sweetcorn pasta salad

sweetcorn pasta saladsweetcorn pasta salad

It’s not often Miss G. becomes fanatical about her food but of late our little miss has become utterly obsessed with sweet corn.

Each and every time I make my way into the kitchen and stand at the bench I hear the chants of a toddler demanding ‘corn, corn, corn’ pacing incessantly behind me.

So not to disappoint (or more importantly to avoid the dreaded terrible toddler terror tantrum) I’ve managed to work the bright yellow kernels of sunshine sweetness into most meals of late and this sweetcorn pasta salad is our favourite corn incarnation by far.

Not only is this gorgeously zesty salad chock full of nutritious goodness but it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  It can be on the table and ready to devour in the time it takes to boil a little pasta and stored in an air tight container nestled in the fridge this salad is just as wonderful the next day.

Although Miss G. concentrates most of her eating efforts on the corn and pasta, she also manages to gobble up a good amount of fresh tomato, cucumber and mint as well, making for a very happy mummy.

To create this gorgeously fresh and zesty sweetcorn pasta salad simply…

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spinach & ricotta fritters

spinach & ricotta frittersspinach & ricotta fritters

What I love most about sharing my baby led weaning recipes on my lovely little lunch box is meeting and talking to you beautiful mama’s!

I love receiving your emails and comments and adore hearing all about your baby led weaning wins.

Lately, a lot of mama’s about to embark on the baby led weaning journey have been asking me the same question, ‘I am really confused about what foods to begin baby led weaning with, do you have any recommendations?’.

My answer each and every time: vegetable fritters.

When we first began baby led weaning with Miss G. vegetable fritters were our go to meal!

No only are they super simple to prepare and jam packed with a tonne of wonderful vegetables but they’re the perfect shape and texture for teeny tiny little hands to hold and nibble on with ease.  When beginning baby led weaning always keep in mind food offered to your little one should be chip shaped (i.e. long and rectangle) and have a texture that is able to be squished between your finger and thumb.

So far I have conjured up batches of sweet corn fritters, zucchini fritters, pea fritters, sweet potato fritters and carrot fritters and Miss G. has adored them all.

And although we may be nine months into our baby led weaning journey, Miss G’s. still adores her vege packed fritters so today I cooked us up a batch of gorgeously golden spinach and ricotta fritters.  Unbelievably simple to prepare, these delicious fritters are chock full of spinach and flavoured with lemon zest and a little parmesan cheese.

spinach & ricotta fritters

Miss G. couldn’t wait to tuck in and quickly gobbled up two spinach flecked fritters along with a simple salad of tomato and zucchini ribbons.

To read more of my tips on getting started with baby led weaning click here.

To create a batch of these gorgeously golden spinach & ricotta fritters simply…

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ultimate roasted vegetables

ultimate roast vegesultimate roast veges

Even though we celebrate Christmas in the middle of an Australian summer, gorgeous golden crispy roasted vegetables are still a must on our festive table.  But rather than enjoying them straight from the oven I opt to bake them Christmas eve and serve them at room temperature along with a cool crunchy zesty salad of greens for a much lighter christmas lunch.

Over the years and thanks to the genius of Jamie Oliver my roast vegetables have evolved into divine little babies that are wonderfully fluffy in the middle and gorgeously golden and crispy on the outside.  The secret to creating the ultimate roast vege is to parboil the starchy vegetables prior to roasting.

Once the vegetables are parboiled, I drain them and as instructed by Jamie give them a good shake to break up the surface of the vegetables in order to create super crispy, gorgeous golden edges.  I then pop the manhandled vegetables onto a baking tray along with a few greens, a big handful of garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh herbs and a good drizzle of olive oil.

After a good hour or so in the oven the vegetables are pure perfection.  Golden, crispy edges with a light fluffy soft interior.

To ensure these little darlings are baby led weaning appropriate I didn’t season the vegetables whatsoever this year and opted to cut the vegetables into rather large chunky pieces so that teeny tiny little hands would be able to pick them up and nibble away with ease.

To create the ultimate roast veges for your christmas supper simply…

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festive pasta salad

festive pasta saladfestive pasta salad

I love this time of year.

The air is filled with the scent of just cut grass, the market shelves are groaning under the weight of mangoes, cherries and stone fruit and afternoons are spent escaping the hot sun in the back yard wading pool.

The long hot summer days leading up to Christmas are just wonderful.

summer days

During the summer months I love to take full advantage of this beautiful weather so we usually begin our day with a huge walk around the park, building up a sweat, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the early morning still tolerable sun.

Returning home we dive into our summertime breakfast of mango smoothies, alongside a little stone fruit and toast and then the summer times fun begins.

With a one year old on my hands, keeping little Miss entertained and busy through the extra long days is challenging so I usually devise a rough plan or to do list for the day and travel around an array of fun little activities I have set up.

We spend the day playing, reading books, riding trikes, enjoying the park playground and our favourite summer past time swimming in the pool.

