Baby in one hand, wooden spoon in the other

Tag Archives: breakfast

"Of course we have to have Eggy Bread, we're camping out!"

“Of course we have to have Eggy Bread, we’re camping!”

Ah, but you don’t have to have a campfire to enjoy Eggy Bread! Oh no, it’s super delicious for breakfast and brunch at home too. And what’s more – it really can be made one-handed. (Assuming you can crack an egg one-handed; if not, do that first!)

This version of Eggy Bread is a great pancake replacement, i.e. you fancy American-style pancakes with maple syrup and so on but you are short on time. It’s dead easy and requires hardly any equipment, which is handy when it comes to washing up too. Phew.

So, apart from enjoying my Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread and the glut of summer berries, we’ve been super-busy of late here at OH HQ. Decorating the sitting room has taken up several weekends, and in anticipation of finally getting our tip of a front garden sorted, I’ve become obsessed with paving… As my Pinterest followers will know!

Anyway, here’s the recipe, so hoist the little one on your hip if needs be, and rest in the knowledge that even if you cannot put baby down, you can all still eat. Which will help.

TOHC x

P.S. Note the mini Duralex glass in the below photo, with maple syrup in. Bought from the new Hema store in London! It’s AMAZING! Like Ikea but better.

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

Cinnamon & Maple Syrup Eggy Bread

You will need:

1 free-range organic egg

Milk (a dash; optional)

Ground cinnamon

1 slice stale white bread, cut into 4 strips (use scissors)

Demerara sugar

Maple syrup

Berries to serve

  1. Whisk the egg and milk (if you have it, but it’s not essential) and some ground cinnamon in a mug.
  2. Pour this mixture into a shallow bowl and dip your strips of bread into it – push them in with your finger so the bread absorbs the mixture
  3. Heat the butter in a shallow frying pan (I use a pancake pan) and fry the strips – turn using your fingers or tongs
  4. When nicely golden on both sides, serve your Eggy Bread strips with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup. Berries on the side are nice. As is a strong coffee.
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"Quit monkeying around and give me my banana smoothie!"

“Quit monkeying around and give me my banana smoothie!”

Having been given a swanky new blender for Christmas I am really enjoying concocting lots of delicious healthy smoothies every morning, and the children are loving them. I have discovered almond milk, which I’d never used before but it turns out it’s great in smoothies and is much lower in calories than semi-skimmed milk. Plus I’ve been using all kinds of fruit, including papaya, blueberries and frozen berries – but the staple ingredient of all my smoothies is banana. I prefer to use Fairtrade bananas where possible, in the same way that I buy Fairtrade sugar and Fairtrade coffee when I can. Did you know that all the bananas sold at Sainburys are Fairtrade? That’s right, all of them, even the economy ones, which are perfect for smoothies. Hurrah.

So without further ado, I give you the winner out of all the smoothies I’ve been making for the past two weeks: The Banana Peanut Boost.

The boost comes from the added porridge oats (more on those below), which give your smoothie a boost of B vitamins and fibre. The sweetness comes from the banana and the agave nectar, a natural sweetener with a low GI and a great alternative to sugar – as you know, we are all being advised to cut down on the amount of sugar we eat, plus it’s not good for children to eat too much sugar, obviously. Agave nectar doesn’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels and yet is sweet enough to ward off sugar cravings, and it comes in a squeezy bottle, making it perfect for smoothies. And peanut butter is just yum.

And what’s more, assuming you’ve pre-toasted your oats, you can whizz the whole thing up one-handed, and drink it with one hand too, I promise you. No excuses, now!

You will need:

(Serves 2)

1 Fairtrade banana

4tbsp natural or Greek yogurt (Greek makes a creamier smoothie; I like Rachel’s Organic)

500ml unsweetened almond milk (Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Original is my fave)

1tsp smooth peanut butter

Agave nectar (I use the one by the Groovy Food Company)

1tbsp toasted porridge oats

To make:

First of all, you need to toast the porridge oats; you can do a batch for the whole week while you’re at it to save time down the line. Simply pre-heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and when it’s hot, add your porridge oats and toast them, turning and mixing using a wooden spoon until they smell ‘toasty’ – about five minutes. You can use untoasted oats, but toasting them makes the smoothie much nicer. Trust me, it’s worth the minor effort. Now you are ready to make your smoothie:

  1. Peel the banana and break into chunks; chuck into the blender along with the Greek yogurt and the almond milk. Blend thoroughly.
  2. Add the peanut butter, the agave nectar and the porridge oats.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve over ice.

Enjoy – and no monkey business!

TOHC

x


Get ready for Breakfast!

