Who else adores the telly classic Great British Bake Off? I do!
Well, the runner up in season 4, Beca Lyne-Pirkis, is featuring at the famous Borough Market in London as part of their February family-focused cooking demonstration, and I had the amazing opportunity to interview her!
Welcome to Jelly Rose, my little family lifestyle blog based in Bristol. Well done on being the runner up for Season 4 of the fabulous TV show, The Great British Bake Off - it's such an amazing achievement!
1) I have two children, one who is fantastic at trying (and loving!) new foods, but Tristan (5yo) refuses to even try new foods, and can be quite flaky to what he does like. What are your tips to encourage young children to experience new tastes?
I'm very much learning as we go along with feeding children, as my oldest is 3 and youngest s 8 months. Mari was spoon fed purees and was very text book with weaning with purees, but as soon as I could see she was coping with textures I made her try everything that we ate, and still do. Alys refuses anything from a spoon - even calpol! However, she is amazing at feeding herself and I'm really enjoying the baby-led weaning style this time (apart from the mess). When it comes to encouraging new tastes; the way I approach it is to get Mari (my oldest) involved with preparing the food, showing her pictures from recipe books/internet, getting her to help cut things and try things as we go along. She's brilliant at tasting things, and will pretty much try anything once and then make-up her mind. We were always encouraged to help prepare meals when we were younger, this showed us obviously how things were made but also hat we were eating and learning lots of skills as we did it.
2) I really enjoy dabbling in baking: especially cupcakes! You can see a few examples on both my blog and YouTube channel. What is your favourite cupcake flavour combination? I adore a light chocolate sponge topped with a dark chocolate orange butter frosting (with a jaffa cake on top).
I have to be honest, I do find the majority of cupcakes too sweet - too much buttercream for me. However, I have had some rather cheeky cupcakes that have hidden fillings in the sponge as well as a delicious topping and crunchy decorations. Something like a lemon meringue pie cupcake, with a lemon curd filling in the sponge and the topped with Italian meringue that has been scorched....yummy!! I especially like citrusy tastes as the tang cuts through the sweetness and can be quite refreshing.
3) I love finely chopping/grating veggies like carrots and bell peppers into meat sauces to hide them in dishes such as lasagne and spaghetti bolognaise. What are your tips to hiding veggies in family meals?
So far (touching wood!), I've not had to hide vegetables from my children. Mari will always eat her vegetables first...apart from peas, but if that's the only one she doesn't like then I'm fine with that. I do continue to try and get her to eat them, not by hiding them, but by having them with different meals to see if she'll eat them. She isn't keen on onions in things, so I do tend to chop them up small as it gives a great base and flavour. She sees me chopping them up for things, I think it's more of the larger pieces she's not keen on. She does prefer some vegetables raw to cooked, this comes from her being next to me as I cook and eating as I chop (which is exactly what I use to do when I was her age...I still snack on raw carrots now!). Again, I believe in letting them help out as much as possible in the kitchen, then they can taste things as they go and learn too. I'm fully aware that it can be a complete nightmare having your toddler help, but it's how I was brought up and I want my girls to be as passionate as I am about food and cooking. I spend the majority of my day in the kitchen, so my girls do too!
4) I fondly remember watching Delia Smith as I grew up, followed by Jamie Oliver, Ina Garten and Nigella Lawson in my early twenties. Who inspired you to bake and cook growing up?
Apart from my family, I grew-up watching the original Masterchef with Lloyd Grossman, then there was the legend that is Keith Floyd, Delia (of course), Food & Drink with Oz Clark, and my one big food hero is Rick Stein. Not many bakers, but I had my family for that!
5) What has been your biggest "whoopsy" moment in the kitchen? Mine was attempting to make cake pops....I made them way too big, and they were just sliding down the lolly-sticks!
I too have come unstuck by those pesky cake pops!!! The most recent incident was when I was 8 months pregnant and I said I'd make some for a friend...it was boiling outside and inside the kitchen and I had no patience with the pops at all...meaning I wasn't giving them enough time to set and the balls kept on falling off the sticks...I threw the whole lot in the bin, which is something I hate doing as I hate waste and I normally salvage things successfully. I made my friend something else in place, as I hate letting anyone down. I've now vowed to never make cake pops again!
These monthly "Dinner's Ready!" series will take place in Borough Market's Market Hall Demonstration Hall, and will see high-profile chefs, who are parents themselves, tackle various family food issues: including ensuring our little ones get their 5-a-day and how to cook wholesome family meals on a budget. Did I mention these are free to attend? And that you're encouraged to bring along the whole family!
I love glancing at the Borough Market traders list, especially at all the cheese, chocolate, and artisan breads! When we attend food fairs and festivals, Lee and I always love browsing the food stalls, sampling delicious goodies, and buying our weight in yummy treats. Visiting London has been on our to-visit list for ages, and when we get the opportunity to go, Borough Market will be a marvellous place to meander through.