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Astar's kids recipes - 8 July

Astar cooking with her best friend Jade Dorset (aged 5)

Mince pies that all kids will love

What you'll need
6 ready rolled flaky puff pastry sheets. (This is for 16 pies.  If you are using a muffin tin which has 12 holes then you will need 5 sheets - you will have a bit of mince left over)
1 deep dish muffin tray
1 medium sized onion
2 decent teaspoons of butter
2 or 3 heaped teaspoons of salt
500 g of mince - can be beef, pork or chicken
3 tablespoons of watties tomato sauce
1 and a 1/2 cups of blue milk
1 cup of sliced and diced mushrooms
1 cup of frozen corn
1/2 a cup of frozen peas
1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour.
8 large potatoes - if 12 pies then 6 potatoes
Gravy browning is optional.
1 large non-stick frying pan
1 non-stick oven dish
Olive oil spray 

- Finely chop the onion.
- Fry it on hot heat til brown
- Add salt
- Add mince - break it up in pan as you fry it to get rid of big mincey lumps
- Add tomato sauce and stir it all up.
- Add 1 cup of milk
- Add mushrooms, corn and peas.
- Push the mixture away from the centre of the pan to the edges so you have a hole of juice in the middle
- Turn the heat down a bit
- Mix in a separate container the cornflour and remaining milk.
- Pour that slowly in the middle while stirring the mince etc into it. It will go pretty thick.  If you want to add gravy browning here then do so.
- Put the mince aside to cool a bit. you may want to taste it here to make sure you have enough salt in it.
- Very lightly spray and salt the oven dish and put it in oven to heat. 
- The salt helps prevent the chips sticking and there is no need to salt them when they are cooked and served. The oven should be at 180.
- Peel, slice and put your chips in the oven now on fan bake to get a head start on the pies. Shake them around when you chuck them in the hot dish to stop them sticking to each other and to the bottom. They need about 10 minutes head start on the pies.
- The chips should be about a cubed centimetre in thickness.  If too thick the kids won't eat them because they are wedges.  Kids don't like wedges.
- Find something that is big enough to cut 4 large circles edge to edge on one sheet of pastry.  You should get 4 bottoms from one sheet.
- Make 4 two centimetre cuts from the edge of the circle towards the middle - Ie at 12, 3,6 and 9 o'clock positions.
- Lightly spray the muffin tin and "flower" in the pastry circles to the bottom so the sides will overlap to fit the muffin tray properly. 
- Cut the tops with something the size of the muffin hole.
- Spoon the mince in the pies to the top.
-  If you want to add in cheese, put it in after you have spooned in one spoonful of mince.
- Then cover the cheese up with more mince to the top.  Do not put the cheese on top of the mince.  You will see why when the pies are cooked.
- Place the pastry lids on and put the pies in the oven. You should not have to seal them up. When you put the pies in give the chips a good shake. 
- Turn it all on fan bake. It should take about 30 minutes or so.  If on ordinary bake the pastry won't brown up for about 45 to 50 mins.

You have to give the chips a shake up every 10 minutes.

Daisy flower party cake

From Spotlight I purchased a wonderful book titled "Party Cakes for Kids" - actually it's not wonderful, it's fantastic! The book contains over 100 cake ideas, pictures, templates and easy instructions. See page 37 for instructions on today's cake.

What you'll need
1 large unfilled white sponge cake
Cake board
Tooth picks
Small round biscuit cutter or just use a sharp knife

For decorating
4 chocolate Flake bars
Orange and green food colouring
Orange sprinkles - sugar strands or just use an orange jelly
1 packet spearmint leaves
Artificial butterfly for additional embellishment

Icing - cake frosting
125 g butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups or thereabouts of icing sugar
2 tbsp milk at room temperature

Method (for icing)
- Beat butter in electric beater until pale and fluffy
- Continuing beating and gradually add vanilla and half the sifted icing sugar
- Gradually add the milk and remaining icing sugar and beat until smooth.

To assemble and decorate daisy cake
- Place template of daisy design on top of sponge and cut.
- Cut leaves from sponge
- Stick one chocolate bar on top of another with a little icing.
- Sit the flower cake on the cake board, add the chocolate stem underneath the flower and put the leaves on either side of stem.
- Put one third of the icing in a bowl and tint it green, then tint the larger portion light orange.
- Spread the orange icing all over the flower making shallow furrows in the petals with a palette knife.
- Put the biscuit cutter into the centre of the daisy cake and pour orange sprinkles or (jelly) into the middle of it.  Carefully lift off the biscuit cutter.
- Ice the leaves with the green icing.  Cut the spearmint leaves in half horizontally and overlay on the leaves.
- Finally rest the butterfly on the flower.