Friday, 12 December 2014

Parsnip Mash

I came up with this recipe for Parsnip Mash on my new blog but thought I'd would share it here as well because it would be absolutely fantastic for babies too.

Friday, 12 September 2014

My new blog

If you're interested in interesting recipes for one, perhaps you need something quick to make once the kids are in bed?  Take a look at my new blog; Eat Like You Love Yourself.  Below are some of the pictures of the lovely recipes I've posted so far!  Come and give it a go.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

My New Blog!

I've taken the plunge and decided to start a new blog.  This is all about adult food for one.  I hope you take the time to come and have a look!

It's called Eat Like You Love Yourself and my first recipe is a Thai Green Curry.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Calling it a day

Hi All,

I am bringing down the curtain on Mamacook.  It's been going for over three years now and during that time I've had some amazing feedback.  I'm at the point now though where I'm going to have to make a big investment in camera equipment to be able to even stand still (as I no longer have access to an SLR as you will have seen from recent photos).  I've got to the point where I'm questioning whether it's the right decision for me and my son.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Banana and Honey Ice Lollies

I've never bought an ice lolly for my son which has led to full on, lying back, kicking, screaming because he wanted more.  Apart from my son's behaviour (and not wanting to reward it), it's not going to make you feel too bad giving him two.

It's also a great way to use up and store bananas which are past their best as you do want them slightly over-ripe.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Minestrone Soup for all ages

Soup might not seem like the most summery recipe but with a drizzle of olive oil, this really hit the spot, especially when the weather is less than you'd hope for.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are one of those foods people think are difficult to make.  "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom" a phrase apparently coined by Shirley Conran.  Stuffing a mushroom does sound difficult, or fiddly but I promise it's not.


This super simple stuffing also makes it easy (and delicious).  I just had this as an adult meal for one but my son, a fan of both mushrooms and cheese would love these.  Do include the herbs, after all, without them they'd be a two ingredient recipe and that feels a little bit lame!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Is food thrift relevant?

Something someone said recently made me think about one of the themes I blog about.  I often write thrifty recipes or give tips on how to make the recipe cheaper to make, cook or ways to use up or prevent waste.  My food is rarely expensive to make.  This is because it's the way I cook.  I care about food, I value it.

When I was little, my parents used to grow nearly all of our own fruit and vegetables.  None of it went to waste.  Gluts were frozen, picked, bottled, made into jam or wine.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb is such an odd fruit.  It's almost a twisted fact of nature that rhubarb is great at this time of year, just as we should be donning our suncream and sunglasses.  Then you have a spring like this one.  Days of dismal rain and almost tempted to switch on the central heating.

So rhubarb suddenly has a strange purpose.  The joy, if you like, in the drizzled disappointment of British weather!

After initial reluctance, my son loved this cake and so did I.  It lasted for 2 further days in a tin and I also froze some wedges which defrosted in the microwave beautifully.

Great served warm as a pudding with silky double cream or custard or cold as a cake.  Ok, I'm not winning any prizes on health here but I figure it's still healthier than a chocolate bar, and, cream aside, it's pretty low in fat.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Cauliflower Pakoras; great finger food for kids

Cauliflower pakoras are something I'd never made before until recently, but as part of my 7 a day challenge I made some vegetable pakoras using peas and loved them.  When I moved house a few days back and restocked my cupboards (including buying some gram flour), the helpful assistant in the shop suggested cauliflower was pretty good and, in fact her favourite.  She also said that fresh spinach was, in her opinion much better in Indian food than frozen.

Cauliflower pakoras
I always like a bit of advice when it comes to cooking so I gave it a go.  The jury is out in the spinach.  In my opinion frozen is just as good but the great thing about baby spinach is you can use it as a salad vegetable or cook with it and it just so happened I had some in my fridge so I went with it.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Quesadillas for the Whole Family

Quesadillas was something I used to make for my son when he was very little.  This is a slightly updated version with plenty of sneaky hidden vegetables!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spinach and Carrot Cannelloni

Cannelloni is a surprisingly easy dish to cook for one.  I had made some tomato and pesto soup the other day and the leftovers were in the fridge.  It occurred to me that it would also make a really good pasta sauce. 

Vegetarian Cannelloni
But I had no cream cheese, no goats cheese, no mince, nothing traditional for a cannelloni filling in the house.  So why not vegetables.  Why not?  You know what, it didn't just work, it was delicious!

