Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Corn and quinoa fritters for both toddlers and parents



Some of the most popular recipes on this blog are those that include quinoa. So it’s great to see that we have been sent in another from our friend Camille. She has just started to make these for her beautiful daughter and they have proved to be a massive hit. Camille and Hubbie also enjoy these and make them a main meal by adding roast veggies on the side.

I made these on Sunday so we could all have them for lunch. I find that when we sit at the table, Miss F is a little more experimental! She was a bit weary at first but once she saw Mum and Dad devouring them, she gave them a go. She ate one, so that’s a successful meal in my book. 

This is a super quick meal to prepare and cook. And these can be frozen as well, so that’s an added bonus! 

INGREDIENTS
1 big can of corn (or creamed corn)
1/2 cup of chopped capsicum
1 egg lightly beaten
1 handful of grated cheese
1/4 cup self raising flour - I use wholemeal
1 tsp of fried herbs
1/2 cup cooked quinoa

METHOD
1. Cook quinoa following package instructions.
2. Mix altogether and cook spoonfuls over medium heat until golden and cooked through. 

It’s that easy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homemade play dough



Well the rain has returned and I was trying to think of something to do with Miss F. I wanted to do something a little different from painting etc. Making play dough was the perfect thing to do, as not only was it fun to work with but we got to make it together as well. Sadly we don’t have any essential oils at home but I will be buying some asap. Can you imagine playing with play dough that smells of sweet orange? Bliss. 

I found this recipe on a great blog that i discovered today 'Mouse house'

For the play dough you will need...
1 and a half cups of salt
3 cups flour
6 tbsp Cream of Tartar
3 cups boiling water
3 tbsp oil

Mix all ingredients together... ...then divide equally into smaller bowls and add a couple of drops of different food colouring to each bowl to make the colours you want (red/blue=purple, red/yellow=orange, blue/yellow=green)

Then add about 5/10 drops of each of your chosen essential oils to each bowl.  I used lavender, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus and sweet orange.

This should keep our little ones occupied for hours and hours. Perfect! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pizza pies for the whole family


All pictures by Oh Joy

I thought I would have a day each week where I would send out a recipe that was suitable for both toddlers and parents, as sometimes we need a little inspiration for our meals as well. 

I came across this beautiful dish on one of my favourite new blogs called
 'Oh Joy'.

This is the perfect meal as you can make different variations to suit your little ones, partner and yourself.
   
We normally have homemade pizza on a Friday night. So we might go a little crazy this Friday and will try this. I'm excited to put a new spin on our pizza night. 

Let me know if you try it and what your little one thought of it. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Roast Cauliflower Soup




Winter is well and truly here so I was keen to source a soup for Miss F to try. We have never ventured down this path before so I was interested to see how it went. 

I found this recipe on a blog that I love to read on a daily basis – come parent with me. This recipe sounded perfect as it was simple and I already had all the ingredients at home. 

I think Miss F loved the novelity of the whole thing. I gave her some toast on the side it was almost like she was having toast with a giant pot of sauce! At first she wasn’t that keen but then I added a touch of cream to it and then she loved it.  Overall it took about 50 minutes from start to eating, and we made a big batch so we had lunches for a few days and made a contribution to the freezer!  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
500g cauliflower, broken into largish florets* and stems sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely diced (or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli)
500ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
500ml water*
freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
very best extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)

METHOD 
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place cauliflower on an oven tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for approximately 25 minutes until golden on the edges.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion covered over a low heat until onion is soft but not brown. Add garlic and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes. Add stock and water and bring to a simmer.
3. When the cauliflower is ready, add to the soup and simmer, covered for an additional 10 minutes or until cauliflower is well cooked through. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Grate over cheese and drizzle sparingly with extra virgin oil, if desired.

NOTES
* I have roasted small florets in the past but I find the taste is better when the florets are large.
** I do half stock and half water because it allows the taste of the cauliflower to come through.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To cut or not to cut...

I got to thinking about crusts this morning as I was cutting them off Miss F’s toast. She doesn’t ask for them be cut off but if they aren’t she will only take one bite in the fear that her mouth might actually touch them. So I started to cut them off because I was having to cook her 3 courses of toast just to fill her up.

This morning I wondered if I was taking any nutritional value out of the toast by doing this? As it turns out I am. According to the NY Daily News there’s eight times as much of the antioxidant in the crust than in the rest of the loaf. Eating the outer layer may actually prevent disease.

