choc cross scones

choc cross sconeschoc cross scones

We officially kicked off our Easter baking yesterday with these gorgeous and very simple choc cross scones.

Chockfull of plump sultanas and apricots and scented with cinnamon these Easter inspired scones are not only delicious but are far less labour intensive than traditional hot cross buns.  With the help of my favourite piece of kitchen gadgetry, the food processor, these scones came together almost effortlessly and in the matter of mere moments.

Once the dough was ready Miss G. had the best fun patting and shaping the sultana flecked dough and spent a good ten minutes giggling whilst cutting out the scones with our pastry cutter.

Once nestled in the oven the scones baked to gorgeous goldenness and filled the house with the sweetest scent of Easter.

Whilst the scones cooled, Miss G. and I melted a little dark chocolate to adorn the scones with the traditional Easter cross.  I can’t say how proud she was standing over admiring the choc cross scones but I think this picture says it all…

choc cross scones

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orange cranberry soda bread

cranberry orange soda breadcranberry orange soda bread

Sunday mornings usually mean some type of pancakes at our place.  This weekend however, we decided to try something a little different and bake a gorgeously golden loaf of orange cranberry soda bread and I am so glad we did.

This bread is not only a breeze to bake, we had our fruit spiked loaf nestled in the oven in less than 10 minutes but is a delicious alternative to our usual pancakes.

Preparing this loaf is much like baking a batch of scones, you rub a little butter into flour, add milk to create a dough, shape and bake until golden and cooked.  Its very simple and just like scones, this loaf also freezes beautifully.  Our surplus loaf was cut into thick slices, wrap individually and popped into the deep freeze ready to be enjoyed later in the week.

Grace had the best fun making this loaf, not only because she was in charge of measuring the ingredients which resulted in flour absolutely everywhere but playing and kneading the dough has to be the best fun a 2 year old can have in the kitchen.

The flavour of this bread is just lovely.  The cranberry and orange work together beautifully to create the most amazingly flavoured loaf and I just love that the cranberries caramelise throughout the orange scented dough.  We served our loaf, still warm, alongside a little fresh fruit and fresh orange juice.

To create your own gorgeously golden loaf of cranberry orange soda bread simply…

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strawberry heart scones

strawberry sconesstrawberry scones

Miss G. and I did a little Valentine’s Day inspired baking yesterday and came up with these gorgeous little heart shaped strawberry scones.

They are delish.

Chock full of fresh strawberries and laced with a good dollop of vanilla bean paste these pink hued babies smell and taste of summertime strawberries and cream.

Rather than following the traditional route I decided we’d skip mixing the scones together by hand and opt instead for the food processor.  And thanks to our favourite kitchen gadget the strawberry studded scone dough came together almost effortlessly and in a matter of just moments.

Grace had the most fun though once we started playing with the dough.  Watching her flatten the dough into a chubby disc and cut out the little heart shaped scones melted my heart.   Yes it got a little messy but it was totally worth it.  Her little face was so proud and full of excitement as she plonked the heart shaped scones onto our baking sheet.  And of course she was in charge of ‘painting’ the scones with their obligatory adornment of milk.

Once nestled in the oven the scones grew and turned the most wonderful shade of gorgeous goldenness.  And thankfully the scones didn’t take long to cool down as Grace could hardly wait to dig in.  Once cool enough I sliced a strawberry studded scone in half, topped with strawberry jam and a dollop of Greek yoghurt and my lovely little taste tester gobbled it up praising her cooking efforts.

In terms of baby led weaning, scones make a wonderful morning or afternoon tea treat.  They’re texture is perfect for baby led weaning beginners, firm enough to withstand a tight grip yet soft enough to be nibbled on with ease.  So far I have baked mango coconut scones, raspberry almond scones, carrot cake scones, and even a batch of pumpkin scones.  All recipes include a good serving of fruit (or vege) and have been gobbled up and enjoyed by little kids (and big).  Scones also freeze beautifully.  I often bake big batches of scones to stash in the deep freeze, they not only last up to 3 months frozen but defrost and reheat beautifully!

To bake your own batch of Valentine’s Day inspired strawberry heart scones simply…

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savoury muffins

savoury muffinssavoury muffins

Wanting to cram a little more vege into Miss G. after a nasty tummy bug I decided a batch of savoury muffins hiding 3 cups of gorgeous vegetables and a little cheese were needed.

And these gorgeously golden vege flecked cheesy darlings are delightful.

The golden yellow crispy crust is the perfect contrast to the tender vege flecked crumb and the combination of the sweet vegetables with the tasty cheese creates the most wonderful flavour.  Miss G. gobbled hers up still warm from the oven along with a few sticks of cucumber and a couple of halved cherry tomatoes.

Instead of mixing the muffin batter together by hand, I opted instead to use my food processor.  Firstly the grating attachment makes light work of shredding the carrot, zucchini and cheese and the blade effortlessly pulses together the batter and further distributes the vege and cheese into the crumb which is perfect for those little ones that tend to eat around chunks of nutritional goodness in their food.

If you’re looking for a batch of muffins to freeze and pop into lunch boxes during the week, these babies freeze beautifully.  Simply wrap the individual muffins in a little cling film, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I pop the frozen muffins into our lunch box and by the time lunch rolls around they are perfectly defrosted and ready to eat.  These muffins are also a great no-fuss less-mess eating option for when you’re out and about.

Also, for those little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey the texture of these muffins is perfect.  The muffins are firm enough to withstand a tight grip yet soft enough to be easily eaten.  When Grace was this age I used to slice the muffin into quarters and she had no trouble picking up the pieces to devour.

To create these gorgeously golden savoury muffins chock full of vege simply…

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mango coconut scones

mango coconut sconesmango coconut scones

I was so happy to guest post on the gorgeous children’s clothing site Sapling Child last week.  I shared one of my all time favourite baby led weaning recipes, pea & ricotta fritters.  You can find the easy peasy and oh so delish recipe here.

Other than that my day have pretty much been a whole lot of this…

happy days

Just enjoying watching these two play.

Miss G. and I did however manage to bake a gorgeous batch of mango coconut scones yesterday and I am so thrilled to be sharing the recipe.  Not only are these little babies jam packed with mango and coconut goodness but they’re so so so simple to prepare and are unbelievably delicious.  With the help of the food processor I promise you can have these darlings baking away to golden perfection in the oven in less than ten minutes.

And these scones are not only the perfect shape and texture for baby led weaning beginners but are a wonderful addition to any toddlers lunch box.

Happy cooking x

To create your own batch of mango coconut scones simply…

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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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