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 takes no time at all. Very nice side dish for white fish.
You need:
- one onion cut thinly
-butternut squash in small cubes (around 250 gr for 4 people, though this is just indicative)
-rice (any rice will do, even long grain, no need to bother with expensive arborio rice). You need a small (coffee) cup per person.
- water: two (coffee) cups per person ( i.e. twice the volume of rice)
- a little bit of olive oil
- salt
- a bay leave
-optional: a nob of butter; a tablespoon of creme fraiche; parmesan cheese.

Heat the oil in a pan over moderate heat. Add the onion and butternut squash and fry it all for 7-10 minutes until the edges start getting darker. Then add the rice and fry it (without any water) for another 2-3 minutes, stirring it regularly. Now add the water ( it should produce a nice sizzling sound) the salt and the bay leaf. Stir it all a couple of times just to break the coat of the rice and simply wait for the amount of time indicated in the rice packet (most rices now need only10 minutes).  When it is ready take it off the heat, cover it with a clean cloth and wait for a couple of minutes before serving it. If you wish you can add (just before covering it) a nob of butter, or a spoon of creme fraiche or some parmesan cheese (or any combination of these three), though kids would barely notice the difference.

Rice is a nice dish for the children to cook as it almost always comes out great. They like stirring the rice but be careful with the hot water.


Very simple comfort food.  We did it with plums and apples but you can do it with any other soft fruit. It is very nice with strawberries, but then cut down the flour to 170gr, the butter to 85 gr and use only white sugar (60 gr)
You need
- 10 plums
- 2 apples
- 250 gr (plain) flour
- 100 gr butter (room temperature - cut in cubes)
- 2 tbspoons white sugar
- 85 gr soft brown sugar
Cut the plums in quarters and the apples in eight pieces. Put them on a baking dish and sprinkle the white sugar on top. Now put the brown sugar, butter and flour in a food processor and pulse it (6-7- times) until the mixture becomes like breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the fruit and bake in a preheated over at 180 degrees for 40 minutes (until the top is golden and the fruit has bubbled up).

Kids like doing this (and they actually enjoy mixing the butter, sugar and flour by hand rather than in a food processor). If you help them a bit with the chopping and the oven they can do this dish from start to finish on their own.


Perfect for a lazy cold afternoon. It is (and looks) full of calories but at least you are getting some vegetables in.
You need:
2 carrots, 1 large onion and 2 sticks of celery cut in small cubes (alternatively you can buy this at the supermarket in the prepared vegetables section - it is called  'sofrito')
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (in their natural juice)
10 sausages
a tbspoon of creme fraiche (optional)
4 slices of cheese (mild cheddar, edam, gouda, or equivalent)
Preheat the oven at 220 degrees. Put the vegetables on a baking tray, add the salt and cook them in the oven for 15 minutes.  Then add the sausages and put them back in the oven for around 25-35 minutes or until they start getting golden on one side (this really depends of how thick the sausages are). Turn around the sausages to the other side, add the tomato of top (mixed with the creme fraiche if you are using it) and put it all back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes (until the sauce gets a bit thick). Just before serving the dish, put the cheese on top of the sausages and put it all under a hot grill for a couple of minutes (until it all gets dark golden).
Serve with pasta, or beans or just on its own.
Kids can do most of this but you need to supervise them really closely and help them to get the tray in and out of the oven as it does get dangerouslyy hot.