I must admit, I am pretty lucky when it comes to my kids and food. All three are very good eaters, they're all happy to try new things, have no allergies, they love vegetables and are adventurous, even trying snails! Being a busy family I am guilty of throwing frozen pizzas in the oven and we tend to have spaghetti bolognaise every Monday! When we got an invitation to spend the afternoon at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School in Westfield, London for the #HotpointKidsCook event with Hotpoint and Currys PC World, we'd have been crazy to turn that down!
Shannon has done a bit of basic cooking before, she's a dab hand at super noodles. Only joking, we've made pasta from scratch and our own pizzas before and she'd recently made hot cross buns at school. On the menu today - Moroccan meatballs!
The Jamie Oliver Cookery School is located at the back of Jamie's Italian in Westfield, Shepherds Bush. We were alongside a selection of other bloggers and their children, aprons were on and we were raring to go!
How often do you get the opportunity to cook in a professional environment and get taught be chefs, eh!? The chefs, Frankie and Jack, were fantastic. We had a demonstration first, showing the children all of the ingredients, how to make the meatballs and the sauce and how to use the induction hobs.
Then it was our turn. We each had our own work station with everything laid out. Frankie and Jack were on hand to help if we needed it. The first task was to roll the meatballs and get them into the frying pan. I learnt something new, you shouldn't stir! Just push the meatballs down in the pan with the back of the spoon and then turn them once they are coloured - this keeps the flavour.
Next was to crush some spices in the pestle and mortar, we had cumin and coriander seeds. Once these were suitably pounded, we added some crushed garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and olives and pulverised them to a paste.
Next into the pan went chopped red onions and red peppers. Again, we were told to avoid stirring. After these were nicely caramelised in went our paste. After about a minute, chick peas and tomato puree were added with a little water. The hob was turned down and we left the delicious-smelling meatballs to simmer.
Back to the chefs for a further demonstration. The couscous had been kept warm in a large bowl but it was time to add some flavour.
We had to squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, add some lovely chopped cherry tomatoes and some pomegranate. I used to spend ages picking the seeds out, but we were taught another new skill, if you cut the pomegranate in half and bash it with a rolling pin, the seeds just scatter out, who knew?!
Our banquet was ready to serve, we were allowed to add some feta and parsley and we headed off to sit round the table and enjoy our freshly prepared food. It was delicious, the flavours were amazing and it was so easy to create! Shannon really enjoyed it - she wants to cook it again at home and she loved the ice lolly for afters!
To encourage children to get involved in the kitchen, Currys have teamed-up with Hotpoint at the Jamie Oliver Cookery School to unveil a healthy recipe challenge. The competition is open to children aged 13 and under. Children need to come up with a single recipe for a wholesome meal, which can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or supper. This recipe should tick three boxes: It has vegetables in it, it has a protein in it, There are no added sugars.
The emphasis is on healthy eating, so while we all love sweet treats, no cakes or desserts please. You can enter the competition here - there are some great prizes up for grabs!
Thanks Currys, Hotpoint and of course the Jamie Oliver Cookery School for an amazing experience, one we will always remember! It was lovely to meet some fellow bloggers and a pleasure to cook in a top-notch kitchen and to come away with a goody bag too! I loved how the kids just got on with it - really us adults were just there to supervise - they did all the hard work themselves and should be very proud!
Meeting the lovely Jo from Guilty Mother.
*Special thanks to the photographers too - I have used a couple with me in - I am never in photos!*