A few weeks ago I was delighted to be invited to a Meals for Squeals cookery class at their base near Bristol. After chatting to the lovely lady behind the cookery school, Jackie, she booked me on their "Don't Stop Me Now" class which is a three-hour course aiming to prepare meals for toddlers aged roughly between one and two - perfect for Scarlett.
The school provides a range of cookery classes for parents to try out easy recipes that can be replicated at home. These include:
* Smooth Operator: first stage weaning purees for babies just starting the weaning process
* Meat Petite: second stage weaning purees for babies aged over six months
* Lumps & Bumps: third stage weaning ideas for babies between seven and ten months old
* and many more
Jackie runs the classes from her home in North Bristol, and after a stint at Good Housekeeping magazine and as a mum to twin boys, she is very knowledgeable about cooking and baking for children!
It's very exciting to be able to experience first-hand an opportunity like this, and Jackie was very welcoming when I arrived promptly for our class. Her home was very easy to find, and it was great that she has a large driveway so no worrying about where to park.
We were joined by two mums who enrolled together via the Meals for Squeals website. Both have ten-month old boys, and they met while staying in the post-natal ward after the birth of their babies!
After a quick natter and a coffee, we were briefed on how the evening would work. We were to make four recipes: moussaka (both a lamb and vegetarian version), garlic & rosemary soda bread rolls, mackerel pate, and mushroom risotto. We then donned our aprons for a fun and friendly evening of cooking.
Lamb and Vegetarian Moussaka
Rosemary & Garlic Soda Bread Rolls
Great on hot toast, or as a thick sauce on pasta or rice
During the class, Jackie was great at answering our questions with her experiences on weaning, organic v non-organic, food textures, and truly encouraged us to explore differing textures and flavours with our meals at home. Jackie is wonderfully passionate about helping families to be more creative when preparing dinners
Of course, the proof is in the eating! At the end of each class, each student can take home what they made, along with a copy of each recipe. Jackie was also very good at informing us how best to safely freeze, store and serve the portions.
The day after the class, I served Family Howe all the food I made for that evening's dinner!
The mushroom risotto and the mackerel pate were gobbled up by both Tristan and Scarlett. I served the pate on hot toast, and the risotto I warmed up and garnished with a few gratings of Cheddar cheese. Daddy Howe loved the Moussaka, as did I, but my favourite were the soda bread rolls which were full of flavour.
Find out more about the Meals for Squeals cookery classes on their website, Facebook or Twitter. Jackie also offers cookery parties and cookie decorating classes!
Thank you Jackie for this opportunity - I'm planning on making the moussaka and the soda bread rolls this week.
* I was not paid for this article. I was asked for my genuine personal opinion on their cooking class to be published on my blog*
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