Roasted sweet potato and butternut squash soup

I decided I hadn’t used sweet potato in any of my recipes for a while and as my little monster has started to eat again, I wanted to try and vary his diet as much as possible.

I am guilty of making some batches of food for him and repeating them over and over. However after his little hunger strike I thought variety was the key to keep him interested.

I decided to make a new recipe…. A variation of my lentil soup; sweet potato and butternut squash soup.

3 roasted sweet potatoes
1 chopped and peeled butternut squash
1 onion
1 leek
3 carrots
Ham stock

I roasted the sweet potatoes the night before while cooking our dinner. I just prick them and place them on a baking tray for 30 mins in 180 degree fan oven. Leave to cool and them squeeze out the flesh and cool before popping into fridge.

I chopped and peeled the butternut squash discarded any seeds and stringy fleshy part. I then peeled and chopped the carrots and sautéed everything in a large pan with butter for 15mins.

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I then added the onion and leek and sautéed for a further fifteen minutes.

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I finally added the stock and brought through the boil and simmered for 30 mins and blitzed with my trusty hand blender!!

And hey presto sweet potato and butternut squash soup!!

He loves it and so did everyone else…. A great family lunch or dinner. Packed full of vegetables and very tasty. You can adjust the seasoning once you have taken out the little person’s portions. I usually add more stock cubes however salt and pepper would just do the same job!!

Let me know what you think!!

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Butternut squash soup

So a couple of weeks ago I had a butternut squash in the fridge and it had been sitting a while….

So I decided to make some soup. The recipe was adapted by myself from my lentil and carrot soup recipe.

2 onion
1 leek
3 carrots
1 peeled seeded and chopped butternut squash.

All sautéed together with butter until tender on a medium heat and then ham stock was added, about a litre of water with two/ three ham stock cubes ( depending on what you and your little one likes).

I then brought it through the boil and left it simmer for thirty minutes and then blitzed. I use a metal hand blender rather than transferring to a food processor.

My husband loved it and my little man eat away at it.

Cheap and very nutritious meal for a little person and makes loads!!

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Quick tip…..

To thicken I would heat with some breadcrumbs or make croutons using the high hair toast…. See my earlier post!

Enjoy!

Maryville tearoom

A couple of months ago I went to Maryville Tearooms in Belfast, I love it there. The afternoon tea is gorgeous….  selection of sandwiches, home-made scones and then little cakes to finish it all off. The tea choice is great too, from Suki flavoured teas to loose black teas, really top class.

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However if you have a baby its a no go, well a baby that needs its nappy changed!!

When I asked where I could change my little man’s nappy, I was shown to the communal toilet at the bottom of the stairs. Inside the bathroom I discovered a towelling covered plastic baby mat, which I had to use on the floor. I mentioned earlier that this was a communal toilet; for men and women.

Can you imagine my disgust at having to change my little man on a floor, where people walk and unfortunately men tinkle. This may sound extreme but it was filthy!

Things were made worse by the fact that my little man doesn’t exactly stay still anymore and wanted to roll off the mat on to the dirty floor.

My views on the Maryville Tearooms is lovely, but not baby friendly!!

who needs food?!

For the last couple of days, i have had a little monster who point blank refuses to eat. I have tried everything, from eating in front of television, eating a picnic style dinner in the living room with toys and books, eating while walking and crawling; nothing worked. 

I have spent the last couple of days making all his favourite foods to have them being spat out at me as soon as the spoon enters his mouth. It actually got to the stage he wouldn’t even taste the food on his spoon, I was literally pulling my hair out. He only has one tooth, therefore finger foods revolve around toast/ toasted muffins/ bread sticks etc, however none of these are what you would call substantial dinners.

Last night we tried mince and potatoes (liquidized), chicken casserole (liquidized), toast with cheese; the only thing he would eat even a little bit of, was his organic strawberry yoghurt. All that goes through your head is when will I be able to get to sleep, as if he doesn’t eat he won’t sleep. We worried that he wouldn’t get enough food to sustain him through the night. However he slept till half seven. Where is the sense in that?

