Things my kids happily ate this month 7

We went on holiday at the beginning of July. Which meant a week of other people preparing meals for me. Woo hoo! And then when we got back it was actually hot, and I was disinclined to spend much time in the kitchen, as there was Pimms to drink. So this month’s meals had to require a minimum of effort and as little time at the stove face as possible – I prepped in advance then left them to cook while we hung out in the garden.

Quiche muffins

Everyone know how much I love a quiche. Full of protein and great for using up leftovers and getting veggies in. These have no crust and are ideal for little hands and on picnics. They also freeze well, so you can make a batch and thaw them out for lunches.

Beat 3 eggs, add a splash of cream, chopped cold meat, diced veggies (whatever is in the fridge, basically) and a handful of grated cheese.

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake in a moderate oven for about 25 mins until firm.

Chicken cannelloni 

The girls had these on holiday and wolfed them down, so I replicated them at home. Kids can help stuff the shells once the mix has cooled.

Part cook the cannelloni shells.

Fry some chicken mince with diced onion, then add frozen spinach and a bechamel sauce and cook through.

Spoon into the cannelloni shells and spread the filled shells over the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with more sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 180C for 40 mins.

Pork, potato and apple stacks

No picture because it wasn’t pretty, but it tasted lovely. I know it doesn’t seem very summery but the slow cooker didn’t make the kitchen hot which for me is key to summer meals.

Put a layer of sliced potatoes over the base of the slow cooker. Lay pork chops on top, then cover with sliced apples. Top up with veal stock (or a mix of beef and chicken stocks) and cider and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Ice cream sandwiches

Not actually a recipe but G Major loved helping to make these.img_5875

Sandwich ice cream between biscuits or wafers then dip the edges in sprinkles, because sprinkles make everything taste better.

Freeze for a while before serving.


The ten worst people to meet on holiday 

Ah, holidays. Time to relax and unwind. Get away from demanding colleagues, the seat hog on your commute, that weird sweaty guy  at the gym. Just a lovely week of you and you family.

Except there are always other people, aren’t there. At the airport, on your flight, at the resort, right next to you on an otherwise empty beach. And they’re all freaks.

Be afraid – this lovely lot will be coming to a sunny destination near you soon.

The performance parent
What’s that? Little Sophie is doing tiger arms? And blowing bubbles? Wow! So great that we can all hear her mum bellowing updates across the pool. Endless narration at top volume definitely  = best parent ever.

Captain UV
This guy wears a long sleeved UV top, legionnaires cap, wrap around sunglasses and greases himself up every 15 mins while sitting under his umbrella. I mean, no one wants skin cancer, but maybe Turkey in August is not the holiday for you, dude.

The nervous woman
No one needs a holiday more than this woman. But instead of sitting quietly on a sun longer with a cocktail and a book, she’s endlessly up and down, flapping around her kids, angrily doing early morning yoga, fussing with towels and food and clothes, bustling back and forth to the buffet for joyless wholemeal rolls and weak tea, haranguing her husband into booking a boat tour. SIT. DOWN.

The dutiful son
Middle aged, post divorce. Thought he’d do the right thing by bringing his mum along for a week to reduce costs and give her a trip away. But now she’s complaining about the heat, and he can’t eye up the women around the pool in peace. He spends a lot of time in the pool with his head under water.

The drunk parents
Clearly I’m not judging any parents who raise a toast to kids club with a beer at 10am. I mean, I couldn’t parent without booze. I’m talking about the parents on the wrong side of pissed by midday, semi conscious by the bar as their kids,  unsupervised by the pool with a full nappy, burn to a crisp.

The pervy dude
Usually with his wife, not that that stops him. Leering at the teens on the beach, standing a bit close at the buffet, staring at the aerobics class, harassing the bar staff. Inevitably has a giant belly.

The racist grandma
Lovely old lady, helping out with childcare. And loudly decrying the ‘foreign muck’ being served at meals, making gross generalizations about the sexual proclivities of the local women and accusing the cleaning staff of theft.

The horrendous teen
Too old for kids club, too young to pay for their own bloody holiday. Jaw-droppingly rude to parents, cruel to younger siblings, sulky and entitled. Needs a proper slap.

The plane shitter
What is with these people? Who thinks that a short haul flight on a packed plane with only one loo is the best time to to have a massive dump? As soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off, off he goes. You’ve had two hours at the airport, mate – do it there.

Distant work contact
Someone from another office location, or that you met on a course, or who worked with your brother. You’re obliged to acknowledge them every time you see them, which is all the time, and you’ll have to have at least one evening at the bar with them. Their partner will inevitably be a wine snob.

I sincerely hope you have a lovely holiday. But I’d suggest using the loo before you get on the plane, taking giant sunglasses and a hat to serve as a disguise and wearing headphones. And remember, if you can’t identify the holiday weirdo, it’s probably you. Happy holidays!

LATE ENTRY: I had this post drafted and ready to publish when who should appear at breakfast but a friend of my ex. That’s just super. At least his kids are ugly.

Carry on for kids

Holidays! Sunshine, swimming pools,  cheap local beer, kids club every morning (very important).

But first, the flight. 4 hours, 4 people but only 3 seats. How do you keep kids entertained on the plane? Here are the toys and games I packed for the Gs.

I bought a stack of small, cheap new toys for the holiday. Hawkins Bazaar has a selection of “pocket money toys” and I started there. I added a few bits from Tiger and B&M Homestores. It’s not all the highest quality but if it gets lost or covered in sunscreen, it doesn’t matter. 

Here’s what I packed for G Major in her carry on bag:

  • Colouring book and pencils – colouring is a new obsession and  she’s surprisingly neat, although she uses a LOT of black
  • Wipe clean fairy faces book – helpfully reusable
  • Mini stamp set – ideally for paper but if it descends into tattooing, so be it
  • Tic tac toe game – the concept of placing the little wooden is a more concrete idea to grasp than drawing them on paper 
  • Ball and cup game – something physical but doesn’t require leaving her seat 
  • iPad and Headphones – because everyone loves a quiet child on a plane. She can m watch four hours straight of Angelina Ballerina for all I care.

And this was G Minor’s:

  • Ball
  • Tolo figurine. If you haven’t seen the Tolo toys, check them out. They’re a little bit bigger than Playmobil and Duplo, great for toddler hands, and all of the limbs, hair, hats etc move
  • Book – name the sea creatures before we get to the beach
  • Crayons – she’s loving mark making 
  • Pop up puppet – if G Minor isn’t interested I bet any kids in the seat behind me will be 
  • Wind up train

Not that it really matters what I put in G Minor’s bag – she!only wants whatever G Major has and perhaps Mummy’s empty gin mini. 

Plus snacks and sweets and G Minor’s dummy – usually for bed time only but again, quiet children = happy passengers so I don’t care. 

What will you be taking away with you this summer?