Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Pieday Friday – Bottomless Harvest Pie

After going foraging on a blackberry walk last weekend, today’s blog post is the result of that walk. I decided to combine the blackberries with apples (cooking apples are abundant in the garden at the moment) and make a bottomless pie. What does that mean? It means that I made a blind-baked pie base and it shrunk so much that I couldn’t use it! I therefore went for just a pie crust on top of the filling in a pie dish. Don’t worry, it tasted just as yummy and actually it’s a little bit of a healthier pudding, because there’s about half the amount of pastry!diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-7 diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-3Ingredients: 225g plain flour, 100g butter, 25g caster sugar, 2 tablespoons water, a pinch of salt, 100g sugar, a dash of amaretto, plus as many cooking apples as it takes to fill your pie dish and as many blackberries as you can gather!

The pastry: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips. Add the cold water and stir with a knife until it comes together into a stuff dough. Roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. By the way, my pretty rolling pin is from The Caravan Trail if you’re interested. I like to use it for pastry as it’s ceramic so stays cool – very important in pastry-making!diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-2The filling: Peel, core and slice enough apples to fill your pie dish. Put the apples in a pan over a medium heat and add 100g sugar to sweeten the tangy taste of the cooking apples and a splash of water (or a dash of amaretto if you like the flavour). Allow to cook down (keeping some chunky bits) and allow the apples to become a little mushy. Taste the apples and add more sugar if needed. diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-4 diy-recipe-baking-harvest-pie-cooking-apple-and-blackberry-pastry-dessert-pudding-5

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Pieday Friday Recipe – Pressure cooker beef & Guinness stew

Last weekend I cooked Sunday lunch for the family. But it wasn’t just any Sunday lunch, oh no. It was the ultimate autumnal stew recipe, with the flakiest beef and the tastiest gravy you’ve ever tried. And it only took 30 minutes to cook. How? I used a pressure cooker for the first time and boy was I impressed. Of course, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can let this stew blip away in the oven or you could even load it into your slow cooker for a few hours. Either way, the flavours will be just as amazing and will be a real treat for all the family to enjoy. Here’s the recipe I used:pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-11Ingredients: 1.2kg beef, 60g plain flour, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, 2 diced red peppers, 2 diced onions, 200g sliced mushrooms, 4 sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons of fresh (or dried) thyme, 1 can of Guinness, salt and pepper, olive oil, served with mashed potato.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-3pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-2Step 1. Turn on the pressure cooker and use it as a pan to sauté the onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms in a little olive oil until softened. Set aside.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-5pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-6Step 2. Put the flour and seasoning into a freezer bag and add the beef. Seal and shake the beef around in the bag until coated with a thin layer of flour.

Step 3. Use the pressure cooker pan to brown the beef in two batches.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-7Step 4. Add the sautéed vegetables back into the pan and stir in the tomato puree.

Step 5. Add the carrots, fresh or dried thyme and pour over a whole can of Guinness.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-8Step 6. Turn the pressure cooker onto ‘stew’ setting for 30 minutes. If you’re cooking in the oven, test the beef after an a hour and a half – it should flake apart and have no chewy fat left.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-9Step 7. Season to taste and serve with mashed potato and a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.pieday-friday-guinness-beef-stew-slow-cooker-recipe-pressure-king-pro-10Let me know if you try this recipe for yourself and which method you use to cook it by leaving me a comment below. I used the Pressure King Pro cooker from Debenhams for the first time and this is a recipe from the recipe book that comes with the machine. I’m so pleased I tried it out because it took considerably less time to cook the stew than in an oven or using my slow cooker. Plus, the inner pan was big enough to cook for 6 people easily. In fact, you can see from these photos that I could have fit even more stew in that pan and it wouldn’t have been a problem. Let me know if you have any top tips or great recipes for pressure cookers that I can try. I’ve seen a YouTube video where someone cooks a whole chicken in one of these pressure cookers so I’d love to give that a go!


