Category Archives: Recipe

Baby bakes – easy snack bars

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When I find time, little snippets here and there, I bake something baby-friendly for C.

I feel less guilty when we are out and about if he has a snack, as anyone who knows me well will confirm I am grouchy if I don’t eat often enough. There’s always something in my bag to keep me going , so it’s only fair for C to have the same, although there are always boobies…

This morning I threw these “snack bars” together pretty quickly with whatever I found in the cupboard – nothing fancy or complex.

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Baby bakes
makes approximately 9 bars

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 banana, mashed
1/2 teaspoon four spice (or cinnamon, ginger…)
1 cup shredded coconut
handful oats, blended a little if very large
handful sultanas, diced
handful dates, diced
1 teaspoon agave/maple/honey(if older than one) if desired. Still tasty without!

Mix ingredients together, spoon into muffin pan or loaf tin and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 170degC.

If made in a loaf tin, leave to cool before cutting into bars.

They smell really great, but I manage to save them for C (we have home-made doughnuts, shhh!).

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Citrus polenta cake

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PEEK-A-BOO

Where are you?

No, I’m not talking to C, I’m talking to you Sunshine.

Seriously, it’s weeks like these that I wonder why we moved away from the South of France. The weather here is pathetic!

In order to fix this, in the only way I know how, let’s bake some sunshine into our lives.

Citrus Polenta Cake
serves 10

50g polenta
200g ground almonds
50g plain flour (I used wholemeal)
1 teaspoon baking powder
125ml olive oil
100g butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
juice and grated zest of a lemon
juice and grated zest of an orange

Mix the polenta, ground almonds, flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar until pale (with machine or by hand), then slowly whisk in the oil and then the butter.

Whisk in the almond and polenta mixture, then add the lemon and orange juices followed by the zests.

Transfer the mixture to a lined baking tin (I used 20cm/8″) and bake in a preheated oven 160 / gas mark 3 for approximately 45 mins.

The cake should be slightly underdone in the middle. Leave to cool in the tray for 10 mins before removing (and eating!). It’s difficult to wait, but worth it.

Enjoy!

Bake

xoxo

Beetroot dip

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The beauty of having a fruit and vegetable box delivered each week is never knowing quite what we are going to be eating.

Even better is when your friend also has a box but doesn’t like something so willingly leaves you with a handful of fresh beetroot!

Shake isn’t the biggest beetroot fan and I didn’t really want to deal with the mess/stains with C so I selfishly ate them all myself :) Have to admit the colour also cheered me up on some miserable grey days this week.

Beetroot dip
serves 1 for lunch for 3 days (or one large bowl)

Beetroot, roasted (I had about 7 small)
3 tablespoons yoghurt (I used Greek)
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all to blender and process until you achieve the consistency you like.

Mine wasn’t completely smooth, but I liked the occassional chunk of beetroot.

Serve with crudités to dip or on toasted (sourdough) bread for a simple lunch.

Enjoy!

Bake
xoxo

Raspberry & White Chocolate Brownies

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Having just moved house and not entirely stocked the kitchen, what else was I to make for visitors other than brownies? They are just so quick and simple and don’t require any pesky baking powder/soda.

My standard recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook (recipe online here) but for something a little more special I threw in a handful of frozen raspberries (if you can be bothered you can defrost them, I didn’t have time!) and white chocolate chunks.

Shake loves them and took some to work to “share” with colleagues, apparently ;)

So, my microwave oven monster successfully baked brownies. PHEW.

What should my next challenge be?

Bake

xoxo

 

Our everyday life: week 14

It has been so bitterly cold, but on Easter Monday we dragged ourselves out for a visit to The Sustainability Centre. We love it here.

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The beautiful Woodland Classroom designed and built by the amazing Ben Law

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This is where once upon a time Shake proposed :)

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Love the details around this place

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Much needed hot drink after a chilly walk

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The café has a lovely children’s area with wonderful toys. C was happily amused for quite a while

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You can’t really see it, but there was snow falling…

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C found his nanny’s stash of wool and dragged it all around. Oops – he knows Daddy is not amused!

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Falling asleep during lunch, poor thing!

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After visiting my Grandma we went out to this cute place – love the lightshades!

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My perfect kind of meal – lots of things to dip and pick at :) (and share with C too!)

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Ended the week with some yummy cookies

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Salmon, coconut and dill muffins

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I know, I know. These aren’t exactly beautiful muffins, but I can promise they are tasty!

We are still staying at Shake’s parents’ house and I am trying to keep food shopping to a minimum – ha!

Whilst clearing out the cupboard I found a tin of salmon (MSC, hooray) and decided to bake some baby-friendly muffins. There was some coconut milk lurking in the fridge from our morning smoothies and I thought these would make a nice combination.

I am regretting leaving my lovely Persian dill in France, but what we had here was just fine. Fresh would be better, no doubt.

