Wednesday, 5 June 2013


This blog has moved and become prettier!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Recipe: Chickpea & Tomato Soup

Its pretty cold at the moment so I've been enjoying soups a lot- this one is an old favourite which bub has happily embraced.

Chickpea & Tomato Soup

1/8 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary
400g tin diced tomatoes
2x 400g tin chickpeas
625ml vegetable stock
85g small pasta (shape is up to you, it just needs to be small- shells, spirals, risoni etc.)
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add garlic. Sizzle, then add rosemary and the tomatoes. Simmer for 20mins.

Drain chickpeas, then blend with the stock till desired consistency.

Cook pasta in salted, boiling water.

Add chickpea mix to the tomatoes, stir and cook together till desired thickness. Season with pepper.

Add pasta to bowls, then ladle soup over the top. Add a nice layer of parmesan cheese to top and serve with crusty bread.

Soup is great for freezing (without parmesan or pasta) and even I say its good heated up the next day (i usually HATE leftovers).

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup

With the cold weather I always crave a nice hearty soup to drive away the cold, this is a classic.

Pumpkin Soup with Croutons

1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled & diced
1litre vegetable stock
2tsp sugar
2 bay leaves
45g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 chunk of Turkish bread, diced
A handful of fresh continental parsley, finely chopped
200ml creme fraiche

Place pumpkin, stock, sugar & bay leaves into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer on medium heat for 20mins.

While this is happening, heat a frying pan till it is hot, then add butter, garlic, bread & parsley. Toss till crisp and golden.

Remove bay leaves from saucepan, then blend mix till nice and smooth. Return to the saucepan and simmer till it is quite thick (approx 5mins). Add creme fraiche and bring to the boil.

Season with some black pepper, serve into bowls and then add the croutons. This makes enough for hubby, bub and myself to all have a generous serve. Enjoy.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Recipe: Quesadillas with Guacamole & Salsa

After several people requested some recipes from me, i have decided to broaden the scope of the blog to include recipes. Initially i will focus on recipes which people have asked me about but this may grow to include others.

Now i want to state for the record that most of these recipes are from other places, however they now live in my recipe box, i have modified some of them and i have no idea where any of them came from originally.
So full credit to the original authors!

As you know we are following the Baby-Led Weaning method of eating for bub so any recipes are bub friendly, i usually just decrease the salt content and occasionally change the way i chop the veg to make it easier for bub to handle.

First up, one of bub & hubby's favourites-

 Quesadillas with Guacamole & Salsa

Salsa (or you can totally use a shop one, i prefer an Enchilada Sauce)

1/2 Chipotle Chilli
400g Tin Crushed Tomatoes (don't use supermarket brand as they are too watery)
1tsp Tomato Paste
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

Dry fry the chopped chipotle on a low heat. Add other ingredients, boil then simmer for 5mins. Season.
Place in a small bowl on the table, ready to enjoy.


5 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
2 Avocados, smashed
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Combine in a bowl and place on the table ready to eat!


1 packet of tortillas makes 4 quesadillas
175g grated Cheddar Cheese (alter this amount if your quesadillas end up not sticking together enough)
2 Red Capsicums, finely diced
4 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
5 Spring Onions, finely chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Preheat a toasted sandwich maker (could use a frypan if you don't have one).
 Place 1 tortilla on the sandwich press, add filling to within 2cm of edge, place another tortilla on top. Press till it starts to sizzle. Remove and place on chopping board. Set up next tortilla and while it is pressing, chop into wedges. Place the wedges on a plate. Repeat till the whole packet of tortillas is gone.

Then sit down, and enjoy your quesadillas smothered with your guacamole, salsa and some sour cream.

This recipe makes enough for myself, hubby & bub to have for dinner. Enjoy!
Let me know if you like it.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Food glorious food!

With bub now past 6 months of age, the prevailing question from friends, family & opinionated strangers for the past 2 months has been "have you started solids yet?", to which our reply has been that we wanted to follow the recommendations of the WHO and other experts and wait till bub was over 6 months old (i kind of think they know what they're talking about).

Surprisingly this placed us in a minority of our acquaintance, with most people we know having started at 4 months.
Once that was politely explained we then had to move into the area of "what food?", where we had to explain our food philosophy. For a number of reasons hubby and I have decided to follow a baby led weaning (BLW) approach to the introduction of solid foods (try explaining that to most people and you get used to blank faces). The BLW approach appealed to us for a number of reasons which I will briefly outline for the uninitiated.

There is an emphasis on shared food from the very beginning.

     Baby never eats alone, which means they are always able to watch an example as they learn how to eat, how to use cutlery, bowls, cups etc. and table manners are introduced organically through the very act of eating properly together from the beginning.

      You don't have to prepare separate meals for bub, from the very beginning you are all eating the same food.
Because you are all eating the same food, this is normal rather than something you try and force when the child is older (and more resistant to change).

     Everyone gets to share in an unhurried way, the experience of watching someone experience food for the first time- so fun!

Other reasons BLW appealed to us, were the realisation that feeding purees as a food stage only evolved historically when we were feeding babies under 6 months of age who were really incapable of other feeding. Since everyone got used to the whole puree thing it just became the norm even when people wait till their babies are over 6 months of age to start solids!
Since we weren't starting solids before 6 months of age we thought we'd give it a try.

BLW says a few milestones should be present before you start: the child should be 6 months, tongue thrust reflex should be gone, baby should be able to sit comfortably in the high chair (never feed unless sitting straight due to choking risk) and baby should initiate the experience by showing an interest in and reaching for your food.
Once these are met you are good to go, with bub guiding the way in terms of how many meals they want to eat.

