The kitchen really is the heart of the family home and in this new series I want to share with you what goes on in our kitchen. I love to cook and bake, both sweet and savory food. When I bake I’m very accurate and stick to following the recipe exactly. With cooking though I’m much more likely to be seen tweaking recipes to suit our tastes or what’s in the cupboards/fridge. I also like to try creating my own recipes which I think are very family friendly so you can expect a few of these to make it to the blog. I also started weaning my little girl 3 weeks ago so expect more on that here too.This week I’ve not been in my kitchen that much as we were away in the Lake District most of the week. I’ve made up for it this weekend though by baking my first ever Christmas cake. Not content with making one cake I’ve made two over two days. I plan to cut these square cakes in to smaller ones and give them as presents to family this Christmas. I used a recipe from the pink whisk which I have had no problems with (obviously I can’t tell you what it tastes until Christmas but I have no worries). Now I just need to feed them, divide them and possibly ice and decorate them.
Saturday night we had planned to go out and watch our local firework display. We were planning to wrap our baby up well, put her in her pram and go for a walk to watch them whilst she slept. However the weather was wet, cold and very windy so we decided to forget that plan. Bonfires and firework displays make me want to cook and eat warming food. Think stews, casseroles and baked potatoes. Saturday night I cooked a sausage and bean casserole which I served with baked potatoes. There was one portion left over so I thinned it down and we had it as a soup with crusty bread for Sunday lunch. It was delicious and I’ll share the recipe with you later in the week. I wanted to bake parkin as well but I thought I had enough on with 2 Christmas cakes so perhaps that will happen next week.
Weaning my little girl is going fairly well. I started with baby rice at lunch times moving on to pear after a few days. Soon she was eating a variety of home made puree such as carrot, sweet potato, apple, banana, broccoli and butternut squash. She just seemed to know exactly what to do and eagerly ate anything I gave her. Since it was going so well I added in a second meal and by the end of second week she was on three meals a day. I gradually increased the number of ice cubes worth of puree that she was eating but even when she was on three at lunch and tea she was still eating enthusiastically at the end, as if she would have had more if I offered them. She seemed to be having less breastfeeds as well and at one point I wondered if she was having too much solids and not enough milk. The health visitors/books all seemed to stress the point that food is fun until one and that milk is where they get most of their nutrition.
This past week (her third week of solids) I’ve started giving her more variety than plain fruit and veg puree. I’ve started mixing them together, adding grated cheese, lentils and giving her finger foods. She no longer eats as enthusiastically (unless it’s pear, apple, banana or baby cereal) and doesn’t always finish even 2 ice cubes worth. Consequently she seems to be breastfeeding more again. Since she is six months I’ve also tried mashing her food but she simply spits any lumpy bits back out so I’ve gone back to blending everything for now. Finger food isn’t going that well either. The only finger food I have found that she will really try to eat is strips of pita bread. She will suck on them a lot and if any bits come off in her mouth she will try to eat them. Sometimes she is successful but more often than not she ends up spitting it out. I’ve been dipping them in her puree and soft cheese and she will suck most of it from the bread. The next step is to start introducing meat and fish so that is my plan for this week. I know that at the moment food is fun so I’m trying not to worry about how much she eats and hoping that she’ll get the hang of finger foods/lumps with time and that she’ll start to enjoy foods that aren’t naturally sweet again soon.