Sunday, 11 November 2012

Simple Baked Chicken pie for little hearts.

Well the weather has been cold, wet, grey and depressing for the most of October and early November. We haven't had much of a summer either, and as we head into the Christamas season the days are shorter and the nights seem to start at 5:30 pm and last forever. hmmmph :((

To lift our sinking spirits I often try to make us some sweet goodies or heartwarming and tummy filling savoury comfort food, and play us some uplifting tunes. My definition of the ultimate heart warming food would be either a large bowl of hot chocolate fudge :))) or Chocolate lava cakes, for Baby A it would be a bowl of Chicken soup or as I discovered recently 'fish or chicken pie'. 

The first time Baby A had a Chicken or Fish pie was at nursery...surprise surprise ;)
On one hand, it is so satisfying to know that he actually enjoys freshly cooked, healthy and wholesome food at nursery, food that he and his mates not only enjoy, but very often go on for second helpings too!! On the other hand, I feel guilty for not making him all these lovely kiddy delicacies myself. 

So my NewYears resolution for 2013 would be to start thinking out of the box, and instead of serving him the usual rice and lentil soup with meat and veg, to serve him more adventurous kiddy food. Dishes like sweet chilli noodles, vegetable parcels, minestrone soup, fish pots, chicken korma, pesto pasta that he so enjoys at nursery (I never knew there could be so many food varieties for toddlers ???)

 I chose to start my adventurous kiddy food journey by making Baby A's top favourite at nursery "Chicken Pie Bake". As I had all the required ingredients at hand, I busied myself making it for him while he was taking a morning nap. It hardly took me 20 minutes to prepare. At lunch time he didn't seem too keen to even try it, but come dinner, when I served it to him again, he was dancing and happily wolfing down the creamy mash and chicken, asking for more :))

 So here goes another entry into  my "Tickle My baby- toddler recipes collection. I hope to have more triumphs with feeding him.......if not I shall try and coax Mary the wonderful nursery cook to share her lovely recipes with me.

This dish is rich and delicious and is the perfect comfort treat for those little tummies on rainy or grey days.

To Make Simple Baked Chicken Pie
Makes : 2 toddler servings or 1serving for an adult.

Cooked chicken pieces: 2  medium sized shredded

For the topping:
Sweet potato/ Potato: 1 large
Butter: 1tsp
Flour: 1 tsp
Milk:  about 1/2 cup
Philadelphia cream cheese: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Paprika: a pinch (optional)
Baby spinach leaves: 1 handful torn into shreds
Cheddar cheese cube (Baby gel): 1 for grating over the pie

1. Wash the sweet potato and place in the microwave and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes or till done. Alternatively boil in salted water till done. Once cooked remove the outer skin and mash with the back of a fork. Keep aside.
2. For the white sauce- Place pan on medium heat, add butter when melted add the flour and stir to fry the flour till it has slightly changed colour to light brown, take the pan off heat, add enough milk to make a sauce of pouring consistency. Turn heat to low and allow the sauce to come to a gentle boil for a minute, then add the cream cheese and the mashed potato.Mix well with a whisk to make a creamy mix, add salt to taste, a pinch of paprika if desired. Keep aside. The potato mixture should be of a loose or soft spooning consistency. (Add milk to loosen mixture, if too thick). Add torn baby spinach leaves to the mixture. Mix well.

4. In a baking dish place the cooked shredded chicken at the bottom ( if desired you could add a few precooked corn kernels or green peas or thinly sliced mushrooms to the chicken layer). Spoon over the potato mixture evenly. Grate over a cube of baby cheddar cheese. Place in the centre of a  preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes at 200C till cheese is melted and the sides of the dish appears to be  bubbling.
5. Allow the chicken pie to slightly cool before serving your little one.

Caysera's Notes:
1. I used leftover Oven baked tomato chicken from the previous day to make this pie. You could use any  cooked chicken. I also used sweet potato instead a regular potato, and thought the slight sweet taste of the sweet potato, complimented the creamy savoury flavours of the dish beautifully.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pumpkin Cake for Halloween.