So, when Addison passed the marks we sat her in her highchair for each meal we ate when she was awake. She took to it pretty much immediately and has been happily munching away for a month now. She has the same thing as us for dinner every night (with things cut into finger sized pieces so she can hold them) and has not refused anything so far!
Some things have worked better than others (quesadillas dipped in salsa and guacamole being a huge hit), everything has had the same spiciness we normally have (thai red curry and spicy Mexican tomato soup successful) and we have had a blast.
In the last few days we have seen a huge change on her gag reflex which is much less sensitive now (yay) and in her ability to hold things for herself. She is eating a larger quantity every day (i have the nappies to prove it) though a fair bit still falls out of her mouth.
She's had raw and cooked veg sticks with dips (highly recommended), pasta,  toast with peanut butter and devoured wedges of watermelon, mango, strawberry and raspberry. Along with a myriad of other delicious things.
People who have witnessed it have been amazed.

At this point we are feeling fantastic about our decision and really want to encourage anyone out there to look into it if they are keen- Addison has never eaten puree, eats the same thing as us for dinner and breakfast every day and is going great! You can do it too! It is so easy!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Becoming a parent is like starting a new job...

A few weeks ago, i had a revelation that has changed the way i approach parenting.

Becoming a parent is like starting a new job

When you start a new job, a few things happen:
  • You change the way that you do your work- unsure of how things are done at this new job, you work in a way that is slightly differently to normal until you find your feet
  • You expect things to take time to feel normal again
  • You are nice to all your coworkers, even if you don't like them or you think their way of doing things is strange, because you are still getting to know one another in this new role and are unsure of how you will blend your different work styles together
  • You are especially nice to your boss, even if they are very demanding
  • You work your hardest, knowing that it will be exhausting but that in the end, this is your dream job and you have worked so hard to get it here so it must be worth it
  • Even though it is hard adjusting to your new boss' demanding schedule you do it
  • You accept that your boss and even your coworkers may have very different ways of approaching tasks that would never have occured to you, or that even seem ridiculous to you
  • You don't expect to be an expert at your new job for some time
Have you picked up where i am going with this yet?

Now read through that list again, substituting 'your new job' with 'parenthood', 'your new boss' for 'your new baby', and 'your new coworkers' for 'your husband' and you should see what i am trying to say.

The analogy even works when having a second (or third, or fourth) child, only then you are at the same job you've been at for a while and your boss gets demoted (from only child and centre of the family, to sibling) and a new boss (baby) comes in and takes over.

If parenting was approached the way that we might approach starting a new job, think of how many tears could be saved? How much more compassion and patience you would show to yourself?

  • It's okay to suck at it in the beginning or to not know what to do, because you're new here
  • It doesn't feel like your old life, because it's not your old life and that's okay
  • Your husband has no idea how to work with you or how you think you should do things, because this is a completely new role for him too
  • Your new baby wants your best efforts, and that is totally reasonable and achieveable
  • You are here because you wanted to be here (in most cases), so give it your all
  • It takes time to feel like you have a handle on your new role as a parent, remember, you've never done this before.
 And while the analogy doesn't always work (you can't really quit this job, even if your boss is a jerk), it has helped me to be kinder to myself and to my husband and to my fellow new mothers.

I hope it helps you to do the same (if you're a mother) and to show respect to those people around you who have started new jobs (if you aren't).

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The next chapter begins...

Okay, lets begin.

I am 29 years old and 3 months ago i left paid employment to have my first child.

And when i use the word 'left' i do so quite loosely. It was all planned neatly: work, have baby shower, finish work at Youthworks, have a party, work, finish work at OOSH, have a party, have 2 weeks at home to relax and get organised then deliver a baby with the help of drugs, then breastfeed.

Funny how best laid plans sometimes don't work out...

My little bub was in a hurry and came a month early and in a fast labour (so fast that when the midwife checked me for the first time to see if i was dilated, she could see the head).

We spent some time with the support of the Special Care Nursery and after a few scares, a week later we brought our daughter home. The next few weeks were spent trying to get breastfeeding established (it didn't work out) and having her weighed every 2 days but eventually she reached the magic 3kgs and things began to settle down.

Having been on a routine since birth due to concerns about her weight it seemed to work for us, so we continued to feed on a regular schedule. This has been one of the most fantastic things for us. From the time she was 5 weeks old to now, bub has been feeding at the same times every day. This has worked for her (her tummy knows when she will get food) and for me (i can plan outings and visitors round her feeding and waking times), we are fairly rigid with feed times, waking her up if she hasn't woken naturally, but have flexibility within the system, eg. if she wants to feed extra one day (growth spurt) that is fine, we still have our regular feed times as well though. She also controls when she goes to sleep.
Because of the routine, it was easier to figure out soon what her different cries means, i can say with 90% certainty what a cry means now because the routine has allowed me to see things over a consistent time.

The way we do it is wake to feed (if necessary) at 7am, 11am, 3pm, 6:30pm and originally also 11pm and 3am. She chose when to drop the night feeds though as that is the only times we won't wake her for food. She dropped the 11pm feed first (at around 8 weeks old) and then dropped the 3am feed at around 10 weeks old.
So, amazingly, my baby has been sleeping from 8pm to 7am almost every night since she was 10 weeks old!

This has obviously done wonders for my own health and for hers and has meant that i have found the beginning of this new life together to be easier than expected (so far).

If, at some point in the future she changes her sleeping habits then i know at least that i have had an excellent run, that she is capable of it and have managed to store up a lot of sleep myself.

But so far, despite the unexpected timing of the beginning, the beginning of the next chapter of my life has gone very well and i look forward with much anticipation to the changes the next few months will bring!