Something smells a bit fishy.

Barry was no ordinary fish

There’s no denying the goodness of fish.  Personally, I like them to keep their goodness all to themselves but I hear if you consume such things they’re chocka full of omega 3’s and what not, especially the oily fish kind.  Pity their greasiness doesn’t allow them slip away from nets…

Dominic’s favourite fish is Barry The Fish With Fingers.  But his Dad thinks it’s okay to eat other, less talented fish, and thusly consulted his new bible, the Baby Led Weaning cookbook.   Tuna croquettes were on the menu.  His top tip for speed is chop up the spuds & steam them in the microwave.  These were very quick to make, and after Mark sliced them into discs Dom nommed them up that way.  I think I spent more time cleaning potato & flaky tuna off the floor than he spent making them.  Then I gave the other tin of tuna to the cats, the bang* off it is woeful.

Then last sunday, while I revelled in delight at finding Cauldron tofu in Tesco (really firm, definitely the easiest to cook with, but not always available), Mark was slipping peppered mackerel fillets in the basket.   They ate them up on the next night with steamed babycorn & mangetout.  The packet said may contain traces of bone, but after a thorough combing through turns out they were actually bone-free.  Again, he ate small flaky bits with his hands.  The way he eats baby corn is really cute, its like an adult eating corn on the cob.  The tiny bits come back out with the sides nibbled off.

In case you’ve wondered, I don’t handle the meat/fish side of things at all, cooking or health & safety like bone removal.  I stand there making myself a little meal for one while father and son tuck in.  I don’t even like cleaning up after it, but then, when have I ever said I enjoy cleaning?

– jill

*bang is an irishism for smell, dear alien-readers.

i am one!

I had a birthday! That’s when its the same day as the day you’re born except a year later.  It was lots of fun.  I saw all my cousins and my aunties and uncles (except nearly-auntie Brenda who was sick) and some of mama and dada’s friends and Lily and James who are other babies but not my cousins.

Mama and Dada made lovely food for my birthday party.  I couldn’t eat it all I’m not allowed eat everything yet.  Good thing  because I don’t think the adults left any spare birthday cake for me.  I had cheese straws from mama’s special cookbook for me.  I shared my food with the other babies and Opa who’s diabetic.  They’re yum and even though mama said they were party food I had them as a snack in the creche.   I think she might make them again, i saw her make them and they took no time at all.


cheese straws, in a box

Aswell for me there were carroty muffins from the same book.   They were tasty but I was busy with my new toys and books and all the excitement so I had fun smushing them into the floor.

My cousins had pizza at my party.  I think they would have preferred hammy ones I don’t think they think courgettes belong on a pizza. My mama would eat courgette on her breakfast she likes it a lot.   Mama was going to make pizza for the party too but dada bought some instead.  She made some before my birthday.  I didn’t have any.  I don’t mind because mama and dada didn’t really seem to like it either.  My special cookbook is sometimes great and sometimes not so great.  Dada said the bottom of the pizza was like scones.

I might make mama try and make pizza again because I loved it on our holidays in Italy.  She’ll have to find a new recipe.  Now, it’s past my bedtime.  Night night

– Dom

While Dom noshed on the above, we ate a very delicious non baby friendly birthday cake – Delia’s basic all in one sponge with fresh cream and raspberries in the middle and covered in chocolate topping from the Jamie Oliver party cake recipe.  It was so easy that I made two, one for family and one for friends the next day.

In a bold move, we drank espresso martinis (equal parts espresso, kahlua, vodka & white creme de cacao) – YUM!  In hindsight probably a bit boozy for a 1st birthday but there was only 1 per adult!

– Jill

Baby Led Weaning cookbook – Sugar Free Banana Bread

I’ve made banana bread before, sure I know what I’m dealing with.  This right here is my favourite recipe for it evhs. Good ol’ Delia – I’ve made it many times, and I can’t say that about too many recipes.  In fact I’m not sure I’ve ever met a banana bread I didn’t like. Until now.

please sir, can I have some sugar?

There was something missing, and patently, that something was sugar.  The mixture was very low in the tin, no matter thought I, it’ll rise.  It didn’t really, and one of the major disadvantages of the BLW cookbook is that there’s no pictures.  So I don’t know if it was supposed to be flat-cake or not.  Y’know, cake like a traybake type thing.  I suppose these kind of snacky things aren’t really aimed at me.

