WWW: Wonderful world of weaning

 

We’ve gone for baby-led weaning* in a big way in our house. Good food, one meal for everyone with as little effort as possible. Yes please!

HOLIDAY FUN!

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On a recent trip to Italy Elena caused quite a stir. She became known as, ‘The baby that eats everything!’ and ‘The baby that feeds herself!’ Baby-led weaning hasn’t quite hit remote towns in Southern Italy. As she picked up strips of frittata, I was met with a few ‘Madonna! Madonna’s!’ and looks of utter horror but, to my relief, it changed throughout the two weeks to amazement, and utter pride from Nonna. Elena even started to get an audience. She didn’t seem to mind (or should I say notice – she was too busy eating!).

RECIPE

I can’t get enough of Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett’s The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook . The recipes are fantastic but it’s also great if you’re creating your own and want to check if a certain ingredient is ok.

Here’s their Simple broccoli quiche.

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1 medium head broccoli (florets only)
250g shortcrust pastry (see Cook’s Tip)/ or use a readymade pastry case
1 small onion
3 grilled rashers of bacon, chopped (optional)
50-100g grated cheese (according to taste)
3 eggs
115ml (4floz) milk
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas Mark 5. Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam or boil for 2 minutes until just tender and drain.

2 To prepare your pastry case, either line a 23cm (9in) lightly greased pie/tart tin with pastry (or use a readymade pastry case). Spread the onion in the bottom of the pastry case. Add the broccoli (and bacon, if using) and sprinkle half of the cheese over it.

3 Beat together the eggs and milk and add the black pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the onion, broccoli and cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. (The egg mixture should come at least 3 quarters of the way up the pastry case. If it doesn’t add another egg, beaten with 2tbsp milk)

4 Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the egg is cooked through (test with a skewer) and the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm, sliced or in fingers, with new potatoes and either salad, green beans or asparagus for a main meal, or eat it cold for a light lunch.

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Cook’s Tip

I also like to use ready-rolled pastry for this too. To make the pastry from scratch use 85g diced butter, 165g plain flour. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Using a cold blunt knife, stir in 1-2 tbsp water a few drops at a time with a criss-cross cutting motion. Stop when the mixture starts to clump together. Gather into one lump and knead it lightly for a few seconds, until it forms a dough.

*Here’s a PDF from the NHS website about weaning – it includes a small paragraph on baby-led weaning. There’s a little more detailed info about it here on the NCT website.

 

 

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#24 FOOD NEWS: London design festival, Take 3 ingredients, Weekend cherry tart

Every monday

KEEPING AN EYE ON ALL THINGS BRITALIAN…

Design week strip

A buzzy atmosphere and an explosion of colour created a feast for the senses on a Wednesday night. Part of the London Design Festival, designjunction 2014  made the most of the impressive London Sorting Office with a vibrant exhibition showcasing both cutting-edge design and more traditional brands.

A couple of stands really caught my Britalian eye: Whitbread Wilkinson (designedincolour.com), with it’s colourful bright pink espresso pots and Beef Eater cup, bowl and plate sets – inspired by Disney’s  ‘It’s a Small World’ and the Waterford crystal stand where a craftsman sat quietly giving a live demonstration, creating a clear and sparkling piece using a diamond tipped wheel. Completely absorbed and deep in concentration, you would have thought he was in the calm surrounds of his Irish studio not a pulsating London exhibition! Totally inspiring.

www.thedesignjunction.co.uk

Take 3! Weekday tea: Cannelloni al forno

canelloni

When it’s all too much. Simply pour half a 350g tub essential Waitrose tomato & mascarpone sauce (£1.65) into the base of a small baking dish.

tomato and mascapone

Nestle Waitrose Spinach & ricotta cannelloni (£3.39) in the sauce, spoon over the remaining sauce.

Waitrose fresh pasta cannelloni spinach & ricotta

Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake according to the cannelloni pack instructions.

Waitrose Davidstow Cornish mature Cheddar cheese, strength 5

Serves 2-3.

Weekend pud: Guten tag cherry tart

Guten tag cherry tart

Mixing up the fusion theme this weekend, my traditional shortcrust tart case held an Italian-style filling topped with Opies cherries: grown in Kent and soaked in German tipple, kirsch.

Ingredients strip

Serves: 6
Prep: 20 mins (plus chilling and cooling time)
Cook: 20 mins

175g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
250g ricotta cheese
3 tbsp icing sugar
300ml double cream
1/2 390g jar Opies cherries in kirsch, drained, kirsch reserved
15g flaked almonds, lightly toasted

1 For the pastry, sift the flour in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2 Add the egg yolks and 2tbsp cold water and stir with a fork. Bring it together with your hands to make a dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth. wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.

Pastry strip

3 Preheat the oven to 200’C, 180’C fan, gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm loose-based tart tin. Trim the edge and prick the base with a fork. Line with parchment and fill with baking beans and bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 mins until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

4 Meanwhile, make the filling, put the ricotta in a bowl with icing sugar and 4-6 tbsp of the reserved kirsch and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the cream into the ricotta mixture.

Filling steps strips

5 Spoon the ricotta filling into the pastry case and level the surface. Spoon the drained cherries over the top, then scatter over the almonds.

Cook’s tip

For a great shortcut, use ready made pastry. For an all-out cheat use a ready made tart case!