Le sigh. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

My daddy makes me the best dinners.  He got me from the creche last night when mamma was still in work and we went home and played for a while we did trains and jumping.  Then he went to the kitchen to make dinner and one Handy Manny later it was ready.  We had sausages and then  out of the white beeping  box we had potatoes, carrots & broccoli.  I nommed it up.  Sausages are new to me, mamma won’t eat them with me and dadda but sometimes she has special ones from the brrrfreezer and dadda and me eat them too.

Today my mammy chopped up 2 big oberjeans and put them in the dangeroushotoven. Mostly I like to see what she’s doing but it was taking her ages today and I didn’t bother. There were tomatoes and pasta too and cheese on top and it took so much time that I had a bath and everything.  Then we all had dinner together. Doma had dinner and dadda had dinner and mamma had dinner but only mamma loved dinner.  I don’t think dadda likes oberjeans very much and I said my tooth hurt and it was better when I had milk then my other tooth hurt and I drank more milk and it was better so I stopped eating dinner and had a yogurt and mamma said she thought i mean my tung hurt and she shouldn’t have put chilli in the dinner.

Dom

Risotto. Italian for yum.

We’re big fans of risotto in our house.  It used to be one of those things that we thought was really hard, or time consuming, but it’s actually not.   Especially now –   Mark tried out the BLW cookbook oven-cooked one with aubergine & courgette a while ago, as opposed to the stand and stir variety and we actually found it nicer – less stodgy and clumpy.  It’s definitely  less effort too.

After a lovely long zoo trip the other day, when Dom was almost running on empty – tired out from animals, slides & other kids  – we thought a variation on the oven cooked risotto starring what ever was in the fridge/garden would go down a treat.

Mark set to getting onions, garlic & peppers on the pan, while I went into the garden.  Yes, dear reader, I harvested a few little carrots, and some sage and parsley.  The pride!  I was bursting with it.   Now, I don’t think Tesco will come a-calling with orders any day soon, but I don’t care, my double-pronged carroty wonders were awesome.  Except the one with the approx 18 inch long root, for what lay beneath was a miserable greeny tinged number.  There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Hurry up and take photo so I can eat.

The carrots softened nicely in the 20 mins in the oven, as all the stock goes in at once so they get a chance to cook through.  This means I don’t have to go picking out crunchy carrot bits from Dom’s dinner.

Risotto is a brilliant BLW food.   You can use low salt stock, get a variety of vegetables and cheesiness into junior. It sticks nicely to spoons and forks and little hands.  Our friend Tina over at Cookwithtina.com was enquiring about freezing risotto on The Twitter the other day, but I honestly can’t say I’ve ever tried – ours is always gone with one sitting & one batch of leftovers.

– Jill

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

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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

Xmas eats, Pt 2

you! loyal subject! fetch more fud!

Do you like my hat? We all wore them while we ate our dinner.  I got lots of new things (duplo, wheelybug, wooden activity cube, animal socks, my first converse like mama and dada) and we wore hats for dinner.  It was a funny day, but I didn’t let that get in the way of my eating.  Everyone went ahead and ate without me first, I had to have a sleep I was so tired from playing and entertaining my Oma, Opa, Uncle Peter & Auntie Rachel and the neighbours.  Then when they ate their dessert (I don’t know what it was but I bet it wasn’t as nice as yogurt) I ate my dinner.   Oma put aside food for me because otherwise they might eat it all and I’d have none.  I had turkey and I had parnsips, and mashed potato and carrots.  Do you see my fork in the photo? I like eating from that, but mama and dada have to put thing on it first.

The next day we went to my Auntie Lisa’s house.  That’s the loud house.  Or at least it is when me and all my cousins are there.  We all ate another big dinner and I saw mama drink lots of bubbly stuff but I just had my water.  She’s allowed now because I have a bottle when I go to bed.  My little cousin Ross who’s only just started eating ate a big lump of parsnip like I would.  He must have seen me.  My dada tried to take it from him after he had it in his mouth for ages.  He wasn’t happy about that.  He likes broccoli too.  I’m going to show him how it’s done.

Dom

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.

