apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loaf

apple, cinnamon & hazelnut loafphoto-2159

We moved house over the weekend and it was the single most stressful experience of my life.

Packing up your entire existence whilst caring for a newborn and almost two year old should be an olympic sport.

It’s tough.

Really tough.

Looking back and considering the feat, we did pretty well.

And I have to say that settling into our new home feels wonderful.

Especially the kitchen.

The first creation to emerge from my new favourite place is this wonderful little apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf.

Loaf cakes have become a bit of a go-to for breakfast of late.  Jam packed with fruit and able to be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes they’re a great breakfast alternative to the usual toast or cereal routine which can get pretty boring after a while.

Today’s apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf is not only completely delish but really good for the little ones too.  I managed to get 4 apples into this little darling, and because of the natural sweetness from the apples I used a mere half cup of brown sugar in the entire loaf.  If you’re keen to skip the sugar completely, simply replace with a half cup of maple or a third cup of agave syrup which would also work beautifully.

The hazelnut meal in this loaf is genius.  It not only creates a tender and wholesome crumb but a gorgeous earthy nutty flavour that works beautifully with the classic apple and cinnamon flavour combination.  And the smells that wafts from the oven as the loaf bakes to gorgeous goldenness is simply divine.  So much so that Miss G. kept hovering around the oven saying ‘yum yum’ until it was finally cooked.

This loaf is also the perfect texture for little ones just beginning their baby led weaning journey.  The abundance of apple strewn throughout the loaf creates a dense and moist crumb that won’t be too easily squished by little hands making it simple for beginners to hold and nibble on with ease.  Just slice the loaf into thick batons and your little one should have no trouble at all.

This apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf also freezes wonderfully.  Simply slice and wrap individual pieces in a little cling wrap, pop into a freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw by simply resting on the bench or in a lunch box.

To create your own apple, cinnamon and hazelnut loaf simply…

Continue reading

raspberry & pistachio loaf cake

raspberry & pistachio loaf cakeraspberry & pistachio loaf cake

I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I have the most wonderful excuse…

cutie pie

I’ve been busy baking this little cutie pie.

Although I did manage to post a few recipes during my pregnancy, constant morning sickness made cooking, photographing and writing about food pretty unbearable.

Now that I am feeling human once again, I am thrilled to be back in the kitchen alongside my lovely little helper to share more of our favourite baby led weaning recipes and today with our beautiful little man fast asleep Grace and I crept into the kitchen to put together this wonderful raspberry and pistachio loaf cake.

This pistachio flecked and raspberry studded gorgeously golden creation is delicious and thanks to the use of the food processor couldn’t be simpler to prepare. We had the cake nestled in the oven in less than ten minutes.  And Grace loved loved loved using the processor, anything with buttons!  If you do ever have trouble getting your little ones eating, my top tip is to get them involved in the cooking whenever possible.  Now that Grace is that little bit older she really loves spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing dinner most evenings.  And seeing her beam with pride when we sit down to eat is just lovely.   In fact her new favourite game is to name the ingredients as she quickly devours them and today was no exception.  As we sat down to morning tea with two slithers of loaf and a little fresh fruit, Miss G. recalled the ingredients giving her own unique pronunciation to most of them.

To create your own raspberry & pistachio loaf simply…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

pistachio & cherry bundt cake

cherry pistachio bundt cake

cherry pistachio bundt cake

Our christmas baking is well and truly in full swing.

With little Miss G. by my side, we’ve been busy little kitchen bees baking all of our adored festive delights.

Amongst the mess we’ve managed to conjure up a gorgeous batch of deep dark intense christmas choc puddings, a tray or two of jewel adorned christmas cookies and of course a mega slab of marshmallow spiked rocky road.

Surrounded by a kitchen full of sugar laden, choc filled, once a year treats I decided we needed a little balance and opted to bake a more modest cake, filled with festive fruit and a little nourishing wholesome goodness.

The result was this christmas inspired pistachio and cherry cake and I just had to share it with you.

This little darling is just gorgeous.  The pistachio meal turns this cake the most gorgeous shade of festive green whilst giving the cake a dense, moist and tender crumb.  And thanks to the intense heat of the oven, the cherries studded throughout the batter caramelise to jammy perfection and create little pockets of sweet cherry jam throughout the cake.

