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.


My children are seriously proud of the blog and they keep suggesting new things to add to it - so far so good!
I am not sure why these are called Russian steaks because they do not seem too Russian to me... but we made these for lunch today and they were a big success.
For the meat mixture you need:
500 gr minced meat
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
parsley (around 2 tbsp, thinly cut)
1 egg 
2 tbsp of vinegar
4 tbsp of breadcrumbs
1 tsp of salt
For frying the steaks you need:
1 further egg beaten with 2 tbsp of milk
olive oil (coat generously the base of a frying pan) 

Mix all the ingredients (those of the meat mixture of course) and mix well (with a spoon or with your hands). The quantities are indicative only and you can alter them as you wish. The mixture should not be wet though - if it is, just add more breadcrumbs. If you have time put the mixture into the fridge for 20 minutes. This will help to shape the steaks - though if you do not have time for this it does not really matter.   
Heat the oil until very hot.
With your hands get bits of mixture of around the size of a golf ball. Coat them in flour. Flatten them. Coat them in egg and fry them. As soon as you put them in the oil turn the heat down to medium. Also, remember not to pack too many steaks on the pan or the meat will boil rather than get fried. You need to turn the steaks around half way through the frying process. They are ready when they are golden on both sides.
Children love these and the coating helps to keep the meat moist so you can avoid side sauces like ketchup. You can serve them with pasta on the side or just with a green salad.

The children did it all except for frying the steaks. At the beginning they were a bit squeamish about touching the raw meat but they soon got into it. Please-please remember to wash well their hands before and especially after they touch the raw meat.


I know, I know I am failing... I promised to avoid the 'sugary' theme and here I am making churros ... but my eldest is very keen to give you this recipe so here it is.
Churros are normally eaten with hot chocolate (see recipe in previous post).
 This is actually a very dangerous recipe because once you try a churro you will want to keep eating them.
You need:
1 cup of water
1 cup of plain flour
a pinch of salt
oil ( preferably sunflower, but olive oil will also do)
You also need a churrera, which is like a hard plastic pipping device. This is ideal because the dough is very stiff. You can buy one at 'Saborear' (http://saborear.co.uk/churrera_churro_pump/479/) for £5.65. Alternatively you can do it with a normal pipping bag though the churros will not look so nice. 
The quantities above are enough for 4 people though I can easily eat all these churros on my own.

Heat the water until it is boiling.
Pour the water over the flour and salt and mix.
Put the dough into the churrera.
Heat the oil until it is very hot. Press the churrera or pipping bag over the oil (with care) in order to fry the dough. As soon as the dough touches the oil cut it with scissors into sticks of around 15 cms or so (see the picture).
When they are golden turn the churros around. After they are golden on both sides take them out of the pan and put them on kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil.  Sprinkle some caster sugar over them.

The kids helped me to prepare the dough though you need to supervise them as the water is very hot. They put the dough into the churrera and sprinkled the sugar over the churros. They also ate them all! 


This is a 'proper' thick hot chocolate, not the 'flavoured milk' that they sell nowadays in coffee shops (often at an exorbitant price).
In Spain it is traditional to celebrate the Three Wise Men day (5 Jan evening) with hot chocolate and a rich round cake called Roscon which has a hidden token within it (the roscon in the picture is shop bought). We were many people celebrating today so we also made 'churros' but we will give you the recipe for this some other day.

For  the hot chocolate you need:
-40 gr of chocolate of the variety 'a la taza' per person
- one cup of milk per person
Heat the milk over a medium heat hob. When the milk is warm add the chocolate broken in bits. Keep stirring until it begins to boil. You will see that it thickens to the consistency of double cream. As soon as it thickens you can drink it though you can also leave it at this point and heat it later when you want to drink it.
If you cannot find ' a la taza' chocolate just use any good dark chocolate in the same proportion. To help it thicken you can dissolve half a tsp of corn flour in a little bit of warm milk and add it to the chocolate as you start to stir.
We promise to you that once you try this there will be no way back... 

The children were so excited about the Three Wise Men that they did not help at all with the cooking this time. However, as you can see, it is a really simple recipe.   



When I was little, Spanish kids used to have this soup at least every other week.
You will need:
- olive oil
- a carrot, a stick of celery and a leek or an onion chopped into little squares (if you are feeling lazy, just buy a bag of already chopped 'sofrito' at the supermarket. This will increase the cost though)
- a bay leaf
- 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock (or if you cannot be bothered, just water)
- a pinch of salt
- half a tsp of (sweet) paprika
- three handfuls of small pasta (vermicelli or small stars or snails)
You can get this done in 15-20 minutes. It makes a nice lunch almost on its own.
Cover the base of a pan with a thin layer of olive oil and heat over a medium heat hob. Add all the vegetables and the bay leaf and wait (stirring it occasionally) until they are soft and golden. This will take around 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the stock or water, the salt and the paprika.Increase the heat to high and bring it to boil.
Once it is boiling add the pasta and cook until soft following the instructions in the packet (for vermicelli for example you just need 3-4 minutes).  I like the vegetables crunchy and the pasta soft, but if you prefer the pasta 'al dente' you can alter the cooking times as you wish.
As my eldest says: 'de-li-cio-so'
Remember to remove the bay leaf before pouring the soup as in Spain having a bay leaf in your bowl means you will be 'cursed' to not getting married...
I supervised the cooking but the children did it all except for choping the vegetables