Sunday, 20 May 2012

Lots of Lentils

Hello everybody

Sorry that we haven't written to you this week, we have had a busy time at school, including test weeks. Ethan has been doing his SATs and lots of other busy things too.  It isn't that we haven't been doing lots of exciting things, just haven't had time to write!

We have had time to make lunch today though, so we are back on track.

Lentils, yummier than you might think.

This is another easy peasy dinner that we can make all by ourselves (With mum in the background reminding us about hot pans etc)


Lentil dhal

Ingredients (What you need)

200g dried split red lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
Water, (measured out in empty can, see method)
1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 level teaspoon of mild chilli powder
25g or largish slice of butter (Or soya if dairy free/Vegan)
half teaspoon sugar
half teaspoon salt

You'll also need a couple of frying pans and a wooden spoon

(Mum's note - If you missed out the sugar and salt this meal would make a good weaning food)

Method (How to make it)

1  Weigh out your lentils

2  Pop them in a frying pan, add chopped tomatoes

3  Using the empty tomato can, fill twice with water and add that

4  Add turmeric, stir and simmer for abut 15-20 minutes, they will go from hard to crunchy

    To soft

5  Keep stirring, you may need to add a little more water, but not too much, mind that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, or you'll be in trouble at washing up time!

Whilst it as cooking mum said that the tumeric smelled earthy, it sounded silly to me so I thought I'd check.... and I'm still not sure

6  In a second pan melt the butter, add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, then add chilli powder, stir, and cook for another minute.

7  Pour the butter mixture into the lentil mixture. Stir.

8  Add sugar and salt if using. Stir.

9  That's it, done.  We had ours with rice and salad, but you can have it on its own, dip pitta bread in to it, have it with baked potato, have it cold for lunch with crackers to dip in to it... you get the idea.

Mum said to tell you that it is really good for you and very cheap to make, she said it has protein, fibre and lots of good for you things. She also said it makes for happy bottoms!!

Hope you are enjoying our recipes, my value animal from school is

Love Mattie

(Ethan, Reuben, Jacob and Joel bean too)

Busy bees

Hello everybody

We have had a busy few weeks and here are a few pictures of the things we have been up to.... apart from the testing at school, we might have got into some trouble for photographing that !!

Tyneham to Warbarrow bay
Walking in the Woods

Hanging out with our friends from Canada

Taking time to smell the flowers with friends

Foraging for nettles and wild garlic (Ransoms)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Fruity Chicken (very easy)


Ethan would like to share one of our favourite chicken recipes, it is very easy because you just put everything in together, and tastes great. Mum says it works well if you cook it up the day before you need it, then reheat it, we don't know why but it tastes even better.

(Note from mum - because this recipe has no stock, salt or added sugar it is a great toddler food too and I have pureed it for all of the boys as a baby food from 9 months, adding some freshly cooked rice or cous cous for texture just before serving) Also for slightly fussy children you can whizz up the tomatoes, apricots and sultanas before adding chicken so that it is more smooth sauce texture and the fruit is less obvious!! Ethan says "Mum, that's really sneaky, cool!"

Ingredients ( What you need )

One packet of diced chicken or a couple of chicken breasts chopped
One can of apricots in juice (Not in syrup!)
One can chopped tomatoes
One onion
One handful of sultanas
One teaspoon mixed herbs

You will also need one large sauce pan with lid, we used mum's Le crusset pan, boy is that heavy, you wouldn't want to drop it on your foot! Even the lid weighs a ton!!

Method ( How you make it

1  Carefully chop your onion into really small pieces, (this is called finely diced) If you put a fork in one end then use you knife you are less likely to chop your fingers off

2  Put it into your saucepan and add your apricots with their juice

3  Put in your handful of sultanas

4  Add you tomatoes, herbs, chicken

5  Using your empty cans, fill both with water and add that too. Stir and then heat. Note to self, when using mum's posh pan don't use a metal spoon, she can shout quite loudly about scratching it, seriously this pan is like the thickest metal ever but apparently it matters and I have to tell you to use a wooden spoon!

6  You need to bring the mixture up to boiling ( When its bubbling really fast and tries to splash hot bits into your eye you have got there) and then turn it right down to low and leave it to cook slowly for about and hour and a half, or until the chicken is really soft and falling apart.

7  There might be lots of liquid left, but this is useful when reheating, If you want to use it straight away just simmer without the lid for a while and the liquid will start to disappear and your mum will say "Open a window!" as the kitchen steams up :)

8  We like to eat ours with rice, cous cous or jacket potatoes

Thanks for reading, have a try and let us know what you think.

Bye for now


(Reuben, Mattie, Jacob and Joel too)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Rocket rockets week 4


Rocket rockets, more like rocket stopits, they haven't grown at all since last week! Well maybe if you were an ant they might seem taller, and to a flea they might look enormous like a big bean stalk, but to us they don't seem to have budged at all, not one bit.

We have watered them, but not too much, we have had them on the window sill to get the light, and this is where the mystery might be solved. Mum says there just hasn't been enough sun light to make them grow, is that right? Does anyone know?

Here are two photos

The first is of the struggling rockets  (you will remember the dog tried to make them fly and failed causing a lot of mess, plant damage and mean looks from mum)

The second photo is of the stronger ones, but even these are disappointing this week!

Altogether, not a good week for the rocket rockets!

Has anybody else got some we can compare ours too?

Bye for now

Ethan, Reuben, Mattie, Jacob, and Joel

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cheat's garlic bread

Hello from a wet Poole, (no, not a wet pool like a swimming pool, but Poole is where we live, although it might as well be the swimming sort as we are wet enough already!)

Ethan has a garlic bread recipe to share with you today

When mum is making pasta, we like to make garlic bread to go with it as she says its healthier than the shop bought ones and it tastes nicer too, not to strong.

The best bit for us is that it is very quick and easy and so we can do it by ourselves.

Ingredients (What it is made  of)

1 slice of bread per person
1 heaped tsp of butter per person
1 garlic clove (makes enough for 3-4 people)
1 tsp of either dried parsley or oregano (makes enough for 3-4 people)

Method (How to bung it together)

1  Oven on to 180'c or gas 4

2  Butter your into a small bowl and mash down with a metal spoon, it helps to soften it a bit

3  Peel the skin off your garlic clove like this

4  Carefully chop your clove(s) as small as you can

5  Add to the butter with your herbs and mix together really well. Adding your garlic and herbs at the same time helps you to see if it is mixed properly as you can see the green bits, and you can't see the garlic...does that make sense?

6  Spread on your bread, right up to the edges. I dived mine between all of the pieces of bread before spreading them so that I can share the mixture out more evenly

7  Put them on the baking tray and pop them into the oven for 10 minutes

8  If you chopped them into really small pieces you could use them like croutons, but we have ours like this

I have a theory that if I eat enough garlic bread it might make me smell enough to keep unwanted sloppy kisses away?

Mum - it won't work Ethan, you have to think of something else!

We hope you will try this recipe out, it is very easy

Hope it dries up soon, we want to go foraging!!

Bye Bye


(Reuben, Mattie, Jacob and Joel bean too)