Blueberry and cinnamon muffin recipe

If Autumn is not a good enough reason to bring cinnamon back, I don’t know what is. It has to be my favourite spice with nutmeg coming in a close second.

This week I baked my first ever batch of muffins and they were a huge success even if I do say so myself! Moist yet soft inside with a crisp crust on top. I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times since, so here you are:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups SR flour

2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 cup blueberries

For sugar topping:

3 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon


Method:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well   
  2. Soft flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in blueberries  
  3. Spoon butter into muffin pans
  4. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins  
  5. Bake at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes
  6. Makes 12 muffins   
  7. Enjoy!! ❤

If you make these I would love to hear how you got on – don’t be afraid to substitute the blueberries for strawberries or other fruit – I’m trying them again next week but with chocolate chips instead!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Hannah xx

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A baby friendly fry up

It’s the weekend – hooray! Time to think about breakfast…

Austin is a terror with food lately (see my last post here) so I thought I’d try him with something a little different this morning. A fry up! I had made one for myself and he seemed interested so I made him a baby friendly version. It was also a great opportunity to let him try using a spoon and fork for this first time. We tried a regular set of cutlery plus a fancy set that came free with a suction bowl. The fancy set is set at a jaunty angle to make it easier for children to be successful when using them. We found no difference whatsoever, Austin didn’t have a clue with either! It was his first time to be fair, so I could be being a tad harsh.

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Austin sat patiently and waited for me to cook. I decided on scrambled eggs,  unsmoked bacon, buttered toast and cherry tomatoes. What a lucky little boy!

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As I said, he’s being a fussy little so and so of late so he wasn’t as excited as most of us would be if we were presented with a cooked breakfast. He ate some of the toast, picked up some scrambled egg and played with it (I’ll take this as a success, he usually throws his head back and screams in the presence of any form of egg) and poked holes in the cherry tomatoes. The bacon was treated quite well – he licked a few pieces.IMG_7065IMG_7062The spoon and fork were fun for him I think, he’s never seen a fork and usually never gets a go on the spoon! He enjoyed picking them up and even put them towards his mouth the correct way once or twice – shame the food didn’t go in though…

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All polished off with some melon and pineapple

Austin didn’t actually eat much, but I’m determined to stick to my plan of introducing colourful, healthy foods and if he choses not to eat them that’s up to him. I won’t give in and offer stuff I know he loves!

Today his breakfast mostly went to the dogs, but he still poked around and licked a few new flavours without moaning, so we’re getting somewhere. He should be pretty hungry by lunchtime so let’s see how that goes down!

Thanks for reading!

xx

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The Weaning Diaries | 7 month old daily menu and portion sizes

It’s always interesting to see how much all of your little one’s eat as every baby is so different! I know some mums really worry about how much to offer or let their baby eat. I tend not to be a worrier with food and know that he won’t starve himself. If some days he doesn’t eat much, I don’t panic as he’ll probably eat more the day after – or maybe he’s just not that hungry! For those that are having any feeding issues or worries here is our 7 month feeding routine if you fancy having a nosey…

At the moment Austin’s day goes a little like this:

Example given for a day when waking at 7.45am

8am: He’ll drink anywhere between 3 and 6oz formula (he’s never been a big drinker)

9am: Porridge – maybe about 3tbsp of powder plus 2 or 3oz formula. This is mixed with 1 tbsp of fruit puree.  I also mix in 5ml multivitamin liquid – this makes sure he gets everything he needs even if he doesn’t drink much milk in a day. A few times a week I’ll also give him some toast with cream cheese so that he gets used to eating finger foods.

imgres-212-1pm (depending when he wakes from his long morning nap) Half to Three quarters of a stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen pouch. He will happily eat any of these flavours. Sausage and mash, fish pie, chicken casserole etc. Sometimes he will eat the whole bowl. Other day he plays up and spits it out but generally he eats very well. Sometimes I’ll give him a little ham sandwich or some of my omelette as well. This is followed by custard, yoghurt, rice pudding or any other milky dessert.

images-13-3.30 pm He’ll drink anywhere between 2 and 5oz depending on how much he ate for lunch

5pm Half to three quarters of a stage 2 Ella’s Kitchen pouch – again any flavour. I’ll usually add cheese to this meal for extra calcium. Followed by fruit puree. We use the Organix fruit pots with pieces in. I want to avoid Austin being fussy with lumps so have always included them wherever possible!