A great idea for fussy kids not keen on vegetables (or even adults!)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Honey Ginger Glazed Tuna

Glazed tuna, a pretty tasty invention, I have a feeling this would work with any kind of robust oily fish.  The idea is you add the flavour after the cooking so you don't get issues with the sweet sauce burning in the pan.  I enjoyed this and have made it twice already, what's more, fresh or frozen tuna is a great source of Omega 3 (tinned isn't).  It's also great to make something like tuna the star of the show when so often it's just bunged in a sandwich as a cheap protein source, although I have to admit my favourite way to have tuna is sushi but with the sweet gingery notes, this still hits the mark.

This isn't mad spicy so should be fine for kids but no babies please as it contains honey.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Gluten Free Pancakes

Chickpea pancakes might sound like an odd proposition for breakfast but bear with me.  Chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour or 'Besan' has a distinctive, savoury taste but there is something delicious about that served with syrup, just like that salty sweet combo of bacon and syrup is something fantastic, so was this.

The amazing thing about chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour is it has over double the amount of protein compared with wheat flour which makes them amazingly filling so a great start for the day, and, handily for coeliacs (or people choosing to avoid gluten), it's naturally gluten and wheat free.

The verdict was "nice but not quite as good as the normal ones" from the household, I disagreed.  I really liked them and I felt seriously full until lunch.

Gluten free pancakes

Monday, 28 April 2014

Pasta Salad for the Whole Family

Pasta salad is one of those things you can use any old stuff in.  Leftover cooked chicken?  Marvellous.  Tuna?  Equally at home.  Well I'd picked up an avocado which was actually ripe (unheard of so of course it was down to 20p and 'reduced for quick sale'!)  I would have loved some guacamole and maybe I'll use the other half for that but I had nothing to serve it with so a pasta salad it was.  It's a great way to squeeze in fruit and vegetables which your child might not ordinarily try.

I should have made this during my week of eating 7 fruits and vegetables a day!  A surprising hit with my youngster who's normally a bit of a salad dodger.  Substitute the dressing for mayonnaise or a mayo / yogurt mix if you prefer.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Living below the line

Unfortunately due to personal circumstances (moving house for the 2nd time in 2 weeks) I won't get to take part in the 'live below the line' challenge this year but I thought I would tell you about it and tell you why it deserves your attention.

1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty in the world.  1.2 BILLION that's over 15% of the world population.  The live below the line challenge is to try and experience, and raise money for people who live in extreme poverty by only spending £1 a day on food and drink.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Baked Onion Rings

Onion rings, love them but don't love the oiliness.  I'm not some health freak but I can feel my arteries hardening as I eat!  These are cunningly baked so much less fatty!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Weetabix Cake

Weetabix cake?  Am I serious?  Well I'd been trying different ways of using cereals quite a bit recently what with rice krispies with mackerel but I'd never found a way of using them in cakes like I had with bran loaf.  Shreddies seemed promising but were a bit of a failure when I gave them a go.  Who knew Weetabix would work?

This tastes similar to my bran loaf, loads of fibre, sweet whilst being low in added sugar, dairy free fat free and lovely with a pot of tea!

Weetabix cake

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Pesto Crusted Fish

Bored of fish pie?  Want something interesting with fish and kid friendly?  This is a way to introduce a different flavour to white fish and great if your kids are less keen on fish without some kind of disguise.  Very quick and thrifty to prepare too.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Chocolate Custard (low sugar)

Custard.  I never make it from scratch but I do make it from custard powder.  It occurred to me when making some custard from custard powder the other day that custard powder is simply cornflour (cornstarch) natural flavouring (vanilla) and colour (normally a natural colour like annatto).  I don't have much annatto floating around the house and there feels like something wrong about making white custard even though that's the colour it would be if not made with eggs, so my idea was to make chocolate custard.

This would be great hot with chocolate cake, poured over banana (if you want to keep on my 7 a day routine), on it's own or allowed to cool in small pots and eaten cold like blancmange.  It's pretty low sugar too with only 1 tsp added sugar per portion.  There's more sugar in a fromage frais!

Chocolate custard

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

7 a day challenge - Day 7

Today was the last day of my challenge to eat 7 portions of fruit and vegetables in 7 days.


I started the day with my fruity toast (like I had on day 5).  Delicious.


I was with a visitor at work today so I had a buffet from the canteen.  For all my criticism earlier in the week, they didn't let me down, the fruit platter saved the day.  It was served with orange juice as well on the side and every sandwich had a salad garnish and coleslaw inside.  I easily racked up three portions with the juice (even if that always feels like a cheat.)

