Family Friendly Meals!

Life is so much easier now that Amelia just has a smaller or slightly tweaked version of what I have for dinner. Having to cook up purées and different batches of food for Amelia used to be time consuming but I was set on making my own so persevered. I feel like it has paid off as most of the time she isn’t particularly fussy with food and will give anything a try.

I love cooking tasty meals and expanding my food knowledge. We never did have many jars or sauce packets but since having Amelia most meals are made from scratch. I think a lot of people don’t do this because of time constraints but once you’ve perfected a recipe it’s just second knowledge and can get done just as quick. I know what’s going in Amelia’s food and I can fill it with lots of tasty herbs and none of the bad stuff!

Most meals she has exactly the same just chopped a bit smaller and then a few she might have cooked along side with a few tweaks e.g. When I cook a curry she has less spice!

It also means that we can have dinner together. Family meal times are really important to me. I grew up having had dinner together most nights as a family bar when it didn’t suit due to hobbies, commitments and seeing friends but it’s a really good way to catch up on everyone’s day. Obviously Amelia can’t quite fill us in on what she has been up too. But you get the idea.

Here are some meals that we have that are perfectly suitable for a 16month old baby:

  •  Lasagne
  • Bolognese
  • Chilli (less spice)
  • Shepherds pie
  • Fish pie
  • Chicken casserole
  • Sausage casserole
  • Stir fry
  • Fish cakes
  • Chicken curry (less spice)
  • Roast dinner
  • Fajitas (less spice)
  • Tomato pasta
  • Creamy chicken pasta
  • Salmon and veg

I’m sure you all have lots of food ideas so I won’t go on anymore. Just wanted to show that meal times don’t have to be a gazillion different meals and times. That lots of different meals can be adapted to suit those eating.

Amelia’s favourites are fajitas, lasagne and fish pie. She loves holding her own mini fajita and munching through it. Then the bolognese based sauce for a lasagne Amelia also enjoys but think her favourite bit is the garlic bread! Amelia absolutely loves broccoli she eats it by the handful so she usually gets a side of that with any meal it suits.

Big & Mini Fajitas

Big & Mini Fajitas

IMG_3178

What are your little ones favourite meals?

Thanks for reading!xx

Weaning: Where are we now?

Thought I would write this to update you all on what Amelia is eating these days and how she is getting on with the weaning process.

image (3)

Amelia is now nearly 11 months old and has really got it the hang of eating and enjoying food either off a spoon or feeding herself. I guess I do a mixture of spoon feeding and baby led weaning and that works out perfectly for us.

It took Amelia a while to get used to feeding herself and then we would go through phases of a week of it going really well then a week of bad eating but I would say for the last couple months she has been really great.

Breakfast: So for breakfast Amelia will either have porridge or a Weetabix. She used to have the Aptamil baby porridge but now she has the Quaker Oats – Oat so simple. She has both of these with cows milk and had no problem adapting to that!

Mummy & Baby breakfast

Mummy & Baby breakfast

Lunch: At lunch time Amelia will have a sandwich (white/brown/seeded bread) with laughing cow cheese spread, some cheese chunks and a breadstick. Some fruit depending on what we have and then a yoghurt.

She is great with lunch as it is all bits she can pick up and feed herself. She looks toooo cute holding a sandwich and makes her seem like such a little person. Sometimes she will have an omelette or a boiled egg which she really enjoys but it depends how much time we have that day.

It works out really well that she has this more picky kind of lunch as it can easily be packed into a lunchbox if we are out for the day or want to do lunch at a friends rather than having to worry about heating things up and making a mess.

Homemade cheese scones another lunch time fave!

Homemade cheese scones another lunch time fave!

Dinner: At dinner time she will have a variety of things. She will have meals that we as a family have had and then I’ve frozen portions for her or sometimes I cook up separate things for her and freeze them, as there are still some dinners we have that just aren’t suitable for her. Usually she will have; fish pie, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, salmon and veg, shepherds pie, roast of somekind and pasta with a sauce. This part of dinner is spoon fed and she eats a decent portion size! Then she will have some fruit again and a pudding of some kind usually a yoghurt followed by a biscuit.

Amelia now has 3 bottles a day; one when she first wakes up, one mid afternoon and one before bedtime. I think by the time she is 1 she will be ready to drop the afternoon bottle as sometimes she doesn’t drink very much of it anyway. She has a lot of milk in her diet from sauces, yoghurt’s, cheese and with her breakfast so that makes up for the amount that she should be having along with her bottles.