Don’t worry I know there are studies out there about everything, we are made to feel guilty about everything that we do. I’m sure the fact that I am putting butter and peanut butter onto the toast probably does more harm than taking the crusts off! Anyway, I’ll try and keep the crusts on and will hope that Miss F might accidentally bite into them and think that they are actually ok.

Do you make the cut? Do you have any suggestions on how I can make Miss F eat her crusts?

When did this happen?

I thought I would include this photo that I took this morning. It may just seem like two high chairs but this sight almost brought me to tears this morning. My little SS is growing up (now 5 months). It's beautiful to see my two girls loving the fact that they both now eat together but in my heart I want my baby to stay a baby just for a while longer. 





Friday, June 24, 2011

No snacks, wait for dinner!



We have been inundated with recipes for snacks and for that we thank you (keep them coming). So, now it might be time to focus on dinner time. Miss F and I can snack until the cows come home but I’m starting to feel guilty about sticking to the basics like fish fingers, spag bol and sometimes even toast. 

So, if you have a "main-course" recipe you could share with us, that would be fantastic. I know we all struggle when it comes to dinner time. 

Also, I hope you like our re-design. I completely rushed the first template, as I didn’t fully believe that this blog would resonate with people.


We have some very exciting features that we are going to add. So please stay tuned and spread the word about toddler tastes and share it with your friends and family. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nutty, fruity muffins







Here are some divine healthy muffins thanks to Fiona’s recipe that she shared with us. These are a great way of getting some fruit and nuts into our little munchkins.  We are a big fan of LSA in this household. We add it to our porridge, smoothies, yoghurt and have it on toast with honey. You will find these extremely easy and quick (less than 15mins) to make, it could almost be worth making a double batch. These are sensational. Our freezer in now full of them. Thank you Fiona, we all love these.

MAKES
12

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs mixed all spice
1/4 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond mix, available at the supermarket)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 tbs rice bran oil
2 cups chopped pear
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Sift flour, sugar and spice into mixing bowl
3. Add nuts, seeds, pears, eggs and oil. Mix all together 
    (this mixture will seem extremely dry, but this is ok, 
    the muffins become moist when cooking).
4. Spoon into 12 large muffin pans
5. Bake until browned
6. Rest for five mins and then dust with cinnamon.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bliss balls


I’ve been searching around the net for some healthy snacks for the little ones. As I have mentioned before, I am trying to stay away from packaged goods, so I’ve been trying to find healthy recipes that allow me to freeze leftovers so I can pull them out when needed. 

I found this recipe on this great blog called ecomilf. Take a look, it's well worth it. 

These Bliss Balls are out of this world. I have to admit that I ate most of them so they didn’t even make it to the freezer. Consider these to be a chocolate replacement. They are even better than chocolate as there is less need to feel guilty. If there is one recipe on this blog that you need to make, I think this might be it. Not only are they tasty but they take just minutes to make. If you do make these, please let us know if you likes them as much as we did. 

Oh, and Freya loved these just as much as I did. 

MAKES
Around 12 balls 

INGREDIENTS
2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
1 tbs dark cocoa powder (I just use normal cocoa powder)
Paste from 1/2 vanilla bean pod
Desiccated coconut

METHOD
1. Process the first 5 ingredients in a strong food processor for 
    30-45 seconds
2. Remove from processor and roll into small balls
3. Roll the balls in the coconut
4. Store in the fridge or freezer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jammy's healthy(ish) fluffy American pancakes


I’m trying to include more meals that we can all eat together as a family and at the table on a weekend. This is an impossible thing to do on weekdays so generally brunch is the best time for us. Pancakes is ideal. 

This recipe was sent in by my good friend James who lives in the UK. James cooks these for his niece and nephew and they look forward to them each time the visit.

I liked the look of this recipe as it was slightly different to a normal pancake recipe. I love the fact that there was mashed banana in the batter. I know bananas are expensive at the moment, but we have them as a weekend treat. Frey used to eat one every day and I think she was getting bored of them. Now she get’s so excited when I hand her one. Bring on August when the prices come back down. 

We all loved these, even my lovely hubbie who is not a fan of pancakes loved them. This is the start of a regular weekend ritual for us, and these pancakes may well become a Sunday treat. Thanks James. 

