Baby Tortilla Pizzas

baby led weaning pizza

We’re still relative beginners at the weaning game but we’re rapidly learning what will work for Lily and so far there’s very few foods that have been rejected. Ask me again a few years when LB has decided her current favourite, broccoli, is the worst food we could feed her.

baby pizza lunch

Last weekend after a longer than it should be drive back from Liverpool (Don’t forget you’ve left your keys back at your parents when you turn off the M6 at Stoke meaning you have to get back on the M6 and drive north again) dinner needed to be quick and using what limited ingredients we had around the house. This is when Baby Tortilla Pizzas were born.

tortilla pizza base

As everyone who has ever weaned a child your freezer is full of purees you have lovingly made or you have some pre-made baby food pouches hanging around. Since the beginning LB has rejected purees and pouches so I had spares to be used up for dinner emergencies like this. Add that lonely tortilla wrap in the bread bin from the sweet potato fajitas earlier on in the week and we almost had pizzas.

baby tortilla pizzas

I’m always conscious that babies over 6 months should only have 1g of salt a day. Not much really when you look at the salt content of processed food. Here I’m using ready-made wraps some of which can be high in salt (these ones aren’t), but with time spare some simple tortillas made with flour and water could easily be whipped up.

Baby Tortilla Pizzas

  • Tortilla wrap
  • 3 tsp tomato based baby food puree (I used a Ella’s Kitchen lentil, tomato and red pepper puree )
  • grated cheese

 

  1. Using a 5cm biscuit cutter, cut out three rounds from the tortilla
  2. Spread the puree over the tortilla bases and sprinkle with a small amount of cheese.
  3. Place the pizzas in a small preheated frying pan on medium. Cook gently until cheese has melted. Alternatively you could cook them under the grill. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/02/15/baby-tortilla-pizzas/

Weaning beginnings – Raspberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Raspberry Cheesecake Pancakes BLW

Time is speeding by since LB’s arrival in July. Before we knew it it was time to start weaning. I don’t want this post to be a debate about weaning as I know it’s a very personal (& contentious) issue. We decided to go with current NHS advice and wait until LB was 6 months and showing the three signs of readiness. The intention was that we would do a mixture of traditional puree weaning and baby led weaning (BLW), both of which are encouraged by the NHS. LB had her own ideas, shunning baby porridge (I don’t blame her, have you tasted it?), purees and any ready-made food from the beginning favouring anything homemade she could hold and feed herself. A little foodie of the future. When I was a baby I refused to eat anything from a jar; even if it had been prepped out of sight I’d know.

Since LB arrived I will admit we fell off the foodie bandwagon favouring anything that required little prep and rarely ventured from the odd trusted Nigella or Jamie recipe. Certainly no time for experimenting with foods and blogging. Now we’ve started weaning it’s made us look at what we eat and make it better so LB can join us without too much extra prep. One advantage of waiting until 6 months to wean is that baby can more or less eat what you’re eating (with a few tweaks and exceptions). It’s certainly making us eat a great deal better plus we’re cutting back on both salt and sugar. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed sitting down each lunch time with my daughter to share lunch.

4 ingredient raspberry cheesecake pancakes

While looking at foods to give LB I’ve soon learnt that the best foods are the ones that you can make yourself. A big breakfast favourite here is 2 ingredient banana pancakes – simply 1/2 banana mashed with an egg then cooked in a frying pan with a small amount of unsalted butter. As I’ve discovered these pancakes are also a great carrier for other fruits and toppings.

What I like about these pancakes is no measuring required and it uses ingredients we always have around the house. Sometimes they contain a pinch of baking powder to make them fluffy, sometimes a spoonful of peanut butter. They’re not just great weaning food but suitable for grown-ups, but I must warn you don’t expect them to be like beautiful fluffy scotch pancakes, they’re different but still good. So here you have it – simple 4 ingredient Raspberry Cheesecake Pancakes.

