As the holidays draw near there’s much to celebrate and a lot to plan. It’s all very well having everyone at home for two weeks, but when school’s out, little minds and little hands need a little bit of attention, to say the least. A full house is lovely and fun and cosy, but it’s not always easy to stay patient and calm when you’ve got so much cooking to do, and they have so much playing to do. Here’s a thought – maybe they can help?!
‘Kids in the kitchen’ we hear you cry! (Yes, we know you’re crying actual tears). It really can work. Trust us. Let us help you out. How about some brilliant ideas that will keep them near you in the kitchen, busy as little bees and actually being helpful? We knew you’d be up for it.
Get those fingers in the stuffing
This is the best part of Christmas dinner in our humble opinion, and it’s easy and fun to make together. It can also be made ahead of time and reheated on the day, so you’ve got plenty of time to clean up before the guests arrive.
What you’ll need
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 celery sticks, diced
- Sunflower oil
- Half a loaf of dry bread, cubed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp parsley
- Salt and pepper
How to make the stuffing
The first bit you’ll need to prep alone – they can’t touch but they can watch! Chop and fry the celery and onion in a little oil until they’re nice and brown. Then boil the kettle and add a chicken or beef stock cube to a jug of boiling water.
In a large bowl, combine the onion and celery mixture with the bread and parsley. Now’s their chance to mix with (clean) hands. They’ll love this bit!
Then pour the stock mix over everything, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, let them have a go at grating a carrot and adding it to the mix with a handful of raisins, or a packet of dried cranberries.
Place the mixture in a serving dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
Easy gingerbread men
This is our favourite fun and easy dessert for everyone.
- 300g plain flour
- 80g butter
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 165g golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 egg
How to make the biscuits
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays. The kids can do that bit!
Now get the children to measure all the dry ingredients and add them into a large mixing bowl.
The butter should be cut into cubes before it’s added.
And now the best bit! They can use their fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture, then squeeze in the golden syrup and crack the egg into a separate bowl (just in case any shell goes in), and then add it to the mix.
When everything is smoothly mixed together, roll it out onto a lightly floured work surface and use the cutters to make the gingerbread men shapes, place them on the baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Ta-da! Easy, fun and helpful festive ideas to get the little ones involved. You’re welcome!