Parents York


French onion soup (recipe from Elite Meat butchers, Starbeck):

French onion soup (recipe from Elite Meat butchers, Starbeck):
Feeds 4/6 depending how hungry you are
For the children I would leave out most or all of the salt & pepper & just add half the amount of wine vinegar, prepare as below. Liquidise depending on texture required & serve with some good bread (also homemade at elite meat) Then add the balance of salt pepper & vinegar & tea is ready for you.
Ingredients: 1600g (8 medium) Onions (finely sliced). 4 oz. elite meat beef dripping (made from pasture fed, locally reared beef). 1.5 litres (3 packs) elite meat beef stock (made from pasture fed, locally reared beef nothing else added) 20-30g Good quality salt crystals. 4-8 grinds freshly ground black pepper. 150g good quality red or white wine vinegar.
Method: 1/ heat the beef dripping in a large sauce pan (as hot as possible). 2/ cover bottom of pan with thinly sliced onion. (Do not overload pan, better to cook in a couple of batches than to boil the onions). 3/ stir onions in very hot dripping (hob on full power), keep stirring for 3 minutes until starting to colour, Next throw in half the salt, a grind of black pepper & the wine vinegar stir for 1 minute (hob still on full power). Repeat process if cooking more batches. 4/ add beef stock to onions deglaze pan (scrape up any burnt/tasty bits from bottom of sauce pan) bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, check seasoning add more salt, pepper & vinegar to taste.
Cheers gordy the butcher Elite Meat butcher, baker, farmer.

Play Dough Recipe

Play Dough Recipe

This is an excellent play dough recipe which is fun to make and never fails to provide amusement on a rainy afternoon!

You will need:

1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
½ cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup water with food colouring added
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional but it makes the play dough smell nice!)

Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan, and stir over a medium heat until the dough forms into a ball. Allow to cool, and then knead until smooth. 

Store in an airtight container (a Ziploc bag with the air pressed out is good).

Going-away present idea

Small bags of pre-made play dough also make a good “going-away” present for a toddler’s birthday party – make up some large batches in different colours and divide it up.

NB: We have been advised that homemade play dough is a potential danger to household pets and must be kept safely out of their reach at all times.

Broccoli and bacon pasta.

Broccoli, pasta (any type) small carton of crème fresh, blue cheese (or cheddar/ parmesan if your kids won’t eat blue cheese) Streaky bacon (or normal bacon or ham)

Cook your pasta. Chuck in some broccoli florets for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile grill or fry the bacon until crispy. Once cooked, drain off the water and stir in a small handful of the cheese. Spoon in the crème fresh and mix. Finally sprinkle over the bacon or ham and season with pepper.

Cheesy Sausage Orzo

Hi Mumblers! My name’s Lizzie, and I’ve been enjoying the fab support at Mumbler since before my son was born so I’m delighted to be sharing this guest post with you.  I blog quick and easy everyday recipes over at

This cheesy sausage orzo pasta is a meal the whole family can love. I love cooking and good food, but it’s a whole different ball game with young children, isn’t it? There just isn’t the time to devote to perfecting techniques or the money to spend on fancy ingredients. And half the time when you do make a lovely home made meal, the small ones won’t touch it.

Children Know What They Like…
I wouldn’t say my 3 year old is fussy, but he is very particular. At the moment I feel like I should buy shares in whoever makes tinned sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes. He will reliably eat them, so we end up serving them several times a week.
He’s also a big fan of sausages and pasta – whatich child isn’t – and as both are so quick to cook we often combine them. in this household.  It’s an easy meal to adapt too – if bacon and peppers are your kids’ favourites go for it!
I don’t know about you, but my boy is at his grumpiest at around tea time. He doesn’t nap any more, which makes bedtime easier, but tea time a whole lot harder. That’s why I love short cuts like the ‘instant’ cheese sauce in this recipe.

Easy Meal Tips- Creamy Sausage Orzo
My secret ingredient, cream cheese, just melts straight into the pan to make a yummy sauce. Use the lighter version if you wish, but it really is a treat, both in terms of flavour, and convenience. Another tip – if you don’t use very lean sausages you get a better flavour, as the juices melt into the sauce.
Have you cooked with Orzo before? It’s quite trendy at the moment, but as a busy Mumbler I love it because it cooks quicker than normal pasta. It makes a change when your Mini Mumbler wants to eat pasta all the time too! I’ve cooked it separately in this dish for speed but it’s quick cooking which makes it great for one pot meals. If you like Orzo, you may also enjoy my slow cooked chicken and orzo with yogurt – an orzo winter warmer.
This recipe is the perfect size for 2 adults and 1-2 small children. I’ve made it both with and without mushrooms. It’s ready in around 20 minutes (with a small one round your feet).

