3 easy steps to make a quick Easter Dessert

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Recipe and Styling by Thulisa Martins, Photographs by Dylan Swart http:www.dylanswart.com

Wow your guests with these quick and easy sweet treats. Does Speckled egg vanilla ice cream tickle your fancy? or are you more of a chocolate puff milkshake kinder person?

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Thanks to Woolworths Easter Range, I got to use the lovelies in these desserts. Go to http://www.woolworths.co.za to see more of their range. Then what will really make this experience even better is investing a little in an ice cream maker. I find that the BELLA portable Ice cream maker is super easy to use and it’s so quick to make the Ice cream – this is a no brainer! http://www.bellahousewares.co.za

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Easter is a time for fun, family and friends. You need to spend time with family and friends rather than slaving away in the kitchen. Try these easy recipes that, if done in a clever way, will have you out of the kitchen in less than an hour. And I will take you through all the steps to do so in less than 20 minutes. Scroll down to see how.

Step 1 – Get your ingredients Ready – This is easy, just print out or write the ingredients that you will need and make sure they are all at home before you start. Now that was easy, wasn’t it.

Step 2 – Spend less than 30 minutes preparing – carefully follow the recipe, these recipes are created for those who really don’t have time to spend in the kitchen yet want to still impress.

Step 3 – Relax and Enjoy – once all your “hard work” is done, enjoy!

Speckled Egg Vanilla Ice cream

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Makes about 500ml Ice cream – double the recipe to make 1 litre

150g Castor sugar

200ml full cream milk

200ml fresh cream

3 large egg yolks

30ml (2 tbsp) caster sugar

2.5ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence

small handful or Large handful (which is more my liking), speckled eggs, I used the Woolworths ones, roughly chopped 50g melted milk chocolate, to serve

Method

Place the 150g sugar, milk and cream in a double boiler and heat while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Blend the egg yolks with 30ml (2 tbsp) sugar until light and fluffy. Blend the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture for 2 minutes. Place the mixture back into the double boiler and stir using a wooden spoon until a runny custard consistency, about 15 minutes.

Churn the ice cream for 30 minutes in the BELLA ice cream maker until thick. Freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours. If you are using a different Ice cream maker, then follow the manufacturers instructions to churn the ice cream. If you don’t have an Ice cream maker then send me an email for a free instruction on how to make the ice cream without the ice cream maker – this offer is valid until September 2015. Once the ice cream is frozen, stir in the speckled eggs. you might need to let it soften a few minutes before doing so.

Serve with drizzles of melted chocolate.

YUM!

Chuckle Chuck milk shakes

Makes 4 medium sized shakes, easy, 15 minutes

1 basic vanilla ice cream – use the recipe above

handful Malted chocolate puffs, I recommend the Woolworths ones, roughly chopped

150ml full cream milk 100g melted milk chocolate

Method

Blend together the ice cream, milk and half of the malted puffs for 3 minutes on high speed. Stir in the rest of the puffs and serve immediately in medium sized jars drizzled with melted chocolate.

Enjoy

5 Smart tips to get the kids cooking, including a free easy pasta recipe from 9 year old Sinaso

Recipe by Sinaso Martins, Food Styling & tips by Thulisa Martins, Photographs by Dylan Swart http:www.dylanswart.com

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Ever since I started seeing kids cook remarkable food on popular TV shows, I’ve had an urge to get mine started too. Cooking with Kids is so much fun, if planned properly, it could save you lots of time when getting dinner ready, let lone breakfast. Not only does this help you bond with your kids, they learn valuable skills too. If you don’t know your way in the kitchen either then try Sinaso’s pasta recipe to get you going! this will get you going like a pro too and your family and friend will love you for this.

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Tip 1 – Choose the prefect date to start

If the idea of having the kids in the kitchen has been at the back of your mind for a while and nothing has happened yet, maybe its because, no specific date has been put to place. Setting an achievable date to start will give you a deadline to work towards and you are more than likely to get started. A great example was when I set a date with my nine year old Sinaso to cook with Him on a particular friday after school. This brought the next tip into place too – Excitement!, we were going to cook dinner together :). When setting a time and date, bear in mind to choose a time when you ‘hopefuly’ will be calm, not rushing to another place and you have a little extra time to spare.

Tip 2 – Get the them excited and involved

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Kids can be very creative, ask them what they would like to cook. This will get them very interested and will make sure that they are cooking on the day and not have you doing all the work while they slowly loose interest and disappearing to their usual routine. When kids are involved in the planning, this could eliminate confusion on the day and most likely ensure 100% participation on the day. See how Sinaso was excited when peeping through the ingredients I got for the dish in His shopping bag.

Tip 3 – KISS

“Keep it simple sweet heart” applies hear too. Try to plan easy manageable dishes with your munchkin. I once made the mistake of starting Sinaso on making fudge, even though I had nailed the excitement bit as He loves fudge – I ended up doing most of the work as this involved a bit of technique – having said that we’ve got fudge banked now! so practice does create perfection. Keeping it simple will also assist you in being patient and calm when questions arise like how to crack an egg open arise, some things come as second nature to us, yet we forget that we were also thought at some stage 🙂

Tip 4 – Safety & hygiene

Teach the kido’s straight from the start to wash hands, taste with a teaspoon and rinse it etc, this will go a long way for you and your child. Make sure that they are safe – using a step if they are not yet tall enough to work on surfaces. Wearing long sleeves if they will be stirring pots and an apron goes a long way. Think of other ways to make sure they are protected. Like the fudge for instant, I do the step of stirring and whisking hot fudge sauce to get it to the correct consistency. Before we get to the last step – don’t forget to scroll down to Sinaso’s recipe below.

Tip 5 – Have fun and Relax

Having fun and a positive attitude about the experience will get you doing this more often while your little one masters the techniques in the kitchen and perhaps you too ‘wink’. Chill out, it will be messy in the kitchen, just have fun and teach hygiene as said above, washing hands before cooking and in-between handling raw and cooked food. Get a sibling or friends involved too.

If you have enjoyed this, please do not hesitate to comment on what you would like to see more off. Or follow me on twitter – @thulisa_martins to check out more crazy cooking adventures. If you are more Facebook savvy, then its Thulisa Martins (The African Chic).

Sinaso’s saucy beef meat balls with pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Enough for a family of four, very easy to make and it takes 1 hour 30 minutes, it could be 30 minutes less if the sauce is made the day before.

For the garlic and basil sauce

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

45ml olive oil 2 tins chopped italian tomatoes

Large kiddies handful or small adult handful mixed fresh tomatoes of your choice

Large kiddies handful or small adult handful fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the meat balls

500g beef minced meat

2 large eggs, beaten

5 sprigs of thyme, only leaves to be used

45g bread crumbs

salt and pepper to season

To serve

500g cooked paste of your choice – follow the packaging instructions to cook it

Parmesan cheese, optional

A little fresh basil

Method

To make the sauce, in a large deep saucepan, fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes in the olive oil over medium heat. add the tined tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, adding a little bit of water if the sauce gets too thick. Stir at least three times in-between. Add the fresh tomatoes and basil. Season and cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. The sauce can be made a day in advance and stored covered in the fridge.

To make the meat balls, mix all the ingredients together until mushed. Roll in the palm of your hands into small balls. Put them flat on a roasting tray and place, covered with cling film in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, remove the plastic and roast meat balls for 20 minutes until cooked. Grill them for 3 minutes to get them a little bit golden brown. Mixed the cooked meat balls with the sauce and serve on pasta with parmesan and basil. ENJOY!