spaghetti polpette

spaghetti polpettespaghetti polpette

Autumn finally arrived.

The morning air is now cool and crisp, the skies are clear and blue and each evening we snuggle under the throw nestled together on the sofa.

And with the cooler weather comes the need for a little wholesome hearty cooking so today we spent the day rolling together these beautiful polpette.

Polpette are italian meatballs, gently cooked in simmering tomato sauce and they are delicious.  Spiked with breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan, basil and a little tomato passata they are moist, full of flavour and the perfect autumnal dinner.

We served our meatballs with a little spaghetti and the kids absolutely loved them.

Eating pasta, especially the red sauce variety is very messy work so I was so pleased to discover the messy mealtime smock by Little Chomps.

This wonderful smock is designed by a gorgeous Aussie mum and is perfect for baby led weaning!  Not only is it waterproof, wipeable, machine-washable, and provide better all-round protection for sleeves, laps and sides than other sleeved bibs or cotton feeding smocks but it doesn’t have that silly plastic bag sound that so many other smocks do.  In the past I have tried other smocks but my little ones were too distracted with the sound of the plastic rather than eating which was totally frustrating.  Mr H. absolutely loves his new smock and I do too!  Yay to less washing!  I’ll also be hosting a giveaway for these gorgeous smocks very soon so please stay tuned!

spaghetti polpettelittle chomps

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vegetable fritters

vegetable frittersvegetable fritters

I don’t think a week goes by without me frying up a batch of gorgeously golden vegetable fritters.  Easy for little hands to pick up and nibble on and jam packed with wonderfully nutritious vegetable, fritters make the perfect baby led weaning food, especially for blw beginners!

I also adore the fact that fritters freeze beautifully and last up to three months in the deep freeze.  When days go to the doghouse and I have no chance (or desire) to rustle up dinner I often pull out a few fritters from the freezer for a simple stress free supper.

This weeks batch is made up of sweet corn, carrot, zucchini, sweet potato and flavoured with a little lemon zest and fresh basil and they are delicious.

After stirring the batter together, I decided to add another egg and more flour to create a little more batter around the veggies.  This helps them to cook evenly and also makes the fritters easier to flip.  I recommend frying a ‘test’ fritter to begin with to check that you have the right consistency, i.e. the fritter holds shape.  If you’re having a little trouble simply add another egg and a further half cup of plain flour.  I also recommending cooking these fritters in a non stick frypan over low to medium heat.  A lower heat will ensure the fritter cooks evenly and through the middle without over browning on the outside.

I served these fritters alongside a very simple salad of tomato wedges and fresh basil leaves and the kids gobbled them up.

vegetable fritters

To create your own batch of easy peasy vege packed vegetable fritters simply…

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wholemeal apple muffins

wholemeal apple muffinswholemeal apple muffins

Both my little darlings must be going through growth spurts because they won’t stop eating.

So far this week they have devoured a batch of vegetable fritters (will post the easy peasy recipe next blog post), an entire roast chicken, a batch of breakfast cookies and have made quite the dent in this batch of gorgeously golden and wonderfully wholesome wholemeal apple muffins.

These muffins are not only delicious but contain no processed sugar (sweetened instead with a little maple syrup and cinnamon) and are a breeze to prepare, Miss G. and I had these apple studded babies in the oven in less than ten minutes.  These muffins are also loaded with fruit, the batter contains two diced apples plus another apple sliced thinly and nestled on top of each muffin.

Once baked I opted to store the muffins in the refrigerator as they contain so much fruit and have a much longer shelf life when kept cool.  I have also had great success freezing these muffins.  Simply wrap individual muffins, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

Along with a little fresh fruit these apple loaded wholemeal muffins make the perfect baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea and are a great addition to any lunch box.

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choc cross scones

choc cross sconeschoc cross scones

We officially kicked off our Easter baking yesterday with these gorgeous and very simple choc cross scones.

Chockfull of plump sultanas and apricots and scented with cinnamon these Easter inspired scones are not only delicious but are far less labour intensive than traditional hot cross buns.  With the help of my favourite piece of kitchen gadgetry, the food processor, these scones came together almost effortlessly and in the matter of mere moments.

Once the dough was ready Miss G. had the best fun patting and shaping the sultana flecked dough and spent a good ten minutes giggling whilst cutting out the scones with our pastry cutter.

Once nestled in the oven the scones baked to gorgeous goldenness and filled the house with the sweetest scent of Easter.

