Master Chief was inspired by a recipe he saw on television and wanted to make it for dinner.
I obviously cheered him on and fully encouraged this interest, and was happy to find out that we had most of the ingredients - sort of. In true Chief style I made do with what I did have and he was happy after I explained that this meant that he could make it right now. There was a little bit of "But Mummy, we need sun-dried tomatoes" but we overcame that.
The recipe was basically for a pasta bake but it used spaghetti which he and Miss Chief had huge fun breaking in pieces (some of which are probably still behind my cooker!) instead of the usual twists.
Spaghetti, snapped into small pieces (we made them a couple of inches or so)
Ham, cut into small pieces
Tomato puree (this is what I used instead of the sundried tomatoes)
6 olives, cut into small pieces
1 tin of tomatoes (I used chopped toms)
Paprika (just a sprinkle)
What to do
Turn on the oven and set it at about gas mark 6 (around 200 for electric).
Put the ham and olives into an ovenproof dish (or small dishes if you want to do individual ones) and add a generous squeeze of tomato puree.
Snap the spaghetti into small pieces. This isn't entirely necessary but it makes it a lot easier if it's small mouths eating. Put the pieces in with the ham and tip the tin of tomatoes on top.
Add some water. This is very vague but I added about half a tin and it turned out saucy but not too wet.
Crumble on the stock cube and give it all a good mix.
Sprinkle a little paprika on top and then cover with tin foil and put it in the oven.
I checked it after about 20 minutes but it needed a bit longer so I gave it a stir and then put it back in for another 10 minutes or so. If you're using individual dishes then it'll cook quicker so my advice is to just check it regularly.
I sprinkled a bit of grated cheese on top before I served it. I also served it in these glass dishes and it was gobbled up.
There were no "Dinner or bed" fights that night - bliss!
I'll try to keep Master Chief's interest going though, I think it's a great idea to learn to cook at a young age and hopefully he'll get experimental in the kitchen again soon!