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 & apple oat crisp bars

strawberry & apple oat crisp barsstrawberry & apple oat crisp bars

Oh it feels so wonderful to be back in the kitchen and baking once again.

We’ve just experienced one of the most unbelievably crazy months.

Between teething molars, tummy bugs, trips to emergency (both Grace and I), the flu, spring cleaning, redecorating the house and a family beach vacay we have been completely out of our usual routine.

The good news is we made it through and today we’re back with these totally gorgeous strawberry and apple oat crisp bars.

These bars are amazing and come from one of my all-time favourite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  The moment these gorgeously golden fruit layered oat bars hit my inbox I knew Grace and I had to bake them.  They’re everything we look for in a morning tea snack; they’re chock full of oats and fruit, taste incredible and are the perfect portable snack.  We made a few adjustments to the original recipe (mostly in the method so that Grace could get involved in the baking) and we also swapped the rhubarb for apple.

These bars really are a breeze to prepare, Grace and I managed to get them into the oven in less than 10 minutes and only used one mixing bowl, which is great when you’re trying to clean with an eager 18 month old chasing you around the kitchen.

Once baked, I popped a couple of the crispy golden strawberry and apple strewn bars into the lunch box and Grace devoured them alongside a little fruit for her snack at the park this morning.

To create these gorgeous strawberry & apple oat crisp bars simply…

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coconut peach pancakes

coconut peach pancakes

coconut peach pancakes

Miss G. is sick.

Again.

Poor bubba.

It’s nothing serious, just a few sad sniffles but its been enough to take the wind out of her sails and well and truly dampen her appetite.

In the hope of cheering my lovely little lady up and get her eating once again I decided to stir together a little happiness by way of pancake batter this morning.sick bubba x

To our usual beloved pancake batter I opted this time to take our pancakes on a tropical holiday with the help of a little coconut and gorgeously ripe and juicy peaches.

This combination is divine.

The peaches nestled in each pancake caramelise wonderfully once they hit the hot fry pan, intensifying their sweetness and the coconut strewn throughout the tender, moist, sweet crumbs echoes all of the deliciousness of a coconut macaroon.

Miss G. ate a whole pancake for breakfast along with a little banana and sultanas.

Feeling much better already.

To create your own gorgeously golden coconut peach pancakes simply…

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vegemite & cheese wholemeal spaghetti

vegemite & cheese wholemeal spaghettivegemite & cheese wholemeal spaghetti

Miss G. is a huge fan of vegemite so when flicking through Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen cookbook I knew we had to conjure up this concoction of hers.

Vegemite and cheese wholemeal spaghetti.

Only requiring 4 ingredients and taking no more than 10 minutes to prepare this simple lunch or supper is superb.  Its savoury, wholesome and completely scrumptious.  If you’re a fan of vegemite you are going to love this spaghetti!

For the little ones not yet versed in the ‘art’ of eating spaghetti I would recommend using a short pasta like fusilli, rigatoni or penne.

And it goes without saying that yes, this little bowl of vegemite soaked spaghetti deliciousness is very messy but totally worth it.

To create this gorgeously savoury spaghetti simply…

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carrot cake scones

carrot cake scones

carrot cake scones

There are moments in the kitchen when you know you’re onto a winner.

Today I had such a moment thanks to these wonderful carrot cake scones.

The moment I tumbled the gorgeously orange carrot spiked dough onto our floured board and caught the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and maple syrup I knew these little babies were going to be all kinds of amazing.

I got the idea to conjure up these little beauties after racking my brain for new breakfast on-the-go ideas for Miss G.

Lately she’s been a little fussy around breakfast time especially when we’re out and about so I wanted to create a 1simple, fuss -free, nutritious alternative to our usual toast or muffin.

And knowing scones always go down a treat I thought why not mix in a little carrot, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice and create a carrot cake scone.

Perfection.

And I have to say, when baked, these scones truly do echo all the deliciousness that is carrot cake.  They’re rich, amazingly fragrant and chock full of earthy sweet carrot and sultanas.

Along with a little diced mango and fresh raspberries Miss G. demolished her carrot cake scone with no worries at all.

To create your own batch of these carrot cake scones simply…

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baby friendly maple french toast

baby friendly french toast

baby friendly french toast

Most mornings breakfast is a pretty simple affair.

A little avocado on toast, fresh strawberries and half a banana is our usual fare.

However most mornings I wonder why I bother with the toast.

Rather than eating the bread and avocado together old school style Miss G.’s unique approach is to lick the toast clean of avocado leaving most of the golden bread behind.

A little worried about her clear lack of carb loading I have experimented with each and every type of loaf under the sun.

Wholemeal, multigrain, soy and linseed, farmers loaves, sourdough, pita bread, toasted turkish, english muffins, you name it I’ve tried it but still no luck.

It seems Miss G. just isn’t digging toast (or bread of any kind) which leaves me short on quick and easy baby led weaning breakfast options.  Something this sleep deprived mama most definitely doesn’t need first thing in the morning.

Todays breakfast of baby friendly french toast is my last ditch attempt to see if Miss G. will enjoy toast for breakfast.  I figure the golden eggy softer texture and lashings of  maple syrup might just sway her.

Miss G.

And it did.

She loved the french toast.

The softer texture was definitely more up her alley and I was so pleased to see her gobble up an entire piece of maple soaked toast along with a handful of fresh berries and dollop of yoghurt.

From now on I’ll be whipping up a batch on the weekend when I have a little more time on my hands and freezing the leftovers to enjoy when the midweek madness hits.

To create your own gorgeously golden eggy toast smothered in maple syrup and fresh berries simply…

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old school bread & butter pudding

bread & butter puddingbread & butter pudding

For me, bread and butter pudding is the absolute epitome of comfort food.  During the cool winter months I love to bake comforting desserts, the kind of dessert you can look forward to after a long cold miserable day, one that will nestle serenely in a big bowl upon your lap as you melt into a big comforting sofa escaping the cool evening air under a cosy throw.  Digging into a bowl of warm bread and butter pudding soothes the soul in the most magical way.

Bread and butter pudding also provides a healthy dose of nostalgia, its the kind of old school dessert most of us were happy to tuck into during our childhood where we first discovered the divine virtues of vanilla, custard and cinnamon.  I relish in passing on these classic comfort food traditions.  It’s definitely not something that we eat every day but on a special occasion a trip down heavenly memory lane is certainly something to indulge in.

This morning as I prepared the bread and butter pudding I was transported back to the times of my grandmother.  I could just imagine a young housewife clattering about her kitchen bringing together with a little homely genius the most humble of ingredients to create a truly wonderful dessert for her family.  In the days of my young grandmother necessity was most definitely the mother of invention and the limited ingredients of the day most certainly inspired ingenious culinary solutions just like this bread and butter pudding.

To create your own little slice of comfort simply…

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