16 Jul 2014

Weaning Recipe: Porridge Fingers

Little Chunk loves porridge but since he's been refusing to be spoon fed I've had to find an alternative for him. I came across this recipe in the book 'Weaning Made Easy Recipes' and he loves them!


Ingredients
2 tbsp oats (not instant oat cereal or jumbo oats)
2 tbsp milk (breast, formula or whole milk)

Preparation time: 5 mins
Storage: Best eaten straight away
Servings: 1 for a 6 month old baby, for older babies just add an extra spoon or 2 of each ingredient

Method
1. Mix the oats and milk together on a microwavable plate. Form the mixture into an approximate rectangle with the back of a spoon.
2. Cook in the microwave for 90 seconds
3. Leave for a few minutes to cool down and firm up and cut into fingers.

You can also add dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins, chopped apricot or chopped prunes. To make an apple and cinnamon version, grate a quarter of an apple into the mixture and add a pinch of cinnamon. After microwaving for 90 seconds turn over and cook for an extra 30 seconds. For Banana fingers, add half a small mashed banana and cook for 90 seconds, turn and cook for a further 30 seconds.

So far we've tried both the plain and banana versions and LC loved both of them!

15 Jul 2014

Weaning

Mr M and I consciously chose to start weaning Baby I at 17 weeks, he was sitting up unaided, showing an interest and started waking during the night again for a feed. With him being so young we started with purees and despite my best intentions I used shop bought purees instead of making them myself. This was for 2 reasons, firstly convenience - I wanted to ensure he was ready for food before spending hours chopping, boiling and blitzing loads of fruit and veg. But secondly because on the occasions when I pureed veg that we ourselves were having, Baby I refused to eat them. At the same time as giving him purees, I was also giving him fruit or veg from my plate to play with. Everything was going in his mouth anyway so it may as well be food right? Very little actually went in his mouth but he loved playing with it. Because of this, once he was able to feed himself I still chose to give him some puree to top it up, after all he was used to having a fair bit of food from his purees. Recently however he's started refusing purees so it looks like we're going down the Baby Led Weaning route from here on which means I'm on the lookout for some tasty recipes we can all eat. I refuse to cook separate meals for Baby I! I'm currently working my way through recipes from a book called 'Weaning Made Easy', some of the recipes are pretty tasty (albeit in need of extra seasoning for my portion) but I've discovered a website called weelicious which I'm hoping will give me some more exciting ideas!

13 Jul 2014

The Week That Was: Captured #4


1. Monday was a busy day with a trip into Newcastle, shopping for a birthday gift and a new changing bag after the calpol disaster the week before. We didn't manage to find a gift but we came back with a new handbag for mummy and a little backpack for Baby I's changing stuff. I was feeling lazy when we got home so ordered a pizza, nom nom!

2. On Tuesday we went for a long walk using the baby carrier, Baby I fell asleep on the walk and didn't even wake up when I took the carrier off. Later we baked a White Chocolate and Lemon Mud Cake birthday cake for my Aunty. I was a little unsure as to how successful it would be as the sponge sank after it came out of the oven but it turned out to be delicious!

3. Wednesday Baby I was ill but despite that suddenly discovered how to crawl! I wasn't quick enough to catch him on camera unfortunately. It was my Aunty's birthday and Baby I had fun playing in an empty cardboard box while I wrapped presents then we went off for a family dinner at my Aunty's house and lots of cake. Baby I ate Chilli for the first time and tried his first white chocolate button (from the cake) and loved it but shhhhh don't tell the Health Visitor ;-)


4. Thursday I discovered I need eyes in the back of my head, I left Baby I alone for 30 seconds and found he's managed to get from the living room to the hallway all by himself.

5. It was Baby Sensory again on Friday and now Baby I knows how to crawl it was a nightmare keeping him in one place. We also attempted to get a nice group photo with some of his little friends, as you can see it was quite a challenge! After class we met more friends for lunch then came home to prepare for 'Mummies Night' at ours - it's the first time all the mummies from our baby groups have managed to have a girls night and it turned out to be a little messy!

6. Saturday was spent recovering from Mummies Night. I've discovered a hangover and Mummy duties without Daddy is not fun! But nothing a peanut butter and beetroot sandwich couldn't sort out and I somehow managed to wear my little chunk out!

7. Sunday was miserable weather so we were pretty much housebound. Baby I is getting pretty fast now and I spent most of the day chasing him round. He was extremely proud of himself when he managed to get from the living room to the dining room and under the table before I could catch him!!



Silent Sunday #11


11 Jul 2014

Recipe: White Chocolate and Lemon Mud Cake

I found this fab recipe for White Chocolate and Lemon Mud Cake on Lemonylovesbaking.com and made it for my Aunty's birthday.

According to Lemony this amount of batter will fill three 22cm sandwich tins. You can then slice the sponges in half to create a six layer cake. However I only had two 23cm sandwich tins so used those instead, when I took them out of the tins they were too thin to slice in half so I only had a two layer cake.

