixture into a piping bag with a 2cm plain nozzle
Cover two baking trays with baking paper
pipe on mixture in 5cm circles leaving plenty of space between them.
Leave to settle for about 15 mins
Bake at 170C/gas mark 3 for 12 to  15 minutes

When cooled remove from tray and sandwich with the cream.

My helpers were Boo and the Little Man.
The Little Man was in charge of the food mixer and shouted out "is it ready yet" every five seconds.
Boo was in charge of adding the ingredients to the mixture.
They both enjoyed piping out the macaroons.

We coloured our macaroons with lilac food colouring, I didn't want to use too much because of changing the consistency of the mixture. I think in the future I would use colouring paste and choose a stronger colour, ours didn't look very lilac at all.












































Happy birthday Kids in the Kitchen

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
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 Musing - How Many Children?

When I tell people I have five children I see eyebrows raised. Some say they think I'm mad, others comment that I must have my hands full and many ask if I always wanted a big family. If I'm honest, I don't think five children makes a big family and I feel a bit of a cheat. I don't have my hands full, my older children where already in their late teens before the other three arrived. Of course, the fact that I had three children while in my forties also raises eyebrows.















In my heart I believe that every child is a blessing and people should choose how many children they bear even though it does worry me that the world is becoming overpopulated and that times are difficult, even more so for larger families.
 I started my family with my husband. Then long after he had gone, and our children were growing up into young adults, I met my current partner who did not have children. We decided to try for two together, the third was an unexpected bonus.

When you have your first child everyone asks when you are going to have another. Two children is a respectable number per family, people accept that readily. Then if you have two boys, or two girls, then people will accept that you may try again for another. If you have one boy and one girl then no-one asks if you are going to try for more. My first two were a boy and a girl, and if I'm honest, even I felt my family was complete.  Many years later I  had my two girls and I was often asked if I would try again for a boy....mostly by people not knowing I had older children, and already had my boy!

They say the more children you have the easier it becomes. I've never really felt that, I know you get used to having children and that elusive handbook of parenting is already half way written, but can you ever predict what your next child will be like? I find having three young children a real handful. I'm sure it was much easier before when I only had two growing up. Or maybe it's just because I'm older.

Having a larger family also makes life more expensive and more difficult. For instance holidays...I would not be able to afford a holiday for seven of us. Thankfully, my older two wouldn't want to holiday with us anyway and are quite happy to fund their own holidays. I find it hard enough with just the five of us though, most hotels have rooms for two adults and two children...where do we put number three? Even most places where you can go for a day out will offer family tickets which are for two adults and two children. It seems that having three children is just not normal, which is crazy.

So when do you know you have had enough? I'm not sure of the answer to this, it will be different for everyone. I've known women stop at one child because their pregnancy and birth were horrific, or they suffered terrible Post Natal Depression. My first born experience was like that, but it made me desperate to try again to see if I could get things right next time. A little naive of me perhaps, but it worked, my second pregnancy and birth was completely different and I did not get PND again. This is probably why I was content to stop at two, but in reality that was my husband's decision, deep down I longed for more.

By the time my first two were growing up I was thinking that I would never have any more children and starting to get used to the idea. Then my current OH came along and we decided to try for a family between us. It didn't happen straight away and I was hurtling towards my forties. We tried everything, then after just over two years it happened. As I said, we were planning on stopping on two but my body, fate or God even had different ideas and along came baby number five. I started with boy and finished with a boy.

Of course after number five I knew my baby days were definitely over. Not only did I feel that my family was complete, I lost all feelings of broodiness and my body was screaming no more. It was not a hard choice for me to stop.


Is it really so wrong to have more than the 'normal' number of children. We think about the overpopulation problem but isn't that more because we are living longer? Were older generations not bigger families, my grandma had eight children? Just because contraception is available it doesn't mean that people should have smaller families, they should still be able to choose without judgement.








Monday, 5 January 2015

Kids In the Kitchen - Iced Buns

Happy New Year and welcome back to Kids in the Kitchen :)

We've been doing tons of cooking over the holidays, the kids have helped me make a chocolate log, decorate the Christmas cake, make mince pies and a chocolate brownie and mince tart, we've made our own sausage rolls, bread and cupcakes for a party, and the usual Christmas trifle. To share this week we are going to show you how we made Iced buns.

I've decided to keep Kids in the Kitchen as a monthly linky. I will post every week but the linky will remain for a month and you can join in as often as you wish. Everything else stays the same, I will share all posts on Twitter and my Pinterest Board, which is already choc a block with fabulous recipes to cook with the kids. I will also mention my favourites right here on Kids in the Kitchen each week. So please do join in and let others know they can link up if you spot someone who's posted a suitable post. It's all about the sharing.

Iced Buns

Boo and the Little Man helped me make the dough, the Little Man helped me shape the buns and all three littlies decorated them with the icing and sprinkles.