For some reason Baby A has gone off his greens!! (fortunately he still loves his fruit, touch wood!!).

I've been on a mission to try and incorporate as many varieties of vegetables or fruit into his favourite post dinner treat. 

So far I've tried my hand at baking him cakes with ApplesCarrots, Pineapple and Banana Dates, Avocado, Banana and ApricotThough he has enjoyed most of them, his all time favourites still are the Egg Free Date and Walnut Cake and the Spicy and Moist Carrot, Raisin and Nut Cupcake.

Last week I used Courgettes, and the cake was wonderfully moist and yummy, but since I was not click happy there are no picts to accompany the another courgette cake is in the pipe line :)

As for this week it was a very straight forward and simple preparation for Halloween the supermarkets in the UK have been flooded with carving and cooking pumpkins, so Pumpkin Cake it is. I found this much liked and highly rated recipe for a pumpkin cake here and adapted it largely to suit me.

The grated pumpkin gives this cake a moist crumb, the  plump raisins adds to the yumminess, and the ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger adds a delicate flavour. Then comes the lovely creamy cheese topping that just makes the cake wonderfully luscious and addictive. 

 The resultant cake is light, moist, delicately spiced and absolutely delicious. You will absolutely love me !!!

Pumpkin or butternut squash flesh, grated (500g -peeled weight)
Self-raising flour: 300g
Dark muscovado sugar: 150g

White sugar: 150g
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp

Ground Nutmeg: 1/4 tsp
Ground Cloves: 1/4 tsp
Baking soda: 2 tsp
Raisins: 175g
Salt:½ tsp
Eggs: 4
Butter:200g melted
Orange juice: 1 tbsp

For the frosting:
Soft cheese: 200g
85g softened
Icing sugar: 100g sifted
Zest of orange : 1 no.
Orange juice: 1 tsp
Grated ginger in sugar syrup: 3 small pieces

1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. 

2. Butter and line a 30 x 20cm baking or small roasting tin with baking parchment. 
3. Put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, raisins and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. 
4. Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in the orange zest and juice, then mix with the dry ingredients till combined. Stir in the pumpkin ( after squeezing out extra moisture with hands). Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 mins, or until golden and springy to the touch.
For frosting:
To make the frosting, beat together the cheese, butter, icing sugar, orange zest and 1 tsp of the juice till smooth and creamy, using a palette knife, spread over the top of the cake. To decorate sprinkle 2-3 tsps of grated ginger on top of the frosting and add a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Caysera's Notes:
1. Pumpkins can vary dramatically in water content, so keep an eye on the cake towards the end of cooking - yours may take less or more time to cook through.

Happy Halloween,

Carol Sequeira Pereira

Friday, 19 October 2012

Apple-topped Almond loaf Cake

This year our hybrid apple tree gave us a good bounty of fruit. Last year we used a few apples to make  this delicious Minced green apple pickle, which turned out sooo good that we had to do the same this year. With the remaining apples I was thinking cake, I already have one tasty recipe for an Apple and walnut cake which I make very often, but my newly found admiration for Linda Collister's bakes saw me baking this moist, scrumptious and delicious apple topped almond loaf cake. You must check out her awesome and impressive Coconut blondies.

This apple-topped cake with ground almonds, has a lovely texture and a very moist crumb. The apples adds a wonderful healthy topping. Although the original recipe calls for red eating apples, I used Granny Smith cooking apples, and I think the cake was still wonderful. 

Recipe Source: Linda Collister
Unsalted Butter melted: 150g
Caster sugar: 150g
Eggs beaten: 2
Ground almonds: 150g
Plain Flour: 50g
Baking powder: 1tsp
Lemon zest grated: 1 lemon
Whole milk: 100ml
Red eating apples cored and thinly sliced: 2 ( I used Granny Smith)
Icing sugar: to dust
A 450g loaf tin greased and lined with baking paper.

