We are off to Miss G.’s piano lesson this morning. The little doll began piano lessons a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loves it. Seeing her nestled in front of a grand piano smashing out a killer rendition of ‘hot cross buns’ melts my heart and makes me realise just how quickly time passes. It only feels like yesterday I was cradling my sweet smelling teeny tiny newborn in my arms and now she’s beginning to create her own lovely little adventures.
Mr H. is growing all too quickly too. He has completely mastered the art of crawling, constantly chasing after his big sister, much to her delight and I don’t think he is far off walking too. As you can see (pictured above) my little handsome fella has started to join in our cooking adventures as well and now I have two sets of chubby little hands to photograph.
Todays recipe is this gorgeously green casarecce pasta smothered in a zesty homemade broccoli pesto. This simple supper takes no more than 20 minutes to put together and makes more than enough for two family sizes portions. We enjoyed our pasta last night and have more than enough for tonight’s supper too.
The broccoli pesto is a gorgeous combination of tender broccoli, mint, chives, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, pistachios and extra virgin olive oil. This pesto recipe makes quite a bit of the zesty sauce, so feel free to pop the extra pesto into a sterilised jar, top with olive oil and store in the fridge for a good 2-3 weeks. I plan on using our surplus pesto to adorn grilled chicken breast, smother over steamed vegetables and slather over toasted bread. Its delicious and such a lovely departure from traditional basil pesto.
To create your own pasta with broccoli pesto simply…
Miss G. is absolutely obsessed with baking muffins at the moment.
So much so, at bath time she insists on having a muffin tray in the bath with her so she can practice pouring her bath water batter into the muffin moulds. It’s so cute but I must confess it makes finishing up bath time quite the battle.
Not to disappoint my keen little baker any further I decided we’d keep the muffin enthusiasm rolling on and bake these super simple wholemeal grapefruit and coconut muffins.
She was absolutely delighted and I think you will be too.
These muffins are delicious. The grapefruit zest provides the muffin crumb with the most incredibly fragrant citrus flavour that works oh so perfectly with the shredded coconut and the juicy segment of caramelised grapefruit nestled on top takes these muffins to the highest heights of deliciousness.
We used our beloved H2CoCo organic virgin coconut oil once again in these muffins and I’m so happy we did. The coconut oil not only helps to create a deliciously moist and tender crumb but also helps to echo the flavours of the shredded coconut even further. This organic coconut oil has quickly become our go-to baking oil.
These wholemeal grapefruit coconut muffins are perfect for baby led weaning beginners. Even though the muffins texture is slightly crumbly, little ones are still able to grip large pieces of muffin and nibble on the other end with no problem. I served the muffin alongside a few slices of fresh apple and Mr H. demolished the lot – making quite the mess in the process.
If you’re going to make a batch of these muffins I would recommend freezing half – I did. Just be sure to allow the muffins to cool to room temperature, wrap individual portions in cling film and pop into a freezer safe container. They last a good 3 months stashed away in the deep freeze and they’re a fabulous additions to any lunch box.
To create your own batch of wholemeal grapefruit and coconut muffins simply…
I adore winter. It truly is my favourite season.
As the days shorten and the weather turns frosty there is nothing I love more than retreating home to spend long lazy afternoons nestled by the kitchen bench slow cooking beautiful cuts of meat or baking up a storm. Filling our home with hearty warming dishes during these frosty winter months delights me like no other. I treasure these precious moments with my little family and love nothing more than spending an evening snuggled under a warm cozy throw watching movies and sipping my favourite glass of red.
There is, however, one down side to my love and adoration of winter and that is the nasty colds and flus that always seem to come with it. The last two weeks have been hijacked by one very nasty flu and unfortunately my little babies felt the worst of it. After lots of cuddles, a little pain relief, plenty of rest and a good dose of pumpkin soup I am very happy to say we’re all well and truly on the mend.
That said, to ward off any future winter born bugs I’ve been incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables into our diets as well as a gorgeously green smoothie most mornings (I’ll be sharing our smoothie recipe next week). I’ve also made a conscious effort to incorporate as many healthy ingredients into our baking repertoire as well. My latest love is H2CoCo’s delicious organic virgin coconut oil. I’ve been using it in lieu of olive oil when I cook and have even managed to incorporate it into our baked goodies including these apricot pistachio quinoa bars and blueberry banana and chia loaf.
Today’s wholemeal lemon, ricotta and chia muffins also use the organic and 100% raw and natural oil. The coconut oil not only provides the muffins with gorgeous moisture to create a very tender crumb but gives the muffins a slight coconut flavour that works beautifully with the lemon and ricotta. The kids absolutely adored them for morning tea and gobbled up a muffin each along with a few sliced perfectly ripe strawberries.
