My photo
10 years on and I'm still enjoying modelling. With four adorable children 5 and under to feed - not forgetting a very hungry husband as well - making quick healthy tasty food means I can balance my work and home life....that's the plan anyway!! I'm happy to share my tried and tested favourite recipes with other parents. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do..... Love Gemma xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pumpkin & Apple Cake

This is my darling youngest daughter!! How sweet!
I think this is more of a pudding cake, we had ours with custard.  My kids loved it and all had seconds!  

</>250g plain flour
  1. 200g sugar
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tsp lemon zest
  5. 2 tsp ground ginger
  6. 1 egg yolk
  7. 500g pumpkin puree
  8. 180ml vegetable oil
  9. 3 egg whites, beaten
  10. 1 apple - peeled, cored and sliced
  11. 2 tsp caster sugar
  12. 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Lightly grease a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and ginger in a large bowl. Add the egg yolk, pumpkin puree and oil; mix until smooth. Gently stir the egg whites into the batter; pour into prepared tin. Arrange the apple slices atop the batter; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

These are very tasty, the kids and I ate these yesterday on a freezing picnic to the zoo!

Ingredients 3 tablespoons caster sugar1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
130g raw whole pumpkin seeds, washed and dried

2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 tsp olive oil

2 t of caster sugar

Vampire Boy!
  1. Preheat oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper;
  3. Place the pumpkin seeds on the prepared baking tray, sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake the seeds in the preheated oven until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds along with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook and stir the seeds until the sugar forms a coating on the seeds, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the caramelised seeds into the bowl of sugar-spice mixture, toss to coat and let cool.

Pumpkin Soup

My mum grew so many pumpkins on our allotment that I have been making all kinds different things.  This soup tastes so great, make it today!/a>

I also cooked down a of handful raw pumpkin with a splash of water and it turned into a lovely smooth puree for my 6 month old daughter and its naturally sweet.

the flesh of one large pumpkin
2 carrots
1 potato grated
1 cup of water
handful of fresh coriander (don't worry if you don't have any it still tastes great)

Cook all the ingredients in a large pan until the vegetables are soft, the pumpkin will turn to puree when cooked.
Add the coriander when all the other ingredients are cooked.
Blend all the ingredients smooth with a blender, serve immediately.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Bat Hands!

Half term is here and my 4 kids are already starting squabble!

This is fun and super easy give it a go.

All you need is;
orange paper
black paper
white pencil
googly eyes
Draw around your hands on the black paper and cut them out. draw a bat body shape and cut it out.
Arrange the hands and body into a bat shape and glue onto the orange paper.
Stick the eyes in place and draw on the smile with the white pencil.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Home Made Custard

As the weather turns cold its time for puddings and hot custard!  Its so easy to make your own custard and so quick.  Show off today and make your own custard!  It tastes better than any of the supermarkets "posh" versions, trust me.  Give it a go and let me know what you think?

  • This is the gang that I've been making all this yummy custard for!
  • this girl loves to eat!

  • 1 pint milk 
    55ml/2fl oz single cream
    1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
    4 eggs, yolks only
    1oz caster sugar
    2 level tsp cornflour

    Bring the milk, cream over a low heat.
    Remove the vanilla seeds from the pod. With a knife cut the pod in half length ways and then scrape the seeds out and add the the milk (put the vanilla pod in jar with caster sugar to make vanilla sugar).
    Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until smooth.
    Pour the hot milk and cream on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time.
    Return to the pan, (add vanilla extract if using) and over a low heat gently stir with a wooden spoon until thickened.
  • Pour the custard into a jug and serve.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Cheese Scones

Do you  ever find no matter how early you get up theres never enough time?  I'm up so early, but by the time I've dressed 4 kids, myself and fed everyone, I'm late.  I ask the kids to help with something only to find 10 minutes later they've not done it.  I literally have to chase and round them up (some times I get a little hysterical) whilst shouting have you got bag, drink, dance kit, coats....try this recipe its great to take on the school collection my kids always come out staarrvvviing!

Cheese Scones Makes 8
175 g / 6 oz Self Raising Flour
pinch salt and pepper
25g / 1oz margarine
75 g /3 oz cheese, grated
1 medium egg
2 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 220ÂșC, Gas Mark 7.
Grease a baking tray. Mix flour and seasonings, rub in margarine.
Stir in cheese, reserving a little for the top.
Mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk, reserving a little for glazing.
Roll out to a round 1.5 cm (½ inch) in thickness and cut into 8 with a 6cm wide cookie cutter.
Place on the baking tray and brush with egg and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Homemade Ketchup

The summer holidays are over,  I survived the six weeks with four kids and boy were we busy.  We holidayed in Spain and England, the kids were bridesmaids and pageboy at my best friends wedding, my dolly baby was christened, we day tripped, picnicked, baked, played games, jigsaws and did tons of messy crafts!  phew!

 Ketchup is my kids favourite condiment they all LOVE it.  All I hear is how it's full of sugar and salt so heres my solution.  Guilt free homemade ketchup that tastes as good as the leading brand - let them help themselves! 

  1. Half pint of dark pickling vinegar
  2. 3.5lbs ripe tomatoes
  3. half pound onions sliced
  4. half pound apples (One medium sized)
  5. 6oz sugar
  6. pinch of cayenne
  7. half teasp salt

  • Quarter tomatoes, slice onions and chop apples (no need to peel and core tomatoes or apples, but take the skin off the onion!) 
  • Put in a large pan and simmer until everything is soft (there should be enough liquid from tomatoes, no need to add anything.  
  • When everything is really soft, rub and push all the pan contents through a sieve to extract as much juice as possible.  
  • Return juice to the pan and add sugar, cayenne and salt and boil with the lid off pan until it all begins to thicken and get creamy then add the vinegar and continue to boil with lid off, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon.
  • The bottles need to be heated before you add the ketchup.  Heat the empty bottles in the oven for 10 minutes remove and pour liquid in and seal immediately. Sterilise the ketchup filled bottles in a simmering water bath for 30 mins.

Instead of pickling vinegar you can use malt vinegar - heat up and add 1 flat teaspoon of pickling spice and leave to infuse for 2 hours