Monday, 7 April 2014

7 a Day Challenge - Day 6

On the home run now...  A few days ago I set myself the challenge to eat 7 portions of different fruits and vegetables over 7 days and see how it impacted me and my wallet.


I'd had enough of trying to squeeze fruit and vegetables into breakfast for one day.  So it was toast with marmalade and proper butter.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

7 a day challenge; day 5

I'm trying to eat 7 portions of 7 different fruits and vegetables in 7 days to see how easy or hard it is, how it affects me and how it affects my wallet.  If you want to read more, see my first post on my 7 a Day challenge.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

7 a Day Challenge; Day 4

Last week I set myself a challenge to have 7 days of eating 7 fruits or vegetables a day in the recommended portion sizes.

So I woke up at 4am this morning.  This isn't a massively unusual occurrence for me, especially when I'm busy or stressed and 2am has been known.  I don't think I can put that down to the vegetables.


As I woke so early and was intending to run, my body was saying to me "GIVE ME FOOD".  Pre running you don't exactly want a fry up in your belly, so going for watermelon (as I did), which is high GI can actually be a great idea.

After my run I opted for a simple bowl of cereal.  I was going to have scrambled eggs with mushrooms but I decided against it because after running nearly 6 miles, you don't really feel like whipping up a storm.


I made an adaptation of my mushroom pasta bake recipe for lunch except adding an extra vegetable in the form of defrosted chopped spinach into the mix.  To up the fruit and vegetable content more I also made some coleslaw on the side with red cabbage (see my photo above.  I do love the colours.)  The plate was all the colours of the rainbow and much more comforting than the light soup lunches I had been eating which helped me feel more sated.  Home made coleslaw is a really accessible way towards your 7 a day because all of the ingredients are cheap and you can get them all year round.  My son had double portions of both.  Success!

Friday, 4 April 2014

7 a Day Challenge; Day 3 - Vegetable Pakoras

7 fruits and vegetables a day is a bit harder than I thought.

A few days ago, I set myself a challenge to eat 7 fruits and vegetables minimum in 7 days to see how it affected me, my wellbeing and how hard or easy it might be.

I'm on day 3 now and I need to find ways to liven things up!


I was at work early today so took breakfast of rice crispies and a banana.  This is actually far more than I'd normally eat for breakfast so I ended up saving the banana for mid morning.  I will definitely be stretching myself more from a culinary point of view at the weekend when I have more time!


Lunch was Gazpacho again (2 portions of vegetables) due to making a double batch yesterday with watermelon and a satsuma afterwards.  I was up to 5 of my 7 after lunch but felt the need to 'retox' with some chocolate cake.  A girl needs something unvirtuous!


Ok... this week has been harder (even by day 3) than I expected.  I needed fried.  So wrong.  I know, I had chocolate there was even some sugar on the rice crispies.

But the problem is I'm just so full!  Maybe I don't eat big portions but 7 lots of vegetables, in the portion sizes recommended really limits what else you can eat.

So I needed fried.  I needed something which felt wrong even if it was full of vegetables.  Pakora it is!

Vegetable Pakoras - Makes enough for two

Thursday, 3 April 2014

7 a day challenge: Day 2

Day 2 of trying to eat 7 a day.

After the widespread media reports that 7 a day or more are much better than 5, I challenged myself to eat 7 or more a day for 7 days to see how hard it is for someone who already eats reasonably healthily.  The challenge continues...


I had some maple / pecan crisp today with a grated apple in it.  A bit boring I know and I have to admit I was a bit bored by it.  It made me wonder if the cereal packets showing the cereal lovingly scattered with berries were just a sign of the deep unhealthiness of the cereal.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

7 a day challenge: Carrot cake Bircher Muesli

The things I learned the most in my first day of trying to have 7 fruits and vegetables in my diet were:
  • It takes organisation
  • I need to buy more fruit and veg urgently (so much so after only buying some on Monday I went out for more today)
  • A 'portion' is bigger than I thought so it's not just about variety but about quantity
  • It's a bit confusing what a portion size is for a child so for my 3 year old I aimed for variety and didn't get too hung up on how much he ate
  • I'm going to get very bored weighing ingredients very, very quickly...
Today was a day at home with my son.


My first day of 7 fruit and vegetables in 7 days started with a Bircher Muesli.  It might look like a bowl of mush (ok it is kind of a bowl of mush) but it's also a great way to get raw fruit and vegetables into your breakfast.

