What’s Cooking on the Web (October Edition)

What's Cooking on the Web - October Edition

Can we just press pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that it is October 30th today. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? Where did October go? Not to mention September and August. Am I allowed to swear on here? Shit, shit, shit. I have this really cruddy sense of dread over the impending winterdom. Kiwi says I have to stop being so depressive about it all, but really it seems like just yesterday that I was shovelling snow and desperately looking forward to summer, and bam! summer is done, fall is half done too, and there are Christmas decorations at Target. Boo. Hoo. Hoo.

What's Cooking on the Web -- October Edition

Also, what the darn did cold-clime-dwelling folks do before the Internet? As in: the only upside to crap-tastic Canadian winters is that I officially have an excuse to curl up under my duvet and read BuzzFeed. See Kiwi, here I am trying to look on the bright side of a bad situation.

To usher in Intensive-Internet-Reading season, I am reinstating my monthly web link column.

Here’s what caught my attention this month:

Please check in again next week as I’ve got some fuuuuun stuff on deck for you, including a review and giveaway of a great new cookbook for busy parents.

And if you are bummed there is no recipe for this week (sorry folks!), check out some of these oldie but goodie cool weather weekend favourites right here:

Sausage and Kale Spaghetti for Saturday date night in:

Sausage Kale Pasta | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean | www.kiwiandbean.com

Whole Grain Banana Oatmeal Waffles for a comforting and kid-friendly Sunday brunch:

Banana Oatmeal Waffles | www.kiwiandbean.com

Big Batch Pulled Chicken Chili to slow cook on Sunday afternoon and toss into the freezer for the cold days ahead:

Pulled Chicken Chili by KiwiandBean.com

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part 4: 20 Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

I hope you are all enjoying this Cooking for Beansprout series! I’m trying to make it as useful and un-boring as possible, so if you have any ideas for content, suggestions for improvement, etc. I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments below or by email (sarah@kiwiandbean.com).

Also, please share photos of your babes eating these recipes! I have already received several pictures and they are SO cute and so inspiring. Keep ‘em coming! You can send them by email (sarah@kiwiandbean.com) or tag me on Facebook, Instagram (@kiwiandbean) or Twitter (@kiwiandbean).

Onto today’s post: 20 baby-led weaning breakfast ideas. Breakfast can be tough because so many popular breakfast foods (yogurt, cereal and oatmeal, among them) don’t obviously lend themselves to a self-feeding approach. But with a little creativity and advance planning, baby can share in just about any of your favourite breaky dishes. Here are 20 ideas to help you pave the way to baby breakfast bliss:

Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

  1. (Almost) Instant Steel Cut Oatmeal: adjust the recipe to use 3.5 cups of liquid instead of 4 cups. This makes the oatmeal stiffer and easier for baby to pick up. And see the note below re. how to feed oatmeal to baby.
  2. Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
  3. Apple Pie Oatmeal: Make this (Almost) Instant Steel Cut Oatmeal using 3.5 cups of liquid instead of 4, and when you add the oats stir in one grated (unpeeled) apple, 1/3 cup raisins and 1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Buckwheat Pancakes (spread with pumpkin seed butter for extra nutrition and healthy fat; these are egg, wheat and dairy free)
  5. Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes (egg, wheat and dairy free)
  6. Whole Grain Banana Oatmeal Waffles with halved or quartered grapes
  7. Two Ingredient Banana Pancakes (wheat free)
  8. Muffin tin stratas (like these ones, but you can use any combo of cheese, veg and meat that you like)
  9. Veggie and cheese frittata, like this Caramelized Onion, Swiss Chard & Gruyere version
  10. Eggs scrambled with baby spinach and cheddar or goat cheese
  11. Hardboiled egg, rice cake spread with hummus, and frozen wild blueberries (beware of purple hands!)
  12. Morning Glory Muffins and sliced strawberries
  13. Blueberry Chia Muffins and banana wheels (older baby) or banana matchsticks (younger baby)
  14. Banana Berry Breakfast Bars
  15. Olive Oil & Greek Yogurt Snack Cake with Berries (one of my friends and loyal readers regularly makes this for her kids’ breakfasts, and reduces the maple syrup slightly and adds a couple tablespoons of chia seeds)
  16. Raisin bread french toast sticks with maple-syrup sweetened plain yogurt for dipping: In a shallow bowl/rimmed plate, whisk one large egg with a splash of whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. Soak 4 pieces of raisin bread in the egg mixture, and then fry them in a little butter or coconut oil until the egg is set and golden brown. Cool slightly and cut into strips.
  17. Overnight Oats/Bircher Muesli (This mixture is viscous enough for baby to eat with his hands. Just drop clumps of it onto his tray/plate. It’s messy, but it works well.)
  18. Whole grain toast with nut/seed butter, cream cheese or butter, and grated raw apple
  19. Dry “O” or puff cereal with sliced soft pear (raw)
  20. Cinnamony-yogurt-coated banana slices: Stir a bit of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon into plain full-fat yogurt, stir in banana slices, and then drop the yogurty banana slices onto baby’s highchair tray/plate.

Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

*To serve oatmeal to baby, you can (1) offer it on a “pre-loaded” spoon and let baby feed himself (see photo below), (2) make it a day or two ahead of time to let the fridge stiffen it up a little bit, and then warm it up slightly and serve it in small balls or clumps (see photo of Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal above), or (3) stir some dried fruit or banana slices into cooked oatmeal, and then serve baby the oatmeal-coated fruit pieces.

Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

**Wheat, nut/seed butters, eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) are all common allergens, so it’s a good idea to introduce them on their own before combining them with other foods.

Do your babes have any favourite breakfasts? Please share below, and include links to recipes or photos if you’ve got them!

Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas

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Foolproof Roast Chicken

Foolproof Roast Chicken | www.kiwiandbean.com

I’m writing to you from the wild west coast this week. The kids and I came out here for a couple of weeks to take in our family’s Thanksgiving festivities and check out the Food Bloggers of Canada annual conference (more on that to come). Continue Reading →

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part 3: Pasta Recipes

Healthy Pasta Recipes for Babies & Toddlers | www.kiwiandbean.comThe Cooking for Beansprout series is back this week with a couple of pasta recipes fit for hungry babes and toddlers (and their parents, of course). If you are just joining in, check out Part 1 and 2 of the Beansprout series, where I talked about baby-led weaning (i.e. what the heck is it?) and shared a few baby-led weaning recipes for our favourite meat patties, sliders and meatballs.

Today I’m talking about pasta, pasta, pasta! Continue Reading →

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Brain Boosting Banana Berry Breakfast Bars
(and a Baby Brain Organics giveaway!)

Brain Boosting Banana Berry Breakfast Bars | www.kiwiandbean.com

Two years into this food blogging experiment, I can tell you that it’s pretty much the most expensive, time-consuming and thankless hobby I could have picked. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it. And I especially LOVE you for being among the 14 people who actually read and follow along. Thank you. But sometimes I wonder why I didn’t just go with stamp collecting or badminton or knitting. People love hand knitted scarves, right? No one’s nearly as excited for my tweets about baked salmon. Continue Reading →

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Quick Maple-Dijon Salmon

Maple Dijon Salmon | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

So I’m slightly embarrassed to disclose that my kid has a maple syrup fetish. Is that weird? If a stranger asks for her name, she almost always responds with “Maple Syrup”. When her teacher asks her what she did over the weekend, her usual response? You got it—”Maple Syrup”. This is a real thing.

Kiwi and I have tried to make sense of this, but we haven’t come up with much.

Perhaps the best explanation is that *I* have a maple syrup fetish, and it has rubbed off on my three year old. *Fetish* is maybe too strong a word, but I will admit that I am at least mildly—and probably closer to moderately—obsessed with the stuff. The last time my mom visited my house, she actually remarked on the maple syrup supply in my basement: “Well at least you won’t run out of maple syrup anytime in the next century!”

I’m Canadian, ok, so cut me a little slack. And there was a great sale at Costco, which is always sooooo hard to resist. But I also use maple syrup as my sweetener of choice, in just about all my muffins, granola, pancakes, waffles and oatmeal.

And in my salmon, apparently. Continue Reading →

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Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Burgers

Mushroom, Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Burger | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

So I had planned to share a nice warm and stewy fall recipe today, the second day of October. And then BAM, Mother Nature served up a week of sunshine and summer temps. Which, when you live in Canada especially, is something you don’t take for granted or ignore or treat with anything except the utmost respect and gratitude. So I stashed away the Dutch oven, moved aside the slow cooker for the week, and threw some burgers on the barbeque for a little summer Swan song. Continue Reading →

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part 2: Patty Cake Patty Cake

Meat Patties, Sliders and Meatballs | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

Welcome back to my Cooking for Beansprout series, where I’m dishing up recipes that you can share with your babes. If you are the mom, dad, or caregiver of a mini person, this series is for you! If you are just joining me, check out the Introduction (and giveaway!) and this Baby-Led Weaning Primer.

Today I’ve got patty recipes! Meat patties, sliders and meatballs are perfect for beginning eaters, because (1) you can chop them into soft bite-size pieces perfect for little hands and teeth-less mouths (or even puree them if that works better for your babe), (2) you can pack them with interesting flavours (like lemongrass, ginger, fresh herbs, garlic and caramelized onions) and super-nutritious grated or mashed veggies, and (3) you can make larger adult-size versions (burgers!) for the big people in your family. They are also great for batch-cooking; I like to make a large quantity, bake them up, cool them down, and freeze them in zipper bags for quick lunches and dinners. Continue Reading →

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Pumpkin Pie Buckwheat Pancakes

Pumpkin Pie Buckwheat Pancakes | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

More pumpkin. Because I can’t get enough of it. Can’t stop won’t stop. My kids have totally jumped on the bandwagon too, and how can I possibly deny them the pleasure: “no children, you’ve had enough squash for one day”. Continue Reading →

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part I: An Intro and a Giveaway!

Cooking for Beansprout | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

I’m so excited to launch a new series on the blog today—Cooking for Beansprout—where I will share awesome recipes and tips for feeding the littlest member of your family. If you are a mom, dad or lover of a mini person, then this series is for you!

I started this blog when I was cooking for Kiwi and Bean, and now I’m cooking for Beansprout too. He’s 8 months old and VERY hungry. It’s honestly a challenge to keep up with his voracious appetite. The teenage years are going to be, um, expensive?

We introduced the Beansprout to solid food using my own hacked-up version of the “baby-led weaning” approach. Which is frankly just a fancy way of saying “Mama is too lazy to make purees.” But it’s also—in my humble opinion—the most fun and joyful way to set your child down a path of healthy adventurous eating. Watching a seven month old feed himself spears of watermelon, chunks of a sweet potato lamb burger, or pieces of thai chicken patties (and yes, I’m absolutely going to share these recipes) is truly magical.

To kick off the series, I’m giving one lucky reader the ultimate baby-led weaning library: Baby-Led Weaning and The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook, both by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. To enter the giveaway, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and follow the instructions. It will ask for your email address, but never fear—I won’t sell it or share it or even use it for my own promotions without your permission.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a little Baby-Led Weaning Primer, with a quick and dirty summary of how it works and why it is amaaaaaaazing.

And if you want to be notified when I share new baby-worthy recipes, subscribe below!

Click here to view this promotion.

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