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Al Bryce is the Founder and Owner of Kitchen Monsters

Hippo-Potatomus - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

Hippotato Recipe for Kids

To celebrate the release of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs on DVD we have a great ‘foodimal’ inspired recipe!

Seen it yet?  Inventor Flint Lockwood though he had saved the world when he destroyed his most famous invention – a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now combining food and animals to create “foodimals!” Flint and his friends embark on a mouth-watering mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheesespiders and other foodimals to save the world – again!

Make your very own foodanimal with this great Hippo-potatomus recipe!

Ingredients – Serves 6
7 Small potatoes
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
½ Cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
½ Cup sour cream
3 Spring onions
Whole cloves

Directions
1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsuis. Scrub potatoes and pierce a few times with a fork, place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven, and let cool. When cool enough to handle, split each potato in half lengthways and scoop out the potatoes leaving a ¼ inch border around the edges. Reserve the potato flesh for another use (like mashed potatoes).

2. Take one of the potato skins and cut out 12 small circles using a paring knife (about the size of your little finger nail). Set aside. Take 6 of the potato skins, and cut two small slits on top of the potato near to one end perpendicular to the cut edge. Insert the circles into the slots for ‘ears’. Stick two cloves just in front of the ears for eyes.

3. Place the remaining potato skins, skin side down on a baking sheet. Place the halves with the ears and the eyes skin side up on the baking sheet. Brush the skins with melted butter and season the skin side down ones with salt and pepper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

4. Sprinkle the bottoms (the halves that you baked skin side down) with the cheddar cheese, top with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with the bacon.

5. Cut the spring onions into ¼ inch lengths, and use two of them to create bottom ‘teeth’. Cut a tooth pick into ½ inch lengths; attach two cut spring onions to the upper half and place on top of a loaded potato skin. Repeat with remaining potato skins and serve immediately.

Remove tooth picks and cloves from upper half before eating.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is out on Blu-ray & DVD 17th February 2014

Difficulty: 

Cheat's Christmas Puddings

Cheat's Christmas PuddingsLet’s start Christmas off with something easy.  Sometimes making a real Christmas Pudding from scratch is just too much of a hassle.  These Cheat’s Christmas Puddings are less recipe and more decoration instructions but they are still fun and definitely delicious!   Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!
Serves: 6
Ingredients: 6 x chocolate teacakes, 50g x white chocolate, green and red decorating icing
Special Equipment: glass bowl, saucepan, spoon
Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place into the glass bowl
Fill the saucepan with water and heat over the hob, sitting the bowl on top
The chocolate will begin to melt so give it a stir to help it on it’s way
Spoon the melted chocolate over the top of your teacakes and let it drizzle down the sides
Pop in the fridge for 10 minutes to let the chocolate re-set
Use the decorating icing to make the green holly leaves and red berries
Serve and enjoy!
Kitchen Monsters Top Tip: If you can’t find chocolate teacakes then any round chocolate covered cake will do, they all taste delicious!
Difficulty: 

Macaroons

Macaroon Recipe for KidsMaking Macaroons isn’t the easiest baking challenge but it’s still a great recipe to get the kids involved with as there are loads they can help out with.  The great thing about Macaroons is that there is no end to the colours and flavours you can make so why not try a selection of your favourites?   Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!
Makes: About 12 
Ingredients:
 250g x icing sugar, 125g x ground almonds, 3 x egg whites, 75g x caster sugar, 150g x butter, pinch salt, food colourings, flavour essences
Special Equipment: Food processor, 2 x mixing bowls, spatula, 2 x (lined) baking sheets, piping bag, electric whisk
Pre-heat the oven to about 160C/fan140C/G3
Place 175g of the icing sugar and all the ground almonds into the food processor and blitz until very fine then empty into the mixing bowl
In the second bowl, separate the egg whites and add the salt then whisk them until you can turn the bowl upside down and the mixture doesn’t fall out (the real test is holding over your head!)
Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until it’s nice and glossy
Split the egg mixture into as many bowls as you want flavours (not too many, maybe just a couple) and combine the colouring and essence to each (a capful will be plenty)
Add half the almond mixture to each bowl and combine using the spatula – gently fold it to avoid losing all the air that you’ve whisked into them
Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe onto the baking trays – about 3cm circles
Leave to set slightly for about 15-20 minutes until they are no longer sticky then pop into the oven to bake for 15 minutes
Set them aside to cool and start preparing the cream filling
Combine the remaining icing sugar with the butter then pipe onto the flat side of a macaroon and sandwich another on top of it
Serve and enjoy!
Kitchen Monsters Top Tip: Why not try some orange colouring with orange essence and blue colouring with peppermint essence?
Difficulty: 

