Look at the Birds of the Air - both side







I've tried to focus on recipes which have only the essential ingredients and actions so kids see what is needed versus what just adds a nice twist.


Four Ingredient Scones

Use alone; with butter,cream and jam as scones; or bake on top of any stew like a cobbler.

- 450g self-raising flour

- 120g very soft butter

- 300ml milk

- Oil for greasing


1. Stir and break up flour and butter until they look like breadcrumbs. Yes, you can do the thing where you put in your fingers and rub, but I have eczema, and with soft butter you can achieve the same results with a spoon.

2. Add milk, stirring in from the edges.

3. Bake in a preheated oven, 200'C, 12-15 minutes, or until the tops look done.

Four Ingredient Yorkshire Puds

(Yes, veggies can eat these too! Just serve with a stew!)

- 70g plain flour

- 2 eggs

- 100ml milk

- Oil for greasing

1. Preheat 210'C and grease muffin tin

2. Beat eggs into flour until smooth


3. Gradually beat in 100ml milk until no lumps


4. Pour into muffin tin holes and bake 20-25 mins, or until the tops look tasty.



Four Ingredient, No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

Tastes amazing. Lasts well for a long time, but is extra special after exactly 6 hours when it is a touch softer. 

- 300ml double cream

- 175g condensed milk

- 2 tablespoons Camp coffee essence

- 2 tablespoons Bournville cocoa powder

1. Whisk all ingredients until forms large, soft peaks. Wait until the peaks are large, but once they are large, don't carry on for too much longer. If you overbeat a lot, it can turn into butter. 

2. Fill airtight containers. We use takeaway boxes.

3. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Any time after this, serve straight from the freezer.


Four Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Make the ice cream as above, but put it in the fridge instead of the freezer. We also use it as a scrummy cake topping.

Super-Simple, No Yeast-Time Pizza


- 500g Greek yoghurt

- 500g self-raising flour

- Some flour for dusting (we use coarse cornflour because it's cheap and makes it taste like it comes from a restaurant. Maybe that's why the restaurants use it . . .).

1. Preheat 220'C. Fully mix the self-raising flour and yoghurt with a spoon.

2. Put a heap (e.g. 2 tablespoons) dusting flour on top of your mix. This helps make your hand less sticky and helps you get towards the right dough consistency.

3. Knead the mix into a dough. Add dusting flour if needed.

4. Dust your work surface. Put the dough on top. Put a small heap of dusting flour over your dough. Roll out to your preferred shape and thickness.

5. You can use immediately. Put on your tomato sauce, grated cheese and toppings. 

6. 20 minutes, 220'C. Bake on a well-oiled baking tray. Olive oil gives a nice flavour,but any oil will do.

Pizza Sauce:

- 5 medium-sized tomatoes

- A large squeeze (e.g. 2 tablespoons) tomato puree

- Salt

- Basil (makes a surprisingly big difference)

- Splash of olive oil

- Optional: oregano, cracked black pepper, 1 peeled clove garlic


1. Blend.


Set up your own pizza factory!

Put out bowls of any of the following ingredients for the kids to put on their pizzas:

- grated cheese

- chopped spring onion

- sweetcorn

- little slices of: carrot, red onion, pepper, tomato

- large slices of mozzarella


Doughballs, Calzone, Flatbread and Bagels

Use the same dough recipe, preheating to 220'C.


Doughballs: roll dough into balls. Bake on a well-oiled tray.

Calzone: roll pizza base into a circle. Put a small heap of filling in the centre. The above tomato sauce and wsome toppings and cheese works well. Fold the base in half and pinch the edges. Bake on a well-oiled tray.

Flatbread: roll dough into a balls, flatten and stretch each ball into pitta shape. Bake on a well-oiled tray.

Bagel: shape into a bagel, brush the top with a little milk. Bake on well-oiled tray.


Gooey Gingerbread

- 350g (12 oz) plain flour

- 2 teaspoons ground giner

- 2 teaspoons cinnamon

- 115g (4 oz) butter, cubed

- 175g (6 oz) soft light brown sugar

- 4 tablespoons golden syrup

- 1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat to 190'C. Grease 2 baking trays.

2. Sift flour and spice into a bowl.

3. Rub butter into dry mix with fingertips until like breadcrumbs.

4. Stir in sugar.

5. Mix in egg and syrup.

6. Knead dough until smooth.


Your dough is now ready to play with! Some options:

- Roll into balls. The middle will turn out amazingly gooey and awesome.

- Roll out thickly onto lightly floured surface. 2cm or more thickness tastes great. 

- Cut rolled dough with cookie cutters.

- Take a whole sheet of gingerbread and bake like a pizza.

- Bake a tray of gingerbread and then cut it into rectangles to decorate. We used this once for a truck-themed birthday party, everyone decorated their rectangle like a truck, including chocolate wheels.

- Make an elaborate building construction out of slabs of gingerbread.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 190'C. Be brave, take it out too early rather than too late. The middle can be pretty sticky. It just has to look done on the outside.

8. Let it cool on the tray a few minutes, then cool on something else. A plate will do. I don't know what the obsession with wire racks is.

9. Decorate when completely cool. The taste of the gingerbread is great straight away, but will improve on the second day.


Easy Aubergine "Pizza" Bake

Bake some aubergines with pizza sauce and grated cheese on top. Mmmm.

Pizza Sauce:

- 5 medium-sized tomatoes

- A large squeeze (e.g. 2 tablespoons) tomato puree

- Salt

- Basil (makes a surprisingly big difference)

- Splash of olive oil

- Optional: oregano, cracked black pepper, 1 peeled clove garlic

1. Blend above ingredients to make pizza sauce.

2. Slice the aubergines length-wise.

3. Generously oil a baking tray with olive oil or similar.


4. Lay a single layer of aubergines on the tray and roast 10 mins.


5. Turn over and roast another 10 minutes.

6. Spread pizza sauce and grated cheese over each aubergine. Bake another 10minutes or until they look scrummy. Put a knife in the aubergine to check it's super-soft.


10 Garden Activities


Easy activities for when you've had enough of the paddling pool and gardening.

1. Give each child a tape measure and measure everything.

2. Spot birds. Our favourite kid-friendly guide is the i-Spy Birds book (Collins, Michelin, £2.99).

3. Jumbo chalks. Hopscotch, fence murals, mosaics, draw around your shadows, etc.


4. Make a weather station with wind vane and rain catcher. A gymnasts' ribbon also works well as a wind vane.

5. Make an obstacle course.


6. Capture and identify bugs. My kids spent almost 2 afternoons catching and identifying flies. 

7. Leaf rubbings with crayons or leaf prints with paint.

8. Prune the trees and make a mini teepee.


9. Construct a tent out of available materials.

10. Let them loose with a spade in the soil.