• 1 lb (6-8) Pork Sausages
• 5 oz (141g) orzo
• 12oz (350g) mushrooms. (optional)
• 9 oz (250g) cherry tomatoes
• 325g tin sweetcorn
• 1 tsp garlic granules
• 1 250g tub cream cheese

1. Put the orzo on to boil. Keep it on a rolling boil and give it a stir so it cooks quickly.
2. Cut the sausages lengthways with scissors then snip chunks straight into the frying pan.
3. Brown the sausage chunks on all sides, stirring occasionally.
4. While the sausages are cooking, rinse and chop the tomatoes and mushrooms. I halve the tomatoes – for very small children you may wish to quarter them. Drain the sweetcorn.
5. When the sausages are browned add the tomatoes, mushrooms and sweetcorn and stir in, along with the garlic granules.
6. Once the mushrooms and tomatoes have cooked down and released their liquid and the orzo is cooked, stir the cream cheese into the sausage and vegetable mixture so it melts around the other ingredients to form a sauce.
7. If you’re feeling fancy garnish with basil.

Chicken Surprise!

Boil some broccoli and separately fry chicken with onions, peppers, mushrooms and whatever you like.

In a dish layer the broccoli then the chicken mixture.

Mix in a separate bowl a can of chicken soup, curry powder and a bit of mayonnaise. Add this on top of your broccoli and chicken layers. Then add crunched crackers or plain crushed crisps to add a crunch. Then sprinkle cheese on top. Put in the oven/ grill to melt the cheese. Umm! Serve with extra veg and jacket potatoes.

Eggless choc cupcakes.By Liz Dixon

Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes 
This recipe is for cupcakes. However, it can be used for one big cake. It makes one half of an 8” round. 

1 cup milk 
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lemon juice) 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/3 cup vegetable
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 cup plain flour 
1/3 cup cocoa powder 
3/4 teaspoon bicarb soda 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 

1 – Preheat the oven to 180°c
2 – Line muffin pan with baking cups.
3 – Whisk together soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside to curdle. 
4 – Add sugar, oil, and vanilla to the soy mixture and beat until frothy.
5 – In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients.
6 – Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in two batches beating until smooth, with no large lumps remaining.
7 – Pour the batter into prepared baking cups, filling them to three quarters full.
8 – Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
9 – Transfer cupcakes to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Fish in a blanket. (2 portions- won’t freeze)

1 x 225g fillet white fish skinned cod/haddock, black pepper, 20g butter, 25g gruyere/edam or cheddar cheese finely grated. 2 tsp milk

Season the fish with pepper, dot with half the butter and grill one side 3-4 mins. Meanwhile make the topping cream together the remaining butter/ cheese and milk in a bowl. Turn the fish over and spread the topping on the uncooked side and grill 6-8 mins until fish flakes with a fork easily

Fish pie with a crunchy topping with crisps by Liz Dixon.

fish pie with a crunchy topping with crisps – sounds weird, but is truly delicious: 1 x Tin of tuna
1 x Tin of Salmon
Tin of condensed Mushroom soup
Frozen Peas
Sliced fresh tomato
Potatoes (Mashed)
Grated Cheese
Packet of crisps

Preheat oven to 200C (180C Fan)

Drain both tins. Put tuna and salmon at the bottom of a heatproof dish.
Put peas and tomato slices over the top of the fish.
Pour over the tin of soup, straight from the tin.
Spread mash potato over the top.
Sprinkle with grate cheese and crushed crisps.

Bake in the oven for 20-30mins until cheese is all bubbling! Yummy! You don’t have to use tuna and salmon, could just use tuna. Also, doesn’t have to be mushroom soup, could use chicken or something similar. Again, don’t have to have tomatoes or peas, could use other veggies that you and your children like. Try to cook and bake things we can all enjoy.

Fish stew

Dice 1 onion, 1 carrot 2 sticks of celery and soften on a little oil. Cube 2 potatoes (add any other veg of choice) and cover in half milk half stock (reduced salt or homemade) When veg soften add chunks of fish (I do mix of white fish and salmon) then add some frozen spinach. Cook for another 7 to 10 mins.

For little ones puree, for toddlers mash, for everyone else can eat it as is. Freezes well too.

Homemade Meatballs

Put mince, finely chopped onions, herbs and spices/chilli, some mustard powder and a little tomato paste in a bowl with breadcrumbs (this bulks it up apparently!) mix, make into balls, brown in a frying pan.

I never add oil, then add to a casserole type dish over the top I put homemade tomato sauce, (made from garlic, tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, more spices, dried chilli, and some real chillies if you like spicy. Make enough to cover the balls. put in oven for around 40 mins. Delicious with either spaghetti, pasta, or mashed potatoes.

Rice krispie treats by Katy Stewart

Rice krispie treats:

45g butter
210g marshmallows
150g Rice Krispies

Line an 8″ square baking tray with non-stick paper.
Put the butter and marshmallows in a pan (big enough for you to get all those Rice Krispies in later!)

