pasta with broccoli pesto

pasta with broccoli pestopasta with broccoli pesto

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.

miss g.

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.

mr h.

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…

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organic ravioli with pumpkin, pesto & pistachio

organic ravioli with pumpkin pesto & pistachioorganic ravioli with pumpkin pesto & pistachio

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

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…

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zucchini pancakes w’ tomato & basil salad

zucchini pancakes w' caprese saladzucchini pancakes w' caprese salad

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…

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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

To create your own spaghetti polpette simply…

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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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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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mini pea & pesto frittatas

mini pea & pesto frittatasmini pea & pesto frittatas

These mini pea & pesto frittatas are the perfect ‘go-to’ baby led weaning lunch or dinner recipe when you are low on time and energy.

They take mere moments to prepare and once nestled in the oven these little pea studded babies only take ten minutes or so to bake to golden gorgeousness.

I often bake a batch of these when dinner or lunch time has crept up and I am fresh out of ingredients and ideas of what to cook.

This recipe is also wonderful because its infinitely adaptable.  The peas can be replaced with pretty much any vegetable you have sitting in your refrigerator, I often use leftover roasted sweet potato and pumpkin which is just as delicious.  Thinly sliced asparagus is yummy too!

These mini frittatas also make a wonderful addition to any lunch box.  Chock full of vege and calcium rich cheese they are wonderfully nutritious and perfect for growing bodies.

I don’t recommend freezing these frittatas.  Once frozen and defrosted I find the frittatas texture changes to slightly rubbery and not very enjoyable.   That said, the zingy pesto and fresh basil add so much gorgeous flavour to the frittatas they vanish all too quickly.

To create a batch of these mini pea & pesto frittatas simply…

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