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Pieday Friday – Kitchen mishaps

Over the years I’ve come realise that I’m quite a clumsy person. I trip over on flat pavements and I bruise myself almost daily by bumping into things. I’m a bit of a calamity but thankfully I’ve never seriously hurt myself or anyone around me. The worrying thing is when someone with a tendency to be slightly clumsy gets into the kitchen. Expect trouble, and lots of it! And that’s what I’m blogging about today: the mishaps and mistakes I’ve made in my kitchen and the reasons why it makes sense to stay focussed when you’re baking…pans-419249_1920Grills. Many a time I have turned on a grill to ‘pre heat’ without opening the grill door, or checking whether there’s already something under there. This is how my mum’s favourite frying pan (the one she’d owned for longer than she’s had me) ended up with its wooden handle on fire. Okay, I didn’t put it in there in the first place, but I did turn on the grill without checking that it was empty. Another frying pan handle met its doom in my grill recently when I was trying to brown the top of a Spanish omelette. It was all going great, with a crispy golden cheesy layer forming nicely, until the (not heat-proof, it turns out) handle started bubbling. Oops.muffins-480513_1920Hobs. Hobs are my worst enemy. They stay hot for far too long, and I regularly get scolded on the rim of hot pans. But the main problem I have with hobs is that they are not a work surface. Let me explain. In my home (in fact, in all of my previous homes) I have a small kitchen with not much work space. I therefore tend to use the back two hobs of the oven as an extra surface, which is where my kettle etc live when they are not in use. The trouble is when I turn on the front hob to cook a dish and start to wonder why my onions aren’t sizzling away. The smell of melting plastic soon helps me to realise that I’ve turned on the back hob by mistake. And chiseling the base of a molten coffee machine off the back hob made me realise that I’m always just a couple of minutes away from disaster when I cook.kettle-653673

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Hands up – Who is a fan of the Great British Bake Off?

Unlike other TV competitions like Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Sewing Bee, which I have followed from the very first episode, I was a bit late to the GBBO party. Yes, I admit it. I only started watching Bake Off three seasons ago. And that’s quite late in the day really. In 2013 I had no idea who Paul Hollywood was, and only had a passing knowledge of the queen of the kitchen Mary Berry. I hadn’t heard of a technical challenge and my only knowledge of the contestants was that one of them once took something out of the fridge. And that’s just because I heard it reported on the radio. I’m ashamed to say that I was not a Bake Off fan. But in summer 2014 that all changed because I went to Blogstock.Step by step recipe for GBBO schichttorte-9There I met lots of lovely bloggers and over the course of a (rather giddy, popcorn-filled, coffee-fuelled) weekend, we got to chatting about what projects we were each working on. My new friends told me about #GBBO. No, not the bake off itself, but the Great Blogger Bake Off. It was a weekly challenge to recreate the recipes from the ‘actual’ Bake Off in our own kitchens, and you KNOW how much I love a blog challenge! Having still not watched a single episode, I actually had to tweet my blogging pals to find out what the theme was that particular week so that I could get started. It was biscuit week, and chocolate chip cookies was the first recipe I baked to take part in the Great Blogger Bake Off.
Apple StrudelIt was so much fun, I loved being part of the Blogger Bake Off community and it was good to have a focus to my recipe articles for the summer. After that first attempt, I simply had to watch GBBO every Wednesday in order to find out what the theme was, and I diligently cooked along with the contestants every single week. I made an apple strudel for European week, I baked a blackberry tart with home-picked blackberries for pastry week, a giant donut for advanced dough week and apple crumble two-ways for pudding week.Apple Crumble Two WaysI even attempted the most famous technical challenge of all; the schichttorte. I completely surprised myself as this recipe turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever made in my kitchen. It probably helped that I was following the instructions to the letter, whereas I usually mess around with recipes to make them my own. Layer by layer my schichttorte took shape, and an hour of careful cooking later I had something that looked almost exactly like the one on the Great British Bake Off. Even though it turns out that I don’t like the flavour of schichttorte (it’s just like pancakes but without the lemon and sugar!) at least I found out that I CAN make it, woo!Step by step recipe for GBBO schichttorte-5

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Weekend treat – A vegetarian curry feast!

Today’s Pieday Friday recipe is a lovely guest post from my blogging pal Lucy. When I saw her mouth-watering curry recipes on her blog LucyLovesYa, I emailed to ask her permission to share these delicious dishes with you today. And thankfully she said yes! These vegetarian dishes are packed full of freshness and flavour – and it costs a lot less to make your own ‘takeaway’ at home than it does to go out for a meal! Lucy says add as many chillies as you like until you get the right level of hotness for you, and don’t forget to cool things down with coriander,  lemons and natural yoghurt mixed with some chopped mint. I never knew how to make an onion bhaji until I read Lucy’s recipe so I hope you’ll enjoy making some of these simple recipes at home too! Vegetarian-Curry-Onion Bhaji Ingredients: 2 large onions, 1 mug gram flour (chickpea flour), salt to taste, 1 egg, handful coriander leaves, pinch chilli powder, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon paprikaMix the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is formed. Don’t feel tempted to add water as the onions will provide a natural liquid if allowed to stand for an hour before frying. Ladle individual bhajis into a frying pan of hot oil. When they are golden brown, remove and serve with a squeeze of lemon all over and a dash of natural yoghurt.Veg-Curry-Recipe1

