Creating Community in the Kitchen

I hope you’ve had a great start to your 2024.

My highlight has been getting back up and running with our kids in the kitchen after Christmas. I have a feeling this is going to be our best year yet!

This month, you can find out more about the lovely sense of community that’s building up among these amazing young cooks.

Plus, there are plenty of recipes and inspiration to get you through to the springtime!

Family Cooking Club – Building Friendships as Well as Skills

Each Tuesday, I look forward to seeing familiar and friendly faces Zooming into my kitchen. It’s great to see some of the same kids returning week by week and it’s a joy to watch them grow in confidence and friendship over time.

At our Kids in the Kitchen Zoom sessions, we just don’t focus on what Lils and I are teaching. All the participants get the chance to show us how they’re getting on, showcase their creations and just have a chat.

Or, if they prefer to work away quietly with the camera off, then that’s great too. Our little cooking community welcomes everyone to join in at whatever level they feel comfortable.
Right now, I’m really excited that one of our regular kids in the kitchen is going to help lead our January 30th session! Our very own Lily Rafferty has sent in a fantastic recipe for pizza meatballs. I’m so excited to see her share one of her favourite recipes and demo some of the steps along the way. 
This is a huge achievement for a young cook and I know she’s going to be absolutely fabulous. You can find her flavoursome family-friendly recipe below.
And, of course, it’s always exciting to meet our growing number of new members and to give them a big welcome. Will your child be joining us in 2024? You can find out more here.
Thanks to each and every person who contributes to making our Family Cooking Club the very special place it is.

Lily’s Amazing Pizza Meatballs (or Burgers!)

This recipe was created by one of our members and regular cooks, Lily. She even helped to demo it at one of our recent Zoom cook-alongs. Well done Lily and thanks for introducing us to this delicious dish!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Servings 4


  • Chopping board
  • Lined baking tray
  • mixing bowl
  • chopping knife
  • peeler
  • Grater
  • Large Saucepan


For the Pizza Meatballs

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 50 g cheddar
  • 25 g parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper to season

For the Tomato Sauce

  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400 g passata
  • 10 black olives sliced optional
  • 1 vegetable stock pot
  • Handful fresh basil
  • Sprinkle of parmesan to garnish
  • Glug rapeseed oil


For the Meatballs

  • Preheat the oven to 180c Fan.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Divide into 12 meatballs
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions.

For the Tomato Sauce

  • Chop your onion and grate your garlic.
  • Sautée the onion and garlic in a glug of rapeseed oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan.
  • Add the passata and warm it through.
  • Add the sliced olives and vegetable stock pot. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Scatter in some freshly torn basil.

To Finish

  • When your meatballs are cooked, add them to your sauce.
  • Serve with the spaghetti and finish with some extra parmesan.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Our Friends at Gem

Our GEM sessions for 2024 got off to a great start when we rustled up almond-coated chicken fillet burgers. They’re such a tasty twist on a classic Irish comfort food!

Well done to everyone who got involved and a special congratulations to Oisin & Ben O’Connell  who won January’s Gem goodies and  Pippa Williamson Who won a junior baker kit

If you’d like to have a go at these yourself, head over to the Gem website for the recipe.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know just how passionate I am about meal planning. It’s the best way to ensure your family gets a variety of healthy and wholesome food without blowing the budget.
It also saves you from the dinner-time fear of “What am I going to cook tonight?”. Plus you’ll avoid those last-minute trips to the shop that eat away at precious family time.
Check out my blog post to discover how to get started.

Slow Cooker Winter Comfort Food

Do you feel like hibernating at this time of the year? If so, your slow cooker can be your best friend. It’s just the ticket for serving up nourishing and comforting meals without the hassle. ↓↓↓↓↓

Chicken and veg soup

Cream of Vegetable and Chicken Soup (Slow Cooker)

This simple and wholesome dish will warm you up on chilly winter days. It’s ideal for popping in a food flask for school or work, or for bringing along on a crisp walk.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Course Lunch
Servings 4


  • 1 onion
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1.5 pints of vegetable stock
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • A few teaspoons of cream according to preference


  • Peel and chop your vegetables.
  • Add them to the slow cooker.
  • Pour in your vegetable stock.
  • Stir, then season with a little salt and pepper. Stir again.
  • Put the lid on and then leave to cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Slow cookers can vary slightly so always make sure your chicken is fully cooked before eating.
  • Remove the chicken and shred using two forks.
  • Blend the vegetables with a stick blender.
  • Add the chicken back in.
  • Pour in the cream and stir.
  • Serve with your favourite bread.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Throw and go chicken curry

Throw and Go Chicken Curry

This is one of our most popular recipes and for good reason. Simply pop a few ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning; by dinner time you’ll have a mouth-watering curry ready to go.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Course Dinner
Servings 4


  • 1 diced onion browned first
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 can of tomato puree 150g
  • 1 can coconut milk 400mls
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder mild or medium
  • 1 chicken stock pot
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin


Exactly what it says!

  • Throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker and mix.
  • Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Slow cookers can vary slightly, so always make sure your chicken is fully cooked before eating.
  • Remove the chicken and slice using clean kitchen scissors. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and mix.
  • Serve with rice or your favourite sides.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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