Baking with Kids: Healthy Brownies and Muffins

Carrot and Courgette Muffins zucchini baking

Distract distract distract shout sums up my parenting method with my middle child right now. He gets very jealous of his big brother and his seemingly endless stream of playdates.  I try my best to make our time together fun in some way to make up for the fact he has to hang out with his mum and a baby. We visit cafes and the park and the nearby museum and surprisingly, bringing just two children places feels *almost* easy now. But when we’re at home, we enjoy baking together.

This is the same boy that saw a tiny brown mouse sitting on the path in the park recently, and squatted down for a good chat with it. I am not kidding, it made his week, once I had reassured him that mousey’s mum and dad were nearby and that he wasn’t scared on his own. You see, the bar for entertaining him can be set quite low, although, the window in which the day goes from ‘best day ever’ to ‘worstest day ever’ is also very narrow. He likes to keep me on my toes.

Let’s not kids ourselves now; when it comes to baking the mess and the bowl licking are his highlights, and eating the end product is mine. Everything in between runs the gamut from delightful bonding time to me grinding my teeth in stress at flour on the floor and maple syrup on the counter.

Of course you’re always going to find shiny videos of pristine parents and even cleaner kitchens with everyone wearing aprons if you look for videos of baking with kids on line. This is not that. We love Insta Stories and find it a fun way to share our baking escapades. Teddy particularly likes the camera and watching himself back – unsurprisingly. I like it for the rough and readiness  (see the dark chocolate on my face, some teary interruptions from Ivy and Ted wanting to lick things all the time) and for the feedback from viewers. I’ve shared the videos of us making these recipes below.

We made Black Bean Brownies with Raspberries, which I have made numerous times before and Carrot and Courgette Muffins, which were a new recipe to us. Baby Ivy is going to be starting solids in the next month so I’m keeping an eye out for things to try. These muffins will be great, I’ll just sub out the honey and use maple syrup instead. Continue reading

Be my veggie guest! Barbecue edition

VEGGIE BBQ FEATURE-

IMG_1634While plenty of you are not vegetarian, I know lots of people like to try a meat free day or two most weeks. And isn’t it nice to look beyond meat at a barbecue? Do you really feel great after craploads of grilled burgers and sausages? So whether you’re veggie yourself (woot! woot!) or just want to add a few options for the not so carnivorous amongst us, here’s some quick ideas for your scorching hot al day al fresco meal.* Featuring no frozen fake meat, at all!

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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