All week it’s time to Shake Up Your Wake Up with Farmhouse Breakfast Week which is an annual celebration championing the importance of breakfast and aims to get the nation to Shake Up Their Wake Up!  47% of people regularly skip breakfast during the week so their aim is to encourage people to enjoy a healthy breakfast more regularly, think about the wonderful breakfast produce available in this country, and get out of the boring breakfast rut! For inspiration, look at www.shakeupyourwakeup.com/breakfastrecipes

I was lucky enough to be sent Denhay Farms’ Ultimate Breakfast Box to try out on the family, which included their award-winning bacon, spoiltpig sausages, Clarence Court’s Burford Brown eggs, Tracklements tomato sauce and smoked chipotle salsa. Nice.

I am a big believer in breakfast, but like most busy mums, don’t always have time during the week to make a real effort with breakfast. I usually have plain yogurt with some sort of granola (Rude Health is a favourite) and the children have cereal or porridge, fruit and sometimes bagels or rice cakes with peanut butter. However at the weekend we usually have scrambled eggs, porridge, fruit salad, American-style pancakes and sometimes a cooked breakfast, which is a real treat.

We had never tried Denhay bacon, and I have to say, it was absolutely delicious. I was very pleased to see that both it and the sausages have the Freedom Food label – something which is important to me. The sausages had a lovely flavour, and I was really quite taken with the ketchup (although, you guessed it, the kids prefer ‘the normal one’) but the eggs stole the show – I have never seen such gorgeous vibrant yolks before (if you’re into Pantones, think Spectra Yellow). Which inspired me to make scrambled eggs – one of the few dishes that really can be made one-handed – assuming you can crack an egg one-handed!

Scrambled eggs are great for older babies (make sure they are cooked through), toddlers, big kids, and even bigger kids. Eggs pack a great protein punch, plus the yolks are high in lecithin, which helps memory and concentration – so they’re an important brain food. They really are the perfect breakfast food, and what’s more, you could add some spinach for an iron kick. A great healthy start to the day for the family!

Scrambled eggs with spinach

Serves 2

Keeping the heat fairly LOW is the key to good scrambled eggs; it may take a wee bit longer, but you will be rewarded with delicious, creamy eggs that taste sooo good.

Ingredients

3 free-range eggs

Dash of full-fat milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Small knob of butter

Handful of washed, chopped spinach

  1. Gently beat the eggs together in a small bowl or a mug with a fork and add a dash of full-fat milk if you have some, don’t worry if you don’t. Don’t overbeat, just make sure the eggs are combined. Season lightly
  2. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan or frying pan, and once it’s gently bubbling, add your egg mixture, keeping the heat low
  3. Stir the eggs using a wooden spoon, or even better, a wooden fork, if you have one
  4. Once the eggs have started to scramble after a few minutes, add the chopped spinach and continue stirring for another minute
  5. Grate some nutmeg into the pan and give it a final stir
  6. Serve!

Enjoy your breakfast this week. (And why not tweet a picture, using the hashtag #breakfastwatch!)

TOHC

x

Disclaimer: I was sent the Ultimate Breakfast Box as a gift. All the views here are my own.

 


One of the things I will be offering on my blog is interviews with other busy parents, to help you feel inspired, give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at how other mums do things and to offer tips and advice across a range of issues and topics that will (I hope!) interest you.

Jo Wheatley impressed the nation with her amazing baking skills on BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off and after winning the competition in 2011 went on to write A Passion for Baking (Constable, 2012), which is an absolutely lovely book – the photographs are gorgeous, the recipes make you want to get baking immediately plus there really is something  for every occasion – I really recommend it (currently loving the Lemon Drizzle Traybake). She also writes a blog, Jo’s Blue Aga – www.josblueaga.com which features some show-stopping cakes.

I particularly love the introduction to Jo’s book, where she talks about what baking means for her. In it she says, ‘Baking is about memories, old ones and ones yet to be made: a favourite auntie’s bread pudding; a nan’s apple pie; eating the most amazing croissant with a loved one […] a birthday cake shaped like a fort for a four-year-old … I could go on forever!’

This is how I feel about food and cooking for my family, too, which is why we try to sit down to eat together as a family at weekends in particular. Simple rituals like dipping soldiers into soft-boiled eggs or tucking in to homemade scones and jam are the things family memories are made of, and I cherish the (relative) peace at weekends (however, let’s keep things in perspective here; things are never *actually* quiet with two kids!).

Jo Wheatley A Passion for Baking

Now over to Jo:

Q: As a busy mum, how have you adapted the way you cook since having your children?

To be totally honest it’s been such a long time since I wasn’t a mum I can’t actually remember! Billy, my eldest, is now 25.

Q: Can you share some of the snacks you give your children?

I think snacks with oats and fruit are always a packed lunch favourite and help keep children going throughout the day. But to be fair, I’m more of everything in moderation, to totally deny children any treat will only make them want it more.

Q: Breakfast is often cited as the most important meal of the day, particularly for growing children – what sorts of things do you and your family like to eat for breakfast?

