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.


We have been looking for a yellow recipe to remind you how to vote today - in case you are in Scotland and for the avoidance of doubt this is Liberal Democrat yellow.

We have adapted this from a BBC website but changed a little the quantities and the timings.
You need:
- juice and zest of 4 lemons
- 4 eggs
- 100 butter
- 180 g sugar

Put the juice, zest, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl over a pan with simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water). When the butter is dissolved whisk the eggs and add them to the bowl while you stir the mixture (stir energetically while you pour the eggs or you will get scramble eggs) Stir it constantly for 9 minutes - I have no scientific explanation for this, but I think it helps if you stir always in the same direction (the same goes for custard by the way). As the mixture thickens you will see that the whisker/spoon leaves a trail in it. Get the bowl off the pan and stir for another minute. Pour into sterilised jars (just wet the jars with water and put them in the microwave for 1-1.30 minutes)

That is all. Easy - as easy as it should be for you to decide who to vote for!


This is a great sauce for vegetables, boiled eggs or grilled white fish. You need:
- 3 tomatos
- an onion
- a head of garlic
- 10 almonds
- a slice of bread (preferably stake)
- a tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- salt
- half a glass of water
- half a glass of oliver oil
- a pinch of sweet paprika (pimenton) - the flavour of pimenton is very strong, so you need only a tiny pinch.

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Cut the tomatoes and onion in half and put them on a baking tray, add the head of garlic and roast it all for 35-40 minutes. When this is ready put it in a food processor (but squeeze the garlic paste out of the garlic head and discard the skin before you do so). Toast the almonds in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. Then add a tablespoon of oil to the frying pan, pour the tablespoon of vinegar over the bread and fry the bread in the oil on both sides (less than a minute on each side). Add the bread, almonds and all the other ingredients to the food processor and blend.

It is nicer if you pulse it so that you get a rough texture, but children may prefer it smooth - mine do.


Going on with the Wales' theme... Children seem to like this more than steamed leeks. It could not be simpler to make:

You need:
- a couple of leeks per person
- salt
- olive oil

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Put the leeks in a roasting tray. Add the salt and drizzle with olive oil. Let them roast for 35 minutes, until they are golden.

We made them with 'romesco' sauce (recipe to come later when we have time to write it)

The main thing for the children to learn with this is how to clean the leeks. Unless you cut them lengthwise and rinse them well under the tap, you may get some sand which is a pretty disagreeable feeling when they are eating them.


Let me start by declaring that we are not being paid by the cheese producer for this (or any other!) posts. But this is such a wonderful cheese that we just have to put it into our 'less is more' chapter. I was given it as a present when I visited Montgomeryshire earlier this week.  I have never-ever tried such an excellent cheddar before - it is simply outstanding. So good that we are eating it on its own as nothing else would do it justice. Before I left for more trips later in the week I put it in the fridge behind the broccoli (where there is no risk that any of my children ever looks!)  and yet they managed to find it... So you can see below how quickly it is disappearing.



This is one of the best ways to get children to eat aubergines (not a favourite vegetable with most kids) The key to cooking aubergine is to give it either very hot oil or enough time - raw aubergine is inedible.  Middle East countries are the ones who 'understand aubergines' best (I have tried dozens of wonderful dishes with aubergines in my many trips there when I was doing foreign affairs) This recipe comes from the South of Spain though.

This makes a snack or first course dish for four.

You need:

- an aubergine
- 75 g plain flour
- 25 g chickpea flour (if you do not have this then do it with plain flour only, but the aubergines will be less crispy)
- salt
- a small bottle of fizzy water (or beer - don't worry, the alcohol will evaporate)
- 3 table spoons of honey
- one table spoon of water
- a glass of olive oil

Cut the aubergine into thick matchsticks, put them in a bowl and cover them with the fizzy water or beer. Let them rest for 30 minutes.
Salt the aubergine sticks. Then combine the flours in another bowl. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is very hot (this really has to be very hot, so whenever you thing it is ready give it a couple off additional minutes). Dust the aubergine sticks with the flours' mixture and fry them until they are golden on both sides (do not fry too many in each go or the temperature of the oil will go down and the aubergines will not get crispy). They should get golden after a minute or so on each side. Get the aubergine sticks off the pan and put them on kitchen paper.

Heat the honey with the tablespoon of water into a small pan for half a minute. Pour it over the aubergines. That's it.

Children eat these in seconds.