1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric whisk until smooth, light and fluffy. Add the eggs an little at a time , stirring well between each addition.
2. Stir in the almonds, flour and baking powder., stir in the lemon zest and milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface. Arrange the apple slices evenly over the top.
3. Bake the cake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the cake has risen, golden and springy to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 20 mins then turn over onto a wire rack and peel off the paper, allow to cool completely.
4. Dust liberally with icing sugar, cut into slices. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 2 days.

This cake makes a lovely tea time or lunch box treat. Alternatively makes a good dessert option when served with vanilla icecream.


Carol Sequeira Pereira

Monday, 15 October 2012

Comforting Chicken Soup for little ones.

Ever since Baby A  started eating solids, he has gone through regular phases of "eating" and "not eating". There are days when feeding him is a breeze, and other days when he is either not in the mood or is unwell ( which is very often....thanks to him going to nursery!! )

 It is this " Hunger strike" phase that actually drives me mad ;)  as well as makes me ever so determined to find him dishes or foods that will actually tickle his fancy and his appetite.

This recipe for one, is life saving, in that it truly works every single time. I learned to make this simple chicken soup/ broth from my mom. This is my definition of  honest food, that is flavourful and absolutely delicious. Baby A thoroughly enjoys this soup, be it a high fever, a blocked nose, or loss of appetite, he most often can't stop licking his lips and going hmmmmm after every spoonful. 

Hubby loves it too when he is feeling poorly, just a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, it is magic.

As they say "Chicken Soup for the Soul"..........
Is it just an old wives tale, or does chicken soup really have some healing properties to sooth and make you feel better?

Well, Chicken soup has been scientifically proven to have several properties that make it useful in the treatment of certain illnesses. 
1. As it is all fits the “Plenty of fluids” bill that doctors strongly advice when you are ill.
2. The warmth and the salt in the soup does have a way with bacteria in the mouth and throat.
3. The warmth also helps clear up the sinuses
4. The lean protein in chicken and nutrients from added vegetables works to renergise the body when energy reserves are low.
Scientific studies also show that, an amino acid is released from chicken during cooking, that chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems and found in some cold medications. So its not a myth......drink up your chicken soup if you want to feel better :

Watch your "little ones" bounce back to their witty selves with a warm comforting bowl of this nutritious and yummy chicken soup.

Recipe Source: My Mom 
Ingredients: ( For 1 serving of soup)
Chicken: 4-5 drummettes (the small leg connected to the wing) You could use any other  pieces.
Cloves: 2
Cinnamon stick: 1/2 inch
Cardamom pod: 1
Onion: 1 small, chopped fine.
Small single piece of carrot (optional to remove after cooking)
Celery- 3 inch stick (optional to remove after cooking)
Tomato ( Small): 1/2
Water: 3/4 cup
Ghee/ Oil: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice: a squeeze

1. In a pressure cooker take ghee, when hot add crushed cardamom, clove and cinnamon fry for a few seconds till aromatic, then spoon out spices.
2. Add 1 tbsp of the chopped onion to the spiced infused oil and fry well till brown. Then add the chicken drummettes, and fry for a couple of minutes to seal the surface of the chicken, add the remaining chopped onion, tomato, carrot stick and celery stick, hot water and a few pinches of salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook the chicken for 5 whistles. When done turn the heat off, allow the pressure to drop. 
3. Open the cooker. Spoon out the carrot, celery. You could chop up carrots into tiny pieces and put back into soup or leave out.
4. Taste the soup for seasoning, squeeze over a few drops of lemon juice. Pour the soup into a cup. Serve warm along with 2-3 chicken drummettes and a slice of wholegrain toast, or a couple of breadsticks. 

