Homemade Ice Lollies: Peach Melba Smoothies – Center Parcs Family Blogger Challenge

  cooking with kids smoothies

The last in my monthly Center Parcs Family Blogger Challenges – Its been a brilliant experience making blog about various challenges and being involved with the Center Parcs crew. This month’s challenge was just up my street – We had to get in the kitchen, with the kids and come up with some Homemade Ice Lollies. I chose to make Smoothies – Always on the lookout for ways to increase the girl’s fruit intake. Both Violet & me really dislike bananas which feature in about 99% of shop bought smoothies – This is why homemade smoothies suit us so well.

If you can’t wait for these to freeze, these are great as chilled pots of smoothy goodness – even better served with ice-cream! I followed the lead from Center Parcs’ own Ice Lolly expert, Deb Rogerson (yes, there is actually such a job!) and sprinkled some hundreds and thousands in the base of the mould before freezing. Deb does suggest for maximum impact, dipping the tip into white chocolate after freezing then straight into hundreds & thousands. Her other Ice Lolly tips can be found on the Center parks website.

Peach Melba Smoothies

Serves 8
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party
Great way to increase children's fruit intake. Fabulous for those of us who crave banana free smoothies! These are more filling than you think, you only need small moulds.


  • 5 Peaches
  • 1 Punnet Raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 2 tablespoons Icing Sugar


  • Hundreds & Thousands to decorate


peach raspberry smoothies
Wash and Chop the peaches (No need to remove skin) and blitz in a food processor until smooth
making homemade smoothies
Add the raspberries and honey and sprinkle in the icing sugar and blitz until all combined
decorating homemade smoothies
In the bottom of each ice lolly mould, sprinkle approx 1/2 tsp of hundreds and thousands
Add the mixture to the moulds and freeze overnight

no banana smoothies peach raspberry

‘I’m a Center Parcs Family Blogger and have visited Whinfell village with my family. If you want to enter to win a place as a wildcard winner just go to the challenge page to find out how bit.ly/1url80d’

Linking up with A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week


Top 120 Recipes for 2013

Our house has a LOT of cookbooks, no even more than a lot, nearly hundreds! We use them a lot but I’m finding increasingly that we are turning to the iPad for quick how-tos. At any one time though, I have a huge list of recipes I’d like to make out of the books – well, this will be the year that the list gets some attention. I’ve tried to reduce it too ‘just’ a 100 but there’s just so much I want to get through.

Since giving up the cake business last summer, we have really worked hard to eat well and cook from scratch – I have to be honest that we were a jar family eating a lot of convenience food when we were constantly surrounded by food. We concentrated on the basics first conquering risottos, yorkshire puddings, homemade pizza dough, palovas, lasagne sauces, shepherds pies and basic pasta dishes during the last year so we are ready to move onto to some more challenging dishes.

I’m not promising to get through the whole list in a year (nearly 2.5 new dishes a week might be a step too far for the kids and the budget) but will do my best. Some are really simple and you might find yourself saying “she doesn’t know how to make that?” (Corned Beef Hash anyone?) but its our project, so bear with us!

I’ve arranged the recipes in food groups but unsuprisingly there are tons of cakes and biscuits! Once I’ve blogged about a recipe, I’ll come back here and link back to the post.

What about you? Do you have a wish list of food you’d like to try/cook? Feel free to pinch this one if there are any that you fancy.

And now to the list …


  • 1. Lemon/Orange Mousse
  • 2. Passion Fruit Souffle
  • 3. Tangerine Mousse with Sweet Pink Grapefruit & Crispy Phyllo Ruffles


  • 4. Lemon Curd
  • 5. Passion Fruit Curd
  • 6. Hot Chilli Jelly


  • 7. Seafood Chowder
  • 8. Roasted Red Pepper Soup
  • 9. Chestnut Soup with Bacon & Thyme
  • 10. Pea & Ham Soup


