At the weekend I travelled to London with Molly to attend a fun cook-along with Tesco Real Food. This was a really big adventure for us as we haven’t been to the big smoke since Molly was little and she couldn’t remember it. It was lovely to have a special day for just the two of us. She couldn’t wait to do some cooking.

 The cooking event was held in Maggie and Rose children’s club in Kensington. If I lived nearer I would have signed up to the club straight away because it is run brilliantly. I love the way it is decorated with red and white spots and everything is designed to be used by the children. It was the staff there which made the event so special. They were on hand to help the children and get them involved from the moment they came in. Molly can sometimes hang back and hide behind me when she starts at a new place but there were art activities ready on the table so she got stuck in and was involved straight away. 

The teachers came and introduced themselves in such a laid back way that she wasn’t intimidated and was soon at ease with them. Sometimes kids clubs teachers are very in your face and this can be off putting for some children. Their enthusiasm was infectious and everyone felt included and eager to get on with the cooking.

 Soon we were in the kitchen. We made a sweet and a savory dish; Super Spinach Filo Tart and Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins. Some of the ingredients were already prepared, like the onions but the children were encouraged to get stuck in and to smell or taste everything.

 Although I cook every few weeks with Molly, we usually make something sweet. I have been thinking that I should get her involved more often with cooking the main course, so for me this was a brilliant start. When the onions, spinach and feta were passed around, the children seemed a little unsure of whether they would like them. They are not ingredients you would normally associate with children’s cooking. The fact they were the ones who had done the cooking meant they were more likely to try them.

Molly’s favourite part was painting the filo pastry with butter.

It was great to get children involved in all aspects of the preparation. They all enjoyed cutting up the beetroot to go in the muffins. I’ve read a few cake recipes which use beetroot and chocolate, but again this wasn’t something I had tried. The result is really tasty. You get the texture of the beetroot without the taste. 

 Once all the food was collected and put in the oven, we went back to the craft room and the children decorated a chef hat, while the adults had a gossip. It was great to finally meet some people I had been chatting to online. When we came back the room had been decorated ready for a banquet.

Molly tucked into her food with gusto and declared it was delicious. She was really proud that she had made it herself. The day highlighted for me how much fun it is to get children in the kitchen. You do need to be organised and get some ingredients prepared before hand, but it does pay off. Although, I would love to have someone doing all the preparation and washing up, in the background as we did there. I’m definitely going to get Molly in the kitchen and making some savory dishes, with some added fruit and vegetables thrown in to give them a healthy twist. I have all the ingredients to make the filo tarts so I’ll be giving them a go this weekend. 
It was a brilliant day and we came away full of ideas to get cooking. 

To win a fantastic prize all you have to do is upload your own Cooking with Kids recipe at Tesco Real Food. Uploading a recipe to the site is quick, easy and if it’s along the current theme of Cooking with Kids you’ll be entered into a weekly prize draw. You’ll also have the chance to win our grand prize of a family cooking weekend at Augill Castle  and to star in one of our Real Food videos along with a top chef.

I don’t think she’ll be taking off the chef’s hat any time soon.

 If you would like to find out more about Tesco Real Food please visit tesco.com/realfood.


Disclosure: Travel costs were paid for and we received a lovely cooking gift set. All views expressed are my own and remain honest.