Friday, November 30, 2012

baby noms: semolina with dried figs, cherries and goji berries

semolina is  a smooth and creamy porridge, and one of my ultimate comfort foods. i love it all year round, and generally eat it drizzled with honey, or with sultanas and cinnamon. i wanted to introduce it to arty with some delicious flavours mixed in, and thought it would be a good way to include goji berries in his diet.
goji berries are a fantastic source of antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, and they're yummy too.

semolina with dried figs, cherries and goji berries


1/4 cup semolina
1 cup milk (soy can be subbed in for dairy intolerant babies)
2 dried figs
1 tbsp dried goji berries
1 tbsp dried cherries


  • chop all dried fruit into small pieces
  • place all ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat
  • stir constantly until mixture thickens into a porridge
  • serve warm

this makes two serves. i don't make it in larger quantities because i prefer not to freeze it. it's not that you can't, it just alters the texture and makes it a bit gluggy, so you have to add more milk.

when using dried fruit, it's worth checking how it's been processed. some fruit is dried using sulphur which will give your baby gas. read the packaging carefully.

if you don't have dried cherries or want to try some variations, you could sub in sultanas, currants, raisins, or even apricots.

arty thinks it's delicious enough to put aaaaaaall over his face.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

three times ten

in may this year, sj turned 30.

and this month i did too.

i like that we started our new decades in the year our son was born. there's a nice roundedness to it. a symmetry.
and on a more practical note, none of us will ever have an excuse to forget how old any of the others are!

now to start planning arty's first birthday...

Friday, November 23, 2012

baby noms: roasted eggplant with zucchini, broccoli and quinoa

i have a similar attitude to eggplant as i do to mushrooms. how i survived as a vegetarian for four years i will never know. but again, i want arty to try all kinds of food, and not be limited by the likes and dislikes of his parents. with that in mind, here is an eggplant recipe:

roasted eggplant with zucchini, broccoli and quinoa


1 medium eggplant
1 medium zucchini
florets from 1 medium head of broccoli
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground coriander seed
approx 1 tbsp olive oil


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • remove top from eggplant and slice in half, lengthways
  • place eggplant halves right sides up in baking dish, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with coriander seed
  • place in oven and bake for approx 45 mins, until golden and tender, then remove from oven and allow to cool
  • meanwhile, place stock and quinoa in a small saucepan and bring to boil
  • lower heat and cook, covered, for approx 10-15 min, until liquid has been absorbed by the grains. leave to stand, covered, for a further 10 mins with  the heat off.
  • steam broccoli and zucchini until tender.
  • when eggplant has cooled, scoop the flesh out of the skin. discard the skin. 
  • puree all vegetables, then add quinoa.

i'm always excited to have another way to include the wondrous quinoa in arty's diet, with all its nutritional value (iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, etc). 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

dear arthur: ten months

my little love,

the months are in double figures now, and you continue to grow stronger, brighter, cleverer, and more beautiful with each day.

you have made many leaps in your physical development this month - each new skill seems to follow hard on the heels of the last.
you learn physical skills very quickly. one day you will do something shakily for the first time, and within another day or two you'll have consolidated it, and will be doing it without even thinking about it.
this month you have learned to pull yourself up on the furniture, and to 'cruise' along while holding on to things. you have also learned to climb the stairs of the back porch (though not how to get down them).

in the last week or so you have discovered that drawers and cupboards open and have insides full of all kinds of interesting contraband. you have been determined to explore the depths of these interesting places, and your inquisitiveness has sometimes resulted in squashed fingers and tears, but this hasn't deterred you.

your increased mobility means that you're into absolutely everything. keeping you safe is a full time and very exhausting job, but i am so happy for you because you're just that much more independent and free, and it's opening your world up.

you now have eight teeth - four on the top, and four on the bottom. you were a bit unsettled while the last couple came through, but you handled it very well, and managed to avoid any illness, for which i was very grateful.