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Pieday FriYAY – Chai Latte Rice Pudding

Pudding is my favourite treat. It can be any pudding – hot cold, crumble or cake. Whatever it is, a pudding turns my dinner from ‘mmm nice’ to ‘yaaay!’ I think that’s probably because I don’t tend to have a pudding most of the time, which means that ending my dinner with a dessert is a proper treat. I’ve been away recently and it’s been a lovely indulgence to have two (okay, sometimes three) courses while I’ve been eating out. I guess I just don’t take the time to make a pudding when I’m cooking for the two of us; when the family are round for dinner they will be treated to cookie cups full of ice cream or a zesty lemon tart, but when it’s just me and my husband having tea, we tend to skip the pudding or have a piece of fruit instead.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-10But that’s all changed now that I’ve worked out how to use my slow cooker to make puddings. Now I can pop the recipe for a sweet treat into my slow cooker and it’ll do its own thing while I get on with cooking the main meal. And it’s hot and ready for me to eat whenever we’ve finished our dinner. The recipe I want to share with you today is for a rice pudding but not just any rice pud. It’s actually a chai latte rice pudding! Combining all my favourite flavours (yes, I’m one of those people believe that a chai latte is for life, not just for Christmas) it’s so simple to make and it really helps to turn any meal into a special occasion. Yes, this weekend is your time to #MakeItAYayDay, so here’s the recipe for you to try out.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-2Even though I used my slow cooker to make the rice pudding but it’s just as easy to make it on the hob too – it just takes a little more stirring! The recipe was actually inspired by Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE, as I decided to use the Skinny Iced Coffee as the milky base for my rice pudding. The drink only contains 90 calories and the recipe uses two of these creamy drinks, along with some skimmed milk. So it’s truly a healthier version of a rice pudding than cream-packed traditional recipes. I added a small amount of soft brown sugar and a knob of butter. The spiced chai flavours come from mixed-spices, cinnamon and vanilla, yum!creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-12creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte-11Ingredients (serves 4): 2 x cups of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Skinny Iced Coffee topped up to 1 litre with skimmed milk, 110g Arborio/risotto rice, 25g butter or margarine, 25g soft brown sugar, 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 1 heaped teaspoon of mixed spice, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, a drizzle of double cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon to serve.creamy healthy skinny chai latte rice pudding emmi caffe latte

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Pieday FriYAY – Caramel Latte Breakfast Freakshake

What better way to start your weekend than with a HUGE breakfast freakshake? It’ll certainly give you that FriYAY feeling! With rich homemade caramel sauce, creamy vanilla ice cream, delicious chilled cappuccino, crisp waffles, indulgent mini-donuts and oodles of chocolate, it’s a belly-busting way to start your day. Sure, it’s not a recipe for every day but if you’re only indulging occasionally, it’s a great way to turn any day into a YAY day. I think it’s especially great for weekends, when you’re chilling out over a long lazy brunch. And if you’ve got guests staying, you can guarantee that a huge smile will spread across their faces when you hand over a giant iced coffee, loaded with naughty breakfast goodies! Here’s how I made my rich caramel sauce and how to #MakeItAYayDay with a step-by-step guide to making the ultimate freakshake:indulgent breakfast freakshake milkshake recipe friyay caramel sauce donuts waffles emmi caffe latte makeitayaydayIngredients for the caramel: 200g granulated sugar, 90g salted butter cut into cubes, 120ml double cream.

Ingredients for the freakshake: vanilla ice cream, Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Cappuccino iced coffee, whipped cream, breakfast waffle, mini doughnuts, chocolate flakes, chocolate sauce, caramel-filled chocolate buttons or other chocolate treats.

To make the caramel:rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_1. Having never made caramel before, I was very excited to try it out for the first time. I carefully weighed out each of the ingredients because the quantities are very precise when making caramel sauce. If you want to make a larger quantity of caramel, don’t double the quantities – make two batches instead. At all stages be very careful not to touch the sauce as it is burning hot.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-22. Use a medium saucepan over a medium heat and gently melt the granulated sugar. Stir constantly with a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar has entirely dissolved into a smooth golden syrup.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-33. Carefully add the pieces of salted butter to the pan. The sugar syrup is likely to spatter and bubble when the cold butter is added so take care! Stir the butter into the sugar until is has completely melted.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-44. Slowly pour in the double cream, while stirring the sauce. Again take care as it will probably spatter as the cold liquid reacts with the hot sugar syrup. Stir until completely combined.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-55. Allow the caramel sauce to bubble and rise up in the pan for a minute and then remove from the heat.rich caramel sauce recipe for coating donuts waffles freakshake milkshake_-66. Allow to cool completely before using it to coat doughnuts, pour into a jug to drizzle over ice cream, or even chill it a little so that you can spread it with a knife. If you want to make a chilled sauce more drizzle-able simply zap it in the microwave in 10 second bursts until it becomes runny again.

