une ode à beurre d’amandes

I’ve mentioned a time or 7 how much we love almond butter right?  We go through jars and jars of it really quickly.  It only comes in a small size and is over €4, not like its more popular peanutty cousin which comes in everything from thimbles to buckets and in every brand.  Creche suggested that we send in a sandwich for a snack for Dominic, which left me a bit at sea.  Mostly our bready products live in the freezer so I don’t have the means to make baby-sambos each morning.  We keep a brown sliced pan for toast (and for duckies), and bags of bagels and pittas for me and Mark to use for packed lunches.  When we buy fresh bakery bread on the weekend whatever isn’t scoffed right away that day, is, you guessed it, frozen.  I’ve sent in a couple of pitta cheese sandwiches but they’ve been hit & miss.  So we settled on 1 unsalted rice cake, slathered in almond butter, and quartered into 2 wee toddler size sandwiches now go in with him every day.  Tis far from that we were reared.  I would appreciate easy suggestions for this make at the start of the day savoury snack category actually….

before & after

So the other day I made what has become a staple meal in this house – stir fry with simple creamy almond butter sauce.   I’ve blogged about this before, but Adventures in Veg updated the recipe and we’ve starting making it the new way which I find not as intense flavour wise but is a better texture and goes further.   The only substitution I make outside of the suggestions is to use maple syrup instead of agave.  I’ve just never bought the latter, and we do always have the former. (pancakes anyone?)

This time I used quorn pieces, onion, peas, yellow pepper & rice.  Its whatever veg we have plus rice or noodles.  But  I have to say the rice increases the clean up factor by approximately 1 million.



oberjeen yum.

a new favourite?

Today is Gud Friday.  Mama didn’t think it was Gud Friday though because she went to work.  My creche was closed and I spent the day with dada which made it a Very Gud Friday.  But then I went to see mama at her work because me and dada were out and about.  I did some running around in the kitchen at mama’s work until I made a new friend called Lily.  Lily wanted to give me crinkly crisps but mama wouldn’t let her.  Instead Lily fed me her whole yogurt and then gave me her apple too. Mama got her a creme egg to say thank you.

When mama came home from work I was shouting a lot. I was very hungry even though I had snacks after my nap. Mama made us all pasta with strong flavours. Thats what dada called it. I don’t think he really liked his.  She left some with no sauce for me in case I didn’t like sauce but I really did. (goats cheese, black olive, garlic, sundried tomatoes – in place of anchovies – in this recipejill) I ate the pasta with the sauce and then something new aswell I haven’t had before which was very tasty. Oberjeen. Dada didn’t like his oberjeen so I ate some of it too.  Mama said some people call it eggplant.  I like eggys but this isn’t like eggys so that is a silly name.


Comfort food for all the family

I kinda put off writing this post.  The food didn’t seen that appetising when the sun was shining outside.  To be honest, the garden was more tempting than the keyboard there for a few days.   I harbour a dream of waking up with green fingers one day, with a line of raised beds sprouting all we can eat, not a slug in sight.  But in the meantime I have lots of herbs in pots, carrots & courgettes beginning to peek up and a rather ambitious red pepper growing on the living room windowsill.  There are shoots, but the cats may scupper that.  So while I plant, Dominic pushes one of 3 balls around the garden and the closest he gets to baby led weaning is trying to eat the plastic plant name markers out of the pots.

This morning we have April showers, baby is asleep, and talking about comfort food seems to fit the bill a little better than last weekend.  I don’t cook things like lasagne that often.  I’ve been served much veggie lasagne, some awful (probably in restaurants 10 years ago, and some lovely (my friend Paula’s). This time I decided to do it like a big dirty meat eater, except substitute quorn mince in lieu of normal mince.

on the way

I followed the basic packet instructions from the box of Tesco lasagne sheets, adding my own flourishes.  I guess when I say flourishes, I mean red onion, peas & carrots & lots of dried herbs.   I used 1.5 bags of quorn mince for the “meat”.  Where I did differ is the white sauce.  Trust Delia.  Delia Smith & Darina Allen – if you want a basic recipe for anything at all, google it with either one of their names attached and you’re probably onto a winner.  So I made Delia’s classic bechamel sauce (parsley & bay leaves from the garden – yay me!) and then added some grated cheese for extra fatty richness.  Until Dominic is 2 I will use him as an excuse to add as much milky fatness and calcium loaded products to my cooking as possible.

This was a pretty messy one for The Eating.  We’re still working on getting Dominic to use a fork with any dexterity whatsoever, so the pre loading is still the most popular way.  He gets pretty stabby with his cutlery, most notably during spoon/porridge interaction, but with very little food ingestion as an outcome.  Oh well, it’ll happen!

He *really* enjoyed this though, and could pull out strips of pasta, clumps of quorn mince, and pick up the ever popular peas.  Served with garlic bread…winner!

Eating out


high chair not so high

Today we went to Wagamama.  We’ve been lots of times over the years but not since baby boy came along.  Today, we also acknowledged that we (currently!) have what is commonly known as ‘a good eater’.  This will change I’m sure, I’m not so smug as to believe that there won’t be days and perhaps months, and maybe years where he might only want to eat food in the beige-orange spectrum, but for now, he’s a bit of a joy when it comes to food, and many other things.

He’s too little to need a full kids menu meal.  But when he is, we’ll definitely come back.  We saw several happy families tucking in all around, with no one looking for a more chip-shaped alternative to their meals.  Dominic happily shared bits and pieces of Mark’s Seafood Ramen and my Saien Soba – salmon, asparagus, mange tout, beansprouts and tofu mostly.  They have great kids chopsticks, we just may have popped a couple of pairs in my bag – relax! they’re disposable bamboo, it’s not like I was taking the good china…  I’ve also found a way he’s happy to eat noodles, but its not the baby led weaning way:


more of this

When he tries to eat them by hand himself he finds it frustrating as they slip & slide right out out of his grasp/mouth.  So I pick some up, eat the excess dangly bit (steady!) and he noms the rest off my chopsticks.

My only quibble relating to the child-friendliness is the highchairs.  They’re a nice standard wooden number, but they’re just too low for the tables in the restaurant, given they’ve no trays and the baby does need to be pulled up to the table.  It’ll probably be fine by the time he’s about 2, but my guess is whoever ordered the highchairs doesn’t have a baby.

This was also the weekend that Dominic finally properly admitted to himself that he’s a bi-ped.  Each little lap of the room/rug today also ended in a big hug for mama.  I couldn’t have had a lovelier mothers day.  Am more in love with my almost 15 month old than I ever thought possible.  Happy Mother’s Day all the mama’s!