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Cooking With Kids for Special Occasions

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 6 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Special Food Mother's Day Father's Day

There’s no nicer present for a mum or dad who does the cooking everyday than to have dinner cooked for them. So whether it’s a birthday, special day or just a ‘thank you for looking after me’ meal, get the kids – with a grown-up to supervise - in the kitchen to do the work!

We’ve done some of the work already: here’s a menu we suggest:

  • Avocado and prawns
  • Lamb steaks in red wine gravy with new potatoes and cabbage
  • Pineapple shortbread
And here’s a shopping list of things you might not have in the house - but check the recipe ingredients and your food cupboard for anything else you will need!
  • A ripe avocado – it should have just a little give when you press it
  • Frozen or fresh small prawns
  • Lamb steaks
  • Red wine
  • Redcurrant jelly
  • New potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • A tin of crushed pineapple
  • Double cream – it is a special occasion!
Avocado and Prawns
What you need:
  • 1 avocado (that’s enough for 2 people or 2 helpings for 1 person!)
  • 2 oz prawns
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Paprika
What you do:

If the prawns are frozen, remember to take them out of the freezer in plenty of time to allow them to defrost slowly. Drain off the excess water before using.

Cut the avocado in half lengthways. There’s a big stone in the middle that you will have to remove. Use a teaspoon to scoop out all the flesh from the avocado: you should be left with a thin skin shell.

Chop the flesh and mix with the mayonnaise and prawns. Share the mixture between the two shells. Sprinkle with a little paprika.

Lamb Steaks with Red Wine Gravy
What you need:
  • 4 lamb steaks (for 4 people)
  • 1 large red onion
  • Olive oil
  • ½ pint lamb stock
  • ¼ pint red wine
  • 2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • Mint
What you do:

Season the lamb steaks on both sides. Peel and slice the onion.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan: there should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and brown quickly on both sides. Remove the lamb from the pan. Turn down the heat. Add the onion and cook gently until softened.

Return the lamb to the pan; add the stock, wine and redcurrant jelly, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes until the lamb is cooked through.

Remove the lamb from the pan. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a paste. Stir this into the gravy until it dissolves and the gravy boils and thickens. Stir with a sprinkling of freshly chopped mint.

Meanwhile scrub some new potatoes and put them in a microwaveable dish. Cook according to your microwave instructions. Alternately add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain and serve with a knob of butter and a scattering of mint.

Slice half a green cabbage very finely and rinse in a colander under cold water. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cabbage. Return to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain and serve with a sprinkling of black pepper and a knob of butter.

Pineapple Shortbread
What you need:
  • 4 oz hard margarine
  • 6 oz plain flour
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • Tin of crushed pineapple
  • Sugar
What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Grease an 8” sponge tin. Drain the crushed pineapple – there is a lot of juice so leave it to drain while you make the shortbread.

Sieve the flour into a bowl, and add the sugar and margarine. Chop the marg into small pieces and then rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Gradually it will start to come together to form a dough.

When it’s smooth, divide in half and roll out to make 2 circles each of about 8” diameter. Place one inside the tin and press it down to fit.

Cover the bottom layer with the pineapple then place the other shortbread layer on top. Prick with a fork. Make fancy patterns if you wish!

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool in the tin.Cut into wedges and serve, warm or cold, with cream. Mm, yum!

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