  • 11. Battenburg
  • 12. Hazelnut Meringue Cake
  • 13. Simnel Cake
  • 14. Raspberry, Lemon & Almond Cake
  • 15. Dark & Sticky Gingerbread
  • 16. Lemon Drizzle Swiss Roll
  • 17. Raspberry Meringue Roulade
  • 18. Whole Orange Poppy Seed Cake
  • 19. Fluffy Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Filling
  • 20. Hazelnut Raspberry Layer Cake
  • 21. Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 22. Dump Cake
  • 23. Polenta Cake
  • 24. Sticky Ginger Cake


  • 25. Carrot & Almond Cheesecake
  • 26. Lemon Cheesecake
  • 27. Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake with Cornmeal Crumble Crust
  • 28. Raspberry Marzipan Cheesecake
  • 29. Lime & Passion Fruit Cheesecakes with Coconut Crumb
  • 30. Grand Marnier Cheesecake


  • 31. Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • 32. Cherry Crumble
  • 33. Upside Down Peach Cobbler
  • 34. Molten Chocolate Orange Puddings


  • 35. Buttermilk Scones
  • 36. Melting Moments
  • 37. Brandy Snaps
  • 38. Quickly Sticky Biscuits
  • 39. Bitesized Bacon & Cheese Scones
  • 40. Cheats S’Mores
  • 41. Flapjacks
  • 42. Gingersnaps
  • 43. Raspberry Linzer Bars with Almond Glaze
  • 44. Peach-Brown Butter Shortbread
  • 45. Butterscotch Cashew Bars
  • 46. Sour Cherry & Almond Biscotti
  • 47. Coffee & Hazelnut Macarons
  • 48. Orange Mini Muffins with Smoked Turkey & Cranberry Sauce
  • 49. Grasmere Gingerbread
  • 50. Baklava
  • 51. Maple & Cinnamon Kisses


  • 52. Pecan Sticky Buns
  • 53. Brioche
  • 54. Dumplings
  • 55. Eclairs
  • 56. Croquembouche
  • 57. Crumpets
  • 58. Pitta Breads
  • 59. Focaccia
  • 60. Breakfast Rolls
  • 61. Tea Cakes
  • 62. Almond Croissants
  • 63. Raspberry & Passion Fruit Muffins


  • 64. Fudge
  • 65. Honeycomb
  • 66. Salted Cashew Toffee
  • 67. Sea Salted Caramels
  • 68. Fortune Cookies
  • 69. Peppermint Creams
  • 70. Sugared Pretzels
  • 71. Nougat
  • 72. Pistachio Opera Fudge


  • 73. Salsa Romesco Dip
  • 74. Tostaditas with Roast Corn Salsa


  • 75. Key Lime Pie
  • 76. Caramel Apple Pie
  • 77. Toffee Apple Pies


  • 78. Heart of Darkness Brownies
  • 79. Butterscotch Blondies
  • 80. Snickerdoodles
  • 81. Chocolate Brownies

Christmas Dishes

  • 82. Panforte
  • 83. Homemade Mincemeat
  • 84. Homemade Stuffing
  • 85. Mulled Wine


  • 86. Seared Salmon with Sweet Pea Guacamole
  • 87. Fishcakes
  • 88. Prawn & Rocket Risotto
  • 89. Mauritian Prawn Curry
  • 90. King Prawn & Monkfish Curry
  • 91. Mussels with Salsa Cruda
  • 92. Classic Prawn Cocktail Puffs
  • 93. Griddled Scallop Croutes with Sweet Chilli Sauce & Creme Fraiche
  • 94. Salmon & Broccoli Quiche
  • 95. Roast Cod with Dressed Crab Mash & Lobster Sauce
  • 96. Tomato Spiced Mussels & Spagetti


  • 97. Beef Wellington
  • 98. Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Crust
  • 99. Chinese Lettuce Wraps
  • 100. Green Thai Curry
  • 101. Chicken & Cashew Nut Curry
  • 102. Sausage Rolls
  • 103. Ham Hash with Parsley Sauce
  • 104. Ham & Cheese Muffins
  • 105. Sausage Casserole with Savoy Cabbage & Butter Beans
  • 106. Corned Beef Hash
  • 107. Lazy Tray Baked Chicken
  • 108. Maple Glazed Gammon with Chilli Pineapple Salsa & Crunchy Potatoes