Caysera's Notes:
1. Alternatively you could thinly shred the chicken off the bone and add to the soup. I tend to leave the meat on the bone as Baby A enjoys it that way. 
2. Any leftover chicken drummetes can be allowed to cool down completely, before placing in an airtight container in the fridge, these drummetes can be shredded and used to make a chicken sandwich, or a topping for pizza the next meal.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Masala Baked Lobsters.

This hot and spicy baked lobster preparation is a change from the usual Garlic Butter Herb Lobster, or Lobster Thermidor.

This is yet another recipe, where the traditional Mangalorean Chilli paste/ Meet Mirsang paste comes to use. A thin smearing of the Meet Mirsang/ Chilli paste over the cut surface of the lobster followed by a  a generous sprinkling of mature cheddar cheese, when baked creates a wonderfully flavoured lobster. With each bite you will taste the sweetness of the lobster flesh, heat and sourness of the Mangalore Meet Mirsang/ Chilli paste, complimented beautifully by the creamy saltiness of the cheese topping. A must try.

To make Masala Baked Lobsters
Ingredients: Serves 2 as a starter.
Live Lobster: 1 medium size
Mangalore Meet Mirsang/ Chilli paste: 3/4 tsp of ready ground Mangalore Chilli paste or (halve the quantity of the ingredients for the Instant Mangalore chilli paste recipe)
Olive oil to loosen the paste: 1/2 tsp
Grated cheese 2tbsp for topping

1. Prepare the Mangalore Chilli paste (If using the instant version skip the rice flour while making the paste). Taste mixture for salt and sourness, adjust accordingly. Add oil to the chilli paste. Keep aside.
2.  Divide the lobster using a sharp knife into two halves in the middle. (For video on how thats done go here . Remove or clean away the digestive tract, the gills, the circulation system, and green "tomalley"(the digestive gland). Or get your fishmonger to do it for you. Then give it a gentle rinse under running water. Dry the lobster meat using tissue paper.
3. Apply half of the prepared Mangalore Chilli paste to one half and the remaining to the second half. Make sure every bit of the lobster meat gets a smearing. Sprinkle over the grated cheddar cheese. Place the prepared lobster on a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 180 for 5-7 mins or till the outer shells turn orange. 

Serve hot with a wedge of lemon and a portion of crispy fresh salad on the side.


Have a lovely weekend,

Carol Sequeira Pereira.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Coconut Blondies.

Well its the end of a non existent summer in the UK, as is every year. And even after all these years I still cannot get my head around to what to wear while leaving the house.....when I'm dressed for rain..its dry as a dessert, and when I dress up warm...its cold as hell...hmmm...guess as the saying goes "In Britian the weather changes with the blink of an eye" lol!!

Well all said and done, I've enjoyed some wonderful days out, at some awesome food festivals in an around Dorset. The Dorset Chilli Festival, Sturminister Newton Cheese Festival and the Dorset County Fair have been truly enlightening and worth every minute (pictures to follow in future posts).

                                                                                                                        Coconut image source : We've also managed to finish work in our garden and 20 month old Baby A finally has his own little play area with a Sand and water pit, garden patch, and a messy area. After a hard day in the garden, Baby A will happily wolf down one of these coconut squares, often asking for more. Hubby too says these are one of the best cakes ever made, and to prove it, has hidden the cake box from me..hehe (its a good thing in one way, keeps my calories in check). I did manage to bake a few more and take them to work and to Baby A's nursery. End results...lots of praise and recipe demands :))) so here it goes..

Todays absolutely heavenly recipe for Coconut Blondies with white and dark chocolate chips is another winning recipe from the Queen of cakes "Linda Collister. I've tried so many of her cakes, and each of them have been delightful. My most recent one being Apple Cake with almonds (recipe coming soon). These coconut blondies are sweet, chewy and moist on the inside, with a wonderful coconuty crunchy crust.... a perfect sweet treat for those who love coconut.

For those of you wondering what a Blondie is? Here is an insight from Wiki. A blondie (also known as a "blond[e] brownie" or "blondie bar") is a rich, sweet dessert bar, made from flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla. Blondies resemble the traditional chocolate brownie. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving. Like brownies, blondies may include chocolate chips. They may also contain coconut, nuts, toffee, or any other chunky candy for added texture.

