caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescaramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

I adore everything about winter.

The cosy clothes, endless cups of hot tea and days spent with the slow cooker bubbling away in the kitchen are my idea of heaven.

The late winter sunrise also guarantees a greatly appreciated sleep in most mornings and when Miss G. finally stirs she is more than happy to huddle, snuggle and cuddle under the warm cosy covers until we finally pluck up enough courage to face the frosty morning together.

Most mornings we make our way straight to the kitchen to heat up our beloved oats with a little stewed apple but this morning I decided something a little extra special was required so we put together this super simple caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries.

Although I have a very special place in my heart for traditional pancakes, on a frosty winter morning when immediate warming nourishment is required I much prefer the fuss free nature of the Dutch pancake.  There is no standing over a fry pan endlessly flipping pancakes, simply pour the batter over a little caramelised fruit and pop into a piping hot oven.  Fifteen minutes later a perfectly puffed and gorgeously golden fruit studded pancake emerges ready to be devoured.

Todays incarnation of our fuss free pancake included caramelised banana and fresh strawberries and really was baby led weaning winter breakfast perfection.  The texture of the pancake is perfect for little hands to hold and nibble away on with ease and when served alongside fresh strawberries and a little yoghurt, this breakfast will have your little one satisfied all morning long.

To create this winter warming caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries simply…

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strawberry & mandarin muffins

strawberry & mandarin muffinsstrawberry & mandarin muffins

Mandarins this time of year are simply divine.

Full of juice, amazingly sweet and perfectly packaged these little babies make the ultimate on-the-go baby led weaning snack.

Lately, a day doesn’t go by without one of these bright orange autumnal fruits finding its way into our lunch box and ultimately Miss G’s. tummy.  She absolutely adores them.

So in celebration of our go-to fruit of the moment I conjured up this batch of wonderful wholemeal strawberry and mandarin muffins.

And I couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by the flavour combination. The strawberry and mandarin work beautifully together.  While the mandarin adds a delightful aromatic citrus zest and flavour to the muffins the strawberries provide natural sweetness which is needed due to the intentional lack of sugar in the recipe.

For a little extra goodness I also decided to replace the white refined flour with the more hearty, wholesome and nourishing wholemeal variety.

This particular muffin recipe makes 12 strawberry studded beauties and I am more the happy to say they freeze wonderfully.  Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individually, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop a muffin straight from the freezer into Grace’s lunch box and by lunch time the muffin is defrosted and ready to devour.

I know I’ve said it before but muffins, along with a little fresh fruit, really do make a wonderful baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea snack.  They’re the perfect shape for little hands to grip and nibble away on with ease and they’re gorgeously soft texture makes them an effortless snack from the very beginning of your baby led weaning journey.  In fact, if Grace has been fussy with teething and off her food I’ll often bake a quick batch of fruit filled muffins to induce her appetite once again.

To create these super simple strawberry mandarin muffins simply…

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raspberry & almond scones

raspberry & almond sconesraspberry & almond scones

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to escape to the beach for a much needed family vacay.

We spent the weekend laying in the sun, swimming in the ocean, collection seashells and building sandcastles.

Miss G. loved every moment.

beach

Especially the ocean.

Miss G. was infatuated with the clear blue waves and stood in awe as she watched the waves crash and wash over her teeny tiny feet nestled in the sand.

beachbeach

She loved the ocean so much we could only pry her away from the waters edge to refuel and enjoy a few summer snacks.

Nestled on a towel we munched away on the best summer snacks, wedges of fresh watermelon and refreshing cool salads scrunched into fresh golden bread rolls.

It was perfection.

beach

The moment we returned home we instantly longed for the beach.

So in the hope of cheering us up I decided to bake these lovely little raspberry and almond scones.

They did the trick.

The raspberry spiked dough is perfection.  Not only does the marbled raspberry add natural sweetness to the scone but it also helps the scones remain tender and moist.  And the almond meal is a gorgeous alternative to the usual all flour scone, it creates a gorgeous texture and deep almond flavour.  And rather than using sugar I decided to opt for a little honey instead (NOTE: honey is not suitable for children under the age of one, please use agave or maple syrup instead if your child is under the age of one).

To create these gorgeous raspberry and almond scones simply…

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wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookieswholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

This morning we awoke to unseasonably cool, dark and drizzly weather.

With the sky blanketed in a thick layer of grey rain clouds there was little hope of our daily walk to the park.

Surrendering to this much welcomed change in weather, I decided we would spend the day cuddled up at home, playing, reading and baking these beautifully wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies.

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

This recipe came from the wonderful website of Teresa Cutter – The Healthy Chef.  Teresa has the most amazing knack for creating unbelievably delicious goodies out of pure, wholesome and totally good for you ingredients.  I have also made a batch of her gorgeous scones, you can find the recipe here.

These apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies are divine.

