Moroccan style sweet lamb

morrocan lamb


This has been one of my go to recipe for years. I used it with some very fussy eaters when I was Nannying and it always seemed to go down a treat. Now Sonny loves it. The dish is quite sweet so you can get away with hiding loads of veggies in there if your child is a fusspot. The recipe below is obviously made for Sonny so I have left out onions and tomatoes but if I were making it for a child without reflux I would add one chopped onion and a tin of tomatoes at the start.

1 pack (about 500g) diced lamb (leg or neck)

2 carrots

1 parsnip

1-2 inch disk of butternut squash

8 dried apricots finely chopped

Pinch cinnamon

Pinch Cumin

Tin of chickpeas.

2 cups water or homemade salt free chicken stock.


Brown your lamb then pop to one side. In a heavy bottomed casserole dish (if not using the slow cooker) gently fry your veg with the cinnamon and cumin until it has softened (about 5-10 mins) .

Pop the lamb back in with the stock/water and apricots then cook on a low heat either in the oven or on the hob for about 3 hours,

It really is that easy – or you can fry everything up then stick in the slow cooker and leave all day! Serve with couscous, rice, quinoa or mashed sweet potato.

Blend if for babies but if you are trying to add more texture just really finely dice the root veg at the start – the lamb literally falls apart anyway so there is no need for mashing.

I love this dish as well and always end up eating half of it – it is a very comforting, warming dish at this time of year!


Happy cooking x


Black Bean Carrot Cookies


Sounds disgusting right? Well in truth these are no chocolate laden Millie’s cookies but they are pu – rrity tasty and are great for sneaking some extra veg into your smalls (NB that is slang for children, I do not think you should be shoving carrots down your knickers!!!!). Children are pretty easy to fool  – if you act like these are a big treat then hopefully they will believe you. There is also the bonus that the flecks of black beans can look like chocolate chips (am I clutching at straws here…..?) . If these are a bit too ‘clean’ for your tastes you can always substitute the coconut oil for proper butter, add a bit of sugar or throw in some actual chocolate chips.

When I was breastfeeding Sonny I had to cut out all dairy from my diet and was constantly flummoxed as to what to eat. I found the Deliciously Ella blog great  – I was quite sceptical but actually the majority of her things taste amazing. I have incorporated a lot of her ideas into everyday cooking even though I am now back on the dairy (in bucketloads…..)


1.5 tins of black beans (Drained)

1 mug of oats

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 carrot grated

1 pear (or apple) grated

1 Banana

2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 tsp Mixed Spice.

These are so easy to make – blend the beans, oil, banana and syrup together in a bowl then stir in the oats, spice, carrot and pear. Dollop onto a non stick or greased baking tray and bake on gas mark 5 for about 30 minutes or until golden.  I sometimes sandwich them together with cashew or almond butter.

I would love to hear what you think of these!

I am sorry I haven’t posted on here  in the last couple of weeks, Poor Sonny has been teething, had an ear infection and a virus. I actually feel like Widow Twanky, I have never done so much laundry in my life.

Have a wonderful week.



Colcannon Cakes


These are perfect finger foods for babies and smalls. They are also yummy for adults (I added a bit of salt and scoffed about 4 while cooking these up for Sonny) . They would also be great topped with a fried or poached egg for breakfast. If your little one doesn’t like cabbage you can add any kind of finely chopped greenery. Obviously as Sonny is dairy intolerant we steamed the cabbage, and fried the cakes in olive oil. If I were cooking these normally however, I would cook the cabbage in butter and also fry the cakes in butter – yum! They taste perfectly good without though!

It is a great recipe for using up leftover spuds/greens from the Sunday roast.


350g cooked potato (leftover mash or boiled)

1/2 sweetheart cabbage shredded

100g plain flour

1 egg

Ground black pepper


If your potato isn’t already mashed then smash it up until smooth. Either steam, boil or cook in butter your cabbage/greens then finely chop (if for the little ones as it can be quite stringy) , if you are making this for older children then obviously don’t worry so much about chopping!

Beat the egg and stir into the potato mixture then add the flour and cabbage and fold until you have a firm (yet still quite sticky) mixture. Add a grind of back pepper.

Roll a ping pong sized ball of mixture in your hand then flatten it down and pop it in a frying pan on a low-medium heat. Fry until golden on each side (about 3 minutes on each side) This recipe should make approximately 9 cakes.

A tasty addition would be to add some grated mature cheddar or some crispy bacon (or both) into your mixture.

Happy cooking xx

Disclaimer (please note I am not responsible for your child’s farts post cabbage)


Blah Blah Blah


You can’t escape it, from the day you announce your pregnancy, a constant stream of advice, mostly well meaning, often patronising and occasional bullshit.