Recipe for Coconut Blondies from "Sweet Treats" by Linda Collister

Ingredients: Makes 20 blondies.
Shredded unsweetened dessicated coconut: 175g
Unsalted butter: 175gm
Packed light brown muscavado sugar: 300gms
Large eggs, lightly beaten: 2
Vanilla extract: 1tsp
Flour: 50gm
Baking powder: 1 tsp
White chocolate chips: 50gm
Dark chocolate chips: 50 gm
Brownie tin 20.5x 25.5 cms greased and lined with baking paper
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch pan.

3. Put the shredded coconut in a baking dish and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned. Watch carefully, as the coconut can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate to cool.
4.Melt the butter in a large vessel over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brown sugar with a wooden spoon ( make sure the vessel not hot/ alternatively transfer the sugar and butter mixture to a large mixing bowl).
5. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the sugar mixture and stir until only a few streaks of flour remain.
6. Finally, work in the toasted coconut the white and semi-sweet chocolate chips. When everything is thoroughly combined, transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly.
 Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and a skewer inserted halfway between the sides and the center of the pan comes out just clean. Do not over bake, as the best bit of this is their chewy centers.

Leave to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting. Store in an airtight container. Consume within a week.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

Carol Sequeira Pereira

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Oven Roasted Swede with Mangalore Baffat powder- Nativity Day Special

Nativity Day is here and to celebrate I am blogging about one of my favourite oven roasted vegetable dishes. 

'Swede' or 'Rustabaga' originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnipIn England, they are regularly eaten mashed as part of the traditional Sunday roastOften they are boiled together with carrots and served either mashed or pureed with butter and ground pepper. 

I decided to treat them like sweet potatoes and oven roast them. Seasoned the Swede with the Mangalore special Baffat powder ( see note below), curry leaves, green chillies and tossed it into the oven, baked till soft. The end result was pretty awesome. The outer crunchy spicy surface gives way to a soft, mildy sweet centre thats is yummm! Substitute your regular potato chips with these spicy cubes.

To make Oven roasted Swede with Mangalore Baffat powder.
Swede: Chopped into 1/4 inch cubes: 250 gms
Mustard seeds/ : 1/2 tsp
Naked Urad dal: 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves: a few
Green chillies slit: 2-3
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Hing: 1/8th tsp
Baffat powder/ Sambhar powder/ Ready Vegetable spice mix: 2 tsps
Coconut oil/ any other vegetable oil: 1-2 tbsp or as required.
Salt to taste
Lemon juice 

1. Preheat oven to 200C
2. Heat a large wok with coconut oil, when hot add mustard seeds, splutter, add naked urad, curry leaves and green chillies and fry for  a minute, add a pinch of turmeric and hing fry for few seconds, then add the cubed swede, stir fry for a minute, sprinkle over the baffat powder/ sambhar powder/ vegetable spice mix, salt  to taste, coat all pieces well. 
3. Place all the spice coated swede cubes flat on a greased baking sheet, center of the oven,  sprinkle over 2-3 tbsps of water and roast for 45-60 minutes or till soft and done. Turn in between 2-3 times. Sprinkle water over swede cubes in between if needed. Taste for salt, adjust. Squeeze over lemon juice if needed, serve hot.

Enjoy as an accompaniment to beef/ lamb steaks or grilled fish or traditional rice and daaliso saar.

Caysera's Notes:
1. Mangalore Baffat powder can be made at home (recipe here) or can be brought ready made from Konkan Traders, Don Stores or Costa Bakery in Mangalore, India. This powder is so versatile it can be used in various preparations like Dukrachemas/ Pork Bafat Style, Kori Sukka ( Chicken dry style with coconut) , Baffat Chicken/ fish curry and is a good seasoning for vegetables like marrow (Cucumber Baffat sukke) or starchy vegetables like yam, potatoes, plaintains and swede. As an alternative if you cannot find Baffat powder you could substitute with Sambhar powder or a ready vegetable spice powder available in most Asian stores. For a milder flavour substitute the baffat/sambhar powder with a sprinkling of 1-2 tsps of Smoked Paprika powder.


