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 recipe is at the request of Emily, who got in touch to ask for this recipe for her nan after watching me talking about the Made in Spain book at Lorraine"s.

Valencianas are elongated cakes. The whole point of that shape is that you normally dunk them in hot milk for breakfast. It is actually very difficult to buy the long paper cases in the UK so we did them  mini-loaf paper cases instead.

There are lots of recipes in the internet, all very different. We had to phone a friend of mine from Valencia to find the closest one to the real thing ( which is normally shop bought in Valencia from any of the fantastic bakeries there). This one comes from http://recetastradicionalesdecocina.blogspot.com.es/2014/07/receta-de-las-magdalenas-valencianas.html. We have only adjusted the quantities a tiny bit.

For nine Valencianas you need:
- 2 eggs
- 200 gr sugar
-200 gr plain flour
- 85 ml sunflower oil
- 170 ml milk
- a teaspoon of baking powder
- grated rind of a lemon
- caster sugar

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
Mix the sugar and eggs ( we did this by hand) until they become pale. Add the oil, lemon rind and milk and keep mixing. Then add the flour and baking powder.  Pour the mixture into the cases (use double paper cases so that they do not expand too much) sprinkle a bit of sugar on top of each valenciana and bake for 25 minutes (check after 20 minutes - they should be golden but pale)

The children loved them and they really make your kitchen feel wholesome.


At one of the dinners to promote the Made in Spain book a journalist told me about the Turkish dish menemem. I have tried it twice since then. Huge success. It basically starts with what we call in Spain 'a sofrito' (onions, green peppers and tomatoes) and then eggs are added on top - what's not to like? 
Given the developments in Turkey it seemed fitting to tell the children about Turkish food this weekend. Cooking is also a good way to overcome the frustration of seeing the two countries closest to my heart navel-gazing while the international order disintegrates around us.  Mind you, we then went all dancing to a concert of the Gipsy Kings - that is an even better way to forget about everything! 

We got the Menemem recipe from the website www.seriouseats.com and adapted it a bit.

You need:

- 2 onions diced ( we used red ones)
- 1.5 green peppers diced
- 5 tomatos in big chunks
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- black pepper
- half a teaspoon of oregano
- a pinch of paprika 
- one egg per person

Fry the onion and peppers in the olive oil until they are soft ( 15-17 minutes) Then add the tomatoes and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Add salt, oregano and paprika. Then break the eggs on top (you can also beat the eggs before you add them so that you get 'red scramble eggs' but it is easier to share this dish if you leave the eggs whole) Wait until the eggs set (barely) and serve.

This is enough for four.