strawberry & mandarin muffins

strawberry & mandarin muffinsstrawberry & mandarin muffins

Mandarins this time of year are simply divine.

Full of juice, amazingly sweet and perfectly packaged these little babies make the ultimate on-the-go baby led weaning snack.

Lately, a day doesn’t go by without one of these bright orange autumnal fruits finding its way into our lunch box and ultimately Miss G’s. tummy.  She absolutely adores them.

So in celebration of our go-to fruit of the moment I conjured up this batch of wonderful wholemeal strawberry and mandarin muffins.

And I couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by the flavour combination. The strawberry and mandarin work beautifully together.  While the mandarin adds a delightful aromatic citrus zest and flavour to the muffins the strawberries provide natural sweetness which is needed due to the intentional lack of sugar in the recipe.

For a little extra goodness I also decided to replace the white refined flour with the more hearty, wholesome and nourishing wholemeal variety.

This particular muffin recipe makes 12 strawberry studded beauties and I am more the happy to say they freeze wonderfully.  Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individually, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop a muffin straight from the freezer into Grace’s lunch box and by lunch time the muffin is defrosted and ready to devour.

I know I’ve said it before but muffins, along with a little fresh fruit, really do make a wonderful baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea snack.  They’re the perfect shape for little hands to grip and nibble away on with ease and they’re gorgeously soft texture makes them an effortless snack from the very beginning of your baby led weaning journey.  In fact, if Grace has been fussy with teething and off her food I’ll often bake a quick batch of fruit filled muffins to induce her appetite once again.

To create these super simple strawberry mandarin muffins 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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strawberry & orange buttermilk pikelets

strawberry & orange buttermilk pikeletsstrawberry & orange buttermilk pikelets

Over the weekend I gave Miss G. a piece of toast spread with a little strawberry jam.

Big. Sticky. Mistake.

Sticky sweet strawberry Jam was absolutely everywhere.

Miss G. was covered head to toe as was the floor, sofa, cupboards and everything else little Miss managed to lay her sticky little hands on.

I should have known better.

So today making a batch of pikelets I knew there was no way the jam jar was seeing the light of day.

Instead I opted to press sliced fresh strawberries straight into the pikelet batter as they cooked.

Perfection.

All of the fruity goodness with none of the sticky mess.

To create a batch of strawberry orange buttermilk pike lets simply…

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strawberry & almond skillet cake

strawberry & almond skillet cake

strawberry & almond skillet cake

Strolling through the supermarket yesterday I noticed the ridiculously cheap price of strawberries.

I got completely caught up in the strawberry sale frenzy and returned home with what seemed like a years worth of the bright red and perfectly ripe beauties.

Staring at the everest pile of my favourite fruit I knew I had to do something with them as they teetered on the edge of overripeness.

I considered going old school style and making a batch of homemade strawberry jam but the thought of pectin, sterilising jars and hot sticky jam around a crawling bub instantly had me searching for other means of using up my wonderful fruity purchase.  So after freezing a decent amount for later enjoyment the remaining berries were to adorn a cake I decided.

A little while back I cooked up a lovely almond cake nestled under a beautiful layer of pears, flaked almonds and sugar.  Ever since I’ve been looking for an excuse to bake it once again and these strawberries are just that.

This almond cake is easy to prepare and really delicious on its own but when adorned with a layer of sticky, jammy, gooey, super sweet strawberries this cake is truly something special.

To create your own slice of strawberry heaven simply…

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blueberry scones

blueberry sconesblueberry scones

This morning I awoke with a distinct urge to bake scones and not just any old scone but a batch of brilliantly bright blue blueberry scones.  I blindly followed my baking instinct and flicked on the oven.  As I started preparing the scones I wondered why I felt such a deep need to bake these beautiful blueberry scones and it wasn’t until I turned on the morning news that I realised just like the rest of the global population I too have been swept up in royal baby fever.  These blue stained english beauties are quite obviously my subconscious’s way of celebrating the very cute teeny tiny new prince of Cambridge.

Over the past few days I have to admit I have been pretty intent on not missing one detail about Kate, William and their new prince.  As a relatively new mama myself I know the kind of wonderful emotional roller coaster the lovely royal couple is surely journeying on, experiencing for the very first time the highs and lows of caring for a new life and relishing in the wonder and amazement of their newborn bundle of joy.  Its such a special moment in time.  Peering over at Grace sitting proudly in her high chair eagerly watching me rub together the butter and flour I simply can’t believe how quickly time passes, it wasn’t too long ago I too was bringing home my new born baby.

Just like any other scone recipe this one too is also very simple to prepare.  Simply rub the flour into the butter, add a little butter milk and egg, tumble in a few blueberries and bake.  Here are your step-by-step instructions…

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