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.


Eat this with hard cheese or with cream cheese on toast.
You need:
4-5 quinces
1 lemon

Cut the quinces in chuncks (we do not peal nor core them) Boil the quinces in water. When they are soft drain off  the water and puree the quince meat with a hand food mill ( see our recipe for tomato sauce). Weight the pureed quinces and put them back in the pan. Add the same weight of sugar. Bring this to boil and then let it all simmer for 10-15 minutes until the paste gets dark brown (15 minutes more or less). Take the pan off the heat and  add the juice of a lemon ( to taste). Put the paste on a rectangular pastic or tin box and let it cool down completely . It should become solid after 1 hour or so. This lasts well in the fridge ( for a couple of months).

We did this so that the children would get to know what a quince was like. One of them thought it was a pear and tried a bit of raw quince - not very pleasant!


This is a bit laborious but very delicious. The dish can be done also with cockles, scallops or dry salted cod.

You need:

For the filling:
2 big onions (in thin slices)
half a green pepper (cut thinly)
4 'piquillo' peppers cut in strips
2 cans of tuna (in oil or spring water)
2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped in slices)
4 table spoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons of vinegar

For the pastry
500 gr plain flour
1 glass dry white wine
1 glass olive oil approx
1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
1 teaspoon salt
30 gr butter
1 egg (beaten)  

In a deep frying pan heat the olive oil. Add the onions, the green pepper and the olive oil. Let it fry over low heat for 20 minutes more or less until it is caramelised and translucent. When it is cooked, drain the excess oil and reserve it. Add the tuna (in little flakes) the eggs and the piquillo peppers. Add the salt and vinegar, fry for 2 minutes and reserve.
For the pastry: put the flour in a bowl with the salt and paprika. Mix it. Add the wine. Then take the reserved cooking oil and add it to more olive oil until you fill one glass. Add the glass of oil to the flour and wine and mix it all well with your hands until the dough does not stick to the bowl (1-2- minutes only).
Cut the butter into 10-12 small cubes. Make holes in the dough with your fingers and 'bury' the cubes of butter in them. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Line a tray with baking parchment and 'paint it' with olive oil.

Cut the dough in two. Over a floured surface extend the first half and put it onto the tray. Make holes over the whole surface with a fork. Put the tuna filling on top. extend the other half of the dough and put it onto the filling. Seal the sides with your fingers and make holes with the fork again. Paint the empanada with the beaten egg.

Cook over a preheated over at 200 degrees for 45-50 minutes (until it becomes golden).  Eat this at room temperature. 

The children helped with the pastry. They were a bit bored with the filling but they dutifully tasted it and aproved the final result. 


This is an easy Sunday lunch or supper.

You need:
- loin or joint of pork (score the skin)
- salt, pepper, a teaspoon of coriander seeds, a teaspoon of fennel seeds, half a teaspoon of oregano.
- 2 table spoons of olive oil
- water

With a pester and mortar crush the salt, pepper, coriander and fennel seeds and oregano. Rub this on the pork on all sides ( try to get this into the scored fat as well)
Put the pork on a roasting tray. Add the olive oil on top and put some water ( 1 glass) on the tray.
Roast for 15 minutes at 250 degrees ( in a preheated oven) and then lower the temperature to 150 degrees. Leave it in the oven (you do not need to do anything to it) for 2.15-2.30 hours.
Let the pork rest for 20 minutes or so outside the oven before eating it.

We added some chopped pumpkin with salt and a little bit of balsamic vinegar 45-50 minutes before taking it out of the oven. You can add also carrots, potatoes, red peppers or aubergines.

My children only agreed to touch  the raw pork and rub the spices in it after I promised they could have most of the crackling, but they seemed to enjoy it after they started doing it.