Irish Cooking Club - Joanne and Lils

Family Cooking Club News – May 2024

Hi Guys,

Our Family Cooking Club is always a hive of activity. Our Tuesday Zoom cook-alongs are the weekly highlight, but I know our members are always busy behind the scenes too. 

I love sharing what these talented guys are up to.

So sit back and have a read of what’s happening for our members as summer arrives. 
And if you’d like to sign up yourself, you can find out more here.

May Kids in the Kitchen: Cook-Alongs, Challenges and PRIZES!

Another month, another set of mouthwatering Tuesdays in the kitchen. 

However, things are going to look a little bit different in May – we’re taking two weeks off for holidays. And although I’m excited about the chance to relax, I don’t want to leave the members without their Tuesday routine. As well as the kids looking forward to the activity, I know the grown-ups look forward to being served up a treat!

Cook-Along Dates

So firstly, here are the dates that we WILL be having cook-alongs:

  • May 21st: Brunch Soda Bread Pizza (GEM Class)
  • May 28th:  Homemade pork and apple sausage rolls 
Gem Pack Foods

Challenge Dates

And so, we are left with May 7th and 14th – my holiday weeks. 

To make sure nobody misses out, I have two fantastic recipes up my sleeve for members to rustle up themselves at home.

  • May 7th: American-Style Double-Decker Bacon Cheeseburgers (with Homemade Burger Sauce)
  • May 14th: Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Bacon with Roasted Rosemary Baby Potatoes and Petits Pois

Children who have been cooking with us for a while will have already gathered all the skills they need to make a super success of both these recipes. 

And while newer members may need extra help, both recipes (as with all my recipes) are designed to be as accessible as possible for young cooks. You can find the instructions below.


When a child cooks a challenge recipe, they’re encouraged to send me a photo of their creation. They’ll be in with a chance to win a fabulous mystery cooking prize. 

I can’t wait to see how everyone gets on.

Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Bacon with Roasted Rosemary Baby Potatoes and Petits Pois

This restaurant-class dish is perfect for showcasing cooking skills.
No ratings yet
Course Dinner
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 150 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 4 slices of thick-cut rashers
  • 500 g baby potatoes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 100 g petits pois


  • Preheat your oven to 180c fan.
  • Add the potatoes to water and parboil for 10 minutes while we prepare and stuff our chicken breasts.
  • To a mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, sage, butter, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper and give it all a good mix.
  • Place a chicken breast onto a chopping board.
  • Give it a good bash with a rolling pin to flatten.
  • When flat, cut the chicken breast in half.
  • Repeat with each chicken breast.
  • Get your hands into your mixing bowl and bring the stuffing together.
  • Add a handful of stuffing to each chicken breast and place a slice of chicken on top.
  • Wrap the chicken in bacon. You may need a few cocktail sticks to hold it in place.
  • Brush with oil and sprinkle with more stuffing.
  • Oven bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are parboiled, add them to a separate baking tray. Drizzle with oil and rosemary and oven bake on the top shelf for 30 minutes.
  • Add the petits pois to water and leave them on a simmer while the chicken and potatoes cook.
  • Once everything is cooked, serve it up on your fanciest plate!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

American-Style Double-Decker Bacon Cheeseburgers (with Homemade Burger Sauce)

Miles better than the takeaway!
No ratings yet
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4


For The Burgers

  • 800 g minced beef 10% fat will give good flavour
  • 12 slices American-style bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • A good seasoning of salt and black pepper
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 4 gherkins
  • 4 brioche buns
  • Sliced iceberg lettuce

For The Burger Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of American mustard
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Mix together


  • 1.Pre-heat oven to 180c fan
  • Place the mince in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add Worcestershire sauce.
  • Get your hands in and give a good mix.
  • Divide the mix into 8 balls and flatten each ball down into patties.
  • Add the burgers to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Oven cook for 20 minutes. (By cooking the burgers this way they turn out really juicy and don”t break up)
  • Meanwhile, over a medium heat add a drizzle of oil to a medium frying pan.
  • Fry the bacon for 10 minutes until crispy.
  • After the burgers have been in the oven for 20 minutes, top them with cheese and place them back into the oven on the middle shelf.
  • Brush the brioche buns with a little melted butter and toast on the bottom shelf of the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Once the buns are toasted, it’s time to dress them! Start with lettuce at the bottom followed by fried bacon and burger sauce on top. Stack 2 burgers on top of each other in each bun.
  • Close it all up and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

As always, there were lots of prizes to be won at our April GEM Class. 

Congratulations to Jacob, Nathan and Eliza Iotty (who won a hamper of GEM treats) and to Alba (who won a copy of the One Yummy Mummy: Family Food Made Easy cookbook). During that class, we baked some delicious mini quiches, perfect for popping in lunchboxes and picnic baskets over the coming months. You can find the recipe here.

Congratulations are also due to all the children who participated in any way in the Great Irish Bake.

I feel so proud seeing their skills grow – and even prouder when they use them to help others.

By joining in with the Great Irish Bake, they supported sick children in Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Temple Street, Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals. If you missed out on the event, but would still like to support this worthy cause, why not consider making a donation online? Click here to give an amount of your choice.

The start of summer can be a great time to reflect on achievements from the months just gone. 

This year, I’ve seen our young cooks come so far in terms of skills, independence and confidence. We even had a young member, Lily, lead one of the sessions as she taught a recipe she’d created herself. 

What I love the most is seeing each member succeed in a way that really matters to them. For example, tasting a new food can be a huge milestone. I’m really proud of all the kids who have been brave and tried new things. 

Over the last few months, members have served up:

  • Filling and tasty family meals, such as Chicken Pot Pie and Pizza Meatballs
  • Yummy fakeaways, such as Mozzarella-Stuffed-Crust Pepperoni Pizza
  • Sweet treats, such as Strawberry Sandwich Cookies and Emoji Pancakes

And much more!

Plus, with each recipe, they’ve been perfecting practical kitchen skills such as chopping and hygiene. Check out my blog post for a reminder of safe cutting methods for all ages and stages. 

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