Ingredients:

250g stronge white bread flour
25g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter
1 egg
7g/1 sachet of easy bake yeast
1 tsp salt
85ml warm milk
60 ml warm water

Method:

  • put the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter
  • add sugar, yeast and salt
  • make a well in the middle and add the egg (slightly beaten) then the warm milk
  • mix together adding the water if required a little at a time to make a pliable dough
  • turn the dough out onto a floured work top
  • kneed for 10 mins
  • put back in the bowl and cover with clean tea towel
  • leave to double in size

At which point we went off to watch Tin Tin :)

  • knock back the dough a little and divide into six equal pieces
  • roll into sausage shapes
  • leave on a lightly greased baking tray and cover with tea towel again
  • leave for about 30-45 minutes
more waiting....time to get out the Christmas board games

  • when buns are ready pop them in a preheated oven 220C/gas 7 for about 10 minutes
  • When the buns are cooling you can make a quick icing using icing sugar mixed with a little cold water to make a thick paste
  • let the kids decorate cooled buns with icing and sprinkles.








































So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
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, 3 January 2015

My Highs and Lows of 2014

I have already made my post reminiscing about the past year and I was going to do one about what I'm looking forward to in 2015. Then Jeanette from AutismMumma tagged me to write this post and I will give it a go.

1. What was your happiest event?

Ok, there was a few, which is nice to realise considering it was such a stressful year. If I had to pick one it would be my friends wedding in May. She asked me to make her cake which was a huge privilege, but not only that, the whole day was purely magical, just as weddings should be. The weather was glorious and the venue amazing and from beginning to end we had wonderful day. Definitely a happy event to remember.

2.What was the Saddest thing to happen?

Our most devastating moment was discovering in March that Star's first operation hadn't worked and that she was going to have to endure major surgery. We spent a lot of time in the hospital over the year but despite our own ups and downs we couldn't help feeling a part of the other children's lives too. So, in reality, the saddest moment had to be when the little girl in the next bed didn't pull through. There was not a dry eye on the ward that day.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that you went ahead and did?

This is a tough one because I rarely venture out of my comfort zone and doing unlikely things is just not in my nature. Maybe that's something I could push myself to do next year, could it be time to change habits of a lifetime?

4. Who Let you down?

This would have to be Star's first consultant. He wouldn't listen to me at first, thinking that Star's problems where not as they seemed. He thought out a plan of treatment that may have worked if he'd gone ahead but he changed his mind at the last minute. Then he sent her home and forgot about her, taking her over the threshold for successful treatment. If I'm honest, it was no surprise that the first operations hadn't worked. I'd done my research and knew it was unlikely to work because it hadn't been performed soon enough. 

5.Who Supported You?

Oh wow! We have all received so much support for our family this past year, it's been totally amazing. From letters and cards, gifts, lifts, advice, prayers and just general support. There have been some amazing people in our lives. If I had to give a special mention it would be to our friend Julie. We've not known her long but the support she has given us has been really special, particularly just talking to me and my partner when we totally stressed, and helping with Star's problems by providing us with alternatives to drugs. So thank you to everyone, and especially Julie xxx

6. Tell us what you learned.

It doesn't matter how bad things get, it's still possible to survive and to be happy.

7. Tell us what made you laugh.

Thankfully, there is always laughter, most of my comes from my children. I love the way Star has a sense of humour even in the most difficult of times. I love the way Boo gets words mixed up, she has us in stitches. Then there is the Little Man who can be right little comedian (when he's not being a little monster)

8. Tell us things that made you cry

I've cried lots this year. It's so hard when you have a poorly child. Each time she went under the anaesthetic in the theatre the nurses where there with the tissues ready. Then there were tears of relief as she came around again. The worst times were when we'd changed duties at the hospital and I was home alone, that's when you have time to think.

9. Tell us three things your children did to make you feel proud

The Little Man started school for the first time this year. He has settled wonderfully and works hard.
Boo has joined the choir and made me so proud when I saw her singing in the school concert just before Christmas.
Star has made me proud just by getting through everything she has had to endure with a smile.

10. Tell us the things that made you proud about yourself

I felt proud when I stood up to the hospital and told them that I wasn't happy with the treatment that Star was receiving. Everything changed once I spoke out and her treatment was much improved. I'm not normally the type to complain, but this was my daughter's health and wellbeing so I had to do something.

11.Tell us the challenges you overcame

My biggest challenge was waiting the seven hours that Star was in surgery. It was really difficult and I don't know how I held myself together. I've faced other challenges this year too, some still ongoing, but I'm not ready to talk about them yet.


12. Tell us the things you'd like to change about your life in 2015

2015 is going to be different. Soon, I will have all three children in full time school, I've not experienced that before. So, I'm going to spend more time doing things I've always wanted to do. I really want to do a course or two, I'm not sure what in yet, maybe I will find something I've not studied before, or maybe I will do something I'd really like to improve like my cake decorating or photography. I'd also like to do more walking or maybe take up some form of gentle exercise. 

I'm determined to be more positive this year, it's easy to start feeling like giving up as you get older and begin to think that your dreams might never happen, but age is just a number and dreams can happen at any time. 

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I'm not going to tag anyone in this post, but please feel free to do one yourself if you wish, and if you do then please let me know so I can see your answers too.

This meme orginated with Kate on Thin Ice

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