orange cranberry soda bread

cranberry orange soda breadcranberry orange soda bread

Sunday mornings usually mean some type of pancakes at our place.  This weekend however, we decided to try something a little different and bake a gorgeously golden loaf of orange cranberry soda bread and I am so glad we did.

This bread is not only a breeze to bake, we had our fruit spiked loaf nestled in the oven in less than 10 minutes but is a delicious alternative to our usual pancakes.

Preparing this loaf is much like baking a batch of scones, you rub a little butter into flour, add milk to create a dough, shape and bake until golden and cooked.  Its very simple and just like scones, this loaf also freezes beautifully.  Our surplus loaf was cut into thick slices, wrap individually and popped into the deep freeze ready to be enjoyed later in the week.

Grace had the best fun making this loaf, not only because she was in charge of measuring the ingredients which resulted in flour absolutely everywhere but playing and kneading the dough has to be the best fun a 2 year old can have in the kitchen.

The flavour of this bread is just lovely.  The cranberry and orange work together beautifully to create the most amazingly flavoured loaf and I just love that the cranberries caramelise throughout the orange scented dough.  We served our loaf, still warm, alongside a little fresh fruit and fresh orange juice.

To create your own gorgeously golden loaf of cranberry orange soda bread simply…

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strawberry heart scones

strawberry sconesstrawberry scones

Miss G. and I did a little Valentine’s Day inspired baking yesterday and came up with these gorgeous little heart shaped strawberry scones.

They are delish.

Chock full of fresh strawberries and laced with a good dollop of vanilla bean paste these pink hued babies smell and taste of summertime strawberries and cream.

Rather than following the traditional route I decided we’d skip mixing the scones together by hand and opt instead for the food processor.  And thanks to our favourite kitchen gadget the strawberry studded scone dough came together almost effortlessly and in a matter of just moments.

Grace had the most fun though once we started playing with the dough.  Watching her flatten the dough into a chubby disc and cut out the little heart shaped scones melted my heart.   Yes it got a little messy but it was totally worth it.  Her little face was so proud and full of excitement as she plonked the heart shaped scones onto our baking sheet.  And of course she was in charge of ‘painting’ the scones with their obligatory adornment of milk.

Once nestled in the oven the scones grew and turned the most wonderful shade of gorgeous goldenness.  And thankfully the scones didn’t take long to cool down as Grace could hardly wait to dig in.  Once cool enough I sliced a strawberry studded scone in half, topped with strawberry jam and a dollop of Greek yoghurt and my lovely little taste tester gobbled it up praising her cooking efforts.

In terms of baby led weaning, scones make a wonderful morning or afternoon tea treat.  They’re texture is perfect for baby led weaning beginners, firm enough to withstand a tight grip yet soft enough to be nibbled on with ease.  So far I have baked mango coconut scones, raspberry almond scones, carrot cake scones, and even a batch of pumpkin scones.  All recipes include a good serving of fruit (or vege) and have been gobbled up and enjoyed by little kids (and big).  Scones also freeze beautifully.  I often bake big batches of scones to stash in the deep freeze, they not only last up to 3 months frozen but defrost and reheat beautifully!

To bake your own batch of Valentine’s Day inspired strawberry heart scones simply…

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apricot coconut breakfast cookies

apricot coconut breakfast cookiesapricot coconut breakfast cookies

Miss G. and I did a little baking yesterday and came up with these gorgeously golden darlings and I am so excited to share the recipe.

Not only are these babies chock full of apricot, coconut and oats but are sugar free and can be whipped up and nestled in the oven baking to golden perfection in less than 10 minutes.  And the flavour of these cookies is amazing, the vanilla bean paste and maple syrup work so beautifully with the oats to create the most incredible baby led weaning breakfast.

We ate these for breakfast this morning, along with a little fresh fig but these breakfast cookies would make the perfect addition to any lunch box and make the perfect on-the-go snack.  There not too messy either which is great for when you’re out and about.

Although I haven’t tried to freeze these cookies (they disappear way too quickly) I do think they would freeze beautifully.  Simply wrap individual portions, pop into a freezer container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.