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imgres-36-7pm (depending on when he woke from PM nap) Bedtime bottle – usually about 5 or 6oz but the last few night has only taken an oz or two. Not sure what that is about but it hasn’t interrupted his sleep so I’m not too worried. He definitely eats enough solids and because he gets multivitamins I don’t think he’s missing out. Will mention to Health Visitor next time though if he carries it on.

Bed – Austin has never had a DF and unless he’s very ill he’ll always sleep right through until anywhere between 7:30am – 9am.

I think Austin does generally eat quite a lot. His portions seem to be quite big, but then again he doesn’t drink much milk so maybe that’s why. Also he did wean at 4 months old due to bad reflux so he’s had a long time to build up portion sizes.

I haven’t really started with snacks in between yet due to the fact he wakes up quite late in the morning. Waking up late means there is just enough time to space out 3 meals and 3 bottles, but if I tried to add snack in I think it would probably leave him too full for his next meal. Some days are different, like today for example. I was eating brunch and he couldn’t stop staring! I pulled him up into his highchair and gave him a rice cake to eat so that he felt he was part of my meal time.

imgres-4I’m pretty relaxed with food – if we’re out at a restaurant he can eat whatever he likes even if it isn’t the right time. Most of the time we’re eating at home at around the same times, so if we’re not in the house the ‘routine’ vanishes a bit. Fortunately Austin is pretty flexible with food and wouldn’t scream with hunger if he goes an hour later than usual.

He has started to play up a bit lately though! Just the usual baby tricks – blowing raspberries with a mouthful of food, whinging on the savoury food yet eating his entire pudding (Come on mum’s, show of hands for every time your baby has pulled that one?!) The nanny in me is determined not to let him win – we’ll see how that goes….

How is your little one eating and how do their meals/portion sizes differ from Austin’s?

Thanks for reading! 🙂
hannah

The Weaning Diaries | Tuna and vegetable quiche recipe

This week we’ve been cooking and today’s choice was quiche. I was at my friend’s house earlier in the week and she was saying how much her baby loves quiche, so decided I’d let Austin have a go. We normally spoon feed and I generally give him just finger food like toast and sandwiches alongside, but thought he’d really love this – and he did!

We decided to make tuna and vegetable quiche and it was honestly one of the quickest and easiest things I’ve ever whipped up. I made enough mixture for two quiches and I froze half of the mixture. Here’s how we did it: Continue reading

What I ate Wednesday

Recently I’ve noticed on social media that there are a lot of people entering this linky run by Peas and Crayons. I’ve been back to Weight Watchers for a couple of weeks now and I plan to continue it – see why HERE. Since I’m back on plan and writing a food diary each day I thought I’d join the linky and make dieting a bit more fun! I’ve chosen a diary from a couple of days ago, here it is…

Breakfast : This week I lost 4lb so this was a weigh day ‘treat’ meal. Quorn bacon, Quorn sausages, egg, Weight Watchers beans, mushrooms from the local farm, asparagus and green beans. It was every bit as good as it looks and TOTALLY worth the 11 pro points!

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Continue reading

The Weaning Diaries | What to feed your baby when they’re ill

The last few months have brought a lot of coughs and colds our way. This week Austin had just got rid of a cough and two days later a new one arrived – boo! Illnesses are annoying as it is, but of course they affect appetite too and so start the weaning wars….

That’s probably a little harsh to be fair as it isn’t a war – maybe a slight battle. Austin is normally great with food and will eat absolutely anything (although he’s started to learn to blow rasperries after receiving a spoonfull of food, which he thinks is highly amusing – more on that soon!) It’s a real shame to see him refuse his meals as I know he must feel really rotten 😦 But he’s only human and I know when I’ve got a horrible cold I go off my food too.

