Welcome to Mum&sons

My two eldest boys challenged me to start a cooking blog with simple recipes that we can cook together - and my youngest one has now joined in. I am hoping they pick up some cooking and photograph skills... or that at least they learn to design and run a blog.


This is great for a weekend lunch. You need:

- 250 g flour
- one teaspoon of baking powder
- 150 ml sunflower oil
- 4 eggs
- 150 ml buttermilk (or 100 ml milk with 4 spoonfuls of yogurt)
- 5 medium size florets of broccoli (cut the base in a straight line)
- 150 g of cubes or small stripes of bacon
- 100 g feta cheese
- salt (not much as you have both bacon and feta)

Preheat the oven at 185 degrees and grease a loaf cake tin. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Separately mix the oil, eggs and buttermilk. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients. Fry the bacon, get rid of the fat and add it to the mixture. Put half of the mixture in the greased pound cake tin, then line up the florets of broccoli in the center. Cover with the rest of the mixture and sprinkle the feta on top. Bake for 40 minutes - it is nicer when it is served warm.


These are not muffins, but mini cakes, which means that making them takes a tiny bit more time than muffins, but the result is much better. There is a dispute as to whether the recipe comes from the Ritz or from the department store that led to Macy's. It is because of the latter that I have dared to touch the recipe, because I have a physical allergy to 'anything Ritz' (which I hope I share with most other Europeans) since the London billionaires owners of that hotel became leading supporters of Brexit, Farage and then Boris Johnson - so much for these two being 'politicians of the people'!

You need:
-115 g butter
- 200 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 140  plain flour plus one tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- half a teaspoon salt
- 120 ml milk 
- 350 g blueberries
- three more tablespoons of sugar

Preheat the oven at 190 degrees (375 F for those of you in America)
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisker. Then add the eggs (one by one) and the vanilla while you keep beating. Combine the flour, baking poder and salt  - add half of it to the mixture, then add half the milk, then the rest of the flour and finally the rest of the milk. Sprinkle a tablespoon  of flour on the blueberries and add them to the mixture. 
Put the batter into a muffin tray lined with muffins' papers. Sprinkle the three tablespoons of sugar on top. And bake for 30 minutes.  


This recipe is for Dane, who had not eaten flapjacks before I made them. For those of you who are not British, flapjacks are a staple treat in the UK. For some reason they have a reputation of being on the healthy side, which is insane if you look at the amount of butter and syrup they have. But certainly better than a frosted cake. 
You need: 
- 200 g butter
- 6 tablespoons golden syrup. If you cannot get golden syrup just try a combination of corn syrup and brown sugar.
- 320 g oats
- 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (chopped thinly)
- 2 tablespoons linseed 

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees (350 F). Combine all the ingredients but the butter and syrup in a bowl. Separately put the butter and syrup in a pan and heat it until the butter melts (best way to do this is greasing the spoon a little bit with a flavourless vegetable oil first). Add the butter and syrup to the dry ingredients, mix, and put it all in a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. 

When you take the tray off the oven, score them into squares with a sharp knife. As soon as they get cold you can cut them along the knife marks.  

You can substitute the coconut and cranberries but any other dried fruit you fancy. But you may want to keep the linseed, as it gives the flapjacks a really nice crunch.


I am addicted to these, love them in salads, with smoked salmon, fresh salmon, lentils, cured meats... I even like them with burgers. And could not be simpler to make. You need:

- a red onion (sliced very thinly)
-  a bay leaf
- 10 black peppercorns
- half a teaspoon of salt
- 100 ml vinegar
- 200 ml water

Heat the water, vinegar, salt, bay leaf and peppercorns in a pan. Put the onions in a jar. When the liquid starts to boil, pour it over the onions, close the lid of the jar and wait for at least one hour. They last for a week and a half or so in the fridge.


These are always a winner, even amongst Americans who, let's face it, are so much better than us (N.B.- this is a 'European inclusive us' not a 'British nationalistic us') at chocolate chip cookies. The original recipe is from Mary Berry for cookies three ways, but the chocolate ones are by far the most popular 'chez nous' - and we have altered the recipe a tiny bit to make them less sweet over time.

You need:
175 soft butter
175 plain flour
55 g of sugar (the original recipe calls for more, but they come out too sweet for my taste)
75 semolina
70 g dark chocolate chips (or less if you follow the original recipe and do not like the bitter taste of dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees, Mix all the ingredients but the chocolate in a food processor (pulse it). Then mix the chocolate chips by hand. Make little balls with the dough, put them on a lined baking tray, press them down with your fingers to flatten them and bake for 12 minutes.

If you want softer cookies replace the semolina with plain flour and add a teaspoon of corn starch.


It has taken us so long to get back to this blog - totally underestimated how much effort needs to go into relocating elsewhere - but one of my sons is keen we do not drop it altogether. Anyway, we are back to it now that have been a whole year in California and got a better hand of the routine here (bar the endless trips!)

You need:
- a tub of ricotta cheese (425 g)
- 6 eggs
- 300 g of broccoli (riced or chopped into small bits - just put it in the food processor and blitz it a couple of times) 
- two handfuls of spinach (chopped)
- a teaspoon of chopped mint
- a handful of grated parmesan cheese
- salt (a generous pinch)
- black pepper
- butter and flour for the tin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Butter the baking tray (we bake this in a ceramic one, but pyrex works well too. Then sprinkle a bit of flour on top and move around so that the whole tray is coated in flour). Mix the eggs, ricotta, broccoli, spinach , mint, salt and pepper. Put the mixture in the tin. Add the grated parmesan on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. That is all there is to it.

This is a great simple lunch with a green salad. Notice the broccoli flowers in the picture, my latest culinary discovery. Edible in salads, bitter and mustardy, delicious. 


As those of you who follow this blog know, my real passion is helping girls to develop self-confidence and decide whatever they want to do in life free from gender stereotypes. 

Inspiring Girls International owes a lot to cooking - as I launched it in 2016 and expanded it to the first four countries with the money of my first cooking book 'Made in Spain'.  Since then we have grown a lot: we are now in 14 countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. And we have just launched a new Tech Tool allowing girls all over the world with access to internet to have access to female role models with just a few clicks. This is a video of how it works:

You can help all those girls with just one hour of your time per year by recording a video for our role models Hub and being available for remote talks with schools. Just Click on this link in our website so that you can to see the guidelines for the role models' videos:
https://lnkd.in/dUcX6BV  Start recording in your own language - and don’t worry about the quality of the video, the more authentic it is, the more girls will relate to it.

Upload the video directly as indicated in the web page (it may take a few days for you to see it in the hub, as we review all videos before making them available to the girls) 

This is not only for well knownwomen, or for women of certain professions only: this is for women from all walks of life. For those of you who do not know whether you make a good role model - of course you do!! There is a female role model inside every woman - girls will love to hear from you no matter what you do. 

And if you are a man, we need your help as well. There are already many men supporting our campaign. Send this to all the women you know. And we would love to hear from you whether you have had any female role models too!