I have kept her on the Aptamil 1 milk as she is gaining weight as she should be and eats a variety of foods so I didn’t need to swap to follow on milk. Amelia will also drink water throughout the day through a beaker; she is still quite lazy and would much rather I held the bottle for her though!

Its hard to judge as all babies are different but I think she is where she should be with eating. Most foods are lumpy and cut into small pieces and she does really well chewing through them and she seems to enjoy meal times. The only slight problem we face is that sometimes she just feeds her entire meal to the dog who is usually perching right beneath her highchair waiting for food to drop, bit of a nightmare so I usually have to be on standby waiting to catch before the dog gets it!

Amelia enjoying a picnic

Amelia enjoying a picnic

How did you find weaning?

Thanks for reading!xx

Foodie Friday

As you may have seen from other posts of mine I LOVE baking and trying out new cake recipes. So today I wanted to share this recipe with you; Black Bottom Cupcakes. It is from the Hummingbird bakery cookbook and is basically a chocolate sponge and cheesecake combined (I know!! Incredible right!!!)

This is a recipe for 24 cakes; mine only made 22 but that’s because I ate mixture and overfilled a couple of cases!

It’s super simple and would love for you to give it a go!

For the chocolate sponge base:

  • 380g plain flour
  • 240g caster sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 80ml sunflower oil
  • 3 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas3 and line your baking trays!

IMG_6084

IMG_6085

2.  Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and bicarb in a large bowl and mix until all the dry ingredients are combined.

IMG_6076 IMG_6078

3. Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 250ml of water in a hug and whisk to combine.

IMG_6079

4. Slowly add this to the dry ingredients if using a electric whisk increase the speed.

5. This mixture will not be like a normal cake mixture it is super thick as it just acts as a chocolate base!

IMG_6080

 

6.  Spoon the mixture into the cases until about 2/3 full! Don’t overfill early on like I did and run out! And don’t eat too much of the mixture again like I did…oops!!

IMG_6086

7. Set these aside and get started on the cheesecake filling.

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g milk chocolate chips

1. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt.

2. If you are using an electric whisk be careful not to overmix as this can cause the cream cheese to separate!

3. Stir through the chocolate chips. This mixture is quite thin and annoyingly the chocolate chips seem to just sink to the bottom!

IMG_6090

4. Add about 1 tablespoon of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture that is already in the cases.

5. Place into the preheated oven for about 20-25minutes.

6. You want the cheesecake to be starting to firm and then set once they are out of the oven and cooled! Be careful not to overcook as they will be super dry and crumbly!

IMG_6093

 

And there you go!!

This is a completely different recipe to anything I have used before. Putting vinegar in the cake mixture and no eggs/butter seemed really strange but it tastes sooo good! Me and my parents actually had them warm for a pudding just as they came out of the oven which was delicious!

Have you ever experimented with cupcakes??

IMG_6117

Thanks for reading! xx

It might rain…

This is our second vlog, slightly delayed due to having a poorly baby! Actually managed to figure out the camera a bit more for this weeks but still not as happy with it as I could be. Would love to have some feedback either commented on the youtube video or as a comment on here.

Thankyou so much for watching and if your on youtube send me your links so I can subscribe!

Have a lovely day x

Amelia’s 8 month update!

It’s the 15th April which means that today Amelia is 8 months old!! That is just absolutely mad! Cannot believe how fast the time is going (however cliché that is to say). This post will just be updating you on what Amelia is up to.

8 month walk! Getting a bit heavy for this now Amelia!

Getting a little bit heavy for this now Amelia!

Amelia had her 8 month check couple of weeks ago so before she turned 8 months but hey ho! The health visitor came over just to see how she was getting on. She checked through her red book to see if her immunisations were all up to date, Amelia was weighed and measured. She is now just over 17lb and is 69cm. She is following on the 50th centile and has followed this line since she was born. She also wanted to see if she had reached all the milestones that she should of by 8 months and she had!

For the last month Amelia’s vocabulary has really developed. She’s obviously not reciting Shakespeare but she experiments more with the different sounds her mouth can make. Recently there has been a lot of “bob” “baba” and “blub”. She still says a lot of the “a” sound with “lala” and “rara”. It is quite funny when she makes a new noise/sound as she seems to repeat that then for the next few days. On the same lines as speech she is just sooooo noisy!! From the minute she wakes up to the minute she goes to bed she does not stop jibbering, singing and chatting away. It is so cute but she is actually really loud. There have been a few times when she actually drowns me out of the conversation because I can’t hear what other people are saying or she is making noises over me.