Salmon, coconut and dill muffins

Makes approximately 12 small muffins

Ingredients

2 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons dill
Black pepper, optional
1 egg
1 cup coconut milk
80g melted butter
1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
1 tin salmon (213g)
Method

Preheat oven to 170degC

Melt butter and leave to cool slightly

In a large bowl, combine the flour and dill, season with black pepper as desired

In another bowl or jug, beat the egg with the coconut milk and yoghurt. Add the melted butter and beat again until just combined

Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Add more yoghurt or milk if mixture seems too dry

Add the tinned salmon and stir through until evenly distributed

Spoon into muffin trays and bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. An inserted skewer or knife should come out clean

Best eaten warm or at least on the day made

C recommends them topped with cream cheese :)

Enjoy!

Bake
xoxo

 

Favourite posts this week

:: Salted caramel flapjacks and Vinegar cake recipes from The Guardian. I like the sound of a wine and date cake, having also seen a red wine fig cake this week. I shall let you know if/when I give it a go.

:: These cacao nib pancakes sound delicious, especially with coffee syrup. Hello Saturday morning treat :)

:: I hope in time I work out how I want to spend my days, post baby-raising. This post about being a “mompreneur” made me feel more positive!

:: A lesson in juicing. We try not to have too many kitchen gadgets, but maybe a juicer…?

:: Love the photos of this beautiful beetroot soup. I’m sure it tastes delicious too.

:: I’ve only made polenta once and I can’t say we were amazed by it. Joy’s recipe could change our opinion.

:: How to make chocolate bars. So simple, so pretty.

:: Less than a month until Valentine’s Day! Feeling crafty? These magnets are adorable, make them any time of year :)

:: Two lovely mom bloggers, one appropriate (to me) quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy. Just enjoy every moment and don’t compare it to what you expected or what it seems like others experiences are.” Ah, so true right now.

Check out the rest of the interview here.

:: Really enjoying this series on Parents Who Cook, especially when one of my favourite bloggers is featured. Some great advice in there.

:: An alternative to my lemon shortbread, how about something raw with Vanilla and Walnut?

:: Coconut hot chocolate? Perfect for these snowy days and nights.

:: So looking forward to our little guy being old enough to play games with. Shake and I play cards together a lot, but Soulemama has inspired me to look out for board games for my boys.

:: Yet another recipe that makes me want to make my own yoghurt! mustmustmust do it someday soon, especially given the amount our boy is eating these days :)

Lemon shortbread

We always have lemons around the house, I make tea with lemon juice, honey and ginger when I’m feeling run down, but this week I had a few squishy ones that needed using up some other way.

Shortbread was the first thing that came to mind, so here we go!

This is such a quick and simple recipe. If you aren’t a lemon fan you could use the juice and zest of an orange or a couple of limes, or simply add a teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon. Let me know if you try anything else!

Lemon shortbread
Makes 12-16 squares

Ingredients:

Oil (I used olive, but you don’t want any flavour from it)
150g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Method:

Preheat oven to 180degC

Oil a baking tin of your choice (as you can see, mine was a little large…I wanted chunky shortbread biscuits) and set aside

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for a few minutes, until soft

Add the juice and zest of the lemon and stir to combine

Sift the flour into the bowl and work together until a dough forms

Press the dough into your baking dish. Use a knife to create your shortbread shapes and a fork to make indentations as desired

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until edges start to brown

Remove from the oven and use the knife to create your shortbread shapes again

Leave to cool completely in the tin

Enjoy!

I made a lemon glaze with the juice of another lemon and icing sugar. I didn’t measure the sugar, just kept adding until I liked the consistency. 

Optional, but Shake recommends :)

Bake

xoxo

Favourite posts this week

:: Delicious, seasonal recipes from Mr Ottolenghi. Have you been watching his TV show?

:: Really useful post on kitchen substitutions.

:: I like to take my time cooking too, but do appreciate the odd quick meal, still home-made of course. What do you think?

:: Shake loves Pecan Pie but I’m yet to make him one. This may change that, but maple syrup is expensive…

:: Love the look of this Winter pavlova.

:: What do you want to learn? Watch this video on how to learn anything

:: Gorgeous photos of mushrooms.

:: Perfect chocolate cake? I personally love Nigella’s, but might check out this version.

:: Another amazing recipe (Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette) from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook – I.Need.That.Book.

:: Excellent suggestions for how to have a thrifty Christmas.

:: Moving and thought-provoking post on poverty, written far better than I could hope to.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy weekend.

Bake

xoxo

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

’tis the season for squash, so here is a very quick and simple recipe for you!

Butternut Squash Soup
serves 3-4 

1 butternut squash
1 medium onion, diced
a few glugs of olive oil
small knob of unsalted butter
dash of cumin seeds
vegetable stock – up to 400ml
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180degC

Slice butternut squash in half, lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper (salt too if you aren’t sharing your food with your baby!)

Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, or until knife can easily be inserted into the squash

Once the squash is roasted and cooling, heat another glug of oil with butter in a saucepan and soften the diced onion

When you are able, scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash and add to the saucepan with the onion

Add cumin seeds (I guess I use about a teaspoon) and mix together in saucepan over a medium heat

Use as much stock as needed to cover the squash. I tend to add a stock cube and just top up with boiled water, topping up again once blended if the texture is too thick

Blend with handblender or processor to create a smooth soup

Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper as desired

Optional: serve with yorkshire pudding for baby :)