spaghetti polpette

spaghetti polpettespaghetti polpette

Autumn finally arrived.

The morning air is now cool and crisp, the skies are clear and blue and each evening we snuggle under the throw nestled together on the sofa.

And with the cooler weather comes the need for a little wholesome hearty cooking so today we spent the day rolling together these beautiful polpette.

Polpette are italian meatballs, gently cooked in simmering tomato sauce and they are delicious.  Spiked with breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan, basil and a little tomato passata they are moist, full of flavour and the perfect autumnal dinner.

We served our meatballs with a little spaghetti and the kids absolutely loved them.

Eating pasta, especially the red sauce variety is very messy work so I was so pleased to discover the messy mealtime smock by Little Chomps.

This wonderful smock is designed by a gorgeous Aussie mum and is perfect for baby led weaning!  Not only is it waterproof, wipeable, machine-washable, and provide better all-round protection for sleeves, laps and sides than other sleeved bibs or cotton feeding smocks but it doesn’t have that silly plastic bag sound that so many other smocks do.  In the past I have tried other smocks but my little ones were too distracted with the sound of the plastic rather than eating which was totally frustrating.  Mr H. absolutely loves his new smock and I do too!  Yay to less washing!  I’ll also be hosting a giveaway for these gorgeous smocks very soon so please stay tuned!

spaghetti polpettelittle chomps

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baked french toast

baked french toastbaked french toast

Mr H. has officially started baby led weaning and he couldn’t be happier.

For the past couple of weeks he’s been so interested in watching his big sister, mummy and daddy eat and when he started to display the skills needed to self feed we couldn’t wait to get started.

So far our little guy is a huge fan of sweet potato wedges, banana, strawberries, rockmelon, wholemeal toast and zucchini fritters.

And to officially welcome Mr H. into the wonderful world of food we celebrated over Sunday brunch with this lovely batch of gorgeously golden baked french toast.

This french toast is perfect for baby led weaning beginners for so many reasons.  Firstly the recipe has no added sugar, the eggy mixture is simply sweetened with a dash of maple syrup and a good squeeze of orange juice and zest.  And because this version of french toast is baked rather than fried there is no need for any butter or cooking oil.  This method of cooking also creates perfectly textured bread that can withstand the iron grip of a baby led weaning beginner yet is soft enough to nibble on with ease.  Mr H. had no problem whatsoever gobbling up his Sunday morning breakfast along with some fresh berries.

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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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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 & 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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lovely lemon loaf

lovely lemon loaflovely lemon loaf

Todays lovely lemon loaf really couldn’t be more simple.

It so simple that Miss G. and I managed to stir the batter together and have this heavenly loaf baking away in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

And the results though couldn’t be more sublime.

This gorgeously golden loaf is not only heady in lovely lemony scent but is chock full of wholesome, totally good for you ingredients; yoghurt, macadamia nut oil, agave syrup and wholemeal flour.

Along with a little fruit, this loaf makes the perfect baby led weaning morning or afternoon tea snack and is also the perfect addition to any lunch box.

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lime & coconut loaf

lime & coconut loaflime & coconut loaf

Grace is now officially 15 months old!

YIPPEE!!!

The days of constant napping, seemingly never-ending milk feeds, long sleepless nights and new born cries are long gone and I absolutely adore the lovely little adventures we now share.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss those precious newborn snuggles but watching your little one grow into a bright, bubbly and very inquisitive teeny tiny human being is just wonderful.  At times stressful, very stressful but mostly wonderful.

Lately, trips to the state library have become a lovely little weekly ritual of ours and we both cherish the day out.

Miss G.

Miss G. spends the morning painting, drawing, colouring, reading, singing, clapping and playing games with the other children.

There is always so much for her to do by the time we head home she is absolutely exhausted.

Miss G.

But just before she’s almost tuckered out Miss G. and I head to our favourite grassy spot next to the river to sit on our blanket and nibble on the goodies I’ve popped into the lunch box.

Today, along with fresh rockmelon slices and a yoghurt cup I added a couple of slices of this heavenly lime and coconut loaf.

WOW.

Chock full of zesty fragrant lime and shredded coconut this loaf is divine and couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  This gorgeous batter takes no more than a few minutes to stir together and after a quick trip to the oven the gorgeously golden loaf emerges smelling of sweet summer lime and coconut goodness.

To create this heavenly lime and coconut studded loaf simply…

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