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Tag Archives: Back to School
  • Posted on August 31, 2017

    Back to School Lunch Wraps

    Sick of sandwiches coming back in the school lunch box? Why not mix it up a bit with these tasty wrap combos? They’re healthy, simple to prepare and a make a great lunch for kids and adults.

    Avocado Wrap lunch on the go

    Avocado and Chickpea Wraps

    4 wholemeal/whole-wheat tortillas or other wraps

    400-g/14-oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed

    4 generous spoonfuls cottage cheese

    1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced

    1 tomato, deseeded and flesh diced

    3–4 tablespoons grated Cheddar cheese

    a few handfuls of shredded little gem lettuce and/or sprouted seeds

    a little freshly squeezed lemon juice

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Makes 4 servings


    Working one at a time, put a tortilla onto the work surface. Sprinkle a quarter of the chickpeas on top in a line down the middle.

    Mash with a fork, spreading in a half-moon shape towards one edge of the tortilla.

    Cover this with a generous spoonful of cottage cheese. Arrange a few avocado slices on top, in a line down the middle.

    Sprinkle over a small handful of diced tomato, a little grated Cheddar cheese and some lettuce and/or sprouted seeds.

    Squeeze over a little lemon juice and season lightly.

    Starting from the edge with the filling, begin rolling to enclose the filling. Wrap in greaseproof paper or clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until required.


    Or why not try...

    Cream Cheese & Barley Spread

    Make a spread using 200 g/1 cup cream cheese mixed with 200 g/1 cup cooked barley. Season with a pinch of celery salt and a pinch of garlic granules. Spread on a wrap and top with thin strips of celery, red (bell) pepper, shredded lettuce and grated carrot. Sprinkle with grated cheese, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and roll up.

    Tofu Salad

    Mash some firm tofu in a bowl with a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise. Stir in some finely chopped celery, thinly sliced spring onions/scallions, finely grated cheese and a pinch of dry mustard powder. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread on a wrap, top with sprouted seeds or shredded lettuce and roll up.

    Egg, Cheese & Tomato

    Spread some freshly prepared scrambled eggs or egg mayonnaise over a wrap, sprinkle with some finely grated cheese and diced tomatoes and roll up.


    For more tasty lunch ideas, check out Lunch on the Go.

    Lunch on the Go





    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with kids, Back to School, healthy, wraps

  • Posted on September 1, 2014

    Back to School Lunchbox Ideas!

    The summer holidays are coming to an end and it seems hard to imagine how we’re going to swap well worn sandals and comfy trainers for a smart pair of school shoes, grubby knees and big grins for newly ironed uniforms, and lazy mornings and tasty brunches for an alarm-activated rush! But back to school doesn’t have to be chore – here are a couple of easy, great fun recipes for the kids to make their own packed lunches the night before!


    Taken from two of the My First books, we’ve got a recipe for roly-poly sandwiches where the kids can pick their favourite filling and even include some home-grown greens if they’ve been growing over the summer, as well as a sweet treat for after!

    roly-poly sandwiches

    Smoked salmon is really tasty in these sandwiches and it rolls up easily, but if you don’t like fish, you could use thin slices of ham or salami instead. Try different types of bread like whole wheat (wholemeal), white, or Granary. This is a good recipe to make if you have been growing your own alfalfa sprouts (mustard and cress)—give it a haircut and sprinkle it over the salmon.

    You will need

    1 slice brown, whole wheat (wholemeal), white, or Granary bread

    1 tablespoon cream cheese

    2 slices smoked salmon

    alfalfa sprouts (mustard and cress)

    rolling pin

    makes 1 sandwich

    1. Put the slice of bread on a clean surface and use a table knife to cut the crusts off.

    2. Flatten the slice of bread by rolling over it with a rolling pin.

    3. Spread the cream cheese onto the bread with the table knife.

    4. Lay the smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese and then sprinkle the alfalfa sprouts (mustard and cress) over the salmon.

    5. Starting with a short side of the bread slice, roll the bread up into a long sausage shape. Using the table knife, cut the sausage shape into five roly-poly sandwiches. When you lay them flat on a plate you’ll see that you have made spirals!