To create your own batch of wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins simply…
Earlier this week my lovely little helpers and I also managed to bake these gorgeously golden apricot and pistachio quinoa bars.
These bars are absolutely delicious and another adapted recipe I picked up from the gorgeous Donna Hay Magazine, Fresh and Light. I am so happy I picked up this magazine, it has all of Donna’s usual stunning food styling plus an array of new, healthier ingredients that I am so delighted to have discovered.
These apricot and pistachio studded quinoa bars are made up of a few of my new found favourite ingredients like quinoa flakes, buckwheat flour and rice malt syrup and they couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Simply toast the quinoa flakes, quinoa, coconut and almonds and mix these thoroughly with the rest of the lovely ingredients. After a quick trip to the oven these bars a golden and set and once cooled ready to be cut into squares and served alongside a slice of apple or two for a lovely little snack.
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Although Mr H. (nine months old) chomped through his bar containing crunchy pistachios and almonds with little issue I would only recommend serving these bars to little ones who are well versed in eating crunchy style muesli or oat bars. I’ve served home made crunchy oat bars to Mr H. for the past couple of months so his eating style has developed to that of being able to chomp away on nuts strewn through bars quite easily. If your little one isn’t yet up to eating nuts you may want to give these raspberry oat bars a try instead.
To create your own apricot & pistachio quinoa bars simply…
Both my little darlings are still unwell so we’ve been spending our days cuddled up on the sofa reading books and snoozing.
We did however manage to stir together this super simple supper of organic ravioli with pumpkin, pesto and pistachios.
This pasta is delicious and couldn’t be simpler to prepare. It’s just a matter of roasting a little pumpkin, cooking the ravioli and stirring them both together with some store bought pesto, fresh parsley and a handful or two of roasted pistachios.
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Organic ravioli make the perfect supper for baby led weaning beginners. They’re large size and soft texture are easily nibbled on and they do somehow manage to withstand tight little grips – just be sure not to overcook the ravioli. Roasted pumpkin is also wonderful for blw beginners. Its super sweet flavour and soft texture makes it a favourite of most little ones I know and when smothered in a little pesto it takes on even more gorgeous flavour. If your little one is not yet able to eat nuts, simply leave the pistachios out of their portion. I decided to pop the pistachios onto Miss G.’s (2.5 years old) plate however left them off Mr H.’s (9 months old) supper.
To make your own organic ravioli with pumpkin, pesto and pistachios simply…
I’m so sorry for the short post but both my babies woke up sick this morning so I’m completely flustered managing runny noses, sniffles and awful sounding coughs.
This loaf however is gorgeous. Using my new favourite ingredients buckwheat flour and coconut sugar the depth of flavour and texture of this banana and blueberry studded loaf is divine. And although this loaf does take a good hour or so to bake to gorgeous goldenness the batter can be stirred together in mere moments and requires no heavy machinery just a trusty wooden spoon.
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If you’re looking for a hearty, fruit filled, nutritional loaf to fill little bellies with this darling loaf is just for you. Oh this recipe is also suitable to freeze, so feel free to stash surplus slices in the deep freeze!
Now, back to my sick little darlings.
Happy baking beautiful mama’s. X
To create your own lovely little blueberry banana and chia loaf simply…
These gorgeously golden jam drop cookies are absolutely delicious thanks to my new found love, buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat flour is rich and nutty and creates the most wonderfully textured cookies. And despite its name, buckwheat flour doesn’t actually contain any wheat, making it a wonderful gluten free flour alternative. Buckwheat flour can be found at some major supermarkets or most health food stores.
I also love these cookies because the dough comes together in mere moments. It’s as simple as popping all of the ingredients into a big bowl and giving it all a good mix. Miss G. had the best fun stirring these babies together and enjoyed rolling them into little balls even more. I did however take over once the jam had to be added to the centre of each cookie as my lovely little helper was hell bent on emptying the entire blueberry jam jar onto one cookie.
The texture of these jam drop cookies make them perfect for baby led weaning beginners. And although they have the most wonderful crunchy outer layer, the inside of the cookie is tender enough to be gnawed on without breaking up too badly. My little Harry had the best fun devouring his for morning tea alongside a few slices of apple.
Being free of refined sugar, eggs and gluten these jam drop cookies also make the perfect addition to any lunch box.
Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to test whether these cookies freeze well, they disappeared way too quickly but given the texture and ingredients I imagine they would freeze and defrost with little issues.
To create your own batch of gorgeously golden jam drop cookies simply…