At the weekends it was always pancakes for my lot, in the week it’s Weetabix or porridge, or fruit depending on the season.

Q: What kitchen gadget could you not live without?

My KitchenAid. I love how it frees me up to do something else and can whip up meringues in moments!

Q: Who are your favourite cookery writers?

I love all types of writers and books – cookery books are my guilty pleasure – I have a tower of them next to my bed and a whole length of kitchen worktop full of them…

Q: I am all about embracing shortcuts in the kitchen – what shortcuts do you do to make life run that little bit smoother? Any tips you’d like to share?

I have a Wednesday Top Tip on my Facebook page Jo’s Blue AGA  where every week I share tips. This week’s was melting small amounts of chocolate in a microwaveable bag, then snipping of a corner – perfect for drizzling without any mess of washing up! I also have bits and bobs in my book, A Passion for Baking where I give other helpful little tips.

Thanks, Jo!

I hope you all enjoyed reading my interview with Jo. Look out for more interviews with other interesting mums coming soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you don’t miss out.

The One-Handed Cook

x


One of the things I will be offering on my blog is interviews with other busy parents, to help you feel inspired, give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at how other mums do things and to offer tips and advice across a range of issues and topics that will (I hope!) interest you.

So, without further ado, I’d like to invite you to settle down for five minutes – snuggle baby in your arm, put your toddler down for his nap, or send your older one upstairs to play Lego – and read my first interview with Brigid Moss, Health Director of Red magazine, who shares some wonderful foodie tips below (oh, and I can vouch for Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake – it’s to die for!)

Passionate about health, nutrition and wellbeing, Brigid has worked as a journalist across a range of women’s magazines, including Grazia and Zest. She is also the author of IVF: An Emotional Companion (Collins, £12.99), which features real fertility stories. In her free time she imagines her perfect house, shops at markets and cooks. She has a son who is five.

Q: As a busy mum, how have you adapted the way you cook  since having your son? 

When my son was younger, I found I couldn’t really cook at all when he was awake, there were too many interruptions and I like the relaxed side of cooking. Now I pretty much only do one-pot dishes; I’m very lazy! If it can’t go into the same casserole dish or oven dish, I’m not doing it. I like to chop, put in the oven, forget it for a bit. My husband, Adam, is the one who does elaborate three-dish curries or Thai food.

Q: I know you are into healthy eating and nutrition – can you share some of the quick, healthy snacks you and your son enjoy eating?

He loves popcorn, although it did take me a while to learn to make it without burning it – now I use the microwave. If I think he’s low on his five a day, I make him a fruit salad; kids seem much keener on fruit when it’s chopped up.

I also serve veggies first – that tip came from US author Jessica Seinfeld (see www.doitdelicious.com). I put chopped avocado with dressing, carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes on the table before the main course, and it works really well.

The other things I rely on apart from fruit are: dried fruit, Nairn’s cheese oatcakes and Marks & Spencer multi popcorn packs. Of course, he has less healthy stuff too. Given the choice, he’d go for cheese and onion crisps, Haribo and a sugary juice drink in a flash.

Q: Breakfast is often cited as the most important meal of the day, particularly for growing children – what sorts of things do you and your family like to eat for breakfast?

The perfect breakfast for me is a boiled egg, but my son doesn’t agree. However, scrambled eggs often get eaten when boiled don’t. And I have to confess I gave him quail’s eggs when he was younger and in an egg-refusing stage, to make him start eating all eggs again. Extravagant, perhaps, but it worked!

He often has mushrooms with toast during the week, or Rice Krispies with chopped dried figs and desiccated coconut (his choice!). Our weekend treat is pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.

Q: What kitchen gadget could you not live without?

My hand blender, for making soups, banana milkshakes (I do just milk and bananas) and smoothies.

Q: Who are your favourite cookery writers? Where do you find recipes?

I always go back to Delia and Nigella for cakes – Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake looks impressive and tastes amazing, and Delia’s Carrot Cake is the best. Otherwise, I cut out recipes from magazines, especially Red. We recently featured Margot Henderson and I’m going to buy her new book, You’re All Invited.

Q: I am all about embracing shortcuts in the kitchen – what shortcuts do you do to make life run that little bit smoother as a working mum? Any tips you’d like to share?

Not cooking! I eat something-on-rye-toast for supper at least twice a week (my son gets fed earlier). And we get a takeaway probably once a week. That’s three nights a week less washing up. I freeze anything leftover, even if it’ll only make a meal for one. I did used to buy ready made soups, until my husband and I got terrible food poisoning from one.

Q: How do you carve out time for your own personal writing projects?

A very obliging mum.

Q: And lastly, what’s the weirdest thing you learned to do one-handed when your son was a baby?

Writing emails.

I hope you all enjoyed reading my interview with Brigid and picked up a few ideas! Look out for more interviews with other interesting mums coming soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you don’t miss out.

The One-Handed Cook

x



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