Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Blog awards - well if you don't ask, you don't get!

Britmums are running some blog awards and I would like to be considered in the "Tasty" category.  If you like or are interested in my blog, I would be very grateful if you would consider nominating me (if not, don't worry!)

Thank you!  The link to nominate is here, you can leave the other categories blank or nominate other blogs you like or follow.

Thai Green Fish Curry

Well why not?  Ok, I've toned down the chilli but seriously, why not give your child Thai food?  After all in Thailand they just call it food...

Ok, so this is toned down version, it won't blow your head off but it is interesting and fragrant.  Something creamy too but completely milk free.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Pork Stew 'Afelia'

This is based on a few recipes but probably the main source of inspiration was a recipe I found on Jamie Oliver's website.

I've adapted this though to be cooked in a slow cooker because I'm lazy and I also like how the slow cooker makes the meat so soft and tender.  I took the tomato out of the recipe, it didn't seem to belong but then I'm sure cooking it in a slow cooker is inauthentic too.

Hmm.  Big bowl of meat!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Orange Flower Water Panna Cotta

I did promise I'd return to the orange blossom water after making the fruity muffins.  There's nothing more irritating than having an ingredient in the cupboard and thinking "I'll use that sometime..."  If anything, I think this works better as a use for the orange blossom (or flower) water as it partners it with honey which seems to work so well.

Obviously with honey in the recipe, it's a no-no for kids under 12 months old.  If you want an alternative, try my other pannacotta recipe I posted a while back.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

My blog 'award'

Well award is probably overstating things if I'm totally honest.  This is just a lovely personal referral from other small bloggers out there to point you in the direction of things you might like.  My referral came from Overflowing Laundry Basket.  Thank you!

Apparently I'm meant to post some kind of badge to say this is a Liebster blog award but in my ineptitude I couldn't find the code!  Anyway, this is all about the spirit of loving and sharing so the point is what should you visit?

So, here are a few other blogs you might be interested in.

Bessies Veggie Food is someone I often have a look at.  She's very generous with sharing links to my blog which I really appreciate but also she performs a really valuable service at testing out other people's recipes.

The undercover granny offers some interesting views on life.  This post was very interesting, I found it funny but it caused some controversy!

The highly unlikely housewife offers some interesting posts, particularly her recent post on post natal depression.

Fun as a Gran gave me some huge help recently understanding more about food allergies so I could train people in my workplace.  This is a really interesting post if you have kids with allergies.

Holly Bobbs also offers some insights as a stay at home mum used to being a career lady.

(There are meant to be some kind of rules about  how they should link back to my blog and carry it on.  Yeah, if you want to do that I would be very happy and I'd love it if the love was shared but don't feel obliged.)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Chinese Mushroom Fried Rice for Toddlers

This is my take on a classic Chinese dish made friendly for toddlers and Mummies.  This is great because by using egg it means the rice is stickier and easier for early spoon feeders to feed themselves.  Also this is a great hidden vegetable (well fungi) dish because it hides the texture of mushrooms which is a common issue.  Egg yolks are also one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D, mushrooms can also be a decent source depending on how they've been produced.  At this time of year vitamin D is vital in our diets especially for kids.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sugar Free Double Apple Muffins for babies and toddlers; oh no, not another muffin recipe!

Well yes but this is for a good reason.  My son has been unwell recently and has become (hopefully) temporarily lactose intolerant.  This has made me realise just how much milk, cheese, yoghurt etc I use in my cooking.  For a while at least we're having to cut that out so all the meals I had planned have gone out of the window.  Happily though since we started to cut out the dairy, things seem to have improved.  On advice of my doctor, I'm going to leave it a week or so then gradually reintroduce dairy and see how it goes.

Anyway, this made me realise that all of the frozen sugar free baking contained milk so I had a go at making some milk free muffins.  I'm not going to lie to you, the milk ones are better and there is room for improvement, perhaps a tsp of vanilla extract would help?  Anyway, the important judge was my son who'd barely eaten for a week and he said "hmm" and "more" so I think they get the thumbs up!

This experience has given me a small window into the world of people who have to cope day to day with milk allergies and lactose intolerances or any other dietary restrictions.  I take my hats off too you.  It's a right pain and I have to be honest and say I hope it doesn't last.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Bean and Vegetable Burgers for Babies and Toddlers

I've been meaning to try making some beanburgers for a while.  I don't know what had put me off to be honest, perhaps that 'worthy' feeling of a beanburger kind of put me off and also previous attempts when I was a poor student came up short with them crumbling in the pan unless you fried them in loads of oil which kind of missed the point.  Still, after my post on fussy eaters, it got me thinking about different ways to incorporate your 5 a day.  This has onions, carrots, garlic and red kidney beans and is baked.  All good stuff!

I might experiment with crumbing these too.  It's a fact anything in breadcrumbs is instantly more appealing.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Coping with Fussy Babies and Toddlers

One of the most common things I read on forums is "my child won't eat fruit and vegetables".  I've been really lucky with my son that he pretty much eats all of my creations but he does have days where he shuns the green stuff.  On Tuesday he even decided he'd gone off carrots which is probably his favourite vegetable.  But kids do this, it's normal.  Teething, colds, tiredness, a bad mood; all of these can put a child off track.  I am no expert but I suspect some problems start because parents stop offering.

I took part in a twitter discussion the other day hosted by @TheFoodCoachRD.  I've got no idea whether my suggestions were seen as good ones by a qualified dietitian but one of the suggestions I had was to hide fruit and vegetables.  Now, I don't mean "all the time".  I think it's really important to offer fruit and vegetables in their natural forms to avoid them being shunned forever but I also see nothing wrong with sneaking in a few fruit and vegetables into meals as an insurance policy either.  It's also not a bad idea as you get older.  Meat is often more expensive than fruit and vegetables and you can often get a better overall nutritional balance in a dish by adding some fruit or veg.

So here are a few of my favourite 'hidden' fruit and vegetable recipes which have been a success with my son.  Most of them are hugely adaptable too depending on what you have in your fridge or cupboard.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Yoghurt Pancakes for babies and toddlers

...and parents.

A delicious impromptu variation on my previous pancake recipe.  The yogurt adds a touch of sourness which is delicious against the syrup but they're also delicious on their own.