Thursday, July 25, 2013

Georgie: on eating

It's been a while since you have had a Georgie focused post, so I thought I would give you a round up on what she loves and doesn't like when it comes to that subject that seems to obsess most mothers (after sleeping, that is): food.

I always assumed I wouldn't have a fussy child when it comes to food. Neither my husband nor I are particularly fussy. We eat reasonably well. When she turned 4 months old, we started her off on purees but moved to baby led weaning when she was about 6 months old and decided she didn't like purees any more. We have had mixed results. There is no denying that Georgie is a reasonably fussy eater. 

If you listen to Georgie, Vegetables are the Devil's Work. Enemy #1 is peas. Georgie won't touch anything that has touched peas (more on that below). Pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes follow closely in succession (maybe it was ODing on orange food when she was little?). Salad vegetables are also verboten as are broccoli, beans and broccolini. The few vegetables she does eat are zucchini (surprisingly), carrot and corn. And cooked tomatoes (like in pasta sauce). Mum is getting very good at smuggling veggies into things. My "tomato" pasta sauce contains pumpkin, carrots, zucchini, onion and just enough tomato to make it look red enough to pass for tomatoes.

In terms of protein, Georgie is a bit of a champion. Salmon, tuna, flathead, whitebait are all favourites. Lamb chops and slow roasted lamb always go down a treat. Sausages, home made chicken nuggets, mince... She loves houmous, which is great. Sometimes I wonder if we aren't raising a toddler who has popped herself on the Atkins Diet. Her favourite protein is Pig: ham, proscuitto, bacon. Love it!

She is also a bit of a dairy fiend: cheese and yoghurt are both staples. She is quite fussy about brands - she loves the 5AM pouches of yoghurt (hates spooning it) and Mainland Tasty is her favourite cheese. She is not a fan of kids singles or plastic cheese. Milk still presents problems - she reacts badly to it, no matter what we try: Organic, lactose free, skim, full fat.... We are going to try rice or almond milk next but to be honest she doesn't seem to bother with it. She's more than happy on just a little bit of toddler formula, but if we stopped, I don't think she would miss it.

On carbohydrates, she is a bit hit and miss. She loves Pasta. Wholemeal, penne, butterflies.... You name it, she hoovers it. Rice is great, except for risotto. Eggs and crumpets also seem to be winners. When we go out, she'll eat fried rice at Chinese (even the peas, despite the at home aversion!). Bread? Well, sometimes. It you make her a sandwich, she will eat what's inside and give you back the bread. Toast is a bit more successful. She likes muesli but not porridge. Muffins, yes. We try and stuff as many nutrients into home made muffins as possible. The combinations can get a bit weird - the latest batch is carrot, banana and zucchini, but she seems to like them and that's all that matters. She doesn't have much of a sweet tooth - she's not really interested in cake, but does have a fondness for the occasional "cookie" which can encompass anything from a rice cracker to a shortbread or marie biscuit.She doesn't eat lollies or chocolate and she doesn't drink juice.

Our one great success has been with fruit. She eats a very wide variety, which is great: mandarins, bananas, strawberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries (or booberries as they are called here), raspberries, apples, pears.... Most things she will try at least once before making a decision, unless they are green :)

Over the last few months I have really started to obsess over what she will - or rather, won't - eat. I worry about her getting enough nutrients. I worry about her using food as a weapon, that mealtimes will become battlefields. But the more I speak to other mummies, the more I realise she is completely normal. All kids do this. It's the start of their independence: deciding what they do and don't like to eat. Making first choices for themselves.

I have come to realise that the problem is really with me - and my reactions to her defiance. Having to cook four different dishes for dinner (as well as a different main meal for the adults, because Mr K isn't a fan of eating corn, pasta and ham for dinner 3 nights a week) before she finds something she really does like or will eat can be a bit soul destroying and you do get stuck in a bit of a rut. Protein and pasta is our staple when all else fails and we have it more than I would like. New things are approached with a bit of trepidation, mostly on my part. I still think she is too young to understand the repercussions of not eating her dinner so I do tend to fill her up on banana, yoghurt and cheese if I don't think she has eaten enough for her main meal.

At the end of the day, I am coming around to the idea that she is one of those kids who just eats when she is hungry and she favours plain food over adventurous eating. If she's not hungry, nothing will tempt her. She is happy, more than active enough for her age (one might say very active) and thriving. More often than not, she sleeps well. She is amongst the tallest of her peers. If all of that means she doesn't eat her peas then I will settle for my happy, well adjusted child over a pea eating one.

Kitty x

Monday, July 22, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: Sour cream and lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Recently a very good friend of mine, The Floury Baker, had a birthday. She is an absolutely awesome chick who has her hands full with two gorgeous yet spunky kids under the age of two. Now, I complain about having no time to myself but she really has no time, yet she juggles mummyhood, baking and a blog with aplomb.

I made these cupcakes for her - she had a bit of a crap week and I wanted to give her a bit of a pick me up for her birthday. They were delicious and I hope they did the trick in lifting collective spirits. The sunny happy zesty lemon yellow certainly made my day and I will make these babies again and again. The sour cream gives the cake a delightful delectable softness yet the crumb remains moist and delicious.They are super easy to make and will have your friends oohing and aahing about your baking prowess.

Lemon sour cream cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
(Original recipe from SBS Food)

125 g soft butter
220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
Zest of one lemon
3 medium eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
150 g (1 cup) plain flour
60 g (1/3 cup) self-raising flour
100 g sour cream

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. Fancy ones, if you have them.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl down to make sure all the butter has been incorporated. Add lemon zest, then add eggs one by one, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Stir through lemon juice. The mixture may look a bit curdled at this point, but press on.

Sift flours together and fold in carefully, alternating with sour cream. Mix to incorporate well.

Spoon into patty cases. Try not to eat too much of the batter - it really is delicious. Bake the cakes for 20 minutes. Test the cakes are done by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean the cakes are ready; if it doesn’t, cook for a further few minutes and test again.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cakes from tin and place on a rack, ready for icing. 

40g soft butter
125g cream cheese
Zest of one lemon
1 tbslp lemon juice
3 cups sifted icing sugar

Combine all ingredients until smooth and spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes. Makes enough for 24 cupcakes, but you know you'll make these again. Keeps covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh Hai! There you are!

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the lack of communication over the past few weeks. It's been a bit manic over at Maison du Kitty. Babies (well, a rather large toddler) and varying degrees of sickness around the traps have translated into not a lot of time for Kitty and no time for blog. The time that has been left (oh, about 4 seconds a day) has been spent comfort baking (don't you just love winter?) and filling my freezer like no-one's business.

I am hoping to get back on the wagon shortly, and thank you to all those kind souls who have sent both virtual and real shout outs to check on our well being. We are all fine, just stretched. I think we all go through phases like this, and in my particular case, I had started to wonder if I had run out of things to say. But alas, no, just time in which to say them.

I also have an exciting new project that I am spending most of my free time working on. Hopefully it will debut early next year but I will keep you well informed in the interim and hopefully over the next few weeks/months I will have more exciting news on the work front to share. It's certainly something I have been thinking about for some time and finally have the courage to do. Or at least start. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

More later, but in the interim, I promise to update with fun things like baking a little more frequently.

Kitty xx