Put the butter in the bottom of the pan, not on top of the marshmallows like I’ve done here – it will stop the marshmallows from getting scorched and burnt.
Heat the pan over a gently heat, stirring it regularly. As the marshmallows melt it starts to look like marshmallow soup.

Keep going until they’ve all melted and the butter is well worked in.
Now off the heat and in goes the Rice Krispies.

Stir it up, making sure they’re all evenly coated.

Tip it into the tin – it’s sticky watch out!

Don’t try and spread it in the tin right away you’ll end up in a right sticky old mess, give it a minute or two to start to cool down.
Spread it out using the back of a fork. If the marshmallow coating is still stringy and sticking to the fork let it cool a little more.
Once you can do it without it sticking, spread it and level it out with the fork.

That’s it, leave it to one side to cool fully, decorate with whatever you fancy and set then eat away! Great for moulding and using for cake decorating too.

Salt Dough

300g plain flour, 300g salt, 200ml water and a tsp of oil

Cut out shapes and bake for 20mins on 180°

Savoury bread and butter pudding with cheese and marmite.

Makes 2 portions, this meal does not freeze.

2 slice brown bread butter, marmite for spreading, 50g cheddar cheese grated, 1 small egg lightly beaten, 120ml milk, pepper.

Spread buttered bread with marmite trim off crusts and cut each slice into four triangles, place 4 triangles into small ovenproof greased dish add half the cheese and put remaining bread on top. Cover with the rest of cheese, beat the egg and milk together and seasoning and pour over top. Bake in oven 25-30 mins 180c/350f/gas4

Skinny-ish Egg Fried Rice (don’t freeze – eat straight away)

Boil and drain as much rice as you need. I always wash rice before cooking, until it looks free of starch. Chop any meat you want to use. I use thin strips of pork chop.

Chop a couple of spring onions. Heat a large frying pan with a tablespoon of sesame oil (found with cooking oil etc) and fry onions for 1 minute. Add meat to the pan and cook until almost done. Tip in cooked rice and turn frequently to stop it sticking/burning. Sprinkle in some frozen peas, soy sauce and Nam Pla fish sauce if you have it (it’s widely available in Chinese sauces aisle) Beat an egg and pour over rice. Turn heat off and stir egg into rice. The rice will be hot enough to cook the egg without the hob on.

Spaghetti Bolognaise by Anna Stephens

Spaghetti Bolognaise:

1tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (90g)
1 small leek, thinly sliced (35g)
½ stick celery, diced (15g)
¼ small red pepper, diced (25g)
1 small carrot, peeled and grated (30g)
½ eating apple, peeled, cored and grated (75g)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 x 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
450g/1lb minced beef
4 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
250ml/9fl oz beef stock
¼ tsp dried oregano

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the vegetables, apple and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft.
Transfer to a blender and add the tomatoes then whiz until smooth.
Wipe the pan out with a piece of kitchen paper then add the mince and fry over a medium-high heat, breaking the mince up with a wooden spoon, until browned (you may need to do this in two batches). If your child likes a finer texture then you can transfer the browned mince to a food processor and whiz until well chopped.
Add the tomato and vegetable sauce to the mince then stir in the tomato puree, ketchup, stock and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Sometimes we dont have all the veggies in so we just put in what we do have and mix it up a bit!)

The Bun Bunny’s Easy and Yummy Cookies.

150g Light Brown Sugar,

140g Butter,

1 Medium Egg,

1/2 Tsp Van Extract,

200g Plain Flour,

1 Tsp Baking Powder,

100g Milk, White or Dark Chocolate Chips (or a mixture of all 3!)

Heat the oven to 180c, cream together the butter, sugar and van extract, add the egg, flour and baking powder, mix until all the ingredients are combined. Mix in the chocolate chips, spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper (the cookie will double in size when cooking so leave plenty of room between them.) bake for about 15 minutes until golden, leave to cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. These cookies will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container ♥

Vegetarian chilli con carne by Caz

Vegetarian chilli con carne made with quorn mince.

Vegetable oil for frying.
1 Small Onion – finely chopped
1 red chilli – seeds removed for milder flavour. Finely chopped 
1 Red pepper – Diced
2 gloves garlic – crushed 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
Good squeeze of Tomato Purée
Half bag of quorn mince.
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of kidney beans 
1/2 pint of vegetable stock. 

Heat the oil in large frying pan,
Lightly Fry onion, chilli and red pepper and garlic until soft, 
Add tomato purée and cumin fry for a couple more mins. 
Add tin tomatoes and stock
Add quorn mince.
Add Kidney bean (drained) 
Give it a good stir let it come to boil then simmer until sauce is reduced. 
Serve with rice

For variations of this:

omit the quorn and add tin of Caribbean Beans and peas for a bean chilli.

Instead of rice allow the sauce to cool then wrap in tortillas place in oven dish and top with passatta and grated cheese. Then place in oven for approx 20 mins. 

Make extra or Use left overs to add to jacket potato.