BWL raspberry cheesecake pancake (2)

Raspberry Cheesecake Pancake
Makes one 15cm pancake

  • 1/2 banana, mashed (blast banana in microwave if it isn’t easy to mash)
  • 4 raspberries
  • 1 egg
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese

 

  1. Mash together the banana and raspberries then whisk in the egg.
  2. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan.
  3. Pour in the eggy mixture into the pan. Once the pancake has cooked on the bottom flip over and cook until pancake is completely set.
  4. Place pancake on a plate and spread cream cheese on top.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/02/04/weaning-beginnings-raspberry-cheesecake-pancakes/

Stained glass mosaic course – Denman College

finished stained glass mosaic

You may or may not be aware that the Women’s Institute (WI) have a college in Oxfordshire called Denman where they run cookery, craft and lifestyle courses. You don’t have to be a WI member or female to go. It’s open to everyone.

While I was heavily pregnant I won a bursary to help cover costs towards one of their courses. I decided to use the money towards a 2-day residential stained glass – leaded mosaic panel course and would take both LB & Hubs with me to make a weekend of it. Why not a cookery course? Time for a change.

It was going to be some well overdue “Me time”. During the teaching sessions it would be the longest I’ve been apart from LB since she was born and also the longest Hubs has been sole carer for her.

Denman3

As we pulled up to Denman Friday afternoon I will admit we had reservations. Hubs had some preconceived ideas of the WI and when he spotted a lobby full of women old enough to be his mum he looked scared. As we got to our huge, traditionally decorated room in the main house, Hub’s heart sunk even further when he realised there was no TV or wifi signal. The three of us headed down to dinner with all the other residential students a bit unsure about what lay ahead of us. It soon came clear why there is no TV and wifi signal is patchy, it’s to make you do that good old-fashioned thing of talking.

We’re not the most natural of social butterflies but once we realised nearly all people there had come on their own we soon got chatting to others. I think the novelty of Hubs being one of only three men there and carrying a baby was a pretty good ice breaker. As the evening wore on, we thawed and realised we were surrounded by a bunch of the loveliest, open-minded, interesting women around. Most of which seemed to adopt LB as their granddaughter.

Denman1

Once dinner was over I headed over to the teaching block to start on my design, meet Anna Conti our tutor and the other 7 students on my course. One of the reasons I picked stained glass mosaic was because I decided it wasn’t something I could easily learn without a tutor and I don’t have the equipment at home to quickly rustle up a panel. Initially I was going to make a panel with LB’s initial, but unless I got it perfect it could look awful so after playing around with a few ideas I settled on a tree made of circles. Yes I forgot I’d have to try and cut a circle from glass.

Saturday was spent cutting glass, gluing our mosaic  the glass panel, leading up and burning my finger. Note to self: steadying hand by putting finger on metal part of soldering iron hurts… lots. Sunday we finished our panels in time for Sunday lunch.

Denman

Other courses running the same weekend were patchwork, botanical painting, showstoppers (singing & dancing) and a very popular baking weekender. The delicious scents from the cookery school kept wafting into the classroom where we were working.

All our time in the classroom was interspaced with food, lots of it.One of the big things about going on a course at Denman is the catering. In true WI style you won’t go hungry and the food was excellent. Each break was accompanied with a biscuit or slice of cake and there was always a pudding with custard for lunch and dinner.

A big mention must go to the staff. Babies rarely visit, let alone stay at Denman and they went to great lengths to make us feel welcome and make sure things ran smoothly. Nothing was too much trouble.

Denman2

A weekend that originally I was so nervous about I nearly cancelled, turned out to be a lovely relaxing weekend learning a new skill with precious bonding time for LB and Hubs. I want to return to do another one of their craft courses. I like the sound of stone carving or silver jewellery. At first glance the prices can seem steep but you have to remember that this includes full board accommodation.

This isn’t the most modern of places to visit, but that’s ok. Denman is in its own little bubble. The lack of TV and wifi wasn’t missed, in fact it was refreshing. We all need to disconnect from modern life once in a while and invest some time in ourselves. Cast aside your ideas of what the WI is about and give one of their courses a go.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2015/01/14/stained-glass-mosaic-course-denman-college/

Christmas Pudding Krispie Cakes

xmas pudding krispie

This Christmas is going to be very different for us. Last year was spent it telling our families of the impending arrival of Little Baker (LB) by giving the future grandparents this book and counting the seconds before the penny dropped and tear/squeals started. This year 5-month-old LB will be joining us at the dinner table, not to eat as she’s not quite old enough yet, but to preside over the feast. How long she’ll be happy in the high chair before wanting to sit on someone’s lap is another matter.