I have after a day of refection decided to leave him not eat if that is what he wants at dinner time. I do not want to make him unhappy, I do not want him to associate unhappiness with his highchair and dinner time. I will not force feed him, I do not want an unhappy little bunny at dinner time. 

After spending time thinking about all the pros and cons of this decision, he ate all his dinner tonight?! Would you believe that!

I talked to him non stop, let him choose between his toasted muffin, soup or custard. I discussed how that we were going to have stop playing in advance, turned the tv off and walked him through to the kitchen. I let him watch me pour his soup into his bowl, butter his toasted muffin. I then let him watch me whisk the custard powder into the warmed milk. 

It was a very talkative dinner….

“In your soup we have courgette, leek, butternut squash….. “,

“would you like another bit of buttered muffin?”,

“can you see the butter melting on your hot muffin?”.

He was like a different boy. He sat transfixed on his dinner and smiled and chatted through eating it. We gave him a wooden spoon and spatula to investigate and he was like a miniature Gordan Ramsey sitting up in his high chair, like lord of the manner. 

Just when you think you have figured them out, when you think you have decided the way forward…. they go and change it all up again.

Life is tricky with a little person in your life, but it is worth all the sleepless nights, worth all the emotional turmoil, worth all the ups and downs. They throw something new into the mix every time, just when you think you have it all sorted out they change it all again.

May tomorrow bring a little man who eats or doesn’t eat, who sleeps or doesn’t sleep, who shouts or doesn’t shout, he is our little bundle of joy and thats all that matters. 

 

 

The Little Monster’s Drawer

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I have found that keeping a drawer in my kitchen for my little man helps give me ten mins. Isn’t that horrendous that I actually plan situations to allow me time to do things. My world revolves around keeping a certain busy little one year old entertained, however I enjoy every minute of it.

Little man used to pull open all the drawers in our kitchen trying to lift all the objects out. This continued until he lifted a Pyrex bowl out and dropped it on to the tiled floor. Needless to say after cleaning shards of glass up for days, we decided enough was enough.

“little monster’s drawer” was created. Inside is a range of objects, mostly plastic Tupperware containers, some clippers, plastic Tupperware lids. You could fill it with toys or anything that is safe but still exciting for your little one.

He loves to rearrange, pull out and investigate all the objects. My tidy tidy husband did find this invention a little hard to accept at first, as the drawer is chaos. However we both agree if chaos means a happy, safe little chappy then it is worth it!!

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Boxes are the way forward

When life gets a little full on in my house, when my little man needs some entertaining and I need some time to tidy etc…. We pull out the boxes

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This morning I needed to sort out the washing, tidy a few things in the kitchen and little man decided he needed mummy all to himself.

Tv can be the answer, however it is something I don’t like to resort to all the time. I don’t want my son being brain washed by tv, that’s not to say he never gets to watch it. If possible we try to encourage exploration, through play.

I am trying to encourage him to be able to entertain himself and not need the constant intervention of an adult.

I discovered that the best play tools can sometimes be the least expensive and the most surprising of objects.

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Even benson was entertained!!!

Haddock and pea mush

Since it is Halloween I thought I would experiment with green food for my own little monster…

My invention…. Edible green goo!!!

Two pieces of boneless haddock
Handful of frozen peas
250 ml of full fat milk.

I poached the haddock in a sauté pan in the milk, removed the skin when it was cooked through. You can tell this as the fish turns opaque white, rather than the see through raw white in comes as.

The skin peels off very easily using a kitchen knife. I then poured in the frozen peas, continued to simmer in the milk and fish.

I then made a paste using corn flour and milk, poured it into the milk mixture, brought it through the boil again and stirred continuously until thickened.

I then used my trusty hand blender to make the green goo!! Lol

Let’s hope my own little Halloween monster approves…. Fingers crossed.