So, what have I done this week to try and trick him into eating?! Well, as he’s usually spoon fed, I’ve been giving him lots of finger foods. He’s good with his hands and does usually have toast or little sandwiches, rice cakes etc so I was hoping that by sucking and playing with the food he might actually get some in him since he was refusing the spoon.

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Puree, philadelphia sandwiches, breadsticks and houmous and ham

It kind of worked. He normally eats well with finger food but this week it’s been more of a distraction than actually managing to swallow anything I think. I made a bowl of puree anyway so I could be sly and sneak in a few mouthfulls which did seem to work. I’m not too bothered though, as like I said we all lose our appetite when ill. I just made sure he drank lots of milk and water instead.

This morning he did eat well – we both had eggy bread and grilled asparagus and green beans. It was so yummy!

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Overall he’s probably eaten fine and if he hasn’t, he’s made up for it by taking extra bottles. I’m not a worrier when it comes to babies and their food – after all he’s hardly going to starve! He’ll tell me when he’s hungry which I know will be as soon as he’s better.

Another important tip is to buy some multi vitamins. We use the WellBaby liquid every day because Austin has always drunk below the recommended daily amount of milk for his age. We have spoken to health visitors and they advised that if children drink less than the daily guidline, we should give them these vitamins. It means that even though he doesn’t get enough formula, he will still get all the vitamins he needs which is very important. Even if your baby drinks enough, it’s always good to have a bottle of this at home for days when they are poorly and don’t take in enough food or drink.Vitabiotics_Wellkid_Baby__amp__Infant_Vitamin__amp__Mineral_Liquid_150ml_1414512724

Has your baby had the same problem when poorly?

Thanks for reading! 🙂
hannah

Sainsbury’s Christmas Food Haul (vlog)

I’ve been a little lazy with filming over the past few weeks so here’s our latest offering. It was a stressful one but worth it as we’re now fully stocked for Christmas!

Here’s my YouTube video – come shopping with us! 🙂

Thanks for watching

hannah

The weaning diaries | New tastes

Austin has tried some really yummy new flavours this week – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, roast pork and even an Organix cheese puff! I’m very fortunate with him that so far he will eat absolutely anything I feed him.
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Austin is a lazy as babies come – usually sleeping in until 10am! Amazing I hear you cry? Why am I complaining? Well, it’s all good having a baby that loves to sleep but when he’s in bed from 6.30pm the night before (with no dream or night feed), you struggle to fit all meals and bottles into the time he’s awake during the day! He’s been having his first bottle around 10am, so has not been ready for breakfast until 11.30am and so on. Lunch ends up being about 3pm which would leave no time to ever introduce a third meal at the end of the day.

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You can see how it’s hard to make sure he is taking the right amount of formula each day as we simply run out of hours! I’ve actually started to set my alarm for 8am (sad times) so that I can wake him up for his first bottle, otherwise it would be impossible to make sure he was getting everything he needs. Still, some of my friend’s babies are up all through the night so I understand that I am one lucky mother!

Anyway – food!

This weekend Austin had his first ever Sunday roast. We weren’t eating that ourselves so he had a really yummy one from Ella’s. It’s a 7 month/stage 2 pouch, but as I’ve said in previous posts I don’t really pay much attention to what’s on the pouches age/stage-wise. When nannying I encountered lots of children that really struggled moving onto texture after having runny stage 1 food for so long and feeding became tricky as all texture and lumps were spat out. To try and avoid that I’ve introduced texture right from the start with Austin. Most of the time I mix some stage 2 into stage 1 so it’s half and half. That way there is some texture there but I’m also giving him a chance to get used to it. Other times though he has just stage 2 and is absolutely fine. If he started to gag or choke obviously I’d know he wasn’t ready for it but for now he’s loving it!

