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Tag Archives: Gourmet Mum

Christmas Food Inspiration 2013

There’s only a few more sleeps until Father Christmas comes and if you’re in need of some inspiration here are some cute (and easy) ideas you can still make.

And if you still need more inspiration, check out my ideas from last year.

Cute Food for Kids' Santa BelliesSo simple yet instantly recognisable, Cute Food for Kids created these very jolly Santa bellies from babybels. Check the link for other cute ideas.

Gourmet Mum's Chocolate Truffle Christmas PuddingsThe lovely Gourmet Mum’s Chocolate Truffle Christmas Puddings are so sweet and would also make adorable edible gifts.

Mummy Mishaps' Malteser Rocky Road Xmas PudOn a larger scale, Mummy Mishaps’ Malteser Rocky Road Xmas Pud would be a wonderful alternative to Christmas pudding.

Annabel Karmel's Baked Potato SnowmanAnnabel Karmel’s Baked Potato Snowman is a very cute kids’ meal you can easily adapt with your little one’s favourite filling.

Annabel Karmel's Mini Hot Dog Christmas Wreath

The Mini Hot Dog Christmas Wreath is another Annabel Karmel creation and would be perfect for a Christmas or Boxing Day buffet.

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Cheesy courgette muffins

Nicholas loves being in his kitchen pod, up where all the action is happening, and today as soon as he was in it he started chanting ‘Cook! Cook! Cook!’ Mummy couldn’t have been happier!

Up until now, we’ve just made biscuits together, either my chewy oaty biscuits or a variation of them. I thought it was time to try something savoury, something Nicholas could have as a proper meal rather than a treat. Looking through one of my favourite mummy foodie blogs for inspiration, Gourmet Mum, I knew Filipa’s muffin recipe would be perfect.

I made very few changes to Filipa’s recipe as it’s fantastic as it is. She uses dried as well as fresh herbs, but I just used fresh, and I sprinkled some grated parmesan over the tops of the muffins before baking for an extra crispy cheesy top (What makes cheesy muffins taste better? More cheese!).

If you’re making these with little ones, prepare everything beforehand so they’re just pouring and mixing. Older children can do more of the preparation, especially weighing and measuring the ingredients.

The muffins are wonderful for lunch (you can serve them with some raw vegetables) and would be great for brunch or packed in a picnic basket. And if you’re not a vegetarian, they’d be delicious with some pieces of cooked ham or bacon in the mixture.

CHEESY COURGETTE MUFFINS

Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 20-30 mins
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins
Freezable

200g self-raising white flour
100g self raising wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
80g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 small courgette / zucchini (about 120g), coarsely grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
210ml milk
90ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
4 tbsp grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200C. Either lightly spray a 12-hole muffin tray with cooking spray or line with paper cases.

Mix the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder and grated cheese in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl or jug, combine the courgette, eggs, milk, oil, herbs and salt (if using). Add this to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (mixing as little as possible keeps your muffins light in texture).

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Tip out onto a wire cooling rack.

Variations:

  • Add a handful of chopped cooked ham or bacon to the muffin mixture.

Tuna and sweet potato cakes

I made these to use up the half tin of tuna remaining after making our tuna and corn frittata. Make mini cakes for your munchkin’s mini hands to feed him or herself. Freeze the leftovers for another day or make bigger ones for the rest of the family.

Cooking the sweet potato in the microwave saves you peeling and chopping it. Steaming it also keeps more nutrients. If you can, cook it ahead of time so it can cool down to avoid burning your fingers when you peel it.

TUNA AND SWEET POTATO CAKES

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes about 12 mini cakes
Freezable

1 medium sweet potato
1/2 185g can tuna, drained and flaked
1 egg
2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
3 chive stems
Pinch of salt (optional)

Use the point of a knife or a skewer to prick the sweet potato in a few places all over. Cook on high in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until it feels soft inside.

Cut the sweet potato in half and pull of the peel. Mash the flesh in a small bowl. Add the tuna, egg and salt (if using) and use kitchen scissors to snip the chives over the bowl. Mix well to combine.

Shape into small balls about 3cm in diameter.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a med-low heat. In batches, flatten the balls after you place them in the pan and dry fry for a couple of minutes each side until browned.

Serve with plain yogurt for dipping.

Variations:

  • use tinned salmon instead of tuna
  • use potato instead of sweet potato
  • add other cooked vegetables (finely diced onion, grated carrot, corn, peas, etc.)

Tip: to make your own breadcrumbs from leftover bread look at my previous tip.

Update (22 Nov 2012): The lovely and talented Filipa (Gourmet Mum) has been making these for her whole family and says they go brilliantly with horseradish or sweet chilli sauce. I’ll definitely be trying that next time!