If your little one is just beginning their baby led weaning adventure these cookies may be a little ambitious and the slightly crumbly texture may be a little too challenging.  However from approximately 8 months onwards your little one should be fine with these cookies.

To create these easy peasy apricot coconut breakfast cookies simply…

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baby led weaning breakfast ideas

baby led weaning breakfastwholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

When it comes to baby led weaning, serving breakfast is often the easiest and most simple meal to get started with.  A piece of lightly toasted bread topped with avocado or a little fresh fruit make a wonderful breakfast.  However it doesn’t take long before you’re little one is eating the same thing day after day and soon becomes bored.   But coming up with new and exciting breakky ideas each and every single day isn’t easy (especially when you’re busy) so I thought I’d share a few of our winning breakfast ideas to inspire you…

baby led weaning breakfast

With the weather heating up Miss G.’s favourite of late is fresh fruit (usually mango, strawberries or blueberries), a little yoghurt and a sprinkle of muesli.  Its super simple for me to prepare and she absolutely loves it.  If your just starting baby led weaning make sure to chop your fruit into large chip shaped pieces (pieces of banana, apple and mango are wonderful), so to ensure your little one can easily grab and nibble away on them.  Also the muesli may be a little bit of a challenge for the beginners so please feel free to add this down the track when they’re eating style develops a little more.

baby led weaning breakfast

A much loved favourite and wonderful for baby led weaning beginners is this lightly toasted bread topped with creamy ricotta, sliced fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  At the moment I make this toast with strawberries but Grace also adores slices of apple or raspberries.  This breakfast really is wonderful for beginners because the toast is super easy for the little ones to pick up and nibble on.

ricotta & cinnamon fruit toastricotta & cinnamon fruit toast

Another ‘must try’ breakfast for baby led weaning beginners are pancakes.  These little babies are so simple for little ones to eat, are jam packed with fruit, are a less messy breakfast option and are also so easy to make.  During our blw journey I have conjured up pumpkin choc pancakes, caramelised banana dutch pancake, coconut peach pancakes,  carrot apple & sultana pancakes, wholesome ricotta hotcakes, strawberry and orange buttermilk pikelets,  pear & cinnamon pikelets and raspberry pikelets.

Pancakes and pikelets also freeze wonderfully.  On weekends I’ll often cook up a big batch of the fluffy darlings, allow to cool, wrap individually and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.  They defrost very quickly (especially during summer) and if they need a help along I either pop them in the microwave or toaster.

caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescaramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescoconut peach pancakeswholesome ricotta hotcakes w' summer berry sauce

When time is on my side I love to get into the kitchen and do a little breakfast baking.  I usually either whip up a wholesome fruit laced loaf or a batch of oat loaded breakfast cookies.  For me, this option is wonderful, it means breakfast is pretty much done for the week, I need only add a little sliced fruit to serve alongside the breakfast loaf and cookies and Miss G. is always satisfied.

My favourite breakfast loaf has to be this wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread.  Its so simple to prepare, chock full of nutritious apple and fills the house with most gorgeous aromas of apple and cinnamon as it bakes.

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread

And these wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies take no time to prepare and cook and are chock full of banana, sultanas and oats.  Grace loves to help in the kitchen when we bake these and they make a wonderful addition to her lunch box too!

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

Another baking breakfast option I have to mention are scones.  Not only are they easy for your little one to eat but they’re a less messy breakfast option which is great for when you are out and about.

My favourite scone recipes are mango coconut scones, raspberry almond scones,  carrot cake scones, pumpkin scones and blueberry scones.

mango coconut sconesraspberry & almond sconescarrot cake sconespumpkin scones

Once your little one is able to drink through a straw a breakfast smoothie is a great way to break up the monotony of breakfast.  Into a blender I tumble in a handful of strawberries, a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and of course milk and blitz until smooth.  The trick with smoothies is to ensure they’re not too thick, that way they can be easily slurped up.  And to ensure Miss G. is getting enough I always serve a smoothie alongside either a piece of toast or breakfast cookie.

baby led weaning breakfast

I hope these breakfast ideas have given you a little baby led weaning breakfast inspiration.  And please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.  X

mango coconut scones

mango coconut sconesmango coconut scones

I was so happy to guest post on the gorgeous children’s clothing site Sapling Child last week.  I shared one of my all time favourite baby led weaning recipes, pea & ricotta fritters.  You can find the easy peasy and oh so delish recipe here.