Sponge
180g white chocolate (Lemony recommends using Green & Black’s if you can but I just used a supermarket own brand)
350g butter
590g white caster sugar
375ml whole milk
300g plain flour
100g self raising flour
3 large eggs
zest of 1 large lemon

Filling
Jar of good quality lemon curd

Ganache Icing
150ml double cream
300g white chocolate

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160C/ 140C fan assisted.
2. Grease and line 3x22cm loose bottomed sandwich tins.
3. On a low heat, melt together the white chocolate, butter, sugar and milk in a bowl over a large saucepan of boiling water.
4. Pour into a larger mixing bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Fold in the sifted flour and divide equally between tins. The batter will be runnier than a normal sponge.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
5. The sponge should be golden and will spring back to the touch when cooked. You will find that the sponges on the bottom will take longer that the ones on top.
6. Leave the sponges to cool in their tins.
7. Split the cakes and fill with the lemon curd – you should use the whole jar. As I mentioned above I only had 2 layers but still used a full jar of lemon curd between the 2 layers ;-)
8. To make the ganache, simply break up the chocolate into a bowl, heat the cream in a saucepan until its just reaching boiling point. Then pour over the chocolate and stir until melted.
9. Leave to cool and wait for it to reach a spreading consistency.
10. Ice the cake first with a thin layer of ganache and leave somewhere cool to harden and seal the cake.
11. Carry on and ice all over with the remaining mixture any way you fancy, you can be super neat or make it look quite textured.

I had planned to decorate with white chocolate fingers around the side and white chocolate buttons on top but as it ended up being 2 layers it wasn't quite as tall as I expected so I used to chocolate buttons all over.


I have to admit I was a little worried about the cake as it seemed to shrink when I took it out of the oven so didn't have high hopes for it. But I was worried for nothing, the cake was lovely, light and fluffy and tasted delicious. Even Baby I had a taste and approved ;-)

6 Jul 2014

The Week That Was: Captured #3

Monday was a pretty full day. LC and I went swimming at our local pool, they run a class called Swim-a-Song that we both love. It teaches water safety using nursery rhymes. I was terrified of the water as a child so want to ensure Baby I is comfortable and confident in the water. We didn't have time to go home for lunch so had a picnic in the car on our way to Bounce & Rhyme.







On Tuesday my gorgeous little man discovered he likes fruit! It was a huge milestone for us, previously he'd refused to eat fruit and I thought he didn't like it. Now I know it was just that he struggled to hold the fruit but now he's got the hang of it, he's a little fruit monster!







Wednesday was one of our favourite classes, Piccolo Music! Baby I and I both love it as it's not the same old boring nursery rhymes and the ladies who run it are very lively and enthusiastic. We're gutted it's not on over the summer holidays! After that we met some of our friends at the park for a picnic.

 


It was the Aldi Baby Event on Thursday and my chunky monkey rode in the trolley for the first time, like a big boy. Where has my baby gone?!










Friday was Baby Sensory and my little chunk was moved up to the big boys class. It was a charity morning with Cowboy theme, Yeehaaa!!!










On Saturday we had planned to go to the Chilli Festival but the weather wasn't too great. We ended up going to one of our locals for some drinks, it was the landlady's birthday and her daughter had arranged a huge party. It was a brilliant evening and LC enjoyed the live music from inside the pub :-)


Sunday was a bit of a disaster with a very unhappy little boy! Lots of tears and tantrums so it was hard work. And to top it all off I dropped my changing bag, there was a bottle of calpol inside...  calpol comes in glass bottles :-( So I ended up with a very sticky bag, I've had to adopt a very stylish new changing bag until my proper one is back in action!!



Silent Sunday #10


30 Jun 2014

The Week That Was: Captured #2

So I had good intentions of doing 'The Week That Was: Captured' every week as I think it's great way to keep a diary but after the first post, things got a little crazy and Mr M went back to work. I'm finally getting into a routine though and will hopefully be able to do this every week now.


1. On Monday morning Little Chunk and I decided to trial using our fab Boba Baby Carrier on my back, rather than the front which we do all the time. It was a little difficult maneuvering a small person onto my back and strapping him on by myself but we got there in the end, I'm hoping with practice it will get easier! It's so much easier walking the dog with LC on my back, I can see my feet and where I'm walking and bend down to pet Bella. With this new found freedom we managed a 3 mile walk around the fields and tracks near our house. I'll be fit in no time if I keep this up and will have one very happy dog!

2. Tuesday we tried a new baby group. I think LC is still a little young for it as it was aimed more at Toddlers but he found himself a slinky and seemed to enjoy playing with it.

3. Wednesday was a fairly quiet day for us consisting of another long walk with LC on my back and playing at home. Baby I was more interested in the bottom of his toy truck, figuring out how it works, perhaps he's going to follow in Daddy's footsteps ;-)

4. We drove down to Middlesborough on Thursday with my cousin, she had a meeting to be at but couldn't get there on public transport. As a thank you for the taxi service she took me to Sweet Treats for the most amazing waffles! I love this pic of LC, his expression is priceless!!


5. Friday I got out of the shower to find LC sitting up in his cot playing with his teddy, waiting for me. Too cute not to share! We had a pretty full day of Baby Sensory, where we found out LC will be moving up to the big boys class next week, then had lunch with our friends Sally & Emily. Another lovely meal at the Hastings!

6. Saturday we tried a new Bounce & Rhyme group at a local library. It was just a small group but LC loved the songs!

7. Sunday was rest day for Mummy!  Baby I went to visit Aunty M where he was spoilt rotten, while I spent some quality time with my other baby. Bella was in her element playing on the beach :-)



Silent Sunday #9 29/06/14