  • 109. Parma Ham & Peach Salad
  • 110. Bacon & Scallop Salad

Vegetable Dishes

  • 111. Patatas Bravas
  • 112. Potato Scones
  • 113. Stuffed Potato Cakes
  • 114. Ratatouille

Ice Creams

  • 115. Lemon Meringue Ice-Cream
  • 116. Christmas Cake Ice-Cream
  • 117. Baked Alaska
  • 118. Gingersnap Dulce de Leche Ice-cream Sandwiches
  • 119. Brown Sugar Ice-Cream
  • 120. Frangipane Ice-Cream

I reckon there’s enough there to keep us busy – I still intend on keeping up with the month of soup project, cake of the week and finally mastering the slow cooker. I’m on the search for a pressure cooker – anything to improve efficiency as we start the many long journeys to synchro training again soon.





Double Chocolate and Marshmallow Ice-Cream

The ice-cream machine is well and truly one of the family now. Millie had a friend home from school yesterday and promised her we would make ice-cream for after tea. Who am I to argue?

After the success of the first recipe (Raspberry) I was keen to try making chocolate (Violet was also very keen!) The last recipe was super quick by using ready made custard but I wanted to try making proper custard myself so I could tweak the recipe and add various flavours at a later date.

Here’s what I came up with:

1/2 pint milk
4 egg yolks
3oz caster sugar
1 x 284ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3oz melted chocolate plus another 2oz chocolate chips
good handful tiny marshmallows

How to make the ice-cream:

  • Warm the milk in a pan until just boiling.
  • Allow to cool slightly then add the eggs and sugar.
  • Warm slowly but do not allow to boil or the eggs will curdle.
  • Add the melted chocolate.
  • Allow to cool again and then add the cream and vanilla.
  • When completely cold, add to the ice-cream machine.
  • When the ice-cream has thickened add the chocolate chips and the marshmallows.
  • We served it with lime jelly – Yum!
Violet’s verdict was ‘gorgeous, Mummy! Better than ‘Toast’ (the local cafe that has just opened and specialises in Ice-cream) but not as good as Grandma’s (Tesco’s own?!)  

We have an Ice-Cream Maker and I’m not afraid to use it!

Yes, I know that sounds really like I’m showing off … and I suppose I am. Our house has been so incredibly excited since the Ice-Cream Maker came to live with us.(CuisinArt Ice-Cream Duo in case you are wildly interested)

I’d done lots of research before making my purchase (on offer at Amazon as it happened!) – For research, read: Tweeted a LOT about it – you’d be amazed how many people have coveted an ice-cream maker.

I knew that I had to freeze the bowl for 24 hours before using so knew that:
a) one with two bowls would come in very handy – one for the freezer and one to use NOW!
b) we wouldn’t be able to use as soon as the machine arrived so I had to prepare the girls.

So, the machine arrived. We read instructions (Ahem! We may have flicked through the booklet) I bought two recipe books (any excuse for new cookbooks)

Wednesday arrived and I thought, ‘Ice-cream Day” … and got stuck.
My recipe called for 2 eggs at least in each variety but did not allow for them being cooked.
I’m an old-fashioned Mum, I don’t allow my girls to eat raw eggs (if you read my Sickness Post you will understand why)

Some more research then and finally I had to make a decision. The girls were desperate. We had gone out for Sunday Tea and they were asking for ice-cream for afters (Dessert if you are south of Birmingham).
I couldn’t have ‘The Machine’ sat at home and still be paying for ice-cream so off we went and experimented … and it turned out FANTASTICALLY!!

Here’s what we had: Raspberry Cream Ice-Cream

One Carton Ready-to-use Custard
One 282ml Double Cream
One tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp icing sugar
a good handful ripe raspberries mushed up

How to:
Mix all the ingredients together in a large jug and pour into the ice-cream maker as it is spinning.
Keep it going for 20 mins then eat!

We kept half and put it into the freezer – I had some later with crushed meringues and it was flipping gorgeous!

I’m hoping to go down the sorbet route as I don’t really want to be the size of a house but the girls have other ideas – so far chocolate and toffee have been mentioned – Watch this space!