Carol Sequeira Pereira

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Mangalorean Black Channa/ Sonay Sukke.

Well its that time of the year when we Mangaloreans celebrate "The Nativity Day/ Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary" or in Konkani 'Monthi/ Monti Fest' which falls every year on the 8th of September.

To celebrate "Nativity Day" last year I prepared the "Mangalorean Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry with Spinach, Broccoli and Soya Beans".

This year I would like to add to my list of "Novein Jovaan", my favourite dish "Black Channa/ Sonay Sukke".

This is my mom's treasured recipe for a wonderfully spiced Mangalore black chickpea preparation. It is wonderfully spiced and very addictive.
This dish adorns many a Mangalorean family's  table on a regular basis. It could be considered a 'celebratory dish' as it is served during many a occasion such as the "Monthi Fest,  "Roce Ceremony/ Coconut milk ceremony before a Mangalorean Catholic wedding" and almost every party that mom organises at home. It is a good accompaniment with hot drinks too. 
Unlike most recipes that ask for a ground spice paste/masala, this recipe can be made with with home store cupboard spices. Do give it a try and let me know how you enjoyed it.

To make Mangalorean Black Channa/ Sonay Sukke

Recipe Source: My Mom
Black channa: 1/4 kg washed and soaked in water overnight.
For Gravy:

Onion: 1 chopped finely
Tomatoes: 2 small chopped finely
Bedagi or Kashmiri Red chilly powder: 1 tbsp ( adjust t o your preference)
Coriander powder:1 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp

Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Tamarind extract: 1tsp or to taste
Salt to taste
Sugar/ Jaggery: 1 tsp ( optional) 
Grated coconut: 1/4
For Seasoning
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp

Crushed garlic flakes: 5
Curry leaves:a few
Garlic flakes: 5
Coconut or any other oil: 1 tbsp

1. Wash black channa and soak overnight. Next day, drain it and pressure cook along with minced onion, minced tomato, salt and sufficient water to cover the channas by 2 cms above it. Cook till channa's are soft (and retain their form and shape) and not mushy. Should take around 4-5 whistles. Then turn off the gas allow the pressure to condense before opening the cooker.

2. Open the cooker and check if the channa's are cooked. Turn the heat back on add all the spice powders and bring to a boil. When the gravy is almost drying add the freshly grated coconut. Turn off the heat.
3. Heat oil in a large kadai, add mustard seeds allow to splutter. When they splutter add crushed garlic and curry leaves. Fry till garlic lightly browns, add the channas from the cooker into the kadai. Add the tamarind extract, let the channas simmer for another 5 minutes, add the sugar, mix well, turn off the heat.

Caysera's Notes:
*For variety you could substitute the above spice mixture with 2 tsps of sambhar powder or baffat powder.
For More "Novein Joovan or Vegeterian recipes" please click  the "Tickle My Senses Recipe index tab" and scroll down to "Recipes for Nativity day/ Novein Joovan".

Hope you Enjoy!! Happy Monthi Fest!

Carol Sequeira Pereira

Monday, 3 September 2012

Chicken Noodles with Mushrooms and Spinach for little monkeys!!

Most children love noodles and this is Baby A's favourite chicken noodles recipe. This delicious noodles preparation is packed with the goodness of vegetables and chicken, and is a super easy way to get your lil ones to enjoy a balanced meal.

Its a joy to watch Baby A having fun slurping up these soft egg noodles with chicken, mushrooms and spinach. Even though he has learned to eat with a fork, when it comes to noodles it is his fingers he prefers. 

