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

Barbecue, baby style

Now, if you’re looking for saussies you’ve come to the wrong place.  Though I can assure you the 2-44 year olds (except me) had plenty of traditional Irish barbecue (lots of meat and clouds) the babies were another story.   I sat Theo on my knee while I ate my delicious halloumi & courgette skewers, grilled asparagus, & beetroot salad  – seriously, how do any of you people need meat when things like that are available? I fully expected to hand him sticks of various things and to watch him chuck them to the ground.  He’s a shouty distracible baby so with his brother and 6 cousins around I figured he wouldn’t go for much.

The best little eater I know
The best little eater I know

But soon he was transfixed.  We all were truth be told.  Theo’s little cousin Tessa (8.5 months) was quietly and determinedly working her way through several pieces of courgette, her little fist firmly wrapped about it.  Then she chomped down on some delicious asparagus.  But that wasn’t enough, so next with the aid of her dad to steady the load, she munched her way around a large ear of corn.   The thing that struck me most of all…the neatness!  See that blue plate?  It’s not even glued or suckered to the table, she just didn’t bother with The Swiping or The Throwing so beloved of my sons.  *sigh* Jealous!  Tessa is the third of three children, and the first one of them to do baby led weaning.  She could not be a better ad for it!

Theo, wide eyed and inspired tried everything he saw over the next day.  We’re gonna have to hang out with Tessa a bit more!

I’m okay fans!

Hello all, I’m feeling much better. I’m a bit warm still sometimes but I like the medsin, meddzen pink stuff I get when I’m a bit warm.  I point at it when I see it but then mama goes and puts it in the room where I have my bath so I can’t see it and then I don’t think to cry for it.   I’m really hungry and dada and mama are delighted about that.  Food over one isn’t for fun anymore you see, it’s a serious business.  When I was in the hopspital I didn’t eat anything all day until the very end and then when they saw me eat toast they sent me home.  Is eating toast bold like standing up hitting Iggle Piggle on the tv?

I ate lots of fud yesterday and none of it came back up in a big puddle out of my mouth.  I have made big puddles on my cot and my bedroom floor, and my chair and mama and dada’s bed and bedroom floor and the sofa, and the kitchen and everywhere I could think of.  So today I ate porridge for breakfast and I didn’t want much of my water.  But after I had a lovely long nap I wanted my sippy cup back and I had rice cakes with almond butter and some raisins at lunchtime, and a fruit pot and sweetcorn rings for a snack and then mama thought to make something she hadn’t made in ages which was spinach balls with pasta and courgette sauce .  It was yummy and dada loves it too.  mama left me some more for lunch today and dada kept eating them I saw him there better be enough for me because I AM BACK.

– Dom

first refusal

Ah cosmopolitan Ireland.  Full of unseasonal asparagus and soya this and soya that, and most importantly sun dried tomatoes.   Well not for young Dominic.  Nose was turned up at a pilaf type dinner (we do a lot of makey-uppy recipes) with wild red rice, courgette, onion, green pepper & sundried tomatoes.  I am going to try him on tomato-less leftovers as I think the sharpness (may have been too salty in hindsight, they were the rehydrated ones rather than in oil ones) of the tomato put him off the whole thing.  He tucked into an oatcake & a couple of segments of clementine instead.

Not without a bit of drama first though.

my first curry

This week, mama thought I should try some new tastes.  She made green curry, but with lots of coconut milk so it wasn’t too spicy for my little tum.  Also, she sucked the sauce off my fud a bit before I got to it so I was only getting a little taste.

I had baby sweetcorn which is yummy and easy to hold and chomp and carrot sticks and courgette and quorn pieces and rice.  Daddy didn’t think I’d be able for rice but I showed him.  You can eat anything if you grab it with your fist I find.  I made really funny faces because I was a bit surprised at the new flavour.  I think mama and dada thought it might have been a bad idea but then I kept eating so they figured I must have been okay with it.  Sometimes I can’t be bothered holding onto the food and I just suck on it for ages.   Like with courgette.  Its slippery to hold, so I just put it in my teeth and leave it there for aaaages.

I ate outdoors again this week.  Mama brought me to the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, and we went for a walk, and I had some snacks sitting on the grass – Organix Carrot Sticks.  Dada thinks they look like bad food but mama set him right.  She does that a lot.  I got a bit distracted by a tractor driving up and down, I know about tractors from my book “That’s not my Tractor”.  They bought me “That’s not my Dinosaur” this weekend because mama said dinosaurs can’t distract me from eating but I’m going to keep an eye out for them.

– Dom