Looking back I seem to have a thing about making food christmas pudding shaped. These are simply rice krispie cakes with some fruit added for good measure. They are quick to make, cheap and perfect for that moment when you realise you’ve forgotten to make something for the charity Christmas cake stall stand. Alternatively if Hub’s birthday bake goes wrong today he may get these.

They are not the most photogenic to make. Or should I say I struggled to make my batch (made by me, a 30-something who’s usually a perfectionist) not look like a 7-year old had made them. If you wear disposable gloves it is possible to roll this mixture into balls, but it is easier to spoon the mixture directly in to a paper case.

I got the holly & berry sprinkles used on these cakes as soon as they appeared in Sainsbury’s back in October. I’ve spotted them appearing in Morrisons and cake decorating stores too, but be quick as they seem to disappear fast.

So as another Christmas rapidly draws closer have a very merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Pudding Krispie Cakes
Makes 12

  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 60g rice krispies
  • 25g dried mixed fruit
  • 50g white chocolate
  • holly and berry sprinkles (You could also make them from sugarpaste or glacé cherries & angelica)

 

  1. Melt the milk chocolate.
  2. Stir the rice krispies and mixed fruit in to the melted chocolate until well coated
  3. Share the mixture between 12 paper cakes
  4. Melt the white chocolate then drizzle this over the krispie cakes.
  5. Decorate with the holly and berries then allow the chocolate to set.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2014/12/23/christmas-pudding-krispie-cakes/

Little Baker Picks – December

LB Dec 14

Didymos Didytai

When LB was little I carried her in a stretchy sling from Victoria SlingLady. Now she’s bigger and heavier I’ve upgraded to a Didymos Didytai to give more support for both me and LB. I like that I can carry LB on my front, back or side with it plus it comes in lots of pretty fabrics. This pleases the hippy haberdashery lover in me. Hubs prefers the more traditional carriers so he uses a Baby Bjorn and for Christmas we’re getting a hardcore baby carrying rucksack so we can take to the hills with her as she loves the great outdoors.

I’m a babywearing fan. Sometimes it’s easier to wear than take a buggy, it means I can get on with jobs and the biggie, put a grouchy LB in a sling or carrier and she’s usually asleep within 5 min. Magic.

Baby grows

I do love baby grows. As a baby it’s the only time in your life when it is socially acceptable to be seen outside the house in a onesie. As cute as outfits are for babies (I’ve bought a fair few), sometimes it’s nice and easy for her to be in a babygrow. Think taking her swimming. Never again will I make the mistake of putting her in an outfit. It’s a mare to change a damp, rapidly chilling wriggle monster into something that isn’t baggy with minimum buttons.

Next baby grows are good as they wash well and have integrated scratch mitts. Size wise they are generous. 20 weeks in and weighing 14lb, LB still fits in her 0-3 baby grows from Next. It’s interesting seeing how the retailers differ so much in quality and sizing. Tesco – good sizing, usually good quality and generally wash well; Asda – small sizing, poor choice unless you have a penchant for frills, slogans and baby pink. LB has nearly grown out of 3-6 months Asda baby grows even though she is small for her size; Morrisons Nutmeg – while some of their clothing is good, their baby grows are thin, wonky seamed and don’t wash well at all.

Baby books

Tactile books are brilliant for babies. LB has the Faces version of this book and it seems to go most places with us. They are made of material, feature plastic mirrors, can be chewed and feature a velcro strap meaning they can be safely attached to the buggy or play gym. She’s mastering the art of turning pages at the moment.

Moccasins

Or should I say Mocc Ons. LB has the inability to keep most types of booties/shoes on and in the colder weather a couple of pair of socks just aren’t warm enough. I’d read about moccasins for babies being great (especially when babywearing) so set about trying to source them. I finally found them in Sainsbury’s. They sell them in a large variety of patterns and colours for the bargain price of £5. You can find other retailers on the Sockons website.

Have you made any fab baby/child discoveries recently?

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2014/12/11/little-baker-picks-december/

Christmas Pudding Rum Truffles

christmas pudding truffles

These truffles are based on a rum truffle recipe I used to make and eat as a child. Often we would visit Mellors, a local bakery, and pick a cake. My favourite was a rum truffle and I can remember it being the size of my fist. Of course I now know that rum truffles are a cheeky way of using up leftover cake.