Amelia has also learnt this high pitched scream. It is horrible!! Sounds like she is in pain but she does it and has learned that it gets a very quick reaction from anyone who is around. It is usually attention seeking or used when she doesn’t want to do something. Sometimes when going into her car seat or when she is bored playing with a particular toy.

Amelia does a lot more “playing” now. Rather than just chewing everything (still 70% of the time) and bashing it she actually concentrates on taking the rings off the cone and if we are really concentrating she can stack them back on. This only happens very occasionally and is done with a lot of dribble and a very serious face. She has some plastic spoons which she loves to play with and to hit them onto her stacking cups. Amelia loves looking at the detail of things; spinning a wheel on a toy car or poking at the little buttons on things. This has really become noticeable in the last month. She recently got a toy drum from Nana which makes a drum noise when you bang it and the music button plays a fast forward version of the Macarena (which is a bit weird). She can only do that for a little before she wants to tip it over and look underneath and fiddle with the legs.

She is not yet crawling but does a lot more rolling now and is looking more and more like she is ready to move by the day. She reaches for things and quite often does a bit of a head first action into the floor but isn’t quite strong enough to be on all fours yet!

Trying to crawl is too much!

Trying to crawl is too much!

Food wise we are experimenting more and more as time goes on and the lumpiness of the food is increasing. She had roast beef the other day and tried salmon for the first time; both of which she really enjoyed. She is getting better with finger foods but gets quite distracted by the dog and enjoys dropping food on the floor for him. So finger food can be a little bit of a nightmare. At around 7 months she started having 3 meals a day and enjoys having water with lunch and dinner which I am really pleased with. She can now hold her own milk bottle but isn’t quite there with the water cup!

Sleeping is still very successful most nights. Amelia will go down about 7:30pm and mostly sleep through until between 7-8am then she has a bottle first thing and goes straight back to sleep for anything as little as half an hour to two hours! But like most babies there are some nights with early morning wake-ups for no reason.

This was one of those nights...

This was one of those nights…

We have a few friends with babies of similar ages and a month or two older that we see quite a lot of and she enjoys playing with their toys and spending time with them. Plus it is great for me to have made some friends with babies! Very soon it will be the beginnings of first birthday parties!

954711_10203371543587166_475861895427640798_n

Playing with her friend Amber.

Her personality is just developing constantly and I cannot believe how much of a little person she is at just 8 months! Amelia is getting better at recognising people but is very serious with people that she doesn’t know, if you’re lucky you might get a smile! She knows when she is being cheeky and she definitely knows when she is doing something she shouldn’t (I can’t believe they learnt this so quickly!?)

Being a pirate for a treasure hunt!

Being a pirate for a treasure hunt!

With the nice weather we have been outside a lot more on walks which Amelia loves. She is so nosey so enjoys peeping her head out the side of the pram to see what’s going on. Most of the girls I went to school with are back for Easter at the moment and soon it will be the summer holidays so I am really looking forward to some days at the beach and picnics in the park. Some of them haven’t seen Amelia for a little while so she will basically be a giant to them! Plus Amelia’s wardrobe is ready for some warmer weather; pretty summer dresses with little socks and sunhats!

That is probably about it….oh other than it is possible she is getting cuter as the months go on!

Would love to know what your little ones were up to by 8 months.

1979616_10203311160197619_2152631790162701461_n

Loving a bedtime story.

Thanks for reading xx

6 month update…

After reading a few of peoples posts on development updates I was inspired to do one myself for Amelia who is actually now about 6 and a half months (28 weeks). I cannot believe she is over 6 months old absolutely no idea where the time has gone! The fact that she is closer to being 1 than newborn is madness.

She has changed so much and in the last month I would say the most she ever has in every different aspect.

1779188_10203087204838875_156194835_n

Amelia’s personality has really developed and along with that a slight temper! When she really doesn’t want to do something i.e. getting dressed or dry after a bath she lets out the most high pitch shrieks and straightens her legs or tosses her head around almost having a mini tantrum (ha!?) We laugh at everything from hitting me in the face, pulling my hair and bashing our toys around but it is a very cute laugh so I don’t mind as much!

Now that she is sitting up unaided I got her a new seat for the bath:1904069_10203054892671091_207761847_n

Bath time is great fun we have our cups and ducks in and splash around like a crazy thing. This seat is great as it sticks solidly to the bottom of the bath and keeps her upright so she can enjoy the bath without being held or propped up by me.