They’re sugar free, egg free, full of whole natural foods and are the perfect texture for little hands to pick up and nibble on with ease.  In terms of a baby led weaning snacks, these apple and cinnamon studded delights are pretty close to perfection.  Not only are they a fuss-free and non-messy snack (ideal for outings) they’re super simple to prepare and only require ten minutes of attention before being popped into the oven to bake to golden perfection.

The main alteration to Teresa’s recipe that I made was using the food processor to whip up the cookies rather than doing them by hand.  I find the processor binds the dough more thoroughly and makes the cookies easier to shape.  It’s also a huge time saver, ideal when you have an impatient 15 month old on your hands.

And these little darlings make the perfect addition to any lunch box.  I’ve stashed a few away in the deep freeze to add to Grace’s lunch box when we’re out and about over the next couple of weeks.

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

Although Miss G. waited quite patiently for the cookies to bake, as soon as the golden darlings emerged from the oven bringing with them the unmistakable fragrance of baked apple and cinnamon her patience all but vanished.

As I photographed the baked golden darlings she plucked a still warm cookie straight from the tray and nibbled away.

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies

It wasn’t long until I did the same.

Fresh from the oven these cookies are perfection.  Golden and chewy with a soft, fluffy, sultana and dried apple studded centre they really are moorish.

To create this gorgeous batch of wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast cookies simply…

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wholesome ricotta hotcakes w’ summer berry sauce

wholesome ricotta hotcakes w' summer berry saucewholesome ricotta hotcakes w' summer berry sauce

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to escape the incessant heat and spend the day in the cool shade of our local animal sanctuary.

kangaroos

What a wonderful day.

Surrounded by spectacular Australian wildlife Grace was in paradise.

kangarookoala

We spent the day strolling through the Australian bush discovering the most wonderful creatures.

Grace was mesmerised by the koalas napping peacefully in their gum trees and giggled uncontrollably as she fed the kangaroos.

We also stopped to watch a couple of platypus swim through their cosy wet homes and we were fascinated by the birds of prey show.

Such beautiful animals.

feeding the kangarooskangaroo

Miss G. even managed to get a close up of a feathery mummy emu.

emu

Before we left for our action packed day I stirred together these easy peasy wholesome ricotta hotcakes and simply summer berry sauce.

I am a huge believer a big day out requires a big, hearty, wholesome breakfast and that’s exactly what these little golden ricotta studded hotcakes are.

They are the kind of breakfast that fills your tummy and keeps you going for most of the day and that they did.

For the few hours we were there we only stopped once for a light snack of fresh fruit and plenty of water.

To create these lovely little wholesome ricotta hotcakes and summer berry sauce simply…

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maple sweet potato loaf

maple sweet potato loafmaple sweet potato loaf

Poor little Miss G. had her 12 month vaccinations today.

Gosh it broke my heart.

Luckily for both of us the process is over as quickly as it begins and after a big cry we enjoy plenty of cuddles and both start to feel better once again.

Knowing that I could have a fussy little one on my hands this afternoon I decided to get up a little early and stir together this super simple sweet potato loaf spiked with maple, vanilla, orange and array of lovely festive spices.

Returning home from the Doctor it was a pleasure to walk into a house smelling of just baked christmas goodness.

Miss G. did quite well all considered and with a big smile sat down to enjoy her morning tea of fresh pear wedges and a little slice of sweet potato loaf.

To create this lovely maple sweet potato loaf simply…

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gingerbread muffins

gingerbread muffinsgingerbread muffins

The expression says it all.

These little christmas inspired gingerbread babies are scrumptious.

As I mentioned earlier this week, leading up to the holidays, I will be bringing you a gorgeous collection of classic christmas recipes that have been tweaked, reworked and modified to be perfect festive baby led weaning meals, snacks and treats and todays recipe are these beautiful gingerbread muffins.

Gingerbread cookies are the quintessential festive treat but unfortunately for the little ones they’re chock full of sugar and pretty hard for tiny mouths to get around.  Not to mention quite fiddly to prepare. So not to miss out I decided to put all of the festive gingerbread cookie goodness into a batch of wholesome, sugar free, totally good for you muffins.

I started with my usual muffin batter of wholemeal flour, yoghurt, olive oil, eggs and vanilla and for a little sweetness added a generous drizzle of golden syrup and two grated fuji apples.  And to echo the heady warm depth and festive aromas of gingerbread cookies I added the amazing spice mix of a little ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and a pinch of cloves.

As these little darlings baked to golden perfection in the oven they filled the house with the aromas of christmas cheer.  They smell amazing!

Whilst taking a few snaps of the just baked muffins Miss G. edged her way through to sneak an early nibble.  Seems she just couldn’t wait.  And I understand why.  When we sat to enjoy our late breakfast of a fresh from the oven gingerbread muffin and wedges of rockmelon I couldn’t believe how fragrant, tender, soft and moist the gingerbread muffins were.  The apple not only seemed to add a gorgeous sweetness to the batter but kept the muffin moist and very tender.

I will be baking these gingerbread muffins again christmas morning.  They are the perfect light festive breakfast before the christmas lunch feast begins.

To bake a gorgeous batch of these amazingly fragrant gingerbread muffins simply…

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