I miss being a kid. Life was care-free, fun and full of magic. By magic, I mean imagination. I think there’s something magical about imagination and how kids can pretend absolutely anything. Their dolls and toys come to life in their hands and it is just really amazing to watch. I miss being able to do that myself. When I play with my children, I realize that I don’t have that imagination anymore; I just see a lifeless teddy bear being dragged around, smothered in a hug or tossed through the living room, while my daughter sees her teddy bear walking, talking, enjoying a big bear hug and jumping on a trampoline.
I hate growing up!
Something else I miss is the magic of fairy tales. Like Cinderella, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk… they seemed so real and magical when my mom would read them to me. Now, I have to hold back my comments on how unreal and ridiculous the stories are! How can Jack climb up that beanstalk if it’s so tall? It would take him days and days to do that, he’d need to take food and other supplies, not to mention the fact that he couldn’t actually climb that high anyway because of the lack of oxygen! Oh, and not to mention the fact that there is not a magical land above the clouds where a giant shouts Fee Fi Fo Fum and eats humans!
For kids though, it’s totally different. My son planted “magic beans” outside to have them grow into a beanstalk so he can climb up it! Well, let’s just say that those beans haven’t yet grown…
As we are currently on a fairy-tale kick in our house, I welcomed the latest issue of delicious. magazine because there is fantastic article full of fairy-tale inspired recipes. Peter Rabbit, Jack and the Beanstalk, Princess and the Pea, Goldilocks, Hansel & Gretel! And the recipes look fantastic – they are each cleverly adapted to their respective fairy tale. I set myself on a mission to try each recipe.
In this post, I’ll show you the first two fairy tale recipes that I have made from this article. They were both very delicious, and while my 4-year-old son wasn’t very keen on them (he’s not a veggie-eater!), my 6-year-old daughter gobbled them up.
The first recipe is inspired by Peter Rabbit. These are Mr McGregor’s Winter-Garden Vegetable Pies. These pies contain an all-veggie filling with mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, brussels sprouts and corn and are held together in a golden shortcrust pastry. Despite the look, these are quite easy to make.
The recipe is at the bottom of this post.
The second recipe we have tried is Jack and the Beanstalk’s Magic Bean Stew. This is an extremely simple stew that have the kids thinking they’re eating magic beans and that a beanstalk will grow in their belly! It’s very hearty and warming, making it perfect for a cold winter tonight.
In this bean stew, you’ll find celery, bacon, potatoes and tomatoes. The beans are simply a mix of canned beans. The parsley helps to brighten it up a bit.
If you love the idea of creating recipes inspired by fairy tales, keep a watch on my blog because I intend to try each of the recipes from the article in delicious. magazine and post about them here!
Inspired by Peter Rabbit
Adapted from delicious. magainze, July 2011
Makes 6 pies
5 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry,thawed
150ml thickened cream
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 corn cob (or 80g frozen corn kernels)
1 bunch Dutch carrots, trimmed
600g potatoes, peeled and chopped
150g brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (80g) frozen peas
1 cup (120g) grated cheddar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 180C.
Cut six 15cm rounds from 3 pastry sheets. Use to line 6 holes of a Texas muffin pan (the cups should hold 185ml each). Prick pastry with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes.
Cover each pie base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place cream and garlic in a small saucepan, bring to just below boiling point and set aside.
Slice the kernels from the corn cob and set kernels aside. Reserve 6 whole carrots, then peel and chop remaining carrots and set aside.
Place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and chopped carrot and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the peas and corn kernels and cook for a further 2 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Drain, then return vegetables to the saucepan over low heat. Pour in the cream mixture, then mash until the potatoes are smooth and the other vegetables are roughly mashed. Stir in the cheese, then season with salt and pepper and cool slightly. Divide the vegetable mixture among the pastry cases. Set aside.
Cut out six 10cm rounds from the remaining 2 pastry sheets, and cut a 2cm round hole in the middle of each round. Brush edges with egg and top each pie with a pastry lid. Press edges with a fork to seal. Brush pies with egg, then bake 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden.
Meanwhile, blanch whole carrots in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Drain and refresh in ice water.
Push a whole carrot into the top of each pie and serve warm.
Inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk
Adapted from delicious. magazine, July 2011
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bacon rashers, cut into thin matchsticks
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
1 teaspoon caster sugar
400g can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, garlic and bacon, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until onion is soft and bacon is crisp. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add potatoes, chopped tomatoes, stock and sugar, season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened. Add beans and simmer for 3-5 minutes until heated through.
Divide stew among six bowls, top with parsley leaves and serve.