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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pasta with broccoli pesto

pasta with broccoli pestopasta with broccoli pesto

We are off to Miss G.’s piano lesson this morning.  The little doll began piano lessons a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loves it.  Seeing her nestled in front of a grand piano smashing out a killer rendition of ‘hot cross buns’ melts my heart and makes me realise just how quickly time passes.  It only feels like yesterday I was cradling my sweet smelling teeny tiny newborn in my arms and now she’s beginning to create her own lovely little adventures.

miss g.

Mr H. is growing all too quickly too.  He has completely mastered the art of crawling, constantly chasing after his big sister, much to her delight and I don’t think he is far off walking too.  As you can see (pictured above) my little handsome fella has started to join in our cooking adventures as well and now I have two sets of chubby little hands to photograph.

mr h.

Todays recipe is this gorgeously green casarecce pasta smothered in a zesty homemade broccoli pesto.  This simple supper takes no more than 20 minutes to put together and makes more than enough for two family sizes portions.  We enjoyed our pasta last night and have more than enough for tonight’s supper too.

The broccoli pesto is a gorgeous combination of tender broccoli, mint, chives, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, pistachios and extra virgin olive oil.  This pesto recipe makes quite a bit of the zesty sauce, so feel free to pop the extra pesto into a sterilised jar, top with olive oil and store in the fridge for a good 2-3 weeks.  I plan on using our surplus pesto to adorn grilled chicken breast, smother over steamed vegetables and slather over toasted bread.  Its delicious and such a lovely departure from traditional basil pesto.

To create your own pasta with broccoli pesto simply…

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sweetcorn pasta salad

sweetcorn pasta saladsweetcorn pasta salad

It’s not often Miss G. becomes fanatical about her food but of late our little miss has become utterly obsessed with sweet corn.

Each and every time I make my way into the kitchen and stand at the bench I hear the chants of a toddler demanding ‘corn, corn, corn’ pacing incessantly behind me.

So not to disappoint (or more importantly to avoid the dreaded terrible toddler terror tantrum) I’ve managed to work the bright yellow kernels of sunshine sweetness into most meals of late and this sweetcorn pasta salad is our favourite corn incarnation by far.

Not only is this gorgeously zesty salad chock full of nutritious goodness but it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  It can be on the table and ready to devour in the time it takes to boil a little pasta and stored in an air tight container nestled in the fridge this salad is just as wonderful the next day.

Although Miss G. concentrates most of her eating efforts on the corn and pasta, she also manages to gobble up a good amount of fresh tomato, cucumber and mint as well, making for a very happy mummy.

To create this gorgeously fresh and zesty sweetcorn pasta salad simply…

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pea, asparagus & chicken pasta w’ lemony ricotta sauce

pea & asparagus pasta w' lemony ricotta saucepea & asparagus pasta w' lemony ricotta sauce

Today’s pea, asparagus & mint pasta with lemony ricotta sauce has to be one of Grace’s all time favourite pasta dishes.  Even more so today thanks to the cutest little elk pasta shapes I bought over the weekend.

Miss G. adores the ricotta, lemon and mint flavour combination as well as the bright green peas studded throughout and I love this pasta dish because it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  This is the simple supper I most often turn to when I am all out of time and patience and just need to get dinner done and on the table.  It really is that easy.

For the little ones first beginning baby led weaning this dish is a winner.  The pasta, chicken and asparagus are simple for the little ones to hold and nibble on and once your little one has mastered the pincer grip the peas will be no trouble at all.

To create this easy peasy pea, asparagus & mint pasta w’ lemony ricotta sauce simply…

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ricotta, herb & tomato pie

ricotta, herb & tomato piericotta, herb & tomato pie

Summer is here with full force.

Our first weeks of the new year have brought sweltering heat, long muggy days and overwhelming humidity.

For the scorching month of January our days are spent seeking respite.

So far Grace and I have found sweet salvation wading in the pool, skipping under the sprinkler, taking dips in the ocean and air conditioned outings to the state library and museum.

Although this summer heat is almost to the point of unbearable, I have to say the extended days that stretch early into the evening are simply sublime.

ricotta, herb & tomato pie

The extra hours of sunshine are a wonderful chance for a little more playtime and our routine of late has been to spend our extra precious moments of sunlight in the back garden.

Usually Grace runs through the grass as I collect the fresh herbs and salad leaves for supper but over the past couple of days she has been more and more interested in doing the picking herself.

Watching her pluck fresh basil leaves and breathe in their gorgeous aroma simply melts my heart and as we stir them through dinner I can see the cogs of thought turning in her little mind.

ricotta, herb & tomato pie

Todays harvest of fresh basil, mint and rocket made their way into this delightful ricotta, herb and tomato tart.

Once baked, this tart nestles serenely in the fridge just waiting for a simple salad to accompany it in the perfect simple summer supper.

And this little darling only requires moments of effort before being popped into an oven.  But I can hardly call it an effort, simply pop all of the ingredients into a food processor, blitz, decant into an oven tray, top with slices of fresh tomato and bake.  Easy peasy.

In terms of baby led weaning, this pie is fantastic.  Not only is this delicious little number simple for mum/dad to prepare, but it’s the perfect texture for little hands to pick up and eat with ease. Firm enough for little hands to grip yet soft enough to nibble on, the texture of this pie really is baby led weaning perfection.  Its also not too messy which makes it great for lunch on the run.  In fact, Grace and I popped a couple of slices into a lunch box to take along with us for a mummy and me morning at the state library.

To create this easy peasy ricotta, herb and tomato pie simply…

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sweet potato tuna patties

sweet potato tuna pattiessweet potato tuna patties

With Miss G. still insisting on eating each and every meal at her table and chairs my search for simple, easy to eat and most importantly not so messy food continues.Miss G.

My hunt this morning led me to these gorgeous sweet potato and tuna patties spiked with lemon, mint and spring onions.

Not only are these gorgeously golden crispy patties fuss free and easy to eat but they are delicious!

The addition of sweet potato is genius, it not only adds a beautiful sweet earthy flavour to the patties but creates a soft tender scrumptious texture that the little ones love and appreciate.

Grace stood by my side kicking her feet with excitement whilst the little patties were frying away and couldn’t hardly wait until they cooled down enough before she dove in.

To create this lovely batch of sweet potato tuna patties simply…

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