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This morning was his first ever snack – a little Organix cheese puff. I’m not going to be making a habit of giving these as he’s only on 2 meals a day, so he definitely doesn’t need to start having crisps and snacks inbetween just yet. I wanted to see how he coped with it though and he loved it! He sucked it until it was mush and a couple of confused faces later it was all gone!

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Austin is really loving his food and it’s exciting to see him trying new things!

How did your little one find weaning?

Thanks for reading!

hannah

The weaning diaries – Day one!

The day is finally here! We are on the weaning wagon relatively early and I’ve been so excited to see Austin’s face when he has his first taste of food. We went for it today and he seemed to love it! Obviously like all babies he is used to pushing his tongue forward to drink from a bottle, so it’s our job now to keep going with solids and teach him to keep his tongue back and swallow.

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For his first taste we went with good old carrot. I had already frozen a lot of puree last week in preparation, labelled it all up in tiny pots and put them inside a large sandwich bag in the freezer which made things nice and easy today. While he is eating such tiny amount – a teaspoon or two at most – there is little point in me making my own puree, so for my preparation I used Ella’s kitchen pouches. I froze them in ice cube sized portions which are perfect. The reason I opened pouches and froze ahead of time was because otherwise I’d end up opening a fresh pouch each day and nearly the whole thing would go to waste. This way I can grab a freezer pot in the morning and let it defrost on the kitchen side or in the changing bag if we’re out of the house. The perfect portion would then be defrosted and ready to eat at room temperature by lunchtime. Clever, innit?!

I have recorded a little vlog of Austin’s first day on our You Tube channel, which you can view here:

I’m really excited to carry this on and see how he progresses and whether he becomes someone that loves his food like me or is a little fusspot. Although I can safely say that after I’ve had 10 years working as a nanny, I know every trick in the book and he won’t get away with any dinner time mischief on my watch! Poor kid….

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Thanks for reading 🙂

H x

 

Diet Chef – My hamper has arrived!

Eeeek it’s here! As you may remember I recently mentioned that I will be working with Diet Chef to review their diet plan by doing a trial of it myself for 4 weeks. Yesterday my hamper arrived and it all looks so yummy! The portion sizes are actually quite a bit large than I expected for a diet, which I’m really pleased with as there’s nothing worse than feeling starving whilst trying to lose weight. The packaging is really enticing too, great colours!

I really love the fact that Diet Chef hampers arrive in an unbranded box. A very clever bit of non-marketing there I think. I wouldn’t care less if my neighbours saw a diet box arriving at my house, but then again I’m friendly with my neighbours and am also quite a confident person, so it wouldn’t bother me. However, that’s probably not the case for most dieters. Most people want to lose weight as they might not feel great, might not like the way they look or might have low self esteem due to weight gain, so having your neighbours nose at the fact you’re trying to lose weight could add extra pressure and embarrassment. Fab move to have the box unbranded, so even the courier doesn’t know what he’s delivering. Here it is just opened – have a peek!

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When I opened the box fully layer by layer it seemed never ending! If you’re thinking of trying Diet Chef, I’d definitely make some room in your kitchen as it can take over once fully unpacked!

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You can’t expect anything else though when you’re ordering an entire month’s worth of food to come at once. I was a bit worried about where on earth I was going to store it all once I saw how much there was, but I soon found two worktop baskets and a small shelf. Breakfast and snacks in baskets, then Lunch and dinners on the shelf. Yep, no fridge! All food can be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place, so shelves/cupboards/pantries are all perfect. Here’s a look at my storage solution

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BREAKFAST

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SNACKS

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LUNCH AND DINNER

I chose every single item myself from the huge food range online and will be enjoying meals such as porridge, cookies, crisps, soups, pasta pots, milkshakes, sausage and mash, casseroles, carbonara, paella, shepherds pie, lasagne, curry, popcorn, pretzels, Chinese…… the list goes on, and on!

Stay tuned to find out my starting weight, progress and meal photos. I can’t wait to start later this week. Bring it on Diet Chef!

Thanks for reading.