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.


INSPIRING GIRLS INTERNATIONAL



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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzo0p_P-V0c

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!


LEMON BAR

This is a delicious yet really simple recipe from a friend in Washington. I normally adapt recipes that people share with me after I test them a few times - but this time I give it to you exactly as I received it: firstly, because in addition to being a great cook, she is a brilliant writer and I would not dare to touch a single coma of something written by a Pulitzer prize; and secondly because I have (finally!) found somebody who is as curt with cooking instructions as I am. This is it:

"Blend together 2 cups of flour, half a cup of sugar and one cup of softened butter (I do it in the food processor) 
Pat into the bottom of a 9 x 11 pan to make the crust.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
While it’s baking, zest and juice two lemons. Whisk together with four eggs, half a cup sugar, quarter of a cup flour. 
Pour over baked crust and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes (The bars firm up as they cool – – if I want a really stiff bar I use the longer baking time.  Shorter time just makes a gooier bar) they keep really well"

Tips for the non-American:
2 cups of flour: 240 g
half a cup of sugar: 100 g
cup of butter: 115 g
350 F: 180 C

MINT AND STRAWBERRY ICE LOLLIES

I have been given a silicone ice lolly mould, which is such an improvement on the traditional hard plastic ones. There are countless combinations of fruit purees and yogurts that make nice lollies. One of my favourite ones is this:

- Make fresh mint tea by pouring boiling water over mint leaves (I use 'hierbabuena' which is slightly more delicate and floral than mint, simply because I grow it, which is easy because it grows abundantly and anywhere). Take out the leaves. Add a squeeze of honey and let it cool down.
- Separately mash the strawberries with a potato masher.
- Pour a bit of the strawberries on each lolly mould. Fill them in with the mint tea and let them freeze for 4-5 hours.


CORIANDER SAUCE

Been for a couple of days in Mexico, really short time, but enough to sample the delicious Mexican food. This is a sauce that works with pretty much everything: grilled chicken, grilled fish (both white and blue), salads, most raw veggies, boiled potatoes, or just as a dip with plain tortilla chunks or, as they do in La Mar in San Francisco, as a dip with chips (addictive), in which case you should make it more spicy by adding a few drops of tabasco sauce.

You need:
- two handfuls of fresh coriander (leaves and stalks)
- 200 g greek yogurt
- 200 g sour cream
- juice of one and a half limes (I love acidic flavours, but if this is two much for you just cut down on it)
- a good pinch of salt (I prefer sea salt for this, probably because it reminds me of margaritas, but fine salt works well too of course)
- one and a half green chile peppers (without seeds)
- a tiny pinch of ground cumin
- one and a half cloves of garlic
- 5 tablespoons of (not too strong) olive oil

Just put it all in a blender and blend until you get a smooth sauce. You can keep this for 5-7 days in the fridge.


LEMON AND CONDENSED MILK CAKE

And yet another lemon cake, this one with condensed milk, which gives it a really nice texture, and it means it lasts easily for two or three days.
You need:
- a small can of condensed milk (397g)
- five eggs
- 250 g flour
- two teaspoons of baking powder
- half a teaspoon of salt
- a teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 140 g sugar
- zest of two and a half lemons
- two tablespoons of lemon juice
- 275 g butter (room temperature)

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees.
Grease and flour the tin (we use a bundt cake one, but it will work no matter the shape).
Beat together the sugar with the butter with an electric whisk. Then add the eggs (one by one). Add the condensed milk, followed by the vanilla essence, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Separately mix the flour, baking powder and salt  (it helps if you sift it, but again, no big deal if you don't). Mix the flour mixture with the rest of the ingredients (folding it). Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.




LEMON BISCUITS

Still having too many lemons - so here goes another simple and really delicious recipe with them. It takes no time at all  - I made these for some guests who were coming for coffee just forty minutes before they arrived and I still had spare time.

Preheat the oven at 175 degrees.
You need:
-210 g plain flour
- 115 g butter (room temperature)
- one egg
- zest of a lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- half a teaspoon of baking powder
- half a teaspoon of salt 
- one egg
- a teaspoon of vanilla essence

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Separately mix the butter and sugar, beat well, then add the egg, and then add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla essence. Add the flour mixture, mixing it all well. Put spoonfuls of the mixture on an oven tray covered with baking paper. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

If you want to make these even nicer make a simple glaze with 100 g of powdered sugar and around five tablespoons of lemon juice, just mixing it all well (it helps if you sift the powdered sugar, but don't bother if you are in a rush). Just pour the glazing with a spoon over the biscuits when they are cold (I cannot stand glazing, which is after all pure sugar, so I put as little as possible and don't bother about making them pretty - in fact the more uneven they are the more home-made they look) 


COURGETTE FLOWERS

There are a delicacy. Totally seasonal, so if you see them just buy them. In California where I now live you can get a big bag of them for five dollars, which is not bad (together with petrol about the only thing relatively cheap here).

You need:
20 courgette flowers
a tub of ricotta cheese
salt and pepper (to taste plus half a teaspoon for the batter)
a bunch of mint leaves
zest of half a lemon
75 g plain flower
two eggs
half a teaspoon of bicarb
125 ml very cold fizzy water
A generous amount of oil to fry the flowers (I use 50% soft olive oil and 50% sunflower oil)

Wash the flowers carefully so that you do not break them. Combine the ricotta, salt and pepper, mint leaves and lemon zest. Put the mixture into a pipping bag and stuff the flowers with it. Separately prepare a batter by combining the eggs, fizzy water, half a teaspoon of salt and bicarb. Heat the oil in a small deep pan (medium heat). When the oil is hot dip the flowers into the batter so that they are completely covered with it (a bit messy, but not difficult) and fry them in the oil for one to two minutes on each side or until golden. It is easier to do this in small batches of 4-5 flowers at a time.
Eat them immediately.