Other than that my day have pretty much been a whole lot of this…

happy days

Just enjoying watching these two play.

Miss G. and I did however manage to bake a gorgeous batch of mango coconut scones yesterday and I am so thrilled to be sharing the recipe.  Not only are these little babies jam packed with mango and coconut goodness but they’re so so so simple to prepare and are unbelievably delicious.  With the help of the food processor I promise you can have these darlings baking away to golden perfection in the oven in less than ten minutes.

And these scones are not only the perfect shape and texture for baby led weaning beginners but are a wonderful addition to any toddlers lunch box.

Happy cooking x

To create your own batch of mango coconut scones simply…

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pumpkin choc pancakes

pumpkin choc pancakespumpkin choc pancakes

With Halloween {& Miss G.’s birthday} just around the corner we decided to get into the spooky spirit this morning and create a gorgeous batch of pancakes spiked with cinnamon roasted pumpkin and deep dark choc chips.

And these orange hued choc studded babies are delicious.

Since our baby led weaning journey began I have created so many incarnations of pancakes/pikelets/hotcakes.  Why?  Because they’re so simple to prepare and the shape and texture of pancakes are perfect for little hands to grip and nibble on with ease, especially for beginners.  A batch of fruit laden pancakes make the ultimate fuss-free blw breakfast, lunch box addition or on-the-go snack and they also keep wonderfully in the deep freeze!

Todays pancakes are really all about the pumpkin.  Rather than boiling or steaming, I decided to smother the pumpkin in cinnamon and roast until gorgeously golden and amazingly sweet.  And once pureed the intensely sweet pumpkin added so much natural sweetness to the batter there was very little need for sugar other than a little drizzle or two of maple syrup.

But I did decide to add dark chocolate chips to the batter because what would Halloween be without a little naughty treat.   And I’m so glad I did because the warm gooey pockets of melted dark chocolate are divine and were a huge hit with Miss G.  So much so, she was fishing them out of the batter before we’d even had a chance to cook them.

To create your own halloween inspired pumpkin choc pancakes simply…

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apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loaf

apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loafphoto-2159

We moved house over the weekend and it was the single most stressful experience of my life.

Packing up your entire existence whilst caring for a newborn and almost two year old should be an olympic sport.

It’s tough.

Really tough.

Looking back and considering the feat, we did pretty well.

And I have to say that settling into our new home feels wonderful.

Especially the kitchen.

The first creation to emerge from my new favourite place is this wonderful little apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf.

Loaf cakes have become a bit of a go-to for breakfast of late.  Jam packed with fruit and able to be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes they’re a great breakfast alternative to the usual toast or cereal routine which can get pretty boring after a while.

Today’s apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf is not only completely delish but really good for the little ones too.  I managed to get 4 apples into this little darling, and because of the natural sweetness from the apples I used a mere half cup of brown sugar in the entire loaf.  If you’re keen to skip the sugar completely, simply replace with a half cup of maple or a third cup of agave syrup which would also work beautifully.

The hazelnut meal in this loaf is genius.  It not only creates a tender and wholesome crumb but a gorgeous earthy nutty flavour that works beautifully with the classic apple and cinnamon flavour combination.  And the smells that wafts from the oven as the loaf bakes to gorgeous goldenness is simply divine.  So much so that Miss G. kept hovering around the oven saying ‘yum yum’ until it was finally cooked.

This loaf is also the perfect texture for little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey.  The abundance of apple strewn throughout the loaf creates a dense and moist crumb that won’t be too easily squished by little hands making it simple for beginners to hold and nibble on with ease.  Just slice the loaf into thick batons and your little one should have no trouble at all.

This apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf also freezes wonderfully.  Simply slice and wrap individual pieces in a little cling wrap, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw by simply resting on the bench or in a lunch box.

To create your own apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf simply…

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