In all probability you will have complete strangers patting your bump (yuk), commenting on what you eat, how fat you are, how well/tired/shitty you look and generally bombarding you with shoulds and shouldn’ts for the whole 9 months. When your bundle of joy arrives brace yourself as it only gets worse.

Because you have produced and care for a small human – guess what? That makes you fair game for all manner of ‘advice’. Anyone who has also popped out a baby at some point in their life (whether that be the 1900s or last week)will be an expert and you, my friend, know nothing.

To be fair, most of this will come from a place of love. I know I have been guilty of sounding off in the past. I am sure my friends will have wanted to claw my eyes out for doling out Nanny advice then going home to my childless 10 hours of sleep and big fat glass of wine.

What I didn’t understand before having a baby was the sheer over whelmingness (I don’t think that is an actual word )of it all. I thought I knew everything about raising a child but during those early days I received so much conflicting advice, opinion and general white noise that I found I was constantly doubting myself. I focussed far too much on what other people were saying I ‘should’ be doing and less on actually tuning into my instinct and enjoying my baby. Having google close to hand only made things worse.

As a new mum you often feel like you have been hit by a truck anyway, self-esteem can take a knock and sleepless nights plus loss of identity/your old self can totally make you question every decision you make. All you really need is someone to make you a cuppa, give you a hug and tell you what an amazing job you are doing – because believe me you are.

To highlight the amount of conflicting advice I was given I thought I would make a list of some of the gems I listened to in the early days……

“You can never overfeed a baby “

“You are overfeeding your baby” (both health professionals)

“Don’t tickle your babies feet – it will give him a stammer” (?!?!)

“If you let your baby cry it will affect his emotional development”

“You pick your baby up to much – he is getting spoilt”

“Dummies will affect his speech and make his teeth grow funny”

“You should give him a dummy it will soothe his reflux”

“Don’t let him fall asleep with his dummy; he will end up with a sleep disorder”

“Dummies while sleeping can help prevent SIDS”

“Breastmilk is causing him problems you should give him formula”

“Mixed feeding is bad; he will never go back on the breast.”

“Formula is bad, he will get overweight”

“He should be sleeping through the night by now”

“He’s sleeping through the night? He is far too young to drop night feeds”

“Shouldn’t he be smiling/sitting up/ crawling by now?”

“Shouldn’t he be having gripe water/infacol/calpol?”

“Babies don’t need so much sleep”

“He is overtired”

And I could go on and on and on and could easily fill 10 blogs with this stuff.

If I could go back in time ( and I know it is easy to say now I have come out of the sleep deprived hormonal stage)I would tell myself to drown out the white noise, lock the iPhone away, and just try and tune in and listen to my instincts. Enjoy your tiny human – you are not going to get that time back and it goes so quickly. You are his/her Mother, you know best and you are doing the best job ever – choose your own ‘parenting style’ (I hate that expression) not one from a book and your decisions are bound to be the right ones. We are all in the same boat, muddling along and doing our best – if that is fine for our little humans and they are happy and healthy then that (and not what Mabel up the road says) is all that matters xx


Sugar Free Cake

cakeIf you read my last weaning post you may remember me mentioning I was going to introduce Sonny to egg gradually by making a sugar free cake. He was fine and is now chomping scrambled and mashed hard boiled eggs like a little protein guzzling muscle head.

The cake was a huge success (both with Sonny and my other half)  so I thought I would include the recipe here. I have adapted a tea loaf recipe that my mum used to make us as kids. I also used to make it a lot for families when I was a Nanny (although I kept the fruit whole and the sugar in). The original recipe contained only sultanas but I have included apricots and dates in this also.


500g of dried fruit ( I used a mixture of organic apricots, dates and sultanas)

375 ml of warm tea (as this is for kids I used organic rooibos which is caffeine free – you could also use camomile or even apple juice)

250 gr self raising flour

1 egg lightly beaten.

(The original recipe also included 175 g soft brown sugar but I think it is sweet enough)


Empty your fruit into a bowl with the tea – cover and leave to soak overnight. If using as a finger food for babies then blend the fruit in the morning. If for older ones then don’t bother. Add the lightly beaten egg and sift in the flour. Plonk the mixture in a greased and lined loaf tin and bake in the oven at 375/176/Gas mark 4 for 1 hour 30 – 45 mins. You can serve this on its own or spread with butter.

Easy Peasy – Enjoy xxx


Surviving Festivals.

So as promised here is my post on surviving festivals with a baby – I am chuckling to myself as whether I survived is up for debate (see photos below – as you can see the weather was not on our side ) and I still feel like I am recovering!

photo 5            photo 2

1 – My first and most important tip would be – make sure the person you are going with is a festival person – we can safely say my other half is not and this made the first part of the festival stressful to say the least. By the end he had settled down a bit but really? One baby is enough to worry about! (Hopefully he won’t read this as he now thinks he had an amazing time and is a convert) In all seriousness he did enjoy himself after the first day or so and embraced the muddiness – we love camping and always have. Leave the precious people behind – even if you are glamping there WILL be mud, and limited showers!