You’ll also be happy to know that this baby led weaning friendly cake is sugar free thanks to the use of my newly found friend, agave syrup.  I used a mere half a cup of the amazingly sweet nectar in the batter because my cherries were already so wonderfully sweet.  I also made a few baby friendly, health conscious adjustments to the original recipe by using olive oil and yoghurt instead of butter and replacing refined flour with wholemeal.

To create a little opulence I decided to bake this little baby in a decorative bundt tin but a round or loaf cake tin would be fine also, and much less stressful.  If you do choose to travel down the more decorative tin route ensure that you generously grease the pan with either oil or butter, getting into every nook and cranny so that the baked cake will slide out with ease.

The only adornment this cake requires is the lightest dusting of icing sugar along with a small sprinkle of finely chopped pistachio nuts.

To create this cherry studded pistachio bundt cake of pure gorgeousness simply…

Continue reading

blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

Not a big fan of toast I have been experimenting with new recipes for Miss G’s breakfast.

And these beautiful blueberry and muesli studded breakfast muffins are my latest creation.

It’s no secret I am a big fan of muffins.

Who isn’t?

They are simple to prepare.

Cook quickly.

Make a great on-the-go snack.

Freeze fabulously.

And are wonderful way to get extra fruit and vegetables into the little ones.

I adore them and luckily Miss G. does too.

This morning I stirred together my usual yoghurt muffin batter however replaced the sugar with maple syrup, added a little cinnamon, a generous helping of beautiful bright blueberries along with a big handful of our favourite muesli.

The results were delicious.

The baked blueberries burst creating pools of jammy fruity goodness strewn throughout the muffins and the muesli created a gorgeous golden crust.

Breakfast perfection.

To create your own batch of these beautiful little blueberry breakfast muffins simply…

Continue reading

blueberry banana bread

blueberry banana bread

blueberry banana bread

Lately Miss G. has become more and more inquisitive in the kitchen.

Each time I pull out the mixing bowl she quickly scampers into the kitchen and uses the cupboard handles to pull herself up in order to peer up and take a peak at what’s happening on the kitchen bench.

Her excitement melts my heart.

With a gorgeous little helper by my side cooking seems fresh and new again.  I love showing her how to bake a cake, prepare a sandwich or cook a little pasta.  Watching her face light up with excited amazement as we stir together something delicious to eat is pure joy.

Today my lovely little helper assisted me to prepare a loaf of banana blueberry bread.

But I do have to admit most of her ‘assisting’ consisted of eating the majority of the blueberries, she loves them.  The few blueberries that were lucky enough to make it into the bowl bled beautifully turning the batter a gorgeous shade of rippled blue and Miss G. giggled as she watched the batter change shades.

In lieu of the missing blueberries I decided to add a little mashed banana to the batter as well.  The results were delicious.

For morning tea Miss G. and I sat on our regular balcony spot and enjoyed a couple of slithers of the blueberry banana bread.

Miss G.

To create your own loaf of blueberry banana bread simply…

Continue reading

zucchini fritters

photo (37)

zucchini fritters

To say we love fritters is quite the understatement.

Since beginning our baby led weaning journey I’ve conjured up batches of carrot fritters, sweet corn fritters, pea fritters & today I’m sharing with you a lovely batch of gorgeously green, zesty and golden zucchini fritters, our favourite thus far.

Whenever greeted with food type questions from mum’s & dad’s beginning their blw journey I always recommend fritters! To me fritters are the perfect food for delivering oodles of vegetables and goodness to our bubby’s in an easy to handle & delicious little package!

And once you’ve mastered the basic fritter recipe you’re free as a bird  to spice the fritters up with the flavour combinations you love.  Today I added a heap of fresh mint and lemon zest to our batch of zucchini fritters to give them a zesty light freshness and I also stirred through a little grated parmesan that melted to oozy perfection throughout the fritter.

When serving up lunch I decided to stir together a last minute accompaniment a mint and lemon yoghurt dressing.  The cool, refreshing, zesty dressing was perfect alongside the crispy golden fried fritters and Grace demolished her fritters and dressing along with a handful of rocket and cherry tomatoes.

To create your own batch of super easy and completely delicious zucchini fritters simply…

Continue reading