Saturday, April 6, 2013

Toddler Cooking

My son Rupert is 13 months old and has been eating solids for sometime now and only has a cup of milk after his meal.
For snacks he loves a variety of fruits, sultanas, rice cakes, cheese and plain biscuits. Breakfast usually consists of toast with either Vegemite, Promite or peanut butter or, Weet-Bix with yogurt and milk of course. Lunch is a sandwich with one of the already mentioned spreads, sometimes adding cheese or sliced banana. For dinner I usually pull out a frozen meal which is a concoction of vegetables and fruit. 
Rupert goes to bed at 6:30pm so he usually has dinner between 5:30 - 6pm and so, I found it convenient to cook up a big batch of this vegetable "concoction" once a fortnight, separating into individual meal portions and freezing.
I'll also mention that I often mix his meals around and give him his vegetables at lunch instead of dinner. If I know we'll be out for the evening its easier (and cleaner) to pack a sandwich for his dinner. 
This vegetable concoction I make may contain all or a variety of the following ingredients: pumpkin, potato, carrot, peas, pasta, chicken, tin tomatoes, apple, pear. It then all gets boiled in one big pot!

The reason for me writing this post is because I've come to realize that I should be making meals of more variety and textures. I have occasionally tried different dishes such as spag bol but Rupert has not liked it and probably because I have made it too flavoursome. So, I've decided I need to introduce more foods and meats but still keeping it simple and somewhat bland until he can acquire a taste for these new ingredients. 
People have given me many suggestions and ideas which I love to take on board but then I have considered what my sons eating habits, likes and dislikes are and come up with 2 recipes that I think will be a good start for Rupert. 

Now, yesterday I cleaned out the fridge and I've realized a grocery shop is needed so, the below recipes are of what I could find in the fridge and cupboards. I would have liked to have added more vegetable varieties. But my main aim was to come up with recipes that contained minced beef and tuna and I have managed to do that.
At 13 months Rupert isn't quite old enough to eat like a gentleman but is old enough to want to try so, I've opted to chop the vegetables chunky so that he can easily grasp with his fingers. 

Tuna & Tomato Risotto 

Author: Mama Essy


1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup uncooked rice, cooked
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 small potatoes, diced
1/4 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 cup vegetable stock
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 185g tin tuna in springwater, drained
1/4 Parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic until soft. Stir in rice, tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and add peas, celery, carrot, potato and kidney beans. Cover and simmer for about 30 - 45 mins. 
Stir through tuna and Parmesan cheese.

Savoury Mince with Pasta

Author: Mama Essy


1-2 cups uncooked pasta (I used combination of brown and white), cooked
500g mince beef
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 170g tin tomato paste
1/2 cup water - stock added optional
1 carrot, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas


In a large saucepan fry onion and garlic until soft. Add mince and cook until browned. Stir through tomato paste and water. Add carrot, potatoes and peas. Stir through cooked pasta.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Was It Everything I expected it to be?

Recently some girlfriends and I went and saw the new Aussie movie Goddess. It was a lovely somewhat light hearted movie which had its pros and cons. It was about a mother of twins who had put her career on hold to be the primary carer of her toddlers until they were school age and, the movie tells of her struggles of being home and of missing her love of singing and performing, her career that is.

It got me thinking about how I felt about being a stay at home mother after 14 months of not being at work and of continuously changing nappies, wiping drooling mouths, soothing teary eyes and rarely sleeping in past 7am?! Was motherhood all it was cracked up to be? Did I get any nasty reality checks that made me think "why am I here"? And did I miss having a job to go to outside of the home?

As I sat in the cinema asking myself if motherhood was all I expected it to be, I instantly came up with the answer "yes"! Although I've had/have many challenges and frustrations along the way (and more to come I'm sure) that, sometimes I even think it would be easier to work an 8 hour shift in the office, I still would not trade 'my stay at home mum' status for a million bucks. I don't miss work and I don't crave a career other then my calling to be a full time home maker. My family, my kitchen and my home are my career and I want to be constantly striving to be better at what I do.

As I continue to ponder my thoughts on having become a new mum just over 12 months ago I can't help but think that my 'empowering' experience as a first time mum would not have been so wonderful without the support of my husband, the backbone of our family. Although Matty in the kitchen cooking may cause a near domestic and for me to suffer a stress attack (hehe) he nevertheless is extremely helpful around the home. On days when he isn't working till past 7 he is otherwise home in time to give Rupert his dinner and shower (something I'm finding rather difficult to do at nearly 9 months pregnant). I am very thankful for the wonderful  husband and father he is.

What was becoming a first time mum like for you? Was is what you expected (whether you resumed work or stayed at home)? Are you a mum who likes her outside job or are you a mum who prefers to be at home? If there's one thing I've learnt its that we are all different and what works for one family may not for another.

Well I must sign off here as I have much to do!
Last night I was awake 3 times with a series of contractions or braxton hicks which started to worry me a little because, with Rupert I never got braxton hicks until days leading up to his birth! I have much more nesting to do before baby can come!
I haven't yet cleaned out the fridge or finished cleaning out a couple of draws, the floors haven't even been cleaned once this week ( I often do it twice a week), my legs needed shaving and my hair is unwashed! ... I'm just not ready yet!