1 slice wholemeal bread
butter or table spread
2 cheese slices
2 thin slices luncheon sausage or salami
2 capers
1 black olive
sprig dill or fennel

Place the bread on a plate. Lightly spread with butter or table spread. Top with 1 cheese slice.

Using a small biscuit cutter or top of a jar, cut 2 rounds from the luncheon sausage to make a head and body. Place on the cheese. Use the trimming to make ears, arms and feet.

Cut ovals of cheese to make a nose and the base of the feet. Place the capers above the nose for eyes. Use a stalk of the dill to make the line for the nose. Makes 1.


1/2 lemon
1 each: pear, green kiwifruit, small strawberry
2 each: blueberries, seedless red grapes
1 pretzel

Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl.

Halve the pear lengthwise. Cut a 5mm slice from top to bottom to make an ‘owl’ shape. Place on a plate. Brush with lemon juice.

Peel a round kiwifruit and cut 2 round slices. Place on the wider end of the pear to make eyes. Cut the tip from the strawberry and place between the kiwifruit slices at the base to make a nose. Place the blueberries in the centre of the kiwifruit slices to make pupils.

Cut small wing-like slivers from the pear to make wings on the side of the pear slice.

Cut each grape in half through the circumference. Cut each half into 8 wedges. Use 2 for eyebrows above the kiwifruit and 2-3 to make claws. Place the pretzel on the stalk end of the pear and arrange the ‘claws’ on top. Makes 1 owl.


3 hard-boiled eggs
6 thin slices radish
6 whole cloves
3 small wedges carrot
3-4 chives cut into 2cm lengths

To make the ears, make 2 cuts in the eggs near one endto insert and hold the radish slices. Push the cloves in for eyes and a carrot wedge for the nose. Use a thin skewer to make holes to hold the chives (whiskers). Makes 3 mice.


1-2 tablespoons canola oil
2-3 small eggs

Place about 5mm of water in a non-stick frying pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Bring to a simmer.

Lightly oil 2-3 medium-large biscuit cutters. Place in the pan.

Gently break each egg into the biscuit cutter moulds. Hold the egg in place with the shell until it starts to set. Poach gently for 1 minute. Cover and continue cooking for another minute. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the white is set.

Using a fish slice, lift each egg onto a serving plate and remove the biscuit cutter. Serves 2-3.

School holidays are a great time to let the kids loose in the kitchen. Encourage them to enjoy working with food and eventually you could have a Masterchef in the family. Teach them a love of cooking and you teach them a life-long skill.

Okay, so some might say that the following recipes are really playing with food but it’s the fun I’m promoting — plus everything can be eaten apart from the whole cloves perhaps.

When our extended family is out lunching or dining we try to analyse the flavours and it’s amazing how discerning different palates are. The four tastes — sweet, sour, salty and bitter — are judged differently by young and old. What I consider too sweet is just right for my five-year-old granddaughter.

These holidays, you might like to introduce your own junior chef programme — complete with a certificate of achievement. Take the kids to the supermarket to see what is in season and allow them to choose a few items they would like to cook. At home, get them to help measure and weigh the ingredients as well as choose the right equipment for preparing the dish. Persuade them to taste and comment on their creations as they go.

You may have to help the little ones more but mashing an avocado to make guacamole is something most children can do.

Of course, the team has to help with the dishes and learn to set the table as part of their certificate course.

Quick Chocolate Fixes:

• Try using chocolate milk (eg Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk) in place of plain milk when making pancakes or waffles.

• Iced chocolate popsicles. Place 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatine. Stand for a few minutes until the gelatine swells. Gently heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Place 2 cups of Hansells prepared chocolate yoghurt in a bowl and stir in the gelatine. Pour into popsicle or ice block moulds and freeze.

• Chocolate wagon wheels. Spread 4 gingernut biscuits with a berry jam. Place 4 more gingernuts on a microwave-proof plate. Top each with a marshmallow. Microwave on high for 5-10 seconds, until the marshmallows melt a little. Sandwich together with the jam-spread biscuits. Allow to set. Dip the wheels into melted chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.


This product has been added to your cart