Whilst the scones cooled, Miss G. and I melted a little dark chocolate to adorn the scones with the traditional Easter cross.  I can’t say how proud she was standing over admiring the choc cross scones but I think this picture says it all…

choc cross scones

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ricotta fritters w’ tomato basil sauce

ricotta fritters w' tomato basil saucericotta fritters w' tomato basil sauce

Today I am sharing one of my all time favourite simple suppers…ricotta fritters with tomato and basil sauce.

These ricotta fritters are my version of an easy peasy gnocchi.  It’s quite an intense and very time consuming task to make your own gnocchi at home so these little gorgeously golden dumplings are my cheat’s version but please don’t be fooled, although they come together almost effortlessly they are no way any less flavourful than their laborious counterparts.  These ricotta fritters are light, fluffy, delicious and marry perfectly with a simple tomato sauce.  I can have the little imitations frying away to gorgeous goldenness in well under ten minutes and the kids just adore them.  So does my hubby.

The ricotta mixture consists of only a few flavours, lemon zest, nutmeg and parmesan however they work together beautifully to create a delicious treat even when eaten without the tomato basil sauce.  Miss G. gobbled up a couple whilst our sauce bubbled away.

Todays simple tomato basil sauce is also absolutely delicious and is the result of mere moments of work.  After I have fried the ricotta fritters, I heat a little olive oil in the same pan, gently cook a clove or two of garlic, add the diced tomatoes, passata, brown sugar and basil and bubble away for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  This tomato sauce is fresh, full of flavour and makes the perfect pond of yumminess for the fried ricotta fritters to nestle in.

Mr H. loved this supper.  The fritters were the perfect texture for him to pick up easily and nibble away on.  He also adored the tomato sauce, gobbling most of it up only leaving behind what was smothered on his face and arms.

ricotta fritters w' tomato basil sauce

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wholemeal carrot muffins

wholemeal carrot muffinswholemeal carrot muffins

It’s no secret Miss G. loves to cook and now that she fully understands her little brother enjoys her culinary creations too, she adores her time in the kitchen that little bit more.

Today, with Mr H. happily playing away on his play mat my budding little chef and I decided to stir together a super simple batch of wholemeal carrot muffins.

These muffins are not only delicious (and full of nutritional goodness) but couldn’t be simpler to bake.  Simply whisk together the wet ingredients, stir through the dry ingredients then gently fold through a couple of cups of gorgeously bright shredded carrot.  Once nestled in the oven these orange hued little darlings take just over 10 minutes to bake to golden gorgeousness and smell amazing thanks to our spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger.

I also love the fact that we managed to make these muffins using no sugar.   Instead, the grated carrot adds most of the needed sweetness along with a little maple syrup.  Our gorgeous spice mix also did a lot to flavour the wholesome muffins.

Once baked and cooled, Mr H. was more than happy to tuck in.  Along with a few fresh strawberries the wholemeal carrot muffin quickly disappeared thanks to his very unique eating style.  I don’t quite remember Grace eating like this at his age but Mr H. loves to crumble the muffin and lick the crumbs off of his little hands.  It’s so cute to watch, the intense look on his face just melts my heart.

wholemeal carrot muffins

These muffins are also perfect to freeze.  Simply allow the muffins to cool to room temperature, wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop frozen muffins straight into our lunch box and by lunch time they are perfectly thawed and ready to enjoy.

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baked french toast

baked french toastbaked french toast

Mr H. has officially started baby led weaning and he couldn’t be happier.

For the past couple of weeks he’s been so interested in watching his big sister, mummy and daddy eat and when he started to display the skills needed to self feed we couldn’t wait to get started.

So far our little guy is a huge fan of sweet potato wedges, banana, strawberries, rockmelon, wholemeal toast and zucchini fritters.

And to officially welcome Mr H. into the wonderful world of food we celebrated over Sunday brunch with this lovely batch of gorgeously golden baked french toast.

This french toast is perfect for baby led weaning beginners for so many reasons.  Firstly the recipe has no added sugar, the eggy mixture is simply sweetened with a dash of maple syrup and a good squeeze of orange juice and zest.  And because this version of french toast is baked rather than fried there is no need for any butter or cooking oil.  This method of cooking also creates perfectly textured bread that can withstand the iron grip of a baby led weaning beginner yet is soft enough to nibble on with ease.  Mr H. had no problem whatsoever gobbling up his Sunday morning breakfast along with some fresh berries.

To create your own batch of gorgeously golden baked french toast simply…

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