    Tip: other filling ideas

    Mash a little canned, drained salmon or tuna with a fork and mix in a little mayonnaise. Spread it on the bread then scatter a few torn lettuce or spinach leaves over the top before you roll.

    Grate some cheddar cheese and snip some ham up very small with scissors. Chop a tomato into tiny pieces. Mix everything together an spread on the bread before you roll.


    choc-nut granola bars

    You can pretend you are making something very healthy when you make these granola bars—there’s lots of fruit, nuts, and oats in them—but they are also sweet, buttery, and covered in chocolate chips, making them perfect for a lunchbox treat!

    You will need

    1/4 cup (30 g) whole almonds (optional)

    1 1/2 oz. (40 g) milk chocolate candied (glacé) cherries (optional)

    1 stick (125 g) unsalted butter

    1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar

    4 tablespoons light corn (golden) syrup

    2 cups (190 g) rolled oats

    1/2 cup (40 g) shredded (desiccated) unsweetened coconut


    9-in (23-cm) square baking pan

    baking parchment

    makes 12

    1. Ask an adult to turn the oven on to 350°F (180°C) Gas 4.

    2. Prepare your pan. Put a little butter on a paper towel and rub it all over the inside of the baking pan to grease it. Then place the baking pan onto some baking parchment, draw around it, cut out the square, and fit it into the bottom of the pan.

    3. If you are using almonds, carefully cut them into large chunks. Remember to use a sharp knife to cut down onto a board. Put them in a small bowl to use later. Now chop the chocolate into chunks and put that in a different bowl. If you are using them, cut the candied (glacé) cherries into small pieces and set aside.

    4. Put the butter, sugar, and corn (golden) syrup into a pan and ask an adult to help you place it on the stovetop (hob) over low heat and stir it until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

    5. Wipe a little oil over your spoon before dipping it in the corn syrup—the syrup should slide off easily!

    6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the oats and coconut into the melted mixture. Mix everything well, then spoon the oat mixture into the cake pan. Spread the mixture out and press it down evenly with the back of a spoon.

    7. Scatter over the almonds and cherries (if you are using them), and press them lightly into the mixture with the back of a spoon.

    8. Ask an adult to help you put the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 15–20 minutes. Ask an adult to remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle over the roughly chopped chocolate so that it will melt a little with the heat of the granola.

    9. Mark the granola into bars or squares with a round-bladed knife while it is still warm, then let it cool before cutting through and removing the bars from the pan. These bars will last for 4 or 5 days in a sealed container.


    We hope you and your kids have had a terrific summer and they're even a teeny tiny bit excited about going back to school!



    Other My First books here.

    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK and was tagged with summer holidays, kids, sandwich, 2014, school, packed lunch, Back to School

  • Posted on August 29, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend!

    With September drawing ever nearer, we’re sure that some of you are getting ready to head off to university. Whether you’re a brand new fresher or a seasoned post-graduate, every good student worth their salt will need a fab recipe or two in their repertoire to impress new housemates and pals. The Really Hungry Vegetarian Student Cookbook is a must-have on every student bookshelf – it’s full of tasty and filling meals that will definitely not dent your budget. So, for this week’s Recipe for the Weekend, we thought we’d share with you one such recipe! Perfect for a potluck at the beginning of term, or making in bulk and keeping portions in the freezer, this is a delicious one pot meal and will keep you warm as the weather starts to turn decidedly autumnal! Why not practice it this weekend?

    Aromatic Thai Curry

    This falls somewhere between a stew and a soup. Make use of the abundant sauce and serve with fragrant jasmine rice. If you like things spicy, add two chillies and all their seeds; if not, use one and keep the seeds out.

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    1 onion, halved and sliced

    a 4-cm/1 1⁄2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated

    1–2 fresh red chillies halved and sliced

    1 teaspoon curry powder

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1.3 kg/3-lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

    1 x 400-ml/14-oz. can coconut milk

    450 ml/scant 2 cups vegetable stock

    1 x 400 g/14 oz. can chickpeas, drained

    225 g/4 cups baby spinach leaves


    jasmine rice, to serve

    Serves 4

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot set over a low heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–5 minutes, until just soft. Add the ginger, chillies/chiles, curry powder, cumin and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring, until aromatic.

    Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat in the spices. Add the coconut milk and stock and a little water if necessary, just to cover the sweet potatoes; the mixture should be soupy as it will cook down. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

    Add the chickpeas and continue to simmer for 15–20 minutes longer, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

    Add the spinach, in batches, stirring to blend and waiting for each batch to wilt before adding the next.

    Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

    So whether you’re going off to university for the first or fourth time this September, make sure you’ve packed this book! Happy cooking!

    The Really Hungry Vegetarian Student Cookbook is available here.

    Vegetarian or vegan? If so, these recipe books from us are just  for you :-






    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with recipe for the weekend, 2014, Back to School

  • Posted on August 28, 2014

    Back to School Kit Bag!

    Today we’re thinking back to those halcyon days when it seemed that the summer holidays were stretching on forever! Unfortunately September is rearing its ugly head and with it, the mad rush of Back to School fever. Making sure pencil cases are fully stocked, discovering that feet have impossibly grown two sizes and digging out the school uniform! So we’ve got a lovely Back to School project from My First Sewing Machine Book by Emma Hardy to help smooth along the process. Perfect for your PE kit, or just getting your bedrooms organised before term starts again, this is a simple project that kids will be able to manage themselves with just a little help!

    Drawstring Bags

    You will need

    27 1/2 x 18 in. (70 x 45 cm) fabric

    34 in. (85 cm) ribbon, 3/8 in. (1 cm) wide

    Sewing thread to match the fabric

    Contrasting thread for tacking

    Two coloured beads

    Newspaper or brown wrapping paper for pattern



    Tape measure


    Sewing machine

    Sewing needle

    Safety pin

    Sticky tape

    If your fabric needs to be cut to size, use a piece of newspaper or brown wrapping paper to cut out a 27 1/2 x 18-in. (70 x 45-cm) rectangle of paper. Pin the paper pattern to the fabric and cut it out.

    Lay the fabric on the table. Using the tape measure and pencil, measure 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) down from the top left corner and then draw a line inward, 5/8 in. (1.5 cm) from the side. Snip along this line. Do the same at the top right corner.

    Thread your sewing machine with thread to match the fabric. Fold the small flap above the snip over to the wrong side and pin it.

    Put the flap under the sewing machine foot and wind the needle down by hand so it is through the fabric – this will hold the flap in place so that you can take the pin out before you stitch. Stitch 3/8 in. (1 cm) from the folded edge. You will not need to tack this as it is so small. Repeat for the other flap.

    With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the top edge over by 3/8 in. (1 cm), creasing it with your fingers and maybe adding a few pins. Ask an adult to help you press it with an iron, then let the fabric cool and take out the pins.

    Fold the top over again by 1 1/4 in. (3 cm), so that the bottom edge lines up with the snip that you made on either side of the fabric. Pin and tack this in place to make the channel across the top of the bag. Take out the pins and machine stitch about 1/4 in. (5 mm) from the bottom folded edge. Always remember to start and finish machine stitching securely. Take out the tacking stitches.

    With right sides together, fold the fabric in half, lining up the edges neatly. Pin and tack along the side edge and across the bottom. Take out the pins. Machine stitch in place, stitching 5/8 in. (1.5 cm) from the edge. Take out the tacking stitches.

    Turn the bag right side out. Ask an adult to help you press the bag with an iron. Fasten the safety pin to one end of the ribbon. Push the safety pin all the way through the channel at the top of the bag until it comes out of the other side. Take the safety pin off the ribbon.

    Hold the two ends of the ribbon together and wind a small piece of sticky tape tightly around them to make a firm point that will thread through the beads. Thread on both beads, pull off the sticky tape, and tie the ends of the ribbon with a double knot to finish.



    My First Sewing Machine Bookby Emma Hardy and the other CICO Kidz titles are available here.

    We also offer a range of other craft and educational books for kids.


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, fabric, Emma Hardy, summer holidays, cico kidz, 2014, my first series, Back to School

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