Just got Amelia weighed today and she is now 16pounds 9ounces but she feels a lot heavier!!

Currently in the beginnings of weaning. I waited until she was about 24 weeks to start and she is finally getting the hang of it. It is so much harder than I thought it would be though so doing a mixture of finger foods that she can pick up suck/bite/chew herself and then some mashed bits off a spoon from me. This seems to be working out really well for me as she is definitely digesting food but she is also getting really good at the finger foods so a bit of baby-led weaning. (Weaning post to follow)

photo 4

She loves her toys now and playing. I think when Amelia was really little I would put toys into her hands and she would just stare at them not interested but now she reaches for what she wants shakes things around, bangs them together and seems to actually enjoy playing. She is actually really good and just sitting with her toys on her own either on her play mat or in the babygym.

We are super busy with baby groups and swimming most days and although had a few sleeping incidents in the last week she is mostly going to bed between 7-8pm and sleeping until about 7-8am followed by a nap immediately after her morning feed (lazy baby!!)

1891287_10203095916136652_1275257980_n

Amelia is wearing mostly 6-9/6-12month clothes now although some 3-6months bits do still fit and she has some really lovely bits which you can see in my other post Amelia’s spring wardrobe.

I’ve decided instead of selling Amelia’s vests and sleepsuits I’m going to make a patchwork quilt out of them instead. I think dresses and outfits I will sell but I can use other bits towards the quilt. So far I’ve cut out most of the squares I need so I will do a post on how I’m intending to make the quilt soon!

photo

Think that is pretty much it! 6 months has flown by so quickly and I can’t believe how much of a little person she is now!

xx

First Christmas Party of the Season…

Today was my first Christmas party of 2013…the under1’s club Christmas Party.

Still a party though! 

Me and Amelia, well mainly me, no just me made some cakes with us to take to the party. I like to use the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for vanilla cupcakes and buttercream frosting so we set to work to do those yesterday.

Baking Necessities

Baking Necessities

Obviously I was baking alone and Amelia sat in her little seat on the table watching/crying/sleeping. Had to do a kind of elaborate baking method that involved a lot more moving around a bit of singing and showing Amelia the ingredients to take her mind of the fact that she did not want to be sat in her chair. Eventually I bored her so much she fell asleep. Baked the cakes and left them to cool then decorated them with what was meant to be red icing that went pink-ish and some silver balls and little holly leaves. Sadly I didn’t take a picture of the finished product before they were munched down at the party today.

Baking became my “thing” I guess a couple of years ago, probably the time I got the Hummingbird book. I love baking not so much for the eating of the cakes but I love decorating them and making the frosting to go on top etc. I don’t like to just bake cakes like to do other deserts, bakes and treats; a family fave is key-lime pie. As you can probably guess The Great British Bake Off is one of my fave tv shows!! *cry* its over! So since having Amelia I haven’t had the time to do as much baking as I’d like too but looking forward to being able to make things like cakes etc for occasions such as parties!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcake

Chocolate Oreo Cupcake

Rocky Road

Rocky Road

Victoria Sponge-Fresh Cream & Strawberries

Victoria Sponge-Fresh Cream & Strawberries

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

Brownies

Brownies

Key-lime Pie

Key-lime Pie

Chocolate Fondant

Chocolate Fondant

Blondies

Blondies

We both got ready for the party I dressed Amelia in a little jumper dress and pink tights (from Sainsbury’s)  as she was allowed her Pavlik harness off for 8 hours today. You may have seen in my previous posts that Amelia has shallow hips so she has been in a soft-fitting harness to encourage the ball into the socket for 16 weeks. We have started the weening process with it so starting today she was out of it for 8 hours which is so exciting!

Everyone had brought some bits to nibble on; bread sticks, crisps, flapjacks and of course my cakes and we all sat around and did lots of christmassy songs. The nursery nurse who runs the under1s session brought some little reindeer finger puppets which Amelia absolutely loved she was going crazy trying to grab it off my hand (great news considering I bought a finger puppet book as a Christmas present). We also played with a bubble machine, some little maracas and some bells with Christmas music in the background.

Felt really weird saying to the mums like have a good Christmas see you in the New Year, feels far to early to be saying all that but that is our last session before Christmas! Its such a nice atmosphere at under1’s because everyone who is there wants to be there; everyone talks about not only their baby but they are genuinely interested to listen to what you have to say in the hope of gaining any tips for themselves.

First party of the Winter 2013 Season gets a 10/10 from me and definitely a 10/10 from Amelia. 

image (24) image (22)