Mexican Pizzas

Mexican Pizzas Recipe for KidsThis is a great mid-week or Saturday treat to get the kids helping with the evening meal because it is so simple to do, doesn’t take long and allows them to get all creative.  By using a flour tortilla instead of the normal pizza base you get a completely different experience.   Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
 4 x flour tortilla wraps, 8 x tsp pesto, 150g x grated cheese, your favourite toppings
Special Equipment: Baking tray, grater, tea-spoon
Pre-heat the oven to about 180C/Gas4/350F
Lay out the tortillas and spoon a couple of teaspoons of pesto onto each one, spreading it round the tortilla and right up to the edges
Scatter your toppings over your Mexican pizzas (if you’re using meat then make sure it’s cooked before hand, they won’t bake long enough to cook on the pizzas)
Cover with the cheese and place in the oven for about 5 minutes each but keep an eye on them- you want the tortilla to go crispy and golden brown, not burnt to a crisp!
Serve with a nice salad and enjoy!
Kitchen Monsters Top Tip: Just like when you make your own pizzas you can get really creative with these – try different types of pesto or some tomato passata for the sauce then try cheddar or mozzarella and experiment with the toppings such as chicken, sliced sausage, peppers, ham, tomatoes or your own personal favourite
Difficulty: 

No Bake Malteser Tray Bake

No need for ovens with this no bake malteser tray bake recipe that’s ideal for kids. Only a little melting of the chocolate required and then you mix all the ingredients together and leave to cool. Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!

Ingredients: 300g x milk chocolate, 3 tbs x honey or syrup, 250g x digestive biscuits, 230g x maltesers, 100g x butter
Special Equipment: Deep sided baking tray, kitchen scales, mixing bowl

Grease the baking tray with a little butter to stop the tray bake sticking
No Bake Malteser Tray BakeBreak up 200g of the chocolate and melt it with the butter until runny
You can do this in a glass bowl over a saucepan of water over the hob or in the microwave
While you’re waiting for the chocolate to melt crush up the digestive biscuits
When it’s runny add the honey, crushed biscuits and maltesers and mix well
Tip the mixture into the baking tray and push down to the edges until you have a flat top
Set it aside or in the fridge to cool
When it’s set, melt the remaining 100g of chocolate and pour over the top
Leave aside to set for another hour or two and then cut into slices and enjoy!

Get the Kids Involved: Looking out the ingredients and equipment, measuring out the ingredients into the bowl, mixing together, crushing the biscuits

Kitchen Monster Tip: Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and whack with a rolling pin to avoid crumbs everywhere!

Difficulty:

Chocolate & Banana Muffins

This chocolate banana muffin recipe for kids is a great twist on the traditional choc chip muffins. I mean who doesn’t like chocolate with their bananas?!  Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!

Ingredients: 200g x self raising flour, 1 x egg, 3 x medium or large bananas, 150g x sugar, 75g x butter, pinch of salt, 75g x chocolate chips
Special Equipment: Mixing bowl, kitchen scales, muffin trays, paper cases, spoon, electric mixer (or you could use a spoon)

 

Chocolate Banana MuffinsPre-heat oven to 180C/350F/G4
Peel the bananas and mash them all with a fork
Weigh out the sugar and butter and add to the mashed bananas
Mix well then crack the egg in too
Add in the flour and 50g of the chocolate chips and combine together
Spoon into the paper cases – we made about 12 from our mix
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top of the muffins and bake for about 20-25 minutes
Remove from the oven when they turn golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean of mixture
Leave to one side to cool then store in a tin until ready to eat!

Get the Kids Involved: Looking out the ingredients and equipment, measuring out the ingredients into the bowl, mixing together, spooning into the paper cases, setting the timer

Kitchen Monster Tip:  About 2/3rds of the way through baking, turn round the tin to ensure an even bake

Difficulty: 

Peanut Butter Granola Bake

Sometimes we come across a recipe that is so simple even we can’t get it wrong!  This granola recipe is a great one for kids to get involved with because all you need to do is weigh out the ingredients then mix them all together and bake.  And it tastes delicious!

Ingredients: 170g x oats, 70g x brown sugar, 125g x peanut butter, 125g x honey, 90g x M&Ms or Smarties
Special Equipment: Deep edged baking tin, mixing bowl, spoon and kitchen scales

Peanut Butter Granola BakeMeasure out all your ingredients into the mixing bowl
Coat the baking tin with a little butter or oil to stop the mixture sticking
Pour in your mixture and flatten down with the back of a spoon until it’s right up to the edge
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the granola turns golden brown
Put to one side for 5 minutes to cool slightly
Cut into squares and remove from the tray to cool completely
They should store well in a tin for a few days if you can stop yourself eating them that long!

Get the Kids Involved: Looking out the ingredients and equipment, measuring out the ingredients, stirring the mixture, pressing it down into the tin, setting the timer

Kitchen Monster Tip: Depending how thick you make them the oven times may vary, check them after 15 minutes or so turning the baking tray round so it bakes evenly

Difficulty:

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

We love a bit of ketchup at Kitchen Monsters HQ and never thought we’d find an alternative to good old Heinz but this recipe is genuinely great.  It’s not much cheaper to make than buy a bottle but it only has 5 ingredients so you know exactly what’s in it.  We bet you won’t be able to tell the difference either!