As I said yesterday, I think the key to getting to 7 in a day is to include fruit and vegetables into every meal.

I didn't add any sugar or honey and you could if you like but both my son and I liked it as it was  ("it delicious!")

Carrot Cake Bircher Muesli - Makes 1 adult portion

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Seven a Day!

It was widely reported by British media today that official government advice on fruit and vegetables should perhaps change because 7 rather than 5 a day is what we should be aiming for.

This might be pretty scary to most of us who fail to get anywhere near.  Recent research indicated only 1 in 5 people manage to eat that level.  I was wondering why and feeling smug, then I had a moment of realisation.


Monday, 31 March 2014

Nasi Goreng for kids

Nasi Goreng is a spicy Indonesian Fried rice dish based on peanuts.  You can do as much of the 'faffing' in this recipe as you like but the basic idea is a paste, rice, some protein and some vegetables.  I've made this to be reasonably mildly spiced so kid friendly but up the chilli if just cooking for adults (if you like, it's still blooming tasty as it is!)

As spring is in the air, I even got outside for my lunch!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fruit Crumble Bars

I'd looked online for a fruit crumble bar recipe which I thought wasn't a load of faff.  I failed to find one so this is what I came up with.  It's simple and you could switch in whatever fruit you have in the fruit bowl looking past it's best.

Although plums aren't seasonal in the UK at least, they are in South Africa and the UK are a major export market.  Irrespective of what you think of imported fruit and vegetables, these plums were lovely.  Juicy, delicious and sweet but unfortunately my son on a whim has decided he doesn't like plums or maybe he's aware it's not UK plum season.  Who knows?  Stranger things have happened than my son deciding to put his foot down on carbon footprints.  Well he is 3.

Fruit Crumble Bars

If you are sticking to more locally sourced fruit, why not try using frozen fruit instead?  Raspberries might work well but will probably need boiling down more so they're not too wet.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spicy Chicken Goujons

After making my crunchy mackerel strips, it occurred to me the same treatment might work pretty well with chicken and, lo and behold, it does!  The sweet chilli sauce lends flavour and a lovely sticky base for the coating.

I've suggested serving with some gingery noodles but this would be just as much at home with salad or as a beer time snack.

I've not tried my son with this yet but I think he'll be a fan.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Fruit Cobbler

Cobbler.  It's such a long time since I've eaten one and I'd forgotten how lovely they can be.  Essentially it's stewed fruit topped with a scone like topping.  On a whim I decided to make this while making my Spanish style sausage and beans.  This fantastically tasty pudding then happily cooked away using heat in the oven and then was left cooling slightly while we ate our first course.

This was also devised as a way to use up some past their best apples and some frozen raspberries which had been kicking around the freezer for a while.  Not massively high in sugar either.  Probably around 60g, 2 ounces of added sugar in the whole dish and a fantastically warm cuddle of a pudding when spring has more than a hint of wintery bite about it.  This is great Sunday lunch fodder.

Fruit cobbler

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

An introduction to Mamacook

Hi All!  I'm on the scrounge again.  The Britmum's nomination process has started again meaning I'd really, really, like your help in trying to be nominated in the food category.

I know for non bloggers (and even some bloggers) the blogging awards thing seems like a waste of time.  It is really, you get nothing if you win apart from the honour of a little statuette and the ability to say you won.  That's it!  It seems kind of pointless apart from the fact it's not.  I put hours into my blog.  Blooming hours!  I don't make any money from it, I keep wondering if I should try but nowadays blogging is no sure way to make sufficient money for a career and anyway, I really enjoy my day job.

For those of you who don't know, I have a PhD and work in food safety so why I do Mamacook is to have a bit of a creative outlet in my life.  I keep going mainly because I keep having ideas!

Anyway, enough about me and onto why I think you should please nominate me!  If you don't ask, you don't get (and I did say please!)

I thought I'd do a bit of a tour around Mamacook and introduce you to some of the recipes I've posted in the last year, some of the photography I'm proud of and why I wrote each recipe.  I little insight into my mind.

My sugar free raspberry mousse was a return to the sugar free, baby friendly recipes I started with on my blog.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Apple and Almond Cake

A big hit with my 3 year old and grown ups, this is a cake which is equally at home with custard as pudding and as a cake.

The basic mix is based on a victoria sponge (so not sugar free) but by adding apples into the mix, this pads out the cake meaning you get something which feels special without needing layers of sugary icing or jam so still a treat but perhaps a less guilty one.

