Wednesday, 27 January 2016

I normally buy shop bought granola and ran out last week so I decided to make my own. I wish I had discovered homemade granola sooner! This was so good! I love how versatile it can be so if you don't like one particular ingredient you can easily swap it for an alternative.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

I bought some puffed rice last week and have been using it only as cereal but thought I would make an alternative rice krispie bar only using refined sugar free ingredients.



Saturday, 23 January 2016

Apricot & Date Bars

I've been meaning to make these bars for a while and finally got round to it and they didn't disappoint. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Kicking off our Valentines crafts with this fantastic love heart stamping activity. This was a massive success with both Jessica (4) and Oliver (18m).

I seen the idea of using empty toilet roll holders shaped into love hearts on Pinterest. Toilet roll holders are something we always have abandoned in our house! You simply need to squeeze the toilet roll together so both sides are touching then fold the line from the top to the bottom. I then mixed some lovely valentines colours into our paint pots all from red paint, blue paint and white paint. Jessica enjoyed helping with the mixing and watching the colours change.


I placed the toilet roll holders into each colour and let the fun commence. Jessica was straight in there stamping away but Oliver needed some guidance. Once I showed him what to do he was then happy to do some stamping but he did prefer to just get paint on his hands or use a paint brush and create his own fun. Jessica lasted a lot longer and was quite happy stamping piece of paper after paper. She also enjoyed placing all the toilet holders on the paper at the same time. 


This was such an easy activity to set up with minimal tools it is a great activity to do for valentines day. I'll definitely be revisiting this activity again but will mix up the colours next time. 


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

As an adult I definitely fell into a breakfast repeat. I think before I had children I could count on one hand my breakfast variations! It's so easy to fall into this trap, mornings can be so rushed especially when you have a school run to do or get yourself and the kids ready before the crack of dawn while fighting sleep deprivation. 

Having kids definitely changed my opinion on breakfast. Gone are the daily bowl of cheerios! I have touched on the importance of food variation before so here are our favourite breakfasts to hopefully beat the breakfast bore.

1. Porridge Fingers - These were Oliver's first ever breakfast. They are perfect for blw beginners, great for keeping little tummy's full and don't take very long to make. Simply mix 3 heaped tbsp of porridge oats with 3 tbsp of baby's usual milk ( I've always used whole milk). Let the milk soak in then pat it down with the back of a spoon into a rectangle. Simply cook in a microwave for 2 minutes. Cut into fingers and allow to cool down. You can also add in some fruit or raisins, Oliver loves his with blueberries. Another yummy way to enjoy porridge fingers is to substitute the milk for half a banana and add in some frozen raspberries.

2. Pancakes - Who doesn't love pancakes? I use a recipe from the blw cookbook for scotch pancakes as they are slightly thicker. Simply put 125g of self raising flour in a bowl and make a well. Break 1 egg into the well then slowly add 150ml of milk starting in the middle and gradually work in the flour. Continue beating until any lumps have disappeared and the consistency is like double cream. Fry in some oil or unsalted butter in a very hot non stick frying pan for a few minutes each side.

3. Smoothie Bowls - I only discovered smoothie bowls last summer and they are a really good way to mix things up. They are very easy to make and your options are unlimited. You can keep it as simple or complicated as you like. We tend to mix two types of fruit with a spoonful of yogurt and blend until it's nice and creamy looking. You can then top with as little or much as you like. Some of Oliver's favourite toppings are more fruit, granola and desiccated coconut. If you make too much you can always save some for some ice lolly moulds! Great for practicing spoon skills.


4. Toast - Granted toast on its own is pretty boring but just a few ingredients can completely jazz up the humble slice of toast. Some of our favourites are mashed banana, mashed avocado, peanut butter and cream cheese with mashed berries.

5. Flapjacks - These are great for speedy breakfasts, snacks or lunch boxes. I tend to make a batch of these then stick some in the freezer then leave to defrost in the fridge overnight ready for the morning. My basic fruit flapjack recipe is 80g of flour, 80g of oats and 50g of unsalted butter. Rub the butter into the flour and oats to make a crumbly mixture. Put half the crumble mixture into a greased loaf tin. Mash 100-120g of your chosen fruit then place it on top of your crumble mixture. Add the rest of your crumble then pat down so it's firm. Bake at 180 for 20 minutes. If your baby is over 12 months you could add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten them slightly. Our favourite fruits are blueberry or blackberry but most soft fruits work.

6. Crumpets - These are great speedy breakfasts and like toast you don't just need to stick to butter. Our favourites include peanut butter or mashed berries. Crumpets can be quite high in salt so make sure to look at the nutritional information before buying.

7. Overnight Oats - If you have little time to prepare breakfast in the morning then do it the night before! Overnight oats are a massive hit with Oliver and again you are not limited with your options. One of our favourites are berry overnight oats. Simply take a spoonful of frozen mixed berries, 3 tbsp of porridge, a tbsp of natural yogurt and a splash of milk. Simply mix all together and leave in an airtight container in the fridge and leave it overnight. Just give it a stir in the morning and add some more milk if seems sticky. Another favourite overnight oat combination of ours is banana and peanut butter. Simply add half a mashed banana, tbsp of peanut butter, tbsp of natural yogurt, splash of milk, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of chia seeds and 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence. Mix all together and leave overnight in the fridge in an airtight container.

8. Eggs - With so many variations it's hard not to see why this is a staple part of many peoples breakfast. Eggy bread (french toast) is Oliver's favourite use of eggs. Simply whisk up 2 eggs with a splash of milk then dip a slice of bread in fully coating each side then fry in some oil or unsalted butter until golden. Obviously hard boiling, frying and scrambling are all good ways to enjoy eggs for breakfast. Sadly Oliver doesn't really like eggs but I keep offering them to him in the hope that one day he will change his mind!

9. Porridge - Nothing quite beats warm milky porridge on a cold winters morning.   Adding some chopped berries, sultanas or homemade jam is a yummy addition.

10. Quesadilla - Sweet quesadillas are a great change for breakfast. You can include whatever you like! Some of Oliver's favourites are banana and peanut butter, applesauce and cinnamon and cream cheese and berries. Simply add your desired filling into a tortilla wrap and fold in half. Place in a warm skillet or under the grill for a couple of minutes each side.


11. Muffins - Oliver's absolute favourite muffin has to be banana and blueberry. We always have a batch of these in the freezer. To make all you need is 150g of self raising flour, 1 beaten egg, 60g of unsalted butter, 2 ripe bananas mashed, splash of whole milk and blueberries. Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well. Melt the butter in a pan or in the microwave. Add the butter, egg and milk to the banana mixture and mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the flour and mix lightly. Spoon the mixture a third of the way up into each muffin hole. Add two or three blueberries into each muffin hole then cover with the rest of the mixture. Bake at 180 fan for around 15 minutes until golden.