the best spring time pizza ever

the best spring time pizza everthe best spring time pizza ever

Now that the days are long and hot we’re spending more and more time outdoors.  Most balmy afternoons the kids play in the backyard, digging around in the sandpit, skipping through the sprinkler or playing in the cubby house right up until the sun begins to sink beneath the horizon turning the ever darkening sky the most beautiful shades of burnt orange.

It’s usually right at this moment I see the pangs of hunger flash across their tired and weary eyes and I quickly realise in the midst of the beautiful spring afternoon I haven’t yet prepared dinner.

These evenings I usually make a mad dash to the kitchen to rescue a stack of wholemeal pita breads from the pantry and get about making a simple pizza or two for supper.  Tonight’s pizza’s celebrated the best of spring produce and were adorned with ribbons of fresh asparagus and zucchini and really couldn’t be more simple to prepare.

Baby led weaning is messy

The pizza base’s were smothered in a generous layer of ricotta spiked with a little parmesan, lemon zest and fresh thyme leaves.  Nestled in the ricotta were the silky ribbons of zucchini and asparagus as well as shaved morsels of turkey breast.  And to top things off a thin layer of shredded mozzarella cheese was added along with a few dots of gorgeously green and beautifully fragrant basil pesto.

After a ten minute trip to a very hot oven the pizza’s returned golden and completely gorgeous.  I popped the kids into a warm bath whilst the pizza’s cooled and once snuggled in fresh pyjamas we sat at the kitchen table and tucked into slices of delicious home made pizza alongside juicy wedges of fresh tomatoes.

Seeing their little faces eagerly devour our very simple supper of beautiful spring produce my heart sang and beckoned for more stunning spring days just like these.

To create the best spring time pizza ever simply…

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banana coconut mini loaves

banana coconut breakfast loavesbanana coconut breakfast loaves

As the spring sun begins to rise earlier and earlier each day so too do my little ones.

Our days now officially begin the moments the first rays of spring sunshine sneakily peak through the cracks of the curtains.

I don’t mind too much though as we’ve been making the most of these early mornings either by going for a gorgeous walk in the beautiful sunshine or spending the first hour of the morning nestled by the kitchen bench baking up a storm.

This morning we opted for the latter and decided to bake a special batch of banana and coconut loaves chockfull of deliciousness.

These banana and coconut mini loaves couldn’t be simpler to prepare, they come together in mere moments with very little effort and all in the one big mixing bowl.  Miss G. had the best fun mashing the bananas!  And thanks to the loaves being so cute and teeny tiny they take no time at all to bake.

Baby led weaning is messy

These mini loaves are taken to the heights of deliciousness thanks to the adornment of a scrumptious layer of banana, coconut, cinnamon and sprinkle of rapadura sugar.  Once baked this layer of goodness caramelises to gorgeous goldenness and fills the house with most divine aromas of comforting banana and cinnamon.

This recipe creates 12 mini loaves so please feel free to cool half the loaves, wrap individual portions and pop into a freezer bag or container.  They will keep beautifully in the deep freeze for up to 3 months and make a wonderful addition to any lunch box.

In terms of baby led weaning, these loaves are very easy for beginners to pick up and nibble on.  The loaves texture is firm enough to withstand tight little grips yet soft enough to be nibbled on.  These loaves are sweetened thanks to the lovely combination of mashed banana and a half cup of rapadura sugar.  However, a lot of sweetness and flavour also comes from the fragrant ground cinnamon and vanilla bean paste so if your bananas are especially sweet, please feel free to half the amount of sugar.

To create your own divine little batch of banana coconut breakfast loaves simply…

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blueberry coconut cookies with dark choc drizzle

blueberry coconut cookies with choc drizzleblueberry coconut cookies with choc drizzle

Spring has definitely sprung.  Along with the gorgeously warm and sunny days comes a whole heap of much desired playtime that my kids are absolutely gobbling up.  Most days are spent in the back garden, digging around in the sandpit, playing in the cubby house or riding their little cars round and round the garden.  I absolutely love it because let’s be honest, it gives me a few extra moments of peace.

With all of the extra running around I thought the kids could indulge in a little ‘sometimes’ sweet, something a little bit special and extra sweet than our normal snacks.  Most days I try to keep snack time pretty healthy but with all of the extra activity I figure a little blueberry coconut cookie drizzled with a little dark chocolate couldn’t hurt.

That said, these cookies aren’t too bad.  Yes they are sweetened with rapadura sugar and a little maple syrup but they’re also chockfull of blueberries, oats, shredded unsweetened coconut and wholemeal flour.  And whilst the chocolate drizzled over each cookie looks quite impressive and decadent, by weight the amount is quite minimal.  I melted 50 grams of dark chocolate (that adorned over 20 cookies) and a lot of it met the baking paper rather than the cookies, especially when Miss G. was in charge of the drizzle.

As you can imagine both of my little ones absolutely adored the cookies, especially Mr H.