This makes one shallow cake, which I think is the best kind to have with custard or cream.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Healthy Fish and Chips for the Whole Family

Healthy fish and chips.  The mark of a good recipe is when you make it twice before posting it!

We should all eat more omega 3.  One of the best sources of it is oily fish but that can be a tough sell to adults let alone kids.  Mackerel can be fantastic and delicious, especially grilled on a barbecue but can be strong tasting and a lot of people aren't all that keen on the bones.

I introduced a way of cooking mackerel recently for reluctant adults, now I thought I'd look at kids.  Mackerel is such a well flavoured fish, it can stand up to some really strong flavours and it goes fantastically well with mustard.

The best ideas come to me at 5:30am when I'm lying in bed wondering why I'm not still asleep!  One morning, I had a bit of a brainwave; why not use mayonnaise as a way to adhere a coating?  If I used mackerel I could also mix in some mustard... and so an idea was born!

As I was starting to prepare this I had a sudden thought, why not make this a healthy fish, chips and peas dish?  Why not indeed!

Baked fish goujons

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spanish Sausage and Beans

I did think about calling this "Spanish Cassoulet" but, well it's not really but that's what it was inspired by.

For various reasons I'm currently running down my freezer and I had a pack of raw chorizo style cooking sausages in there.  I also had an enormous pack of dried haricot beans in the cupboard which have been there for more than a year (if you read my Britmums Cassoulet post you might see why!)  Anyway, I do love the combination of the sausage and beans in cassoulet and wondered if I could mix it up a bit.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Chorizo and Chickpea soup

This is a great 'cupboards are bare' recipe as you can get packs of chorizo which last in the fridge for ages or even freeze it (this is often what I do if I have a part opened pack).  Take a look at the 'make it thrifty' section for other ideas to keep costs down.

This is a bit cunning.  Only 90g of meat for 2-3 portions yet a soup which tastes meaty and flavoursome and 5 different vegetables sneakily inside; onion, carrot, pepper, tomatoes and chickpeas.  Trust me, you or any vegetable hating family members would struggle to notice all of them.  Hidden in plain sight...

Smoked paprika is a pricey spice but a fantastic one and a great way to 'extend' the chorizo flavour without using masses of it.  Look out for the 'sweet' versions as some can be very spicy but some are milder and full of smokey barbecue aromas.  I prefer the milder versions, especially when I'm cooking for the little one.

It feels like there's not long left for soup season, especially when the birds are starting to sing in the trees and the blossom is already here but I feel this recipe spans the seasons.  Still great when it's chilly but a reminder of warm summers just around the corner spent nibbling chorizo and chickpea based tapas.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Mild Chicken and Vegetable Curry for kids

My son has been off curries recently.  Nursery have tried but he'd been really reluctant.  Stupidly I then started to avoid cooking curries.  I always say the only way to ensure your child is fussy is to stop offering certain foods and there I was doing it myself!

As a child who grew up in the UK midlands, not liking curry is not an option!

So faced with some chicken and chicken stock which needed using up from Sunday lunch one week, I made this.  Nothing authentic about it but it was very tasty.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Best Pancake recipes

Pancakes; I'm a bit of a fan; in fact, one of my very early recipes was for a sugar free American style pancake recipe so I thought, with Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day or Mardi Gras) looming on 4th March this year, I'd tell you about my favourites!

Stack of pancakes

The point of Shrove Tuesday was to use up all of the rich ingredients in the house like eggs and sugar before the traditional period of fasting and reflection of Lent.  Pancakes though are a fantastic way to make food quickly and easily and make a meal out of eggs (mostly, see below!)  Eggs are a great way to include vitamin D into your diet which is often lacking in our bodies at this time of year (as I look outside to the frosty ground and sun shining weakly on my garden!)

All of my recipes are made without added sugar or are low in sugar unless you add some with the topping with syrups or icing sugar which makes them great even for babies.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sugar Free Apple Scones

I'm sorry, these must be the ugliest scones ever made but they do taste nice.

My son used to have this huge thing about dried apple, then, overnight, with a huge bag left in the cupboard, he decided he didn't like it anymore.

So I tried these for size and I think they're lovely (if extremely ugly!)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Dairy Free Bran Loaf - great for the whole family

People who have been here from the start might recognise this recipe.   Well I've reviewed it, changed it slightly and photographed it.  It is a great one though, loads of fibre from the cereal and dried fruit and very low in sugar so I felt like it needed more prominence!