Ingredients: 300g x tomato puree, 1/2 cup x honey, 1/2/ cup x vinegar, 1/2 tsp x onion powder, 1/2 tsp x garlic powder
Special Equipment: Saucepan, measuring cup, measuring spoon, spoon, glass bottle or jar to store the ketchup

Homemade Ketchup RecipeMeasure out your ingredients into the saucepan and mix well to combine all the ingredients
Simmer on the hob for about 20 minutes and set to one side to cool
Get your bottle or jar sterilised
Pour the ketchup into the bottle and you can store in the fridge for a few weeks
Why not serve with burger and fries?

Get the Kids Involved: Looking out the ingredients and equipment, measuring out the ingredients, stirring the saucepan, pouring the ketchup into the bottle

Kitchen Monster Tip: To sterilise the glass jar or bottle you can use straight out of the dishwasher or bake in the oven for 20 minutes

Difficulty:

What Does Baking Powder Do?

We use them quite a lot and most of us have a tub lurking in the back of the cupboard somewhere but did you ever actually wonder what bicarbonate of soda, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tartar actually were and why we need to add them to our baking?  Then wonder no more with our straightforward guide.

Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
First thing to get out of the way is that Bicarbonate of Soda and Baking Soda are the same thing!  Different countries around the world tend to use one or the other but if you ever have a recipe that calls for baking soda and you only have bicarbonate of soda then you’ll be fine.  But why do we need to add them to our (most often) sponge recipes?  Well, it is a leavening agent which basically means that when it is mixed with acidic moisture it starts to make a chemical reaction and form bubbles of carbon dioxide.  These little bubbles of air help to raise the cake up making it lighter and less dense.  The most common type of acidic liquid that recipes use is lemon juice or vinegar and sometimes even tap water which tends to be ever so slightly acidic.

Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is actually a by product of the winemaking process!  It’s an acidic chemical in powder form that on its own is most commonly used when mixing egg whites to make meringues as it can help to increase the volume of the mixture making them lighter.

Baking Powder
Baking powder is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda if you prefer!) and cream of tartar.  As we saw earlier, with baking soda you need to combine it with an acidic liquid to get it working but with baking powder, the acidity comes from the cream of tartar so all you need is any moisture such as milk, water or eggs.  Again it is a leavening agent so it also creates little bubbles of carbon dioxide which helps cakes rise and stay lovely and light.

 

Top Tip 1: Did you know that self raising flour is just plain flour with added baking powder?  If a recipe calls for self raising flour but you only have plain, just add ½ a tea spoon of baking powder for every 100g flour and you’re good to go!

Top Tip 2: We all have the old tubs hanging around the back of our cupboards but don’t be tempted to use them if they’re out of date – they lose their effectiveness and so you’ll probably end up with a flat dense sponge!

Carrot Cake Muffins

Who would have thought that putting vegetables in your cakes would be so delicious?  It’s maybe not the best way to get a portion of fruit and veg into the kids but every little helps.  This recipe for carrot cake is perfect for little hands to help with.  Remember to always follow the Kitchen Monsters Code when you’re in the kitchen!

Ingredients: 200g x self raising flour, 1 x tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 x eggs, 175g brown sugar, 150ml x sunflower oil, 200g x carrots (grated), zest of 1 x orange, 100g x butter, 300g x soft cheese, 100g x icing sugar
Special Equipment: Kitchen scales, 2 x mixing bowl, measuring spoon, muffin tins, parchment paper / grease proof paper, large spoon, wire rack
Carrot Cake MuffinsPre-heat oven to 180C/160Fan/4G
Add the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda to the bowl and mix
In the second bowl mix the eggs and oil together and add to the dry ingredients along with the grated carrot
Mix well untill all the ingredients are combined and set aside for a moment
Cut out large squares of parchment paper (about 15cm x 15cm although this will depend on the size of your muffin tin)
Grease the inside of the muffin tin with a little butter then push in a square of parchment paper into each section to form a little paper case
Divide the mixture between the muffin tray (we made 12 muffins from our mix)
Transfer to the oven and bake for around 20-22 minutes (times will vary by oven)
Place onto a wire rack to cool for an hour or two
Mix together the icing sugar, butter and soft cheese then spread onto each muffin or use a piping bag to make it look fancier
Grate some orange zest on the top of each one to finish
Serve and enjoy!

Get the Kids Involved: Looking out the ingredients and equipment, measuring out the and mixing the ingredients, cutting out the parchment paper, dolloping out the mixture, decorating the icing, licking the bowl!

Kitchen Monster Tip:  You can tell a sponge is cooked when you can insert a skewer or a knife into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean of mixture.  All sticky and it needs a few more minutes.

Difficulty:

Cooking for kids

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