Tuckered out from all of the action, Miss G. usually winds down for a early afternoon nap which gives me a chance to run around like a mad woman and accomplish a few chores and hopefully get onto dinner.  I love to get dinner done and out of the way before evening rolls around.  I find the more relaxed I am around bed time, the easy little miss is to get to sleep.

Thanks to a few extra loads of washing today I didn’t quite get to dinner before Miss G. was awake.  So with my lovely little helper by my side I put together this super simple pasta salad of perfectly aldente calice, fresh juicy tomatoes, punchy herbs, olives and creamy bocconcini all smothered in a gorgeous basil pesto dressing.

This pasta salad is a family favourite and the perfect salad to serve christmas day.  It’s fresh, light, full of flavour, easy to prepare and a complete crowd pleaser.

To create this wonderfully fragrant pasta salad perfect for the entire family simply…

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turkey, cranberry & sage sausage rolls

turkey cranberry & sage sausage rolls

turkey cranberry & sage sausage rolls

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of bringing a little christmas cheer into our home.

We listened to carols.

Put up our tree.

Strung beautiful, twinkling, white christmas lights.

And adorned the place with a collection of our favourite christmas decorations and ornaments.

Miss G. loved it.

Its was so special to watch her excitedly string decorations around the christmas tree for the very first time.

She did, however, manage to smash a few.

Nothing too important.

Just the ‘baby’s first christmas 2012′ bauble.

***insert sarcasm here***

Grrrrr!

My eye is still twitching.

Anywho, amongst the shards of broken christmas decorations, I made the executive decision to perch the tree, far out of reach of small clumsy hands, on top of the dining room table until Christmas day.

christmas

I love spending December revelling in all things festive, especially the food and I love to cook, bake, make, roll, baste, boil and caramelise my way through the silly season so with Grace tucked up into bed, I poured a glass of wine, pulled out my notepad and started planning my christmas cooking.

This year though I am putting a baby led weaning spin on all of my beloved christmas recipes and I’m so excited to share with you a collection of classic christmas recipes that are suitable for the entire family.

I have tweaked and reworked all of the recipes to not only be a joy to prepare, but simple to make, absolutely finger licking delicious and most importantly perfect baby led weaning meals, snacks and festive goodies!

First recipe off the rank are these gorgeous turkey, cranberry and sage sausage rolls.

Moist turkey mince spiked with cranberry, sage, spring onions, dijon mustard and garlic surrounded in a layer of gorgeously puffed golden pastry, these little babies are scrumptious.

I made a few shortcuts to the original recipe (like replacing onions with spring onions, thus eliminating the need to fry) so that they can be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

Once cooled, these little puffed golden parcels of turkey deliciousness make the perfect festive baby led weaning party snack.  They are the perfect shape for little hands to grip easily and the soft texture makes them easy to devour.  Miss G. enjoyed hers today, alongside a little fruit for lunch.

To create this lovely batch of festive turkey, cranberry and sage sausage rolls simply…

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spinach & ricotta pie

spinach & ricotta pie

spinach & ricotta pie

Spinach and ricotta pie is an all time family favourite of ours but I don’t make it often enough because I loath dealing with fiddly pastry.

With a walking one year old toddling around the house I simply do not have time for pastry making, blind baking or layering filo.

So when I stumbled across this super simple spinach and ricotta pie recipe thanks to Teresa Cutter, I couldn’t have been happier.

I love that The Healthy Chef has replaced fussy, hard to handle and stress inducing pastry with simple, gorgeous, healthy ribbons of lovely sweet potato.  Pure genius.

I also adore that the entire pie can be whipped up in less than ten minutes.  Simply pop all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.

Not only a joy to prepare, this pie is also completely delicious to eat.

The creamy mellow ricotta is studded with handfuls of baby spinach, zesty coins of spring onion, as well as an array of punchy fresh herbs; basil, sage and parsley.  The large pinch of nutmeg adds a beautiful warm depth to the pie and smells divine whilst baking away in the oven.

The texture of the baked pie is wonderful for the little ones, especially for baby led weaning beginners!  The pie is firm enough to be handled by little hands but soft enough to be nibbled on easily.  Miss G. loved it!  This recipe is also fantastic to pop into the lunch box!

With this recipe now in my arsenal I’ll be whipping up our family favourite all. the. time.

To create this gorgeous spinach & ricotta pie simply…

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sweet potato tuna patties

sweet potato tuna pattiessweet potato tuna patties

With Miss G. still insisting on eating each and every meal at her table and chairs my search for simple, easy to eat and most importantly not so messy food continues.Miss G.

My hunt this morning led me to these gorgeous sweet potato and tuna patties spiked with lemon, mint and spring onions.

Not only are these gorgeously golden crispy patties fuss free and easy to eat but they are delicious!

The addition of sweet potato is genius, it not only adds a beautiful sweet earthy flavour to the patties but creates a soft tender scrumptious texture that the little ones love and appreciate.

Grace stood by my side kicking her feet with excitement whilst the little patties were frying away and couldn’t hardly wait until they cooled down enough before she dove in.

To create this lovely batch of sweet potato tuna patties simply…

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