So we’ve been having a busy few weeks! Its one of the things I love about having babies. You are always so busy! People told me, when I was pregnant with Baby I, that I would never have a life again with 2 under 2, never sleep again, life would be miserable for the first 2 years or so. No, really! People were really that negative, but once she arrived we fell into a loose routine pretty easily. I love the perfect chaos that comes from having small children. I mean I look like crap pretty much all the time but I’m actually ok with that!
Lately, I’ve been trying to spend a lot more quality time with both babies. One of the earliest memories I have is collecting conkers with my mum along our street so we have been taking loads of autumnal walks lately. I just love wrapping the babies up warm and taking them out into the lovely crisp October air. We have been loving our new infinity scarves for L and Baby I. I got these from the Wear a Hug fair and I am so in love with the soft cotton fabric and the really cute prints. They have some gorgeous winter prints which I will definitely be getting for Christmas. Best part is they can’t take them off, so they stay really warm!
I have also been really enjoying decorating our house for the changing season and finding lovely comfort food recipes to experiment with. The best part of our Autumn walks is coming home and getting cosy and warm again. I’ve recently been experimenting with making a sugar-free warm apple cider suitable for L. I don’t really like adding sugar to their meals where I can help it, so I was trying to make it sweet enough. I decided to use 3 apples and an orange. I blitzed them all up in the nutri-bullet and sieved out any lumps. Then I added 2 tsp of cinnamon and a little grated nutmeg and heated it gently on the stove. I served it in these big mason jars that actually come with a lid and reusable straw, so ideal for little toddler hands. It was actually really delicious. I was worried it would be really bland but the orange really did the trick. Whats even better is because its freshly squeezed you get a great vit C hit which should help now that we have hit cold and flu season.
One of my projects for this month was to really amp up our Autumn home decor. I got loads of great inspiration from pinterest and I had decided that I wanted to collect as many different shape, colour, and size pumpkins and gourds that I could find. It proved actually quite difficult. Short of travelling down the country to a pumpkin farm we were pretty much left with your run of the mill orange pumpkin. That was until we were in town a few weeks ago and I stumbled upon a tiny little flower shop that was selling the most unusual pumpkins ever. We also found some in Donnybrook fair and Fallon and Byrnes in Town. Mr T informed me they would probably be eaten if we left them outside, so I popped them in a wooden crate and they are now hanging out in our fireplace. I’ve also been making a DIY autumnal centerpiece for our kitchen table. L and I have been hard at work collecting all the chestnuts that we can find. There are far fewer chestnut trees these days, so its better to go to bigger well established parks and forests if you are on the hunt. I’ve also heard the chestnuts keep spiders out of your home. I’m not sure if there is any science behind this but it can’t hurt!
Halloween themed food is also hot on the menu in our house at the moment. For all those who have asked where I get my cutters, they’re from Stock on Kings Street (few doors down from the Gaiety). However you can always use everyday items around your kitchen to cut out shapes. I often use a glass to cut out circles in bread. So to kick off the Halloween month we had a yummy breakfast of sugar-free drop scones cut into the shape of pumpkins and bats. I have actually tweaked this recipe from my previous post so I will list the new ingredients.
1 Cup of self-raising flour
1/2 Banana (puréed)
Enough milk to make a thick batter
Just whisk all ingredients together until there are no lumps. Heat some butter/coconut oil in the pan. Once butter is melted drop small amounts of the batter onto the pan. Cook on both sides until lightly brown. Once cooked I pop them onto a chopping board and wait until they cool slightly then I cut shapes out with our cutters. Et Voilá!
I also cut out some melon balls and mixed them with some blackberries. I made up a sugar-free yogurt by mixing natural unsweetened yogurt with a few berries (whatever takes your fancy!) and half a banana. The banana is key here for sweetness otherwise the bitter taste of the natural yogurt comes through. Then I just finished it off by sprinkling a few Chia seeds on top.
Another thing I’ve been lusting after is a lovely warm stew, thing is I actually don’t like your typical Irish stew. What I have been craving though is seafood so I decided to try my hand at making a seafood stew/chowder. This really is such a simple recipe and cooks really quickly for those of you who need to feed your troops without spending hours sweating over a hot stove! What you will need is;
1 bag of frozen jumbo prawns (again Aldi!)
150mls of cream
1ltr of fish stock
small handful of thyme
300g of salad potatoes
1-2 cups of peas
1 onion, diced
knob of butter
To start, melt the butter in a large pot, add the onion and cook 3-4 mins on a medium heat until soft, then add your salad potatoes and thyme and cook for a further 3-4 mins. Then add your fish stock and simmer for 15 mins or so. You want the potatoes to be soft but not falling apart. Now its time to add you mixed seafood and peas, cook for 4-5 mins then add your jumbo prawns and continue cooking for a further 3 mins. Remove pot from heat and add in your cream and parsley and serve! This meal really hit the spot! L and Baby I both loved this and it’s a great way to get fish into their diets. I finished their plates off with granary bread cut into fish!
Since the days are getting shorter and shorter, some evenings I find I don’t have enough time to make a huge dinner. I love the simplicity of beans on toast, but I’m not a fan of all the sugar and salt that baked beans contain. I decided to see if I could replicate the sauce and make my own sugar free version. For this recipe you will just simply need:
Haricot Beans (I got mine in tesco)
2 tbsp of tomato purée
punnet of cherry tomatoes
A dash of onion powder (optional)
1-2 tsp of smoked paprika
1-3 tbsp of water
Pop all ingredients,except for the beans, into the blender/ nutribullet and blend on full until smooth. Add the sauce and beans to a pot and cook on medium for 4-5 mins. And it’s that simple! We paired the beans with some rocket toast, which is great for dipping into the beans!
I’ve also been experimenting with creative food ideas. These don’t really require a tutorial as you can just look at the pictures and copy for yourself. They are not hard and only take a few extra mins to create. Seeing L’s face light up when he see’s them is so priceless! For the apple owl I just used a breadstick, 1 apple, 2 slices of banana ( I used some leftover banana from breakfast), 2 blueberries, and a few orange segments (again leftovers from the morning smoothies!) I used cashew nut butter to stick anything that had to be stuck!
I particularly love the simplicity of the kite.
It’s essentially just a cheese sandwich with some peppers, raspberries and cauliflower. Cauliflower is the most un cool veg ever and I never cook it so it is actually a great way to try new veggies! Again these are really simple and you can experiment with different foods!
This last week our house has been plagued by coughs and colds. I hate seeing my babies so miserable. I’m so grateful for breast milk when they are sick as I can keep them well hydrated and pass over immunities to them. L was really off his food this week, probably because of a sore throat so I tried making him a smoothie to give him a boost of vitamins. For this recipe I used;
A handful of ice
I just blended this all up in my trusty nutribullet and served with a Halloween straw. L devoured this in one go and I really like how festive it looks! I think this really soothed his throat and he seemed a bit perkier after.
My poor babas have been so clingy since they’ve been sick so its great that I can pop them up in a sling and get on with our day. Baby I was so miserable one day she slept for 5 hours up on my back. I don’t know how I would manage life with two smallies without them. I also think fresh air is great when you’re sick. I feel like it clears away that groggy, germy feeling!
I have a few more Halloween inspired food ideas which I will hopefully get up before the end of the week! As always you can check out my instagram here for daily food and baby pics!
Bye for now!