And now on to the fun part: constructing the freakshake. To be honest, anything goes. The bigger and more OTT, the better! As long as you end up with a drink that looks something like a firework has gone off in a chocolate factory, you’re on to a winner. It could have dollops of ice-cream floating in the milk, the coffee could be blended with ice, the cream could be whipped or poured, and the whole thing could be topped with cookies, fruit, donuts, cupcakes, banana chips, waffles, chocolates, even breakfast cereal. Here’s what I did to construct my personal favourite, a caramel cappuccino breakfast freakshake:

  1. Add three big scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream into a large mason jar mug.

  2. Drizzle on some of the caramel sauce.

  1. Pour a cup of Emmi CAFFÈ LATTE Cappuccino iced coffee over the ice cream and top up with a little extra milk if necessary.

  2. Pour plenty of caramel sauce around the rim of the mug, letting it drip down the sides, before sprinkling with chocolate flakes.

  1. Top with lashings of whipped cream and more chocolate.
  1. Spread a breakfast waffle with caramel sauce and sprinkle on more chocolate before wedging it into the whipped cream. Top tip: Cut a straight line into the waffle and hang it over the edge of the mason jar, just like a slice of lemon on a cocktail.
  1. Add caramel-dipped doughnuts, more chocolate treats and drizzle plenty of chocolate sauce on top.
  1. Grab a spoon and enjoy!

What do you think of my giant breakfast freakshake? I can promise you, it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. The cappuccino ensures that the sweetness of the caramel isn’t overpowering, the vanilla ice cream lightens up the heavy doughnuts and the waffle gives a crisp texture against the smooth cream. Do you think you’ll have a go at making your own freakshake? Whether you’ve got that FriYAY feeling, want to chill out with a lazy brunch on the weekend or need that hump-day treat to get you through the week, a freakshake will certainly help to #MakeItAYayDay! Let me know if you indulge by tagging me in your OTT freakshake photos on Instagram @Cassiefairy and including the #MakeItAYayDay hashtag so I can see your pics. And please do leave me a comment if you try the caramel sauce recipe, I’d love to know if it works as well for you as it did for me. Have an amazing FriYAY guys!


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Healthy Sunday brunch recipe – Fruity soaked oats

Sunday is the one day of the week when you don’t necessarily have to be up early, you’ve got nowhere to be rushing off to and you can take your time chilling out at home all morning long. For me, it’s my brunch day. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every other day of the week, but Sunday is the day that I take more time over my food and come up with something a little different. It the day of the week when eating breakfast in bed is 100% acceptable, and enjoying a bowl of something on your lap in front of TV is perfectly fine. If you can’t have a little fun with your breakfast on a Sunday, when can you??sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7This week I’ve been blinging up my usual soaked-oats breakfast with some delicious fresh toppings. Here’s a little step-by-step of what I added to my overnight oats to make my healthy breakfast a little more exciting this Sunday morning:sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-8

  1. Soak your oats in milk for at least an hour, or overnight if you like to plan ahead.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe
  2. Peel and slice a fresh kiwi and layer around the edge of the bowl. I’ve used a Zespri SunGold yellow flesh kiwi to add a different colour to my usual bowl of oats.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-2
  3. Slice up plenty of in-season strawberries and add to the bowl beside the kiwis.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-3
  4. Drizzle an arc of golden honey around the bowl.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-4

5. Sprinkle on some good-for-you seeds – I’ve chosen some honey seeds from Munchy Seeds for my recipe but you could use any seeds that you like to add a little crunch to the dish.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-5You may remember that I’ve blogged some other breakfast recipes including my French toast waffles, a healthier breakfast wrap and an on-the-go breakfast smoothie recipe. I also wrote all about how cereal can improve your health earlier this week. So I think you can gather than I place a lot of importance on breakfast!sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-9 sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7Sunday is definitely the day of the week to try out something different so let me know what you would do to jazz up your breakfast on the weekends by leaving me a comment below.