2 – Pack for all weathers – even if it is boiling hot in the day chances are you will freeze at night, I bought a long sleeved sleeping bag from JoJomamanbebe (bought off eBay – bargain) – it has detachable sleeves and also has a hole between the legs so baby can wear it in the car seat/pram when travelling.

3 – I don’t know if this is a tip or not as Sonny just wouldn’t settle in his (completely my fault as I left it to the last minute so he didn’t get chance to get used to it – he seemed to think it was a play tent and went bonkers / wide awake as soon as we put him in it!) Buy a pop up travel cot – koo di make a good one – again I got mine from Ebay – it has incorporated black out blinds although these don’t make it very dark!

photo 4

4 – Take a bucket/tub – for baths – you meanwhile can expect to stink!

5- If you are bottle feeding take a large Tupperware pot and some Milton tablets for easy sterilising on the go. The bottles are sterile in the solution for 24 hours so you can just pop them in and out as you wish. Even if you are not bottle feeding this is handy for bowls/spoons/dummies etc.

6- Expect to chuck the routine out the window if you have one. A festival is not for the Gina Ford disciple – you can however maintain a loose routine – keep feeds, naps and baths within a half hour each side time scale and things shouldn’t go too far off kilter. If they do – don’t beat yourself up – this is one weekend out of 52 – what fun is life if you don’t have some spontaneity?!. You can always get things back on track when you get home!

7 – Expect noise – no escaping it I’m afraid – festivals are noisy places. Even if you bag a quiet spot there will be other babies crying and it will be noisier than home. Again try to go with it, if you were there without children chances are you would have broken sleep anyway! Sonny didn’t sleep so well – he was fine for the first part of the night and would sleep in his pushchair like a dream , no matter how noisy it was out and about– it was when we transferred him to bed that things got difficult. I ended up with him sleeping on me (my Nanny self would have been horrified) but you know what? It worked and since we have been home he has gone back to his own bed no problems.

8 – Buy some kids ear defenders – if you are planning to spend a lot of time by the main stage (even if you are set back a bit) there will be lots of bass which can affect small ears

9 – Expect to be converted! However daunting it sounds – when you get to the festival wherever it may be you will see all manner of families out and about enjoying themselves. From huge big families to couples with teeny weeny week old babies and they all survive and have a great time. When Sonny didn’t sleep too well at night and I was thinking to myself that the day would be hellish, he really surprised me and was on top form. He absolutely loved all the things going on, staring at the flags and bunting, listening to the music and watching the other children. Since we have been home I think he is actually quite bored of my company!

10) Enjoy! There are so many things for kids at festivals these days and lots of it is free. Really embrace it and let your little one get into the festival spirit, trying things they wouldn’t necessarily do at home. I got so many ‘tuts’ from disapproving people when I would mention we were going, but you know best and if you think your family will enjoy the experience then go for it!!

photo 1

Have fun – I would love to hear your stories – good or bad!



Treasure Baskets


I promise I am not going to fill this blog with complex elaborate activities as I know you don’t have the time or the inclination and frankly neither do I! I did loads of super duper Blue Peter worthy arts and crafts when I was a Nanny and learnt that actually kids are more happy doing the simple things. They will be happy to be spending time with you so chill out and don’t go getting stressed out (I once witnessed a Dad channelling his inner Gaudi and trying to build a cathedral out of toilets rolls, the child had long since lost interest).

Anyway this is not technically crafty but I guess it is an activity of sorts.

The treasure basket concept was inspired by Elinor Goldschmeid and is a simple idea focussing baby’s attention away from plastic (which offers little sensory stimulation). Babies tend to learn by engaging their senses and a treasure basket is a great way to nurture and encourage their curiosity. It really is a cheap and simple thing to do with your baby. I find it so sweet watching Sonny rummage through his basket. He actually now gets super excited when he sees it coming out and will sit, play and explore for a good 30 minutes before getting bored. His favourite 2 items are the loofah and ribbon. I know it’s pretty obvious so please forgive the government warning but it’s important to stay close to your baby whilst they are playing with the basket to avoid choking, entanglement etc. Anyway, patronizing advice over here is what our treasure basket contains;

2 pine cones (1 large, 1 small)

Large spool of ribbon

Wooden spoon


Double sided wooden nail brush/ pumice stone

Wooden blocks


Furry pencil case

We have had this for a few weeks now so I will probably mix things up a bit (wow how wild am I ?!) soon.

Use your imagination and include a good selection of household/everyday items with a range of textures, sizes and shapes.

Some ideas include;

Feathers, Sponge, Bottle Brush, PomPoms, Leather, seashells, keys and different fabrics. If you have any ideas to share with me I would love to hear them!

Happy treasuring xx