The positive outcome of this is that Dom genuinely liked it.  The child evidently doesn’t know what he’s missing in the sugary stakes.  I will make it again, as I’m having some guilt issues over our what looks like a sponsorship deal with Organix/Goodies when you open our kitchen press.  Freezing about half in slices is probably a good idea – it didn’t keep too well, and it didn’t go down well with adults.


Baby Led Weaning cookbook – Beef Goulash

Uh oh spaghetti oh.  This post has nothing to do with spaghetti.  It has to do with my messing up the dinner.  Once more the baby-daddy was making a meaty feast.  (He’s cooked more meat in the last 3 months than he has in the last 7 years as far as I can work out).

So all was going well for the Goulash. It was a great recipe for us, as the beef was the only ingredient we didn’t have in the cupboard.  I chopped the veg & laid out everything else for Mark to start the cooking.  Well, sure we didn’t have paprika.  We’d 2 types of chili powder and cayenne pepper.  I put the cayenne out on the counter…

Another simple dish to prepare – the shepherds pie was by far the most time consuming dish so far – 15 mins on the pan, followed by 90 mins in the oven.  Mark knew the cayenne would be hotter and put in just a half teaspoon.  Still no good.  He said it was really tasty, but it was  quite lip tingling.  He added extra natural yogurt and creme fraiche to cool down the boy’s portion. Dom tried it, and after 2 tries was rubbing his mouth with his arm.  So it’s left overs for Marks lunch tomorrow so!  But he says he’ll definitely make it again – it was quick and very tasty, just with some paprika next time.

– jill

Baby Led Weaning Cookbook – Tomato Chicken

This was such a simple dish.  I’m not sure I’m going to convince Mark to blog about food ala My Daddy Cooks so I don’t know how useful me blogging about meaty dishes will be.

This was a particularly simple dish.  We were pretty confident serving it up as we know Dominic loves tomato, and he’s fairly into his chicken too.  He’s coming round to red meat too though, according to the creche.  In fact, his minder asked me in a half worried tone the other day if I’d noticed his appetite increase.  He used to eat about half the amount of the other baby’s portions, and about an hour after them, til one day he started to screech when he saw the little girl there being fed.  He gets dinner at lunchtime then we generally try and give him a blw type dinner in the evening too if its not a grab-n-nuke soup from the freezer evening.  Two Dinners Dominic we’re calling him, a nickname passed down from father to son after the infamous time Mark ate both offerings at a wedding in a particularly nice foodie hotel.

There’s a clear reason for the new found savagery – forward motion.  He’s flying around the place now.  He even has a new foodie interest which I’m really not pleased about – the cats’ food bowls.  Argh!  This morning alone I took him away from their bowl 3 times in under 2 minutes.  My heart is broke, but it’s amazing to see how quickly he went from 0-60, and how quickly it affected his food intake.  We currently reducing bottle sizes too during the day, he’s just not as interested.

So anyway, the tomatoey chicken…  It’s a good one for putting together when you get in after work because it doesn’t need much monitoring, and goes well with rice.  I’d say you could mash up a bit of spud into the sauce too, for pre-loaded spoons.

Not the best review in the world. But what can I say, I didn’t make it or eat it!


Baby Led Weaning Cookbook – Shepherd’s Pie

I reckon a good ongoing project for the blog is to catalogue our cooking experiments from the brand new hot off the presses Baby Led Weaning Cookbook.

We started off with Shepherd’s Pie

Now, I’m a divil for ingredient replacement.  And naturally, I wasn’t going to be using lamb, so I used half Linda McCartney Mince & half kidney beans.  So I thought I better stick to the rest of the recipe faithfully.  Husband was dispatched to buy our first ever swede.    The recipe was simple enough to follow but I will say I was was watching the mounting washing-up with a resigned eye.  I never have the 4 rings going at once on the hob!

What kind of shepherd would put his lambs in a pie anyway?

In an unprecedented act of organised ma-ness, I made twice the amount of filling, and froze half.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend tackling this when you come in from work – like I said it’s not hard, but it takes a while, including a half hour in the oven at the end.  And I can’t promise I won’t skip swede for more carrot next time.  Actually in terms of ingredient replacement, the BLW cookbook encourages such flexibility and often offers variants and optional ingredients.  Suits me so!

I also decided this was a good time to intro the fork into Dom’s cutlery arsenal.  Lots of good stabby food in the pie.  Turns out fistfuls is still the way to go for now though.


fork thing weird, take it back.