Bran loaf

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cheesy Bean and Mushroom Crumble - Great for babies, toddlers and the whole family

My son loved this, a great way to get beans into your child without resorting to the ones in tomato sauce.  I think I might try it with a more garlicky sauce next time and mix up the beans and vegetables.

People forget that beans can be one of your five a day and a great source of fibre.  Mash it up for babies not capable of lumps yet.

Cheesy bean crumble

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Sugar Free Raspberry Mousse, great for babies and toddlers

It can be easy with toddlers to ease up too much on the 'naughty' snacks and treats.  I'm certainly more relaxed than I used to be but occasionally I try to challenge myself to cut back a bit on the sugar again so I made this mousse with all natural ingredients and no added sugar or sweeteners.  The result was creamy and gently sweetened.  My son said it was "fantastic".

This would be great for all ages including babies.

Sugar free mousse

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Blogging awards - what's the point?

Well the MAD blog awards are open for nominations again.  I read someone on twitter last night complaining about the people asking for nominations.  Is that fair?  Does it annoy you?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Crispy Mackerel Salad

So this was a meal for one and a delicious one at that.  It can be difficult to motivate children to eat well but I find my own diet can sometimes be lacking, especially when I'm eating alone.  This is a source of omega 3, tasty and delicious, even if you're a touch reluctant when it comes to oily fish.  Most importantly though, after a long day, it's quick.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Hidden vegetable pasta sauce

Even the most enthusiastic vegetable eater has their off days.  This was an invention when my son had one of those but it would be great for those more confirmed vegetable avoiders!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Egg Free Pancakes - great for all ages

It never occurred to me that you could make American style pancakes without eggs and you wouldn't be able to notice the difference.  The only way I knew was, one time when making my normal sugar free pancake recipe, I made it as normal then got confused thinking I had more eggs in the fridge than I thought.  I was convinced for years I'd miscounted, but, this morning I gave it a go again and I was right, you don't need the egg!

Pancakes with syrup

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with eggs at all and they're a great source of vitamin D but they are also a common food allergy and, if you don't have eggs in, you can still have delicious pancakes!  Result!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Fish and Cauliflower bake, great for all ages

I had thought for a while about making something which was like a fish pie meets cauliflower cheese.  Fish pie is great but it would be great to include some more vegetables.

This recipe has two vegetables and is a source of omega 3.  My son described it as 'delicious'!  Although he didn't eat as many peas on the side as I would have liked, can you tell there are four different vegetables on this plate?  Nope?  Neither could he!

Cauliflower cheese

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

No added sugar banana French toast; great for babies, toddlers and adults

This one had been in the ideas bank for a while.  French toast without the sugar, but with added fruit.  It just seemed right and so great as an idea for babies or toddlers on finger foods.  The only reason I added the icing sugar on the photo was to make it look pretty.  I know, I failed.  Without bacon and syrup, French toast photography is surprisingly hard!  Especially in artificial light at 6:45am!

This is surprisingly sweet reward for my early cooking antics though.  I was expecting to serve it with drizzled honey but none was needed.

Texturally this was pretty similar to American style pancakes so a little more floppy than regular french toast but without having to open a pack of flour.  If you keep bread in the freezer; a few slices defrost easily within 15-20 minutes at room temperature meaning this is a great way to avoid waste too.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Great Quick Post Parent and Tots Food

I don't know about you but for years I was going to Parent and Tots groups which finish just before lunch.  My son has never been great at hanging on for food and for a long time also went down for a nap straight after he'd finished his plate.  I thought I'd put together a short roundup of great things to make when you're really short of time and have a hungry, tired baby or toddler who needs food quick followed by a long snooze!

Salsiccia pasta

I love pasta for quick food.  A great one for this is bolognese sauce made in a slow cooker; prep in the morning over breakfast, come back and it's done.  Pasta only takes 10 minutes to cook from dried or even less if you're using the quick cooking kind or fresh pasta so this means you're ready to eat in no time and no standing over a stove to get there.  The other great thing when they're really small is you can run the cooked pasta under a cold tap then mix with the hot sauce so that the overall dish cools down super quick.  I remember those days of jiggling a hungry baby saying "it just needs to cool down".  Pasta is also pretty popular with kids in general and the great thing about my bolognese recipe is it's a fantastic source of hidden vegetables and iron as it contains beef and chicken livers.  Alternatively if you grill the peppers in advance, this amazingly tasty and gorgeous looking sausage pasta is a about a 12 minute job.