First he picks up a string of noodle with his fingers, does a bit of dangling, twirling, twisting, then pulls it through his lips and eventually eats it :) 

The not-so fun part for mommy begins when he comes chasing with those sticky fingers ;) Make sure you've got some wet wipes handy or else you're in big trouble!!

To make Chicken Noodles with Mushrooms and Spinach.
Ingredients: Serves 1 toddler
Cooked egg noodles: 1/4 -1/2 cup based on childs appetite
Shredded chicken: 1 small piece
Tomato: 1/2 chopped finely
Mushrooms: 2 nos. sliced thinly
Baby spinach leaves: a few
Onion minced: 1 tbsp
Hot water: 1/2 cup
Knorr chicken stock cube ( MSG free with reduced salt): 1/8 th of a cube
Ghee: 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon stick: small piece
Lemon juice: few drops
Cornflour: 1/2 tsp dissolved in a tbsp water

1. Heat oil in a non stick pan add cinnamon stick fry for a few seconds, then remove, add minced onions to the same oil and fry till golden brown, add the minced tomatoes fry for a minute, add cooked shredded chicken, thinly sliced mushrooms, baby spinach and cooked egg noodles. Add 1/2 cup of  water, 1/8th of chicken stock cube (or if you have ready stock use instead of water and skip the stock cube). Close the pan and allow all the ingredients to infuse its flavours for around 4-5 minutes.
2. When the mushrooms have cooked and there is still around 2 tbsps stock remaining in the pan, taste for salt, add the cornflour mixture. Allow the stock to slightly thicken and coat the noodles. Turn off the heat, add a squeeze of lemon juice, mix well. 

Serve warm in a bowl with a child safe fork.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Grilled Sandwich for tiny fingers: Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Medley

This is 19 month old Baby A's favourite wholesome grilled chicken sandwich. It has his all time favourites ingredients which is chicken and creamy philadelphia cheese, and his newfound love- heinz ketchup! (seriously he likes ketchup so much, he could paint himself and the town red with it).  

I've added a medley of vegetables to the sandwich like carrots, broccoli, spinach and peas, and then enclosed it within 2 slices of wholegrain bread. Grilling the sandwich gives the sandwich a lovely crunchy outer and juicy, creamy inner. A good lunch time meal. You could use any vegetables your lil one likes, to make it appetising for them.

To make this Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Medley Grilled Sandwich
Ingredients: ( makes 1 sandwich)
Chicken: 1 medium size piece.
Mixed vegetables ( chopped carrots, small broccoli florets, whole peas): 2 tbsps (you could use corn kernels, peppers, beans anything that your child enjoys)
Baby leaf spinach: few
Philadelphia Original Cheese spread: 2 tsps
White Pepper powder: a pinch (optional)
Ketchup:1 tsp
Butter: 1/4 tsp (for grilling sandwich)
Cardomom: 1 pod
Wholegrain bread: 2 slices

1. In a small vessel take chicken, chopped vegetables and a cardomom pod. Add enough water to just cover the chicken. Add a pinch of salt. Close the vessel and bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat. Allow the chicken to cook well and the vegetables to turn soft ( around 15-20 minutes). Just before turning off the heat add the baby spinach and cook for another minute. 
2. Then drain the chicken and vegetables into a bowl and let it cool down. Reserve any remaining stock to make soup another time. Shred the chicken and chop the cooked vegetables and spinach into smaller bits. Add a tsp of cheese spread to the chicken vegetable mixture, mix well. Taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of pepper if desired.
3. Place the bread slices on a board. Thinly spread ketchup on both slices, then spread a tsp of cream cheese on the bottom slice only. Place the chicken and vegetable mixture over the bottom slice. Cover the mixture with the top bread slice. 
Apply a thin smear of butter to the outer surface of both slices of bread and grill till the bread turns a lovely golden brown.

I serve it with reduced salt herby corn puffs or vegetable crisps and a small dollop of ketchup :)

I hope your little one enjoys it too.

Carol Sequeira Pereira.