you nod and shake your head now, though i don't think you know that those gestures mean 'yes' and 'no'. you're yet to say your first word, though you seem to be saying 'dat' whenever you see one of the cats, 'nanana' when i say 'no', and you are practicing your 'mumumum' a lot. you are very vocal and you like to babble and chat, so i'm certain you'll be using words soon. maybe when you take a break from learning all those new physical skills you'll give your busy wee brain a chance to work on linguistics!

your mummy has been away for part of this month, and you have been missing her. you look for her when you come into bed with me in the mornings, and you get very excited when you hear her voice on the phone. she is missing you terribly. neither of us have ever been away from you for more than a few hours before now, so it's been pretty big for all of us.
luckily for you and i, we have our wonderful katie staying with us. she has been helping me so much. you love her to bits, and you're happy to have her in our house, helping with your meals and baths and other things. she is very good at playing with babies, and you think she is super fun.

you are still loving your food, which continues to make me happy. some of your favourite things to eat are yoghurt with berries, asparagus spears, hummus or tahini sandwiches, and porridge. now when we're out at cafes or friends houses i can give you tastes of what i'm eating, which you really enjoy. i am yet to give you a food that you don't like. i hope you stay this adventurous and easy to please!

life with you is wonderful, my darling. you make me laugh every single day. your beautiful, open, expressive little nature is so loveable.

i am, now more than ever, so very proud and lucky to be your mama.


Friday, November 16, 2012

baby noms: banana ideas

bananas are such good food. they have b vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and more. all the babies i know love to eat them, and that doesn't surprise me - they are sweet, creamy, and easy on the gums.
the only problem is, they are notorious for constipating babies!
i've been trying to think of ways to get around this, because i want arty to eat plenty of banana without getting all stopped up and uncomfortable.
prunes have an established reputation for helping with that sort of thing, and while i was pregnant, my midwife told me that kiwi fruit are good for this too.
here are a couple of recipe ideas i've tried with great success. both make single serves, because i usually prefer to serve banana fresh and uncooked.

porridge with banana with prunes


1 medium banana
3 prunes, finely chopped
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk


  • in a small saucepan, simmer oats and milk to make porridge
  • in baby's bowl, mash banana, and combine with prunes and porridge
  • adjust temperature and consistency with additional milk if required 

kiwi and banana breakfast


1/2 large kiwi, peeled, any tough core removed, finely chopped
1 small banana
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
2 tbsp baby rice cereal

  • mash banana with kiwi
  • add rice cereal and yoghurt and stir to combine

Friday, November 9, 2012

baby noms: cauliflower, zucchini, brown rice, and cheddar

just like with the pumpkin and brown rice recipe, you can substitute other kinds of rice here, but i like to use brown rice because of it's extra nutritional value, and because it fills arty up for longer.
this recipe is a little lighter than the pumpkin one - a perfect dinner for mild spring days.

baby noms: cauliflower, zucchini, brown rice, and cheddar


1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped (resist the temptation to peel it - there's a lot of goodness in the skin!)
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


  • place brown rice in small saucepan with 2 cups of water. bring to boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for approx 20 mins, until water has been absorbed.
  • turn the heat off, and keep rice covered for a further 10-15 mins to continue cooking.
  • meanwhile, steam cauliflower for approx 15 mins, then add zucchini and continue to steam until both are tender
  • while still warm, place vegetables and rice into blender, add cheese, and puree to desired consistency.

s-j and i think we'll make a version of this for ourselves and have it in baked potatoes!

Friday, November 2, 2012

baby noms: corn, asparagus and pumpkin

these sweet flavours go very well together, and make a pleasingly light puree that works with pasta, polenta, quinoa, with natural yoghurt stirred in, or as an accompaniment to a range of other foods.

corn, asparagus and pumpkin


5 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
2.5 cups butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
kernels from 2 small corn cobs
2 cups chicken stock or water


  • in a medium saucepan, bring your stock to the boil.
  • add the pumpkin (if pumpkin is not fully immersed in stock, add a little water), cover, and cook until almost tender.
  • add asparagus and corn kernels and continue to cook until both asparagus and pumpkin are tender.
  • drain, reserving some of the stock, and puree. use stock to adjust texture.