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First Red Cup of the Year

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What an amazing day…. Woke up and little man was in the best of forms. Between his playpen and roaming around his bedroom (with the stair gate over his door)… Just incase you think I am a mad woman, I managed to clean our bathrooms, Hoover and wash our down stairs.

For anyone out there who hadn’t got a very attached little one year, this is quite an achievement!

I was so proud of myself, my gorgeous son and adorable chocolate lab ( who actually allowed me to do all these things without attaching himself to my ass ). I decided to celebrate the morning with my long waited for first red cup!!

A red cup signifies Christmas, cosey nights in by the fire, catch up with the girls, quick take away coffees with my amazing husband while our little man sleeps in the car with us. I LOVE red cups …. My favourite is the gingerbread latte…. Extra hot, skinny, wet, decaf!!! Mmmmmm delish

So footmuff attached to buggy, easy leader attached to dog and coated hatted baby into the buggy and off we went!!

The weather was so crisp and cold…. Everything a winter walk should be. After about ten minutes walking my little monster was out for the count and I tilted his buggy back…. Which luckily didn’t wake him. We walked about half an hour to our nearest Starbucks and the most amazing thing happened….

The whole way down I was waying up the inevitable …. Dog not allowed in shop. My dog is my other half…. Well apart from my husband that is. He is very very seldom on his own…. So there was no way I was tying him up outside. I was intending to knock the window until someone came out to help, however as I was mulling this all over a gentleman approached and asked if I would like him to hold benson!!!

What an amazing stroke of red cup luck…. I quickly ran in with sleeping baby in buggy placed my order….

Large, skinny, extra hot, decaf, gingerbread latte.

Asked them politely to bring it out to me and ran back out. Note I decided it being the first of many I would treat myself to cream….. Mmmmmmm.

I was so thankful to the gentleman and he seemed so pleased to have got a cuddle from benson. My coffee arrived and off we went home. What an amazing morning.

Let’s hope this year brings lots more of them.

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Don’t you just love a crisp autumn morning.

Baby in boot??

I just don’t get this!! For anyone out there reading this post that does not have a clue what I’m chatting about, I will try to explain.

Today on a national news site there is an article concerning a baby being found living in a boot of a car by a mechanic!!

I know…. Shock horror was the first thing that happened to me. How can a baby live in a boot?!?

This child it has been reported has subsequent developmental delays and growth problems!!! How the heavens could the poor mite not be suffering?!

I can not for the life of me understand why something like this happens. We are in 2013 and a poor baby has been found in a boot…. And more to the point the mother it has been reported thinks this is not strange.

I am flabbergasted! The world is a strange and even more strange place when you read the news.

Perhaps we shouldn’t read the news, perhaps we are better living without the shock of humanity! The fear of human nature. Because let’s face it…. It’s us humans that are doing these horrendous things.

Rain rain go away come again another day…

What is with this weather?!?

How are we yummy mummies supposed to deal with this wet miserable rain?? Sorry I should change my phrasing… How are we “wet, tired, soggy clothed” mummies supposed to deal with it??

For anyone out there that has a one year old, hyper, independent little person to entertain…. I feel your pain.

Waking up to rain at 6.30 in the morning is tough, but to look outside at half eight and see that it has only got wetter and darker…. And your one year old has started to get tetchy as he wants to be out and about!! It’s hard.

This morning we got up and dressed, had our usual morning routine of bottle, play, breakfast, more play and then dressed. I then decided to brave the weather and get everyone into the car… Chocolate lab comes too!!

Asda…. Oh the joys of somewhere dry!! We spent half an hour wondering around the aisles and little man was a happy bunny. I had the get some birthday cards and he spent the whole time in his seat in the trolley taking the cellophane of the cards! He loved it!!!

It’s hard to entertain a little independent person, but today Asda and their cards had the answer for me. Plus I managed to get some groceries!!!!

Yippee….

Mummy : 1

Wet miserable day : 0