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Pieday Friday – Homemade + healthy sweet ‘n’ sour coleslaw recipe

I’m getting ready for BBQ season with this week’s Pieday Friday recipe. Yes, I’m making homemade coleslaw, which we all know is the best type of coleslaw in the world. Sure, you can spend ££s on luxury coleslaw if you really want to, but nothing beats the fresh, zesty crunch of a homemade ‘slaw. Use it to funk up salads, to dollop on top of your burger, to serve as a BBQ side dish, or to mix with cheese as a crunchy sandwich filling. However you use it up, the freshness of a homemade coleslaw will have you going back to the fridge again and again to help yourself to another spoonful with your lunch. Here’s how I made an ultra-fresh and zingy coleslaw: homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-19 homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-3homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-15 homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-13Ingredients (serves 4 plus a small tub of leftovers to keep in the fridge!): 1/4 of a white cabbage, 4 peeled carrots, 1 white onion, 1 red onion, 1 zingy green apple and 1 sweet red apple, cored and quartered, a dash of lemon juice, 250ml non-fat natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoon course mustard, 100ml picked gherkin juice (or white vinegar), salt and pepper.

Use a food processor with a thin slicing blade to finely slice up the cabbage and both onions.

Change to the grater blade and add the carrots, and both apples.

Toss the ingredients together with a splash of lemon juice to stop the apples from going brown.

Dollop in the yoghurt and mustard and give the coleslaw a stir.

Drizzle in the picked gherkin juice (which is both sweet and vinegary), mix again and season to taste.

Store in a sealed tub in the fridge and serve up alongside your BBQ burger this summer! This was the first time I’d tried using a food processor (this one is a Panasonic MK-F800) and it made the process of making the coleslaw fantastically fast. Plus, the fine slicing blade got the onions and cabbage so wafter-thin – something I’ve never been able to achieve with a knife. homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-18 homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-15 While I had the food processor on the go, I also whizzed some potatoes through the julienne blade (with skins still on) to rustle up the quickest batch of chips I’ve ever made. Just a spritz of fry-light before oven baking was all the potatoes needed to turn them into crisp homemade (and healthy!) chips.homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-13 homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-20Considering I’d never used a food processor before, I got to grips with the Panasonic processor really quickly. It wasn’t long before I was looking for more vegetables to chop up or slice. While I was at it, I finely sliced up all the rest of the white cabbage so that I could freeze it in portions. I find that cabbage is one of those vegetables that I really like but that I hardly ever eat because you never use a whole one at once (not between the two of us anyway!) so I always end up with a limp half-cabbage that I forget about and find a month later slowing wilting at the back of the salad drawer. At least this way there was no wastage and I’ve got the right size portions in my freezer, ready to eat with bangers and mash.homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-19 homemade summer coleslaw panasonic food processor bbq dish-3Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe and tell me how you would funk up your coleslaw in other ways – would you add cheese, zesty orange segments or sliced gherkins?? What’s your signature homemade coleslaw recipe that your BBQ guests cant get enough of? Also, it would be great to hear your ideas about what other things I can use my food processor for, so please do get in touch to tell me how you use your applicances. Leave me a comment below or tweet me @cassiefairy.


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4 low-cost rainy day activities for the summer holidays

After waiting all year for the summer holidays to arrive, it’s unfortunate when the weather forecast looks gloomy. Even though we’ve been having lovely sunny days here recently, it’s almost inevitable that a couple of days will be drizzly during the long summer break. So what can you do with the kids when they’re stuck inside on grey days? I’ve come up with a couple of ideas to keep little ones entertained but that don’t cost a fortune.Easy recipe for baking cheese, fruit and cherry scones

Cooking

I love to bake with my niece and nephew and try to do it as often as I can. It’s so lovely to watch them get stuck into stirring up a recipe and see the concentration on their faces as they follow the recipe instructions. Add the ingredients to your weekly shopping in the run up to the summer holidays and you could have everything you need in the cupboard, ready for a rainy day. You can mix up a simple can’t-go-wrong recipe for milk loaf with the kids in the morning, and they can turn it into sandwiches by lunchtime. Baking scones or cornflake cakes during the afternoon guarantees a calm tea-time as they sit down to enjoy the treats they made.

Build a den

Remember how much fun it was to build a den when you were little? It costs nothing to make – you just need some sheets, pegs and bits of furniture. Use a drying rack to prop up blankets as a roof, and throw duvets and cushions on the floor for comfort. And when your den is complete, take some snacks and treats (perhaps something they’ve baked themselves) inside it to enjoy an indoor picnic, or get out the colouring books.rainy day activity summer holidays scrapbook craft

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