This is such a simple, no-bake recipe. It can be adapted in many different ways to incorporate different themes and flavourings. I find rum flavouring works better than real rum in these truffles. The rum flavouring can be sometimes be a bit difficult to find (Silver Spoon do one) so when I spot it I buy it.

From an educational point a view this is a fabulous recipe to teach ratios. It’s essentially 1 part cocoa powder:2 parts icing sugar :4 parts cake crumbs and as it makes 12 truffles when using 100g cake there are many factors relating to the number 12. This makes the recipe easy to scale up and down or work out the ingredients if you only a given amount of cake crumbs.

Christmas Pudding Truffles
Makes 12

  • 100g cake crumbs (more or less any sponge cake works, even stale cake)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp flavouring (I like rum flavouring or orange extract)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 tsp icing sugar mixed with 1 tsp of boiled water to make glace icing
  • holly made from small amount of coloured sugarpaste. You could also use glacé cherries and angelica or holly sprinkles.
  1. Mix together the cake crumbs, icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. Add the flavouring and milk. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and stick together.
  3. Using your hands mush together the mixture until it is almost evenly coloured. Wash your hands. The next step is easier with clean hands.
  4. Pinch off a small sprout sized piece of truffle mixture. Roll into a ball and set to one side.
  5. Drizzle a small amount of the glace icing on to the top of the pudding, then decorate with the fondant holly. Chill for an hour to allow to set.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2014/12/08/christmas-pudding-rum-truffles/

Make Eat Get Read Go – Dec ’14

Dec14

I guess it’s inevitable what this MEGRG will contain, for festive frolics are just around the corner.

Make

Door wreath

Every year I make our door wreath. One year it contained chilli & limes, the next year I made it from sprouts. Last year I went on a Blossom Tree wreath making workshop and I was really pleased with what I managed to produce. Now I just need to come up with a design for this year now. If all else fails I do love this herb & chilli wreath from Rocket Garden.

Eat

Christmas Florentines

For the last few years I’ve made Christmas cakes but they rarely get eaten so this year I’ve decided to make festive Florentines instead. They are one of my favourite sweet things. I’m thinking dried cranberries, sour cherries, candied peel with lots of nuts, chocolate and maybe a liberal dusting of gold lustre. Something a bit like this Hairy Bikers recipe, though if it is as good as the recipe in the Green & Blacks cookbook remains to be seen.

Get

Paul A Young Advent Calendar 

I’m a lucky lady, Hubs has treated me to a Paul A Young advent calendar, I think it’s to make up for the fact he bought himself yet another Star Wars Lego advent calendar this year.

I’m a huge fan of Paul A Young. His rich brownies are like eating a slab of divine truffle. They are so rich I cut them in quarters and eat over 4 sittings. The chocolates contained in this years calendar include: champagne, fruit & nut, spiced rum, persian spices and his multi-award winning salted caramel. To offset these rather good chocolates I also have a Cadburys Hero calendar. Still great chocolate just at the other end of the chocolate spectrum.

Read

Nigella Christmas

Not original I know, but there is something about the book that makes me smile, even if it is to just look and dream than cook a recipe from it. Don’t forget it’s probably Nigella to blame for why so many of us deck our kitchens out in fairy lights during the festive season.

Go

Calke Abbey Christmas Lights and Labyrinths

It’s been a tradition of ours for a good few years to attend Calke Abbey for their Christmas events. Every year the gardens are lit, children deck the trees with handmade ornaments and the wish tree even granted my wish a few years ago.

Inside the house they decorate some of the rooms using decorations found stashed in the grand hall. This is surprisingly easy given the previous tenants, the Harper-Crewe family, were hoarders. Last year there was a tree decorated circa 1980, this took me back to my childhood and made me surprisingly emotional.

This year some of the tunnels will be lit and we will be returning for the first time with Little Baker in tow to add her to our Christmas tradition.

 

Wishing everyone a fabulous festive season and there will be a couple of quick and easy Christmas recipes coming to the blog in the next week or two.

megrg tag

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2014/11/25/make-eat-get-read-go-dec-14/

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