During our Easter holiday break I was determined to spend some quality time with the kids, but especially Gabriel. Each week (until recently) Willow has had me all to herself whilst Gabriel is at school, so each holidays I try to balance this out a little by spending at least a day with just me and him, a date day with my boy!
I was pondering what to do during the school holidays when I received an email inviting me to London to the Kids Cookery School to experience some cooking fun with Quorn and some fabulous chefs. After arranging some childcare for Willow, I booked our train and counted down the days before we had a little adventure to the big smoke.
We had a great and pretty easy journey to London, we sat and chatted the whole way. Gabriel told me all about school, his friends and the things he likes doing. It was nice to just sit with him and enjoy each others company. We arrived at the Kids Cookery School in Acton after a mooch around nearby. It was really easy to find from the tube and I was immediately impressed with the centre’s facilities. Clean, bright and fun! I knew as soon as we went inside that Gabriel would have a fantastic time.
The event we attended was organised by Quorn Foods. If you know me personally or read this blog regularly you will know that not only are we all vegetarian, but we all really love Quorn products! As a busy Mum I find that Quorn is easy to use, tastes great and is so versatile which means you can often make most mainstream type meals with their products, a huge bonus for us as we don’t want to eat just vegetables or carbs ALL the time! With Quorn we make bolognese or chilli with the mince, we enjoy the meatballs, hot dogs and burgers and we make all sorts of creations with the fillets and chicken style pieces. I’ve been eating Quorn for around twenty years and I’m not sure where I’d be without it to be honest!
The idea of the event was to focus on children’s eating, encourage cooking and also for them to learn all about ‘healthy choices’, something that is very close to Quorn’s heart! Gabriel was shown into the kitchen to get to work making his very own pizza (including homemade dough) and also burgers with various toppings whilst the parents chatted, tried lots of the Quorn snacks on offer and also gave some feedback about eating habits, our own cooking and also our experiences with Quorn.
Lucky for us, Quorn Development Chef, Alison Crusher was also on hand to teach us all about how Quorn is made, the ethical and sustainable manifesto of the company and to also answer any questions about Quorn and cooking with Quorn that we had. I was so pleased to hear their mantra, Quorn really do seem to be a forward thinking, constantly developing and environment aware company and they clearly love what they do! It was great to sit and chat with the other bloggers whilst the kids cooked too, we had a wide range of experience between us in varying subjects and cooking experience, it was a really interesting afternoon! We even managed to watch a short video all about how Quorn is developed, it’s really fascinating, you can read all about it yourself and find out all about the protein element of the products on their website.
Whilst we chatted, we also had the chance to try some of Quorn’s snack and picnic type items just as sausage rolls, lime and coriander chicken style pieces, deli style ham and chicken slices and also frankfurters. I’d actually tasted a lot of these items before because I regularly buy them, but it was fantastic to see the other ladies have their first Quorn tasting experience and then discuss our findings!
The kids cookery session was a roaring success. What went on was kept pretty secret until we saw the photographs. As you can see, I think the chef played some fun games and had lots of laughs with the kids whilst cooking, which is great because it would definitely put them at ease. Gabriel tells me he loved playing guessing which vegetables were under his tea towel and pretending to have silly glasses!
First the kids made the pizzas in the kitchen. Mixing the dough ingredients and then kneading the mixture to create some rather interesting shaped pizzas! Next each child topped their pizza with tomato sauce and Quorn toppings, along with cheese and vegetables. Gabriel chose to top his creation with Quorn chicken pieces, pineapple, red and yellow peppers and also sweetcorn. It looked great!
Next the kids made homemade burger buns, topping with seeds. Gabriel really enjoyed making the bread buns and seemed interested in how the bread was made, which was great to hear. The bread buns were cooked and cooled then each child filled them with Quorn burgers and Quorn chicken style burgers. Giving the children lots of healthy food but also a choice really supports independence and learning about food, something I’m passionate about as a vegetarian Mummy!
Overall we had a fantastic day and I’m so pleased we made the trip to London. The Kids Cookery School is a great place and the facilities are spot on for children and their families to attended cookery classes, events and also even birthday parties! If we lived closer, I would most definitely consider this for a party with a difference.
During the cooking class each child was asked about their eating habits and their favourite foods. Gabriel proudly told staff he was vegetarian but also that his favourite food is peas. Pretty spot on actually! For further fun and inspiration you can read all about our experience on the Quorn Blog!
To top off this wonderful experience with Quorn we have also been asked to Quorn Family Ambassadors, which means I will be writing for the Quorn website blog and also sharing with you our experiences and recipes throughout the year so keep your eyes peeled!
Oh, and if you’re as much as a Quorn veteran as I am then you will remember Quorn fish style products, that were sadly discontinued. Well, I am also very excited to hear the Quorn fish-style products are on the way back to our supermarket shelves. These should be available by the end of April 2016!
Special thanks to Preston Perfect Photography for providing photographs from the event
*Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Quorn. All words and opinions are my own. For further information please see my disclosure policy*