Thursday, 3 September 2015

Podcast Episode 2: Our Cows Milk Protein Allergy story




Apologies for the hiatus in posting this second episode - we all had a rotten fluey cold and my voice just went - first husky, then just chesty and yuck. But it's back now, so here we are with Episode two - our CMPA journey and story so far.


No resources mentioned today.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Apple and carrot dhaal - dairy free, soya free, CMPA weaning recipe



Carrot and apple dhaal: Baby led weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA




I love dhaal - as a quick lunch, or the more traditional accompaniment to a curry, it's one of my favourites. I've not made it for ages though, and was trying to think of some new meals for Harry's lunches when inspiration struck.

Lentils are a great food for babies - full of protein and iron but easy on little tummies. They mash up brilliantly if you're leaning more towards purees, and they give a meal substance if you're a baby led weaner.

For a baby recipe we don't want heat from our dhaal, but I did want to start to introduce some different flavours - the first time I made this I ignored my own notes and doubled up the spicing! Not a good idea.

Because the veggies are grated to start with, this is a really quick meal to make, and if you've got a food processor it takes minutes to throw it together. What's not to like, really?

Carrot and apple dhaal: Baby led weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA


Apple and Carrot dhaal
Dairy free, soya free, CMPA
Weaning recipe

Carrot and apple dhaal: Baby led weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA


4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 eating apples, peeled and grated
750ml low salt veg stock/ water
2/3 cup red lentils
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4tsp ground cumin
2 Tablespoons olive oil


Pop the olive oil, onion, carrot, apples and spices in a large pan and cook down for a couple of minutes
Cover with the stock/ water, and lentils
Bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for 10-20 minutes
Serve as it is or with rice


Friday, 28 August 2015

Butternut squash & tomato pasta: A dairy free, soya free CMPA weaning recipe



Butternut squash & tomato pasta sauce, weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA



Butternut squash & tomato is a lovely combination for weaning, sweet and flavourful and one of Harry's favourites. I make this in batches, usually while he naps, and freeze it in portion pots for quick and easy lunches along the line.

This is also the sauce I use on his 'cheesy' polenta chips, and I also use it with chicken meatballs I make him. Harry seems to prefer his food to be a bit wet so this is a great moist-maker (to quote Ross Geller) 

I also make an adult version of this with salt, pepper, a pinch of chilli and lots of crispy bacon: Dairy free Butternut squash and bacon pasta

Butternut squash & tomato pasta sauce, weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA

Butternut squash & tomato pasta
Dairy free, soya free - suitable for CMPA
Weaning recipe
Makes 20 baby portions

1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 red onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic diced or crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme 
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into a 2cm or so dice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 carton passata
1tsp tomato puree
Oatly cream
Violife cheese - I use 2 slices of the Mozzarella style, finely chopped

In a large pan, warm the oil and add the onion, garlic, butternut squash and dried thyme - cook gently over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until the onion starts to go translucent
Add the tin of tomatoes, pasta and tomato puree. Fill the tomato tin half full of water and add that to the pan too
Bring to a gentle simmer, pop a lid on the pan and cook for 30 minutes
Remove from the heat - and add 2 tablespoons of Oatly cream and stir through the sauce
Add the Violife cheese and stir through.

Butternut squash & tomato pasta sauce, weaning recipe, dairy free, soya free, CMPA


If you are doing purees as your weaning method, then let this cool down before blitzing. If you're doing baby led weaning then you can serve it as is.

I make up a batch of this, leave it to cool, portion it off and then freeze so it's ready to go for a quick lunch or supper. I use this from Nuby as initially one, now 2 of these is a perfect Harry sized portion.

If you find prepping butternut squash a faff - you have a couple of options. Tesco and Waitrose/ Ocado both sell it frozen. Or, have a look at this post for my super easy way to prep it. 






Tuesday, 25 August 2015

#PeriscopeMyProgress Learning to crochet



When I became a stay at home mum it was a huge change, for many years my identity had been sewn up with my career. A Workforce Development Manager by trade I was used to leading a team, working with senior managers, spending a lot of time on trains and being surgically attached to my BlackBerry. Fast forward 8 months and I'm so happy and so much more relaxed than I've been in goodness knows how long. My pretty frocks, manicures, hair and make up have been switched out for skinny jeans, converse and sunblock. That BlackBerry is long forgotten and not missed at all. And I spend every day learning about my son. All good so far.

However, I like learning and when I decided I was going to stay at home I set myself 4 objectives for this year:


  1. To learn quilting
  2. To learn coding
  3. To learn to crochet
  4. To find a way of working that suits us as a family 

Earlier this year I won some fabric in a competition from Higgs and Higgs which heralded my introduction into quilting. This post, details my progress and the quilt now has pride of place on the back of our sofa. I also have some Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric set aside to make Harry a quilt to the same pattern for Christmas. 

Coding is a slower process - I'm starting to get my head around it, and am better at using plugins now. Although sometimes a simple task will still phase me - I tried to install the shareaholic plugin the other day and was completely foiled! And don't get me started on Click to Tweet which I will defeat. 

Which took me to number three on my list and todays Periscope. Filmed shortly after I'd put Harry to bed, displaying my full of cold voice in full. I explained about learning to crochet and said I'd link up the resources I'm using here: 

Bella Coco is the Youtuber who I've found most accessible to watch and listen to, her blog is also really helpful too

Attic24 is the blog that I have saved as permanent inspiration. I've been following her for years, but only finally picked up my crochet hook with intent last week! 