MAKES
Around 7

INGREDIENTS
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda or baking powder
Pinch of salt
130ml skim milk
1 egg
3 tbsp brown sugar
3/4tbsp olive oil
1/2 banana
2/3 handfuls of blueberrys/mixed fruit
Maple syrup to serve

METHOD
1. Sift the flour, mix with baking soda and salt. 
2. In a blender mix milk, egg, olive oil, brown sugar and half 
    of the banana.
3. Add flour to the wet ingredients so it forms a thick batter.
4. Heat a pan with a bit of butter. Add a ladle of batter with a 
    handful of berries/fruit. It will seem thick but this is how it 
    should be. Once the top of the pancake begins to bubble, 
    turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and 
    the pancake has risen.
5. Keep them warm in the oven until they are all cooked, 
    serve with maple syrup.
... its a taste sensation!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dea's savoury mini muffins


It's thanks to our friend Dea that we have this great mini-muffin recipe. We had a road trip planned for this afternoon, so I needed some little snacks to keep Freya occupied. At the moment I am trying really hard not to give Freya any packaged foods as snacks. I was starting to get a little lazy and was filling up her lunch bag with tiny teddies, etc. I worry about all the additives that are in all of these foods, so I'm trying to steer clear. I might find it all too hard but so far we are going well.  

Now, back to the mini muffins!  These were a real hit with both of us. Not only did they taste great, but they were really quick to make. Now that I'm going to try and make all of our snacks, speedy recipes are essential.  Prep. time only took about 10 minutes and the mess afterwards wasn't too bad. 

These tasted similar to the veggie slice that we cooked about a month ago. They are so yummy, I snack on them too and we now have a freezer full of them. Thanks Dea. 

INGREDIENTS
2 zucchinis
1 onion
3 diced bacon rashers
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup of self raising flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

METHOD
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C
2. Peel and finely chop the onion and grate the 2 zucchinis. 
    Combine with the grated cheese and diced bacon.
3. Place the oil and eggs in a bowl and whisk until blended.
4. Gently combine oil mixture and flour with all the other 
    ingredients. Mix well.
5. Spoon mixture into a greased mini muffin tray.
6. Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes or until cooked.

Makes up to 36 and freezes well.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cheats super quick stir-fry


I think I have mentioned in previous posts that I have been working on a freelance project? Things have been so crazy that I have to admit that cooking hasn’t been my number one priority. So making Frey and myself lunch had to be quick. One day I was really struggling with ideas but I came up with this great recipe and it only takes a couple of minutes and is relatively healthy. All you need is a packet of microwave rice, a packet of fresh precut stir-fry veg and some soy sauce! Too easy. I wasn’t going to add this recipe but then I thought surely I’m not the only person that struggles with time issues?

Freya actually ate a fair bit of this meal and I loved it. 

So here is it. 

MAKES
2 large bowls

INGREDIENTS
1 bag of precut stir-fry vegetables
1 bag of 90 second microwave rice
Dash of soy sauce (or whatever you have in your fridge)

METHOD
1. Place rice in microwave for recommended time.
2. Stir fry vegetables for a couple of minutes with your desired sauce.
3. Enjoy

Pumpkin, chickpea and pasta soup for toddlers



Winter is well and truly here as of today, so what better timing for Amanda to send in her pumpkin soup recipe. Amanda’s son Sean loves this and asks for it on a regular basis. I have to be honest in saying that I have never cooked Freya a soup before as I was slightly afraid of all the mess that would be made. Freya has a bib issue. The issue being that she absolutely refuses to wear one, she has always been this way. So the thought of serving a soup did not appeal to me. But this recipe came in and I thought “why not live a little” and gave it a go!

Well poor Freya has been missing out as she loved it. I will admit that she only ate a couple of the chickpeas, but she ate everything else. Also the mess wasn’t too bad, her top just went straight into the washing machine. No harm done.

This is such an easy and cheap recipe and it’s perfect for these chilly winter days. Thanks so much Amanda.



MAKES
4 small bowls

INGREDIENTS
Knob of butter
1 small onion (chopped)
3 cups chopped pumpkin
1 cube chicken stock
1/4 cup tinned chickpeas
1/2 cup soup pasta
Cream to serve (optional)

METHOD
1. Melt butter and cook onions until soft and clear.
2. Add pumpkin and cover with boiling water. Add stock cube.
3. After ten minutes add chickpeas
4. Boil water in separate pot and cook pasta until soft.
5. Once pumpkin is soft, place in blender and blend until smooth. 
    Add drained pasta.
6. Serve with cream if desired.