Ok I am actually sharing a very special family recipe here. This meal has been my absolute favourite since I was 13 years old. It was my last supper every time I was about to leave home to go back to boarding school/uni/abroad and it was the welcome home meal my dad always cooked when I returned from anywhere.

It’s oh so simple and oh so tasty. I cook this one about once a fortnight and it’s a very garlicky one so not one to try before a one on one business meeting the next morning!

All you’ll need is: View Full Post


Now this is my own version of the general cottage pie recipe, so it might not suit the hardcore traditional Brit food lovers but it goes down pretty well in our home, and it’s a great warming dish for chillier, darker evenings.
I use Quorn instead of tofu or just vegetables for veggie cottage pie as this is a dish that definitely needs to be filling as it was traditionally a meal that was meant to be warming, frugal and heavy enough to keep poorer families nourished during the long hard winters.

I also make mine quite tomatoey – so it’s a little more like bolognese but still thick enough to feel pie-like underneath the potato.

This meal is a good balance of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and fat – and will certainly fill you up. But lean enough with the Quorn to not take hours and hours to digest.

Ingredients: View Full Post

It’s true enough that once you have kids, eating out is no longer the carefree, pleasant leisurely experience it once was. You need to know if the restaurant you choose has a kids menu, high chairs or even welcomes children through its doors! It’s so easy in the newborn days, you can just pop them down in their pram and they’ll sleep whilst you take your time ordering, chatting and eating.

Sigh.

If you have a toddler, going out for a meal can be pretty stressful. You won’t ever be sitting in your chair longer than a minute at a time and you will spend most of the meal picking food up off the floor and apologising profusely to the waiting staff…

But there are places that are geared up for this and most are accepting of the little devils that enter their establishments with their long suffering parents.

If you live in or are visiting our great city of Bristol though, here are some tried and tested kid friendly eateries to try:

The Eastfield Inn, Henleaze

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Around 6pm on a Friday, I start to happily look forward to our little Saturday morning breakfast ritual. As we aren’t in a rush to get out of the house, I like to take some time on a Saturday and Sunday morning to cook breakfast, chat to my goblin and plan our day.

The two staple favourites in our home are pancakes and French toast.

Not both together.  That would obviously be a barbaric overdose of butter soaked carbs.

We get up, I switch on CBeebies but leave the sound off then I tune into Radio 2’s Sound of the 60s and start making breakfast as goblin pulls some toys out of his toy box.

Of course I always have this idealistic view of our fun family weekend breakfasts but it usually ends up with me cleaning pancake off the floor, muttering under my breath about the ‘ungrateful sod’ and vowing to just give him cereal next time, then turning the radio off in favour of CBeebies with the sound on because someone is screaming at the tv.

Then I spend half an hour cleaning the mess up whilst trying to stop the goblin from climbing either into the dishwasher or the fridge.

However some Saturday mornings are perfect. On those mornings, he plays happily with his toys and waits patiently for his breakfast, then eats everything I put in front of him and even makes yummy noises to boot. Nothing ends up on the floor and we both enjoy a luxurious breakfast before putting a Disney on and snuggling on the sofa.

This happens once every 3 months, approximately.

Still…

Here are our weekend breakfast ideas:

Pancakes

I make gluten free pancakes, with almond milk and normal butter- and they are light and fluffy but still contain the right amount of fat for my active and fast growing toddler.

Ingredients for my pancakes:

  • 4 oz of rice flour
  • 7 floz of almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • a big slab of butter

To serve:

  • brown sugar
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • OR strawberry jam

I first sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, then make a little hole in the centre and crack the two eggs into the hole. I whisk thoroughly until a batter forms. Then I slowly pour in the almond milk, whisking as I go.

Then I melt the butter in a small dish and add 2 large tablespoons of the melted butter into the pancake batter and whisk one final time. Then I heat some more of the butter in the pan and start cooking the pancakes! I usually find 2 -3 minutes on each side is sufficient.

French Toast / Eggy Bread

My French toast is just almond milk, eggs and cinnamon (all whisked together), with plenty of butter for the frying pan.

I soak the (gluten free for me) bread in the egg mixture then pop it in the pan when the butter is hot. Cook thoroughly on both sides until golden.


Serve on its own or with a smear of jam or lemon curd! YUM!

Banana Muffins

I made these a lot for goblin in the early weaning days, he loved them. They’re really simple to make and go a long way.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • a splash of milk (any type will do)
  • 2 tbsp of flour (I use GF but any will do)
  • cinnamon
  • melted butter

Simply mash all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then spoon the mixture into muffing tray (make sure you liberally grease the cups with the melted butter first).

Pop them in the over for about 12 minutes until they are golden. Allow to cool before serving.

Porridge Fingers

These are super easy to make and can be eaten for breakfast or for a perfect mid morning snack when your small human is flagging and needs a little pick me up. You can also freeze them!

Ingredients:

  • porridge oats
  • milk (any type – but whole milk is best for babies if they tolerate cows milk)
  • dried fruit of your choosing (we go for raisins and prunes)

First soak the porridge oats in the milk and either warm through in the microwave for 2 minutes or on the hob for 5. Add the dried fruit, mix together. The mixture should be mushy.

While the mixture is hot, pour the porridge into a very shallow baking tray and cut into finger shapes or separate into any shapes you wish on to a baking tray. Then allow to cool.

 

Check out these websites for more ideas on toddler friendly breakfast ideas:

Friendly First Foods

Annabel Karmel – Breakfast Recipes

Culinary Hill – Toddler Breakfast Ideas

My Little Moppet

Yummy Toddler Food