Kids in the Kitchen

School holidays are almost here again, and up and down the country will be heard the plaintive cry, “What can I do now?

School holidays are almost here again, and up and down the country will be heard the plaintive cry, “What can I do now?” to drive mothers mad as they try to think of inexpensive ways of entertaining their children, other than turning on the television.

Perhaps this is the opportunity for a bit of “mother-child bonding”, as they say nowadays. School holidays in our house were always a chance for me to get in to the kitchen with my mother and to learn some new skills and recipes. The pleasure and satisfaction children garner from making their own goodies is great and they get even more out of the exercise if the resulting fare is served at the table or to their friends and extended family.

One hopes that the mess and effort of having children in the kitchen will be offset in the future by young people who are interested in food and cooking for the future.

Here are some great recipes for you all to try in the holidays.


Cereals are great standby ingredients to prepare traditional tin-filler cookies. Add extra flavour with the grated rind of a lemon or orange.


150 grams butter

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1½ cups self raising flour, sifted

1½ cups cornflakes

½ cup chopped walnuts, peanuts or pecans


1. Beat the butter and sugar to a cream.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.

3. Mix in the flour, cornflakes and walnuts.

4. Place teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking tray.

5. Bake at 180ºC for 15-18 minutes or until golden.

Transfer to a cake rack to cool.

Makes 30


I've no idea where the name comes from, but these morsels are quick to make and are great lunchbox fillers.


1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup sultanas

¼ cup raisins

1 cup well chopped moist dates

1 cup finely chopped nuts (peanuts or walnuts)

¼ cup chopped crystallised ginger

¾ cup condensed milk

extra coconut for rolling

15 glace cherries, halved


1. In a bowl blend together the coconut, sultanas, raisins, dates, nuts, ginger and condensed milk. Mix well.

2. Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and then roll in coconut.

3. Place on a greased baking tray, flatten slightly and place a cherry half on top of each bumble bee.

4. Bake at 180ºC for 15-18 minutes until golden.

Transfer to a cake rack to cool.

Makes 30

Cook's Tip

Keep biscuits and slices in airtight containers away from soft baked goods like cakes so they remain crisp and fresh.


This is a real favourite with family members. Try different breads like wholemeal, raisin, sour dough or even a sliced French stick for different flavours and textures –

and you can make it sweet or savory to suit by just varying the toppings. Sarah-Jane, one of my right hand girls, says her children, Oscar and Poppy-May, ask for this regularly as it is one of their favourite breakfasts, especially on school holidays, or at weekends.


2 eggs

1 cup milk

6 slices thick bread (white or wholemeal)

50 grams butter


1. Beat the eggs and milk together.

2. Cut the bread into halves or quarters.

3. Heat a knob butter in a non-stick frying pan and when hot, dip 2-3 slices bread into the milk and then quickly place into the pan.

4. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, turning once. Serve hot with banana, bacon, and golden syrup.


We now have a great range of flat breads available which make deliciously crisp pizza bases for tasty pizzas, ideal for a hot, filling and fun breakfast or after school snack.


4 Lebanese breads (or use large pita rounds)

1 cup tomato purée

2 cup grated Edam cheese

4 rashers streaky bacon, diced

4 eggs

freshly ground black pepper (optional)


1. Spread the Lebanese breads with equal quantities of either the tomato purée.

2. Scatter the grated cheese and bacon on top.

3. Crack an egg into the centre of each round and season the whole pizza with freshly ground black pepper if wished.

4. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking and the pizza golden. Cook 2-3 minutes longer if you like the egg yolks firm.

Makes 4

One of my favourite children’s recipes from Food in a Minute Book 4, Food for the Family.



¼ cup Indonesian or dark soy sauce

1 tblsp minced ginger

¼ cup sweet sherry

2 tblsp hoisin sauce

1 kg chicken wings or nibbles

Cheat’s Peanut Sauce

1 cup peanut butter

¾-1 cup coconut milk

2 tblsp Indonesian soy sauce

2 tsp minced fresh ginger



1. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, ginger, sherry and hoisin sauce.

2. If you have chicken wings, cut and discard the tip end of each wing and then cut the wings in half.

3. Arrange the chicken nibbles in one layer in a large dish and pour over the marinade. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill under a moderately high heat for 12-15 minutes until cooked, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking and colour. Alternatively fan bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until well-coloured. Cool quickly and pack into an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

Makes around 20 pieces.


1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk until smooth adding water if a thinner satay is required.

Makes 1-1½ cups

© Food in a Minute.


Always popular – and there are just so many ways to serve this great basic recipe to jazz it up and turn it into a fantastic family meal or for having with friends. Another favourite from our Food in a Minute Book 4, Food for the Family.


dash oil

500 grams lean Quality Mark Minced Beef

2 onions, peeled and sliced

1 tblsp minced garlic

1-2 tsp ground cumin (optional)

425 gram can Wattie’s Chilli Beans

¼ cup Wattie’s Tomato Sauce or Paste

1 cup beef stock or water


1. Heat the oil in a lidded frying pan and brown the mince, breaking it up with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon as you go. This may be best done in two batches. Set aside.

2. Add the onion, garlic and cumin to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the onion is just beginning to soften.

3. Return the minced meat to the pan with the Wattie’s Chilli Beans, Wattie’s Tomato Sauce or Paste and beef stock or water.

4. Cover and simmer 15 minutes until the beef is tender.

Serve on rice with crusty bread and a salad, or your favourite winter vegetables.

Serving Ideas

· Try the beans wrapped up in a tortilla with salad ingredients for a meal on the go.

· Cut two, butternut pumpkins in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Microwave on high power for around 10-15 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave) until almost cooked. Fill with equal amounts of the chilli con carne and sprinkle the top with plenty of grated cheese. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes until hot and golden and the pumpkin is cooked.

· Try topped on a baked potato. Add sour cream if wished.

· Make into nachos with your favourite corn chips, mashed avocado, sour cream and garnished with cheese or chopped parsley.

Serves 4

© Food in a Minute

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