Mr H. wearing the little chomps messy mealtimes smock

By the end of his cookie he had completely covered himself in dark chocolate and smashed blueberry but I didn’t mind at all thanks to his Little Chomps messy mealtime smock.

This gorgeous smock (I adore the bright red colour) has been an absolute lifesaver since Mr H. began his baby led weaning journey.  Not only has my washing pile been cut in half but his clothes have remained stain free giving them a longer shelf life and saving me money yippee!

Baby led weaning is messy

I also love that the smock is completely waterproof, wipeable and machine-washable.  Following a really messy meal I simply peel the smock off Mr H. and pop it straight into the washing machine!  I have four of the gorgeous smocks (they come in the coolest colours) so that they are always on hand and ready to go!  I even keep one in the nappy bag for when we are out and about!

Mr H. wearing his Little Chomps messy mealtimes smock

Another feature I simply adore is the elastic sleeves, they are intelligently designed to cuff little wrists perfectly to stop food and drinks destroying sleeves without being too tight around chubby little arms.

Mr H. wearing his Little Chomps messy mealtimes smock

The smock comes in one size designed to grow with your little ones from 6 months to 2+ years, always remaining long enough to cover their little lap perfectly.  Meanwhile, how gorgeous are Mr H.’s baby toes…

The smock is made from a soft, breathable, biodegradable fabric that is  BPA and PVC-free.  I also love that the fabric isn’t plastic so it doesn’t distract little ones with that terrible sounds only plastic makes.

What I love most though is the messy mealtime smock is proudly designed by a beautiful and very talented Australian mum.  You can really see the thought, attention and detail that has gone into the smock to create such an amazing product.  If you’re in the market for a smock I really can’t recommend this one more.

To create your own batch of blueberry coconut cookies drizzled with luscious dark chocolate simply…

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kale, broccoli & cherry tomato penne with crispy garlicky breadcrumbs

kale, broccoli & cherry tomato pennekale, broccoli & cherry tomato penne

Over the weekend we celebrated Mr H.’s first birthday with a little Peter Rabbit inspired party.

Mr H.'s 1st birthdayMr H.'s 1st birthday

Mr H.'s 1st birthdayMr H.'s 1st birthday

The birthday boy had a fabulous time.

Mr H.'s 1st birthdayMr H.'s 1st birthday

Mr H.'s 1st birthdayMr H.'s 1st birthday

With a weekend chockfull of sugary treats and wonderful birthday cake this week I wanted to get back to the good stuff so we cooked up this easy peasy penne pasta dish jam packed glorious vege and topped with crispy garlicky breadcrumbs.

little chomps

I’m so pleased that the kids loved and gobbled up this pasta, they even devoured the golden roasted pieces of kale, broccoli, fennel, zucchini and cherry tomatoes.  However, I have to admit they did favour the crispy, golden, crunchy, garlicky flavoured breadcrumbs just that little bit more.

To create your own kale, broccoli & cherry tomato penne with crispy garlicky breadcrumbs simply…

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everyday salad w’ hasselback sweet potato

everyday salad w' hasselback potatoeseveryday salad w' hasselback potatoes

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.

birthday boyhappy birthday

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.

little chomps

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…

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pesto prawn spaghetti with oven roasted truss tomatoes

pesto prawn spaghetti with oven roasted truss tomatoespesto prawn spaghetti with oven roasted truss tomatoes

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.

little chomps

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…

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raspberry coconut cookies

raspberry coconut cookiesraspberry coconut cookies

Yesterday my sweet little helpers and I had the pleasure of spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen.  Not only did we manage to make one gigantic mess but we stirred together these gorgeously golden raspberry and coconut cookies.

And I have to say these cookies are absolutely delicious.  Chockfull of nutritional oats, shredded coconut and wholewheat flour and sweetened with a mix of rapadura sugar and maple syrup these little babies are not only delicious but a great little treat to pop into the lunch box.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of rapadura (or coconut sugar) I cut this amount in half and only added a half cup of sugar to the dough but on tasting the cookies I think the sugar could be cut down further, so if you’re that way inclined please feel free to do so.  1/3 cup or even 1/4 cup of sugar would suffice.  Also if your unable to find rapadura or coconut sugar, brown sugar can be used too.

Thankfully these cookies only take 10 or so minutes to bake to gorgeous goldenness, because as they bake the most gorgeous aromas of coconut, maple syrup and caramelised raspberries waft from the oven and certainly get tummies rumbling.

In terms of baby led weaning, the texture of these cookies makes them perfect for blw beginners as they are soft enough to nibble on with ease yet firm enough to withstand tight little grips.  Mr H. smashed his way through one of the cookies, along side a fresh strawberry for afternoon tea.

Although I haven’t tested it myself I also imagine these cookies would freeze and thaw beautifully.  So if you do go ahead and bake  a batch please feel free to wrap the leftover cookies, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to three months.

To create your own batch of raspberry coconut cookies simply…

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