This week our sweet little Harry turns one.
I still can’t quite believe we are celebrating his first birthday. It seems like only yesterday I was cradling the sweetest smelling cuddly snuggly newborn baby boy on my chest, beaming with pride wondering what I did to deserve such a divine little fella. And now my bright bubbly blonde boy is racing around the house giving his big sister a run for her money. Time truly does fly.
This weekend we are throwing our big birthday boy a special little party to celebrate. Along with the usual decorations, family and friends there is going to be a lot of delicious (a.k.a sugar laden) food including a Peter Rabbit inspired birthday cake. So with the sugar onslaught set to begin I decided to balance the food scales a little today and put together this super simple everyday salad with hasselback sweet potatoes for supper.
This salad couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Just cover a serving dish in a layer of fresh greens (today I used baby spinach, rocket and mint leaves) and adorn row-by-row with your favourite salad ingredients. After a dig around the refrigerator this afternoon I decided to use capsicum, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrot, avocado, corn and some delicious garlic and herb scented feta. The results were a fresh, crunchy, delicious salad full of all of the good stuff.
The hasselback potatoes are an old family favourite of mine. The slits along the sweet potato help the orange hued vege roast to gorgeous golden perfection and add a lovely crunch to each deliciously creamy bite of sweet potato. If you haven’t tried sweet potato like this you must give it a go! The kids love it!
In terms of baby led weaning, this salad and sweet potato are perfect for the little ones! Just be sure to slice your salad ingredients into long thin pieces so that blw beginners can easily grab the goodness and once your little one has mastered their pincer grip they’ll have no issues with the smaller pieces (corn, cherry tomatoes). When serving the sweet potato, simply slice them up into smaller pieces to they’re easily picked up.
To create your own bright and fresh everyday salad and hasselback sweet potatoes simply…
Believe it or not there are evenings cooking dinner is the very last thing I feel like doing.
Yes, I am a food blogger and I absolutely adore cooking but with two little cherubs of endless energy at home all day, every day I often don’t have the time, patience or sanity for cooking.
On these evenings I usually turn to my store cupboard staples to save the day, the kind of ingredients that need very little effort (and cooking time) to come together in a low key, easy to prepare simple supper.
Pesto, pasta and frozen prawns are my favourite go-to’s at the moment and its easy to see why. Pesto adds instant zest and herby flavour to whatever dish it nestles its way into, pasta is a hearty staple adored by all children and frozen prawns go from rock hard ice cubes to golden juicy morsels of deliciousness in less than 7 minutes.
Tonights supper married all three ingredients to create the most gorgeously fragrant spaghetti adorned with the simplest vege, oven roasted truss tomatoes and it was amazing.
You really must give this one a go.
In terms of baby led weaning this supper is perfection. The pesto sauce entices even the pickiest of eaters, while the spaghetti is a sensory sensation all kids love! And the golden juicy succulent prawns are a great way to introduce seafood to beginners!
To create your own pesto prawn spaghetti with oven roasted truss tomatoes simply…
Today’s roast cauliflower orecchiette with crispy herb and parmesan crumbs is the perfect baby led weaning supper. The golden roasted florets of cauliflower are not only gorgeously sweet but are the perfect shape for little hands to pick up and nibble on with ease. And the little rounded ears of orecchiette pasta are the ideal shape for little ones who are in the midst of developing their pincer grip (ability to grasp objects between their index finger and thumb – this usually occurs between 9-12 months of age). If your little one is just beginning their baby led weaning journey feel free to replace the orecchiette shaped pasta with penne or eliche shaped pasta which is far more suited to their palmar grasp.
This gorgeous supper is made even more delicious thanks to the addition of herb and parmesan spiked golden sour dough crumbs strewn throughout. The crumbs add a beautiful point of textural difference which is welcomed by most children, my little ones devoured the pasta then sat for a good ten minutes picking up each and every last piece of golden crumb. Miss G. kept saying how me she loved the crunch, crunch.
Because I choose not to salt the water I cook the pasta in, or add any salt during the cooking process, I feel it is ok to adorn each pile of pasta served with the slightest grating of parmesan. This adds gorgeous flavour to the kids supper without adding too much salt. Feel free to omit the extra parmesan if your little one has eaten a snack or meal higher in salt during the day.
The recipe makes quite a bit of pasta which suits me just fine. It means I can serve it up two nights in a row and have a night off cooking. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish as the thawing/reheating process would ruin the beautiful texture of this pasta.
To create your own roast cauliflower orecchiette with crispy herb and parmesan crumbs simply…
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…
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.
Say “yay!” to less washing with a Little Chomps Messy Mealtime Smock
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…
These zucchini studded pancakes spiked with fresh basil and lemon zest make the perfect baby led weaning simple supper, especially when served alongside our beautiful caprese salad.
And these gorgeously golden pan fried babies couldn’t be simpler to prepare. I was easily able to whip these up with my two little cherubs dancing around my feet in well under 15 minutes. Simply whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, add the shredded zucchini, basil and lemon zest and get frying.
To serve alongside our pancakes I decided to put together a family sized super simple caprese salad because after a naughty mother’s day lunch we were all in need of a good hit of nutritional yumminess. This salad is a simple arrangement of ripe juicy tomato slices, pieces of creamy bocconcini and torn basil leaves drizzled under a light blanket of pesto lemon dressing.
If you’re looking for a meat free dinner idea I really can’t recommend these pancakes enough. They are light, fluffy and totally scrumptious.
To create your own batch of zucchini studded pancakes and tomato basil salad simply…
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!
To create your own spaghetti polpette simply…