My Crochet board on Pinterest for inspiration and how-to's 

I will be continuing to #PeriscopeMyProgress as part of Jennifer's challenge as part of my continued development in using Digital tools and my skill development in producing quality content, by combining it with crochet I'm hoping to distract myself from the fear I feel at being in front of the camera. 


Monday, 24 August 2015

Meal Planning Monday



I've kind of lost my meal planning mojo over the summer. My tendency in the warm has been to pick up a chicken from the Supermarket and roast it, mainly to provide cold meat for the week. Baked potatoes, and salad from the garden have featured heavily. That said, even M looked sad when I said "Roast chicken?" this week, so I thought it was time to get back on it. Please note we've got roast chicken on the plan still - I listened, it just works! 

I've changed how Harry's eating a little bit of late as he's in the midst of dropping a nap, so supper is a bit of a race against his drooping eyelids. I was bringing it earlier and earlier and then decided to switch up lunch and supper - making the latter more of a picky, light meal and swapping the main meal to lunchtime. As regular readers will know I'm always conscious about maintaining Harry's weight so for me I'm really happy that for him this has worked so well. 

I'm still doing Slimming World (although I suspect I'm the worst slimmer in our group) the combination of a restricted diet and mummy hood really don't always leave me particularly motivated. But I've kicked myself into touch of late and seem to be doing a little bit better. 

Breakfasts - I'm in the midst of a shocking cough and cold (that we've all had, I just got it last) so am mainly breakfasting on toast, marmite and fruit. Once I'm feeling better I'll be back onto my overnight oats, but right now I need something that's dryer. 

Lunches - I've been making up a bowl of something like a quinoa, couscous or pasta salad and having that for my lunches. It keeps me from grabbing a sarnie (bread is my downfall) and as it's ready and in the fridge I do actually eat. Funnily enough, when I'm disorganised and skip meals I seem to lose even less weight! 

Suppers

Monday - Pulled pork, with baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and salad

Tuesday - Leftovers in a wrap with rice and sweet potato wedges for M, with salad and sweet potato wedges for me

Wednesday - Roast chicken, potatoes, broccoli and carrots 

Thursday - Leftover roast chicken, baked potatoes and salad 

Friday - Much to M's dismay I've completely gone off risotto (perhaps because when it's cheese and butter free it's just rice and stuff) so either a soy sauce free chicken chow mien, or a stir fried chicken and broccoli. 

Saturday - we're at CarFest for M's birthday so I'm hoping for something fab and dairy free. We'll take Harry a Yumbox and I'm going to hope that there's going to be dairy and soya free fare on offer *fingers crossed* 

Sunday - My super speedy chilli I think - as it'll provide us with lots of leftovers in the week ahead. 

I'm not planning on baking this week as I'm trying to be good, and also I just don't fancy anything! 

Be sure to hop on over to At Home with Mrs M and see what everyone else is up to as the summer holidays come to a close. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Podcast Episode 1: Living with Cow's milk protein allergy



I thought I'd try some different content today - here's what will hopefully be the first in a series of podcasts talking about life with a Cow's milk protein allergy.  Today is just an introduction to CMPA, and a bit of a chat about some of the basics of life with a baby who has a Cow's milk protein allergy.





Resources mentioned

The allergy episode of Get Well Soon has dropped off of Iplayer, but as soon as I see it's back on there I'll tweet it out.

There's links in the right hand bar to my email, twitter and facebook.

If you have any questions, please do comment below


Friday, 14 August 2015

Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam

Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam, quick, easy and perfect for beginners


Blush gooseberries are a fruit that's new to me - I'd never seen them to buy but quite excitingly that's what grows on the gooseberry bush in our garden so I was keen to do something with them. And of course jam it was.

Previously I've made Gooseberry and apple jam which was and is a huge favourite of mine, but as I said in my Periscope video this morning, life with Harry doesn't lend itself to getting the maslin and jam jars down from the loft, sterilising everything and only then starting to make the jam. This recipe took less than half an hour from start to finish, used a normal saucepan, one jam jar, a potato masher and a tablespoon which is much more conducive to happening whilst Harry naps.

Speed and ease of making aside - one of the reasons this is such a straightforward recipe is the teeny tiny chia seeds. These understated black pinpricks work in jam by absorbing and holding up to ten times their own weight in water. As you cook the fruit and honey down, the little black seeds develop an almost gelatinous coating which is why they make such a perfect addition to a quick set, relatively healthy jam. This removes the need for large quantities of sugar - by using honey I've in fact kept this recipe entirely free from refined sugar.

However, becuase this isn't a traditional jam - as I said in the Periscope video it won't keep for months and months on end in the cupboard or loft. It'll last about a week, maximum two in the fridge - so if I were you (or me in fact) I'd make it when you have your eye on a batch of scones, some homemade bread or scotch pancakes which would all benefit from a large dollop of this glorious confection.

This is such an easy recipe - so easy in fact that you can do it while sleep deprived!

Blush gooseberry & chia seed jam

Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam, quick, easy and perfect for beginners


400g of fruit - I used Blush gooseberries, green gooseberries and a handful of foraged blackberries
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons chia seeds

Prep your fruit - in the case of gooseberries, wash, top and tail them
Pop the fruit in a large pan with the honey and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the berries start to soften and come to the boil
Mash the living daylights out of the fruit with a potato masher
Turn the heat down to low, add the chia seeds and continue to cook for 20 or so minutes, stirring every couple of minutes

Here you have it - Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam. Perfectly sweet, beautifully set and so easy a sleep deprived mother running purely on coffee can do it whilst making her first Periscope. True story.



I'm entering this into Ren Behan's Simple and In Season this month. 



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