Jill

consumption management 101 – making improvements

I was away most of last week, and have found myself getting a bit irritated when I don’t manage Dominic’s food intake well.  Let me rephrase – baby led weaning isn’t really about management, but presenting of opportunities and I feel that I haven’t been offering him the opportunity to eat at the right time always.  We’re in the middle of weaning from breast to bottle, and have settled into a rough routine of 2 breastfeeds & 2 bottlefeeds most days (sometimes more).  Seeing as we don’t have much of a fixed routine for anything feeding can be a bit haphazard – milk feeds run late, then he’s not hungry for solids, then I offer lunch late. While we were away, we might have been out and about in the car, and while me and my mum ate lunch, he was only due a bottle. Or we’re not organised enough in the evening and I end up making do for his dinner and we don’t all eat together. Making do is usually natural yogurt and or a fruit pot.  I think this would be fine if we were doing a good structured ‘protein lunch’, but I’ll be conscious he might only have had a couple of nibbles on a bit of cheese or toast at lunchtime. There’s the added pressure then, when you’re trying to prove something to someone (that blw is a good idea) and you can’t seem to get him to eat at all.  Repeat to self – he’s not eating up for me, he’s eating for him.

So this weekend, I resolved to do better. The freezer is our best friend. I made my very first lasagne, ever. People often find it odd that a vegetarian doesn’t make veggie lasagna’s often, but for years it was about the only thing on offer in restaurants. (Now its wild mushroom risottos & goats cheese tartlets…don’t get me started) A few weeks ago I made lentil bolognaise and had frozen enough to make up the lasagna. This is the recipe I used, but I added a layer of passata into the mix also. I’m not sure how authentic that is, but I love the sweet tang of tomato, and it was a nice contrast to the bechamel. I didn’t realise how easy bechamel is to make, now I can’t believe you can even buy a jar of the white stuff. In the interests of full disclosure, Mark did spoonfeed some of it to him for lunch as I’d been a bit worried about Dom’s weight gain. (This happens sporadically and after a good days eating, sense has kicked in) After a few spoon swooshes and aeroplane noises, the mouth started to clamp shut.  He won’t put up with that for long – he’ll watch your act for a bit, but as the spoon comes close he bats it away or wants to grab it himself.  But we weren’t in any hurry, so I just sighed and dumped the rest of the food out onto the tablecloth, kinda expecting it to hit the floor momentarily. But in it went – mushy strips of pasta coated in sticky sauces and lentils.

On a roll, and after planting snowdrops & crocuses (croci?) and baking banana bread (yes! really!), I decided to try soup for the first time today.  I make soup relatively often, but having had a reasonably good summer, this was the first batch in a while.  While I can’t automatically turn to the Annabel Karmel recipes,  I have a few reliable sites I look at for ideas (links on left) and My Daddy Cooks is always good for a laugh and for inspiration.  I’d thought of soup for him before, but just wasn’t sure how to get it into him – I like to avoid doing too many pre-loaded spoons.  This soup video had me foraging in the fridge, and I ended up with carrot & parsnip soup with potatoes for bulk.  I needed it to be thick to have any chance of it going into Dom’s mouth.   I used big hunks of brown bread, so they’d hold together nicely when soup-sodden.

The wee fella was having a bit of a meltdown by the time the whole lot was ready and cool enough for him.  He was only up a while from a nap, and he’s quite predictable compared to a couple of months ago in terms of his milk feeds.  Not even the sight of the 2 cats playing with a feather in the back yard could quiet him.  I can only come to the conclusion that he may have finally made the link between hunger & solids – if this is the case then great (but I won’t get away with skipping meals anymore!)   I wish I could capture the face he makes when he tries something new.  His whole face screws up like he’s eating lemons, and he’s really unsure and then just when you think you’re going to get a spit out, it’s like: hang on, this is the weirdest taste/texture ever, but wait!  I LIKE it. And in he tucks.

Given the gusto with which he tackled his soupy dippers, I’m guessing he’s into the whole soup thing.  Good thing too, there’a about 5 cups of it going in that blessed freezer tonight.

So I’ll leave you with this thought – every joyful moment, every new meal Dominic gobbles up,  is marred only by the thought of the clean up afterward. Curses… I wonder can you train cats like house-elves?

– Jill